[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
Aspen McKenzie is fuming when he finds out he is passed over for the promotion he’s worked so hard to get. He has a few days until his vacation starts and can’t wait for the much-needed break. Unfortunately, his day turns to chaos when three men walk into the bank where he works, holding everyone hostage at gunpoint. Only the deep, comforting voice on the other end of the line keeps Aspen from breaking down.
Deputy Rey Foster takes over as negotiator when Sheriff Tate has to deal with the feds. He has every intention of getting the hostages out alive, but when he hears Aspen’s terrified voice on the other end of the phone, he feels an instant connection to the unknown man. When Rey brings food and water for the hostages and it’s Aspen who opens the door for him, he knows instantly that the sexy human is his mate. But someone is after Aspen following the heist, and Rey has to stop the person before Aspen becomes another causality.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
“I want all the cash in the drawers,” the leader said. “Nothing from the bank vault.”
Which meant they knew the money had packets of dye in them that would explode minutes after they left the bank, rendering the cash useless.
Amy whimpered when the guy grabbed her upper arm and yanked her toward the counter. “Empty the drawers, and don’t try anything funny or you’ll drop before you even know I’ve pulled the trigger.”
Aspen hated feeling so helpless, but there was nothing he could do. If he said anything or tried to help, he would die. He didn’t doubt for one second that the leader would make good on his threat.
“Just take the cash and go,” Mr. Crown pleaded. “No one is going to stop you or play hero.”
Aspen gasped and covered his mouth with his hand when the leader came around the counter and struck Mr. Crown in the head with the butt of his weapon. Mr. Crown slumped to the floor, but thankfully his eyes were still open. Women screeched, and the baby cried louder.
“Shut the fuck up!” the leader said. “Everyone keep your damn mouths closed and make that baby stop crying!”
“The baby is frightened,” Aspen said, fearful that the guy would hurt the infant.
One of the other robbers came toward him, his gun raised, but the leader held his hand up, stopping his accomplice. The third guy went behind the counter, shoving money into the bag while Amy whimpered, her hands high in the air.
Aspen might dislike her, but he didn’t want to see Amy hurt.
“Do you know how to quiet a kid?” The leader hunkered down in front of Aspen, one arm resting on his thigh. Aspen would have expected compassion in the man’s eyes, but there was nothing there but determination and the ability to kill whoever got in his way.
Aspen shook his head. He’d never dealt with a baby before and had no clue how to quiet him or her.
The guy’s intense green eyes bore into Aspen. “Then keep your opinions to yourself.”
Aspen nodded, thankful he didn’t feel the butt end of the gun crash into his head, but he would have fought like crazy if they’d tried to hurt the baby. He would have tried to fight all three of them if they went anywhere near the child.
Luckily, they didn’t. The mother grabbed a bottle from the diaper bag hanging on the back of the stroller, and the bottle seemed to soothe the infant. The father had scooted in front of his wife to shield her and the baby.
“Done,” the man behind the counter shouted. “We can go.”
The three raced toward the door, but sirens rent the air seconds before cop cars pulled up front, stopping at angles that wouldn’t allow traffic through.
“Someone must have seen us,” the guy with the duffel bag said.
“Shit, shit, shit,” the leader said as he moved farther into the interior. “Five more seconds and we could have been gone.”
Now Aspen regretted hitting the button. They would have left, and no one would have been harmed, except Mr. Crown. Because of Aspen’s quick thinking, they all just might die.
One of the phones in the back offices rang. No doubt it was the cops. Aspen licked his lips, his mouth bone-dry as he prayed like he’d never prayed before that they got out of this alive. He heard Sawyer’s frustrated grunts beside him and knew how his friend felt. Aspen also wished the cops would have taken ten more seconds to get there and all of them would have been home free.
Terrified, but no longer held hostage.
“You!” The leader pointed at him. “Answer the damn phone.”
“Me?” Aspen looked around, too afraid to move from where he sat. He wasn’t even sure if his legs would work.
“Yes, you. Get up!” The leader motioned with his gun. “Answer the damn phone.”
“No, take me.” Sawyer started to get up, but Aspen shook his head. Was his friend insane? Why would he volunteer himself?
“Don’t,” Aspen whispered. He wasn’t even sure why he was arguing about this. If the guy took Sawyer, Aspen wouldn’t have to go.
“I can handle it,” Sawyer quietly argued. “These guys are morons. I’m sure I can get through this.”
The leader let go of a low, menacing growl. Sawyer narrowed his eyes but fell silent.
Aspen scrambled to his feet, brushing away Sawyer’s hand when his friend tried to yank him back down. Looking straight ahead, because he would have passed out otherwise, he headed right for Mr. Crown’s office.
“Pick the phone up,” the leader demanded as he followed Aspen inside the room.
With his hand shaking badly, Aspen did what he was told. “Hello?”
“This is Sheriff Tate Weston. Who am I speaking with?”
“Put it on speaker,” the leader growled.
Aspen did as he was told, again. “Aspen McKenzie.”
“Are you an employee or the one in charge?” Sheriff Weston asked.
“Employee,” Aspen whispered.
“I’m in charge,” the leader snapped.
“And whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” the sheriff asked.
“That’s none of your business. I’m going to make a list of my demands. Then Aspen is going to call you back.”
Before Aspen could say anything, the leader hung up the phone. But Aspen wasn’t sent back to the lobby with everyone else. The leader made him pull Mr. Crown’s chair out and sit. He had no clue why he was even there if the leader was doing all the talking, but Aspen wasn’t going to question him. Not while the guy clutched a weapon.
“If you move a single muscle, you’re dead.” The leader walked out of Mr. Crown’s office.
Even with the central air circulating through the bank, Aspen was sweating so badly that his armpits were soaking wet. He looked through the pane of glass and saw the three bank robbers talking softly among themselves. They had to be coming up with a plan B since plan A was shot to hell because of Aspen hitting that panic button.
There were exterior windows in Mr. Crown’s office, and they opened. For a second Aspen contemplated crawling out of one, but decided against it. Even if he got away, he didn’t want one of the hostages to pay the price for his freedom.
The phone rang again. Without thinking, Aspen answered it.
“Is this Aspen McKenzie?”
It wasn’t the same voice as before. “Yes, and who are you?”
“Deputy Rey Foster. Is anyone listening?”
He was shocked at how deep, smoky, and calm the voice on the other end was while he was literally shaking apart. “No, but I see them heading my way.”
“Three robbers, armed, around twelve hostages, and six bank employees.”
“You’re doing good, Aspen. Just keep your wits and stay calm. Can you do that for me?”
Aspen swallowed. The deep voice was a balm to his terrified soul. There was no denying that the man on the other end felt like a lifeline. “I’m trying. I really am trying.”
He moved his head slowly forward, giving Aspen a chance to change his mind. Rey was stunned when Aspen closed the distance, brushing their lips together. Then he licked at Rey’s lips, nudging them open.
That was all Rey needed. He took control of the kiss, deepening it, tilting his head for a better angle as he sucked at Aspen’s tongue. Aspen ground his ass against Rey’s hard cock, which was trapped under his jeans, the zipper pressing into his flesh.
When Aspen started sucking on Rey’s tongue, he nearly lost it. The pulling sensation went straight to his cock, making it pulse as Aspen continued to grind on him.
Rey was trying to keep things mild, and although he normally had great control over his body, that control wasn’t infinite. Aspen was tempting him in a way Rey had never experienced before. He tried to pull back, to stop this before it was out of control, but Aspen nipped at Rey’s lip then groaned.
The sound shot straight to Rey’s balls.
“If you don’t stop, I’m not sure I’ll be able to.” Rey let his hand drop from Aspen’s head to his hip. “You’re too damn tempting, Aspen.”
“So are you.” Aspen nuzzled his neck, licking at his skin. “I told you that you were lethal. Your voice is deeper, and I’m having a hard time stopping myself from touching you in other places.”
Rey couldn’t stop staring at the whisker burns on his mate’s face. “If we have sex, I’ll claim you.” Rey swallowed, and for the first time in his life, he was uncertain about what to do. He wanted Aspen with an ache that actually hurt, but he wanted to make sure this was what the guy wanted. Not because he felt desperate to ground himself but because of what they shared between them.
“What does that mean?” Aspen nipped his beard.
“It means our souls will be bound, Aspen. It means you’ll be mine, and you’ll live as long as I do. It means I’m a very jealous man, and I don’t share with anyone.”
“Good.” Aspen pulled back and looked up at Rey. “I don’t share either.” He frowned. “How old are you?”
“Three hundred and twenty-five.”
Aspen’s eyes rounded. “No shit.” He smiled. “Old man.”
Tension drained from Rey’s body as he gave a soft chuckle. “I guess you can look at it that way.” He shrugged. “We age differently than humans.”
With a tilt to his head, Aspen studied him. “You look in your thirties.”
“We age slowly.” Rey flexed his hands against Aspen’s hips, his cock so hard he could pound nails with it. “So will you.”
Aspen’s gray eyes grew darker. “Fountain of youth?”
“Something like that.” Rey took his mate’s lips in another searing kiss, devouring his mouth as he slid his hands up Aspen’s sides. His mate melted into him, sucking Rey’s tongue like it was a cock he was thoroughly enjoying.
He wasn’t ready to end the kiss, but Aspen pulled away then slid down Rey’s body until he was on his knees in front of him. Rey held his breath, his head spinning as Aspen reached up and unfastened his pants.
“Are you sure about this?”
“I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life. All I’ve thought about since seeing you for the first time was how you were hung and what you would taste like. Twice I’ve masturbated in the shower thinking of you touching me, of me sucking you off.”
“Motherfuck,” Rey said with a hiss.
Aspen slid his hand between Rey’s stomach and his waistband, curling his fingers around his cock. Rey lifted his hips and slid his pants and underwear down his thighs, his cock springing free.
“I knew it,” Aspen said as if in a daze. “I knew you were hung.”
The guy was definitely feeding Rey’s ego. He let out a soft growl as Aspen pushed up toward him and took Rey’s cock into his mouth.
Rey’s head fell back as he groaned. This wasn’t what he was expecting when they got back here after dinner, but he wasn’t going to deny Aspen anything he wanted. He would gladly reciprocate, or if Aspen wanted to be claimed, Rey was all for that too.
“That’s it. Suck my dick, baby. Yeah, just like that.” Rey groaned as Aspen lashed his tongue.
It would be so easy to fall for Aspen. Not because he was sucking Rey’s cock like a dream, either. Rey had never met a more caring, funny, courageous man. Rey ran his hand over Aspen’s hair, watching as his mate licked up one side then down the other before suckling the head.
Rey knew he was large and didn’t mind that Aspen couldn’t fully take him down his throat. He would take whatever his mate could give him.
Aspen laved at the slit, drawing out the pre-cum, moaning as he slowly stroked Rey around the base. He wasn’t going to last. Not when Aspen made such an erotic sight. Not when his pink tongue curled and licked, leaving behind his saliva, which now coated Rey’s dick.