The server returned with Maris’s beer. “So you just passing through or have you moved to Desire?” The man smiled. Damn, he was beautiful. “Sorry, I’m nosy.” He held his hand out. “Name’s Pip.”
Maris hesitated and finally shook it. He wasn’t used to anyone being so kind to him. Not since…“Maris.”
Pip chuckled. “I saw that on your license. You do know there’s a restaurant down the street.”
Maris bristled at the obvious invitation to leave. “You asking me to take a hike?” he snapped.
Pip’s black brows shot up. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”
“I woke up on the wrong side of life.” Maris looked away. And here he thought Pip would be different from everyone else. That went to show him that he couldn’t let his guard down. No one wanted a monster as a friend. It was Pip’s job to be nice. The man was probably cringing on the inside.
“I wasn’t asking you to leave,” Pip said. “I was just pointing out other options since you’re new to this town. There’s also a pizza parlor and a coffeehouse that makes the best sandwiches.” He lowered his voice. “But don’t tell my boss I said that.”
The side of Maris’s mouth twitched. He wanted to like Pip, but he’d learned the hard way that making friends was a waste of time. Look at Cecil. Maris had known him all throughout high school, and he couldn’t get away from Maris fast enough. They had texted back and forth, and Cecil had sounded excited to see Maris again. That was until he’d picked Maris up at the airport. Cecil’s expression then had said it all. He didn’t want to be around Maris any longer than he had to be.
Maris’s brows rose when Pip slid into the booth across from him. He turned his face, trying to keep his right side hidden. “What’re you doing?”
“Uh…sitting?” Pip shrugged. “You just look like you need a friend.”
“I don’t need your pity,” Maris barked. He curled his lips when a few people turned their heads his way. The bartender looked ready to come over and beat the snot out of him.
“He’s very protective,” Pip said as he nodded toward the bartender. “I’d keep the yelling to a minimum.”
“I didn’t ask you to join me in the first place,” Maris reminded him.
Pip narrowed his gray eyes. “First off, I don’t pity you. Second, no, you didn’t ask me to join you, but I like making new friends, so sue me.”
Maris refused to feel guilty when Pip got up and walked away. He’d dealt with a lot of crap in the past four years, and before that, he was already awkward when it came to making friends. Pip hadn’t stood a chance.
Pip returned with Maris’s food and set the plate on the table. “If you change your mind about being friends, you know where to find me.”
Maris couldn’t figure out why someone as beautiful as Pip would want to be friends with someone as disfigured as he was. He’d started to get up and go after Pip—which was very uncharacteristic of him—when the tavern door opened.
The most handsome man Maris had ever laid eyes on walked inside—tall, broad, dark-skinned, and sexy. Maris curled his hands into fists and looked away as the stranger gave a deep chuckle and said something to the bartender.
Maris tried to eat, but his attention kept being drawn back toward the bar. The handsome stranger sat on a stool, his back to Maris. The position gave Maris the perfect opportunity to look his fill. He squinted when he noticed a tattoo on the back of the man’s head, but couldn’t make out what the design was. Like the right side of his face, Maris's right eye was also damaged. He could see out of it, but things were blurry.
Pip came back to Maris’s table. “Need another beer?”
Maris held up his nearly full bottle. “Not yet, but thank you for asking.”
He wasn’t without manners. Maris was just used to being cantankerous in order to ward off unwanted attention. Since Pip wasn’t treating him as a freak, he decided to tone his attitude down. He would prefer anonymity to the entire world, but Maris knew he couldn’t do that. As much as he wanted to hide away, his human need to interact with others always won out. It was twisted logic considering he didn’t want anyone to approach him, but it was what it was.
“Handsome, isn’t he?” Pip grinned, as if he knew Maris had been checking out the man at the bar.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“His name is Kingsley, but everyone calls him King.” Pip winked at Maris. “Just in case you wanted to know. And he’s single, too.”
“Well, I don’t want to know.” Maris tipped his bottle back and nearly drained it. He set the bottle down and burped. “I think I’ll take that second beer.”
“You know,” Pip murmured, “we all have scars. Some of us just carry them on the inside.”
“Then you’re lucky,” Maris snarled.
“If you say so.” Pip started to walk away, but stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Reading the full story is better than judging a book by its cover.”
Maris looked away. He didn’t want to know anyone’s story. He had his own to suffer through, and that was one story he wished he could forget.
King drew back, staring down at the beautiful, pale body laid out before him. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to calm his wolf. His beast was close to the surface. King knew because his nails had grown into claws, and the tips of his canines poked his bottom lip. When he opened his eyes, Maris lay there staring up at him.
“Do I frighten you?”
Maris shook his head. “If anything, you look wild and sexy.”
That was the first time anyone had described his teeth and nails that way. King moved onto the bed and stretched out beside Maris, then propped his head on his hand. “You think so?”
“Can I touch them?”
King opened his mouth and lay there patiently as his mate prodded at his teeth. Maris let his hand drop. “They’re sharp.”
“I hope so.” King winked, trying to put his mate at ease. “Wouldn’t do to have dull canines.”
King ran his hand down Maris’s chest and stopped at his groin. The head of Maris’s cock was dripping precum onto the covers. King ran his hand over the clear liquid and licked his fingers. “Mmm.”
Maris’s lips parted as he began to pant. “Damn, that was hot.”
“I like how you taste.” King did it again, only this time he pressed his fingers against Maris’s mouth. King’s cock jerked when Maris lapped at them.
“When we go for round two, I want you to lick my cock just like that,” King said.
King placed a light kiss on Maris’s lips. “Do you think one round will do? This is only whetting my appetite.”
Maris’s blue eyes filled with lust, but they still held a hint of sorrow. King became determined to make Maris forget it, if for just a single night.
“Tell me about your tattoo.” Maris slid his hand over King’s chest and plucked at the left nipple. “Why do you have a hand tattooed on your head?”
“It’s God’s hand keeping my feet planted firmly on the ground.” King had thought of that years after he’d gotten the tattoo. In all honesty, he’d been drunk off his ass and didn’t even remember getting the damn thing.
Maris’s cock was leaking heavily as he played with King’s nipples. “Let me show you what the tattooed hand feels like.” King placed his hand on the back of Maris’s head and slowly navigated his mate down toward his aching cock.
Skin wrinkled between Maris’s blond brows. “Sucking cock?”
King burst out laughing. “No, I’m keeping you from floating away.”
Maris grinned. “I’m not floating away. I’m right here with you.”
It was the first time King saw his mate smile. Maris’s grin was lopsided and he also had dimples, only the one on the right side had been destroyed, leaving behind a pockmark. That still didn’t detract from his beauty.
King could tell Maris was completely confused by what he’d said. “Just open your mouth, sweetheart.”
With a chuckle, Maris scooted down the bed and came eye-to-eye with King’s erection. “He’s a big guy.”
King’s cock jerked at the compliment. “I didn’t have a conversation in mind.”
Maris flicked his tongue out, licking at the slit. “Are you sure?”
“I’m pretty damn sure,” King growled. “Stop teasing me.”
“You said you wanted me to lick you,” Maris reminded him.
With a grunt, King pulled Maris back up the bed and flipped him onto his stomach. “And I said that was for round two. Stop tempting me, you vixen. Now tell me where your lube is at.”
Damn. King didn’t want to get up, but he had no choice. He smacked Maris’s ass, grinning as his handprint surfaced. “Stay right there.”
“Kinky bastard,” Maris said under his breath, but he stayed put.
King made quick work of finding the lube, and noticed the bottle was almost empty. He’d have to make a drugstore run tomorrow for a fresh bottle.
After wetting his fingers, King crawled between Maris’s spread legs. “Hike your ass up here.”
“Damn, you’re not only nosy, but bossy.” Maris pressed his shoulders into the bed, jutted his ass up, and spread his legs farther apart. He swiveled his ass, teasing King.
“You’re a naughty little thing.” King smacked Maris’s butt and bit one cheek. Maris yelped and moaned as King pushed his slick fingers inside Maris’s hole. It was a tight fit, telling King that Maris hadn’t had sex in a while. That bit of information pleased him. “How long has it been?”
Maris glanced over his shoulder. “It doesn’t matter. Just fuck me.”
His mate had sustained his injuries four years ago. Had he slept with anyone in that time? King scissored his fingers, pumping them in and out of Maris’s ass. When Maris’s muscles began to relax, King added a third.
“I’m too wound up,” Maris whimpered.
“I am, too, but I’m not gonna rush this.” King worked to stretch Maris as he watched his mate pant, whimper, close his eyes, and then moan. Maris’s inner walls squeezed King’s fingers as his mate rocked back and forth.
King couldn’t wait any longer. Not when Maris’s body was begging to be filled. He slicked lube up and down his cock before tossing the bottle aside. That was one thing King hated about the stuff. It was a mess and got everywhere.
“About damn time,” Maris whined.
King grinned. “Hungry for my cock?”
“Starving for it.”