Matthew shook his head. “You’re hopeless.”
“No, I’m in lust,” he pointed out as Deirdre brought their food. Xavier ignored her, no longer interested in what she had to offer. He wanted Gladstone.
“Can I get you anything else?” she asked Matthew.
“Yeah, you can get out of my way,” Xavier said. She was blocking his view of Gladstone.
She glared at him. “What’s your problem?”
“Me?” Xavier asked incredulously. “I’m not the one fawning over a man who’s taken and ignoring the single guy at the table.”
“I don’t do elves.” Her tone had been filled with loathing.
“And I don’t do crazy bitches. Now scoot along.” He waved her away.
“I’m. Not. Crazy,” Deidre said between clenched teeth before she stormed away.
“That wasn’t nice,” Matthew said. “Just because she didn’t fall all over you doesn’t mean—”
“Save it,” Xavier said. “When she acts like a waitress and not some love-struck puppy, then she’ll get my respect. She was downright rude.”
Matthew frowned. “What’s gotten into you?”
Xavier wished he knew. His skin felt tight, and his nerves were jumpy. He knew he shouldn’t have snapped at Deirdre, and would apologize later, but right now, he felt as if he would crawl out of his own skin any second.
He got up and headed for the door. Air. He needed air. When he stepped outside, the tension inside of him hadn’t eased. If anything, it had gotten worse.
He sat on his bike but was in no condition to drive. Instead, he called his mother.
“How’s everything going?” she asked.
“Feeling a bit strange,” he said.
“Strange how?” There was worry in her voice.
Xavier explained what had just happened to him.
“I think that’s something your father should handle.”
His brows puckered. Which father? To cut down on confusion, Xavier had grown up calling both his fathers by their given names. When he was alone with one, he called the guy dad. But if he was in the room with both, it was either Ruttford or Adam.
“Hey, son,” Adam said when he got on the phone. “What’s going on?”
“Hey, Dad,” Xavier said. He was more comfortable talking about his problem with his mother. It had always been that way. When it came to personal things, Melonee was the go-to parent. He hated for either father to see him as weak, and he supposed that came from being raised by such a tough-as-nails grandfather.
But between Adam and Ruttford, Adam was the father who was the most understanding. Ruttford was the type of man who joked a lot, and that was all good, but at a time like this, he wasn’t the guy to talk to.
Sighing, Xavier repeated what he’d told his mom.
“As much as I’d like to help, son, I think this is something Ruttford should handle.”
It was like calling his cell phone carrier. He was being passed around, and it irritated the shit out of him.
Press one for English and two for annoying.
He shook his head at his musing before the phone was passed to Ruttford.
“Hear you got a problem,” Ruttford said when he got on the line.
“It’s nothing major.” Xavier downplayed it.
“Your mother made it seem like you were about to have a heart attack and needed immediate medical attention,” Ruttford said to Xavier.
“I did not,” Melonee said in the background. “Just talk to him.”
“I am talking to him,” Ruttford said to Melonee. “He sounds fine.”
“He’s not fine,” Melonee argued.
“Maybe I should call back later,” Xavier said.
“Nonsense,” Ruttford said.
“Will you let him talk to Xavier?” Adam said in the background, and Xavier assumed he was talking to Melonee.
Jeez, if he had known this would turn into a three-ring circus, he wouldn’t have called.
“Hang on, son,” Ruttford said, and Xavier heard a door close. “Much better.”
“Did you lock her out of your room?” Xavier joked. He wanted to hang up, but he’d already opened this can of worms, so he dealt with it.
“No, I left our room,” Ruttford said. “Now, back to you.”
“I’m cool, Dad,” Xavier said.
“No, what you are is human, Christmas Elf, and Wood Elf. Since your genes are made up of all three, there’s no telling how you’ll react when you find your mate.”
“Wait, what?” Xavier’s heart slammed into his throat. Mate? What in the fuck was Ruttford talking about? “This isn’t a time for you to kid around, Dad.”
“I’m being serious.”
Which was rare for Ruttford.
“Who said anything about a mate?” Xavier asked. The feel of his skin tightening intensified.
“Who was in the diner with you?”
Ruttford clucked his tongue. “Well, we know he’s not your mate. You would have known that years ago. Who else was in there?”
“Just some customers,” Xavier said.
“Any of them stand out, catch your notice?”
Xavier immediately thought of Chief Gladstone. He’d never reacted that strongly to anyone before.
“Maybe,” he hedged. This was not something he wanted to discuss with Ruttford or any male for that matter. As big a manwhore as Xavier was, he kept his private life private. The only reason his friends knew he was a slut was because the people he’d had sex with ran their fucking mouths.
His sex partners thought it grandiose that they’d slept with Maverick’s grandson. Maverick’s grandson, not Xavier. And people wondered why he’d left Brac Village.
“Well, it sounds to me like that maybe needs further attention,” Ruttford said. “I’m not going to go into a lecture about mates. You know the deal. All I’m saying is your reaction says it all.”
This could not be happening. He was mated to a cop? An older man at that. How much older?
As if talking about the man had made him materialize, Gladstone walked out of the diner, and their gazes locked.
“I’ll call you back.” Xavier hung up as Gladstone headed his way.
Xavier gave a slight shake of his head. “Who said anything is going to happen?”
Eric pressed his hand once more into Xavier’s chest. It was a silent command for his mate not to move. He slid from the bed and removed Xavier’s boots, leaving the guy’s socks on. Once the boots hit the floor, Eric yanked the pants down and off.
Aside from his black socks, Xavier lay there completely naked. The sight was breathtaking. Xavier had a muscular build, thick thighs, well-sculpted calves, a rigid abdomen, and a husky upper body.
Eric shrugged as he schooled his features. It was time to turn the tables. “You’re right. I shouldn’t pressure you.” He said it so offhandedly that a frown puckered between Xavier’s eyes.
“So, we’re not going to do anything?” Xavier hedged.
Eric was so hard that it physically hurt. His wolf snarled at him for switching things up, but he ignored the beast. “As I said, I’m not going to force you.”
Eric pulled the blanket from under Xavier, ready to tuck it in around his mate. Xavier’s hand shot up, his fingers circling around Eric’s wrist. There was something in Xavier’s eyes that Eric couldn’t quite decipher. His mate gave a slight tug. Eric stood there for a moment longer and then slid in next to his mate.
No words were spoken. Xavier released Eric’s wrist and then slid it around his neck. Eric lowered himself until their lips met. The kiss was tentative, exploring. It was as if Xavier didn’t want him to go but was afraid to ask Eric to stay.
Eric’s hand slid over Xavier’s side and then around his back before he cupped the elf’s backside. He massaged the cheek as he deepened the kiss, their tongues battling, as if Xavier still couldn’t give up control.
“Yes?” Eric pulled back and gazed down into Xavier’s beautiful blue eyes.
“I really don’t need my socks.”
Eric chuckled as he pulled from Xavier’s arms and removed the man’s socks. Once he tossed them to the floor, he stood and took off his shirt and shoes. Xavier watched the whole time, his eyes darting over every inch Eric revealed. Next Eric unbuckled his belt and slid it free, letting it fall from his hands.
He unsnapped his pants but didn’t remove them. Xavier already appeared skittish enough. He wanted to ease his mate into this. Eric climbed back into the bed and started to wrap himself around his mate, but Xavier had other ideas.
Eric watched as his mate worked his way down the bed and then settled between Eric’s legs. His breath caught in his lungs. Xavier pulled at Eric’s waistband. Eric lifted his hips, and his pants were pulled down to his thighs. His erection sprung free, slapping his lower stomach.
Xavier’s eyes widened slightly before he finished removing Eric’s pants. He didn’t think his mate would be so bold. Not from the way he’d been acting. Eric thought he’d have to talk Xavier into everything they did. Apparently not and he was too damn happy about that. Eric didn’t let his smile show. He kept his features in check as Xavier wrapped his hands around Eric’s cock. His hips jerked involuntarily.
Eric was trying to keep his eagerness from taking over. He didn’t want to scare Xavier off. He wasn’t sure if it would, but he wasn’t taking any chances. He had the elf right where he wanted him. Eric was determined to see this all the way through. If given the chance, he would claim Xavier tonight.
Xavier stroked his heated flesh a few times. If the guy kept that up, Eric would be finished before anything started. He usually had more stamina, but he’d wanted the elf from the word go, and to find out the man was his mate…yeah, he wouldn’t last long.
He didn’t have to worry about Xavier stroking him to completion. What Eric had to worry about came after that. His mate leaned up and took Eric into his mouth. Eric hissed and thrust his hips, his hands clamping down on the man’s head. It was pure instinct that made him do that, but when his fingers grazed the tips of Xavier’s ears, they wiggled.
If his cock wasn’t sinking into wondrous pleasure, he might have explored those wiggling ears. He knew from the last time he’d touched them that they were sensitive, and Eric would find out how sensitive in due time.
His fingers curled into Xavier’s hair as the man worked his cock like magic. Xavier took the shaft down his throat, pulled back, licked at the head, and then swallowed him again. Xavier kept repeating those steps until Eric nearly came. He pulled Xavier back, panting, telling himself not to come.
Xavier gave him a cocky smile, as if he knew just how much he affected him. It was time to turn the tables again. Eric pulled from under Xavier and flipped the man until his mate was lying on his back. He swallowed Xavier whole.
“Fuuuck,” Xavier said on a groan. He grabbed Eric’s head and began to fuck his cock into Eric’s mouth. Eric took it. He had another plan in mind, and Xavier was playing right into his hands. He pulled back for a second, wet his fingers, and then took Xavier back into his mouth. As he sucked his mate’s cock, Eric slipped a finger into his mate’s ass.
Xavier faltered, and when Eric looked up, it seemed as if the man had stopped breathing. His eyes locked onto Eric’s as Eric slid another finger inside the man’s ass. Before Xavier protested, Eric curled his finger and found the walnut-shaped gland.
Xavier bucked, his fingers tightening in Eric’s hair. The guy looked as if he’d start drooling any second. Eric repeated the move again and again. The elf’s cock throbbed in his mouth, and Eric knew he had the guy.