Kiss of Danger:
The danger of a kiss…
Wolf shifter and tactical specialist Cooper Hull had finally gotten his life just where he wanted it—nice and comfortable. Unfortunately, that’s when fate throws a potential mate into his path.
While touring an abandoned building in the hopes of transforming it into a drug rehabilitation center, Kyler Pembelton finds himself held hostage by an addict. All that stands between him and almost certain death is an enigmatic man with a captivating gaze.
Cooper is famous for keeping his cool, but nothing could have prepared him for the heat Kyler sparks. Is he the one? Cooper isn’t sure. Even though one little kiss will reveal the truth, Cooper has a past that compels him to keep his mouth to himself. But that doesn’t mean Kyler will take no for an answer.
Will Cooper surrender to the passion between them? Or will his determination to protect Kyler inadvertently get him killed?
Kiss of Bliss:
The bliss of his kiss…
Erick Bliss never expected to meet his mate in the middle of a bank robbery gone bad. With one hostage down and the gunman looking to commit suicide by cop, Erick has to act fast to prevent more bloodshed. Shifting into his wolf form before witnesses is a mistake he’s willing to make to save others, especially the hostage the gunman takes delight in tormenting.
Ensnared in a life of abuse and neglect, Sax Eklund hasn’t ever known the power of true friendship or the strength of compassion. When he becomes the focus of a robber’s rage, he isn’t surprised, but rescue by a stunning wolf sets the stage for major changes.
Saving Sax is just the beginning of unraveling the truth behind his life of misery. The last thing Sax needs is a potentially deadly mating trial. Erick vows not to add to Sax’s troubles by claiming him, but will he be able to resist Sax’s powerful allure?
Kiss of Danger
As soon as Cooper Hull saw him, he knew they were both in trouble.
Kyler Pembelton’s eyes were enormous. His fear was palpable. The crazy asshole pressing the gun to his head was shaking, probably from a combination of adrenaline and withdrawal. One wrong move and the man with the gun was going to blow Kyler’s head clean off. Given that the gun was a forty-five, there wouldn’t be much of anything left if he actually fired the weapon that close to Kyler’s temple. But there was no way in hell Cooper was going to let that happen. Not on his watch. He was going to rescue Kyler because that was why he and his team had been called in. But that situation was only one part of the trouble Cooper was talking about. As soon as he looked into Kyler’s eyes, Cooper knew he had most certainly met his mate. And that meant if they both survived this, they were in for a lot more trouble.
“I’m not kidding,” the gunman said. “Back off or his head is hamburger.”
It was a disturbingly accurate image. Cooper had tried to get the gunman’s name, but he wasn’t falling for any of that “touch-feely shit” so Cooper was left calling him the gunman.
“No one is moving. We just want to talk.” Since his team had enough firepower pointed at the scumbag to kill him ten times over, Cooper felt comfortable lowering his weapon. “See? I just want to talk.”
“I ain’t got nothing to say.” He pressed the gun tighter to Kyler’s temple, making Cooper struggle to maintain his cool demeanor. “I want that helicopter. I want it now.”
“It’s coming,” Cooper soothed.
“It should be here by now!” His finger skittered against the trigger. Thankfully, it wasn’t a hair trigger. To Cooper’s discerning eye, he figured the weapon probably needed at least four pounds of pull to fire. That didn’t seem like a lot, but in this case, it could be the difference between life and death. “I’ve been waiting for that fucking thing for an hour!”
Actually, he’d only made the demand five minutes ago, but they were the longest five minutes in Cooper’s life. He was certain they were even longer for Kyler. Standing there, feeling impotent while a crazed gunman had a hold of a man like Kyler, a man who was so determined to help the city of Los Angeles his giving nature was what got him into this mess in the first place, was going to drive Cooper to drink. Not at this precise moment, but Cooper knew decompressing from this situation was going to be intense. There was a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label with his name on it somewhere. As soon as this was over, they were going to hook up and get very intimate.
“I understand it’s frustrating, but they are moving quickly to get you what you need.” Cooper thought what the guy really needed was a bullet between his eyes, but that wasn’t how this was going to play out. He tried to summon compassion, but he was having a very hard time doing that. The junky had no idea that the man he was holding had been touring the building to possibly convert it into a drug rehab facility. One that Kyler would fully fund. If this man killed him, it would be an ironic tragedy.
The gunman kept a firm hold on his hostage. “This corporate fuck is worth billions. I’m sure he’s got a fleet of helicopters in addition to his Learjet.”
Actually, Kyler did have helicopters in his fleet, and his office had released one to the LAPD, but that didn’t mean they could get the damn thing here instantaneously. However, Cooper knew pointing that out to this scumbag wasn’t going to do anything but agitate him, so he had to work on distracting him.
“You asked for cash, too. That’s going to be on the helicopter.”
It was the right thing to say because his eyes practically flashed dollar signs while he rhythmically licked his lips. He could posture all day about how this was about helping the little guy or equaling things between the haves and the have-nots, but the truth was this scumbag was just like any two-bit robber. He wanted something for nothing. Had he put all his time and effort into building a life and working toward his dreams, he wouldn’t need to be standing here, holding an innocent man hostage. If the criminal was a real man, he would have made his way in the world and not felt entitled. But Cooper didn’t mention that. Telling this dirtball the truth would only piss him off and get Kyler killed.
“And clearance to Cuba.”
“Right.” Cooper left off the fact he wouldn’t be able to fly a helicopter from LA to Cuba because if this guy didn’t know his geography, telling him now wasn’t going to help matters one damn bit. “You’ll have that along with the money.”
Repeatedly mentioning the money was the key to keeping the loser focused on the future. That seemed to work wonders. Money meant drugs. Sadly, if he actually had all the money he wanted, he’d end up killing himself. Unlimited drugs would cause him to overdose. And that was when Cooper’s compassion kicked in. This guy simply couldn’t help himself. Had he access to help, such as what Kyler was hoping to build, he may not have ever gotten this bad.
“Coop? Helicopter is on the roof.”
“And my money?” the gunman asked.
“With your money,” Aiden Stanly assured.
Kyler’s gaze was riveted to Cooper, making him keenly aware of his terror. His short blond hair seemed almost gleaming bright in the darkness of the abandoned building. In a way, Kyler looked almost angelic, especially with his pale skin and enormous blue eyes. He was going to need a lot of help to overcome the trauma of this situation. But the first thing Cooper had to do was get him out of it. No matter what it took, he vowed to do just that. If anyone deserved to live, Kyler was that man. He had done more good in the city of LA in a month than all the people Cooper had ever met combined.
“You aren’t going.” Cooper’s grip didn’t tighten on his face, but a man like him didn’t need to use brute force when he could simply use the power of his commanding gaze.
“I hate to pull a very childish tactic, but you aren’t the boss of me.”
“Oh, yes. I am.” Cooper smiled. “That’s exactly what you want, isn’t it?”
Kyler wanted to deny that truth, but he couldn’t. Somehow, Cooper was able to see right through his façade and into the very heart of him. “You don’t have the guts.”
Pushed to act by the taunt, Cooper pulled Kyler away from the chairs, spun him around, and forced him to face the wall. He barely had a chance to get his arms out to balance himself against the cool blue paint before Cooper was yanking his shirt from his trousers. Kyler found himself utterly aroused by Cooper’s aggression. He pulled at the hundred-dollar custom-tailored shirt as if it were nothing but a rag keeping him from his target.
“Unfasten your pants.”
Kyler did so without hesitation. While he quickly slid them down below the edge of his buttocks, he watched the shadow on the wall and realized Cooper was unfastening his jeans.
And then flesh met flesh. Cooper’s cock was so hard it was almost like living stone. The heat of his skin was making Kyler sweat. As Cooper rubbed his cock up and down the split of Kyler’s ass, he swore he felt each individual vein throbbing hungrily.
“Damn, but your skin is silky.”
Kyler clung to the wall, begging that Cooper wouldn’t stop. He was afraid if he said anything he might, so he held his tongue. But in his head, he was begging for Cooper to stop toying with him and fill his ass.
“I’m not going to fuck you, Mr. Pembelton.”
“No?” Kyler wondered why in the world he’d decided to switch to a less intimate term. Was that why Cooper wouldn’t kiss him? He didn’t want to get that deep into the moment? Maybe he never kissed any of his lovers as a way to keep himself distant. Was this nothing more than a fleeting assignation? A part of Kyler wanted to demand more, but again, he didn’t want Cooper to stop. If all he could have from this man was the fulfillment of a lifelong fantasy, he should take it and be happy with it.
“No. I’m not going to fuck you.” Cooper shoved Kyler’s expensive trousers down so they were now around his knees, making it virtually impossible for him to walk away. Not that he wanted to, but he enjoyed the added layer of semi-bondage. “I’m going to finish what you started.”
“What I—” Kyler swallowed hard, cutting himself off. He’d taken Cooper’s cock into his mouth, wanting to taste him, needing to taste him. Since he wouldn’t kiss Kyler, he’d done the next most intimate thing he could think of. “I’ve always wanted a man like you to take control of me.”
“Then that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” Cooper leisurely rubbed his cock in the split of Kyler’s ass. When the angle wasn’t quite good enough, he grasped Kyler’s hips, lifting him away from the wall so he had to lean forward to keep his hands placed there. Without those two anchoring points, Kyler knew he’d topple to his knees.
Time spun out and seemed to slow, allowing Kyler to experience everything in that moment. Cooper’s raw physical power excited him to the point his cock was throbbing. When he’d moved him with hardly any effort, the tip of Kyler’s prick was tangled in the edges of his shirt, stroking over him and bringing him so close to climax he struggled to resist. He didn’t want the moment to be over too fast.
“You’ve got an ass a man could write poetry to. Something obscure, perhaps something by Rainer Maria Rilke.”
The comment stunned Kyler. He thought Cooper would be gruff and—damn him for thinking in these terms—but rather blue-collar and base. But he wasn’t. Cooper was a compelling mixture of brawn and brains. He was extremely alpha, driven to be protective, but he was also a man who loved exquisite scotch and could appreciate the strength in another man without feeling threatened. When Cooper began to recite poetry in German, Kyler thought he was going to melt into a romantic puddle.
“What does that mean?”
“It means I’m not going to last very long.” Cooper’s grip on Kyler’s hips tightened. Rather than slide his cock in the split of his bottom, he now wedged it tightly into the crevice, pressing the hard length against Kyler’s hole.
Kiss of Bliss
Had he not known the kid in black leather, chrome chains, and a dog collar was an innocent bystander, Erick Bliss would have pegged him for one of the bank robbers. The kid certainly had the bad-boy appearance down. His shaggy black hair obscured half his face and his “I hate everything including life itself” attitude gleamed from his practiced slouch. However, since he was on the other side of the dipstick with the gun, Erick reassessed and realized he was only a Goth kid caught up in a robbery gone bad.
One of the hostages was facedown in a pool of blood. He’d been shot because of some LAPD commander who didn’t bother to wait for a full incident assessment. In the mother of all ironies, the bank patron was wearing an outfit eerily similar to the bank robber’s. What enraged Erick almost as much as the loss of life was that the jerk who’d demanded the sharpshooter take the shot wouldn’t have to suffer the crushing guilt of killing a totally innocent man. The sharpshooter, yet unnamed, would probably have nightmares, and he would carry the fallout of that shot forever.
As angry as Erick was with the fuckup, he was here to make sure another person didn’t go down. No one below knew he had an eagle-eyed view of the situation. Well, no one but Xenos. He was their liaison at the LAPD. When the shit hit the fan, and they couldn’t use regular officers to assess a situation, Xenos called Hull Protection Services. Xenos used them judiciously, mainly because he had to find a way to pay them out of his skimpy budget, but also, Xenos didn’t want anyone else finding out why the men of Hull Protection Services were so damn good at their jobs.
Using his canine senses, Erick evaluated the situation. The bank foyer was just like any other. The floors were highly polished brown marble with thick, black runners to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. There were velvet ropes attached to golden poles, but they were tucked to the side. Obviously, they hadn’t been used in a long time. A lone gunman stood across from a lone teller. While she stuffed money into a backpack, he jabbed his gun at her. The poor woman was beyond distraught and the criminal knew it. That was why he was sticking the gun in her face.
“You better hurry up, or you’ll end up just like that smartass over there.” He waved his gun toward the downed man. Erick found it odd that he was taking the credit for the man’s demise when a sharpshooter’s bullet had caused the damage. When the woman darted her terrified gaze around at the windows, Erick got it. The robber had convinced everyone he’d told his partner to kill someone. With a terror level already screamingly high, it became more so when the people thought there was a long-distance robber targeting them all.
Erick continued to evaluate the situation. Most of the bank’s patrons were lying facedown on the floor with their hands up and out, palms flat. Perhaps that was what caused the first commanding officer to order a shot without having a full assessment. From the way they were lying so perfectly still, they did appear dead. But there wasn’t any blood and there wasn’t any carnage. Shooting people wasn’t a clean business. It left marks, especially since the gunman had an AK47. If he had opened up on the crowd, there would be plenty of evidence.
Something strange struck Erick then. Why was the Goth kid the only one standing? Was he involved somehow? When he flicked his hair out of his face, Erick realized he was scared witless. Tears had smeared his heavy black eyeliner across his cheeks, and the tip of his nose was red. His lips—oh, God, his full and sweetly pouting lips—were as pink as a fragile bloom. He couldn’t have been much older than twenty.
“You got eyes or not, Bliss?”
“I got eyes, Coop. Give me a second to assess.” Snapped out of his fascination for a boy who was just that—a boy—Erick turned his attention to the rest of the scene. He was able to assess the situation without anyone being the wiser because he was in his wolf form. Sneaking onto the roof, and then using the ventilation system, gave Erick the lowdown on the robbery. “It looks to me like it’s just one guy.”
“Why the hell did he order the shot?”
Erick offered up his theory about how the downed hostage was dressed just like the robber. “That’s the only thing I can figure. But there’s still something real strange.” Using his mental link to his pack’s top alpha, he flashed him the Goth kid.
“He’s just standing there?”
“Yep. And he’s the only one who’s vertical besides the teller.”
“Is he in on it?”
“My gut says no, but why else would he be up while all the other hostages are down?”
When the gunman left off tormenting the teller, he turned his bloodshot gaze onto the kid. “He still dead?”
The kid nodded.
“What?” the gunman bellowed. “I didn’t hear you. Speak the fuck up!”
In a clear, halting voice the kid said, “He’s still dead.”
“Sir,” the kid repeated.
“Put it altogether now, you waste of fucking space.”
“He’s still dead, sir.”
“Oh, fuck.” Erick and Cooper’s mental voices overlapped. They both got the deal in a sickening rush. The only thing the kid had to do with the situation was providing some kind of gruesome entertainment for the criminal. Apparently, the gunman ordered him to stand watch over the man who was clearly dead. Worse, from the stunned look Erick managed to catch before his hair flopped back down, the kid knew the dead man. In all his life, Erick had never encountered anything so sickly twisted.
“If I do nothing else in this world, I’m going to make that POS regret tormenting that kid for no reason.”
“I promised to rock your world.” Erick kissed him, pleased to discover that Sax had slipped one of the mints into his mouth. “Mmm. Minty.”
“I didn’t want to have morning breath.”
“But what will I do?”
“Share with me.” Sax leaned up, and while kissing Erick, he slipped him the mint.
As they passed it back and forth, deepening their kisses as they did so, he never would have imagined something so simple could be so body-shakingly sexy. As the last sliver faded away, he was so hard he almost hurt. The need to be inside Sax made him almost crazy, but his need to take tender care of him tempered his lust. Erick didn’t want to fuck Sax. He wanted to make slow, sweet love to him. In his opinion, Sax had seen far too much of the world’s brutality. Erick wanted to show him that though the world could be cruel, there were also amazing and wonderful things the world had to give. Having a strong mate at one’s side was just one.
Kissing his way down Sax’s body, he teased his tongue around the very edges of his nipples, reveling in the way Sax responded. Sax cupped Erick’s head, slipping his fingers through his hair as he arched upward. Sliding his big hands down, Erick cupped Sax’s cock, using Sax’s pre-cum to slick up the pad of his thumb. Once he was good and slippery, he rubbed deliberately at the most sensitive spot between the shaft and head.
Sax uttered a cry of surrender as his hips flicked. He was seeking relief, but Erick wasn’t even close to giving him that. “Rocking your world includes a heavy dose of denial.”
“I won’t last.”
“You will.” Erick kept right on going with his focused teasing. “You lasted an insane amount the other night.”
Sax leaned up and looked down.
“The vent,” Erick said, nodding toward the vent at the top part of the wall. “I didn’t know this, but it’s right above the couch in the living room.”
“The one you were sleeping on?”
“You heard everything?”
“I did.” Erick licked Sax’s nipple while he continued to tease his cock.
Sax covered his face.
“Don’t you dare be embarrassed. It was hot.”
“I was out there masturbating right along with you.” Erick changed up the rhythm, which made Sax utter new and blazingly sexy sounds. “You can last a long time.”
“I never had a chance to do that without a time crunch.” Sax explained that he never had much privacy at home.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have—”
“Please don’t be sorry. I’m glad I got to share that with you. Maybe that’s what compelled me to go out there and kiss you.” Sax drew him close. “And I don’t want to talk about that when I have you right where I want you.”
“For a virgin, you’re pretty slick.”
“I might be a virgin, but I can certainly read.”
“Ah. So that’s where you learned all your sexy moves.”
“Sexy moves? So far all I’ve done is turn to putty in your hands.”
“Trust me. Everything you do is turning me on.” Grinning, Erick grabbed the bottle of lube from his bedside table and worked his way under the covers. Erick eased Sax’s legs apart, slicked up his fingers, and proceeded to tease his cock and tight little hole at the same time.
Within sixty seconds, Sax was bouncing in ecstasy. After three minutes of Erick’s erotic torture, he flung the covers off so he could watch. It was around the ten-minute mark that Erick’s patience fizzled. He was so hard he was practically in pain. As much as he wanted to fill Sax and bind them even tighter together, he couldn’t stand the idea of hurting him.
“I’m ready. Jesus, Bliss, I’m really ready. I’ll never be more ready than I am right now.”
“Jesus Bliss? Is that my new nickname? Kind of sacrilegious, don’t you think?”
Clearly, Sax had had enough. He slipped out of Erick’s grasp, pushed Erick onto his back, and then straddled his hips.
“Wow. You move fast.”
“Lust is a powerful motivator.”
“Only lust?” Erick handed him the bottle of lube and struggled to control himself as his mate slicked up his cock. His fingers were long, and though his hands appeared somewhat delicate, they were actually quite strong.
“More than lust.” Sax met his gaze as he rose up. Carefully, he centered Erick’s cock to his hole and slid down. When he closed his eyes, Erick thought he was in pain, but Sax’s head went back and he uttered a cry of bliss that probably echoed around the house. Erick didn’t care. He was consumed with the feeling of penetrating his mate. He’d had sex before, but nothing like this. He’d always used condoms for one, but with his mate he no longer had to, which gave him so much sensation he damn near climaxed when Sax was only halfway down. But when Sax opened his eyes, locking their gazes, Erick realized that this was the first time he had a full connection to another.
Emotionally, he felt exposed. Not that it was a painful feeling, not at all. It was just that it was new and totally unfamiliar. He felt everything in much more profound ways. What they were sharing was more than just sex, more than mating. It was almost love.
Sax was beautiful in his ecstasy. His gray eyes seemed smoky, almost hypnotic as he continued his descent. When he hit the bottom, having taken all of Erick’s cock into him, Sax closed his eyes and opened his mouth. No sound came out, but he clenched up around Erick’s prick, making him growl.