Kiss of Deception
Desire could destroy their deception…
When wolf-shifter Ivan Tang stumbles across a dogfighting ring, his soul demands he put the wrong to right. Infiltrating the tightly knit and deeply paranoid group means he’s going to need an expert. Discovering his partner in the sting is a potential mate has made a difficult situation even worse.
Finding out that his commander is skimming money and drugs off busts means Ryder Moore’s undercover narcotics career is probably over. When he’s offered a chance to work with another team, he leaps before looking only to discover himself paired up with a man he can’t stop craving.
As the mission pulls Ivan and Ryder into tight quarters, both men must put aside their personal feelings, but that turns the embers of desire into a raging fire. Wicked encounters only heighten the need to claim one another. Both men are willing to wait until the operation is over, but will Ryder be strong enough to survive the mating trial?
Kiss of Intrigue
Murder and intrigue are no way to start a relationship…
Oliver Arnaud isn’t like the other wolf-shifters in Cooper’s pack, but he’s been flying under the radar for so long he assumes he’ll never have to reveal his secrets. When he’s mistakenly identified as a murderer and drugged, he finds himself gaining a mate in the most unusual manner.
Despite working three jobs, Josh Daniels finds time to stalk the man he believes responsible for his brother’s death. When his plan to kidnap and interrogate the mysterious Dom goes horribly wrong, Josh scrambles to keep his independence, not to mention his sanity.
Thrown together by a twist of fate, Oliver and Josh must learn to trust each other as they dig deeper into the death of Josh’s brother. When keeping his secrets conflicts with getting justice for his mate’s brother, Oliver must decide what’s more important.
Kiss of Deception
Movement caused him to turn his head. Xenos Harr was walking his direction. No, not walking, striding. With his very blond hair and exceedingly blue eyes, Xenos looked like an Aryan god. Ryder breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t been set up. He sucked the air right back into his lungs when he got a look at the guy next to Xenos.
“Holy fucking shit.”
Ryder swallowed hard because if he didn’t, he was going to drool all over his shirt. Whoever that man was, he was walking sex. Ryder got a major stiffy just looking at him. He was as tall as Xenos, but his hair was jet black and longer than it should be if he were an officer. Unless he was undercover. That thought prompted Ryder to wonder if this was the man he was going to be working with. Fuck. If he was, that was bad. Very, very bad. Ryder did not want to be that close to a man he desperately wanted to bang.
Hold up, he told himself. Maybe the guy is a total dick and has the voice of a sniveling weasel. Hot was great for a fast and furious fuck, but a nasally tone would put them back at square zero. Ryder’s gaze dropped to the guy’s bulge. Oh nom, nom, nom. Clearly, the guy was packing heat, and Ryder didn’t mean a gun. Damn. This just wasn’t fair. As the two men got closer, Ryder yanked his gaze up, climbed out of his car, and chanted in his own head have a horrible voice, have a horrible voice, have a horrible voice.
“Hey, Ryder.” Xenos stuck out his hand.
“Xenos.” Ryder made sure his grip was firm but not overly so. He disliked men who used a handshake as a way of displaying their physical power.
“This is Ivan Tang.”
“It’s a real pleasure to meet you.” Ivan lifted his sunglasses to the top of his head, displaying sultry brown eyes that went perfectly with his I-haven’t-shaved-in-a-few-days look. He stuck out his hand.
As Ryder gripped ahold, he thought he was going to pass out. Not only was the guy fucking gorgeous but his voice was nothing short of cock-strokingly good. He also had a strong, lightly callused hand that applied the perfect amount of pressure for a handshake. It wasn’t overpowering or wimpy but just right. Everything about Ivan Tang was flawless. Even his name hit just the right note. I’ll just bet you’ve got a tang to you, Ivan.
“You’re a cop?” Ryder asked, leaning back against his car. In the heavy sunshine of a perfect LA day, the red paint was hot enough to make him reconsider his stance, but he stayed, mainly so he wouldn’t look like a pansy for jumping off too quick.
“I was. I do private security now.”
“And you’re going undercover?”
“It’s complicated.” Ivan looked uncomfortable with revealing the plan to Ryder, but also he seemed leery of the parking lot. Ivan kept looking around. “I’d like to get into this, but I really don’t know about this spot, Xenos.”
“Trust me. There’s no one around.”
“It’s outside in broad daylight. Why can’t we do this at your apartment?”
“Because I don’t like mixing work with pleasure,” Xenos said. “As nice as it was to wake up to you this morning, I don’t want to make a habit of it.”
Ryder felt something in his heart whimper. So Ivan and Xenos were a pair? That put the capper on any plans he had to get warm with Ivan’s form. Ryder’s rule of not stealing things that didn’t belong to him included other guy’s guys. It was one thing to throw down anonymously in a park because there he didn’t ask about details. If the guy was cheating on someone, that was his problem. Ryder didn’t take the liaison beyond that moment. However, if he knew a guy had someone that put him in the not-going-to-happen column tout de suite. Ryder didn’t poach. It was rule number five.
“We can go to the firehouse if you want,” Xenos suggested.
Ivan shook his head, making the sunlight dance over his hair. “I don’t want them involved if I can help it.”
“So you’re a firefighter?”
“No. I live in a converted firehouse.”
“Oh. Okay. Let’s get on with this, guys.” Ryder wanted to know what the deal was. Thinking about a job always put his mind in order. That would be good right now since giving his brain something to chew on other than Ivan would be just about the only way he was going to keep his focus off the sexy man. Ryder Rule number sixteen—focus determines action. If he kept his focus on work, he would keep his actions along that same line.
“Fill him in on the deets, Ivan. I’ve got to take a leak.”
Xenos wandered off toward the rickety fence, leaving Ryder alone with Ivan. Against his best efforts, he found himself checking the guy out again. Ryder wasn’t so sure how he felt about a divine deity, but if there was one, God had worked overtime on putting Ivan together. He was tall, muscular, had those damn devastating bedroom eyes, and seemed to be intelligent, too.
“Xenos told me a little about you on the ride over.”
“Yeah? Makes you one up on me. I don’t know jack about you.” What he said came out way more antagonistic than he intended.
Ivan recoiled. Not a lot, just enough to shift his sunglasses on his head. “You got a problem?”
“No. I love being called first thing in the morning to work with some random dude who lives in a converted firehouse.”
“You’re seriously thinking about throwing down in here while your coworkers and my new boss are out there?” Ryder dropped his attention to Ivan’s bulge. “You’ve got some seriously huge cojones.”
“I wouldn’t say my balls were excessively large.”
“We’re not going to throw down.” Ivan pressed Ryder against the wall. “I’m going to ease your pain so you’ll be nicer.”
“So that’s your motive?”
“It is.” Ivan unzipped Ryder’s jeans and discovered he really had been looking for a fast, meaningless hookup since he didn’t have on any underwear. “Your cock is fucking hard as hell.”
“So’s yours.” Ryder managed to get Ivan’s pants down, and then they were rubbing furiously against one another.
“I can’t even tell you how good this feels.”
“Is fan-fucking-tastic a word?”
“It is now and it fits perfectly.” Ivan hadn’t been with anyone he wanted as much as he hungered for Ryder. Not ever. Maybe it was because he was a potential mate, or perhaps it was the fact that he was snarky, sexy, and surprisingly sweet. Or that he had a body that just wouldn’t quit. “You’re built like a swimmer.”
“Swimmer?” Ryder was panting against Ivan’s neck as they rubbed together.
“All tight and sleek.”
“You’re built like a Serbian god.”
“You know flattery will get you everywhere.”
“Will it get your damn pants off?”
They broke apart long enough to toe off their shoes, socks, and then shimmy out of their trousers. Once his pants were gone, Ryder was back to stroking Ivan’s cock but he added a new layer of sensation by rubbing the sweet spot behind Ivan’s balls.
“Are you quitting on me?” Ryder asked aggressively.
“Not at all.” Ivan had just been enjoying the way Ryder roughly handled him. He liked that he didn’t touch his cock as if the thing was made of glass and might break off. “I was just appreciating your technique.”
“Give some back.”
“Gladly.” Ivan certainly liked that Ryder wasn’t shy about asking for what he wanted. But instead of grabbing a hold of him, Ivan leaned over and sucked the tip of Ryder’s cock into his mouth. He dislodged Ryder’s hands to do it, but he just couldn’t help himself. Sweet pre-cum slid over his tongue. Ryder’s moan of surrender was almost as good as his flavor.
“I’ll never be able to be quiet. Fuck. Get back up here.” Ryder pulled Ivan back up, pushed him against the wall, and then rocked their cocks together.
Ivan lowered his mouth to Ryder’s shoulder, noting that he did the same. Thrusting as hard as they could felt great, but Ivan wasn’t about to let Ryder’s flavor go to waste.
“It’s too dangerous like this.”
“Now you realize that?” Ryder sounded as pissed as he looked. “I’m hornier than I was before.”
“No, not that kind of danger. We’re not stopping. The urge to kiss you is—let’s do this.” Within seconds, they were sprawled across Ivan’s neatly made bed, twisting up the blankets as they moved into a mutually satisfying sixty-nine position.
Rather than tease Ryder, Ivan didn’t hesitate. As soon as they were situated, he sucked Ryder’s cock right back into his mouth. If anything, he tasted even better now that Ivan could get more of him between his lips.
Not to be outdone, Ryder devoured Ivan’s cock in one hungry plunge. When he hit the back of his throat, Ivan uttered a groan that was only stifled by the fact he had a mouthful of dick.
Ryder was in frantic need as evidenced by the way he was surging into Ivan’s mouth. His flavor was almost too good. Ivan hungered to taste all of him. Cupping his hands to his buttocks, he compelled Ryder to thrust harder. To his surprise and pleasure, Ryder did the same to him. Like two well-suited hungry beasts, they consumed one another. Since each of them had his mouth full, they were remarkably silent, but in his head, Ivan was screaming. He couldn’t remember ever having a need for another sparked so suddenly and so violently. It wasn’t that he wanted to hurt Ryder, not at all. He just wanted to know him down to his very soul.
Ivan knew when Ryder was close because he sucked even harder at Ivan’s cock. And then, as if to make Ivan climax with him, he forcefully pressed his finger against Ivan’s hole. Matching him, Ivan realized that if they were to become mates, they would have the best of all possible worlds. Ivan knew some men went only one way when it came to anal sex. They either gave or they got. But he liked both. And it seemed Ryder did, too.
Kiss of Intrigue
Oliver Arnaud felt like a thief in the night. He wasn’t, but he couldn’t escape a sense of naughtiness stealing over him, giving him an erotic thrill. Sneaking away from his pack mates without telling them where he went or what he did certainly made him feel like he was stealing something. Since he took nothing that didn’t belong to him, and only disappeared when he wasn’t on call, he supposed he was, at worst, lying by omission. Still, no one had directly asked him what he was doing. They teased and joked around about his nocturnal outings, but they never actually posed a question. Oliver suspected they had far too much fun speculating about what he was doing than they would if they found out the truth.
As Oliver slunk away yet again, he pondered his pack mates’ motives. Ivan’s new mate had a list of what he called Ryder’s Rules. They were guideposts to life that helped Ryder stay out of trouble. Rule number twenty-three was don’t ask a question unless you actually want to hear the answer. Oliver suspected that his pack mates didn’t ask him what he was doing because they really didn’t want to know. Perhaps they respected his privacy. Or, more likely, if they pried into his life, it certainly meant they didn’t have one of their own.
“I wonder if they would believe me if I told them?” Oliver considered as he strode with intent toward the parking garage six buildings over from the converted firehouse where he lived with his pack. Would it change anything if they knew? He supposed it probably wouldn’t. He wasn’t doing anything illegal, immoral, or even unethical. What he was doing was…
The one word echoed off the rain-wet streets and buildings of Los Angeles. Something about even the briefest rain sent the people of L.A. scurrying indoors. Not Oliver. He loved the night, the rain, and even the scent of the city. It was dirty in places, clean in others. Just moving at a fair clip down the crumbling sidewalks exposed him to smells from cars, cooking, and cats. A lot of cats. Oliver felt their distrust of him but didn’t begrudge them their fear. He was, after all, a wolf-shifter. It seemed only natural that cats wouldn’t like him.
All the different scents blended into the mélange of humanity. Oliver loved the way humans smelled. He always had. The scent of the American city was unique and vastly different from the smell of Paris. Although he deeply loved his home city, Paris had a unique essence of body odor, urine, and cigarettes. The scent of Los Angeles was no better or worse only different. Oliver believed that if he were blindfolded and dropped into the middle of a city, he would be able to identify the place by smell alone. He’d never tested his theory, but the belief remained.
As he drew closer to the parking garage, he quickened his pace. He wanted to be there already. He wanted to take the cool leather-clad paddle in hand and find the sweet bottom of a trembling submissive. How perfect the setup was. Masked and mysterious, Oliver dropped his jovial cook persona and became a dangerous Dom. He wasn’t a sadist. Not at all. He abhorred delivering excruciating pain, but a few slaps with a wide, flat paddle made a man’s cheeks rosy and warm. What he loved was control. So much of his life was out of his control that to wield power absolutely, even for a handful of hours, was extremely satisfying. And spanking was what so many of the tender-bottomed boys craved.
Although, to be fair, the word boy was not quite right. Boi was slightly better, but that word had certain connotations that weren’t quite right, either. Still, the word didn’t matter. What mattered to Oliver was that he was free to enjoy sexual activities without risking the encounter becoming emotionally entangling. Sometimes he thought about getting a mate, but he wasn’t certain he was ready. For now, he was happy with the way his life was.
Once Oliver entered the parking building, he took the lift to the third floor where he kept his automobile. A nondescript economy car blended right in with all the other cars in the lot and on almost every street in the city. Oliver had chosen the vehicle for precisely that reason. Insomuch as something that actually existed could be, the car was invisible. No one would notice it. Oliver was dressed in standard urban guise—jeans, tennis shoes, T-shirt, and a hoodie. He loved the navy hoodie. He wasn’t sure what had started that particular trend, but he took full advantage of the way he was able to use the hood to hide his damaged face.
That was the one part of him that people would remember. Unlike his nondescript car, Oliver was extremely memorable. There were scarred people all over the world, but L.A. seemed to attract far more of the beautiful people. Those who were perfect or at least had an outward appearance as such made his damaged face stand out even more. Long ago, he’d toyed with the idea of having the scars fixed. The snarled skin couldn’t ever be obscured entirely, but a skilled surgeon could certainly lessen the visual impact of the damage.
Oliver had made the appointment yet he’d been unable to go through with even a consultation. He’d peered at himself daily for his entire life. Removing the scar would be like taking away a part of his soul. So he’d stayed home. He’d found ways to be comfortable with the initial shock that flared in people’s eyes. Most of them weren’t being cruel. It was just such a surprise, especially if they saw the undamaged side first.
Oliver settled on the edge of the bed, watching as Josh undressed. He wasn’t certain what was going on in his mate’s mind. Josh didn’t seem upset at the idea he was exchanging sex for protection. It was possible he didn’t even see it that way. Rather than assume his motives, Oliver asked, “Is that all you think you have to give?”
“For now, yeah.” Josh shrugged, but his casual stance suddenly tightened as he held his clothing protectively in front of his body. “Why? Don’t you want me?”
“Very much.” Oliver wanted Josh in his bed and in his arms, but he wasn’t buying Josh’s casual attitude. Still, Oliver couldn’t make him talk. Clearly, there was a lot going on in Josh’s mind that he simply wasn’t ready to share. Oliver remembered how Cooper had treated him when they’d first started working together. Coop let Oliver keep to himself. Perhaps Oliver should do the same. Josh might not even understand what was going on in his own head. He’d certainly had a tremendous amount of issues to deal with. Instead of pressuring Josh, Oliver climbed under the sheets. After tossing his clothes on the floor, Josh joined him. Oliver switched off the bedside light, plunging them into darkness.
Oliver stayed on his side of the bed, on his back, determined that Josh would make not only the first but all of the moves to come. Since he couldn’t understand exactly what was going on in Josh’s mind, all he could do was be there for him when the inevitable truth came out.
After a long moment, Josh placed his hand on Oliver’s chest. He then slid closer. He did so tentatively, almost as if he was afraid Oliver would either reject him or pounce on him. When Oliver realized Josh was shaking, he thought he knew what was going on.
“It’s okay, Josh. I’m here.” Oliver placed his arm around Josh and pulled him close. He finally understood that Josh wasn’t cavalier about losing his virginity and he wasn’t trading sex for protection. He’d lost so much that he was seeking some kind of positive declaration. Sex was life affirming. Only healthy living creatures craved the caress of another.
“Please don’t be angry with me, but I want you to touch me.”
“Why would that make me angry?” Oliver asked.
“I’m so afraid of being weak.”
“It’s not weak to need someone.” Oliver rolled over and kissed Josh gently.
Josh melted into the kiss and pressed tightly against Oliver’s body. Only the thin barrier of Oliver’s boxers prevented their cocks from touching. That slender wall between them somehow inflamed Oliver. When Josh whimpered, he uttered a hungry growl in answer, grasped his buttocks with one big hand, and pulled him tight.
Deepening the kiss caused Josh to reach up and grab onto Oliver’s shoulders. It was almost as if he were bracing himself or perhaps he was holding himself back. Either way, Oliver kept right on kissing him as he smoothed his hand over Josh’s high, tight buttocks. Grinding his hips in an almost subconscious gesture, Josh was stiffening Oliver’s cock to the point he was almost in pain. His release at The Leather Tiger had been truncated by events there, so he was now fully primed. What made him even harder and hotter was that he was now holding his mate and they hadn’t done anything. All the firsts they would ever experience flashed through his mind in an instant.
Hungry to feel him but loathe to move too quickly, Oliver split the difference by rolling over and taking Josh with him. Once he was on top, Josh was able to squirm more, making delicious friction all along Oliver’s body.
“Why did you put these on?” Josh placed one hand against Oliver’s shoulder so he could angle himself up and tug at Oliver’s boxers.
“I was trying not to pressure you.”
“You don’t need to pressure me when my own body is doing plenty.” Josh climbed off Oliver and helped him ease his underwear down, and then he tossed them over near his bundle of clothing. Normally, Oliver was extremely fastidious and put his clothing in the hamper, but right now, he didn’t care. Once free, Oliver’s cock seemed to grow yet again. His desire quickly became overwhelming when Josh climbed back on top of him and rubbed their cocks together without any barrier at all.
“Why does that feel so good?” Josh was breathless as he rocked his hips.
“Because we’re mates. Because this is right. Because—” Rather than offer out another explanation, Oliver reached between their bodies and wrapped his fist around their pricks. After an excited moan, Josh started fucking Oliver’s clenched hand in earnest. Each pass rubbed his cock against Oliver’s, smearing their pre-cum all over their shafts.
“I’m not going to last.” Josh sounded far more concerned than he should be.
“Don’t try.” Oliver murmured a slew of endearments in French. “I won’t last either.”
“Oh, God! This is so much better than being alone in my bed with only my own hand.” When Josh struggled to lift his head up far enough so he could kiss Oliver while still riding his fist, Oliver angled his head down. Meeting in the middle, they kissed hotly while Josh’s pace increased. Oliver tightened his fist and then rocked his hips in unison with Josh’s.