[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Werewolves, Fantasy, MM, HEA]
Murder? Taylor is horrified when he finds out his ex-boyfriend is dead and the cops are looking at him as their main suspect. He was the last one to see Jason, and when Taylor left, his ex had been alive. On the run, he finds himself in Fever’s Edge with hardly any money and no place to stay. That is until he runs into a smoking-hot pizza shop owner who takes Taylor in and protects him from not only the law, but the haunting feeling that someone is watching him.
Savant “Papa” Manchino isn’t sure what to make of Taylor when the guy wanders into his pizza shop. He just knows that Taylor is in some kind of trouble, and that he’s Savant’s mate. Things get progressively worse when Taylor has a “feeling” that someone is watching him, and all hell breaks loose when the truth finally comes to light. Savant does everything in his power to keep his mate safe, but when Panahasi and Jaden get involved, all bets are off.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Taylor sat on the bed the following morning and stared at the walls. He wasn’t sure what to do. There was no way he could afford to stay in the motel every night, and he needed more cash.
Maybe he could go back to the pizza parlor and beg for a job. Savant had seemed nice enough and had gone out of his way to help him. Only, he’d have to ask if Savant paid under the table, which Taylor doubted. Whatever he was going to do, he needed to do it today. He’d already used up half the money he’d taken from the ATM for his bus ticket and the room. And if he got a job at Papa’s Pizza, he’d be able to eat there.
Getting up from the bed, Taylor took off the towel that was wrapped around his waist and dressed in yesterday’s clothes. What he wouldn’t give for a washer and dryer. No, if wishes were going to be granted, then he wanted…
Taylor really did have issues. His ex-boyfriend was just killed and all he’d thought about last night and as soon as he had woken this morning was that sexy beast. Maybe while he was here he could go to the nearest hospital and get his damn head examined.
After returning the keycard to the front desk, Taylor made the long, sweaty journey into town. It wasn’t even nine in the morning and yet the day already felt like the devil had cranked up the furnace to a thousand.
By the time he made it, Taylor was pouring in sweat and felt sunburned in a few places, and he was dying of thirst. But before he went to the pizza shop door, he slipped into the alley and retrieved his makeshift knapsack and grabbed a change of clothes.
He looked around to make sure no one was watching then quickly undressed.
“Did I miss the flyer that there would be a strip show this morning?”
Taylor whipped around, his jaw dropping as he stared into those smoky, mysterious eyes. For a moment he was at a loss for words, overwhelmed with lust. Then his brain kicked back into gear. “It’s hot.”
“Uh-huh.” Savant folded his arms as he gave a single nod. “Scorching already.”
“Right!” Taylor gave a fake, high-pitched laugh as he tucked his arms over his chest. “I just needed to cool off.”
“In the alley.”
Taylor waved his hand around. “The shadows make it a lot cooler right here. Who knew this morning would be so freaking hot?”
That damn laugh erupted again, making Taylor wish the ground would open up and swallow him. “I’m-I’m from a nudist colony! Yes, that’s it! This is how we cool off when the temperature rises.”
Why in the hell couldn’t he shut his trap? It was like his brain was frying as well, and god, Taylor wanted to get dressed. He felt exposed and humiliated as he stood there with nothing but socks and underwear on. Thank goodness he hadn’t taken those off yet.
A smirk spread across Savant’s lips. “So, go ahead. Finish undressing.”
“Huh?” Taylor looked down at the clothes he wanted to put on, longing to feel them shielding him from his utter mortification. Savant had to think he was a complete basket case. If the shoe were reversed, Taylor would have thought the same thing.
Nudist? Really? He was so self-conscience about his body that he preferred to have sex in the dark and always left his socks on. Not that Jason had complained. The guy had stayed drunk through most of their relationship.
“If that’s how nudist’s cool off, don’t let me stop you.”
There was no freaking way Taylor was taking off his underwear. Not in front of that gorgeously built guy standing in front of him and definitely not in a filthy alley. “I think I’ve cooled off enough.”
Taylor bent and grabbed the pair of jeans he’d gotten out of the sheet and slipped them on, hating that he was standing on the dirty ground with his socks, but there was nothing he could do about that. Next he tugged the shirt over his head before putting his sneakers back on his feet.
“Okay, Mr. Nudist. Grab that sheet and follow me inside.” Savant turned and headed from the alley.
Taylor quickly gathered his things and ran after the guy. “I swear I’m not some kind of freak,” he said as he panted to catch up to Savant’s long strides.
“I never said you were.” Savant opened the front door but stepped aside so Taylor could go in first. “I’d say you’re more unique than anything else.”
At least he wasn’t calling Taylor insane or a crackpot. He’d take unique.
“Store your things in the back. I’m giving you a crash course in cooking so you can help me in the kitchen.”
“Um, does it pay?”
As nice as Savant had been to him, Taylor would help the guy, but he desperately needed the cash, especially if he was going to try to find a place. Until then, Taylor wasn’t sure where he would lay his head.
“Yes, it pays. Cash. Do you have a problem with that, or would you rather get a paper check?”
“Cash is great.” Taylor couldn’t believe his good fortune. He’d never met anyone, aside from his parents, who’d gone out of their way to help him. Not that Taylor was putting himself down, but he wasn’t exactly a god like Savant when it came to looks.
He had okay hair, normal, flat, and not very shiny. He was too thin, too short, but he did have nice eyes. At least that was the compliment he always heard. They were the color of dark summer leaves, and his lashes were pretty thick, but they were nothing compared to the compelling, sexy eyes Savant possessed.
“The first rule of pizza club is you never mention the sauce,” Savant said. “It’s a well-guarded secret.”
Taylor looked toward the shelves next to the oven and saw three different types of sauce in jars. Labeled jars, which meant he bought them. “Um, okay.”
“Show me,” Taylor said the following morning in the kitchen after they’d eaten breakfast.
After placing his dishes in the sink, Savant turned, one brow cocked, as he shook his head. “What are you talking about? Show you what?”
“Your bear.” Taylor wasn’t sure he wanted to see Savant change into a bear, but if what everyone was telling him was true, and he and Savant were going to be together, he wanted to know every facet of his mate.
Even if the thought of being in the same room with a bear terrified him. He might have seen Lou’s claws and teeth, but Taylor had never seen him fully change into a hyena. He was afraid but also curious as hell, fascinated with the idea of men being able to do such a thing.
“I-I want to meet it.” It had to be the lack of sleep talking. Lying next to Savant all night, unable to touch the man, had driven Taylor crazy. Savant had curled around him, pressing all those muscles against Taylor, and now he was horny and frustrated, looking for a distraction so he wouldn’t think about throwing himself at his mate.
He also didn’t like the fact that he would be stuck in the house all day, so Taylor needed something to think about later.
Bears, not dick. Okay, so maybe he would still think about having sex with Savant, but he needed other things to think about, too, besides clearing his name and getting his life back.
“Are you sure about that?” It was the very quietness of Savant’s tone that had Taylor second-guessing his request.
“I mean, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to,” he amended, trying to give Savant an out.
“I don’t mind,” Savant said. “I just want to make sure you’re ready for that.” He pulled his T-shirt over his head and placed it on the counter. “I’ll know who you were while in my bear form and understand what you’re saying.”
“Really?” That brought Taylor a bit of comfort. “So you wouldn’t attack me?”
Savant laughed. “No. I’ll still know you’re my mate, be capable of a higher thinking, and understand the conversation, though I won’t be able to speak.”
Taylor got up from the table, squared his shoulders, and then nodded. “Okay, show me your bear.”
Savant sauntered toward him, his mysterious, smoky eyes sparkling. “What made you ask?”
“I…” Taylor swallowed as Savant slid his boxer briefs off. His brain also slid as his gaze lowered, taking in every sensual inch that was revealed to him. “I…um… What was the question?”
Savant’s grin widened as he came so close that Taylor felt the heat coming off the guy’s body. He glided his hands down Taylor’s arms, his touch gentle, his eyes smoldering hot. “Or did you just want to get me naked? All you had to do was ask, sweetheart.”
Taylor felt his face catch fire as his gaze moved from Savant’s cock, to his face, and then back down to his cock. He couldn’t help it. Savant was hung, and all Taylor could do was whimper, completely forgetting about his request.
When Savant tucked his fingers under Taylor’s chin and lifted his head so they could look at one another, Taylor’s lips parted and his heart sped up.
“Is there something else you wanted?” Savant lowered his head, brushing his lips across Taylor’s.
The fire inside Taylor ignited when Savant kissed him, full tongue, his arms curling around Taylor and pulling him close. Oh god! He’d died and gone to heaven. His mate tasted like bacon and coffee, and Taylor had no clue why that turned him on so much.
But there was something else he was dying to taste, too. Taylor shoved away from Savant, both breathing heavily and staring at each other.
Without a word, Taylor dropped to his knees, took a fortifying breath, and came face-to-face with what he truly wanted.
The beast between Savant’s legs.
Taylor moved even closer to the thick shaft between Savant’s thighs. He licked his lips, took a deep breath, and then sucked the half-hard cock into his mouth.
He sucked at the flesh, using his tongue to feel the ridges and wrinkles until Savant’s cock began to fill. It was growing too fast. Taylor had to use a hand to hold on to the thick pole as he licked and lapped, sucking at the head because he found it hard to take the entire cock into his mouth.
Savant hissed, and his thighs tightened. Taylor felt the tense leg muscles under his palms when he leaned against his mate. Taylor leaned forward, driving the cock as far as he could into his mouth.
“Fuck, Taylor,” Savant moaned. “What are you doing to me?”