Zev Nightfall has a secret. For two years, he's been the beta in a loosely knitted werewolf pack, but he's not a werewolf. He's a crossbreed, part wolf, part fae, which is a death sentence in most packs. That's not his only problem. One night he meets Otis, a vampire. Shifters and vampires aren't friends, yet fighting is the last thing on Zev's mind.
Otis Miller is in the middle of rebuilding his rockstar persona. Again. A hundred years ago, all he had to do was to move when people started noticing him not ageing. With cameras and social media, it doesn't work anymore, and he isn't sure he has the energy to start over. Then there is the shifter coming to the bar where he's singing. He makes Otis want to jump off the stage and never look back.
Zev knows he shouldn't get involved with a vampire; he has enough problems as it is. But Otis is alone and vulnerable, and it tugs at Zev's heartstrings. Normally, Otis stays away from other supernatural beings, but something about Zev makes him want to curl up on his lap and forget about the world around them. But how would two people from enemy species make things work, and will Zev's pack ever accept not only a crossbreed but a vampire as well?
When Gerald’s eyes hardened, he shook his head. “I’m unfocused, is all. He hasn’t done anything.”
“I can ask him to leave. Which one is it?”
Otis swept his gaze over the people but couldn’t find the source of his distraction. He pulled in a breath and turned toward the booths. “There.” He nodded at the shadows in the corner booth.
“Oh.” Gerald frowned.
“Has he been rude?”
“Oh no, quite the opposite.”
Otis narrowed his eyes. “You don’t want to throw him out?”
It was a surprise. Gerald preferred his bar empty -- though it didn’t generate much of an income -- and normally he took great pleasure in asking people to leave.
“There is something about him.”
“Oh, I agree.” Otis hadn’t meant to sound as tart as he did, but what the fuck? He was supposed to be Gerald’s favorite monster. He’d fed from him once or twice, though it had been decades ago.
Amusement sparked in Gerald’s pale eyes. “He’s interesting.”
Otis waved a hand, then he stilled. “Interesting how?”
“I don’t know ... He doesn’t speak much, and yet I want to listen to what he has to say. It’s rare, I most often want people to shut up.”
Was Gerald smitten? But he was straight. Otis grabbed his rum, dodged a woman trying to touch his bare chest, and weaved through the crowd.
When he reached the booth, he put the glass on the table and slid down on the couch across from the shifter.
Otis frowned; it was what he was gonna say. “You leave.”
Before Otis realized what he was doing, he leaned closer and inhaled. A groan escaped his lips, and his cock pushed uncomfortably against his jeans. Fuck, he smelled of sex and sunshine, or… no he didn’t. He smelled of some exotic spice, but it made him think of sunshine and sex -- good sex, not ... He blocked old memories.
The shifter sighed. “All I want is a quiet drink. I don’t need any of your drama.”
Otis huffed. “There is no drama.” He pushed his hair off his shoulder and gave him his best seductive gaze. He waited for the scent of arousal to spread, but it didn’t come. What the hell? He tried again. Shifters weren’t immune to glamour, they weren’t as easy to lure as humans, but they weren’t immune.
Otis gritted his teeth. “What are you?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?”
Otis studied him. He looked like a shifter -- big and broad-shouldered, and he wouldn’t mind a peek at all the golden skin he hid under black fabric. The leather jacket was pretty much what he expected on a shifter, the clothes too -- practical, not fashionable. He’d probably bought the T-shirt at Walmart or maybe a thrift shop. Shifters lacked fashion sense.
“What’s your name?” Otis took a sip of the rum to distract himself. He was a shifter, but there was something ...
Shifter name, no doubt about it. For a second, he’d believed him to be fae. Their taste was unforgettable, but they were nasty creatures.
“I’m Otis.” He put his hand over his heart.
Zev nodded. “Is that a wise name when in the music business?”
“Oh, I’ve been Otis before. Most times I’m Otis.” He shrugged. “Sometimes I’m Oscar, but I do not look like an Oscar.” He fluffed his hair and fluttered his eyelashes.
When Zev rolled his eyes, Otis abandoned all pretense and glared at him. “Why are you here?”
“I only wanted a drink. I didn’t know you’d be here.”
Otis studied him for a few seconds. It was the truth, but he should ask him to leave. Maybe they could agree on which nights he’d be here and which nights Zev could have a drink. It was only fair, especially since Gerald liked him, but Otis found himself unwilling to move away.
Zev took a sip of his whiskey -- Otis liked a man who drank whiskey. To mimic Zev, Otis took a sip of his rum and looked into Zev’s eyes with a promise of darker things.
Otis almost startled -- almost. Why didn’t his glamour work?
“You vamps are always so ...” Zev shook his head.
“Play Bad Moon Rising for me.”
Otis huffed, then when Zev grinned, he groaned. He was one fine man. His icy blue eyes pierced Otis’s soul and left him tingly.
Zev got to his feet; his glass still half full.
“Wait.” Otis reached out but stopped himself before he could make contact. What was he doing? It was best if Zev left.
“Just ... wait.”
Tilting his head, Zev sat again. “For what?”