[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Contemporary, ManLove, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
Jayce Foyer is looking for work, and is offered a chance to make some cash by a hot stranger. He takes Deon up on his offer, but things turn sideways when two deputies show up, accusing Jayce of murder. He’s hauled in for questioning when evidence of the crime is found at his house, and the only man who can clear his name is the one man who is hiding the truth from him. Deon Wilkerson. Jayce’s mate.
Deon’s past comes back to slap him in the face. It also opens old wounds he’d rather not deal with. Unfortunately his present and past collide, leaving his mate in serious danger. But Deon isn’t one to trifle with. He’ll use every tool in his arsenal to keep Jayce safe, even if that means facing the most painful moment in his life. As bodies drop and tempers flare, it’s up to Deon to save his mate from a life in prison.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
“I’m so over him.” Jayce Foyer stabbed at his blueberry waffles. “Where does Randy get off telling me where I can and can’t go?”
“I told you he was trouble,” Baxter said. “He has that shady look about him. I never trusted those beady eyes.”
Jayce grinned. “He doesn’t have beady eyes.”
In fact, Randy had the most amazing blue eyes Jayce had ever seen. Too bad a douchebag lived behind them. Why couldn’t guys be themselves when hooking up? Why all the lies? Randy had told Jayce he developed software for some out-of-state company. Total lie. He’d said he owned two cars. The guy walked everywhere, always saying his cars were in the shop or his brothers were borrowing them. He had said that he had dinner every Sunday with his mom.
Randy hadn’t talked to her in years.
“I’m fed up with the dating scene.” Jayce had dealt with one asshole after another, and for what? A wet ass and broken promises.
“Well, he does have nice eyes and a great body,” Baxter admitted.
To make matters worse, Jayce wasn’t exactly out of the closet with his family. His mom still thought he was a virgin, and his dad always asked how Jayce was doing with the ladies. Unfortunately he was an only child, so his parents’ sole focus was on him.
“You just have to get back into the dating scene.” Baxter sipped his coffee. “Every guy in this town can’t be a jerk. I think. It’s not that your well is dry.” He puckered his lips. “On second thought, you might be on to something.”
“I’m swearing off men,” Jayce announced. “No more dating for me.”
Baxter burst out laughing, gaining some curious looks from other customers. “You give up dating? Pigs will grow wings and Hell will have a snowstorm before that happens.”
It wasn’t as though Jayce went out and looked for men to date. He was too shy for that. Behind his ribs beat a chicken heart. Most guys flirted with him, getting the ball rolling.
Most guys. What a joke. There had been three men who’d asked him out, and Jayce wasn’t with any of them. Loser, loser, and oh yeah, a loser.
“We could date,” Jayce teased. “We’re perfect for each other.”
“As friends,” Baxter pointed out. “You’re too neurotic for me. Besides, I like alpha males, and let’s face it, you’re not an alpha male.”
Jayce couldn’t even get mad at the truth.
“And, I’m sorry to say this, but your dad is a bit of a crackpot,” Baxter said. “No offense.”
“None taken.” Jayce had pulled out his wallet to pay for his bill when he saw someone walk into the diner from the corner of his eye. He looked up and was floored at how good-looking the guy was.
Lean, muscular body, silky dark hair, and gorgeous blue eyes. Crap. Another man with blue eyes. Jayce quickly looked away. He wasn’t falling for another blue-eyed beauty. Hadn’t he learned his lesson with Randy? Jayce didn’t care if this newcomer had a dick made of gold. He was steering clear of him.
“What?” Baxter looked over his shoulder and gave a low whistle. “Now that’s an alpha male I wouldn’t mind getting to know.”
Sitting atop the man’s gorgeous head was a cowboy hat. He was a walking wet dream as he approached the counter and sat on one of the stools.
Jayce tucked his wallet back into his pocket. Maybe they could sit for a little while longer and enjoy the view. There were a lot of nice-looking men in Maple Grove, but in reality, Jayce didn’t have a shot with most of them. He was too thin, with a head full of dull brown hair, jobless, and still living in a house his parents owned. Two of those things were a turn-off for most men.
Maybe that was why Randy had faked it with Jayce. It wasn’t as though Randy was a prize, but Jayce had held out hope that he’d found the one. He hadn’t. Randy was a big fat liar, a quality Jayce couldn’t stand.
“I bet you he’d ride me like a bull.” Baxter sighed. “How much do you wanna bet he’s epic in bed?”
“He’d probably make you wear a lasso and some spurs.” Jayce snickered.
“I’d wear anything he wanted me to,” Baxter said. “For a chance to sleep with that guy, hell to the yes. Bring those spurs and lasso on.”
“You’re hopeless.” Jayce took a sip of his tea. “He’s probably married or a loser.” From the way the stranger looked, Jayce was willing to bet the guy was arrogant. Most good-looking men were.
Except Moose, their waiter. He was gorgeous and nice. So was the owner of the diner, Cyril.
“Hang on. I’m about to find out.” Baxter slid from the booth and got up.
“What’re you doing?” Jayce said in a loud whisper. “Baxter, get back here!”
Jayce had no idea why he felt so jealous. Baxter had balls. He’d go up to anyone and flirt. If Jayce had had the nerve, he would be the one strutting toward the stunning stranger.
Oh god. He wanted to crawl under the table when Baxter starting talking and the cowboy looked directly at Jayce. What the hell were they talking about? Why had they looked his way? Why hadn’t he buried Baxter’s body years ago?
The cowboy said something, and Baxter laughed, and fuck, Jayce wanted to punch his friend’s teeth in. Jayce had spotted the delectable eye candy first, and although he was too chicken to approach the guy, there was such a thing as bro code. Baxter should be honoring that instead of throwing himself at the guy like a complete slut.
Baxter came back with a disappointed look on his face. “He’s definitely gay, and his name is Deon.” Baxter playfully kicked Jayce under the table. “But I’m not the one he’s interested in.”
Jayce had no idea what that meant. “Who is he interested in?”
Baxter gave him a pointed stare. “You.”
“What?” Jayce glanced at Deon then quickly looked away. “But I’ve never met him before. I haven’t even talked to him. Why is he interested in me?”
This time Baxter frowned. “You’re always selling yourself short. You’re a nice-looking guy, Jayce. How can you not see that?”
Jayce didn’t see himself as butt ugly, but he was a realist. Men like Deon were way out of his league. “Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’m not talking to him. I just broke up with Randy, remember?”
“And it’s about time you got back into the dating game.”
Jayce gaped at Baxter. “I broke up with him this morning.”
“Yeah, but I have a feeling about this one.” Baxter looked over his shoulder and waved his fingers at Deon. The guy was looking right at Jayce. He smiled, gave a nod, and then turned when Kenny, the waiter, approached him.
Deon couldn’t stand it any longer. Those lips. Those beautiful, plump lips. They drove him crazy, and all Deon could think about was having them wrapped around his dick.
“You never explained to me how we bind our souls together.” Jayce gave a short, abrupt laugh. “This is crazy, right? Fate chose me for you. That sounds like something out of some romance novel. A farfetched fairy tale.”
His mate sounded amused, but Deon saw the desire and hope hanging in his eyes. Human or not, everyone wanted to belong to someone. It was in their nature to want a closeness and connection to another living being. That need was hardwired into everyone, whether some chose to admit it or not.
Deon wanted that connection. He was tired of living by himself. He wanted someone he could curl around when he fell asleep, someone he could laugh with, and someone who would be there when life kicked him in the balls. From the look in Jayce’s eyes, his mate wanted the same thing.
“How about I show you instead?” Deon was lost in those eyes. Those pretty brown eyes. They sucked him in, and he was breathless as he took a step forward, forcing Jayce to take a step back until he was against the wall. Deon pressed a hand on either side of Jayce’s head and leaned in, like he was doing push-ups. He lowered his head. Jayce sucked in a breath, his gaze glued to Deon’s.
Deon felt stripped bare by the trust he saw in Jayce’s gaze. They didn’t even know each other and Jayce was willing to let Deon take over, to solder their souls together. Motherfuck if that wasn’t the sexiest thing ever.
Their lips brushed. An inhale of air. Hearts pounding. Deon licked a trail across Jayce’s parted lips. Their breaths mingled, and he could taste the mouthwash Jayce had just used. Winter Fresh. Jayce’s tongue snaked out, touching Deon’s. Their mouths fused, and hunger flared in him. Hunger for the small prey at his fingertips. Hunger to let his beast out to play.
Jayce’s hands slid down Deon’s chest, stopping at his waistband. His mate’s fingers curled around the fabric, tugging, but he didn’t unfasten them.
Deon was hard as fuck, his cock straining to get free. “Don’t be shy, sweets,” he said against Jayce’s lips. “Take what you want from me.”
“What if what I want isn’t physical?” Jayce unfastened Deon’s pants and shoved his hands down them.
Deon hissed as Jayce’s hand curled around his cock. “You want love? Loyalty? Someone to hold you at night as you sleep?”
“Someone who isn’t fake,” Jayce replied. His hand was driving Deon mad. Those nimble fingers trailed up his dick and back down. “Someone who doesn’t keep secrets from me. Someone who is willing to lay themselves bare, like I’m willing to do.”
Goddamn it. Deon was keeping secrets. Ruiz. The car crash. Another life Deon had lived that still haunted him. He hissed when Jayce gripped his cock in a stranglehold.
“There’re things I’m not ready to share.” Deon’s lips were drawn to his mate’s. They kissed, slowly, passionately, and it set his soul on fire. “But I will. I promise. Just…not now. Give me time and the courage to speak past the pain.”
Deon was panting his words, his eyes closed, lost in what they were doing, consumed by the need to claim Jayce. Deon felt like he was standing in a ring of flames, and his body turned molten. He pulled back long enough to untie his boots and kick them off. He yanked down his pants and underwear then tossed them aside, along with his socks. He shoved his shirt off before going back to his mate, placing his hands against the wall again.
Jayce’s gaze was penetrating as he took all of Deon in. His mate’s chest rose and fell in quick pants like he’d just ran a marathon. Deon didn’t move a goddamn muscle as Jayce lowered to his knees. He simply looked down and watched as his mate took his dick into his mouth.
Oh god. That felt so good. It had been far too long since he’d been with anyone, and he had to concentrate not to come right off the bat.
Deon was losing his mind. His legs grew taut, and he clenched his jaw as Jayce’s tongue traced the thick vein. “Pure fucking heaven,” Deon said in a husky whisper.
As badly as he wanted to draw this out, Deon knew a losing battle when he felt one. Hot tingles crawled up his spine. His legs trembled. The pressure in his balls built to an epic struggle.
“I’m about to come.”
But Jayce didn’t back off. He deep throated Deon’s cock and tugged at his nuts, and Deon wondered if this was the fantasy Jayce had thought about when he’d jacked off in the shower earlier today.
His left hand was still holding the wall up, but Deon used his right to grab Jayce’s hair. He gripped the strands tightly as he fucked his mate’s mouth, throwing his head back as the first spurt jerked from his cock. Deon let out a guttural cry as he came, his body exploding in unimaginable pleasure. And Jayce took it all, swallowing every last drop as Deon sagged.
But he was still hard as fuck as Jayce pulled back and rocked on his heels. He looked up at Deon, and god, Deon wanted to own the man, to lay claim to him and tear apart anyone who looked his mate’s way. Primal possessiveness consumed him as he pulled Jayce to his feet.
The kiss was brutal, territorial, crushing, and Jayce took it. By god he took it as he moaned into Deon’s mouth. The fire and passion was still there, arcing between them as Deon pulled back and grabbed Jayce’s hand. He led his mate to his bedroom upstairs.
“That was phenomenal.” Deon reached into the nightstand and pulled out a bottle of lube. “But now it’s my turn to rock your world.”