“You come across as angry to protect yourself. I get that. You just don’t know that whenever you try to chase people away, you look like a kitten hissing at strangers. Your hackles can be raised up high, and you can be letting your claws out all you like, but you’re still an adorable, helpless kitty.”
“Jesus Christ! Who talks like that? Are you serious right now?”
Bart didn’t appreciate being told that whenever he grumbled and growled and wanted to be left alone, even the times he’d shut himself up in his room, that people weren’t taking him seriously.
“Is this because I’m a human? I’m the dumb one in the house so everyone’s pretending to be nice to me?”
“They’re not pretending.” Tierney crossed his arms. “I know for a fact Parker has been making an effort to get to know you, and the other alphas in the house have done their best to hold back from putting you in your place, despite your attitude.”
“Don’t worry. Once I get out of here, you won’t have to deal with my attitude anymore.”
Already he wanted another cigarette. This was really starting to get to him.
“I know, and for that, I’ll make you a deal.”
Bart looked at the other man expectantly. “A deal?”
Tierney nodded. “Right. You and I, together. We allow the mating heat to take hold. Give me five days. If I can’t convince you to stay here with me by then, I will pay for a house for you to have. It will be in your name, in a nice neighborhood, and I’ll even throw in a real dog, something to protect you since I won’t be there.”
Bart’s heart was absolutely not doing a fluttery thing right now. No way.
He swallowed hard.
“You want to fuck me.”
“You sound bashful about it. Are you a virgin?”
He wondered if that was something Tierney hoped for. “Do you want me to be?”
“My wolf does, and I suppose I do a little, too. Instinct and all that.” And yet he said it with a shrug, as if it didn’t matter.
Bart wasn’t sure if he liked that he was about to sorely disappoint this man or not, but it had to be said if he was going to be honest with him.
“I’m not a virgin. I’ve had a few partners actually. You sure you want to get in bed with that?”
“You’ve had a vampire’s teeth in your neck. There’s nothing worse than that, so I’m sure you’re fine.”
That hit Bart a lot harder than he wanted it to. He glared at the man. “Fuck you.”
“We will, if you agree to the five days.”
Bart fidgeted a little. He was starting to get cold out here, and this conversation wasn’t helping anything either. “Sex is involved?”
“Sex is very much involved.”
Bart thought about it. He really tried to put a lot of attention into it, too.
Would it be so bad? Honestly? If he were to just spend five days with Tierney, he could decide in the end that this wasn’t for him and he wanted to get out of here.
“You’ll seriously buy me a house? One that I could afford to live in and everything?”
He was already starting to think about taxes he’d pay on an actual house and whether or not he could actually pay them with a minimum wage job.
“You could. I would see to that. There would be enough money available to you that, if you saved it and were careful with it, you wouldn’t have to worry about working for at least a year.”
That sounded…pretty damned good, considering the last five years of slave labor he’d had with the vampires.
“What do I do if the vampires come back for me?”
“Are you accepting or aren’t you?” Tierney asked. “You sound like you want a lot for a guy that wants nothing to do with us.”
Bart tensed then immediately looked away.
The dark night crushed him, the silence of the air around him. He almost wished he hadn’t left the house to have his smoke because this was getting to be unbearable.
If he did this, he would be essentially whoring himself out for money. Could he really say he was above that now? After everything else he’d seen over the years, after the things he’d turned the other cheek on?
Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d had sex for preferential treatment either. The vampires didn’t just like sucking blood, and if Bart was good to the higher-ups, he tended to get better food, better sleeping arrangements, and less time worrying about Zoella’s stupid schedule.
“Do we have a deal?” Tierney asked.
The impatience in his voice was clear.
Why was he hesitating? Why did this whole thing seem so…final? So soulless?
He had to answer. He wasn’t a child, and he wasn’t a virgin. He was an adult, and he could make this decision for himself.
“On one condition.” Bart needed to at least make this part abundantly clear.
Tierney nodded. “Name it. It better be something decent, though, considering what’s on the line.”
Bart glared at the man. “If I don’t want to fuck you, then I don’t have to.”
Tierney lifted a brow. “You think I would rape you?”
“That’s literally the definition of fucking without consent.”
Now Tierney was glaring back at him. “You are so fucking…” He stopped himself, looked away, and inhaled a deep breath. “For this to work, we have to have sex at least a few times. I need to show you what it’s like with me.”
“Okay, so how many times?”
With a strength Bart didn’t know the other man possessed, Tierney ripped Bart’s jeans down the seam.
“You weren’t complaining when my hand was on your cock a minute ago,” he purred, ignoring Bart’s outburst.
Bart’s face felt as though it were on fire. A hurricane of emotions attacked him from the inside out, rocking his foundation and picking everything up by the roots.
He was a hot mess, and he almost went to cover his underwear, if only because his hard dick was outlining his black underwear.
Tierney took his hands and pulled them away, stopping Bart from covering himself up.
“I like your cock. It’s interesting.”
That hurricane of emotion suddenly settled down to something a little closer to a drip.
“Great. My dick is interesting. Thank you so much for that—ooooh!”
Bart gripped the sheets beneath his hands and gripped them tight, his back arching before he thrust his cock into that wonderful, beautiful, powerful hand.
Tierney had pulled down Bart’s underwear as he’d snarked at the man and began to stroke him. No warning. No nothing.
Tierney seemed only interested in getting the job done, and Bart honestly couldn’t blame the man for it. Not when it felt so damned good to do.
“Kind of like mine,” Tierney said, as if to himself. “Not as big and you’re cut.”
Bart shook his head. He reached up and grabbed at his hair if only so he could steady himself with the pain of the grip.
“I swear to God if you weren’t fisting my dick right now I’d be so angry with you.”
Tierney asked that as he pressed a heated kiss to Bart’s belly. Bart swore and clenched his eyes shut against the heat.
He swore it felt almost as if the man’s lips left a burning mark on him. One that would never go away for as long as he lived.
“You want this.”
Bart growled. “No shit.”
Tierney was such an asshole.
“Just get it over with already.”
Tierney looked at him, a single brow lifted. “Get it over with?”
Uh-oh. The warning tone in his voice was apparent, and Bart got the feeling he might have made a mistake here.
At the same time, he didn’t want to admit that he might be the one with the problem. That he was the one making things more awkward and difficult than they needed to be.
So he doubled down.
“Yes. Get it over with. It’s getting late, and I’d like to get to sleep at a decent time tonight.”
The red in Tierney’s eyes took on a whole other meaning, something so much more frightening as he grabbed Bart by his wrists, lifted them over his head, and held them down.
“You want me to fuck you meaninglessly, is that it?”
No. Not really.
Bart nodded. “Yeah. Do it.”
Tierney growled at him again, and this time it sounded animalistic. Like that of a wolf.
Tierney grabbed Bart’s shirt, and like his pants, he ripped his button-down and his T-shirt to pieces. Bart gasped as the rest of his body was exposed.
But true to his word, Tierney leaned in and pressed their mouths together again. A heated, claiming kiss. Raw and powerful.
Devoid of any emotions as the other man set about making sure Bart knew whom he belonged to.
And in that moment, Bart hated him for it. He hated the werewolf for having his stupid mating instincts and shoving that onto Bart. Bart hated Tierney for being so good looking that he couldn’t resist what was being put in front of him, and he hated himself for not having the willpower to just deal with these emotions and for having accepted the stupid offer in the first place.
His dumb dick didn’t help anything either. Tierney held both of Bart’s wrists together with one hand easily, and when he reached down, Bart found himself thrusting up to meet that hand before it had the chance to fist him again.
He couldn’t hide even from himself how much he wanted this.
He wanted this badly enough to fuck into Tierney’s fist as the man set about making sure Bart knew how good in bed he was.
And so far he was achingly good.
Bart moaned through the kiss. He shivered pleasantly as Tierney pushed his tongue into Bart’s mouth, and Bart sucked on it like a wanton whore.
Technically that was what he was, wasn’t it? He was here because of the mating heat but also the deal. Shit. Why did this have to feel so good? Why did he have to want this so badly?
Why couldn’t Tierney have been a normal guy?
If Tierney had just been human, if he hadn’t been a damned werewolf, Bart wouldn’t be having these problems and he wouldn’t be scared shitless of the idea of being with someone as powerful and…unnatural as Tierney was.
Don’t think about it.