“I know you’re a big, tough marine, but Bram and Parker would still find a way to kick your ass if you hit on their partners,” Syn said as he walked up to Stone with a bottle of unopened water.
He took the water, downing half the bottle in one swallow. “Who are they?”
Syn chuckled. “The one in pink and green is Jesse, and you are right to watch him. That man is trouble with a capital T. His sidekick Ethan acts like he’s more innocent, but the man is just as bad as Jesse.”
The two men, with their partners’ arms around them, meandered to the slot machines, where a man in a green-and-black kilt sat with his back to Stone putting money into the machine. Stone’s gaze fixed on the man’s back. There was something familiar about the man, but he couldn’t figure out what it was.
The four men had formed a small half-circle around the man as they watched him play, blocking the man from Stone’s view. Stone started moving forward when Syn’s hand on his arm stopped him. When Stone looked over at his friend, the man looked, worried.
“You know, you never did tell me why you wanted to take this job.”
When Stone opened his mouth to give the same excuse he’d used before, Syn held up his hand to stop him.
“Don’t give me that bullshit line about being burned out and needing a change of scenery. We both know that isn’t why you’re here. So spill.”
A shout from the direction of Jesse and Ethan caught Stone’s attention. Three men, who appeared to have more muscle than sense, looked like they were about to hit the two men. Stone wasn’t sure where Jesse’s and Ethan’s boyfriends had gone, but he needed to stop the situation from becoming ugly.
He could have sent one of the security teams on the floor, but this way he didn’t have to answer Syn’s probing questions. He wasn’t ready to admit his past failures to Syn, at least not before he’d begged Griffith to forgive him.
He rushed to where Jesse, Ethan, and the man who had been playing the slots stood off against three much bigger men. Stone had to give it to Jesse, Ethan, and their friend, they didn’t back down, even though they’d most likely end up getting their asses handed to them.
He was about a dozen steps away when one of the big brutes sneered. “No one wants you here.”
Stone was close but not close enough to stop the fist headed toward Ethan’s face. Stunned Stone watched the man in the green-and-black kilt strike even faster with a hand to the man’s throat. Just as quickly as the man had moved he was back standing with his hands on his hips. Stone just wished he could see the man’s face. But then he heard the man’s voice.
“Anyone else think we shouldn’t be here?”
Suddenly he was catapulted into the past, twelve years to be exact, in the arms of the only man he’d ever loved. His feet stopped in their tracks as he stared, stunned at the vision before him. “Griff,” he managed to croak out, “is that really you?”
Like they were suddenly moving in slow motion, the man turned. Green eyes stared back at him in surprise. “Stone?”
Griffith’s voice was barely more than a whisper, but Stone heard it. Hope started to flare inside of him when he didn’t see any hatred coming from the man Stone had betrayed in the most heinous way possible. Maybe, just maybe, he had a chance to make things right.
He stepped closer, and just like that, Griffith’s surprise cleared and was replaced with revulsion. Something broke deep with Stone. He’d never get his happily ever after. He knew he hadn’t deserved it, but he couldn’t help wishing for it.
Before he could find the voice to apologize, Griffith’s anger ignited, burning him with its heat. “You have got to be fucking kidding me.” That was all the man said as he stormed off to be swallowed by the crowd.
Stone wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and cry. A hand touched his shoulder, but Stone didn’t care who it was. Nothing mattered any more.
He heard Syn tell Stone’s men to kick the three bullies out of the casino and ban them for life. But none of that made any difference. Any hope he’d allowed himself to have had been smashed, shattering into a million pieces.
“Come on.” He heard Syn talking to him, felt the man lead him away from the casino, but for the first time in twelve years, Stone had no idea where he was or what was going on around him.
A glass was shoved into his hand with a command to drink it. As if he were a robot following orders, Stone did as he was told. The alcohol slid down his throat. The burn normally felt wasn’t there. He wasn’t sure he could feel anything any longer.
He’d just lost the one person who meant the world to him, and it was all Stone’s fault. He hurled the glass against the wall, watching it as it splintered into small shards, just like his heart.
Stone had been too afraid for too long of losing Griff. They hadn’t begun to talk about everything that needed to be said, but in this moment, he needed to make Griff his once more. The hard length pressed against his leg said Griff was feeling the same way. Shifting the hand from the man’s waist to his rounded ass, Stone lifted his lover off his feet.
In three steps he had Griff pressed against the side of the house, which allowed him to use both hands to touch Griff. Sweet moans filled his ears, fanning the flames of his already-raging desire to once more feel Griff around his cock.
It had been too long, and if Stone didn’t find a way to slow things down, he was going to come in his jeans like some horny teenager. He just couldn’t stop kissing Griff’s soft lips. The man’s taste was completely addictive as they continued twining their tongues in a sensual dance.
His cock pulsed, leaking pre-cum when Griff started sucking on his tongue. The sensation was so fucking erotic it drove him out of his ever-loving mind. Tentatively Griff’s hands traced over his chest, snaking down before dipping under the material to touch bare skin.
It was too much. Stone needed to get back his control. He reached for the edge of Griff’s shirt, lifted it, and, breaking the kiss for a moment to lift it over his head, trapped the man’s hands by twisting the material to keep them from getting free.
Then Stone went back to Griff’s mouth, diving deep and branding Griffith as his. He could feel Griff tugging his arms, testing the restrains. The shirt wouldn’t hold him forever but it would give Stone time to make his lover fly.
He left Griff’s mouth and nipped and licked his way down the corded muscles of the man’s neck, paying special attention to the spot he’d discovered on one of their first make-out sessions.
“Stone,” Griff shouted, telling Stone the spot was still sensitive.
He smiled as he dug his teeth into the skin, not deep enough to break skin but enough that his lover would feel the sweet ache later. Then he switched to sucking on the area, bringing up a mark that everyone would be able to see. There was something primal about marking Griff as his for the world to see.
“Ung,” Griff moaned as he tilted his head farther back to give Stone room while arching against him as if he was hoping to get even closer.
Sucking harder, Stone made sure to bring up a lurid mark. When he was satisfied it was dark enough to be there for days he moved down, licking and nipping along Griff’s chest. His lover moved restlessly against him, humping his hips against Stone, trying to find friction.
Stone situated his thigh between Griff’s legs, pressing his leg against the man’s groin. He chuckled as Griff gave several sweet little whimpers as he started rutting against Stone’s leg. With each hand, he took hold of the cheeks of the man’s ass and pulled him even closer.
When he reached Griff’s nipples, Stone bit down on one. Griff jerked against him, groaning, “Please, Stone. I need.”
Each word was panted, and his hips never stopped working as Griff sought release. But Stone was nowhere near done with him. “Not until I say.” He wanted Griff out of his mind, incoherent with need. Releasing the tiny nub from between his teeth, Stone laved the abused flesh with the flat of his tongue.
Griff’s rutting had become more erotic. The man was close, and Stone couldn’t allow that. Taking away his leg, he smiled when he heard whimpers of dismay. He wasn’t trying to be mean, but he planned to make Griff fly.
He slid one hand from Griff’s ass to the front of his pants. Deftly he unbuttoned and unzipped them before dipping his hand inside. Griff’s breathing stopped as he waited to see what Stone was going to do.
A needy cry rang out the moment Stone wrapped his hand around the turgid flesh. To keep Griff off balance, Stone kept his hold loose, stroking too slowly to give the man enough friction to get off.
Trailing kisses across Griff’s smooth chest, Stone let his teeth bite down on the man’s other nipple. Griff bucked his hips as he tried to find friction against Stone’s hand. Sweet little whimpers spilled from the man’s mouth at being denied the ability to come.
“Please,” Griff whined, but Stone wasn’t about to be swayed.
Wanting to touch every inch of Griff’s body, Stone released the long, slim prick and pushed the man’s pants down farther. He should have thought far enough ahead to take off Griff’s shoes. Now he’d have to stop what he was doing. Then again, he was pretty sure he could find ways to bring Griff pleasure while he was on his knees.