Groaning when he finally completed the change, Chey rolled over on his back and stared up at the ocean of stars above him while he tried to shake off the dizzying disorientation. “Who the fuck are you?” he asked without actually looking at the vampire sitting beside him. “Where’s Sammy?”
“I’m Quinn Augustine, and I’ll be your new Sentinel. Why, yes, it is a lovely night, and you’re welcome that I dragged my ass out here in the middle of nowhere to help you.”
“I don’t need your help.”
“On the contrary, you mostly certainly do need my help. Your file says this is your ninth twenty-five-year cycle. Aren’t you tired of it?”
Of course he wanted it to end, but after the first century, the curse had kind of taken its toll, and he’d given up hope of ever being free from it. Pushing himself upright, he leaned back on his hands and finally turned to look at the vampire. “Why are you even here?”
“I’m your new Sentinel.”
“Where’s Sammy?” Chey didn’t particularly enjoy having a babysitter, but he and Sammy had formed an understanding. The shifter offered assistance when Chey needed it but otherwise stayed out of his way. In exchange, Chey didn’t eat him.
“Sammy had a bit of an accident,” Quinn hedged.
“What kind of accident?”
“He tripped. Fell down a flight of stairs and caught his throat on a set of werewolf fangs.” Rising to his feet, Quinn brushed the dirt off his well-shaped ass and offered his hand to Chey. “We should get going.”
Realizing he didn’t have any other options at the moment, Chey took the guy’s hand with a grunt and hauled himself to his feet. “Fine. Where are we going anyway? There better be food involved, because I’m fucking starved.”
Quinn shook his head and snorted. “I see Sammy kept you up-to-date on modern vernacular. It’s nice how you’ve added variety and color to your vocabulary.”
“I’m also well-versed in sarcasm.” Chey gathered his long hair in one hand and lifted it away from his neck. “I need a haircut.” He used his unoccupied hand to rub at the thick, course stubble on his chin. “A haircut and a shave.”
“Well, to answer your original question, we have a two-hour drive back to Spokane. I have some clothes for you in the pickup, and yes, we can stop for food on the way.”
“Burgers.” Just the thought pulled a groan from deep in his chest. “With cheese fries. Yes, there needs to be cheese fries.”
“I think I can swing that.” Quinn laughed quietly as he walked beside Chey through the dense forest. “Your file says you prefer men, so I can show you around some of the gay hotspots once you’ve had a chance to settle in. We’ll also hit up some of the Nightkin clubs. Things have changed a lot in the last twenty-five years, but I’ll get you up to speed in no time.”
Chey didn’t think he’d ever heard anyone talk so much. Running the woods, hunting and killing his own food, and sleeping on the ground didn’t provide many opportunities for conversation, and the only person he’d actually spoken to since 1989 was Sammy, who wouldn’t be doing much talking anymore.
“Slow down, Quinn, is it? I just want a hot meal, a hotter shower, and a soft bed to sleep in for the next six months. I have no desire to find someone.”
“Of course you do,” Quinn answered in a matter-of-a-fact way. “Look, I’m new to this whole guardian gig, but I want to do a good job. It’s kind of hard for me to accomplish that if you’re going to fight me every step of the way.” He tucked his hands into his pockets and shrugged. “Maybe you could just cut me some slack? You might even like me, and not in a you-taste-good-with-ketchup kind of way, either.”
Chey didn’t dislike the guy, exactly. He just didn’t have much involvement with people, and what little interaction he’d had with them in the last century or so hadn’t made him eager to repeat the experience. Quinn Augustine didn’t sound like the type of guy to take no for an answer, though, and Chey had a feeling the miniature vampire would force companionship on him whether he wanted it or not.
“Fine,” he relented, more in the interest of self-preservation than anything. “I’ll let you dress me up and parade me around like a dancing monkey, but I get to pick the targets.”
“Dates,” Quinn corrected. “They’re called dates.”
“Whatever.” A quick drink and a hard fuck would suit him just fine, neither of which involved romance. “Tell me about this file you have on me.”
“It’s not a file, per se. It’s more like a notebook…with notes.”
“Imagine that,” Chey mumbled. “Okay, what does this notebook of notes say about me?”
“Gods, you sound like a freakin’ toddler.” Jumping up from the bed, he marched over to Chey and jabbed a finger in his chest. “Because you scare the hell out of me! Because I can’t control myself around you. Because it’s not just sex, and you damn well know it. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
A wicked grin stretched Chey’s lips as he grabbed Quinn around the waist and jerked him forward. “That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.”
Without giving the hotheaded vampire the opportunity to debate him further, he slanted their mouths together, teasing the seam of Quinn’s lips until he opened on a lusty sigh. Their tongues tangled together, twining and sliding in a slippery dance that Chey felt right down to his aching balls.
Holding Quinn even tighter, he backed them toward the mattress, only breaking the kiss long enough to pull his shirt off over his head. “You are entirely overdressed, Mr. Augustine.”
“You are entirely too distracting, Mr. Black.” Groaning, Quinn whipped his own shirt off and tossed it over the side of the bed. “This is a bad idea.”
“I know.” It wasn’t, but if Quinn needed excuses to make him feel better, Chey could let him have that much. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”
Melting into the mattress, Quinn turned his head to the side, giving Chey more room to kiss down the column of his throat. “Deal,” he panted, arching his hips to push his pajama bottoms down his legs. “Don’t stop.”
Chey had no intentions of stopping. He finally had Quinn right where he wanted him, and nothing and no one would interrupt them. Continuing his exploration of the vampire’s smooth, velvety skin, he pushed his own shorts off over his hips, moaning when his swollen cock sprang fee and slapped against his lover’s belly.
Gods, he’d been too hard for too long, and he had serious doubts he could make this last long enough to not be embarrassing. However, as a shifter, he had excellent endurance, and even if the first time passed too quickly, there was always round two…and three. Running his hands down Quinn’s sides and trailing kisses across his collarbones, Chey shivered when his lover’s uninhibited moan sent a current of electricity coursing down his spine.
Minutes passed as they touched, kissed, teased, and groped. Apparently, Quinn had grown impatient with the slow seduction, however, because he pushed at Chey’s chest and wiggled around until he could flip over onto his stomach. Digging through the drawer of the nightstand, he produced a small, barely-used bottle of lube and shoved it into Chey’s shaking hand.
“Please,” he begged. “I can’t wait anymore.”
Popping the cap open with his thumb, Chey coated his fingers generously with the clear gel. “Turn over, Quinn.” Hard, fast, and dirty had their time and place, but this first time, he wanted to look into Quinn’s eyes, to watch the pleasure and passion play over his face as he writhed in ecstasy beneath him.
It didn’t take much coaxing for Quinn to turn once more, rolling onto his back to stare up at Chey. “Please,” he repeated in a strangled whisper as he locked his legs around Chey’s waist. “Please, Chey.”
“Shh, easy, sweetheart. I’m not going anywhere.” Insinuating his hand between their flushed bodies, he rubbed two fingers over Quinn’s opening, encouraging the muscles to relax as he pressed their mouths together again.
It took quite a bit of coaxing, but the tight ring eventually loosened to his touch, allowing him to insert the tip of his index finger. Pumping slowly, he worked his way up to the second knuckle, and finally, he had the entire digit sawing in and out of Quinn’s warm, silky channel. By the time he worked up to two fingers, Quinn’s moans had grown in volume, and each loud cry made Chey’s head spin and his cock throb in anticipation.
Not wanting to rush and end up potentially hurting his new lover, he took his time, moving his fingers within Quinn’s yielding body until the tense muscles relaxed enough for him to insert a third digit. By that point, however, he couldn’t wait any longer, and judging by the way Quinn squirmed against him, the vampire had reached his limit as well.
With as much care as he could muster, he eased his fingers from Quinn’s hole and grabbed the lube again, upending the bottle to drizzle the contents over his engorged length. Clenching his teeth together, he stroked his cock, slicking the shaft before he lined the head up with Quinn’s fluttering entrance.
“Deep breath, baby.”
Easing in slowly, he watched Quinn for signs of discomfort, pleased when he saw only a slight tightening at the corner of his eyes. When he’d seated himself to the root, Chey paused, expelling the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in whoosh of air. Remaining completely still while Quinn adjusted to the invasion almost proved too difficult, but thankfully, he didn’t have to wait long before his lover nodded, giving him the go-ahead.
Arching his hips back, he pulled out of Quinn’s snug channel until only the crown remained, paused for just a heartbeat, and then surged back inside with a rumbling groan. Quinn cried out, and his fingers dug into Chey’s shoulders as his inner walls clamped around his cock in a vise grip. More than just the physical pleasure, though, Chey had never experienced something so profoundly intense that it literally stole the breath from his lungs.