Can love overcome the destructive force of an unnatural secret?
Alone since his boyfriend left him for another man, Jake Holiday has been working his bookstore, treading water, and keeping to himself. It was simple and uncomplicated.
Delany Coltrane changed that.
Turning a corner looking for an address, Del wasn’t expecting to find the hot guy hidden under the stack of boxes, but couldn’t regret needing to ask for directions. Not when Jake was his wolf’s mate, and too damn sexy to ignore even if he weren’t.
But with money problems and safety at the bookstore an issue, can Del and Jake find a middle ground to let their attraction flourish? Because trust is essential to share Del’s largest secret with Jake. A secret that encompasses not just Delany, but his whole family.
Del’s wolf was whining, wanting to comfort the man at Del’s side. Something was bothering his mate. He was nervous and unsure. Even Del could sense the tension radiating off of him now. Taking a slow breath in through his nose, he calmed his desire as much as he could. Time. He’d said he had it. Time to put his money where his mouth was. He wouldn’t push for more than Jake was willing to give. Though holding back was killing him.
Damn he wanted Jake Holiday.
They didn’t say much on the drive, both lost in their thoughts. He tapped the garage opener pinned above him on the visor and the door began to lift ahead of them.
“Nice house,” Jake said, eyeing the front of Del’s home, a suburban carbon copy of most of the homes in his area. Nothing fancy. Del lived alone, and for himself, he didn’t need much. It was more for the location than anything else. What Del needed was room to run and he had friends close by with open woodland, available to the free running of the wolf pack. He stopped thinking about it when the next obvious worry was how Jake would take his secret reared up on him.
“What do you have?” Evasion tactics deployed!
“An apartment. Nothing fancy.”
“Close to the store?”
“Yeah. How’d you guess?” Jake let his buckle snap loose, smiling congenially at Del.
“Just a good one.” Sliding from the pick-up, he waited for Jake, then hit the garage button when he stood at the access door. “Make yourself at home. There’s no one else but me and you.” Del wondered if Jake realized how he meant those words, that there’d never been any intimate male in the house with him. Friends and family? Couldn’t stop them. Lovers?
Soon to be lover, he corrected himself. Del popped open the fridge. “Beer? Water?”
“Not right now. Thanks.”
“Sure.” Del opted for a bottle of water for himself. Spying Jake looking a little lost, he reached for a hand and tugged when he found skin. He came to rest easily on Del’s chest. “Hey, it’s okay. We’ll go kick back on the couch.” Del ran his hands down Jake’s spine, stopping at the top of his ass. He’d been dying to get his hands on it, just to touch, shape, feel. Del knew he wouldn’t be able to stop with his hands though. He couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into those perfect globes, marking the firm skin with love bites, marking him as his. He let out a slow breath, determined to not accost Jake.
“Has anyone ever accused you of being overwhelming?” Jake slouched comfortably along Del’s frame with his arms loosely looped around his torso.
“Once or twice,” he answered. “Come on, sexy.” He led Jake to the living room, to toss him the remote once they stood in front of the TV. “Here. Be useful.”
He sat to unlace his boots, kicking them off with a sigh of pleasure. He wiggled his toes within his socks. “Much better.” He set them by the couch to find later, then scooted back. Palming a pillow, he settled it on his thigh. “Come here.” He patted the pillow. “Let me at least touch you.”