[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Alternative Contemporary Fantasy Paranormal Romantic Suspense Romance, MM, shape-shifter, HEA]
Maximus Brisco has been in hiding for over twenty years, terrified Taren Haynes will find him. Two years ago the sheriff of Brac Village found Max and gave what he thought was a normal German shepherd a home. But Max’s secret is out, and now he must convince his mate that he wasn’t purposely deceiving anyone. Too bad Dillon took off the night of his discovery and hasn’t returned.
Deputy Dillon Sloan is stunned to discover his boss’s dog is really his mate. When he finds out Max has trouble on his heels, he sets aside his anger at being duped and decides to help Max. But the masking potion Max has been using for years to hide his scent is having an adverse effect on him. Worse, Taren has discovered where Max is and the demon is coming for him. Dillon must find a cure for Max while trying to save him from a demon hell-bent on revenge.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
“First, I want to say how sorry I am for not telling you who I was.” Max tucked his hands between his knees and stared at the ground. “I wanted to. There were many times over the past two years that I wanted to throw caution to the wind and reveal myself.”
“So why didn’t you?” Dillon’s arm was over the back of the bench, and he had to curl his fingers in to stop from touching Max. It would be too easy to pull the short man into his lap and pet him until they both were crazy with lust.
Calm the fuck down and listen to what he has to say.
Dillon’s heart clenched as Max wiped at a stray tear before tucking his hand back between his knees. “My parents are very old-fashioned. When I refused to marry the guy they’d chosen for me, they kicked me out. I had nowhere to go, no food, or money. One night, when I was begging on the street, this demon approached me. He wanted me to work for him. Desperate, I said yes.”
“A demon?” Even Dillon knew that was bad news. Aside from the demon warriors who policed the demon realm, Dillon had yet to meet one of their kind that wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on him.
Which made him think of Myers. It was tragic the way he’d died, but everyone at the station knew he’d been a dirty cop. On the down low, Detective Keating had been gathering evidence to not only get Myers kicked off the force, but sent to the underworld. Myers had had a lot of back alley dealings with demons, vampires, and all sorts of crooked characters.
Max’s voice brought Dillon out of his thoughts.
“I was paid well to run errands and do odd jobs,” Max said, “but one night I overheard him saying that he was gonna start a war with the demon warriors. I couldn’t let that happen. I know one of them, Phoenix, and he’s a really sweet guy. So I snuck into the room Taren Haynes slept in and stole his portal key so he couldn’t get into the demon realm. Taren has been after me ever since.”
Dillon chewed on every word Max said, and mulled it over in his mind. “But you could’ve told me all of this when we first met and I would’ve helped you.”
Max gave him a wobbly smile as he wiped another stray tear. “That’s the same thing Orlando said when he found out about me.”
“And when was that?”
“The night that guy broke in,” Max said.
At least Dillon now knew his boss hadn’t hidden the fact about Max from him. Werth had just found out two weeks ago. And since Dillon had been healing from a gunshot wound, his boss hadn’t had time to tell him.
Though he doubted the sheriff would. Werth would’ve either kept his nose out of it or told Max to rectify things with him. Dillon rested his elbows on his knees and rested his chin in his hands.
“I understand if you don’t want anything to do with me,” Max said.
Was the guy for real? Although Dillon was pissed his mate had hidden his scent for so long, he now understood why. This had nothing to do with Max not wanting him, about Max rejecting their mating.
He turned his head and glared at Max. “If you ever hide anything from me again—”
“I won’t!” Max crossed his heart with his finger. “I promise.”
Dillon was still struggling with the fact that the dog he loved was sitting right next to him. “Do you know how ridiculous I feel for asking you who’s a good boy?”
Max gave a closed-mouth smile. “Do you know how much I loved getting petted by you?” His smile widened. “And for the record, I’m a very good boy.”
“Too soon?” Max asked as his smile slipped.
“Too soon,” Dillon said.
“I could shift.”
“Don’t.” Dillon sighed. “Just give my brain time to reconcile the fact that the dog I loved and the guy sitting next to me are one and the same.”
Max’s dark brows shot up. “You loved me?”
“The dog,” Dillon corrected. “I don’t know the man.”
“I understand.” Max got up and took a step toward the house.
“Where’re you going?” Dillon pulled Max back down.
“I was gonna go inside and give you the time you needed.” Max leaned toward him and sniffed at Dillon. He pulled back when Dillon scowled. “Sorry, I just love how you smell.”
Goddamn it. Max wasn’t making it easy to stay mad at him. Dillon smirked. “Who’s a good boy?”
Max threw his head back and laughed. The sound was magical and made Dillon’s heart beat faster.
“I am,” Max said with humor in his voice. “So, do you want to pet me now?” He lifted his white T-shirt to show his flat belly. “I could go for a tummy rub.”
A yowl vibrated in Dillon’s throat as his body grew tight. “And I could go for a—” His gaze shot to the front window, where Newt was trying, but failing, to spy on them.
Max narrowed his eyes as he looked at the window. “Stop being nosy!”
Newt moved aside, and the curtain fell back into place.
“He’s gonna keep spying on us,” Max said. “He wants to make sure we work this out.”
“He really cares about you.” Unable to hold out any longer, Dillon caressed Max’s nape. He needed to connect with Max, and damn if his skin wasn’t as soft as silk. He brushed the pad of his thumb over Max’s nape, watching as his mate groaned and his eyelids fluttered closed.
“Newt’s my best friend,” Max said as he slightly panted, “which is a miracle considering he’s terrified of dogs.”
“My boss is gonna kill me for stealing his dog.” Dillon was mesmerized by the look of pure rapture on Max’s face. He slid his fingers from his mate’s nape to his shoulder, and then across his swanlike neck. His cock was hard as fuck as his gaze flickered down to Max’s parted lips.
Max trembled as he opened his eyes. When he spoke, his voice was breathless and shaky. “If you keep that up, I’m gonna crawl into your lap and have my wicked way with you.”
Dillon’s half-lidded gaze slid over Max’s compact body. “Is that so?”
His anger and hurt at being deceived had vanished, and now all Dillon thought about was bending Max over the bench and claiming him.
“If we didn’t have an audience, I would.” Max looked toward the house, and Dillon followed his gaze. Vince and Werth were standing just outside the door. How had Dillon not seen them come outside?
Dillon was still sitting in the car, but when he saw Max coming out of the house, he got out and headed over to the bench. Max wanted to squeal with delight but pressed his lips together as he sprinted over to his mate and threw himself into Dillon’s arms.
Dillon chuckled. “Someone’s happy to see me.”
Max felt his face flush as he grinned like an idiot. “That would be me.”
Max didn’t wait for an invitation. He consumed Dillon’s lips in a scorching kiss, tasting his mate for the first time. And the kiss was well worth the wait. Dillon tasted like coffee and mints, and Max ate those flavors up as he groaned, pressing his body into Dillon’s.
When a purr rumbled in Dillon’s chest, Max nearly fainted from the sound. He wanted to hear it again as Dillon claimed him. When they pulled apart, Max felt lightheaded and giddy.
“Come inside.” He tugged on Dillon’s hand, but his mate didn’t move.
“I consider myself a lot of things, but suicidal isn’t one of them,” Dillon said. “Boss’ll shoot my nuts off if he wakes and finds me across the hall having sex.”
Max’s heart plummeted. He’d been hoping to mate with Dillon but understood his hesitation. “We can’t have you losing your nuts. So what do you want to do?”
“Until my shift ends, we can hang out.”
“And when your shift is over?” Max asked as hope blossomed inside him.
Dillon slid his arms around Max and pulled him close, ghosting his lips over Max’s. “Then we go back to my place.”
The thought of going to Dillon’s house had Max zipping with excitement. “When do you get off?”
“In about four hours.”
Max wasn’t sure he would survive that long. He was hard and ready, and all they could do was pet and kiss on the bench. Maybe Dillon would give him a hand job if Max begged. He wasn’t above begging.
“But I’m sure we can find ways to occupy our time,” Dillon whispered, his voice ragged, deeper than usual.
He guided Max to the bench, sat, and then patted his muscled thighs. Max straddled Dillon’s waist, his knees tucked tightly against his mate’s body as he slid his arms around Dillon’s shoulders.
“You fit perfectly against me.” Dillon smiled, his voice remaining deep as he talked in a light whisper. He slid his arms up Max’s back, his fingers tracing Max’s spine.
“Now what?” Max bit his lower lip.
Dillon slid his hand over Max’s nape and then pulled him close for another slow-burning kiss that ignited a fire inside him. Max would be happy to die of suffocation because he didn’t want the kiss to ever end.
Although Dillon pulled back for air, his lips hovered close to Max’s. So close to his mate’s face that Max saw tiny flecks of green right around the pupils. Dillon had the most amazing dark blue eyes Max had ever seen.
Dillon winked. “Keep staring at me like that and I’m gonna start to think I have something wrong with my face.”
Max trailed his hand from Dillon’s shoulder to his face, around his strong jaw, and over his neck. “Your features are a work of art.” Max let out a small chuckle. “God, I sound lame.”
“You sound perfect.”
Max hissed when Dillon reached into his pajama pants and fisted his cock. His mate gave him an open-mouthed, ravenous kiss as he stroked his hand slowly, pumping Max’s cock, and Max was starting to believe Dillon wasn’t in a rush to get him off. His hand moved too slowly, which was driving Max insane. He hadn’t had sex since discovering Dillon was his mate, and Max was desperate for release.
“You’re torturing me,” he whined as he arched his back, hissing at the pleasure Dillon was giving him. “You have to move your hand faster.”
Maybe he was trying to pay Max back for the lie and his punishment was blue balls. Well, the joke was on Dillon because Max already had them.
“Not gonna rush this.” Dillon nipped Max’s lower lip, which made Max groan. “I want to take my time and enjoy you. I want this to last for as long as it can.”
Every stroke of his hand sent heat waves straight to Max’s cock. Pleasure flared right to his nerve endings as Max bowed his back, quick and shallow breaths bursting from his chest as he dug his nails into Dillon’s shoulders.
So much for making this last. Dillon’s exquisite strokes had Max crying out as he bucked, ropes of cum erupting from his cock. With a snarl, Dillon stood, keeping Max trapped against him as he moved toward the cluster of trees at the side of the house.
Max felt kind of silly for being carried, but he also enjoyed feeling Dillon’s hard muscles under his body.
“I won’t be able to hold out for four hours.” Cleary Dillon was just as needy as Max was. His skin felt hot to the touch, and Max felt his mate’s hard cock pressing against his uniform pants.
When they reached the side of the house, he laid Max on the soft grass before his mate yanked Max’s pajama pants off and tossed them aside. Max made quick work of Dillon’s khakis, unbuckling the belt, unfastening the button, and unzipping the zipper until he was able to shove his mate’s pants down his…wow, his thighs were muscular. He dropped to his knees and took a moment to appreciate them, running his fingers over the rigid flesh.
Dillon simply stood there, watching, his eyelids drawn down, his hands fisted at his sides. His body jerked when Max slid his hand upward and grazed Dillon’s balls. Max sank his teeth into his bottom lip, their gazes locked, as he did it again.
Two could play the torture game. Unfortunately Max was also torturing himself, but he liked the seductive look in Dillon’s blue eyes, and the heat of need that pierced them. His mate looked as though he was barely containing the wild beast inside him.
And Max loved that he was the one who made Dillon look that way.
“Either suck my dick or get on your hands and knees.” Dillon’s voice had come out deep, penetrating, and it slid right over Max.