[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, sex toys, HEA]
It’s been two years since Braxton Carmichael fell in love with his partner and mate, Xander. Life with a pack of cursed shifters hasn’t been easy, but moving to Wyoming was supposed to be a step in the right direction, a new beginning. That was before tragedy struck. Xander Brighton never asked to be an alpha, but it’s a responsibility he takes seriously. Taking a bullet to the shoulder while on assignment was just part of the job, but the resulting paralysis wasn’t supposed to happen. Feeling helpless and useless aren’t emotions he’s used to experiencing. He’s moody, uncooperative, and alienating everyone he cares about, including his mate. When Braxton draws the unwanted attention of a nearby clan of goblins, none of their issues seem quite so important anymore. Xander would lay down his life for Braxton, and before the smoke clears, he just might have to prove it.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Gabrielle Evans is a Siren-exclusive author.
4.5 NYMPHS: "When the author started the Moonlight Breed series, she did so by introducing the readers to Xander and Braxton. Xander was a shifter who, because of his white pelt, had a target on his head. He is also the Alpha of a makeshift pack with a variety of other shifters, all of whom have white pelts. Braxton, a human with an abusive ex, is also an author. The young man falls instantly for the hunky shifter and, after many obstacles, the two finally find their happily ever after. In Leap in the Dark, Ms. Evans brings back these two characters and introduces a whole new mess of problems. At the end of book seven, Xander is injured during a rescue attempt. This newest book picks up shortly after, with Braxton learning to deal with Xander’s attitude surrounding his injury. I could understand the actions and reasoning of both men and found this particular area of their relationship realistic. That being said, I did have a little trouble accepting how fast Xander overcame his attitude after only a few words from Spiro. While this story is about Braxton and Xander, many previous characters show up. I love the interaction between Keaton and Braxton, as well as his interaction with several of the new characters. I also can’t wait until the new moonlighter’s (shifters with white pelts) get their own stories. Leap in the Dark was a fast-paced, fun story with many twists and turns. Fans of this series are sure to enjoy it." -- Critter Nymph, Literary Nymphs Reviews
Crossing the room with determined strides, he threw the curtains wide and nudged the side of the mattress with his knee. “Wake up, love.”
“Go away,” Xander grumbled.
“It’s almost noon. You need to get up and shower. Dr. Araceli will be here in half an hour.”
“I’m not seeing a doctor.”
“Yes. You are. You haven’t left this room in days, and I’m not going to sit here and let you destroy yourself.”
“Braxton, I was shot!” Xander finally opened his eyes and pushed up in bed with his good arm. “I’m paralyzed. No one can fix that.”
“Yes, your right arm is paralyzed. That doesn’t mean that your life is over, though. This has to stop, Xander. I can’t take it anymore.”
“So this is all about you.”
Braxton shrugged and stripped the blankets off his lover. “Take it however you want to, but I’m serious. I know this is hard, but you’re not going to get any better by sleeping all day and feeling sorry for yourself.”
“I’m not feeling sorry for myself.”
“You could have fooled me.”
He probably sounded like an insensitive asshole, but he didn’t know how else to deal with this new, brooding Xander. The man he’d fallen in love with had undergone a lot of changes in the weeks since he’d been shot while out on assignment, and none of them were good. Braxton was just thrilled that his mate had come out of the ordeal alive, and he didn’t understand why Xander couldn’t see it that way as well.
“Physical therapy isn’t going to fix this.” Xander grabbed his right wrist with his left hand, lifted the arm into the air, and let it drop back limply to his lap.
“You don’t know that, because you haven’t even tried. Besides, Dr. Araceli isn’t a physical therapist.”
Xander frowned and cocked his head to the side. “Exactly what kind of doctor is he, then?”
“You think I’m crazy?”
Sighing heavily, Braxton closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Five minutes with Xander, and his head was already beginning to pound. “Do you need help in the shower?” No, he didn’t think the man was crazy, but he also didn’t feel that the asinine comment deserved a response.
“I can bathe myself, Braxton. I’m not a child.”
“Then stop acting like one!” Braxton exploded. He was trying so damn hard and all he wanted was for Xander to meet him halfway. Hell, he’d be happy if the man would make any move toward him. But the harder he tried to pull the guy out of his funk, the more forcefully Xander resisted.
Spinning on his heels, he marched out of the room and slammed the door behind him for good measure. Yes, it was childish. Yes, it was melodramatic. He really didn’t give a shit, though. He’d tried to play the caring and supportive partner, and he’d only been rebuffed time and time again. It was time for drastic measures, because if he didn’t find some way to get through to Xander, their relationship was doomed.
“Don’t take it personally.” Logan was waiting for him when he entered the common room of their dorm-type cabin. “He doesn’t mean it.”
Flopping down on the overstuffed sofa, Braxton propped his elbows on his knees and dropped his face into his hands. “I know,” he mumbled through his fingers. “I’m trying, Logan. I just don’t know how to help him.”
“Maybe you’re trying too hard.” Long fingers massaged the tense muscles at his nape. “I’m not saying abandon him, but you’ve been running yourself into the ground. It’s stressful and emotional, and I get that. I think you need to back off a little, though, and start taking care of you before you break.”
“He’s right, ya know.” Talon strode into the room and settled into one of the armchairs while his mate, Jackson, seated himself on the floor between Talon’s legs. “You’ve lost weight.”
“You’re paler, and the bags under your eyes could hold a week’s worth of groceries,” Jackson added.
“Go get some fresh air,” Logan urged. “Go into town. Have lunch with Keeton. I don’t care what you do, but you need to get out of this house for a while.”
Braxton shook his head. “Maybe later, but I can’t leave right now. Dr. Araceli will be here soon.”
“And he’s coming here to see Xander, not you.”
“I can’t just leave him.”
“Braxton,” Talon growled at him. “Go. We’ll deal with Xander.”
“When’s the last time you wrote something?” Jackson asked with a sad lilt to his tone. “I haven’t seen you work since we’ve been here.”
“There just hasn’t been time.” First there was the move from Georgia to Wyoming. Then it seemed that every time he turned around there was more drama ensuing. Now, there was Xander to worry about, and his graphic novels just weren’t high on the priority list.
“Make time,” Talon said simply.
Braxton sucked his bottom lip between his teeth and gnawed on it while he debated his options. Could he really just leave? Xander needed him. He couldn’t simply go out for lunch while Xander visited with the doctor. Could he?
“Bed,” he ordered as he pulled Braxton’s head back by his hair. He hesitated for a moment, but this was Braxton. He could tell him anything and know he’d never be judged. “I’m going to need some help.”
Braxton rose gracefully but kept a firm grip on Xander’s cock as he backpedaled toward the mattress, pulling Xander with him by his dick. “Stop thinking so much. We might have to do things a little differently, but we’ll figure it out together.”
Stopping when his legs hit the edge of the bed, Braxton released his hold on Xander, undressed quickly, and crawled to the center of the mattress where he sprawled out on his back. “I’m assuming you haven’t forgotten how this works.”
Xander was graced with that gorgeous smile that always made him feel ten feet tall and invincible. He still remembered the first time he’d ever seen that look of total trust and adoration on his lover’s face. Though he’d been blessed with it often in the time they’d been together, it never failed to warm him and make his pulse quicken.
Reaching over his head, Braxton managed to find the lube nestled into the corner of the shelved headboard without even looking. Then he popped the cap with his thumb, while he lifted his other hand and crooked his index finger, beckoning Xander to him. “I can do this by myself, but I think it would be more fun if you joined me.”
Easing down on the foot of the bed, Xander eyed the bottle Braxton offered him and frowned. His dominant hand wasn’t functional, and he’d never attempted to stretch and prepare his mate with his left hand before. It was little moments like these that reminded him just how much he’d taken for granted. Even the simplest of tasks now took double the time and twice the amount of effort.
He could continue to sulk and be pissed off at the world, or he could adapt. As he gazed down at all of the smooth, creamy skin on display and practically begging for his touch, returning to the land of the living seemed like a much better option than wallowing in self-pity.
Holding his hand out palm up, he took a deep breath and released it slowly when Braxton coated his fingers in the slippery gel. Here goes nothin’. Xander insinuated himself between his lover’s knees and cocked his head to the side. This definitely wasn’t going to work. “Flip over.”
Eager to please, Braxton maneuvered around until he was on his stomach and pulled his knees under him, lifting his ass in the air for easier access. “Like this?”
“Very nice,” Xander praised as he leaned forward to nip at one perfectly rounded globe.
He continued to lave kisses across his mate’s lower back and over his hip as he skimmed his slick fingers along Braxton’s crease. The quiet, muffled moan he received when he found his lover’s fluttering star was music to his ears and a sound he hadn’t heard in far too long.
It took a bit more work than usual, and he was mindful of the amount of pressure he exerted as he penetrated the ring of muscle with just one digit. The velvety heat that wrapped around his finger was bliss, and a strangled groan rumbled through his chest as Braxton’s inner walls clamped down around him.
Stretching his lover took more time and concentration than usual, but Xander found he didn’t mind. Somewhere along the way in their relationship, they’d fallen into a rut where small things like foreplay were often overlooked. It was a strange silver lining to his injury, but he wouldn’t waste the opportunity to slow things down and reconnect with his mate.
Ah, he loved the sounds Braxton made, and just as always, he couldn’t deny the man in anything. “C’mere, chulo.” He might only have one good arm to hold Braxton with, but it was better than none.
Helping his lover into his lap, he kept a firm grip on Braxton’s hip as the man fisted the base of his cock, holding it upright so that the leaking tip pressed insistently against his lover’s entrance. Inch by torturous inch, Braxton lowered over Xander’s dick, impaling himself until his pert ass rested against the tops of Xander’s thighs.
His length flexed inside Braxton’s hot, snug channel, and a series of shivers rippled along his spine. His mate didn’t even give him a chance to get his bearings before he started a fast, hard rhythm that left Xander gasping for breath.
Braxton’s fingers dug into his shoulders, and his head fell back as the most exquisite look of surrender fell over his features. His heart pounded a quick staccato that Xander could both feel and hear, and a symphony of deliciously erotic sounds poured from his mouth.
Leaning back just slightly to give Braxton more leverage, Xander fisted his lover’s bouncing prick and jerked the length in long, quick strokes. They enjoyed a healthy sex life, but having Braxton wrapped around him like a silk glove after going weeks without was wreaking havoc on his stamina.