[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Alternative Paranormal Romantic Suspense Romance, MM, shape-shifter, HEA]
After failing to execute a kill warrant, Rhys faces the consequences when Stephen is attacked and converted into a vampire. When Lucian discovers Stephen's predicament, the Master vampire demands Stephen be handed over.
Stephen was already kidnapped and tortured by a feral lion shifter. He's still having nightmares about the ordeal when he's assaulted and bitten in an alley late at night. The daylight has become too bright, and he can't stop staring at Rhys's jugular with a thirst and need that nearly drives him over the edge. When Rhys agrees to feed him, the act becomes intimate, and Stephen finds himself not only turned on by the muscled warrior, but falling for him, too.
Miguel is on the hunt for the human he converted, the Master tries to lure Stephen away, and one of the Grizzly Bastards is taunting Rhys and following him everywhere he goes. But Rhys has only one objective, and that is to protect his mate.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Opening his eyes, Stephen was horrified to find Shane still standing there. He hadn't meant to go into his own headspace, and especially not in front of anyone. "Yes?"
"You paled a little." Shane's blue eyes were filled with concern. "Are you okay?"
He was far from okay. Stephen wasn't sure he'd ever be right again. "Just a little tired."
Shane didn't look as though he believed him, but gave a slow nod before he headed toward the back. Stephen let out a breath as he rubbed his temples, wishing to God he could sleep at least one night without waking up screaming.
The lack of a good sleep was taking its toll.
Stephen got up and went to the back to use the bathroom. He needed to stretch, as well. He'd been sitting behind that desk all morning trying to play catch-up with the agency’s paperwork. Matt shouldn't have waited so long to replace Stuart.
As soon as Stephen entered the Pit, he spotted Rhys talking with Tap at the bar. The handsome bounty hunter had one arm on the counter, and a drink in the other hand. It wasn't any of Stephen's business that it was only after one and the guy was already drinking. It also wasn't any of Stephen's business that Rhys had filed the expense report for the case of lube.
As soon as Stephen stepped farther into the room, Rhys looked his way. His brows furrowed as he watched Stephen cross the room. What was that look about? Was the receptionist supposed to use another bathroom? If so, no one had told him.
Stephen entered the bathroom and finally let go of the breath he'd been holding. Rhys was an intimidating man, and Stephen's stomach twisted into knots and his heart beat faster whenever the guy was near. Rhys was just so dang dreamy. Stephen used to wish he had someone special in his life. Now he wished the nightmares would just go away.
He took care of business and was at the sink washing his hands when someone knocked. Stephen opened the door to find Tap on the other side. He was leaning against the frame, his arms crossed over his chest as he looked Stephen up and down. Not in an interested way. Just like Shane, Tap looked concerned.
"How you feeling?"
Stephen was tired of that question. But this was Tap, the man who had rescued him, who had stepped in front of the gun Wilfred had aimed at Stephen, then came to the hospital to sit with Stephen. There was no way he would ever be able to repay Tap for what he'd done.
He started to give his standard answer, but before he knew it, he was saying, "Working through it."
Tap nodded. "It'll take time. You just let me know if you need anything."
It was a considerate offer, but Stephen knew how jealous Tap's boyfriend could be. Dustin was a sweet enough guy, but Stephen wanted to keep as much distance as he could between himself and Tap. He didn't want drama in the workplace because Dustin saw them talking.
"I need to get back up front." Stephen scooted past Tap and hurried away. He glanced toward the bar to find Rhys still watching him. Stephen forced himself not to full-out run as he stepped quickly down the hallway.
He sat behind the desk and flipped through the papers that were giving him a headache.
When Tap and the others had rescued him, they’d given him the lame excuse that Wilfred had been hopped up on drugs. But Stephen knew the truth. Wilfred had shifted into a lion more than once, roaring at Stephen as though he would eat him. Stephen had peed his pants a few times. He had also sobbed and begged to be released. He had scars on his body that were hidden beneath his clothing from either the lion's claws or the knife Wilfred had used in his human form.
"Stop thinking about it," Stephen muttered. "Concentrate on this stupid paperwork."
"Thinking about what?"
Stephen squeaked and jumped in his seat at the sound of Rhys's voice. When he looked up, Rhys had both arms resting on the counter. The man's brows shot up and he cocked his head.
"Didn't mean to scare you."
"I was just…I didn't see you…Is there something you need?" Stephen swallowed repeatedly, and then breathed out slowly, trying to get his racing heart under control. This was the first time Rhys had spoken to him, and Stephen's mind went completely blank as he stared up into the man's pretty brown eyes.
Rhys glanced down the hallway that led to Matt's office. "You're off-limits."
"Off-limits?" Stephen shook his head as Rhys turned and looked at him. "What're you talking about?"
"Matt lost one secretary to a bounty hunter. He said we were to stay away from you."
That was the first Stephen had heard about it, but he was glad because he wasn't ready to get involved with anyone. His head was all jumbled inside and he needed to work on himself before letting anyone with intimate intentions into his life. "Is that so?"
"I was wondering if you wanted to grab some coffee sometime."
Stephen scowled. "I wouldn't step foot back in Spotos if you paid me." He was still pissed at Horace for firing him and wanted to pop his ex-coworker on the nose. He hoped Bruce broke out in a gazillion boils for being such a hateful person.
Rhys grinned, and the smile stole Stephen's breath. "Oh yeah, I forgot you used to work there."
How? Stephen was fired just last week.
"Then how about we grab a bite at Grizzly's Tavern?" Rhys held up his beefy hand. "Just as coworkers. I don't need Matt trying to remove my balls."
Did that mean Rhys was interested in him, but was afraid of what Matt would do if he made a move? Again, Stephen wasn't ready to date anyone, but he didn't want to offend Rhys, either. He also didn't want their meal turning into anything more. "Just as friends."
Rhys chuckled. "I like that even better. How about we grab dinner when you knock off?" He looked at his phone. "That gives me six hours to get my errands done."
"Okay." Stephen liked the idea of hanging out with coworkers. He'd never done that before, but he would have felt better if others joined them so their dinner wouldn't feel so personal.
Nonetheless, for the rest of the day, Stephen's mood was lighter. He hummed as he continued his data entry, setting aside the strange expense reports for later.
Stephen's eyes flashed open to darkness and he felt something hard beneath him. He scented Rhys's dark, deep natural aroma and instantly calmed.
"I can see in the dark." Stephen looked around. Although his apartment was pitch-black, he could make out everything.
"Your senses are enhancing." Rhys turned, tucking Stephen between his hard body and the back of the couch. "Your strength should be improving, as well."
"How long have I been asleep?" Stephen was shocked he hadn't woken up crying or screaming or damp with sweat. He hadn't had a single nightmare and the peaceful sleep made him feel refreshed.
"A few hours."
"Did you sleep, too?"
What had Rhys done the entire time, watched Stephen? He scooted up, panting as he leaned down and kissed Rhys. At first Rhys didn't respond. Stephen started to pull back, but Rhys pressed a hand against Stephen's back.
"I'm not rejecting you," Rhys said. "I'm letting you guide this."
"But I don't want to be in the driver's seat," Stephen said. "I'm not a take-charge kind of guy."
Rhys cupped Stephen's face, deepening the kiss as he slowly turned, placing Stephen on his back. "I gotcha, boo."
Rhys pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it aside. Stephen groaned as he ran his hands over the impressive chest. He leaned up and sucked a nipple into his mouth, loving the taste of Rhys's salty skin.
The man just hovered over Stephen—one hand crushing the back cushion, the other resting against the arm of the couch. Stephen slid lower, kissing his way down Rhys's stomach. As he licked and kissed, he unfastened Rhys's pants and shoved the man's jeans and boxers down to his muscled thighs. His cock sprang free, long, thick, and mouthwatering.
Stephen licked at Rhys's navel before he took the head of the man's cock into his mouth. Rhys stiffened, hissing as he jerked his hips.
As Stephen worked Rhys's cock down his throat, he also worked Rhys's jeans and underwear down his legs. Rhys helped, kicking them off, then pressed one knee into the couch.
Stephen ran his hands over Rhys's hips, then cupped his ass, digging his fingernails in as he bobbed his head, using the flat of his tongue as Rhys slowly fucked his mouth.
Stephen looked up and saw Rhys clenching his jaw, his eyes slightly glowing. He should have been terrified to see the man's canines, but the sight only turned Stephen on.
"I'm about to come down your fucking throat," Rhys snarled. "Are you ready for me?"
Stephen answered by driving Rhys's dick deeper until his lips touched its base.
"Fuuuck." Rhys's cock pulsed as his cum splashed down Stephen's throat. He sucked down every last drop, then licked his lips when Rhys pulled back.
With frenzied movements, Rhys pulled off Stephen's clothes before flipping him onto his stomach. Stephen tried to squirm free. He didn't want Rhys to see the scars Wilfred had left behind.
"What's wrong?" Rhys smoothed his hand over Stephen's head. "Have you changed your mind?"
Hardly. Stephen was ready for sex, he just wasn't ready for Rhys to see his humiliation. "My back."
He shivered as Rhys traced the scars with his fingers. "All I see is your flawless beauty."
Stephen moaned as Rhys kissed down his back, happy the man was still hard, and that he hadn't rejected Stephen.
When Rhys reached his ass, Stephen yelped. He'd never had anyone lick his hole before. The sensations shot through him, making Stephen grind his cock into the couch. Rhys grabbed Stephen's hips and pulled him up, and Stephen gladly got onto his hands and knees.
"Oh my God!" Stephen buried his face into the cushions as Rhys dined on him, sliding a finger in and out of his ass. He wasn't going to survive this. His nerve endings had come to life, and the buildup was becoming too much.
"Rhys," Stephen panted. "Rhys, please."
Rhys drove his tongue into Stephen's ass. That was all Stephen needed. He cried out Rhys's name as he came, ribbons of seed hitting the couch.
Stephen gasped for air as Rhys moved in behind him, blanketing Stephen's back. The head of his cock touched Stephen's hole, then Stephen felt something spurt against him.
Rhys kissed his nape. "You taste fucking amazing."
Stephen wasn't sure if he should tell Rhys thank you, so he didn't. Instead, he said, "So do you."
The spurt came again.
"What is that?"
"Natural lube." Rhys reared back, grabbed Stephen's hips, and slowly entered him, the head of his cock stretching Stephen and making his ass burn.
"I'm going slow, babe." Rhys ran a hand up his back. "Let me know if you need me to stop."
Hell if Stephen was telling him to stop. He'd adjust to Rhys's girth if it was the last thing he did. "No, don't."
He dug his fingers into the arm of the couch, grimacing as he tried to breathe through the pain. Rhys wasn't a small man, and neither was his cock.
He shivered when Rhys kissed his nape again. "You feel so fucking good wrapped around my dick. So fucking tight."
Stephen didn't say anything. He was too busy clenching his jaw.
"You gotta relax, babe." Rhys curled his hand around Stephen's erection and stroked him. Stephen jerked, straddling between pain and pleasure.
Then Rhys bottomed out, pulled back, and punched forward. Stephen cried out, thrusting back to meet Rhys's strokes. He needed another release, and he needed it badly—as though his first orgasm hadn't even knocked the edge off.
Rhys gripped Stephen's hip with one hand and his shoulder with the other. He had Stephen locked in place, pounding into him and then slowing his movements, as though savoring the moment.
White-hot fingers crawled up his spine, the buildup growing slowly this time, like simmering embers edging toward a roaring fire.