Guy Keaton doesn’t want a hookup or a soulmate or anything in between. When he lost his wife to cancer, he knew he’d be alone for the rest of his life. He has a grown son, and his woodshop, and in a world where those born with powerful gifts are few and far between, that’s all that really matters.
Theo Fraser’s empathic gift is rare and strong. He isn’t looking for love, but when he meets Guy, everything changes, because he knows that when you find your soulmate, you hold on tight and don’t let go. The only problem is that Guy thinks he’s straight, and Theo doesn’t know if he can convince a man already set in his ways to change his mind.
Will Guy be able to give up his grief and accept Theo’s love? And what happens when a terrible betrayal forces them to fight to keep each other alive?
Be Warned: m/m sex
“You seem very sure I’m bisexual.” Guy put his hands in his pockets.
Theo paused on the trail. He could see the trailhead just up ahead. “Aren’t you?”
Guy looked at him. “I was married for a long time.”
“That’s not an answer.” Theo took a risk and stepped closer. “I know a great way for you to find out for sure.” He ignored the little voice in his head that was telling him not to be an impulsive idiot. He looked back down the trail and waved a “wait” signal to the two bodyguards trailing them. Julio had already reached the trailhead, and Theo knew he was checking out the car. They were as alone as they were going to get right now. And it’s just a kiss. It’s not like we’re going to have sex in the middle of a hiking trail.
“How?” Guy asked, sounding wary.
“I kiss you right here, right now. If you like it, you’re bi. If you don’t, you’re not.” Theo waited, knowing even as the words left his mouth that nothing in life was as simple as what he’d just suggested. He knew that even if Guy enjoyed the kiss, there would be some serious questions for his soulmate to wade through before he came out the other side. Guy had just spent most of his life thinking he was straight, and denying the feelings that were buried deep all along. And I know firsthand that it isn’t easy to change beliefs you hold onto too tightly, Theo mused, thinking of his parents. He shook off the bad memories. Now was not the time to dredge up that emotional shitstorm.
“That’s crazy,” Guy said, half smiling, and half looking like a man about to run for the hills. “You could be a shitty kisser.”
Theo smirked. Guy hadn’t said no. “I’m an Empath. I’m incapable of being a shitty kisser.”
Guy laughed, as Theo had intended. “So the rumors about Empaths are true? They’re great in bed?”
Theo didn’t reply. He let his silence speak for him.
Guy ran a hand over the back of his neck. “This is crazy,” he muttered, repeating himself.
Theo’s cock swelled as he sensed Guy’s tentative arousal. And fear. Don’t forget the fear, he thought, as his power instinctively reached out to his soulmate. Guy was the one person in the world he would never be able to block out. He sensed Guy’s attraction to him, and his anxiety, as well as his bone-deep weariness with being sad. The relaxation he’d felt just a little while ago on the trail lingered, too.
“Yeah, okay. What the hell,” Guy said, stepping closer. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Theo grinned. “You sound like a man trying to decide if he should try out a new taco, not a kiss.”
“It’s just as terrifying,” Guy replied instantly. “You never know when a taco could be harboring one of those insanely hot peppers. I could get burned.”
Theo reached out and put a hand on Guy’s shoulder, willing him to relax. “I’m not a habanero, Guy,” Theo murmured.
“You might as well be,” Guy said, his voice catching.
Theo moved his hand from Guy’s shoulder to his cheek. “Shh.”
Guy’s eyes widened.
Theo put his thumb on Guy’s lips and sensed a sudden spike in the older man’s arousal. Here goes nothing, he thought, just before he leaned in and kissed his soulmate for the first time.
Guy froze as Theo’s lips touched his. Theo’s mouth was soft and expressive, and so damned hot he thought he might go up in flames if he moved even an inch. He stood there, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with him, when suddenly his Craft power lit up through his body. Energy rushed through him, and he reached out to grab Theo’s arms. He meant to push him away, but he found himself clutching at the younger man as if he were a life raft and Guy was drowning.
“Easy,” Theo murmured against his mouth.
“Fuck.” Guy kissed him back, searching for … what? He had no idea. All he knew was that he’d never felt so damned aroused in his life. His cock shoved against his pants, hard and hot and insistent. He groaned when Theo slid his hands into his hair and kissed him again, licking into his mouth with intent. They were the same height, so Guy didn’t have to crane his neck down the way he’d had to in order to kiss Pamela. It was strange. Hot. More than that, though, he felt unbalanced. Confused.
Theo gentled the kiss and pulled back. “There.”
There? Who was the man kidding? Guy stared at him. Was Theo as stunned as he was? The younger man’s mouth looked red and slightly swollen. I did that to him, Guy thought, and then, But I’m straight.
“Dammit,” Theo muttered, and then he stepped closer and kissed Guy again.
This time, Theo pressed himself up against Guy’s torso, and for the first time in his life, Guy felt another man’s hard-on against his hip. “Jesus,” he gasped, unable to stop his body’s instinctive thrust forward. He grabbed Theo’s arms again, absently reveling in the man’s strength, and pulled him closer. “What the fuck is happening?”
Theo answered by biting Guy’s lower lip.
Guy moaned into Theo’s mouth, and walked them back until the younger man’s body hit the sturdy oak tree at the edge of the trail. Guy’s Craft flared again, and the tree shuddered as his energy hit it, but then Theo slid his tongue into his mouth and he didn’t care about anything except the younger man coaxing him to open himself wide. He did, and Theo bit him again. Guy’s erection swelled, and he gasped. He slid his hands down Theo’s arms to his hips.
“Oh, God,” Theo said, head thunking back against the tree as Guy pushed into him.