[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Alternative Paranormal Romantic Suspense Romance, MM, shape-shifter, HEA]
What would you do to save the man you love? For the Keeper, he would sacrifice the universe. Bitten by Morog, his first creation, the Keeper is dying. He isn't sure how he ended up in the vet clinic, but when Trey walks into the exam room, he knows he's found his mate. But he grows weaker by the day, depending heavily on Trey to keep him alive. When he bites his mate, the Keeper discovers that Trey's blood just might be the key to his survival.
As far back as Trey could remember he's had the most bizarre dreams. But lately, his dreams have turned apocalyptic. He sees the world ending, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. When Trey is kidnapped and forced to help a dying man who claims to be the creator of the universe, Trey isn't sure what to believe. But the harder he fights against his attraction, the harder Trey falls for the one man who could destroy mankind.
As usual, Trey was forty minutes early. He liked relaxing behind his desk before his workday started. He'd stopped at the local bakery and grabbed a muffin and coffee, and now juggled them in one hand as he unlocked the clinic door.
Dr. Elliot Beckett wouldn't arrive for another hour, so Trey had time to kick back and enjoy his breakfast, and maybe call Ryan to see if he was awake yet. As of right now, there were no animals being housed at the clinic, so Trey didn't need to go check on anyone.
He set his muffin and coffee down, removed his jacket and hung it up, then turned to go back to his desk when he heard a scraping noise coming from the back.
With a frown, Trey cut the lights on and walked down the hallway. Had Dr. Beckett gotten an emergency case last night? Was there a caged animal in the back? The doctor usually left Trey a message if an animal had come in late at night.
Trey walked into the area where the animals were housed, but the cages were empty. Maybe it had been the wind at the back door. Trey had to admit, whenever he was there by himself in the morning, he sometimes got spooked.
He looked around, trying to find the source of the noise, then shrugged when it didn't repeat itself. The clinic was nestled close to the woods, so a tree branch might've made the scraping sound. Was Trey gonna open the back door and find out?
Not a chance.
Trey headed back up front, but when he passed the exam room, he noticed the door slightly ajar. Dr. Beckett kept the door locked because there was medication in the room.
With a hard swallow and a shaky hand, he pushed the door open. If there was a junkie inside, Trey was hauling ass and calling the cops when he was safely in his car. He wasn't a hero and wouldn't pretend to be one, either.
His white sneakers pressed quietly against the floor as he moved farther into the room. The cabinet with the medication was still locked. Trey looked around and gasped when he saw a man in a hooded cloak bent over the exam table, holding his side.
When the stranger looked his way, Trey was taken aback by how gorgeous he was—even though he had stubble lining his jaw and scars on his face. But none of that detracted from his rugged handsomeness.
The guy clenched his eyes shut and shook his head. "I don't know how I ended up here."
Trey didn't, either. The clinic had been locked up tight. How had he gotten inside? He opened his mouth, ready to tell the stranger he was calling the cops, but instead, Trey asked, "Do you need an ambulance?"
"I need my books." The guy opened his eyes and hissed, pressing his hand into his side again. "But I'm too weak to enter the underworld."
Whoa. Okay. So the guy was a drunk who needed to sleep off the booze. "Look, I got a fresh cup of coffee up front. You can have it, just as long as you leave."
The guy's arm slipped over the chrome table. He dropped to his knee, hissing as his knee cracked against the floor. Trey bit his lip as he worried his hands. His instincts told him to call the cops, but he couldn't get his feet to move.
He had to be the world's biggest idiot because he wanted to help the stranger instead of having him arrested for breaking in. Praying he wasn't making the worst decision of his life, Trey hurried forward and grabbed the guy's arm, ready to help him to his feet. But the man weighed a ton.
Was he made of nothing but muscles?
"Hey, Trey, are you here?" Dr. Beckett called from the front. He was early.
The stranger turned his head and stared into Trey's eyes before he vanished. He didn't get up and run out the back door. He simply disappeared right before Trey's eyes.
Trey gasped and fell back, slamming his hand against the exam table as he whipped his head around. His heart thundered and he wasn't sure if he'd imagined the guy or if he'd been real and had actually vanished.
He tapped the floor with his foot, smacked the table, then lastly, Trey tapped his chest. Everything felt real. Was he trapped in another one of his bizarre dreams? Was he still curled in bed under his warm blanket and all of this was in his head?
But the stranger's body had felt solidly built. Trey had never seen anyone's face in his dreams, yet those pale blue eyes still haunted him as he looked around.
"Didn't you hear me calling you?" Dr. Beckett entered the room. "And why are you in here?"
Trey jumped and squeaked as he spun toward the door. Dr. Beckett stood there staring at him. His wire-rimmed glasses were perched on his nose, and a pair of pretty green eyes gazed at Trey with concern. The doctor was tall, lithe, with a head of sandy blond hair that he kept cut short. He was the sweetest guy Trey knew, and when Trey had first started working here, he'd had kind of a crush on his boss.
Still did. Sort of.
"Are you all right?" Dr. Beckett looked around the room. "What's gotten into you this morning?"
"I—" Trey swallowed around the dry lump in his throat. "I thought I heard something in here so I wanted to check it out."
Dr. Beckett looked as though he didn't believe Trey. "Okay. I'll be in my office if you need me."
If the doctor had stayed any longer, had questioned Trey any further, his boss would've demanded Trey take a drug test from the weird way he was acting.
Trey didn't blame the guy. Maybe he did need a drug test because…fuck…he was seeing people who weren't really there.
The stranger suddenly appeared, still down on one knee, as though he'd been invisible instead of gone. Trey slapped a hand over his mouth to stop himself from screaming.
So many inappropriate thoughts exploded in Trey's mind as Aldrin's hand slid up his chest. He was usually quick with his words, unafraid to speak his mind, but at that moment, Trey couldn't find his voice, couldn't find the will to tell Aldrin to stop.
It was also the craziest feeling to have an invisible man making moves on him. He felt the pressure of every single touch, but it was as though he was having some erotic fantasy in his head.
Trey muffled a squeal when his clothes disappeared. Now that he was naked, he knew exactly what was pressing into his backside. Aldrin was naked, too.
"What're you doing?" He hated that his voice was so shaky. Trey cleared his throat a few times, but it had gone dry.
"Do I need to give you a step-by-step play?" Aldrin kissed his way down Trey's shoulder. "It's the most carnal act known to man."
"I-I mean I know what you're doing." Trey's voice was still shaky. "Why are you doing it?"
"You are a very beautiful man." Trey felt pressure at his shoulder, as though Aldrin was nipping him.
"I…please go visible. It's just plain weird talking to the air." Trey was instantly overwhelmed when Aldrin appeared. His presence was consuming as he spooned Trey. His muscled arm coiled even tighter around Trey's waist as the stubble of his beard tickled Trey's shoulder.
"Is this what you wanted, to see a monster craving to take you?" Aldrin's voice was gruff and snarly, making Trey looked over his shoulder.
How could someone so heartbreakingly handsome exist? How could someone who looked like Aldrin want him? That should've been the question asked, but Trey couldn't form the words. "I don't see a monster."
"Then your eyes deceive you." Aldrin's breath skittered across Trey's shoulder as they stared at each other.
"I can see just fine." Trey didn't stop Aldrin when he rolled Trey to his back.
Trey snorted. "Get over yourself. Even on your worst day you're still sexy as fuck." He waved a hand at his own body. "Try being someone who can't lose any weight, has a head full of unruly red hair, and still lives with his parents."
He hadn't meant to sound so bitter. Trey still lived at home because his parents were up there in age and he was afraid of losing them. No, that was only part of the reason. Trey didn't want to live alone. The thought terrified him.
Not once had Trey dated. He'd never had a boyfriend, never took a lover to bed. It seemed no one in Brac Village wanted him, and he didn't want to sit in a lonely apartment while dwelling on that fact. At least at home he had his parents to fill the void. But if he was by himself, all he'd have was his brain constantly reminding him just how freaking lonely he was.
And that, in a nutshell, was why he was so willing to help Aldrin. The man needed him, and as screwed up as that was, Trey liked feeling needed.
"I like this fire." Aldrin ran his fingers through Trey's hair. "It makes your eyes even more alluring."
Trey snorted again. "Now whose eyes are deceiving who?"
Aldrin growled as he slid a hand over Trey's stomach. "The human form comes in many shapes and sizes. Yours is just as beautiful as any other humans."
"Buddy, you seriously need glasses."
Aldrin shackled Trey's wrist and drew them above his head, while using his knees to separate Trey's legs. "You are as beautiful as a sunset, as exquisite as wine, and my body craves to be inside yours."
Trey gave up the argument as he stared into Aldrin's eyes. The irises began to swirl, consuming the white as starbursts shot outward, then…Trey blinked. It looked as though a galaxy floated in them.
"What are you?"
Aldrin lowered his head and slid the tip of his tongue over Trey's bottom lip. "Someone who is desperate to claim you, yet afraid of anyone finding out what you mean to me."
"You didn't answer my question."
"If I had the strength, I would show you." The blunt head of Aldrin's cock pressed against Trey's hole. "I should run from you," Aldrin whispered against Trey's lips. "I should spare you the anguish of being bound to such a monster. But I can't help myself. I am drawn to you no matter how hard I fight it."
Trey wanted to laugh at such sappy words, but they touched deep inside him, and he could really see himself falling for Aldrin. He had to be careful, guard his feelings, because the time would come when Aldrin didn't need him anymore. And where would that leave Trey?
God, he was so damn tired of being alone. All Trey wanted was someone who would see past his flaws and love him for who he was. He just wanted that one special person in his corner, and Aldrin made falling for the guy too easy.
Trey gasped when Aldrin's cock entered him. He clenched his eyes shut, waiting for the pain, but none came.
"Do you think I would allow your first time to be painful?" Aldrin kissed his jaw.
Trey opened his eyes. "How did you—"
"It wasn't hard to figure out that you've never been with a man before." Aldrin punched his hips forward as Trey's eyes rolled back. He bit his lip to stop himself from crying out. Aldrin was controlling every wave of pleasure consuming Trey. He sped up, then slowed, his corded thighs keeping Trey's legs apart.
Aldrin pressed his lips to Trey's ear. "I've soundproofed the room. Don't swallow your noises. Let them free."