[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Alternative Contemporary Paranormal Romantic Suspense Romance, MM, shape-shifter, HEA]
Desperate for work, Owen travels to Honey Haven, an isolated hotel deep in the mountains. He’s excited to start his new job, and even more thrilled that he gets to live there for free. But his enthusiasm is short-lived. When he steps into the stuffy old hotel, Owen soon finds out that the gorgeous owners aren’t the friendly type. To make matters worse, he’s told that the hotel is haunted.
Caleb knows time is running out. The hotel is hemorrhaging money, and if he and his brothers can’t figure out who is sabotaging Honey Haven, the doors will close for good. With enough problems on his hands, Owen walks through the front doors, and Caleb is taken aback by his good looks and sweet nature. He’s attracted to Owen, but Caleb doesn’t mix business with pleasure and keeps Owen at arm’s length. Until one passionate kiss, Owen in danger and a saboteur on the loose forces Caleb to admit what Owen has come to mean to him.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Owen’s car sputtered and rattled as it struggled to make it up the steep, winding road. When he’d pulled up the address in his navigation app and saw the hotel—a mountain retreat hotel to be precise—he started to decline the housekeeping position because of its location.
But he was desperate, so he made the trek, though he hadn’t known it would be this far from town. It felt as though he’d been driving for hours instead of forty minutes. Was he really willing to travel forty minutes each way every single day?
You’ll do whatever you have to in order to pay the bills and eat. Yep, he was that desperate. The food Jaycee had given him lasted only two days, and Owen’s stomach rumbled as he pulled into the circular driveway.
Talk about fancy. The hotel—which looked more like a gigantic mansion—was made of dark brick, had black shutters, and was butted up against a vast forest. There were stone gargoyles on the roof, a fountain in the center of the driveway, and the shrubbery looked as though it needed a serious trimming.
Was he here for a job or to star in some horror movie? Hotel from Hell, starring Owen Dellis as the guy who is always falling and getting killed. Yeah, he’s that guy.
Owen got out and walked over the red carpet just outside the double glass-and-gold doors. When he stepped inside, he noticed a musty smell, like someone had spilled a truckload of mothballs in the lobby.
“And how much is that gonna cost me?” someone bellowed from farther inside. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
Great, someone was complaining about money. Owen had been so happy he’d gotten the job that he’d forgotten to ask about his pay. He entered the lobby and frowned at all the dark woodwork. The hotel felt stuffy and old, nothing like he’d pictured it.
Owen had expected bright and sunny all around, from the color of the walls to everyone’s attitude. He saw a couple getting onto the elevator, which was situated against the far wall, but aside from them, the lobby was empty, except for a tall and broad man behind the front counter.
“Excuse me,” Owen said as he rested his arms on the counter and strummed his fingers.
The stranger had his back to Owen.
“Never mind,” the guy snarled into the phone. “I’ll do the repairs myself.” He slammed the receiver back into the cradle so hard Owen expected it to shatter.
“Uh, hello?” Owen tried again. If this person was his new boss, Owen wasn’t sure how long this job would last. The guy seemed as grouchy as a bear.
“If there is something wrong with your room, I’ll get maintenance for you.” He hadn’t bothered turning around.
“I’m so glad the guy manning the front desk is so chipper,” Owen teased.
“Sorry, just having a bad day.”
The stranger turned, and Owen’s brows shot up. His blood ran hot at the drop-dead gorgeous man standing in front of him. He had deep penetrating brown eyes that stared intensely at Owen as Owen’s knees wobbled.
“What can I help you with?”
A fifth of whiskey and raunchy sex.
The stranger wore a black suit with a crisp white shirt. The top button was undone, showing off a hint of his broad chest and sexy collarbone. His black hair was stylishly cut and had a sort of wind-swept look to it, as if he hadn’t styled it that way on purpose, but Owen knew he had.
“Are you just going to stand there staring at me?”
Okay, so he wasn’t so sexy that his ruggedly handsome looks could excuse his rude behavior. Owen wanted to tell the guy off, but he didn’t want to get kicked out on his first day.
“Yes,” Owen said, finally able to speak. “I’m here about the housekeeping position. We spoke on the phone. I’m Owen Dellis.” Owen extended his hand.
“You must’ve spoken to one of my brothers.” The guy didn’t bother to shake Owen’s hand.
What a prick.
“I’ll call Morgan. He’s in charge of hiring and firing.” The guy gave Owen his back, but not his name. There hadn’t been a name tag on the front of his suit jacket, so Owen had no idea who the guy was.
“Hey, got some new hire in the lobby. Get your ass down here and deal with it.” The guy hung up.
“Excuse me, Mr. Sunshine?” Owen said.
The guy looked over his shoulder, and Owen was once again swept away by his gorgeous face. “Can you tell me your name?”
“Are you always this personable?” One would think that Mr. Rude would have a better disposition working at the front counter of a hotel. He bet this hotel’s Yelp page was teeming with one-star reviews because of Mr. Asshole.
The guy pointed at something past Owen. “You can have a seat in one of the chairs by the window. Morgan’ll be with you shortly.”
Owen was so over Mr. Having-A-Bad-Day. Apparently God had forgotten to insert a personality into the jerk when he’d been born.
He was still sexy, though, and smelled dark and spicy. Owen took a deep whiff before he strode across the lobby and dropped into one of the cushioned chairs. The smell of must puffed up toward him.
How long had the chairs been in the lobby? Since it was first built? He hoped his housekeeping duties didn’t include him cleaning these chairs. Owen didn’t want to have to smell them every day.
He looked toward the counter, but Mr. Sunshine was gone. Too bad. Owen would’ve loved to have eye candy to ogle while he waited.
Owen tried to turn and ask him what kind of game he was playing, but Caleb’s hands landed on his upper arms and kept Owen facing the door. He should’ve told Caleb to get out, to remove his hands, but Owen didn’t. Because even though he’d told himself earlier that sleeping with Caleb could be a disastrous mistake, that things could end badly between them, Owen couldn’t force the words past his lips.
“Well, I’m not yours,” he sassed. “So what’re you gonna do about me lying to you?” Crap, he shouldn’t have admitted that.
“So you did hear something.” Caleb dropped his hands and then glided one of them over Owen’s ass.
Owen clenched his ass cheeks, biting his lower lip as his dick begged to be stroked.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Owen’s eyes widened, and he let out a short, high cry when Caleb’s hand landed hard on his left cheek.
“Lie to me again, and the next time, I won’t stop.”
Owen spun before Caleb could stop him and glared at the guy as he backed away, rubbing the stinging in his butt. “What the fuck? What do I look, five? Spank me again, and I’ll kick you in the nuts.”
Owen glowered. Being spanked wasn’t as erotic as he’d thought it would be. That had actually hurt. Owen’s knee ached to plow into Caleb’s balls.
“Tell me what you heard.” Caleb crossed his arms over his chest, obstinacy gleaming in his eyes. The asshole wasn’t going to leave until Owen told him what he wanted to hear. But Owen was too terrified to tell him. What if Caleb wasn’t human? Would he find a nice patch of earth outside to bury Owen in? Would he kill Owen for knowing his secret, though he hadn’t the first clue what that secret was?
Caleb’s expression softened as he lowered his arms. “Why do you look so afraid? Do I honestly scare you that much?”
Now the guy appeared stricken. Owen was bouncing between telling him and walking out of his own room to escape Caleb. Dealing with Mr. Sunshine’s changing moods was giving him a solid headache.
“All I know is that things aren’t as they appear,” Owen said, taking the safe route. Or so he thought.
“How so?” Caleb took a seat on the bed, and Owen had to suppress a moan. Damn if he didn’t look sexy sitting there.
“They just aren’t.” Owen waved at the clock on his wall. “I have to be up in a few hours, or you’ll give me hell about sleeping in. So if you don’t mind, I need my beauty sleep.”
Caleb got up, but he didn’t leave. He crowded Owen’s personal space. Owen stared at the man’s collarbone as his heart once again sped up.
“Stay in your room after dark,” he said. “It…it isn’t safe for you to roam the halls.”
“Why?” Owen had to tilt his head back to look into the man’s handsome face. “Why isn’t this hotel safe at night?”
He shivered when Caleb caressed his jaw. “Because we don’t want your EMF detector leading you to places best left alone.”
“What the hell kind of answer is that?” Owen’s eyelids fluttered closed for a brief second before he opened them. “What’s really going on around here?”
Caleb dipped his head, their lips a hairsbreadth apart. The man’s breath skittered across Owen’s lips, and Owen’s cock stiffened right up.
“You really don’t want to know,” Caleb said. “It’s best you stay ignorant.”
Owen’s lips parted, anticipating a kiss, and Caleb didn’t disappoint. But instead of the intensity of last time, his lips ghosted over Owen’s, as though he was teasing him…or the guy was telling himself this wasn’t a good idea.
Hormones trumped rationality. Whether this was a bad or good idea, Caleb threw caution to the wind as he slid an arm around Owen’s waist and hauled him close, taking Owen’s lips in a devouring kiss.
Owen wasn’t going to let Caleb just walk away this time. Not when he had Mr. Dreamy right where he wanted him, where Owen had fantasized him being.
As he kissed Owen like a hungry man, Caleb slid his suit jacket off and tossed it aside. Owen’s hands didn’t stay idle. He worked at the buttons on Caleb’s shirt as he tilted his head, the man’s lips skimming over his neck, nipping, licking, sucking the skin in as his shirt floated to the floor.
Owen had to be dreaming. There was no way Mr. Having-A-Bad-Day was in his room, seducing him, stripping his clothes off as he sucked at Owen’s skin. None of this felt real as Caleb toed his shoes off then lifted Owen off his feet and carried him to his bed.
Their limbs became tangled as they kissed wildly, Caleb unfastening his pants as Owen shoved his underwear down his thighs—which was a hard task since Caleb’s body was crushed against his, the guy’s legs in Owen’s way.
All movement stopped when Caleb curled his beefy fist around Owen’s cock. Owen arched his back and moaned, closing his eyes as he descended into pleasure. Caleb’s hand was strong, warm, and the guy stroked him as Owen whimpered and tried to get to Caleb’s cock.
Caleb shifted slightly, allowing Owen room to delve his hand into the guy’s pants, past his underwear, to where his prize awaited. Goddamn, Caleb was hard. Owen squeezed the heated flesh, panting like crazy, fucking his dick into Caleb’s fist as Owen stroked his.
“This is a very bad idea,” Caleb said as he kissed along Owen’s jaw. “We should stop.”
“We should,” Owen agreed as his fist moved faster. “So very bad.”
Matters weren’t helped that Owen had a twin-sized bed. His upper body slid toward the edge, and in seconds, he was hanging over it. But he didn’t care, didn’t bother to stop what they were doing so he could readjust himself.
“I need more.” Caleb moved back slightly, let go of Owen’s cock, and kicked his slacks and boxer briefs off.
Owen got a good look at his dick, and his mouth salivated to taste the guy.
“I need more, too.” Owen rolled from under Caleb and dropped to his knees. Caleb stared down at him as Owen took the length into his mouth.