Together we stand, together we fall. I am your brother always and forever.
Ryland tucked the card on the side of the bouquet he’d handpicked for their birthday dinner’s adornment and set it in the center of the table. He inhaled them one last time, enjoying the aroma of freshly cut, red roses. Now more than ever he enjoyed just the simple pleasure in life, especially with Dale Mooney at his side. If only his brother would come around and take pleasure in life as he did.
“Ah, Ryder.” He fluffed out the flowers some more. “I love you more than life itself. Why not enjoy our man as I have asked?” Ryland took one more whiff and headed for the kitchen to find his human lover who was busily preparing food for himself. “Mhmm, Dale what are you cooking my love? Smells scrumptious.” And it did, despite the fact Ryland had no need to consume anything mortals ate. Ryland sauntered into the next room, sliding behind his lover, wrapping his arms around his waist.
“Ohh shi−” Dale flinched at the touch and laughed, turning his head slightly to the side. He met Ryland’s gaze. “Baby you gotta cut that out, huh? I’m real ticklish I tell ya. At least wait until I get away from the oven.”
Dale’s southern accent warmed Ryland’s cold heart. Gently, he planted a kiss on Dale’s right shoulder. “I’ll do more than just tickle you, lover. That is a guarantee.”
“Mhmm, and I love when you do, sugah. Just broiling some fish, babe with a little Cajun rice and veggies. Nothing too much but, I gotta stay healthy so I can give you all the blood you need.”
Ryland cocked an eyebrow, laying his head on the back of Dale’s neck. He sucked in a breath, enjoying Dale’s manly scent. Ryland winced, feeling his cock tent in his trousers and immediately, he stepped back, cursing under his breath about his desires. As much as he wanted to take his lover up on the offer he wasn’t sure he could control himself.
What if I turn him before his ready?
Ryland couldn’t bear to think of the consequences. The last thing he wanted was to take a chance on losing Dale again.
“Ry?” Dale spun around and threw the mitts on the neighboring side counter. His wild blue eyes peered into Ryland. “What’s wrong babe? I was feeling good with your cold body against my back, you know?” Dale flashed a smirky smile and held out his hands. “Come on back, babe. Wanna feel ya against me some more.”
Ryland returned the grin but didn’t move. “What am I your personal air cooling unit?” He chuckled and folded his arms over his chest. “I knew you only wanted me for that, I just knew it,” he chided. “And your own bodyguard so no one will hurt or rob you.”
Dale laughed and ran his slim fingers through his brown locks. “Ah shut it, Ry. You know I want you for way more than that. And like I said, you need me too so you won’t go killing folks as much anymore.”
Ryland’s smile once again faded and he nibbled on his bottom lip until it hurt. He loved that Dale was concerned about him but it still didn’t quell his fear of turning him too soon. “Sweetheart, I know what you said about me feeding on you but, I…I’m not sure I can control that yet. I might turn you…”
“So?” Dale stepped closer and cradled Ryland in his arms, planting a light kiss on Ryland’s lips. “I want that babe. We been seeing one another like three months now, going on four. I mean, don’t you want me to be your eternal lover? No doubt, I wanna be yours.” Dale stroked Ryland’s hair, twirling the strays around his fingertips. “Don’t tell me you’re changing your mind.”
Ryland closed his eyes, loving the feel of Dale’s hands in his hair and underneath his shirt, caressing his cold flesh. “Of course not, lover. I just refuse to turn you before it’s time. I don’t want it to be a situation where I need to or it is done in the heat of passion…at least not without your consent.”
“But you have it, Ry.” Dale cut him off with another kiss, forcing his tongue deep inside Ryland’s mouth. He shoved his hands down the back of Ryland’s pants, tightly squeezing his buttocks.
“Mmph.” Ryland relaxed into Dale’s embrace and grabbed onto his back through the denim shirt. His tongue tangled with Dale’s, causing Ryland to become dizzy with lust. “You are my drug, you know that? I cannot resist you even if I tried.”
“And why would you want to?” Dale squeezed Ryland’s sides and moved his hands from inside Ryland’s pants. “Besides, I feel the same about you, babe. And by the way, when am I moving in? I mean, I love my older brother but he’s starting to wear on my nerves lately, my man.”
Ryland wrapped his arms around Dale’s neck and leaned his forehead against Dale’s. “Soon. I need to make sure Ryder is perfectly okay with you taking residence here and that it is safe to do so. We have something to take care of first.”
Dale stepped back and cocked an eyebrow. “What sugar? Damn man, why don’t you just tell me, hmm? I mean, I’m fully aware of just about every damn thing about you so tell me about the danger Ryder was talking about.”
Ryland sighed and moved away from Dale once again. Immediately he felt the loss of Dale’s warm body. “Lover, I want to be open with you but, I feel I need to keep this part secret. I don’t want you walking around, scared or cause you to run away.”
Dale caught Ryland’s hand and pulled him in. “Babe, I told ya, nothing’s gonna make me run again, you hear? Now, whatever is wrong we’re gonna fight it together, all three of us. And as far as that brother of yours, he just needs to spend more time with us that’s all. I mean, when we all made love together, I swear…” Dale smiled wickedly and gripped Ryland’s sides. “I ain’t never seen or felt anything like that in my life. I’m looking forward to being with both of you even though, in reality you’re all I need.”
Ryland nodded and allowed himself to fall in Dale’s clutches once again. He desperately wished there was a way to tell Dale about the soul sucker demon running around, waiting to strike them down at any moment but there was some things his mortal didn’t need to know.
And how did Dale know about any danger unless he overheard them talking about it or if Ryder mentioned something to him?
Despite Dale’s advances and sweet talk, Ryland wouldn’t give in or hand Dale any keys to the mansion just yet until the demon had been slayed.
He would never forgive himself if he lost Dale because of his need to turn him or the soul sucker’s desire to defeat him and his brother.
Hope you enjoyed. I'm anxiously awaiting the cover art and in the meantime its going to the betas. Look for it towards the end of February.