Mid Week Tease: Trickster
Happy Hump Day! Let’s celebrate it with the first Mid Week Tease of 2014, courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino. This week, I’ll be sharing a teaser from my newest M/M paranormal romp, Trickster.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Delaney Smith, coyote shifter and Trickster Technologies executive, thinks humans are bland, boring, and undateable. So he gets the shock of his life when he comes back from vacation and scents his mate in the Trickster offices — a mate who is not only male, but quite human.
Mark Fellowes is taken aback when the CTO at his new contract job makes a pass at him, and even more surprised at his temptation to respond. Straight and dating a career-minded businesswoman, he’s never even thought about kissing another man — until now.
When Mark is attacked by thieves bent on stealing company files, Delaney must put aside his preconceptions to protect his mate. But will a criminal bent on destroying Trickster Tech separate them before he can stake his claim?
Delaney ended the call and tossed the phone on his bedside table. He understood the importance of finding out who was trying to hack into Trickster’s servers. But God, this was a shitty time to make him play Sherlock, especially with his mate as the target.
Leaving his bedroom, he headed to the guest room and knocked on the door. “Mark? Can I come in?”
There was no answer. He opened the door and peered inside. Mark’s open bag was on the bed, and the bathroom door was shut. Behind it, he could hear the sound of the shower.
His natural curiosity kicked into gear. Quietly, he slipped into the room and closed the door behind him, ignoring the faint flicker of guilt. Well, nosing around is what coyotes do, he reasoned. And Scott pretty much ordered me to check him out, so I’m just following my Alpha’s orders.
Mark’s bag turned out to hold nothing but a clean set of casual clothes, some underwear, and a dress shirt, suit, and tie. Delaney took a deep breath, savoring the warm, woody scent wafting up from the clothes. A powerfully attractive image of shucking off his clothes and joining his mate in the shower came to him. I could scrub him clean all over, yeah, then kneel down and rim him until he’s begging–
His enhanced hearing picked up a soft moan. He stepped to the bathroom door, listening. Another moan, almost muffled by the sound the falling water, and a familiar slicking sound.
Delaney went hot all over, and his cock sprang back to life. Oh, fuck. He’s jacking off. He’s four feet away and he’s jacking off. Fuck, that’s so not fair.
His hand drifted to the front of his slacks, massaging the thick ridge there as he listened to his mate pleasure himself. When Mark grunted hard and came, Delaney was almost right behind him. Gritting his teeth, he pulled his hand away, willing his heartbeat to slow down as the shower stopped.
The bathroom door opened and Mark stepped out, rubbing a towel over his hair. Another one was wrapped around his narrow hips, and Delaney wanted to take it off with his teeth.
He cleared his throat. Mark yelped and spun, bumping into the dresser next to the bed. The towel around his waist started to slip, and Delaney caught a glimpse of pale, muscled hip before Mark yanked the terrycloth back into place.
Panting, he glared at Delaney. “Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you?” he yelled. “Do you even know how to knock?”
“I did,” Delaney said, trying to sound innocent. “You didn’t answer so I got worried. Didn’t know you were in the shower until I came in here.” And you were coming in there.
Without his glasses, Mark’s resemblance to a furious faun was even more striking. “God. I do not need any more of this tonight,” he growled.
“You, sneaking around and following me everywhere.” He scowled at Delaney’s groin. “Especially with another fucking hard on.”
For some obscure reason, that cheered the shifter. “You noticed, huh?”
“Helen Keller would have noticed it, all right? Does it ever go down?”
“Not since this morning. I can’t help it, babe. I smell you and I get wood.”
“Oh, Jesus,” Mark muttered. “Look, I’m tired. I just want to put on some pajamas and crash, all right? We can talk about shapeshifters and–” he waved vaguely between them, “–that other thing in the morning.”
Delaney ignored the slap of disappointment and nodded. “Okay. We’ll talk later when you’re not tired.” Although you weren’t too tired to jerk off in the shower.
Mark’s cheeks blazed to life. “You listened to me?”
Oh, shit, did I say that out loud? “I’m sorry, but coyotes have really good hearing,” Delaney said defensively. “At least you got off. My balls are aching so much I can barely walk straight.”
“So go to your own damn bathroom and rub one out there!”
“It’s not about getting off, dammit!” Delaney yelled back, before catching himself. “Okay, it’s not just about getting off. God, I really wish you were a shifter. Then you’d understand.”
“Well, I’m not a shifter,” Mark snapped, “so you’re just going to have to explain it to the stupid human.”
“I — Jesus.” Delaney sucked in a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down and find the right words. “Being drawn to a mate, it isn’t just physical. It’s emotional and spiritual as well.” He gestured at his groin. “Yes, I want to fuck you, that’s pretty damn obvious. I also want to know you. I want to talk to you, find out everything about you — where you grew up, what your family’s like, whether you like sports, what your favorite food is, your opinion on Steven Moffat, what you want to do with the rest of your life, all that. And I want you to get to know me, too.”
Mark wasn’t interrupting him, so he plunged on. “I’m originally from Phoenix, I love movies with big chase scenes, I collect action figures, The Lord of the Rings bored me shitless in book form although the movies rock, and I think the Tea Party needs to be sent to its own little island where they can’t hurt anyone,” he said quickly. “And I really want to make breakfast for you tomorrow morning because I make killer pancakes, then take you back to bed and watch The Avengers while we eat. I always wanted to do that with someone.” He paused. “God, please tell me you like The Avengers.”
“Yeah.” Mark’s scowl had eased during Delaney’s monologue, but he still looked skittish. “Wait — back to bed?”
“I’m trying to be optimistic here.” He ran a hand through his hair. “What I’m trying to say is, this isn’t just about sex. It’s so much more than that. And I know this is way too fast for you, and if it’s any consolation this is scaring the shit out of me, too. But sometimes that’s just the way it happens for us. Shifters, I mean.”
That was all he had. If it wasn’t enough to convince Mark, he didn’t know what else to do. “I’m sorry. I swear to God, this isn’t how I wanted it to happen,” he said, feeling hollow. “I’ll let you get some sleep. We can talk about everything in the morning.”
He turned to go.
Mark clutched at the towel around his waist. He knew he was acting like an abrasive asshole. It was his default mode when he was nervous as hell. The logical part of his brain said that he should be pissed off at being stalked by a freaky coyote shapeshifter who claimed Mark was his mate, then getting talked into staying overnight in the shifter’s guest room. Not to mention the hard-on Delaney kept springing every time they were alone together.
The rest of his brain was screaming at him to drop the towel and walk into Delaney’s arms. During his shower jerkoff session, he couldn’t stop thinking about the handsome executive and his lean, chiseled body. He’d tried fantasizing about Caren, he honestly had. But Delaney, with his sexy hands, broad shoulders and perfect mouth, was the one who kept coming to mind. And the sudden, blazingly hot mental image of Delaney kneeling down on the wet tile and using that perfect mouth to swallow his cock to the root had made Mark come so hard he’d almost blacked out.
It made no sense whatsoever. He didn’t know anything about Delaney Smith, apart from the fact that the man was built like an underwear model and still managed to be smart, funny, and a fellow geek. And dammit, he still wasn’t gay. But no matter what he did, his brain kept spiraling back to thoughts about Delaney, who had risked his own life to save Mark from being kidnapped. And then there was the kiss at the apartment…
Mark shivered. The kiss was when everything changed, if he was honest with himself. When Delaney kissed him, something deep inside his soul clicked, like a key turning in a lock. Like meeting the love of your life. Yes, he was still annoyed at the shifter for behaving like a jerk. But he also enjoyed Delaney’s snarkiness, and found the unexpected aspects of the man’s personality intriguing. And yes, that blatant, balls to the wall statement of desire was hot as hell.
But more importantly, underneath it all was a primal attraction so hot and deep that it scared him, and so utterly alluring that he just wanted to sink into it and bask. Somehow it didn’t matter anymore that Delaney Smith was not only a man, but a coyote shapeshifter as well. Illogical or not, Mark wanted — no, he needed to be in Delaney’s arms.
He just wasn’t sure how to do it.
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