Cyrus jerked up from his place at the bar. Vampire? Who squealed? Techno music blared and sweaty bodies gyrated before him. A rainbow of colors splashed all over the bar top and glittered on the hanging wine goblets and brandy snifters.
“Come on everyone and dance to the latest by Mamie Lala, Vampire.” The DJ worked the tables and switched the track. The first strains of the Mamie Lala song thumped the floor of the bar.
Cyrus rolled his eyes and resumed drying the tall boy beer glass. He didn’t exactly advertise his...persuasion. Once most women found out he was a vampire they wanted one of two things, to say they’d bedded a vampire or to run the other way. The last one to get to know him beyond his name and preferred blood type was Annabel and she left once she realized he couldn’t provide the things she wanted, like long walks in the sunshine or day trips in the convertible. And he wasn’t really interested in getting married in a church. Call him crazy but the possibility of immolation didn’t really sit well with him.
Candy, one of the waitresses wiggled up next to him. “Like this song?” She bumped him with her hip. “I liked War Horses better. Are you finally gonna ask me out tonight?”
Cyrus placed the glass right side up on the drying towel. “Well, hon, I’m actually thinking about cashing in when the night’s up. Not in a cheery mood.”
“You never are.” She drummed her fingers on the bar top. “Oh hell. He’s here again.” Candy dug her elbow into Cyrus’ side. “Since you refused, I’m asking him to dance.”
Cyrus looked in the direction she pointed. Oh hell was right. He wobbled on his feet for a moment. He’d hoped the guy would come back, but then again, he was a terrible judge of character. For all he knew the guy wasn’t even gay or bi.
Oh well. Right now he had drink orders to fill and more tall boys to wash.
Cyrus turned towards the voice, ready to get the order. Instead of a club kid or one of the waitresses, his mystery man smiled and tipped his bottle.
His heart hammered in his chest—odd since Cyrus didn’t really need it. He forced himself forward and flattened his hands on the bar top. “Draft, bottle or house?”
The man tilted his head towards the dance floor. “Your girl there hooked me up with a Bud. Got anything by the house that’s better?”
His girl? Crap. His brain didn’t want to work. What the hell did they have for beer?
“Buddy, stay with us. I just meant I wanted a new beer. You okay?”
Shit. He’d been staring way too long. Cyrus bumbled through the beer selections. “What’ll you have?”
“What do you suggest?”
“I’ll ask Candy. She’s tasted everything on the list and a few I didn’t know we had.”
“You don’t drink?”
Not anything with liquor in it. “Nah. Not any longer.”
As if on cue, Candy bounced up next to the mystery man and pressed her breasts into his shoulder. “Since neither of you want to take me home, why don’t you two go fuck each other.”
“Oh Martin, stuff it—in Cyrus. You can say you had a vampire.” She giggled and shrugged. “Or not.” Giggling again, she flopped her hair over her shoulder.
“I see.” Martin averted his gaze. “Awkward.”
And thanks to Candy, his secret was out and his mystery man not interested. Shit.
“Um...” Martin tapped the top of his bottle with his index finger. “You’re a vampire?”
“I’m a bartender.” Cyrus glanced away and fidgeted with his towel. “Nothing thrilling.”
“I see.” Martin ran his thumbnail down the line of condensation on his beer bottle. “Candy told me all about you. Crazy. She seemed to think we’d hit it off.” He paused and drummed his fingers on the bar top. Fuck. He never should’ve listened to the bubbly waitress. She might know Cyrus, but the way to really get to know him wasn’t bluntness. Still, he couldn’t help but be drawn to him, vampire or not. “I think we might...hit it off.”
Cy’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.
In for a pound... “If you’re a vampire—it’s cool. I’m not looking for status or a one nighter. I’d like a hot time with a hot guy, absolutely. A glass of wine, good conversation...”
“Hot sex?” Candy elbowed in next to him and nodded to Cyrus. “He wants hot sex, he’s just being a doofus and not saying it.”
A crimson flush crept across Cyrus’ cheeks and down his neck. Although Martin wanted to wrap his hands around Candy’s pretty little neck and wring it, he couldn’t help but smile at Cyrus. The blush was so sexy. Yeah, he did want hot sex with Cyrus and damned soon.
“I’m needed down at the other end of the bar.” Cyrus dipped his head and scurried away.
“Thanks, Candy. How sweet of you. I was making progress.”
“Bullshit,” she snorted. “I saw you. You’re so screwed.”
“No, I’m not.” Angry, more than a little. She had such timing.
“Seriously?” She leaned one elbow on the bar and leaned into him. “Good advice? Good wine? Just say what you freaking mean. You want to go into the office and suck him off.”
Okay, she kind of had him there. Just not in quite such blunt terms. “I thought I’d use a little more finesse.”
“Finesse blows.” She snorted and glanced out over the dance floor. “Look, it’s almost two am. Last call should be...” she pointed at the DJ.
“You know what time it is folks, Last Call.” The DJ waved his hands in the air. “Get those last drinks ‘cuz the bar closes in exactly ten minutes.”
Candy grinned. “See? Right on time.” She leaned in a little closer than Martin wanted and whispered, “He takes exactly twenty minutes to clean up—OCD, I swear. Be here at 2:20 sharp.”
“Offer him a ride. He always walks and why? He can kick almost everyone’s collective ass. And, no, he doesn’t know I know about him being gay and a vampire, but I’m telling you, a woman knows.” She tipped her head and ambled away into the gyrating group of dancers.
Martin peeled the edge of the label on his beer bottle and thought about her words. It had been quite a long time since he’d had anyone to talk to. Even longer since he’d been in a relationship he enjoyed. He placed money on the bar and strolled into the crisp night air. He had a little less than half an hour to make up his mind.
Stay or go.
He plopped down behind the wheel of his Beemer and scooted low in the seat. He thought about Cyrus. With other men, Martin had no troubles. They saw his blue eyes and crooked smile and the deal was sealed. With Cyrus? No dice. The guy scared him. Was it the vampire thing? No. It was Cyrus, so damn skittish. What was he afraid of? Who hurt Cyrus?
Martin drew a long breath and let it out slowly. He wanted to do this right, despite Candy’s advice. Cyrus deserved honesty and the best Martin could give him. He climbed out from behind the wheel and headed back into the bar.
He’d listen to a little of Candy’s advice.
But just a little.
Cy stuffed his keys into his coat pocket and yanked the zipper up to his chin. He hated walking home on Saturday nights, especially since the October nights were getting much colder. He sighed and made his way through the main room of the bar.
“I’ll see you.” He waved to Candy and the other waitresses. “Tony’s closing tonight. Be good.”
Candy winked. “I’d say you should do the same, but I’d be lying.”
He shook his head and continued through the lobby to the front door. Part of him kind of hoped Martin would be in the parking lot waiting for him. The rest of him wasn’t so sure seeing Martin again was a great idea. Sure, they had chemistry, but chemistry wasn’t enough in his book for a relationship, no matter how short.
Cyrus yanked his collar tight around his neck and shoved into the front door. When he turned south to head home, his breath caught in his throat. Martin. Cy swallowed hard.
Martin folded his arms and leaned casually against a silver Beemer. The corner of his mouth kinked into a smile. Cyrus shivered. The predation in Martin’s blue eyes both scared and thrilled Cy.
Cy considered his answer. Martin seemed like an upstanding guy. But then again, for all he knew the guy could be some sort of creep. Whatever. If hell wanted Cy, then fine. It wasn’t like he’d lose his life anyway.
“I’m checking out.”
“Want a lift? Candy said you walk. It’s rough around here.”
Talk about a come-on. Cy sighed. The bar was in a rougher neighborhood, but it wasn’t like he’d never walked through it before on his own. Screw it. It wasn’t like he couldn’t kick Martin’s ass if he had to. Thank the powers of vampirism.
“Sure.” Cyrus ambled up to the Beemer. Martin did have nice taste in cars. “How long have you had the car? It’s slick.” He slid into the passenger seat. Damn. It even smelled new.
Martin sank into the seat beside him. “She’s new—to me. I promised myself if I passed the bar, I’d buy a Beemer.” He engaged the engine and pulled out into the street. “Where do you live?”
“Parchman Suites.” He had a room there some nights. At least it wasn’t his actual apartment. “545.”
They rode in silence for the ten minute drive across town. Cy fiddled with his jacket zipper. He should say something, but what? I think you’re hot? No. Too direct. Want to come up for coffee? Nice try, but he didn’t personally drink coffee and couldn’t remember if he had any coffee.
“We’re here.” Martin pulled to a stop and turned off the car. He scooted sideways in his seat. “So.”
“So.” Cy rubbed his temple. He hated the awkward moments during dates and hook-ups. For crying out loud. He was damned near eighty years old. He was past his prime. “I like you.”
There. He’d said it. The ball firmly rested in Martin’s court. Ball...balls... whatever.
Martin placed his hand on Cy’s thigh. “I’ve never done something like this.”
“Like what? Sleep with a guy?”
“No. I’ve never tried to have a one nighter.”
Cy groaned. Typical. He always knew how to find the needy ones. “Yanno, just...I’ll see you later.” He grasped the door handle. “I don’t do quickies and I hate being used. If you want a fuck friend...I’m not him.”
He climbed out of the car and slammed the door. He didn’t bother to look back. Maybe he’d been too quick to Martin, but time taught him to be cautious. Allowing Martin to bring him home wasn’t the smartest idea, but at least he was on his way to his apartment. Once inside the apartment, Cy closed the door and pinched the bridge of his nose.
Once again, he had a chance at a possible good time and he gave up in order to err on the side of caution.
The knocking on the door brought him from his thoughts. Cy peeked through the peephole. Martin stood out in the corridor, head down and arms loose at his sides.
If he didn’t open the door, he’d never know what could happen. Cy unlocked the door. “You followed me upstairs?”
The confidence that once lit up Martin’s eyes wasn’t there. Instead, the poor guy just looked worn out. “You gave me the apartment number.” He sighed and simply looked at Cy. “You probably think I’m a stalker or something. I’m not good at picking up guys. I don’t like one night hook-ups. What you are doesn’t matter to me. I’m attracted to you, but I understand if you tell me to go to hell.”
“It’s not that hot.”
Martin stepped back. He’d opened his heart and poured his thoughts out for Cyrus to do whatever he wanted and all Cy had to say was it’s not that hot. What the hell?
“They say hell’s hot. It’s bad, but not that bad.”
Oh. Wait. Martin processed Cy’s words. “What are you talking about?”
“Hell.” Cy’s voice dropped an octave. “I’ve been there.” He nodded. “Come on in. You’re here.”
Something wasn’t right and yet, he had no idea what the fuck it was. He stepped into the living room of the apartment. Boring. That was the first word to come to mind. Cy’s home, if it was indeed his home, was boring as all get out. No knickknacks, no posters, nothing to give the room personality.
“I don’t usually crash here. This was my grandmother’s place.”
That explained a lot. Martin forked his fingers into his hair, not knowing what else to do with them. There was so much he wanted to say and so many things he wanted to do with Cy—like fuck against the door. “Cy.”
Cy crossed the space and pulled Martin into his arms. He parted his lips and rubbed his thumb along Martin’s bottom lip. “You’re a very beautiful man. I’m a monster. I like you. A lot. Run or stay, it’s up to you.”
Wow. He’d hoped, but Martin wasn’t totally sure Cy would appreciate his coming to Cy’s place. Hell, he didn’t even think Cy saw him as attractive. But beautiful...? Martin swayed on his feet. He had to do something other than just bobble there. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Cy’s. Rough skin met soft slick skin. Martin shivered. Cy tasted like wine and something else. His brain shouted sunshine, but how the fuck was it possible a vampire could taste like the one thing that should kill him?
Cy’s groan, combined with his inching closer to Martin turned Martin on more. Cy was intoxicating. Getting involved with him could be deadly. Why did Martin suddenly not give a shit if Cy killed him?
Martin broke the kiss and dropped to his knees. He’d never been so overt, but fuck, he needed to taste the delectable vampire. Martin rubbed his face on Cy’s groin, memorizing the scent of smoke and liquor on Cy’s clothes. The musk of excited man hung in the air as well. Nice.
“I shouldn’t want you so much,” Cyrus rumbled. “But shouldn’t sucks cock.”
“No.” Martin fumbled with Cy’s button and the zipper on his jeans. “I suck cock.”
Eyes rolling back, Cy forked his fingers into Martin’s hair, tugging the short strands. The rush of pain kicked his lust into another dimension. The definite bulge in Cy’s jockey shorts indicated something was brewing between them. Martin smoothed his mouth over Cy’s erection and breathed in deep. God, he loved the smell of turned-on man.
Cy moaned and slowly worked his groin against Martin’s face. Martin took the opportunity to lick from the bottom to the top of the bulge.
“Fuck.” The grasping got tighter. “Too good.”
No shit. The whole scene was too damned good. Martin inched back and rifled in his back pocket for his wallet. Condom. He always had a spare or two. Too bad he never really got the chances to use them. The foil refused to budge from the thick leather. Fuck. Of all the times he wanted a condom and now the thing wouldn’t cooperate.
“Take your time.” Cy ripped his shirt up over his head and shifted his weight. He smoothed his hand from Martin’s hair and cupped his cheek. “We’ve got till the sun comes up around seven.”
That sounded a little better, but he still felt stupid. Couldn’t even get a condom from his wallet. Martin closed his eyes and took a long draw of air. Settle, he reminded his nerves. Time to settle. As he let out the breath, he gazed at Cy. Even a little weathered, the guy oozed sex appeal. Crooked grin, deep-set eyes. And then there was the body. Lean muscle in all the right places, a thin trail of hair between his pecs...delicious. Martin wobbled on his knees.
“Sheath me so we can find heaven.”
Cy’s command brought Martin from his lust-induced haze. Sheathing. Yes. That would be a great idea. He pulled the pesky packet from his wallet and ripped the foil with his teeth. At the same time, Cy worked open his jeans and shoved the denim towards the floor. The fabric pooled at his feet in a soft thump.
Martin gasped. No boxers. No briefs. Just sexy, shorn cock. Wow. Martin stared up at Cyrus as he rolled the rubber down Cy’s length. Cy shivered and a slow smile curled on his lips.
“Drop you pants.”
Martin scurried from his position on the floor and unbuttoned his slacks. The cotton tangled around his ankles as he shoved his boxer shorts in the same direction. God, he had no grace when he wanted fucked. Even less when Cy appraised him with his predatory gaze. He turned away from Cy, needing the moment to gather his thoughts.
“Easy does it.” Cy placed his hand on Martin’s back. “On the bed on all fours.”
“I want you to bite me.”
His name sounded like an admonishment. Martin gritted his teeth. How was he going to explain the draw, the deep-seated need to become one with Cy. He squared his shoulders.
“There’s more between us than just lust.” Martin sat on the edge of the bed and leaned back, exposing his ass. “I don’t understand how, but I belong to you.”
Cy fisted his hands behind his back. Not because Martin wanted something impossible, but because he wanted to make Martin’s desires come true. Was that crazy? Not as crazy as the need to be inside the man. Cy’s fangs elongated in his mouth. The bloodlust bubbled within him. Oh fuck. The last time things happened so fast, he damned near drained his partner. He turned away and grabbed the bottle of lube from the bureau.
When he returned his attention to Martin, Martin smiled and tipped his head. Sweetness radiated off his body and the scent of his blood filled Cy’s nose. The smile broadened a bit. “I trust you. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have come on to you.”
Trust. What a completely common word with such an overwhelming meaning. His baser desires roared within him. Bite. Bite. Bite. Cy shivered and squirted lube onto his hand.
“Hard. Make me feel every last inch.”
Martin wanted it, then Cy would give. Cy wrapped his fingers around his cock, coating himself with the slippery lube. He swayed on his feet, caught up in the overwhelming need to sink his teeth into Martin’s vein. Cy lined his cock up with the tight rosette of Martin’s ass and pressed.
“Oh fuck!” The smile left Martin’s face and his eyes closed. His lips parted. “Yes.”
Cy groaned and pushed deeper into Martin’s ass. His vision blurred like when he bit into a victim. God, it was heady being with Martin. And he hadn’t even moved. Cy grabbed Martin’s hips and worked in and out of Martin’s body. Time and space meant nothing as he lost himself in the tight, hot depths of his lover. He tilted his head back and growled.
“Do it,” Martin gasped. “Please.”
Cy forced his eyes open. Where was his restraint? Where was his reserve? He wasn’t the type to let his vampire instincts just take over. “I can’t hold back.” Frustration thickened his voice.
The world blurred again as Cy slumped forward and clamped down onto Martin’s neck. Sugary sweetness burst on his tongue. The pressure of Martin’s ass around Cy’s cock grew tighter. Fuck. He’d lose his load in a hot second. Cy shuddered and emptied his seed into the condom. He braced himself on his forearms and withdrew from Martin’s vein.
“Oh. My. God.” Martin went limp beneath Cy. “Wow.”
Cy pulled out of Martin and flopped onto his back beside his lover. Wow was right. He wasn’t sure how long they laid together.
“I came looking for you tonight.”
“Why?” Here we go. Cyrus braced himself for the worst. The things he wanted most never seemed to turn out. He stared at the ceiling rather than look into Martin’s eyes.
“I wanted you.” Martin rose up on his elbow. He splayed his hand across Cy’s chest.
“So you said.” Optimism blossomed, but Cy snuffed it out. No hope was better than crushed hope. Still, he liked the feel of Martin touching him.
“I wanted you to notice me. You always seem so low—like someone kicked your cat. Broke my heart.” Martin smoothed his hand up Cy’s chest to his chin. He forced Cy to look at him. “When I see your gorgeous eyes and sexy smile, I can’t look away.”
“You don’t have to—”
“Flatter you?” Martin nodded and caressed Cy’s bottom lip with his thumb. “I don’t, you’re right, but I want to. Call me crazy, but I’ve been a little in love with you since we met.”
“Met? Like a couple hours ago? That’s too quick for love at first sight, even for a pessimist like me.”
“Kinda.” Martin shrugged. “I’ve been coming to the bar for at least six months. Since I made partner at Ellis and Ellis.”
“Partner? Wow.” Okay, that impressed him. The guy had a career and a future. Coming to the bar for six months watching him? That was a little spooky. Was it a vampire fetish? Death wish?
“Yeah, I’d sit in Candy’s area and just take in the sights. She knew about the crush. Hell, she figured it out before I did. Maybe it was the look in my eyes or the bloody Mary. I’m not sure.”
Cy did the mental computation. He’d made so many drinks, but with a name like Bloody Mary, it stuck out. He hated mixing the concoction...so messy and unappealing. “So that was you... but why didn’t you come talk to me before tonight?” If he’d have known it was Martin on the receiving end, things would’ve been different.
“I never said anything. I’m shy. I know, a shy lawyer. What a crock of shit.” Martin rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I have to sound like a lunatic.”
“I don’t think so.”
Slowly Martin turned his attention back to Cy. His eyes widened. “Can I be honest?”
“Please do.” There wasn’t much more Martin could say that would shock him.
“I worked over at least fifteen ways to say hi without looking like a stalker but I couldn’t go through with it. Chicken shit, I guess. I saw how you dealt with customers, how you smiled, laughed every once in a blue moon, and I wanted more than one night. Yes, Candy gave me the extra push, but offering myself was purely my idea. It was exactly what I wanted to do.” Martin’s chest rose and fell with each excited breath.
“Wanted?” Cy cupped Martin’s cheek with a shaky hand.
“Still want to.”
If Martin could be honest, then so could Cy. “You know the mate thing is a crock of shit, right? A tall tale perpetuated by those who know nothing about vampires. We hook up like anyone else and there’s no destined love. Its just attraction and we hope it works out.”
“Good?” The response was so final.
Martin shrugged again and the smile returned. “I’d rather be your boyfriend and lover than some made up mate.” He crinkled his nose. “Besides, mate sounds so primitive.”
Cy chuckled. He still had the limp condom on and Martin’s blood on his tongue. Being with Martin wasn’t anything like he’d expected, but more than he could’ve hoped for. “Boyfriend does have a nice ring to it.”
Martin snuggled up next to cy and wrapped his arm around Cy’s middle. “Cy?”
“Yeah?” Cyrus raked his fingers through Martin’s hair. Things had gone so fast, but hell who was he to question a simple twist of fate?
“Let’s make love again. I like knowing I belong to you.”
“You got it—once I ditch the rubber.” Then they could make love all night long.
“Sounds like a plan.”