The Closer I Get, Picture Perfect, Book one (Co-authored by LL Dahlin)
Brayden woke, groaning at the uncomfortable stiffness in his neck and back from sleeping on the couch. Bright rays of sun shone through the window to jab holes in any attempt he might make at falling back to sleep. He shifted and fell with a thunk off the couch, grumbling, “Where is all that grace those fashion magazines talk about now?”
With about as much finesse as frat boy in heels he stumbled to his feet, rubbing his hip, which had taken the brunt of the tumble. William was going to shit bricks if Brayden had a bruise.
No damaging the product!
Brayden rolled his eyes at the inner voice and went to check the messages on his phone. Maybe they weren’t all from William, a guy could hope.
Picking up his Iphone from the glossy granite countertop he snorted, seventeen missed calls from the devil. Oh, and twenty-two text messages, but one of those was from Croix. Warmth seeped into him, making its way through the bitterness of dealing with his daily model chores. He’d read Croix’s last.
With more than a little resignation he opened the first voicemail from William.
“Brayden, St. Clair said he hasn’t received the contracts yet. You have until the end of the week to get those in before they will fill your spot in Paris. I hope you realize how damaging that would be to us…I mean you and your career. Please, get back to me so we can discuss this and get those contracts finalized.” The man sounded polite, even bordering on kind.
Brayden skipped through the other voicemails to the last one and played it.
“You entitled shit. Get your name on those papers or I’ll make sure the only shows you work are ones involving a stripper pole!” William roared through the speaker.
There was the real William, Brayden knew and despised. The text messages were pretty much the same. Brayden got friendly with the delete button until he reached Croix’s.
I can meet you after work today to start training. Maybe six? Let me know.
Training? Like a puppy? Well, Brayden really didn’t want Croix to go and hump anyone’s leg. He turned to the wall and banged his head against it. This was the worst idea ever. How could he tutor Croix on sex with women, when all Brayden wanted to do was show Croix how fantastic sex could be with him. Damn, straight men.
Gavin and Cole – Firehouse Six, book six
THE JARRING SOUND of his cell phone ringing tore into Gavin’s peaceful sleep and he squinted one eye open to stare at the bright green numbers next to his bed that reatd, two-twenty-five am. Nothing good ever happened after two o’clock in the morning. Groaning he flipped over onto his back, reaching blindly for his phone with one hand, while trying to scrub the sleep from his eyes with the other.
Yawning, he answered the blaring contraption in the middle of yawn, “’ello?”
“Can you come get me?” The voice on the other end of the line was soft, defeated.
He pulled the phone away from his ear and glanced at it, he didn’t recognize the number. “Who is this?”
Gavin blinked a couple of times, opening his eyes wider, shuffling to a seated position against his headboard. Cole Winters. A twenty-one year old bane of his existence.
“What happened to your car?” Gavin threw his legs over the side of his bed, setting his phone back on his nightstand on speaker.
“It kind of got towed.”
“And money for a cab?” Gavin snagged a shirt off the floor, sniffed it, and then pulled it on. He really needed to do laundry.
“I lost my wallet,” the sentence came out in a low murmur that Gavin barely picked up.
Gavin shook his head and jerked on his jeans before sitting down to put on his shoes with a resigned sigh. “And I was the first person you called?”
Gavin shrugged into his jacket then grabbed his wallet and keys. “Why not your brother or Aaron?”
“I was asleep,” Gavin snapped. Picking up the phone, he took it off speaker and stalked out of the room. “You know, like a normal person on a Thursday night after two am.”
“Please, Gavin,” Cole’s voice held a desperate quality that called out to the knight in shining armor that lived inside Gavin.
One of these days Gavin was going to find that little metal clad bastard and strangle him, because he needed to sleep and Cole was taking advantage of his weakness. There was a time for saving people and a time for letting them learn a lesson, by freezing their ass off in the chilly Northwest fall weather. Now should be a time for teaching. Stupid savior complex.
“Gavin,” Cole prodded. “I’ll owe you one.”
“You already owe me enough to buy your soul.” Gavin strode through his home and opened the door to the brisk night air. “Stop your groveling. I’m on my way. Just give me an address.”
A squeal met his answer. “You are the most awesome man I’ve never slept with.”
Gavin snorted. “Well, there’s a tagline.”
“I’m at the gas station a block from Scandal.”
“Of course you are.” Gavin unlocked his black Rav 4 and climbed in. “Isn’t it a school night?”
“No. Do you want a list of my classes…Dad?” Cole replied, sarcasm practically dripped off the last word.
“Hardy, har, har.” The engine roared to life and he backed out onto the street, making his way to save the ungrateful little twit. “I don’t want that responsibility. I’ll be there in five minutes, watch for me.”
“Yes, oh mighty one.”
Cole hung up before Gavin could get in a response. Clutching the steering wheel he counted to ten and took a deep breath. Why he let Cole get to him, he had no idea and why he continued to help him baffled him more still.
The pale yellow lights of the gas station came into view and he pulled in glancing around but no waif of an evil sleep-stealing demon ran amok in the parking lot. Instead a lump shaped Cole pushed away from the brick wall and stepped through the curtain of shadows into the light. Cole’s normally perfectly styled spiked locks were flattened and slicked back with the misting rain. His pale skin appeared even more like ivory with the sheen of water and droplets slipping from his hair along his temples. All in all, he was soaked. A grin curved Cole’s lips as he gave a little wave, seemingly undeterred by the icy shower he was in.
The man was crazy. He had to be freezing. Gavin could make out the black fabric that clung like a wet second skin, and the jeans were equally drenched. Gavin wondered if the black leather boots were filled with reservoir of water. Wow. If this was what clubbing looked like, he was happy he’d missed out.
Running a hand over his face he fought a smile, he couldn’t help the end thought that swept in. Cole did manage to look adorable, in a drowned puppy kind of way.
Origin of the Wolf, Pack of Light, Book three
CORY SURVAYED FROM the shadows as Jacob secured his bag and climbed onto his motorcycle. Jacob snagged his helmet and covered the locks of hair Cory so loved. The engine roared to life but Jacob just stood frozen and Cory felt a faint glimmer of hope. Jacob couldn’t leave him again; Jacob was a part of him. But his hopes were dashed as quickly as they rose, when in crushing pain he watched Jacob let up the kickstand and leave with only a trail of dust as proof he’d been there at all.
The need to curl into a ball was so intense he almost died beneath it. Oh God, he could barely breath. Jacob’s words vibrated through his numb mind.
“This isn’t over. You need protected. You’re not strong enough.”
“I’m not a child. I don’t need protection. I’m your mate. This whole time you’ve been here you’ve been giving me shit, bossing me around, pushing this mating on me, like you had some control, like you wanted to…like you wanted something.”
A weary sigh had fallen from Jacob’s lips. “I can’t do my job here. It’s my duty now to find Dimitri so he can’t hurt anyone else.”
“So, you’ll just ignore a fated mate and leave?
“Yes, the fates chose poorly for you. I’m sorry, Cory.”
Those parting words alone had almost been enough to shatter him. Jacob’s remorseful expression cut deep, and his complete rejection of their mating twisted the knife.
Tears threatened to fall down his cheeks as he sunk to his knees. “Jacob.”
His lips trembled. The agony washed over him and something broke inside. The numbness in his head spread with cold fingers through his blood and into his heart. He stood up on shaky limbs, his hands clenched into fists.
When Jacob returned Cory would not be the man he’d left behind. Cory would not belong to Jacob. Cory would never be his mate.
Club Syn, Book Two
DO YOU THINK these jeans make my ass look too big?” Ari asked. He looked over at his roommate Spencer who stood frozen in the kitchen, his hand cradling a cup of coffee. A staple for the college student who was constantly doing homework late into the night. He learned early on that Spencer’s hours weren’t much different than those of a party boy, but more boring.
Ari tried to glanced over his shoulder, but nearly fell backwards. “Well?”
“I think if they were any tighter you would be on the floor in need of CPR. How does that not hurt your…” A pink blush colored Spencer’s cheeks when he gestured below Ari’s waist. “You know.”
“My cock? My slong? My dick?” Ari grinned, when Spencer reddened further. Ari’s homegrown Iowa roommate was shy as could be and adorable to boot. If he weren’t shagging one of the college professors Ari still might be trying to sneak his way into those well worn levis. “Well, sugar, the trick is all in the way you tuck your package in. You don’t want any damage done if you get hard when you see Mr. Right or Mr. Right now. A zipper imprint is not sexy.”
Spencer shook his head. “You’re insane.”
A slow smile came across Spencer’s face. “Ah, are these yet another attempt to lure the illusive bartender into a dark corner?”
Striding down the hallway he called back. “Not a dark corner. I want a bed, with an endless supply of condoms and lube.” Although, even as he said the words he knew they were a lie. He’d accept any space at all, even a stage with a spotlight if it meant he could finally get one tiny kiss, one measly sensual touch from the delicious man.
“If you’re going to have a sex marathon please text in advance so I can stay at Graham’s house,” Spencer shouted. “The walls in this apartment are so thin they would give me surround sound to your animal activities.”