New Releases: June 4th, 2014

June 4, 2014

Country Strong by Caitlin Ricci

 

When Wyatt returns to the stable after an accident, he learns General has been sold to Kellen for retraining. Wyatt’s woes have just begun.

With only three months left on a lease-to-own agreement on a quarter horse Wyatt’s worked hard to own, a thunderstorm spooks General and he throws Wyatt, changing both their lives forever. Luckily, Kellen, a friend of the stable owner, calls for emergency medical attention, and Wyatt comes out of the hospital with a broken wrist and a concussion.

 

When Wyatt returns to the stable, he finds the owner has sold General to Kellen for retraining. But Wyatt’s woes have just begun, and now he must drive an hour to see his horse. The perks help balance the hardships, however, and Wyatt finds himself falling for Kellen. His fortitude is soon tested again by the ultimate betrayal when he learns Kellen doesn’t intend to return General after he’s trained.

 

Length: Novella (112p.) | Genre: Western, Erotic Romance | Release Date: June 4, 2014

Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-928-2)

 

 

 

 

Fire Inside by Dawn Douglas

 

When Eric realizes that something is burning Tyler up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him.

After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.

 

Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.

 

Length: Novella (114p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 4, 2014

Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-733-2)

 

 

 

 

Testament to Love by Ariel Tachna

 

Another mission to rescue yet another lost soul. Something about trouble painter Cameron grabs Emmanuel and won’t let him go.

2nd Edition

 

Another mission to rescue yet another lost soul—Emmanuel isn’t sure how much more of the same old routine he can withstand. Get the fallen’s attention, save them from themselves, usher them back to grace, and return, simply to receive another assignment. But there’s something different about the troubled painter, Cameron Anderson, that grabs Emmanuel and won’t let him go.

 

Falling in love was never the plan. Committing the unpardonable sin is not an option for Emmanuel. He must choose: return home to stay and hope Cameron survives alone, or face the consequences of what he’s done in the hope of securing a life with Cameron.

 

1st edition published as a short story of the same title in October 2007 by Dreamspinner Press.

 

Length: Novella (80p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Angels and Demons | Release Date: June 4, 2014

Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-724-0)

 

 

 

Taught to Love by T.J. Masters

 

Wanting to see his father happy again, Sam leads Rob and Ken to explore a seduction that might become true romance.

In an effort to help a boy who lost his mother, schoolteacher Rob Cooper offers to tutor him. He doesn’t expect to fall for Sam’s father, Ken Reid. Ken’s grief has led him to bury his needs and emotions in work, but he can’t deny the new feelings Rob awakens. Wanting to see his father happy again, Sam encourages a relationship, leading Rob and Ken to explore a seduction that might become true romance.

 

Length: Nap-sized Dream (54p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 4, 2014

Buy as eBook ($2.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-769-1)

 

 

 

The Byte of Betrayal by Ashavan Doyon

When an online friend is revealed as a fake Caleb loses all sense of trust. Nicodemus hopes to reclaim what he lost when shows up in person.

Caleb McDonnell lives his life online. A thirty-year-old fast food worker, he spends his time talking in an Internet world where his job and living conditions can’t dictate his friendships. He’s found acceptance, friendship, and even romance. But when an online friend is revealed as a fake, Caleb loses all sense of trust. To stave off the emotional collapse of his betrayal, Caleb leaves his online life behind and retreats into the monotony of his job.

Nicodemus Rokos feels like his heart has been torn out. He knew Caleb would be hurt, but he’d hoped not to be shut out of his boyfriend’s life. He can only hope Caleb still feels something when he shows up in person to reclaim what he’s lost.

Length: Novella (73p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 4, 2014

Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-076-8)

February Audio Book Releases

February 28, 2014

My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! by Wade Kelly

It’s easy to become cynical when life never goes your way.

 

Cole Reid has been a social recluse since he was fifteen, when he was outed by his high school baseball team. Since then, his obsessive-compulsive behavior and sarcastic nature have driven away most of the population, and everyone else hates him because he’s gay. As he sees it, he’s bound to repulse any prospective friends, let alone boyfriends, so why bother?

 

By the time Cole enters college, he’s become an anal-retentive loner—but it’s not a problem until his roommate graduates and the housing department assigns Ellis Montgomery to move in with Cole. Ellis is messy, gorgeous, straight, and worst of all, a jock!

 

During a school year filled with frat buddies, camping expeditions, and meddling parents, Cole and Ellis develop a friendship that turns Cole’s glass-half-empty outlook on its head. There must be more to Ellis than a fun-loving jock—and maybe Cole’s reawakening libido has rekindled his hope for more than camaraderie.

 

Length: Novel (9 hours and 21 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary, Humor, Coming of Age

Release Date: January 16, 2014

Narrator: Jason Lovett | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

 

Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

 

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

 

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work, forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

 

Length: Novel (9 hours and 48 minutes) | Genre: Western | Release Date: January 21, 2014

Narrator: K. C. Kelly | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

Whiskey and Wry by Rhys Ford

Sequel to Sinner’s Gin; Sinners Series: Book Two

 

He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.

 

When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.

 

With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.

 

Length: Novel (8 hours and 41 minutes) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: January 21, 2014

Narrator: Tristan James | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna

Lang Downs: Book One

 

Caine Neiheisel is stuck in a dead-end job at the end of a dead-end relationship when the chance of a lifetime falls in his lap. His mother inherits her uncle’s sheep station in New South Wales, Australia, and Caine sees it as the opportunity to start over, out on the range where his stutter won’t hold him back and his willingness to work will surely make up for his lack of knowledge.

 

Unfortunately, Macklin Armstrong, the foreman of Lang Downs who should be Caine’s biggest ally, alternates between being cool and downright dismissive, and the other hands are more amused by Caine’s American accent than they are moved by his plight… until they find out he’s gay and their amusement turns to scorn. It will take all of Caine’s determination—and an act of cruel sabotage by a hostile neighbor—to bring the men of Lang Downs together and give Caine and Macklin a chance at love.

 

Length: Novel (6 hours and 53 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: January 31, 2014

Narrator: William James | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

Greenwode by J Tullos Hennig

Book One of The Wode

 

The Hooded One. The one to breathe the dark and light and dusk between….

 

When an old druid foresees this harbinger of chaos, he also sees whom it will claim: young Rob of Loxley. Rob’s mother and father, a yeoman forester and a wisewoman, have raised Rob and his sister, Marion, under a solemn duty: to take their parents’ places in the Old Religion as the manifestations of the Horned Lord and the Lady Huntress.

 

But when Gamelyn Boundys, son of a powerful nobleman, is injured in the forest, he and Rob begin a friendship that challenges both duty and ideology: Gamelyn is a devout follower of the Catholic Church. Rob understands the divide between peasant and noble all too well. And the old druid has foreseen that Gamelyn is destined to be Rob’s sworn enemy—to fight in a blood sacrifice for the greenwode’s Maiden.

 

In a risky bid for happiness, Rob dares the Horned Lord to reinterpret the ancient rites—to allow Rob to take Gamelyn as a lover instead of a rival. But in the eyes of Gamelyn’s church, lust is a sin—and sodomy is unthinkable.

 

Length: Novel (17 hours and 21 minutes) | Genre: Historical European, High Fantasy

Release Date: February 2, 2014

Narrator: Ross Pendleton | Buy as Audio Book ($24.95)

 

 

 

Body Magic by Poppy Dennison

Sequel to Mind Magic; Triad: Book Two

 

A pack is only as strong as its weakest member. Rocky Harris knows how the system works. He’s been on the bottom rung his whole life. But when his alpha consigns him to the High Moon Pack to help them improve security, he finds his beliefs not just challenged but outright assaulted.

 

Cade Montgomery’s confidence took a hit when the pack’s cubs were kidnapped on his watch. He’s prepared to do anything to protect his family, even if it means working with Rocky. Maybe Cade doesn’t trust Rocky, but with the turmoil surrounding pack Alpha Gray’s unpopular decision to break tradition and mate with a mage named Simon, Cade knows more threats are coming.

 

Then someone declares war on shifters and puts the entire pack in danger. Cade and Rocky will need each other’s strengths to survive the impending battle—and the power of their growing attraction.

 

Length: Novel (6 hours and 29 minutes) | Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal, High Fantasy, Werewolves/Shapeshifters | Release Date: February 6, 2014

Narrator: Robert G. Davis | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

 

The Isle of… Where? by Sue Brown

When Liam Marshall’s best friend, Alex, loses his fight with colon cancer, he leaves Liam one final request: buy a ticket to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and scatter Alex’s ashes off the pier. Liam is tired, worn out, and in desperate need of a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, sand, and hot cabana boys, he gets a rickety old train, revolting kids, and no Ewan MacGregor.

 

Liam would have done anything for his friend, but fulfilling Alex’s final wish means letting go of the only family Liam had left. Lost, he freezes on the pier… until Sam Owens comes to his rescue.

 

Sam’s family has vacationed on the Isle of Wight every year for as long as he can remember, but he’s never met anyone like Liam. Determined to make Liam’s vacation one to remember, Sam looks after him—in and out of the bedroom. He even introduces Liam to his entire family. But as Sam helps Liam let go, he’s forced to admit that he wants Liam to hang on—not to his old life, but to Sam and what they have together.

 

Length: Novel (7 hours and 34 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: February 7, 2014

Narrator: Max Lehnen | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

Plan B by SJD Peterson

Danny Marshal has always lived his life out loud, but his androgynous appearance is only a small part of who he is. One night at a frat party, Danny meets Lance Lenard, football jock and apparent straight guy. Lance is shocked when he’s immediately attracted to Danny’s feminine side. Danny is happy to be the subject of Lance’s first man-on-man experiment—until Lance begins to struggle with the fact that despite his appearance, Danny is indeed a man.

 

Lance’s whole life has been focused on his goal of playing in the NFL, and he knows those dreams will be smashed if anyone finds out about his little secret. Although Lance has grown to crave Danny’s touch, he’s not willing to give Danny what he’s grown to crave: a boyfriend who’s proud to love him for every flamboyant and snarky cell in his body.

 

Life sends Danny and Lance in different directions, each of them focused on his respective Plan A. But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

 

Length: Novel (8 hours and 8 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: February 7, 2014

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

 

A Boy and His Dragon by R. Cooper

A Being(s) in Love Story

 

Arthur MacArthur needs a job, and not just for the money. Before he dropped out of school to support his younger sister, he loved being a research assistant at the university. But working for a dragon, one of the rarest and least understood magical beings, has unforeseen complications. While Arthur may be the only applicant who isn’t afraid of Philbert Jones in his dragon form, the instant attraction he feels for his new employer is beyond disconcerting.

 

Bertie is a brilliant historian, but he can’t find his own notes without help—his house is a hoard of books and antiques, hence the need for an assistant. Setting the mess to rights is a dream come true for Arthur, who once aspired to be an archivist. But making sense of Bertie’s interest in him is another matter. After all, dragons collect treasure, and Arthur is anything but extraordinary.

 

Length: Novel (10 hours and 1 minutes) | Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Narrator: Guy Veryzer | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

 

 

An Unconventional Courtship by Scotty Cade

Tristan Moreau loves his job as chief administrative officer and personal assistant to Webber Kincaid, President, Chairman, and CEO of Kincaid International. It would be the perfect job… if only he hadn’t fallen in love with his boss as well as the work. After two years, he’s still doing everything in his power to keep his feelings hidden—mostly because he wants to protect the reputation of his famous boss but also because he wants to keep his job.

 

Webber Kincaid has stayed in the closet, using his best friend and confidante as his beard. Everything in his life was working out just fine until he met Tristan Moreau. Within months, Tristan stole his heart and became his lifeline. But Webber knows the rules of the workplace better than anyone, so he’s kept his distance.

 

But two years is too long to wonder “what if?”—especially when business takes them to a private Caribbean island. When Tristan and Webber succumb to the tropical heat, their professionalism starts to backslide. It’s a seemingly impossible relationship, making a go at it under the paparazzi’s microscope. It may be the best—or the worst—business decision they ever made.

 

Length: Novel (7 hours and 21 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: February 13, 2014

Narrator: Finn Sterling | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)

White chocolate demitasse

February 12, 2014

Pure white chocolate, light, sweet, the perfect introduction to the world of m/m romance…

 

1. Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

2. Simple Men by Eric Arvin

3. Promises by Marie Sexton

4. Bear, Otter, and the Kid by TJ Klune

5. A Helping of Love by Andrew Grey

6. Her Two Dads by Ariel Tachna

7. Wes & Toren by J.M. Colail

8. Between Two Worlds by Shelter Somerset

9. Hotel Pens by Geoffrey Knight

10. The Unforgiving Minute by Sarah Granger

 

Dark Mochaccino Mousse

February 12, 2014

Our Dark Mochaccino Mousse are stories of danger and how our men strive to overcome it.

 

1. Storm Season by Nessa L. Warin

2. Clouds and Rain by Zahra Owens

3. A Matter of Time by Mary Calmes

4. Dirty Secret by Rhys Ford

5. The Gifted One by Jacob Z. Flores

6. Conquer the Flames by Ariel Tachna

7. Another Healing by M. Raiya

8. Haffling by Caleb James

9. Rarer than Rubies by EM Lynley

10. Memory Kick by C.M. Torrens

 

Help us complete the list! Share your favorite dark mochaccino mousse stories in the comments below.

White ganache bliss

February 12, 2014

Who doesn’t love a little snow on the roof? Our White Ganache Bliss highlights the best of age and experience.

 

1. Snow on the Roof anthology

2. Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson

3. The General and the Horse-Lord by Sarah Black

4. The Hand-me-down by Zahra Owens

5. Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna

6. Good to Know by D.W. Marchwell

7. Rite of Passage by Bryl R. Tyne

8. The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross

9. Life Begins at Forty by Jessie Blackwood

10. Spot Me by Andrew Grey

 

Share some white ganache bliss with us. Who are your favorite characters with a little snow on the roof?

Cherry Cordials

February 12, 2014

Who doesn’t love a good cherry? The men in these stories certainly enjoyed being the one to pop a cherry (or have theirs popped)!

 

1. The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban

2. Once in a Lifetime by Ariel Tachna

3. Burning Ashes by H. Lewis-Foster

4. Dignity Takes a Holiday by Rick R. Reed

5. Shying Away by Kate Sherwood

6. Sunrise Over Savannah by Scotty Cade

7. Shiny! by Amy Lane

8. Same Page by Lily Velden

9. Fettered by Lyn Gala

10. Cherries on Top by Rowan McAllister

 

There have to be more than ten Cherry Cordials out there! Help us complete our list in the comments below.

Raspberry caramel duet

February 12, 2014

The Raspberry Caramel Duet brings together two distinct flavors, just as these books bring together men in two distinct times in their lives, our May/December romances.

 

1. Clouds and Rain by Zahra Owens

2. Exploring Limits by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna

3. After Ben by Con Riley

4. Bullheaded by Catt Ford

5. Chasing the Sun by Jacob Z. Floes

6. Acrobat by Mary Calmes

7. A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman

8. The Boy Who Came In From the Cold by B.G. Thomas

9. Honeymoon Cottage by Matt Brooks

10. Tattoos & Teacups by Anna Martin

 

 

Did we miss your favorite Raspberry Caramel duet? We want to know what it is!

Dark Mint Medallion

February 12, 2014

Like the Dark Mint Medallion, the men in these stories have a hard outside but a sweet, soft center that only those closest to them ever get to see.

1. Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley

2. Inside Out by Andrew Grey

3. Warrior’s Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

4. To Love a Cowboy by Rhianne Aile

5. Fallout by Ariel Tachna

6. Drive Me Home by Chrissy Munder

7. Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville

8. Duet by Eden Winters

9. Irish Winter by John Simpson

10. Under the Skin by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna

 

Add some more dark mint medallions for us to enjoy!

 

Dark Chocolate Caramels

February 12, 2014

The Dark Chocolate Caramels have a hard outer shell but the rich inside reminds us that even swashbuckling heroes need a dash of romance.

 

1. Checkmate by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna

2. Greenwode by J Tullos Hennig

3. Mark of a Man by Maggie Lee

4. Beyond the Spanish Road by Annie Kaye

5. The Jouster’s Lance by A.J. Marcus

6. Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony

7. Cross Bones anthology

8. Dash and Dingo by Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy

9. The King’s Heart by Rowena Sudbury

10. Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss

 

Have we left out your favorite dark chocolate caramel? There were too many to choose from so complete our list in the comments below!

Sexy Six Anniversary Short – Intimate Territory by Nicki Bennet & Ariel Tachna

May 29, 2013

Blaise Risner laughed as he led his lover and partner, Peter Keller, back into the hotel Peter had convinced him to splurge on during their stay on Regulus. They’d spent the day browsing the infamous pleasure bazaar, and Blaise couldn’t wait to get back to their rooms so they could put their new acquisitions to good use.

He pushed open the door, stepped inside, and froze. Instead of the simple but elegant decorations that had adorned the room that morning, he stood in a boudoir that seemed to be modeled on the fabled harem of the Orion emperors. The comfortable but utilitarian bed had been replaced by, or at least hidden beneath, a mound of plushly decadent body pillows. A gauzy veil draped from the ceiling around the bedding, seeming to serve little purpose in the climate-controlled suite but to provide the opportunity for glimpsing a lover’s naked body through its shimmering folds. Scented tapers provided the room’s only light as well as adding a heady, sensual fragrance. To one side of the bed stood a tray overflowing with delicacies to tempt the palate and a flask of deep ruby liquor beside two ornately etched goblets.

Blaise automatically took a step backward, intending to check the room number. He couldn’t imagine the door opening if they weren’t in the right suite, but he knew the room hadn’t looked like this when they left that morning. The movement took him directly into Peter’s embrace. Even in his puzzlement, the feeling of those strong arms going around him heated his blood, especially since it was already on a low simmer from all the discussions over the course of the day about the different toys and all the things Peter would do to him when they had time and privacy. “Peter?”

Nudging Blaise forward gave Peter the chance to rub his arousal against his lover’s firm backside, and Blaise’s puzzlement didn’t stop him from pressing against the hard shaft. Peter indulged himself in the contact for a moment before leaning forward to nip at the side of Blaise’s neck. “Unless you want to continue this here in the hallway, I suggest moving inside.”

Blaise stepped far enough into the room for the door to close behind them. He wasn’t necessarily opposed to a bit of exhibitionism, but he’d prefer to do it in a more controlled manner. “Not that I’m complaining, but what’s with the décor?”

“You don’t like it?’ Peter cocked an eyebrow before tossing their parcel of purchases onto the bed, where it was swallowed up in the sea of pillows. “Not that I object to sharing the captain’s bunk with you on the Stallion, but I thought you might appreciate a bit more comfort tonight.”

“I’ll never say no to comfort,” Blaise replied automatically as he turned to face Peter, “and it looks amazing in here, but why tonight? Or is this just for the hell of it?”

The appreciative gleam in his partner’s eyes convinced Peter that he’d definitely plan something like this just for the hell of it at some point in the future, but he managed what he hoped was a convincing scowl. “You don’t remember what tonight is? After I juggled our supply schedule to be sure we’d make it to Regulus in time? And made all these arrangements over the comm while you were asleep in order to surprise you?” He shook his head. “I’m surprised at you, Risner.”

Blaise racked his brain, trying to figure out what they could possibly be celebrating. “It’s not the anniversary of my arrest,” he said. “That passed while I was still trying to find you when you ran off to Petarus without me. It’s not your birthday or mine. It hasn’t been a year since we finally worked things out, so it can’t be that. I’m sorry, Peter. You obviously went to great lengths to put this together, and I really appreciate it, but I don’t know what we’re celebrating.” He was babbling and he knew it, but he hated disappointing Peter. He had no trouble angering him, seducing him, teasing him, playing any and every kind of game with him, sating him and being sated by him, but he folded like a house of cards at the first sign that he had not lived up to Peter’s expectations.

Dropping his feigned irritation, Peter drew Blaise closer, sliding his arms down until he could cup his pirate’s—or rather, privateer’s—delectable ass. “I didn’t appreciate what I had when you first showed up on the North Star,” he admitted. “I saw your obvious attractions, but nothing beyond that. It took a while for me get my head out of my ass long enough to recognize how much more there was to you, and how much you were starting to mean to me.” Before Blaise could speak, he covered the opened lips with his own, his tongue sweeping in to claim Blaise’s in a heated duel that left them both gulping for breath when he finally pulled away. “Not that I had any intention of letting you see that at the time.”

Blaise’s head was spinning from the kiss and from Peter’s hands on his ass. Peter had him well trained. At the first sign of his lover’s attentions, he went fully hard and ready for whatever Peter had in store for him next. He’d actually been surprised to get out of the room that morning without one toy or another inserted in or affixed to some part of his body. Maybe this was why. He cast his mind back over the previous year, trying to remember the nights leading up to him making the connection between the mysterious attacks on Confederation outposts and the Gavenelians who had held him captive and tortured him for six months. “The night you first asked me to stay,” he said after a moment. “The first time I felt like your lover and not just your fucktoy.” He rubbed against Peter’s hip, letting his lover feel his arousal and by extension his willingness for anything Peter had in mind. “Instead of bending me over the nearest flat surface, you took me to bed and made love to me. That’s what we’re celebrating, isn’t it?”

Peter’s grip tightened on Blaise’s ass, his cock already hard enough to tempt him to rip the clothes from that delectable body, throw him onto the pillows, and fuck him through them, just the way Blaise described it. But if he’d learned anything since his lover found him licking his wounds on Petarus, it was that there were times when talking really did need to take precedence over sex. He’d just have to talk quickly.

“On your birthday, when I offered you anything you wanted and you asked for just me, I started to hope we’d moved beyond my forcing you, though I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t simply a ploy to avoid having to endure any of the toys. But that night—this night—watching you sleep in my bed, I couldn’t deny it anymore. I might not have been sure what it meant to you, but I knew what it meant to me.”

“I was scared that night,” Blaise admitted. “I’d slipped up and called you by name because you’d stopped being Admiral Keller and had become Peter in my head, even if I couldn’t let you see it, but that night, you weren’t the sadistic bastard of an admiral, at least not once you started fucking me, and I let my guard slip. I don’t think I ever got it all the way back up. So this is our anniversary celebration?” He loosened his hold on Peter enough to look back over the exotic boudoir Peter had arranged to set up. “Shouldn’t you be taking me to bed then?”

“Still thinking you give the orders,” Peter grumbled, though no one hearing him would believe he was truly complaining. He moved forward, walking Blaise backward with a thigh between his legs, grinding their groins together with each step. He wanted to watch the silky netting around the bed whisper over Blaise’s honeyed skin, but his lover had entirely too many clothes on for that to happen. Just before they reached the gauzy veil, he stopped and took a step back, one hand settling on his hip and the other slipping into his pocket. “Strip,” he ordered in the tone his crew on the North Star had learned to dread.

For Blaise, though, that tone evoked none of the same foreboding. For him, it was a harbinger of things to come. Sometimes painful, but always powerfully arousing and ultimately mind-blowing things. Wearing the cocky grin that had earned him more than one punishment aboard the North Star, Blaise ran his hands up over his chest, making a show of undoing the buttons on his shirt one at a time, even though he could have pulled it over his head after the first two.

Peter widened his stance at the provocative striptease, though the shipsuit he wore was nowhere near as constraining as his Confederation uniform. His first glimpse of Blaise’s chest had the same effect, regardless. When Blaise let the fabric slide down his arms, baring the two rings adorning his dusky nipples—the one he’d pierced after he escaped from the Gavenelians, the other placed there by Peter himself—Peter started releasing his own fasteners, but he didn’t move any nearer. “The rest of it too,” he prodded when Blaise paused, eyeing him with what Peter no longer had any doubt was equal hunger.

Blaise dropped the shirt to the ground and popped the button on his trousers. When he was sure he had Peter’s attention, he shimmied out of them as well until he stood before his lover completely nude and utterly unabashed, his erection jutting out in front of him eagerly. “Your turn,” he drawled. “Can’t fuck me senseless if you’re still dressed.”

“Maybe I want to enjoy the view first,” Peter answered, though he shucked his own clothes quickly enough. After letting his gaze run the length of Blaise’s lean body—he might see it every day now, but it still never failed to impress—he took a step forward and ran a hand up the toned chest, pausing to tweak the nipple the bore his ring. Then he flattened his palm and gave Blaise a push backward. The fluttering curtain brushed over Blaise’s skin, the sight every bit as arousing as Peter had imagined it to be, before Blaise landed on the mounded pillows with a bit of a bounce.

“That was strange.” Blaise reached up to finger the sheer fabric with a puzzled look on his face. “It kind of tingled.”

Peter frowned at the small remote in his other hand. “The shopkeeper I bought it from didn’t mention that side effect. Is it painful?”

Blaise ran the palm of his hand over the cloth this time. “No, not painful. Tingly, like the way the lightning of Petarus leaves the air feeling charged when the storms come at night.” They had slipped out into the storms, one memorable night, making love beneath the pounding rain, bodies singing from the contact and from the electricity in the air. He looked up at Peter for a moment before reaching out for his lover with the cloth still in his hand. He pressed his palm to the unscarred side of Peter’s chest, letting the effect of the fabric add to his touch.

Shaking his head, Peter bounced the remote in his palm. Not that Blaise’s touch wasn’t potent enough on its own, but…. “It won’t work on me. It’s already taken a sensor scan of your bioreadings—that must have been the tingle you felt—and adapted itself to your metabolism.” He thumbed a control on the remote and cocked an eyebrow at Blaise, appraising the effect. The device was supposed to be painless, and while neither he nor Blaise was averse to an occasional nip of pain with their pleasure, it wasn’t a part of Peter’s plans for the night. He nudged the setting a fraction higher, his gaze never leaving Blaise’s face. “Enough to generate a mild stasis field.”

“New and inventive ways to tie me up?” Blaise teased. He didn’t try to fight the confinement. He never had other than for show, but tonight he didn’t even bother with that. “You could always just order me into whatever position you want me in, you know.”

“And since when have you ever followed orders?” Peter retorted, pausing a moment to appreciate the contrast of Blaise’s golden skin against the white pillows before moving close enough to trace the muscle of Blaise’s thigh with his fingertips. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he felt an echo of the tingle Blaise had mentioned quiver up his arm, and he dropped to one knee, caressing the other leg to judge if it caused the same effect.

Blaise was terrible at following orders, but only because he knew Peter loved it when he acted up. Even at his worst, he’d only done it when it hadn’t mattered. When it had been a matter of life or death, he’d listened and done what was expected of him. “Where’s the fun in blindly obeying every word that comes out of your mouth?” Blaise teased. He tried to move his leg, if only to spread his thighs farther apart in invitation, but the stasis field held, sending showers of electricity up his limbs whenever he tried to move or whenever Peter touched him, and all he could do was lie in place and wait upon Peter’s whim. The thought left him far more hot and bothered than it should have.

“That’s why I have to find toys like this,” Peter explained while running both hands up the insides of Blaise’s thighs. If the frisson of excitement that coursed through his nerves at the touch was anything like what Blaise was feeling, this would prove a sweet torment for both of them. The flutter of Blaise’s eyelids suggested the sensation was at least as strong for him too. “You’ll just have to lie there and take whatever I give you.” Leaning forward, he nipped at the woven ring that marked Blaise as his, sending sparks dancing along his synapses like the ionized dust in the Varian asteroid cloud. He closed his lips over the pierced nipple, a purr of pleasure rumbling from his throat at the jolt of awareness that flowed through them both.

“You realize,” Blaise gasped as he tried to arch into the touch and couldn’t, “that the more I try to move, the more I get that static electricity feeling. I’m never going to last.”

“You’ll last until I’m ready for you to come and not before,” Peter growled, and then set to work proving just how well he’d learned his lover’s sensitive spots—and his limits—during the months they’d been reunited. Each time Blaise’s groans and curses hinted he was close to losing control, Peter backed off, turning his attentions to a less susceptible spot and then pushing Blaise even higher, keeping him dancing on the knife-edge of release without letting him tip over. That the nerve-net’s augmentation was proving just as hazardous to his own self-control was the price he’d willingly pay to lavish his lover with this much pleasure.

Blaise would have given any number of things to be able to ignore Peter’s demands and simply jerk his cock until he came. He had come so close to release so many times already, but each time Peter had pulled him back and then pushed him higher. He tried to beg, but the stasis field’s effects had spread until he had trouble even making his mouth form words, not that Peter left it empty for long. Between his tongue and his cock, Blaise hadn’t been able to do more than gasp for breath in what felt like hours. His eyes rolled back in his head as Peter denied his orgasm yet again.

As much as Peter would have liked to prolong his attentions to every micron of Blaise’s skin, his own body was making its demands clear in the ache in his balls and the insistent throbbing of his cock. While he was well dampened between Blaise’s saliva and his own precome, he needed to slick Blaise as well, even if the preparation was cursory at best. He’d heard of a device that could be inserted to keep a lover lubricated, and made a mental note to look for one on their next supply run while he scrabbled among the pillows for the container of lube that was among the purchases they’d made that day.

“Now,” Blaise said as soon as Peter left his mouth unoccupied for more than a moment. “Fuck me now.” He couldn’t turn his head to see what Peter was doing, but he heard the squelch of lube and felt the cold touch of Peter’s hand between his thighs. “Forget that,” he groaned. “In me. Now, damn it.”

“I may listen to your orders aboard the Stallion, but I’m in charge here, as you seem to keep forgetting,” Peter countered, though since he punctuated his response by slamming into Blaise in a single hard thrust, he figured his lover didn’t have reason for complaint. Just to be sure, though, he captured Blaise’s mouth with his own, his tongue probing as deeply as his cock as he worked them both hard and fast.

Peter’s mouth muffled the scream that escaped Blaise at the sudden penetration, but it was exactly what he needed. He wanted to wrap his arms and legs around Peter as encouragement, but the fucking stasis field kept him from moving. He fought it, every suppressed twitch of his muscles sending another surge of electricity through him. Peter pounded into him perfectly, pegging his gland with every pass, and this time, he didn’t pull back when Blaise’s orgasm started to crest. With a second muffled scream, Blaise lost control, his climax spilling between them. Every spasm of his muscles triggered the stasis field, prolonging his pleasure until he was nearly insensate with it, and still it continued, Peter driving into him over and over and over and… fuck, it felt so good it hurt!

If his tongue wasn’t massaging Blaise’s tonsils, Peter would have gritted his teeth as he fought to hold back his climax and prolong Blaise’s. The convulsions of the tight sheath spasming around his shaft and the tingle the stasis field transmitted wherever his skin met Blaise’s proved his undoing, the sudden splash of Blaise’s release sending a flare of such ecstasy through the nerve-net that he nearly blacked out as his release seared through him like a plasma bolt. He barely had the presence of mind to thumb off the remote before he slumped against Blaise’s hot, sweaty body in complete satiation.

Blaise felt the stasis field disengage, but he still couldn’t move. Peter had left him completely boneless.

“So,” Peter drawled after regaining his breath, “should I have one of these installed in our cabin on the Stallion?”

“I don’t have to take your orders on the Stallion,” Blaise reminded him. A rather wicked thought occurred to him. “Unless you’d rather I use it on you….”

“Maybe next anniversary,” Peter murmured as he pulled his pirate into his arms.

Blaise grinned as he started to drift off to sleep. He had a year. He’d think of something to top this.

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Read more about Blaise and Peter in Hot Cargo.