Breathe Me In by Lex Valentine (Tales of the Darkworld Book 6.5)
long novella (approx. 40,000 words)
erotic, gay vampire romance
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Life is good for vampire Wilson North. His family left him well off. His job as an estate attorney is prestigious, well paying, and non-demanding. He’s gay and out and never had any issues being either. In fact, until the day he ended up beneath his car, bleeding out and only a few pints of blood from a sure trip to the Afterworld, life had never been a challenge.
When Will meets his destiny in the form of an enigmatic Magia named Garrick Forrester he finds the challenge of his life. Garrick’s gay but doesn’t live an openly gay life. Instead, he hides his nature behind his ownership of a BDSM club. The two men instantly know they are mates, but that doesn’t smooth the path to their bonding. Garrick wants Will but threats from his past convince him that the only way to protect his lover is to leave him. Shocked by Garrick’s ability to walk away, Will struggles to understand why his mate doesn’t want him. For the first time in Will’s life, something isn’t easy and he must fight for what he needs or give up his chance for happiness.
Drawn together by destiny. Torn apart by self-doubts and fear. Two men on the cusp of a dream must set aside the lives they’ve always lived for a chance at a new and brilliant future.
Warning: This book contains virgin sex between a sexy self-sacrificing wizard who’s never been catcher and an angelic-faced vampire who’s never pitched, a BDSM bad guy with dark magic, a mysterious royal Acerbian, and a host of characters from previous Tales books who do everything from implode buildings to change diapers…all to help two reluctant heroes find true love.
Dark lashes flicked up and the beauty of Wilson North blazed through Garrick’s very soul when their eyes met this time. The lure of such angelic masculinity proved too much for him and he found himself pushing off from the marble crypt. He glided toward the bench where Will sat, his sole thought to lose himself in the salvation those dark eyes promised.
A visible shiver went through Will as Garrick stopped before him. Holding out his hand, Garrick silently prayed to the gods that Will would just take it and question things later. At the moment, all Garrick wanted was to touch Will, hold him and love him. Problems and logistics and the real world and all its damned obligations could come into play and be solved—or not—later. For just this moment in time, Garrick wanted to hold Will and breathe him in and know that they belonged to one another.
With eyes blazing, Will slipped his hand into Garrick’s, and they both drew in a breath as a metaphysical crackle of electricity arced between them. Then with a slow, fluid motion like that of wings unfurling, Will came to his feet. Garrick noted the slight wince the vampire gave as his weight settled onto both legs. He sensed rather than saw the pain lancing through Will’s body despite the natural grace of his movements. And he wished with every bit of his theurgic strength that he could heal his mate’s injuries despite the sure knowledge that Will had received the best healing possible after his accident. Helplessness never sat well within Garrick and with this man it spurred his natural possessiveness.
“Your name sounds familiar but if I’d met you before, I would have remembered,” Will said in a low voice. “You’re unbelievably hot.”
Garrick smiled at his soon-to-be lover. “You look like a Botticelli angel,” he replied, knowing that his words would give away the depth to which Will already affected him.
“Me?” Will’s brows winged up in surprise.
“Yes, you.” Garrick used the hand he still held to pull Will closer.
The heat of the vampire’s body registered briefly in his mind as he swept the man against his chest. The strange zing he’d experienced when Will took his hand became magnified a hundredfold as their bodies touched from chest to knee. Will sucked in a harsh breath and Garrick used the moment to reach up and cradle his mate’s dark head in his free hand.
They were nearly the same height but Garrick had a slight inch on Will. Still, their mouths were so close together, they already shared breaths. Garrick knew in the marrow of his bones that soon they would share more. That knowledge drove him to take the mouth of his mate with soft urgency, asking for Will’s capitulation rather than demanding as most Alphas would. At first, the firm lips beneath his own held a touch of Alpha resistance at being taken, but the instant he touched the tip of his tongue to that cool flesh, the man in his arms moaned and became his.
Lips parted, both his own and Will’s. They both sighed, breaths mingling as their hearts thudded in tandem, and they slowly, with absolute irrevocability, breathed each other in. The slightly muddied thoughts Garrick had gotten from Will only moments before shifted to an ice sharp clarity that stabbed his psyche, piercing it with the revelation that he would never be the same again. He belonged to Will. Will belonged to him. They were one whether they completed their mating or not. Destiny could be ignored, but never denied.
The kiss took on a familiarity that spoke of past lives together—if one believed in the reincarnation of souls—and a rightness that settled into Garrick’s head as firmly as Will’s thoughts did. Fear licked him as his tongue traced the edge of Will’s teeth. He understood that Will heard his thoughts now as clearly as he heard Will’s. Their bond ensured neither of them would ever be alone again and the loss of privacy morphed momentarily into a panic driven by the sense that he’d lost himself. But it dissolved almost as quickly as it had come when his tongue twined with the heated roughness of Will’s.
Tasting Will had all the qualities of sipping the finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Will’s flavor burst onto Garrick’s tongue in the same way that the wine’s tannins did, the tartness providing an edge of danger to the elegance. Firm muscles rippled beneath Garrick’s wandering free hand, reinforcing the notion that for all his sophistication, the man in his arms had more depth than a simple clothes horse. Will’s hands closed on Garrick’s buttocks and the Magia had no idea whose hips moved first, but the seductive brush of cloth covered erections made it obvious that it didn’t matter. They were equally aroused.