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Copyright ©2013 Amanda Steiger
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Pierce Collins might be an ancient, powerful, telepathic, immortal demon, but he could sulk like a spoiled kid. Since coming to live with him, Nate Bird had learned to recognize those stony silences.
It got downright aggravating.
Sunlight poured in through the windows of the small cafe. Pierce sat stiffly across from Nate in the corner booth, arms crossed over his chest. Nate could see flickers of red in his brown irises as his glam started to slip.
"Oh, relax," Nate said. "I just said the waiter was cute."
Pierce's eyes flared a bright red, and his pupils narrowed to slits. "That's not the issue." His voice was deep, full, and velvet-smooth. It always sounded incongruous, coming out of that slender form; yet at the same time, it was oddly fitting. Pierce defied expectations in so many ways. "He was imagining you naked. That's what bothers me."
Nate rolled his eyes. "If you'd stop reading everyone's mind, this wouldn't be an issue."
"If humans wouldn't think so loudly, it would be easier to ignore their thoughts."
He shrugged. "Humans think about sex a lot. It doesn't necessarily mean anything. We're just naturally horny creatures. Plus I'm dressed like this." He gestured to his clingy fishnet shirt and open leather vest, which looked more than a little out of place in this cozy breakfast cafe with its down-on-the-farm decor. "Can you really blame him?"
The corner of Pierce's eye twitched. "It doesn't matter what you're wearing. He has no right."
Nate sipped his coffee. "Doesn't it get exhausting, taking everything so seriously? It can't be good for your blood pressure." Come to think of it, demons probably didn't have blood pressure issues. Good thing, or Pierce's veins would have exploded by now.
"You are testing my patience." He had a crisp, precise way of speaking whenever he was getting pissed.
Nate raised an eyebrow. "Well, maybe it needs to be tested."
Pierce interlaced his long, pale fingers. His gaze remained cool and level, but he was obviously struggling to hold the glam in place. His eyes flashed brown, then red, then brown again. "What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish?"
"I'm not trying to accomplish anything. I just --" He fell silent as the waiter emerged from the kitchen and walked across the restaurant, carrying a plate of pancakes heaped with whipped cream. The pancakes were for another customer -- Nate hadn't even ordered yet -- but the waiter paused as he walked past their table. His gaze caught Nate's.
Nate smiled. The waiter smiled back, then hurried on.
Pierce's eyes narrowed.
A tiny tingle raced down Nate's spine. This was a dangerous game, he knew. One they'd played many times. By now, the dance was familiar. Yet every time, he wondered if he was going too far.
"Stop encouraging him," Pierce said flatly.
His pulse quickened. A tingle trailed down his spine. "Or what?"
He felt something under the table, snaking up his leg. Pierce's tail. Nate's breath caught as the tail's spade-shaped tip flicked against the bulge already forming in his jeans. When Pierce had his glam on, the tail was invisible to humans, so no one could see what he was doing under the table. But Nate could definitely feel it. He struggled to control his breathing as the slim, flexible appendage caressed him through thin denim. Then the tail receded, leaving his cock engorged and straining against his tight black jeans.
Pierce leaned his chin on one fist, staring across the table at Nate. Do you want to be punished?