M/M Short Story in the *Midnight Seduction~ManLove Anthology*
Wolf shifter, Griffin Royale, is back in his hometown of River’s Junction, Colorado, for his mother’s annual Halloween masquerade party. It’s his first time back since he left three years ago, but the instant Griff steps foot in his brother’s club, he senses his mate.
Bartender, Dulce O’Brien, is a shifter as well, but he instantly rebuffs Griffin’s advances, denying their connection. Denying his sexuality. Now Griffin has to find a way to claim his mate despite the many obstacles standing in their way.
The scent reached my nose as I stepped into the noisy strip joint. Despite the myriad of smells in the place, the wolf part of me easily filtered out the sweat, sex, and liquor. Eyes narrowed, I spun in a circle, searching for the source.
My wolf stretched under my skin, suddenly restless. A thrill of anticipation crawled down my spine, but for what? Heavy music thumped through the dimly lit room. On stage, a pale-as-a-ghost twink with close-cropped, white-blond hair shimmied up the pole wearing nothing but a pair of silver sequined shorts. I watched for two seconds then turned away. That type didn’t move me.
The honeysuckle didn’t lessen, in fact it grew stronger. I closed my eyes and pulled it into my lungs. Deep. My wolf whined, my cock twitched. Lengthened. Fucker. I needed to find the source of that scent.
“If it’s a woman, I’ll be seriously pissed,” I mumbled. I gave the stage my back and faced the bar, but no one manned the damn thing. It’s a bloody strip-club for fuck’s sake, where the hell is the bartender? I had no patience. At least that’s what my brother always said.
He might be right.
Head tilted back, I drummed my fingers on the flat wood surface and ground my teeth. All right then, I’ll search out the owner of the intriguing scent, and maybe when I come back, the bartender will have remembered he works in the damn place.
I took no more than two steps away when someone spoke behind me.
“Were you waiting for me?”
The words weren’t yelled over the music, yet they rocked me. I stopped abruptly, head spinning, cock throbbing, and I knew. I didn’t want to turn around, didn’t want to look. My wolf howled. I clenched my fists and squeezed my eyes shut.
“Hey, did you want a drink or something, man?”
Jeezus. His voice was doing something to me, weakening my knees and wetting my palms. Opening my eyes, I held my trembling hands out in front of me, palms down. Course dark hair had sprouted on my knuckles.
This was it. And I have to turn around now. Didn’t know I was a coward until that moment. I took another deep breath, drowning in honeysuckle, and turned. Slowly.
Wouldn’t want to rush this.
Christ! He stood behind the bar, shirtless. Colorful, vibrant tattoos every fucking where. Chest smooth, shoulders wide, skin golden. Is he Latino? I swallowed. His bald head glinted when he moved. A small white towel was thrown over his shoulder and he squinted at me.
I walked forward, taking my time even as my wolf clamored for faster, closer. I couldn’t take my eyes from his face, from the sharp, high cheekbones and strong jaw showing a hint of stubble.
His bottom lip stuck out fuller than the top. Images of them wrapped around my cock filled my head. My wolf seemed to like that idea because it howled again.
Blue eyes. Clear and wide as I leaned over the bar and inhaled. A moan strangled the air in my lungs. I watched the pulse at the base of his throat beat triple time. Honeysuckle flowed to and over me, deeper, richer. I detected the arousal underneath.
Not unmoved then. He shifted away from me and I cocked my head to the side.
“Why are you naked?” The first words out of my mouth and I didn’t bother hiding the growl.
His brows wrinkled. “What?”
I waved the word away. “Never mind that. What’s your name?”
“Why?” Suspicion darkened his eyes.
So pretty. I felt like jumping over the bar and tearing away the jeans hanging off his hips.
“Your name, wolf. I won’t ask again.”
He stiffened. One of his hands shifted behind his back. I caught a glint then felt the cold hard metal as he pressed it to my left temple.
Taken by my own mate. My ass clenched at the thought. Laughter rumbled in my throat and spilled from my lips. Wasn’t this a bitch? I finally find my mate and he may be even more alpha than me. This promised to be good.