Throwback Thursday!


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Phoenix Moorhaven liked things just so. He likes his house running in perfect order, his coffee with a bit of blood and his manservant untouched by anyone—ever. When Declan decides to start dating Moor scrambles to intercede. After all messing with Declan could upset the pristine organization of his household.

Declan has pined for Moor long enough. Determined to have a life of his own Declan accepts a meeting with a blind date. However vampire masters and dating don’t mix and at the end of the night he’ll see a side of Moorhaven he never expected.


Declan West tidied the den, plumping pillows and verifying not a speck of dust graced any surface. After the third run-through to check that everything sat in its proper place, he gave the room a pleased nod. With his obsessive-compulsive tendencies temporarily sated, Declan left his master’s office and headed for the front door.

The clock struck midnight as he reached the wooden double doors. Without checking the peephole or peering through the front windows, he pulled the doors open just as his master, Phoenix Moorhaven, walked up the steps.

“Good evening, Declan,” Master Phoenix said in his rich, mellow voice.

“It is technically morning, sir,” Declan corrected him automatically as he did every day at this time. Being exact was a science the vampire didn’t subscribe to.

“So it is,” Master Phoenix agreed, his gold eyes shining with amusement.

“You let your servant talk back to you like that!” The blonde lady on Master Phoenix’s arm sneered at Declan.

“Mind your manners, dear. I might be the leader of the vampires, but Declan is the master of my house,” Master Phoenix scolded. His tone might have been mild, but his expression went colder than the Arctic Circle.

Declan took his master’s coat without comment. The opinion of one blonde tramp meant nothing to him. Master Phoenix would fuck her, suck her, and toss her out at sunrise. He never kept his food around for long. As far as Declan could tell, his master had no interest in any human, male or female, beyond sustenance. Too bad, since Declan wouldn’t mind being on the menu.

“The den is prepared for you, sir,” Declan prodded, eager to have the vampires out of the way so he could finish his morning rituals.

Master Phoenix’s warm smile, the one he saved only for Declan, eased his irritation. He might merely be a servant, but Declan knew how much the vampire appreciated the smooth running of his household. Master Phoenix’s pleasure in Declan’s work was shown in the many bonuses Declan found in his paycheck.

“Good morning, Master Lorrie. I didn’t see you at first, please accept my apologies.” Declan greeted his master’s vampire companion.

Lorrie Bellows, the second-in-command of the vampire coven, gave Declan a friendly nod. “That’s all right. I know I don’t exist until you have Moor settled.”

Declan granted Lorrie one of his rare smiles. Lorrie had a winning way without using over-the-top flattery. There were always a few who tried to get to Master Phoenix through his prized servant, forcing Declan to waste his precious time returning their presents and bribes.

Declan’s integrity wasn’t for sale.

“May I take your coat, sir, and that of your companion?”

They both handed over their expensive outerwear. Master Phoenix’s bite for the evening hadn’t bothered wearing a jacket, probably worried about hiding her cleavage. Declan could’ve told her the vampire cared more about her blood than her breasts; however, he stayed silent. He never interfered with donors as long as they didn’t mess up the house.

Declan hung up their jackets with meticulous care, then closed the door, only to turn and find the entire party staring at him.

“There are drinks and snacks in the west parlor,” he prompted. He always put out food and juice for the guests. They tended to be hungry after the vampires fed.

No one moved. Really, why were they still watching him?

He raised an eyebrow at his boss. Master Phoenix smirked, then wrapped an arm around his food for the evening and turned to lead the girl away.

“So when are you going to leave Moor and come work for me?” Lorrie teased as he walked past.

Master Phoenix spun around, abandoning his date. “What?”

Declan didn’t roll his eyes, but only because it would take away from his dignity. “Master Lorrie appears to think I’m underpaid and overworked,” he explained. Lorrie lived to poke at the vampire leader, and Declan refused to fuel that fire.

Declan’s gaze zeroed in on a piece of lint sticking to Master Phoenix’s suit. Annoyed that it had passed his previous inspection, he walked over and plucked it from the vampire’s jacket. He carefully brushed down the fabric to smooth over the slight mark he’d made with his nails while trying to ignore how good Master Phoenix smelled. The vampire always wore an alluring scent Declan had never been able to identify, sort of a combination of cloves and honey. Why a vampire smelled sweet, Declan didn’t know, but he tried to keep his sniffing to a minimum.

Declan almost jumped when a large hand tilted his chin up until he met his boss’ eyes. “Were you considering leaving me?”

For a moment he thought he saw a flash of hurt in Master Phoenix s eyes, but abandoned the idea as foolish. The vampire never took particular notice of Declan unless something went wrong. “Don’t be ridiculous, sir. Why would I leave here? You’re an excellent employer.”

It would be difficult to find another boss who allowed Declan to arrange everything to his own liking and schedule.

“Good.” Master Phoenix stroked Declan’s head like a favored pet. “I’d be at loose ends without you.” He pointed a finger at Lorrie. “I forbid you to steal my butler. The entire coven would be in disarray if Declan weren’t here to keep me in line.”

Lorrie laughed. “Surely, you exaggerate.”

Master Phoenix shook his head. “Declan organizes my life to perfection, so don’t go messing with it.”

Declan’s head got another stroke. “Take the rest of the evening off, Declan, and don’t go wandering in the woods. You nearly gave me a heart attack last time.”

He didn’t bother to acknowledge Master Phoenix’s grumbled order. “I’ll see you later, sir.” He gave Lorrie a reproachful look that was met by a playful wiggle of his eyebrows.

Declan had only wandered close to the woods once, and the strong protection spells had kept him back. Asking around didn’t lead to any clues about what might be out there, so Declan let the subject drop. Master Phoenix’s reaction to an innocent walk was way overboard. Overprotective vampire.

Shaking his head, Declan headed for his room. He didn’t want to be around while the vampires fed. Sometimes their partners moaned really loud. It only underscored to Declan that he needed to find a lover, but who was going to get together with a slightly neurotic butler who had to be on twenty-four-hour call for his boss. Few men would put up with being second place to any job, much less one involving vampires.

Back in his room, Declan pulled up his profile on the online dating site he’d recently joined. He spent the next few hours going through the improbable bios and dirty emails he’d received while he had been working. A few he put in his saved folder to look at in more detail later. Maybe one of them would pan out. He didn’t need a full-time lover. Hell, at this point, he’d take a part-time fuck buddy. Anything would be better than spending every night dreaming about his boss.

* * * *

Continue reading

Tuesday Teaser – Keys (Out September 30)


I’m super excited about this particular book. It’s the first time I reached the 60,000 words point. It’s actually a little bit longer (pats self on back).

Right now through September 15th you can pre-order a print copy through Dreamspinner for 30% off here. If you are going to GRL they will bring it and you won’t have to pay shipping.

You can pre-order an ebook here

My name is Octavius Septimus Stalk, but my friends call me Oss. I live in the City of Keys, a town of gears, keys, locks, and wonder. Our forefathers banished magic long ago, bolted the doors and locked everything up tight to keep people out and the town’s secrets in. Four Lock Lords control what information is left, and everyone else is left struggling to survive.

Despite what Thorne, my naïve lover, thinks, I was an orphan, but not a victim. When I walked the streets at the age of twelve, I learned fast where to steal the best food, how to use my daggers, and where to hide my would-be attackers’ bodies. No one suspected me of such violence. No one knew then or now that I have magic inside me.

Now, power hungry men intend to release the magic for their own benefit—at the expense of the rest of the city. We will stop them, even if Thorne must battle his own kin, even if I must reveal my hidden talents and the role I seem destined to play.



“For all the locks in the world, there is just one key, and with his
will, he can free the world.”
High Prophet Thomas H. Locksten—Prophecy of Keys



The clamoring bell from the Lock Tower filtered into my dreams,
a loud, obnoxious nudge reminding me to wake up and begin my day.
My name is Octavius Septimus Stalk. My friends call me Oss, and my
enemies hide from my blades. Stab one key keeper for grabbing your
ass and you never live down a violent reputation.
The brush of warm lips across my bare shoulder pulled my
attention to my bedmate. I always go from slumber to full alert with
little space for sluggish-headedness in between. Growing up a street
rat gave me certain habits I doubt I’ll ever be able to break. My instant
alert ability, the most minor of my infractions, came in handy when
Thorne wished to give me a proper send-off for the day.
“Morning, love.” Hawthorne Smith, Thorne to me, had a deep
voice that shivered down my spine like vibrations from the tolling
of the Tower bell. I’d stood next to it once while it rang, hiding out
from guards. They’d stopped their pursuit at the bottom of the stairs—
wiser than me I suspect, and happy to keep their hearing. Two days
later my eardrums were still ringing.
Thorne had a similar effect on me. I could still feel his hands
roaming my body days after we’ve made love. He’s lasted the longest
of any of my partners, if rushed gropings in a dark alley counted as
partners. Thorne has assured me it doesn’t. He’s certain I need no one
else and is determined to keep me sated enough I seek no others.
“Morning.” I don’t repeat the endearment. I’ve grown fond of
Thorne in the three months we’ve been warming each other’s beds,
but love took longer than that, or it should. I don’t know anyone in
love, so it is only guesswork on my part. Growing up on the streets
didn’t lend itself to being a trusting, loving person. My cold nature
has scared off more than one potential lover before we’d even reached
a properly dark bit of street to relieve some tension.

Thorne traced a finger down my back. My body jerked like a
marionette dancing along a string. Thorne knew how to be a proper
puppet master. Groaning, I pushed back into his touch. I craved my
man. Deep down I hoped to keep him, but I buried that ambition
in the darkest corner of my mind along with all my other dreams
and expectations. The Lord of the Keys didn’t easily grant scrubby
key keepers their heart’s desire. If Thorne stayed mine until the next
quarter cycle, I’d consider myself blessed.
“Hey, did you go back to sleep?” Thorne rolled me onto my
back. I smiled at the vision above me.
I dare anyone to wake up to that face and not feel their heart
hiccup at the sight. Thorne had the golden tan of a city guard. The
sun didn’t just kiss Thorne, it used its tongue and devoured him in
its shiny embrace. Thorne’s skin had the burnished glow only a man
working outdoors could acquire and hard, thick muscles from pulling
himself up rope ladders to reach the dirigible ships.
Becoming a guard took dedication, and Thorne had only one
more level before he reached Master of the Guard. Pride for him had
my lips parting in a smile.
“I was thinking of you.” I winced over my words. They sounded
far more foolish aloud than drifting through my head.
“Good. I want you to always think about me.” Thorne’s green
eyes sparkled down at me like the rare glass in the church windows.
He grabbed my hips and dragged me closer as if he couldn’t stand the
two inches of space between us.
I melted a bit at his show of strength. I had always prized my
smaller form for my ability to squeeze through tiny spaces, but I
didn’t wish the same shape for my lover. I preferred my bedmates big
and strong. The green eyes and cocky smile were optional but greatly
appreciated. Inhaling deeply, I breathed in his scent of cinnamon and
sunshine, an odd combination but one I always thought of when near

“Does your ego weigh you down when you climb up the
ladders?” I asked, sliding my hand across his furred chest. Thorne
had the body of a man, not like my smooth skin that refused to sprout
more than a few random hairs.
Thorne flexed an arm. “My muscles compensate.”

Moon Pack Monday


Parker paced back and forth. Elliott would be home soon. Everything had to be perfect. Elliott deserved nothing but the best. For the past week Elliott had been working overtime for Anthony trying to get everything ready for tax season. He’d called Parker earlier letting him know he’d be wrapping everything up tonight. It was time for his sweet wolf to have a bit of pampering.

The door swung open revealing a rumpled Elliott. His hair stuck up all over probably from running his fingers through it.

“Hey love.” Elliott’s tired smile twisted Parker’s heart.

“All done for the year?” He better be or Parker was going to be talking to Anthony about overworking Elliott.


“That’s a lot of work for one club.”

Elliott grinned. “Anthony asked me to help out with some of his other properties.”

Parker held back a snarl. It was a good promotion for Elliott. He didn’t need Parker being anything other than supportive.

“Are they finished too?”

“Yeah, that’s why I was late.” Elliott walked up to Parker. He tilted his head up for a kiss. Parker shortened the distance between them and took the kiss offered. He knew how hard it was for Elliott to initiate anything. Parker would never leave his mate hanging.

Elliott tasted sweet. He probably had a piece of candy at his desk before coming home.

The kiss lasted several minutes before Parker pulled himself together enough to pull away. He had to keep focus.

Elliott’s slightly dazed expression boosted Parker’s ego. “I’ve got a special surprise for you.”

“What?” Elliott grinned, his eyes glowing bright.

“This is something you have to it.”


“They finished our house.” After Parker exploded his house he’d petitioned to have a new house built on pack lands. Even thought Silver preferred everyone together there had been enough of a group wanting houses to start a small community.

“When can we see it?”


Elliott practically glowed with happiness. Parker would do anything to keep that expression on his face. “You’re not going to blow this one up are you?”

Parker laughed. “No baby, this one is for you.”

“I love you.” Elliott kissed Parker on the cheek then dodged when Parker tried to tickle his ribs.

Parker grabbed Elliott’s waist and tossed him over his shoulder before slapping him on the ass. “We can go see the house tomorrow. Call Anthony and tell him you’re taking the day off.”

“Yes Parker.” Elliott laughed as Parker carried him to their bedroom.

Throwback Thursday!


Amazon | B&N | ARe | Pride Publishing

When Detective Aaron Bradshaw sweet talks his way into a vampire club, he doesn’t expect the owner to claim him for a mate.

Detective Aaron Bradshaw’s boss told him to get the vampire Orion’s cooperation in their police investigation. Little did he know that sweet-talking his way into the club would be the first step in establishing a long-term relationship with a vampire.

Orion has spent years alone. However, one look at the sexy detective and he knows who he wants to keep by his side. Aaron’s insistence upon throwing himself into danger drives Orion insane. How is he going to keep his lover safe and still let Aaron do his job hunting down the drug runners in Orion’s club?

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release by Totally Bound Publishing. 


Shifting the weight of the box to his hip, Aaron Bradshaw impatiently banged on the side door with his fist, trying not to lose the clipboard he’d balanced on top of the package.

With a groan, the metal door opened and a handsome auburn-haired man peeked out. “What do you want, love?” he asked in a thick English accent.

“Blood delivery.”

Cool green eyes looked him over from head to toe before giving him a lusty grin. “You’re not the usual driver.”

He shrugged. “Guy was sick. I got called in. You gonna let me in or not. This is heavy.”

“Sure, come inside.” The man led Aaron to the back of the club then pointed to the bar. “You can leave the blood there.”

Aaron set down the box then slammed down the clipboard with the delivery paperwork on the bar. He pulled a pen out of his shirt pocket. “Here you go. If you could sign here.”

The bartender snatched the ballpoint out of Aaron’s hand. He signed on the line with a bold flourish, but when Aaron went to grab the papers, he kept a grip on it. “How about a kiss, love, or don’t they let cops do that on duty?”

Aaron tipped back his head and laughed. When he finished, he gave the bartender a cheeky smile. “What gave me away? I thought I was doing pretty well. I did a little delivery work in college.”

The bartender leaned closer. “You smell too fucking good, mate. The bloke who usually delivers blood smells like three month old cigarette smoke.” He took a deep breath and Aaron spotted fangs peeking through the bartender’s gums. “You, on the other hand, smell like sugar and sunshine and look like a gay bloke’s best dream.”

Aaron laughed again. “You sweet talker. I’m Detective Aaron Bradshaw, first precinct.” Aaron held out his hand to shake. “I told them you wouldn’t fall for it, but I didn’t think it would be how I smelled that tripped me up. I’ll have to remember that. The delivery’s legit, though. The rest of your blood is in the truck.”

“Banner Hawkins,” the bartender replied, shaking Aaron’s hand longer than necessary before reluctantly letting it go. “I’ll help you unload if you tell me why the cops are trying to get inside the club.”

“I need to talk to your master. Rumor has it he might have the answers I need and he’s ignoring me through the usual channels. I’d hoped if I got inside, some lovely man could help me out.” Aaron batted his eyelashes shamelessly at the bartender.

“I can think of a lot of ways of helping you out,” Banner said, smiling, “starting with that kiss.”

Aaron couldn’t remember the last time a cute guy had flirted with him. It felt good to be admired and he was more than a little tempted to give the man a smooch despite being on duty.

“The man came to talk to me,” a silky voice said behind him. “I believe that kiss is mine.”

The minute the gorgeous stranger had walked into the bar, he’d known. He’s mine. After seeing the man, Orion knew the detective could easily become his obsession.

“I’m Orion,” he offered, holding out his hand.

“Detective Aaron Bradshaw.” The gorgeous cop shook his hand. “Nice to meet you, Master Orion.”

Orion groaned when their palms crossed. He almost couldn’t resist the overwhelming impulse to yank Aaron into his arms and sink his teeth into the sexy detective’s neck. The urge to sample Aaron’s flavor almost overpowered his conscience.

Unclenching his hold took more effort than it should have, along with most of his resolve. Stepping back, he gave the detective what he hoped was a professional, fangless smile even though he could feel his teeth trying to descend. With effort, he forced them back into his gums. He didn’t want to scare off the detective. He had plans for the man and none of them included the gorgeous creature running from the club screaming.

“Follow me and you can tell me what you need from me,” Orion said. All the things you need, he added silently. Orion couldn’t think of anything he wanted more than to be exactly what Aaron was looking for.

Tuesday Teaser!

Hmm…what should I share today? So many story ideas are running through my head all of the time.

* * *

He’s a sneak peak from Owning Oliver (it might change but here is an unedited bit)

Oliver jerked awake. His crossed his arms and rubbed his hands up and down his skin trying to rub some heat into his frigid skin. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe it wasn’t happening. He closed his eyes and took a deep cleansing breath.

“I’ll just call.” Anthony had never lost his temper over Oliver checking up on him before.

His fingers shook as he picked up the receiver. He usually liked his old-fashioned phone with its curly cord and rotary dial but with his dreams jumbled and a heavy sense of foreboding weighing him down like a stone weight he could barely breathe.

“Shh, babe. It’s all right.”

Oliver jolted when a thick arm wrapped around him to cradle him back into his embrace.

Oh, oh damn.

He’d been drunk last night. After talking to his father he’d left work and headed for the closest bar. Brief flashes of memory were coming back to him now. A pair of sparkling green eyes and a wicked grin had lured him into the unusual invitation to a total stranger. “I have to make a call.”

“Not if you’re upset.” The firm refusal had shivers rolling up his spine. He’d always been a sucker for a strong-willed man. With his father’s overbearing personality he should’ve rebelled against anyone telling him what to do but Oliver couldn’t resist a man who knew his own mind.

“I have to make a c-call, Anthony needs me.” His dream swamped him, visions flashing in his mind. Pain, so much pain. Oliver trembled. It took him a moment to realize the soothing noises came from his companion.

“I’ve got you babe. Who’s Anthony? I don’t like competition.”

Oliver choked on his laughter. “He’s my boss. I’ve got to call him.”


“I had a dream. He’s in trouble. I have to go help.” Oliver sat up. He turned to see his bed companions. Damn, his drunk self had much better taste than his sober self. Hard muscles covered a wide chest.

Oliver licked his lips.



A deep chuckle sent a warm vibe through Oliver’s body.

“What kind of trouble?”

“I-I don’t know but I have to go see.”

“Are you psychic?”

Oliver lifted his eyes from the man’s gorgeous chest. “Listen, I appreciate your concern but I’ll be fine. I hate to kick you out…” he let his words fall off.

“Don’t worry I’m coming with you.” His bed companion whipped off the covers and completely derailed Oliver’s thought process. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to wear clothing. Other than a strange scar across his stomach that looked like some sort of wild animal had tried to tear out his stomach, the stranger had no other flaws.

“What?” How had he lost control of this conversation?

“If you don’t know what kind of trouble you’re heading into I’m not going to let you go by yourself.”

“Y-you don’t get to choose.” For a confident person Oliver couldn’t find it in him to be more aggressive with his statement. He instinctively moved closer to the stranger in his bed.

Strong hands slid into his hair and yanked him closer. “Of course I do. Don’t you remember you’re mine?”

Before he could respond to that ridiculous statement, his bed partner plunged is large hands through Oliver’s hair and yanked him close. Strong lips pressed against Oliver’s. Oliver sighed against his lover’s lips. His entire body hummed with need as if he were attuned to the man playing him like a fine instrument.

When his bedmate released him. Gold fire flared briefly in the stranger’s eyes.

“Oh, fuck. You’re a shifter.”

“Memory coming back, babe? I know I should’ve waited until you were more sober but I couldn’t resist your pretty blue eyes.”

Oliver blushed. He’d never had anyone talk to him like that. He was a skinny wizard geek who spent his life avoiding attention. How did he end up with a gorgeous shifter snuggling beside him?

Someone rang his doorbell pulling Oliver’s attention away from his bed companion.

“Excuse me.”


Despite his words Oliver’s companion pulled on his jeans. Shirtless he followed Oliver to the front door.

“I can answer on my own.”

“I don’t doubt it,” The shifter smirked.

Moon pack Monday!


Henry pulled the Shepherd’s Pie out of the oven and set it on the counter.



The kitchen door banged open. His mate Dakota stomped into the room, his brilliant wolf eyes immediately narrowing in on the hot dish.

“Looking for something?” Henry asked.

Dakota dragged his gaze from the food the glare at Henry. “You do that on purpose?”

“What?” Henry crossed his arms and leaned against the oven door.

“Lure me down here.” Dakota stalked closer to Henry, his wolf always lived closer to the surface than the others. Some pack members gave Dakota a wide birth because of his feral nature. There were prejudices against a wolf that turned into a man versus a man who could turn into a wolf.

“I like you close.” Henry wouldn’t defend his wish to have his mate with him.

Dakota usually helped out in the kitchen but he’d been out of the kitchen all morning and Henry had been too busy to hunt him down. His mate didn’t always prefer his human shape and Henry didn’t allow him in the kitchen in wolf form.

“Good. I like being near you too.” Dakota jumped up to sit on the stainless steel counter in front of Henry. Good thing he cleared that spot off in anticipation of Dakota coming. He’d learned to anticipate his mate. Dakota lifted his chin waiting for his kiss.

Bracing his hands on either side of Dakota, Henry pressed his lips to Dakota’s. No way would he leave Dakota hanging. Dakota only showed affection to Henry and he liked to encourage that side of him.

Dakota slid his cheek against Henry’s, one side then the other, marking him so no one else dared to think they had a chance. “Mine,” he growled, his voice rough with disuse. Dakota only spoke when necessary and not often.

“Always sweetheart. What have you been up to?”

“I was with Dare on the rooftop.”

Henry froze in surprise. “That’s good.” He supported anything that integrated Dakota more into the pack.

Dakota nodded. “The tiger is soothing.”

“Soothing, huh. I think Steven has a different take on that.” Dare often drove his mate Steven to the edge of his patience.

Dakota’s disdainful snort made Henry smile. “Steven needs more stillness. Dare understands a proper nap.”

Henry laughed. “I’m sure he does.”

“Is that ready yet?” Dakota tilted his head toward the food sitting on the counter.

“It’s still hot.”

Dakota nipped at Henry’s ear before leaning back. “Come back to the apartment. I’ll keep you busy until it’s cool.”

Henry glanced around at the mess of his kitchen. “Let’s go.”

Blog Story – Part 10

Silence met Vin’s melting. For several minutes no one spoke.

“You are far more powerful than I gave you credit for,” Vin said. His eyes were calm but watchful as if waiting to see Vin’s next trick.

“I have my moments. Sorry about the freezing, that comes out when I panic.” At least he hadn’t caught anything on fire this time.

“Better freezing than flame,” Jess whispered.

Vin nodded. He waited to see if Loren would comment further but he calmly continued his meal. “I am sorry if you think I am being overbearing. I can’t stand the thought of my mate being somewhere vulnerable.”

“I can understand that. But you have to know I’ve fought hard to be independent of my family. I’m not going to just move in so you can take care of me now. I can take care of myself.”

Loren set down his fork. “So it seems. However there is always someone tougher and I have powerful enemies.”

Vin had no rebuttal. He knew there were many beings out there some who were completely immune to magic no matter how powerful. It only took one ghoul to take him out. He raked his finger through his hair and slouched back in his seat. “I don’t see a compromise. I don’t want to leave my dorm.”

“I can keep an eye on him uncle,” Jess offered.

Vin smiled at Jess’s eagerness. He knew his friend didn’t want to have to find a new roommate.

“And who is going to watch over you? The reason I even met my mate was because he had to haul your ass out of trouble.”

Jess cleared his throat. “Um, true but come one Uncle Loren the entire reason I chose that school was to attend with Vin.”

Loren sat up straight. “Why?”

“Because he’s my best friend! You can’t claim him and take him away, he was mine first!” Jess threw his napkin on the table.

“You forget one little detail, my young nephew,” Loren purred.

“What?” Jess crossed his arms over his chest.

“Vin claimed me.”