A big Thank You to Amber for inviting me to share in her November Birthday Bash! To celebrate, here is a short tale about Frankie’s birthday (he’s the wolf shifter who starred in The Vampire’s Special Lover). If you want to leave a comment, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a free ebook – reader choice. The drawing will be held at the end of the month.
Happy Birthday, Amber!
Frankie shoved open the door to Reb’s tattoo shop. Even the jingle of the bells overhead didn’t cheer him. He leaned on the counter, watching his brother create a tattoo on some woman’s ankle. After a few seconds, Reb lifted his needle and glanced toward him, smiling at him.
“Hey, little brother. Happy birthday!”
Smiling for the first time that morning, Frankie replied, “Thanks.”
Reb returned his focus to his work even while he asked, “Got any big plans?”
Frankie’s smile disappeared. “No.” He knew the response came out a little forlorn, but he couldn’t help it.
Evidently surprised by his tone, Reb paused again and peered at him. “Really? I’d have thought Vince would have something planned.”
Shrugging, Frankie admitted, “Yesterday he left town on a…” he paused, glancing at the woman getting the tattoo, and changed what he planned to say. Since the woman was human, Frankie knew he couldn’t blurt out that his lover had to complete an errand for the Vampire Council. “…a business trip. He was supposed to be back this afternoon, but he called last night and said he wouldn’t be back until tomorrow.” He knew he whined, but he couldn’t help it. “He’s gonna miss my birthday.”
Reb patted the woman on the shoulder and murmured, “Just a sec.” After she smiled and nodded, his brother moved around the counter and pulled Frankie into a hug. “I’m sorry, man.”
Frankie didn’t even try to resist. He knew they were both big men, and some might think it weird, but as a wolf shifter, they knew the importance of a comforting touch. Besides, his brother had cared for him since he was two years old and their parents had died.
Returning his brother’s hug, Frankie muttered, “Thanks. I know it’s not his fault. I just miss him.” Vince was Frankie’s vampire mate, and he hated being separated from him. Since Vince had thought he’d only be gone one night and Frankie’d had to work the afternoon before at Reb’s tattoo shop, Frankie hadn’t gone with him. Now, it seemed that decision had been a mistake.
“Tell you what,” Reb said, pulling away. “Let me finish up with Lindsey here.” He indicated his waiting customer. “I don’t have any appointments this afternoon, so I’ll close up the shop and we’ll go for a run. How does that sound?”
Frankie brightened. “Really?” He loved running as his wolf.
“Absolutely,” Reb responded. He patted Frankie on his back, then returned to Lindsey.
Twenty minutes later, Reb instructed the woman on aftercare for her new butterfly tat and sent her on her way.
Lindsey paused at the door, smiled at Frankie, and offered, “Happy birthday.”
Frankie returned her smile. “Thanks.”
He helped his brother clean up his supplies, then lock up the shop. Reb drove to their favorite, out-of-the way trailhead. After hiking the trail for ten minutes, they ducked under some branches and stood in a small hidden clearing. He and his brother stripped down, shoved their clothes in a backpack, and shifted.
The familiar sensations worked through Frankie’s body and he dropped to his knees. His skin rippled as his fur grew. His spine tingled as his tail formed. His muscles stretched, his bones cracked, and his tendons popped. Finally, pressure on his head and behind his eyes told him his skull reshaped. It all happened quickly, taking maybe ten or fifteen seconds.
Once Frankie completed his change, he shook out his fur, then loped out of the tiny clearing. He knew his brother ran just off his left flank. There wasn’t much better in life than running and playing in wolf form…except, sex with Vince. His mate always made him feel special, taking great care of him, pleasing him.
Frankie felt his body heat at his thoughts.
Deciding to think about something else—heck, he didn’t want a boner in wolf form, that would just suck—he bumped shoulders with his brother, then took off after the scent of a rabbit.
Hours later, Frankie and Reb made their way back to the clearing. They shifted back to human form and pulled on their clothes, then flopped onto their backs and relaxed, staring at the blue sky overhead.
Looking at his brother, Frankie grinned. “Thanks. I needed that.”
“Me, too,” Reb replied, patting his shoulder. He pushed to a sitting position, then to his feet. “Come on, little brother,” he urged, holding out a hand. “Let’s go find you some cake.”
Frankie grinned, responding eagerly. “Yeah!” He grasped his brother’s hand and the other man helped him to his feet. Peeking under the branches and scenting the wind, they checked for people on the trail. Finding it empty, they stepped out and headed back to the parking lot.
As he climbed into the truck, Frankie listened to Reb talk with Daithi, his brother’s human mate. “Yeah, babe, we’re headed back…uh huh. It was great. Yeah, I’ll tell him, but we’ll see you in a few.”
“Are we going to your place?” Frankie asked after his brother tossed the phone into the center console.
“Yep.” Reb started up his SUV, then winked at him. “Daithi made cupcakes. Strawberry.”
Frankie hummed, anticipation filling him. “My favorite!”
Reb expertly maneuvered the vehicle down the mountain roads. Before long, they were pulling up in front of Reb’s home, a three-bedroom, two-bath house that Frankie used to share with him. When Frankie had mated with Vince, he and his vampire had bought a place with two-bedrooms, two-baths right down the street. They spent time there as well as at Vince’s home near Atlanta, Georgia, depending on the time of year and what work the Vampire Council assigned to Vince. Sometimes, Frankie missed the camaraderie of being with his brother and his pack, but he wouldn’t give up spending as much time as possible with his mate for anything.
Frankie climbed out of the SUV and followed his brother to the house. Reb shoved the door open and stepped inside, moving left out of the doorway. Frankie followed him, turned around and shut the door.
The shouts of many voices caused Frankie’s heart to trip in his chest. He spun around. His mouth sagged open in shock as he swept his gaze over the dozen or so people crowded into his brother’s house. From their midst, strode Vince.
Giving his own shout of glee, Frankie threw himself at his lover. His vampire caught him and wrapped him tightly in his arms. Lowering his head, Vince captured Frankie’s lips. He thrust his tongue deep, devouring—claiming—his mouth, sweeping deep. Frankie clung to his lover, reveling in the possessive, feral kiss. It told him that Vince had missed him just as much.
Vince brought the kiss to an end, then grinned down at him. “Happy birthday, Frankie.”
“Thanks,” Frankie replied. “I thought you weren’t going to be home until tomorrow?”
Vince caressed his face as he glanced around at everyone. That’s when Frankie noticed everyone staring at them, grinning. Vince brushed a butterfly kiss to his lips, then stated, “I’m sorry I misled you. Things fell into place easily enough this morning, and I finished early. When you didn’t answer your phone, I called Daithi.” The vampire looked over at the human. “He thought you’d enjoy this, so helped me put it together.”
Frankie finally took a moment to look around at his friends and pack-mates. His alpha, Declan McIntire, smiled at him from where he leaned against the wall with his arm around his human mate, Lark. A couple of others from the pack stood nearby, as well as a few vampire friends and their mates.
Laughing, warmth flooded Frankie. His friends and family surrounded him, having remembered his birthday after all. Vince wrapped his arm around Frankie and led him over to the others. There were plenty of hugs, slaps on the back, and well wishes.
Eventually, Daithi thrust a strawberry cupcake into his hands. Frankie ate almost half in one bite and moaned his approval of the moist, fluffy, frosting-covered deliciousness. He finished it in two more bites. When another appeared in his line of vision, Frankie looked up to see Daithi holding it out to him with an indulgent smile.
“Go on,” the human urged. “I made plenty.” He winked. “It’s your birthday.”
Vince leaned close and whispered into his ear. “And you’re going to need your strength for later.”
Frankie’s eyes widened. His breathing sped up and blood flowed to his dick, making him hard and aching in his jeans in seconds.
Inhaling deeply, Vince hissed out the breath. “Later, Frankie, later,” he crooned. “Eat your cupcakes.”
Swallowing hard, Frankie nodded absently as he took the second cupcake. “Okay.”
After everyone polished off at least one cupcake, though most of the shifters ended up eating three and four, Reb held up a handkerchief. “Come on, Frankie. Time to play Pin the tail on the wolf.” He pointed into another room.
Frankie turned and headed that way. Inside, a large poster hung on the wall. Drawn on the paper, was a big, strawberry blond wolf, minus his tail. Snorting, Frankie turned to his brother. “That’s you!”
Reb snickered. “Yep. Daithi took a picture of me and used it to make the poster. He’d planned to give it to parents for their kids parties, but I convinced him it’d be fun for us, too.” He held up the blind-fold again. “So, how about it?”
Frankie nodded enthusiastically. “Hell, yeah!”
The group played. With much joshing, cajoling, and heckling, everyone took a turn. Even his alpha agreed to be blind-folded, spun around, and pointed toward the paper with a bushy brown tail clutched in his dark fingers.
Much to everyone’s amusement, Lark won. The slender blond did a happy dance complete with Oh, yeahs and I’m all that’s. Finally, Declan grabbed his man, dipped him, and laid one on him, silencing his jubilant shouts. Several wolf whistles and hoots sounded through the air.
Frankie thought kissing sounded fabulous. Not his alpha, of course, but his own mate. Glancing around, he found his vampire standing off to the side, smirking. He walked up to Vince, cupped his jaw, and licked his way into his man’s mouth, tasting cupcake, beer, and something all his man’s own.
Vince responded by growling a bit. He pulled Frankie close and opened to him. For several seconds, they fought for dominance, their tongues dueling and teeth nipping. Not really wanting to win, Frankie moaned and sank into the vampire’s embrace.
When breathing became paramount—and Frankie nearly vibrated with the need to rut against his lover, to get pressure on his throbbing shaft—Frankie drew away. Vince’s eyes glowed red, expressing his own desire, as if his aroused scent didn’t give him away.
Grinning widely with his kiss-swollen lips, Vince winked at him. Then, he lifted his gaze to sweep it around the room, smirking at the group of men. “Time for us to go. I need to give the birthday boy his birthday blow job.”
Groans and hoots sounded throughout the room. Some of the men threw napkins or empty cupcake wrappers at them.
Vince just laughed, even as he grabbed Frankie’s hand and tugged him from the house. Shouts of Happy birthday and Go get ’em, tiger followed them out the door.
Frankie giggled—not that he’d ever admit it—as he followed his mate down the street to their home. Upon entering, as soon as the door closed, Vince pressed Frankie against it. For several seconds, Vince just stared at him with red, feral eyes.
Then, his vampire lowered himself to his knees. He grinned up at him, showing off his fangs, as he opened Frankie’s jeans. His lover wasted no time sucking him down to the root.
Over the next several hours, Vince seemed to make it his mission to see how many times he could make Frankie come.
Sated and content, curled up in his vampire’s arms, Frankie sighed.
Vince cupped his jaw and pressed their lips together, sliding his tongue deep for a slow, thorough kiss. When he pulled away, Vince whispered, “Happy birthday, beloved.”
Smiling, Frankie relaxed against his man. “Best birthday ever.”
Blurb for Crashing the Comicon:
Out of the Cage: When a shifter won’t do…maybe a vampire will.
Sebastian Seb Russo is forced to take a commercial flight to his next assignment since the Vampire Council doesn’t have any planes available. His leaders have charged him with assisting the alpha of the wolf shifters in Stone Ridge, Colorado with communications between paranormals and the human government. Except, the one thing that would delay him happens…he discovers his beloved, his soul mate, on that plane. Now, Seb finds himself in Las Vegas, trailing the human Dirk Lemans. His attempts to woo the human are successful, until he makes one too many verbal slips, and he discovers a powerful truth. Dirk thinks Seb is a shifter…and not too long ago, shifters held him captive. Can Seb convince Dirk that not all paranormals are the same?