Hey, it’s Lex Valentine here to wish Amber a very happy birthday! This is one of my favorite times of the year because Amber always gives us a chance to revisit our favorite characters which is really a gift not only to us authors but to the readers as well! Loose Id was kind enough to put out my Darkworld paranormals both the MF and MM ones so I thought I’d give you taste of the latest release Breathe Me In. The other MM stories in the series include the award-winning Fire Season and Sunstroked.
It’s that time of year for Breathe Me In’s Garrick and his partner Wilson has something special in mind for the mage who thinks birthdays are for other people.
Wilson North drew a deep breath and shouldered open the bedroom door. Starfished across the big sleigh bed, burgundy sheets twisted around him and one long thigh dusted with dark hair completely uncovered, lay the birthday boy Garrick Forrester. Will stood motionless for a moment. Every time he saw Garrick like this, vulnerable and oh, so beautiful, his heart nearly stopped. But, as usual, it restarted with a thud and picked up speed until it thundered with excitement and the knowledge that this man belonged solely to him.
The tea cup on the tray rattled as Will’s hands shook slightly. Gazing at Garrick always made him a little unsteady. Some days he could barely believe he’d ended up so damned happy. Of course, he and Garrick’s path to happiness hadn’t come without pain and some sacrifices, but overall, Will decided that he was blessed.
Garrick rolled over in the bed and the sheet fell away to one side, exposing the hard body Will loved to lavish his attention on. He stared, licking his lips as he eyed Garrick’s morning wood. Yes, indeed. He was definitely blessed, he thought lasciviously.
“Are you going to feed me or just keep staring at me all morning while the tea gets cold?”
The deep voice of his lover stirred Will from his reverie and he continued on toward the bed as Garrick rose up on his elbows, one dark brow crooked up. Will ignored the eyebrow’s silent query as he put the tea tray on the bedside table. Then he sat on the edge of the bed, his flannel covered thigh mere inches from Garrick’s naked one. The mage’s eyes dropped to the pajama bottoms.
“Why did you get dressed? We don’t have any company in the apartment.”
Will stroked a finger along Garrick’s thigh. “I hate to cook in the nude. You know this.”
Garrick nodded. “I do. Does that mean you made breakfast as well as tea?”
“It’s your birthday. Of course I made breakfast.” Will tried not to huff but knew he’d failed miserably.
A low chuckle escaped Garrick and he caught Will’s wandering fingers in his own, bringing them to his mouth for a kiss. “I know you did. I can smell it. All my favorites, right?”
The eyeroll almost got out, but Will controlled himself. “What else for my favorite man?”
Garrick let go of Will’s hand and pushed himself up on the bed into a seated position. “So I’m your favorite man now?”
“You’re my only man as you well know.”
Again the eyebrow cocked up and Will held back the huff this time as Garrick pulled the sheet over his lap. He reached for the tray and settled it over Garrick’s thighs. He and the birthday boy both stared down at his offering. Thick sliced bacon crisped to perfection. Eggs soft scrambled. Toasty brown English muffins slathered in butter and strawberry jam. Roasted red skinned potato chunks with a light dusting of parsley. And a china pot emitting the fragrance of Garrick’s favorite green tea. One sterling set up. One forest green napkin and one delicate tea cup.
Garrick reached for the napkin and unfurled it. “There’s only one of everything.” His deep voice held an edge of displeasure.
Will refused to meet his lover’s gaze. “It’s your birthday, not mine.”
A hand tipped Will’s chin up and he raised his eyes reluctantly. Garrick stared back at him, expression stern.
“I don’t do birthdays. At least not mine. I’ve been telling you this for weeks. If there is breakfast, it’s breakfast for us both, not just for me. Today is just another day to me, Will. The only reason it’s special is because I have you.”
The dark even tones of the mage’s voice sent a shiver down Will’s spine. He loved that velvety voice. He had from the first moment he’d heard it, sitting on a bench inside a mausoleum. He’d been utterly captivated by Garrick from that moment forward.
“I just want to spoil you,” he muttered, his eyes dropping. “I’m so damned grateful to have you that on today, the day of your birth, I’d like to spoil you.”
Garrick let out a soft breath and he leaned close, his lips pressing against Will’s temple. “You spoil me every day. Being with you is like a birthday every day of the year.”
A lump formed in Will’s throat at his partner’s words. He blinked rapidly as his eyes filled. Unfortunately, he didn’t blink fast enough and one tear spilled down his cheek. He roughly wiped it away with the sleeve of his T-shirt and sniffled loudly. When he looked up, he found Garrick smiling gently at him.
“I love you, Will. I’m happier than I have ever been in my life. Every day with you is a miracle.” Garrick’s hands slid into Will’s hair and brought their faces close. “I look forward to waking beside you each day, filled with the knowledge that we belong to each other. I know that every day you’ll do or say something that will make me feel as if I own the world simply because you love me.”
Will sniffled again and his lower lip thrust out a little. “For a guy who says he prefers actions over words, you sure do have some eloquent verbiage.”
A grin split Garrick’s handsome face. “You make me eloquent. You give me all these feelings and sometimes they just pour out of me in words.” He shrugged his broad shoulders which made the tea tray rattle. “But I’m sure you like it better when my feelings become actions.”
A big hand slipped under Will’s T-shirt and tweaked one of his nipples. Will gasped and his pout disappeared. Garrick’s grin widened.
“What do you say we eat this excellent breakfast together? And then you get rid of those horrid pajamas and I’ll show you just how special today really is? Birthday or no birthday.”
Garrick’s words came out in a purr so seductive, Will felt his cock stir. He thought of the presents he’d left hidden in the pantry, a place Garrick rarely entered. For a moment, disappointment fluttered in his chest, but then his lover’s hand slipped beneath the waistband of the flannel pajama bottoms. Will gasped and forgot about the surprises he had in store for Garrick’s birthday later in the day.
He stiffened beneath Garrick’s touch. “Eat up, Magic Man,” he urged.
“I thought so,” Garrick chuckled as Will held out the fork to him.
Leaning forward, Will snatched a quick kiss, his heart racing at the taste and touch of Garrick’s tongue. “Happy birthday, love,” he whispered.
They both turned to the plate of food then, intent on devouring it as quickly as possible so they could enjoy the rest of the morning devouring each other.
If you like this bit of Will and Garrick, you’ll find them in Breathe Me In, Book 6.5 of the Tales of the Darkworld, available at Loose Id and Amazon.
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.
Thanks for having me here today, Amber and I wish you the best of birthdays!