How many times did I have to tell this old asshole that I wasn't interested in signing on with his publishing company? I could almost guarantee he hadn't read one single word of any of my books. He no doubt had people to do that.
The first time he'd called, he'd said something about as a man writing romance novels, he was surprised I wasn't queer.
First, I was queer. Second, if he'd read my romance novels, he'd know that. And third, though I found it endlessly amusing that one of his underlings was going about trying to get gay romance novels published through the bigot's company without the man even knowing, I didn't want to have to speak to the man, so I was out on that one. Self-publishing was working just fine for me.
And now, for him to show up at my not job, in a room full of men who loved other men, to try to talk me into something I'd already told him no to, at least ten times? Well, that was pretty fucking stupid.
I didn't want to cause a scene in Bunny's diner, so I dug my heels in when Arry tried to push me through the door.
"Come on, Ward. I guarantee you are going to love me for this one."
Jumping, as the man goosed me, and then gave a big shove, I was propelled through the swinging door out into the diner. "I have no intention of meeting with an old, uptight bigot about my work, which he hasn't even read."
When I had no choice but to look up so I didn't trample some sweet old lady or somebody's tiny little mate, I met beautiful brown eyes, behind nerdy, black framed glasses, perched on a chunky, adorable face, and my breath caught.
I also stopped pushing back against my friend, and was propelled forward when he gave me a little shove, stumbling a few feet in the direction of that beautiful man. I knew as soon as the sweet scent of something amazing hit my nostrils, it was coming from him.
He was mine. He was, "mate."
"I'm sorry, cutie," Arry was saying, as I tried to get my bearings. "I didn't get your name."
"Davis. Uh, Sanders. Davis Sanders. From Sanders Publishing. Well, I'm with them. I'm from Illinois. So is Sanders Publishing. It's my dad." His adorable face scrunched up. "Not the company. A company can't be a dad. Alder Sanders is my dad. He owns the company. Oh wow, is it hot in here?"
He picked up the menu and started fanning himself, his eyes wide as he looked at me. And just kept looking.
Chuckling, Arry gestured in my direction like he was working the letters on a game show. "Davis Sanders, this is Ward Butler. Ward, this cutie here, is Mr. Davis Sanders. Not raised by a publishing company."
I glared at Arry for a moment. Both for calling my mate cutie, and for making fun of him. But Davis just smiled and blushed.
"Yes, I ramble sometimes. Obvious––" He blinked, focusing on me. "You're Ward Butler? Oh shit! Oops! Can I say that here?" He put his hand over his mouth, looking around, probably searching for small children and elderly. "I really should be muzzled in public. I tend to say things that offend people. Gorgeous men make me nervous."
His eyes widened comically, and he gasped, putting the other hand up there with the first, sealing both of them tightly. "Oh damn." He mumbled against the palm on bottom.
Where I enjoyed the compliment––and I knew it was for me, because he'd barely taken his eyes off of me––I was stuck on the muzzle comment. But I was picturing his pink lips wrapped around a bright red ball gag, as he looked over his shoulder while sitting on a pillow on his knees, tied naked with a pretty red scarf to a hook I was very soon to install in my room.
I felt pre-cum bubble from the head of my dick, and I groaned, reaching under my apron to adjust my cock through my jeans, right there in the middle of the diner, with a ridiculous amount of people watching.
I heard a muttered "eww" that I think probably came from Arry––not that that perv could talk––as my mate's hands slowly lowered from his mouth when he caught the action.
He whimpered a little, and as I stepped closer, intending to sit with him, I caught the scent of his arousal, and my knees actually went a little weak.
Sliding into the chair across from him, I did my best to smile through the uncomfortable pinch my pants were giving my dick. "What is it I can do for you, Hot Stuff?"
He pointed at himself like he was asking if I was talking to him, making me chuckle when I nodded. "Uh––" He blinked at me for some time. "My father."
Smirking, I rested my chin on my fist, staring into his pretty brown eyes. "I'm not doing your father."
Giggling, Davis shook his head. "Yeah, he'd just bitch the whole time that you weren't doing it right anyway."
He was so handsome when he smiled like that, showing off his tongue-able dimples.
"My father sent me to see if maybe you'd reconsider publishing with Sanders. I'm about one hundred percent positive he hasn't read your books. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason he keeps pushing for it, is because his pretty, blond editor suggested it, which he is convinced he can still get at his age. But anyone who knows her can clearly see she's into ladies and definitely not into old man penis…but that is completely inappropriate, and so not what I was trying to tell you." Again, those pretty brown eyes were almost as big as the lenses in his glasses.
"Anyway, I absolutely love your books, but since my dad is slightly bigoted, I would assume he hasn't actually read them and was originally trying to get you so he could impress his editor, but now he's obsessed because you told him no. He's not a fan of that word."
"You are fucking adorable," I blurted like an idiot. But he absolutely was.
When I heard giggles from the table next to us, I turned to find Burke, Rory, and Arry, lined up, all watching from different positions of moony-eyed adoration while sitting at the table, looking between Davis and me like they were watching their favorite soap-opera.
Green and Foster were watching us too, but the smirky looks on their faces said they were laughing at my expense.
When I turned back to my mate, he was blushing almost the color of his bright red bow tie. "Um, anyway. He basically made me come do this to make a man of me." His voice had gone ridiculously deep like he was mocking someone, and then he rolled his eyes. "I have no idea what coming to Purdy, Nebraska to talk to you has to do with being manly… Actually, I don't know what anything beyond having a penis has to do with being manly.
"I mean it's not like I lost my penis because I'm fat, and date other men. Though, I have heard if you lose thirty pounds, you gain like an inch in your length. I'm sure that's exaggerated." His head snapped up from where he'd been looking at the table, his eyes horrified. "Not that I have a little dick! It's perfectly average!
"Oh my goodness! That was loud. Why am I talking about penises again? I swear I'm not some sex crazed psychopath."
"I'm calling Bennett, he should really be here for this," Foster said, pulling out his phone.
"Don't you dare," I growled, pointing at fan club.
"I'm going to get kicked out of this diner for indecent exposure or something. Eww, that sounds like I’m going to pull my dick out." Gasping, Davis spun a little in his chair, addressing the room. "I'm not going to pull my dick out!"
"This is the best conversation I've ever not been a part of," Burke said happily, smiling at my mate.
"Bennett, you have to come to the diner. Ward's mate is amazing." Rolling his eyes, he waited. "I don't care if your bear meat is getting cold. I promise this is something you don't want to miss." Another pause. "You've got years and years to make grizzards!"
Snatching the phone out of Foster's hand, Burke paused to whisper-yell at his mate. "Remember, this is why you and Bennett aren't allowed to play together anymore. Ya always end up tryin' to kill him." And then into the phone, Burke said, "Get back to your bear meat, Goldilocks. I'll give you the rundown later."
"Alright," Bunny said, coming up behind me, clearly trying not to laugh her ass off. "As much as I want to hear this adorable young man talk about his dick all night, Arry, these table ain't gonna wait themselves," she said in an exaggerated southern accent, probably meant to pick on Burke.
Arry grumbled, standing up and walking over to the table full of firefighters. They were all smirking at me, and I knew that at least two were going to make fun of me when we all got back to the leap house this evening.
Not that I was ashamed. My mate might have a word vomit issue, but he was fucking adorable, and charming in a way that everyone was smitten with him already.
"Ward, I'll go ahead and take over in the kitchen. I've packed you both some fried chicken, okra, creamed corn and a couple slices of pie. Take this adorable young man somewhere, where these morons won't sit around making him nervous by staring at him like he's the second coming or something. Come grab them on your way out."
"Thanks, Bunny." When she walked away, I looked back at my mate, smiling at his still blushing face. "What do you say, Hot Stuff? Want to go back to your room and have dinner with me?"
Davis gasped, making me think he might have heard the innuendo that had slipped into my voice by accident.
"Uh." He swallowed, "Yeah, yes. You can…behind me. What?! Oh my gawd! Follow me! I have to get the hell out of here!"
I chuckled as I grabbed the bag a smirking Bunny held out, as we passed her, me following behind my mate's plump body, thoroughly enjoying the jiggle in his wiggle.
"Thanks again, Bunny," I said, swapping my ridiculously frilly apron I knew she only made me wear, with the food in her arms. "Call me if you need me to cover again."
"You take care of that cutie, boy. He's just what you need."
Smiling brightly, as he turned at the door to catch me staring at him, I sighed like the three idiots pretending not to still be watching us. "Yeah. He's perfect."
"How long are you planning to be here?" I asked, placing the bags on the small table set against the wall.
"Well, I have a plane ticket for the day after tomorrow. I didn't tell my dad that, though. He said to stay until I get a yes, but I'm just not like that. Honestly, I figured if you were going to say yes, you'd have done it already."
He was scrambling around the room, picking stuff up, and tossing it all in a pile on the bed.
Obviously, he didn't realize that I planned to make use of that bed before the day was over.
"How long have you been here?" I asked, eying the pile he'd managed to accumulate from around the room.
It looked like at least a week's worth of laundry, and a pair of flip-flops.
"Uh, I got in last night around five." He seemed preoccupied with something in the bathroom.
He kept glancing through the door, trying to be nonchalant, but his shifty eyes were giving him away. As was the sudden lack of words.
Things were bad, when I was the one keeping a conversation going.
Narrowing my eyes, I started walking toward the bathroom, watching as his eyes got bigger and bigger. "Do you mind if I use your restroom? I think I had too much of Bunny's lemonade earlier."
Squeaking, Davis ran for the bathroom, nearly taking his shoulder off on the door, "Just a sec," he said, trying to shut the door, but a wayward rag was in the way, and the thing banged back open, just as I came around the corner to witness the guy fighting with something that seemed to be stuck to the tiled wall.
Actually, it was suction cupped, and when he tried to pull it off a second time, it just slid along the wall, making him nearly fall.
"Hold on," I said gruffly, not wanting to see the adorable man kill himself. "I'll get it."
"No, no. I got it." But as he gave another solid tug, his hand slipped off the thing completely, and he toppled backward.
Thankfully, I caught him before he fell into the shower. The man was an actual hazard to himself.
"Oh my gawd," he whined, covering his face. "Why is this happening to me?"
Standing him on his own two feet, but still holding onto his soft side, because I had him in my arms and he felt perfect there, I glanced up at the object that had caused all the trouble, and couldn't contain the laughter that bubbled up.
A lovely purple dildo was suction cupped to the wall. And the reason my adorable mate had almost busted his head open via falling into the shower, was because it was still lubed up from a recent use.
"Oh my gawd," he said again into his hands, before pulling them away from his face and looking at the mess on his palms. "Oh my gawd."
Still chuckling, I grabbed one of his wrists, and dragged him to the sink, turning on the warm water and putting first one, and then the other, under the stream.
His face was bright red, as I gently dried his hands with a towel, and then used a warm rag to reach up and gently wash the lube from his face, still chuckling when it all hit me again and again.
He seemed to have put himself in shock because he didn't say a word as I led him out of the bathroom and over to the table to sit down.
I pulled the take-away containers out of the bags, and handed him one big box, and one pie box before putting the rest in front of me.
"I swear, I'm not some sex-crazed deviant," he said, groaning again and letting his head fall into his hand resting on the table. "Today was just ridiculous."
"Everyone masturbates, Hot Stuff. Hell, I did this morning."
Swallowing hard, Davis looked up at me, licking his lips. "You did?"
"I did. Maybe we were doing it at the same time." The idea made me groan a bit.
Breath catching, Davis blinked at me, but I could tell by the unfocused look in his eyes, that he was thinking about it too.
I groaned when the smell of his arousal hit me. "Shit! We need a distraction. Eat!"
"A distraction?" He panted out the question, his cheeks a lovely shade of pink that spoke of lust, and he squirmed a little in his chair, probably needing relief on his dick.
He blinked, as though in a fog, and frowned down at the containers in front of him. "Oh. I…uh. I don't want to be rude, but I can't eat this."
"Are you allergic?" Allergies. Shifters didn't usually have allergies. I'd have to be careful with my mate until I claimed him. I would hate to accidentally poison the beautiful man.
"No, no. Nothing like that." He gave a smile that was a bit self-deprecating, and it had my leopard getting riled in my head. "I've been trying to eat better. I'm sure you noticed, but I'm a bit on the chunky side."
His laugh was self-consciece, and I didn't like it. He should only, ever be happy. He should strut around with his head held high because he was fucking perfect.
I knew I didn't have the same tastes as everyone around me. Or really even most of the people around me. But I sure loved a husky man. And this one, in particular, rang every bell I've ever had.
"So?" I could feel the snarl on my face and could do nothing to remove it. "You should be happy with your body."
Giving a small laugh, he glanced down, purposely not meeting my eyes, and that pissed me off too. "I've uh…had boyfriends tell me I'd be an attractive man if I'd lose thirty to forty pounds. I don't know about that, but I've always struggled with my weight. I really like to eat."
Growling, and making Davis's eyes widen and snap to my face, I moved my chair around closer to him. When I leaned toward him, putting my face within a foot of his, I breathed him in while watching his surprised brown eyes. "You are an attractive man. Do you understand me? Those fucktards don't deserve you, so you are going to forget they ever existed. They don't matter, because they don't understand real beauty. And people like that are not worth a shit."
I'd clearly surprised him. His eyes just blinked, and his mouth dropped open. But I needed clarification.
"Do you understand me, Hot Stuff?"
When he nodded, I raised an eyebrow.
"Y…yes. I understand you, Ward."
"Good," I said smiling. "Let's eat." And then I had an idea that shot a fresh wave of lust straight through my body. I looked at his plush mouth, wanting to put mine there. "Can I feed you?"
"Wh…what? Feed me? Like, you want to feed me?"
Nodding, still watching his sweet mouth, I scooted forward on my chair, putting one leg under the table, and sliding the inside of my left calf against the outside of his right, needing to feel him in some way.
He glanced down at my leg where it was nestled against his, and swallowed. "Don't you think that would be weird?" His voice was husky when he followed the length of my leg, all the way up to my crotch.
His eyes widened a little, and I knew he'd caught sight of my erection.
"Please?" I asked on a whisper.
Licking his lips, still looking at my dick, he nodded.
"With words, Hot Stuff."
"Yes, Ward. I would like you to feed me."