In the Arms of the Beast

by K.A. Merikan

— THE REAL DEMONS LIVE WITHIN —

 

LaurentTime traveller. Devoted husband. Stubborn as the devil himself.

Beast. Kings of Hell MC president. Will stop at nothing to protect his family.

After everything Baal put them through, neither Laurent nor Beast considered ever making another pact with a demon, but in the spur of the moment, temptation becomes too great, and they decide on one more deal.

This time, with Mr. Magpie.

But the gift might prove to be more than they can handle. The danger to the human world has already strained their relationship, but Magpie’s offering brings out the worst in both Laurent and Beast. Confronted with each other’s flaws, they need to decide if, despite all they’ve been through together, perhaps they’re just not meant to be.

With the world on the brink of collapse, and their pact binding them in new and unexpected ways, they have to put their differences aside to stand a chance at saving their family.

 

Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, opposites attract, biker, commitment, family, sacrifice, relationship issues, established couple

Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance

Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~90,000 words (Book 5 in the series)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Age Difference, Alpha Character, Big Character / Little Character, Criminals & Outlaws, Everyone is Queer, Married Life, Opposites Attract, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Secret Baby, Smartass Twinks, True Love, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 90000
Setting: Maine, USA, small town, biker club
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Excerpt:

Laurent had no patience to argue with someone so ignorant, so he was glad to hear the roar of many engines. His heart leapt when he spotted Beast’s familiar shape at the front of the formation. Wide in the shoulders and seated on the huge motorcycle, he was a beacon pulling Laurent to the window.

Each heartbeat brought them closer, and when Beast parked the bike in front of the bar, followed by the remaining club members, it took all of Laurent’s willpower to keep himself from climbing over Rev’s lap like an excitable animal.

But as the herd of men on steel mounts arrived, the commotion inside the bar was impossible to miss. Laurent ignored the hushed comments about their kind and didn’t mind it in the slightest when some of the patrons gathered their things, hurriedly preparing to leave the establishment.

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Good riddance. This was Beast’s night, and he didn’t need to see disapproval in the eyes of people who didn’t even know what powers the man they so despised was up against every day.

When Beast stepped away from his bike and removed the helmet, Laurent stood still, admiring his husband for a few moments longer. Even love couldn’t blind Laurent to the fact that Beast’s face was scarred to the point where no one would consider him classically ‘handsome’. Yet when he was around, Laurent barely noticed anyone else. Beast’s presence sent ripples wherever he went, and Laurent couldn’t help but smile at the thought of being married to a man so strong, so confident, and so powerful.

A hot flash pierced Laurent and trailed all the way to his toes when Beast’s blue eyes met his. The red neon above the entrance shed a colorful glow on his powerful figure, but his face, scarred as it was, softened with tenderness. Beast hadn’t expected Laurent’s presence, but he’d appreciate it nevertheless. Laurent might not be competent at using guns or fighting, but he would support Beast as best as he could on the difficult path his man needed to walk.

When Gray started talking to Beast outside, taking away his attention, Laurent refused to wait any longer. He put his notebook away and went straight for the door, itching to put his arms around his man. He doubted thinking of Beast in such a way would ever grow old. His. Man. A concept unthinkable in year 1805, the time Laurent had left behind.

“How did it go?” he asked when Beast had finished the hurried conversation.

Beast didn’t answer at first, instead sweeping Laurent to his chest until Laurent’s feet left the asphalt. Relief was like warm water splashing down Laurent’s back, and he circled the thick, warm neck with his arms, bumping their foreheads as tenderness took root in his heart.

“We have it,” Beast whispered into Laurent’s ear.

Laurent kissed Beast with a smile, itching to see the jewel. “But are you not injured?” he asked when he spotted dried red dots on Beast’s vest.

Beast shook his head and gave Laurent another peck on the lips. If the blood wasn’t Beast’s, Laurent didn’t need to know who it belonged to.

“Naughty boy. I remember telling you to stay home,” Beast said, but there was no anger in his voice, just teasing.

Laurent ran his fingers over the uneven skin on Beast’s nape where Baal’s sigil had been burned when Beast had sold himself into servitude to keep Laurent with him. It was all the proof of love Laurent would ever require. “I needed to be at least this close.”

Outside, Gray was talking on the phone, visibly agitated, and Laurent nodded toward him before glancing at Beast. “Is everything fine with them?”

Beast put Laurent down and led the way farther inside. The bikers had already turned the bar into their private party, changing the music to the noisy kind they played at the clubhouse, and filling several booths that had previously been empty.

“We have the Pigeon Heart,” Beast said and patted his leather jacket, indicating where the precious stone was, “but Shadow needs a ruby of his own if he’s to survive. They’re fishing for information where to find one large enough to sustain him.”

Laurent squeezed Beast’s hand. Now that his partner was safe, there was room in his heart to feel for others. “Can Magpie really not spare one? He must be bathing in them after so many years of collecting the gems.”

Beast scowled before lowering his voice further. “Magpie never does anything that doesn’t benefit him. No matter how many expensive shoes he buys or how many people he fucks, he’ll never have the conscience of a human.”

He exhaled and rubbed his eyes, which darkened with tiredness, reminding Laurent that Beast’s night had been tough and brutal.

Laurent was confused when their friends erupted into whistles, applause and yelling. He understood what happened as soon as he saw Gray’s and Shadow’s lips meeting .

Gray looked away, trying to ignore the spectators, but didn’t stray from Shadow’s touch. Behind closed doors, their relationship must have become more intimate, and Laurent’s heart bled for them when he realized how high it made the stakes for getting more rubies. He didn’t even want to imagine how it would have felt to see Beast’s existence hanging on something so difficult to obtain.

Laurent stroked his man’s arm when he noticed him frowning at the sight outside. “How about you sit down, and I’ll get us beers?”

Beast looked toward the counter. “If they ask you for ID, say you’re with me.”

Questions could wait, because despite Beast’s assurances, there could be bruises under his clothes that he wasn’t talking about. But Laurent was also proud to be able to buy things with his own money. Granted, his pay came from the club, but he’d still earned it.

Laurent gave Beast a gentle kiss before walking off to the counter. He was about to call out to the barmaid when a curious machine lit up with flashing colors right next to him.

The woman spotted him nevertheless and leaned over the counter, exposing her bosom in a low-cut sleeveless top. “What can I get you, sweetheart?” she said, but before Laurent could have produced an answer. “Wanna use the juke? It’s only a quarter.”

Laurent swallowed, staring at the pulsating lights of the device that reached his shoulders and featured a multitude of buttons. If the king could have afforded such a thing back in the nineteenth century, it would have been the pride of his court.

“What does it do?”

She smirked, betraying her age when the crow’s feet by her eyes deepened. “Ah, you must be real young. It plays music. What do you want to listen to?”

Laurent took in the list of names and titles in a window at the front of the device. “Something melodic and elegant, please.”

“Will that be all?” the barmaid asked. When Laurent ordered the beers, she gave him a long once-over, but then looked at the Kings and asked. “You with them?”

How ingenious of Beast to know that such a question would arise! When Laurent confirmed, the woman gave him two bottles, and the aggressive music rapidly made way for a slow guitar tune that agreed with Laurent so much more. He squeezed the cold bottles, already locking his eyes with Beast, who beamed at him, making space on the seat next to him.

“I’m so happy it’s all going so well.”

Shadow jumped to his feet, watching his lover with the eyes of an eager puppy. “I’ll get you beer, too. I’ve got money.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a whole bunch of crumpled bills.

“Don’t even ask,” Gray said once Shadow was off to join Joker at the bar.

The evening transformed into a regular party. A couple of cars pulled into the parking lot in front of the bar, but only three people decided to enter, out of which two took their food in plastic boxes. Not everyone felt safe around the Kings of Hell MC, but for Laurent there was no place more secure. The patches on his back proclaimed him ‘property’ but he no longer took it literally, and instead relished what his status meant. He was under Beast’s protection, even when they weren’t touching, but when he could sense the warmth, weight, the fresh scent of Beast’s arm across his shoulders, Laurent felt untouchable.

He was glad to hear Magpie offered Gray and Shadow a lead on a ruby they could use, but at the end of the day, he was too focused on Beast to listen to the whole conversation. He was realizing that this night might have ended differently. With Beast hurt. Gone. Laurent sent back to the gallows in year 1805.

He nuzzled Beast’s jaw, struck by a need for affection that couldn’t be quelled. He was far from wanting to make out in public the way Elliot and Knight often did, but he too wanted to proclaim his love for everyone to see, all propriety be damned!

Beast hummed, diving his thick fingers into Laurent’s hair and massaging his scalp. “What is it?”

“May I see the ruby?” Laurent asked, running his hand over Beast’s thigh under the table. How could one man possess another so, he didn’t know, but he wouldn’t be fighting it either.

Beast’s breath caught, and his leg stirred under Laurent’s touch. “The ruby? You can always see the ruby,” Beast whispered, leaving the booth with a smile tugging at his lips. He had such a dirty mind. Then again, now that the suggestion was there, so had Laurent. He’d never claimed to be an angel.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Ele on Gay Book Reviews wrote:

“Imaginative, creative, romantic and extremely satisfying, In the Arms of the Beast is brimming with relationship angst, passion, romance, heart stopping action, dark magic and so, SO many surprises.”


About the Author

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.

K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


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