Despised by his family for being a living reminder of his father’s infidelity, Rudy never expected that a blind date mix up would change his life.
Meeting Clay, an engineer fresh out of the military, is the answer to Rudy’s dreams, becoming Rudy’s co-worker, protector and lover all rolled into one gorgeous package.
But filled with hate, Donny, Rudy’s older half-brother, tries to destroy him and stop Rudy from saving his grandfather’s toy factory.
Only Clay can save Rudy’s life and the toy factory, if he’s not too late.
- 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: MLR Press
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Fairy Tales Revisited, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 49,000
Languages Available: English
The big man enveloped Rudy’s hand in his large grip. “Pleased to meet you, Rudy Klaus. I’m Clarence Barnet but you can call me Clay.”
The warmth of Clay’s calloused skin against Rudy’s sent tingles up his arm. The man’s eyes widened and he gripped Rudy’s hand tighter as his nostrils flared. Just for a second, the man’s eyes flashed a glowing yellow like shimmering citrine gemstones before returning to their normal amber.
Clay stared intently into Rudy’s face, his smile frozen. “You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen,” Clay murmured, still holding onto Rudy’s hand like a lifeline. “I can’t tell if they are copper, brown or both.”
Heat flushed Rudy’s body as Clay’s low growling voice rolled over him. Deep and sexy, it sent shivers running through him. His dick swelled uncomfortably in his jeans and he wiggled slightly, trying to move it away from the teeth of his zipper.READ MORE
“I was just thinking the same thing about yours. Not that they were copper or brown, I mean. They’re like honey amber, and they are just really pretty especially with your long lashes. And I’ll just shut up now, and stop embarrassing myself.” Rudy wanted to smack his own forehead to stop his verbal diarrhea.
Clay grinned and Rudy thought he was going to faint. “Oh my God, you have dimples,” he whispered, not noticing them earlier.
Clay’s grin broadened, making the dimples in his cheeks more prominent. “Would you like to go somewhere else for a bite to eat?”
“Yes, please.” So long as it’s you biting me, or licking me, or sucking on any part of me.
Rising with his hand still in Clay’s, fingers entwined, Rudy’s gaze went up and then up some more. Clay had to be at least a full head taller than him. Not watching where he was going, Rudy stumbled forward into Clay, who caught him, pressing their bodies together. All that wonderful hardness against him and Rudy couldn’t help licking his lips as he swallowed hard.
Clay’s eyes followed the movement of Rudy’s tongue across his lips and the big man groaned. Although they had both admitted they didn’t want a quick fuck, the arousal, the instant attraction, boiling off each of them was almost overwhelming to Rudy’s senses.
Rudy’s cock had barely had a chance to deflate from when Clay had first made his appearance in the bar. Then it went from half hard to fully erect and aching in seconds. Judging from the feel of the impressive bulge in Clay’s pants, he wanted Rudy just as much as Rudy wanted him. It was hard to fight the impulse to grind against Clay, to rub their erections together to find release.
“Damn it, guys. Take that somewhere else.” The busty waitress stood nearby waving a hand before her face. “The pheromones you two are pumping out are making everyone in the place horny.”
Feeling his cheeks heat, Rudy smiled sheepishly up at Clay who tucked him under his arm, and close to his body. Only having eyes for the gorgeous man that he was cuddled up against, Rudy never registered his danger until it was too late.
A large hand wrapped painfully around his bicep, wrenching his shoulder as he was roughly hauled away from Clay’s side.
“And just where do you think you’re going, runt?”
Shit. Donny had found him and with the tight hold of his arm, Rudy couldn’t blink away. He squeezed his eyes shut waiting for the first blow to land. Blinking, as he liked to call it, was a gift from his mysterious mother. Rudy had the ability to transport himself from place to place provided he had seen or been to it before. That ability had kept him ahead of his brothers, and many times had saved him from a beating. But his life depended on not using it in public.
None of them registered the low rumbling sound that was steadily growing louder, a whining buzz saw. Rudy was too scared to turn, and investigate. He didn’t need to be psychic to know that pain was in his near future.
“Donny.” Daniel’s voice sounded nervous, and Rudy slightly opened one of his eyes.
“Donny.” Daniel shook Donny’s shoulder. Louis stood beside him, face pale.
“What?” he snapped at Daniel without looking at him.
The sound had increased in volume to where it was a cross between a growl and a shriek. It was a sound Rudy had never heard before.
“Donny!” Daniel yelled. “Watch out!”
Donny twisted with Rudy still in his clutches. “Wha-” And froze.
Clay stood there snarling at them, his body tense like he was preparing to attack. Vicious claws tipped his fingers as he held his hands at the ready. His face was partially transformed, half human. His blazing citrine eyes were filled with fury. Black markings decorated his skin but most notable were the massive fangs flashing in his open mouth. He appeared to be some sort of cat, a stunningly beautiful one.
Donny, Daniel and Louis moved back in unison, leaving Rudy standing between them and Clay. The cowards were not about to mess with the huge predator in their midst.
“What’s going on here?” A large man stepped in front of Clay. Rudy recognized him as Andy, the bouncer and a grizzly shifter.
“Nothing,” Louis stammered. “A misunderstanding, that’s all.”
His half-brothers fidgeted under Andy’s glare. Yeah. He knew them all right. Knew what kind of troublemakers the three of them were.
Rudy saw his chance, and took it, sliding around behind the bouncer, and into Clay’s waiting arms. Even though Clay, in his half-shifted form was fierce and scary in appearance, easily able to take his half-brothers, Rudy felt no fear of him. Instead, he felt safe, sheltered within Clay’s thick arms. That was an odd sensation for him.
Although few predators dared to hunt his kind, Rudy was small, a runt, and that screamed prey animal to others. Not with Clay, however. One of his half-brothers made a threatening move towards them and Clay yowled a loud warning at him, waving a clawed hand in the air, forcing Daniel back.
“It’s alright, big guy, I’m safe now.”
Rudy rubbed the big man’s chest in a soothing manner. The noises coming from Clay settled into a low rumble, not quite a purr, but calming all the same.
“I think you guys need to take this outside.”
“No problem, Andy. My date and I were just leaving.”
Rudy gently steered Clay towards the door. Clay threw one last angry scowl and hiss at Rudy’s three half-brothers before turning. Rudy, being the little shit that he was, stuck his tongue out at them before tucking himself securely into Clay’s body, as he and Clay left the bar.
Clay kept his arm around Rudy’s shoulders and squeezed him. “You’re trouble with a capital T, aren’t you?” He sighed.
Rudy looked up at Clay in concern, his good mood evaporating. Did his damn half-brothers blow it for him already? He had barely had a chance with Clay. Head down, and feeling like shit, he started to pull away but Clay held him close, not allowing him to escape.
He lifted his head and Clay gave him a toothy grin. Rudy felt himself flush and pushed his face into Clay’s pec, too embarrassed that he had taken the man’s obvious teasing seriously. Despite his mortification, Rudy was doing fist pumps in his mind. Clay didn’t mind his lack of a brain to mouth filter. Yes!
Out on the street, Clay leaned down. “So, where to? I’m new to the city.”
“Really? New to the city, and already going out on a blind date?”
“My sister thought it would get me acclimated faster.”
“Oh. That makes sense, I guess. Any preferences?”
“Nope. I’m in your hands.”
“That generates a lot of pictures in my mind and tons of ideas.” Rudy gave Clay a playful leer.
“You really are incorrigible.”
“Oooh, big words. I like big words.”
Clay laughed and Rudy’s heart melted. The man laughed not just with his face but his whole body. He had his head thrown back, completely enjoying the experience. It was refreshing. Clay’s stomach chose that moment to interrupt with a large growl.
“Easy boy.” Rudy rubbed Clay’s belly, enjoying the hard planes beneath his hand. “I know a nice family restaurant about a block from here. They have a wide variety of items on the menu, and the food is always really good.”COLLAPSE
This is a modern and somewhat dark retelling of the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Claymation movie of 1964.