A Touch of Spring
~ Stockton ~
Quite some time ago, I wrote Harder in Heels, book four of the Alpha and Omega series. A number of readers asked me if I would consider giving Bronson, Asaph’s friend, a mate as well. Here is the start of that story.
I was so wrong. Yeah, Harley didn’t think that very often, but he could admit that he’d been wrong about his mate. Bronson might have looked out of place with his clean-cut face, his shiny long hair falling around his shoulder and those wretched creases in his obviously new jeans, but he didn’t bat an eyelid at Harley’s choice of venue. The Greasy Spoon was exactly as the name implied; the vinyl cracked and worn on the floor, faded photographs on the yellowing walls, and none of the patrons would be seen dead in a suit, but Harley knew from experience the burgers were excellent and good value for money.
“I’ve never been here before,” Bronson said with a smile as he slid into the booth. “What do you recommend?”
“Let me order,” Harley held up a finger. “Meat man, right?”
“Of course. As rare as possible.” Bronson smoothed a hand over his chest. A chest Harley didn’t want to notice when he was trying to attract Grizz’s attention. Fortunately, his friend didn’t take long to arrive. Huge, mean and with a beard hitting the middle of his chest, Grizz had been good to Harley when he was new in town.
“Yo, Harley, who’s your swanky friend?”
“Bronson Cunningham.” To Harley’s amazement, his mate stuck out his hand and after a moment’s hesitation, Grizz took it. “Harley’s showing me his side of town. I own an art gallery in that huge building over in the financial district and have an interest in a couple of clubs in town, but I’ve never been here before.”
“Thought so, fancy pants,” Grizz growled. “Don’t you go bringing your high-and-mighty ideas around here. Not all of us want to wear a tie for dinner.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Bronson smiled, seemingly unfazed. “Harley tells me you have the best food in town. I’m hungry enough to eat a horse.”
“Three of your meat grinder’s specials and a fish surprise, thanks, Grizz,” Harley said quickly in case his friend thought Bronson was insulting the food. “Add a couple of your homebrews, if you’ve got any under the counter.”
“You sure you vouch for him? I don’t want my license pulled,” Grizz warned.
“Bronson’s fine. Get used to his face, he seems to find me fascinating,” Harley said with a wink. “But I’m not sure if he can cook.”
Grizz chortled, causing his beard to flap on his chest. “I’m sure he has other talents,” he said wandering back to the kitchen.
“I wasn’t sure if you were out to your friends,” Bronson whispered leaning his elbows on the table. “I was trying to be discreet.”
“Meh,” Harley mimicked Bronson’s position. “Grizz has known me for years. He and his missus rented me a room when I first hit town. When I told him I’d just finished my tattoo apprenticeship, he let me set up at the back of his garage until I could afford a place of my own and recommended me to his friends. He owns the building I’m leasing and he’s a good guy.”
“How long have you been in Orlando?”
“Eight, no make that nine years. But clearly, we move in different circles. I Googled you when I found out who you were and you’ve been around about as long.”
“Me and Asaph came to town about ten years ago,” Bronson said, his cheeks flushing a lovely shade of pink. “We made some good investments and then I branched out into the art world, while he stayed on the financial side of things. Where did you see me or more to the point, when did you know who I was?”
The last part was deliberately discreet, but Harley knew exactly what he meant. He grinned, staying quiet while Grizz slapped four platters on the table and a couple of unlabeled bottles.
“Don’t let any of that go to waste,” Grizz warned as he stomped off.
“You’d better do as he says,” Harley said quietly. “Grizz has no time for fussy eaters, or for people who pick at their food.”
“It smells wonderful,” Bronson said, his eyes flickering between the cutlery left on the table and his fingers.
Harley decided to put him out of misery and picked up one of the burgers. Slapping both halves together, he squashed it in his hands and then took a big bite. He grinned at Bronson, his mouth too full to say anything.
Bronson shook his head but did the same thing; within ten minutes the platters were empty and Harley wiped his fingers on a napkin before picking up a bottle. “I would’ve offered you a bite of my other one,” he said as Bronson finished the second meat grinder. “But I wasn’t sure if you ate fish.”
“I’m not a picky eater,” Bronson said, wiping his hands and tossing the napkin on the plate, “but you still haven’t answered my question.”
“I’ve been in your art gallery,” Harley said, playing with his bottle as he remembered that day. He’d gone because the place was showing some work from a graffiti artist, but as soon as he’d arrived he could smell traces of Bronson’s scent. “I tracked you down but you were busy in your office, so I left.”
“You could’ve knocked on the door, I don’t mind being disturbed by anyone,” Bronson frowned.
“I don’t think your companion would’ve appreciated it. From the grunting and yelling going on, I gather the artist was getting a good pounding over the desk. I could still smell traces of his spunk when I left you my note.” Harley met his mate’s eyes squarely. He had nothing to be embarrassed about.
Bronson’s finely arched eyebrows almost met in the middle. “How come I never noticed you?”
Harley shrugged. “That place smells like a chemical plant, it’s a wonder I caught a trace of you at all. I left, did some research on the internet and found out who you were. I didn’t mean to follow you but someone had other ideas.” His damn animal had a few more too. In fact, he was getting decidedly pushy.
“You must have amazing control,” Bronson leaned forward as he whispered. “I can barely keep from jumping you now and I’m guessing no matter how friendly Grizz is, he wouldn’t appreciate it.”
“No, he wouldn’t and it’s not always been easy, but your diversions made it easier for me to keep my distance.” Harley swallowed hard. He didn’t want to say anything, but he had to. Protection was the first law of mating. “We come from different worlds, you and me. I ride with bikers, own a tattoo shop. I don’t even possess a suit. Even without this,” he gestured at his scar angrily, “I knew we wouldn’t fit. You’re gonna want to change me. Probably buy me fancy clothes, stop me riding my bike. You’d expect me to be pretty and quiet and sit at your side at boring dinners, or sip wine at gallery openings and talk about art and shit I don’t understand. I can’t be that person.”
Bronson’s eyes bored into his. “What if I want to be with you? What if I don’t mind riding on the back of your bike and learning about tattooing? My galleries run themselves. I spend a couple of hours in the office a week and that’s it. Or won’t your friends accept me?”
“They’ll think you’re my bitch,” Harley said harshly even though the words were like broken glass as he forced them passed his throat. “I don’t want to put you through that.”
“Fine, if that’s the way it has to be.” Harley’s heart snapped in two as Bronson stood up, throwing a pile of bills on the table. This is for the best, he told himself. Me and him won’t fit together and it’s better he leaves now before I get more involved. But to his surprise, Bronson held out his hand. In a daze, Harley took it, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet.
“If I have to be the bitch in this relationship,” Bronson hissed as Harley was towed out the door, “then you’d better be a damn good top. I don’t care what you say. I’m not losing you, so get used to a shadow, buddy, because you and me are it from now on. Your place or mine, but decide quick, I’m not waiting anymore.”
Bronson was furious and so horny he could burst. Yeah, he understood what Harley was saying – they came from different worlds; yada yada – but Bronson wasn’t some pampered pooch and he was damn certain his mate’s harsh attitude was due to some serious shit going on in his head. Someone had done a number on his precious mate and Bronson was hell-bound and determined to find out who. But first, he had to get the man to claim him because once that was done, Harley’s protective instincts would kick in, if they hadn’t already.
Having taken a taxi to Harley’s shop, Bronson had no problems climbing on the back of his mate’s Fatboy. The bike was bigger than its owner, but Harley handled it effortlessly. Or at least, Bronson thought he did. He was too busy savoring the way Harley’s muscles twitched under his fingertips; the way his ramrod cock was fighting to escape the stiffness of his jeans, to pay any attention to the road. Harley’s waist was slender, just like the rest of him, but Bronson wanted the man more than he wanted his next breath. He forced his fingers not to wander although the smell of Harley’s arousal was intoxicating.
When Harley nudged the bike up a long driveway surrounded by trees, Bronson paid attention to his surroundings then. This must be his place, he thought as he noted the density of the trees and the quiet beyond the bike engine. It was dark, but Bronson’s wolf fidgeted under his skin. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone for a run on four legs. But not tonight. Nope. Tonight was the first night of the rest of his life and if Bronson sounded like a sap in his head, well, only he knew about it. Harley didn’t have to know he was a pussycat in disguise.
Which made him wonder what type of cat Harley was. The strength in the younger man’s arms suggested something far bigger than a housecat or a cougar. His mate was too hard working to be a lion; yes, Bronson bought into the stereotype, but male lions, as a rule, were laid back and open minded. If Harley had been a lion, he’d have barged into Bronson’s office that day at the gallery and pulled his cock out.
“You’re very quiet.” Shit. When had Harley parked the bike? Bronson looked around and noticed a small, neat house sitting among the trees.
“Just admiring your place,” Bronson said honestly. “I didn’t know it was possible to get a place with a rural feel within the city limits.”
“I bought five plots in all, abandoned housing. I like my space and my cat likes to stretch without an audience. Hop off, unless this is too horrific for you. I can take you back to town if you like.”
Bronson hopped off. His mate would learn he could be stubborn and he wasn’t losing out on the one man deemed perfect for him by the Fates. It was too early in their relationship for him to mention Harley was being hurtful with his casual attitude, but he would if it kept up. Instead, he kept his mouth shut, admiring Harley’s ass and graceful moves as they headed for the house.
“It’s pretty sparse inside,” Harley warned as he bent to unlock the door. “Probably not what you’re used to.”
“Just open it or I’ll strip on this porch.” Bronson’s wolf was getting pushy and it showed in his tone. Harley arched an eyebrow but got the door open.
“F-f-f….” Bronson was going to say finally, but quick as a flash, his back was against the wall, Harley half-climbed his body and with a strong hand in his hair, Bronson’s mouth was being deliciously mauled. “Oomph….” Nope, couldn’t say anything, but if Bronson thought Harley had been too casual before, there was nothing but intensity pouring off his mate’s frame now. Small growls rippled into his mouth and Harley’s hands seem to be everywhere at once. Getting a solid grip on Harley’s ass, Bronson steadied him and leaned on the wall, more than capable of supporting Harley’s weight.
“You,” Harley growled as he left Bronson’s mouth bruised and wet and moved onto his cheeks and down his jaw line. “All those other people. Fucking killed me inside every single time.”
Bronson closed his eyes and tilted his head up so Harley wouldn’t see his sudden onset of tears. He couldn’t imagine what that must have been like. He tried putting himself in Harley’s position but the man was nibbling up his neck and it was impossible to think.
“I’m here now,” he said desperately. “I’m yours. No one else ever again. Never.”
“You promise?” Harley’s eyes gleamed like emeralds in the dim light.
Bronson wondered how much his mate knew about mating. Once claimed no paranormal could stray, but he didn’t say that. That wasn’t what his mate needed to hear. Harley needed reassurance and swatting away the thought that he really wanted to know who’d stripped Harley’s confidence; Bronson said with all the sincerity he could muster, “I’ll never want another person again as long as we both live. I swear. I’m yours and from this moment on, I always will be.”
Harley appeared frozen, although Bronson could feel his whole body trembling. Whatever internal battles his mate suffered, he hoped the strong smell of their mutual need and the heat between them was enough to sway the balance in his favor. “Please, claim me as yours,” Bronson implored quietly. “Whoever you’re arguing with in your head, it isn’t me. I want you and I swear I always will.”
For a long moment, Harley didn’t say anything, then he slid down Bronson’s body, Bronson’s heart dropping as Harley’s boots hit the floor. “There’s lube in the bedroom,” Harley said gruffly. “I won’t claim my mate against the door. Follow me.”
Grabbing the hand he was offered, Bronson did as he was told, mentally fist-pumping. Claim Time. Yeah!
What the fuck are you doing? His mind in a whirl, a strong hand clasped in his, Harley lead Bronson to his bedroom, the first person ever to get passed his bedroom door. He’ll leave you, he won’t stay, he’ll break your heart…NO! Harley put a stop to his inner voice. It was time to have faith. Harley was well aware his negativity stemmed from his father’s constant abuse. There’s no room for that asshole here.
Nonetheless, he was still nervous as he closed the door behind them. “This is it,” he said, well aware of how lame he was being. There was only a rug, the bed and a large dresser in his bedroom. His laptop occupied the top of the dresser, a pair of jeans was slung on the end of the bed and there was a baseball bat leaning on the wall by the headboard.
“Expecting visitors?” Bronson grinned as he took it all in. He pointed to the baseball bat.
“Habit,” Harley said hurriedly, “We’re safe here.”
“I know we are,” Bronson agreed, looking every inch the wolf he was as he invaded Harley’s personal space. “You wouldn’t have brought me here if there was any chance of danger. Now can we try that kiss again, or do you want to forgo the awkward clothes fumble and get naked first.”
“Naked’s good,” Harley agreed, “but can I?” He indicated Bronson’s t-shirt.
“I told you, I’m all yours,” Bronson whispered, but Harley barely heard him. He’d spent weeks imagining his mate without clothes; weeks imagining what it would be like to touch and taste the skin that was slowly being revealed. Oh my stars, this is so much better than my imagination.
Harley knew Bronson would be well-built; his mate was an Alpha wolf, he didn’t expect anything else. But as Bronson’s body was revealed inch by inch he couldn’t believe the generous gift the Fates had blessed him with. The artist in him groaned at the canvas; flawless muscles dancing under Harley’s touch, Bronson’s low moan teasing his ears as Harley wrestled with the jean’s button in its stiff fastening.
The button finally freed, Harley shoved the jeans down Bronson’s thick thighs, an angry cock bobbing as it searched for friction. His ass muscles clenched. Yes, Bronson was allowing him first claiming, but Harley couldn’t wait to feel his mate pounding his insides. He hesitated, then dropped to his knees. If he kept his eyes closed, then hopefully Harley could keep his feelings of inadequacy at bay as he worshiped his mate’s cock.
But it was difficult. Harley fought the urge to peek as he licked and nibbled, finally taking the large head into his mouth as Bronson moaned, the thighs under his hands trembling. Scents were always concentrated around the groin and Harley’s nose was full of it. Rich and strong, the distinct musk of wolf combined with vanilla and carob; the same heady scent Harley caught traces of the day at the gallery. Now it was in his nose, smothering his face and Harley was worried he’d make a pig of himself. It was so good, sending his senses soaring in a way nothing had before.
“Harley, stop.” Okay, now Harley had to open his eyes. His mouth was stuffed full and he wasn’t letting go of his prize without a damn good explanation. His eyes covered a wide expanse of tanned skin before he reached Bronson’s dark eyes. He raised his eyebrows.
“Babe, you have an amazing mouth, but will you at least let me see you and maybe get on the bed?”
Harley thought about it for two seconds, then closed his eyes and went back to what he was doing. Bronson was huge, well-endowed didn’t cover it, but Harley had his cat on his side and before long had a lovely head bobbing rhythm going. He loved giving head, the feel of skin on his tongue, the blunt edge of a cockhead hitting his throat. Relaxing his throat muscles, he took Bronson down as far as he could go, his nose nuzzling Bronson’s pubic bone.
A slight tap on his head reminded him. Time to breathe. He pulled back and bobbed faster, Bronson’s harsh groans letting him know he was right on target. Come on…come on…. Harley didn’t want it to end but he did. He wanted his reward, Bronson’s spunk down his throat. In this position, with him still clothed and Bronson’s naked skin gleaming in the hall light, Harley felt empowered, in control and by the Fates he loved it.
Bronson couldn’t hold out. He’d done his best; given it the old college try, but Harley’s mouth was made for his cock and the man used it with expert precision. He could feel his orgasm building; the tightness in his balls, that tingle down the base of his spine, the way his ass clenched. A flush covered his face and chest and he longed for something to hold onto. He wanted to cradle Harley’s head, but unsure of his mate’s background he didn’t dare. Harley solved that problem for him by grabbing his hand and pressing it to the back of his skull.
His other hand joined the first instinctively and Bronson groaned at the sensual sight at his feet. Harley’s eyes were closed as though savoring the experience, his lips reddened as they stretched around his shaft. A surge of possessiveness soared through Bronson’s body and he pounded, once, twice and then with a roar he came, his head tilted back as he swayed on his feet. Bronson’s head flopped forward, his chin hitting the top of his chest.
“Are you okay,” he managed between gasps, suddenly aware his hands were gripping Harley’s head. He loosened his fingers but was reluctant to break his hold entirely.
“Uh huh,” Harley said, pulling off Bronson’s cock with a pop. He grinned, the scar pulling not distracting from the joy in Harley’s eyes. “Let’s get you on the bed; you seem a bit wobbly on your feet.”
Wobbly? My brains have been sucked out through my dick. Bronson stumbled over to the bed and sat on the edge, his chest still heaving. He pushed his jeans completely off and removed his shoes. “Are you…can you…are you going to get undressed?” Harley’s bulge was obvious, but his mate still seemed hesitant, almost reluctant to move near him. Bronson still wanted the claiming; wanted it more than ever now, but he wasn’t sure he could cobble two brain cells together long enough to pull off one of his seductive moves. He settled for a grin instead.
“I hope you like ink,” Harley said, kicking off his boots and pulling his shirt over his head. Bronson’s eyes widened, swirls of black, red and gold covered Harley’s torso.
“Stop,” he said as Harley went to unbutton his jeans. Harley looked up, a frown creasing his forehead. “You are a living work of art,” Bronson said reverently. “Please,” he held out his hand. “Come closer. I want to see.”
Again…that hesitation, but after a moment, Harley sauntered closer, his stance almost defiant as though expecting Bronson to attack him. Bronson cupped his hand around Harley’s butt as soon as the man was in grabbing range, the other hand tracing the symbols, swirls, and designs that covered Harley’s chest. “This is beautiful, is it all your own work?”
“I did most of it,” Harley said, his eyes watching Bronson’s fingers. “The ones on my back were done by the guy I trained under. I drew the designs and he put them on my skin.” Harley turned and Bronson leaned back to take in the full effect. While the torso designs seemed random, Harley’s back was covered with a nature scene. Tall trees, lush brush, birds flying across a cloudy sky. In the center of the design was a small, ramshackle cottage, its foreboding structure at odds with the beauty of its surroundings.
“This is where you came from, am I right?” Bronson asked quietly as he gently traced the dilapidated wood structure.
“It’s what I turned my back on,” Harley turned again, his eyes blazing. “I want you, please don’t think I don’t, but surely now you can see we come from two different worlds.”
Bronson pulled Harley close enough he could bury his face in his mate’s lean stomach. “You walked away from a hard life and forged one of your own. That took so much courage; courage and strength I respect. Surely you can spare some of that courage for our new life; join with me so we can create a life that works for both of us?”
“Oh, you are a smooth one, aren’t you, fancy pants?” Bronson felt Harley stroke his hair and he grinned against the smooth stomach. “It’s not going to be easy, you know that don’t you.”
Actually, Bronson thought nothing of the sort, but he nodded, loving the way his cheek rubbed against the silkiness of Harley’s skin.
“We live totally different lives and if you expect me to turn up at a gallery opening in a suit and drink wine, you’re sorely mistaken.”
Bronson turned his face and rubbed the other cheek against Harley’s stomach, nodding all the while.
“I’m serious,” Harley said firmly and Bronson’s head was cupped in slender hands, emeralds glaring at him.
“I know. I’ll ask Grizz for some of his home brew and have it stocked especially for you.” Bronson couldn’t nod this time so he waggled his eyebrows.
Harley laughed. “Fine, but don’t blame me if you change your mind the first time I turn up at your fancy place of work on my bike.”
“I’ll be sitting on the bitch seat honey, now kiss me.”
There was a lot less hesitation this time. Harley’s lips were warm and firm, and while the intensity was still there, Harley kept things slow and sensual. Bronson was hooked. When Harley pushed him back on the bed, he went willingly, pulling Harley with him.
“Let me get my pants off first,” Harley grumbled and Bronson let him go, his smile wide enough to light the house as he waited for his mate, his true mate, to claim him.
Alpha and Omega series – book 4.
Ronan Montgomery had built himself a good life; he had friends, a small apartment to call his own, and a fantastic job as a dancer/choreographer. He still missed his mother dearly, but even though she’d been dead five years, he adhered to her number one rule – stay away from other wolves. He knew, as an Omega, that others of his kind weren’t overly friendly with those they considered weak, but as he’d never met another wolf, he didn’t feel he’d anything to worry about. That was, until he spotted two Alpha wolves at one of his performances. Who knew one brief second of eye contact could change his life forever.
Asaph Bosch was a hard man and proud of it. He’d worked his way up from nothing, building a huge international company. When a random night out threatens all he’s worked for, Asaph fights back. His mate will be a woman, or he won’t have one at all. Unfortunately, his wolf half is just as strong and just as determined as he is, and Asaph finds his life changing in ways he’d never imagined.
But life was never meant to be easy – when Asaph’s past comes back to haunt him in more ways than one, Asaph has to examine his priorities. Is his happiness rooted in the company he’s worked so hard to build, or is there more to life than money?
Warning: Contains an omega wolf who’d been raised with perfect manners, and a surly Alpha who thinks everything in life can be bought and sold. Please note this is an m/m book so the typical warnings apply.
The Alpha and Omega series is made up of completely standalone books. None of the people featured appear in other books unless previously stated.
About the Author
Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.
When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers and other writers. You can friend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/lisaoliverauthor), catch up on what’s happening at her blog (http://www.supernaturalsmut.com) or email her directly at email@example.com.Blog: http://www.supernaturalsmut.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lisaoliver