It had been over a century and a half since Ray had kissed a man, living or dead. He just couldn’t after James died. After his one and only attempt of kissing a man, Ray pulled away before coming anywhere close, because he felt as if he was about to cheat on the man who he had considered to be the love of his life.
How do I forget about a man I loved just because I can no longer hold him in my arms?
Ray asked himself this question too many times to count. Even after such a long time, Ray could feel James’s spirit surround him. He remembered the touch of his lips, the taste of his tongue. When Ray inhaled, he could still smell James’s spicy cologne, a unique blend of sandalwood and orange. Almost nightly, he had to fight back the tears that threatened to spill, but most of the time they came anyway.
Grieving for one hundred and fifty years really can get to a man.
But then he met Tory. Cute, compact, sweet and sassy, the man who resembled a boy who fell into the top drawer of his mother’s vanity chest was the complete opposite of James, the soldier and Statesmen. Granted the eternally youthful vampire was slender and sexy and easy on the eye, but it was his kind words and gentle spirit that settled in Ray’s soul, catching him off guard.
Lips touching lips, Ray didn’t feel an ounce of guilt as he kissed Tory, hard and deep. Electricity surged between them. Claiming the twink’s mouth, he took every inch that Tory gave. Ray’s heart slammed double-time to the beat of the music, blood rushed in his ears. He was vaguely aware of people dancing around him, and making a spectacle of himself was never on Ray’s list, but at this instant, he couldn’t have cared less. It was time for Ray Williams to join the living, even if he wasn’t technically alive.
Tory didn’t know who kissed who first, but at this point, he didn’t really give a damn. All he knew was he was being kissed. And twirled. And felt up. And it felt good.
Coming up for air, Ray asked, “Would you like to come back to my place? It’s only a few blocks away.”
Tory couldn’t catch his breath. “Yes,” he managed. “Now?”
“Yes,” Ray said, nodding. “Now.”
His inhibition completely gone, Tory reached between them and ran his hand over Ray’s impressive bulge. “I can see where there is a sense of urgency.” He hoped he didn’t just slur out all those words, but if he had, Ray was able to understand judging by the look on his handsome face.
“I can take that as a yes?”
“Yesthhhhh.” Okay, he did slur on that one. “Yes,” Tory repeated. “But first I have to tell the others that we’re leaving.”
Ray took Tory by the hand escorting him off the dance floor toward Asher and Niko talking to a few guys Tory didn’t recognize. He waved. “We’re calling it a night. Hope you don’t mind?”
Asher smiled and his left brow hitched upward. “Why would we mind? On the contrary, we’re delighted.”
Niko fist bumped Ray. “See you at work, Bro. Have fun. Play safe.”
They cut through the crowd, Ray leading the way, his wide shoulders making it effortless. Ray enveloped Tory in his hulking arms as they walked the few short blocks to Ray’s apartment. Standing outside of the building, Ray passed his hand over the doorknob prompting a click. Opening the door entirely, Ray said, “After you.”
Passing over the threshold, Tory was bathed in fluorescent light. He squinted. There was nowhere to go but up, a flight of stairs was the only option. Carefully he maneuvered each step, his head spinning. “No wonder you have such a great body. These steps are a killer.”
“Your body’s rockin’ too, boo.” Ray swatted at his cheeks, the vampire following Tory closely behind, only a step away. “How do you keep in shape?”
“Gym,” Tory returned. “And sometimes I transition into a border collie and participate in agility training classes at the neighborhood kennel. It’s fun to work out in packs.”