You Forgot to Thank Me
First meetings are so very interesting. Don’t you think?
Today, I’d like to share how two main characters meet in my recent release, Come Back To Me. Although it’s the fifth book in my series, The Lost and Founds, this book is definitely new reader accessible. (Without reading the previous books, you’ll miss out on the narrator’s history, and some plot details, but you don’t have to read anything else to enjoy this HEA romance.)
No setup is needed for this excerpt, because this is Chapter 1…
Here he comes.
Walking across the parking lot, he appears lost in his iPod world. He looks up, and his eyes jump wider, catching me staring at him. Jeans and a T-shirt, both flattering his light, muscular frame. Pleasantly plump biceps indicate he lifts more than twice a week, but this kid isn’t entering any competitions—not yet at least. But he’s young. His life could take any number of directions.
His face hints at a swarthy ethnicity—definitely Italian. Or maybe…Greek? His features present as strong, masculine even, yet pleasantly curved. Closer now, I see his five-o’clock shadow and shiny black hair—short, but long enough to curl slightly behind his ears, an overall appearance suggesting he is older than twenty-five. He’s not. He’s twenty-four. People can’t hide their true age from me. I know.
He’s a hottie. Anyone would agree.
He affects nonchalance as he swaggers closer, as if he can’t feel my penetrating stare.
I’m watching you, kid.
Over the years I have cultivated a few useful skills, including letting someone feel the weight of my presence. When I stare at you, you know it. He draws near me—he has to—to enter the convenience store.
Look up again, kid. Glance my way. I’m right here.
I parked my truck right under the fluorescent lights, closest to the front doors. I stand between their glow and true darkness in the parking lot. As he approaches, his reflection ripples in puddles, the last hour’s rain still shivering in lopsided circles across the surface. When he passes he smiles feebly, a friendly grimace.
I lean in his direction—a slight change in my posture—forcing him to decide whether to alter his trajectory or ignore me. He ignores me. I inhale him. I don’t smell anything particular, but that wasn’t the point. I want him to sense my interest.
He pushes open the glass door with the flat of his right hand. A chime bings.
There! His hand shakes.
I draw a thick cigar from my favorite outdoorsman’s jacket—brown leather lined with red flannel—and light up, continuing to lean against the tailgate. I should have time Sunday afternoon to tune up this piece of crap before returning it to the rental place. I heard a few odd sounds when I drove it here from the motel.
He may not face me in this moment, but I believe he’s aware I’m checking out his ass. Pretending to ponder some purchase from the front shelf. I think he’s too nervous to move. Pretending to ponder, ponder a purchase, pretending to ponder a purchase, possibly pretending to ponder—
Look at the ripe curves of his ass.
I’m an ass man. I love ass.
Seconds ago, when I saw those muscular cheeks filling out his worn jeans, I knew I would spend significant time tonight coaxing those twin mounds to part for me, to welcome me inside. I can’t stop thinking about his body. I’ve never met this kid before tonight. I haven’t stalked him online. I haven’t been to his home or somehow insinuated myself into his life. The newness of this feeling thrills me. Anything is possible. I can already imagine this ruggedly beautiful man stretched naked on my motel mattress, atop the shitty, threadbare bedspread, goose bumps making tiny ridges along—I can only guess—his otherwise smooth ass. But who knows? Maybe he won’t give himself to me.
We’re about to find out.
He receives change for the bottle of water purchased, and ambles toward the exit. He stumbles for a second when he sees me exhale a thick cloud above my head, and I breathe in the sweet burned scent we cigar smokers fetishize. When he opens the door, the dull mechanical bing recognizes his humanity and passing presence. He stands outside, almost unsure, and nods at me, preparing to stroll by with affected ease.
I want this kid’s ass. His ass in those worn jeans. I’m not hard, but I am sure my dick is plumping out.
I glance down. Yup. I’m tenting.
Suck in more smoke.
When he’s a foot away, I exhale, swirling mists of cigar smoke right into his face.
He freezes, a deer in headlights. That trite expression never seemed truer. At this moment, as a car enters the parking lot, its headlights sweep across the puddles and fill his black eyes with white, reflected light. His entire body goes rigid.
“Boy,” I say in a low tone meant to be remembered.
He blinks a few times, unsure what to do, and I see a muscle in his neck tense. I want to caress it, to kiss it. He stumbles beyond me, my next cloud of cigar smoke chasing after him. He crosses the parking lot, moving faster the farther he gets away from me, until I can’t see his ass anymore.
I smoke my cigar, trying to enjoy this unique New Jersey night. It’s warmer in November than I assumed it would be. The sky remains sullen, pouting after its outburst, thick gray clouds obliterating and obfuscating any source of moonlight.
Wait, that’s strange. Why isn’t my brain playing word games with obfuscate?
His lips were thick, full with a dusty-rose color when he licked them, right after the smoke hit his face and his eyes filled with light. Within the hour, I intend to drag the head of my fat dick across those lips, wiping precum on them. I’m sure he’s gonna taste my load tonight. This makes my dick pulse. I haven’t jacked off in a week.
But if we fuck, no condoms. I’m going to fuck him raw. Can I really fuck him bareback? What would a Lost King do, Vin? You know. You always know. Fuck him raw. Come inside. I steel my resolve. I’m a Lost King. Why not sink into it?
Three minutes pass. Four? Probably only two. It always seems longer when you’re waiting for someone. There—the edge of the parking lot—the tip of his shadow appears, and he’s standing still, hesitating before returning. He knows if he comes back, he will submit. Come on, kid.
Come back over here.
Another car pulls in.
On Foster Avenue, a few cars plow by at a reduced speed, respecting the wet pavement. Not too much traffic in this neighborhood after nine at night. I arrived three days ago. Those out this night live here, the ones who accept this neighborhood’s mostly undeserved reputation. It really is a cool neighborhood. Just not a fancy part of Newark. Four blocks away, the city morphs into industrial parks, two or three rogue bars, an abandoned church, and another more desolate convenience store. The yellow sign announcing the convenience of this particular store flickers in and out of existence, unable to commit to living.
Here he comes.
I ensure plenty of cigar smoke creates a fog for him to walk through as he strides purposely toward the front doors.
He flashes an embarrassed smile, and under his breath says, “Forgot something.”
I say, “I’ll bet. Stop walking.”
He halts. A young woman sprints from the newly parked car toward the entrance. She is chased by an equally young man, who yells something unintelligible at her.
“Wait for them to pass,” I say.
I blow more cigar smoke in his face. He inhales it and coughs. Once they are inside, I speak.
“What you forgot…it’s not in there.”
I stand right behind him.
Speaking low, I say, “What you forgot, kid, is to thank me.”
He shivers. “Thank you? For what?”
“For deciding to fuck you.”
Still staring straight ahead, he says, “Oh.”
I wonder how many other older bears he’s wandered by, hoping they’d recognize the light in his eyes, the furtive glance to see if they recognize him—a man who wants to be controlled but doesn’t know how to express such a desire after an initial “hello.”
“Thank me, buddy. Go ahead.”
Another car pulls into the parking lot.
“No.” My voice makes him jump. “‘Thank you, sir,’ is how to say that.”
“Thank you, sir.” He whispers into the wet night, and he trembles. Now he knows. The battle is over and I have won. I place my hand on the back of his neck and grip it.
“Good boy. That’s my man…”
He squirms. “Someone looking out…they might see us from inside.”
My thumb massages his neck, and I stand close enough for him to feel the heat of my strong presence. Despite the very public circumstances, he moans.
With gentle pressure, I guide him around the truck to the passenger side.
He tugs on the door handle and it relents with a squeaky groan. He climbs in and pulls the door shut while I take my time returning to my side. Crush out the lit cigar on my boot heel. He watches me with nervous surprise through the windshield. Do you know what you’re doing, kid? Are you ready for this?
When I hop in and slam my door, he touches the case of beer bottles between us and shyly asks if he should move it.
I ignore him.
He blushes and moves the bottles to the floor, stabilizing them with his feet on either side.
The engine flips over with husky grumblings as if questioning his logic, his decision. Last chance, kid.
“My name is Mark.”
I nod in acknowledgement.
We drive in silence.
About the Book
Purchase Link: Amazon
After years of lying, scheming, and dangerous manipulation, Vin Vanbly finally gets what’s coming to him: love.
How can he survive unstoppable, uncontrollable love when his very nature demands he control everything? Clues about his one true love—tantalizingly hinted at in each of the books in The Lost and Founds series—come together in four life-changing stories.
In No Kings, a sex hookup with a parking lot stranger reveals more about Vin’s life as a Lost King and his destiny than he could have dreamed. In King Fitch, Vin meets the last king in his long legacy, one final weekend before he withdraws from the world to an anonymous Latin American jungle. The Lost Ones recounts a terrifying kidnapping by street thugs from Vin’s past. In King Malcolm the Restorer, Vin’s mysterious relationship with his older brother—and the soul-crushing secret which drew them together—is finally revealed.
Through it all, Vin Vanbly struggles to survive. But what if he is destined for more than mere survival? Is he finally ready to embrace the truth and remember who he was always meant to be? Once there were a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen…