Thursday, December 24, 2015

On the twenty-four day of December my true love gave to me....
The Tracker Claims the Cutie - Rescue for Hire West 2

Tristen Earl turned the antique brass doorknob until the latch disengaged from the frame. He held his breath thinking words of hope before pushing the front door open. When the hinges of the door remained quiet, Tristen found he could breathe again. His by-the-seat-of-his-pants plans to sneak into the hacienda came into realization as he stepped over the threshold and closed the door, careful not to make any noise. Tristen slipped the emergency door key into his pocket of his shorts. He would return it to its hiding place under one of the front patio stones later.

Elation kept the creeping exhaustion at bay. Tristen had driven straight through from Texas to Nevada, only stopping for bathroom and snack breaks along the way. Anticipation of being with Garrett McKay had kept him going.

Okay, if he were honest with himself, he would have to admit that on his last visit to Los Héroes, the kiss he’d shared with Garrett was good, but not great. The sleepless nights, restlessness, and not being able to eat had started when he got home. Images of the men of Los Héroes haunted him. No matter what he tried, he couldn’t stay away. Was it yearning or a magical string pulling him back? He wasn’t sure. Tristen only knew he had to return.

The soft glow of a nightlight plugged into the wall near the huge stainless steel cooking range helped Tristen navigate through the spotless kitchen. At the edge of the room where the hallway to Garrett’s rooms began, Tristen paused. Closing his eyes, he strained to listen for any sounds. The refrigerator turned on with a sharp click, but nothing else broke the silence.

Trying to be as quiet as he could, he started down the short hall. Tristen was so ready for someone to love him that he was willing to knock on Garrett McKay’s door and present himself for whatever Garrett wanted.

Tristen hesitated. After a long moment, he told himself he must have imagined hearing a whisper of movement. A few more careful, quiet steps had him standing in front of the door to Garrett’s bedroom. He had made it.

After drawing in a deep breath, Tristen held it for a moment before letting his lungs slowly deflate. He shrugged, trying to ease the tension tightening his muscles. This was it.

An iron band of muscles wrapped around Tristen’s chest, pulling him back against an unyielding body. At the same time, a large hand splayed across his throat, forcing him to lift his chin until his head pressed against a solid shoulder.

Tristen’s body shook with fear. Never before had he ever been in such a vulnerable position, trapped as he was, with his neck arched back exposing his throat.

“You are in the wrong place, fofinho,” the deep voice with a rich Brazilian accent rumbled in his ear.

“I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was going to visit Garrett,” Tristen whispered back.

“Garrett doesn’t need your visit. He is twenty years older than you. You need to be standing at my door,” the voice whispered while the hand on Tristin’s throat tightened.

“Santos, I don’t think—” The world twisted and tilted as Tristen found himself lifted and slung over Santos’s shoulder.

“No need to think anymore, fofinho. I will take care of you,” Santos said.

Tristen struggled to suck air into his lungs with Santos’s solid shoulder jarring his stomach as the big man carried him back down the hall.

“You can’t just decide to pick me up and take me away.” Tristen objected. Secretly he was thrilled. This was one of the most exciting things that had ever happened to him.

“It seems that is what I have done,” Santos said. “I think you should be quiet now until we get to my room. You don’t want to wake up the rest of the house.”

Tristen concentrated on taking shallow breaths and ignoring the blood rushing to his brain until his backside landed with a bounce on a firm mattress. He shook his head, clearing the long strands of blond hair away from his face.

A glance around showed Tristen a stark room, devoid of personality. A chest of drawers and a dresser with a mirror took up part of one wall, and there was a large pillow lying in one corner. That was all the large room contained except for the king-sized bed he was half reclining on and the gorgeous man leaning against the closed door with his arms crossed over his chest.

Looks wise, Santos Ebarize was in direct contrast to Tristen. The dark-skinned Brazilian tracker for Rescue for Hire West was six-four with wide shoulders, thick thighs, and long legs. Tattoos covered heavy muscles that Tristen longed to explore. Tristen’s lean body didn’t compare, especially his height, which was five-foot-eight when he lied about the extra half-inch he always tacked on. Tanned by hours out in the sun, Tristen’s skin still paled next to Santos’.

Santos’s thick black hair was cut close to his head, and a short beard and mustache couldn’t have been more opposite from clean-shaven, long, blond-haired Tristen. Dark brown, almost black, eyes looked at Tristen from under a thick, heavy brow. Tristen’s wide hazel eyes and pouty lips only added to his overall surfer-boy look.

“Do I have to call anyone and let them know you’re here, fofinho?” Santos asked.

“No,” Tristen answered. He wasn’t going to tell Santos that, before he had come into the Hacienda, he had called his mother and let her know he’d made it safely. While his brother Jimmy had always been closest to their father, it was their mom who was Tristen’s confidant.

Muscles rippled under the material of Santos’s thin jeans and T-shirt when he moved forward. “Put that pouting lip away, or I will be forced to take it between my teeth,” Santos said.

Tristen pressed his lips together and scurried back onto the bed. Santos followed, pressing one knee between Tristen’s legs before coming down onto his forearms next to Tristen’s head.

“What are you doing?” Tristen asked. Santo’s face was getting closer.

“It’s time we share our first kiss,” Santos said.

Tristen put his hands against Santos’s chest, trying to push the man away. Santos didn’t move.

“Wait,” Tristen said. “When I was here last time, all you wanted to do was talk. What’s changed?”

Life had been so much fun weeks ago during Tristen’s and his father’s visit. Never before had Tristen flirted so much, as he had with the other members of Rescue for Hire West. He’d exchanged kisses with a few of them, and others had pulled him close against their bodies. Tristen had loved it.

Except for Santos, the exasperating man wouldn’t cooperate with Tristen’s fun. Instead, he wanted to talk about their childhoods and what Tristen wanted to do with his future. Tristen would be lying if he didn’t admit he had been disappointed that Santos hadn’t tried anything.

“Before, you were here to straighten things out with your brother,” Santos said, pausing. “Now you’re here to find the man for you.”

Santos’s sharp teeth began nibbling on Tristen’s lips. Tristen no longer pushed at the wide chest above him. Instead, he clutched the material of the T-shirt between his fingers.

Santos lifted his mouth a whisper away. “Open for me, querido,” he demanded, the raspy voice making Tristen shiver.

Tristen parted his lips and let the world faded away. The only thing left was Santos and what his kiss was doing to him. Santos’s tongue swept inside, demanding Tristen’s participation. Their flesh met, dueling in a dance of pleasure. Tristen reached up and brushed his fingertips over the soft strands of Santos’s beard.

Santos lifted his head, ending the wet kiss. For long moments, Tristen enjoyed looking up at the handsome man while Santos gazed back at him. A wide, rough finger skimmed over the thin skin below one of Tristen’s eyes. When Tristen became tired, dark bruises always formed. He suspected they probably looked almost black by now.

“You need to get undressed, fofinho. You are tired and need to sleep.”
Tristen disagreed.

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