Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.
Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.
As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.
There was something about having a six-foot-six bouncer kneeling between his thighs that left an indelible impression on Holden.
In his youth, the big guys had always refused to suck him off. They’d also refused to bend over for him. It would have been fine had the refusals not been tinged with the undeniable odor of disdain for men who enjoyed such acts. Even as a teenager, Holden had not been there for anyone’s toxicity or self-loathing fuckery. He was there for sex, not therapy. If he wanted therapy, he’d go to the Community Watch and overshare with Community counselors about his sexual frustrations like so many other people did.
Instead, he’d gravitated to twinks and—back when the term was an accepted part of the gay lexicon—flamers. Men who didn’t feel obligated to perform society’s version of masculinity. And it’d been fine at first, but he was attracted to many, so why limit himself to a few?
A decade later, all that had changed. The world hadn’t run out of toxic self-loathing men, but sexual hang-ups seemed to fall away as people got older, and the millennials seemed to be born without them. Holden’s thirties had definitely been more fun than his twenties. People were more willing to go out of their comfort zones, and that he was definitely here for. Especially if it came in the form of six-foot-six Vikings.
Not only was the allegedly straight giant more talented than expected with his tongue, but he’d had no hesitations about gracing his boss with some oral attention before Evolution opened for the evening. Holden hadn’t needed to soothe overactive hetero nerves with his psychic abilities—Stefen’s eagerness had been one hundred percent genuine. Now here he was, proving to the world—or just to Holden—that more men than the general public liked to believe were willing to get on their knees for the right queer.
“Faster,” he said, stroking the shiny red hair falling around his thighs. “Take it all the way down.”
A muffled sound answered the suggestion.
Holden was glad Stefen couldn’t talk. He was a new employee at Evolution, and he hadn’t proven to be the brightest bulb in the box they’d been hurriedly trying to fill for the past few months. All it had taken was another big scandal, this one bigger than the others, to clear the Community’s only LGBT club of its staff. People were starting to think it was cursed. Or targeted.
In a way, they were right.
When the disappearances had begun, Holden hadn’t found a connection between the psys who’d wound up vanishing from his nightclub, but no matter what the rumor mill had claimed about his lack of action . . . he’d tried. Then Theo’s apparent suicide had turned his concern into outright terror. In all of their interactions, he’d never sensed the younger man had been a threat to himself. Just Evolution’s reputation. Holden’s reputation. And by default, his father’s and the Community’s.
The events leading up to Theo’s death had been a storm looming just beyond Evolution’s location on Tenth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, a menacing darkness that had sent unease slithering along Holden’s body, but the murder of Theo’s boyfriend, Jericho, had sealed it for Holden. There was no denying that something wasn’t right with the club after a crowd of club goers had swarmed the Dreadnought’s bass player in a sudden homicidal fury. It had to be connected to Theo and the disappearances Theo had been investigating. Yet Holden had never imagined the mastermind behind it all was the woman his own father had sent to watch over him. To make sure he wasn’t screwing up. What were the odds?
What were the odds.
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About the Author & Links:
Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.
Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.