Today I am so pleased to welcome Leta Blake to Joyfully Jay. Leta has come to talk to us about her latest release, Alpha Heat (which we reviewed here). She has also brought along a short story and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you to Jay and the rest of the crew for hosting me here today. I have a ton of exciting news regarding my Heat of Love omegaverse series!
- The first book in the series, Slow Heat, is now available in audiobook. Narrated by the talented Michael Ferraiuolo, it’s getting a number of fantastic reviews from fans of the ebook and new listeners. The ebook is still available in Kindle Unlimited as well.
- The second book in the series, Alpha Heat, featuring Xan, a favorite secondary character from the first book, is now available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. The initial reviews for it are very enthusiastic and fans of the first book seem quite satisfied by the story.
- I’ve brought along a short story set in the Heat of Love universe. It takes place post-Slow Heat and pre-Alpha Heat. It was originally written as a Patreon-only short for my patrons but I’m sharing it here today for all of you as a taste of the universe. I hope you enjoy it! There will be two more short stories in this universe posted to my Patreon this summer, as well as two cut scenes from Alpha Heat. Come join us there if you’re interested in following those! (https://www.patreon.com/letablake)
(originally a Patreon-Only Short for $5+ Patrons)
Other Characters: Xan, Miner, Yule
Rating: ADULT, NSFW
Acknowledgements: inspired by an email correspondence with Sula Holland and written with gratitude for my patrons!
Vale sat at his desk flipping through the short stack of summer session Creative Writing papers he still needed to grade. The windows were open and the rose bushes outside hummed with bees and wafted in fragrance. Zephyr pranced proudly across the edge of his desk and sat down with a huff on the corner.
Vale leaned back in his comfortable chair and gazed out into the mid-morning light at Jason who was already on his knees in the garden, pulling weeds, and singing softly to himself.
A fluttery feeling rose in Vale’s tummy and a smile came to his lips. His baby alpha always looked so charming with dirt smeared on his cheek and white shirt, and his shorts grass stained from his work outside. It’d been like this every morning since school let out. Jason would be starting his senior year in the fall and he seemed in no big rush to graduate. They both enjoyed their daily lunches together and even though Jason had only grown more distant from his same age cohort, he didn’t seem to mind when he could walk to school with Vale in the morning and hold his hand on the way home. The Érosgápe pull made up for so much in life.
Jason glanced up and met Vale’s gaze, a sweet smile gracing his lips, as he pushed his blond hair off his forehead. Then he turned back to the work at hand, lifting his voice a little more loudly. Vale closed his eyes and let the gentleness of their life together swell inside him, a wave of peace and joy.
Impatient rapping at the door jolted Vale’s eyes open and he huffed slightly as he stood and padded toward the door. He wrapped his silk robe more tightly around his waist, and hoped it wasn’t Jason’s parents coming to call. He loved Miner and liked Yule, but they dropped by a little too often in Vale’s estimation. Probably because Jason was a spoiled only child and they missed him, but Vale was used to being alone in the world, except for his friends. The sudden influx of parental attention was sometimes more than he wanted to handle. Still, he endured it with good grace, because Jason adored his parents, and they were, all in all, lovely people to be around.
The knocking came again, harder and even more impatient. Vale’s heart skipped a beat. Could it be some kind of emergency? He jerked open the door and let out a heavy, annoyed sigh when he saw the bright, eager face on his doorstep.
“Where’s Jason?” Xan asked, his dark, still-damp hair shining in the sunlight. Dressed in his usual impeccable fashion, he wore tightly cut shorts that showed off his package and ass, and a pink and green striped shirt made from the lightest of fabrics. Standing several inches shorter than Vale, he pounded the handles of the giant, wood protest signs he held in left hand against the floor of the front porch.
“Hello to you too.”
“Right. Hi. We don’t have a lot of time. You need to get dressed.” He tried to look around Vale and called out into the house, “Jason! Get out here! We have things to do! Places to go! Injustice to fight!”
Vale raised a brow.
Xan flipped the signs around so Vale could see the words.
OMEGA FREEDOM NOW
NO FREEDOM WITHOUT OMEGA FREEDOM
“Huh.” Vale said, rubbing his hand over his mouth to hide his smile. “You’ve organized another protest, I see.”
“Not me this time. This goes way beyond me. There are hundreds of people out in the Calitan district. You have to see. Get Jason.” He stuck his head in past Vale’s shoulder again. “Jason! Come on! Where is he?”
Vale lifted a shoulder in a soft shrug. “Out back. In the garden.”
Xan rolled his eyes. “Of course.”
“Does your father know where you are and what you’re doing?”
Xan’s blue eyes pierced him hard. “I hope so.” Then he tossed the protest signs on the porch and gave Vale an annoyed up and down. “I’ll go around and get Jason. Are you going to come or not?”
“I better see what my alpha says, don’t you think?” Vale demurred, but only because he knew it would piss Xan off. In his mind, he was already picking out which shirt and pants he wanted to wear.
“As if Jason ruled you like that!” Xan growled and then he turned toward the road running in front of Vale’s house and shouted, “Omega freedom!”
Vale chuckled softly. Youth. They were adorable in their optimism. And, besides, maybe some day some of them would get somewhere. After all, it wasn’t that long ago omegas were sold as slaves. That only stopped with the youth rose up and made a change.
“I’m going around back,” Xan said, raising a brow. “You get dressed.”
Vale’s lips twitched. “Oh, certainly, alpha. Whatever you say, alpha.”
Xan frowned. “I mean, if you want to get dressed. I’m not ordering you. Well, I am, but only as a friend, not an alpha.”
Vale laughed as Xan stomped off properly prickly at Vale’s teasing. He watched until Vale was around the corner and then he headed upstairs to put on the purple, short sleeved shirt that set off his dark hair, and the cream colored pants that hugged his ass. He might as well look fantastic if he might get arrested today.
Jason stood up and dusted off his pants as Xan strode toward him, impatience and determination all of his handsome face. “Hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling before reaching out to pull his friend into a fast, back-thumping hug.
“We’re going to the Calitan district and you’re bringing your omega with you.”
“We are?” Jason asked, looking down at himself. “Should I shower first?”
“No. Just…here.” Xan pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and went to work on Jason’s dirty cheek. “And change your shirt. But we don’t have time for more. We can’t miss it!”
Xan steered Jason toward the house and they passed an already dressed Vale on the stairs. “Look, your omega is ready to go. Hurry.”
Vale chuckled softly as he opened the front hallway closet door and pulled on comfortable-looking sandals. “Yes, hurry, darling. There’s injustice to fight.”
Jason blinked in confusion, but went on to the bedroom he shared with Vale and allowed Xan to bully him through a fast wash with a cloth and tugged the shirt Xan fished out of his drawer on, even though it was Vale’s and not his own. It fit a little snuggly, but Xan patted his chest and called it fashionable, before tugging him from the room and down the hall.
“But wait,” Jason said, pulling on the shoes Vale handed him. He bussed Vale’s mouth quickly and whispered, “You look handsome,” before turning back to Xan, “What’s going? You haven’t told me anything.”
Xan flung open the front door and picked up the protest signs he’d left there, turning them to show Jason. “Which one do you want to carry?”
“Oh.” Jason flipped his hair off his forehead and chewed on his cheek as he considered. “OMEGA FREEDOM NOW I guess.”
“Good choice.” Xan thrust it his direction. “Now come on. Both of you. We have wrongs to right and voices to lift. You won’t believe how many people are on the streets right now.”
Jason took hold of Vale’s hand after they locked the door to their home behind them. As they followed Xan down their front walk, Jason whispered, “He’s pretty excited about this. How do you feel?”
Vale shrugged. “It won’t be my first protest and it won’t be my last.”
“And if it works? What then?”
“I guess I get all my assets back. Then I’ll lord my power over you and force you to submit to me.”
Vale laughed, and the chimes played up Jason’s back just like always. “Oh, darling. You are too adorable.”
“But I think you like being at my feet.”
Vale bit his bottom lip coyly a small amount of slick sliding from his asshole at the tight, controlled growl in Jason’s tone. “Wolf-god, will I ever stop being a slut for you?” he whispers.
“I hope not.” Jason’s nostrils twitched, picking up the scent, and then they were at the front gate and Xan ushered them into a bright, shiny new car. A different one than he’d driven the week before. Xan stuffed the protest signs into the trunk and hustled to the driver’s side.
Jason opened the back door for Vale and then slid into the passenger seat next to Xan.
“Seriously?” Xan asked, twisting in his seat to look at them both. “You’ve been contracted for years now. And you’re still all…” He grimaced and waved his hand between them. “Jason, what did you do to make him like that?”
The reference to Vale’s slick was oblique because talking about an omega that way in front of his alpha was always dangerous, even between friends, but they all knew what Xan was talking about it.
“I just talked to him.” Jason smirked. “I can’t help it if I’m just that good.”
“Well, you are good, and I’m glad you’re still happy, but you don’t have to flaunt it.” Xan muttered, starting the car and pulling away from the curb.
Vale laughed softly from the backseat, which Jason found astonishing. He still struggled at times to accept the idea of Urho as Vale’s ex-lover, though they were all good friends now. He did best when no one brought up the years Urho handled Vale’s heats.
Vale, though, didn’t seem to care one whit about Jason’s past dalliances with Xan, and Jason envied his equanimity on the topic. It was annoying to have to fight his jealous nature. He wished he could laugh when the topic of Urho and Vale’s history inevitably came up. Instead, he just did his best to smile through it.
“Of course we’re happy,” Jason said to Xan. “We’re Érosgápe. What bonded pair isn’t happy?”
“I don’t know. But I’m sure it happens,” Xan said darkly. “Imagine being sickeningly in love with someone you hate. Ugh. That’d be awful.”
Jason pondered the thought, wondering if it was possible. “I suppose whoever ends up with Wilbet Monhundy might hate him. Even if they’re Érosgápe.”
Xan shuddered. “Yeah. That guy is a brutal bastard. Being his Érosgápe would involve a lot of pain.”
Jason glanced at Xan out of the corner of his eye. There was something unusual in Xan’s voice, but he didn’t know what. So he sat with it and ruminated, letting the strangeness percolate.
“Here!” Xan said, pulling into a crowded street and finding a place to park only because of his fancy parking pass his father paid an arm and leg for his entire fleet of vehicles. “Just look!”
As they climbed from the car and popped the trunk for the signs, Jason took in the crowd of protestors, marching and chanting, up and down the street in front of several Calitan lawmaker’s homes. There were alphas, omegas, and betas in the throng. Most of them sweating from the ripening mid-morning sun, and their placards all shouting demands for Omega freedom.
“Can you believe it?” Xan asked, grinning. “We might finally be getting somewhere.” He handed Jason his sign and then took off across the street to join the march.
“Remember when he first met me and hated all the ways I wasn’t a good enough omega for you?” Vale asked, sliding a hand through his dark hair, the gray at the temples shining almost white in the sun. “How things change!”
“Yes,” Jason agreed. “He’s really committed to the cause.”
“And we both know why that is…” Vale trailed off, glancing around to make sure no one was listening. “He thinks if omegas have rights then he won’t be saddled with one.”
“I’d like to give him more credit than that,” Jason said, taking Vale’s hand and waiting to cross the street until a red and blue police car slid slowly past. “I think feeling trapped by the rules of our culture has taught him to have empathy for everyone else who is hemmed in, too.”
“I agree. I’m not suggesting our friend is entirely selfish. I just don’t know how he’ll handle it when all of this effort fails.”
Jason squeezed Vale’s hand and started out across the road to join the protestors. He kissed Vale’s knuckles. “What if it doesn’t fail? What if we succeed? It could change everything.”
“Oh, darling. Change is slow.”
“Unless it’s fast,” Jason argued, raising his sign up high. “OMEGA FREEDOM! OMEGA RIGHTS! WHEN DO WE WANT THEM? NOW, NOW, NOW!” He joined the chants, shouting at the top of his voice, his throat feeling the strain.
Vale smiled beside him but didn’t chant along. Xan was ahead of them in the march, but when they looped back around they came face to face, and Jason smiled at him.
Xan grinned back.
Vale had never been in jail before. It was, all in all, an interesting, if degrading, experience he felt sure he could write a poem about.
“Who threw the first rock?” Jason asked from where he perched on the hard cot beside him, fingers twined in Vale’s.
“I doubt we’ll ever know. So many were eager to join in.”
They were in a small cell with five other men, all strangers, except for Xan who had somehow talked the police officers into keeping them all together.
“Those asshole lawmakers shouldn’t have said what they did,” Xan snarled. “They started it by coming out with bullhorns and lying to our faces.”
Vale remembered how all hell had broken loose after the lawmakers had come out to have their say. Windows smashed, bloody mayhem had broken out, and all he’d wanted was to get out of there safely with Jason. Then the police had blocked off the paths of retreat and started taking people in.
Handcuffs weren’t comfortable. Vale rubbed his wrists, feeling the bruises there.
“Did you throw any rocks?” Jason asked. “I didn’t.”
“Of course you didn’t,” Xan said, rolling his eyes. He had dried blood on one side of his face from a stray elbow that had knocked into the ridge of his eye and broken it open in an ugly gash.
Vale hoped Urho or some other doctor would stitch it up nicely. Xan was too pretty a man to have a big scar. Still, perhaps this small one would make him look less fragile.
Luckily, Vale and Jason had come out of the pandemonium relatively unscathed.
Jason sighed obviously accepting Xan’s words as a confession. “Don’t admit to it unless you have to. They can’t charge you with anything just for joining a protest. You’re an alpha.”
“And what about Vale?” Xan said. “They can charge him and he could lose his job at the University.”
“My alpha said I had to march with him,” Vale spoke up. “What else could I do?” He batted his eyes innocently the way he would at the judge if need be. “Alas, it’s just another one of perils of having a young and reckless alpha, Your Honor. Please forgive me.” He smiled. “If they put us in front of a judge, I’ll be free faster than either of you, frankly. The judge would want to put the fear of wolf-god into you both. He’ll see me as a victim.”
Xan’s lips pursed. “True.”
“Is that how you really feel?” Jason asked softly. “Did I put you in too much danger?”
“I’m a grown man,” Vale reminded him. He raised Jason’s hand to his mouth and kissing the back of it. “I could have stayed home. I make my own choices.”
Jason nodded but wrapped a protective arm around Vale’s shoulders, pulling him closer against his side.
Vale glanced around at the milling protestors around them. Most were betas in this bunch, but there were a couple of alpha and omega pairs, too. No lone omegas, which was good, since things could get bad for an uncontracted omega protesting for omega rights.
“I doubt this will make any difference. But it was encouraging to see how many people showed up,” Xan said. “Don’t you think?”
“Yes,” Jason agreed. “Maybe some day omegas will have the same rights as alphas.”
“Or, hell, even betas,” Xan said, nodding toward the men across from him. Two betas, obviously a couple, holding hands and whispering together.
“Sabel and Aman. You’re free to go,” an officer said sternly, as he opened the cell door.
Vale sighed in relief. He looked forward to washing the stink of jail off his skin and sipping some lovely tea before calling Yosef and Rosen to tell them about their escapades.
Jason stood slowly. “But what about Xan Heelies? Any news on him?”
“Afraid not. It’s just the two of you for now. Let’s go.”
“But…” Jason looked down at where Xan sat on the hard cot. “We can’t leave you here.”
Xan snorted. “Go. I’m fine. My father will be here to pick me up shortly. I’ll get a lecture and probably be forced to go to another Philia Committee soirée but it’s fine. I’m fine. Go. Get Vale out of here.”
Jason frowned and reached down to Vale, helping him to his feet. “You’re sure?”
Xan waved them off and Vale bent to kiss his cheek. “Thanks for the adventure,” he whispered in his ear. “It was an exciting way to spend the day.”
Xan grinned. “Anytime.”
Jason’s warm hand on his lower back guided Vale from the cell and out into the offices of the police station where Yule and Miner stood waiting for them both.
“You put your omega in danger,” Yule lectured from the driver’s seat of his comfortable car, glancing over to look at Jason on the passenger side. “I don’t know what you were thinking marching out there. Leave social reform to those with less to lose.”
Miner smirked and winked at Vale, taking hold of his hand in the back seat. “Was it very fun?”
“It was,” Vale agreed, quietly, letting Yule go on lecturing Jason while enjoying a soft conversation with his pater-in-law. “There were more people than I’ve ever seen at a protest. The movement seems to be growing.”
Miner’s smile was bright. “That’s good to hear. I remember when Yule and I went to a protest supporting the omega right to a half vote—which we eventually won, thank wolf-god—when we were just married. It was very exciting.”
“I’m surprised he let you go.” Vale nodded to where Yule was still outlining all the reasons it had been a bad idea for Jason to take Vale to the protest.
“It’s one thing, son, to go yourself, but quite another to—“
“Yes,” Miner whispered. “He stopped taking me and then stopped going altogether when we started attempting to have a child. My health problems terrified him so much he refused to jeopardize me in any other way.”
“Things got quite violent before we got the right to the half vote. I’m glad he kept you safe.”
Miner patted at his coat pocket and brought out a flavored stick of wax. He chewed them regularly now to combat his urge to smoke. He’d had several relapses into his old addiction, but he battled it valiantly again and again.
“I have another if you’d like. Marmalade flavor.”
“No thank you.”
Miner chewed on the wax straw thoughtfully. “Will you go to another march do you think?”
“Probably. Xan is very insistent that Jason participate and, well, I go where Jason goes.” Vale smiled. “Because I want to.”
The Sabel car pulled up in front of Vale and Jason’s house and Jason leapt out a little too obviously eager to be free of his father’s lecture. “Thank you for rescuing us,” Jason said to Yule, as he helped Vale from the car and then turned to helping his pater move to the front passenger seat.
“Just make better choices in the future son,” Yule barked, running a hand through his blond hair and piercing them both with sky blue eyes. “No more nonsense.”
Miner, tall and thin, but not as tall as Jason, kissed his son’s cheek. “We’ll always come for you,” he said, smiling warmly. “No matter what. Do what you feel is right with your life, son. We’ll support you.”
Yule scoffed but didn’t contradict Miner, kissing his fingers when Miner took the passenger seat next to him.
After their car drove away, Jason led Vale into the house. “What now? Do you think Xan’s all right? Should I call his parents to make sure they’re going for him?”
Vale waved his hand toward the study and the phone in there. “Go ahead. Put your mind at ease. I’m going to take a bath. Join me when you’re done?”
Jason nodded and moved down the hall to make his phone calls.
The bathtub was big enough to just fit them both. Vale added scented patchouli bubbles and dropped into the warm water with a sigh. He scrubbed the sweat and stink from his skin and ducked his head into the tub to wash it too.
Surfacing, he found Jason standing above the bath, taking his clothes off.
“Xan’s parents are already on their way according to the beta servant I talked to on the phone.”
“Good. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Jason tossed his clothes in a heap, revealing his broad shoulders, golden chest hair, and the wiry pubes surrounding his soft penis. “Make room,” he said, climbing in, splashing water over the edge as he wedged himself between Vale’s legs.
Vale soaped Jason’s back and washed his hair, kissing his wet shoulders, and reaching around to tug on his cock until it was hard and ready. Slick gathered around Vale’s hole and the water didn’t wash the oily substance away.
Jason stood up, his alpha cock rising strong and proud. Grabbing a towel, he spread it on the floor and then reached into the tub to help Vale out. Dripping, Vale rubbed himself against Jason, moaning as his nipples grazed over Jason’s sparse chest hair. His dick hardened and rubbed against Jason’s pubic hair.
“Omega rights,” Jason whispered. “When do we want them? Now, now, now.”
Vale shivered. “I want something else now, now, now.”
Jason reached around to slide the pads of his fingers against Vale’s slick-damp hole. As he played with the tender opening, slipping the tips of his fingers in and out, Vale’s knees weakened and his omega glands released a rush of slick. Soon Jason pumped four fingers in and out easily, while Vale squirmed and hunched his aching cock against Jason’s body.
Jason kissed him sweet and long, before flipping him around to press his hands up against the closed bathroom door, and shove into him from behind. Vale arched back, capturing Jason’s thrusting cock, and his knees quivered as each thrust massaged his prostate and omega glands.
“Take me,” Jason muttered, wrapping his arms around Vale’s chest and holding him tight, ramming into him hard and fast. “Open up. Gonna fill you up.”
Vale gripped his muscles around Jason’s slamming cock and the added pressure made Jason groan. Vale’s heart raced and his cock throbbed. He reached down to jerk himself off, his cheek pressed against the door, and his ass cheeks warming to the regular slap of Jason’s hips.
Jason’s fingers tangled in Vale’s chest hair, tugging and scratching. His thrusts grew more eager, and he whispered in Vale’s ear, “Want you to come. Want to feel you soak me.”
Vale whined gently, releasing his cock, and shoving back with his ass. “Harder, darling. I’m close, but…harder.”
Jason pressed Vale’s front against the bathroom door, so that his cock rubbed against the wood, and pummeled him with rapid, breathtaking strokes. Jason’s already large cock swelled inside him, rubbing more firmly against the glands that released slick. Vale clenched his hands into fists, banging them against the door, as he focused on the tugging pleasure of each stroke of Jason’s cock.
“Just…there, darling. Just…oh!” He reached back to grip Jason’s hips, crying out as the pleasure crested in him, and the anal spasms took hold. Slick gushed from him in waves, and Jason praised him, while he writhed and shook, coming hard. The anal orgasm had barely passed before Vale took hold of his cock and wrung another fast orgasm from his trembling body, painting white stripes on the bathroom door.
Jason licked his neck, and then shoved in deep, the pulse of his cock and the sharp gasp he released Vale’s proof of his alpha’s climax. The heat of Jason’s come filled him, and Vale relaxed, exhausted, against the door.
Jason kissed his shoulders, the back of his neck, and his mouth before he slowly withdrew from Vale’s body. “Bed,” he said, holding Vale steady as he opened the door and steered Vale into their bedroom. “I’m not done with you yet.”
Vale collapsed on the clean sheets, certain that they’d have to put on clean ones before bedtime if he’d correctly read Jason’s tone of voice.
Jason followed him down, shoving Vale’s legs back, and getting four fingers into his come and slick wet hole, rubbing his prostate ruthlessly. Vale grunted, his legs quivering, and his heart racing. “So soon, darling?”
“Going to see your face this time,” Jason grunted. “Watch you fall apart for me.”
Vale surrendered to Jason’s physical worship, crooning at the tender touch of Jason’s tongue on his nipples, and the delicate way he traced Vale’s tattoos with his free hand. All the while, his fingers relentlessly worked inside, until Vale’s body moved uncontrollably, arching, writhing, and begging. His asshole spasmed and released, and then he gripped Jason’s neck, dragging him in for a kiss as he exploded in orgasm again.
Wetness soaked the bed and Jason crawled between his legs, pushing inside to fuck him again. Vale rode his thrusts loosely, his mind blown as always by Jason’s eagerness for sex, and his own ability to ride crest after crest of intense pleasure.
When Vale was wet all over with sweat, come, saliva, and slick, Jason finally came a second time, his cock pushing hard against Vale’s glands, and his come filling him up again with long, copious spurts. Jason whispered his love as he collapsed on Vale’s exhausted body, and kissed him sweetly.
“Thank wolf-god for you,” Jason whispered.
“Yes,” Vale agreed. “Alpha and omega. The beginning and end.”
Jason shivered against him and then lifted up to stare into his eyes before collapsing into holding him tightly again.
Jason listened as Vale told Rosen goodnight after having regaled him with the story of the protest and their arrest. He stood in the study doorway with tea for Vale in his hands and determination in his heart.
“Oh, lavender mint,” Vale murmured, taking the cup from Jason’s hands and rising from his desk. “My favorite.” His robe hung loosely open and Jason kept his eyes from following the dark chest hair down to the temptation that lay below. He had fucked Vale silly that afternoon and he needed to rest now.
Besides, he had something he needed to say to him.
“Come join me on the sofa,” Vale said, grabbing a book of poetry from his desk, and leading Jason across the room to where the fireplace stood empty until autumn brought colder nights. “I’ll read to you.”
Jason took Vale’s feet into his hands after they took their usual places on the sofa, and rubbed them gently while Vale read aloud a poem about springtime in the mountains. It was a good poem, but not half so sexy as Vale’s work.
“I need to tell you something,” Jason said when Vale fell quiet after the last word.
Vale’s green eyes darkened, but he sat up only a little straighter, leaving his feet in Jason’s rubbing hands. “Oh?”
“If you want your assets back, I’ll sign them back into your name.”
“It won’t hold legally,” Vale said, cautiously, watching Jason with a curious gaze.
“I know, but it will make me feel better. To know I did the right thing.”
Vale smiled. “If you like, darling, but I don’t mind everything being in your name. If something happened to you, it’s mine regardless until my own death.” He shuddered. “But you’re not allowed to die first. I’m older and I claim that privilege.”
Jason’s heart twisted and shocking tears rushed to his eyes. “Don’t talk about that.” He whispered, gutted at the idea of Vale’s death.
“Oh, my baby alpha, come here,” Vale said, putting aside his tea, reaching for Jason, and tugging him until he lay over top him. Vale felt small beneath him now that he’d reached his full size. Someone to be cherished and taken care of. “I’m sorry I mentioned it.” He kissed Jason’s head. “I’m right here. Healthy and fine. Fit as a fiddle.”
“What if a rock had hit you today? Or you’d been hurt by that crowd? My father is right. I was reckless.”
“And like I said earlier, I’m a grown man. I make my own choices.”
“Would you go to a protest without me?” Jason asked.
Vale was quiet a moment, but finally said, “I might. It depends on the situation. I don’t want to lose my job and going as an unescorted omega to such a demonstration would be risky. But if I was already out of work for some other reason, then I would. Yes. It’s not as though you’d stop me.”
Jason shrugged. “I could try.”
“You could try,” Vale agreed.
They lay together for a long time until Vale said, “Change is slow unless it’s fast. But I promise I’ll never purposely risk my life for something. The future is coming, though, and I want to be part of it if I can. Don’t you?”
Vale kissed his head again and said, “Then let’s agree. We won’t be like Xan, charging in without thought, but we’ll still participate in whatever we can.”
Jason dug in deep, breathing Vale’s wonderful scent. “I agree.”
He held onto Vale as they both pondered in silence. Zephyr scampered into the room and mrowred at them angrily.
“Did you feed her?” Vale asked, and then disentangled himself from Jason’s arms. “Fine, you evil wench. I’ll get you something.”
Jason sat up and watched Vale scoop up Zephyr and start out of the room toward the kitchen. Change like Xan wanted and Vale hoped for could be slow to come, but there was one thing he knew would never change.
They were Érosgápe.
And nothing could touch or tarnish the ever-growing love and devotion he felt for Vale. The strangers they had been once had been banished forever. Their union had been fast and compulsive, but their love was now slow and complete.
“Wolf-hell, you monster, that’s all the food you’re going to get!” Vale’s voice rose in the kitchen, and Jason grinned.
Standing up to go see if he could convince Vale that he had one more good orgasm left in him tonight.
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.
Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-30s, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.
When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.
But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha – as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.
This is a stand-alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
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