Story Excerpt
Cat Scratch Fever

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Azizi Dane blinked rapidly, groaning when bright light filled his vision. He quickly covered his eyes, wondering if he had gotten drunk the previous night. It was the only way to explain how much his head hurt and why the lights made his eyes ache.

There was a faint scent of cinnamon and something else, something Azizi couldn't identify but wanted more of. It smelled sweet and tangy all at the same time, kind of like—Azizi inhaled sharply and sat up as memories suddenly flooded his mind.

Oh hell.

Had he actually done what his memories were telling him he had? Did he actually let some stranger in a club fuck him? Had he practically begged for it? As more and more memories filled his brain, Azizi knew there was no practically about it. He had begged for it. And he'd probably beg for it again if he saw Mr. Tall, Dark, and Fucking Unbelievable a second time.

The man had given new meaning to the words drop dead gorgeous.

Azizi had thrown himself at Manu at Rowan's commitment ceremony. He barely knew Rowan but had been invited to the ceremony due to his work for Seth, Rowan's brother. Meeting Manu there had been incredible, maybe the best thing that had happened to him in years.

He didn't know whether to be embarrassed by his behavior or not. Who knew what Manu thought of him? Azizi wondered if he would ever see the man again. Probably not after the way he had acted. Being slutty was not the way to impress a guy.

Saddened by that thought, Azizi threw his legs over the side of the bed and stood up. He gingerly made his way to the bathroom and searched the cabinet behind the mirror for some aspirin. He didn't remember drinking the previous night but it sure felt like he had. His head pounded and he felt wobbly.

Azizi popped a couple of pills into his mouth and swallowed them down with a glass of water. He set the bottle of aspirin back in the cabinet and closed the door, his eyes straying to the mirror.

Azizi inhales sharply, his hand flying to the two red puncture marks on the skin just below his ear. His fingers trembled as he tentatively stroked them over the puckered flesh. His knees nearly gave out as pleasure shot through his body at the small touch.

What in the hell had he done?

Azizi gripped the counter as he racked his memories. He vaguely remembered Manu nipping at his neck when he had—when he had—Azizi's face flamed as he remembered exactly what he had been doing when Manu bit him.


Azizi jumped when his phone suddenly rang. He raced back into the bedroom, checking the caller ID quickly, groaning before picking it up.

"Hey, Seth."

"Dude, what was up with last night?"

"Excuse me?"

"One minute you were on the dance floor at the reception and the next you were wrapped around some guy in the VIP lounge." Seth started laughing. "I knew you wanted to get out a bit and experience the world but that was really something. I thought you were going to set the place on fire."

Azizi dropped down onto the side of the bed, his shoulders slumping. "Did I make a fool of myself?"

"Hell, no." Seth chuckled. "From what I could see, that guy was all over you just as much as you were all over him. I didn't get too much of a look at him but what I did… damn, he was hot—all that long black hair and those muscles? Very sexy."

Azizi dragged his hand down his face. He could feel it heating up with every passing second. He remembered those muscles. He had wanted to lick every damn last one of them. He still did.

"So spill, dude," Seth said. "What was his name and when are you going to see him again?"

Azizi groaned and dropped back onto the mattress to stare up at the ceiling. "His name was Manu."

"Manu as in Luca's second in command?"

"I guess."


"Don't make a big deal of it, Seth. I doubt if I am ever going to see him again." A deep sadness welled up inside of him at the thought.



"Nope." Not the way he had acted.

"That surprises me."

Azizi frowned. Seth sounded so serious. "Why does that surprise you?" It was just a simple hookup, right? As much as he wanted to see Manu again, he doubted he ever would, unless he went back to the club until he spotted the man again and Azizi didn't know if he had the courage to do that.

"Manu was all over you, dude."

"You said that already, Seth."

"No, seriously, Azi. He was all over you. If anyone tried to get too close to you he went all snarly and shit, wouldn't let anyone near you."

"Really?" Azizi sat up again. His heart started beating a little faster. "That’s good, isn't it?"

"Depends on if you like stalkers or not."