Authors: Anitra Lynn McLeod
Seven Brothers for McBride 5
He needed a hero…
While the virus ravages the town, the Morgan brothers are determined to protect the farm. When an interloper is spotted, Devon Morgan investigates, stunned to find a beautiful but battered thrall.
Terrified of being used by bunch of randy and thirsty slammers, Karsten Jones gives himself to Devon, hoping for his protection, but assuaging the lust of one man might be more than Karsten can handle.
Devon has always enjoyed the idea of being a hero, but given a chance to become one in real life leaves him torn between bringing his dreams to life and following his instincts. Keeping Karsten’s best interests in mind helps him make the right decisions, but when bloodlust hits him for the first time, will he destroy the fragile trust they’ve built?
While the two men struggle to come to terms, Caleb and McBride try to compromise, but when neither man is willing to bend, one of them makes a heartbreaking decision.
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Futuristic, Paranormal
Seven Brothers for McBride 5
Anitra Lynn McLeod
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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IMPRINT: Everlasting Classic ManLove
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-246-3
First E-book Publication: February 2013
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For those who have the strength to survive.
Seven Brothers for McBride 5
ANITRA LYNN MCLEOD
Copyright © 2013
McBride slipped in and out of consciousness. Every time he opened his eyes, pain exploded in his head, but he had to look around to get a handle on where he was and what had happened. The last thing he remembered was that he had been inside Caleb’s house, arguing with him about his ultimatum. Caleb wanted Jonas gone from the farm, or Caleb would take what he could carry and go. McBride didn’t want either situation to happen. McBride couldn’t exile Jonas unless he was prepared to let Ollie go as well, and he wasn’t. Ollie was the only one who knew how to cook. Moreover, he’d given both men his word that he would protect them despite the fact they were engaged in an illegal relationship. Jonas was a landed gentryman like McBride himself, and Ollie was a slammer. Slammers gave up their necks so the gentrymen could drink their blood, but that was all they were allowed to do. Jonas had taken his relationship with Ollie to far more intimate lengths. But it wasn’t what Caleb thought. Caleb was under the misguided notion that Jonas had seduced Ollie so he could fuck him. In fact, Jonas was utterly submissive to Ollie in the bedroom. That information rolled through McBride’s head even though he didn’t think it would matter all that much to Caleb. He was so filled with hatred toward Jonas that he wouldn’t care who was doing what to whom. All Caleb cared about was that he hadn’t been there to protect Ollie from Jonas in the first place. When McBride pointed out that the two men were completely bloodbonded and separating them would kill them, Caleb declared he could fix that problem by killing Jonas. It was another headache that McBride simply didn’t need. With the world hanging on by a fingernail, he wanted to keep all his men on the farm and working toward the common goal of survival. Infighting, petty disagreements, and long-running feuds had no place on his land. McBride would be more than willing to put his foot down and take charge, but he’d been sick and getting sicker. Worse, he had no idea what was wrong with him.
Even though McBride was the sheriff of Woven Spire, he wouldn’t arrest or detain anyone, not when he had no place to put them. Most of the populace of the county had fled, taking whatever they could with them. Luckily, the
farm was almost entirely self-sufficient, but McBride needed everyone pulling the same direction to make that come about. If McBride could only get Caleb to see that Jonas and Ollie were deeply in love, he thought he might relent, but considering he couldn’t even handle himself right now, dealing with the issues between the men who called his spread home was beyond him.
Besides, illegal relationships of any form didn’t matter now that the world was in disarray from the spread of another blood-borne pathogen. Everyone was calling it the blood sickness. They called those gentrymen who were afflicted bloodmad. So far as he knew, only gentrymen got the disease. But regardless of all that, McBride was a man of his word no matter what happened to society at large. He’d given the star-crossed lovers his protection, and he wouldn’t rescind that now, even if doing so would gain him the man he desperately wanted.
“McBride?” Caleb called his name and pounded on his door. “Let me out right now!”
Memory returned, reminding McBride about what had happened. To prevent Caleb from leaving the farm or killing Jonas, McBride had locked him inside his house after threatening to force him into a tentative bloodbond with Jonas. Just thinking of the horrible threat made McBride cringe. He’d only issued it because he’d been desperate to get his way. Ashamed of himself, he’d stepped out onto the porch and locked Caleb in when the headache that had been haunting him for days exploded into pain so vicious he’d fallen. He struggled to rise but found he couldn’t. His legs refused to obey the orders of his brain. While he lay there incapacitated, Caleb continued to pound on the door, making it vibrate against McBride’s back.
Over by the big house, McBride saw Jonas. He’d shouted something at him just moments ago, but McBride couldn’t recall what he’d said other than it was something important. It had to be significant because Jonas was now running across the field toward where McBride was with all the other men hot on his heels. Only the direst of circumstances would cause Jonas to move in any direction where Caleb was at. As to why the other men were following him, McBride had no idea.
“Let me out so I can help you!” Caleb’s pounding fist was so strong it was shaking the entire mechanical house. Despite his wavering grasp on consciousness, McBride had to marvel at the sheer strength of Caleb’s body. He was powerful, complex, and so alluring that McBride had willingly broken the law just to have a few stolen moments in his arms.
Tormented by his inappropriate longings, McBride had struggled to keep his hands off Caleb no matter how badly he wanted him. Ultimately, he’d failed, but when the world started falling apart, he thought finally they could be together, only to have Caleb put another obstacle in their path.
Just as the gray started to encroach on his awareness, Caleb smashed through his living room window. The metal screen was electrified to keep out vermin and keep in his slammers, but Caleb ripped his way through that with barely a wince. His tolerance for pain was astonishing.
Looking up, waiting for Caleb to storm off to meet Jonas in the middle of the road so he could tear him apart with his bare hands, McBride was stunned when Caleb knelt down beside him. Was Caleb’s longing for him greater than his hatred for Jonas? If it was, there might actually still be a chance for them to be together.
“What’s wrong with you?” Caleb’s massive hand was soothing against McBride’s neck.
“I don’t know.” Despite the still-cool morning air, McBride felt so hot he swore he was melting into the rough boards of the porch. He tried to stand, but he still couldn’t get his legs to work.
“Let me help you.” Rather than helping him to stand, Caleb carefully stretched McBride out so that he was now flat on his back. The spinning dizziness lessened, and McBride found himself able to draw a full breath without pain.
It was far more comfortable than the awkward slump he’d made, but he fought to sit up so he could try to prevent a fight between Jonas and Caleb.
“Stop struggling.” Caleb’s hand pressed against McBride’s chest, holding him flat. “You’re in no shape to go anywhere.”
Realizing that for once he simply wasn’t capable of doing anything, McBride relented and collapsed. Looking up, Caleb’s face filled his field of vision. Wicked green eyes were so intently focused on him it was almost physical. The more McBride looked, the more he saw Caleb’s care and compassion.
“How could I be so wrong?” McBride thought he didn’t want Caleb to go because he needed his help with the farm, but that wasn’t it at all. He wanted Caleb here because he was falling in love with him. No man would ever be able to incite his passions the way Caleb did.