Jarod Greene doesn’t know anything about love, but that didn’t stop him from taking an IT intern from the FBI up against the wall in a moment of confusion and passion. It certainly didn’t keep him from asking the wide-eyed intern to be his kept lover. And it’s not like Chris Wilkinson’s job or life was going anywhere. Why wouldn’t he want to be the kept man of the most powerful mob boss in Los Angeles? But Chris Wilkinson is more than he appears, and so is Jarod Greene.
In the City of Angels, where every foundation is cemented in lies, two men whose first words to each other were false are about to find out how far they’ll go to discover the truth—because nothing true comes without a price to be paid in blood, and that’s especially true if you’re the Godfather’s lover.
CHRIS stood in front of the window, watching as yet another one of his friends left their home. Tim turned back once to look up at him, waving his small hand, smiling widely before getting into the car with the couple who had just adopted him. By the time Chris started to wave back, the car was already halfway down the driveway, moving swiftly past the gates. Chris suddenly felt the urge to run and catch up with the vehicle. He needed to say goodbye to Tim, one more time, one last time. Because for all the promises of those who left, those who promised to come back and visit… they never did in the end. And if this was possibly the last time Chris would see him, he needed Tim to know the latter was the younger brother he never had.
Chris ran out of the bedroom he had shared with Tim, skidding along the corridor, running down the wooden stairs, opening the door to continue running down the walkway to the main gates. The car was no longer in sight, but Chris kept on running and running. His lungs felt like they were going to burst, and his leg muscles ached like hell, but he kept on running and running, only stopping when he reached the gates. His sweaty palms grabbed the metal railings as he collapsed onto the ground. Chris felt wetness slip down his cheeks, not realizing he was crying. How could he cry if his heart was numb?
Chris didn’t know how long he sat on the hard ground. His tears had dried up and his body was cold from the blustery wind. Not until he felt a warm hand on his shoulder did he notice that someone had been with him for awhile. He looked up to find Father Marcus squatting next to him, eyes filled with sympathy and understanding.
“He will be back, Chris,” Father Marcus said quietly.
“No he won’t, Father.” Chris coughed, his voice a little hoarse. “And are priests supposed to lie?”
“I’m not lying,” Father Marcus said, smiling his kind smile. “There is always hope that they will come back to visit us.”
“They never come back, Father. Not Amy, Lucas, Dave, and now Tim…. No one comes back.”
“Oh, Chris,” Father Marcus said sadly before enfolding Chris into his arms. “One day, someone will come for you.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Father,” Chris said.
“And what did I say about using profanities?” Father Marcus arched his eyebrow.
“Don’t use them unless really necessary and not until I’m at least twelve,” Chris repeated drily. That was one thing he liked about Father Marcus. The man wasn’t stuffy like any other priests he had known. Not that he knew many.
“And are you twelve, Chris?”
“I will be in a year,” Chris said stubbornly.
“Then wait a year more. It won’t kill you,” Father Marcus teased.
“I will still be here a year from now, won’t I, Father?” Chris said knowingly.
“You don’t have to be sad for me…. I know no one wants me. They always pick someone else to go home with. I’m not young like Amy or cute like Tim or smart like—”
“You are special, Chris. And one day someone will see that. Trust me,” Father Marcus said firmly. “One day you will have your own family.”
Chris shrugged. He knew he would never leave the orphanage, not until he was able to take care of himself in the eyes of the law. There was something wrong with him that made people not want him. Maybe it was the sadness he had always felt, deep inside.
Chris started to pretend from that very day. His small, shy smile became wider, appearing more frequently. He talked more and made new friends. He pretended to be happy, even when he didn’t feel that way inside. It was only Father Marcus who knew Chris was pretending. He looked sad every time he watched Chris try so hard to be someone else.
But acting happy still did not make Chris a choice candidate for adoption into a loving family. When another childless couple made their visit to the orphanage, they picked Suzie instead, with her golden curls and bright, cheery smile.
“Just be yourself, Chris,” Father Marcus had said, patting him consolingly on the back. He walked away without hearing Chris’s reply.
“What if being myself isn’t good enough?” Chris half-whispered into thin air.
JAROD walked toward the open coffin to pay his last respects. He was wearing his best suit, the one his mother had bought for him, the one that his mother loved because she said it brought out the beautiful color of his eyes. As he looked into the serene face that greeted him from inside the coffin, he wondered whether his mother could still see him now, with her eyes closed like that. He felt a sob trying to escape from his chest and breathed in deeply before it did. His father had told him once that real men did not cry.
“Your mother is dead, Jarod,” his father had told him, voice devoid of any emotion.
“W-what?” Jarod had whimpered out, half in shock and denial.
“Didn’t you hear me? She is dead. She lasted longer than I expected her to, anyway. She was too weak for this world. At least she gave me you before she died.”
Jarod had stood still as the news of his mother’s death swamped him with emotions. He looked at his father, who looked more annoyed than anything at his wife’s death. And suddenly he wanted to punch the half sneer off his father’s face. But he didn’t. He was too smart for that. Instead he clenched his fists and asked, “How?”
“Slit her wrists,” his father replied brutally, not caring that he was saying this to his young son. “Weak, I tell you. You have to be stronger than that to survive in this world.”
Jarod didn’t know exactly why his parents married, and even if they did so out of love, the love had run out by the time Jarod came into the world. His mother had loved him with all her heart, tried to shelter him from the cruel world his father ruled. His father had hated that, hated her. And Jarod had always been between them. The two people he was supposed to love most in the world. Well, at least half of that was true. It stopped being true when he saw his father beat his mother bruised and blue for disobeying him. Jarod later found out that it was not the first time it had happened. It was certainly not the last, and all the abuse, physically, verbally, and mentally, that his father had thrown at her had finally reached its limit, resulting in her death.
Jarod was so angry with his father right then, but what dominated that emotion was the despair that the last person who loved him had died. Without realizing it, Jarod began to cry. His father yelled at him before striding toward him, smacking him hard in the face, shaking him like a pliant doll.
“Grown men don’t fucking cry, Jarod! You remember that! No fucking Greene man ever cried. And you better not start that shit. You understand me, son? You stop fucking crying right now! Or are you weak, boy? Are you weak, just like your fucking bitch of a mother?” His father’s saliva landed on his face as he towered over Jarod. “You stop crying. You hear me, boy? Stop fucking crying!”
Jarod’s tears had stopped right then. He looked his father in the eye and nodded. One day his father would pay for all the things he had done to Jarod’s mother. One day the man would pay for causing her death. Jarod kept quiet, biting his tongue on the harsh words that wanted to escape his mouth. Instead he willed back his tears and said, “May I go now, father?”
Ten-year-old Jarod never cried again. He didn’t cry as he looked at his mother’s stiff body lying on the creamy white satin sheets of the box that held her. He didn’t cry as he watched his mother’s coffin being lowered into the ground, six feet under. He didn’t cry. Not that day. Or any day after that.
After all, real men didn’t cry.
JAROD held the sniveling man in a tight, punishing grip around his neck, against the brick wall. “Now, what did I tell you about betraying me, Carlos?” The man whimpered an answer. Jarod pulled him forward before slamming him hard into the wall again. “What did I fucking tell you, Carlos, or did you forget?” Jarod’s voice went a notch quieter. His men around him shifted uncomfortably. They knew that with Jarod, louder was better. Screaming would have meant you had a chance to live. But when Jarod’s voice became quiet like that, something pretty bad was about to happen. Jarod was like a cobra about to strike, and his men were grateful they were not the target of those steel-grey, flinty eyes.
Jarod smelled something acrid in the air and looked at the wet spot forming on the man’s pants. “Fucking bitch. You better not get any of that pee on me. Or I’ll make sure you die a painful death.” The man started to shake harder, his eyes wide with fear. “You should have known not to fuck with me, Carlos. My turf, my rules. And you knew that. Now why would you want to screw with that, huh? Just for more money. Is that worth your life? Or any of the—”
Jarod heard the back door to the club slam open and then shut as a man stumbled out into the open air. He paused, signaling to his men to bring the man forward. It would be just his rotten luck to have to deal with a potential witness for the FBI. Not that he couldn’t have settled it with bribery or death threats. But some wouldn’t listen. And Jarod preferred to keep his hands clean these days. Killing people was not on top of his to-do list as a mafia boss.
His men dragged the man forward into the dim light, and Jarod was able to see his face. Besides being obviously drunk, or on his way to it, the man was just his type. Smaller than him, with an attractive body and an equally gorgeous face. Large, glazed, doe-brown eyes gazed at him curiously, accompanied by a lush, pink mouth that begged to be fucked. Jarod’s cock twitched in his pants. He sighed, knowing his business with Carlos was over. He had a new matter to attend to now.
“Deal with Carlos,” Jarod directed his men, his eyes not leaving Chris.
“What about him, boss?” Joe asked, his eyes on the inebriated man whose arm he held.
“Leave him to me,” Jarod said, reaching out to catch the man as he started to fall, face first onto the ground, when his men released him.
“We’ll be taking Carlos then, boss,” Mike said, waiting for Jarod’s confirmation.
Jarod waved his free hand and waited for his men to leave. But Mike was still there, probably smirking. “Leave, Mike. And you better not be smirking.”
Mike snorted. “He’s just your type, ain’t he, boss.” It wasn’t a question. Mike knew the man was exactly Jarod’s type.
“Are you going to leave, or do you want to watch me fuck him through this wall? Because I’m fine with that.” Jarod made a move to unzip his pants, chuckling when he heard Mike’s footsteps fade away quickly into the distance.
“Y-you really gonna f-fuck me through the wall?” The voice came out slurred, but Jarod could see the man’s eyes were not so glazed over now.
“Do you want me to?” Jarod asked instead as he leaned forward to taste the lips that had tempted him on sight. He licked the lower lip for a few seconds, making the man moan and writhe against him. “I haven’t even kissed you yet,” Jarod pointed out, laughing.
“Kiss me,” the man said, biting on his lower lip seductively.
Jarod parted the lips, shiny with his saliva, pushing his tongue in, taking his time to explore the inside of the warm, wet cavity. The man tasted of beer with a slight hint of mint. There was no lingering taste of cigarettes, which was good because Jarod absolutely hated the smell and taste of men who smoked. But not enough not to fuck them if they were as cute as the one he held in his arms right now.
The man moaned louder as Jarod ground his throbbing dick against the man’s hardening one. Jarod released the man’s lips, only to suck on the patch of skin exposed above his collar.
“Fuck me… please, fuck me,” the man pleaded as he bumped his hips forward.
Jarod gritted his teeth, wondering what was it about this man that made him lose control so fast. He searched his pockets for the sachets of lube and condom foil packets he knew would be there. Jarod was never a Boy Scout, but he was always prepared. He couldn’t help it if he had a high libido.
“If you can stand by yourself, against the wall, then I will fuck you,” Jarod said. He had a high libido, but he didn’t fuck men who were too drunk to appreciate how large his cock was.
“I’m not that drunk, you know,” the man said, releasing the arms that had latched on to Jarod’s neck before stepping back from him, a breath away.
Jarod could see the outline of the man’s hard penis stretching the pair of pants he was wearing. “Fuck, but you better want this.”
“Oh, I want it,” the man said as he licked his lips before palming his own cock in a slow, circling motion.
Jarod’s penis grew even bigger, making it uncomfortable to be constrained in the pants that suddenly felt too damn tight. Unzipping, Jarod took his hard, pulsing cock out of his pants and the black briefs he wore. He tore the foil wrapper open with his teeth before smoothing the condom down his cock. Tearing open one sachet of lube, he squeezed the slick liquid on his swollen length before spreading it around.
The man reached for the sachet of lube in Jarod’s hand even as his own hand moved to unzip his pants. Jarod watched as the man’s exposed cock bobbed in the air. The man’s pants and briefs were now around his knees as he inserted his lubed fingers into his hole. Jarod’s throat went dry at the sight of the man arching his neck in pleasure as his penis continued to grow harder, straining toward his stomach.
“Fuck.” Jarod pushed the man’s pants all the way down to his ankles. “Lift your legs up a bit, baby, come on, need to get these pants off,” Jarod coaxed. He lifted the man’s legs, wrapping them around his waist before cupping the man’s taut ass. “Can’t wait… hurry,” Jarod groaned. The man just stared at him, inserting another finger, stretching himself out. When the man nodded slightly, Jarod pushed his thick shaft into the tight, warm hole.
The man smacked him hard in the chest. “Slow down,” he gritted out.
“Sorry,” Jarod managed to mutter. He moved another inch into the channel and was rewarded by a needy moan from the man. Jarod moved in deeper again, letting his cock slide over the bundle of nerves.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” the man cursed as Jarod thrust into him, again and again, faster and faster. His hands were now clawing at Jarod’s back and would have left marks if not for the jacket Jarod was wearing.
The man made a keening sound, his hole clenching around Jarod’s rigid shaft as he came, spilling his seed in hot, thick spurts. Jarod’s balls tightened before he pumped out his release into the man, grunting loudly.
Jarod became aware of his surroundings and what he had done with a virtual stranger a few moments after. He hadn’t lost control of his libido like that since he was a teenager. The man’s sweaty forehead was resting on Jarod’s shoulder, his legs now wrapped around Jarod’s hips. His hands hung loosely around Jarod’s neck. With the heavy weight of the pliant man in his arms, Jarod wondered how he could still stand, especially after an orgasm that made his knees weak. He shifted, letting his limp penis slide out of the man, who whimpered softly when it did. The man lifted his head, his face flushed from spent arousal, lips swollen red, and Jarod felt the urge to fuck him into the wall again. Jarod removed the man’s legs from his waist before he was tempted to do so, allowing the man to adjust his bearings before taking his arms away from the man’s waist.
“You—” Jarod coughed, clearing his rough voice. “Okay?”
The man nodded feebly in response. Before Jarod could ask for the man’s name, he could hear one of his men clearing his throat a few feet away. It was probably Mike, indicating to him his men had waited long enough. Only Mike had the boldness to do that. Then again, Mike had known him from childhood, before he became the Godfather of Los Angeles. Or so Mike had named him.
Jarod took the man’s flaccid shaft, still sticky from his release, and placed it inside his briefs. He glanced at the silent man who continued to stare at him, still naked from the waist down. The sight was too tempting. Jarod inwardly groaned when his cock twitched. Bending on one knee, he pulled up the man’s briefs together with his pants, zipping it close in one quick movement.
“Boss, we have to leave!” Mike shouted.
“I will be right there!” Jarod growled back. “Fuck,” Jarod muttered under his breath. He unrolled the condom, almost one-third full, tying it quickly before stuffing it into his pocket. The man arched an eyebrow at him.
“I will get rid of it later, or would you rather keep it?” Jarod asked defensively as he zipped up his pants, grimacing when he saw the cum stains on his shirt.
“You have to leave,” the man said instead.
“Yes. But I will see you again,” Jarod promised.
“Oh, definitely.” The man smirked knowingly. “Most definitely.”
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