Author Charlie Richards

Giving love and imagination free reign


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Cracking the Big Lug's Shell

Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Thirty-Seven

Out of the Cage: Occasionally, the paranormal is not the aggressor.

The vampire Vadim Kuznetsov has watched every member of his family find their beloveds--the other halves of their souls. Some were able to connect fairly easily, while others had a rocky road. They all seem happy, though. Vadim wants that for himself but fears it as well. He's a big man, and his anatomy is even larger. So impressive, in fact, that some lovers have complained. What if he hurts his beloved? Joining his family at a restaurant, Vadim's worst fears are realized. He meets his beloved, the human Kendrick Hollister, who turns out to be a small, slender male. The boisterous human is straightforward with his interest, but Vadim's concerns hold him back. Between Kendrick's past lover creating problems and his own fears, can Vadim accept Fate's gift of the small, feisty human?

Excerpt - Cracking the Big Lug's Shell

The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.

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    Vadim felt a shiver of...something tingle down his spine as he moved through the restaurant. He couldn’t explain it. While he felt like he was being watched, and he knew other patrons glanced at him when he passed them, he felt as if he were being watched by someone specific.

He didn’t understand it.

Glancing around discreetly, Vadim didn’t see anyone he recognized. He didn’t see anything amiss, either. No one even seemed to be staring openly at him.

Vadim saw waiters and waitresses doing their jobs and people eating their food. It seemed like any other normal restaurant. He couldn’t figure out what could be nagging at him.

Doing his best to dismiss the feeling, Vadim entered the private dining area. He smiled at his family and friends, responding to their hellos. Smirking at their good-natured ribbing, he shook his head.

“Did we interrupt a little online fun?” Zakhar teased, grinning widely. He leaned over and nudged his newly bonded beloved’s shoulder—Armand—as he added, “Now that you’re the only free agent in the house, maybe we should take you to—”

“Enough,” Vadim snarled, flipping his brother the bird. “I don’t need help with…anything.”

“Cut him some slack, Zakhar,” Remy ordered, lifting one brow imperiously. “After all, it wasn’t that long ago when you were just as single.” He focused on Armand. “Good thing that big guy there loves your cooking so much.”

Armand chuckled softly. “His cooking isn’t the only thing I like,” the big black man claimed, his deep voice rumbling lowly as he leaned toward Zakhar and pressed a kiss to his temple.

“TMI, bro!” Marlin called, throwing his balled-up napkin at Armand. “Keep it to yourself.”

Armand wasn’t the only man who laughed. Even Vadim’s sister, Natalia, who was the beloved of Marlin, snickered a little. She reached over and rested her hand on Marlin’s wrist.

“Don’t worry, stud,” Natalia crooned, her expression sultry. “I’ll keep you plenty occupied. You won’t even remember that your brother and my brother are—”

“Ugh, don’t say it,” Marlin grumbled.

Natalia gripped Marlin’s chin between her thumb and forefinger, using the hold to turn his head so she could capture his lips with her own.

Vadim turned away from the sight, focusing on Borscht. His eldest brother offered him a wry smile as he murmured, “I tried to help you, bro. I told you not to be late.”

Nodding, Vadim shrugged. “Eh, I was running background checks, then got interrupted when I spotted Samantha online,” he admitted, glancing around furtively. “I—Oh!” Seeing the waiter enter, carrying a tray laden with drinks, Vadim couldn’t help letting the word of surprise slip from between his lips. The man was, in a word, stunning.

The waiter couldn’t have weighed more than a buck-twenty. His torso appeared lean and toned, even covered by the white, buttoned-down shirt. He wore a pair of slim-fit, black slacks that hugged his thighs to perfection.

Vadim felt his fingers twitch with the sudden urge to touch the slight human. He wanted to run his fingers through the sexy male’s vibrant orange hair. Damn, how did one come by hair that color? It wasn’t so much a bright orange, but the fiery color of the sunset.

The short locks were swept away from the server’s face with what was probably gel. Vadim wanted to slide his fingers through the strands and discover if they were soft. If they were stiff from gel, could he rub away the lubricant and make them fall across the man’s forehead?

Unfortunately, Vadim knew he couldn’t. The human couldn’t have been more than five-foot-five. He looked so damn fragile. Vadim could so easily break him.

Vadim’s cock twitched, reminding him of something else he wouldn’t be able to do to the man. No way could the slender human handle him. Hell, he’d had bigger men than that guy complain.

“I took the liberty of ordering a Hefeweizen for you,” Borscht stated, redrawing Vadim’s attention. “Hope that’s okay.”

“Da.”

While Vadim immediately responded in the affirmative, he couldn’t keep his focus on his brother for long. A fragrant, sweet scent mixed with apples reached his senses. It reminded him of a fresh baked apple pie drizzled with maple syrup. It made his mouth water…and his cock thickened and throbbed in his jeans. Even his fangs ached.

Oh shit!

Vadim’s eyes widened as he once again focused on the human male. The man had reached Natalia and Marlin. He was setting drinks in front of the pair, who were seated across from him and Borscht.

The only other single person Vadim noticed was Viktor Minsky, a good friend of his youngest brother’s, Tullion. Tullion had been framed by his ex-coven’s enforcer, forcing him to live life on the run for several months. During that time, he’d met his beloved, Toby, and Viktor—who’d been attempting to gather information to clear Tullion’s name—had been tortured.

Viktor still looked more slender than what Vadim remembered, but his body appeared to have mended. With the way he laughed and joked with Tullion and Zakhar, it seemed his mind had as well. He at least appeared care-free and relaxed.

Vadim couldn’t have felt wound tighter if he’d tried. It took every bit of concentration not to vibrate out of his seat with his need to taste the pretty human’s blood. He couldn’t tear his gaze from the man as he rounded the table.

Good gods! The human is heading right toward me. What do I do?