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Thomas's Choice (Scanguards Vampires #8)

Thomas's Choice (Scanguards Vampires #8)

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Lara Adrian, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Midnight Breed series: "I'm addicted to Tina Folsom's books! The Scanguards® series is one of the hottest things to happen to vampire romance. If you love scorching, fast-paced reads, don't miss this thrilling series!"

Scanguards vampire and master of mind control Thomas has mentored newbie vampire Eddie for over a year—and been in love with him for just as long. But he believes that his love will never be reciprocated.

While patrolling San Francisco for evil vampires, Eddie kisses Thomas as a diversionary tactic and is shaken to the core by his reaction. He’s terrified of his sexual attraction to his mentor and afraid that moving forward and giving into his desires will destroy the relationship they have.

When hurt and disappointment about Eddie’s inability to commit leads Thomas onto a dark path that spells destruction for all those he loves, only Eddie can pull him back from the brink of eternal darkness. But does Eddie have the courage to face his true feelings in time to save the man who’s meant for him?

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About the Book

Excerpt

1

Eddie tumbled into the studio apartment, the girl who’d introduced herself as Jessica in his arms. She’d come on to him in the nightclub he’d patrolled earlier. Behind him, the door slammed shut, helped by Jessica’s hand. Her mouth was hot on his lips, kissing him passionately while her hands roamed his body, sliding under his T-shirt to caress his naked chest.

All the while, she pressed her curvy body against his, her generous breasts crushed to his chest. The scent of her arousal filled the small room, which was furnished with a bed, a dresser, and a small table with two chairs. An open doorway led to a postage-stamp-sized kitchen and another door indicated that there was a bathroom, probably equally small as the kitchen. His sister, Nina, had lived in a similar place before she’d met her mate.

Jessica was pretty: long blond curls, plump lips, innocent-looking blue eyes. Anything a guy could wish for. On top of it, she was willing to put out. Major. No coercion was needed, no seduction necessary. In fact, she was more than eager and the one leading the charge, just as she now pulled her own T-shirt over her head and tossed it onto the nearby chair. For all he knew this was common practice for her: picking up a guy at a club and taking him home for no-holds-barred sex. Hey, he wasn’t complaining!

Jessica took his hands, which had lain on her back, and made him cup her bra-covered breasts. Maybe covered was too strong a word—what she wore could barely be called a bra. It was a mere collection of specs of fabric, strings and an underwire to hold them together. Her nipples weren’t even covered. Instead, her breasts were pushed up as if on a silver platter. Like a feast for him to indulge in.

He glanced down to where his hands squeezed the ample flesh in an almost mechanical fashion, as if he wasn’t the one touching her. It felt as if he were watching a mediocre porn movie—explicit for sure, but barely tantalizing.

She threw her head back, closing her eyes. “Oh, yeah, baby!” she called out, placing her hands over his to make him squeeze harder.

He complied, if only because he thought it was what he should do, not because he felt like it. Maybe if he kissed her again, he’d get into it more. After all, he was out of practice. In fact, ever since he’d been turned into a vampire over a year ago, he hadn’t been with a woman. Funny that he noticed this only now. Well, it didn’t mean that he hadn’t found sexual gratification; after all, what guy didn’t masturbate in the shower after waking? Or before going to sleep? He was just like any guy, finding relief at his own hand whenever he needed it.

Eddie slipped his hand onto her nape and pulled her to him, pressing his lips onto her waiting mouth, and kissed her. His tongue swept in to explore her, yet the excitement that he expected to shoot through his veins didn’t materialize. His heart beat as evenly as before—though at almost double the speed of a human heart. But that was normal for a vampire.

In an effort to get things going, he pulled on her bra and yanked it off her, allowing her boobs to spill from the inadequate cage. They looked almost rigid, which made him wonder whether they were real or not. Would a girl her age—and she couldn’t be more than twenty-two—have silicone implants? Why would anybody put something so foreign into their body? He stared at them, still contemplating the question.

Jessica’s hand on his crotch, running her fingers along the zipper of his cargo pants, jolted him from his thoughts and brought him back to the task at hand.

“Oh!” The disappointed sigh she let out when she squeezed him told him that something wasn’t working the way it should.

Again she rubbed her hand over him, but Eddie snatched it, stopping her from touching him further.

“Is something wrong?” she asked, pouting.

Everything was wrong. He wasn’t hard. He should have a raging erection by now. Any twenty-five-year-old would under the same circumstances. When he’d been human, a passionate kiss had pumped enough blood into his cock so he could get down to business. And now, with a half-naked girl eager to please him, his dick hung there like an old ragdoll, limp and uninvolved. As if it were somebody else’s appendage.

Why the fuck wasn’t he getting hard? Why was his cock asleep? What the fuck was wrong with him?

He closed his eyes, trying to conjure up images that would make any man horny: naked women bent over furniture, women stripping, even women doing it with other women. Yet, his cock remained in its deathlike state, not a single blood cell rousing it.

Out of nowhere, memories from a few weeks earlier intruded again, memories he’d tried to push away each time they reared their ugly head. Only this time, he couldn’t push them away any longer. He had to face them head-on.

Several weeks earlier
Eddie marched along the corridor, heading for the conference room on the executive floor of Scanguards’ Mission headquarters. Some major shit was going down, and he wasn’t going to miss out on the juicy action. He loved this job, the camaraderie with his fellow vampires, the friendship with his mentor, and the admiration of his sister. Nina was finally proud of him, of everything he’d achieved after taking the gamble of becoming a vampire. Finally, everybody was happy: Nina was bonded to Amaury, a major player at Scanguards, and from what Eddie could see, he was going totally gaga over her. He’d never seen a man so in love with a woman. That fact had erased all of Eddie’s doubts about whether a human-vampire relationship could work in the long run. Nina and Amaury made it look easy. They seemed made for each other.

As he walked along the hallway, his nostrils suddenly flared. Somewhere on this floor was a human. And that was a breach of security.

“Who else knows?”

Eddie recognized Blake’s voice. Even though Blake was Quinn’s grandson, and Quinn was a director at Scanguards, it still didn’t explain why the human had been allowed onto this floor. It was his duty to check it out and get the situation under control.

“Thomas. But he isn’t talking either. I already tried. Unfortunately he isn’t gonna tell you either,” Oliver responded, his voice coming from the alcove that housed a refrigerator and some shelves.

“But he might tell Eddie.”

At the sound of his name, Eddie stopped in his tracks. What would Thomas tell him? What secrets were these two talking about? He couldn’t help but remain where the two couldn’t see him, and listened in on their conversation. He knew it was bad form, but something was fishy, and he’d find out what it was.

“Eddie? My God, you’re right. Why didn’t I think of that? Thomas would tell Eddie anything. Everybody knows he’s got the hots for him.”

All air rushed out of Eddie’s lungs. His vision blurred, and his heart stopped beating. He couldn’t move, couldn’t react, though he must have made a sound, because Oliver suddenly took a step out from the alcove and snapped his head toward him.

“Oh shit!” Oliver cursed.

Blake let out a heavy breath, shooting him a shocked stare.

“Thomas… he…” Eddie shook his head.

No, this couldn’t be true! Thomas couldn’t be attracted to him. This couldn’t be happening! His mentor of over a year, the man he shared a house with, wanted to jump his bones? Fuck no!

Of course, Eddie had always known that Thomas was gay. Hell, everybody knew. Nobody had ever made a secret of it. And everybody accepted Thomas as he was: a generous man with a big heart, a brilliant mind. Nobody ever treated him any differently from any of the others. Neither had Eddie. He’d instantly felt comfortable with him when he’d first met him and been told that Thomas would be his mentor and help him get to grips with being a new vampire.

“Listen, Eddie, forget what you heard,” Oliver tried to calm him.

The cords in Eddie’s neck bulged. “How the fuck can I just forget that?” Nobody could take words like that back, words that shattered his cozy home life with Thomas. They’d lived alongside one another in Thomas’s view mansion on Twin Peaks like the ideal roommates, sharing their love for motorcycles and tinkering with anything electronic.

“Believe me, Thomas is an honorable man. He’ll never act on his feelings since he knows they’re not reciprocated.”

He tossed Oliver a furious glare. “God, I wish I’d never found out.” Ignorance was bliss; Eddie realized that now.

“I’m sorry.” Oliver put a hand on his shoulder.

The touch infuriated him even more, and he pushed him off. He didn’t want to be touched, not by any man! “Don’t touch me!”

Eddie turned on his heel and ran to the nearest exit.
He’d always looked up to Thomas, admired his intelligence, his street smarts, as well as his absolute loyalty to Scanguards. He’d never once questioned Thomas’s motives for taking him in, for rearranging his own life to show a new vampire the ropes. But all this was different now. Had Thomas accepted the assignment Samson, Scanguards’ owner, had handed him simply because even back then he’d wanted to get into his pants? Had his motives not been as altruistic as Eddie had assumed?

He couldn’t help but wonder about all the incidents when he’d seen Thomas only half-dressed. Had his mentor done it on purpose to entice him to switch camps? Had Thomas tried to seduce him, and he’d just been too thickheaded to see it?

Eddie remembered one incident all too well. He’d spent the day at Holly’s place—Ricky’s ex-girlfriend—because he’d been out too late and missed sunrise. When he’d returned home, Thomas had stood in the living room, clad only in a towel, talking to Gabriel, who’d needed help with guarding the woman who would later become his mate.

Thomas’s skin had glistened with water from his recent shower, and when he’d stretched his arms over his head in what seemed like a casual gesture, Eddie had admired the defined muscles of his stomach and torso. And it had stirred something in him, something he’d dismissed instantly. Had Thomas tried to tempt him even then? Had he purposely shown off his magnificent body because he got off on being looked at?

What about the many times that he’d seen Thomas walk to the refrigerator, dressed in his boxers, his bathrobe open in the front? Had Thomas behaved like that because it was his home, or because he wanted Eddie to look at him?

What would he do now? How could he go on living with Thomas, knowing what he knew? Every time he looked at his mentor from now on, it would be with the knowledge that Thomas had the hots for him, that Thomas wanted to strip him naked, touch him, kiss him, and make love to him.

“There, see, I knew it would be working.” The female voice pulled him from his thoughts and brought him back to the present.

Eddie opened his eyes and stared down at Jessica. She’d opened his zipper and pulled out his cock—his fully erect cock—and was now wrapping her hand around him. He was as hard as an iron rod, but he knew it wasn’t right, because he hadn’t gotten hard for her. He’d gotten hard while thinking of Thomas. While thinking of a man.

Disgusted with himself, he gripped her hand and yanked it off him. “I can’t do this.”

“Of course you can,” she purred and rubbed her naked breasts against him, an action that left him entirely unaffected when he should have dropped his head and sucked those hard nipples into his mouth.

Why wasn’t he doing what she wanted him to do? Why wasn’t he fucking her? At least then he could prove to himself that there was nothing wrong with him, that he was still the same person he’d always been: a straight man who desired women.

Jessica slid her hands onto his ass, drawing him closer. “Come on, Eddie, I know you want it.”

Yes, he wanted it, but not with her. He was as horny as he’d ever been, but he knew instinctively that his dick would wilt like a dried-up flower if he tried to have sex with Jessica. And he wasn’t going to add that kind of humiliation to his already-battered psyche.

No, he had to push all this away, pretend none of this had ever happened and go on as usual. He’d done so the last few weeks, he could continue the same way—by avoiding being alone with Thomas as much as he could, and by trying to forget what he’d overheard.

Maybe Oliver and Blake were wrong after all. Maybe they were only imagining things. What did they know about Thomas anyway? They weren’t the ones living with him. They weren’t spending any time outside of work with him. And even at work, they barely saw him, since Thomas rarely did any fieldwork and was working on IT projects most of the time, while Oliver and Blake were out patrolling or protecting clients.

Eddie stared into Jessica’s eyes. “Listen carefully,” he started, then sent his thoughts into her mind, erasing every memory she had of him.

If they met again, she would never know what had happened between them. Nobody would ever know that he hadn’t been able to perform—nobody but himself. And he could always lie to himself and pretend everything was all right.

About the Scanguards Vampires series

The Scanguards Vampires series is full of fast-paced action, scorching love scenes, witty dialogue, and strong heroes and heroines. Vampire Samson Woodford lives in San Francisco and owns a security/bodyguard company, Scanguards, which employs both vampires and humans. And eventually some witches. Throw in a few immortal guardians and demons later in the series, and you'll get the drift! Each book can be read as a standalone and always centers around a new couple finding love, but the series is more enjoyable when read in order. And of course, there are always a few running jokes - you'll understand when you meet Wesley, a wannabe witch. Enjoy!

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