Alter Egos:

Keeping Cade

SEJ / Stephanie Tyler LLC
May 25, 2019
ISBN-13: 9781732726666
ISBN-10: 1732726663

Crave Series, Book 1

Protection has its price, but so do fantasies…

Fantasy Week happens twice a year at Crave, and it’s always a big hit—a way to live out your wildest fantasy in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.

But when Cade comes in with his Fantasy Week invitation, he’s not happy about it. He’s stoic as hell and his preferences don’t seem to match his fantasy at all…and yet, despite that, he enjoys himself with Tegan and Vic. At least at first.

When it becomes glaringly apparent that the fantasy isn’t something Cade’s comfortable with, it’s confusing for the men he’s been paired with, and Tegan and Vic put a stop to the scene immediately.

What Cade doesn’t know is that Tegan and Vic are not only co-owners of Crave, but they’re also owners of a mercenary group, Gray Ops, that’s run out of Crave. They’ve also been circling each other for years… but nothing sparks until their session with Cade.

What happened in Room 4 is something none of the men can forget…but it’s got nothing to do with a fantasy and everything to do with blackmail. Can Tegan and Vic help Cade keep his secrets, while keeping all of them safe at the same time? Because the secrets threatening to spill out aren’t only Cade’s…

*This series is set in the MEN OF HONOR world, in the bar called Crave from Bound By Honor

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Connected Books: Crave Series

Saving Sway (Cover Coming Soon)
Saving Sway
Book 2
Taming Theo (Cover Coming Soon)
Taming Theo
Book 3

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Cade O’Shea approached Crave’s Fantasy Week with a wariness usually reserved for enemy combatants.

He didn’t know his fantasy ahead of time, but he’d steeled himself, fully expecting it to be something he hated, something that didn’t fit with his preferences. Something that was likely going to test his limits in a bad fucking way. And still, he’d made his choice to show up, to keep Theo out of trouble. They’d looked after each other from the time they’d been in grade school. That was never going to change, and that was the only reason he was holding the damn fantasy card in his hand as he walked toward the main entrance of the club.

Fantasy Week. Jesus Fucking Christ, he could think of a few, and none of them involved what he was likely about to endure.

The man who guarded the door was big—built like a tank, like he was born to be a bouncer. No one was going to fuck with him unless they were stupid, and at that point, they’d deserve what they got.

Cade shoved the card forward and Tank glanced at it, gave Cade a once-over before moving aside to let him enter. Then Tank handed off the card to a dark-haired man whose translucent blue eyes were set off by a dark-blue denim shirt, buttoned to the top and untucked over leather pants. He also wore several heavy silver rings on the fingers of both hands.

Denim and Leather led him to a raised, cordoned-off section across from the bar that appeared to be a reserved VIP area and motioned to a table. “Have a seat and I’ll be right back.”

Cade did as he was told, which was a rarity.

He was the only one seated there. He took a deep breath and glanced around out of habit, marking potential exit strategies and looking for general threats. It was a routine he’d never fully break, no matter how old he got. At twenty-five, he felt far older than his years.

A bartender sauntered over and handed him a water with lemon, and although Cade wanted something stronger, he’d read the rules—there was no drinking allowed before you played here.

He’d heard the rumors that the club was owned by ex-military guys who did merc work. It didn’t seem implausible that the man who’d commandeered this fantasy for him would know them as well, and it made his resolve to make them pay for their part in this even stronger.

Finally, Denim and Leather came back over to the table and sat close enough for their conversation to be private, but not close enough to invade his personal space. He held a clipboard with a card and a paper attached, and he put it in front of Cade before handing him a pen. “Please check your card to make sure it’s correct. I’m going to tell you what the other paper says, but I encourage you to read it yourself. You got a copy with your envelope as well.”

The five-by-seven card spelled out the fantasy. Cade didn’t want to read it, but he forced himself to skim it, catching words like four men and paying a debt and pushed it aside in favor of the other paper. He’d familiarized himself with that one—basically he was signing away liability, which was fine since he’d take matters into his own hands when all was said and done.

He signed and quickly pushed the clipboard and the card back toward Denim and Leather. “I’m good.”

“Signing this agreement doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to say no once you’re in the room.”

“Are you the club’s lawyer?”

Denim and Leather remained unperturbed. “My name’s Oz.”

“Like The Great and Powerful?”

Oz’s odd eyes studied him, and Cade suddenly felt exposed. “I’m here to make sure what you do here tonight is safe, sane, and consensual. Fantasy Week also includes a healthy dose of reality beforehand. Your scene includes non-con—or non-consensual sex. By signing, you’ve agreed that you consent to the non-con. That it was your idea and that, by definition, you’ve given your consent.”

Cade rolled non-con around in his head. He wasn’t against fantasies as a whole and he’d fulfilled his fair share of them, although the pleasure factor on his end was minimal. This particular scenario wasn’t so much a turn-off…but the reason behind him coming here was, so separating the two seemed next to impossible.

Cade nodded and Oz continued. “Once your fantasy starts, you can stop it at any time by simply saying ‘red.’ If you need things to slow down, use ‘yellow.’ Think of a traffic light. I realize it sounds simple, but when you’re in the moment, panic happens easily.”

“Got it. Red for stop and yellow for slow.” Cade’s impatience was growing. There was no stopping or slowing for him, so this speech was all bullshit.

Oz nodded slowly, his eyes searching Cade’s face. “You’re all set. Follow me, please—and you can bring your water.”

Cade took his glass and walked through the crowd, feeling eyes on him. Because he was new, and maybe because people knew he was here for Fantasy Week, or maybe because they just wanted to fuck him. He stared straight ahead because if he didn’t? He’d bolt.

Just when you thought you’d gotten away from this shit, you’re back in.

Oz stopped in front of the door marked Room 4 and handed Cade his card. “Give this to the first man you see inside the room—that’s when your fantasy starts, so now’s the time for any last-minute questions or concerns.”

“I just need to do this.” His heart thudded in his chest. He took a long gulp of water, and Oz put a hand on his arm.

“Hey, it’s normal to be nervous, but this is supposed to be fun. Freeing. Nothing happens that you don’t want. Remember, red and yellow, okay?”

Right—fun and freeing. Cade wanted to tell him that this was an obligation for someone he loved, because of someone he hated who, for all he knew, might show up behind this door…but instead, he simply nodded, handed off his glass…and walked inside.

The door closed behind him as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the low lighting in the room. Later, he’d notice the bed in the corner, the bench, and various BDSM tools, but his immediate focus couldn’t help but narrow, with a laserlike intensity, on a man who took up all the space in the room.

That force of nature stood casually, leaning against the wall, his gaze bent on exposing and seducing and Jesus, he was goddamned beautiful in that hot, badass kind of way with short, spiked, almost white-blond hair that made him look fierce. He was taller than Cade and broader, but his body was honed from whatever work he did for a living and not simply gym muscles. Cade could definitely tell the difference. This man was capable.

This man would break him. And he’d have fun doing it.

Cade shifted, not sure what to do next. Finally, he held out the card and said, “Hey, I’m Cade.” Like maybe the guy didn’t know who he was, or why he was here.

The man’s dark-blue eyes caught him, held him in place. “Hey, I’m the one who’s going to make you scream.”

His voice was a deep drawl that ran like warm honey down Cade’s spine. He fought a shudder and lost, and the man graced him with a wicked smile.

Man up. Get it over with. Cade straightened his spine and waited for the order.

It came far too quickly.

“Strip. Now. There’s no reason to keep your clothes on for what you’re here to do.”

But something—someone—distracted him from following the command. He hadn’t clocked the other man, didn’t know if he’d just come in or if he’d been there the entire time, but once Cade caught sight of him, he couldn’t pull his gaze away.

His eyes were dark, like his hair, and his entire countenance screamed, Threat: make contact at your own risk. There was no couching or hiding it. It was in his eyes, the way he moved as he walked across the room toward Cade and took the card, read it, and dismissed it with a flicker of a gaze.

If it were possible, he might be more dangerous than the first man.

“You need to pay your debt, lad. Time to give us what you promised.” His brogue was heavy, Welsh, maybe and fuck, who the hell cared?

But Cade was spinning, struggling to stay afloat in all this. His fingers shook as he tried to take off his jeans. He’d jumped out of helos under fire, been shot at point blank range, been through things no normal human would think of signing up for…and this would be the thing to take him down.

He’d expected to hate this. He’d wanted to hate this. But now that he was in here, with these two men…it was nothing like he’d thought.

The man with the accent moved Cade’s hands out of the way and hooked his fingers in Cade’s front belt loops. Cade kept his eyes down, couldn’t look at him. Finally, Cade forced himself to ask, “Your names?” but it came out as more of a mumble.

“What’s that, Cade?”

Cade raised his head. “Your names. I need…” He stopped as the obsidian eyes locked on to his, then managed to draw in a deep breath. “What are your names?”

The bigger man sauntered to his other side, and Cade was boxed in. “I’m Tegan. He’s Vic.”

Even as he spoke, Vic was sliding the leather jacket off Cade’s shoulders. It landed on the floor with a thunk. “Following orders isn’t your thing, is it?”

Fuck, his mouth was dry. “No. Not really.”

Vic smirked. “After tonight, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.” He tugged at the hem of Cade’s T-shirt, then pulled it off before skimming his hands down Cade’s sides. He tilted his head to glance at the barbell piercings in Cade’s nipples before dragging his gaze up to Cade’s face as adrenaline buzzed through him like a goddamned drug.

He wanted Vic to touch them, roll them, wanted him to take them in his mouth and suck, use his teeth and tug the piercings. Hard. But all Vic did was run fingertips along his abs down to the waist of his jeans before quickly freeing Cade’s cock. Tegan helped by pushing the jeans down from his hips and finally, Vic bent down to take off Cade’s boots, socks, and jeans, all while Tegan held him steady, his rough touch digging into Cade’s biceps.

Vic glanced up at him. “He’s going to make for a fun ride—I can tell.” His words were directed at Tegan, but his eyes never stopped roaming Cade’s body, and Cade was never more aware of being naked in front of these two fully clothed forces of nature.

He’d never been particularly modest, had been told all his life that he was handsome, with clothes or without, so the naked part didn’t bother him. Neither did being sandwiched between the two men. No, it was all about how he was feeling—the fact that he wasn’t able to numb himself to get through this. He couldn’t escape, couldn’t get the emotional distance he needed and fuck—he forced himself to just goddamned breathe.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He wasn’t supposed to be wanting or aching with need. But he was, and both men seemed to know it.

Tegan let go of him and walked around him, and Cade felt himself flush at the visual inspection. But when Tegan’s hands went over him roughly, Cade fought to stand still and take the touches without groaning, each brush of the man’s fingertips on his skin like a lick of flames…and nowhere near enough. The sensations it brought made his synapses fire and he was going to need for Tegan to tie him down and soon, or else his body would take over and run.

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