With This Ring

With This Ring by J.M. Snyder
Matt diLorenzo's ex, Jordan, confesses all to a tabloid, telling the world Matt's secret -- something in his semen gives his sexual partners super powers. After the article appears, Matt expects all sorts of weirdos to try to track him down, but the only call he receives is from a research scientist at a local condom factory who claims to have a solution to his little "problem."

The offer is tempting -- the powers Vic receives from Matt are unpredictable and scary. Matt wants to keep his lover safe, and is eager to hear what the scientist has to suggest. His lover, Vic Braunson, is willing to try the cure and lose his superhero abilities for his lover's peace of mind ... even if it means losing the special mental connection they share, a bond formed by the powers, a bond that has become such a part of their lives together that neither is quite prepared when it suddenly disappears.

Then Vic discovers that the scientist has an agenda of his own. Can he protect Matt, even without his super strength or their mental bond?



The holidays were over all too soon, and before Vic knew it, he had to get back to work. On the second of January, he woke to a gentle kiss as his lover's thoughts brushed over his still-sleeping mind. ::See you tonight.::

Vic murmured in assent. A warm hand rubbed his shoulder through the comforter that covered his nude body, the touch sealing the promise in those words. Tonight ...

With a jolt, Vic opened his eyes, awake. Matt sat on the edge of the bed, fully dressed, a faint smile on his face that Vic could just barely discern in the dim room. Diffused silver light glowed like a nimbus around the edges of the closed curtains, not quite reaching the bed. Random images flickered through Vic's stagnant brain, trying to find something to connect with, something to explain the urgency that swirled through his veins. Matt, leaving for work. Early morning. A newspaper, a phone.

The tabloid.

Picking up on Vic's discomfort, Matt gave his shoulder a playful squeeze. "What is it?"

Vic shook his head, trying to clear it, but he had never been the most alert person upon waking. It usually took him an hour or so to get his bearings together and get on with his day. But that damn tabloid had printed Matt's name, and Vic had promised ... "I'm taking you to work."

Matt's smile widened. "Vic, please. You're not even dressed."

"My robe," Vic answered, as if that settled it.

But Matt eased him back to the bed, and planted a quick kiss on the top of his bald head. "I'll be fine," he assured Vic. "It's been what, two days? Three? And how long was that paper in the store before we saw it? No one's called here looking for me."

When his head touched the pillow, Vic felt the morning creep up on him and his whole body felt too weary to face the day. "Phone's in my name," he muttered. "Lease is, too. But the gym --"

"I'll be fine," Matt said again. "Roxie's fielding my calls, remember? She's harder to get around than the Secret Service, I swear."

"Hmm." Vic struggled to open his eyes, but the sheets were so warm around him, Matt's voice so comforting and low, his hand on Vic's chest soothing. It was hard to get riled up at the moment. Easing a hand out from beneath the covers, he touched Matt's knee; instantly, his lover grasped that hand in his own, twining his fingers with Vic's to raise it to his lips for a kiss. The damp imprint of his mouth cooled on Vic's skin. With a hitching breath, Vic sighed, "Roxie."

Whatever else Vic planned to say was lost as his mind slipped back down into the confusing murk of his dreaming mind. He heard Matt chuckle as he kissed him again, and felt more than heard his lover whisper, "She likes you, you know?"

::She likes you,:: Vic corrected, his mouth too relaxed to form the words that spoke directly into his lover's mind. ::If we weren't together, you'd probably have to fend her off every day.::

Matt laughed. "You know," he teased, leaning down over Vic to kiss his slack cheek, "I bet if we asked her to join us, like in a threesome, she'd do it."

That woke Vic up. His eyes flew open again, widened in horror. His heart practically stopped in his chest. Was Matt serious? Did he really want someone else between them? Someone like her?

But the gleam in his lover's eyes told Vic he was only kidding.

"Oh jeez, the look on your face," Matt said with a grin. "You didn't really think --"

"Don't do that to me," Vic growled. Relief coursed through him, so poignant it made him want to grasp Matty in a fierce hug and never let go. "Don't even joke about it. God, it's too damn early for that shit."