Re-entry Burn

Cover by Natasha Snow

About Superpowered Love 5: Re-entry Burn

Malory Claremont was born and raised to be the villain in someone else's story, complete with fire-based superpowers. Then his cousin and former partner-in-crime, Brady, led him into a trap, and he's been in superpowered lockdown ever since.

When he gets out on parole, he meets Theo McCracken, a cold-superpowered ex-offender. Theo has a modern Hamlet-style past, dangerously pretty eyes, and a hunger for affection that even Mal can't deny for long.

They've paid their debts to society, but society doesn't care—from blackmailing coworkers to suspicious neighbors, it's hard to catch a fair chance. Pile that on top of their dark family pasts, and it feels like just a matter of time before they'll be shoved right back into prison.


1. Is this a date, or...?

"Thought that was you," said a voice a little deeper and a lot less twangy than the one I was subconsciously expecting.
I turned, and there stood Theo. I stepped out of his grip and eyed him, still on high alert. He'd miraculously lost the jacket and wore short sleeves, so I could see a snake or maybe a dragon tattoo that started at his elbow and curled up his right arm, all blue and green and purple. Whatever it was, the head was hidden under the heather-gray T-shirt. He held both his hands up and whistled low. "Whoa, man. Jumpy much?"
"Valley girl much?" I mumbled.
He grinned. "Who's your girlfriend?"
"Kelle," I answered without thinking.
She said, "You wish. Who's your boyfriend?"
Before I could answer, Theo elbowed past me and leaned on the counter toward her with one arm, holding out the other. "Theo McCracken. And I'm not his boyfriend. Unless you're into that."
I rolled my eyes. Way to propagate bi stereotypes, fuck-face.
She took his hand and squeezed it, making pretty pouty lips. "You put on a good show?"
"Uh-huh. I take instruction well too."
She was about to say something else, but for some reason his joining in the daily "Kelle tells every man in the store what to do and gets off on it" thing was making me twitchy. I cut in with, "The fuck are you doing here?"
They both turned their faces slowly toward me. Like I'd interrupted someone.
Theo said, "Last time I checked, this is the closest grocery store to my shitty apartment. What are you doing here?" His gaze dropped to my official green polo, embroidered with the store name.
I mumbled, "Being mortified."
"Please, I'm on a contract with VDOT. Road work on 66 is a clusterfuck. I mean, I'm not complaining, seeing as they'll have my ass if I don't work. Just saying."
Kelle asked, "Who's they?"
I grabbed Theo's arm, making sure to keep my hand hot enough to tone down his cold. Hot enough that he'd get the point. "C'mere. I gotta show you something."
"That's what I'm talking about." He waved to Kelle, who, when I looked back to check she wasn't coming too, was grinning at our backs.
I yanked him into the deserted coffee, tea, and juice aisle. "Jesus, man. Blow my cover."
He shrugged. "Pretty sure they have to tell everyone if a parolee's working here."
"Not everyone," I said even though I had no fucking clue.
Another shrug.
"Just be cool, okay?" I started toward the back to get to work.
This time he grabbed me. "Hey."
I turned. "I gotta work. You know, so they don't send me back to fucking prison."
"You know the Old Flag Tavern?"
I nodded.
"Meet me there when you're done. I'll buy you a beer."
I slipped out of his grip. "The fuck for?"
He raised his eyebrows. "'Cause you're kind of uptight, and I figure you'll be easier if I get you liquored up."
"I ain't allowed to get liquored up."
"You know what I mean."
I snorted. "You asking me on a date, or on a let's talk about how awesome it is to be an ex-con field trip?"
He held up both hands in that gesture of surrender. "Whatever you want."
"There's no way this is why you came here."
"Uh, dude. I had no idea you worked here. I gotta eat too."
I flushed. My fire coiled tight in my stomach. "Whatever. Fine."
"Fine as in yes?"
I mean, obviously I was going to say yes. The place he'd suggested was decent enough that it wouldn't send up any red flags with Vasquez if she heard about me hanging out there, so long as I wasn't drunk or too late. And I didn't give a shit if he wanted to flirt. I had sort of a rule about dating, but I sincerely doubted he was looking for more than a beer and a convenient blowjob, seeing as our situations were similar enough.
I wouldn't have minded either or both, honestly.
He asked, "So, are you expecting a date, or—?"
"I'll drink your beer if you'll just go the fuck away."
"I'll drink your beer. Please tell me that's a euphemism."
I snorted. "I liked you better when you were busy keeping your mouth shut at group."

"We have that sort of in common. I decided I liked your mouth at group too."

2. Bathroom Blowjob

"The fuck are we going?" [I asked.]
"No one's ever in there. Found it the other day."
I followed in silence, gritting my teeth at the discomfort in my pants, but not all that unhappy with the situation in general.
Only one light was on in the men's room on the other end of the center, and it was pretty spotless. I'd done worse in crappier places. He pulled me into the big stall, closed the door behind us, and put me against the wall again.
I started to say, "I'm not—"
He slipped his hands under my shirt, flattened ice-cold palms against my stomach, and ran them upward slowly.
I gasped. Fuck, when was the last time someone touched me like…
"You're so fucking hot, Mal. So fucking hot."
I didn't know if he meant me or my skin—which was always hot, just like his was always cold. I just grunted and reached for his zipper. He wrestled off my shirt and tucked it into the metal bar, then yanked off his jacket and shirt.
The tattoo around his arm was a dragon after all, more the twisty serpent kind than the giant lizard on legs, but with pointed wings and a western-style head that covered his right pec. It breathed a cloud, then shards of blue ice onto the left. Before I could form the words to tell him how badass it was, he had my jeans undone and slipped his hand down the front. He squeezed my hard cock, fingers cold through my shorts, and leaned forward, tilting his head.
He paused, lips barely brushing mine. "Shit. Sorry. Forgot."
My mouth was open. I'd forgotten too. "It's okay."
He hesitated, and I knew he was trying to figure out if I meant it was okay to kiss me, or it was okay that he forgot.
I buried my face in his neck and bit at it just where it met his shoulder, then finished undoing his pants. He had a nice set of shoulders but was kind of lanky like me otherwise. Better fit, but I guess if you want to rock that tattoo, it's some kind of obligation. He squeezed my cock again, then rubbed it up and down until I gasped into his slow-warming skin.
There's this taste, skin, salt, human something. The smell of him was different without the jacket. Maybe his hair, strawberries or something. Good, though. I sucked at his neck, and he yanked my pants down over my ass one-handed, leaving me halfway out of my shorts in back too. I stepped out of them; he pulled back to let me and dropped his own, leaving him in a short pair of clingy black boxers.
I never thought he was hard to look at. I don't know, maybe it says something about me that it was this exact situation that finally made me notice how fuckable he really was. Maybe it was the dragon, colorful scales glinting in the shadows, twisting up his arm and over his chest. Maybe it was the trail of hair from the middle of his flat belly down into his shorts. Maybe it was the outline of his hard-on for me or his wilty blond curls or his high cheekbones or the way his hipbones slumped into his waistband.
It hit me again that I had no idea who the fuck he was.
I wished I hadn't told him not to kiss me. But I was fucking glad I had too.
He hit his knees and pulled my shorts down so my dick was free, angling upward. He hummed again, blinking slowly, then keeping his eyes shut while he swayed and pressed me into the wall with both hands at my hips. Between his fingers and the glazed block wall against my ass, I shivered one more time, my whole skin pebbling.
"Too cold for you?" he asked, opening his eyes again. He licked his lips.
I shook my head, unable to speak.


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