Stephen’s Translator (Shadow Elite #2.5) Read Online Jocelynn Drake

Categories Genre: M-M Romance, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Shadow Elite Series by Jocelynn Drake

Total pages in book: 43
Estimated words: 39756 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 199(@200wpm)___ 159(@250wpm)___ 133(@300wpm)

When Meet Cute leads to Meet Trouble.
Ehren is the most adorable man Stephen has ever laid eyes on. A chance encounter leads to an amazing first date and the promise of even more fun.
But all those hopes crash down when someone breaks into Ehren’s apartment.
With dangerous stalkers and rumors of a secret treasure hounding Ehren, Stephen will do anything to keep him safe. Even call his crazy half-brother Charlie and his mercenary friends for help.
Oh God, please don’t let his strange, extended family destroy the best thing that’s ever happened to him…

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One

Stephen was exhausted.

This had to have been the world’s longest week. The old rule of “If it could go wrong, it did” had definitely been in effect.

Right now, all he wanted was to pop into one of his favorite Italian restaurants, have a drink, and place a to-go order. His couch, comfiest pants, and hours of mindless TV were waiting for him.

He slipped around a couple walking as slowly as possible on the sidewalk, lost in their own world, and grabbed the door to Tuscano. The smell of oregano, garlic, and tomatoes wafted through the air, leaving his stomach growling. Naturally, there was a line to the hostess booth and the restaurant was packed. He’d be lucky to grab a spot at the bar. Not a huge shock for a beautiful Friday evening in downtown Denver. Everyone was out and about despite the sweltering temperatures.

The grumpy old man in him wanted to order them all up into the mountains so he could unwind a little in peace, but he stifled the thought. Just because he was tired didn’t mean the world needed to get out of his way.

Rolling his shoulders, he sucked in a deep breath and slowly released it again, feeling some of the tension fall away. The weekend was here. He’d relax, have a drink, eat good food, and kick back. Yep, this was the beginning of a great weekend.

“Are you sure you don’t want to order, sir?” The server’s voice rose above the din, capturing Stephen’s attention as he got closer to the hostess station. Her tone carried with it notes of irritation. It was clearly not the first time she’d asked that question.

It took only a second to locate where she stood, over a small table near the entrance but in the center of the open floor. The single man partially hunched under the server’s glare, with adorable dark-chocolate-brown curls and dusky skin, was growing redder by the second.

“I’m so sorry. If we could wait a little while longer. I left another message with my date. I’m sure he’s on his way and stuck in traffic,” the cutie replied. He was clenching his phone in both hands and even from several feet away, it was clear they were shaking. He glanced about, noting that the man had an avid audience in the people at the other tables.

The guy had been stood up.

What a fucking asshole. Whoever his date was didn’t have the decency to at least text this sweet-looking person that he wasn’t going to make it.

Stephen had been there a time or two. It sucked, and there wasn’t a worse way to kick off a weekend.

He sympathized with the server too. The would-be customer was taking up one of her tables when they were at their busiest, and she was losing out on potential tips.

Nope, there was an easy way to keep the server happy and to help this stranger save some face. At least, he’d be able to walk out of the restaurant with his dignity intact. No one deserved a shitty Friday night.

Straightening his tie and sliding his hand through his thick hair, Stephen stepped out of the crowd and walked right up to the table.

“Hey, honey! I’m so sorry I’m late. Traffic was freaking murder on 25 today,” he greeted with his widest, most confident grin.

Both the cutie and the server froze, staring at him with looks of absolute shock. Frozen worked for him. He placed his hand over the man’s and squeezed as he leaned in like he was going to kiss his cheek. Stephen didn’t touch him—though the server couldn’t see that—and whispered, “Just roll with it.”

“Uh…yeah…no…it’s okay. So long as you’re safe,” he replied robotically, his eyes still too wide.

Stephen slid into the open chair, still grinning. “What are you drinking tonight?”

His “date” glanced at the drink in front of him. It appeared as if he’d taken only a few sips, but the poor guy stared at it as if he couldn’t figure out how it had gotten there.

“He ordered the apple-honey IPA,” the server provided.

“Then I’ll have the same. If you could give me a few minutes to peruse the menu, we’ll be ready to order soon.”

The server nodded, seeming a bit skeptical about all of this, but also relieved that they were finally moving forward with the night.