They will bind her to them in every way they can.
Seraphena, a black panther shifter and familiar, hasn't had a night off in months. Between work, dealing with her mother, and issues with her pard, her life is one challenge after the next. So when she finally finds herself with a night to herself, the last thing she expects is spending it with her secret crushes, Carver and Thorn, demons and owners of her favorite café, The Java Demon. Neither does she expect what happens when you play high card strip with a couple of pros. They give her a hot game, a night to remember with a little kink on the side. But Sera knows it can't last with all the complications in her life. The last thing she needs is having to explain two men at once—and demons at that.
Carver and Thorn have wanted Sera from the moment she first strolled into the Java Demon for that low-fat caramel macchiato. Now that they have her in their life, they refuse to let her go. They will bind her to them in every way they can, fulfill her fantasies, and show her the love and support she needs. Nothing will stand in their way—not work, not her mother, not her pard. But it might be Sera herself who shuts them out if she can't stand up to those who would dictate their love...
Reader note: Contains MFM ménage, spanking, and light BDSM elements
Chapter One“You’re a far way from safety, Seraphena.” Carver St. James’s deep voice rumbled from the darkened doorway.Goose bumps rippled over Sera’s skin and her temperature spiked. Her heart began to race as her feline counterpart became more alert. Tension sang along her legs and arms and she clenched her fists. The magic that flowed unhindered during this time of year skittered along her bare flesh, causing her to tremble. Something moved down her limbs, like raw silk kissed with heat.She clenched her jaw and inhaled deeply, filling her lungs to capacity and then letting the air out all at once. All night long she’d felt his gaze on her, like a shawl covering her shoulders, pressing against her back. Fur rippled along her skin as the black panther within tried to take control. Her nose twitched and itched as her senses sharpened. She detected the tang of sweat, the musky aroma of hormones. Then there was a new, much more powerful scent. The cologne of magic hit her as if she had inhaled pepper; it burned the lining of her nostrils and raced down her throat. A sneeze built up and before she could even try to stall it, it burst out.“Achoo!” Her eyes watered and her nose tingled. Just fucking great. She took care to wipe away the tears without destroying her eye makeup and then dabbed at her nose. If only she’d had the sense to bring along a handkerchief. With reluctance, she ran her hand over her skirt and prayed he wasn’t disgusted.“Bless you.” His voice was rich and deep, like the glorious and addictive coffee served in his place of business, The Java Demon.Seraphena’s tummy flipped and her heart beat just a little faster. The change shoved through her body. The base of her spine burned as her tail tried to break through her skin. Her toes and nails throbbed as her insides began to shift, reshape, and resize. She wanted to drop down onto all fours as the scream of the panther filled her chest and rippled up her throat. Sweat broke over her brow as she tried to calm down and relax.“No. No. No. Please,” she pleaded with her other half. “Carver isn’t going to steal our soul. Nor is he going to incinerate us. He’s not going to take us to the Underworld. Please, stop. Pull back.” Even as she said it, she wondered if it was really true. Demons were a dangerous species with powers she couldn’t fathom.She looked down at her arms and watched as the panther’s midnight fur rippled along her skin. She squeezed her eyes shut and focused on the feline. The big cat’s lustrous, golden eyes blinked back at her, reflecting her own fear, desire, yearning, anger…and something else that Sera couldn’t identify.Sera tried to focus on things they both liked. The sound of rain against the window at night, the smell of cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven, a lazy afternoon lying in a hammock reading a good book, the rich, earthy taste of coffee. The stress ebbed away and she felt safe, comforted, and in control once more. Her black panther lay down and closed its eyes, content, almost purring, all anger and fear gone.Sera let out another breath. Crisis averted. It wouldn’t do to shift and have a frightened big cat on the loose. It would leave her vulnerable. When shifters were in their other forms they could be compelled by magic. It had something to do with the animal mind. With all the loose spells in the air tonight, Sera wasn’t sure what would happen.“Seraphena?” Carver purred out her name.His voice was a deep rumble that made the air around her shake. The sound wrapped around her body like a hug. She shivered as her nipples pebbled within the tight confines of her corset. Sera cursed herself for not wearing something to act as a barrier. The smooth satin scraped against the sensitized nubs, sending bursts of electricity straight to her clit. She squeezed her fists, fighting the urge to reach up and tweak the peaks in order to give her breasts some relief.“Sera,” Carver called out again, his voice even lower and richer than before.She squeezed her thighs together and moved farther away from the entrance to the sun-room, hoping he’d stay where he was. Her heart hammered out an erratic rhythm against her rib cage as moisture coated her brow. The cooler air of the sun-room swirled around her, teasing her overheated skin with the promise of relief if only she’d take off her clothes. Tingles raced along her inner thighs, over her nether lips, and swirled at the base of her back as her arousal increased. Her panties soaked up her juices. Why did this always happen to her when she was around him or his friend Thornton?She tried to reach for the calm of her feline side, but the cat refused to come to her call. It just blinked at her from the Otherwhere—that secret place where shifters’ animals stayed until called forth.The panther snorted. “Oh, I see how it is. First you’re scared and now you’re horny. Go ahead. Leave me like this so you can get laid, bitch.”A sliver of fear traced an icy finger down Sera’s spine. She was on her own and scared of what she might do. It was a week before the full moon. Her hormones were starting to surge, and the air was saturated with free magic.“Mate?” the Panther asked.The word whispered through Sera’s mind but did nothing to dispel the fog of need that filled her. She shoved it away. Mates outside of the shifter species were rare. She was more likely to be mated to a werewolf than a demon. But how else to explain these overwhelming feelings?She turned her attention to Carver and studied his face. Darkness bathed his features, but she couldn’t miss the hunger in his onyx eyes. Nor could she ignore the tension that radiated from him. He was like a tethered beast ready to snap his leash at any moment. His eyes narrowed to slits, and she swallowed as her palms became damp.“You’re not going to hurt me, Carver.” She prayed the demon hadn’t been drinking the punch. The once-red concoction had so much alcohol in it just a whiff from thirty paces could give you a buzz. Did liquor affect demons? She wasn’t sure.“I haven’t been drinking.” Carver’s voice sounded as if it were moving closer, despite the fact that he hadn’t taken a single step toward her. Maybe he was using demonic magic to make a clone of himself. She’d read about such things while doing research for Bridget. But that ability was a legend, wasn’t it?Sera strained to hear his footsteps, damning herself for not having turned on the lights when she’d entered the room. All the furniture looked like black blocks with no definition or distinction. The place seemed cluttered with shadows. Her heart hammered against her rib cage as she continued to step backward.The party had felt oppressive. All she’d been able to focus on was Carver. He seemed to be everywhere she turned, so she’d fled. Now she was all alone in a distant part of the house with him. She swallowed hard and closed her eyes. She couldn’t understand where this fear was coming from. Carver had never shown the least inclination to hurt her, but she barely knew him beyond their encounters at The Java Demon, where he served her coffee. She had to be careful.She opened her eyes and looked around for an exit. Light flickered beyond the windows from the Tiki torches and a few shadows passed before the glass, but she couldn’t spot a door. Her nerves were getting the better of her, making it difficult to focus.“I won’t hurt you, Sera. I just want to talk.” Carver’s voice sounded right next to her ear. She could almost feel the humidity of his breath and the heat of his skin pressed against her back.She whirled around to find nothing there. Disappointment and frustration filled her but she ignored the sensations. “Then turn on the light and stop these games.” The overhead lights flickered on, but the setting was too low for her to see all the details around her. She blinked a few times to adjust to the glow. “Thanks.”As her sight adjusted she could make out his features and expression with clarity. There was blatant desire there as well as something else that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. In the shifter world it would be called “a gaze of claim.” If he were a shifter and they were surrounded by other shifters they would all know he’d staked his right to court her with that look. They would know to back off unless they wanted their throats ripped out.“Like I said I don’t want to hurt you. I’ll stay right here if that makes you trust me.” Carver leaned against the archway entrance. His arms were crossed over his chest, showing off his well-muscled arms. Flame tattoos decorated the golden flesh. The spiked red choker that wrapped around his thick neck looked strained to its limit. The black leather of his sleeveless shirt stretched tight across the wide expanse of his pecs.Sera’s gaze slithered down his body. His pants clung like a second skin to his muscular legs, tucked into knee-high boots. He was like some dark, wet dream she would refuse to acknowledge to herself during waking hours. The fire in his eyes burned so hot it seared into her skin.He reached up to tuck an errant, inky-black tendril of hair behind his ear and gave her a smile. If he’d been a vampire he would be flashing her some fang. The lack of the pointy teeth only made her unease grow and her arousal increased. She wondered how he’d mark her. With his hands, maybe? He had long, thick fingers with trimmed fingernails. A ripple of heat rolled through her body at the thought of him gripping her, holding her still as he drove into her over and over again. Maybe he’d hold her wrists behind her back? Or maybe he’d call in his best friend, Thornton, to hold her still, distracting her with kisses and caresses. Maybe Carver would fuck her ass while Thorn took her pussy.The image filled her head. Her vaginal muscles clenched as moisture dampened her panties, and her nipples tightened further to aching points. She wanted to blame Lunar Lust for her growing desire to fuck, but she knew it was more than that. Carver and Thorn made her question herself. They tested her self-control. When she was around them she wanted to touch, caress, and cuddle into them. She wanted to feel all that corded muscle over her, under her, all around her. She shook her head, trying to clear it.Carver’s grin widened. “Well, well, well, my saucy little black cat wants to be fucked by me and my best friend. I had hoped you’d be open to that.”“Get out of my head,” she gritted out as she tried to force the images away. Her fear rose up again, turning to panic. How far could he see into her thoughts? Could he find her fantasies? Her needs? She started to back away from him. The cat—damn it—refused to come to her aid.“It’s rude to read a person’s mind without their permission. A violation.” She relaxed her body and got ready to attack if necessary. It was a rule—but not a law—among paranormals who were telepaths.Physically, he didn’t pose much of a threat from where he was. Carver hadn’t moved. He remained lounging against the wall, a knowing look on his face. “You get out of my fucking head, my dreams, my desires, my fantasies. Then we’ll call it even.”Carver straightened up and began to walk toward her with a slow gait that made her think of one of her feline shifter brethren stalking its prey. She swallowed as she realized that she was the prey this time. “What are you talking about?”“I only came to this godsdamn party for you. And now that I have you alone, I can’t go another night without a taste of you. All I ask is one kiss.” Carver stopped a few feet away. It may as well have been the Grand Canyon between them. He seemed too far and yet so close.Her body ached for his touch. She rubbed her arms, feeling exposed under his scrutiny. Those dark eyes roamed over her form, making her wonder if he found her lacking. Sure, he said she was in his dreams and fantasies, but demons lied as easily as they breathed.Carver shook his head. “Don’t. I’m not going to deny it. I can see your doubt. I want you. No tricks, no denials. The question is, will you give in to me and Thorn? I know you want it, but I want to hear you give us permission.”She stared at him, not believing for a second he was serious. “Exactly what are you saying?” Paranoia filled her. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was this some kind of Samhain magic gone horribly wrong? Newbie witches had been known to cast love spells on this night because they thought it strengthened their power. Sometimes it did; sometimes it didn’t.Carver moved forward until he stood only a foot before her. “Make no mistake, I’m not under some spell. This isn’t some passing fancy or a taste for the exotic. I want to fuck you. I want to make you cry out in orgasm and then do it all over again. I want to show you such pleasure that you can no longer ignore our attraction to each other. And just when you think I’m done, when we’re done, we’ll do it all over again. And then maybe we’ll go on a date…if we can move.” He gave her a crooked smile. “Well?”Arousal flared throughout her body, hot enough to burn. Her cream soaked into her panties. Her heart rate increased as her legs turned to jelly. Words escaped her. She wasn’t sure how she could speak anyway. Her mouth had gone dry. All she could do was gaze at him in shock.“Maybe I need to get specific.” He moved closer, invading her personal space. His body heat pressed against her skin, merging with hers. His unique cologne of coffee and spices swirled around her, becoming her air. With each pull of breath, he became a part of her.She took a step back and he followed.“You can run all you want, little cat. I’ll just continue to follow you. Now, where was I?” He tilted his head to the side and tapped his chin. “Ah, yes, specifics.”He lifted his hand and reached forward. With just his fingertip he traced the curve of her chin. “Such soft skin, like silk. I’ve wanted to feel you against me for so long.” His touch slipped down her neck. “To taste your flesh, inhale your personal perfume.” He darted his head forward and inhaled before pulling back. His hair swung forward like a curtain of midnight streaked with crimson.Her fingers itched to grab hold and feel the satin tresses under her grip. To feel his hair brushing against her inner thighs as he went down on her…she mewled at the thought. She closed her hands into fists to keep from reaching out. His fingertip edged the neckline of her corset. Her nipples throbbed with the need to be touched. She inhaled and waited for him to do something, anything.He continued to outline the deep scoop neck of her corset. “I want to suck your tits until you squirm and beg me to fuck you.”She pressed her thighs together as her clit began to throb in earnest and her temperature spiked. She let out a shaky breath as her knees shook. The desire to act out what he was describing overwhelmed her. She relaxed her legs, the pressure on the aching bundle of nerves had only increased, making her want to lift her skirt and work herself into a frenzy.“I want to kiss my way down your stomach, tracing your curves with my hands, finding out the secret spots that make you gasp and groan.” He moved closer until their clothes touched. He reached out, grabbed her hips, and pulled her against him. His erection pressed against her stomach. Just the feeling of the thick ridge made her pussy contract. She wanted to remove her soaked panties. The feeling of the wet fabric against her clit only agitated her further.“And once I’m between your thighs I will bury my face there and eat you out and worry your clit until you come over and over again.” He dipped his head down, bringing his lips just a breath away from hers. “And you will be crying out my name.”All she could do was stare into his onyx gaze. Words had fled her mind and the images took shape before her eyes.“Then, I’ll give you a reprieve by turning you over and spanking your sweet ass until you can’t stand it anymore and you beg me to fuck you—hard, fast, and deep.” His voice shook as he murmured his desires.Sera began to whimper, unable to stop the noise from emerging. It was all she could do to keep from begging him to start right that very minute.“And if you’re a really good girl—and I mean a good girl—I’ll ask my best friend to join us. Him in your ass and me in your pussy.” Carver pressed his palm against her stomach and slipped it down until he covered her mound. “You want to be our good girl, don’t you?”