On his way home from work, Castor, a werewolf, is grabbed by a group of young vampires. Thinking quickly, he tells the vampires that he will only submit to their elder first, which means that they can’t bite him until that elder gives them permission. But Alexi isn’t interested in sharing his new wolf with anyone, and after they realize that they’re mates everything starts going to hell.
Castor stepped out of the gas station where he worked as a clerk into a harsh gust of cold winter air. February in Denver sucked ass. He really needed to save up enough money to be able to move to a warmer state one of these years, but that wasn't going to happen when he was stuck making minimum wage.
No one he knew was up at three a.m., but plenty of vampires were. He saw them everywhere, and he dealt with enough of them during his shift as well. They ran the cities, and his kind was supposed to be safe from them, but those were just empty promises. The humans were the ones who really had to worry, but most of them were home by now. The ones he did pass on his way back to his apartment—well, they were just too stupid or too unlucky to be out past dark. Everyone knew the night belonged to the paranormals, and chief among them were the vampires.
Castor turned at the sound of screams. They were coming from maybe two dozen yards to the west, and there were buildings between him and the vampires. He told himself he had nothing to be afraid of as he breathed deeply, catching their scents. Six of them. All males. A hunting party with no humans around to distract them.
They came out from between the buildings, their fangs bared as they sniffed the air as well. They had to know he wasn't human, but they still approached, their movements jerky in the moonlight as if they hadn't quite gotten control of themselves yet. It was just his dumb luck that he'd run into a bunch of newly turned fangs.
Castor bared his teeth, hoping the display would show them he wasn't human and therefore not open to being their prey. By the time he realized they didn't care that he was a werewolf, they had already surrounded him, and running was no longer an option. Fighting would have been, except even against a newly turned vampire he was weak. Against six of them he would have been dead inside of a minute.
When the first one lunged for him, Castor backed up, narrowly dodging his sharp nails, but his maneuver put him in the hands of another. "I want to see your leader," Castor said, knowing they couldn't refuse him that wish once he'd said it aloud. Even stupid vampires wouldn't dare steal blood from their masters. "I'll bleed for him first, then for all of you."
The vampires laughed and crowded around him. The one holding him clamped his arms around Castor's throat. Castor kicked out, thrashing against the vampire's hold, even as his world started to go black. He went limp in the vampire's arms seconds later.
Castor woke up with a heavy iron collar around his neck and a warm fire glowing in the hearth beside him. His arms were bound above his head and someone had stripped him of his shirt. He tested the cuffs on his wrists, and when they wouldn't give him even an inch of movement, he growled in his frustration.
"Ah, good. The puppy is awake. Now I can interrogate you."
A man came into Castor's view. He was tall and lean, and like him, wore no shirt. The man smiled at him, flashing his fangs. A vampire for sure, then. He knelt in front of Castor and leaned in close, getting a good whiff of him. Castor only smelled old earth and blood on him.
"Hello, puppy," the vampire said. When he should have backed up, instead he lingered, laying a kiss over Castor's throat, directly over his pulse. "You would be so easy to taste right now. And even easier to fuck. Are you in the mood for a little fun before I hand you back over to your pack?"
Castor hadn't thought it would be that simple. "You're going to let me go? For real?"
The vampire rolled his eyes. "I am. The only reason you're still here at all right now is because I don't know who you belong to. I'd assumed that all of you mutts got that tattooed somewhere on your chests or backs, but alas I stripped you bare, and you have not a mark on you. Such a shame, too. Perfect skin is so tempting. I would love to give you a little something to remember your time in my coven by. You would want it, I'm sure."
"What I want is to go home," Castor growled at him.
"I'm sure you do, and I will let you, of course. Neat trick with the younglings, by the way. Knowing they wouldn't bite you once you'd promised yourself to me. You're smarter than you look."
"You should teach them that we wolves are off limits."
The vampire laughed and trailed his nails down Castor's chest, making him shiver at the light touch. "Off limits, you say? Are you sure? You may want to ask some of your friends in the pack to show you their marks. We've been paying for the pleasure of having you all, for a while now, and there's nothing sweeter than wolf for dinner," he said with a loud kiss against Castor's cheek.
He had to be lying. No wolf would ever intentionally submit to something like that. But Castor wasn't going to hang around to argue the point with him either. "I belong to the Aspen tribe, just south of the city. If we're still in Denver, you can let me go here. I'll find my way home."
"Sure, we'll do that, but first I want something from you."
Castor was afraid of what a vampire could possibly want from him. "What's that?"
The vampire smiled and kissed his cheek again. "One kiss on your lips. One little kiss is all I want. One kiss from you to me, as a lover would, and I'll let you go right now."