[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative Contemporary Paranormal Romance, MM, shape-shifter, vampires, werewolves, HEA]
Hunter White left home as soon as he was able. Coming back to take over as alpha, Hunter learned of the serious debt his father had left the pack with. Desperate to save them, Hunter entered into a deal with a powerful vampire. The nest leader would pay off all the pack’s debts, on one condition—Hunter had to take a vampire for a mate.
Vampire Aeron Lyons had been in some serious scrapes during his unnaturally long life, but nothing came close to this. Being given to an alpha werewolf, like he was some sort of bargaining chip, wasn’t what Aeron wanted for his life, but he wasn’t dumb enough to say no to a man like Ken Roberts.
Resigning himself to join a pack who already dislikes him on principal, Aeron has no idea how rocky the road ahead will be or how he’s going to spend the rest of his life with a man who hates him.
“Hey, boss. You wanted to see me?”
Ken looked up from the folder and used two fingers to beckon Aeron inside.
“Something’s come up that I wanted to talk to you about,” Ken began as he took a seat behind his desk.
Much like himself, Ken didn’t necessarily give off vampire vibes. Beyond being so pale that they were practically translucent, no one would think anything was strange about them. With Aeron’s pale blond hair, his skin tone didn’t look as harsh as it did on others. Most of the vampires he met tended to go full goth as soon as they were turned, like they thought it was a prerequisite or something.
Aeron slumped down on the chair the other side of the desk and awaited his fate.
“Have you spent much time with werewolves?” Ken asked, putting the folder down and opening it.
Of all the things he thought Ken might ask him, that wasn’t even on the list.
“Uh, a few. Here and there. Why?”
“Ever been around a pack?”
“A pack? No,” Aeron told him. There were wolves who chose not to be in a pack, or who were banished and forbidden to join another. Alone and shunned, they often found their way to places like Trance. For a while, he’d had a sweet deal with one of them. He fed on the wolf’s blood while the two of them fucked. It had been mutually beneficial, but soon the werewolf had tried to make it something more, something Aeron just wasn’t interested in.
“Don’t they have strict rules about outsiders?” Aeron asked. “They don’t really like anyone outside the pack, especially vampires.”
Ken finally looked up from the folder. “Typically. Though each pack is different.”
Aeron was starting to think this wasn’t about his tardiness at all.
“Recently, I found myself in the position to help out a struggling pack,” Ken told him. “They got themselves into some trouble, and some debt, and I bailed them out.”
“That was…nice of you,” Aeron said, knowing full well that Ken never did anything out of the goodness of his heart. “So what did you get out of it?”
Ken smirked and got up, coming to perch on the edge of the desk so that he was closer to Aeron.
“They were pretty desperate, about to lose land that had been in their pack for generations. It gave me an interesting opportunity. How many vampire nests can claim an alliance with a pack of werewolves? It would give those who would go against us pause.”
Aeron had never actually heard of such an alliance. He could see why Ken would want it, but he couldn’t figure out why this concerned him.
“Sounds like a good opportunity. Those wolves must have been pretty desperate, but I’m not sure what this has to do with me.”
Just like that realization dawned on him.
“Oh god. You’re going to send me to some backwater town aren’t you? What, as some kind of liaison?”
Ken regarded Aeron carefully. There was a tinge of amusement around the corners of his mouth that should have put Aeron on edge.
“Do you know how werewolves form alliances with other packs?” Ken asked.
“They share a nice bottle of whiskey and a firm handshake?” Aeron guessed hopefully.
“Think of it like old human royalty,” Ken told him. “They do it through marriage…or mating, as they call it.”
Aeron prided himself on being smart, but he sure as hell hadn’t seen that one coming. The music from below was no more than a muffled resonance in his ears as realization of exactly what Ken was saying dawned on him.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Aeron said. “You want to sell me off to some werewolf?”
A frown line appeared between Ken’s brows. “Oh don’t be so dramatic. It’s business, that’s all.”
“My ass is business?” Aeron asked snarkily.
Thankfully Ken seemed willing to give him some leeway, no doubt because of what was being asked of him.
“The alpha is a man named Hunter White. His father died a few months ago, leaving him in charge and in over his head. The fact that his father made some bad investments meant that Mr. White had to reach out for help,” Ken said.
“I bet he loved that.”
Werewolves were extremely proud. They tended to look out for themselves and their people, and no one else.
“This alpha actually agreed to…to pair one of his people off with a vamp?” Aeron asked.
“Not one of his people,” Ken explained. “He said he wouldn’t force one of his own into this, so he’d take the bullet himself. His words.”
Aeron had never been referred to as a bullet before.
“Just so I’m clear, because honestly, I kind of feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience right now, you want me to leave my home, my nest, and go shack up with a furball who hates me because of what I am? And why would I agree to that?”
“That’s exactly what you’re going to do,” Ken said. He wore a smirk that told Aeron the nest leader had an ace up his sleeve. Aeron’s gaze was drawn to the gaudy golden letter opener Ken kept on his desk. He could just end it all now, it was undoubtedly better than the alternative. “Because if you do this for me, then I’ll consider your debts wiped clean and continue to pay for your mother’s care.”
“You’re an asshole, you know that?” Aeron shouted, suddenly up in Hunter’s face. “You think I’d be here, about to bind myself to you for the rest of your life if I had any other choice?”
Aeron was right and he was wrong, but it would feel like defeat to admit that or to apologize.
“Yeah, I am an asshole,” Hunter shouted back. “And guess what? You’re stuck with me. ’Til death do us part, baby.”
The two of them stood there, rage radiating from them both, adrenaline pumping through their bodies until what happened next felt inevitable.
Hunter took the single step that separated them and captured Aeron’s face in his hands. He heard the sharp intake of breath the vampire made moments before he pressed his lips to Aeron’s. There was nothing gentle about the kiss if it could even be called that. It was more of a forceful claiming of Aeron’s mouth. He walked Aeron back against the counter.
The vampire let out a moan and pushed back against him as Hunter started unbuttoning his pants.
If this was where it was heading anyway, then they might as well get it over with. He poured into the kiss all the resentment he felt over the deal he’d made with Ken, that his dad was the reason he’d had to make it, and the fact that most of his pack had turned against him.
The kiss was hard, and his body was starting to respond to the promise of what was to come.
His jeans were halfway down his legs and he started kicking them off. It wasn’t the most graceful strip he’d ever done, but he didn’t care.
When he broke the kiss, he noted that Aeron’s lips were red and shiny. He watched the vampire lick them and only then noticed the coppery taste in his mouth. He didn’t know if it was his blood or Aeron’s, but Aeron didn’t seem deterred by it. In fact, his eyes were heavily lidded with lust.
He pulled his shirt off over his head and flung it to the side, not caring one bit when it hit and knocked over a lamp.
His soon-to-be mate’s chest was heaving, and he didn’t give Hunter any time to finish stepping out of his jeans before he was back on him.
“Fuck,” Hunter swore as Aeron cupped his dick through his underwear. The vampire’s lips kissed and nipped at Hunter’s collarbone. In the back of his mind was a warning, not to let Aeron’s teeth so close to his neck, but the slight frisson of fear only turned him on more.
Hunter ripped Aeron’s shirt from his body, hearing a low moan from the vampire as he ground against him. His cock was hard and aching already. He’d never known that anger could be such a turn-on.
This man, this undead, pale, annoying man was going to be his mate. It was overwhelming to think about, and not in a good way. This should be something special, something to savor and cherish between two people in love.
He pushed down the sadness and pulled down his underwear, letting his cock spring free.
Aeron’s chest had caught his eye earlier when he’d gotten out of the shower. If he thought of this as just a fuck, and didn’t think about what Aeron would soon be to him, then he could enjoy it.
He ran a hand down Aeron’s side and then slid it down over his ass, pulling the vampire against his naked body and enjoying the feeling of skin on skin.
“How does this work exactly?” Aeron asked. There was a slight waver to his voice that took Hunter by surprise. He knew he’d been focused on how this mating would affect him, but it wouldn’t change everything for Aeron.
Aeron wouldn’t feel the pull that came with the mating bite, not the way that Hunter would.
“I fuck you,” Hunter told him simply. “And I bite you.”
He didn’t give Aeron a chance to respond. He was anxious to get on with it. Now that he’d decided tonight would be the night, he needed to keep going and not let his brain talk him out of it.
* * * *
It was a common misconception that vampire’s hearts didn’t beat. They had a perpetually low heart rate, so low that it would freak out any medical personnel, but it was there.
Aeron was glad of that right now because as he followed Hunter through to the bedroom, he felt some nervous energy begin to build up inside him. Luckily, the best way to dispel that energy was through sex.
He was under no illusions that this was anything other than sex. Sure they were about to tie their lives together until one of them dropped dead, but there were certainly no feelings involved. He couldn’t predict the future. They were on day one of this two-person ride they were on.
Seeing Hunter naked, all hard muscle and hard cock, Aeron didn’t feel quite so pessimistic for the future.
He was going to enjoy this for what it was. A good, hard fuck.
He moved with the grace of an arrogant cat as he descended on Hunter, stalking toward him, hips swaying. He placed his hands on Hunter’s chest and pushed him backward, down onto the bed. Hunter wasn’t the only one who could be forceful.
He noted, with satisfaction, the look of surprise on Hunter’s face.
Hunter’s body made him achingly hard. He was tanned and toned with arms and thighs thick enough to crush him. Aeron didn’t know why but that was something of a turn-on for him.
Again, that warning prickle tickled down the back of his neck, causing a pleasant shiver to go through him.
They were both predators. In a test of strength, Hunter could probably take him, but Aeron was agile.