Amaro knows Ananse is his, and Amaro’s been in love with Ananse for half his life. But Ananse won’t make a move without Amaro’s family’s consent. So what’s a poor wildcat to do?
He can do without or he can go after what he wants, but Amaro soon learns that claiming his mate will catapult them into the spotlight of danger in a pride struggling to pull free of the shadows cast by recent murders.
But walking away isn’t an option with love at stake.
Growls erupted from their right, and both men turned to find a small group of men watching them. Ananse snarled at them, and two of the men immediately turned away while two others continued to stare. Ananse led him over, and Amaro couldn’t help thinking what a bad idea that was.
“You boys have a problem?” Ananse asked.
“Yeah, we do,” one replied. His eyes were cold in his tanned face.
“What might that be?” Ananse demanded.
“You walking around here with him on your arm like you’re the crowned prince and he’s your princess.” He smirked, and the other man laughed while their companions remained silent.
Ananse grinned, to Amaro’s surprise. “Tell you what, you can think of my mate as my princess as long as you treat him with all the respect he’s due. Whenever you see my princess, you better make sure not a hair on his head is harmed or you’re both in for some sanctions.”
“What?” the man who’d spoken exclaimed.
“Go out of your way to be cordial to him, as well. If he’s carrying any packages or bags, take them. I don’t want him breaking a nail.”
Amaro stuck his lip out in a pout. “Yeah. I’ll have to go get them done again, and that will keep me from being with my prince.” He batted his lashes, and both men groaned.
“Am I clear?”
“Yes, sir,” the one next to the speaker said quickly.
The speaker continued to stare Ananse down for another thirty seconds before looking away. “Sir,” he said.
“Problem, Calloway?” Ananse asked.
The man’s head jerked up then. “You remember my name?” The surprise was clear in his eyes.
Ananse called each man by name before saying, “I make it a point to know my people. I also know your sister’s petition to leave the pride for college was denied by the elders and why.”
“Sir, there’s nothing wrong with my sister,” Calloway said quickly. “She was taking therapy. She’s much improved.”
“I know,” Ananse said, reaching out to put a hand on the other man’s shoulder. “I’m working on getting a couple of therapists here, but I’ve made arrangements for all who need it to be seen in the city. If your sister continues to improve, and pass her second level defense classes, she can go.”
“She’s a damned genius in chemistry and not too bad at biology. She was working with Bronte and Kian. She’s a poison snow wildcat, and she can tell you anything you want to know about toxins.”
Ananse frowned. “That’s not in her records. Did the elders know?”
“No, my parents kept it a secret. They thought kids would be afraid of her, but she’s not going to hurt anyone. She didn’t even hurt my asshole father or his pals.” His gaze turned murderous.
“She’ll have what she needs to heal, Calloway. You just make sure she knows you love and support her.”
The man gave him a smile. “She knows.”
“Your father vanished four months ago,” Ananse said. “How is your mother?”
Amaro had heard about two men just vanishing. The elders had launched a search for them, as both were part of the pride’s financial structure.
“My mother is fine, but Lando had recently decided I should be brought up on charges in my father and his friend’s disappearance,” he said coolly.
“I have no interest in pursuing that,” Ananse told him. “You boys enjoy your evening.” He took Amaro’s arm and led him away.
“You think he killed them?”
“Braden was certain Calloway’s father and his friend raped and terrorized Calloway’s sister for the last three years.”
“Talk to her and the other victims,” Ananse said. “Make it clear to them their terror is over and I’ll make sure that anyone caught engaging in such things will be killed.”
Amaro saw the hardness in his eyes and felt rage ripple through him. Their community was still recovering from years of systematic abuse by a group of dominant men. Some elders had been involved and had made sure the crimes had remained hidden and the men and women involved protected.
“I’m not a therapist, but I think I can be of some help there.” He smiled up at Ananse. “You’re going to be a great leader, baby.” Amaro reached up to kiss him, and Ananse turned his head for the peck.
Their eyes met, and Amaro shivered at the warm emotion that shone on him. God, this man loved him.
“I love you,” Amaro said softly.
Ananse shook his head as he put a finger to his mate’s lips. “You’re not ready to tell me yet, but I know how you feel. It’s in your eyes, and it takes my breath away.” He kissed him again, but this time it was a longer kiss.
A couple of catcalls erupted from behind them where they’d left Calloway and his friends. A whistle followed.
Amaro laughed. “I think you’re going to make a friend of Calloway, and he’s going to drag his pals along for the ride.”
The fire in Ananse’s eyes belied the tone of his voice, so Amaro reached for the hem of his shirt and eased it up over his head to reveal a little cami that matched his briefs. He tossed the shirt aside to the sound of a low growl.
Amaro drew one hand over his chest to the edge of his tank and pushed it beneath. Dragging it slowly up, he pinched his nipples and another growl fell from Ananse’s lips.
“Baby boy, if you don’t stop, you’re going to get an ass full of dick,” he said roughly.
Amaro laughed a throatily. “I bet you’re just a cocktease,” he murmured and stroked a hand down to the bulge in his pants.
“Fuck. Don’t, Amaro,” he pleaded.
Amaro cupped his heavy cock and rubbed it. “Mmm. You want to watch me pleasure myself?” He released his cock and pushed his pants down before he wrapped his fingers around the girth and pumped. “Would you happen to have some lube handy?”
Ananse opened the drawer on the nightstand next to him and tossed a tube onto the bed before grabbing something else from inside.
“You know it’s better to play with someone else than alone,” Amaro murmured. He released his cock and climbed onto the bed. He lay back, dick jutting up stiff as a poker.
Ananse moved with cat-quickness and curled his fingers around Amaro’s cock. “Are you clean?”
“The poison is more deadly to you than any STD,” Amaro said and winced, thinking that was going to kill the mood.
Ananse lowered his head, holding Amaro’s gaze. He swiped his tongue over the head, taking a drop of pre-cum onto it. He hummed as he sank his mouth lower, taking more of Amaro’s cock into his mouth with ease.
Amaro groaned and arched his hips up, pushing his dick deeper into Ananse’s hot mouth. He gripped his head. His hair was too short. He gritted his teeth in pleasure as Ananse’s sucked him harder. “Oh fuck, yeah!” he cried. “Baby. Mmm.”
Ananse took him to the back of his throat and swallowed. The ripples of pleasure that shot through him were amazing. Amaro shuddered.
Ananse’s head lifted and lowered as his mouth worked, suction tight. His head came up, tongue curled around the tip of Amaro’s cock, and then it slithered down the shaft to his balls, licked, and his hot mouth consumed one tight orb. He closed his eyes, giving himself over to the storm of bliss coming over him.
“Yes,” Amaro cried.
Ananse’s tongue laved his other nut before he sucked it too. Amaro mewled, head thrashing on the bed. It was too much. He was going to go up in a fiery cloud of heat.
Ananse lifted his head and leaned toward him. He claimed Amaro’s mouth. His kiss was consuming, searing. It was demanding. Amaro curled his arms around Ananse’s neck, pulling him in closer, and arched up to rub against him. Chest to chest, warm skin to warm skin, drew a shiver from him.
“I always knew it would be like this,” he said breathlessly as Ananse trailed kisses to the side of Amaro’s neck.
“Like what?” Ananse whispered in his ear.
“So hot I can barely breathe.”
Ananse drew back and flipped Amaro over onto his stomach. “Ass up,” he ordered tightly and landed a hard tap on the curve.
Amaro let out a startled cry, and the next tap heated his skin as pain skittered through him. The third tap drew another cry from him, but the bite of pain deepened his hunger, expanded his craving for Ananse.
Ananse threaded his fingers through Amaro’s long hair and tugged his head back. “When did you get this little tramp stamp?”
The tramp stamp was a trio of pink hearts with a dark red ribbon around them. In the ribbon was an A.M.
“What’s the A.M. for?” Ananse demanded. There was a dangerous growl in his tone.
“I got it the day after my twenty-fifth birthday.” He’d known that day Ananse was his mate. Not because it had nearly killed him to have him walk away from him again.
He’d gotten it as an affirmation that Ananse was his, and someday Ananse would stop running from his feelings and embrace them.
A hand landed on his ass, and the firm lips skimmed from the hearts to the curve of his ass. A moist tongue licked over the flesh before sharp teeth nipped. Another tap burned its way through him.
Amaro shivered, and his cheeks were parted, allowing cool lube to caress the crease of his ass. The sound of foil paper tearing and then a finger was pushing into his ass, breaching the tight ring of muscle to probe inside. Amaro moaned softly as Ananse drew his finger out, added more lube, and thrust it back into the tight depths of his ass. He worked him, the strokes deep and easy. He pulled his finger free and added a second, the condom they were encased in thin.
Ananse speared Amaro’s ass one last time, hitting that spot that made Amaro want to beg to be drilled hard and fast. Then he drew his fingers back and thrust them in again, fucking him hard fast.
Amaro screamed as he gripped the sheets. “I’m gonna—” Ananse’s fingers were gone, and a hard hand dropped on his ass. One tap and then another before sharp teeth played down the middle of his back.
He arched as rapture snaked through him. At the same time, Ananse’s hard cock rubbed at the seam of his ass.