[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Fantasy, MM, HEA]
Justice was in deep trouble. He’d lived the past several months as Deputy Saint Delaney’s cat, but when his friend was in mortal danger, Justice revealed his true self to save the lion shifter’s life. Worse, he’d stolen from Malpas the Malevolent to save the world, and now the demon wanted Justice’s head. When Malpas sent a tiger shifter to hunt Justice down, he felt trapped with no way out, until a miracle fell into his lap.
Zaire should have never worked for the demon Hezekiah. That was what had gotten him thrown in the bowels of hell with no escape. Zaire made a deal with a very nasty demon to barter for his freedom, unknowing exactly what he was getting himself into. Now he was on the run with Justice, fighting to find a way to keep his mate safe while trying to come back into the light after living a very dark existence.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
He didn’t appreciate the way Zaire’s green eyes flared as the guy looked at him. It was a look a man gave when he was deeply interested. Thank goodness Justice was fully clothed when he transformed, unlike shifters, who were completely naked when they went from animal to human.
“You’re going back,” Zaire growled. “I’m not spending eternity as Malpas’s lapdog. The son of a bitch needs to learn what breath freshener is.”
Justice couldn’t argue with that. Worst breath ever. “But there is more at play here,” he argued. “If you take me back, Malpas wins and the world suffers.”
“Sweetheart, I hate to break it to you, but the world’s already a dumpster fire.” Zaire reached for him, but Justice danced away from his grabby fingers.
“I won’t let you take me.” Justice took off down the driveway, Zaire hot on his heels. He tucked away his wings so no one could see them, praying the entire time he got away from Zaire, who was quickly gaining on him.
Wait. He could transform. Duh. There were times when Justice questioned his common sense. Or lack thereof. He transformed back into a cat and raced onto the street, cutting through a backyard and up a tree.
In no time Zaire was standing there, looking up at him. “Do you think that’s going to stop me? I’m a tiger. I can get up there.”
Yeah, but by the time Zaire’s tiger worked its way up, Justice would be long gone, and the cops would be called for a wild, exotic animal in their yard. Justice wasn’t that big an idiot. He knew the shifter wouldn’t risk it.
He’d risked it.
This guy was determined.
Claws out, Justice jumped from branch to branch, terrified he would fall. Not that the fall would kill him, but it would hurt like the dickens.
Justice moved carefully on the precarious branch, his heart lodging in his throat when he heard it groan. Please don’t give out on me! He looked over his shoulder and saw why the branch was protesting his slight weight.
The tiger had made it up and was on the base of the branch. Was the guy insane? They would both fall if he came any closer.
Zaire gave a low, rumbling growl, as if warning Justice not to take another step. He would have, if he’d had another branch to grab hold of. They were too high up for him to safely jump to the ground.
With no other choice, Justice turned to face the tiger and clung to the branch, refusing to move.
Zaire shifted. If cat’s could drool, there would have been a puddle under Justice. The guy was already gorgeous as all get-out, with a body sculpted by angels.
Justice mentally snorted at what he’d just thought.
Still, hot damn! Zaire’s body was something that needed to be worshiped.
“We both know how this is going to end. Do you really want to fall?” He smirked. The sexy bastard. “Cats are known for landing on their feet, but from this height…” Zaire shrugged. “I’m not very optimistic you’ll be able to walk away if you hit the ground below.”
“You’re getting a little too much pleasure out of this,” Justice said when he transformed, which had been a mistake. He clung harder to the branch, refusing to look down. As skinny as he was, the branch cracked slightly under his weight.
Zaire cursed. “Move slowly toward me.”
Justice wasn’t born yesterday. “Only if you leave. I’m not falling for you trying to help. When I get close enough, you’ll grab me and turn me over to Malpas.”
“That’s a long way down.” Zaire looked toward the ground as he made a short, clicking noise with his tongue. “Be a shame to break some bones.”
“You’re an asshole.” The branch cracked a little more. “I’m not the bad guy. Why are you treating me like this?”
“Not the bad guy?” Zaire gave a humorless chuckle. “Says the guy who has black wings. You’re a fallen angel with a really, really long name. How can you not be evil?”
“Are all shifters savages, Zaire?” Justice pointed out. “And my true name is Constanapenemuelorabas. But for arguments sake, you can call me Justice.”
Justice really did like the name Saint had given him. In truth, saying his true name, then saying it again and again until someone understood it, was a pain in the ass.
He preferred Justice much better.
The guy’s eyes sparkled with amusement. “You know who I am.”
“Duh. We had a moment.”
Zaire frowned. “When we were in the kitchen together that day I was helping Saint. That wasn’t a moment. It was curiosity because my tiger told me you were something more, though you smelled like an ordinary cat.”
“It was a moment, jackass. Are you seriously going to just sit there and let me fall? Why don’t you leave, I’ll get down, and then we can continue our chase?”
That would give Justice a fighting chance of getting out of there without Zaire catching him. Whatever deal the shifter had with Malpas to save his own ass, that wasn’t Justice’s problem. Just as long as he wasn’t dragged back to that nightmarish place, Zaire could go suck a lemon.
“Why don’t you come to me, I get us down, and I take you back to Malpas while saving my ass from a damned eternity? I won’t let you fall. You’ll be safe if you come to me.”
“Why do I have a feeling this is less about my safety and more about you getting what you want? You have no idea what it’s like there. And to correct you, I’m not a fallen angel. I’m an offspring of one. Big difference,” Justice said. “I shouldn’t have been in hell in the first place. I’m not the one who fell from grace. My father was. Why should I be punished for his sins?”
His father wasn’t even alive anymore. He’d died battling Malpas for the right to rule their region of that godforsaken shithole. His father had had a bigger ego than Malpas, and although he’d been the worst parent ever, it had still hurt when he was killed.
Even so, to be judged because of his father was unfair and a point Justice had argued many times to no avail. Malpas simply dismissed him, as if the conversation annoyed him.
“You’re still a direct descendant of evil,” Zaire said.
“Judgy much? You don’t even know me. You don’t know what it’s like to be hated by so many.” The branch jerked downward, making Justice squeal.
“Seriously, crawl to me.” Zaire held out his hand. The naked bastard had the nerve to look concerned. “Go nice and slow.”
“Never.” Justice gave him the stink eye. “I’d rather break all the bones in my body than get anywhere near you.”
“Fine by me.” Zaire let his hand fall. “I’ll just collect your broken body from the ground and take you back to your boss.”
He was going to savor this, every last inch of his mate’s body, and every second they were on this bed. Zaire nibbled his way along Justice’s neck, sucking at his skin, enjoying every moan he pulled from his fallen angel. Then he flipped them and hovered over Justice, returning to his lips, the warmth of his mouth, kissing Justice fully, deeply, as he ground their cocks together.
Closing his eyes, Zaire inhaled Justice’s unique scent and let it wash over him. When Justice gripped Zaire’s cock, he let out a growl and rocked against his mate’s hand.
It wasn’t until he heard something crash and shatter that Zaire realized the tray with the breakfast dishes had still been on the bed. He smiled against Justice’s lips. “I guess I owe Saint some new dishes.”
Justice’s laugh was light and breezy and lit up his eyes. “Just don’t tell him how they met their demise.”
The thought of anyone knowing the intimate details of their lovemaking made Zaire insane. Justice was his, and what they did together wouldn’t be shared with anyone.
Especially the way his body burned for his mate in the most incredible way. It was hot and fierce and made Zaire tremble with need.
Speaking of need… “Tell me we have access to lube.”
Justice groaned and hit the blanket with his hand. “Why didn’t I think about that before we got anything started?”
“Because we were focused on one thing.” Zaire cupped Justice’s balls.
Justice hissed, batted Zaire’s hand away, then got up. “I’ll go grab some while no one is home.”
“Where is everyone?” Zaire had thought the owners were there.
“Saint is at work, and Alwyn is at Gem’s house.” Justice walked toward the bedroom door, and Zaire couldn’t stop himself from staring at his mate’s bare ass.
What a nice ass it was. Small, but perfect.
Zaire’s body became impossibly harder when Justice returned, his cock exposed, stiff, which made Zaire’s mouth water. Need consumed him as he pulled from the bed and took the bottle from Justice.
“In my cat form, I saw how many different places Saint and Alwyn stashed lube. Those two are like Energizer Bunnies.”
Zaire frowned. “You watched them have sex?”
“God, no.” Justice’s blush reddened his cheeks and the tips of his ears. “But those two are loud. I always escaped outside when they were going at it. At one point I was spending a lot of time under the bush because those two were insatiable.”
“I know they haven’t been together long,” Zaire said. “Almost two months, I think. They were newly mated when I helped Saint rescue Alwyn. I can see why they were insatiable. They were in their honeymoon period.”
“Oh.” Justice looked away. “I never thought of that. I just thought Saint had the stamina of a bull.”
Zaire had no idea what that meant, but he was tired of talking about other men while his mate stood right in front of him, a tasty temptation.
He set the lube on the nightstand then turned back to Justice, chest to back, and glided his lips across his mate’s shoulder. Fuck, he loved how Justice responded to his touch. He shivered, and Zaire saw goose bumps across his skin.
Justice leaned back into him, his eyelids fluttering closed, his lips parted, making Zaire want to devour him. “Be careful of the broken dishes,” he whispered into Justice’s ear. “Don’t want you hurt.”
Zaire lifted his mate into his arms and carried him to the bed then placed him on his back. With the way Justice was spread out, his hair fanning his head, he looked like a sensual buffet.
“You keep looking at me that way,” Justice said.
“What way?” Zaire had no idea what his mate was talking about as he grabbed the lube and climbed back into bed.
“Like I’m a sexual meal.”
Zaire chuckled. “I think we would have a problem if I wasn’t looking at you like that.”
Justice smiled. “I guess you’re right.”
After lubing his fingers, Zaire dipped his hand to Justice’s core. His mate spread his legs as he bit into his bottom lip. God, those lips. Zaire was becoming quickly addicted to them.
As he inched his fingers inside his mate, he took Justice’s mouth in another searing kiss. When he pulled back, he looked where his hand was, amazed at the contrast between Justice’s creamy skin and Zaire’s tanned hand.
Then he looked at his mate. Justice was watching him, his blue eyes heavy-lidded, his lips kiss-swollen, his breathing ragged. Zaire couldn’t, for the life of him, get over just how beautiful Justice was.
Then again, Justice was an angel, a fallen one but an angel, nonetheless. An offspring of one, so ethereal, so striking. After everything Zaire had done in his past, how in the hell had he deserved someone like Justice?
It was beyond him. Whatever the reason, he was thankful. So thankful that he wanted to fall to his knees and thank fate.
“Now.” Justice opened his eyes and licked his lips. “I need you inside of me, Zaire.”
That was a request Zaire would gladly fulfill. He eased his fingers out of Justice and lubed his own hard, aching cock. It felt hot to the touch and jerked as Zaire wiped his hand on the blanket.
Then he rested one arm on the side of Justice’s head, sweeping his tongue inside his mate’s mouth as he grabbed the base of his cock and worked his way into Justice’s tight heat.
They moaned in unison.
Justice slid his arms around Zaire’s neck, pulling him down for another kiss. Being inside Justice was like heaven. Kissing him was nothing short of nirvana. Everything about his angel turned Zaire on, even the way the guy breathed.
Zaire hooked an arm under one of Justice’s legs, lifting it higher so he could drive in deeper. That was when he saw his mate’s tiny canines in his mouth.
That was the sexiest thing Zaire had ever seen. And that was saying something considering how old he was. He’d had many lovers in his past, but none, absolutely none, came close to what Justice made him feel.
It wasn’t their bond, either. Not entirely. It was the way Justice looked in the throes of passion, the way he smiled, the way he was bossy without realizing he was bossy, and how vulnerable he looked sometimes.
Every fiber of Zaire’s being wanted to protect and cherish the man. He wanted to stamp his brand on Justice, to own his very soul. He growled deep in his throat while nibbling his way up Justice’s jaw, nipped his ear, then took his lips again as his cock thrust hard and deep.