[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative, Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves, MM, HEA]
The son of Prince Phelan and his consort Elian, Blaise is a child of magic. But when disaster strikes, his life comes crumbling down. In the eyes of the Great Wolven Kingdom, he becomes a failure and an anomaly. To protect him from his own nature, his parents secret him away to a distant tower, there to wait for the right time to be rescued.
When traveling blacksmith Aran comes across a mysterious map in a game of chance, he knows he shouldn’t pursue it. He sets out on a journey regardless—and what he finds at his destination is beyond anything he could have ever expected. He finds Blaise, his mate, the man he is meant to help and protect.
Will Aran's determination be enough? Between the dark shadows of Aran's past and the encroaching threat of war coming from the Great Wolven Kingdom, can the bond between Blaise and Aran even survive?
NOTE: This book was previously self-published by the author as Guardian of His Exiled Mate.
Aran stumbled and tripped, his boots ripping as his claws tore straight through the leather. His spine shifted, his skin rippled, and he roared out his anger and his grief. He didn’t want this. He never had. He didn’t know how to escape it, and it was so dark. The walls were closing in on him and there was no air. He couldn’t breathe, and he was a monster, a monster, a monster...
And then, something unexpected happened. A presence appeared in the labyrinth, and Aran shook himself out of his trance simply because he had to acknowledge the threat. With a snarl, Aran turned to face whoever had been foolish enough to approach him, only to catch sight of a swan.
The swan landed on a bush that framed the entrance to one of the paths. It was small, far smaller than a swan should have been, just a little larger than a dove. Its feathers were marble white, and it emanated a light that reached out into Aran’s soul and squeezed.
The swan wasn’t real, Aran knew that much. Leaving aside the bird’s strange size, Aran’s advanced senses caught the way the plumage was just a little transparent in places. It wasn’t an actual bird. It was a manifestation of magic.
It was magic Aran had followed when he’d escaped his first prison, and magic he had followed here. But he had never trusted anything like he did that tiny white bird.
Suddenly, his head cleared, and he could think again. He took control of his body and shifted back to his regular form. He crouched in front of the swan, tentatively reaching out for it. Even if he couldn’t startle it like he would a flesh-and-blood bird, he might still disrupt the magic that had created it.
“Can you help me, little one? I seem to be lost.”
The bird let out a low honking sound, which Aran translated as a “yes.” As the swan launched itself into the air, Aran followed.
It still wasn’t easy. The bird wasn’t an unerring guide. Sometimes, they still ran into dead ends. Whenever this happened, the swan would make unhappy noises and briefly fly away, before quickly returning to Aran’s side.
Aran didn’t lose control again, because the swan never went far. It took a while. The maze was quite massive, after all. When they finally found the doorway, Aran almost couldn’t believe it. There was no warning. He went from being surrounded by almost complete darkness—with the swan providing the only light—to stumbling in front of the blindingly white tower.
Almost instantly, the swan vanished. Aran felt its absence like a physical blow, but he was also incredibly drawn toward the tower. There was just one significant problem with that. The tower had no door.
Aran was doing much better than he had midway through the labyrinth, but he was still exhausted. The only thing that kept him going was probably sheer willpower. The sight of the wall in front of him still angered him, but he had not come all this way to back out now.
The tower presumably hid the treasures the bard had promised. This automatically meant there had to be a door. Given what he’d seen in the maze, Aran guessed it was probably hidden through magic or something along that line. There might even be a guard. So far, he’d seen no sign of the dragon the bard had claimed would be here, but that didn’t mean the threat was gone.
Aran tentatively approached, half-expecting to be attacked. He wasn’t. In fact, nothing much happened until he took a chance and brushed his fingers over the smooth marble.
The wall lit up and slid aside. It moved smoothly, with barely any sound, as if it wasn’t even made out of brick and mortar. And then, the entrance was finally there, and when Aran looked inside, the first thought that occurred to him was that the bard had been completely right.
This tower hid priceless treasure. It just wasn’t gold, coin or jewelry—fitting, perhaps, since Aran didn’t actually have an interest in those things.
No, the treasure that had been whisked away in this strange place was more precious than anything else in the world. In front of Aran stood a young man, the most beautiful man Aran had ever seen. His skin glowed like the marble of the tower that had held him and his long hair fell all the way to the floor in a curtain of white gold. Wide blue eyes zeroed in on Aran, questioning, hopeful and... concerned?
Aran opened his mouth, planning to find some way to reassure the lovely stranger. No words came out. His vocal cords refused to obey him, and the only thing he could utter was a strange growl.
The beautiful stranger tensed, and something in Aran’s chest tightened at the realization that even now, he was haunted by his curse. He didn’t get the chance to fix things. The world suddenly grew dim around the edges. Aran tried to hold on to consciousness, desperately hoping he wouldn’t succumb to his wild nature. But he was tired and worn, and his sense of self finally surrendered to the darkness—and to unconsciousness.
Blaise cried out when Aran brushed the tip of a claw over one of the peaked buds. Interested, Aran repeated the treatment on the other side. The response didn’t delay in appearing. “Oh, gods, Aran... Please. Please, Aran.”
If Aran had deemed it possible to tease his mate, that became a little hard to do when Blaise said his name in that breathy tone of voice. After that, Aran couldn’t have denied Blaise to save his life.
He kissed down Blaise’s neck, swirling his tongue in the hollow of his throat. Blaise threw his head back, moaning, and Aran ached with the desire to bury his fangs in the creamy flesh at his disposal. But he couldn’t, not just yet, not until he was inside his mate.
At any rate, it was strikingly easy to distract himself from the urge. When Aran lowered his mouth over his mate’s nipples, Blaise practically went wild underneath him. But instead of trying to repeat his previous request, what he did was entirely different.
He reached for Aran’s shirt, gripping the material and pulling. One hard jerk was all it took for the garment to tear. Soft, but strikingly strong fingers landed on Aran’s now naked shoulders, and the sharp tips of Blaise’s fingernails dug into his flesh. Were they talons now? How did that even work? Swans didn’t have talons.
Despite the oddity, Blaise still said nothing. At this point, they were both far beyond words. It was just as well that any sort of vocalization was unnecessary.
Their eyes met, and for a single instant, something just seemed to click between them. It was a strange sort of understanding, unlike anything Aran had ever experienced. When they moved again, they were in complete synch. They didn’t rush, because they didn’t have to. They simply followed their hearts and their instincts—and everything flowed freely from there.
Naturally, the first thing they did was to get rid of the rest of Aran’s clothes. Once that task was out of the way, they could both explore at leisure. And explore they did. They took their time tracing invisible patterns on each other’s bodies, mouthing silent vows against each other’s skin, nibbling, sucking, and licking.
Aran wasn’t sure how Blaise ended up straddling him again, but dynamics became irrelevant when his mate’s cock was hovering above his mouth while said mate’s breath tickled Aran’s own shaft. He didn’t think. He simply focused on taking Blaise’s dick in deep, and oh, it was beautiful and perfect and exactly right. The weight of his mate’s prick on his tongue and the taste of his precum mingled with the blissful torture of the suction, the heat of Blaise’s mouth. Aran tried to hold on, to prolong the moment, but all too soon, the sensations became too much for him to withstand.
There wasn’t a significant moment that truly pushed him over the edge. It simply happened, the crescendo of pleasure finally overwhelming him. He might have felt guilty about it had his mate not followed him mere instants later. It was a little difficult to experience any sort of negative emotion when he was busy swallowing down every drop of Blaise’s offering.
Blaise seemed to want to do the same, but he choked a little, obviously unaccustomed to the process. That was when Aran’s brain finally began to work again, and he realized Blaise was likely a virgin. They hadn’t discussed it, but Blaise had been locked up in that damn tower for his entire adult life, and Aran doubted he’d socialized much.
He didn’t have time to doubt or blame himself for not taking a slower approach. Blaise pulled away and rolled back onto the bed. He still had a little seed at the corner of his lips and his hair was a mess. As Aran watched, Blaise futilely tried to tame his long locks, only to fail and let out a little huff of frustration. He was adorable, debauched, and relaxed. Aran wanted nothing more than to hold him and keep him safe forever.
Blaise threw his head back, his hair sliding over his shoulders in a way that was somehow both graceful and sensually messy. He licked his lips, and just like that, another item was promptly added to Aran’s to-do list. Aran needed to claim his mate, and he needed it now.
Even if he’d just come, his cock went rigid once again. Blaise noticed—of course he did—but this time, Aran moved first. “I want you to be mine,” he whispered. His voice came out sounding husky and raw, but fortunately intelligible. “Will you give me that? Will you be my mate?”