[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative, Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves, MM, HEA]
Shay has an uneventful existence. He delivers his mother's baked goods to shifter families and tells stories to his brother in his free time. Everything changes when, taken by surprise by a mysterious storm, Shay finds refuge in the home of a peculiar shifter lord. Lord Conor welcomes Shay in his lonely mansion, and his kindness and silent grief make unprecedented emotions swell inside Shay.
Spurned by his family, Conor knows he should keep his distance from his beautiful, red-hooded guest. But from the moment Shay steps onto the grounds of his mansion, Conor is drawn to him like a moth to the flame. He tries to stay away, even if Shay's smile and his trust make him feel more than the beast he knows himself to be.
What happens when the two men are unexpectedly trapped together? Will the help of an unlikely ally be enough to give this sorrowful beast and his mate a happily ever after?
NOTE: This book was previously self-published by the author as Storyteller for a Sorrowful Beast.
Conor peered out the window, scanning the courtyard, not really knowing what to expect. Perhaps his family had decided on an unscheduled and likely unpleasant visit.
In instants, it became obvious that was not the case. A cloaked figure was indeed making his or her way through the courtyard, guiding along a donkey. The way the person moved automatically ruled out anyone Conor knew. The figure looked around and stepped hesitantly, wary of his or her surroundings. Beyond the gate, Conor thought he heard the howls of wolves—real animals, not shifters—and the pieces of the puzzle slid into place. A traveler running from wild beasts? Perhaps, perhaps not. That still didn’t explain how the gate had opened. But Conor supposed this strange new arrival would eventually knock on his door, so he’d find out soon enough.
Hidden behind his curtains, Conor watched as the figure approached. The stranger leaned over to whisper something to the donkey, but it was low enough that not even Conor could hear. A strange sort of excitement stirred in his chest, and he shoved it back with all his might. He needed to figure out how his unwanted visitor had opened his gate, and make sure the stranger left as soon as possible.
As if sensing his gaze, the figure looked up at the window where Conor was waiting. A gust of wind swept through the courtyard, shoving down the stranger’s red hood. And that was how Conor got his first view of his unexpected visitor.
The man was, plainly put, beautiful. His wet dark curls framed a fair, pale face, tumbling around cheekbones sharp enough to cut even a shifter’s skin. His midnight black eyes seemed to meet Conor’s own gaze—and perhaps they did, guided by some sort of instinct that even humans had. Because Conor’s guest was clearly human and had been through quite an ordeal. This was no spy. There was no guile in those beautiful eyes, just confusion, hope, decisiveness, and a hint of fear.
Conor didn’t stop to think about what he was doing. Protectiveness surged inside him, and he rushed away from the window of his study.
If he’d ever run so fast in his life, the circumstances had probably been very different. He told himself it was just concern for the human and the fact that he’d desperately craved company, but he didn’t even bother to dwell too much on the excuse. Moments after he’d first looked into the stranger’s eyes, he was throwing the entrance door open.
Conor’s quick flight through the mansion must have lasted less than thirty seconds, so his guest was still standing there, where Conor had last seen him. He was struggling with his hood, trying to pull it back up and protect himself from the storm. It would be futile—every inch of him was already wet, and it would be a miracle if he didn’t grow sick because of it.
The human released a startled gasp when he saw Conor standing in the doorway, and his dark eyes went very wide. Conor decided right then and there that he couldn’t bear to see those beautiful orbs looking at him in fear.
“Well, come on then,” he said. “That is why you are here, are you not? Come inside. You look like you’re about to fall over.”
The stranger hesitated. “Thank you, my lord... I just... My donkey...”
Conor was torn between awe and frustration. He knew humans rarely valued animals beyond their own comfort, but this man was clearly different. He was willing to wait in the rain until he made sure his little donkey was cared for as well.
Ignoring the storm, Conor stepped out and walked toward his guest. The donkey whinnied nervously, sensing Conor’s beast, but Conor patted his flank, and the animal settled down. “Does your donkey have a name?”
“B-Biscuit, my lord,” the stranger stammered.
“Well then, not to worry. Go on inside. There’s a fire on the first floor. I’ll take care of little Biscuit.”
The human scanned his face with those dark eyes that seemed to see too much, and then obediently handed over Biscuit’s reins. His fingers were practically frozen, and Conor wanted nothing more than to take that hand in his own and warm it right up. Knowing the impulse wouldn’t be appreciated, he offered his guest a smile and gestured toward the still open door.
The man finally succumbed to what little instincts of self-preservation he had and rushed inside. Once his guest was safely behind closed doors, Conor guided the donkey toward the stables. Even if the house didn’t hold any staff, he still kept some animals, an old indulgence leftover from better days. It was a lucky thing, because without that whim, he wouldn’t have had what he needed to make sure Biscuit was warm and safe.
Once they were both naked, Conor returned to Shay’s side. His hand trailed over Shay’s hip, making him shiver with distressed arousal. “If you could see yourself,” Conor whispered. “If you could see how you look at me.”
“It must be much like you look at me,” Shay answered. “Come here.”
After that, there were no more words. Their naked bodies entwined on the bed, as Shay had dreamed so many times. Conor gripped both their cocks in his large fist, and Shay’s whimper was lost in Conor’s kisses.
Conor was suddenly a whirlwind, touching him everywhere, with Shay not even realizing how Conor managed it all. He didn’t bother dwelling on it too much. Instead, he just embraced it—embraced the pleasure Conor offered.
Given the level of sexual tension that had been building between them for months, it was over far too soon. Conor licked Shay’s ear, and a shock of pleasure shot through him, pooling straight into his already tormented cock. Shay had the time to wonder when his ear had become an erogenous zone, and then he was coming, convulsing against Conor, shaking and riding the waves of the mind-numbing pleasure.
It didn’t end. In the past, after finding his peak, he’d succumb to a lazy lassitude and often sleep. He’d never actually come with anyone and anything else but his own hand, but just the same, this change struck him as remarkable. Even as he came, Shay’s arousal fed on itself and moved through him like a living thing, making his desire for Conor flare even brighter.
Conor let out a pained noise, and Shay wondered just how much his new lover could guess out of what Shay felt. Suddenly, it seemed unbearable that he hadn’t touched Conor more, hadn’t explored everything Conor had shown him.
Finding a strength he hadn’t known he had, Shay pushed Conor back. The shifter fell, blinking in shock. He caught himself on his elbows, eyeing Shay cautiously, perhaps assuming Shay had decided against pursuing this.
That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Shay straddled Conor’s legs and threw all caution to the wind. Taking a deep breath, he lowered his mouth over Conor’s cock.
Shay didn’t actually know much about this sort of thing. Sure, he had heard stories—not all the tales he was familiar with were innocent—but hearing about it was different from experiencing it. Most of the women who’d mentioned it had expressed distaste about the process, although others had seemed enthusiastic.
For Shay, tasting Conor like this was an experience that surpassed his every expectation. The flavor of Conor’s precum exploded on his tongue, and oh, it was delicious, reminding him of the fire of Conor’s kiss. Beneath him, Conor’s thighs went tense, and the rigidity in his muscles spoke volumes of the pleasure he felt at Shay’s touch.
Shay reveled in it, in every second of what he shared with Conor. His lover didn’t seem to mind that he was inexperienced. He gave Shay time to explore at his leisure, and Shay did, flicking his tongue, licking, and massaging Conor’s plump balls. At one point, he grew bold, and he started to suck in earnest. It made Conor tremble in a way that should have been frightening but was actually quite satisfying.
Pleased with himself, Shay continued his ministrations on his wolf. Yes, his jaw hurt, and yes, he choked a little when he tried to take too much of the shaft too quickly. He didn’t mind, not when he could pursue this intimacy, this beautiful, simple exchange of pleasure.
It felt so good, so potent, and so powerful that when Conor suddenly pulled his cock out of Shay’s mouth, Shay couldn’t help but whine. He should have known better, since Conor never disappointed him.
The shifter pressed him back down on the pillows and climbed on top of him. “I want to come when I’m inside you,” Conor murmured in his ear.
The protests died on Shay’s tongue. He nodded, numb with arousal. Conor licked his ear again, and then reached into the nightstand, retrieving a bottle of oil.
From that point on, Shay’s world grew a little fuzzy. It was almost as if Conor had hypnotized him with his touch, because Shay didn’t think he could have spoken to save his life. His body moved seemingly of its own accord, leaning into Conor’s touch.
When Conor caressed the inside of Shay’s thighs, Shay obediently parted his legs, exposing his most intimate area to Conor’s gaze. Maybe his shamelessness should have embarrassed him, but that sort of trivial emotion was about as likely as him retreating from Conor’s addicting embrace.
Conor slid one finger inside Shay, and Shay gasped, the burn of the penetration more delicious than he had expected. He wasn’t surprised at the direction this was headed in, but even if he had been, he suspected he would have still enjoyed it just as much. His mind cleared of everything except the desire for more, the absolute yearning for something only Conor could give him.