[Siren Classic ManLove: Contemporary, ManLove, Alternative, Shapeshifters, Paranormal, Vampires, MM, HEA]
Riddled with insomnia, lion-shifter Joe Anderson struggles to get through each day. Despite this, he works hard and helps out his pack mates whenever he can. He longs for the happiness his brothers have found with their mates but doesn’t believe it will ever happen for him. After all, how could four brothers all be lucky enough to find their mates?
Traumatised from years of being tortured by a monster, Kourey doesn’t think there’s enough of him left to have anything to offer a mate. Who could ever want a vampire with a scarred body and fragile mind?
Secrets buried in Joe and Kourey’s mutual past reveal they are already mated, though they’ve never so much as kissed.
Just when everything seems to be working out, Joe falls ill and no one knows what’s wrong with him. Kourey has to gather every scrap of strength and faith to keep believing his mate will find his way back to him.
Raff had to open Kourey’s door and pull him from the vehicle because Kourey was incapable of movement.
Bas joined them, and the two of them bracketed him for however long it took for his heart to slow and his breathing to return to normal.
“You okay?” Bas asked.
Kourey let out a shaky breath. “Yeah.”
“You sure you don’t want to go back?”
“Fuck no. We’re here. Really don’t want to go through that again just yet.”
“Okay. You wanna go in?”
“Yeah.” Bastien peeled himself off Kourey’s back, and Kourey let go of Raff. “I…thanks, guys.”
The other two both waved his thanks off. His days and nights lately seemed to be an even split between climbing the walls to get away from everyone and everything, pure terror when panic or memories dug their claws in too deep, and endless thank-yous to everyone for putting up with him. Thinking back to those carefree nights in Paris again, all Kourey wanted was to be able to live life on his own terms once more. He wanted to be able to stand on his own two feet, drive himself somewhere, hell, walk into a kitchen and make himself a damn sandwich. That last one sounded so simple. It wasn’t. The mere thought of going into the huge kitchens here, taking food that hadn’t been handed to him… Kourey paused in the doorway of the rec center, nausea sweeping through him. Some of Jules’s conditioning would be harder to shake than other bits. He breathed deeply for a moment. He’s dead. Jules is dead. He can’t control me anymore. He can’t hurt me anymore. Jules is dead.
They’d been playing pool for a couple of hours when Freddie’s scent and footsteps heralded his arrival.
“This a private party or can anyone join in?” Freddie hung in the doorway with a smile.
“Hey, man.” Bastien pounced on Freddie and dragged him into the room, ruffling the hair on the top of his head thoroughly.
“Noooo, not the hair.” Freddie glared at Bastien. Kourey could see his point. The long red strands had been loosely plaited. Now locks hung around his face, and loops that hadn’t quite escaped flopped to either side of the plait. He kept his narrowed gaze fixed on Bastien as he pulled the tie from his hair, raked his fingers through it a few times, and re-plaited it neatly. Bas waited until he was done then lunged for him again. Freddie leapt away with a yelp. “Don’t you dare!”
They chased each other around the room a couple of times while Raff and Kourey attempted to continue their game.
“Guys, come on. In the middle of a game here,” Raff exclaimed when Bastien nearly knocked the end of Raff’s cue on his way past.
Freddie and Bastien ran from the room, shrieking with laughter like a pair of five-year-olds. Kourey listened to them racing around between the trees outside while Raff finished his shot. Once out there, they kept the noise down, presumably not wanting to disturb any of the shifters who were trying to sleep nearby.
Raff quirked a smile at Kourey, which he returned. “Your shot.”
Kourey looked back at the table. He sank three before it was Raff’s turn again.
They were halfway through another game when Freddie and Bastien strolled back in. They were both covered in twigs, dirt, and leaves, and Freddie had lost his hair tie completely.
“You’re a twat, Bas.”
“You love me and you know it.” Bastien grinned at Freddie.
“Yeah, yeah. Listen, I can’t stay. All these back-to-back flights has my body not knowing which way’s up. Not a good thing for a pilot. I scented you out here and just wanted to come see you all before going to bed. I’ve got one more flight there and back tomorrow, and then I think I’m done for a while, so I’ll be around after that.” He walked around the pool table to Kourey and wrapped his slight form around him. “You doing okay?”
“Looking forward to the day everyone doesn’t have to ask me that every five minutes, but yeah.” Shit. “I don’t…I’m not…I just…”
“Stop. It’s fine.” Freddie pulled away and reached up to cup the back of Kourey’s head. He put gentle pressure on Kourey to bend down and brought their foreheads together. “I’m not going to take it personally if you get a bit bitchy. I’m hardly one to talk, and you’ve all put up with me long enough. You’ve been through a lot. You’re allowed to vent.”
Kourey swallowed around the painful lump that had materialized in his throat. “Thanks.” He breathed in deeply. There wasn’t a trace of deception or the bitter edge of resentment in Freddie’s scent. There was the tiniest hint of something that made his beast sit up and take notice, but it wasn’t strong enough to pin down. He swallowed again, throat suddenly dry.
Freddie gave him another tight hug before leaving. Once he was gone, Kourey looked at Raff.
“Hey, can we go back? I’m getting kinda thirsty.” He wasn’t talking about the kind of thirst that could be solved with what came out of a tap.
They tidied up before leaving. Kourey wasn’t looking forward to the return car journey, but he needed blood.
Kourey, I’m fine. Do you want this?”
Kourey nodded mutely, staring at Joe from inches away. The sea-green of his irises were almost eclipsed by his pupils, leaving only a thin sliver surrounded by the dark green edge. The moment Kourey accepted Joe was in this and that it was going to happen, his eyes widened a fraction before he grinned and leaned in and kissed Joe. Their teeth clashed a couple of times with Kourey’s excitement until Joe caressed the nape of Kourey’s neck with a gentling hand.
“Always. In the shower. Want you. In my bed. This time,” Joe managed between kisses.
“Yes. Want that. Want you,” Kourey said as Joe kissed along his jaw and down his neck, scraping his teeth over the skin below Kourey’s ear.
Kourey shuddered and pushed Joe away with a hand to the chest.
“Whaa? What’s wrong?”
They fumbled through half drying themselves and each other with snatched kisses and eyes full of promise then stumbled laughing and kissing along to Joe’s room, too intent on each other to look where they were going.
Kourey attacked Joe’s mouth and drove him backward. They landed on the soft covers of the bed with a whump, and Joe rolled them both until he settled between Kourey’s legs.
The laughter faded from Kourey’s eyes, and he looked up at Joe with naked yearning and something that looked a lot like love. That his mate could look at him with so much affection in his eyes after everything Kourey had been through swelled Joe’s heart.
Joe leaned down and brought their mouths together tenderly. They kissed for a while, grinding against each other and enjoying the feel of naked skin on naked skin until Kourey started squirming in a different way.
“Hmmm? What is it?” Joe asked, fuzzy with want.
“Can you lift up a bit?”
“Huh?” Joe wasn’t sure what Kourey needed but did as he asked.
Kourey slithered down and around on the bed, and his warm, wet mouth closed around the head of Joe’s cock.
“Oh, fuck! Kourey, I— oh gods. Fuck. Yes. I… Wait. Hang on.”
Joe pulled out of Kourey’s mouth long enough to move so he could give Kourey’s cock the attention it so obviously wanted. The rigid length jutted up from Kourey’s groin, darker along the shaft until the almost purple head, which was shiny with precum. He only had a moment to lower his nose and breathe in the richer scent of his mate before Kourey took him back into his mouth and Joe’s mind went hazy again.
He scraped enough of his brain together to reach for the lube on the bedside table. Kourey moaned around his cock when Joe slid a lubed-up finger into him, and the vibration tingled through his balls. Joe’s breath tangled in his throat despite not having Kourey’s cock in his mouth yet. He didn’t waste another moment and swallowed his mate down to the root.
Kourey was less experienced but no less eager. Though he couldn’t manage as much of Joe’s cock, he sucked on the head and fisted the rest of his length.
Splayed out underneath Joe, Kourey displayed so much trust in him. Joe’s heart, already full, overflowed. Could he be in love with Kourey? Already? Yes. It didn’t matter how brief a time they had known each other. The time Joe had been unconscious totally didn’t count. Joe loved him. Now wasn’t the time to tell him, though. Joe didn’t want Kourey to think he had gotten carried away in the moment or that he didn’t mean it.
By the time Joe pumped three fingers in and out of him, Kourey writhed in wanton need, and he’d abandoned Joe’s cock because he couldn’t contain his strangled cries and panting breaths.
“Joe, stop. I’m gonna come.”
Joe let Kourey’s cock slide from his mouth. It glistened with saliva and begged for attention, but Joe wanted inside Kourey before the man came.
Gently, he withdrew his fingers. He retrieved the lube from where he’d dropped it and shuffled around on his knees to look down.
Kourey’s body strummed with need, and he had his fingers grasping the base of his shaft.
“Hmm hmm.” Kourey nodded tightly. “Need you in me. Before.”
Kourey’s breathing eased, and his body relaxed a fraction.
“Better?” Joe asked.
“Yeah. How do you—”
“How—” Joe asked at the same time as Kourey. They looked at each other and laughed for a moment. “How do you want to do this?”
Kourey chuckled again. “That’s what I was going to say. I-I don’t know. What do you think?”
“Maybe we should get some of those sexual position dice for later so we can decide.” Joe grinned at his mate. He liked the idea, and from the flush that ran over Kourey’s pale upper chest and cheeks, he did too. That and the heavy-lidded look Kourey gave him. “Okay, it might be easier if you were on your hands and knees, but I want to see you. It’s up to you.”
“Those dice might be a good idea. I’d like to see you this time too, though.” He spread his legs farther and gave Joe a come-hither look, which was ever so slightly spoiled by the bright twinkle in his eyes and the smirk hovering around his lips.
Joe knelt between Kourey’s legs and kissed the smirk off his lips. He pushed Kourey’s legs up and watched him for any unease.
Lubed up and beyond ready, Joe lined up and pressed the head of his cock to Kourey’s entrance. They groaned in unison when Kourey’s body accepted him and Joe slid a few inches into Kourey. He gave Kourey a few moments to adjust, not that Kourey looked like he needed it, and withdrew a little before pushing back in. Every gentle thrust took him a little farther in until Joe was balls deep.