[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Alternative Contemporary Fantasy Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifter, werewolves, HEA]
Lightning is trying to do right by his new mate. His best friend turned enemy turned mate. Tim has been trying to make amends for the sins of his family for years. Not just the sins of his family, but his own unforgivable actions, as well.
Now that Tim has the chance for happiness, he almost doesn’t know what to do with it, and his mate has been acting strange lately.
Lightning met an omega wolf who reminded him of Tim, an omega who needed help, though Lightning was unable to give it. When he finds out that omega came to his clan searching for aid and his clan leader didn’t help, Lightning needs to make it right.
But making it right could mean leaving Tim behind, where it’s safe, so Lightning could go off to war with the people who want him, his mate, and everyone he ever cared for, dead.
Marcy Jacks is a Siren-exclusive author.
Good cooking. Tim’s cooking.
Fuck, Tim’s cooking was good. Lightning hadn’t eaten it in a while.
He hung up the phone and stepped inside.
The smell was even better in there than it was outside.
“Tim? Baby, I’m back.”
“In the kitchen.”
He sounded a little nervous. Lightning stepped into the kitchen, leaned against the doorframe, and crossed his arms as his mate half turned away from the stove and gave him a smile that was not quite nervous, but definitely welcoming.
“Hey there. Uh, welcome back?”
Lightning shook his head. “Hey yourself.” He pushed himself off the doorframe.
Tim turned away from the stove and met him halfway.
The easy way he pushed himself into Lightning’s arms, how he fit against Lightning’s chest, his body warm and…Lightning didn’t have the words to describe it.
This thing he now had with his mate, which had previously not been there before, was everything he could have wanted.
And now that they had this easy peace, this relationship, Lightning’s instincts were to protect it.
“I made you shepherd’s pie.”
Lightning grinned. “With cheesy potatoes?”
It was basically a staple of every meal his mate made for him.
Tim blushed a little, scratching at the back of his neck. “Yeah, with cheesy potatoes. I’d make you something different, but—”
Lightning went to check out the stove, though it occurred to him that he probably shouldn’t touch anything else until he’d showered.
On the stove top was a gravy of some sort bubbling, and it almost looked as though Tim had been mixing a cake batter together on the counter.
“You’re really going all out.”
“I wanted to make you something nice.”
“I would have brought supper home.”
That barely-there wince, the one Lightning had told himself didn’t mean anything and wasn’t to be worried about, flickered across Tim’s eyes.
“You don’t like it?”
Tim rubbed at his arms. “I do. I like eating out with you. So long as it’s with you. Then it’s fine.”
Lightning didn’t understand. “Then you know you don’t have to go to this trouble. I told you, you don’t have to do the chores anymore.”
“I remember, but I figured I would put some sheets into the washing machine today anyway.”
Lightning sighed. “What else did you do?”
Tim bit his lips together briefly. “There were smudges on the windows, so I washed them and then dusted around the TV and your bookcase. And vacuumed. And washed the floor.”
Lightning looked down. The kitchen tile did look a little brighter. And of course, he was standing there in his boots.
“You don’t have to do those things anymore. You’re my mate now. Not the guy I call in to do the cooking and cleaning.”
“I don’t mind.”
Lightning wanted to get on with his life with his mate. He didn’t want to go out and protect the clan just to come home and realize his mate was still behaving as though he had something to make amends for.
Worse, the guilt it brought out of Lightning was something he couldn’t stomach. He didn’t like it.
“You’re not my slave anymore. I’ll hire someone to come in twice a week if the buildup bothers you that much.”
He’d thought he was keeping on top of the chores, but apparently not if Tim felt there was more that needed doing.
“I really don’t mind. I kind of like cooking for you.”
Now Lightning had to hide a wince of his own.
He turned back to the stove, looking at the bubbling gravy pot, taking in the smells of food and the sight of the dessert his mate was preparing for him.
He loved Tim’s cooking, but how could he eat it every day if the man was just making it because he wanted to make up for how Lightning had been treated as a child?
Of course, matings were made up of sacrifices and small deals all the time. He could do this.
“If you want to cook so badly, then let’s stick to once a week. I’ll cook for you another day of the week, and we can keep ordering out.”
The offer he’d thought would make Tim happy only seemed to make things worse. Tim’s face positively fell.
“Only once a week?”
“I said I would cook for you, too.”
“Well, okay, that’s nice, but that’s five other days of eating out.”
“I can afford it, remember?”
“It’s not exactly healthy,” Tim mumbled.
“Sure it is. We can order in salads and sandwiches. I won’t bring in pizza and Chinese food every day.”
He wasn’t about to admit that Chinese was the thing he’d nearly ordered before the smell of Tim’s shepherd’s pie hit his nostrils.
Lightning didn’t like this. He could clearly see his mate wasn’t happy about something, but Lightning didn’t know what he was doing wrong.
He was trying to tell Tim, in literally every way he knew how, that the man didn’t have to be his servant anymore. He could kick back, relax, find a nice hobby that he could get into, and spend his time doing something other than mopping the floor and washing their clothes.
But no matter how Lightning said it, Tim seemed to be unsatisfied with what Lightning offered him.
It made no sense, but what was he to do about it?
“I’m going to have a shower. I’ll be back down to join you in ten minutes, and then we can eat together.”
That brightened his mate considerably, and those pretty brown eyes seemed to light right up. “Okay, I’d like that.”
He took Lightning’s cock in hand, glancing up at the other man who stared down at him with heat in those red eyes when Tim let his tongue out to slide along the hot, pulsing shaft.
Lightning groaned, his chest tensing before he released that hard breath in a long sigh.
He tasted like salt and skin. Tim adjusted himself to that flavor and then pulled together his bravery and put his whole mouth around the enlarged head of Lightning’s prick.
Lightning’s spine arched the tiniest bit. “Oh, baby.”
That was it. That was what Tim wanted, and he slid his mouth down farther on the shaft of Lightning's dick, finding his own pleasure in the moans Lightning made.
More than anything else in the whole world, Tim wanted the sound of Lightning’s pleasure, to know that he was the one giving it to him.
That sound meant Tim was right where he was supposed to be. He was Lightning’s mate, and he would take care of what belonged to him.
Tim eased his mouth up once more, and then back down around the thick length of his mate’s cock, enjoying the way it throbbed on his tongue.
Tim reached his hand down, finding his own erection and stroking himself.
Anything to ease his own growing ache.
Lightning pushed his fingers through Tim's hair, his nails gently scraping at the scalp, pulling Tim down farther, but not forcing anything.
He seemed to be guiding Tim more than anything, and he was more than happy to follow that guide.
Tim had to fight to keep himself from holding his breath. He was still getting used to this, and he couldn’t take the other man the whole way in. What he couldn’t reach, he held with his hands and stroked in time with the movement of his mouth.
“That’s nice. God, keep doing that, Tim.”
Absolutely. Tim aimed to please, his confidence boosting with every pleasured sound Lightning released.
Tim moaned as he fisted his cock, trying to give himself some measure of relief, if only so he didn’t ache so much while he waited for his turn to come. God, but the problem was how he could barely keep himself together as he did this. He wanted to touch Lightning all over his body. Give him the same amount of love and affection Lightning always gave to him.
Lightning had always been a generous lover, something which had shocked Tim a little when they were finally intimate together.
For all of Lightning’s rougher edges, Tim had expected the man to be harsher in bed, to take what he wanted with little regard for anyone else.
He wasn’t. The man grumbled a lot, and he was clearly a warrior with calloused hands and crisscrossed scars scattered all over his body, but when it came to his actions in bed, Tim couldn’t have asked for better. Lightning was always the best, and Tim was learning from his own personal master.
He hallowed his cheeks, paying special attention to Lightning's cock head before sinking back down around the base, delighting in the sounds of Lightning's groans, the way his each pleasured sound became harsher.
“Christ, baby, come up here.”
Lightning pushed against Tim’s shoulders, stopping him just as Tim felt the tension in his dick.
“Yeah, now get up here.”
That was fine. Tim knew what his mate wanted as he climbed back into the man’s lap.
The touch of Lightning’s hands against his waist then down to the crease of his ass, his fingers sliding between his cheeks and to his hole…
Tim shivered. His claws came out. They were small—he was only an omega wolf—but at Lightning’s hiss, Tim pulled them back.
Lightning shook his head. His breath raspy. His eyes a brighter shade of red than usual. “Don’t worry about it.”
But he did worry about it. Tim couldn’t do much to the other man to actually hurt him, but he could still make Lightning bleed.
He knew this from experience. Tim had never lost control of his inner wolf in all of his adult life. The last time had been when he was still a child, barely a teenager when his family had been overtaken by the brain disease of the alphas.
And yet, when he was in bed with Lightning…when Lightning touched him like this, teasing…he couldn’t stop his claws from coming out, a little of his fur.
As though the animal wanted to get closer to the person who was giving him such pleasure as this.