[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Romance, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, MM, HEA]
Marcel Langley is a red panda shifter with two sons. He moves to Wildflower with the hope of being matched as a mate with a feral shifter, by the Shifter Rehabilitation Foundation. While Marcel waits, he meets Briggs Montgomery, a brown bear shifter, who is also waiting for a match to be made for himself.
The two of them decide that being friends would be a good thing. Being friends with benefits, would be even better. They share their worries, their happy moments, as well as incredibly hot sex. It helped ease their frustration as they both waited to be matched with feral shifters needing their help. They were so focused on that, neither of them was able to see what they already had together. Then it was too late. The foundation’s computer made a match with Briggs and a feral shifter in their care.
“I had fun. Thanks for inviting me to have lunch with you guys.” Briggs wondered where Marcel’s mate was. It was something he should have asked. Now the chance had passed.
“It was fun. I hope the rest of your day is a good one.”
“Yours, too, Marcel. Stop by the tavern for a beer sometime. My treat.”
Marcel nodded. “I’ll try to do that. See you later, Briggs. Have a safe trip home.”
It was ending, and regret filled Briggs as he watched the ugly car’s progress out of the parking lot, heading out to the road that would take them to Wildflower. Briggs went to his truck and tossed the lunch bag on the passenger seat. Then he climbed in and pulled his seatbelt across his body. One thing he couldn’t regret was making a friend. Marcel was a good guy. They could hang out occasionally or he could take the man and his boys out to supper or something. Everyone had to eat.
Too bad he hadn’t thought to get Marcel’s phone number.
* * * *
Marcel was irritated that he hadn’t thought to get Briggs’ phone number. It seemed to him that Briggs was kind of lonely. It wouldn’t hurt to invite him over for a homecooked meal. Of course, there was a chance he would be living in a new place when his fathers arrived. But because Briggs and he were just friends, that wasn’t going to be a problem. Not the way it had been in the past when Marcel had brought a man home for his fathers to meet.
Holding out hope for a match through the foundation was not something his fathers approved of, but they respected his decision. Marcel knew it was because they believed it was just another way for him to fix someone. It wasn’t. He only wanted to be needed, respected, and loved. Those factors were important. If the foundation came up with what they believed was a good match, he would give it a chance. There was no guarantee that he and the man he was matched with would even hit it off. There were no cosmic forces at work. Mating was completely organic. If two people liked each other enough, they chose to be together, had sex, bit each other, and voila.
Actually, Marcel was hoping for some fireworks, too. He wanted a mate who possessed a strong character, who was willing to share the responsibility of raising his boys, as well as any children they might have together. He didn’t want a whiney ass. Dean had been one of those. Marcel had been on the verge of making a momentous decision, mainly to rid himself of the guy, when he’d discovered he was pregnant. That was when he had given Dean one more chance to man up. Who knew? He might have turned out to be the best father in the history of fathers.
It shouldn’t have surprised him when Dean turned out to be nothing close to father of the year.
What was really screwed up was that there were times when Marcel missed the loser. But not today. He pushed thoughts of Dean out of his mind. It was time he moved on and put the past completely behind him. That couldn’t happen until he accepted the blame for hoping Dean would become someone he wasn’t.
“You can’t fix people,” Marcel told himself. “If they’re broken, they have to fix themselves.”
“Did you bring me up here to seduce me?”
Marcel clapped a hand over his mouth as he turned inferno red. Briggs stared at him.
Then he returned with something equally shocking, “Neither of us is committed to anyone. Would it hurt to be friends with benefits?”
When was the last time he’d been with anyone? Oh, yeah, right. It had been with his kids’ father. Marcel was tongue-tied for all of five seconds. Then he said in a croaky voice, “I think I could handle that. Has it been a while for you?” His cock was almost hard. The blood had rushed into it so fast it was a wonder he didn’t pass out. Marcel didn’t know if that were possible.
Briggs was also a shade of red that was telling. “Yeah, it’s been a while. Men aren’t in the habit of flocking to me. I don’t look like a model or anything.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with your looks. Shouldn’t we be taking our clothes off now? And do you have a condom?”
Condoms were important. As much as Marcel loved kids, he didn’t need another at this moment. The plan was to wait until he had a mate he had bonded with.
They were in the combination living room and kitchen. It was a large space. There were a couple of doors, but Marcel wasn’t going to snoop. Maybe they’d just have sex over the back of the couch. It looked sturdy. But a big guy like Briggs would have furniture that wouldn’t look as if it would break. Bending over the couch seemed like a good place to start. Perhaps going to the man’s bedroom would make this all too intimate, give it more meaning than scratching an itch.
“I’ve got condoms. And plenty of lube.”
Briggs pulled the shirt over his head, and Marcel nearly swallowed his tongue. Briggs’ muscles had muscles. The man was built, ripped, and drool worthy. There were scars here and there. He’d obviously been in a few fights, and Marcel wondered how the other guys had fared. The man lowered his jeans, and his cock popped out. If someone had asked Marcel his name at that moment, he would be hard-pressed to give the correct answer. Briggs’ flesh was long and meaty, the head wider than the shaft, with thick veins twisting from his balls to beneath the rim. Mercy.
“I was thinking about fucking you over the back of the couch.”
Marcel grinned, beginning to relax. Although he’d never had casual sex before, he thought this might turn out to be fun.
“Great minds think alike.”
He undid the button at the waistband of his jeans, lowered the zipper, and pushed his pants down as he toed out of his shoes, uncaring that he still wore his shirt. Leaving everything on the floor, he hurried around the couch and draped himself over the back. He spread his legs wide in offering and heard Briggs’ rough, rumbling growl.
“You’ve got a beautiful ass. Nice, round, and a little jiggly. Now give me your hole. I can’t wait to see how it feels around my dick. I want to watch it stretch as I fuck you until you forget your name.”