AVAILABLE: Tuesday, November 26th
[Siren Menage Amour ManLove: Alternative, Menage a Trois, Paranormal, Shapeshifter, Action-Adventure, Supernatural, Contemporary, Drama, MMM, HEA]
Blast, a wolverine shifter, finds himself in a mating nightmare. His first mate is a deadly serpent shifter assassin, Xian Lu, who has been tasked with taking Blast's second mate, Surano, back to an evil rare shifter collector, Mr. Osaki.
Blast has his work cut out preventing Xian Lu from completing his mission, discovering the assassin is sweet, frightened to be touched, and terrified of loving anyone. Surano is an innocent, sassy red panda shifter who's been imprisoned for half his life, escaping his stepfather, Peppy Picariello, who sold him years ago. Mr. Osaki wants his prize back. Blast and his friends in Sage have a tough time fending off Osaki's hunters, since the collector is distrustful that his former pet, Xian Lu, is up to the mission. Xian Lu has protected Surano for years, a promise made to Surano's mother, and is conflicted. Can he defy Mr. Osaki? He's terrified of the repercussions if he fails his mission...but equally scared that his fears may prevent him living the life he yearns for with his mates.
Blast sauntered through a maze of industrial carnage, dodging a heavy loader and darting past a bulldozer laden with rubble. Dust clouded the air, shouts reverberating above the cacophony of a hundred heavy duty vehicles clamoring to clear the last vestiges of Sage’s final encounter with Flashpoint.
He spied a wolverine shifter he’d come to consider a friend… albeit there’d been some sparks along the way. Slug was mated to Ethan, who was the son of the construction foreman, Cody. The guy oozed badass, although viewing the bald bruiser with a single ponytail sprouting from his scalp, Blast considered the guy had lost a few points in the street cred stakes. Today, Slug’s locks were colored red, white, and blue, and he was currently yelling insults across at John Hastings, a snow leopard shifter and founder member of their community in Sage, the pair acting like twelve-year-olds.
“Remind me again why you two are considered dangerous?” Blast enquired, arching a brow. “Can’t see it myself.”
“We can show you if you’d like,” Slug told him, baring fangs.
Blast eyed John, who was pulling faces behind Slug’s back, and shook his head. “Yeah, I’ll pass.” He sniggered as one of Slug’s mates, Lash, yelled at them for slacking like losers, earning the blue-warrior-tailed wolverine shifter a noogie.
“Ryder wants to speak with you,” Blast said, waggling the tablet he’d brought with him. “John, you’re up.”
The big Brit, who was ninety-nine percent laid back and fun-loving, and one percent pure menace, shot him a wry look.
“Blast, you know I hate it when you do that. Can’t you make excuses?”
“I could, but he’d know I was lying.” Blast chuckled. “He knows you.”
John leapt from his perch atop a steel-framed skeleton structure, making the ten-foot jump look easy, and took the tablet from Blast.
“Weep, fucker,” Blast told him, laughing at John’s pained look.
“Careful what you wish for, wolvie. This sucks.”
“Ryder said you’d be pleased.”
“Fucker’s trying my patience.”
“He figured you’d say that. He advised me to give you this to ease the pain.” Blast held out a cherry lollipop, which John accepted eagerly and popped it into his mouth.
“See you later, boys. I need to do some proper work now. I’ll leave you losers to your big-boy toys.” John waved at his friends, falling into step beside Blast, back to their subterranean town, Sage II, to catcalls from just about everyone on site about slackers with no stamina. Blast smiled. John certainly drew attention.
“They’re just jealous,” the big shifter said airily.
“Of what?” Blast sneered, then grinned ruefully at John’s delighted laughter. It was difficult insulting someone who just didn’t give a crap.
John lowered his voice once they were underground. “What’s the real message?”
Blast beamed, impressed. John was no slouch in the intellect department. “Resurrection’s dug up new players, attracted by our campaign, we think, wanting sanctuary. They checked out as shifters, and they appear to have an interesting connection to one of our own. Remember our newest friend, who warned us about visitors from a foreign land?” he said, barely audibly. “Take a look, bro.”
They reached the food hall, a bustling hub that housed all the eateries, with tunnels leading off from it to accommodations, shops, the sports complex, and entertainment venues.
“Who am I looking at?”
“Check out the dude in the slinky tunic and pants. Xian Lu.”
“Yeah, via an island off Japan.”
They exchanged glances, John nodding his understanding. “Could this be the same caller Morgan spoke about a couple of weeks ago?”
Blast shrugged. “I don’t think so. This one is not here for sanctuary. Too alert.”
“On the hunt.”
“That’s what we’re trying to find out.”
The man in question was sipping tea outside John’s Café Anglais, gazing around in apparent awe. He seemed out of place. He did stand out in his Kung Fu garb, but it was more than that. Blast hadn’t been able to put his finger on the why he’d been called to watch the guy. Perhaps the inherent grace. Every movement was fluid, like a dancer or performance artist. His silky black hair was pulled back into sleek ponytail that trailed almost to the floor while seated. His skin glistened with good health, his features beautifully symmetrical, his dark eyes focused yet calm.
“He’s been checking out two newcomers,” Blast said, sitting with John at a table outside the waffle house. He gestured to the pair he spoke of.
John’s eyes widened. “They look like…”
Blast nodded, grabbed the menu on the table. “Dino,” he murmured.
He jolted when the guy he’d found out was Xian Lu turned his head, staring right at Blast, a sweet smile on his face. The newcomer acknowledged both men, toasting them with his cup, then went right back to gazing at the dark-haired males a few tables away, who in turn gazed longingly at Broomer’s Bistro where Dino was working, chopping veggies behind the kitchen counter.
“He’s a pro,” John murmured, eyes narrowed as he studied the man.
Blast followed his gaze, noting the slight twitch of Lu’s mouth, as though he knew he was under observation and didn’t care one bit.
“Osaki’s known to hire ninja-style warriors. I heard there’s a training camp on his island.” Blast had studied Osaki for a long time. It paid to know the top players, and his family, a wolverine clan who’d spent their lives causing mayhem, had taught him well.
Despite that, Mr. Osaki, one of the biggest traffickers of living creatures on the planet, was well versed in avoiding scrutiny. His dealings were secretive, his origins even more so, and he was reputed to be a brutal tyrant.
“Do you recognize him?” John asked, knowing Blast’s own history in organized crime.
“I know his name. That’s it. He’s on Osaki’s payroll, for sure, but other than that, I only paid attention because he was staring so hard at Dino’s kin.”
“Would you like me to brush your hair?” Surano said excitedly.
Lu gulped, tensing when his cock reacted. What was so erotic about having his hair brushed? He did it every day. Except when his mates touched him, it felt… different.
“I’d like that… I think,” he said, smiling slightly when Surano leapt off the bed and ran out of the ward.
Lu met Blast’s brown stare. “He is eager.”
“We both are, but we would never force you into anything you didn’t want.”
Xian Lu shot sparks back at his mate. “Kidnapping, drugging, and interrogations notwithstanding?”
It was Blast’s turn to blush. He ducked his head. “You were intent on your mission. I had to protect Surano and his brothers. You would have done the same to protect them had Osaki not…”
“You’re right,” Lu cut in, frowning. “I know you had to stop me. I just wish…”
Blast rose and perched on the bed, curling a lock of Lu’s hair around his finger. “What do you wish for?” he whispered, lifting Lu’s thick plait. “This is beautiful,” he added dreamily. “So silky smooth. I imagined it draped over us when we made love,” he admitted with a wry smile. Lu’s breath hitched as images raced through his brain. “I imagined kissing that haughty smirk off your face,” Blast told him, his smile widening. “Then you tossed me over your shoulder and ran off before I got the chance.”
“I was on a mission.”
Lu smirked, which had Blast laughing softly. “So you were.”
“I feel strange,” Lu murmured.
“Strange how? Scared, aroused or about to throw up?”
“All of the above.”
Blast chuckled loudly. “Me too.”
Lu blinked. “You’re not afraid of anything.”
“I don’t want you hurt again,” his mate growled, tugging lightly on Lu’s long braid before releasing it. “And I for damned sure don’t want to be the cause. I’m afraid I’ll frighten you.”
Lu hesitated for a moment, taking a deep breath. “You can unbraid it if you like.” Blast’s eyes darkened, and Lu scented his arousal, blending with his own. “If you want to,” Lu said hastily.
“I want to.”
Xian Lu held his breath as Blast unwrapped his braid, his eyes locked on Lu’s, trembling a little as his mate raked his fingers through the long strands, caressing them with a lover’s touch. Oh god.
“I brought a brush,” Surano said breathlessly, entering the ward. “Kaden said this would be best. So it doesn’t pull too much.”
Blast eyed him. “You went to the salon?”
Surano smirked. “I wanted to do it properly.” He blushed. “They cheered when I told them I found my mates.”
“You told them we were bonding?” Blast asked dryly.
“Don’t be silly,” Surano retorted, smacking Blast on the arm, then wrinkled his nose. “But I may have let it slip we were, er, helping Xian Lu get over his fear of sex.”
It was Lu’s turn to stare, one brow arched. “Those boys gossip worse than a handful of fishwives. During my first explorations of this place, I overheard an awful lot about everyone here. In detail.”
Surano shrugged, his blush deepening. “Sorry. If it’s any consolation, this wasn’t exactly a secret anyway. Boomer told Oliver, who told Fly, who told the others in the salon before I even got there. Not about brushing your hair but finding my mates.” He swallowed hard under their gimlet stares. “I’ll just, er…”
He hopped up onto the bed, blue eyes shimmering with desire as he watched Blast finish unraveling Lu’s braid. His warmth blanketed Lu’s back, the heat of Blast’s dark stare scorching. Lu missed Blast’s touch once the braid was undone but shuddered as Surano took over.
Surano’s technique was seductive yet soothing. Long slow strokes, not too firm, enough that Lu’s arousal increased incrementally. His breath quickened, his cock thickening, and he moved restlessly. Blast’s lips hooked his attention, moist and plump as ripe fruit. Lu scented the sweetness of chocolate and a hint of coffee.
He tasted Blast’s lower lip and felt his mate gasp, then a low growl of approval. Blast’s mouth opened slightly, his tongue darting to meet Lu’s. Lu felt Surano’s lips against his shoulder, butterfly light, and gasped, too. Blast’s tongue slid against Lu’s, dipping into Lu’s mouth. Lu moaned, light-headed as he was kissed for the first time.
Lu opened wider, whimpering when Blast deepened the caress, his tongue writhing against Lu’s with erotic finesse, driving him wild. He keened, his dick throbbing mercilessly, desperate for relief. Blast eased back, breathing heavily, and Lu found himself turning toward Surano, begging for a taste. Surano growled, taking Lu’s mouth passionately, humming his pleasure as they collided. Lu felt someone caressing his cock and widened his legs as pleasure careened through him. He was assaulted on all sides by his mates, surrounding him with sensual heat.
Blast joined the kiss, the sexy three-way sloppy and delicious. Lu came apart, jerking helplessly as he climaxed. Surano soothed him with gentle kisses to his cheek and shoulder and began brushing Lu’s hair again. Blast eased away, sucking cum-covered fingers – the most erotic thing Lu had seen in his life.
“We didn’t scare you, did we?” Surano asked anxiously, resting his cheek on Lu’s slender shoulder.
Lu laughed, still trembling in the aftermath. “Only that I may pass out. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
“And the best thing about having mates is, you can experience that as many times as you like,” Blast quipped, kissing Lu’s nose.
Lu’s smile split his face. “I’d like more kisses,” he said. “Lots more kisses.”