[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative Contemporary Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifter, HEA]
Jeffrey Stone has no clue he’s just moved into an all-shifter neighborhood until he crashes into Alex Cruz’s fence. When the giant grizzly bear shifter comes out raging, Jeffrey tries to make peace. He offers to pay for the repairs and hopes they can become friends. But that’s easier said than done, because his new neighbor has an attitude problem.
Could things get any worse for Alex Cruz? First the shop he works at burns down leaving him jobless, then his dumb human neighbor, Jeffrey Stone, damages his expensive fence. He is boiling mad, but can’t stay angry for long. His new neighbor is so damn cute. The harder Alex tries to push Jeffrey away, the more drawn to him he becomes.
Unperceived to them there’s a killer nearby who has set his eyes on these two neighbors. Can Alex keep Jeffrey, the human he’s falling for, safe from the killer’s deadly strike?
Jeffrey jerked his head back. “Why would I do that? I have nothing against shifters.”
Alex harrumphed. “You could have fooled me the way you were acting before. It’s like you never met a shifter before now.”
“That’s because I haven’t. You are the first shifter I ever met.” He roamed his gaze over Alex. The look of appreciation gleaming in his eyes made Alex shiver in pleasure. Jeffrey had remarkable blue eyes. They were quite entrancing. “What type of animal do you shift into?”
“A grizzly bear.”
“Wow, a grizzly bear. That is a powerful predator.” Amazement had Jeffrey’s mouth gaping.
“We’re not aggressive. Only defensive if attacked.” Alex thought of adding as if he wanted to reassure Jeffrey he would never hurt him.
Jeffrey covered his face with his open hands. “I find this all so hard to believe.”
“Why? Why is it so hard to believe and why have you never met a shifter before now?”
Jeffrey blinked three times before answering. “That’s a good question. I guess because I don’t go out much. I’m not a social bug.”
“Interesting.” Alex rubbed his gruff beard. “So you’re telling me you never encountered a shifter in school or at work?”
Jeffrey snorted. “No, I didn’t.”
Alex tsked. “That’s really weird. You’ve obviously led a sheltered life.”
Jeffrey shrugged. “Yeah, a narrow-minded one. I should have made the effort to meet shifters and befriend them, but the thought never occurred to me. I am definitely going to change that.”
“Now is the perfect time. I can introduce you to everyone on the street. You will quickly make friends.”
“Thanks. I’d like that. But first I think I should start with you.”
“Sure. We can be friends.”
Jeffrey’s cheeks turned pink, Alex noted. He bowed his head, swaying it from side to side as if he were struggling with his mind and his heart. He coughed before continuing. “Actually, I’d like to be more than that.”
Alex leaned in curiously. “I’m not following you. What do you mean?”
“Well, I’d like to ask you out on a date.”
It was Alex’s turn to laugh hysterically. He had never heard of anything so preposterous.
* * * *
Jeffrey hadn’t ever experienced a deflated ego before now. It was quite unnerving. He stared at Alex who was now in tears.
Deciding to use Alex’s attitude and shoot from the hip, he blurted, “If I would have known the idea of going out on a date with me would be that hilarious, I wouldn’t have brought it up. Tell me, is there something wrong with me?”
“No,” Alex said after taking a breath and holding it in to calm his laughter.
“Then I was wrong—you’re not gay.”
“Correct.” Alex nodded.
“Now I feel foolish. I could have sworn you were attracted to me.”
“I am. I’m bisexual, and you are quite a striking human.”
“Human. You make me sound like I’m another type of species,” Jeffrey said, resting his hand on his chest.
Alex shrugged. “Well, you are.”
Jeffrey grumbled. “We are not from two separate different worlds. We live on this one, side by side.”
“But we are separated, Jeffrey. Shifters and humans have lived segregated lives for a long time.”
“Not anymore. Countries around the world abolished the laws dividing us years ago. Shifters and humans have equal rights now.”
“True, but that doesn’t mean we are accepted completely in society. There are still haters out there.”
“Very few.” Jeffrey pointed an accusing finger at Alex. “That applies to both sides, Alex. Look at Ben.”
“So it’s because of these few narrow-minded haters you won’t go out with me on a date? Or is it that you’re seeing someone else?”
“No, I’m not seeing anyone. And I couldn’t care less what humans or shifters think. I do what I want when I want.”
“Okay, so then if you aren’t seeing anyone and you find me attractive, why won’t you go out on a date with me?”
Alex exhaled his breath languidly while he stared at Jeffrey’s lips. They began to throb under Alex’s heated gaze. Alex leaned forward as if he were about to kiss Jeffrey. Jeffrey pivoted his body so that he centered himself in the perfect position to welcome Alex’s full, sultry lips with his.
His heart jumped to his throat with anticipation. The two seconds that passed were electrifying and just when Jeffrey thought it would happen, Alex pulled away.
“Because I have no time in my life for a relationship right now, with my neighbor to top it all off.”
Jeffrey was irritated. “I’m not asking for a relationship. Don’t you think you’re jumping the gun? All I want is a date. Can’t you accept my invitation out for drinks and dinner?”
“Sure. Drinks and dinner sound good.” He lifted his hands in warning. “But just as friends, Jeffrey. I’m not interested in anything else.”
Jeffrey grinned smugly. “Sure, that sounds fair. How about tomorrow night? Why don’t you choose the place since I’m new to the area?”
“Deal? I’ll make reservations and call you with the details later today.” He took out his cell phone and asked, “What’s your number so I can text or call you?”
Jeffrey gave him his number and got Alex’s in the process. They would go out to dinner as friends, but that didn’t mean things would remain status quo for much longer after that.
The sexual attraction between them was super charged. It was more powerful than Alex’s will, and in the end, it would win out. Jeffrey had no doubt about that.
A charge of electricity traveled through Alex’s body the instant their lips merged. It made his heart stop, then start again, drumming uncontrollably.
When Jeffrey moved in closer, wrapping his arms around Alex’s neck, Alex let his salacious needs take him away. He slipped his tongue into Jeffrey’s, tasting the salty sweetness of his mouth.
Jeffrey teased his tongue with his and pressed his chest and body to his. Alex felt the bulge in his pants brush against his thigh, and he grunted, taking in a deep breath through his nostrils.
He pulled his mouth away, but still molded his body against his. “I want you so bad,” he murmured.
“Then take me inside,” rasped Jeffrey.
Alex cocked his brow and peered intensely into his eyes. He knew Jeffrey hadn’t had more than a glass of wine to drink tonight, so his senses and cognitive thoughts were operating without any of the inebriating effects of alcohol. But he still wanted to be sure Jeffrey understood what he meant. That he wanted to make love to him, and not just make out on the couch.
“Are you sure you want to have sex?” he asked.
Jeffrey nodded, gulping. Alex could hear his ragging heartbeat and see his quickened pulse through the vein on his neck that throbbed.
Alex scooped him into his arms and carried him up the stairs toward the front door. He estimated Jeffrey’s weight to be between one hundred and seventy to one hundred and eighty pounds. His shifter’s strength and build made the feat easy. He was capable of carrying three hundred pounds with little effort.
Jeffrey stared at the stairs. His mouth didn’t move, but the fear in his eyes spoke volumes. “Don’t worry. I won’t drop you,” Alex reassured him.
Jeffrey hugged Alex’s neck tightly and held on while Alex mounted the steps. When they got to the door, Alex said, “I will need you to unlock the door for me. The keys are in my pocket.”
“Okay.” Jeffrey stretched his arm downward and reached into Alex’s front pocket. Alex’s tight pants didn’t give him much room to rummage. He accidentally poked at Alex’s cock. It twitched as if it were excited to be getting some action so soon.
Alex took a deep breath to calm himself and whispered, “Hurry.”
Jeffrey frowned with concern. “If I’m so heavy, then put me down.”
“No, that’s not it. I can’t wait to fuck you is all.”
Jeffrey smiled, allowing his thick brows to waggle while an impish grin spread over his lips. He lifted the keys, jiggling them in the air. “I can’t wait until you fuck me, either.”
Alex bent forward slightly, enough so Jeffrey could stick the key in and unlock the door. It clicked open. Alex pushed it with his foot and waltzed inside. He set Jeffrey on the floor and turned to lock the door behind him.
When he turned around to face Jeffrey, he was delightfully surprised that Jeffrey was already undressing. He marveled at the sparse hair on his chest as Jeffrey unbuttoned his shirt.
Jeffrey paused a second and outlined Alex’s body with his gaze. “Aren’t you stripping, too?”
Alex laughed, his voice deeper than usual as it vibrated in his chest. “All right.” He wasted no time unbuttoning his shirt. There were too many buttons on it. Instead, he loosened two at the collar and one at the bottom and pulled the shirt up over his shoulders and head. He unzipped his pants and quickly shrugged them to the hardwood floor.
He was buck naked in less than three short breaths while Jeffrey was still attempting to finish unbuttoning his shirt. Alex used his abdominal muscles to keep his stomach flat. He wished he’d worked out this past year instead of letting himself go. But he promised himself he would start working out come tomorrow and get rid of his beer belly soon.
“It’s taking too long,” Alex complained as he moved closer, helping him strip.
Jeffrey peered down at his chest. He placed his hand on his right pec. “My God, you are so freakin’ amazing. You’re all muscle.” He marveled, trailing his inquisitive fingers across Alex’s chest and shoulders.
Alex shook his head and grunted. “I need to lose a few pounds.”
Jeffrey sighed. “No, you don’t. You’re perfect. So gorgeous.” He leaned in, kissing him on the lips. He’d apparently forgotten he hadn’t undressed completely.
Alex took charge multitasking. While he participated in the kiss, his hands inched down to unzip Jeffrey’s pants with one hand while with the other, he tugged off his shirt. His lips pressed against Jeffrey’s, feeling the heat from his mouth.
He freed Jeffrey’s cock and caressed it curiously. For a human, Jeffrey was well-endowed. His cock was erect and hard, ready for sex. He wrapped his hand around its wide girth. It twitched and stretched when he glided his hand back and forth over it. Jeffrey groaned, slipping his tongue deep into Alex’s throat and pulling him closer to his body.
If that didn’t show how much Jeffrey wanted this, Alex didn’t know what would. Yet he needed his verbal attestation just the same. It was a big step they were embarking upon. One they shouldn’t take too lightly or let their bodies take over control of fully.
Reaching down for the strength to pull away, he asked panting, “Are you sure you want to do this? We are kinda moving fast.”
Jeffrey frowned as if disappointed Alex had clicked the pause button. He fit the description “hot and bothered” perfectly. “Of course I want this. Why, are you having second thoughts?”
Alex gazed down at Jeffrey’s erect cock. Pre-cum glistened on its tip. “Hell no. I just want to make sure you’re sure.”
Jeffrey breathed. “Yeah, I’m sure. I want you to fuck me.”
Alex replied with a nod. He kissed him hard on the lips and then meshed his fingers with Jeffrey’s and guided him to his bedroom.