[The Stormy Glenn ManLove Collection: Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifter, MM, HEA]
As the only heir to the Harrington legacy, Tom Harrington always knew he'd have to step up one day and become the man his grandmother trained him to be. He just had no idea that there was a part of his family's legacy that he knew nothing about, nor had he been trained for. When he learns he's the next time keeper, he accepts it as part of being a Harrington. He just wished he knew what a time keeper was.
Lord Rogan Behr had served on the shifter council for ten years, far less than the other council members. When the new time keeper arrives, he quickly realizes that the sexy man is his mate. Unfortunately, he realized it too late to stop his bear from claiming the man. Now, he has a pissed off mate with more questions than he has answers.
When threats are made, Rogan does everything he can to protect his mate, but it's not enough. Tom and his friends are still attacked and Rogan is kidnapped. He can only hope that being a time keeper will keep his mate alive because living without Tom isn't something he plans to do. It would help if they could figure out who is after them.
Stormy Glenn is a Siren-exclusive author.
"Come sit with me, Thomas."
Thomas Archibald Harrington Butler smiled as he sat down on the bed next to his grandmother, taking the hand she held out to him. He frowned when he realized how frail it looked. He knew his grandmother was getting on in years, but she'd always been such a solid presence in his life, he guessed he never considered the fact that she might not be there one day.
"How are you feeling, Nana?"
Lady Sophia Francine Elizabeth Harrington patted his hand. "I'm feeling the cold a bit more this year, but other than that, I'm fine, Thomas. As healthy as I was the day I married your grandfather."
Tom wasn't sure about that, but he refused to burst his grandmother's bubble. "Mannford said you need to see me, that it was urgent."
"Have some tea, dear." Nana gestured to the silver tea set Mannford set down on the small table near the window. "It's Jubilee Mint, your favorite."
Tom got up and walked over to the table and made himself a cup of tea. He knew he wouldn't get any information out of his grandmother until she was damn good and ready to tell him. She always did things on her own timetable.
After fixing his tea just the way he liked it, Tom placed it on a small china saucer then carried it back over to the bed. He sat down, took a sip of his tea, then set it down on the nightstand next to his grandmother's bed.
"Now, what's this all about?"
He tried to get out to the family estate to see his grandmother at least once a week. They had a standing Sunday dinner date. This was Tuesday. Mannford, his grandmother's longtime butler, had called and said his grandmother needed to see him. He had driven right out to Harrington Hall.
Nana patted his hand again. "I've never spoken ill of your father, but I fear once I'm gone, he's going to try and wrest all of this away from you."
Tom sighed. "I know."
John Butler had charmed Francine Harrington while she was visiting Venice, Italy, convincing him of his love and devotion until he was able to rush her to the altar before her vacation ended. He'd flown home with her to the family estate a week later.
Her parents had been livid, or so Tom had heard. Not many people talked about that time in the Harrington family, or the controversy created when Francine had shown up with husband from a family no one had ever heard of before.
For the first couple of years, at least until Tom came along, John had played the devoted husband. Once Tom was born, and John's connection to the Harrington family was assured, his true colors began to show through. He'd been booted from the family by the time Tom was two years old. He'd been trying to get back in ever since.
"I know what my father is, Nana." A conniving, money grubbing, rat bastard. "You don't have to sugar coat it for me."
"I want you to be careful. Your father will stop at nothing to get your inheritance."
Tom nodded. "I know." He had no doubt whatsoever that his father would do everything within his power to get his hands on the Harrington money. There was a lot of it, not to mention a couple of estates and the title that came with the family legacy.
Nana smiled as she patted his hand again. "It's time for me to go be with your grandfather, Thomas. I miss him."
Tom's heart lurched. "No, Nana." Tears prickled the corners of his eyes. "I don't want you to go."
"It's time, Thomas. I've stayed because you needed me, but you're a young man now, soon to be twenty-five. You don't need me anymore."
"I'll always need you."
Nana smiled. "And I'll always be with you." She pointed to a small silver box she always kept on her dresser. "Bring me my silver jewelry box, Thomas."
Thomas got up and walked over to grab the small box. He carried the box back over to his grandmother, setting it in her hands as he sat down on the side of the bed.
She opened the box and pulled out the small strand of pearls. "You know your grandfather gave these pearls to me on our wedding day."
Thomas nodded. He'd heard the story. The small necklace had been a present to her from her husband on their wedding day, the only thing he could afford at the time. He'd seen her wear them from time to time, but she had much more extravagant jewelry she wore to social functions.
"I expect you to give these to your daughter one day."
Tom smiled. "I will." Assuming he had a daughter one day. His grandmother was quite aware that he was gay, but apparently that wasn't a problem in her mind. He knew he needed to pass on the Harrington name.
Nana pulled something else out of the box, something Tom had seen in passing, but had never given too much thought to. "This was your grandfather's watch. It was given to him by his father, who received it from his father, and so on and so on, back six generations. You'll be the seventh generation to receive it."
"Your grandfather would have given it to you himself when you turned twenty-five if he'd been able to, but that responsibility passed on to me when your grandfather died. I'm not actually supposed to give it to you until your birthday, but I wanted to make sure you received it before I passed and the vultures descended."
Tom had been just five years old when his grandfather passed. His memories of the man was fleeting at best. He remembered a large man with horn-rimmed glasses who was always studying his ancient books, but took time out to laugh and eat cookies with his only grandchild.
"This watch is very important, Thomas." She hit the lock button and the pocket watch snapped open.
Thomas frowned as he glanced down at the old pocket watch. It was old, the brass faded. Even the chain it hung by seemed ancient. The face of the watch was an usual design he'd not seen before. One big watch hand in the middle with four smaller ones set at three, six, nine, and twelve.
The other side of the had an odd design on it. It looked sort of like a large gear with a bunch of smaller gears inside of it. There was a big white circle set right in the middle. It looked as if it was made of pearl or opal. The strangest part of all of it were the golden wings that came out of the middle circle and fanned out across the entire thing.
"No matter what happens, you can never let your father get his hands on it. It would mean the end of everything we hold dear. That's why I'm giving it to you now instead of on your birthday. You must guard this watch at all costs, Thomas. It's the key to the world."
She pressed the watch into his hand. Tom hissed when he felt a burning sting in the palm of his hand. He jerked his hand back then frowned when he glanced down at it and saw a red welt in the same design as the one on the back of the watch.
"You are now the time keeper, Thomas."
"May I kiss you?"
Rogan seemed to be peering at him intently, making Tom's heart turn over in response. Tom nodded, his feelings too overwhelming to verbally reply, but something in Rogan's manner soothed him.
Tom's calm was shattered when Rogan traced his lips with his tongue before covering his mouth hungrily. Rogan's moist, firm mouth demanded a response. The kiss quickly turned urgent and exploratory, sending spirals of ecstasy through Tom.
He was a little shocked at his eager response to the touch of Rogan's lips against his. They were supposed to be taking this slow, dating and getting to know each other. All Tom could think about was what that long, thick cock pressed against his abdomen would feel like pounding into his ass.
Tom broke away from Rogan's mouth and moaned when the man grabbed a handful of his ass. He arched closer, needing more friction, more pressure, more...something. "Oh, please."
"What do you need, baby?"
Tom wasn't sure he could put it into words so he reached down and palmed Rogan's cock. Rogan bucked against him before groaning.
"Be sure you know what you're asking, Tom." Rogan's words were steel hard, but there was a slight tremor to the tone. "If I take you, I'm keeping you."
At the moment, that sounded pretty damn good.
Rogan fisted his hand in Tom's hair and yanked his head back until their eyes met. There was something feral in Rogan's eyes, something that made Tom want to tilt his head back and offer himself up to the powerful man.
"I will keep you, Tom. I will kiss you and touch you and fuck you whenever and wherever I want, and I won't ask permission first. You will be mine. My mate. Do you understand?"
Blood pounded in Tom's brain, leapt to his heart, and made his knees tremble as his emotions whirled and skidded. The very air around him seemed electrified, as if it too was waiting for Tom's response.
Tom licked his lips then whispered the words that he knew would change his life forever. "I understand."
He was totally unprepared for the response his words would garner. Rogan growled. Hard, searching lips slammed down on his, stealing his breath. He didn't even notice that Rogan was working his shirt off until the man pulled his shirt off over his head. His pants and shoes quickly followed until he stood in the man's arms in all his naked glory.
His heart thumped erratically and a hot ache grew in his throat. Rogan made no attempt to hide the fact that he was watching Tom's every move.
Tom felt the strength of Rogan's hands as they cupped his ass and squeezed then lifted him up. When they reached the bed, Rogan followed him down as he laid him on the mattress. Tom's body tingled from the contact of his skin against the fabric of Rogan's clothes.
Tom's fingers ached to touch Rogan, but he didn't know what was allowed so he decided to just go with what felt right. Rogan continued to watch him as he reached up and unbuttoned his shirt then pushed it from his shoulders.
Rogan shrugged it off then leaned down to claim Tom's lips again. Tom eagerly opened his mouth and allowed the man in, going for the buttons and zipper on the man's pants at the same time. He wanted Rogan naked more than he wanted his next breath.
He had no idea why he was giving into this whole mate claiming thing so quickly. Logically, he knew he shouldn't be. All he could think was that it felt right to him. Every touch, every press of skin, every brush of Rogan's lips against his own, all of it felt right. Something was settling deep inside of him with each sweet caress.
Tom groaned and arched up when Rogan's lips latched onto his nipple. It was such a simple thing, but it drove him insane. His arousal skyrocketed, his cock hardening to steel.
Rogan's hot breath blew out across his skin as he whispered, "You feel so good, baby."
Tom didn't think he could verbalize how Rogan felt, his strong muscular body pressing him down into the mattress. There just weren't words invented in the English language to describe the utter bliss that shattered Tom's calm.
It was a feeling he eagerly accepted.
Tom cried out when Rogan moved down his body. The man lavished Tom's skin with his tongue, his teeth nipping here and there. Anticipation built in Tom until he felt as if he was poised on the precipice of something momentous.
Spots formed in front of Tom's eyes when Rogan's lips closed around the head of his cock. He'd had blow jobs before, but never like this. When Rogan sucked the entire length of his cock down his throat, Tom was pretty damn sure the man was trying to suck his soul out through his dick. He could have it as long as he never stopped doing what he was doing.
"Rogan," Tom gasped when two slick fingers speared his ass.
He had no idea where Rogan had gotten the lube, because he didn't keep any at his grandmother's house and he hadn't had the time to bring any here from his apartment.
He also didn't remember his lube being so warm or so smooth. It felt as if Rogan's fingers were wrapped in liquid silk. Heated liquid silk.
When Rogan moved up to kneel between his legs, grabbing his cock and moving it toward him, Tom held out a hand. "Lube, what did you do with the lube?"
They seriously needed more lube.
Rogan's wide grin confused him.
"I am a shifter, baby, and you are my mate."