[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative Contemporary Paranormal Romance, MM, shape-shifter, HEA]
Marshall Donovan is a survivor of a shifter attack, but his life is in pieces. He’s barely able to rein in the animal that now shares his skin. Sooner or later, he’ll lose control of the panther constantly trying to claw its way out of him. Marshall’s life can’t get any worse, until his old attacker pays him a visit.
Werebear Alpha Jack Woods is on a hunt for the psychopath who hurt his family. Given a choice to pursue his enemy or save a complete stranger, Jack chooses the latter. Jack’s lived his entire life, accepting the fact he’ll never find his true mate. When he chances upon Marshall, bleeding and near death, he doesn’t hesitate to save him. Old enemies may come knocking at his door but the fight for Marshall’s soul and sanity, might just be the bigger battle.
“I’ll call you back,” Jack said.
His inner grizzly kept telling him something important was about to happen, although he didn’t know what yet. A scream came from inside the trailer, a sound no one else would hear because for some reason, Marshall chose to park his trailer far away from everyone else in the trailer park.
However, Jack couldn’t ignore the plea of help. The ideal situation was to let the two cats fight it out, so Jack could deal the killing blow to the victor, but something told him Marshall wasn’t involved with the Ripper Gang as he’d initially thought.
He still couldn’t figure out what so special about Marshall, but his grizzly was ready to deal some serious hurt, ready to come to Marshall’s rescue without a second thought. A quick look around his surroundings confirmed there were no nosy neighbors present, just him and the two panther shifters in that tiny space. Jack got out of his truck, slammed the door behind him. It was time to introduce himself.
* * * *
“You,” Marshall whispered, backing into the trailer wall. His heart raced as his mind flew back to the past, when he had foolishly decided to take a shortcut through the woods on his way back home, only to find three big, mean, and drunk shifters there.
“Gage,” the stranger said. Under the dim lights Marshall could see Gage didn’t look so good. Scars covered the right side of his face, neck, and more peeked from under his shirt. “Not glad to see me, Marshall? Shut the door behind you. Do it.”
Marshall swallowed, looked behind him. He could still get away, but how long before this monster caught up to him? There might be a predatory cat inside him now, but he read enough online to know shifters came in two blends, dominants and submissives. Marshall fell to the latter, because encountering other more aggressive shifters always frightened his inner animal.
Marshall shut the door and faced one of his attackers.
“Good boy. You would’ve had liked the outcome if you ran away from me. You see, playing catch turns me on.”
Even if you’re scared, don’t let him see that you are, he told himself. He forced himself to unlock his jaw, to speak.
“How’d you even know my name? To you and your friends, I’d only been entertainment for the night.” Marshall looked around the trailer but didn’t sense any other shifter. Just Gage. Relief filled him but only for a moment. One of them was already a handful. “Where’s your Alpha? Where’s the bastard who turned me into a freak?”
Gage surged to his feet, suddenly shoved him painfully against the wall. Shit. He must’ve said the wrong words. The dominant panther shifter planted a mean left hook to his ribs, made it difficult to draw air into his lungs. That knuckle, if possible, drew claws that tore easily at his shirt, then skin. He screamed as Gage pushed those claws further in.
“Gnash is dead. Everyone is, except me, and guess what? You and I? We’re going to be stuck together from now on because I have nowhere to go, no fucking cash. A psycho werebear Alpha is hunting me down, you understand?” Gage demanded, shaking his shoulder with his other hand.
Pain shot from the wound on his ribs as Gage pulled his clawed hand out. Marshall groaned, prayed to God this was some kind of horrible nightmare, but the agony from his injury was too real. Gage came here because he had nothing left? What about his feelings? Marshall supposed a bastard, a bully like Gage didn’t give a damn, and right now, he saw murder in Gage’s eyes. The panther shifter wouldn’t hesitate to finish the job, take over his trailer, and grab what little he had.
“If you kill me now, I can’t help you,” he said with a wheeze. Marshall couldn’t think past the pain. Shouldn’t his shifter healing be kicking in by now? His inner panther snarled, hated Gage, but Gage’s inner animal was bigger, deadlier, could reduce them to mincemeat without a second thought.
Gage released him. “You’re right. You’re more useful to me alive.”
Just that moment, the hinges of his trailer door creaked, then someone or something literally broke his door down and a terrifying growl gilled the tiny space.
“I’ve finally found you, Gage. Two cats holed in this little trailer like rats,” said a deep, growly voice.
Marshall pressed a hand to his wound and asked in a whisper, “Is that the psycho you mentioned who was hunting you down?”
“I’m counting to three. If you don’t come out now, I’m dragging you two kitties out.”
“Oh God,” he whispered, looking at Gage.
“Fuck this,” Gage said, walking away from him and right to the back of his trailer. He heard his bedroom window being forced opened a moment later.
Marshall painfully shut his eyes. God. He was done for.
“Please let him go after Gage, not me. Please,” he found himself muttering repeatedly like some kind of prayer.
Fat chance of that happening. The largest man he’d ever seen stepped inside his home. He was built like a footballer, probably stood over six-foot-plus and possessed the most startling pair of intense blue eyes Marshall had ever seen. He had short black hair and a beard. He swallowed. Even from here, he could see that underneath the massive shifter’s flannel shirt, there were old scars there, but something else alarmed him.
Instead of cowering away from his new monster, his inner panther was intrigued. Curious. What the hell’s happening to me? he wondered. His head started to spin, probably from the blood loss. Marshall felt himself collapse, expected to hit the floor any second, but he never did.
“Thanks for dinner,” Jack said, pulling up the blankets over Marshall in his bed. Fuck, but the lean, dark-haired, and brown-eyed kitty lying in his bed looked tempting. Perfect. Worse, Marshall looked so fuckable, only wearing one of Jack’s shirts, which fell all the way to Marshall’s knees. Jack should be arrested, put behind bars for what he wanted to do to Marshall.
His feelings for Marshall didn’t limit themselves to physical desire either. Jack could envision waking up each morning with Marshall’s body pressed close next to his and his cock buried inside Marshall’s ass. The two of them laughing over breakfast. Him driving Marshall to work. Spending the weekends together at the local park, watching movies and TV shows in his living room. Need surged through him like an electrical storm.
If Jack didn’t eject himself out of his room, he might wind up doing something they’d both regret. He rose, intending to leave, but Marshall grabbed his arm. Jack snarled softly in warning, but he should’ve known cats could be persistent, playful. Marshall ran his fingers up his forearm and lifted his face.
“Don’t look at me like that.”
“Like what?” Marshall asked, voice soft, eager. Shit. His dick pressed up against the zipper of his jeans. It seemed Jack could barely contain himself around his little cat. Not good at all. His brothers always looked up to him, admired his ability to reel in his grizzly, but what would they say now? Jack could hardly contain the lethal animal inside of him who, at the moment, understood only a few words.
Mate. Mine. Take. Own.
Those four words echoed inside of him repeatedly like the beat of savage drums that hurt his head.
“Like you want me to cross the line. Believe me, you don’t,” Jack managed to answer, although his voice came rough, barely human.
“Jack, what are you scared of?”
“You’re the one who should be afraid, little cat. For someone who claims to be a coward, you’re acting the exact opposite.” Jack gave Marshall’s chest a little shove, so Marshall ended up against the pillows. Jack only intended to give Marshall a little scare, but a purr came from Marshall’s lips. It didn’t help when Marshall licked at his lips, that mouth Jack wanted to ravish, along with Marshall’s sweet body.
He rolled on top of Marshall unthinkingly, caged Marshall’s body with his. Stop, his human half yelled at his grizzly. Marshall wasn’t ready for this, but all reason fled his mind when Marshall put his hands on his chest. Marshall’s shirt ripped. A rumble tore out of Jack’s chest.
“You did it now.”
“You’re the one who doesn’t understand. I want you, so much it hurts. You said so yourself, didn’t you? That we’re mates? Was that a lie?”
“Is that that a dare?” Jack used one hand, tore his old shirt off Marshall. The sound of ripping fabric sounded satisfying in his ears. He smirked as Marshall reached for the button of his jeans. “Aren’t you an eager cat.”
“Yes.” Marshall jerked the zipper of his pants open, but Jack caught his fingers, pressed them to his lips for a kiss.
“Don’t rush. I want to savor this, every inch of you.” Jack lowered his mouth to Marshall’s. This time, he didn’t hold back. Jack took Marshall’s mouth the way he intended to conquer his body, without apology. Marshall kissed him back, gripped his biceps hard enough to leave nail marks. That only riled his bear even further. He knew it. Marshall was a damn wild cat in bed.
He thrust his tongue down Marshall’s throat, only for Marshall to suck it down. Jack pulled away, pressed a kiss on the side of Marshall’s tender neck. He licked at Marshall’s pulse point, unsheathed his fangs to pierce a bit of skin, until blood flowed. Jack silently swore, lapped the blood away, and focused on giving his mate pleasure instead.
Jack left kisses down the line of Marshall’s chest, nipped at Marshall’s flat nipples, gave Marshall little bites. Reaching Marshall’s prick, he gave Marshall’s thickening cock a long lick, loved the way Marshall shuddered above him.
“Oh God, Jack.”
Jack took Marshall’s prick in his mouth, bobbed his head a few times, until Marshall cried out above him. Pulling his lips away from Marshall’s dick, Jack raised himself, kissed Marshall again, and made his mate taste himself on Jack’s tongue. He reached for Marshall’s shaft, gave it a few tugs and pulls.
Marshall groaned underneath him and exploded, spilling ropes of his cum onto his waiting hand. Seeing Marshall’s eyelids fluttering and his pupils blown made his inner grizzly roar.
“You’re mine.” He flipped Marshall on all fours.
“Do me. Take me,” Marshall murmured.
Jack opened the top drawer next to the bed, swiped the lube from the bottom. His own dick was at full length now. Jack needed release. He got off the bed, tugged off his pants and boxers, before positioning himself behind Marshall again. Uncapping the cap of the lube, he rubbed plenty into Marshall’s pink hole. He blew at it. Marshall moaned.