[Menage Amour ManLove: Alternative Menage a Quatre Paranormal Romance, MMMM, shape-shifter, vampires, werewolves, HEA]
Coven leader Cain Windgate was aware he had a mate on the farm where members of his coven wanted to relocate. He didn’t know how a mate would fit into his orderly life. And if there was more than one? All he could envision was a future of chaos. When he arrived on the farm to discuss members of his coven desiring to move there, he finally learned their numbers and their identities. There were three of them. Three mates with distinctly different personalities. Not one of them was a vampire, someone who would know that vampires were governed by strict rules, none of which included adding sparkles to anything. There was Chance Harding, a werewolf that had once been human. Then there was Larson Brekken, a brown bear shifter who loved to stir up trouble. And, lastly, there was Pebin Xavier Muldoon, a fairy with a love for all things shiny. Nope, not a vampire among them.
The changes Chance’s life had taken during the past few years had been significant. One moment he’d been a human living a homeless existence. The next moment some crazy-ass witch had found him where he’d been tucked in what was left of a cardboard box, changed him into an actual seven-foot-tall werewolf with fangs and gnarly claws, and then forced him to participate in an attack on the people living on the farm. It had been horrific. He had been unable to resist her, and his heart had broken when he had caused the deaths of several people.
Once the battle was over, Chance had been captured. At the time he would have preferred to have been killed. He didn’t want to be a werewolf. He also felt as if he needed to pay for his part in the attack and the many deaths. Guilt rode him hard for the longest time. It wasn’t eased by the help he was given by the survivors. While he’d been held in a secure cell for months, he had eventually been released. Before that had happened, however, Chance had been taught how to change back to human and how to control the shifting.
Life had been fairly normal since then. Well, as normal as it could be for him. He had a place to live, plenty of food, and he was slowly making friends. What he hadn’t expected was to find mates. Having them was not something he wanted. It was difficult enough to keep his shit together. He didn’t want to have to worry about the needs of others.
One mate was Larson, a brown bear shifter from Minnesota. He had come to the farm as a land manager. He would help take care of the forests that surrounded it and were owned by Ian. They had met while Chance had been on patrol through those same forests. Larson had been excited about finding his mate, Chance had been less so. Hell, his excitement could have been read in the negative. While they were mates, they hadn’t made a physical consummation. Chance refused to allow Larson to claim him. It was something he expected to piss the bear shifter off, but the man seemed to take everything in stride. It took a lot to piss him off and Chance had only seen it once, when Larson had asked Chance to move in with him and Chance had initially refused. When Larson hadn’t been able to convince him, he’d sworn, shifted into his bear, and then proceeded to have a tantrum, ripping up grass with his long claws and trying to push over small trees.
After that display, Chance had decided not to be a total dick. He agreed to move in with Larson, but that was it, for now. At some point he knew they would share bites and blood, confirming their mating. Until then, he felt he had to give Larson something.
The two of them had managed to get along well enough for several months. They hadn’t had sex yet, although he was attracted to the big, muscular man. Larson rang every one of his bells. Chance was actually considering completing the mating, if only to end his perpetual horniness. Then along came Pebin. The fairy was charming, sweet, loveable, and completely annoying. He had been visiting some cousins who lived on the farm, when they had discovered they were mates. Once again, Larson was completely happy to have a second mate. Chance was the complete opposite. Larson was strong and fully capable of taking care of himself. Pebin, on the other hand, was so small and fragile, he appeared as if a hard stare would break him in half.
Nope, Chance couldn’t do it. He couldn’t claim Pebin for a mate. Being responsible for the fairy’s well-being was just too much for him. Thankfully, Pebin seemed to be on the same page. He didn’t want a werewolf and a bear shifter for mates. Fairies mated with fairies. He also didn’t want to live on the farm. It was boring. But he wouldn’t mind someone kicking his brothers’ asses and was also trying to find a way to convince Chance to do it. Yeah, the guy was adorable, and as funny as he was annoying.
That was the scene the vampire had witnessed. Yet another attempt by Pebin to get Chance to go along with his plan to take his brothers down a notch or two, while Larson, the jerk, looked on and even encouraged their little mate.
“Oh, fuck no!” Chance and the vampire both shouted it. They were obviously equally horrified.
It seemed neither of them wanted three mates. The vampire would know that if Chance was his mate, then the other two were as well. Or any mates. Chance was going home and locking himself in his bedroom, before another mate popped out of the woodwork.
“Go away,” Chance told him before stomping away toward the farm.
“It’s late. Come back tomorrow.”
“No. I want to have sex now. I’m not waiting.”
Sex didn’t sound like a bad idea. The fairy was his mate. It certainly wouldn’t be wrong for Cain to take him up on his offer. However, did he really want to take on the challenges of mating the imp? He’d already seen the trouble Pebin seemed to want to get himself into. Lassoing a werewolf, meaning to take the creature back to the fairy realm so he could have the werewolf kick his brothers’ asses, was probably only a hint at the trouble the fairy was capable of.
Liking his orderly life as it was, and knowing it was close to an end, Cain shook his head. “Come back tomorrow.”
There was a lot of swearing and banging on the window. Cain grinned as he left the bathroom and turned off the light. A shower could wait. He wasn’t ready to go to bed yet. Learning he had three mates had a way of keeping a person awake. The knowledge was slightly overwhelming, when he’d only expected to have a pair of mates at the most.
Pebin followed Cain around the house, knocking on the windows of whatever room Cain happened to be in at that moment. Once he was in the hallway between the foyer and stairs, and away from any windows, he disseminated, reappearing behind Pebin as he peered through the living room window. His small feet were above the ground as he hovered, his wings beating fast enough to create a breeze.
Cain reached out. “Gotcha!”
Pebin screamed. His wings disappeared, and he dropped right into Cain’s hands. The fairy couldn’t have weighed much more than a hundred pounds. Perhaps a few more, but not by much.
“Oh, bloody hell! What did you do that for?” Pebin demanded breathlessly as he wiggled around enough so that they were facing each other. “I think my heart’s stopped.”
Obviously, Cain had a little drama queen for a mate. He chuckled and shook his head. “I can hear it beating quite clearly. Now, why haven’t you gone home?”
Folding his arms across his chest, which seemed an indicator of when things weren’t going Pebin’s way, he stared hard at Cain. “My brothers won’t let me in the house. They threw all of my stuff outside and told me to go find somewhere else to live.”
Trying not to laugh, Cain set Pebin on his feet. The top of his head barely reached the center of Cain’s chest. Because he knew something about fairies, he knew that once the eldest reached maturity, they were encouraged to go out on their own and search for their mates. They were meant to live on their own and procreate. Breeding for fairies was a very serious matter.
“I’ve already been told that you don’t want mates. So, why are you begging to come in with me, when you know very well what will happen if you do so?”
“Well, I might as well. It’s that or ask the clan’s leader for a place to stay.” A small hand waved in the direction of the house behind him. “And why should I do that with this nice house already occupied by my mate?” He frowned. “Do you think we could get some shiny glass stones to put on it and plant some vining flowers to grow over it? It’s very bare.”
Fairies loved to decorate their homes. They loved color, too. Pebin hadn’t suggested painting over the gray house with the black trim. Yet.
“Pebin,” Cain said gently. “I don’t live here. I will only be on the farm for a few days. I’m participating in a meeting. Then I will be returning to Boston.”
The fairy’s small nose wrinkled. “I’ve been to Boston. It’s crowded. I don’t want to live there. You have to stay here.” The plump lower lip poked out into a pout.
It was a good thing he was a patient vampire. Cain managed to not show his mate his fangs, which he would have done had anyone else challenged him. “You’re heading for a spanking, mister.”
Pebin’s jaw dropped, and his gorgeous green eyes nearly popped out of his head as he gaped at Cain. “You wouldn’t,” he whispered in disbelief.
“I would. So don’t challenge me. Now, come inside.”
“We’ll mate?” Pebin asked eagerly, dancing beside Cain as they went to the front door.
As they did so, Cain felt something strange, as if he was being watched. He didn’t turn and look. If someone was watching him, he didn’t want them to know he was aware of it. When he could get away from Pebin, he would go out to search. Cain doubted either Ian or Malcolm was having him watched. There was no need and they knew it.
Once they were inside, Cain made a point of closing the blinds. They were remote controlled, and once Pebin realized this, he snatched the control from his hand and began opening and closing all of the drapes in the room. Shaking his head, Cain took the control back and closed the blinds, preventing anyone from seeing inside. Then he took the batteries out of the remote. Unfortunately, he had to do that in several rooms, which caused Pebin to begin his pouting again.
Wanting to prove to the fairy that he would keep his word, Cain caught hold of him by his dainty wrist and pulled him to where he sat down on the bed. Pebin squealed in outrage as he was placed face down over Cain’s thighs and his stretchy, colorful leggings were yanked away from his shapely little ass.
Cain didn’t waste any time. His hand connected with Pebin’s ass cheek as he continued to shriek and make outrageous threats, most of which pertained to feeding Cain’s balls to a hungry dragon.