Kaden tucked his body into the corner of the cage, trying to look relaxed and harmless. The doctor peered inside. Come on, Doc. Open the door, Kaden thought as he prepared to pounce.
Knowing eyes read everything. Kaden narrowed his eyes. He always hated that look.
“I see,” the doctor said. “Don’t worry. I won’t drug you.” He placed the needle down.
“What are you doing?” Theo asked.
“Reasoning with him.”
“Doc sees it, too. He’s not a wild beast,” Zander said.
“You two haven’t really seen the cat. It claws and growls at anyone that gets near it. The animal smells of urine and is not allowed out until it’s been bathed.”
“Hear that?” Doc said to him. “Won’t you shift back and get cleaned? You can’t stay like that.”
He hissed. Damn, the man saw the truth. No way was he going to shift in front of all these people, even if they knew he could.
“What are you doing?” the muscled warrior said.
Dumb. All the strong, handsome ones were. Even now, he couldn’t see the truth.
“This isn’t a cat, but a cat shifter.”
“Like hell it is. It’s an angry beast.”
Kaden growled and hissed. He threw his body at the cage door.
“Knock it off,” the muscle man ordered. The tone threatened him. He turned to the doctor. “I see your point.” He stared straight into his eyes. “I’m going to open the door and you’re going to walk out and behave.”
Kaden shook his head. He wasn’t an animal. No one controlled him.
“Is there a way to force him to shift back?”
“If I drug him, he’ll revert to his true form.”
“If he doesn’t come out in three minutes, then do it.”
Zander leaned over. “Won’t you come out? Look, I’ll put a towel in the bathroom. If you come out, no one will stop you from walking into the bathroom and washing off all that dirt. How about it?” Zander tugged at the cage door. “It’s a lot better than being drugged. No one will bother you as you clean.” He turned to look at Theo. “Right?”
“Fine, as long as he doesn’t smell,” the warrior said.
He looked at the warrior and hissed. He might be big and sexy, but that didn’t mean he’d let his guard down.
“I won’t bother you. If you clean up, the smell won’t turn my stomach and I’ll leave you be. For now.”
Kaden didn’t mind the stench, but that didn’t mean he wanted to stay dirty. He was fast at shifting, so if one of these people bothered him, then he’d just shift back.
The door opened.
He hobbled out of the cage on a sore front paw. It throbbed, but he tried to pass it off as being no big deal. Those bastards had yanked on it to read the chip.
“My name’s Theo.” The man gave him a sympathetic look and Kaden hissed in response.
The anger at having to put up with a cat disappeared and the warrior laughed. If Kaden were human, his face would be bright red. He narrowed his eyes, arched his back and readied his body to pounce.
“Kitten, go get clean before I’m forced to shove you in the tub myself.”
“Kitten”? Where the hell had that come from? He’d rather be called “cat.” He darted toward the bathroom. Once inside, he turned to look at the door, ready for the trap, but no one followed him in. The door shut instead. He waited a minute to make sure no one charged in and hurt him before transforming back into human form.
After two weeks trapped in cat form, his legs and arms ached. Every muscle felt like thousands of pins pierced into them. He fought back the tears. When he stretched to loosen up, pain ripped down his back. He wasn’t supposed to stay in shifted form for that long and he was feeling it now.
“I don’t hear anything,” Theo’s voice yelled from the other room.
“Up yours,” Kaden answered back. His ass sat on the cold floor and without his fur, he shivered. He reached for the door, but it didn’t lock.
“Get your naked ass in the shower or I’ll come in and scrub your skin.”
A part of Kaden wanted to challenge that threat. He imagined those strong hands all over his body, rubbing at his dirt-covered skin. His eyes widened at his chain of thoughts. It was not going to happen. He wouldn’t let it.
“The door won’t lock.” The enclosed shower space was too dangerous, and right now, he was naked without skin-tearing claws.
“Kitten, no one will come in there. Now stop wasting time and get your ass cleaned.”
He huffed. No trying to console him. Only an order that, strangely, he followed. It had nothing to do with the deep, commanding tone. But there were only so many lies Kaden could tell himself and believe. He bit down hard, realizing he wanted to be owned by the sexy warrior. Could life get any worse? Oh wait, he still had both ears and eyes, along with all of his limbs and a cock that responded to the warrior that wanted to keep him, but for how long? Soon, he would be abandoned and living on the street again.
“You can touch me.”
That seemed to surprise him. Kaden stared at his hands. Theo cocked his head, not sure what the man was looking for. Then, slowly, Kaden reached forward and touched the side of his face.
Theo relaxed into the touch. Fingers rubbed down his cheek.
“You’re so strong.”
The honesty surprised them both. Kaden pulled back like the words burned him.
“With all my strength, I’ll protect you.”
Green eyes turned sad. “No one stays around long enough. Soon you’ll be gone and all I’ll have are meaningless words.”
“No. Soon, you’ll trust me.”
Kaden snorted. “Not possible, because you’ll be gone.”
The utter lack of faith left him speechless. This man didn’t believe that anyone would stick around. It said a lot about his personality. He acted out to chase people away before they left him. Overcoming that mistrust and the wall between them was going to take time, but a warrior never gave up. Not when his heart was on the line.
It was time to show Kaden just how much the man meant to him. He leaned down and nuzzled his mate’s neck. His tongue licked downward over one of the dark lines on his skin. Kaden’s hands rested over his mouth, muffling the erotic moans. Theo lifted his head and smiled. Kaden’s pale flesh was bright red.
“Let me hear you, kitten.”
Kaden shook his head. He balled his fists ready to fight. Something about his reaction made him sad. Instead of arguing, he leaned down and whispered into his mate’s ear. “Do you want me to stop?” He blew softly and was rewarded with a gasp. Soon, he’d hear more delicious sounds. “I can’t hear you.”
Kaden moved his hands away from his mouth. Theo hovered over him. “I want more.” He licked his lips and moved closer to Theo.
That’s all he needed. With his hand, he grabbed Kaden’s wrists and pinned them to the bed as he attacked each nipple. This time, soft cries told him how much his mate like the attention.
“This part is very sensitive.” He took one in between his lips a gently pressed down.
“Is that bad?” Kaden asked, trying to catch his breath.
Theo saw the nervousness on the other man’s face. He was terrified of being rejected. “Bad? No, kitten. Let me hear what you like. Cry out and scream for more. Let the world know how much you like my touch.”
“Then don’t stop.”
As if that was a possibility. If Kaden wanted this, he was going to make sure his mate felt how much he wanted him, too. A part of him questioned if sex was too soon, but they were meant to be and if he turned back now, Kaden would feel rejected.
“Your body loves my touch.” He licked down the markings on his mate’s skin. There were less on his belly than his back, but he found each one and lovingly caressed them with his tongue. Kaden pushed his hips up. “Is that were you want to be touched? Do you want my fingers to wrap around your cock or my tongue to lick it? Tell me, kitten. Which do you prefer?”
Kaden shook his head. He bit down as Theo continued the lick his stomach. His hands wrapped in Theo’s hair and tried to push his head down to his cock, but that was the easy way out. No, his mate would tell him which he preferred. There would be no guessing.
“I see. Don’t worry. If you don’t want your cock touched or sucked, I won’t touch it.”
“No,” his mate cried out, but he continued down Kaden’s body. When Theo reached his shaft, he spread his mate’s legs and leaned down to kiss the inside of his thighs, completely ignoring the hard cock.
“Please,” Kaden begged.
Theo stopped his assault. “Do you want me to stop?”
“No. Suck my cock. Please suck it.”
He knew Kaden could do it. With those words, he’d give the cat shifter what he was begging for. Theo hovered over the hard shaft and licked the tip. “I hope I’m as good as your own sucking.”
Kaden turned his head away in embarrassment. He’d be embarrassed, too, if he had admitted to sucking his cock in shifted cat form.
“Let me know if this is as good as your tongue.” He slid down over the veins toward the nest of hair. He nipped at the heavy balls and nuzzled them.
Kaden hissed and moaned, too far gone to try to hide his desire.
“Tell me, kitten. I know you suck your cock, but do you finger your ass?”
He rubbed at the opening. His mate shook his head. Then, without warning, he pushed the finger inside. “I’m going to fuck you long and hard. Is that what you want?”
The honesty was refreshing. “Do you want to bend over for it? Or do you want to stay on your back with legs spread open for me?”
Kaden’s skin flushed even redder.
Theo sucked his mate’s cock as he waited for a response.