The Continuation of Scott and Damien’s story
Scott raced down the driveway, his bike at full throttle. Usually he took a lot more care; there were children living in the pack after all. But today there were no balls bouncing over the driveway, no children playing on the swings. As he came around the corner, the pack lands spread out in front of him. He could see a huge crowd around the challenge circle; picking Damien out of the crowd was easy. Fuck, it must be a challenge.
Without thinking about the state of the grass, he bounced his bike off the driveway and rode across in a straight line towards his mate. People jostled each other to get out of his way, but Scott’s eyes were fixed firmly on Damien. A very spiffy looking Damien. What the hell is going on?
Bringing his bike to a sudden stop, just outside the ringed stones, he flung himself off, reaching Damien’s side in seconds. “What the hell is going on?” he whispered, aware of strangers listening in. “Who are all these people?”
“Smile babe, this is your Alpha Mating Ritual day.”
“You…you…my what?” A quick glance around the crowd showed everyone was in their finest clothes. “I’m not even dressed right,” he snarled. Damien smiled, pulling him close.
“Stop blocking me,” Scott heard faintly as Damien nuzzled his wind tossed hair.
Block? Oh right. Scott opened their mind link, prepared to give Damien the dressing down of his life. Their bond was handy for that type of thing; not wanting to disrespect his mate in public after all. But as he did, as his connection with Damien opened all he heard was I did all this for you. All these people. Alphas from every pack bar two. They are all here to hear me say how much I love you and what you mean to me. Don’t be mad.
Mongrel asshole. You didn’t even ask me.
I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.
I’ve got nothing prepared, I won’t know what to say.
Speak from your heart. I know you won’t let me down.
“Asshole.” Scott took one more lungful of Damien’s Christmas cake scent and stepped back. “He’s an asshole, right? You’d think he’d ask me first. But no, the Almighty Damien doesn’t work that way.”
The crowd laughed. Scott saw Troy standing just outside the ring giving him the thumbs up; the men from Cloverleah standing by his side. He smiled when he saw his dad shaking his head. Yeah, Damien would be getting some flak from him later too. Nodding his head to Shaman Paulo, who was hovering a safe distance away, the respected man came forward.
“Am I to understand Damien didn’t ask you if you wish to be joined this way?”
“He didn’t, but then as he said, it would spoil the surprise. And I’m surprised,” Scott laughed. “Look at me; I’m not even dressed for the occasion.” He indicated his leather jacket, mud-splattered jeans and boots.
“It’s what’s in the heart that counts, not how you’re dressed.” Shaman Paulo’s smile was kind and Scott relaxed. All the people, the planning that would have gone into arranging leaders from every pack to all be here to witness their mating. Only Damien would do something so over the top.
“Let’s do this then.” Scott wanted to hear what Damien had to say. He remembered joking with Troy about writing his vows for him before he’d got to know the complex man Fate tied him too.
Standing across from Damien now, their hands clasped, Scott imagined to anyone else, his mate would look as he always did. Intimidating; his gray eyes missing nothing. But Scott could see and feel so much more. His mate had worked hard for this day because…because…Scott’s body blossomed under the love he could feel running through their link.
You really know how to make a guy feel special.
Not hard to do when it’s for someone as special as you.
“We have come together today to witness the Alpha mating ceremony between Damien, Alpha of San Antonio pack and Scott, beta from Cloverleah. This is not something that is undertaken lightly as this is a bond blessed by the Fates, unable to be broken by any other person, shifter or wolf. Therefore, I have to ask before I start is there any person present who objects to this union and would fight Scott for his right to join with Damien.”
Damien’s eyes widened and Scott realized his mate didn’t remember this aspect of a mating ritual. With Damien as the leading Alpha of his pack anyone could deem Scott unfit to rule by his side and any fight would be to the death to break their true mate bond. He was glad he didn’t have his suit on.
There was a rustle in the crowd and then a shout rang out. “I object.”
“Who are you and what is the basis of your objection?” Shaman Paulo’s power shimmered around the circle. “These two men are true mates and have been claimed for some time. What is the basis of your claim on Damien?”
“I don’t have a claim on Damien and I don’t want one.” The man who stepped forward was about six foot tall, broad shouldered and thick thighed. Scott felt he could probably take him if the need arose. “My name is Ben Morgan, Alpha of Wyoming. I demand this ceremony be stopped. It’s a travesty that mocks shifter laws and the morals of decent shifters everywhere.”
“I’m not sure what you mean.” Shaman Paulo seemed to get bigger somehow. “Damien is the Alpha of this pack. Scott is his true mate. There’s no law that states this union can’t take place.”
“They’re men!” Morgan said as though that was explanation enough. When Shaman Paulo just glared at him he added, “Shifter law requires an alpha to take a mate who will provide him with heirs. This Beta can’t do that.”
“Shifter law states no such thing,” Shawn stepped forward. “As a shifter guardian true mated to an alpha myself, I can assure you that true mates come in all sizes, species and orientations and they are all blessed by the Fates.”
“You lie!” Morgan’s eyes blazed and his fists were clenched. Damien was growling, the hair on his arms thickening. Kane didn’t look much better. Scott stepped forward, unwilling to see a fight.
“That’s fine, if you want to challenge me, that is. I have no doubt I can take you. I know my way around a fight, but before we start Morgan, are you mated?”
“Of course and I have six sons to carry my name.”
“You must be very proud of your lovely wife. Is she your true mate?”
“No. My marriage was arranged by my father and we’ve been happy for more than twenty years. That’s the way things have always been done in our pack.” Morgan held himself stiffly.
“Again, I am very pleased for you. She’s not going to object if you win the fight against me and have to mate with Damien?”
“What shit are you spewing now?” Morgan’s appalled face would have had Scott in stitches if the situation wasn’t so dire. “I have no intention of lying with a man and I definitely don’t want to be Alpha mate of a pack when I am already Alpha of my own.”
“Then why did you object? The Shaman clearly said, and you can correct me if I’m wrong here,” Scott smiled at Shaman Paulo whose lips twitched in response, “that he wanted to know if anyone objects to this union and would fight me for the right to join with Damien. That’s the only grounds for objection. Your outdated beliefs on who should share a bed with whom has nothing to do with this.”
“I am objecting to this on moral grounds. Damien is known as America’s oldest and strongest shifter. His lineage should live on in his heirs. He can’t have children if he binds himself to you.”
“I see. And the fact that we’re true mates and already double claimed has nothing to do with this.”
“Again, I’d call you a liar. A true mating can only exist between a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation to better the pack. That’s the way it’s always been.”
“You do agree that when a true mate couple claim each other, the resulting scar is proof enough of this to any shifter?”
“Of course, everyone knows a shifter can only scar from a claiming bite if given by a true mate.”
“I thought so. Don’t go getting possessive on me, honey,” Scott winked at Damien as he slid off his jacket and dropped it off the ground. He made to pull up his t-shirt and Damien grabbed him and pushed him behind him.
“I’m only taking my shirt off. Geeze, it’s not as though Morgan hasn’t seen a naked chest before. We’re all paranormals here.” Scott nimbly by-passed his mate’s bulk, pulling off his shirt as he did. “There,” he said pointing to the mating scar he wore with pride. “Can you imagine any wolf other than Damien leaving a bite this size?”
“That’s just not possible.” Morgan’s face paled. “True mates are men and women. It’s what my father told me and his father before him. It’s the core to our way of life.”
“Not possible?” Troy whipped off his shirt as he came to stand by Scott’s side. “I’m sick and tired of people saying something’s impossible. I’m mated to that big assed fucker over there.” he pointed to Anton, looking imposing in black as usual, a faint smirk on his hard face. “Look at my scar.”
“And me, with him.” Griff strolled over, his tattoos gleaming in the sun as he took off his shirt. “My mate’s the pretty blond. I wouldn’t call him a woman if you know what’s good for you.”
“Shit, if I knew we were going to get naked, I wouldn’t have bothered putting on a suit.” Kane wrestled with his tie. “Alpha of Cloverleah, mated to our only shifter guardian. Did you want to see my scar too?” His shirt joined the heap on the ground, the pale ridge of his scar glinted in the sun.
“I don’t have a scar,” Claude yelled out. “My mate gave me a tattoo, but Poseidon will show you his if you ask nicely. And yes, before you ask, that is the Poseidon god of the sea. He’s mine.” He grinned down at Poseidon who was watching the proceedings with interest.
“So you see,” Scott said, proud of his friends. “We’re not an anomaly, not freaks of nature or deviants or any other hateful thing I can see itching to drop from your lips. My mate, the Almighty Damien as he is known, arranged this day for me, and invited all of you to help stop the discrimination and hatred that still occurs in packs today thanks to narrowminded attitudes. These scars, and there are many worn by a lot of men here today, are proof that the Fates have given their blessing to our unions. Love is love and provided your consenting adults it doesn’t matter where you find it. Now if you don’t mind, my mate has arranged this ritual for us and if no one else objects, I’d like to get on with it. He pissed me off before breakfast and I’m hungry. But then mates do that, as I’m sure you’ll find out one day.”
Reaching for his t-shirt, Scott was stopped by Damien’s growl. “You won’t need that,” Damien promised as his friends cleared the circle, hustling the still pale Morgan with them. “After the ceremony, we get to have a wedding night.”
“It’s only lunchtime.”
Laughing, Scott ran into Damien’s arms, his mate’s suit smooth against his chest. “Make sure you feed me first.”
“Now we’ve got that silly little matter sorted out,” Shaman Paulo addressed the pair once they were back in position again, “I’d like to ask Damien to address the crowd and explain his reasons for choosing Scott above all others.”
Damien took a deep breath, settling the butterflies in his stomach. He’d hosted thousands of meetings, met with millions of people over the course of his life. But the words he said next were the most important he’d ever spoken. “Most of you know me as a hardass,” he started, not bothering to raise his voice. It was if the wind itself had stopped moving to hear his words. “That was always deliberate. I’ve worked hard my whole life, making sure my pack and the people who came to me with nowhere to go had a safe place to live. As my resources grew more men came; challenging me in the hopes of taking the things I’ve worked for. That’s their right; it’s the shifter way. But attitudes like Morgan’s shown today is why I refuse to lose.”
He smiled at Scott who was watching him intently. “I have always been a gay man. It’s not a choice, it’s not a phase; it’s not a whim to help me stand out from any others or a ploy to stop me from forming a mating pact with another pack. It is who I am. I could have taken a mate before this. I’ve spent a hundred and sixty years alone. But I never did. I never did because somewhere in the shell I called a heart, I knew there was someone out there created just for me.”
“I remember the first time I saw Scott.” Damien chuckled. “I was chasing rogue bear shifters heading for Cloverleah. He and I killed a bear together that day and he went on to kill two of my rogue enforcers in that same week. I bit him and left him, not because I didn’t want him, but because of my own insecurities. And yet, here we stand a year later more in love than ever.”
Damien’s eyes swept the waiting crowd. “I wanted all of you here today to bear witness to this ritual. The persecution of gay pack members has got to stop. Being gay is not a choice, it is the way we are born; the same as if you are born with red hair or brown. To hunt down, kill, beat, and in many cases torture hapless victims who can’t help who they’re attracted to is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.”
“But today is a happy day, for me at least. Today I get to stand in front of all of you and proclaim my love for the man in front of me. My true mate, Scott. And here’s why I chose him and why he is so good for the San Antonio pack. Before he came into my life, I was a good alpha, but a hard man. I’m sure you’ve all heard the tales. They’re true.” A few of the pack members laughed and Scott’s eyes twinkled with mirth.
“It was Scott who taught me there was more to life than business; shocking but true.” The laughter increased. “It was Scott who showed me the benefits of caring and how empty my life had been without love. My pack has blossomed since Scott came along.” Damien looked down, smiling at the lone tear that fell down Scott’s lovely face. “Scott is my everything. He owns me heart, mind and soul. I thought my life was full before, but Scott showed me just how much I’d been missing out on. I love you Scott and I’m so proud to call you mine.”
Taking one last deep breath, Damien let his voice ring out around the grounds. “I call on you all now to bear witness; my pack and all our esteemed visitors to accept Scott as my Alpha Mate, equal to me in all things. I give you the Alpha Mate of San Antonio and the only man I trust with my heart.”
One by one, heads tipped back and howls and yells filled the air. As Damien looked around, not one person held off from giving their approval, even Morgan. Shaman Paulo shook his head as the noise went on and on; eventually holding up his hand for quiet.
“Scott,” Shaman Paulo said quietly. “Now it’s your turn. Can you explain to those present why you decided to throw in your lot with the Almighty Damien? Lord knows, he can’t be an easy man to live with if he didn’t even warn you about today.”
Scott laughed and Damien guessed that was the Shaman’s intention. “Yeah, living with the Almighty Damien isn’t easy and for the longest time, I didn’t understand why the Fates decided I should love someone who didn’t know what the word meant. But that’s what our mates do for us. They help us to grow, they fill in those parts of our lives we might not have known was missing.”
“I understand the importance of today and I stand by my mate when he says the persecution of those shifters who prefer to mate with someone of their own sex should stop. I was kicked out of my home pack for being gay; shunned by my mother and friends I’d had for years. I was one of the lucky ones. I met Kane, the Alpha of Cloverleah and he gave me a home. I built a life for myself and never even dreamed having a mate was possible. But then Kane found Shawn, Griff found Diablo and me…I got claimed by a stroppy alpha who didn’t like the fact I’d gone tracking rogues without him.”
Damien felt his cheeks heat as Scott grinned. “That’s the thing about being true mates,” he continued. “It’s not one person owning another. For all Damien’s power, he still makes mistakes, like not telling his mate that there are representatives from every pack in the states waiting on him while he goes for a bike ride. But still,” Scott’s voice rose above the laughter, “that is exactly the sort of thing that someone like Damien would do.”
“And that’s why I love him.” Damien blinked away the wetness in his eyes. “That’s why no matter how far I ride, I am always home by nightfall. That’s why I stand by his side through every challenge and when he’s won the day, and he always will, I have no doubt of that, I am there to help him celebrate. Love doesn’t make us weaker; my being in Damien’s life doesn’t make him soft. We are stronger together and together we will face any threat head on. You are my world, Damien and I will fight beside you for as long as I still have breath in my body.”
Scott faltered for a moment. The look between them was so intense, Damien almost wished he had kept the ceremony between them and their friends. But clutching Damien’s hand tightly, Scott took a deep breath and in a voice powerful enough to do Damien proud he yelled. “And so, I ask all that are present here today to raise your voices and accept me as Alpha Mate of San Antonio. And I don’t care if you don’t, because that’s who I am and I’m not going anywhere. This man, this pack, you are my life and I’ll fight for you whether you accept me or not.”
The wave of noise was deafening, but all Damien could see was his mate. His strong handsome face, cheeks glistening with tears, Damien had never been so proud in his life. Scott had managed to weave his love into a powerful message, letting every pack know just how strong he was and how invincible they were together. As the Shaman wove the leather binding around their wrists and the pack grounds rang with the spell that would bind them together for ever, Damien saw nothing but Scott’s face.
It wasn’t until the Shaman declared them mated and encouraged them to kiss, that Damien moved. Lifting Scott off the ground, their mouths met in a clash of lips and teeth. Desperate, full of emotions he could barely contain, Damien devoured his mate, pouring all his feelings into their joining. When he was finally forced to break their lip-lock for air, Damien threw his head back and yelled, “MINE!” in a voice loud enough to rock the trees.
“I think they got the point, big guy,” Scott patted Damien’s chest but made no move to get down even as pack, friends, family and visitors pushed close to congratulate them. And Damien was never letting his mate go.
It was some hours later before Damien and Scott could finally escape to the privacy of their room. “Gods, I thought they’d never leave,” Scott moaned as he kicked off his boots. “I wish you’d let me put a shirt on. I must have had a dozen freaking alpha’s all peering at my mating mark, wanting to see if it was real or not.”
“Hopefully they’ll change their minds about the gay people in their packs now. Morgan certainly changed his tune by the end of the night.”
“You talked to him?” Scott’s hands were poised above his jean’s opening and as he looked up, he saw Damien was already naked and on the bed; his suit discarded on the floor.
“Yep. He had some promising ideas, actually. Wanted to know if I would lend my support to a group he wants to set up for alpha sensitivity training and maybe allow some gay pack members to spend time in this pack and Tulsa in the hopes they might find mates.”
“Can’t see Claude having a problem with that.” Scott let his jeans fall to the floor and crossed over to the bed. “Were many other Alphas interested?”
“I suggested he use another word for his group. Somehow, I can’t see any alphas agreeing to attend sensitivity training but Shawn was on board as well, so we’ll see how it goes.” Damien’s eyes gleamed in the half light. “Why don’t you get your ass up here?”
“You know, considering it’s our wedding night, I thought you’d bring me something special,” Scott teased as he climbed on the bed, sighing as he curled into Damien’s warmth. “Chocolates, champagne, maybe some strawberries or something exotic.”
Damien pushed his hand under the pillows and pulled out two tubes. “Chocolate sauce and strawberry lube?”
“I’ll make a romantic out of you yet,” Scott laughed. “Pass me the chocolate. I fancy a huge cock sundae.”
“I knew you were perfect for me from the moment we met.” Damien lay back, his cock slapping his abdomen, his thick thighs parted to give Scott some room. To the outside world, the Almighty Damien was strong, fearless and in many cases terrifying. But in the privacy of their bedroom, Scott could turn his big mate to jelly and as the night progressed, he proceeded to do exactly that.
Poseidon, ancient Greek God of the Sea, ruler of earthquakes and once worshipped by thousands as a fertility god, was bored and that could be a dangerous thing for people around him. Deciding to visit his son, Nereus and friends at the Cloverleah pack, Poseidon causes his own brand of trouble, resulting in a night out at a club. All he wanted was a bed partner for a few hours. What he got was so much more.
Alpha Claude wanted nothing more than to rule his pack, care for his club members and take up the offer of a warm body when his urges got to strong. When Kane, Alpha of Cloverleah calls and says he wants to bring a special visitor, he was intrigued. But when a silver-haired god walks into his club, he knows his life is going to change. He just didn't by realize how much.
Gods dropping in, visits from family and pesky secrets have a way of making things difficult. Fighting outside foes is easy, but the problems that flare between two very different men might be enough to scupper their mating before it has a chance to settle. Will they ever find their HEA or are the differences between a land creature and a god of the sea to big to overcome?
This is an M/M true mates book and as such comes with the obligatory warnings. While this is book two in the series and can be read as a standalone, readers will have more of an understanding of secondary characters and off page references if they have read book one and the Cloverleah series, in particular, On The Brink.
“What have you done to me?”
Claude smiled his first genuine smile in six days as an angry Poseidon appeared before him. Personally, after he’d learned of his mate’s slutty behaviors from Nereus, he expected him a lot sooner. But as he inhaled his mate’s unique scent, his body responding accordingly; inside, Claude was relieved Poseidon had come at all.
“It’s customary to greet an Alpha with respect when you step in their territory,” he reminded quietly, acutely aware of his pack members, many of whom bristled at the sudden intrusion of a non-wolf in their midst. Thank goodness, he was on the BDSM side of the club or he’d be shelling out a fortune in drinks to hapless humans who’d wondered where his mate had come from.
“Oh, forgive me, most illustrious Alpha,” Poseidon sneered as he made a sweeping bow causing two Doms to trip over each other as their eyes remained glued to Poseidon’s ass clearly defined in skin tight leather. He straightened and the hair on the back of Claude’s neck bristled under the power his mate exuded. “What. Have. You. Done. To. My. Cock?”
“Everything you asked for and not as much as I wished.” Claude leaned back on the bar, his wolf intently aware the mood in the club had shifted. “I told you we were mates and I explained what would happen once I bit you.” There were a few gasps at the mate statement, but Claude kept his eyes on Poseidon. His wolf would watch his back.
“And I explained I am a god for fuck's sake. Gods don’t have mates. Now take this spell off me before I lose my temper and you find out how many of your snarly friends can swim.”
Claude laughed although it was killing him not to take his mate into his arms and take up where they left off. “There is no spell, no magic potions or anything else like that. I bit you; you wear my mark. We’re bonded together for life and yes,” he allowed his eyes to rake over Poseidon’s delectable body, “that cock now only works for me, as everyone here can clearly see. Now, why don’t we take this somewhere private?”
“I’ve got nothing to fear from a bunch of wolves.” Claude internally winced at the sneer in Poseidon’s tone. His mate might be beautiful but he had a few lessons to learn in making friends. “I won’t have this. I won’t be mated to a land creature. I’ll speak to the Fates personally if I have to, but I will have this mating broken.”
“Do what you like.” Claude fought to stay visibly calm; not easy to do with his heart shattering into a million pieces. He knew his mating wouldn’t be easy, but he didn’t think Poseidon would try and break it. Didn’t he feel the attraction at all? “I’m sure you have the Fates cowering in their collective boots. I’ll be waiting when you’ve got over that snit of yours and come crawling back for some relief.” He managed a trademark grin. “I already owe you two spankings. You coming here and making a scene has cost you another one.”
Poseidon’s eyes narrowed. “Hell will freeze over first.”
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Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.
When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.
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