Cold Blooded Romance
“Can I leave now?”
Nathair turned pleading eyes on his sister, who simply rolled her own and shooed him with an elegant wave of her hand. Solaina had dragged his ass half way across the world to attend the wedding of an old acquaintance. Someone who she hasn’t even spoken to in many years. He had protested, a lot, but of course his parents would never allow their only daughter to travel so far from home by herself. So here he was, dying a slow death as everyone around him fussed over the grooms. A pair of feline shifters who had found each other during their sophomore year at university. Lucky bastards. Nathair was turning fifty years of age this winter, and was still without his mate. The Fates had a sick sense of humour, that was for sure.
“Ladies and gentlemen. If you would please follow the grooms to the courtyard, refreshments will be awaiting your arrival.”
As the Master of Ceremonies addressed the gathering, Nathair leaned in to place a kiss upon his sister’s soft cheek. “Enjoy your evening, sister dearest, I sense a beach nearby. You shall find me there if need be.”
Without giving her the chance to reply, he rose from his seat and made his way toward the back of the lush gardens. There was a large retaining wall hidden behind the perfectly manicured treeline, the scent of the ocean drifted up from beyond it. Nathair had always enjoyed the feel of the hot sand beneath his flesh, much to his parents’ distaste. It was unnatural for one of his species to seek out the sun, according to them. When it was greatly known that any cold-blooded animal appreciated some time cocooned in warmth.
Jumping the wall, Nathair glanced around. The small beach was empty of any other beings, just as he had hoped it would. Walking forward he took note of his surroundings. The sun was high in the clear blue sky, dazzling in all its beauty, the shimmering sunlight making the golden sand beneath his feet twinkle like a thousand tiny jewels. Waves rolled up onto the shore, the sound soothing as it blended with the calls of the seagulls overhead. He had always enjoyed the solitude of such places. The peacefulness and calm. Closing his eyes, Nathair raised his face skyward, savouring the heat on his face and the scent of the sea as a gentle breeze ruffled his hair. His skin heated deliciously, energizing him instantly.
As he opened his eyes, his gaze locked on the easy, flowing waves. How would the water feel? Cool, or maybe as warm as it looked? Only one way to find out. Kicking off his hand-made brown leather Testoni dress-shoes, he sank his toes into the golden coloured sand under his bared feet, smiling at the warmth of it before strolling down the beach toward the sea. When he dipped his toes into the crystal-clear water, he sighed. “Ah, perfection.”
“That you are.”
What the fuck? Turning, fangs bared, Nathair scowled at the male behind him. The bastard had caught him unaware, an unusual occurrence. In all his long life he had never let his guard down long enough for anyone to get the jump on him. But this male had. Shit. Where the fuck had he come from?
With a frown, Nathair took in the male’s appearance. He was a large male, muscled, and his skin was porcelain white, even though he looked more than comfortable in this environment. Chin length silvery-white hair caressed a strong jaw and dusky lips, while vibrant blue eyes peered down at him teasingly. The guy was stunning. Yet, Nathair hadn’t noticed him back at the wedding ceremony, and judging by the way he was dripping wet and wearing nothing but a smile, Nathair doubted he was a guest. “Can I help you?”
“Can you help me?” The male had the cheek to laugh, shaking out his longish hair as he did so. “I’ve been sitting out here for the past two hours, warring with myself whether or not to jump that damn wall to storm that over-the-top wedding and drag you back here kicking and screaming. It’s been hell, little mate.”
At the use of that word, Nathair paled. “Mate?” He had to be kidding. There was just no way in hell he was this male’s fated one. None. With a feigned chuckle, he took a step backward. “I think you’re mistaken. Excuse me, I need–”
Before he could move, however, the other male had reached out to grip his forearm in a tight fist. Nathair winced, trying to pull away, but he was too strong. “Where do you think you’re going? I’ve been waiting for you. Craving. I need my mate to satisfy me. Need you, to satisfy me.”
Shaking his head, Nathair finally broke free of the other male’s grip. “I don’t think so. I’m not for you.” Funny, even though he spoke those words, something deep within his chest rebelled against them. What was that? He felt no connection between them, and regardless of how handsome the guy was, Nathair didn’t have any predatorial urges to mark or claim. He had always been told that on the day he came across his fated mate he would know. The attraction would be instant and all-consuming until nothing else existed but them. His mind would become irrational, his only need to claim his mate. His instinct would kick in and guide him in the ways of a mated male.
Yet he felt none of that.
Strange how his heart ached all the more that that thought. His inner beast becoming restless. Frowning, he reached up to rub the centre of his chest, lost in thought. “I know what you’re thinking.” That deep, accented voice teased Nathair’s ears. “You can claim that you feel nothing for me all you like. But your inner beast feels it. The bond. The connection. Don’t fight it.” Holding out his hand, he smiled, flashing sharp, white teeth. “Come to me, little mate.”
Shit, that smile. Both alluring and obviously deadly. It gave the male’s handsome face a menacing aura. But as strange as everything was right now, Nathair found himself liking it. In fact, his eyes were drawn to those dusky lips, images of kissing that demanding mouth, stroking those razor-sharp teeth, coming to mind. If he stepped forward, offering up his mouth, would the male reciprocate? Judging by the fire burning in his pales eyes, he would have to say yes. Licking his own lips, Nathair he accepted the hand offered. “My name is Nathair, not little mate.”
“And I am Zander. But you can call me whatever you like.”
Gods, that smile. Nathair found his eyes once again drawn to Zander’s dusky lips, his body reacting as the male’s tongue peeked out to moisten them.
“Stop looking at me like that, Nathair, for I won’t be held responsible for my actions.” His growl was low and humanlike, something which pricked Nathair’s interest. There weren’t many shifters who didn’t house a mammal within, their growls very distinctive. Being a Coral Snake shifter, Nathair could not growl, just as his new companion obviously couldn’t. Which left the question – what was he? Reptilian shifters were very rare, other cold-blooded animals even more so. Tilting his head, Nathair re-examined the male before him. Now that the thought had occurred to him, Zander’s colouring did come across as strange. Add the fact that he was nude and wet, and then there was those teeth. . .
“No, it couldn’t be.” Shaking his head, Nathair turned to stare out at the calm ocean beyond. Had Zander just come up out of the sea? The beach had been empty when Nathair had first arrived. There was no other explanation for it, which meant only one thing. Zander was just like him. Cold-blooded. Perhaps a dolphin, or a… shark? Gods, those were one of the rarest breed of shifter out there. Was it possible?
As if sensing where his thoughts had gone, Zander stepped forward, pressing himself flush against Nathair’s back, yet he refrained from touching. “Ask of me what you will, Nathair.” That accent, what was it? European, or South African perhaps? Either way, it was sexy as hell. Forcing himself to concentrate, he cleared his throat lightly.
“What are you?”
“I am yours.”
His chest bowed, heart racing. He liked the sound of that, of owning Zander, but he didn’t know why. They had literally just met, and he was yet to feel the connection. The possibility of them being fated was slim. Something which was beginning to irritate Nathair. Who was to say it wasn’t true? They could be mates. Couldn’t they? Turning his attention back to Zander, he snorted. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it. What species are you?”
Leaning in close, Zander licked a slow path along Nathair’s earlobe. “I think you know that already, little snake.”
Nathair swallowed, licking his dry lips as he tried to prevent the ripple of anticipation which shot through his body. “It can’t be. I mean, if it’s true, your kind is very rare.” Zander simply smiled, reaching up to caress his cheek. “How can you be standing here? I don’t understand it. Are you not restricted to the water?” As he spoke, Nathair stared at the water trying hard to ignore Zander’s wandering hands. “And how did you know I was a snake?”
Chuckling, Zander rested his chin on Nathair’s shoulder. “That’s the thing about rumours, you can’t believe everything you hear.” Zander wrapped his arms around Nathair, nuzzling his neck. “As you can see, I am perfectly fine on dry land, and I can remain here for weeks at a time, luckily for you.” Cool lips pressed against his throat, right over his pulse point. “As for knowing your species, it wasn’t hard to figure out. Those obsidian eyes and that gorgeous coral coloured hair is a huge giveaway, as is your scent, little mate. I find myself attracted to you all the more because of it.”
Rendered speechless, Nathair stared down at the pale arms covering his chest. Now that he thought about it, Zander’s skin was much cooler than his own. His scent fresh and clean, like the sea he had just emerged from. Gods, the male really had come from the sea. A shark shifter. A rarity among their kind. And he was…his. Could he truly believe this? Was Zander his mate? How could the guy be so sure of everything he had said? “Are we really mates? I mean, how do you know?”
Zander grunted, turning Nathair in his arms so he could cup his face with both hands and force his eyes upward to meet his own. “Look me in the eye, see the truth of my words.” Nathair nodded, unable to reply due to the intensity of that stare. “Before I even laid eyes upon you I knew you were mine. Your scent carried on the breeze and my body, heart, and soul reacted instantly. Everything in me screamed that you were mine. My instinct urged me to seek you out and claim you. I knew nothing of your sex or appearance, but none of that mattered, for after all these centuries I finally found you and I knew that I would no longer be alone in this world. You are mine, little mate, and I shall never let you go.”
Nathair froze, his mouth going dry and mind reeling from the sudden shock of all of this. Zander sounded so sincere, his words branding Nathair’s soul. He wanted to believe him, to see where this could lead them. To have someone in his life who felt that way about him was a dream come true. He wanted that. He wanted what Zander offered. So much so that when the shifter before him leaned in close to claim his mouth in a possessive kiss, he was helpless to do anything, but watch, heart in his throat.
The instant those firm, dusky lips pressed against his own, Nathair’s entire body bowed. His eyes snapped open as his blood heated and his shaft hardened, painfully so. Every nerve ending, every cell, ignited as lust rippled through his body. He had never felt anything like this. On a groan, he opened for Zander, accepting the male’s tender kiss. One which deepened as they slowly wrapped the other in a tight embrace. This felt so good, too good. Nathair’s inner beast hissed in pleasure, seeking more. More from this male, and this male alone. Their male. Their fated one. Shit, it was true. It was all true.
“Kiss me harder, mate.” Panting, Nathair gave himself up to the kiss, to Zander’s dominating ways. Hands roamed, breaths mingled, the sound of their pleasure growing. He could get used to this. He really could.
Pressing himself closer against Zander’s nude body, Nathair moaned. He wanted to get naked too. To feel his mate’s cool skin against his own. Reaching for his dress shirt, he peeled it off, breaking their kiss to do so. Zander chuckled, his eyes shining with pleasure. “I knew it. I knew you felt it too, Nathair.” Unable to deny it, he nodded, his cheeks heating. Zander smiled, exposing two perfect rows of white, razor sharp teeth, and it sent Nathair’s arousal sky-high. “We were made for each other, and I am going to spend the rest of my life proving that to you, little mate.”
Eager to get a taste of things to come, Nathair claimed his mates mouth once more, and kissed him with everything he was.
(The Unrequited Trilogy #1)
Tristan Bailey is a man who never takes no for an answer in anything he does or wants. Life treats him good as the CEO of his own airline, and one of New York's finest bachelors. Men and women alike fall at his feet, the world opens to him without complaint. There isn't much he desires. Until he lays eyes on Joshua, that is.
Death has become a living nightmare for Joshua Malone. No matter what he does, a past riveted with pain and destruction follows him and forces him to make life decisions he would rather not. Josh never wanted to be reminded of the heartache that loving someone could bring, but he finds himself struggling to deny Tristan's advances.
Two different worlds collide in a heated meeting of longing and lust. Can the inner fears of one be laid to rest by the newfound love for the other, or will they both be denied?
Tristan hated these goddamn fucking social events. So much so that he hadn't even bothered to ask what this one was in aid of. It was bad enough that he had to organize the damn thing never mind attend it. Why he even had to was beyond him. He was only the CEO of Bailey Airline after all, no one of great importance. Taking a deep breath he put on his happy facade, huge shit-eating grin in place, and finally allowed his introduction to be made. Head held high, Tristan Bailey descended the grand staircase into the ballroom below, every pair of eyes in the room on him. All he had to do was welcome everyone and praise the charity. Then he could leave.
As he stepped up onto the podium the crowd cheered. Lights flashed wildly as the photographers called out his name, vying for attention. Giving them what they wanted, Tristan kept the fake smile securely in place. He preened some for their enjoyment and winked at the cougars in attendance in order to curry their favors. Fuck, he hated that whorish behavior, yet it was expected of him. Finally getting serious, he addressed the room. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is an honor to have you all here tonight on this special occasion. I do so hope you are ready to spend a ridiculous amount of money. After all, it is for a good cause." Tristan grinned wider as everyone clapped.
As the sound of his assistants sweet voice came over his earpiece Tristan smiled fondly. "Okay, Mr. Bailey, repeat after me." The girl was a life-saver. His rock.
"When I was asked to host this fundraising event tonight I jumped at the chance. I mean, who wouldn't want to participate and help out such an amazing cause?" As the crowd erupted in another round of cheers, Tristan gripped the ledge on the podium stand. "The AWAN Project was founded in order to raise awareness and empower wounded warriors. Veterans of wars past. Men and women who have risked their lives in order to save millions. Without their aid we may very well be living in a different world right now." Tristan straightened his spine before inclining his head in the direction of Mr. Thompson, a veteran of the Vietnam war. "I think it is about time we recognized this, and in turn do whatever we can in order to repay their kindness. Their sacrifices. No matter how small." Somewhere toward the back of the room someone whistled and clapped. "Hopefully tonight's auction will raise enough money to help those men and women who need it. Don't be shy now, ladies and gentlemen. It is for a great cause after all."
With another of his world-famous grins Tristan winked at one of the female reporters before stepping down from the podium. Such fickle people, fawning and swooning over his money. None of them were truly interested in the man he was, or the real reasons for this function in the first place. It was all about the size of a person's bank account, nothing more, and it was the main reason he hated doing these damn events. With a sigh, Tristan tucked his left hand into his pants pocket and made his way across the room to the bar, avoiding all conversation. He only needed to spend a half hour at the most pretending to be interested, then he could leave.
Rapping the top of the bar, he called for the barman's attention. "JD and coke please, and make it a double." Nodding once the barman went to retrieve the drink, returning quickly with the amber liquid and cold coke from the fridge. Thanking the younger man, Tristan walked away from the bar and found a quiet table to sit down at. Thirty minutes and then he could leave again. That was it, thirty minutes, his support would be given and witnessed by all. Glancing around the room his eyes began to roam the crowd of people in attendance. He smiled and nodded when appropriate, praying that no-one would come to speak to him. He hated this. Still lacking interest he surveyed the main entrance of the room, and when Tristan's eyes landed on the tall blond standing by the staircase his heart stopped. One word came to mind. Mine. A sudden unfamiliar surge of possession wrecked his body, leaving him shaken. He had to introduce himself. He needed to know who that was. Rising from his seat, he quickly made his way toward the beautiful blond.
"Yo, Bailey! How goes it, my man?"
At the sound of his cousin's voice Tristan stilled momentarily. He loved his cousin, he truly did, but the guy had a habit of getting him into trouble. The one and only reason he tended to avoid him. "Callum, how are you, cousin? It's been a while."
With a snort the slightly shorter, dark-haired man replied. "You're telling me. Two fucking years now. If I didn't know how much of a damn weirdo you are I would think you were avoiding my ass." Walking over, Callum grabbed him up in a big bear hug. The guy was huge, and freakishly strong, always had been. With a laugh, Tristan smacked him on the arm, growling to be released as the hired photographers for the nights fundraising event started snapping pictures. It wasn't as if people didn't know who the man embracing him was. They knew every goddamn detail of Tristan's life. He just preferred to keep some things private.
"Let me go, asshat. This will be all over the damn internet tomorrow." Smirking, Tristan nudged his cousin in the back. Callum dropped him with a laugh, causing Tristan to lose his footing. The grin on the other man's face said he'd done it on purpose. The fucker. Tristan glared as he smoothed his jacket back into place before turning in the direction of the staircase, cursing at the realization that he had lost the blond.
©Amara Lebel. Siren Publishing, Ltd. 2014.
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"I am not Perverted. I am a Depraved Sensualist. There is a difference!"
I am an Erotic Romance and ManLove author. A huge fan of all things male; I watch, read and drool over everything to do with them. Yes, I am a little perverted, yet in a good way. I have a vast Yaoi collection, and spend my time fantasizing about steamy scenes of male love, sensual encounters, and so much more.
With a little encouragement I eventually put pen to paper and wrote my first ever MM romance, Denial (The Unrequited Trilogy #1), which was published in Sept 2014 by Siren Publishing Inc. Now I take great pride in sharing my erotic stories of forbidden lust and enchanted romance with all of you, my fellow depraved sensualists.
A true Irish lass born and raised I come from a small town in Northern Ireland called Derry, where I now live with my handsome (French) hubby and gorgeous family. I'm a full time mum of three, and believe me when I say they keep me busy. I spend my days chasing after my lil darlings, my nights lost in Yaoi, and thanks to my amazing husband I spend my weekends writing up a storm.
Siren BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/amara-lebel