[Menage Amour: Menage a Quatre Paranormal Romance, M/M/MF, with M/M elements, reverse harem, shape-shifter, light bondage, HEA]
Moriah Ward’s normal life changes in one afternoon. Suddenly, three Gargoyles are courting her, and she’s learning there’s far more to her unusual abilities than she ever guessed. The attraction to the three muscular men unnerves her. She’s not sure how a relationship with them would work, but every moment with them fuels her desire. As she gets to know them, danger draws closer. When she’s attacked, Dante, Cael, and Thane sweep in and take her home with them.
Dante, Cael, and Thane never expected their mate to be half Branal or to have to leave her outside the safety of the community. With Gobel attacks on the rise, their nerves are stretched with worry. Every touch pulls them to her, increasing the heat flaring between them. When danger gets too close, they step in. They have to keep her safe or lose the chance to claim her love.
Moriah shook her head and smiled. Her gaze settled on Thane. “This is the third man you told me about?”
“Yes, this is Thane Harris. He’s a doctor and was at work the day we met you.” Dante sat back.
“Hi, I’m Moriah.” She reached across the table.
Thane took her hand between both of his and held it for a moment. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you since last night. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
A blush heated her cheeks. Kudos to Thane for that. Her lashes lowered over her eyes shielding them. What is she thinking?
“You wanted to talk? About what?” Moriah looked to Dante.
“We know this is all very strange to you. Very different from what you know as normal. We wanted a chance to explain. Get to know you and let you learn about us and our lives. We’re not that different even though our customs are a little unusual to you.” Cael braced his arms on the table as he leaned forward.
“I’m not sure that I can do this.” She pulled back from Thane and clenched her hands together.
“Talk only right now.” Thane held up a hand. “We wouldn’t object to you deciding to accept everything, but discovering more about you is our intention today.”
“All right, we can talk, but I need to know you’ll be honest with me even if it doesn’t suit your plans.” She swept her glance over each of them in turn.
Dante narrowed his eyes. Caution flared in her gaze. So watchful. That wasn’t good. She should be able to trust them to tell her the truth.
“Why do I think you already know the answers to some of the questions you’re going to ask?” Dante tapped his fingers on the table.
“Maybe I do, but maybe I don’t.” She grinned. “We might never know unless I catch you in a lie.”
He laughed. “I like you. You’re going to challenge us.”
“I think that’s a good thing.” Cael nodded. “Ask your questions. We won’t lie to you.”
“All right, and just because I’m asking doesn’t mean I’m agreeing to anything.” She narrowed her eyes on them.
“That’s all right. We don’t expect you to. We want to know what you need to make you happy, and the only way we can learn that is if we talk with you.” Thane settled back and took a sip of his coffee.
“Well, how is this three of you thing supposed to work? Do you each get a day out of the week?” She tilted her head.
“No, it’s not like that at all. We’re all part of the bond together. During the claiming, when we’re all together, we will have you one at a time though, but, otherwise, we can make love together or alone, whichever way we like.” Dante shook his head. Some misconceptions were understandable, but trading off days came out of left field. “Not that during that first time, the others will be in another room or even across the room. If you’re all right with it, they’ll even touch you.”
“But what if I’m with one of you more than the others? Will that cause problems in your relationship? I don’t want to make trouble between you when you already seem to be such good friends.” She bit her lip.
“If some of us want more time with you, we’ll talk about it. Getting mad wouldn’t solve anything. We’re more than friends, and we’ve learned that to solve problems in our relationship we have to communicate.” Cael glanced over at Thane.
She frowned and stared at them for a moment. “You’re lovers, too?”
“Yes, is there a problem with that?” Dante asked.
“No problem, I just didn’t expect it.” She shook her head. “All I knew was that you’d be mating with me. I didn’t know that there was more. Is it that way with all Gargoyle relationships?”
“No, it’s not always that way. It depends on the people involved. Some are simply comates with their female. Others are like us and found something more in the relationship with the males of the bond.” Thane reached over and drew his fingers over her hand.
“Okay, that does settle some of that worry. I still don’t understand how your people even started with this type of relationship. Wouldn’t it be easier to find a woman for each of you? I’m sure there are plenty of women who’d volunteer.” She exhaled, and her shoulders slumped.
“But those women wouldn’t be our mate.” Dante reached over and wrapped his fingers around her free hand.
“Yeah, I’m not quite sure that I understand the draw of the mate thing. Couldn’t the woman who was your mate be a raging, evil bitch just as easily as she could be a nice person you’d like to get to know?” She grimaced and looked down at the table.
“I don’t know why I’m brewing the coffee.” She clenched her hands at her side.
“Because you wanted to drink it.” He grinned.
“No, I didn’t invite you here for coffee. If I didn’t have half a suspicion that my cousin would show up, I would have told you to take me home so I could invite you in there.” She shook her head. “I don’t even want coffee.”
“Then what do you want?” Cael tipped his head to the side. His breath lodged in his throat as blood raced south. No doubt about the direction of his thoughts.
“You. Sitting across the table from you was hell. I wanted to go around and slide right into your lap. Damn, if there hadn’t been so many people around, I don’t know if I would stop at sitting with you.” She reached over and brushed her fingers over his shoulder.
“Are you sure? This won’t change anything irrevocably and I won’t bite you, but it’s not going to make things easier either.” He stepped closer and slipped an arm around her. Maybe not the smartest move when she could say she wasn’t sure. No way could he resist getting close.
“I don’t think there’s going to be much easy between us, Cael. Three men, Gargoyles, and everything else I’m learning. It’s enough to make my head spin. The strength of the desire for you isn’t something I’m going to ignore.” She took the final step forward and wrapped her arms around him.
“Well, if you’re sure, I’m holding on to my self-control by a thread.” He slipped a hand under her buttocks and lifted her. He glanced at her desk. “Do you mind if we use that?”
“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” She threaded her fingers through his hair and drew him close.
He settled her on the desk. A blue shirt molded to her sweet breasts. He licked his lips. That had to go. He ran his hand over the waistband of her black denim jeans. More fabric to peel her out of. Maybe next time, he’d ask in advance so she could change.
“I want you out of your clothes.” She pushed at the first button on his shirt.
He went to work on hers, unfastening the buttons. So many tiny fastenings. Ripping the shirt right off would be faster, but would leave her exposed on the way home. He wouldn’t leave her vulnerable.
As soon as she flicked open the last button, she smoothed her hand over the skin of his chest. Her fingers flexed. Heat flared from her palms. He drew in a slow breath. So good.
“You’re so warm.” She glanced up at him even as her hands glided down his ribs.
“I’m supposed to be warm. I’m a Gargoyle. We’re fire and stone, and as a Branal, you’ll be drawn to it as I’m drawn to the fire in you.” Cael pushed her shirt wide, revealing a light blue bra.
The material molded over the generous swell. He couldn’t resist sliding his hands up and cupping the mounds. More than a generous handful. All that white skin and those delicious nipples. His mouth watered, but first, those pants. If he waited too long, he’d be rushed and might tear them.
“We haven’t gotten to pushing fire yet in my lessons at the Branal schools. Between my hours and theirs, getting the training in is difficult. Once I’m a little more advanced, it won’t be so hard because those classes are suited to adult or near adult hours. Since I missed some of the basic stuff though, I’m dealing with teachers who are teaching after school and then needing to squeeze me in after that.” She glanced up at him through her lashes.
“You might not know how to do it consciously, but you do it without thinking in certain situations. I can feel the heat in your hands.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead. And that warmth radiated through him, a beacon he wouldn’t ignore.
He flicked open the button on her pants and drew down the zipper. Beneath the black jeans, silky blue panties hugged her hips. A lacy flower pattern swirled across the fabric. One day, he’d take the time to trace that down between her legs and tease her until she was writhing and moaning his name.
“Lift your hips, Moriah. I need your pants off.” He gripped the fabric.
She put her hands on the desk and raised up. He hooked his fingers under the silky scrap of lace and drew them down along with the jeans. Finally, he could explore, taste, and learn what she liked. He tossed her jeans and panties onto a chair. She settled back onto the desk.
“Now, you’re wearing more clothes than me.” She pushed his shirt wide and it slid down his arms.
“Yes, I am.” He smiled. “Leave the pants on for a while. I want to taste you, and I don’t think I could hold out long enough if your hands begin wandering over my cock. The heat feels too good.”
“It excites you as it does me?” She hooked her fingers in his belt loops and tugged.
“Well, I don’t know exactly what you feel, but the warmth makes me want to feel more and stoke the heat higher.” He leaned down and brushed a soft kiss over her lips. With a sigh, he straightened. One more piece of clothing in his way. He reached down and unhooked her bra.
The fabric fell away from the lush globes. Irresistible. He lowered his head and licked the swell, drawing in the sweet, slightly salty bite of caramel. The essence called to him. Someday, he’d take his time and taste every inch of her, learning the spots that made her wild.