|Unleashing Ciaran by Cassandra Gold|
A muted ringing woke Andrew Moore out of a deep sleep. With his keen hearing, it took only seconds for him to realize the source of the sound. He’d left his cell phone on the kitchen counter earlier. Who would call him at—he glanced at the clock on the bedside table—?
The caller might have made a dialing mistake, but the few people he’d given his number to would only call in case of an emergency. He frowned and slipped out of bed, careful not to wake Ciaran. His mate had been a deep sleeper, until recently.
Getting kidnapped and nearly killed would do that to a person. A few days before Thanksgiving, the group of men who had summoned the half-fae, half-demon from Faerie had returned to try to recapture him. Just as he’d done before, Drew had helped Ciaran escape them, but not without a great deal more trauma than either of them had experienced the first time.
Drew had thought Ciaran was fine for the first few days after his rescue, and he did seem to be coping well during the day, but the past few nights Drew had awakened in the middle of the night to find Ciaran in the living room or kitchen, unable to sleep and unwilling to disturb Drew.
Drew shook off his thoughts and padded to the kitchen. He winced at the chill of the linoleum on his bare feet. His phone had stopped ringing by the time he reached it. A quick glance at the display revealed he had missed a call from an unknown number, and the person had left a voice mail. Puzzled, Drew dialed his voice mailbox and listened.
The loud hiss of a bad connection hit his ear first. He grimaced and held the phone a few inches away. A garbled yet familiar female voice began to speak. “Drew, it’s your mother…” More static.
Mom! His mother hadn’t disowned him, as his father had, when he came out. In fact, she’d begged him to stay with the pack. In the end she’d known that he couldn’t. His father would never have allowed it. Why she would be contacting him now was a mystery. Clinton Moore would be enraged if he knew his wife had tried to call, no matter what the reason.
What could his family possibly want with him now? He’d left town and gone to a place where his existence wouldn’t bother them anymore. For the past couple of months he had not attempted to contact them in any way.
“Father…your brothers…danger…careful…too late.” On that cryptic note, the recording ended. The loud bursts of static had rendered her words almost indecipherable.
Frowning, he hit the callback button. The phone rang and rang until Drew gave up. She must have lost service, or maybe the battery on her phone had died. For his mother to try to call him, whatever she had been trying to say had been important enough to risk the wrath of Clinton Moore. And it had to do with his brothers as well as his father. That wasn’t much to go on.
Drew stood at the counter, staring at the phone in his hand for several minutes, until the chill in the air got to him. He shivered. Next time he had to get up in the middle of the night, maybe he’d be smart enough to put on a shirt.
Whatever was going on would have to wait until morning. Drew carried the phone down the hall with him to the bedroom, in case his mother tried to call again, and set it on the nightstand. He slipped back into bed, careful to keep his icy feet away from Ciaran, who still hadn’t awakened.
Ciaran murmured something and curled against Drew’s side. Drew slid an arm around his lover’s slim waist and held him close, hoping whatever his mother had called him about wouldn’t disturb the peaceful, happy life they had created. Ciaran had experienced enough upheaval in the past few weeks. Drew would do just about anything to spare him more.
* * * * *
For the first time since he left, Drew dreamed of his family, his pack.
He ran with the other wolves, celebrating his first shift. Bathed in pale moonlight and cool shadows, they ran through the forest together. He nipped at the flank of a childhood playmate, who rounded on him for a playful fight. One of the older wolves broke up their play, and they all got down to the business of hunting. They brought down a deer, howling their triumph into the night. He was part of the pack now, a true wolf in all ways. The acceptance of his fellow wolves washed over him.
Drew jerked awake with a gasp. His heart raced as if he’d been running. He closed his eyes and took several slow, deep breaths. Just a dream. Relax.
His mother’s call must have dragged out the conflicted feelings he thought he’d buried.
A warm arm slid across his chest. “Are you all right?”
He opened his eyes to meet Ciaran’s concerned violet gaze. “Just a dream. No big deal.”
Ciaran’s brow creased. “About last month?”
Drew shook his head. “No. My father.”
Drew paused, considering what to tell him. “I don’t want to worry you. It might be nothing.”
That didn’t deter his mate. “Tell me anyway.”
“My mom called this morning.”
Ciaran thought about that for a moment. “What did she want?”
Pushing aside the lingering anxiety from his dream, Drew shrugged one shoulder. “I don’t know. I didn’t make it to the phone, and the message she left was pretty garbled.”
Ciaran frowned. “Perhaps your family is no longer angry?”
Yeah, right. “You don’t know my father. I don’t think he ever forgave or forgot anything that pissed him off. No, it sounded more like a warning.” Drew forced himself to shake off the sense of foreboding the phone call and the dream had created. He smiled and brushed a lock of silky black hair behind Ciaran’s pointed ear. “I’m not worried about it. I’ve got my mate, and that’s all I need.”
A light flush tinted Ciaran’s pale cheeks a soft pink, and his eyes sparkled with pleasure. “I feel the same.”
Drew gave him his most wolfish grin. “In that case…”
He leaned down to nibble at Ciaran’s neck, which made his lover laugh. “None of that. I have to be at work early today.”
“Then I’d better be quick.” Undeterred, he returned to his task, determined to make sure they both started the day off right.
The laughter turned into a low moan when Drew switched from nibbles to openmouthed kisses. Ciaran tilted his head to give Drew access to his neck and throat. “Mm, that feels good. Don’t stop.”
As if he would. Still, Drew couldn’t resist murmuring, “Are you sure? You have to get to work…” He brushed his lips over Ciaran’s pale skin in a teasing caress. He paused at the juncture of Ciaran’s neck and shoulder, where he’d bitten Ciaran to claim him as his mate. He licked the spot, knowing even after a couple of weeks it would still be sensitive.
Ciaran hissed. “Yes. More.”
Already he’d reduced his mate to monosyllables. With a quiet chuckle, Drew licked the spot again, savoring the salt and spice flavor of Ciaran’s skin. Then he bit down hard enough to make Ciaran gasp. Responsive as always, Ciaran arched against him. The sweet slide of skin on skin sent tingling warmth through Drew’s body. He smiled and rolled onto his back, bringing Ciaran with him.
Now on top, Ciaran lined their bodies up. They fit like the pieces of a puzzle. Ciaran pushed up onto his hands and gazed down at Drew. Slowly, deliberately, he rubbed their lower bodies together.
Drew let out a playful growl. “Don’t tease me.”
Ciaran shifted to straddle him. “Only in the best possible ways,” he promised. He caught Drew’s hands and moved them above Drew’s head. He didn’t use any real force, but the intent was clear. Ciaran wanted to take control.
Drew considered taking it back. He was supposed to be the Alpha of their little pack, such as it was. Then Ciaran’s erection brushed against Drew’s, leaving a tantalizing hint of pre-cum. Drew groaned and tried to move to get more contact.
Ciaran evaded him, laughing.
Drew hissed his displeasure. Before he could speak, Ciaran leaned down and kissed him, lips soft and yielding. Drew lost himself in the warmth of his mate’s mouth. Their tongues met and twined together. The slick warmth of Ciaran’s lips and tongue against his made him shiver.
Too soon, Ciaran pulled away. He sat up and looked down at Drew.
Drew frowned. “Hey. Come back here.”
From behind Ciaran, two big, black, batlike wings unfurled. Drew’s eyes widened. He gaped up at Ciaran, desire surging even higher. Something about his mate’s wings, so rarely seen, turned him on like nothing else.
Ciaran smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you touch soon enough.”
Any thought Drew had of protesting flew out the window. He nodded.
Ciaran slithered down Drew’s body until his head was level with Drew’s cock. All Drew could do was whimper as Ciaran took Drew’s dick into his mouth in a slow, hot slide. He pulled off just as slowly until he reached the head, but didn’t let it slip out.
“Oh fuck.” Drew’s hands clenched into tight fists. “Please say I can touch you.”
His violet eyes sparkling with amusement, Ciaran nodded.
“Thank God.” Drew brought his hand down and slid his fingertips along the velvety surface of one wing, making Ciaran shudder. Ciaran’s wings were so sensitive. Drew continued to caress the silken skin. With his other hand he managed to yank open the nightstand drawer and fish around inside.
Ciaran licked a long line up his throbbing cock, stopping to lap at the leaking head. Drew’s hand tightened convulsively around the tube he’d been searching for. “Up here. Please.”