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Kei Hirota, a cheetah shifter, is overjoyed when he stumbles across his mate while strolling in his shifted form. He can’t help himself and pounces on his mate, eager to get to know him.
However, Djimon is less than thrilled when the pesky cat chases after him. As an ostrich shifter, he’s understandably wary of predator shifters and flees.
The mating pull between them is strong though, and soon Dji and Kei fall in lust with each other. Both new to relationships, they struggle through their whirlwind romance and try to build a life together despite their differences. But then Dji starts acting weird and hides things from his mate.
Kei felt the biggest of embarrassed blushes bloom on his cheeks. In fact, he was sure it rose from his little toes all the way up to the tips of his ears.
“Sorry. Again,” he whispered as their gazes locked. He was mesmerized by the fire burning in his mate’s eyes. If the man’s fast, shallow breathing was anything to go by, he wasn’t unaffected by their sudden meeting either. Excellent! “My brain tends to get lost sometimes. Typical artist illness, ya know?”
At this point of their relationship, it seemed wiser to blame his scatterbrain for his awkward behavior. Otherwise he’d be forced to admit he could only think about licking his mate from top to bottom, and every delicious inch in between, every time he set eyes on the tall man.
Dji’s amused laugh, the first friendly noise coming from the man, felt like a hot, soothing bubble bath to Kei’s tightly stung nerves. “What do you do for it?”
It took him a moment to find his way back into the conversation. “Ah…I go for a run. Usually. Cheetahs get restless very fast and then we need to burn the excess energy.”
The admission got him another smooth, deep chuckle. Kei’s skin goose bumped and he surreptitiously pressed closer to his mate’s front. Hmm. He was so tall, and strong, and an absolute—
“Want me to throw a ball of yarn for you?”
—bastard. Weren’t they capable of having just one decent conversation without ribbing each other?
“I’m so going to kick your ass,” Kei hissed, delivering a hard punch to Dji’s chest. Then he cursed, pushed away from his mate, and cradled his hand against his belly. “Aww fuck! What are you hiding underneath your shirt? Cement? Titanium?”
It was only now he became aware of the other people littering the foyer. It took some effort, but Kei managed to ignore his fellow pride members’ amused snickers. Damn peanut gallery.