When you lose your fated mate, will you be brave enough to accept a second chance?
Persian cat shifter Thony Cavanaugh has been in love with his best friend, Alan Abramowitz, for three years. Although Thony and Alan are fated mates, only Thony seems to feel the bond between them. Afraid of getting rejected by the strong beta, Thony doesn’t have the guts to confront Alan with his feelings. But everyone has a breaking point.
Alan reached that point sixteen years earlier, when he met his mate, the biker Jon, only to lose him to a terrible accident. Jon’s death almost killed Alan, and it left his heart battered and bruised. Oblivious to the connection he shares with Thony, and suppressing his feelings for the Persian cat to keep his heart intact, Alan spends his life working as beta and accountant for Alpha Xander. After all, shifters don’t get a second chance. Or so he thinks.
Then a fight between the two friends gets out of hand. Thony pushes Alan away, demanding they take a break from each other. And suddenly, Alan realizes that losing Thony could break his heart for good.
If you like fickle cats and enjoy stubborn men who have to fight for their happiness, don’t miss this shifter romance!
He startled, and his gaze snapped up to meet Xander’s eyes. Considering the exasperation that colored the white lion’s voice, it surely wasn’t the first time he’d addressed him.
“You’re dripping on the table.”
“What?” Thony asked dumbly, most of his brain still busy thinking about Alan. As far as he knew, he wasn’t dripping anywhere but inside his briefs. A normal event whenever Alan was in smelling distance.
When he looked around, he noticed Djimon had joined the breakfast table and was busy shoveling porridge into his mouth, while Kei nibbled along his jaw. Damn, Thony hadn’t even bid Dji good morning.
“Your spoon, dumbass,” Alan said. “You’re dripping muesli and milk on the table.” Then he threw a paper napkin at Thony.
Thony felt his face flush, and once again cursed his fair skin. He’d never been able to hide his embarrassment. Quickly mopping up the spilled milk with the napkin, he shot Alan a look from underneath his lashes.
Damn, Alan was hot as hell, especially in the morning. He wore his black hair cut short and neatly styled. Thony was sure he’d look even hotter if he let it grow out a bit, but Alan got it cut as soon as it started to curl around his ears. Too bad.
“So, Kei.” Alan excessively dragged out the so. A grin curled his lips and his eyes twinkled, promising some mischief.
“Don’t finish that thought, panther.” Dji growled. For an ostrich, he growled one hell of a lot when in his human form. Maybe it was just Alan’s sparkly personality that brought it to the surface. Where Kei was full of bubbly energy and went off like a firecracker at the smallest tease, Dji was the laid-back part of the couple. They fitted well, a sign that fate knew what it was doing.
Most of the time. Thony groaned inwardly when Alan snorted, leaned back in his chair, and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
“You don’t even know what I wanted to say.”
“It’s enough that you wanted to say anything at all. And you started with a drawn-out so, meaning you planned to say something to embarrass my mate. If that’s true, you should just swallow it.” With that, Dji shoved the last of his breakfast into his mouth and turned to Kei. “Can you pour me another cup of coffee, little one?”
“Sure thing, honey.”
“Swallow it, huh?” Alan shot back, a leer on his face. “That’s a harsh demand. Usually, I’m not the one doing the swallowing.”
Dji barked a laugh while Kei giggled. Only years of conditioning prevented Thony from cringing at Alan’s raunchy words. At least they served to get rid of his boner.
While Kei jumped up and took the empty cup with him, Alan stretched his arms over his head and smirked. The move pulled his white long-sleeved shirt up to reveal a tanned strip of ripped abs. Just like that Thony’s cock, which had wilted when Alan had talked about swallowing, perked right up.
Thony was in hell. He suppressed the moan that threatened to slip from his throat as if his life depended on it. However, he couldn’t peel his gaze off the eye candy. What he wouldn’t give to be able to lick those deep grooves and nibble his way down below the waistband of—
“Thanks for coming by this morning, Thony,” Xan said, interrupting Thony’s wayward thoughts. The alpha folded his newspaper and plucked the reading glasses off his nose. “An issue came up, and we need to discuss it.”
Please, don’t let it be me.
“I was checking the borders of our territory yesterday and noticed a disturbance.”
Oh, thank God for small favors.
Alan sat up, suddenly all responsible and strong beta. “What do you mean? Another shifter, or humans?”
Xander looked grim. “Several shifters, in fact. One smelled like a male deer, the other I couldn’t place.” He grimaced, likely disgruntled that he couldn’t pin down who was trespassing on their borders. “Anyway, I want to increase the patrols. We’ve been slacking lately because it’s been quiet for a long time. I know it’s only two strange shifters, but maybe there’ll be more. We have to keep our eyes peeled. If a new shifter’s in the area and wants to join the pride, all he or she has to do is ask. I won’t turn anybody away. But they can’t just stroll around our grounds without properly introducing themselves.”
Xander was right. In the shifter world, coming into another alpha’s territory without asking for permission was an act of aggression. If Xan found the shifter, he’d be well within his rights to attack them. Thony knew the white lion preferred diplomacy, and would only harm a shifter if the other attacked first.
Alan nodded. “Want me to work out a schedule?”
Xan rubbed his eyes. “Yes, please. Only include the bigger cats, though. A male deer can be dangerous.”
“I want to help,” Thony said, flicking his gaze between the other men at the table. “I know my Persian cat is pathetically small, but I’m sneaky.”
Alan opened his mouth, doubtlessly to add a snarky comment, but Xander stopped him by lifting his hand. “I’m sorry, Thony, but I have another task for you. Lately, more of us have found work in the town nearby. That means some of the cubs are alone when they come home from school.”
Oh, Thony knew where this conversation was headed, but he couldn’t be mad at Xan. Thony loved spending time with the cubs. “What do you want me to do?”
“Normally, the bigger kids would be okay on their own for an hour or so till their parents return home. But with strange shifters around, I want them in another adult’s house where they’re safe. I’ve talked with the affected parents already, and we found a place for most of the kids. However, Richard asked specifically that you take care of his twins. I understand they’re in your tutoring group?”