Catching Her Mates: Whyr Desires 2
[Siren Menage Amour: Erotic Contemporary Menage a Quatre Paranormal Romance, shape-shifter, M/F/M/M, HEA]
Leslie Morgan caught one of her mates’ scent as he was leaving a club with another woman. She won’t mate with a tomcat and hatches a plan to curb his wandering ways. As she waits, her patience is stretched to the limit and she’s almost ready to hunt them down.
John, Archer, and Judge Dark have searched for their mate for years. After catching her scent in a bar, they hunt for her. One day, Archer finds her while she’s at work. They take her home and claim her. Leslie is a sexy, cunning Whyrcougar and they’re determined to capture her heart as well as her body.
But someone is stalking Whyr in Casworth again and this time, they’ve targeted John and his family. John, Archer, and Judge vow to protect her. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. She’s theirs and no one will take her away from them.
Catching Her Mates Excerpt
This was it. She had to do it.
Leslie tossed back her drink and turned, leaning against the table. Red lights flashed and swirled across the dance floor. Couples gyrated, rubbing up against each other as they danced, and groups gathered around the gleaming black tables. The Wild Beat rocked tonight, and cougar females packed the bar. All part of her scheme.
Her heart raced, thumping against her chest. So much could go wrong. She took a deep breath as she smoothed her sweaty palms on her black skirt. The plan accounted for everything she could control, but so much remained out of her hands. She pivoted back around.
Everything would go right tonight. It had to. She couldn’t avoid the chief forever.
“So, Operation Man-whore Takedown is in full swing?” Chloe met Leslie’s eyes.
Chloe shone in a green-and-black top and a black skirt tonight. Her red hair cascaded down her back in a fiery fall. Occasionally, a slight frown curved her lips, but she pulled it up when she realized someone looked her way. What was wrong? The tightness in her shoulders and jaw gave away the tension that boiled within her.
Something bothered that girl. Well, other than the whole trying to get pregnant thing and having enough sex to make every woman around her jealous. Chloe hadn’t become pregnant yet. Though she’d been upset last week, she’d relaxed by the end of the night. So why was she tense and quiet tonight?
“Yeah, with luck and your big man’s unknowing cooperation, the man-whore will realize he has a mate, but not know who the hell she is. I’ve got a few friends here. They’ll come into contact with Logan as he comes over here and as he leaves.” Leslie forced her lips into a smile.
With a little help, Logan would carry her scent right to him along with that of other cougar females. Maybe John would feel something close to the frustration ripping at her over the last weeks. She adjusted the position of the straps on her sleeveless violet top and drew in a deep breath. Just relax. It will work.
John’s brothers might be back in the city or would be soon. Those two men added to the chance of discovery. That couldn’t happen. Not yet. If she went to their home and it smelled like another woman, she’d rip it apart and maybe them, too. An uncontrollable storm raged in her since the day John’s scent hit her. If she could control herself, she’d go confront him, but she couldn’t take that chance.
The man went through a different woman almost every night. Her claws pushed against her nails. No more. Maybe, just maybe, she could catch him in the mating trap.
Inhaling his scent had changed her life. Not to the point of mating heat. She’d be in the hospital by now if it had. It had been three long weeks.
And she was slowly going crazy. Some nights, she greeted the dawn with gritty eyes. Up yet another night from the cougar snarling and pacing inside her. Its mantra one single phrase repeated again and again. Search for its mates. If only she could. That couldn’t happen until John stopped taking every woman who caught his eye to his bed.
Her body pumped out pheromones to attract her mates. Only her mates. Other whyr would notice something different about her scent, but wouldn’t know why. Good thing. Her skin crawled at the touch of any male other than her men.
And the tension rose the longer she was alone. Every day her muscles tightened further. One of these days, she’d bite someone like some rabid canine.
“You’re lucky I like you, or I might get a little upset about the thought of other women touching my Logan.” Chloe narrowed her eyes at Leslie. “Anyone else suggests allowing women to bump into him and rub against him, and I might have to bounce them across the parking lot. The only thing saving them is the fact that I know they’re doing it to help you leash that tomcat.”
That would be fucking fabulous. Maybe she could actually enjoy driving again. Every time she left her house, she putted around as if she had the safety patrol sitting next to her. Every police car tightened her muscles. Was he in that car? He didn’t do traffic patrol much, but he sometimes took a shift.
“Thank you for being so cooperative.” Leslie smiled and wiggled her hips to the beat. “They don’t have any designs on your man, even if he is gorgeous. They’re doing it only because I’m their friend.”
He had to realize he didn’t need to look for a mate. He had a mate, and she waited right here in the same town. This had to work. Nothing slowed a male cat’s roll like realizing he had a mate. On the other hand, he couldn’t recognize who exactly that mate was yet. The line of lovers in his bed turned over almost daily. That had to change.
“Have you heard anything from said gorgeous man?” Shonna asked.
“Not—” Chloe stopped as her text tone cut through the lull of noise between songs. “Well, this is from him. He’ll be here in about five minutes, and he’d like a big kiss since a quickie in the back room is out of the question. After him working nights last week and starting the morning shift this week, catching time with him has been hit and miss.”
“More information than I ever needed to know about that.” Dixie scowled at Chloe.
“Maybe I should feel sorry about tormenting you, but I don’t. Mainly because you revel in doing the same to me.” Chloe grinned and took a long drink of her nonalcoholic cocktail. Wild Beats had become inventive with their offerings in that variety since Chloe had decided to get pregnant. “This will be a short visit before he joins John, Jason, and other officers at another bar.”
“Yeah, enjoy it, girlfriend, because I will get you back.” Dixie folded her arms across her chest.
“Will you?” Shonna waved her finger at Dixie. “You know you haven’t found your mates yet. There’s still the anxiety and issues that come with doing that. I’m sure she’ll enjoy watching you go through that the same as you did her.”
“And you’re in the same boat. You haven’t found your man.” Dixie turned to glare at Shonna.
“Yeah, but I’ll only have to deal with one. Much easier and fewer issues.” Shonna chuckled. “I totally don’t envy you bears and cats that part.”
“But there can be so much pleasure in the more.” Chloe grinned.
Two people stopped beside the table. Leslie turned her head and smiled. Maggie hadn’t been sure she’d make it. The woman beside her tall black-haired friend was a mystery. The blond human had vibrant purple streaks through her hair. Since the last few encounters with Maggie had been at Pride functions, not that surprising.
“Everyone, I’d like to introduce Magdalena Black. She’s the sister of our illustrious alpha cat.” Leslie waved her hand. “And she’s a good friend. I’ve known her since we were both kits in the same childcare center.”
The others said hello, but they glanced at the woman with Maggie.
“Hi, you can call me Maggie. Almost everyone does. This is my friend, Penelope Steele. She goes by Penny though. This girl helped me get through college calculus.” Maggie gestured to the woman at her side.
Penny waved and grinned. “Hi, I hope you don’t mind me being here. When Maggie told me what was up with the calling together of the cougar females, I had to meet you. A couple of my friends got hit by the John Dark ‘sex them and kick them to the curb’ train. They totally weren’t expecting one night and then nothing more.”
“You have some experience with male cats?” Leslie tilted her head. Not the usual type of woman who chased shapeshifters for sex.
“Ah, no, definitely not. Maggie clued me in early about whyr only getting serious with their mates. I’ve never been one for casual sex, so if someone showed interest, I didn’t give them any encouragement. From what I know of mating, I was pretty sure that they’d let me know if they were my mate.” Penny smiled.
“Yeah, they probably would, but until they meet that woman, a good portion of shapeshifter males are man-whores.” Leslie rubbed at her temple.
“And afterward, they’re just stupid.” Maggie slid a glance at her friend.
Leslie raised her eyebrows. Something lurked behind that look. Maybe she should wait until Penny wasn’t within hearing range to ask. Could Penny have a mate and not even know about it?
“Penny!” The screech came from three tables away, but carried even over the music.
“I’m going to go see what’s up over there and maybe hit the bar. Did you want something, Mags?” Penny tilted her head.
“A beer. And Penny—” Maggie turned to her friend.
“I know whyr business. I won’t say a word about the plan.” Penny lifted her hand.
“Good, and if they want to talk, you don’t have to rush just because I said I wanted a beer.” Maggie put a hand on her shoulder. “I see Gina over there, and I know you haven’t seen her in a while.”
“Okay.” Penny nodded and glided off.
Once she was out of earshot, Leslie turned to Maggie. “So she has a mate and he’s stupid.”
“They all are.” Maggie sighed and threw a hand up. “I’ve told them life could be short and that they should grab happiness while they can. They won’t listen to anything I say. By the way, I arranged for a few more girls to come tonight. They’re going to bump into the bear on his way over here and as he leaves. When he walks out, he’s going to be pretty sure that the cats here are drunk.”
“You said life’s short. Is she in danger?” Chloe asked.
“Not that I know of. When I told them that, I was envisioning a car accident or something.” Maggie shook her head. “I haven’t been able to see her much beyond an hour here and there at the house. We share a house, by the way. And that’s been limited, because I’ve been tied up at work late nearly every night. I did have to convince her to come tonight so something could be wrong.”
“Looks like the big guy is here.” Shonna glanced across the room. “And he’s already run into traffic.”
Leslie spun. Women mobbed around him. Logan stepped to the side to make his way around a group of three tipsy-looking cougars. One of them fell against him, grabbing his arm in the process. The other two managed to brush against him as they grasped their friend’s arms. The second time women bumped and rubbed against him, a low growl rumbled.
“It’s okay, Chloe. They don’t want to take your man. We’re just leashing a man-whore.” Shonna rubbed her hand over Chloe’s back.
“That does not prevent me from wanting to send them sliding across the dance floor like a hockey puck on ice.” Chloe clenched her hand.
“Really? A hockey puck?” Leslie laughed. Damn, that was a visual. Women in glittering dresses sailing across the polished dance floor into a net. She lifted her glass and drank.
“I could have said bowling for cougars, but that sounds like an advertisement for older ladies’ night at a bowling alley.” Chloe shrugged.
Leslie’s throat tightened. Her drink caught. She coughed twice and blinked burning eyes. Her chest stung, and air grated over the raw tissue of her throat. Giggles erupted from the other people at the table. Never take a drink right after Chloe said something outrageous, because something more extreme could follow.
“This better work to neuter your man-whore.” Chloe glared at the women who impeded Logan’s progress toward them.
“Penny could do the neutering if that’s what you want. She’s a vet.” Maggie lifted her eyebrows twice.
“Yeah, I kind of want him still intact that way, but it will work as long as John or either of his brothers are there,” Leslie whispered. If the brothers were even home.
Luckily, Chloe allowed this to happen even if there wasn’t any sexual contact. It had to be driving her crazy. Her claws came out at every new tale of John and some new woman, and they hadn’t even been together sexually. Instinct and possessiveness ruled. The tension had frayed her last nerve.
“He’s there. Jason already texted me, and I asked who all was with them.” Chloe took a deep breath. She rolled her shoulders.
“To the downfall of all man-whores.” Shonna lifted her glass in a toast.
A few moments after the toast, Logan arrived. He’d undoubtedly heard that, but not any of the soft conversation beforehand. The toast was great. If he thought Shonna felt down on men, perhaps he wouldn’t notice anything strange about the sea of women who had impeded his path and more who’d do the same on the way out.
“Hey, baby.” Logan pulled Chloe out of her seat and enfolded her in a tight hug. He kissed her lingeringly. “It’s been a long day, and I can’t wait until I get you home.”
“Whoa, bear, you promised me girls’ night tonight.” Chloe leaned back and narrowed her eyes at him.
“Yes, I did, and you’ll have it, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Aside from that, I promised I’d go to the bar and have a few drinks with the guys.” Logan laughed and dropped a kiss on her forehead.
“Hey, big guy, can I give you a hug? I’ve got to gather a few friends and leave for a birthday party at another club, and you look like you had a hard time. Sorry, I have to cut our night short, Chloe.” Leslie opened her arms. He might not want any cat near him after that gauntlet, but hopefully, he’d let her.
“It’s okay. You’re forgiven as long as you buy a round at the next one.” Chloe grinned.
“Go ahead. If any of those girls are going with you, don’t let them drive. I think some of them are smashed. I’ll have to talk to Tony about how much alcohol he’s serving to people because no way should a whyr be drinking that much.” Logan opened his arms for her.
She hugged him and moved into the crowd. After she’d passed a few tables, she swung toward the restrooms. She’d hide there until he left. Now, to wait to see if the plan worked.
Logan would have to get close enough to John for him to catch the scent. She couldn’t control that. Damn it! If it didn’t work, she’d think of something else. No way was she going to his house if he played the tomcat up until the day he met her.
* * * *
John turned away from the polished dark wood bar. A small band played and couples danced on the stamp-sized dance floor. The scent of beer and whiskey hung in the air.
Maybe he should pick up a woman. He grimaced and shook his head. Better not. He’d never hear the end of it. His brothers had bitched about the women he’d had in the house since they’d returned home. He exhaled. They didn’t understand and showed zero sympathy for him. His cat clawed at him. He barely slept, and every day he had to resist the urge to drive and begin searching. He had to find her.
On the other hand, it wasn’t only the lack of his mate that caused lack of sleep. Uneasiness churned in his gut. Something big was going to happen in town. The poisoning case wasn’t finished. The person behind it roamed the streets and schemed. The ultimate goal still remained a mystery. They would catch the bastard behind it. He had to protect this city.
The two different drives would eventually rip away the last of his sanity. The city needed every officer. He had to stay until they took care of this problem. His heart pounded, and he clenched his fist. He’d stay for as long as he could, but at some point, he’d have to leave, travel, and keep moving until he found his woman.
In a couple years, he’d be a hundred years old. Every one of those years weighed on him. Was his mate human or was she whyr? Was she safe? He ran his hand over his jaw. Can’t get into that line of thinking right now, or I will go crazy.
“Logan’s finally here. I guess he couldn’t convince Tony or Chloe to come along with him.” Jason’s voice sounded above the thrum of the music.
“Yeah, you three haven’t exactly had much success with telling her what to do lately.” John laughed. Those big bears might be frustrated at times, but still happiness rolled off them. He would create that future for himself and his brothers. All that was missing was their mate.
“Ever since she decided that we could try for a baby immediately, she’s had the support of every female in all our families. We make her happy, or we have all of them on us about why she isn’t.” Jason grinned.
Clearly, that didn’t upset him at all.
“And she hasn’t gotten pregnant yet?” Archer leaned against the bar.
“No, she went to one of our doctors and talked to him even though we haven’t been trying that long. Apparently, it’s not that strange for conception to take a while for a human who’s newly changed.” Jason shrugged. “We told her to relax. We’d continue practicing for as long as it took to make it happen.”
“That true?” John turned to Judge, who stood nursing a beer at the bar. Having a doctor in the family was good for questions like this.
“Yeah, if they conceive before their body is ready, they’ll have a miscarriage.” Judge lowered the beer. “Four months is usually about what it takes most women.”
John winced. A couple human colleagues’ wives had gone through that. The depression and defeat cloaked them for months, if not longer. Fuck, no one should have to go through that.
Logan edged into the space between Jason and John. He didn’t say a word, just waved to the bartender, and waited.
John turned to the man. “So, Tony busy at the bar?”
He inhaled. A faint hint of some fragrance tickled at his nose. The hairs on the back of his neck rose. Every sense sharpened, and the cougar roused. Some scent mixed with that of the big male. He leaned closer to Logan. What is that?
“Yeah, he’s still trying to decide who to hire. There are a couple of candidates who are good, but have much the same qualifications.” Logan lifted his shoulder. His muscles bunched, and he turned to John. “What are you doing?”
“There’s a fragrance on you.” John inhaled deeply. “I think you bumped into my mate.”
He pulled in more of the air around the bear, trying to filter through the smells coming off the big man. One scent burst through him, clear and strong. That was his mate. He straightened. Now, he only needed her name.
“I bumped into a lot of damn cats. There seemed to be more than the usual amount of wobbly female cats at the bar. I swear half of them ran into me, fell on me, or were pulled off me. I think Chloe came close to losing control. One of her friends held her arm as I approached.” Logan shook his head.
“Really?” Archer stalked up next to John. Anticipation and eagerness rang in his voice.
“It’s her, but apparently, we’re not going to have much help finding out who she is.” John nodded.
Judge strolled up and leaned close to Logan. He sniffed and straightened. The bear stiffened abruptly.
“You need to back off now, cats. My bear and I are pretty much in agreement that cats suck.” Logan’s clenched teeth distorted his voice.
“And as he said, Chloe doesn’t share. She didn’t go after the girls, but I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t mind batting you three around.” Jason laughed.
“Yeah, and she could come up with a lynch mob. I think one of them is down on men right now, because they were drinking toasts to the downfall of all man-whores.” Logan grinned.
John, Archer, and Judge backed away from him. Logan relaxed and leaned against the bar.
Archer laughed. “I can name one man-whore that they can come after if they want to.”
“Who is he?” Jason asked.
“This man.” Archer pointed to John. “Do you know what we came home to? After a year away in two different cities, hoping to find our mate?”
“So what did you discover when you came home?” Logan turned and leaned back against the bar once he received a cold beer from the bartender.
“The house smelled like stale sex and beer.” Archer rolled his eyes. “He’d apparently shagged half the female population in our home.”
“You’re exaggerating.” John rolled his eyes. So he brought a few women home with him. What was the big deal? “And really, shagged? You’ve been watching too much television.”
“Don’t you know that you don’t bring a female who isn’t your mate into your den?” Jason shook his head. “Would you like to move into a place with your woman and wonder how many men she’s had in that house?”
John growled. Everyone had a past. He didn’t begrudge her hers. But staying in a place where she’d had sex with another man? Not happening.
Fuck. He stared at the floor. That put everything in a different light. Archer and Judge had been right. They had a reason to be so upset with him.
“I see a remodeling venture in your future.” Jason lifted his bottle in salute. “Better hurry on that. You never know when you’ll come across your mate. And believe me, the first days after scenting your mate are hard enough, but being on an uncertain timeline to get things done would make it harder.”
“Well, it’s not as if we’re starting from the point where it was when we first got home. We managed to get through to him that having the house in that state wouldn’t offer a good impression if we did chance to find her soon. We started off with the bedroom. Everything except the carpet is gone from there.” Judge crossed his arms over his chest.
“And that’s going next along with the carpet and couch from the living room.” Archer glanced at John as if in challenge.
“The chair there and the kitchen table need to go, too. Plus, we need to put a new floor the kitchen and get another countertop.” John nodded and heaved a sigh. The projects expanded with each moment. They’d have to do it quickly, because he would find his mate. It might be a big goal, but he wouldn’t shy away from it.
“Going to have to redo the entire house?” Logan lifted an eyebrow. “It might be easier to move.”
“I like my house. I’m not concerned about easier.” John smiled. It was home. Where they’d raise their children.
“Yeah, it has memories, and over the last few years we’ve made it ours.” Archer downed the last of his beer. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else either. Unless she absolutely won’t be able to be happy there, then, I’ll happily move wherever she needs to.”
“Did you get your car checked out, bro?” Judge glanced at John and took the beer the bartender handed him.
“What’s wrong with your car?” Logan turned back.
“The brakes went out as I was backing down the driveway. I took out a brick planter that was built along one side. Although, if they had to go out, I’d rather them go out there than on the road.” John sighed. His back bumper had a bit of a dent, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed along with the brakes.
“I heard the crash as I prepared to leave. The car and the planter suffered the only damage. John’s grumpiness assured me the crash hadn’t done too much damage when I tried to assess him for injuries.” Judge grinned.
“I called Eddie’s Garage, and he came to pick up the car. He said he could probably get to it early tomorrow morning.” John finger-combed his hair. Those damn brakes shouldn’t have gone out. He’d used the car the day before, and the brakes had worked fine on the way home. No catching, no whining or grating, and no long distance to stop.
“Good. There’s something a little off there. You had your car serviced recently. I remember you mentioning it right before I came back to Casworth.” Archer nodded.
“So what have you two been up to since you came back?” Logan glanced at Archer.
“I’ve been checking up on my business. Setting up a branch office meant that I didn’t have a lot of time for the day-to-day here. My managers are good, but I want to go over everything myself to make sure.” Archer sighed and ran his hand through his hair.
Archer had spent numerous late nights going over the books of his computer systems and tech security business. He focused primarily on businesses, but did jobs for a few individuals. On a few days, Archer had worked from home to meet with the delivery men. They’d all have to rotate taking that duty in the next few days.
John turned back and signaled for another beer. Maybe he’d call his parents sometime soon. If they’d told him about keeping women who weren’t a mate out of the den, he’d missed it. They had to talk in case some other necessary information slipped by.
“I’ve been busy at the hospital and setting up a practice here. Plus, helping deal with the house, which has become a much larger task.” Judge sighed. “But there were a few things that I’d wanted to redo, as well. Now, I have a chance to do that.”
“Orthopedics, right?” Jason frowned.
“Yes.” Judge smiled.
“Is your office set up yet?” Jason asked.
“Almost. I’m waiting for a couple pieces of equipment to come in. The staff is hired for my office, but I might be forming a group practice with a family practitioner. One of my friends from medical school might move here. I don’t know if it will come together. So at this point, it’s Dark Orthopedics.” Judge lifted a shoulder. “He has brothers who would move here, as well.”
“Three more men are suddenly off the market.” Logan glanced at John. “Do you have any regrets about that?”
“The only thing I regret is not knowing who she is. There might be things I need to do, but I want her with us now.” John growled low in his throat. Logan should have some idea. They’d had trouble finding Chloe.
“Yeah, from what your brothers said, I don’t think she’d be happy to be in your home at this point.” Jason smiled.
“We’ll get it done and make her happy.” John clenched his jaw. Even if they found her tonight, they’d find a way to do it.