Authors: Jessie Donovan
Tags: #FICTION/ Romance / Paranormal
Convincing the Cougar
A Cascade Shifters Story
By Jessie Donovan
To Jayelle Anderson
My friend and critique partner. Thanks for putting up with me and making the writing process a little less lonely!
Kian Murray, the alpha cougar leader of Clan DarkStalker, sat on a rock in his human form and stared out at the deep valley in front of him. Every inch of the surrounding thick forests and rugged mountains, the roaring waterfalls and dick-shriveling icy lakes, the best spots to hunt game or where to lounge in the warmth of the sun—after a quick fuck in the woods with his mate——were as natural to him as breathing. He couldn't imagine living anywhere else but here, in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.
But this week, in the best interests of his clan, he was going to give it all up.
His heart squeezed at the thought of never seeing his friends or clan members again. He stared down at his right leg and resisted the urge to massage the aching limb through his jeans. The injury he'd received four months ago was the reason he could no longer protect himself, let alone take care of his clan or his mate.
He could still remember the eight-hundred-pound feral bear-shifter stepping on his leg and shattering his bone into who knew how many pieces. The pain had been so overwhelming, he'd passed out, and only because his clan members had managed to kill the bear was Kian still alive today.
While he would never regret fighting that bear to protect a group of DarkStalker cubs, not even his clan's most skilled healer, let alone the strong healing capabilities of a shifter, had been able to repair the damage. He would limp for the rest of his life.
His mate had tried for months to convince him that his limp was no big deal, but cougars relied on grace to stalk and attack their prey. Without it, he was a liability. His people deserved someone who could protect them and he was no longer that person. Today, he was finally going to acknowledge that in public and pass on his leadership role to someone more qualified.
Kian ran a hand through his hair. He knew what needed to be done, but he didn't look forward to sharing his decision with his mate, Trinity. The woman was the clan's lead huntress for a reason, and no doubt she'd fight him on this. Especially since this was the first issue he hadn't discussed with her since their mating ceremony nearly ten years ago.
He had given this a lot of thought over the last few months, but a good clan leader knew to push away personal desires if it could weaken or harm the clan in any way; his staying here would do both.
He had to go.
The newly fallen leaves crackled behind him, signaling someone's approach. He stilled for a second, but once the wind blew, he caught the wild scent of leaves and earth mixed with a unique female accent that he'd know anywhere.
His mate, Trinity, had found him.
He ignored her because if she talked to him, he would have to tell her of his plan to let her go, too. Just the thought of never seeing her again caused a dull ache in his heart. But his entire adult life, Kian had weighed the pros and cons of any decisions, like any clan leader would do. Trinity would probably follow him anywhere, if he let her. Except he knew how much being surrounded by her fellow cougar-shifters meant to her. She was not a shifter who could survive without a clan.
She would fight him because he believed she still loved him. However, Kian wasn't about to let her throw away her life. He didn't relish doing anything that might hurt her, but the last thing the strong woman needed was being saddled with a lame cougar for the rest of her life.
Trinity Perez-Murray watched her mate, Kian, and tried to find any signs of improvement. Every day he came to this ledge and spent the hours alone, doing nothing. It looked like today was no different.
He sat on a rock, staring across the valley into nothingness. Tall, with dark hair, green eyes, and broad shoulders, he was the desire of every female in the region.
Or, at least, he used to be. After the fight with the feral bear-shifter, the once charming and intimidating cougar had become a self-pitying recluse. Wild cougars thrived alone, but cougar-shifters had adapted to clans in order to survive and fend off humans.
The fight with the bear had left Kian with a lame right leg. She had never thought any less of him for it. He'd earned his injury protecting a group of cubs playing in the forest. The bear-shifter had lost any signs of humanity and had been a hairbreadth away from insanity. Kian had injured the bear enough to allow his clan members to deliver the killing bite to the back of the bear's head. The clan thought of him as a hero. Unfortunately, her mate only saw himself as a liability.
Trinity was at a loss of what to do. She had tried being supportive and patient, but that had only pushed Kian away further. Then she'd resorted to trying to provoke him to argue with her—one of the trademarks of their relationship before the fight with the bear—and all she'd received in return were a few frowns. Her latest attempt had been to leave him alone, hoping he would notice her absence. That, too, had failed.
There was only one card she had left to play.
She adjusted the lacy bra cupping her breasts before she sat down on a rock about ten feet behind her mate. The rock was cold on her bare ass and she shivered, her nipples tightening and poking proudly through the lace. She pinched them a few times, and the slight pain sent a rush of wetness between her thighs.
Her mate had a keen sense of smell, but he showed no sign of noticing her arousal. She decided to fix that.
She spread her legs wide, allowing the single, long strip of fabric she had brought to hang down and cover her pussy. Her hand itched to go lower and wrestle out an orgasm, but Trinity resisted. She was tired of taking care of herself. Kian hadn't fucked her in the last four months, and she wanted more than her fingers—she wanted his cock pounding into her.
Trying not to think about what she would do if her latest idea failed, she picked up a branch next to the rock and threw it at her mate. The branch landed to his left as she'd intended, and Kian turned around. His eyes widened before he frowned and said, "What the hell are you doing? You're mostly naked, and my brother will be stopping by any minute."
Trinity spread her legs as wide as she could and used one hand to caress and fondle her breasts. She'd never had to be direct with her lusty mate before—he'd simply taken what he wanted—but the hungry look in his eyes gave her the courage to say, "I'm going to sit out here until someone fucks me. I want it to be you, but if not, Sylas or his second-in-command can do it when they arrive."
She expected him to argue with her, but Kian simply moved his gaze from her face to her breasts. "Maybe you should go to them." He looked back up to her eyes. "I can no longer give you what you need, Trin."
Her heart plummeted. Kian was deeper into his self-pitying victim mentality than she'd realized, but she refused to give up. The strong, alpha male she'd mated was inside of Kian. She was determined to bring him out again.
Their sex life had always been fire and passion, each of them taking turns to fight for control. There had never been a need to seduce or convince Kian in the past—a heated look was all it had taken to get him naked above her. But she would do whatever it took to get him to feel whole again. It was going to take everything in her arsenal to convince him to fight for both himself and her. And to fight for their clan.
"Well, in that case, I'd better ready myself for Sy and the others. I've never had more than one man at a time before."
Even at this distance, she could see Kian's jaw clench. Good. That was the biggest reaction she'd gotten out of him in weeks.
She gave her right nipple a twist and let out a moan. Even from ten feet away, she could hear Kian draw in a breath.
Okay, Trinity, time to take it up a notch.
She stopped playing with her nipples and moved her hands to the material between her thighs. Inch by inch, she raised the long fabric until it was just shy of revealing her core. Trinity ran a finger over the material, between her folds, careful not to touch her clit. After two strokes, the scrap of material between her legs was soaked. She looked Kian straight in the eye and said, "I'm wet, Kian. My pussy is tired of fingers and toys. It wants a long, hard dick thrusting in and out until I scream someone's name." She traced her slit again. "Are you sure you don't want it to be yours?"
She lifted the fabric off, leaving her bare from the waist down, and tossed it at him. Kian caught it and brought the drenched material to his nose to draw in a deep whiff. His low growl sent a thrill through her. This plan might work after all.
Kian stared at his mate and struggled with what he should do.
She was perched on a rock, her beautiful, engorged pussy glistening in the midday sun. His dick was hard to the point of pain. To save Trinity the embarrassment of his lameness, he hadn't fucked her in nearly four months.
Right now, however, he wanted to rush over, pin Trinity down, and slowly devour her until she screamed his name.
But she deserved better.
The instant he started limping over to her, his wife's desire would vanish. She—along with the rest of his clan—kept their looks of pity and disgust to themselves. He knew better than anyone else that a lame cougar-shifter was a liability, and a lame cougar-shifter clan leader was even worse.
He took the material now coated in her scent—a mixture of earth and leaves—and tossed it back to her. The best thing was to ignore her question. "Unless you really want Sy or his men to fuck you, get dressed."
Hurt flashed in Trinity's eyes but was quickly replaced by one of determination. "Well, if you put it that way."
She tied the long piece of material around one wrist and yanked the knot tight around her skin. He frowned. "What the hell are you doing?"
She said nothing but walked over to the nearest tree branch closest to her height, tossed the material over it, and grabbed the end. "I'm horny and tired of waiting, Kian." There was enough slack for her to easily tie her other wrist tight. "I will always love you, but if you don't want me, someone else will. My scent will attract any unattached cat in the area and I'm going to stay out here, tied to this tree, until someone fucks me so hard I can still feel it in the morning."
Bile rose in his throat at the image of another man pounding his dick into her sweet warm pussy, Trinity moaning until she cried out someone else's name as she came.
Kian barely resisted clenching his fist. He was jealous of the unnamed man, but he'd better get used to it because the unnamed man would be strong and whole, and able to take care of Trinity the way she deserved.
He took a deep breath and tamped down his jealousy. He couldn't let Trinity know how much he secretly wished to keep her. He shrugged a shoulder. "You say that now, but once night starts to fall, it'll get cold and you'll come back inside."
She raised her chin a notch and Kian knew he was in trouble. "Your brother might be able to resist, but if he's bringing any of the young males with him, they won't hold back once I let them know you're about to release me from our mate vows."
He went still. "How do you know about that?"
She shrugged. "You may not talk to me, but your brother Sy does. He thinks you're a dimwitted fool, and call me biased, but I tend to agree with him." She leaned against the tree trunk. "I'm not going to beg or plead with you anymore, Kian. You know your lame leg doesn't make you any less of a man to me, but if you won't believe me, then leave me alone so I can start over."
He was going to reply, but then Trinity tightened her grip on the material slung over the branch and arched her back. Her tight, tawny nipples were now thrust forward, covered only by a scrap of see-through lace, and he could do nothing but stare. Trinity's fire was what had made him fall in love with her, but he loved her tits. And her ass. Hell, he loved every inch of her tanned skin.