A TOUCH OF SPRING by Lisa Oliver

Alpha and Omega Book 4.5

BLURB

Lone alpha wolf, Bronson Cunningham, dreams of finding a mate and starts to think it’s possible when his best friend Asaph falls head over heels for Ronan; a sweet dancing omega. His curiosity is piqued when a strange letter lands on his desk, simply addressed “You smell like mine”. That must be a shifter reference, right? But it seems the guy likes to stay in the shadows, because Bronson doesn’t scent him anywhere.

Harley thinks he has every reason to hide. A savage scar on his face means his trysts are best kept to dark alleys. Watching his mate, he quickly realizes Bronson is one of the world’s beautiful people. He wasn’t going to be interested in a scarred tattooist from the wrong side of town.

A letter, a meeting, secrets are revealed. But is Bronson strong enough to stand by Harley’s side when he faces his nemesis from the past…and will Harley let him?

Note: This book is a spin-off from Harder in Heels (Alpha and Omega #4). It can be read as standalone, but you will know more about the secondary characters if you have read the other one first.

M/M, contains intimacy between two men, coarse language and off page reference to prior abuse.

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EXCERPT

Bronson frowned at the pile of mail on his desk and thought longingly of Beatrice; his best friend Asaph’s PA. She wouldn’t leave a mess like this. She’d have it handled in no time flat and there’d be hot coffee waiting on my desk. But, even when faced with the secret that Asaph and he could turn furry when provoked, nothing would convince the sweet lady to leave Asaph’s employ.

That pile’s not going to disappear by itself, he grumbled as he sat at his desk and flicked through the pile of envelopes. Invitations, openings, a schedule of exhibitions one of his managers sent through. Bronson put that aside; he had a few changes he wanted to make. More invitations and a couple of bills he put in his jacket to give to his accountant later. Magazines, advertising. Gods, I don’t have time for this junk; Bronson threw them in the trashcan.

Hello. What’s this?

A plain white business-sized envelope was buried at the bottom of the pile. No postage, so it’d been hand delivered. It was slim, probably didn’t hold more than a single sheet of paper. But it was the salutation on the envelope that made Bronson pause. You Smell Like Mine.

“Damn Ronan’s having a joke with me; I’ll kick his ass, so help me,” Bronson muttered as he pulled out his phone. Tapping the screen, he tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for his friend to answer.

“Asaph, you bastard, has Ronan been in my office again?”

“Hello, to you too, Bronson,” Asaph said smoothly. “No, my errant mate hasn’t been in your office; he’s currently under my desk. Did you want to know what he was doing?”

“No, I don’t.” Bronson was pleased when Asaph finally pulled his head out of his ass and claimed his beautiful omega, but the damned man didn’t have to keep rubbing his nose in mated bliss. “And I don’t need the visual.”

“What’s got your nose in a snit?” Asaph asked, his breathing sounding a little harsher and definitely faster. “Make it quick. My mate has a wicked tongue.”

“It’s nothing; I’ll see you both for dinner at eight. Don’t be late.” Bronson disconnected the call and eyed the envelope as if it would bite.

You Smell Like Mine. It had to be a shifter reference; no human would address a letter that way. Bronson never wore cologne and even his bath gels were chosen for their muted scents. But there were no other shifters in Orlando – there was him and Asaph and well, now Ronan too, but they hadn’t known about him until recently. There’s another shifter in town?

“Just fucking open the letter, you damned dork,” he chided himself, picking up the envelope carefully. No bumps or lumps to indicate anything dangerous. Bronson sniffed the paper but couldn’t detect any chemical smells. There was a trace of something pleasant, but it was too elusive for Bronson to determine what it was.

Ripping the edge of the envelope, he pulled out a single sheet of paper. Whoever had written it was concise and had lovely handwriting. With technology, not many people took the time to correspond in cursive anymore. Bronson read the note, shook his head and then read it again.

Dear Mr. Cunningham,

What do you hope for when you think about meeting your mate? Someone petite and sexy like the woman I saw you with on Thursday? Or maybe you don’t mind men provided they’re short and submissive like the young blond I watched you disappear into the bathrooms with on Friday night? Perhaps you’re hoping for a ménage – that couple I saw you with on Saturday at the gallery opening certainly seemed to appreciate your advances and you all looked very cozy when you huddled in the taxi together.

I have to wonder why you haven’t noticed me. Could it be your nose doesn’t work or are you so busy having a good time, you’re not ready for a mate? Or maybe, and this option shatters my heart but has to be mentioned, maybe you have noticed me and find me lacking. You wouldn’t be the first one to think that way but you could have at least told me so to my face.

I’ll keep watching; now I have scented you, I find it impossible to stay away. Maybe through watching, I’ll find the answer.

Have a nice evening, Mr. Cunningham.

Yours.

A flood of emotions swamped Bronson’s body and instinctively he reached for his phone, before pulling his hand out of his jacket. Asaph would still be busy with Ronan and Bronson wasn’t sure he was ready to share the news just yet. “I have a mate,” he tested the words on his tongue. It felt good. “I have a mate!” Louder this time. Bronson’s heart soared and he looked around as though this magical stranger would suddenly appear.

But of course, he was alone. All he had was the note. A note that made it quite plain his mate knew who he was and felt…what exactly? Bronson considered the carefully penned words. Disrespected? Unworthy? Beneath his notice? A strong growl rumbled in his chest. No mate should ever feel that way and Bronson felt a flush of guilt at the thought of what his mate had seen.

Yes, he did take someone home damn near every night. As an alpha wolf, he had a strong sex drive. But for Bronson, sex did more than scratch an itch. The truth of the matter was, since Asaph mated Ronan, holding someone close, even if it was only for long enough to get his rocks off, banished the loneliness he felt as a lone wolf.

Checking his office door was firmly closed; Bronson called on his wolf and brought the paper up to his nose. Ink. Fibers. Chemicals probably used in the paper making process. A light tinge of exhaust fumes as the letter had been written outside. There. He leaned on the paper to hold it steady. Bronson groaned as he rubbed the patch of paper against his nose, causing the rest of the note to flutter against his mouth. Apricots and lemongrass with the slightest tinge of wolf. Hang on a minute, that’s not a wolf. Bronson pulled the paper away from his face and stared at it, astonished.

That’s a cat shifter I smell. A big cat. How the hell did I miss someone like that?

Adult Excerpt

Bronson couldn’t hold out. He’d done his best; given it the old college try, but Harley’s mouth was made for his cock and the man used it with expert precision. He could feel his orgasm building; the tightness in his balls, that tingle down the base of his spine, the way his ass clenched. A flush covered his face and chest and he longed for something to hold onto. He wanted to cradle Harley’s head, but unsure of his mate’s background he didn’t dare. Harley solved that problem for him by grabbing his hand and pressing it to the back of his skull.

His other hand joined the first instinctively and Bronson groaned at the sensual sight at his feet. Harley’s eyes were closed as though savoring the experience, his lips reddened as they stretched around his shaft. A surge of possessiveness soared through Bronson’s body and he pounded, once, twice and then with a roar he came, his head tilted back as he swayed on his feet. Bronson’s head flopped forward, his chin hitting the top of his chest.

“Are you okay,” he managed between gasps, suddenly aware his hands were gripping Harley’s head. He loosened his fingers but was reluctant to break his hold entirely.

“Uh huh,” Harley said, pulling off Bronson’s cock with a pop. He grinned, the scar pulling not distracting from the joy in Harley’s eyes. “Let’s get you on the bed; you seem a bit wobbly on your feet.”

Wobbly? My brains have been sucked out through my dick. Bronson stumbled over to the bed and sat on the edge, his chest still heaving. He pushed his jeans completely off and removed his shoes. “Are you…can you…are you going to get undressed?” Harley’s bulge was obvious, but his mate still seemed hesitant, almost reluctant to move near him. Bronson still wanted the claiming; wanted it more than ever now, but he wasn’t sure he could cobble two brain cells together long enough to pull off one of his seductive moves. He settled for a grin instead.

“I hope you like ink,” Harley said, kicking off his boots and pulling his shirt over his head. Bronson’s eyes widened, swirls of black, red and gold covered Harley’s torso.

“Stop,” he said as Harley went to unbutton his jeans. Harley looked up, a frown creasing his forehead. “You are a living work of art,” Bronson said reverently. “Please,” he held out his hand. “Come closer. I want to see.”

Again…that hesitation, but after a moment, Harley sauntered closer, his stance almost defiant as though expecting Bronson to attack him. Bronson cupped his hand around Harley’s butt as soon as the man was in grabbing range, the other hand tracing the symbols, swirls, and designs that covered Harley’s chest. “This is beautiful, is it all your own work?”

“I did most of it,” Harley said, his eyes watching Bronson’s fingers. “The ones on my back were done by the guy I trained under. I drew the designs and he put them on my skin.” Harley turned and Bronson leaned back to take in the full effect. While the torso designs seemed random, Harley’s back was covered with a nature scene. Tall trees, lush brush, birds flying across a cloudy sky. In the center of the design was a small, ramshackle cottage, its foreboding structure at odds with the beauty of its surroundings.

“This is where you came from, am I right?” Bronson asked quietly as he gently traced the dilapidated wood structure.

“It’s what I turned my back on,” Harley turned again, his eyes blazing. “I want you, please don’t think I don’t, but surely now you can see we come from two different worlds.”

Bronson pulled Harley close enough he could bury his face in his mate’s lean stomach. “You walked away from a hard life and forged one of your own. That took so much courage; courage and strength I respect. Surely you can spare some of that courage for our new life; join with me so we can create a life that works for both of us?”

“Oh, you are a smooth one, aren’t you, fancy pants?” Bronson felt Harley stroke his hair and he grinned against the smooth stomach. “It’s not going to be easy, you know that don’t you.”

Actually, Bronson thought nothing of the sort, but he nodded, loving the way his cheek rubbed against the silkiness of Harley’s skin.

“We live totally different lives and if you expect me to turn up at a gallery opening in a suit and drink wine, you’re sorely mistaken.”

Bronson turned his face and rubbed the other cheek against Harley’s stomach, nodding all the while.

“I’m serious,” Harley said firmly and Bronson’s head was cupped in slender hands, emeralds glaring at him.

“I know. I’ll ask Grizz for some of his home brew and have it stocked especially for you.” Bronson couldn’t nod this time so he waggled his eyebrows.

Harley laughed. “Fine, but don’t blame me if you change your mind the first time I turn up at your fancy place of work on my bike.”

“I’ll be sitting on the bitch seat honey, now kiss me.”

There was a lot less hesitation this time. Harley’s lips were warm and firm, and while the intensity was still there, Harley kept things slow and sensual. Bronson was hooked. When Harley pushed him back on the bed, he went willingly, pulling Harley with him.

“Let me get my pants off first,” Harley grumbled and Bronson let him go, his smile wide enough to light the house as he waited for his mate, his true mate, to claim him.

/~/~/~/~/

I told him, I’ve given him every excuse to back out, but no, the shaggy pup just lays there looking all tempting and sexy and what’s a cat to do? Harley kept his worried thoughts off his face as he dropped his pants and hunted in his bedside drawer for lube. He wasn’t going to show his nerves either, although if Bronson was thinking with anything but his dick, he’d smell it. But no, the big Alpha owned the bed as if born to it, apparently totally unconcerned about being penetrated. Harley pressed his lips together as he climbed on the bed, lube in hand. He had very little experience with this side of things and with his cat pushing him hard, he wondered if it would be easier to just let Bronson fuck him.

Or not, as his cat growled menacingly in his head. His cat had a wicked temper but it took a lot to rile him. Dangling a claiming like a mouse on a string and threatening to take it away was enough to make his presence known.

“You have a beautiful body,” Bronson purred, “one of these days I am going to lick every one of those tattoos.”

“Even the one on my dick?” Harley chuckled, his nerves easing slightly. He was so much smaller than his mate; yet, despite his alpha nature, Bronson didn’t get pushy, demanding or anything else. He just lay on the sheets, a languid smile on his face, his fist gently manipulating his cock which was still hard.

“I will definitely pay attention to that one later,” Bronson replied. “However, for now, I assume you want me to turn over?”

“Whichever you prefer.” Harley had only ever fucked a guy from behind. Watching porn told him face to face was possible. He supposed he could muddle through. So long as he didn’t hurt Bronson, things should be fine.

“What I want,” Bronson said, sitting up and holding out his hand, “is for you to hand me that lube. I want you to lie back on this bed and watch as I prepare myself for you. Then I’m going to sit on that highly decorated cock and fuck myself with it until your teeth drop and you can’t think of anything else but biting me.”

Yep, that would work too. Harley swallowed hard but did as Bronson suggested. Stuff the art gallery business; if Bronson ever went broke he’d make a fortune as a porn star. Turning and flashing that rounded ass; Harley almost swallowed his tongue as he watched Bronson’s long fingers teasing his tiny hole, slathering it with lube before dipping inside. All the while, Bronson moaned and wiggled and through his parted legs Harley could see his cock bobbing above his heavy balls. He gripped the base of his cock sharply, staving off his inevitable climax. Harley was sure he’d never seen anything as erotic or so damned sensual his entire life and he’d seen a lot.

“Like what you see,” Bronson grinned as Harley nodded mutely. “Then you’re going to love this.” Swinging his legs around, suddenly Harley found himself with a lapful of mate. “You hold it up,” Bronson tilted Harley’s cock, which Harley still had a stranglehold on, “and I’ll slip down.”

Open. Closed. Open. Closed. Harley’s eyelids were doing the tango. He wanted to watch his powerful mate, muscles rippling and the sheer ecstasy on Bronson’s face as he lowered himself down. But the pressure on his dick; the heat and the way it just made itself at home as though his only purpose was to fit in Bronson’s body, had Harley closing his eyes again. It was too little; it was too much and Harley found himself open-mouthed panting as Bronson settled himself.

“Open your eyes kitty cat; you’re not going to want to miss this.”

Harley opened his eyes to find Bronson’s face right in front of his. “You were made for me, you know that, right?”

He managed a nod. Now was not the time to be bringing up his worries about their mating. Not with Bronson’s body holding his cock hostage.

“You’ll trust in time,” Bronson smiled. “Now kiss me like you mean it and let’s get this show on the road.”

Looping his arms around Bronson’s neck, Harley’s hands buried themselves in Bronson’s hair as the man began to move. Never one for multitasking, he concentrated on the taste of Bronson’s lips, the way the man’s breath quickened with his movements. His hips began to rise and fall automatically and Harley felt his cat surge within him. Bracing his feet on the mattress he began to thrust harder and Bronson tore his lips away so he could breathe.

I’m doing that. I’m bringing my mate pleasure. Harley’s confidence soared. His emotions entwining with those of his animal spirit, Harley felt the rush of possessiveness, the need to mark and claim; before he knew what he was doing he had Bronson flat on his back, his hips working overtime as he pounded into his mate’s body. Mine! Fucking all mine! His teeth dropped, catching his lip, but Harley welcomed the pain. He knew he must look like some feral animal, but Bronson’s eyes were just as heated, the flash of wolf hardening his face.

“Do it,” Bronson grunted and Harley saw Bronson’s fangs were showing. “Do it now.”

Fates, don’t let this be a mistake, was Harley’s last conscious thought as he sank his fangs into Bronson’s shoulder and felt a reciprocal nip on his neck. He couldn’t move. His cock was buried as deep as it could go, his orgasm working without him, filling his mate with his seed. His eyes tightly closed, Harley could feel it all; the swirl of his mighty cat meeting his mate’s wolf, their sniffing and joining, followed by a joy that threatened to burst his heart and send every cell he had into the stratosphere.

It’s done, Harley thought as he swallowed a mouthful of Bronson’s blood and then gently removed his fangs and licked the wound to help it heal. Tears prickled his eyes and he buried his face in Bronson’s neck to hide them. Please let me be a good mate, he begged to the heavens as he was seized with a fit of trembling and slumped into Bronson’s arms. Without his mate grounding him, he swore he’d fall apart.

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