Authors: Becca Van
Keeley Pillar is on her way to a nightclub one moment and standing in a forest surrounded by massive trees the next. She finds herself slung over the shoulder of a large, handsome man as he runs through the forest with two lions chasing them.
Bradford Baer, a bear shifter, and Liam and Lucius King, the two Alphas of the lion pride, have to convince Keeley to mate with them, but she refuses. The decision is taken out of their hands when Keeley's life hangs in the balance. They must claim her so she will survive.
Their relationship goes from bad to worse, and Keeley is ostracized by the lion pride members. She ends up staying with her new friends April Waterson and Olivia Hammond in the Panther Clan house.
Will her mates be able to convince Keeley she is loved and safe with them? Or will she hold a grudge?
Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among the men.
Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
Copyright © 2012 by Becca Van
E-book ISBN: 1-61926-531-1
First E-book Publication: March 2012
Cover design by Les Byerley
All art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright © 2012
Keeley Pillar traversed the dark alley. The door to the nightclub was just ahead, and her work colleague, Giselle, would be just inside. But something felt wrong. Keeley looked back over her shoulder, trying to identify her sense of fear. No one was behind her. She was alone. So why did she feel so strange?
Her vision diminished until she could see nothing at all, and then her body felt very heavy and almost disconnected from her mind. She felt like she was walking through thick quicksand. Every step was achieved only with great effort, so she stopped.
When she thought she was about to pass out, her vision slowly began to return and her body finally felt as if it were cooperating with her brain’s commands.
Keeley had just enough time to feel relieved before someone roared, “Mine!”
She was in a forest surrounded by humungous trees. That was disorienting enough, since half a minute ago she was in an alley outside a nightclub, but she wasn’t alone anymore, either. Two people were staring her.
One was a very large, very tall, handsome man, and the other was a petite dark-haired woman.
Keeley swayed on her feet and stared back, too shocked to speak or move. The man raced toward her, picked her up in his arms, and slung her over his shoulder. Her breath whooshed from her lungs as her diaphragm connected with his hard muscles, and she used her hands to lever herself up against his broad, firm back.
Keeley breathed deeply as the pressure to her lungs lessened. Using one hand, she swept her hair out of her face. They were traveling fast. For such a big man he had a lot of speed. They were still in the forest. She had never seen such giant trees or plants and wondered where in the hell she was. It looked like she was in a dense tropical rain forest, but like nothing she had ever laid eyes on before.
She also wondered whose shoulder she was slung over. Feeling nervous, she looked back toward the place she had first arrived.
How the hell did I get here? What if that’s the only way back home?
She was about to ask to be released. Then she caught sight of two large lions emerging from the trees behind them. The lions began running after them. She gave a nervous twitter of laughter and thought she must be asleep. She had to be dreaming because there was no way this nightmare could be real.
“Uh, excuse me. We are about to be dinner to two lions,” Keeley stated with a calmness she didn’t feel.
“They will not harm you. None of the females on this plane are in danger from any of the males,” he answered.
She had plenty of questions, but as she eyed the lions, only one seemed relevant. “How can you know that? They’re wild animals for goodness’ sake.”
“Well, not really. All the males on this plane can shift shape,” he answered. She noticed that he wasn’t even out of breath as he spoke, despite the fact that he was still running at top speed with her over his shoulder. She knew she was no lightweight and the fact that he carried her with ease caused her to shiver. “They are lions but they are also men. We have too few females on this realm of earth and we protect them for they are precious to us.”
“What? What do you mean ‘this plane’?”
“You are on Terra-form. We think we are part of your planet Earth, just in another reality. From what I have heard, the only difference is that we are shape-shifters here,” he explained. “We had no idea that there was another realm until two other females from your planet came here. We believe there is a door or portal of some sort that appears periodically.”
“Yeah, uh huh, and my name is Alice,” Keeley muttered.
Is the man insane? Who the hell believes in shape-shifters?
“Alice is a very nice name,” he stated.
“Oh, for crying out loud, that was just a figure of speech. My name is Keeley. Keeley Pillar.”
“I am very pleased to meet you, Keeley,” he replied.
The man stopped running and spun around, which of course sent Keeley’s equilibrium off kilter, and she had to close her eyes. Once the dizziness passed she pushed against the man’s shoulder and was surprised when he let her down to her feet. He amazed her again when he picked her up and placed her behind him and then used his body to shield her from the two lions.
She was having none of that. If she was going to end up lion food, then she was going to face it head-on. She had never been a coward, and she wasn’t about to start being one now. She stepped to the side of the stranger in front of her, crossed her arms over her chest, and stared what she thought would be her death in the face.
The lions had been running just behind them, but now they came to a halt a few feet away. Keeley watched with awed trepidation as the air around the two lions began to shimmer. She flinched and swallowed down bile at the cracking and popping sounds emanating from the lions as their bodies began to contort. Their muscles shifted, and the fur receded. Their claws shrank, and their toes lengthened into fingers. Her nausea began to give way to pure amazement. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Where the lions had been were now two blond-haired men standing before her, gloriously naked.
One was taller and a couple of years older than the other. He had wavy blond hair down to his shoulders, blue eyes, and the most gorgeous body she had ever seen. His shoulders were broad and muscular, his pectoral muscles well developed. He had a light sprinkling of hair on his chest, and his torso tapered down to slim hips, a hugely erect cock, and the longest legs she had ever seen.
Her eyes slid over to the man beside him. He wasn’t as tall and his hair was darker, but he had more chest hair and he was packed full of muscle. His thighs were nearly the size of tree trunks. Her eyes snapped back to his cock. It was wider than the other lion’s and a little shorter, but no less impressive. She let her sight wander up over his body, and she connected with his dark-blue eyes.
Keeley actually took a step back as she caught the heat of his stare. He was looking at her as if he were a starving man. She bumped into a warm, solid wall and looked up into the brown eyes of the man who had been carrying her. He was drop-dead gorgeous but so different to the other two men. He was the tallest of them all and had the saddest brown eyes she had ever seen. His hair was a dark chocolate-brown color, and he had the physique of a bodybuilder. His muscles bulged beneath his skin, rippling with the slightest movement. Keeley took a step to the side, and when he didn’t stop her, she took another and another. She bumped into a hard tree trunk and leaned against it.
“Would you mind telling me where I am?” Keeley asked. She watched warily as all three men moved in closer to her. She was surrounded, and if she’d wanted to escape, she couldn’t have. They stood no more than a yard away in a half circle around her. She glanced at each of them, but her eyes settled on the man who was at least half-dressed, the one who had been carrying her. He was wearing some sort of animal-skin pants and knee-high boots of the same material.
“You are on Terra-form.”
Whatever that means
. She hadn’t finished processing his last explanation about what Terra-form was, so she moved on to her next question.
“Who are you?”
“I am Bradford Baer,” he answered.
Keeley tried to keep her eyes on him, truly she did, but she just couldn’t seem to manage the feat. Her eyes shifted to the two naked men, and heat erupted in her cheeks when she perused their naked bodies. Her gaze got stuck on their hard, bobbing cocks.
“I am Lucius King.” She snapped her eyes up to the man who had spoken. He grinned at her, and her cheeks heated even more. “This is my brother, Liam.”
“How is any of this possible? You were a lion and now you’re a man,” Keeley said warily. She cursed the tremor she heard in her own voice.
“We are shape-shifters, Keeley. Why do you not know this?” Lucius asked.
Keeley didn’t answer. Bradford had told her the same thing only minutes ago, but she hadn’t believed him. She would have thought she was having a nervous breakdown, but these guys seemed just as crazy. She pinched herself hard on the arm. She yelped, and the pain brought tears to her eyes. Shit, she wasn’t dreaming at all. She was in a living nightmare.
“I’m not from around here,” Keeley told Lucius. She managed to speak calmly, though inside she could feel hysteria rising.
Bradford said, “I think you have traveled to this reality just like Olivia did.”
“You met Olivia, too?” Liam asked. “She is such an unusual female. She can get lost just by turning around.”
“Yes, she did so all the time,” Bradford replied with a smile.
“Who the hell is Olivia?” Keeley asked and noted the rising pitch of her voice. She took a deep breath, held it, and let it out slowly. It didn’t help one little bit.
“Olivia is the dark-haired female who was with me when you arrived,” Bradford replied.
Keeley opened her mouth to ask another question, but then she closed it again. She was worrying about the wrong things.
Who cares who Olivia is? I just need to get out of here.
“You know, I really should be going now,” she said. “If one of you could direct me so I can find my way out of here, I would really appreciate it.”
“I do not know how you came to be here, little one, therefore I cannot help you. Besides, I would much rather take you to my home. You are my mate and I would like to join our bodies,” Bradford explained.
She couldn’t believe what she had just heard.
Is this guy for real?
First he slung her over his shoulder and now he claimed she was his mate. He had to be a sandwich short of a picnic.
Or maybe she really had fallen down that rabbit hole. The guy was hot and turned her on like no other man ever had. Even though she would have liked to jump his bones, she wasn’t going to. She had only just met him, therefore she didn’t know him and wasn’t about to wind up in his bed. She didn’t even want to contemplate what he meant by her being his mate.
She opened her mouth to tell Bradford there would be no joining of bodies today, but didn’t get far. The naked Lucius and Liam roared with what sounded like fury. Keeley jumped and turned her gaze to them. She pressed her back harder against the tree trunk and shrank away from them.
mate,” Liam roared, and he glared at Bradford.
Bradford moved toward her and clasped her upper arm in his massive hand. Liam stepped to her other side and took her other arm. The two men stood glaring at each other, and Keeley felt the hair on her nape rise with panic.
How the hell do I deal with three sexy, mucho, insane men who think I belong to them?
“Would you two please release me?” she demanded and sighed with relief when they did. They kept glaring at each other, and she took the opportunity to skirt around the tree trunk. She glanced back over her shoulder, and when they didn’t even look at her, she began to walk and kept right on going.
Keeley had been walking for five minutes, and even though she had no idea where she was heading or even where she had come from, she didn’t let that deter her until she heard footsteps racing after her. She picked up her pace and began to run like hell. She had never been much for running, and because the air was so hot, humid, and oppressive, she was tired and breathless within moments. But she pushed herself and kept on. She was brought to an abrupt halt only after a few more steps when two large hands grabbed her arms. She turned around, still gasping for breath, and looked up into Bradford’s soulful brown eyes and Liam’s dark-blue ones.
“Why did you leave, Keeley?” Bradford asked.
“Gee, I don’t know, maybe because I don’t belong here.”
“But you do belong, Keeley. You are our mate,” Liam stated.