Mooning Over a Monster

Chapter Five

We end up in my backyard because going any distance from my house when the sun is up is not a risk I’m willing to take. Maybe if all the inhabitants of Folk Haven were either mythics or humans who knew about mythics. But this lake attracts tourists, and some unaware humans move into town because they like the quaint feel of the place.

There’s no witch strong enough to work a protective spell that would cover an entire lake and town. That would take hundreds of witches, all with a protective focus. I’m not sure that many exist in the world, much less in Georgia.

“I brought sandwiches,” Mahon announces as he unfurls the blanket, the fabric settling on the shaded grass under my favorite laurel oak. Long branches stretch outward, glossy leaves providing relief from the glare of the sun. 

On this hot day, we would have been cooler, sitting by the water, but I have an urge to protect my small dock. One of the few places in the world that’s mine. Though I like Mahon, I’m not ready to take him there even if it’s only a short distance away.

“I can’t believe you brought me lunch.” I settle cross-legged on the blanket.

When Levi and I were dating, he never surprised me with a meal. Sure, he’d bring me food. But eating together was always a preplanned event.
Before today, I would have said I didn’t like surprises. Maybe I’ll have to reevaluate.

“I bring you lunch all the time.” He chortles at his own joke, and I toss a twig at him. Mahon merely grins as the projectile bounces off his broad chest. “You’re a violent woman. I like that. We should wrestle.”

At the outrageous wiggle of his eyebrows, I find myself sinking into laughter. This shifter is impossibly easy to be around. Helps that he brought food. Popping the top off the cooler, Mahon pulls out sandwiches, like he promised, and a pitcher of brown liquid that I’m hoping is sweet tea.

And a full watermelon.

“Do you want me to go grab a knife?” I ask. “To cut that up?”

“That’ll ruin my whole plan!” Mahon scoops up the melon, holding the gourd away from me, as if I want to steal it.

“What plan?” I get the sense I should approach all of Mahon’s ideas with caution.

“To impress you with my brute strength.” Then, the bear stands up, clutching the watermelon with both hands, and brings it down in a swift move across his knee. The rind cracks, and Mahon digs his fingers into the fissure, tearing the melon in two with a mighty roar.

Juice goes everywhere.

Droplets fall like cool rain on my face, and I’m glad my clothes are dark colors. When I seek out Mahon’s gaze, I watch his triumph dim at the sight of the red splatter, including the stain forming on his shirt.

“Oh shit.”

Burying my face in my hands doesn’t do much to smother my snorts, and from the small puffs of air, I know my wings are quivering along with my hilarity.

“I pictured this going a different way.” Mahon’s face holds a ruddy blush when I glance over my webbing at him.

“H-how”—I sputter on my words as more giggles spill out—“did y-you see it going?”

“Well, I thought you might compliment my muscles. Maybe gasp. Clutch your pearls.” He offers a sheepish grin when I choke on a laugh. “I do this all the time as a bear. But I guess I don’t worry about getting dirty. I just jump in the lake to wash my fur.” With careful movements, Mahon sets the two watermelon halves on the top of the cooler before grimacing down at his shirt.

“You can take it off.” The words pop out of my mouth without warning. Or maybe my vulva learned how to speak because the horny parts of me are suddenly rabid to see the shifter shirtless.

Or naked.

The image of his muscular, pale ass is burned into my memory.

If I thought Mahon would be weirded out by my offer, I obviously need to stop expecting him to act like everyone else. The bear doesn’t hesitate, shucking off his T-shirt and tossing the material to the side like the covering offends him. I try not to stare, instead picking up one of the sandwiches and putting all my concentration into peeling off the brown paper wrapper. A smile tugs at my mouth when I realize he brought turkey and avocado—my usual.

“So, Satine, tell me about yourself.” Mahon affects an almost-formal tone while simultaneously pouring me a cup of the brown liquid. “How do you fill your days in that big ole house of yours?”

Accepting the cup, I do a quick sniff check and immediately relax. Tea, like I thought. “Work takes up a lot of time.” I sip and try not to pucker my lips at the wild amount of sugar. Almost like drinking straight from a bottle of honey. “I try sticking to an eight-to-five schedule, but then the end of the day rolls around, and I’m still working on projects. Or putting out digital fires. Sometimes, I’m going ten-plus hours a day. Still, I like it. A little bit of art, a little bit of management, and a whole lot of problem solving.”

Mahon keeps his eyes on me as I talk, and then he drops his focus to my mouth when I bite into my sandwich. If I had hair follicles, no doubt his attention would cover me in goose bumps. As it is, my nipples pebble against my flimsy top.

“Who are you working your marketing magic for? Any places I might know?” The shifter snaps off a smaller corner of the mutilated watermelon and offers the dripping fruit to me.

“Our biggest client owns a string of gyms on the West Coast. Not sure you’d know them. But I’ve done a few smaller projects for businesses in Folk Haven. Just helping with setting up their social media pages and working out some style guides. That kind of thing. That’s how I got to know Heath. Of course, Sonya was the one to hire me.” I refer to the siren who co-owns Coffee & Claws. “But Heath is the one I work with mainly. Your cousin has gotten pretty skilled at photographing his pastries. That’s prime digital marketing content.”

A new blush rises on the tops of Mahon’s cheeks, the red easy to see on his alabaster skin. His eyes shift to the side. “Guess he wasn’t lying,” the bear mutters almost too low for me to hear.

“Lying about what?”

I watch the big man fidget, and my heart melts at his adorable evasiveness. 
Mahon scratches the back of his neck and then sighs out his explanation, apparently unable to be even the slightest bit deceptive. “It’s only … well, a couple weeks ago, I went in the café’s kitchen. Heath had his phone waist height.” The shifter gestures toward the crotch of his pants, and I struggle against the urge to stare in that direction. “I saw the flash go off, and I figured he was … taking a picture of his branch and berries.”

Oh gods. I weld my jaw shut, worried that any noise might interrupt what promises to be an amazing story.

“So, I told him, ‘I’m all for admiring the abundance The Clawed One gave you, but I suspect a place of business might not be the best environment for the photo shoot.’ You know?” He scratches his beard, appearing almost thoughtful. “My guess is, most people would prefer a few layers of fabric between their pastries and a dong.”

A high-pitched giggle sneaks out before I can stop it. Then, a rolling wave of them follows.

And Mahon keeps going, face flaming and mouth grinning, sharing his embarrassment with no further hesitation. “So, Heath said ‘I was just taking a picture of my croissant.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know why you’d call it a croissant unless there’s a curve in it.’ But then I thought that might make him feel bad, so I told him ‘It’s fine if your dick is a little curvy; I’m sure your future mate will love it, no matter what.’ ”

I can’t—oh gods—I can’t breathe. The laugh that forces its way out of my throat is almost a scream.

“He got real mad,” Mahon admits. “Threw a croissant at my head.”

Unable to even sit upright any longer, I lie out flat, facedown on the blanket, wondering if I’ll die of this laughter and realizing I’m so happy in this moment that I’d be okay if this was the way I went. Giggling myself to death, next to a charmingly oblivious bear.

Eventually, I calm down enough to turn my head and meet Mahon’s warm gaze. 

His mouth curves at the corners when our eyes catch. “I used to think the buzz of a honeybee was the most beautiful sound in the world. But your laugh kicks that sound in the nuts.”

“That’s sweet. I think.” I push myself upright, wondering if I’ll ever be able to predict the next thing out of his mouth.

“I’d like this to be considered a date.”

Guess not.

I only hesitate for a second, and that’s so I can catch up with the change in conversation.

“Okay.” Why not? 

The guy is handsome and funny and brought me food and said my laugh is beautiful. What would this be if it wasn’t a date?

“Awesome. We’re on a date. How am I doing?” Mahon leans forward, his bare chest with its heavy muscles and blanket of ginger curls threatening to distract me.

“Do you want to be ranked on a scale?” I’ve never given a man feedback on a date before.

“The only scale I care about is if I’m doing good enough for a kiss or not.”

At his words, I’m drawn back to the night of the dark moon. More accurately, the morning after, when his lips briefly touched mine. That gentle pressure set off a turbulent storm in my body, one that hasn’t fully abated.

What would happen if we really kissed? Deeply? For a prolonged amount of time?

For one, I’d probably feel more connected to a person than I have in a while. In years.

The temptation drives my answer. “Yes. You are doing that well.”

Mahon’s face lights up, this time not with a blush, but with shining joy. As if getting the chance to kiss me is a magnificent gift. As if he sees me the way I’ve always hoped someone would.

Suddenly, the world shifts, and I realize the bear has scooped me up in his arms, drawing me into his lap. With an assured palm on my ass, Mahon lifts and tilts me until I’m able to settle my knees on either side of his hips, pressing into the soft blanket. The heat from his thighs soaks into the scales on my legs, and I allow him to arrange my arms around his neck.

“Is this good for you?” he asks once we’re still, facing each other.

On top of him like this, I’m simultaneously in control and surrounded. My normally thin lips now feel plump, eager for his mouth. My wings quiver in anticipation.

“Yes. I’m good.” To prove it, I cross the scant distance between us, taking what he offers. 

Mahon is hot as sunshine and just as soothing. Just as dangerous. Because as I move my mouth over his plush one, I sense the cells in my body begging to connect with his. Threatening to wither if ever removed from his presence, like a plant pulled from daylight and shut up in a basement.

Will I be the same after this? 

Mahon parts his lips on a deep breath, allowing me to delve into him. I flick my tongue along his, tasting watermelon and sugar and the darker flavor of man. The combination is so good that I suck, reveling in the moan I draw from him.

Weight on my back. Hands pressing against my hard scales, drawing upward until the searching touch meets the joints of my wings. I gasp into the kiss, unfamiliar with contact on that part of my body. Even I have a hard time reaching the place on my shoulder blades where my wings extend.

“Good?” Mahon asks with his lips moving against mine.

“Amazing,” I respond before dragging my tongue along his. 

My reward comes as fingers massage into the neglected area. As if he found a hidden button, my wings snap wide, and I’m glad we’re outside. No accidental destruction from them knocking knickknacks off shelves.

As he continues to knead my muscles, the press and release encourage a similar pattern in my hips. I rock, pushing my pelvis against his. When I comprehend exactly what’s happening, I force myself to stop and break away from the bear’s intoxicating mouth.

“Sorry,” I mutter.

“Use me,” Mahon growls, eyes half-lidded. 

One of his hands drops to my butt, encouraging the rocking. A new hardness greets me, and I glance down to find the outline of his arousal pressing against his jeans.

“Are you sure?” My question lacks conviction as my hips sway forward again, and I watch where our bodies meet.

“I would be honored if you humped me.” His words are so solemn that it takes a moment for them to register.

Giggles bubble up just before I reclaim his mouth, plastering my chest against his. The whiskers of his beard tickle my more sensitive face scales, and I kiss my way across his cheek to explore the mass, nipping his jaw when I find the hard angle.

“Yes,” he grunts. “Bite me. Use me. I’m your bear.”

Why is that so hot? 

His panted words crash through my body, exciting all my pleasure points. Through my shorts, I grind my clit against his pelvis and thank the gods this part of me chose skin instead of scales.

“Say it,” he growls the command. “Say that I’m your bear.” Both his hands are on my ass now, holding me against his erection.

The need in his voice feeds the erotic storm within me. Mahon wants me. Begging me to claim him. I have all the power.

Sliding my legs around his hips, I lock my ankles behind his lower back, pulling us even closer together. My fingers work into his messy red locks, and I have enough control to make sure my claws don’t slice his scalp. I make fists and draw his head back, putting the column of his neck on display, licking the strong pump of his pulse.

“You’re my bear,” I whisper against his skin.

“Satine. My Satine,” he moans, thrusting himself against me. “I want to lap at your pussy lips until your wings flap so hard that you threaten to fly away.” One of his arms circles my back, locking me against him, while the other massive palm grips my thigh, soft cream against hard sapphire. “By the gods, I’ll hold you to the ground and drive my tongue deep into your slick depths until you scream my name and the whole lake knows I’m your bear. Fuck yes. I’m your bear.”

“Oh—oh I—” The storm hits, and I discover that dirty talk does everything I need to bring on the most intense orgasm of my life. My wings flap, just as he predicted, and I wrap my pulsing, quivering limbs around Mahon, terrified of accidentally separating us and losing this intense pleasure.

“Your bear,” he groans into my neck. “Satine’s bear.” Then, his body jerks, and a strangled noise cuts off any more naughty words as he comes against me.

When our breathing levels out and I regain the ability to think over the demands of my vulva, something like panic tightens my muscles. I force myself to relax enough that I can unwrap myself and slide my butt out of Mahon’s lap. He lets me go, even as his rough fingers drag along my retreating scales.

When there’s a buffer of air between us, I risk meeting his eyes and come up against a sleepy, satisfied gaze. The shifter reaches over to the cooler, setting the mangled watermelon aside so he can open the lid.

“What just happened?” I ask. Is the question for me? For him? For the gods? I have no idea. 

One moment, I was agreeing to a kiss. The next, I was claiming a shifter as mine and orgasming in his arms.

Didn’t I just officially meet this man a few days ago?

Mahon finds what he was looking for, coming up with a ziplock bag full of pastries—no doubt from his cousin’s café. He cracks the seal and plucks out a croissant and offers the flaky bread to me.

“You just rode a bear. Fun, huh?”