Alerion, King of all Demons, the Mighty Warrior, Defeater of the Unruly, was flat on his back somewhere in a clearing in Canada, trying to comprehend what had just happened. There had been two growls, the nuance less threatening and more possessive, then a dual “Ours”, followed by two muscular bodies barreling into him. As he had just been talking to his favorite son Sammy—although he had a feeling Jon would soon join Sammy on that pedestal—the attack had taken him by surprise.
It was hard to hear anything over the excessive sniffing taking place on both sides of his neck, but from what he could discern, people were rather more amused than worried. From somewhere, a “Well, fuck me sideways!” drifted to his ears, of no real consequence because the scent enveloping him—raspberries and cream with an undertone of cinnamon and clove—was way too pleasant to be thinking about anything else. The declarations of “Mate!”, “Ours!” and “Claim!” left him in no doubt as to what was happening.
I’m so lucky my mates are shifters! Otherwise, it would be the same back and forth that his sons Dre and Barion had had with their mates, and Alerion knew he could do without that drama in his life. In fact, ruling all demonkind was a drama in and of itself, which was why he tried to avoid it in all other aspects of his life—not that there was so much going on aside from cowing unruly demons and patiently explaining for the three-millionth time how nobody was as sturdy as a demon and, therefore, playing with other species—humans in particular—was forbidden. Nobody could accuse demons of being quick on the uptake.
“Uhm, Declan? Troy? Could you perhaps let Dad up?” Of course it was Sammy, the best son-in-law a demon king could wish for, who tried to end the spectacle. Alerion was of two minds about the sniffing ending because yes, getting to see his mates would be nice, no doubt, but on the other hand, it was also very nice to be so close to them.
“I’m not sure they can hear you, Sammy dear.” One of the witches…Mavis or Maribell. Alerion didn’t know them well enough to identify them by voice alone.
“Why do I have the sudden urge to bare my neck?” Jon, on the other hand, was easy to pick out.
“You’re not baring your neck to anybody but me.” Barion, growling like a lion defending a fresh kill.
“I didn’t say I would do it—just that I have the feeling I should.” Jon sounded part wounded, part soothing.
“What are we baring and why? Is this some custom nobody has told me about?” Amber, the banshee, Alerion thought. Her voice was quite distinctive, the screech to warn heroes of their impending death always present as an undertone. Most people couldn’t discern it and just found Banshees’ voices a bit unnerving, but Alerion wasn’t most people.
“Well, I’m always up for a little baring of body parts.” That voice sounded adventurous. It had to be Corrywin’s mate, Jon’s Grann, the Voodoo priestess. Interesting woman and a perfect fit for his restless uncle.
“As much as I love all your body parts, ma chere, I think we should be helping Alerion first.” Corrywin, helpful as always…not.
“I thought we had to get naked?” Amber again.
“Nobody is baring anything!” Dre, his second oldest son, the lucky bastard who’d snatched Sammy.
“Can somebody explain to me what’s going on?” Judging from the harmonious sound, it had to be Emilia, the vampire. Alerion liked her because she was very down-to-earth, despite her royal ancestry.
“It’s simple, dear,” one of the witches said. “Declan and Troy have finally found their third, and in their exuberance, they have forgotten not only their manners but also to shield their auras, which can be overwhelming, since they are uber alphas—hence the urge to show submission. Declan! Troy! Stop with the sniffing and get up. Your mate must be uncomfortable with both of you pinning him down.”
The last sentences were said with a scolding undertone of ‘bad boys!’, which caused the sniffing to stop. Alerion bemoaned this for about half a second before he realized he was now free to admire his mates.
“What’s an uber alpha?” Sammy again, always eager to learn. What a smart son he had gained!
Once more, it was one of the witches answering. “Uber alphas are very rare. The last one was born some two hundred and fifty years ago. They are so powerful all shifters immediately unite under them, which inevitably leads to bloody war. One prime example is Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor. He was the last uber alpha we knew of until Declan and Troy came along.”
“Wow. Are you planning to do that any time soon? It’s just that war is such a waste of lives and time.” Sammy was addressing Alerion’s mates, who had lifted their heads enough to stare at Sammy, which in turn gave Alerion a wonderful view of their breathtaking profiles. One of them was blond, the other’s hair a rich dark brown. Their noses were sharp, their jaws like carved marble and their skin flawless perfection.
“Sammy, we’re having a moment here!” the blond whined, his hands still resting on Alerion’s chest, which he didn’t mind at all.
“I can see that, Declan, but you have to admit that impending war is kind of a serious topic.”
So, his blond mate was Declan—which meant the dark-haired one had to be Troy, who was the next to speak. “Sammy, how long do you know us? Three years? Four? Have you ever gotten the impression we would strive for world domination?”
Through the space between his mates’ faces, Alerion could see Sammy furrowing his brows. My son is a such a thinker! And my mates are so gorgeous!
“Well, you’re certainly rich enough to buy large parts of it,” Emilia said matter-of-factly.
“Says the vampire with the very old money,” Amber said, winking.
“So you don’t want to wage bloody war?” Sammy sounded so happy.
“No.” Declan sighed. “We don’t like messes, remember?”
“Uh, almost forgot that. Well, a battlefield certainly isn’t the place for somebody who dusts the undersides of their windowsills.” Emilia grinned. “A trait I deeply admire.”
“Because you completely lack it?” Troy raised the brow Alerion could see from his place on the ground. It almost made him swoon. So beautiful.
“I guess a battlefield is kind of messy—and unsanitary.” Jon seemed to be deep in thought.
“If you wanted to conquer the world, you would tell us, wouldn’t you?” Amber sounded suspicious.
“Nobody is conquering anything—or waging bloody war or buying the world! All Declan and I want is to get our mate somewhere quiet with a nice big bed—emphasis on quiet. If you would excuse us?” Troy gracefully got up, offering Alerion his hand. Declan was on his feet as well, staring at Alerion as if he were a bloody steak and Declan was starved. It was nice to be looked at with such hunger. Alerion felt his cock, which had been hard since the moment his mates had tackled him to the ground, twitching.
“Yes, I think a quiet place would be nice. How about we visit my little cabin in Whitewater where we can…proceed.” Alerion had tried for subtlety and obviously failed spectacularly, given how everybody gathered around them was snickering. The two witches, Mavis and Maribell, seemed to have their own little film going on in their heads while Grann was shamelessly making out with Corrywin. Sammy stared at them with big eyes—he was still so innocent, bless his sweetness—while Jon smiled at them encouragingly.
“Yes, let’s proceed.” Troy winked.
Both alphas were still holding Alerion’s hands, and he tried to decide which one he should let go of to slice space and time when Dre stepped forward with a long-suffering sigh and solved this terrible conundrum by doing the slicing for him—he, too, was a good son and had brought Sammy into the family after all—and nodded at him. “Have fun, Dad. And congratulations. Declan, Troy, congratulations to you as well. If you hurt my dad—”
“Yeah, yeah, you will do to us what we will do to you and Barion if you hurt Sammy or Jon.” Declan was already stepping toward the slice.
“I just wanted to have it out in the open.”
“It is. Bye. Enjoy the party.” Troy was following his mate, tugging Alerion along. He knew his smile had to be showing all his teeth, but he was on his way to mate with the two most gorgeous creatures that had ever lived!
“Dre, thank you. Barion, Jon, I’m sorry I’m leaving so soon. I’m going to invite you to dinner. Promise. Sammy, don’t worry.”
They all waved, Jon saying something along the lines of “Finding your mate is the most important thing!” while Sammy was furiously wiping away his tears and simultaneously smiling so hard that his cheeks had to hurt.
“Congratulations, Dad, and have fun! You too, Declan, Troy.”
“See you next Wednesday!”
Alerion stepped into the slice in space still holding the hands of both his mates. This day was certainly one to be remembered.