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Black Cat by Kate Hill

Black Cat

Whisper, Book 4
by Kate Hill

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 06133-01969

Vampire Edmond Chancellor and cat shifter Tobias Crawford have had a not-so-secret affair for over three hundred years. Edmond wants to bond with Tobias permanently, but Tobias has reasons for keeping his distance.

On a chilly December night, both men turn to past memories for guidance, but it’s a present danger that makes them realize that time is precious, even to men who are practically immortal.

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Chapter One

In well over a thousand years of life, Edmond Chancellor had never seen a more beautiful man than the cat shifter Tobias Crawford. They had met three hundred sixty-three years ago a mile away from this house on a snowy December night.
Tobias had looked almost the same as he did now. Like vampires, shifters aged slowly.
At the moment Tobias lay on his stomach on the crisp blue sheets of Edmond’s oversized bed. The fire in the hearth across the room had burned down, but Edmond and Tobias created their own heat. Edmond caressed Tobias’ bare back. Muscles rippled beneath Tobias’ smooth skin. Silken tendrils of sable hair clung to his neck. Edmond brushed them aside and kissed Tobias’ nape. His tongue slid along the side of his neck and he closed his eyes. He longed to taste Tobias’ blood, but not yet. Instead he gently scraped his fangs over his lover’s skin, not so much as scratching him.
“Thirsty?” Tobias purred.
“Yes, but first things first.” Edmond licked the length of Tobias’ supple spine. He kneaded his firm bottom and teased the enticing indentation with his tongue.
Tobias purred and moaned. He wriggled his narrow hips and thrust against the bed. No doubt he was as hard and ready as Edmond was.
Edmond wanted to see.
He rolled Tobias onto his back. The cat shifter smiled and stretched his sinewy arms overhead. Tobias had a beautiful body. He was an inch or so taller than Edmond, but very slim, his muscles chiseled and his body incredibly flexible.
Edmond grasped Tobias’ large, uncut cock and stroked it, using the foreskin to tease the sensitive head.
Tobias’ big green eyes closed halfway and he murmured, “I could do this all night.”
“Maybe. We’ll see.” Edmond smiled and stretched out between Tobias’ long legs. He nuzzled his balls then sucked them into his mouth, lightly scraping them with his fangs.
“Ah!” Tobias gasped and his hips undulated, forcing Edmond to grasp his firm ass to hold him steady. He continued teasing his balls with his mouth while he stroked Tobias’ cock. “Fuck me, Edmond!”
“I thought you wanted to do this all night?”
“I do,” Tobias panted, his lustful gaze meeting Edmond’s. “It’s not like we suffer from human weakness. At least not physically.”
Another smile tugged at Edmond’s lips. Tobias was right. There had been times when they’d gone almost all night. The cat shifter had often pushed Edmond’s vampiric stamina to its limits and vice versa.
Edmond slid his tongue under Tobias’ foreskin and tickled the ultra-sensitive flesh. Tobias groaned and grasped Edmond’s head. His lean body tensed and Edmond heard his heart pounding. His own heart thumped wildly in his chest. It took a lot of excitement to make a vampire’s pulse race, but Tobias never failed to arouse Edmond. His cock ached and swelled from sucking and caressing Tobias.
“I can’t take much more,” Tobias breathed. “I want you so much tonight.”
Although Edmond wanted every moment to last, he knew Tobias was right. Neither of them were in the mood to wait.
He sat up and reached for the lube on the night table. Tobias shifted his position, bending his knees and spreading his legs wide for his lover.
So, tonight he wanted eye contact when they fucked. Edmond preferred it that way, but Tobias didn’t always want that.
Edmond lubed his cock then took his time lubing Tobias’ ass. He enjoyed Tobias’ soft moans of pleasure. He loved the feel of his velvety flesh and the way the little hole quivered and pulsed from his touch.
“You’re taking way too long,” Tobias panted. His dark pupils nearly filled his green irises and he moistened his full pink lips. Edmond couldn’t resist kissing them. Tobias clasped a handful of hair at the back of Edmond’s neck and thrust his tongue into his mouth.
Edmond’s excitement nearly shot off the scale. He needed Tobias now.
Clasping the headboard, Edmond positioned himself between Tobias’ legs. The flexible cat shifter rolled back slightly, reached up and clutched the headboard as well. His strong, slender fingers wrapped around Edmond’s hands.
As Edmond’s cock slid into Tobias’ hot, tight body, the cat shifter’s grip tightened. He arched higher and closed his eyes. Tobias’ body warmed even more. He moaned and purred.
Edmond’s hips stilled for a moment. He closed his eyes and rested his damp forehead against Tobias’. Their breath mingled and Edmond kissed him again. Their tongues danced and Edmond thrust again. He reached down with one hand to pump Tobias’ shaft.
The sensations were so strong that Edmond knew he wouldn’t last. Tearing his mouth from Tobias’, he drew a few raw breaths, then nuzzled his lover’s hard shoulder before piercing it with his fangs. Tobias cried out and writhed beneath him. His cock spurted, coating their bellies and chests with his cream. Edmond came hard, lapping Tobias’ blood.
Still panting, Edmond withdrew his fangs and his cock from Tobias and flopped onto his back.
Tobias rolled toward him, cuddling close.
They lay in silence for a moment, then Edmond said, “I’ve been thinking.”
Tobias didn’t need feline intuition to know what Edmond was about to say. Something about winter in New England turned Edmond’s thoughts to commitment. Maybe it was because they’d met in winter. Or perhaps it was because Whisper had been officially founded during the same season, but this time of year made the vampire more sentimental than usual.
Most people saw Edmond as cool and remote, like a majority of vampires. Those closest to him knew the truth.
“Would you like to know what I’ve been thinking?” Edmond pressed.
“Regardless of how I answer, I’m sure you’ll tell me.”
Ignoring Tobias’ sarcasm, Edmond kissed his shoulder and said, “I’m thinking we should make this a permanent union.”
“We’ve been together for three hundred sixty-three years. How much more permanent can we get?”
“Seeing that you’ve known Marka since ancient Egypt, I’d say we have quite a way to go. At least your ties with her were –”
“Necessary.” Tobias turned to meet his gaze. Looking into those almond-shaped blue eyes, he tried to remain firm. Tobias wouldn’t be manipulated by anyone — lover or enemy. He’d been married once and it wasn’t something he planned to do again. Truly, he didn’t understand why it was necessary. He continued, “Marka and I secured our bloodline.”
“She was your wife.”
“Now she’s my friend and the mother of my children. That’s all. Our marriage ended a long time ago. We share a past. Now our children are grown with children of their own.”
“I know,” Edmond said. “Half the population of Whisper is cat shifters, thanks to you and Marka.”
“That’s a slight exaggeration.” Tobias wrinkled his nose and rolled out of Edmond’s reach.
The vampire slid closer, pressed his warm body against Tobias and nuzzled his neck. “My point is, you’ve most certainly secured your bloodline and you’ve been a free man for centuries. You married Marka for the sake of your family. Now you’re free to marry for –”
“Love?” Tobias snorted. “I’m a cat shifter. Not a werewolf.”
“There’s something to be said for werewolf emotion. They’re passionate creatures.” Edmond pressed Tobias onto his back and stretched out on top of him. His chiseled lips hovered inches over Tobias’ mouth. Again Tobias’ pulse quickened, but he refrained from kissing Edmond or making any motion that could be taken as an invitation for more lovemaking. As much as he’d like to fuck Edmond again, he couldn’t weaken. Not when they — or rather Edmond — were talking marriage.
“Most vampires don’t value what they consider weak emotions,” Tobias said coolly.
Edmond smiled, revealing the glistening tips of his fangs. “Since when am I like most vampires?”
Tobias growled softly in frustration. He couldn’t argue with that. In his long life, Tobias had liked only two vampires — Edmond and his niece, Sara. Both had been shunned by their family and resided in Whisper.
“I didn’t come here tonight to discuss the past or the future,” Tobias said. “We’re supposed to be talking about the present, as in the annual Whisper Winter Celebration.”
Every year since Whisper was founded, the Original Town Council had a party with family and friends. It was held at Edmond’s colonial mansion that overlooked the town from Chancellor Hill.
In the early days, the house wasn’t quite so imposing, but Edmond had expanded it and the place was now one of the largest private homes in New England.
The town itself had been Edmond’s idea — a sanctuary for the supernatural, founded by the supernatural. Here any magical person who wanted to live in harmony, without violence or prejudice, was welcome. Of course residents of Whisper took up arms when necessary, but their main goal was to create a safe haven for those in search of peace.
“Then let’s talk.” Edmond sprawled on his back and stretched. The muscles in his compact body tensed, then relaxed as he closed his eyes halfway and released a long, slow breath.
From the moment they’d met, Tobias had been captivated by him. Like most beings, supernatural or not, he’d learned to be wary of vampires, yet unlike most, he’d never been susceptible to their dangerous charms — until he’d met Edmond.
“Sorry, but I’m out of time.” Tobias rose and pulled on his clothes.
Edmond’s eyes opened fully and he raised himself on his elbows. “But you came here to talk about the party.”
“Yes. And instead we wasted time in bed.”
“Wasted? Since when is making love a waste of time?”
“Since I have somewhere to be. Let Robins plan the party. He always does most of it anyway.”
Robins, Edmond’s butler, had been with him for nearly a thousand years.
“Tobias, I’ll drop the subject of commitment, if that’s what you want, even though I don’t understand your aversion to it. As you said, we’ve been together for over three centuries.”
“Maybe you’ll drop it for now, but you’ll bring it up again. You always do.” Tobias stood in front of the mirror over Edmond’s dresser and quickly ran a brush through his glossy sable hair. He saw Edmond’s reflection in the mirror, watching him with a look of frustration on his angular face.
“I’m a man of conviction. I know what I want.” Edmond sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Though not a tall man, he had an athletic build and moved with almost catlike grace that Tobias found incredibly sexy. He paused close to Tobias and cupped the back of his head. Entangling his fingers in his freshly-combed hair, he spoke against his lips. “I’ve always wanted you, Tobias. I want to spend my life with you.”
“That could be a very long time for us,” Tobias replied, somehow keeping his voice steady.
“I certainly hope so.” Edmond covered Tobias’ mouth in a possessive kiss that sent Tobias’ heart pounding. His cock swelled and he closed his eyes. Unable to resist, he allowed his tongue to stroke Edmond’s, to dance with it, until they broke apart, panting.
Tobias struggled to control his emotions. That usually wasn’t his problem. Self-control was bred into him. His family had sat alongside the Pharaohs. They were a proud race whose ancestry stretched further back in time than the vampires of Earth.
This vampire, this youth compared to Tobias, touched his heart and stirred his soul more than anyone he’d ever met. Each time Edmond proposed a permanent union, the temptation was almost overwhelming.
“I know you feel the same way about me, Tobias. Why not admit it?”
“Don’t destroy a good thing, Edmond. For over three hundred years this has worked for us.”
“Then why are you leaving?”
“I told you. I have somewhere to be.”
“Where?”
Edmond’s possessiveness was starting to irritate him. Tobias answered to no one. It seemed Edmond needed to be reminded of that.
Wrinkling his nose and shrugging, Tobias said, “I’m a cat.”
Without another word, he opened the door to the balcony and leapt off, disappearing into the crisp winter night.

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