Stray Cats, Book 4
by Megan Slayer
eBook ISBN: 07116-02292
[ Shifter Romance ]
She got the cat in an attempt to be normal, but this kitty has a secret and it’s guaranteed to surprise.
Note: Prologue omitted.
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Two years later…
Meliana flopped backwards on the bed. Her love life had officially become nonexistent. She tossed her cell phone onto the nightstand. The one guy she’d considered a decent date had decided she was too weird to go out with and dumped her. He wasn’t satisfied with her nuances.
He’d started cheating on her no more than a month after they’d started seeing each other. The dick. She wasn’t sure what she’d expected when she’d called him, other than to hear him say he’d been wrong to cheat or that he still cared about her. He still didn’t care, and he didn’t want anything to do with her.
Damn. She’d had one too many glasses of wine. Her faith in men had never been high, and now it had hit an all-time low. She wiped the tears off her face. Christ. She hated to cry, especially over someone who didn’t deserve her concern.
The cat climbed up onto the bed and curled up next to her. He sniffed her nose, then licked her cheek. She forced a smile. She liked having company. Hell, she lived alone, so another warm body, even a cat, was great. They’d had the same routine for the last two years — she went to bed and when he was ready, he followed. He cuddled with her for the duration of the night and nibbled her ear when she needed to get up to feed him.
“So much for men, Chaos,” she said and curled her arm around him. Cuddling a cat while she slept probably wasn’t normal, but at least he was loyal. The cat didn’t care if she made potions or if she occasionally cast spells. He simply watched her work — well, when he wasn’t running like a crazy cat through her apartment.
She hadn’t even fallen asleep before the urge to pee became too strong. Damn. She hated to get up in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom. It was cold and her thin T-shirt wasn’t much of a barrier against the low temperature. She sighed. Time to get up. As she blinked and shifted on the bed, an arm curled tighter around her.
She froze. An arm? What the fuck? She lived with a cat. A thick cock slid between her ass cheeks. She screamed. A cock of any sorts was not supposed to be in her bed.
“Meli, it’s fine. No one broke in.”
She had no idea who the hell just said that, but the fact they’d used her name freaked her out even more. She opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out. She tried to thrash, but couldn’t move.
Her body warred with her brain. Normally, having a cock between her ass cheeks made her happy — when she knew who the cock belonged to and how he knew her name… like her ex-boyfriend Lane, but he wasn’t there. He’d left her for another woman. He’d told her to go to hell when she’d called, so no doubt he wasn’t there.
Her pussy throbbed. No sex in more than four months made the lady parts not so happy and apparently extremely responsive to crazy-ass people who’d climbed into her bed.
Screw it. She’d give this stranger a piece of her mind before he took a piece of her ass. She rolled over and stared into a set of yellow-green eyes. The man, stubble sprinkled on his cheeks and his inky black hair mussed from sleep, grinned. He had a dimple. She was a sucker for dimples. No, no, she had to get back to the point and get the jackass out of her bed.
“Who are you and why are you in my bed?” There. She’d asked the questions. “Get out of here.”
“I’ve been in your bed for the two years, sweetheart.” The smile faded and he shrank back from her. “Meli? It’s me, Chaos… er… Adrian.”
She slumped back onto the bed and her jaw slackened. Her cat was a hunky human-looking male named Adrian? Holy shit.
Adrian crawled off the bed, taking the sheet with him. He barely covered his toned body with the bedding. His nipples beaded. A thin trail of black hair led just below his belly button and disappeared beneath the sheet. She pressed her lips together. She shouldn’t be gawking at him, but the man was sexy. She could never attract someone like him.
“Then tell me, if you’re Chaos, how you got here and why you’re a guy now.” She folded her arms. “How’d I end up with a cat shifter? I was supposed to have a plain old black cat.”
“I’m a shifter.” He shrugged. “I took a little longer to mature than the others, I suppose. Your grandmother rescued me and my three brothers. The others were adopted out. I’m assuming they found good homes. Hildy wouldn’t just hand them over to anyone. She knew you and I would suit each other and made sure she brought us together. I’ve been with you for the last two years, babe. I know what you are and what you can do.”
Realization washed over her. If he was truly her cat, then he had seen everything. He could do one hell of a lot of damage.
Adrian crept to the side of the bed and sat next to her. “I know this is a lot to take in. I’m not totally used to this either.” He gestured down his body. “I have to figure out what all to do with me — although I’ve got some definite ideas.”
“It’s the mind control spell.” She was grasping at straws. Her cat could not be a shifter. The idea wasn’t even possible. She’d picked out a perfectly normal kitten who’d grown into an overly hyper but normal cat… who happened to be missing. “Where is Chaos? I want my cat back.”
“I’m right here.” The muscle in his jaw twitched and his eyes flickered. “You are coming into your powers and that kick-started mine. I had no idea how to change until you were ready for me.”
“That’s crazy,” she blurted.
“I’m not powerful. Look at me. Most people ignore me until they want food brought to their table at the restaurant. I have barely mastered the telepathy spell, let alone any of the other spells. I can’t change a cat into a man or even figure out where to start on that spell.”
“Those people at the restaurant don’t see the strong, sexy woman behind that god-awful uniform.”
Well, only someone who’d seen her get ready or been to the seafood restaurant would know the server uniform was ugly. Still, she didn’t believe him. “You’re nuts.”
“I might have run into a few too many walls on my daily sprint around the apartment and cracked my skull, but I know my heart.” He offered his hand. “I’m Chaos. I swear.” He trailed his fingers down her arm. “You’re a powerful witch and skilled at what you do, but you have no faith in yourself. You’re meant to be my salvation.”
She shook her head. “This isn’t happening. That short story I wrote on the blog was from my imagination. It can’t be real.”
“I’m very real.” He inched closer to her, enough his warmth radiated onto her skin.
“You are.” Her voice deepened to a husky tone she barely recognized. Was she trying to come on to him? Her entire body tingled when he touched her. That had to mean something other than some crazy magic had been stirred up.
“Isn’t my being here enough to make you at least consider what I’m saying might be true?”
“But the ending I wrote can’t happen.” She shook her head again. “It’s not possible.”
“The cat man ends up with the heroine.” She sighed and blinked back tears. Good things didn’t happen for her — not often anyway. She’d been born a witch in an era where witches weren’t accepted. Her parents hadn’t known what to do with her and men tended not to want to be with her for fear she’d incinerate them or turn them into something when she got mad. Society didn’t understand her or her powers and shunned the others of her kind. Still, she’d managed to fly under the radar and have a life. Chaos shifting into Adrian wasn’t a bad thing, but he’d see she wasn’t… Her head hurt. He’d want to move on like the others and she wasn’t sure she could bear him leaving.
“Your ending sounds perfect to me.” He curled his fingers under her chin. “Why are you crying?”
“I don’t know you.”
“Yes, you do.” He gathered her into his arms and pulled her onto his lap. He held her. “I’m still Chaos. I might be a little silly and energetic, but I’m very affectionate to the woman who owns me. You’ve always said you loved me. I love you, too.”
“Chaos.” Loved her? Maybe in his feline form. All he had to do was look out into the hallway to the girl who lived across the way. She’d turn his head and he’d be gone.
“The other guys left you because they hated me. Lane didn’t appreciate me clawing up his coat or pissing on his shoes. I did that because I didn’t like him either. He hurt your feelings and stepped on your pride. A man doesn’t do that.”
She forced herself to breathe. He’d managed to tear down some of the fortifications around her heart. In many ways, he was everything she wanted. Kind, compassionate, sexy, loyal… but he couldn’t stay loyal forever. He also couldn’t stay in his human form forever. “Chaos? You’re still freaking me out. If this is all true, then my cat turned into a man.”
“Am I really that repulsive?”
“No.” She tilted her head to look into his green eyes. “You’re — you’re the type of guy I can only dream of dating.”
“I’m all yours.”
She shoved off his lap and put space between them. Time to put the walls back up around her heart. “That’s because I’m the only person you know. Fiction rarely becomes fact.”
“What can I do to prove to you that you’re my person and we belong together?”
“You can give me time to think.”
“Want me to spend the night on the couch?” He stood and gripped the sheet tight. “I won’t fit on my spot on the back of the couch, but I’ll manage.”
“Chaos.” Damn it. How was it possible for him to be both irritating and charming at the same time? “You don’t understand. When I went to bed, my cat was a cat. When I rolled over to go to the bathroom, I find a naked man with his dick nestled between my ass cheeks. This is how scary movies start.”
“I’m sorry.” He frowned and his eyebrows knotted. “I didn’t… realize. You’re right. This is a crazy situation.” He stepped backwards away from her. “I’ll be on the couch.”
Aggravation swam around in her brain. Part of her wanted him to get the hell out of her apartment because he couldn’t be real. The rest of her wanted him right beside her in case he was telling the truth. “Wait. If you’re really my cat, then prove it. Switch. Right here. Right in front of me.”
“I’ll try. I can’t guarantee anything.” Adrian dropped the sheet and closed his eyes. He tipped his face skyward. His human form melted down into the black form of a cat. His whiskers extended and his ears elongated. When he opened his eyes again, he peered up at her from the floor.
Meli wobbled, then scooted off the bed. She scooped the cat into her arms. “Chaos?”
The cat rubbed his head on her cheek and purred. He nuzzled her face.
“I don’t understand how I was blessed with a black cat shifter, but I’m not complaining.” She kissed the top of his furry head. “I’m also not sure what I’m going to do with you. Part of me wants to love on you and keep you just like this. The rest of me wants to explore your new body. I’m so screwed up… My cat shifted into a man and I want to make love to him.”
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