The Answer is Near by Ana Raine

The Answer is Near by Ana Raine

The Answer is Near

Neko, Book 2

by Ana Raine

Changeling Press

Ebook ISBN: 07167-02309

[ Shifter Romance, MM ]

When Izumi, a new Neko pet, comes to Chicago, he and Collin become fast friends. Can Collin trust Izumi to help him find Rolland, or does Izumi have his own agenda?

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Chapter One


There was nowhere to sit on the subway. Normally I wouldn’t have minded because my rides on public transportation were few and far between, but today my legs ached something fierce. I couldn’t really blame Prince Adrian. Even though my beautiful demon prince and master had used me until I felt like I’d fall over, I had been begging him with everything I had to continue.

I sighed and then checked my hat to make sure my plain light brown cat ears were still hidden from view. As the weeks wore on, it was starting to become harder to conceal my Neko nature. There were a few slips where my tail almost poked out of my pants, or the Chicago wind would gust by and my hat would almost trail away.

I didn’t know what time it was, and digging into my backpack for my phone was too much of an effort right now. Even if I didn’t know the exact time, I knew I was running very late.

Time seemed to escape me when I was at our condo, reading, but I knew that excuse wasn’t really going to fly with Adrian. If my demon prince was anything, he was certainly protective. Ducking out of the subway when my stop finally arrived, I jogged across the platform, opting to climb the escalator rather than ride it up.

His office wasn’t all that far from the stop I had gotten off at, which was pretty much the only reason he allowed me to take public transportation. “I would rather you utilize one of my cars,” Adrian had told me from the kitchen where he had been preparing tea. “There really is no need for you to take the subway. And really no need for you to work, either.”

But I wanted to, more than he realized. There was no life in the human world for me without Adrian and he must’ve known that, because after pleading with him to let me do something, he finally consented to let me work part time at his company.

The agreement was that I would arrive at his building three hours before he went home and then we would leave together after my short shift.

After the incidents that had occurred in England during the annual Reaping Ball, Adrian had moved us to the city where his main company office was located. I didn’t know much about United States geography, so other than the fact that we were living in a city called Chicago I didn’t really know where we were.

I rounded a corner, half running up the steps in my haste to make it to the top floor in time. I wasn’t quite sure what Adrian did, but I knew he ran a lucrative business. He had put me to work inputting data into the computer for him and tracking transfers. It was definitely something I could do to ease Adrian’s burden.

I’d never say the words aloud, but being at the condo without Adrian made it difficult for me to breathe. To the demon world, I was his pet. To the human world, I was his lover, I supposed. But to me, he was everything I’d wanted for ten years.

Nodding once to the woman at the reception desk, I swiped my access card into the slot for the elevator and then waited patiently as the doors closed in front of me.

“You’re late.”

His voice was unlike any other I’d ever heard. No human, demon or Neko could compare. There was something definitely dark about his tone, as well as a possessiveness he only used when he was speaking to me. But his voice expressed such strength I sometimes felt at a loss of what to say.

“I’m sorry, Adrian-sama.” Since integrating into the human world, I only referred to him by his royal title when we were alone. I shivered as his fingers slid over the tops of my arms, poking underneath my short-sleeved shirt so he could graze the skin of my shoulders. “I got caught up reading…”

“I know what you were doing,” he whispered darkly into my ear. There wasn’t any condemnation; he was just stating facts. “I have missed you all day. Is your body all right? You made such beautiful sounds last night… I did not know you could make such noises.”

I stiffened. “I’m fine. Were you satisfied?”

The buttons on the elevator lit up, alerting us to the fact that we were quickly climbing the floors. We would soon be on the forty-second floor, where his office was. But my body was in no state for me to be seen by his employees. As Adrian cupped the growing bulge in my jeans, I moaned.

Adrian licked my ear and said, “I am always satisfied.”

I’d been collared over a month ago, as proven by the glittering bracelet around my wrist. But Adrian liked to remind himself of that fact and often pressed his lips to my wrist. I sighed as he inhaled my skin and then released me just as the doors hissed open.

Leaving the warmth of his arms was hard, but having to explain our relationship to employees who weren’t demons would have been near impossible.

“Hello, Collin.” Porter was Adrian’s cousin and anyone who didn’t actually know that information could certainly guess. They were both tall and very thin, with wiry muscles characteristic of all demons. Their purplish blue eyes were almost identical except Adrian’s were lighter than Porter’s. Their skin was pale and their hair dark. But even though they looked similar, Porter could never compare to Adrian.

“Hello,” I said as I entered the lobby of the top floor and followed Adrian to his large office at the end of the hallway. Lucy, his secretary, who was also a demon, gave us a curt nod as we entered Adrian’s expansive office.

Porter sat down on one of the plush chairs in the center of the office. The space was designed to look like a welcoming sitting area just to the side of Adrian’s large desk. It was meticulously neat, but I expected that. Everything about Adrian was meticulous.

Adrian went over to his desk and inspected a piece of paper that was sitting on top. “Here are the accounts I’d like you to update,” he told me.

Usually, I did my work on the couch while Adrian did whatever he had to do at his desk or around the building. But when I went to sit down and take my hat off so my cat ears could be free, Porter made a noise in the back of his throat. “Actually, Collin, I have some things to discuss with Prince Adrian.”

“Oh, all right.” Hesitantly, I looked at Adrian to gauge his reaction. He was normally a very possessive man who didn’t even like his closest friend commanding me. But today, he simply stared at me with his light purple eyes and nodded once.

“Why don’t you make yourself comfortable in the room across the hall?” he suggested softly, licking his lips.

Just watching his pink tongue dart out of his mouth sent jolts of pleasure down my spine. I’d like to blame my sensual nature on the fact that I’m a Neko, but really, it was Adrian. I found everything about him insanely attractive, down to his smallest gesture.

In front of humans I always maintained a level of respect for my master, but nothing like what I was to show in front of other demons. “Yes, Adrian-sama.”

I picked up the laptop and tucked it underneath my arm before retrieving the piece of paper from Adrian. His fingers lightly touched my own, and the skin where he’d touched felt hot. Lowering my gaze, I let my blond hair fall over my face in an attempt to hide my blush.

“I will not make you wait long,” he promised me. Adrian shoved his hands unceremoniously into his pockets, but didn’t move until the door shut behind me.

Porter’s face is what gave the true nature of their conversation away. When I’d first met him, he’d been kind and personable, although still maintaining his solitary nature. But ever since demon rebels whose only goal was to overthrow Adrian had taken my older brother, Porter had been different. And not in the best way.

“Is that door open?” I asked Lucy, shifting the laptop uncomfortably in the crook of my arm.

Lucy was an attractive female demon who always had her dark hair swept up in a ponytail. It made her features appear harsh, which is probably why she commanded the human employees effortlessly.

She smiled. “Yes, it’s open. Porter told me you’d be working there today.”

My suspicions were confirmed. There was no way Porter would request a different room for me to work in unless there was a meeting being held in Adrian’s office or something secretive was being discussed. I knew there were no meetings, so Porter must’ve gained more information about Lance, the leader of the rebel demons.

Settling down into the couch, I took in the empty room. It was fairly similar to Adrian’s office, except there were no cluttered papers, stacks of folders, or anything else to suggest someone actually worked here. I opened the laptop and set the piece of paper down next to me so I could input the numbers. The work was fairly straightforward. I had to go to the accounts and calculate their current balance based on the numbers Adrian had given me.

I was actually pretty encumbered with my task, which explained why I hadn’t heard anyone enter behind me.

“I am sorry if I made you wait long,” Adrian said as he appeared in front of me. He had his arms straight at his sides, but his position was no less possessive. “Porter had some information to discuss with me.”

“Did you find my brother?” I asked eagerly as I set the laptop down on the coffee table in front of the couch. “Any news about Rolland?”

A dark cloud washed over Adrian’s face and he cleared his throat, completely deflecting my question. “I am afraid there is no news about Rolland. I am sorry, Collin.”

Even though I was frustrated, when he said my name, there was a sort of forced relief that rushed through my body. I couldn’t say I minded that part of Adrian’s abilities.

“Then what did you talk about?” I pressed.

Adrian sank down into the oversized chair behind the desk, but didn’t speak straight away. He had his hands, resting palms up, on the arms of the chair and he was sitting so straight I was sure his back hardly touched the chair.

“Lance has gathered more followers,” he answered patiently as he clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “I still have the support of the council, but they want me to take over the throne.”

“Why don’t you?”

In demon society, the eldest son was not always the one to become the next ruler. In fact, Adrian was the youngest of many brothers and sisters. But the way the next ruler was chosen was by the siblings all congregating together and coming to a decision. Adrian had already been crowned prince when I’d met him ten years ago.

“You do not need to concern yourself.” He waved his hand in a dismissive gesture.

Slowly, I stood up and stalked over to him. “But I want to help you, Adrian-sama.”

Adrian’s eyes softened as he leaned back against the chair. I saw his jaw clench as I sank to my knees in front of him, my hands resting on either side of his inner thighs so I could push them slightly apart.

“I know,” he whispered as he intertwined his hand into my hair. There was slight pressure, but I didn’t shy away from his touch. “But all I need is for you to trust me.”

“You promised to find my brother,” I reminded him.

He didn’t even look at me and I knew why. Adrian had told me he had thought Rolland had decided to join the rebel demons for the sake of equality, but I couldn’t believe my older brother would do such a thing.

“There are other ways of leaving the Aloria Island,” I murmured to no one in particular.

Adrian laughed darkly. “Not every Neko feels the way you do, my sweet Collin.”

“I would do anything for you.”

His hands tightened urgently in my hair and his voice was husky. “I know you would.”

I licked my lips suggestively and fumbled to unclasp the button on his pants and pull his zipper down. He inhaled sharply but didn’t make a move to stop me. I reached into his boxers and held his thick, hardened length in my hand. I began to pump up and down his thick shaft before taking the tip into my mouth. Experimentally, I sucked on the tip before taking him half way down my throat. I created suction with my cheeks and bobbed my head up and down while he made soft murmuring noises that made my own dick harden with anticipation.

I longed for him to be inside of me. I wanted him to pull me up and have me straddle his thick cock or to bend me over his desk and fill me completely until I wasn’t even able to think. But he knew how much I loved being with him and he wouldn’t give it to me so easily. He liked to make me beg and cry and even though I already felt at my limit, I loved the way he took his time with me.

“You’re so hard,” Adrian commented, indicating the bulge in my pants. “My poor Neko. You must want some relief.”

I nodded and lowered my mouth over his cock, continuing my up and down motions. His fingers were tight in my hair, keeping me exactly where he wanted me.

“I brought one of your toys,” Adrian told me, pointing to the box on the top of the desk that hadn’t been there before he’d entered the room.

“What?” I asked curiously as I pulled away from his cock reluctantly. I loved the taste of him and the way he would jerk in my mouth when I applied pressure to the underside of his shaft. He was a powerful demon prince and I was his pet, but I was the only who saw him like this.

Without answering, Adrian reached over me and unclasped the lid of the box and then I saw he was holding my deep purple butt plug. I couldn’t help but whimper.

“I love when you make that noise,” he said, as he curled his finger upward. I stood up obediently and let him turn me around so I was bent over the desk. I felt his hands on my waistband, pulling my pants and briefs off, while being careful to not pull on my tail. I sighed as I heard the cap of the lubricant being opened and then his finger was at my entrance.

“I won’t give this to you so easily,” he informed me.

“I know,” I whimpered as I leaned on the desk, trying to find something to hold.

He pressed into me, wiggling his finger inside of me so my muscles clenched over and over again over his finger. Burying my head in my folded arms on the desk, I felt my legs getting weak at his movement and knew what would come next.

“I do not wish to torture you…”

“You won’t, Adrian-sama. Please, put it in.”

He removed his finger and then I felt the plastic of the anal plug pushing against my entrance. He slowly eased the toy deep inside me until the plug was buried to the hilt. I moaned as he tugged on my erection, giving me only a few pumps that wouldn’t be enough to bring me to orgasm. But I didn’t care.

Being patient was hard, but I managed to wait until he’d pulled my pants and briefs back up before spinning around and dropping to my knees feverishly. Without wasting time, I opened my mouth and took his cock into my mouth, gathering the drops of pre-cum on my tongue.

“You are truly amazing, Collin.”

The idea he would call me amazing was kind of comical because he was the unbelievable one. The desire to please him was so overwhelming that even though my cock was straining against my pants, I couldn’t help but want to please him first. I sucked with a newfound fervor, unable to stop.

His fingers once again found their way to my hair and he gripped my blond strands as he made a soft noise in the back of his throat. I felt his cock throb slightly in my mouth and swallowed his cum as he trembled slightly.

When he finally pulled me away, he wiped the corner of my mouth with his fingertip. “As much as I want to watch you squirm for the rest of the day, if you want me to pleasure you now, you only have to ask.”

Adrian’s eyes were dark as he stared at me, waiting. I shook my head and turned my head so I could kiss his hand. “If I wait…”

His eyes lit up. “If you wait…” he bent forward so he could whisper into my ear, “I swear you will not be disappointed.”

My throat was dry. “Whatever you want, Adrian-sama.”

He flashed me a dark smile and then he reached up so he could hold my wrist in his hand. For a few moments, he simply stared at my bracelet, turning my wrist from side to side so the precious stones and diamonds would catch the light.

“Beautiful.”

“It is,” I agreed.

Adrian released me. “I was talking about you, of course.”

I moved my legs, shifting the plug inside of me. The movement caused the plug to rub against my inner muscles and I had to hold back a moan of pleasure.

Adrian raised his eyebrow but before he could speak, I quietly asked, “When can we go home?”

His only response was to press his lips firmly against my own. Then he stood up, readjusted his pants, and then headed for the door. “There is no need for you to continue to work in this room. Please join me in my office.”

“Of course.”

Before I could collect my materials, he had them in his arms. He raised an eyebrow, as if waiting for me to say something. Instead, I smiled and gently brushed my hand against his chest as I left the smaller office.

“Oh, Collin,” he murmured. Lucy was waiting for him in the lobby with a stack of folders, so whatever he had been about to say died in his throat.

I went ahead to his office and made myself relatively comfortable on the couch while Adrian discussed business with Lucy. I strained my ears to see if I could hear what they were talking about. I suddenly realized I wasn’t wearing my hat anymore. Luckily, the only one who had been in the hallway was Lucy. Normally only demons were allowed on the top floor anyway so it wouldn’t be a complete disaster if someone had seen. Still, I felt slight dismay that I was going to have to cover my ears sooner or later. My tail was already aching from being tucked into my pants.

There was a soft click of the door as Adrian came in and set my computer and files on the couch beside me.

I waited a moment, watching as Adrian gracefully crossed to his desk and set down with his own pile of folders. “Is there any news about Lance?”

Adrian stared at me. “Collin, demon society rules are very complicated. I am afraid you will not find the news very gratifying. I have not been able to learn anything about Lance or your brother.”

“Where could they be?”

Adrian laughed heartily. “You used to live on a small island, but the human world is a vast place. There are many places Lance could be, and wherever he is, your brother could be hundreds of miles away. Please… patience.”

I nodded, going back to updating files.

“Collin, please be mindful of the other demons. Do you know what I mean?”

There was a burning pain behind my eyes. Of course I knew what he meant. I was a Neko, his pet, and I needed to remember that because other demons would find me annoying and insubordinate. “I will, Adrian-sama.”

For a few minutes, there was only the clicking of our fingers against the keyboard, but abruptly, he stood up and came over to the couch to sit with me. He was wearing a tailored suit, but he had his sleeves slightly rolled up so when he had to shift his folders, his bare, cool skin would graze my own. He towered over me so even when we were sitting, I felt much smaller.

My breath hitched and the desire to touch him again started to grip me. I shifted on the couch, causing the plug to rub against my muscles. It felt so good I was barely able to finish updating the accounts without shaking.

When I was done, I closed the laptop and pushed it to the side so I could lower myself to the floor and rest my head on Adrian’s thigh.

He sighed contentedly and wound his fingers through my hair with one hand so he could continue to type with the other. However awkward it must’ve been to type with one hand, he didn’t release his grip on my hair. “Do you want to get Thai take-out on the way home?”

“With bubble tea?”

“Whatever you want. That is… if you think you can wait until we get home to take care of you.”

“We don’t have to eat the food right away when we get home,” I hinted, sighing when he began massaging my scalp. The gesture was sweet, but my entire body felt like I was on fire.

“Whatever you want,” he repeated.

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[bctt tweet=”Read #excerpt of The Answer is Near by @AuthorAnaRaine #PNR #gay #romance”]