To the Victor Goes the Spoils
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by Nia K. Foxx
Category: Erotica/Multicultural-Interracial Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Description: What should have been two weeks of rest turned into something far more than Amanda could have ever bargained. Instead of relaxation she finds herself having to pick between two hot blooded Alpha males determined to be her mate. Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations some readers may find objectionable: Menage (m/f/m).
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: July 2009
149 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [285 KB]
Reading time: 180-252 min.
Maybe there was something wrong with her hearing. Perhaps the blow had been hard enough to knock her unconscious and this was really just one big hallucination. "The Rite of the Victor?"
"You're not familiar with it?" Blue eyes studied her as the shifter set her down on slightly unsteady legs inside the cabin.
"Of course I am. It's just no one ever uses victor rites anymore. It's considered retro, like leg warmers, but definitely not making a comeback." Her attempt at humor fell on deaf ears. They couldn't really be serious. Shifters had the laws of their people drilled into them from day one so as to prevent any accidental offenses. Shifter laws were the only things that could supersede a particular species' governing principles. The victor rites law was an oldie, ranking up there with death matches. People understood it, but most shifters preferred to settle things in more a modern fashion nowadays. Sure, even their currently practiced methods for resolving disputes might seem arcane to humans, but those rules were a lot less harsh than some of the lesser-used shifter laws. Victor rites were most popular over a thousand years ago, before shifters embraced mating outside of their orders, which opened the pool of available females. Learning that humans and shifters could successfully mate was just another nail in the coffin for the law.
She took a step back to look up into the dual scowling faces of the robust men.
"Are you saying you reject shifter laws?" Blue Eyes posed the question.
She shook her head in answer. To be a shifter and reject the laws was tantamount to blasphemy and an immediate forfeiture of one's life.
"We all know that the more crude laws have been overridden. Surely as members of the Bear Clan, you've instituted more ... modern customs?"
Emerald eyes narrowed even more as the dark-haired male took in her question. "And by modern, you mean civilized?"
She didn't miss how he nearly spat out the last word.
The uneasy feeling she'd felt outside was returning. These men were definite throwbacks of a bygone era from a time when shifters embraced less of nonshifter's influences.
"Not at all." Actually, it was exactly what she'd meant, but she doubted either would appreciate her admitting it. "Why don't we get dressed? I'm sure Earl has some things you could wear and then we can sit down and talk this out in a reasonable manner."
"We prefer the more natural form," Blue Eyes said. "Do your modern Pride rules mandate the wearing of clothes?"
"In the presence of strangers, it's considered proper etiquette unless engaged in a hunt." It was a truthful answer and one she hoped would be honored.
"So your Pride rules do supersede shifter laws?" he questioned further.
"Of course not."
"Hmmm. Shifter law states one should embrace the natural form whenever possible, whether shifted or not."
"Look, why don't we start over? I mean, we don't even know each other's names, yet we're discussing victor rites and shifter laws."
Emerald Eyes was the next to speak. "I'm Regan Nardeau, and Gentle Ben here is Kam Victor."
"I'm going to ignore that crack, Nardeau. You're lucky I've more important things on my mind." The man now identified as Kam Victor issued the warning to his companion, yet his gaze remained on her. "And what is your name, my pretty feline?"
"Uh ... my friends call me A.J."
"Not a very feminine name for a woman. Why don't you give us your birth name?" Regan suggested.
Amanda looked between the two men, feeling very small and feminine. It wasn't something she was accustomed to. What made matters worse was her own adolescent fascination with their very prominent erections. The male form was no mystery to her, and she silently cursed herself for her curious glances to what should have been as commonplace as their noses. Just one more peek, she told herself. Good Lord, were they hung! Each of their cocks had to be nine inches from base to tip and still growing. She noted that Kam's shaft seemed thicker closer to its base, while Regan's was long and straight and had just enough of a curve guaranteed to find a woman's G-spot.
"There will be time for that later, my dear, after you've selected your victor, but for now we're waiting for your name."
Kam's voice brought a blush to her cheeks at being caught staring, and she coughed to dispel the nervous heat coursing through her body.
"Amanda Jo of the Spoils Pride of California."
"Well, that's an awful long name, but I think Amanda will do just fine. Now back to more important matters," Kam continued.
She made an effort to keep her focus on their faces as she spoke. "I really don't mean to be contrary, but I can't in good conscience pick either of you as a mate. See, I came up here to consider which Pride male to take as a mate back home. When I return, my father is expecting my answer."
"Think of how happy he'll be to find you've already selected someone."
Lance Spoils would be anything but happy to see her waltz onto the property with a three-hundred-pound bear shifter in tow. In fact, she was pretty certain he'd have a coronary right where he stood.
Obviously, the two wouldn't see reason, so she'd just have to try a different approach. "Look, as tempting as you both are, I can't rightfully say either of you was the victor. Kam chased me, and Regan damn near killed me, neither of which spells out an exact winner."
They grudgingly grunted their agreement, and she almost sagged with relief.
"Death match it is," Regan stated, and Kam nodded.
Just the thought made her sick to her stomach. Sure, she'd seen tons of violence in her life, had even killed a few men herself in battle, but to think that another life could be taken because of her was quite another thing. Besides, she fully intended to get her deposit back from Earl and was sure shifter remains would negate that possibility.
"Wait a second. There's got to be another way."
The two men exchanged glances before looking at her and shaking their heads.
"Either there's a clear victor, which we haven't been able to establish, or you make the decision. Since you don't seem to want to do that, the only other option is the death match," Regan offered.
She thought of one other option, which seemed the most logical. "Or we could just forget about it altogether and go on our merry ways. I'm sure there are plenty of shifter females in your Clans for you to fight over."
Kam moved farther into the open living area, setting off her internal alarm bells. In their previous positions, she could keep her sights on both men. "Hon, I don't know if you've heard, but the ratio of men to women here is ten to one, even greater when you factor in the shifter population." His movements were as casual as his words as he went about the cabin inspecting things. "Looks like Earl has picked up a few new items in his travels," he said to no one in particular.
"You know Earl?" Amanda wasn't sure why that came as a bit of a surprise, but it did. Kam stopped in front of the brick fireplace, and she was granted a full view of an amazing ass. His cheeks were muscular and tight like the rest of him, and her mind drifted to a vision of her holding them for dear life as he pounded into her. Her pussy clenched at the thought.
"We're the neighborly sorts; why wouldn't we know him?" Regan answered. "What's more surprising is that he would rent his cabin out to a single female, especially during our mating season."
Mating season? Of course. She could have smacked herself for being so stupid. The shopkeeper all but spelled it out in his warning. If only she'd read between the lines of his concern or at least listened.
"He thought I was a guy." Her statement had Kam whipping around to give her a disbelieving look. "I've been in the military for ten years. I usually fill out any paperwork with my military rank and my initials."
Kam nodded his understanding and went back to his exploration.
She chuckled to ease the growing tension in her belly. "So I'm sure you both see what a big misunderstanding this really is."
"Sounds more like fate, wouldn't you say, Kam?" Regan asked.
"Sounds like it." Kam turned to lean his back against the fireplace. "The powers that be, in all their infinite wisdom, dropped a very beautiful, unmated shifter in our midst." He sniffed the air with exaggeration. "And one in heat, no less."
She cursed under her breath. A lion cub could tell she was ovulating, but she'd silently hoped that bears' noses weren't as sensitive. Fat chance.
"Indeed. So here we stand with the same dilemma before us and time slowly ticking away," Regan said, bringing their attention back full circle.
"There is another way," Kam inserted.
Amanda jumped at the possible solution. "What?"
"You could try us both, see which you'd prefer," he continued.
She bit back a laugh.
Not even if hell froze over twice, but she gave him an A for effort. Granted, they were both fine specimens of men, and under different circumstances she would have been open to a mutually satisfactory evening, but these two were playing for keeps.
Regan mulled it over. "No penetration or kissing, of course, not until she decides which of us will be her mate."
"Of course. It would purely be for her pleasure," Kam agreed.
Her heart caught in her throat at what the two were suggesting.
Regan's face softened for the first time, and Amanda was surprised at just how handsome he looked. Well, maybe handsome was an exaggeration, but he certainly looked less fierce.
"Works for me," Regan agreed.
"Uh ... hello. I think the lady in question gets a voice here, or don't I matter?"
"Of course you do, but know that either way, your answer will have the same result," Kam informed her.
Just the thought of taking one of the two men as a mate made her ready to hightail it back to California. At least with her Pride, she knew what type of life to expect. Sure, she could share her mate with as many as six other women, but once she was able to forge out her own place in the Pride, she could live a relatively enjoyable life. But taking a bear as a mate, especially one of the two throwbacks in front of her, could only spell disaster. The men obviously scoffed at any of the newly adopted Pack, Clan, Pride, Flock, or School rules. She wouldn't be surprised if she learned the places they called home turned out to be dank, dark caves and that they spent most of their time in bear form rolling around in the mud. She'd take a preening lion to a slovenly bear any day. If only she'd heeded the obvious warning, or if only she'd contented herself with her future among a Pride, she wouldn't be in her current predicament.
Like a lamb to the slaughter. "So what now?"
"I believe Earl's bed is in the loft. Judging from his size, I'm assuming it's pretty substantial?" Regan asked.
Amanda shrugged, knowing it could tightly fit three men of Kam or Regan's size. "I guess."
She wasn't sure who spoke; her brain was working overtime thinking of ways to get out of the situation. In that short period they had spent debating the issue, her body had done enough healing to lessen her aches and pains. It might be a far stretch, but she was sure she could put one of them out of commission and possibly outwit and outmaneuver the other long enough to radio for help. She'd been outmanned before in hand-to-hand combat. Of course, none of her opponents were shifters, nor did they outweigh her by about a hundred and fifty pounds. Still, there was always a way to take down a bigger man. The budding question in her mind was whether anyone would come to her aid once she subdued the men. Short of murder, she was sure anything she did to them would only temporarily put them out of commission.
Again her mind drifted back to the shopkeeper's attempts to keep her from the cabin. It was obvious to her now that the man had known what awaited her.
"Amanda, as much as I enjoy a challenging tumble, let me warn you that Regan there is Navy SEAL trained and I still whip his ass often enough. So unless you consider combat foreplay, I'd suggest not trying any of your military tactics on us," Kam suggested softly.
Regan's only response was to let loose a low snarl, most likely at the other man's assertion that he managed to best him.
"Am I supposed to just take your word for it?" she couldn't help but ask.
A rakish grin spread across Kam's lips. "I'd love for you not to."
"Primitive animals," she threw over her shoulder as she resigned herself to her fate and made her way to the stairs leading to the loft. The two male shifters followed at her heels.
"By George, I think she's got it." Regan's amused reply rang in her ears.