Excerpt from My Valentine Lovers by Nicole Austin

Copyright © Nicole Austin, 2015

Chapter One

Fluffy white clouds streaked with gray stretched across a pale blue sky, blanketing desolate hills covered with rock, scrub brush and skeletal trees. Winter had stripped the Texas Hill Country of its vibrant colors, leaving the landscape sad and dismal—a perfect match for my mood. From an elevated perch downwind, I studied the only structure visible for endless miles through high-powered binoculars.

“What a waste of time,” I grumbled, handing the lenses over to my sibling, Haidee. “Seven damn weeks of hiking out to the middle of nowhere and nothing. Not one glimpse of this mythical liger.” Sure, we’d caught sight of a total hunk hanging out with Sirena but had never seen him shift.

A liger of all things. The fabled hybrid offspring of a mating between lion and tiger. As if they really existed. Talia Portman had been convincing and seemed so certain, which was why I found myself conducting surveillance of my half-sister’s house. As the story went, Sirena found and mated with a liger. One who claimed ligers were monogamous and would take only one mate.

The story gave me hope. Because if one hybrid existed there had to be more, which meant I had a chance of finding one for myself. A mate of my own who belonged to me only and wouldn’t have to be shared with a pride of lionesses.

I admit it. I want what my sister found. Crave it with every fiber of my being. Especially the wild, uninhibited sex I’d watched with voyeuristic thrill through my lenses. The kind of hot, nail-me-to-the-wall sex I fantasize about but never come close to experiencing. God, how I want the experience, but not with one of the vain lions my father kept pushing me to take as a mate.

Growing up, I witnessed my mother’s endless roller coaster of emotions, thanks to dear old dad. Every time he showed up to spend time with her, Mom walked on clouds…only to be dropped into the depths of hell when he left again to be with one of his other mates.

Not me. I refuse to live that way. To raise my children alone and let them believe that screwed-up way of life is normal. Nope, not happening.

Haidee took a quick look at the house, sighed heavily then set the binoculars on the blanket we shared. “What I want to know is how Sirena not only landed a liger but has managed to actually keep him with her so long?”

If I had the answer to that million-dollar question, I’d be a happy camper.
All lioness shifters learn two basic facts about males early on—they are inherently lazy and complete tomcats. No male feline stays with a female, not even one of his mates, longer than a month before getting the itch to move on. Typically the males last about half that time. Yet this male had been with Sirena since Christmas. Incredible!

“Sorry, Haidee, but your mom’s full of shit. No way is the guy holed up in there with Sirena a feline shifter. Because a feline would have gone off to chase tail long before now.”

“Then why would Sirena keep him around?” Haidee shot back. “If he’s not feline he can’t even get her off.”

Haidee had a good point. Sex with a regular human man does nothing for a female shifter. Men lack the essential bit of anatomy required to stimulate a female feline to orgasm or to result in pregnancy. As with their animal counterparts, male feline shifters have a barb beneath the heads of their cocks that extends during mating, stroking a female’s pleasure spot to both orgasm and ovulation. No barb—no orgasm or babies. This I knew for fact from multiple frustrating attempts at reaching satisfaction with regular human men and several high-tech vibrators.

My imagination provided all kinds of incentive to find a feline and get barbed. To finally feel the tingling sensation of those firm, flexible extensions raking over the walls of my pussy, electrifying nerve endings hungry for stimulation, driving me out of my mind with pleasure beyond anything I have ever known. Without the barb—a lifetime of ho-hum sex with no fireworks. Ever.

Laying on my belly, I dropped my head into my hands and groaned as my last thread of hope unraveled. “We’re doomed to one day be sister wives.”

“Our lives suck,” Haidee complained.

“The total crap purebred felines put up with is really sad. Don’t you agree, Carson?”

The unexpected deep masculine voice startled me. Scrambling around, I got my feet under me and turned, crouched low and ready to shift if need be. My jaw dropped wide open in shock. Standing a few feet behind us were two drool-worthy hunks, clearly brothers.

Twins?

They appeared identical but I noticed a few small differences. Hunk one, on the left, had a small white scar under his right eyebrow while hunk two’s eyes were darker, emerald green compared to his brother’s softer jade color.

“I’ll never understand why they buy into that bullshit the males feed them, Cam,” twin on the right said.

My fingers itched to be holding my Nikon. What I wouldn’t have given to shoot the vibrant males against the stark contrast of the rugged winter background. Both were tall, muscular, and possessed the most incredible multi-hued hair in every shade from platinum to black with streaks of red and mahogany. And then there were the twin fantasies running through my head, getting me hot and bothered. Being the filling in that twin sandwich would be pure bliss.

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