Steven took a deep breath and tried to even out his heart rate. He had to appear as close to normal as possible or Dare would know something was up. Pushing open the door to their apartment he let it swing shut behind him while he kicked off his shoes.
Don’t look. Don’t look.
A heavy thud almost made him glance up but he forced his attention to lining his shoes up by the door.
A low growl filled the room.
Steven headed for the kitchen. He took three steps before a heavy weight slammed him to the floor. He squirmed when a wet tongue licked the back of his ear.
“Gross, get off me you mangy beast.”
The weight vanished long enough for Steven to roll over and meet the predatory gaze of an enormous tiger. The big cat licked his lips.
“Yeah, none of that unless you’re human,” Steven scolded trying to keep a straight face as the tiger’s nose began to twitch. The giant feline sniffed at Steven’s neck, then his chest before going for his stomach.
He battled his inner wolf to remain still and not cover his vulnerable spot.
A shimmer of magic then the tiger transformed to a stunning human.
“There you are,” Steven smiled.
Dare frowned. “Why do you reek of catnip?”
“I have no idea what you mean?” Steven said. He batted his eyelashes.
Dare burst out laughing. “Really, that’s what you’re going to go with?”
Steven shrugged. “It was worth a try.”
“No seriously, why do you smell like catnip?” Dare slid his nose down Steven’s body until he reached his front pocket.
“If you go more to the middle I have a better surprise for you,” Steven offered.
Dare’s snort sounded surprisingly like his tiger chuff. “I’ve seen it and trust me it’s not a surprise. Dare nipped at Steven through his pants.”
“Fuck, watch those incisors, that’s one place I don’t want tiger attention.”
Dare grinned. He slipped his fingers into Steven’s front pocket and pulled out a piece of candy wrapped in foil. “What’s this?” he waved it back and forth.
“Inno made me some special candy as a favor,” Steven said.
Dare sniffed the wrapper. “Catnip candy?” A delighted expression crossed his face. He pulled at the shiny tabs on each side and watched it spin until a gap appeared in the foil. Without hesitation he popped it into his mouth. His eyes rolled over and he flopped on the floor beside Ateven.
Steven sat up to look down at his mate. Dare’s expression of bliss had him laughing. “I see I’ll have to save those for special occasions.”
Dare nodded. “Otherwise I’ll become a catnip junkie. These are amazing.”
Steven stroked Dare’s face. “No, you’re amazing. I love you, my mate.”
“Love you too.” Dare pressed a palm against Steven’s erection. “Now, let’s unwrap that other surprise you’ve got for me.”
Steven really did have the best mate.