Little and Lethal – First Chapter

Harley

Whatever Harley had expected when they’d arrived in Cookietown and secured a job managing the BDSM club with his mate Nomad, it wasn’t to watch their fated third stroll off and ignore them. He was used to adapting, and he planned to change that situation straight away. Only their new boss, Gabai, a bear shifter, had other ideas.

The large bear led them to the bar, stopping twice to introduce them to two of the roving Dom’s that looked after those who were taking part in some scenes happening in the club. Sex and leather, two of Harley’s favorite things, and yet he didn’t so much as glance in the direction of those enjoying themselves by many of the sounds he could hear.

How could he get lost in their pleasure when frustration rolled off Nomad in high, choppy waves? His mate was literally shouting his thoughts at Harley, making it damn near impossible to keep what Gabai was saying straight in his head.

Fuck, will you calm your ass down. This came with a sudden silence that caused Harley to blink owlishly at finding he could hear. 

“Do you want something to eat? Drink? Before I officially hand the place over and leave you both to it?”

How had they gone from talking about staffing issues to food?

In front of the bar where they’d stopped, Gabai raised one brow at them. Nomad was no help. His gaze was fixated on where the little curly haired blond was situated in the far corner talking to a massive guy who was clearly a Dom from what he was wearing.

Asher, a wolf shifter, Gabai’s partner, glanced between the two of them, a deep frown appearing. A sense that he was picking up something from them came and went, leaving Harley on edge.

Harley’s senses were like a tuning fork, they hummed in certain ways to feed him the information that kept him alive, and for the most part out of trouble.

The wolf laid a hand on Gabai’s arm in a possessive move that earned him a wide smile that transformed the bear’s features. “I’ll be fine, Ash. Go on and… see what’s up with Cosmo.”

When Gabai’s gaze went to the small blond, Harley took the same opportunity. His insides danced with a familiar feeling, one he’d gotten when he’d first met Nomad twenty years ago. This time in came with a different intensity and he suspected that was because the tiny man would complete their triad.

His excitement at how he’d known this was going to happen wasn’t dulled by how Nomad hadn’t listened to him. He was the kind of guy who had to see something to know it was true. And that was fine with Harley, because he understood his mate.

What he wasn’t understanding right then was the obvious concern coming from Gabai, whose smile had disappeared when he stared at their third. What was Gabai noticing that Harley couldn’t see?

With no answer, he kept the question to himself when Nomad’s feelings started dialing back up.

Cosmo didn’t so much as glance in their direction as he laid a hand on the arm of the big leather daddy.

Harley bristled and reached out to tuck his fingers into the back pocket of Nomad’s jeans in warning when he also caught the move. Nomad was a lot more reactive than Harley when pushed, although Harley was equally as dangerous as his mate.

The dude better not touch or he’s gonna find he’s missing a hand! Nomad’s comment came in a low, mean growl inside his head.

“I’ll come and find you when I’ve gone through everything I need to with Harley and Nomad.”

The comment brought Harley’s attention back to Gabai.

“Go through what?” Nomad asked distractedly after Asher strolled off to where Cosmo remained.

Gabai stared at Nomad, his eyes narrowing. “As I explained before, I need to show you both the setup in the office. I’ve done the work rosters for the next month to give you both time to figure out how you want to run the place. I’ve ordered stock for the next three months for all areas, including the Littles’ section out back. If you don’t have a fresh supply of treats and new games, the Littles with cause a riot.” Gabai laughed at what appeared to be a private joke, as he didn’t share further.

Harley, having never been in a club that catered for Littles, had done some research so he knew what to expect. The way Cosmo dressed was a big clue as to what he was into.

“Rocco will continue to manage the day-to-day stuff behind the bar and deal with any minor problems that arise…” he continued on, but Harley’s attention was back on the small man who appeared to be flirting his little ass off with the leather daddy by the way he was fluttering his eyelashes at him.

Why do you think he’s ignoring us? The sulky tone was unusual for Nomad and caused Harley to regroup and focus.

Maybe his animal spirit doesn’t feel the mating pull the way we do?

Nomad didn’t appear to like that answer as he scowled and continued to ignore Gabai while watching the scene playing out on the other side of the busy club. Do you think he’s going to let that fucker touch him?

How? His animal, whatever he is, has to have scented us. That’s the way it works.

Or that was what Harley had always believed. When he’d met Nomad, despite them both being Dom’s, they’d been naked and claiming each other within an hour of meeting. It was only afterwards that they’d had to figure out the dynamic’s between them when neither preferred to bottom at the time. Harley had no issues with it now. Nomad, he was aware, tolerated it to please him when Harley was in the mood to fuck his mate into the mattress.

 I don’t want us to get fired on our first night. Harley really didn’t and stressed that point not only to himself but to Nomad as the pocket his fingers were inside tightened and tried to cut off the circulation as Nomad stepped away from him.

Harley liked the place. It had a good vibe, one that he’d picked up the second they’d entered the building. Most folks didn’t know that every place gave off vibrations. The club, for all that went on there, had a mellow vibe that was welcoming. Harley got that it came mostly from the owner. Gabai had a gentle soul, despite the growly bear vibe he had going on.

“Are you two listening to me?” Gabai asked, his voice full of humor. “Your attention seems to be on a certain someone.” Gabai glanced at them, a frown forming. “Am I missing something here? Didn’t you tell me you’re mated? I won’t tolerate anyone messing with club members. Ya here me!”

They explained about their mating, just not the part where Harley believed they had a third and had been proven correct tonight. Not that their third was showing any signs of figuring that out!

Harley nodded, seeing as Nomad remained preoccupied. “We’ve been mated twenty years. I’ve known for some time we have a third.”

Gabai’s eyes widened and followed the direction of Nomad’s gaze. The deep, rumbly laughter was totally unexpected as he glanced from Cosmo to Harley. “Oh fuck, Cosmo, is your third?” he spluttered through the laughter, causing several heads to swing in their direction. Any shifter with good hearing would have caught the conversation despite the music. He continued, “I wish you both luck with that.”

Harley laid a hand on Gabai’s arm, his pulse taking a dive he didn’t like. “What do you mean by that?”

Nomad

Harley’s strained tone of voice penetrated past the uncertainty and anger that had him wanting to rip the small hand away from the big guy Cosmo was talking to. He blinked at Gabai, who’s head was tossed back, laughing hard enough his eyes were glistening in the overhead lighting.

“What’s he laughing at?” he asked Harley.

He was the one who paid attention more to the details. “Gabai is laughing at us being mates with Cosmo.”

Gabai shook his head, continuing to laugh. “Oh no, I’m laughing at how Cosmo is going to have you two running around in circles. Two bad assed Dom’s. He’s gonna eat you both for breakfast.” Gabai slapped Nomad on the shoulder hard enough to fell a tree and Nomad gritted his teeth, struggling to keep from moving.

“I’m sure we can handle that,” Nomad gritted out.

“As I said, good luck with that.” Gabai pointed towards the entrance that led through to the back where the office was and where they’d been interviewed. “I think it’s time for me to get on with the business side of things, so you can go and introduce yourselves to your mate.”

Another chuckle came as Gabai walked off, and all they could do was follow.

How can we keep an eye on the big fucker while we’re in the office?

Hang on.

Otis, a bull shifter and huge, was one of the roving Dom’s. He was close to the bar as they passed it. Nomad stopped and offered a nod. They’d already been formally introduced. “Can you do me a favor and watch Cosmo for me?”

Frown lines appeared over the big bald head. “Why would I do that? I’m not covering daycare today.”

“He’s not in there, he’s over there with the big fu… leather daddy in the corner.”

Otis shook his head. “He ain’t, he’s gone into daycare.”

Nomad glanced back to where Cosmo had been mere seconds ago. Fuck it all!

What? And are you coming? We’re already not giving off a good impression.

Cosmo has gone into daycare, and I can’t see where the leather daddy has gone!

Get your backside in here. I don’t like this any more than you. But right now we can’t afford to lose this job, not now we know Cosmo is a member. We’ll sort this out once Gabai has shown us what we need to know.

Nomad met Otis’s hard stare and figured he’d missed something while he’d been talking with Harley. “Just keep an eye on him if he comes back out.” With that Nomad swaggered around the side of the bar, not waiting for an answer. He needed to get on with what they had to do so that he could go and find his third and explain how things were going to be.

How did that work out for you last time?

Nomad scowled at Harley’s question when it came with a large dose of humor. Remember, it was your ass I claimed last night hard enough to make it difficult to sit down!

The following chuckle as he entered Gabai’s office was pure filth and he had to resist readjusting his hard cock.

“Right, let’s show you the spreadsheets,” Gabai said pointedly when Nomad slipped into the seat next to Harley.

“Yeah. What fun,” he replied flippantly, already prepared to zone out, knowing this was Harley’s thing.

Gabai’s grin was all teeth. “Why don’t you come and bring your chair next to mine, Nomad, then you’ll get a better look.”

Behave and look interested.

He cast a look at Harley that warned of retribution later when his eyes danced with amusement. He projected an image of Harley tied to the bed and their third riding Nomad’s cock at the foot of the bed.

Harley groaned and his hands dropped into his lap. Happy to have made his point, he shifted his attention to Gabai, getting up and moving his chair where he’d indicated. Sitting, he glanced at the computer screen feigning interest. “Okay, what am I looking at?”

Cosmo

Awareness pushed at the edge of his consciousness, twin feelings of frustration and irritation from the new men who’d stared at him with hungry, eager looks, like they’d expected him to climb into their laps at the first glimpse of them and curl up there forever.

As if.

One had smelled of leather and smoke, the other of wood and spice, a heady combination that left his cat mewling a little at the prospect.

Mates.

Only Cosmo had a good idea of exactly what they’d thought when they’d seen him bouncing through the room in his little onesie. Small. Helpless. Fragile. Protect.

Yeah, as if there wasn’t way more to him than that. 

For as much as he enjoyed Daddy cuddles and being sent to the corner when he was being naughty, there was so much more to him than that. Not that he intended to tell them, though he might show them a little under the right circumstance. Once they’d earned it, anyway.

Right now, he was ready to settle down in a soft beanbag and color a picture for the massive leather daddy whose arms he’d spent most of last night nestled in. Purring to himself, he collected a set of scented marks, a clipboard, and a stack of papers, before setting his treasures down beside the overstuffed purple chair.

Sadly, it was caved in at the center, like someone had spent a long time sitting in it, so he took his time fluffing it and listening to the beans rustle around inside until it was just right. Only then did he get comfy, sprawled on his belly and staring down at the single sheet he’d attached to the clipboard.

Sometimes he pressed too hard, and the colors bled through, messing up the sheets beneath it and rendering them unusable, at least to Cosmo’s way of thinking, so he only used one at a time, and made sure not to soak the paper so much that the markers wore a hole through.

That would wreck it too.

He needed it to be perfect, especially when he intended to make a very public presentation of his gift where the newcomers could see it.

The yellow smelled like lemon. He used it to outline the sun, then colored it in with cherry scented red and orange scented orange, thin lines that crisscrossed and blended. As he worked, he lazily kicked his legs, humming along with the songs that filled the room, all of them from animated movies he knew and loved.

By the time he’d added puffy purple clouds and V shaped birds flying over the ocean, he’d dotted his fingers with an impressive array of shades. Tongue poked between his lips, he added the finishing touches, a shark fin sticking up out of the water, and two pieces of a severed surfboard, the jagged bite marks showing exactly what had happened to it. 

There. Perfect. Time to go find Bash.

Skipping out the door into the main part of the club with a bright smile on his face, Cosmo let his eyes skim over the faces in the room, searching for the big rhino shifter, and noticed Otis staring in his direction.

“Have you seen Bash,” Cosmo called, waving the picture over his head like a trophy. “I have a present for him!”

Of course, he said it so loudly that Otis didn’t need to point Bash out, Cosmo saw him moving towards him and bounded his way, coming to a stop only a few feet from where one of the new men stood behind the bar talking to Gabai and Rocco.

“What ya got, Cosmo?” Bash asked as he bent a little to get a better look at what Cosmo held.

“I drew you a picture.”

“So you did. This is awesome. Thank you.”

“You like it?”

“Very much. I’m going to put this somewhere special.”

Grinning up at him, Cosmo turned his hands over to show him all the colors the markers had left behind. “Can you help me clean up?”

“Of course,” Bash replied, taking Cosmo’s hand and leading him back behind the bar, right past Rocco and the others to reach the sink.

Bash pumped so much liquid soap on in his palm that it made bubbles when the water hit them. Cosmo giggled and blew at one that fluttered up in the air as Bash took his time rubbing the marker ink from Cosmo’s fingers, then drying his hands on one of the bar rags hanging there.

“Good as new,” Bash declared once he’d finished and inspected his handiwork.

“Thank you,” Cosmo said before wrapping his arms around the big man’s waist and hugging him tightly. He got a big, warm hug in return which left him feeling happy and more than ready to return to the daycare and curl up somewhere comfy. Especially if there were snacks and movie time.

He caught one of the new guys staring again, a fierce scowl darkening his features, so Cosmo scowled back and stuck his tongue out at him for good measure, before returning to the playroom, happy to see the flatscreen on and a wet and droopy llama being startled by a lightning flash.

It was one of his favorite movies, so he dragged the beanbag over and got comfortable, fingertips tracing over the soft and fuzzy cover that kept the beans inside.

The next time one of them scowled at him, he hoped he was in his kitty cat form. He was gonna stick his tail in the air and maybe even kick something over on them when he walked away. And if he should happen to hiss too, then so be it.

That would teach them.