Opening the Cage Door

Angyl and Orithain

July 2003

~*~

Julien frowned as his newest baby, his Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, made a cough instead of a purr. Not good at all. Snarling at the incompetence of his last mechanic, he pulled into a gas station and drew out his cell phone, intent on ripping a strip off the imbecile and then firing his sorry ass.

Julien St. Ongeís car had to purr like he did in cat form, deadly, passionate and sexy as all sin. If it didnít, there was hell to pay. Now where to find a new mechanic?

Hearing a car pull up at the pumps, Paul Palardy set down the sandwich that was his dinner, wiped his hands, and headed outside, eyebrows rising when he saw the impressive automobile. Unfortunately, at the moment, it didnít sound as good as it looked, but that was easily fixed. "Good evening, sir. Do you want that repaired, or do you simply need some gas?"

Pulling down his shades, Julien, who had been reaming his mechanic out in four different languages, abruptly hit the disconnect switch, leaving the man on the other end in mid grovel. Looking the handsome young man in front of him up and down, the pianist grinned ferally. "Are you good?" he asked.

The full lips curved sensually. "Iím the best," he purred, leaving it to the other to decide what he was referring to. Then his head tilted and green eyes widened. "Julien St. Onge?"

"You know who I am? Iím impressed. And you are?" Julien replied, his eyes growing more predatory by the second. Perhaps he would end up with both a mechanic and a lover, at least for tonight, in spite of his ire at his now former mechanic.

Paul hesitated for the merest instant, wondering if Julien would recognize his name, then deciding that it was common enough that there was no reason why the aristocrat should connect a mechanic with the disowned son of the local feline shiftersí alpha. "Paul Palardy," he replied almost immediately, offering his hand. "And of course I know who you are. Your music..." He trailed off, not having words to describe such beauty.

"Pah, still not as good as it could be, but itís getting there," Julien replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. "So, you fix cars as well as flatter, hrmm? My last mechanic has found himself suddenly out of my employ. This beauty should purr like a beast of prey in heat, not gurgle like a dying elephant. Can you fix it?"

"Of course. I can make anything purr," Paul replied, flirting. "Itís one of my more useful and entertaining skills."

"Car first, and then weíll see about making other things purr. After all, my car is as temperamental as I am. If you can tame it, you might be as good as your boast," Julien replied with a leer, getting out of the car and tossing the younger man the keys. "How long will it take, do you think? I need to know if I have to blow off my fencing lesson or not."

Paul frowned, considering what he had heard as Julien pulled up. "I canít say for certain until I look at it, of course, but Iíd say at least an hour. I think Iíll have to replace a part, and that will have to be sent over from our warehouse. It could be as long as two hours, depending on traffic, but Iíll try to make it faster." He glanced at Julien, eyes raking up and down him. "After all, I have quite an incentive."

"Two hours? Now how will I occupy myself for two hours while I wait for you to make my beast purr?"

Paul grinned wickedly at him. "Well, I know my preference, but that would get you arrested, out in public as we are."

"Do you honestly think that I would get arrested?" Julien snorted. "I am a St. Onge. I donít think the police would be that foolish, do you?" the pianist waved dismissively. "Besides, itís not the police that worry me; itís my mother. Sheís somewhat... neurotic about my behaving in public."

Paul laughed. "Yes, I know exactly what you mean. My parents were rather emphatic about that too." He glanced up again. "Letís get this inside the garage, and Iíll take a look at it properly. If I do need to order the part over, I can do that and then... entertain you till it arrives."

Julien crowded closer to the man in greasy overalls, ignoring entirely the fact that his raw silk jacket was soaking up motor oil. "You know, this is by far the best service Iíve ever had. I may have to keep you, Monsieur Palardy, permanently."

Eyebrows rising, Paul brushed his lips over the other manís then withdrew the tiniest fraction. "As interesting as that sounds, M. St. Onge, I really donít think youíre prepared to deal with my children."

"You have children? Arenít you a bit young for them? You seem barely a baby yourself," Julien replied, fighting the urge to thread his fingers through the thick black hair and pull him close again for a proper ravishment of that lush mouth. However, they were practically on the street corner, and this was the other manís place of employment.

"There is more privacy in your garage, yes? Is your employer around, or do you own it yourself?"

"I manage this station," Paul said with pride, remembering the struggle heíd had to make ends meet after his wife had died, leaving him alone with three newborn babies to support. But heíd done it, and last year the owner had promoted him to manager, proving that he could make it on his own without his fatherís money or influence.

Leading the other man inside, he added, "I donít think nearly twenty-three qualifies as a baby, monsieur, and yes, I have three children... triplets."

"It is still six years younger than me, and my name is Julien. But if you have children, do they not have a mother? Not to be rude or anything, but I tend to avoid getting involved with people who have romantic attachments already. It could be problematic, you understand?"

"I donít think thatís rude; I think itís admirable." Paul looked up, a hint of sadness shadowing the green eyes. "But my wife died the day the children were born. I sometimes wonder if my father was right and it was wrong to marry a normal," he sighed. "But we were happy together the time we had," he said with a shrug. "I donít regret that... and Iím entirely unattached now," he added with a teasing smile, not wanting to scare Julien away by being too serious.

"A normal?" Julienís eyebrow quirked at that, his mind quickly putting together all the facts and coming up with one conclusion. "Palardy... not Etienne Palardyís cub?" At Paulís pained nod, Julien grimaced. "My deepest condolences. Your father is an ass, and I am trying to be polite."

"Please donít bother on my account. Iíve said much worse many times. Fortunately, the rest of my family doesnít share his opinions, so Iíve been able to keep in contact with them when heís not around." He shrugged again, turning to the car to check under the hood, finding exactly what heíd expected from the sound of it.

"Give me a moment to order the part over," he said, wiping his hands on an oily rag, "then I can offer you a cup of coffee if youíd like."

"Coffee would be nice," Julien replied, distracted, as he picked up a set of photos in a frame of three young children. "Yours, yes? They are latents? Is it difficult for them?"

Paul chuckled. "At not quite three years old, I very much doubt theyíre even aware of the differences between normals, shifters, and latents. They just know they like playing with their papa, aunts, uncles and grandmere when theyíre furry. My mother especially is their favorite cat to fall asleep on." He shook his head, smiling. "I have some wonderful pictures, but of course, those are not ones that I may keep here. I have a feeling they will all choose to be triggered when they are older, but it will be their choice."

"All three triggered at the same time," Julien shuddered. "You will have your hands full, no doubt. My mother was ready to pull her hair out with me, and I was but one kit. Of course, I was a magnificent kit and one that could run like the wind," he chuckled as he remembered. "She tried to swat me but missed more than she hit."

Laughing, Paul held up a hand. "Please, no more. I try to make myself feel better by imagining that they will be triggered at intervals, but the truth is they do everything together. They talked for the first time on the same day, walked on the same day, everything." He groaned laughingly. "I shall have to hope one of my siblings marries someone whoís not afraid of my father and they will help, otherwise I will quite likely go mad!"

"Or you find yourself a mate who can handle three demon cats as well as you can," Julien replied softly. One step at a time, Jules, he advised himself. See if you can actually get him into bed before you start talking about meeting his kits.

"Well, thereís still the issue of my father," Paul sighed, handing him a cup of coffee and sitting down at his desk. "There arenít many who are will to stand up to him. Were it not for the rest of my family, I think I might move out of France."

"Pfft," Julien replied. "Your father is simply a local alpha. All you need are friends in the right places, Paul," the older man suggested as he sipped at the cup of coffee. "Shifter aristocracy for instance, someone like... me," Julienís smile became positively feral.

"You and your kits will come to the country house and meet my mother this weekend. Sheíll like you if only because I like you. Have one of your siblings mention youíre friends with the only son of the Comtesse Solange St. Onge, and while he may not change his tune, heíll not be so bold as he once was, I guarantee it."

"And am I the friend of the only son of the comtesse?" Paul asked as he stood up and came around the desk to stand directly in front of the lounging musician.

"I would not offer you to say that if I did not consider it so," Julien replied. "Attraction aside, I find much about you to admire. You followed your heart and loved whom you were meant to love despite your fatherís highhanded attitude. You struck out on your own, made it without the Palardy money, and you have done well for yourself, all while raising three kits on your own with very little help. That alone makes me like you, Paul," the older man finished passionately.

Moving forward again to straddle Julienís legs, Paul sank down onto his lap. "I hope thatís not all you like," he purred, sounding more cat than man.

"No, there is much to... admire about you, monsieur, the least of which is the way you handle your father. Now, do you think that you should maybe lock the door or something before we continue? After all we wouldnít want to cause you difficulties if someone were to find you riding my cock, now would we?" Julien answered, running a light finger up and down the crack of Paulís ass, pressing a finger against his hole lightly, letting the fabric tease him.

Paul bit his lip and shivered, arching back against Julienís hand before standing up and nearly staggering over to the door to lock it. "We only have an hour till the part is delivered," he murmured, moving back onto the other manís lap and raising his head to kiss him for the first time.

"It will be enough for a taste but not for a feast," Julien murmured, taking control of the kiss and thrusting his tongue inside and scouring the younger manís mouth hungrily. "That will come later, tonight if you can manage it, but if not, it will wait for the weekend. Youíll stay overnight. My mother will spoil your kits, and the servants will dote on them while you and I can get to know each other better," Julien commanded, biting down on Paulís lower lip.

"Well, if youíre brave enough to come to my apartment, tonight is fine. I canít leave the children alone, and my sitter has to get home at night, but they have their own room... as do I." Paul rocked in his lap, rubbing their erections together and gasping.

"And will they let their papa moan and scream and beg?" Julien purred, arching up against the younger man, and then, growing tired of lack of contact of skin against skin, slid his hand inside the overalls and down the front of Paulís jeans to cup the younger manís erection, rubbing his thumb back and forth over the leaking tip.

"Their papa will just have to be quiet enough not to disturb them tonight and save the screaming for the weekend." Paul moaned and arched his back, pressing deeper into Julienís hand, then tugged at the other manís clothes, wanting to touch him as well.

"So I must help you stay silent tonight, hrmm?" Julien purred, "Iím sure that I can think of something," he continued with a leer. Arching his hips to aid the younger manís questing fingers, Julien was busy stripping the overalls off of Paul and pushing his jeans down as far as possible.

"An hour is barely enough time to get you aroused, let alone love you properly," the older man growled, feeling slightly frustrated. "So, frottage to take the edge off, and tonight... tonight do not plan on getting much sleep as I plan on loving you all night long."

"I shall hold you to that, but I think I can manage something a little better for now." Smiling lasciviously, Paul slid to the floor between the other manís legs and leaned forward to press a kiss to the head of his cock.

"Merde," Julien gasped, his head falling back onto the chair and his fingers tangling in the younger manís hair. "If you mean this, donít tease, swallow me," he growled, pressing down on Paulís neck to encourage him slightly.

Paul laughed, letting his breath tease the other man still more, then opened his mouth and slid down, taking his full length. When his nose was buried in the crinkly pubic hair, he paused, swallowing, then slowly pulled up again.

"Mmm, much better," Julien groaned, stroking Paulís cheek as he felt his cock slide back out of the younger manís mouth. "Youíre very good at this, you know."

Paul hummed an affirmative, making the older man shudder, and he sank down again, fingertips lightly brushing Julienís sac while he rubbed his own aching cock against his new loverís leg.

"Thatís it, cheri, suck me down, make me come, make me flood your throat with my seed," Julien purred, stroking his fingers across Paulís lips and over his rapidly moving adamís apple. "You feel so good, so warm and hot. Is this how your body will feel when I sink myself inside it for the first time?"

Paul groaned at the words, wanting to feel what Julien was describing, promising himself he would as soon as they got to his home that night. For the moment, however, he simply wanted to make Julien come, to taste him, and he sucked harder, swallowed more rapidly when he had him deep in his throat.

Moaning, Julien continued to massage Paulís throat, feeling his cock move in and out of the younger manís mouth and throat. "So beautiful, so talented," he purred as his back arched and his balls tightened. "Soon, very soon," he groaned.

Paulís hand cupped Julienís balls, rolling them in his palm as his head bobbed, and he hummed, determined to make the other come.

"Dieu!" Julienís back arched and his head rolled back along the back support of the chair. His hands slid to the younger manís shoulders and squeezed hard enough to leave bruises as he pumped his hips up faster and faster. With a final impassioned groan Julienís cock spat thick creamy seed into Paulís mouth, flooding it.

Paul swallowed every drop, then drew back and licked him clean, making sure not to miss any. He smiled up at the other man, liking the look of satiation on his face, and curled his fist around his cock, starting to jerk himself off.

"Non," Julien ordered quietly. "I want to do that. Sit on my lap, let me touch you too."

Moaning, Paul managed to stand up and move back onto Julienís lap, head falling to the musicianís shoulder as he gave himself up to the other man for the moment.

Hands that played the piano with such surety and passion began to move over Paulís cock as if it were the most precious of ivories. He stroked with light, elegant touches, and then fisted the younger man roughly. Switching back and forth between the two extreme sensations, Julien began to nibble along the smooth column of Paulís neck, wanting to drive his lover to the edge.

Already close from sucking Julien off, Paul whimpered, hips thrusting uncontrollably, knowing he wasnít going to last long. "Oh God, yes, please," he moaned, fingers curling into his loverís shirt and clutching with desperate strength.

"Thatís it, cheri, reach for it and itís yours," Julien purred, nipping sharply at Paulís earlobe before soothing the hurt with his tongue. "And later Iíll be buried deep inside you, pounding you, making you want to howl even though you wonít be able to do so. And this weekend, Paul, when was the last time you loved as a cat? We can go running at night after your kits are asleep, and I can cover you in the moonlight. On Mamanís estate you can scream as loud as you want. No one will mind two cats in heat. Itís quite normal."

Paul bit down on the fist he shoved into his mouth to muffle his howl of pleasure as he came. "Oh God, yes. All of that and more. And I will take you too, mon cher. We will have so much pleasure together."

"Oh indeed we will," Julien purred as he brought his seed-covered hand up to his mouth and licked it clean while Paul watched.

The younger man shuddered, then frowned as he caught the sound of someone arriving. "Merde! They made better time than I expected," he gasped, leaping up and fixing his clothes frantically, not wanting to explain any of this, not ready to share Julien with anyone yet.

Chuckling softly, Julien straightened his clothing and ducked out of sight. "Efficiency is supposed to be a good thing, and yet you curse it. Most amusing!"

Paul rolled his eyes at him. "You wouldnít have found it so amusing had they arrived five or ten minutes earlier!" He shook his head. "Make yourself comfortable. This shouldnít take long. But... I donít finish here till evening."

"Five minutes ago you were writhing on my lap like a cat in heat, cheri," Julien pointed out with a laugh as he picked up his now cold coffee. "And I wonít move a muscle until my car is ready. I promise."

Paul smiled, relieved. A small part of him had been afraid that Julien would not be willing to wait and would vanish as abruptly as heíd appeared in Paulís life. "Only two more hours, Julien. And Iíll make it up to you later."

"Ah well, I was going to suggest that while you finished up I get us something for dinner but then again, thatís what a cell phone and caterers are for," Julien waved dismissively as he pulled out the aforementioned piece of technology and began to dial the number to his favorite restaurant. "Is there anything that you or your kits dislike or prefer?"

"You want to have dinner with my kids? Youíre a brave man." Paul laughed, picturing it. "Theyíre still young enough that I occasionally wear the meal. And ravioli is one of their favorites. I like any Italian food."

"Il Lotti it is," Julien replied, beginning to dial the number for one of the most prestigious and expensive Italian restaurants in Paris. "And ravioli for your children. Shall I surprise you with what I order?"

"Youíve pleased me so far; I think Iíll risk it," Paul purred, heading out to take care of the other manís car.

~*~

Paulís children were delightful but seemed more interested in the four cheese ravioli he brought with him than Julien himself. As for himself and the handsome mechanic, Julien went for something a little more elaborate and romantic. Artichoke hearts sauteed in garlic butter with white wine and lemon, followed by veal osso buco Milanese and angel hair pasta in a cream sauce and finally tiramisu for dessert. He also had a bottle of full-bodied red wine delivered to complete the meal.

When the children were finally put down and the dishes cleared, Julien smiled at the tired younger man. "I had a truly wonderful time, but you look exhausted. Perhaps we should put off anything else until this weekend when you can sleep in in the morning?" he offered solicitously. If he was serious about this man, the least he could do was some serious courting.

"If you prefer, though... you could stay anyway. If you donít want to do anything else, sleeping together is nice too." Paul was surprised by how much he wanted Julien to stay.

"Your children would not object to finding a strange man in papaís bed?" Julien asked gently. "I could sleep on the couch if itís a problem," he offered not mentioning that he didnít think heíd ever slept on a couch in his lifetime.

Paul smiled. "The point, mon cher, is that I would like to sleep in your arms. The children will not be traumatized."

"Then far be it from me to deny myself the creature comforts of a bed," Julien smiled, setting aside his now empty wineglass and standing up. "Lead the way, Paul, and I will gladly follow."

"Iím pleased to hear it. I appreciate your consideration, Julien, but you made me a promise earlier, and Iíd much rather that you kept it." Rising as well, Paul led the other man down the hall to his tiny bedroom, momentarily embarrassed to have such a wealthy man see the state heíd been reduced to, then reminding himself that it was better than what many had and heíd earned it himself.

"Do you want anything to sleep in? I prefer to sleep nude myself."

"As do I," Julien replied, looking around the room. "I like what youíve done here. It reminds me of you, calm but with a hint of fire. You are a father and you are loved; it is obvious in the house, as is the fact that you love fiercely. You are a lucky man, Paul Palardy, rich in all things that truly matter."

Smiling again, Paul stepped close, arms going around the other man as he murmured, "And you are an extraordinary man, Julien St. Onge. You may want to fire your mechanic, but I want to send him a gift to thank him for making it possible for us to meet."

"Pfft," Julien snorted. "He got paid well and messed up. Besides he should be sending you a gift for taking me off his hands. I am a tyrant and quite difficult to get along with, after all."

Closing the bedroom door behind him quietly so as not to wake the kits, Julien stalked towards his lover with hungry intent. "You have on too many clothes," he commented even as he began to strip out of his own outfit.

Enjoying the attitude, Paul simply leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. "So do something about it," he taunted laughingly, drinking in the sight of Julienís nudity.

"Brat," Julien laughed as he prowled closer. Making short work of the tee-shirt that Paul was wearing, Julien dropped to his knees in front of the younger man and began to undo Paulís jeans with his teeth, his eyes never leaving his loverís.

A shiver ran down Paulís spine as he watched Julien undress him so sensually. "Iíd have to be to keep up with you," he chuckled, catching his breath when the zipper was finally undone. "God, yes," he panted.

"Are you suggesting Iím a brat, cheri?" Julien laughed, nuzzling his nose into the now opened vee of Paulís jeans and breathing in his loverís scent. Reaching up with his hands, Julien tugged Paulís jeans down, tapping each leg to have it lifted in order to pull the offending garment off entirely. Mouthing his loverís cock through Paulís boxers, Julienís senses allowed him to smell the heat rising and to taste traces of his loverís semen, left over from their quickie that afternoon.

"Most definitely, but I think I like you that way," Paul murmured, eyes heavy-lidded as he watched Julien explore him. "You know, I do have a bed right over there," he gasped, not sure his knees would continue to support him.

"Well then, why donít you get on it?" Julien smirked, looking up at the younger man from his kneeling position.

Laughing, Paul did as suggested and sprawled on the queen-size bed, arms folded behind his head and legs spread, one knee raised. "Going to join me?"

Transforming from human to cheetah in the blink of an eye, Julien jumped up on the bed over Paul and lowered himself onto the younger man, his entire body vibrating as he purred his pleasure while looking down at his new lover. Licking Paulís chest with his raspy tongue, Julien made sure to abrade the younger manís nipples as he did so.

Shoving a fist into his mouth to muffle his sounds of pleasure, Paul arched up under the cat, silently demanding more. Heíd love to change as well, but he knew that heíd never be able to remain silent if he did, so that pleasure was going to have to wait for the weekend. However, he was definitely enjoying this. "So long," he rasped, staring into the golden eyes of the cheetah.

Shifting back into human form, Julien grinned down at the younger man. "You have only to survive until the weekend, mon amour, and then you can howl as loudly as you want to. I intend on making you scream, you know."

Urging Paul onto his hands and knees, Julien shifted once more, and soon Paul was writhing as a cheetahís tongue rimmed him quite thoroughly, soft growls punctuating Julienís pleasure.

"I meant since I was with another cat," he managed to gasp out before biting down on the pillow to muffle a shriek of pleasure, his whole body quivering. He thrust his ass back, driving Julienís tongue in even deeper, and a muffled mewl escaped him as the long catís tongue rasped over his prostate.

Chuffing quietly at the younger manís reaction, Julien continued to ply him with pleasure for long moments. Nipping on one rosy cheek of the younger manís ass, the older shifter transformed back to his human self and slid inside Paul with one swift thrust, his arms reaching around to pull the younger man up into a kneeling position against him.

A strangled cry forced its way between gritted teeth, and Paulís arms rose and reached back to clasp around Julienís neck. "Fuck me hard," he rasped, needing to feel that again. His hips were already rocking back and forth, seeking the delicious friction he remembered.

"With pleasure," Julien purred, nipping at the exposed flesh of his loverís neck. Pulling almost completely out, the older man slammed back in, repeating his motion over and over. One hand wrapped around Paulís waist to hold him steady while the other pulled and teased his loverís nipples. Faster and faster his hips slammed against Paul, his balls slapping the younger manís with a soft fleshy sound.

Biting Paul hard enough to draw blood on more than one occasion, Julien soothed the hurts with his tongue while he growled hot, dirty words in the younger manís ear. Feeling his body tense and his balls draw up, Paul whipped his head to the side, mouth seeking and finding Julienís, and he cried his climax into that hot kiss, arching and spasming as his hot seed splattered over his belly without a single touch on his cock.

A purr rumbling through his chest, Julien allowed Paulís hot, clenching channel to goad him into his own orgasm. A few more thrusts of his hips and he sagged against Paul, sending them both sprawling onto the bed in a tangle of sweaty limbs and sated flesh. "Delicious," the older man finally spoke, wrapping his arms around Paulís waist and pulling him closer, their bodies still connected. "Next time you can return the favor."

"It will be my pleasure... and yours," Paul chuckled wearily, already falling asleep after the long day and overwhelming pleasure.

"I have no doubt of that at all, cheri," Julien replied, pressing a kiss to the back of the younger manís neck, before following him into sleep.

~*~

Paul woke in the middle of the night, momentarily confused by the lack of space in his bed and the heat, and then he smiled as he remembered. He rolled over, still within the possessive embrace of one of Julienís arms, and smiled at his lover. Unable to resist, he kissed the other man lightly, feeling his body stir at the memories of what they had done that night.

"Mmm, you should be asleep, Paul. You must get up to work in the morning," Julien murmured quietly, pulling his lover closer. "We cannot have you falling asleep on the job, now can we?"

"I was asleep," Paul mumbled. "I just had to wake up to make sure you werenít a dream." Content, he snuggled closer.

"Do I feel like a dream?" Julien chuckled, brushing his lips across Paulís. A slight noise at the door had him turning his head, and he took in three identical sets of eyes peeking up at him through a crack in the door.

"It seems you have visitors, cheri," Julien chuckled as he motioned for the children to join them on the bed. "I think three little kits want their papa."

"Lizette was scared, Papa," Michel announced, big eyes fixed on the man hugging their father.

"And you came with her to make sure that she was all right. That was very kind of you, mon fils," Paul said, lifting the covers so the three children could scramble into bed with them, nudity not a concern to shifters.

"Are you going to be our new papa too?" Chantal, the most precocious of the three, wanted to know, staring over Paulís shoulder at Julien.

"Well that all depends on your papa, petite," Julien replied carefully, hiding his smile. "After all, he may not like me enough to let me be your new papa."

"Course he does," Michel replied importantly. "He kissed you."

Paulís shoulders shook as he tried not to burst into laughter as his not-quite-three-year-old children quizzed Julien about his intentions.

"Ah but he might not love me, mon ami," Julien replied with a knowing grin. "And it would be better if your papa loved me if I were to be your new papa, yes?"

Three pairs of eyes focused on Paul, who stared back. "I would be very happy if Julien wanted to be your papa, but that is entirely up to him." He turned the question back on the other man.

"Well, he has not asked me to be your new papa, so how can I say yes?" Julien retorted, sticking his tongue out at Paul when those three pairs of eyes swiveled back to stare at their beloved papa yet again.

Feeling like a participant in a tennis match, Paul wondered how on earth heíd ended up confessing his feelings to his children before having a chance to discuss them with Julien. "Well, if that is all that is stopping you, cheri, will you stay with me and be part of our family?" And how had all this happened so rapidly? he wondered a little hysterically.

"Oui," Julien replied with a smug grin spreading across his elegant features. "Now that that is settled, I think we all need some sleep, yes? Good night then." And with a satisfied smirk, Julien lay back down and closed his eyes, calmly waiting to see what would happen next.

Paul raised his head to gape at the other man, then calmly picked up his pillow and whacked him with it, making the children giggle.

Tutting at the younger man, Julien opened one eye to stare at him. "What a thing to do in front of your children. Will you stand by and let your new papa be assaulted like that, mes amis?" he asked the children plaintively. "Wonít you protect me from your papa?"

Giggling wildly, the triplets pounced on their groaning father, hitting him with a pillow and tickling him while he tried to fend them off and squirmed against Julien. "Ganging up on me, are you?" he mock-growled, suddenly scooping Chantal up and dropping her on top of Julien.

No longer bothering to hide his smirk, Julien tussled with Chantal for a few moments and then pulled her into an embrace so they could watch Paul wrestle with his son and other daughter. "They can be very noisy, non?" he asked the little girl as they watched the goings on next to them on the bed. "Just you wait until their new grandmere catches hold of them; sheíll pick them up by the scruffs of their necks and dunk them in a pond, your papa included!" he mock whispered. "She is a very regal lady, after all, and only allows you to be boisterous if she can play too."

Sharing a mischievous glance with the two children atop him, Paul suddenly rolled toward Julien, dragging him into the play. He laughed when Michel leaped from his father to the older man, landing on his stomach. "Welcome to parenthood, mon cher."

Julien oofed loudly and decided it was time to retaliate with nimble fingers that had much more dexterity than chubby little ones. "Had I but known when I woke up this morning that I would end up with a mate and three kits already partly grown..." Julien trailed off with an evil grin. "I still would have gotten up, but I might have driven the other way!"

Giggling madly as Julien tickled them, the children didnít seem overly worried, and Paul simply grinned and leaned over to kiss him. "You would have driven faster," he purred.

"In the opposite direction, oui!," Julien retorted before belying his words by kissing Paul hungrily. "Donít you think itís time for little ones to go back to bed so papa and papa can continue what they were doing before they were interrupted?" he asked with a quirk of the eyebrow. "Or we let them fall asleep and then go make out on the couch."

"I prefer comfort," Paul replied with a smile, rolling out of bed and scooping up two of the children with the ease of long practice, though they were getting a bit heavy for it now. "Come along, time to go back to your beds and sleep," he scolded lovingly, glancing back at Chantal, who showed no signs of moving. "That goes for you too, ma belle."

"It seems it is a good thing I found you when I did, cheri; you seem to be in dire need of another set of arms!" And with that Julien stood, scooping Chantal in his arms and following behind Paul. "So, is this what is in store for me once we live together on a permanent basis?"

"Well, they donít usually attack in the middle of the night," Paul replied with a grin. "But yes. I know you can afford it, mon amour, but I donít wish nannies to come between my children and myself. I want them to know their father, fathers." He settled Michel and Lizette back into their beds and kissed each of them tenderly on the forehead, smiling down at them.

"There are many decisions that must be made before that ever happens, Paul," Julien reminded him softly, adding his own kisses to the three kits that seemed to accept him as easily as breathing. "Not the least of which is you surviving meeting my mother," he continued with a grin. "Shall we try and get through the weekend before we start planning what college these three go to?"

"Julien, I survived my father. I can survive anything. And you will have to meet my mother and brothers and sisters." He grinned wickedly. "They will want to vet you."

"Vet me?" Julien replied with mock affront. "I am Julien St. Onge, I need no vetting! Pah!" And with that the older man stalked out of the childrenís bedroom and headed back to Paulís bed to sprawl seductively upon it.

Chuckling to himself, Paul tucked the children in a final time, turned the light off and returned to his room, leaning against the door he closed behind him to admire the sight Julien made there. "It occurs to me that we have not been fully introduced as yet," he murmured, and suddenly where the man had stood was a full-grown Spanish lynx in the prime of life, golden eyes fixed on Julien.

"Mmm, very pretty, mon amoureux," Julien purred, running his hands through the delectably soft pelt. "It shall be interesting to see if you can keep up with me when we are at the estate."

The look the cat gave him spoke volumes about Paulís thoughts on his ability to keep up, then Paul stretched out atop his lover, covering the other man in a living fur coat, tongue coming out to lick his cheek while laughter danced in the golden eyes.

"Ah, so it is your turn to play cat to my man, yes? Are you going to tease me as I teased you?" he grinned, arching into the body above him. "You must get up for work in a few hours, Paul, and you need to sleep. I, on the other hand, can go home to my apartment and sleep the rest of the day away if I so choose. It is one of the perks of my life and my career. I am bound by no restrictions on my time outside of practice and concerts."

Grumbling, Paul shifted back to human form, though he stayed sprawled atop his lover. "I hate logic. But youíre right, I do need to get some sleep," he sighed. "This weekend though..."

"This weekend I will be completely at your disposal. And your mercy. I have a feeling presenting maman with grandchildren will be our saving grace. She will dote and we will play," Julien grinned, stroking Paulís back lovingly.

"And your mother may save us from my mother, since it sounds like theyíre kindred spirits and will get along wonderfully when they meet," Paul mumbled, starting to doze off again.

"Personally Iím looking forward to my mother meeting your father. I think I must be there just to see the fur fly and your father scurry away with his tail between his legs for being mean to my mate," Julien smiled, yawning as he too nodded off to sleep.

A soft chuff of laughter was all Paul managed before falling asleep, comfortably ensconced atop his lover.

~*~

"Are you sure your mother didnít mind all of us coming for the weekend?" Paul asked nervously for about the hundredth time as they turned into the long driveway of the St. Onge estate.

"Pfft," Julien snorted dismissively. "She would mind only if I didnít show up with the lot of you. She wants to meet the man who has taken a confirmed lone cat and made him take on a ready-made pride of his own. And then she wants to meet the pride."

"Weíre going to have another grandmother?" Chantal asked, zeroing in on the important part, to her.

Laughing, Paul glanced back at the three of them, all in a row in their car seats, and hadnít that been an amusing moment when Julien was faced with those? It was why they were in Paulís old car instead of one of Julienís. "Yes, cherie, youíre going to have another grandmother, just like your friends."

"More presents," she said with emphatic approval, making Paul laugh again.

"Oh, I think maman will adore her; they can go shopping together!" Julien sighed with a shake of his head. "I foresee some very spoiled children in your future, Paul."

"Our future, cheri," Paul replied emphatically. "You get to share in the joy of dealing with it."

"Perhaps it is time for me to go on another world tour," Julien replied weakly as he pulled up in front of the chateau.

"Oh, I donít think so. And just think, in about ten years theyíre all going to want to start dating," he said with an evil grin.

"Then we send them to a convent school!" Julien stated emphatically, remembering too well his own misspent youth and his precariousness. Luckily he was saved from any more trauma of the dating sort by the doors of the chateau opening and his mother coming out.

Climbing out of the car, Julien bounded up the steps to meet her. "Maman, you look as beautiful as ever." He grinned at the elegant, ice blonde woman who was very much of the aristocracy.

"Jules, it has been too long since you have come to see me. So introduce me to the man who took my bachelor son and convinced him to become a couple," Solange smiled as she allowed her son to escort her down the stairs to where Paul was getting his three children out.

"And already I am a grandmere without ever knowing it. Julien, you are a very naughty boy," she teased her only son.

Paul chuckled as he glanced over his shoulder at the lovely woman. "For which I am very grateful, madame." With the children out of the car and standing staring at Solange, he eyed her. "I think we actually met once, many years ago. I was a child, and Maman allowed me stay up for the start of one of her parties."

"Your mother was quite pleasant, your father was a pig, and from what my son has told me, this has not changed," Solange frowned. "We are having a party, tomorrow night, to announce that my son has chosen a mate. It will be small, intimate, and your parents have already RSVPíd," Solange grinned ferally. "As have a few good friends from my peer group. I have also made it known that I completely approve of my sonís choice.

"Now come, introduce me to my grandchildren so we may play while the two of you are fitted for your party finery for tomorrow night," she ordered Paul regally, her eyes twinkling with repressed humor.

Momentarily taken aback, Paul just stared at her, wide-eyed, though amusement was clear on his features.

Taking advantage of her fatherís silence, Chantal stepped forward, coming to halt directly in front of the regal blonde. "I like you," she announced firmly.

Laughing, Paul said, "That is Chantal, and these are Michel and Lizette. Children, this is your new grandmere." The blonde children stared up at Solange with their fatherís green eyes and waited.

"Bon, and you may call me Solange; after all I am much too young and beautiful to be a grandmother, even to three little treasures like you, níest-ce pas?" she grinned, holding out her hands. "I have cookies and other treats waiting in Julienís old playroom. It has been decorated for little girls as well as little boys now. We can get to know one another while your papas play dress up. Does this sound good to you? I may even let you play the game that was Julienís favorite when he was your age. Chase the jaguarís tail."

"Oh yes! Papa and Pere sometimes play with us. But they donít like it when we pull their tails, so weíre very careful. Someday weíre going to be pretty cats like that too." Chantal reached for Solangeís hand, secure in the knowledge that everyone adored her, and the other two swarmed closer, Lizette reaching for her other hand and Michel taking Chantalís.

Watching the quartet vanish inside, Paul leaned against the side of the car and laughed. "Your mother is a very... strong woman."

"My mother is Attila the Hun, only prettier," Julien laughed.

"I heard that cheri," Solangeís voice wafted back to them, accompanied by a chorus of giggles.

"Merde, sheís gonna swat me for sure!" Julien sighed as he opened the boot of the car for the staff to get their suitcases out. "In case you havenít figured out, maman is the alpha of my family. A role she was born to fill, I think."

"My family would have been much happier if my father had realized that my mother would be a better alpha," Paul sighed. "Ah well, tomorrow will be interesting. The kids all plan to come as well," he added, referring to his brothers and sisters.

"I am quite looking forward to seeing my mother take a chunk out of your fatherís ass. Itíll be quite entertaining," Julien chortled. "And your father will just have to take it, if he knows whatís good for him. Maman can either make him or break him in the shifter hierarchy. It will be most satisfying to watch your father realize just how well youíve mated, and I am a glorious catch if I do say so myself!"

"You are indeed. But I think youíre forgetting that no matter how much influence your mother has, my father is the pack alpha," Paul sighed. "I doubt heíll dare say much though, since the human half of him still has to do business in France, which would be difficult with your mother blackballing him."

Julien grinned. "He may be your pack alpha, but the shifter aristocracy is a law unto itself, even if most of them are a bunch of inbred louts," Julien grinned. "One of the reasons why my father, whoever he might be, was definitely not European, just as my grandfather was American, although grandmere kept him around.

"I will admit, however, that I am very glad that I come from a different pack than you, cheri; I donít think I would have lasted very long without telling him a thing or two. But enough of comparing parents, you heard Maman, we need to get fitted for our party clothes," Julien laughed, looping his arm through Paulís and leading him into the chateau and up to his rooms where his suit maker was waiting to fit Paul.

"Does this mean Iím a kept man now?" Paul teased, perfectly comfortable with his position in Julienís life and able to accept gifts from him that he would have refused as charity from anyone else. He found that he was looking forward to some decently fitting clothes such as heíd grown up with, and he was very definitely going to enjoy the next night.

"Non, it means you are my mate and I want to spoil you for a bit. Before your father disowned you, Paul, what did you dream of being?" Julien asked quietly. "Before you had to do what was necessary to provide for your family, what were your aspirations?"

"I wanted to be an artist," Paul replied, staring down at his hands. "I was going to the Sorbonne." He smiled painfully. "But that seems a lifetime ago."

"Then you will go to the Sorbonne, and I will mind the children, and when you are a world famous painter with paintings in the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage and the Tate Gallery, you can keep me. Does this sound acceptable to you?" Julien asked quietly.

"And before you say no, I do not do this out of charity, or even out of love though I do love you. I do it because no one should have their dreams squashed in such a cruel way. If I could do this for everyone it has happened to, I would, but I know only you so..."

"You are a very caring man beneath that playboy veneer, mon amour." Paul stopped them in the middle of the hall and kissed Julien softly. "Very well, I will accept the gifts you wish to give me, and I will not complain about it. Thank you, Julien. I am lucky to have found you."

"One might argue that it is I who am the lucky one. After all when I found you, I found a family... and a fantastic mechanic to boot!" he teased the younger man.

"Ah, so the truth comes out," Paul exclaimed. "You want me for the free tune-ups!"

"With my penchant for collecting cars, damn straight!" Julien laughed, tugging the younger man upstairs for his fitting. They had much to do before dinner tomorrow night.

Allowing himself to be drawn along, Paul observed, "Once the tailor frees us, I want time to look at the art on the walls. Your mother has some wonderful pieces here."

Julien groaned. "Well at least you didnít ask to see the baby pictures. I can live with the portraits at least," he sighed. Reaching the second floor, they could hear the sound of childrenís laughter and the rowling of a large cat. "Well, it seems that theyíve managed to get Maman to change already. Iím impressed. She really likes them."

"Darling, I wonít have to ask to see those. Your mother will have them out to show me soon enough," Paul chuckled evilly. "And everyone likes them. Theyíre going to be incredibly spoiled. Itís a good thing they inherited their motherís common sense, or theyíd be unbearable."

"Well, Maman might spoil them, but sheíll also swat them when they require it. She is not alpha of my family for nothing," Julien grinned as he led the way into his suites. "Ah, Henri, so what new delights have you for me and my lifeís partner today?"

Paul resigned himself to an afternoon of being poked, prodded, and stuck with pins. "Delights would not be the way I would phrase it, at least not before the finished product," he sighed, already pulling his shirt off.

"Tut tut, monsieur, I am an artiste with the needle and thread," Henri scolded. "I will make you look splendid, and you will thank me." Motioning to a rack nearby, he waved at Julien. "Your measurements have not changed in a month unless you have gorged yourself, which I see you have not, so choose. I have a selection made for you. Vite, vite!"

Laughing, Paul observed, "I can see whoís in charge here... as it should be." He grinned at his lover, then turned his attention to the other man. "Where do you want me, monsieur?"

Snarling quietly, Julien took great pleasure in listening to the tiny yelps issuing from Paulís mouth every time he moved and Henri stuck him with a pin. In minutes he had his own suit picked out, an elegant affair that showed off his form to perfection, as per usual. That done, Julien ordered tea and sandwiches and sat in a comfortable chair to watch Paulís fitting with a gloating smirk.

Eyes narrowed, Paul stared at his smug lover. "Laugh it up, cheri. I shall enjoy myself immensely the next time you have to be fitted. And give me one of those sandwiches!"

"No eating while you are being fitted. You might ruin the line," Henri barked like the little despot he was.

"Sorry, amoureux, you heard what Henri said," Julien grinned as he picked up a brie-smeared cracker and popped it into his mouth with a flourish, licking his fingers one by one as he did so.

"Bastard," Paul said fervently, watching the cracker disappear. "You could have at least let me have lunch first!"

"Oh definitely not," Julien grinned. "As Henri would be sure to tell you, a full stomach changes the cut of the cloth. One canít have a bloated middle when getting fitted for a tuxedo; it just wouldnít do!"

Laughing at the look of murder that sprang into his loverís eyes, Julien took pity on the younger man and brought over a selection of meats and cheeses that he began to feed to the younger man with his fingers. "Poor baby, never let it be said that I starved you."

Eyeing him askance, Paul still accepted the food since he really was hungry, and each bite turned into an erotic game as he sucked Julienís fingers into his mouth.

Purring in response, Julien made sure to give Paul the choicest morsels and would even lean in with something between his teeth in order to demand a kiss from the younger man.

Henri snorted and continued to pin the suit, chalking where he needed to and pushing Julien out of the way when it was required. When he finally had to fix the inseam of Paulís pants, Henri growled and stood. "I cannot work with that pointing into my face," he snarked, pointing at Paulís erection. "You caused it, M. Julien; you get rid of it! I will be back in half an hour after I have had my lunch; make sure it is gone!"

Staring after the muttering tailor, Paul started to laugh. "Well, my love, you have half an hour to get me out of this and do something about Ďthatí. Think youíre up to the task?" he purred, one hand going to Julienís groin to cup and knead his erection.

"Oh I think I can handle the challenge," Julien grinned, dropping to his knees in front of his lover. "And I donít even need to undress you completely to solve your nasty swelling problem."

Nimble fingers soon had Paulís chalked pants open and pulled down just enough to allow Julien enough room to maneuver, and the younger man found his dripping cock swallowed immediately, Julien humming happily as he did so.

Knowing that they had very little time, Paul didnít even try to hold back, simply thrusting into his loverís mouth, groaning his pleasure as Julien took him hungrily. His fingers carded through the wavy hair, lightly kneading his scalp.

Scraping his teeth lightly back and forth along his loverís cock, Julien petted Paulís anus with one finger while he rolled the younger manís balls in his other hand. Beginning to hum on top of all the other stimulus he was providing, the pianist worked hard and fast to get Paul to come.

Whimpering, Paul moved faster, pushing into Julienís mouth, and when his tease of a mate finally pushed a finger inside him, he cried out and came. Spasm after spasm tore through him until finally he slumped, only his hands on Julienís shoulders and his loverís grip on his hips holding him up.

"Mmmm," Julien licked his lips, savoring the taste of the younger man and then licked Paul clean. "Delicious! And I am a cat who adores his cream." Tucking Paul back into his suit, Julien surged to his feet and gave Paul the beginnings of a tonsillectomy with his tongue until Henri walked back into the room.

"And there you go, M. Henri," Julien grinned with a slight flourish as he backed away from Paul. "One perfectly deflated inseam for your measuring tape."

Blushing slightly, Paul gave Julien a look that promised retribution and managed a crooked smile for the tailor. "I am all yours, monsieur."

"Bon, then perhaps this time we can actually finish. But just to make sure - you, out!" he ordered, pointing at Julien.

Saluting smartly, Julien grinned. "I have been told. You will find me with Maman, playing with the little ones. Two tails are better than one, níest-ce pas?"

~*~

A short time later, Henriís promises of the perfect suit for the next evening ringing in his ears, Paul followed the sound of laughter and growls to find his children and lover. Stopping in the doorway, he started to laugh as he watched his three terrors crawling over two cheetahs.

All of them looked up at him when they heard his laughter, and Chantal jumped to her feet, making the cat under her ooph, and demanded, "Come play, Papa!"

"I donít know," he teased, though he was already removing his garments and dropping them on a chair atop Julienís. Moments later, the Spanish lynx joined the fray.

Chuffing in delight, Julien nuzzled up against the smaller cat, nipping at his ear and twining his tail around Paulís hindquarters before dancing away. Waving his tail in front of Chantal, Julien was gratified when the boldest of Paulís children grabbed on, as heíd wanted.

Leading her out of the room, he didnít bother to look and see if his mother and lover were following with the other two. He simply led Chantal to the back ramp that allowed cats to gain access to the outside without being seen by any Ďnormalí guests downstairs or in the normalsí wing of the house.

Following behind, Paul was pleased by his childrenís enjoyment and by how well his lover got along with them.

"I want to be a cat too!" Michel announced, hands on hips as he stared at them.

Changing back to human form, Paul knelt in front of him. "When youíre older, mon fils," he soothed.

"No, now!"

Paul threw a helpless look at the other two adults.

Changing from cat into woman, Solange laughed. "Julien said the exact same thing when he was your age. He was most impatient to play with Maman little cub and big cat, but he could not, just like you, petit," she said.

"Your body is still growing too rapidly, and it is not yet ready to be a cat. When you are a little older, when you have stopped growing like a weed, then your body will be ready, and when youíre ready, your papa and pere and myself and your papaís family will all be here to teach you how to do it, and we will be happy to play with you. But for now," she paused for a moment, "for now you must learn how to be a little boy before you can be a little cub, comprends-tu?"

Michel shrugged sulkily, but his father distracted him by shifting back and twining around his sonís small body, purring and nudging him till he giggled and crawled onto Paulís back. "Ride, Papa!"

Moving back to his mother, Julien rubbed against her, thrumming his approval. He knew that she would be the perfect grandmere, just as she had been the perfect mother. Nudging her to come play, he went over to Lizette and lay flat on the grass so she could climb onto his back, letting Chantal and his mother play together as two lady alphas should.

Paul loped easily across the grass, his son on his back, then suddenly swerved when he reached Julien and Lizette so Michel tumbled on top of the cheetah. He sat back on his haunches, laughter clear in his gaze.

Going down with an oof as the air was expelled from his lungs, Julien snarled at Paul, silently promising retribution to the younger man as he wormed his way from underneath the two children. Nuzzling each of them softly, Julien backed away from them before he spun and pounced on the lynx faster than the other cat could move. There was a reason why cheetahs were the fastest cat in the world.

Purring, Paul rolled to his back, exposing his belly and throat to his lover, claws flexing languidly.

Chuffing softly, Julien nipped at his loverís throat but then batted his nose carefully to avoid clawing him since a cheetahís claws could not fully retract. There would be time for mating later, but for now there were three pairs of little eyes plus one pair of older, voyeuristic ones.

Paulís tongue dragged over his lover as he rolled back to his feet and batted at the bigger catís back in retaliation for the swipe at his nose. He darted away, the children applauding enthusiastically as he swerved away from Julien.

Happy to join in the game and show off why cheetahs were so successful at bringing down even the wiliest prey, Julien took off after Paul, herding him left and right and basically running rings around the other cat, his eyes dancing with mirth and pleasure.

Eventually conceding defeat, Paul flopped to his belly, tongue lolling out as he panted, wonderfully tired as he hadnít been in a very long time. The children came racing across the lawn to pounce on both their daddies, laughing and squealing.

Turning human again, Julien laughed breathlessly, gathering armfuls of squirming children to him. "And did you like watching me chase your papa until he passed out from exhaustion?" he asked the triplets with a grin.

"Yes!" they chorused, giggling, laughing even harder when Paul shifted as well and stuck his tongue out Julien.

"You had to be a cheetah, didnít you?" he groaned, trying to catch his breath.

"Mais oui," Solange answered for Julien, bringing over a tray with glasses and a pitcher of freshly made lemonade. "He is like his maman, elegant, nimble, fast and fierce. What else would he be?"

"A Siamese?" Paul suggested, smirking at his lover.

"HA!" Julien snorted. "I look nothing like a domesticated cat. You on the other hand... a tomcat comes to mind."

"Isnít that what attracted you to me?" Paul purred, leaning over to kiss him thoroughly, only drawing back when he felt his body start to respond, something he didnít really want to share with his children.

Solange cleared her throat delicately and then quirked an eyebrow at her son and his mate. "I think that the children and I should perhaps go and get ready for dinner. Big bubble baths and pretty dresses for us girls and a fine suit for M. Michel. And then we will have a delicious dinner followed by chocolate cake with strawberries and ice cream for dessert, and then perhaps the two you will be exhausted enough to join us for story time, yes?"

Paul rolled to his feet and leaned over to kiss her cheek. "You are a wonderful woman, Solange. Julien was lucky to have you. And Iím sure my mother will agree when she meets you tomorrow night.

"Children, you go with Solange now, and Pere and I will come see you in a little while."

After hugs and kisses all around, Solange and the children disappeared inside, leaving the two men alone.

"So, M. St. Onge, what exactly do you have in mind for me?"

Grinning wickedly, Julien rolled to his feet and stretched catlike. "You have exactly sixty seconds to try and get away from me, cheri, and then I go hunting," he grinned lasciviously before changing forms once more and prowling around Paul, rubbing up against his legs and scenting him constantly.

Paul shifted as well, bounding away but at nowhere near his top speed. Even though he knew Julien was faster and would catch him, he didnít want it to take too long. He glanced back over his shoulder, golden eyes sparkling, and gave his stub of a tail an extra swish.

Chuffing in amusement, Julien let Paul get to the edge of the hedge maze and then was off like a shot. It took him hardly any time to catch up and tackle Paul to the ground, growling his arousal even as he jumped back and began to prowl around the younger cat, eyes flashing and body heating.

Paul crouched, belly low to the ground, eyes fixed on Julien whenever he was in front of him, his tail raised tensely. Suddenly he threw his head back and screamed, the sound of the cat echoing in the still air, then stared challengingly at his lover.

Eyes lighting up at the challenge issued, Julien growled warningly and then sprang at Paul, intent upon wrestling his mate into submission... or letting his mate do the same for him.

Paul twisted aside, snarling, and a paw lashed out, though with claws still in, to bat Julien to the ground. They leaped at each other, snarling and rolling as they fought for dominance, the adrenaline pumping through them, their lusts flaming hotter with each pass.

Lashing his tail back and forth, Julien wrapped it around one of Paulís legs and tugged, unbalancing the other cat just long enough to get out from under the younger man after heíd been pinned. Deciding to use his speed to his advantage, the older man dove deeper into the maze and then wheeled around and charged at the lynx.

Yowling, Paul leaped straight up in surprise, which Julien wasnít expecting, and landed on the ground behind the charging cheetah, laughing to himself at how his automatic reaction to shock has worked in his favor. Whirling, he batted at his loverís hindquarters with a paw, letting his claws out just enough to catch in the fur but not to hurt him.

Deciding that there was nothing wrong with an honorable surrender, Julien mewled his defeat and lowered himself to the ground in submission. After all, this way heíd get fucked!

Although surprised at the sudden concession, Paul lost no time in taking advantage of it. Now purring, he nuzzled his mateís throat, rubbing against him as he circled the crouching cheetah, moving behind him to position himself to mount the other cat.

Mewling hungrily, Julien arched his hindquarters and dug his front paws into the ground, bracing himself for the covering. It had been some time since heíd been taken in cat form, and he was truly looking forward to the experience and his lover finally claiming him as heíd claimed Paul the past few nights.

Paul rowled in appreciation, long tongue lapping at his loverís entrance, loosening him slightly. It had been years since heíd been with another cat like this, and he was practically quivering with anticipation. Unable to wait any longer, he reared up over the cheetah, positioning himself and pushing into him with a roar of satisfaction.

Purring in pleasure, Julien arched back under the assault, pushing Paul in deeper and deeper until the younger man was buried to the hilt. Panting, he let his head rest on his paws as he squeezed down around his mate, wanting to bring him more pleasure and incite him further.

Purring and snarling at once, Paul thrust harder, burying himself deeper inside his lover, possessing him as heíd longed to. But this was perfect, here, like this, and he roared his claiming of his mate at the sky.

Digging his front and hind paws even deeper into the lawn, Julien hung on for all he was worth, his whole body driving forward and back with each thrust in and out of his mate. It was delicious and he was so close to coming as it was that it wouldnít take much to make him climax.

Paul drove into him again, shuddering as he came, crying out his pleasure for all to hear.

Feeling the hot splash of seed fill him was all it took for Julien to find his own release. With a high pitched bark that startled birds from the nearby trees, he came hard, sending gouts of hot seed over the grass and the pelt on his stomach.

When they separated, Paul nudged Julien with his head till he rolled to his back, then settled beside him to lick him clean, both grooming his mate and tasting his seed again.

Turning back into his human self once more, Julien lay on the grass, panting and writhing under Paulís ministrations. "Merde, that was fantastic, cheri. But next time itís my turn, got it?" he demanded even as nimble fingers carded and petted the soft pelt beneath his hand.

Shifting as well, Paul smiled up at him. "It will be my very great pleasure." He lay comfortably, his head pillowed on Julienís thigh. "Iíd almost forgotten how good that is."

"Iím very happy to have been the one to remind you," Julien chuckled, his hand now stroking over smooth skin. "But we should probably consider heading back inside and cleaning up before joining Maman and the kits. My mother would skin us alive if we showed up in a mess."

"Pretty as your pelt is, I think I prefer it on you to a rug." Paul rolled to his feet, stretching luxuriously. "I feel wonderful. But youíre right, we should go bathe and dress. Iím sure your mother could use a break from the children."

Watching his lover with hungry eyes, Julien surged to his feet. "If you keep that up, my mother will have to come looking for us and skin us both for being late. So I would suggest you stop taunting me with your nubile self and get back to the house before I ravish you."

Momentarily baffled, Paul suddenly realized what he was talking about and chuckled. "One would think youíd been starved for years, youíre so easily stimulated. Come along, mon cher, itís time to be good boys again."

"Iím starved for you, that I do not deny," Julien grinned, nuzzling along Paulís neck. "You smell delicious - you smell like me," the older man purred before stepping back with a sigh of regret. Julien began to move back through the maze and the gardens to the door to the family wing. Changing back into a cheetah, he slipped inside and headed straight up to his suite in order clean up, knowing his lover was following.

Back inside their rooms, Paul went directly to the shower, eager to clean up even though he didnít mind smelling of Julien. He did, however, have a catís dislike of being sticky.

~*~

Batting Paulís hands away, Julien straightened the younger manís bowtie for the umpteenth time after his lover had once more made a mess of it. "One would think you were a little nervous, cheri," he teased the younger man.

"Donít be. Grandpere is going to be here tonight, and since you are my mate, I think you are now, by extension, part of his pride. Grandpere might be a little old for an alpha, but he can still take the younger cubs down faster than anyone Iíve seen. Besides, if Maman approves, itís good enough for him. Relax, everything will be well; youíll see."

"I hope youíre right. Itís been so long since I was able to see my whole family all at once, and Iím looking forward to that as much as to rubbing my fatherís face in the fact that he canít do anything more to me or my children. I was so afraid of what it would be like for them when they got older," Paul admitted, leaning into Julienís embrace. "I would love you for that alone, even if you werenít the sexiest cheetah in all of Europe."

"Grandpere has been... grooming me to take over for him," Julien admitted with a wry grin. "Itís one of the reasons why Maman didnít have any other children after me. Sheíd already produced her heir. Do you mind?" he continued softly, "I know I should have told you, but it seems so far off that I never think about it. But you have the right to know just what sort of family youíre getting into."

Paul chuckled. "I hate to tell you this, mon coeur, but thatís not exactly news. Everyoneís known your mother and grandfatherís intentions for years, and even without that, youíre so alpha male Iíd have to be blind not to notice. If I minded, I wouldnít be here."

"Bon, then weíre ready for the fireworks to start. Shall we go and show your dear papa just who my chosen mate is?" Julien grinned, kissing the younger man hungrily. "I believe Maman has asked your family to stay overnight since it is a fair drive from Paris. Perhaps tomorrow you can visit with those that show their support while Grandpere keeps your father busy."

"The others are going to be happy for me and delighted to be able to spend some time with the terrible trio," Paul replied, catching Julienís hand in his as they moved toward the door. "I hope youíre ready for this," he muttered, knowing his fatherís reaction was likely to be explosive.

Baring his teeth in a feral smile, Julien brought Paulís hand up to his lips and kissed each knuckle in turn. "Bring it on. Iím more than ready for a good family brawl."

"Letís try not to have any actual bloodshed in your motherís ballroom," Paul suggested, half laughing. Julienís desire to fight for him made him happier than heíd been in years, and he suddenly realized that he really didnít have anything to fear from his father any more. Smiling, he started down the stairs, smiling at Solange as she glanced up.

"My mother might well be the first one to take a chunk out of your fatherís archaic ass," Julien grinned. "Isnít that right, Maman?"

"Bien sur," she laughed in reply. "Now come, let Paul meet his new grandpere before we make an entrance. Papa, come meet Julienís new mate. Oh and youíll be pleased to know that you have three great-grandchildren already. Julien works fast, oui?"

A large, imposing man with silvered hair and beard stepped out of the shadows. "So, show me my new grandson-in-law," Michel St. Onge demanded in a booming voice.

"Grandpere," Julien laughed, coming down the stairs, "What, Iíve fallen out of favor now that Iíve provided a mate and offspring?" he teased, hugging the robust man.

Motioning to Paul, he grinned. "This is Paul. The great-grandchildren you can meet tomorrow."

"Yes," Paul replied fervently, smiling. "The last thing we need is three not quite three-year-olds running wild tonight. I would take refuge up a tree," he laughed, offering his hand to the aging alpha. "I thank you for the welcome to your family and pack."

"My grandson loves you; that is enough for me. And if you cannot bring yourself to call me Grandpere, then call me Michel. Welcome to the family, son," the St. Onge alpha replied, pulling Paul into a bear hug. "Now, shall we get this party started?"

"Of course... Grandpere," Paul replied, moving back to Julienís side and taking his hand once again. "I find Iím looking forward to it."

~*~

Making his usual entrance, Etienne Palardy led his family into the St. Onge estate half an hour later, the alpha heading straight for his peer, not looking at anyone else. "Michel, my congratulations. I hear your grandson has taken a mate."

"Oh indeed he has," Michelís eyes glinted with suppressed amusement. "And one that comes from quite an impressive bloodline. Ah, here is Julien and his mate now. I believe you might have heard of him, Etienne. His name is Paul. Paul Palardy."

Julienís eyes watched the older man with barely restrained hostility as Etienne wheeled around to face them. Bringing Paulís hand up to his lips, he bared his teeth at Paulís father. "I do believe your pere is surprised to see you, ma vie."

Solange, too, was watching the scene carefully from where she stood on the other side of Paul. "Bon, then we have instigated a family reunion. Ahhh, Celeste, doesnít your son look handsome tonight?"

Wicked laughter sparkling in her eyes, Celeste Palardy turned from staring at the two young men to Solange. "Almost as handsome as yours, Solange," she replied, stepping past her furious husband to embrace her son.

"I am so happy for you, mon fils. Now introduce your mate to us," she commanded, her other children stepping forward to embrace their brother and meet Julien.

Before Paul could say a word, his father snarled, "What is going on here?" making the younger Etienne, Henri, Dominique and Helene retreat back behind their mother, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Solange St. Onge.

"What is going on," Julien growled, releasing Paul to walk up to the older man, eyes flashing fire and teeth bared menacingly, "is that you are causing a scene at my betrothal party. Rather rude of you, M. Palardy. Now why donít you hold your tongue while my mate does as your pretty wife asked of him!"

Before anyone could respond, a high-pitched voice asked, "Why are you yelling at that man, Pere?" and they all turned to find Chantal staring at them curiously, having escaped the nursery and come to join the fun, Michel and Lizette ranged behind her.

Wiping the snarl off his face, Julien schooled his features into a harmless smile and walked over to the curious child, picking her up with a laugh. "A misunderstanding, petite, nothing for you to worry about. But you should be asleep after all that running and jumping today, so why is it youíre down here, hrmm?" Julien asked with a soft smile, holding his free hand out for the other two to come join in the hug.

"I should have guessed you three curious kittens just could not stay away. Grandpere, come meet your great-grandchildren," he grinned, looking over his shoulder to his grandfather.

"Chantal, Michel, Lizette, this is your great-grandpere, Michel. Why, he has your very name, Michel. It must be destiny, oui?"

Chantal reached out to touch the alphaís beard, giggling. "Soft," she said, which made her brother and sister copy her actions, staring up the elderly man until Chantal noticed the others. With a squeal, she lunged from Julienís arms, launching herself at Henri, her favorite of her aunts and uncles. "Oncle Henri!" she exclaimed happily, hugging him as he caught her, laughing.

"You know these... half-breeds?" the senior Palardy snarled, causing everyone to freeze, unable to believe what theyíd heard.

Furious, Paul turned on him, ready to tear his throat out for that insult to his children.

"Solange, perhaps you would take my great-grandchildren back to bed," Michel asked, his voice soft for the sake of the children but his eyes ice cold. "While I remind my guest not to insult my family in my presence."

"Papa," Solange began, looking from her father to her son and his mate and sighing. "Bon, perhaps you and your daughters would like to come with me, Celeste; I can give you a tour as we go?"

Looking torn between escaping the scene about to erupt and seeing their father taken to task for the way heíd treated their brother and his children, Dominique and Helene nodded, each picking up one of the children and following Solange upstairs.

Etienne and Henri ranged themselves beside their brother and his mate, their fatherís comment in the childrenís hearing finally pushing them past what they could accept.

"You dare come into my house as a guest of my daughter and myself to celebrate the joyous occasion of my grandson finding his one true mate and stand there and insult your own grandchildren in such a vile and reprehensible manner?" Michel hissed, his eyes flashing fire as he stalked towards the younger alpha.

"You call yourself a leader of family and pack? You are a small-minded, loud-mouthed bigot who does not see the wonderful blessing that is before him! It is alphas such as you that are the cause of our diminished numbers and our need to hide from the world. You bring shame to the name Palardy, not those innocent little children or their father," Michel snarled. "You are unworthy to call yourself alpha!"

"How dare you pass judgment on how I lead my pack? It is none of your business, and clearly, you accept practices that I find disgusting. Those half-breeds are no grandchildren of mine."

Paul snarled, only his brothersí grasp preventing him from attacking the older man.

Julien lunged at the older manís throat, a snarl of fury erupting. He had Etienne pinned against a wall before the older man could react. "Be very careful of what you say, old man," Julien warned, his fingers tightening infinitesimally. "That is my family you dare to insult. And my family can make your life a living hell, that I can guarantee! You will be ostracized, shunned by the rest of the shifter community. Your business will dry up, your reputation will fall in to ruins, and you will be made to suffer as you have never suffered before if you continue to malign my mate and our children. I will see to it personally!"

Brought back to sanity by Julienís reaction, Paul shrugged free of his brothers and placed a hand on his mateís arm. "Let him go, Julien. Heís not worth the trouble. I know that now."

"All I have to do is keep squeezing, cheri, and he will never hurt you or the children again," Julien growled, his fingers not yet leaving the older manís throat and his eyes never leaving those of his prey. "Your brother would be a much better alpha, anyway."

"Not like this. While the shifter community might agree with you, and likely would, we exist in the normalsí world as well, and disposing of a body can be problematic. You really wouldnít look good in prison coveralls."

"I can look good in anything," Julien claimed, but the wildness slowly left his eyes and his fingers loosened. "I would not, however, survive only conjugal visits. That would be the death of me." Using Etienneís throat as a springboard, Julien shoved himself back and off the alpha of the Palardy family, his eyes never wavering and never straying from the other man.

Pulling Paul close, he stroked the younger manís cheek softly. "How a bastard like that ever helped create someone as perfect as you is beyond me, but for you I wonít kill him. Today."

Laughing, Paul drew Julien down into a very thorough kiss, ignoring his fatherís sputters.

"Mmm, nice," his brother Etienne judged. "Hey, brat, does he have any brothers?"

"Or even sisters?" Henri added, grinning wickedly.

"Alas, Iím afraid that Julien is one of a kind," Michel answered for his grandson. "Solange managed to attain perfection her first try, so she saw no reason to attempt it again. Now if the dramatics are over, the women should be returning momentarily and dinner is waiting. We have a mating to celebrate, níest-ce pas?"

All of them ignoring the senior Palardy, the family entered the ballroom, joining the other shifters who had given them privacy for the altercation.

"Well, with such a beautiful mother, I can see why Julien turned out so well," Henri murmured as the blonde rejoined them, accompanied by his mother and sisters.

"The little ones have been returned to their beds," Celeste said, smiling, "though who knows how long they will remain there? They remind me very much of their father at their age," she teased, making Paul groan.

"Indeed," Julien smirked, his hand sliding around his loverís waist. "You must tell me more, madame. I am fairly starved for information about the man I have made my mate."

"Oh, weíd all be happy to help you with anything you want to know," Etienne, the eldest of the siblings, offered, smirking at his groaning brother.

Though chuckling, Henri, the second of the Palardy younger generation, turned to Solange, offering her his hand. "Might I have the honor of this dance, madame?"

Slightly taken aback, Solange nonetheless took the young manís hand with a quirk of her lips. "What a nice young man you are, thank you, Henri," she replied courteously.

Watching the scene with amused eyes, Julien grinned. "Donít look now, mon amour, but we may soon be calling your brother Ďstep-papaí," he stage whispered, earning a dirty look from Solange.

"Not so very young," Henri pointed out, even though Julien was two years older than he was. Still, twenty-seven was more than old enough to admire a beautiful woman. "And donít worry, mes freres," he added sardonically, "I wouldnít make you call me papa."

Chuckling, Paul glanced at Julien. "Shall we dance as well?"

"I think weíd better, if only to get away from your crazy family," Julien groaned. "And as for you, Henri, I have never had a father, and I have no need of one. That is what Grandpere is for!"

Half pulling, half gliding into Paulís arms, Julien wrapped around his lover with a contented sigh. "You make my heart happy, mon coeur," he whispered, kissing Paul softly. "You make it sing. Je tíaime."

Michel St. Onge graciously offered Celeste his arm, all the while keeping an eye on the scowling Etienne. This was his grandsonsí night, and they would enjoy it, come hell or high water, on that he was determined.

"First and foremost," Henri murmured as he drew Solange into his arms and began to dance, "I thank you and your family for opening your hearts to my brother. It has been so long since I saw him happy."

Ignoring her husband, Celeste danced with Michel and made a decision. She would not be returning to her husbandís home. She had followed along with him for too long, and if seeing her son and grandchildren meant she had to leave her husband, then so be it. Feeling as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders, she smiled at the older alpha. "Thank you, monsieur."

Glancing from his mother to his siblings to his lover, Paul smiled as well. "I love you too, Julien. And Iím sure one of my sisters would be happy to provide you with a child when youíre ready," he chuckled, pressing close. "The problem will be dragging her back out of our bed!"

"Your brother is a special man, Henri," Solange replied with a smile as she watched her son and his mate with soft eyes. "And he has performed a miracle with my son. In less than a day Julien went from a devil-may-care playboy with money to burn and little to keep his interest for a long period of time other than his music to a man with a family to love and watch over. My son had needed someone like Paul for a very long time, I think."

Julien, on the other hand, was busy trying to pick his jaw off the ground. "Paul," he sputtered, not sure what to say or where that suggestion came from, "Dieu, I just inherited not one but three enfants terribles and already you want to add to the family? I may never be ready for that after Mesdemoiselles Chantal and Lizette and M. Michel! Besides, canít we at least have a honeymoon first?" the older man asked plaintively.

"Call me Michel," Julienís grandfather replied with a wicked smile. "We are, after all, family now, oui?" Demonstrating that despite his almost sixty years he was still as spry as ever, Michel twirled and then dipped Celeste, draping the younger woman over his arm with a flourish and then pulling her up so that she was plastered against him for a moment longer than was actually decent.

Laughing as she followed his lead, Celeste teased, "If we werenít because of the boys, we would be after this dance, you flirt!" Relaxing and enjoying herself for what seemed the first time in years, she put her husband from her mind, simply having fun.

Watching over Julienís shoulder, Paul smiled and returned his full attention to his sputtering mate, chuckling. "I didnít mean immediately, you fool. But genes this good should not be wasted. Besides, Iím sure your grandfather would prefer a child of your blood as your heir eventually."

Twirling Solange past the couple, Henri laughed at them as he overheard part of their conversation. "Isnít three children enough for you, mon frere?" Not waiting for a reply, he continued on, smiling into Solangeís pale eyes. "I think they are each exactly what the other needed, perfect mates," he finally replied to her earlier comment. "Of course, it helps that Julien is as beautiful as his mother," he purred.

"Youíre trying to flatter me, cub," Solange replied with a smile. "But it does a lady of mature good looks, such as myself, good to hear that sort of praise, even if you are just being polite," she continued to tease. It wasnít that she didnít think she was beautiful, for Solange knew that she looked at least ten years younger than her actual age, which would make her only eight years older than her handsome son, but to have a young man compliment her was still a stroke to the ego.

Michel surveyed his family and their friends with pride. He and Solange had done well, and Julien was more than ready to assume the role of alpha - with a few more years seasoning and some time to enjoy his new mate. Michel wasnít ready to step down, not just yet. Smiling down at the woman in his arms, the family patriarch made a snap decision.

"Celeste, you and your children are always welcome in my home, for as long as you want and as often as you want. Your husband is another story, but... Paul and the children need family around them, more family than we can provide. My home is yours as well. And I think Solange and Julien would agree."

"Thank you," Celeste replied quietly. "It appears that our thoughts are traveling similar tracks, for I had just decided that I can no longer ignore Etienneís intransigence and prejudice regarding Paul and his children. I intend to leave him. Truly, I have already; it just remains to inform him of my decision." Her eyes returned to their family, and she chuckled suddenly. "It appears my youngest son is not the only one to be taken by your family, Michel." She nodded toward Henri and Solange.

"I may be younger than you, Solange, but I can assure you I am no cub," Henri was saying easily, "nor am I known for polite flattery. You are a very beautiful woman."

Nearby Paul buried his face in Julienís throat to muffle his laughter. "I think youíd better get used to Henri, mon cher. I recognize that look in his eyes. He really is taken by your mother."

"I refuse to call him step-papa," Julien replied with a small growl. "Thatís just wrong on so many levels. Heís younger than me, for Godís sake. And you stop your snickering or youíll be sleeping with les enfants tonight, brat that you are!"

"As if youíd give up a chance for a night with me in your bed when we know the triplets wonít appear in the middle of things," Paul scoffed.

Julien growled low in his throat. "Maybe not tonight but one night soon!" he threatened uselessly, knowing he was doomed. "Just you wait until they start dating and catting around; you can deal with the sex talk and birth control and all those fun things. Iíll just sit back, watch and laugh."

"Sure you will," Paul snorted. "Youíll be the frowning papa vetting their dates and instilling them with the fear of God and worse, Julien," he laughed. "Iíll have to distract you so our poor children donít end up nuns and monks."

"And the trouble with that would be?" he retorted, leading his lover over to the terrace doors. Julien glanced furtively around and tugged the younger man outside, pinning him to the wall and claiming his mouth voraciously. "God, how long will this party go on? I just want to be in you, dammit!" he groaned when he finally rested his head on Paulís shoulder, frustrated beyond belief.

"While I have absolutely no objection to thatóam passionately in favor of it, in fact!--Iím fairly certain that at least one of our mothers would object to us dancing while joined," Paul laughed sympathetically. "And Iíd suggest running away to be alone, but I know Maman would send someone after us, at the worst possible moment. But I promise Iíll make it up to you later for having to wait," he purred, nipping at Julienís ear.

"Youíd better," Julien threatened with a heartfelt groan. "As it is, I already feel like Iím going to explode from frustration. Two more dances, Paul. Thatís it, two more and then weíre out of here. Weíre still honeymooning for Godís sake!"

"Iíll let you tell your mother that the guests of honor are planning to leave the party sheís throwing for them," Paul said sweetly. "Iím sure sheíll be completely understanding." His evil grin belied the sugary tone.

"She will if sheís properly distracted by your brother, mon amour," Julien replied with equal saccharine. "And I leave getting your brother to distract her up to you."

"Iíll just tell him that youíll call him step-papa if he does."

"Like hell!!!" Julien snarled, backing away. "The man is younger than me, Paul, and heís your brother to boot. No. No way, no how!" Ignoring the younger manís snickers, he stalked back into the ballroom and shot Henri a dirty look before cutting in and taking his mother away from the obnoxious Palardy.

"I am not going to call him, step-papa, understand, Maman?" he growled, much to Solangeís amusement.

"No, cheri, you wonít have to call him step-papa, I assure you," Solange replied, trying to keep a straight face but unable to stop the twitching of her lips.

"My mate and my mother conspiring to drive me insane and I have not even had a proper honeymoon yet. What is this world coming to?"

Henri and Paul were leaning on each other to remain upright as they both laughed hysterically at Julienís reaction. They staggered over to a loveseat and fell into it, both pairs of eyes trained on the St. Onge mother and son.

"Are you simply trying to drive Julien insane, or are you truly interested in his mother?"

Henriís eyebrows rose. "Look at her and ask me that question again," he scoffed. "She is extraordinary. Yes, I realize that there will be talk about our ages if I can convince her to give me a chance, especially since you and Julien are involved, but Iím not going to let that stop me from pursuing the most fascinating woman Iíve ever met."

"Good," Paul replied with satisfaction. "And good luck. I happen to think that you will make a wonderful pair... and I rather enjoy Julienís sputtering as well," he chuckled.

Glowering at the idiots laughing on the loveseat, Julien rolled his eyes. "It seems Iíve mated into a family of comedians, bad ones at that!" he groaned as he twirled his mother around the dance floor again. "One of whom is determined to catch you, Maman," he continued, whispering in her ear.

"He can try, but that does not guarantee he will succeed," Solange replied with a mysterious grin. "But I think I might allow him to chase me. If he actually decides to do so."

"So coy, Maman, I am impressed!" Julien laughed. "Good. One of us has to run rings around these pushy Palardys after all."

"May I cut in?" Henri inquired, drawing Solange away from her son while Paul stepped into Julienís arms.

"Much better," Paul sighed happily, nestling against his mate. "I have decided that I donít like seeing anyone else in your arms, not even your mother. This is my spot."

Julien chuckled quietly. "Possessive arenít we, mon amour?" he teased. "Not that I object to wanting to be in my arms, itís definitely a bonus for me, but does this mean I wonít be able to dance with our daughters at their weddings which will never happen because theyíll be going to convent school as soon as theyíre old enough to start looking at boys the wrong way."

Paul started laughing again. "I think itís going to be very amusing watching you and Chantal go head to head when she decides sheís ready to start dating. You, my love, are a madman, but I think Iíll keep you anyway."

"Did you actually believe Iíd ever let you or the kits go?" Julien replied with a haughty quirk of an eyebrow. "Youíre mine, all of you. My pride, my pack, my family. Youíre stuck for life, Paul Palardy, so youíd best get used to the idea."

"I love the idea," Paul purred, somehow managing to press even closer. "Almost as much as I love you. And I really am going to have to thank your former mechanic for being so terrible at his job," he chuckled. "He changed my life," he said melodramatically, fluttering his lashes at his mate and trying to keep a straight face.

Julien made a retching noise and decided enough was enough. Pulling Paul to his side, the older man cleared his throat loudly, drawing the attention of everyone in the room.

"Iíd like to thank all our family, friends and supporters for coming to celebrate our happiness. Itís definitely been a night of surprises all around. But, the fact of the matter is that Paul and I are still very new, and this party, while wonderful and gorgeous, is actually the last place I want to be right now. No offense, Maman," he said, winking at his mother.

Solange simply shook her head and sighed. Her son was never without his flare for the dramatic.

"So, that being said, Paul and I bid you goodnight and hope to see you all for lunch tomorrow before you go, as thereís the distinct possibility we wonít be around for breakfast. Bonne nuit."

And with that Julien all but dragged Paul out of the ballroom and up the stairs to their rooms, ignoring the snickers and muffled laughs from behind them.

"Itís a good thing weíre already mated as youíve just ruined my reputation forever," Paul chuckled, following eagerly. "Everyoneís going to think Iím a total slut now, you know."

"You mean you arenít?" Julien teased. Drawing his mate into their suite, he took a moment to peek into the bedroom where the triplets slept, just to make sure the little hellions were still asleep.

Breathing a sigh of relief, he closed the door and tugged his lover into the bedroom, grinning at Paulís disgruntled expression. "Actually, my love, they are probably thinking that I am the luckiest man in the world right now, which is very much the truth. Youíre really mine, arenít you?"

"As much as you are mine, and along with those three who are only angelic when asleep," Paul replied wryly, green eyes amused. He went over to the bed, sitting on the edge to remove his shoes and socks, sighing happily as he wriggled his toes in the thick pile of the rug. "The mere fact that Iím dressed up like this instead of comfortably in a pair of jeans and shirt should tell you that. I despise tuxedos."

Julien tugged at his tie and, shrugging out of his jacket, began to unbutton his shirt. "Then Iím sorry to say, cheri, that you will spend a great deal of time in that which you despise. I tend to wear one quite often when I am playing, as well as at the parties and galas I go to. And I want you with me all the time, Paul. You and the children.

"We will need to hire a nanny and find out about your courses and schooling so that I can arrange concerts around when you have time off. I know there will be times when I canít have you and the kits with me, but... youíre my family," Julien said simply. Sitting on the bed next to Paul, he turned his mateís head and kissed him softly, with gentle passion that grew steadily as the flame caught and consumed them both.

"And I must truly love you since Iím willing to wear that torturous garment so often for you. Though I shall be interested to see how long it takes before you decide to wait till the children are older before bringing them to concerts," Paul laughed. "I donít think they can sit still that long yet." He smiled tenderly and returned the gentle kiss Julien had given him.

As their mouths melded, he let himself fall to one side, drawing Julien with him, and curled up against the heat of his body. "I want to feel you in me again, mon cher."

"Do you really?" Julien purred. "My but I seem to have gotten myself a demanding mate. Was it me wanting to rip your father limb from limb that did it?" he teased.

"I adore you when you get all butch and dommy," Paul chuckled, legs curling around Julienís to hold him close. "And if it werenít for the annoyance of prison, Iíd say to go right ahead. But I much prefer you here with me all the time rather than being limited to conjugal visits."

"And it would be rather difficult to make hordes and hordes of money as well as keep those kits of ours out of trouble if I were in for life. After all I need to provide for my family, donít I?" Julien murmured, rolling them over so that he was on top of his mate, pressing Paul into the mattress. "After all thatís what the alpha does for his pride, non?"

"I hope youíre not planning to do all of this for every member of your pride, or youíre going to be the first neutered alpha in the history of our race!"

"Youíd cut my balls off?" Julien gasped, automatically squirming away from the younger man in a protective gesture. "How cruel!"

"Then youíd better make sure that I donít find them where they shouldnít be. Youíre my mate," Paul growled, arms and legs wrapping around Julien and pulling him back down on top of him.

"Mmm, now whoís being dommy, cheri?" the older man laughed softly, wrapping his arms around Paulís waist. "Not that Iím complaining, mind you. I like this side of you as much as your... submissive side."

Paul shrugged, raising his head to bite at Julienís full lower lip. "I want to share everything with you. Top, bottom, and everything in between. But arenít you supposed to be fucking me by now?" he teased, pouting dramatically, green eyes peering up at his lover though thick lashes.

"Am I?" Julien purred. "You threatened to cut my balls off. Iíd say that was a mood killer if ever I heard one, wouldnít you?" he teased even as he rubbed his obvious erection against Paulís thigh. "I also seem to have this slight problem of still having my pants on. Care to rid me of them, cheri?"

"With pleasure, though as horny as you are, I think you would find a way if I didnít! And I doubt anything could kill your mood," Paul snorted. "Thank le bon Dieu you are not a lion or I would never survive it!"

"If any lion dares to come near you, he will find himself without any balls," Julien growled. "Youíre mine, dammit!"

"Oooo, youíre very impressive when youíre all butch and possessive," Paul cooed, smirking. "Going to claim me now?"

"Batard," Julien replied, but without heat. "And you still havenít got my pants off; how can I claim you if Iím not naked?" the older man laughed, pushing his lover to his knees. "Now, care to finish the job?"

The green eyes sparkled mischievously and the full lips parted as Paul pouted up at him. "Arenít you supposed to be pampering me? How did I become your valet?" Despite his words, his eager fingers were making haste to strip Julien out of his garments, eager to curl around the cock tenting the fine fabric.

"Ahh, cheri, there is no one Iíd rather have kneeling at my feet and looking so beautiful, but youíre right, I was supposed to be fucking you. Where the pampering came from, Iím not sure," Julien laughed, pulling Paul to his feet and then pushing him back onto the bed.

Stripping out of his pants, he dove on top of the younger man, mouth searching for and finding his mateís in order to ravish it hungrily. "But if you want pampering, I could forgo the fucking," he grinned wickedly.

"So much for spoiling me for the rest of my life. How quickly they forget," Paul said mournfully, trying not to laugh. "But you can make it up to me by fucking me. Now would be nice." He arched beneath Julienís weight.

"Ah, but I do intend to spoil you for the rest of your life. Iíve given you me, havenít I?" Julien replied with a smug grin. "How much more can one man ask for than that?"

"Youíre going to need to get another house for that ego of yours," Paul snorted, rolling his eyes. "Iíd say youíre the lucky one to get me." He suddenly shifted, dragged his long, raspy tongue over Julienís startled face, and shifted back to human, a huge, smug grin on his face.

"Well, we shall see, wonít we?" Julien replied with a cocky smile. As he bent to kiss his mate, he aligned his hips and pushed into the younger manís body, slowly due to the fact that he was dry but never stopping, wanting to claim his mate... and wipe the smug grin off his face too!

"Ahhhhh!" Paul groaned, body arching. It hurt, but the burning only added to the pleasure of Julienís possession of him, the harsh sensation in direct contrast to the smooth silk sheets beneath him. "God yes," he rasped, burning green eyes fixed on Julienís brown, loving the expression in their depths.

"Forever, Paul St. Onge-Palardy. Forever," Julien breathed before capturing his mateís mouth hungrily, his body finally coming to rest against the younger manís, not moving until Paul was ready for it.

Beyond words, Paul reared up, gasping at the feelings that engendered in his ass, and he bit almost viciously at Julienís lips. "Fuck me," he demanded, green eyes wild and hungry.

"With pleasure," Julien purred before drawing almost completely out of his mate and slamming back in with some force. Over and over again he claimed the man writhing like a wanton beneath him, his nails scraping over golden skin, leaving red welts in their wake.

When Paul was suitably lost to the sensations, Julien licked his way up the side of his mateís face and whispered in his ear. "Hold on, mon amour, youíre in for a treat." And with that he shifted into cat form.

Paulís eyes widened and he screamed, suddenly filled almost to bursting. His cock was now nestled in and rubbing through soft belly fur, and he could see Julienís flexing claws on either side of his head as the cheetah straddled him, still fucking him.

He wasnít going to be able to walk or sit comfortably for days, but damned if he cared. Heíd never done this before, not human to cat, and if he could, he would have kicked himself for it. "God, yes!" he wailed, arms and legs wrapped around and clinging to Julien as the only stable point in his world just then.

Purring constantly, the sound a loud rumble that vibrated his body, Julien lapped his cat rough tongue over his loverís lips, chin and down to his nipples as he continued to hunch into his mate. Petting the younger man with the downy softness of his cheek, he let his razor sharp teeth nip into soft human flesh and felt his claws extend and release on the fabric, kneading it as he powered into Paul.

Paul cried out again when he felt Julien bite him, the feeling an exquisite counterpoint to the pounding his ass was taking. Tongue rasping over his nipples, fur rubbing his cock, huge cock in his ass and pummeling his prostate, he was going to go insane from the pleasure. He screamed wildly as he came, body arching sharply enough to momentarily lift both of them from the bed.

Chuffing his satisfaction at Paulís response, Julien shifted back to human flesh once more and began to rain kisses down on his mateís face while he continued to thrust his cock in and out of Paulís beloved body. "So hot, so passionate, so beautiful," he purred, petting the younger manís hair out of his face. "And so very mine!" With his own cry, one of possession and completion, Julien came, collapsing spent on top of Paul, a huge smirk on his face.

Totally exhausted, not to mention sated, Paul simply lay sprawled on the bed, arms and legs having fallen back in his post-coital languor, and he purred his contentment. "Youíre going to have to carry me around tomorrow and hold me on your lap, but damn, that was worth it," he finally panted. "Now I see what Iíve been missing."

"I take it that means you approve?" Julien replied, a boyish smile lighting his face as he bent to kiss Paul tenderly. "And weíll just spend the day in bed. Itís a sort of honeymoon after all. Iíll carry you into the tub so you can have a long soak, and we can have the kits snuggle with us for a bit, but other than that... weíll do what newly mated people do and stay in bed."

"Mmm, sounds wonderful," Paul murmured sleepily, wrapping an arm around Julienís neck and pulling him close. "Love you."

"And I you, my everything," Julien replied. "Sleep now, we have a lifetime ahead of us."

END

  since 02-17-07

 

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