Publisher: Coastal Escape Publishing
Genres: Highland Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal
Themes: shifter (other), pregnancy romance
Length: short story
Tiger shifter, Brochan Kinley, is tired of waiting for his destined mate, but maybe asking his current girlfriend to marry him wasn’t the best idea – especially when she leaves him standing at the altar! But despite how much that messes with his mind, it doesn’t excuse what he does next.
Fenella Sinclair didn’t mean for things to go so far, but she’s always admired the beta of the local ambush. She’s been infatuated with him ever since she saw him shift several years ago, and doesn’t care if he claims she’s too young for him. But her one moment of stupidity has consequences.
When Brochan realizes Fenella is carrying his cub, he knows he should step up and do the right thing, but he’s still feeling the sting of her sister’s rejection. What’s a tiger to do when everything he’s ever wanted is within his grasp if only he’d dare to reach for it?
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Her hand caressed her belly. What would it be like to have Brochan’s child? Would they become one big, happy family? Or would he be appalled that he’d gotten his ex-fiancée’s baby sister pregnant? If the snores coming from him were any indication, he’d already passed out for the night. What if he didn’t remember what happened between them? She’d just die of embarrassment if the most magical night of her life could be so easily dismissed by the man she’d always adored.
Fenella put herself back together, gave Brochan one last lingering look, then headed out. She drove home quickly, wanting to shower and assess the situation a bit more. When she pulled into her driveway, she was more than a little surprised to see Iona’s car parked outside. Her sister should have been far from this area by now. At the very least, they should have stayed in Inverness overnight and continued on to Glasgow in the morning.
She stepped inside the house and followed the sounds to Iona’s bedroom, where she found her sister stuffing everything she owned into the boxes scattered around the room. The room was in complete chaos, with clothes and purses tossed about, her books dumped haphazardly into a box by the door, and wads of newspaper scattered across the bed as Iona wrapped her breakables.
“What are you doin’?” Fenella asked.
Iona startled and looked up. “I didnae hear you come in.”
“Obviously. But that disnae tell me what you’re doin’.”
“Packing. Alec disnae want to come back here for a while, at least, no’ until Brochan is over my leaving him at the altar like that. Did you explain to him why I had to leave?”
Fenella folded her arms over her chest. “Aye. It was so great of you to leave me with the task of telling your fiancé that you no longer wanted to marry him. On your wedding day!” she screamed. “Jilting him the way you did was tasteless and cruel. You’d obviously known for a while that you had feelings for Alec. Why’d you wait so long to tell Brochan that you wouldnae marry him? Why no’ stop things before they got so far?”
Iona looked chagrined. “I didnae know what to say to him, and I wasnae certain how Alec felt. He sought me out this mornin’ and told me he didnae want to live without me. He proposed and everything.” She held up her hand, flashing a diamond easily twice the size of the one Brochan had given her.
Suddenly, it all made sense to Fenella. She hated to think ill of her sister, but it was obvious to her that marrying Alec had nothing to do with love and everything to do with his bank account. Iona had always been obsessed with owning the best of everything, and now she’d found a man who could provide that for her, far better than Brochan ever could. The sexy tiger was well-off by town standards, but he didn’t make nearly as much as Alec apparently did. And appearances were everything to Iona. She’d always wanted to grow up and be someone important. Little did she realize that had she remained with Brochan, she would have been the beta’s mate. Maybe there was a reason he’d never told Iona about himself. Maybe deep down, he’d always known how shallow she was.
“Leave your keys when you go,” Fenella said. “You already signed the house over to me when you planned to marry Brochan, and once you have your belongings boxed up and in your car, I want you out of here. Forever. I cannae condone what you did to Brochan today, but I can say I’m very glad he didnae marry you.”
Iona snorted. “That’s because you’ve had a crush on him since you first met him all those years ago. You were barely more than a teen when Brochan first came into our lives, and still in university when I started dating him. He didnae want a child for his girlfriend, and he willnae want a child now. Brochan needs a woman, something you willnae be for a long while yet. You have a lot of growing up to do, Fenella. The world is no’ all sunshine and roses like you seem to think.”
“I’ve never thought of the world that way, Iona, but you’ve always been too self-absorbed to think about anyone but yourself, much less consider my thoughts and feelings on anything. If you’d truly cared about me at all, you’d never have dated Brochan. I told you after that first meeting that it was love at first sight, and even before you started dating him, I told you those feelings had grown. But you didnae care. You only cared about yourself.”
“It disnae matter any longer. I’m gone. But donae think you can get Brochan to ever feel anything for you. He knows what it’s like to be with a real woman, and he willnae want to be with someone as inexperienced as you.”
It was on the tip of her tongue to tell her bitchy sister that she’d already been with Brochan and had consoled him in every way possible tonight, but something held her back. Iona was unpredictable and Fenella couldn’t be certain what she would do when faced with that situation. In her sister’s world, men worshiped the ground Iona walked on and never looked at another woman again. She didn’t realize that people moved on once they realized how selfish, shallow, and bitchy her sister could be. Truthfully, Fenella couldn’t understand why Brochan had stayed with her for so long, much less asked Iona to marry him.
Then again, he was a sweet man and probably only saw the good in people. She chewed on her lower lip. Well, maybe not all people. As beta of his ambush, it was his responsibility to dole out the punishment when someone did something wrong. He couldn’t be sweet and loving all the time, so she knew there was a harder, tougher side to Brochan. It didn’t mean he had a clue when it came to women though. Men saw a pretty face and little else mattered, especially if they were getting laid.
“Mark my words,” Iona said. “In less than week, he’ll be whoring around again, tossing up whatever skirt walks past him. Any skirt but yours.” She smirked. “You’ll never be good enough for the likes of Brochan Kinley. He’ll always be too much man for you.”
The words hurt, but Fenella buried them deep. Fighting the urge to flip off her sister, she turned and headed toward her room, firmly shutting and locking the door behind her. Her shower would have to wait because she refused to step foot outside of her room until her horrible sister was gone. This time for good. That was one set of taillights Fenella couldn’t wait to see. If Iona never darkened her door again, it would be too soon.
Tiger’s Claim is book 3 in the Highland Shifters series. Each book can be read as a stand alone, even though you may enjoy the series more if they are read in order.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenna McKay is a lover of all things Scottish—especially men in kilts! There’s just something sexy about Scotsmen. The Scottish burr, perhaps? Their rugged good looks? Maybe it’s not just one thing, but everything combined into one mouthwatering package.
Kenna didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, but she’s loved the written word for as long as she can remember. Writing stories from a young age, it wasn’t until 2014 that she decided she wanted to be a published author.
Kenna loves to interact with her fans! You can find her on Twitter and Facebook. To hear about new releases, please sign-up for her newsletter.
Book – Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Movie – Labyrinth
Band – The Munros
Color – Purple
Flower – Yellow Roses
Drink – Coffee
Perfume – Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf