Treasured Find (Royal Pride Book 1)By: Nancy Corrigan
A Multiple Shifter Paranormal Romance
To my readers, welcome to the world of the Royal shifters. Times are changing for the species hidden among us and living in seclusion is no longer an option. The Alexander family understands that more than most. They’ve been chosen to lead the way into the new world. It’s a blessing they’ve learned to hate and one they won’t survive without the help of their neighbors.
A bar. He brought the kid to a damn bar.
Rafe Alexander gripped the steering wheel. The tips of his fingers burned from the press of his sharpened nails against his skin, and his jaw ached from the pressure of his fangs sliding into place. He wanted to beat the human for exposing a preschooler to world of drunks and illicit behaviors.
But if it saved her? Yeah. If the human kept their cub from falling into the wrong hands, Rafe would be thanking the guy, right after he explained with his fists that a bar in the backwoods of West Virginia wasn’t the right environment for a little girl.
He slammed the SUV’s door and strode across the bar’s parking lot. A few males tucked their dates closer and turned in the opposite direction. Others dropped their gaze to the pavement underfoot. The familiar reaction to his presence annoyed him, but it wasn’t their fault. Humans might not know what he was by looking at him, but they sensed the danger—the predator in their midst—and reacted accordingly.
He tightened his control over his primal side. He didn’t need any attention directed his way, not with the shit that had gone down here a few hours ago: a fire that resulted in a fatality.
Sure, tragedies happened all the time, and in the grand scheme of things, one human’s passing was a blip on the radar. For Rafe, though, Tony Conway’s death was personal. The male had unknowingly adopted a shifter, a rare white lion cub Rafe had been tasked with retrieving.
He cursed. The fire was too damn coincidental. Word of a shifter cub living among humans surfaces, and the next day her human father dies. Yeah, it’s not related at all. Right.
Once the fire chief finished his investigation, he’d realize the fire hadn’t been an accident too. The authorities would begin to search for the arsonist. It wouldn’t do them any good. Even if they collected evidence from the scene, they wouldn’t understand why Tony had been targeted. Rafe couldn’t share the details surrounding Megan’s uniqueness with them either. Shifters were fictional beings in most humans’ eyes. That fact hampered Rafe’s efforts. He was left on the sidelines with limited options.
Rafe’s lion, one of the three feline spirits he housed, snarled, echoing his frustration. He used a mental hand to stroke the big cat’s side. It was the best he could do to calm the animal since it couldn’t speak or share its thoughts with him. His tiger and jaguar, the other two felines he’d been born with, nudged him, seeking his reassure too.
We’ll get our cub back. Promise. The vow wrapped around him, strengthening him. He let the connection to his cats fade and took a deep, calming breath. A familiar scent invaded his lungs. Lion. Faint, yet distinctive. He was on the right path.
Long strides took him around the bar, an older structure that appeared as if it had seen several upgrades and expansions over its lifetime. An upper and lower deck graced one side. The raised level had tables, while the lower featured a live band and dance area. People moved on both, and the sharp twining from instruments as the musicians warmed up carried over the drone of laughter and conversation.
The place was packed, a good thing for those partying and an inconvenience for him. He had business to take care of that didn’t need an audience. He continued past the decks to the employee entrance. Several cars and trucks were parked near the door.
He followed the smell carrying on the breeze to a blue SUV. A child’s car seat was secured in the back. He tugged on the door handle. Locked. No matter. Going by the strength of the scent seeping from the cracked window, Megan had traveled in the vehicle recently.
He pulled out his cell and dialed his friend and fellow pride member, Devin.
“Yeah?” Devin answered.
“You were right. Megan is with her uncle. I found Josh’s car, and there are enough stuffed animals and toys in it to amuse any cub with a short attention span.”