Catching the Bear: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (The Callaghan Clan Book 3)

BOOK: Catching the Bear: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (The Callaghan Clan Book 3)
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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C
ATCHING THE
B
EAR

 

MEREDITH CLARKE

ASHLEE SINN

 

Copyright © 2016 Ashlee Sinn

 

 

http://www.ashleesinn.com

 

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, uploaded to the Internet, or copied without permission from the author. The author respectfully asks that you please support artistic expression and help promote anti-piracy efforts by purchasing a copy of this book at the authorized online outlets. This is a work of fiction intended for mature audiences only.

 

Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Some may be used for parody purposes. Any resemblance to events, locales, business establishments, or actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is purely coincidental.

 

All sexual activities depicted occur between consenting characters 18 years or older who are not blood related.

CATCHing the Bear

 

Bo Callaghan understands his role. As the youngest brother of the clan’s alpha, his womanizing ways and zest for life has helped him live up to those lack of expectations. So when he’s asked to assist the International Shifter Coalition with an important project, it’s no surprise when he fails to deliver. Now Bo must help a mysterious human woman convince the other shifters in Alaska to get on board with the big reveal. But all Bo can focus on are her charming ways, the bright blue eyes, and the raging fire she’s ignited in his bear.

 

McKenzie Parker is no stranger to shifters. A human with secrets of her own, she’s worked around them her whole life. Yet despite having a white tiger as one of her oldest friends, she is intimidated when she first meets the giant, sexy grizzly shifter with a bad reputation and an addicting smile. McKenzie’s secret skills may help her convince others what they need to do, but her attraction to Bo cannot be explained by magic. Falling hard, she worries about opening her heart and letting in someone in again. Especially someone like Bo Callaghan.

 

 

 

 

I loved Alaska in the summer, but I really wanted to get out of here. I’d been working with Major Patel, the International Shifter Coalition representative and white tiger shifter, for three weeks now and I felt like we’d made little progress. The ISC was considering the consequences of revealing that shifters existed to the human world—and somehow I got roped into helping Major with his research.

I hated working so much.

My brothers were the businessmen of the family. Always had been. I, on the other hand, did everything I could to skirt my responsibilities to the clan and family businesses in favor of actually enjoying my life. Carefree and unattached. My motto and life mantra. I dreamt about my escape to somewhere warm. Maybe back to Florida for a few weeks. Or months. Perhaps Nadya could join me again. I hadn’t talked to her in a while, but that crazy, sexy vampire hunter had certainly known how to satisfy my restlessness. With long legs, a tight body, and a strength that could almost keep up with my bear, she’d been pretty damn close to perfect. At least my human side thought so. The bear didn’t agree. He never did.

His idea of a mate was lost to me. And seeing both of my brothers happily mated and nesting with their new families sometimes made me sad. I’d never had that urge to mate and settle down. I blamed it on being the youngest. My father, my brothers, and my clan never expected much out of me. So why bother to carry on my bloodline? Plus, my bear was never clawing at the surface like my brother’s. He didn’t seem to have any urge to bond with another, which was just fine with me.

“Hey, Bo. Did you hear anything I’ve said?”

Snapping out of my thoughts, I focused on Major’s voice. He sat at the small table in my brother’s cabin, papers spread out in front of him, two laptops opened and searching different files. Removing my ball cap from my eyes, I sat up on the couch and tried to be helpful. “Yeah. You said something about your boss not being happy.”

Major raised a dark brow and tucked his chin-length black hair behind his ear. A flash of orange darted through his eyes, showing me the predator inside. “I told you that an hour ago,” he sighed. “And we have yet to come up with a better plan.”

“You mean better than bringing in a human to help us?” I asked with sarcasm. I wasn’t a fan of the ISC’s brilliant idea.

Major rested his head in his hands. “Yes. That’s what I mean,” he grumbled.

Laying back down on the couch, I covered my eyes with my hat again and crossed my arms. My brothers would know what to do. They’d know whether or not the ISC’s idea was valid or not. I certainly didn’t want to bring in a human—that was inviting trouble. Sure, I loved me some human women but not a human meddling in shifter business. The whole reason we were in this mess in the first place was because of humans and their videos.

“Remind me again where we stand,” I said to Major. I could hear him rumble his frustration at my lack of attention.

He flipped through some papers, the rattling the only thing making noise in the small space. “Portia Dunanski has been able to convince her pack that this is worthwhile—”

“Portia the tracker?” I interrupted.

“Yes. Portia from the largest continental pack in the U.S.”

“I’ve met her before,” I said with a wistful tone. Portia was stunning but had wanted nothing to do with me. Her loss.

“Good for you,” Major grumbled. “As I was saying, Portia’s working with her alpha and the others in the states, and Scarlett has the local Alaskan pack covered. She’s also going to reach out to the Canadian wolves. But the coyotes and the cougars are not cooperating.”

“We call them mountain lions in these parts of the woods,” I teased. It was too easy getting under Major’s skin. I probably shouldn’t push my luck though. He was a tiger shifter after all. I mean, my bear could kick his ass, but it would be a nasty fight.

“Yes, thank you for correcting me for the hundredth time.” Major’s voice rumbled with impatience. “Whatever they’re called, you have been unable to convince them that we need to be on the offensive and introduce ourselves to the humans proactively instead of allowing them to expose us through social media.”

That caught my attention. “Whoa, there buddy. Since when was it my job to convince other shifter species to expose themselves?”

“Since we started working on this three weeks ago,” he countered.

“Well, I told you I haven’t been able to find Calvin and the coyotes won’t let me in their territory.”

“And why is that?” Major asked, sounding way too much like my brothers.

I averted my gaze to the front door. “Because I may have slept with the alpha’s daughter.”

“May have?” he continued to challenge me. “And might you have done this
while
you were supposed to be getting them on our side?”

I lifted my hands in surrender. “Hey, I can’t help it. She hit on me. What else was I supposed to do? I didn’t know who she was at the time.”

“How long have you lived in Alaska?” Major asked.

I didn’t like his parental tone. He couldn’t be more than a couple of years older than me. “My whole life.”

“And how many times has your clan interacted with the coyote packs?”

“Plenty, I’m sure.”

“So you didn’t have any idea who the alpha’s daughter was?”

“Nope.”

“You’re full of shit,” he groaned. “And that’s why the ISC wants to bring in someone.”

Sinking back into the couch, I tried to rein in my anger. He hadn’t said it directly, but Major was accusing me of being irresponsible. And I might be just that. But only my brothers were allowed to say it. “And who is this someone?”

“A woman.” Major held up his hand when I looked his way. “Don’t even think about it. You wouldn’t want to mess with this human.”

“Why not?” Curiosity helped fuel the challenge.

“You just don’t,” he said.

“And she knows about us.”

“Yes.”

“And the ISC is okay with this?”

“Yes.”

“And can you give more than one word answers?”

“I probably could.”

His mouth quirked with a grin as I narrowed my eyes at him. I knew I wasn’t easy to work with, and even though we irritated each other, we’d kind of started to become friends. Kind of. But that didn’t mean I liked all of the things that came out of his mouth.

Major stood, his wood chair squeaking across the oak floor. He let out a breath and stretched, a small sound coming from his mouth when he did. “I’m going for a run.”

“A run?” I asked.

“Yeah. A run.” He pulled his shirt over his head, his dark skin blending with the wood surrounding us.

“Are you sure it’s a good idea for a white tiger to be running around in the woods in the middle of the day?”

He gave me a look that could only be interpreted as impatience. “I know how to hide.” Moving closer to the sliding glass door on the back side of the cabin, he kicked off his shoes and unzipped his jeans. “I’ve been hiding my whole life.”

The hint of sadness in his voice surprised me. Major seemed to be one of those people that had everything together. Poise, control over his animal, and a powerful position within our shifter society—he had it all. But perhaps, as one of the rarest shifters out there, he missed out on having a clan, or pack, or whatever it was called for cats. A herd? I smiled at the thought of Major being the leader of a herd.

“What are you laughing at?” he asked from the door. He was completely naked now and I couldn’t help but stare at the scars that lined his back like a rake.

“Nothing. Go on your run. I’ll take care of things here.”

With a snort and a partial smile, Major stepped outside and exploded into his tiger. I caught a glimpse of white fur blurring into the woods just before I heard the car. Jumping off the couch, I slapped my hat back on my head and rushed out to the front porch. Was this the human? When was she supposed to get here?

A rush of disappointment flooded my gut when I recognized the vehicle. It was Derrick Ward, a member of my clan and practically another brother, not the mysterious human woman. Surprised by my reaction, I shook my head and leaned against the porch post. She hadn’t even arrived yet and I was already thinking about how I could seduce her. Maybe everyone was right…I needed to settle down.

“Why the stiff face?” Derrick asked as he closed the door to his Jeep. He looked down at his phone as it buzzed. With an eye roll and a sigh, he shoved it back into his pocket.

“Why aren’t you answering your phone?” I retorted.

Derrick grinned and tucked his hair behind his ear. He’d been letting it grow. I think he was trying to copy me. “It’s Julia Housten.”

“Joshua’s daughter?” I asked. Joshua had challenged Brandt for alpha, hurting many of us in the process. Thankfully he was gone now and his only daughter had always pledged her allegiance to Brandt. But that still didn’t stop my bear from bristling at the mention of his name.

Derrick reached the steps. “Yeah.”

“Why is she calling you?”

Shaking his head, he turned around and sat on one of the stairs. “Because that tiger ass wants me to pull her in to this research.”

“The social media?”

“Yeah.” Sitting down next to him, I took off my shirt to bask in the sun. Derrick huffed a laugh. “Are you ever fully clothed?” he teased.

“Why cover this up?” I joked, brushing my hand over my chest.

“You’re ridiculous,” he said with a laugh.

“So, Julia, huh?” I nudged his shoulder and wiggled my brows. Julia was growing up into a beautiful young woman.

Derrick punched my arm. “It’s not even like that at all. She’s young—”

“She’s only a few years younger than you,” I interrupted.

Derrick cocked his head to the side and gave me that same look Major kept giving me. “She’s nineteen.”

“And you’re what? Twenty-three?”

“Twenty-five.”

“What? That’s nothing.”

“Just stop it right now, Bo.” Derrick kicked his legs out and leaned back on the stairs. “Not everyone is like you.”

“You mean gorgeous and irresistible?”

He chuckled. “I mean horny and out of control. You know it
is
possible to work with women and not sleep with them.”

I huffed, thinking about the woman coming here to work with me. Would she be sexy? Would she be able to resist my charm? Hell, if she was hot, why wouldn’t I try to get in her pants? “That seems like a waste of time then,” I finally said to Derrick.

“You are unbelievable.”

“And Julia’s hot as hell, so I don’t see the problem.”

Derrick shook his head again. “You wouldn’t.”

“So why does Major want to pull her in on this?”

“For the social media side of things. He said someone young would be helpful since she knows more about the way all of that works and can determine the best outlets to use when we come out.”

“I think he’s just trying to play matchmaker.”

“And I think you’re an ass.”

I nudged my friend in the shoulder again. “True and true.”

“So, have the coyotes come around yet?”

Trying to hide my embarrassment at how badly I’d messed up with them, I stood and walked in circles around the small dirt parking area. “No.”

“And do Brandt and Brennan know why that is?”

His tone told me that Derrick knew exactly why they weren’t allowing me into their territory and he just wanted to torture me. “Probably,” I said with a shrug.

“Oh, Bo. Will you ever change?”

Derrick enjoyed laughing at my ability to always screw everything up. Whatever. At least my life was fun. “Nope. Never.”

Suddenly getting serious, Derrick looked up at the trees now full of their leaves and blocking a lot of the sunlight. “Do you think you’ll ever settle down with a mate like your brothers?”

I snapped my head around, surprised by Derrick’s question. While we were as close as brothers, Derrick didn’t usually discuss anything about his relationships. “Probably not. Why do you ask?”

“It’s just…” he sighed and blew out a big breath of air between his lips. “You know, I see Brandt and Brennan and I wonder if that could ever happen to us.”

BOOK: Catching the Bear: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (The Callaghan Clan Book 3)
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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