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Authors: Kathi S. Barton

Tags: #paranormal romance


BOOK: Riordan
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s

imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to

actual events, locations, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

World Castle Publishing, LLC

Pensacola, Florida

Copyright © Kathi S. Barton 2015

Hardback ISBN: 9781629893525

Print ISBN: 9781629893532

eBook ISBN: 9781629893549

First Edition World Castle Publishing, LLC, October 19, 2015

Licensing Notes

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever

without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and


Cover: Karen Fuller

Editor: Eric Johnston

Editor: Maxine Bringenberg

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 9

Chapter 2

Chapter 10

Chapter 3

Chapter 11

Chapter 4

Chapter 12

Chapter 5

Chapter 13

Chapter 6

Chapter 14

Chapter 7

About the Author

Chapter 8

Chapter 1

He’d wanted to get to his office and change into a clean shirt, but his mom had been waiting

for him. And when she’d ordered—yes, she’d ordered—him to sit, he did. This day could not get

any worse. He was sure now, however, that it was about to.

“Your dad told me that you got into a fight with the local baker. And when you tried to

molest her, she fought back. Would you mind telling me why you thought it was a good idea in

the first place to have a public and very…well, colorful, fight in my favorite place to get bread?”

“It’s nothing. Just a misunderstanding on her part. Her temper was out of control for no

reason and she started throwing a fit. I’ll take care of it tomorrow. Can I go now?” She told him

to sit again. “I needed something from her, and she got mad at me. It’s nothing, I assure you.”

“Yet here you sit covered in jelly and custard, and all you have to say for yourself is it

wasn’t your fault.”

Riordan wanted to point out again that he hadn’t done that much to her that warranted her

having a temper tantrum, but his mom did not look like she was going to listen. It was women,

he decided, that had the foul moods all the time. Men were not prone to acting like the world was

coming to an—

“Riordan, if you don’t answer me, I’m going to use my favorite rolling pin on your thick

head, and then I’m going to be even madder at you. Because I’m sure rather than knocking sense

into your head, all it’s going to do is crack this wood.”

“She’s my mate.” Her foot started tapping, and he tried to think. But his dad came in then

and sat down and started laughing. “Ask him. He was right there when she got it into her head to

start hurling Danishes at me.”

“I was there, love. And she did. But I’m thinking it might have been due to what he said to

her and the way that he was pressing her against the wall with his big body. That’s not what she

called him…let me see, what was it? Ah yes. I believe she called him a hulking monster that had

no more brains than…well, love, you get the idea. I will say that her mouth and language are a

little on the rough side, and she made her point quite…loudly. But she did toss him around like

he was nothing more than the child he was acting like. I would have kicked his butt, too, but her

friends, two elderly women who would have made me think…well, they had it under control,

sadly.” His mother huffed at him, and her foot took on a speed that had him thinking he was as

good as dead. His dad cleared his throat, and he looked at him. “Son, you have a bit of jelly

hanging off your ear that looks like one of them dangling earrings your mother likes to wear.”

“She won’t let me clean up.” He knew that he’d spoken loudly when his dad cocked a brow

at him. “I’m a grown man. Not some teenager that has gotten caught with a girl in the back seat.”

“No, you’re a grown man, or so you keep telling me, that has made your own mate so angry

with you that she’s thrown her hard-earned product at you and has threatened to have you

arrested if you come near her again.” Riordan looked at his mother as his dad continued. “And if

you want us to treat you like you’re all grown up, I would suggest that you begin to act like it.

This is no behavior for a man who is in charge of a large corporation, as well as one that hits the

papers more often than not because he’s such a humanitarian and a calm and level-headed man.

You were not very level-headed, nor calm, today. What do you think they’d put there now if they

were to see you like this?”

He knew just what they’d say. He’d fallen off his rocker. But as his parents continued to

talk, he thought about the woman. She’d been…she’d been perfect, except for her temper. And if

she was going to be his mate, that thing was going to have to be simmered down a bit. There was

no way he could have her flying off the handle like a harpy when she got her panties all in a


He’d only gone in with his dad because he’d heard him go on about the place. All he’d

talked about for the last month was the way this bakery made cheese Danish, and how they were

flaky enough to make you beg for more. He’d even gone on to say that he wanted to invest in the

place. And that was another reason Riordan had gone with him. No one was going to take his

family for a ride.

As far as space was concerned, the shop had it. The wraparound counter seemed to scream

at you to come and look what delights were there. It was well lit, the glass sparkling clean, and

the baskets were overflowing with an array of pastries and breads that made his mouth water.

Even from the doorway he could smell the yeast and jellies, blackberry and strawberry. A coffee

station sat on one side to the room with a carafe of water for tea, it said, and baskets of tea

flavors that had him wanting to check them out.

The two women behind the counter seemed to be working to their own music. They moved

and slid around each other as if they’d been doing it for years, and not just the month that the

shop had been open. They laughed with their customers, handed out samples big enough to look

like a serving, and gave small ones cookies hand over fist. Whoever their marketing manager

was had it right. The only way to make money was to spend a little.

A woman had come from the back with a tray of the most beautiful loaves of bread he’d

ever seen. Then he’d gotten her scent. And Christ, it had been all he could do not to—

“Riordan.” Riordan looked at his mother. She had been talking to him, and he had missed it

all. “I asked you three times now what are you going to do to repair this. Because you will, or so

help me, I’ll make you wish that you had.”

“Repair what?” She bounced the rolling pin—her favorite—in her left hand like she was

thinking it was his head. He had to think what he had to do to make her soften her glare. A

glance at his dad was no help, as he was laughing again. “I don’t know what I did wrong that you

think I need to fix. You should talk to her about what she’s going to do about telling me she’s


Riordan thought he heard his dad say,
oh brother,
but he wasn’t sure, because at that

moment his mother slammed the pin down on the table so near to his arm he thought that she had

cut that pretty close. But then…maybe she’d been trying to hit him. When she went to the door

and opened it, he sat there, not sure what to do. It was Sunday after all.

“Get out.” He looked at his dad, who was not only no longer laughing, but looked a little

scared himself. “Get out of my house right now and don’t return until…until…get out of here

right now.”

“Mom?” She pointed out, and he had no choice but to move out or something was going to

befall him that was going to be talked about in this family for the next couple of generations, if

not forever.

Riordan moved out the door and turned to ask her what he’d done. But the door slamming in

his face made him feel stupid…and a little pissed off. He was thirty-five years old, not some kid.

As he made his way to the truck, his brother, Mac, pulled in the drive. Riordan didn’t even

bother stopping to warn him, but got in his own truck and left.

“They’re all nuts.” Riordan turned the radio up as loud as he could to drown out his

thoughts, then turned it down. He was pissed, but blaring his music wasn’t going to make it go

away. Instead, he lightened his foot on the accelerator and tried not to drive angry. That was all

he needed to do, have an accident that would make his mom really mad at him.

Riordan liked to think of himself as a cool and very rational man. He thought things through

before speaking, his plans were flawless when he put them out for people to see, and he never

did anything on the spur of the moment. He liked order, planning, and a calendar. Doing things

off the cuff or sly, as his brother, Ennis, called it, was not his way of working, not in business or

BOOK: Riordan
9.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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