Who would have thought saving a stray cat could change her whole life? Yet that is exactly what happens when Cammi saves a black kitten from under a jetty.
Jaguar shapeshifter Luca is out looking for his ratbag little brother, Rogue, who has taken off again. He finds Cammi rescuing him and instantly recognizes she is his mate. She passes out when Rogue flashes form so Luca takes her home, to discover his best friend, Nate, is also Cammi’s destined mate.
When Cammi’s self-appointed big brother learns the shifters are after her heart, he takes matters into his own hands and attempts to convince her they are not for her. Who will Cammi believe? Her two new lovers or a friend who is the closest thing to family she has ever known.
“Hello? You all right there, darlin’?”
The deep husky voice flowed through her body, and goose bumps rose despite the heat of the rising sun.
“Ah, hi. I’m actually kind of stuck. Could you give me hand?”
“Sure, but may I ask what you’re doing under here?”
“I heard a kitten meow so came to the rescue, only now we’re both stuck.”
“Well, that’s convenient. I was looking for the little mite myself. Thanks for finding him. Now, do you know what’s got you stuck?”
Heat rose in her cheeks. Her hips were wide. Her last foster mother, a gentle elderly lady, had called them ‘child bearing’. She called them annoying as all get out.
“Ah, my hips are jammed between two rocks.”
He didn’t say anything, however she felt him move closer, a warm muscular hand moved up her leg. Her thin lycra jogging shorts did nothing to prevent the searing heat of his touch.
“You might want to get a hold of Rogue, don’t want him running off again.”
“Rogue? That’s a cute name.”
She heard him choke back a laugh. “Oh, he’ll love that.”
“What do you—”
Her words were cut off as the man easily pulled the rock away from her. How the hell? It was huge. The man leaned in and scooped her up as easily as she’d scooped up the kitten. Cradled against his bare chest and clutching the purring kitten, she stared up completely dumbfounded. The man had green eyes, slightly slanted. They looked feline, almost.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Luca Jag, and that is my little brother, Rogue.”
Rogue jumped from her grip and, with a bright flash, landed on the sand as a child. Where the hell is the kitten? Her mind whirled, her vision blurred and she felt her eyes roll up. The last thing she heard was Luca’s voice.
“And you, my mate, are coming home with me.”
Luca was torn between being pissed off and elated. Rogue was forever nicking off and forcing him to drop everything to go find him. Although, if it weren’t for his latest romp, Luca wouldn’t be currently holding his mate in his arms.
“Why do they always pass out?”
He frowned down at his brother, “What do you mean ‘always’? You better not be flashing yourself in front of humans. Dad will skin you alive if you cause another incident.”
Rogue slowed his pace, scuffing his shoes in the sand. Luca was grateful Rogue had at least mastered the magic needed to clothe himself after he shifted.
“I clear their memories. Nate showed me how, so I wouldn’t get in trouble anymore. I don’t try to do it. Honest. It just … happens sometimes. Not my fault.”
Luca lowered his nose into his mate’s strawberry blond hair, inhaling her scent to calm his nerves. He understood that at ten years of age, Rogue had a lot of growing up to do but still, did he have to make Luca’s life so bloody hard?
“You’d better quit with the running off, Rogue. I’ve got a mate now. I have things I need to spend my time on that don’t include chasing your tail around the countryside.”
“Yeah, whatever. Nate will help me if you’re busy.”
Shaking his head at his little brother he bounded up the stairs to their holiday house, keeping his mate securely against his chest. Normally, he and Nate, his best friend, lived in a large homestead out on the huge property all the jaguar shifters jointly owned. The land backed onto the Pureba Conservation Reserve. It was thick with shrubs that allowed them to roam as they needed to. But each year for a couple of weeks in the height of summer, his parents hired this mansion in the center of Ceduna to have a family holiday.
Luca stopped short as he found himself standing in front of his father. His very pissed off father who was blocking the stairs that led to the upper levels. The house was big and allowed for Luca and Nate to have an entire floor to themselves. It afforded them all the privacy they could want, while still being close enough to enjoy his mother’s cooking. However, it also meant his parents knew what he was up to as he had to pass them on his way up the stairs.
“What happened this time?”
His father’s words were rough with anger, and Luca noticed his hands twitching, signaling he was close to changing form.
“He got caught out with the tide and ended up trapped under the jetty. This lovely lady was trying to get him free when she got herself stuck.”
“And why did you bring her home? Why the hell is she unconscious? Please tell me Rogue didn’t flash her.”
“I only flashed her after Luca told her I was his brother. It’s not my fault!”
His father whirled on him, fury clear in his gaze. “That’s not like you, Luca. You’re always careful. Why did you say such a thing?”
“She’s my mate, Dad. I didn’t want to start off with a lie.”
Closing his eyes, his father sighed heavily.
“Okay. I can understand that. She’s still going to freak out when she wakes up. You know that, right?”
“I’ll handle it.”
“You’d better. I’ll not have a repeat of what happened with Jace and Tilly.”
Yeah, no one wanted a repeat of that situation. Jace had scented Tilly was his as she’d been out hiking near his home. Unfortunately, she’d been with another man and Jace had seen red. He attacked the man in jaguar form before flashing to human to take Tilly, who had passed out with fright by that point. Five years later, they were finally happy together but it hadn’t been an easy road.
“That won’t happen, Dad. I’ll make sure of it.”
“She’s not wearing a wedding ring, but that doesn’t mean she’s single.”
“I know, Dad. Is Nate back yet?”
“Yeah, he’s upstairs waiting for you. Oh, and congratulations on finding her, son.”
With a grin in place he moved up the stairs. He and Nate had always been close friends. Even as small cubs they’d been inseparable. Coming from different families they weren’t exactly the same. While Luca was a pure black jaguar Nate was a golden spotted one. Not that either of them cared in the least. Reaching their level he pushed open the door and called out to his friend.
“Yo, Nate? Have I got news for you!”
Nate stood in the doorway of the kitchen, his hazel gaze fixed on the woman Luca held as his fingers gripped the timber on each of side of the frame.
“Why you worked up, Nate?”
“Her scent. It’s enthralling. Is there a reason why you’re holding my mate? My injured, unconscious mate.”