Beautiful Mistake(Royal Pride Book 2)

By: Nancy Corrigan

(Royal Pride Book 2)

A Multiple Shifter Paranormal Romance

Chapter One

Devin Moore peered through the windshield at the sprawling mansion. He took in the small pond, the English garden with its ornate fountain and the hedge maze. Butterflies fluttered above the bushes. A frog hopped from a lily pad into the water. And a squirrel ran down the side of a tree.

There were no standoffs. No fighting lions. No gun-toting agents. No people whatsoever. For the scene of a shifter trafficking deal, the property was essentially deserted. Only the fancy red sports car parked near the front door offered any indication that the large home was occupied.

“Are you sure this is the place?” Devin asked.

Kade, his pride leader, caught his gaze in the rearview mirror. “I put the address Shifter Affairs gave us into my phone’s GPS. I’m sure.”

Six hours ago, Shifter Affairs, the small unit of the government dedicated to shifter-related issues, had contacted their pride with an update on Molly, their missing lion cub. The agent working her case had not only found their preschooler but was in the process of organizing a retrieval. Time was of the essence. He’d discovered Molly was set to be sold to a lion shifter pride.

The older human had broken protocol by contacting the Alexander pride directly. Devin, along with his pride members, were liaisons to the department, not full-fledged agents. They did recon, followed up on low probability leads and helped rehabilitate recovered shifters. As civilians, they weren’t supposed to be exposed to any dangerous situations.

Devin didn’t care if his life were endangered. He’d wade into a gunfight, a fire, anything, if it meant saving a kid, but the closer they got to the quiet house, the stronger his unease grew. The three predators who shared his body—tiger, lion and jaguar—matched his wariness.

They were walking into a trap.

Trained task force members should’ve been called in to deal with any confirmed shifter trafficking case. Yet, no government cars were on site. Hell, there should’ve at least been a Delaware state trooper here. Although not all humans knew shifters existed, many larger law enforcement agencies had at least one individual who did. That person was often the first responder. Not today.

He focused on the expensive car. “It’s odd nobody from Shifter Affairs has arrived.”

Xander, the male Devin considered a brother despite the fact Xander housed wolves instead of big cats, turned in his seat and leveled a stare from hardened brown eyes at Devin. “You know how slow the humans can be, especially when it’s not one of their own in jeopardy.”

“But why call us immediately?”

“Guilt?” Kade shrugged. “The agent who called is the same one who had Rafe escorted out with an order not to return until he could act like a civilized person, not an animal.”

Rafe, Kade’s twin, had contacted the humans for help finding the little girl a few weeks prior but hadn’t been given the warmest of responses. The agents had hundreds of missing shifter cases. Molly was only one of many lost kids. The explanation hadn’t soothed Devin, not when Molly’s sister, Megan, was crying for her twin.

“Look.” Xander motioned to the side of house with a jerk of his head, his black hair swinging with the move. He shoved it out of his eyes with an annoyed grunt. “Guess the humans will have to sit this one out.”

Devin turned his attention to the group moving from the house to the five-car garage. Close to a dozen shifter males surrounded a human woman and a little girl. Only glimpses of the two females were visible between the tight circle of bodies, but Devin saw enough. Molly’s white-blonde hair was unmistakable. So was the human’s hand twined with the largest of the lion shifters.

“Recognize them?” Xander asked.

“Yeah. They’re members of Edmund’s pride.” The aura surrounding them was one Devin was intimately familiar with. He’d watched it fade as his sister’s rapist lay dying in a pool of his own blood.

“Devin’s right. They’re from the Krisban pride.” Kade gripped the steering wheel with claw-tipped hands. “Last I heard, they were in trouble with the human government for keeping human females as sex slaves too.”

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