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Bait And Switch--SAMPLE (Book 4 of The Claimed Series)

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Summary

Book 4 of The Claimed Series Lena and Webb planned a life together. When Lena's mate passed after a short courtship, Webb had taken it upon himself to pick up the pieces and stitch her back together. Years later, Webb and Lena are together and wanting to start a family of their own, but when a new member returns to their community, all their hopes of forever together are dashed and Lena is left to make a terrifying and heartbreaking decision.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
R.K. Knightly
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
9
Rating:
4.7 20 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

Author’s Note: First of all, I would like to thank you for choosing this book to read. If you would kindly click follow if you enjoy my work, please do so. This is more for your sake than mine as it will keep you updated. I sometimes take down books for editing and publishing, and when you don’t follow me, you will have no way of knowing when that will occur. I always give several warnings of when this will happen, and would encourage you to complete the book before deletion of material takes place.

This is a free book on here and is completely original. If I choose to publish a book, it is not to take away from you, but to publish on a platform like Lulu.com or Amazon. I appreciate every single person who reads whether if it’s on here for free or purchasing on Amazon or Lulu. Your comments—critical and otherwise—help me in the editing process when I go to publish. Editing is not fun nor exciting and I work hard.

I’m going to be quite blunt on here so please do not take offense. This is a FREE book, but it is not public domain and is my personal property. I can do with it what I please. I encourage opinions and comments more than likes because that is what helps me grow as a writer. I have gotten people telling me that I should keep it on here for free. If I got paid to do that I would, but I haven’t received one payment from this free site, and I would like to make this a career. I too have bills to pay so I hope you can understand that.

I would like to continue to give out free books on here for a limited time, but it is discouraging when readers tell you that you are unethical or unfair because you take down a book to edit, publish, or what have you. It makes me want to quit giving free books for the set amount of time until they are completely edited. With that being said, I hope you enjoy the book.




Six Months Ago

“Happy birthday, babe.” Helena grinned as she presented him with the homemade cake he had requested. Double chocolate with fudge icing. His favorite.

“Thank you, angel,” he replied as his eyes glowed from the candles she had lit for him to celebrate his 29th birthday. She must have used several packs of them to get the right number.

“Don’t forget to make a wish,” she reminded as she sat down next to him at the small dining table in their modest little home.

Webb closed his eyes, paused, and blew them out. One remained lit, and Helena—who had shortened her name to Lena—blew that one out for him.

“What did you wish for?” she asked, knowing that since he hadn’t answered her in all the years before, he probably wouldn’t today.

She was wrong.

“I wished for our own little family,” he told her, smiling sadly at her.

Lena looked down, unable to take Webb’s intense stare. “I thought you wanted to wait one more year,” she mumbled softly. “If you don’t find your mate by the time you’re 30—”

“I won’t,” he replied gruffly. “Who’s ever heard of finding one this late in life? Mine is most likely dead or has taken a chosen mate by now.”

“If we start now, who’s to say you won’t find her or him in a couple of months from now—or maybe even a year.” These were the things that always gnawed at her when he mentioned trying to start their own little family.

Lena and Webb had an odd relationship. Both were without mates, though for different reasons. In the shifter world, nothing was more important than the other half of your soul. Lena’s mate had died many years ago when she was only 19. Webb had never found his, male or female. He was bisexual and so, his mate could have been damn near anyone.

The problem didn’t lie necessarily wholly on Lena and Webb. In their pack, Shadow Creek, the age-old custom of mating was held in the utmost regard. Hence, choosing your mate was forbidden, no matter what the circumstance. The Alpha, Lenon, upheld the centuries-old rule, though in Lena and Webb’s case, he was very tempted to allow their coupling.

A female with a dead mate. A man who had gone longer than he’s ever heard of—without their mate being definitely dead—to wait for his true mate. It was a pickle. Fucked-up royally. Lenon really wished he could find some sort of loophole, but the law was clear. He would have had to take up removing it with the elders, most of which preferred the law to stay in place.

“I don’t want to wait any longer,” Webb urged her. “I want children with you, even if the law states we aren’t allowed to mark each other as mates. This won’t change. Ever.”

“Webb—”

“We could even marry in the human courts. Lena, please. It’s my birthday wish,” he confided. “It’s my birthday, so you have to grant it now that I’ve told you.”

His eyes pleaded with her, and her heart went soft and gooey. She loved this man, as much as anyone could love another person, but that mating pull she had with her true mate—that was missing. It didn’t make her love him any less. He was her person—well, wolf—and she found herself agreeing.

“Okay,” she said, smiling. “Let’s do it.”

He smiled, a big, face-splitting grin that couldn’t be torn from his countenance if he tried.

And they tried. A lot.

For months.

Lena wondered if it was fate’s way of telling her that they weren’t meant to be, that it was a mistake.

That they should have waited that extra year to make this decision.

If they had, maybe things wouldn’t have been so fucked-up in the end. Maybe her heart wouldn’t have been wrecked twice in one day.


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