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The Shifter's Secret Baby

A Paranormal BBW Romance

By: T.S. Ryder

Table of Contents

Chapter One – Kayla

Chapter Two – Eric

Chapter Three – Kayla

Chapter Four – Eric

Chapter Five – Kayla

Chapter Six – Eric

Chapter Seven – Kayla

Chapter Eight – Eric

Chapter Nine – Kayla

Chapter Ten – Eric

Specially Selected Bonus Content

The Werewolf Boss's Baby

The Wolf's Mate

Pregnant by the Dragon King

The Vampire King's Virgin

The Vampire Prince's Harem

The Shifting Boss's Mate

Owned by the Vampire King

Shades of Werewolf

The Bear Detective's Mate

The Billionaire Wolf's Baby

About T.S. Ryder

Selected Other Books by T.S. Ryder

Join the Heartbeat Reads Readers Club now if you want to receive the EXCLUSIVE hot short story paranormal romance trilogy “The Beast’s Heart” for FREE and get notifications of new releases and promotions.

Chapter One – Kayla

An ear-piercing squeal made Kayla Hollis flinch. She groaned as the sound charged towards the office space she and her business partner rented. A spine-chilling noise like that could only be one of four things: a dying cat, screeching tires, an unholy demon from the underworld, or her partner, Donna, after receiving some good news.

Kayla already knew which one it was. Yet, she did hope that, for once, it was the unholy demon. When the doors to the office burst open, Kayla held her breath–only to sigh in disappointment. No demon this time.

"Guess what?" Donna's black hair flew in a wild mess around her head, as it usually did. She ran her fingers through it, making it stand on end as she danced through the office. "It's fantastic! It's terrific! It's going to put us on the map and make us a household name!"

Kayla smiled indulgently. Donna could be pretty high-maintenance and excitable, but they had been friends for three years now, and there was nobody better for creating business contacts. "What is it?"

"Okay, so I was just walking down the street when my phone rings. So I answer it, 'This is Donna Freeman from Freeman and Hollis Marketing Co., how may I help you?' And guess who it was!"

"I have no clue."

"Eric Civery! CEO of Galaxy Transport Co.! They make the most luxury electric cars you can imagine, and he called me. He wants to do business with us."

Kayla's face went white. Her green eyes widened, and she was instantly bombarded by hundreds of memories. A tall, handsome young man meeting her at the university grad mixer. A glass of wine spilled all over her white dress by a girl who called her fat. Him taking her home and staying the night. Waking up to him making eggs the next day and asking if she wanted to see a movie. Going out with him almost every day after that. The utter devotion in his eyes every time he looked at her. The way his grin made her heart jump every single time.

And the last night they were together, in the back of his brand-new pickup truck, hearing him moan her name again and again. The diamond ring he slipped on her finger after only knowing each other for three months – the ring that had filled her with terror. Breaking up with him and running, cutting all contact because she couldn't see him without wanting him, and knowing she couldn't give him what he wanted…

And the beautiful gift she had been granted nine months later.

"Hellllllo, Earth to Kayla." Donna waved her hand in front of her face. "Where did you go? I just told you he's coming over right away to discuss his marketing proposal. He's got this piece of land just outside of town or something, and he wants to build this great big community farming thing or something. It's going to be great! Everybody comes and takes part in caring for it, and then they're going to do some sort of distribution of what's grown there. Something like that."

"That's a lot of somethings," Kayla whispered.

Donna shrugged. "It was windy outside, and I was so enthralled. Eric Civery! Have you seen his picture in the paper? He's scorching! And he's, like, a triple billionaire. Filthy rich. And isn't he the Alpha of some big werewolf pack?"

"Yes." Kayla turned away, trying to hide her trembling from Donna. "And you ought to know what pack since we live on the packlands that his pack owns. We're on the outskirts, but it's still his."

"And he wants us to market for him."

"Yeah… Us."

"Gee whiz, girl! Try not to sound so excited." Donna plopped into her office chair. "What's with you? I thought you'd be excited. We've been doing decent these past two years, but with a client like Eric Civery, we could really boom. Maybe make enough so we can hire a few more people, take on more clients. Why do you look like a puppy that just got kicked?"

Kayla chewed the inside of her cheek. Her nerves churned. Needing something to calm them, she yanked open her desk drawer and searched inside for some chocolate-covered marshmallows. Both of her hands trembled so much she could hardly open the package.

"Okay, that face is green. Are you pregnant?"



"Eric is Mikayla's father."

"Oh." Donna froze. Her eyes rounded until they were as big as saucers. "Oh!"

Kayla nodded grimly. "Yeah. Oh."

Donna began to fidget again. Honestly, the woman was never still. Probably why she was so trim, unlike Kayla's own rather bulky frame. It also helped that Donna was diabetic and ate a strictly vegan diet in order to keep it under control.

"Do you think he knows that you’re part of the business? Maybe that's why he chose us instead of some big hoity-toity company. Maybe he's still madly in love with you and—" Donna cut herself off, frowning. "If he's Mikayla's father, why haven't you ever mentioned him before? Why haven't I met him?"

Kayla miserably stuffed the whole treat into her mouth. "He doesn't know I was pregnant."

Donna's jaw dropped.

"It's just… it was really complicated."

"It can't be that complicated! A man deserves to know he's a father, doesn't he?"

"Yes. But it was complicated."

Donna folded her arms and narrowed her eyes. "Kayla, I have known you for three years. You and I became friends that day that you came to my apartment answering that ad I placed looking for a roommate. I was with you at the hospital when you pushed your baby girl out. I helped you nurse her through colds, and I helped you through your post-partum depression. Why didn't you tell me about this?"

Kayla's shoulders slumped. Her friend had a point. After all they had been through together, she at least deserved an explanation. "Being with Eric was like a fairy tale. Including the timeline."


"He was so intense. He told me he loved me on our second date, and we'd only been together for three months before he proposed."

"He proposed?"

"I turned him down and ran away."

Donna gasped, pressing her hands to her mouth. "You didn't!"

"His parents cornered me after he proposed. They told me all these things that I'd have to do as his mate. They convinced me that I couldn’t poss
ibly give him what he needed. And at the time I believed them. It didn't help that everything happened so fast. I didn't know what to do."

Donna rubbed her temples. "And you never told him about Mikayla because you thought you weren't good enough for him?"

"By the time I realized that it was just my self-doubts getting to me and his parents just didn't want him to marry a non-Shifter… he was Alpha. He already had so much stacked against him – I didn't think adding a secret love child to the mix would help him. I have wanted to tell him so many times. But I’ve been too afraid." Kayla shook her head in self-disgust. "I'm a horrible person."

"Not a horrible person," Donna said. "But you need to tell him."

"I will. By the end of the week."

Donna nodded. She still looked concerned, though. Fortunately, she didn't look as judgmental as she had been a few moments ago. Not that Kayla really blamed her for being judgmental. For almost four years, she had been kicking herself for never telling Eric he was a father. And now he was going to show up again and—

Panic flared through her chest. "Did you say he was coming right over?"


Kayla jumped to her feet, breaking out into a cold sweat. Her sweater was too frumpy, so she yanked it off–only to remember she hadn't worn anything under it. Donna burst into keels of laughter as Kayla pulled her shirt back on, her face as red as a tomato. She ran to the bathroom to try to tame her hair.

"Honey?" Donna called. "When I said he was coming right away, I meant right away. He just pulled up. He's getting out of his car. He's got a hottie with him. Ooooh, boy. Forget Eric, he's got the scorcher with him. They must be brothers or something."

Kayla rushed back to her desk and sat at her computer, closing out the YouTube pages she had been looking at. She pulled up her art portfolio instead. Her heart pounded, her mouth dry, and she had the uncomfortable desire to go use the bathroom. But that was just nerves, and it would pass.

Moments later, Eric stepped through the door. He stopped dead. Kayla froze, staring at him. A million feelings rushed back over her. There were so many that she had no time to process them, and so merely let them wash over her. She clung to the arms of her chair.

Just looking at him brought back so many memories that she wanted to throw him on the floor and ride him until they both died of exhaustion.

"Kayla!" the man with Eric bounded forward. He picked her up out of her chair and swung her in a circle. "Wow! It's been forever!"

It took a moment for Kayla to recognize him. Eric's little brother and the beta of the pack. "Quin. Hi. Yeah, it's been a long time."

Quin sat her down and beamed. "How have you been?"

"Okay. Started a business. You?"

"Can't complain. Pack's doing good. Business is going well."

"Speaking of business." Eric finally came in, closing the door behind him. "I'd love to take some time to catch up, but I don't have a lot of time. I am looking for something that will excite the local people to take part in a community garden for those in need."

"Of course." Kayla smoothed her sweater and tried to make her voice as cool and professional as Eric had made his. "What tone are you looking for? I imagine something binding. Something that will really build up a nice sense of warmth and community."

Eric nodded. He stepped a little closer, putting a briefcase on her desk. His elbow brushed hers and Kayla bit her lip to stop from gasping. It was like a shot of electricity had leapt from him into her. It sparked all sorts of unwanted feelings back in her. She stepped away. That part of her life was over.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Quin frowned at her. "You look a little green."

"Actually, I'm not feeling good." Kayla swallowed hard. "I think I got some food poisoning. I'm sorry, I'm going to have to leave the meeting early. Donna will provide you with some ideas, and we'll have a few sketches ready for you by the end of the week. If you'll excuse me."

Eric nodded stiffly. Kayla grabbed her purse and practically ran from the office.

Chapter Two – Eric

Why did it have to be her?

Eric fidgeted nervously, causing his tailor to stick him with yet another pin. The Alpha growled, jerking his arm away–and yelped as the motion jabbed another pin into his side. The tailor, a thin man with graying hair, sighed.

"Are you sure that there isn't something else you'd rather be doing?"

"No. Let's just finish with this."

Eric closed his eyes and forced himself to stay still. A good-fitting suit was vital to presenting a good image to this little town. He had chosen it because it was the poorest human-populated settlement in his packlands, down on the northern edge where the pack itself rarely went. He had thought it was the perfect place to start rolling out his community projects to help make such places a little more stable.

He had rented this office space temporarily until his business here was done. It wasn't as large as he would have liked, but he was able to fit in a nice antique oak desk and it would suit him.

He hadn't thought he'd see Kayla here, of all places.

As soon as he laid eyes on her, everything came rushing back. Every kiss, every smile, the way she had brightened his whole world. It had left him frozen and breathless. And when she had left during their meeting, he had wanted to go after her. He wanted to throw her over his shoulder, take her back to his hotel, and worship every inch of her body.

Because she wouldn't be creeped out by that at all.

The door slammed open. The tailor jumped, stabbing Eric again. The Alpha growled, and quickly removed the suit jacket. "We're

done." He turned to greet the person who had just come in. "Quin. Haven't you heard of knocking?"

"I'm your little brother and your beta. Why do I have to knock?" Quin grinned at him, but it quickly faded. "Look, I'm here because we have an emergency. You know that land you just purchased to be the community gardens?"

Eric grunted. Of course he knew about it. He had been the one to purchase it. He stepped behind the makeshift curtain he'd set up for this appointment. He was so busy that he didn't want to waste time going to and from the tailor’s. Maybe he should have just canceled the appointment altogether. It wasn't like he didn't already have great suits.

"What about it?"

"Well… the two old grain elevators that you planned to tear down have vampires living in them."

Eric jerked around so hard that one of the pins still in his trousers stuck him. He ignored the pain as he brushed aside the curtain. "Vampires?"

Quin nodded, looking grim.

"What kind?"

"Not sure. They attacked our crew when we went in. Pitch black inside, so we don't know if they have an aversion to sunlight or are just emo. But they definitely smelled undead, so I think we're dealing with some fairly traditional types."

Eric groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose. Vampires, like Shifters, came in different 'types.' With Shifters, it was pretty much limited to various animal species a person could turn into. With vampires, it was a little different.

Some were allergic to the sun, others could play outside in the middle of July without any problems. Some were undead, some just had a super slow heartbeat. Some reproduced through a bite, others the same way humans did. All drank blood. Yet, some were able to sustain themselves on whatever blood they found, while others had to drink it fresh from human veins.

However, all had a particular dislike of Shifters. Probably because they were so much better equipped to kill them than humans.

"Send somebody to the city hall to get information about them and on whatever disappearances or animal deaths there have been around town. And I want you to go to the vampires directly to negotiate some sort of land-sharing agreement. Maybe move them further from the town. See how open they are to talk, in any case."

"I will do that, then." Quin stuck his hands in his pockets as Eric shut the curtain again. "And if the vampires won't negotiate? You will do this community garden thing?"
br /> "Yes."

Relationships between Shifters and humans were a little rocky, especially in small towns like this. Extending his wealth to help out those in need and fostering a sense of community was the first step in improving relationships.

"Oh, by the way…" Quin's voice was light and casual.

Eric tensed. His brother using that tone was never a good sign.

"I ran into Donna earlier today, and I moved your meeting with her and Kayla up. They should be arriving any minute."

Eric, who was just pulling on his pin-free trousers, toppled over. He hit the curtain, ripping it down as he crashed to the floor. His heart jumped to his throat as he struggled to dress, then threw the new suit towards the tailor.

"I will see you later," he said, smoothing his hair. Where was his tie? He looked around wildly for three minutes before remembering he was still wearing it.

The tailor slipped out of the room, leaving the two brothers alone. Quin stood laughing as Eric rushed around, trying to straighten his already-neat office. It wasn't until he shoved a bunch of papers into his desk that he realized he was doing more harm than good.

"I knew it," Quin crowed. "You're still in love with her. For all your insistence that it was just a fling and you both decided to end it—"

"That's enough," Eric snapped, the Alpha growling in his voice.

Quin immediately took a step back and bowed his head in submission – if only for a moment. His head came up again and he opened his mouth. Before he could continue, however, the two expected women appeared in the doorway. Eric's heart somersaulted as his eyes met Kayla's.

She had changed in the three years since they had last seen one another. The first thing he noticed was that she had dyed her hair. Instead of the rich red hair he'd known, it was now a strawberry blonde. Her overall look was more somber than he had known as well: sensible pearl earrings instead of feathers, business suit instead of flowing hippie skirt. Although that might just be because she was working.

Read The Shifter’s Secret Baby (Shades of Shifters Book 3) by T. S. Ryder online for free (2024)


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