Home > Taken by the Tiger (Alpha Claimed #2)

Taken by the Tiger (Alpha Claimed #2)
Author: Milly Taiden

 


Chapter One

 

 

Parker Nolan was late. Not even like a little late. She was so late that if it were her wedding, people would think she left the groom at the altar. Honking at the pileup, she growled and slammed a hand on the steering wheel. Her phone buzzed, but she refused to be taken away from her focus. She had to get to her cousin Jade’s wedding. They might not be close as adults, but that was largely due to Parker traveling all the time and never sitting still.

“For fuck’s sake!” she yelled at nobody. “Move it along!”

The cars took their sweet time to inch forward. She glanced at her unruly dark curls in the rearview mirror and sighed. Not much she could do about that. Promising Jade that she’d be her maid of honor was a big deal, considering the only other role was matron of honor held by her other cousin Balgair.

The traffic started to dissipate, and everyone sped forward. Nothing accounted for the pile up. She hit the accelerator and hoped there wasn’t a cop around, because she was about to break the speed limit.

She got to the wedding and jumped out of the car, tossed her keys at a valet and ran inside. The ceremony was taking place in the back of the mansion by the lake. Rushing toward the back, she almost slipped and broke her neck, but someone grabbed her from behind just in time. She didn’t get a chance to see who had saved her.

“Thank you!” she yelled over her shoulder, her focus solely on not fucking up Jade’s day. Shoving her hair out of her face, she speed-walked to the back.

At the back door, the organizer waited for her with her bouquet and sighed.

“Thank god, you’re here,” she whispered. “Jade was worried you’d changed your mind.”

“Can we get this show on the road?” Balgair asked. He came around from behind the organizer. “Oh, look who’s here. Damn it. I lost twenty dollars to Jade.”

Parker gasped and smacked her cousin on his arm. “You bet against me being here? You of all people should know better than that.”

He shrugged. “Baby Brody just ate, which pushed everything behind, so we’re about to start.”

“Thank goodness this wasn’t delayed because of me,” she sighed. “Okay. Where is the cuteness?”

“Ben’s going to push him down the aisle in his stroller. He’s in love with his new brother.”

Parker beamed a smile. “Really? That’s awesome. I can’t wait to see them both in their cute little tuxes.”

Balgair laughed. “They are so freaking adorable.”

“All right, you two,” the organizer called their attention. “We’re about to begin so let’s get in place.”

Parker let out a breath and attempted to relax, pasted a smile on her face, and held on to her bouquet of pink peonies. Peonies were her and Jade’s favorite flowers.

She watched the two grooms walk up the aisle together. Then a sexy-as-sin man helped Lana, one of the groom’s mothers, to the front of the aisle. He took his place next to the grooms, so she knew he was the best man. His gaze met hers and she felt her face heat. Something happened while he stared at her. A strange pull that had her glancing at him every few seconds. It was unlike anything she’d ever experienced before with another man. It made her heart skip a beat.

“Honey, you’re in trouble,” Balgair whispered. “When a man looks at a woman like that? The chase is on.”

Next came Ben, pushing an antique but gorgeous white stroller. He beamed as he waved at everyone and glanced down at his baby brother every few steps. When he got to the front, he moved the stroller next to Lana and then stood by the best man.

“Your turn, Parker,” the organizer said.

She started her walk, and her insides tightened the closer she got to the best man. It was hard to keep a smile on her face when all she wanted to do was run the other way. The guy was making her hot. A flash of gold passed through his eyes and she frowned.

When she got to the front, she took her place on the bride’s side. Then it was Balgair’s turn. Her cousin loved the attention everyone gave him. He smiled and waved. Stopped mid-walk to pose for a photo and then took his place next to her.

“He’s still looking,” Balgair whispered to her.

“Shut up. He probably just thinks I look like someone he knows.”

Then “Just the Way You Are” started playing, and Parker gasped and turned to Balgair. “That’s a great song.”

“I know. I helped them pick it.”

Jade dazzled in a beautiful lacy mermaid confection that showed off her curves. Her long dark hair was styled up the side with a rhinestone headpiece that had white feathers. Her makeup had been done beautifully. She looked like the bridal version of a 1950s’ pinup.

“You outdid yourself,” she told Balgair, watching her cousin smile wide as she walked toward her two husbands-to-be. Everyone snapped photos and grinned at Jade.

Love and romance were in the air and it was hard not to be sappy. Parker watched the three of them promise to love each other. Promise to be there for each other. The men each gave her a band and then she gave one to each groom.

Dean kissed her. As was customary for the alpha to move first, from what Jade had told her. Then Gavin kissed her.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the officiant called out, “I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Felid and Mr. and Mrs. Gavin Nash.”

The crowd went wild, and Jade waved her bouquet in the air in a display of happiness.

Parker didn’t want to glance to the side. She knew he’d be staring at her. He hadn’t stopped staring the entire time the ceremony had been going on. And damn if she wasn’t curious about him. He was tall with dark hair that needed a trim. He had a short beard, but it didn’t hide his jawline, or his piercing hazel eyes. Lord, the man was fine.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Parker needed a drink. The celebration was going off without a hitch and all she could think about was the best man, whose name she still didn’t know.

“Don’t look so sullen, Parker,” Jade laughed and hugged her. “It’s my wedding!”

Parker laughed and kissed her cheek. “You look fucking gorgeous. What the hell have you been doing that you’re radiating happiness?”

Jade shrugged. “I am happy. That’s what you’re seeing. Ben is happy. Our family is whole.” She squeezed Parker’s hands. “What about you? I know you fell out with your mom and dad.”

Parker shrugged. “They got tired of me spending their money trying to save people in third-world countries. They wanted me to come home and get married. Give them a few grandkids they could take to the country club and live the life of a rich housewife.”

“So what are you going to do?”

Parker smiled at a waiter that handed her a glass of champagne. “They can be as angry as they want. I have a trust that I can use for whatever I want. They don’t control it. It was set up by my grandfather.”

“That’s true. Your mom’s father always spoiled you. Are you planning on being in town for a while?” Jade stared at her hopefully. “I want us to hang out.”

“Aren’t you going away on a honeymoon?”

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