You guys have been patiently (and some not so patiently ;)) waiting for my facebook page to reach 1,000 likes so that I could reveal the title and cover of the 4th book.
I have been sitting on this cover for MONTHS and it’s been killing me. It’s absolutely beautiful and my favorite of the whole series. I can’t wait to have a paperback to hold in my hands. For now, I have a poster I can stare at in my office. 😉
Now, enough of me rambling, I know you all just really want to see Caeden. 😀
(Cover Design by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design)
(No official Blurb yet)
So, there it is. What do you guys think of the cover?
I will be posting the rafflecopters for the 1,000 likes giveaway, sometime this week.
And…here is the much requested Caeden POV chapter.
I will also be adding this under the Outsider Extras tab if you’d like to read it again in the future.
Also, keep in mind that this is COMPLETELY unedited, so please don’t hate on me too bad. 😉
If you haven’t read the Outsider Series or haven’t read Fighter yet, this extra is EXTREMELY spoilery.
Last chapter of Fighter
Sophie and I were relaxing in bed. After the chaos of the last few weeks I was enjoying spending some quality time with my girl.
She was cuddled against my side with her head tucked between the crook of my shoulder and neck. I inhaled the heavenly scent of cookies blowing off her skin. Sometimes, even now, I couldn’t believe she was mine. She was beautiful, strong, wonderful…perfect. I could go on and on about all the qualities I loved and admired in her.
I twirled a piece of her chocolate brown hair around my finger and let it fall.
Suddenly, she sat up and a line between her brows was puckered.
I was about to ask her what was wrong, when she spoke. “What kind of cake do you want?”
That wasn’t what I expected to come out of her mouth.
“Chocolate,” I responded.
“I should’ve known,” she grinned. “Do you want it to say anything special?”
“Besides, Happy Birthday Caeden, you’re one lucky bastard?” I glanced down at her wedding band and then the spacious room around us. “Nah, I don’t think so,” I grinned.
She smacked my leg. “You’re ridiculous. And I know you were fishing around for your presents,” she shook her head. “I swear you’re too nosy for your own good.”
I snickered. I had been snooping around for my presents. I wanted to know what they were, so sue me. I was curious. This was the first time I would be celebrating my birthday with Soph and we were married. I was hoping to find some sexy new lingerie, but so far, nada.
I did finally find a stack of presents, but they were wrapped.
My she-wolf was a step ahead of me.
“Yeah, well, you already wrapped them, so I still don’t know what they are,” I groaned.
She rolled her eyes at me and asked, “Do you want Gram to make your cake?”
Was she nuts? Who else would I want to make my cake? Lucinda made the best cakes ever. They were definitely shifter approved.
“Of course,” I grinned. “No one makes a better cake than Lucinda. I still have dreams about our wedding cake,” I licked my lips in memory.
“That was yummy,” she agreed.
“Mhmm,” I rubbed my stomach. “On second thought, I want red velvet instead of chocolate.”
She scratched out where she had written chocolate on a notepad and added red velvet.
“I just want you to keep thing simple,” I warned. If I had my choice, there wouldn’t be a party. All I wanted was to spend the day just the two of us. It was so rare for us to have peaceful moments, just the two of us, and I was craving that. “Don’t get my mom involved or she’ll have this place decked out like it’s a club.”
“Gotcha,” she beamed, “I can keep it simple.”
I heard a cry from Archie coming from the side of my bed. I leaned over and peered down into his brown eyes. He tilted his head and whined again. Poor little guy wanted on the bed. I turned to Soph and grinned, “I think Archie wants up on the bed.”
She sighed and peered over me, down at Archie. “No, Archie, you can lay on your cushion with Murphy,” she pointed for emphasis.
The sweet little black and white dog cried again and batted his small paw against the side of the bed.
“Awww, babe, look at his little face,” I pleaded and reached down, picking the dog up despite her protests. I couldn’t just leave the poor dog on the floor crying for us. I rolled him in my arms and cradled him against my chest.
“Oh God, I think I just got an idea of what our future will look like,” she groaned. “Me, saying no to the kids, while behind my back, you will say yes.” She wrinkled her nose.
I laughed, “Yep, that sounds about right. I’ll be good cop and you’ll be bad cop.” I loved that she was no longer squeamish when the mention of kids was brought up. I couldn’t wait to have a baby with Sophie and watch my child grow inside her. I knew Sophie wanted to wait and I was fine with that. We were young and had plenty of years ahead of us.
“Figures,” she muttered, “I didn’t want to start letting Archie up on the bed because I don’t think it’s fair to Murphy,” she looked over at my Irish Wolfhound familiar, asleep on the mattress-sized cushion.
“Murphy’s fine,” I assured her. “He’s used to sleeping on the floor.” I looked down at Archie in my arms and scratched him behind the ears. His pink tongue lolled out the side of his mouth and I chuckled. “But not this little fellow.”
“You’re impossible,” she muttered, and looked back down at her list.
I put Archie down, on the floor, and leaned towards her.
“Don’t pout, baby,” I murmured, taking the notepad from her and tossing it on the floor.
“Hey!” She cried but I silenced her with my lips.
She instantly melted and her fingers tangled in my hair, tugging slightly. Sophie loved to grab my hair.
My fingers skimmed down her side and then under the edge of the tank-top she had worn to bed.
“Caeden,” she gasped, pulling away slightly, “I’m supposed meet Chris and Charlotte soon.”
I skimmed my nose up the side of her neck and kissed the spot where her heart pulsed.
“They can wait,” I murmured and pressed my lips against hers.
Her body hummed in satisfaction.
She pulled away again and grinned at me. “Yeah, they can wait.”
I watched Sophie leave to go shopping with the girls before padding into the kitchen.
I opened the refrigerator doors, searching for something for breakfast…or was it lunch now?
“Hey, Cay-berry,” Nolan greeted, walking through the archway.
I groaned at the ridiculous nickname. Maybe I should start calling him, No-nuts. I’m sure he’d love that.
“Hungry?” I asked, glancing at him over my shoulder.
“No,” he grinned, “I already ate. But I’m sure you’re starving.”
I turned all the way around and raised a brow in question.
His grin widened. “This may be a well built house, but I’m a shifter Cay-berry. I can hear everything. It sounded like you and the wifey were really having some fun.”
I growled and clenched my fists. The wolf in me hated him talking about my mate that way.
“Shut your mouth,” I warned.
“Ooh,” he put his hands up in mock defense, “I’m so scared of the big bad wolf shifter.”
“You have five seconds to get out of here cat,” I warned.
“You know I was just kidding,” he shook his head. “There’s no need to get all,” he waved a hand in my direction, “defensive.”
“She’s my wife and you are a guest,” I breathed in and out deeply. Even though I had been shifting for years now, if I lost control of my temper I could spontaneously shift.
“I can leave,” Nolan smiled.
I sighed. “I don’t want you to leave.”
He grinned. “I know. You need me.”
“Yes, we do need you,” I agreed reluctantly. Nolan didn’t need any more of an ego. “And I’m happy that you’re here, just don’t talk about me and Sophie like that.”
“Oh, Caeden,” Nolan picked an apple out of the large bowl on the center of the table and tossed it in the air before catching it and taking a large bite out of it, “you always were such a…girl when it comes to these kinds of topics.”
“Excuse me,” I crossed my arms over my bare chest, “for being respectful. My parents raised me right.”
“Are you saying mine didn’t raise me right?” He leaned back in the chair and crossed his arms behind his head.
I eyed him. “I’m saying there’s a reason why you left and stayed away for years. Care to share?”
He let the chair drop back the floor. “How did this conversation go from you and your prudish ways to me?”
“Did you really think I was going to let this slide? I want to know why you left,” I demanded. With everything going on with Travis, I hadn’t bugged Nolan about the disappearing act he had performed years ago.
Nolan pushed back from the table and stood in a lightning fast movement. A muscle in his jaw flexed. Glaring at me, he spat, “I had my reasons for leaving and they’re nobody else’s business.”
He didn’t give me a chance to respond as he stalked out of the room.
Light streamed through the bedroom windows waking me up.
It was my birthday.
I felt ten years older than that.
Sophie smiled at me and placed a tender kiss on my lips.
I gazed at her for a moment, soaking her in.
She rolled over and sat up. I wrapped my arm around her stomached and pulled her flat onto the bed, hovering above her. “Don’t leave,” I begged and kissed her neck.
“I have to get your stuff for the party,” she whined.
“Let me go with you,” I pleaded. It was my birthday and I didn’t want her to leave. The least she could so was let me tag along.
“I don’t think so, mister. I have to get something while I’m out that you definitely can’t see,” she wiggled beneath me, trying to dislodge me. I was curious to know what she was up to that I couldn’t see.
“Fine,” I released her reluctantly. “At least give the birthday boy a kiss before you leave,” I grinned.
She leaned over and kissed me. I cupped her cheek in my hand, pulling her closer, and deepening the kiss. I tried to convince her with my lips to stay and forget the party.
“I’ve really got to go,” she pulled away and I groaned. Apparently, my kiss hadn’t been enough to convince her.
“I know,” I ran my fingers through my messy hair. I really needed to get it cut but since I knew Sophie liked it shaggy, I hadn’t bothered. “Hurry back?”
“Of course,” she smiled, “and Caeden?”
I grinned. “Thanks babe.”
She smiled before turning and heading into the master bathroom. I heard the shower turn on and was tempted to join her, but since I figured that would make her mad, I refrained.
“Come on boys,” I patted the large empty space on the bed and the dogs jumped up. I petted each of them before rolling on my back and throwing my arm over my eyes. Within seconds, I was back asleep.
I had showered and was hanging out in the family room when people started to arrive.
I opened the door and my mom and Lucinda breezed past me, heading straight to the kitchen.
“Happy Birthday!” My mom called over her shoulder.
“Thanks,” I shook my head. “Way to make me feel special mom!” I yelled towards the kitchen.
Bryce snickered. “Told you I was the favorite. The youngest is always the favorite.”
I swatted him on the back of the head.
A few minutes later I heard Sophie pull into the garage.
“Hey, Amy! Can you help me with something?” Sophie asked, coming into the house. I ducked around the corner so she wouldn’t see me and tried to figure out what she was up to.
“Of course,” my mom replied, walking out of the kitchen.
“Can you bring the balloons in and hang the banner while I take care of this?” Sophie asked and I heard some rustling.
“Sure, take your time,” my mom said, “I’ve got this covered.”
“Thank you so much!” Sophie cried and then bound up the steps.
“Bryce! Come help me with this!” She yelled for my brother.
Bryce grumbled but followed my mom to the garage.
I heard another car and opened the door. It was Sophie’s parents.
“Happy Birthday,” Sophie’s mom smiled at me and opened her arms for a hug.
“Thanks, Christine,” I grinned. “Garrett,” I nodded at her dad. I liked Sophie’s dad but I still felt awkward around him. Not only was he her dad, but a huge part of me felt like he would make a better Alpha.
“Happy Birthday,” Garret responded.
“Where’s Sophie?” Christine asked, peering around for her daughter.
“She’s upstairs doing something,” I shrugged.
“Oh,” Christine nodded. She and Garrett disappeared into the kitchen as well.
I was about to close the door when I heard another car coming in the driveway. I grinned when I saw that it was Bentley’s black GMC truck.
He and Chris bound into the house.
It seemed like it had been forever since I had seen my best friend.
I nodded towards the family room and he nodded.
“I’ll go help with…something,” Chris stood on her tiptoes to kiss Bentley’s cheek before scurrying after the others.
“God, I love that girl,” Bentley watched her leave.
I strode into the family room and sat down on the couch. Bentley did the same, resting his feet on the ottoman.
“You’re perfect for each other,” I told him.
He chuckled. “So are you and Sophie.”
My mom came into the family room with balloons and began tying them around the room.
“Let me help,” I stood.
“No, it’s your birthday,” she looked at me like I was crazy. “Although, do you think you could help your brother hang the banner. I’m a little too short to help,” she chuckled.
“Sure thing,” I smiled.
Bryce was trying to hang a Happy Birthday banner from the top of the archway into the family room.
I grabbed the end that was hanging down and tacked it to the molding.
“Show off,” Bryce muttered.
I ruffled his hair affectionately. “Just trying to help.”
I sat down beside Bentley again.
“When do we get cake?” He asked.
“Soon, I hope,” I grumbled. I really wanted some cake. There should be a rule that it’s totally acceptable to eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I heard Sophie coming down the steps and looked towards the steps.
Her long hair was loose and hung down straight, just the way I liked it, and she was glowing.
That girl stole my breath. Could she get any more perfect?
She spoke to Lucinda but I didn’t hear a thing either of them said. I was too absorbed in watching Sophie.
“Dude,” Bentley punched my shoulder. “You’re drooling.”
“I don’t care,” I glared at him.
“Where do you want me to put these?” I heard Nolan ask Sophie. I turned in their direction and saw Nolan holding a stack of presents.
“Oh, sorry! Just put them on the ottoman,” she pointed.
Bentley dropped his feet so Nolan could do as Sophie said.
I turned in Sophie’s direction and she walked towards me.
She bent and kissed my cheek. “Are you ready for your cake, birthday boy?” She grinned.
“Oh yeah,” I patted my stomach for emphasis.
“Everyone!” She yelled. “Let’s head to the kitchen for cake!”
Everyone took off at the mention of cake.
I stood and took her hand in mine. “They better not eat all of my cake. I want at least one piece left over,” I complained.
“Don’t worry,” Lucinda spoke up from the entrance of the kitchen, “I made you an extra one and put it in the refrigerator.”
A whole cake for later! Lucinda couldn’t get any better.
“Ah, Lucinda, you’re the best!” I hugged her.
“I try,” she smiled and patted my cheek.
“Hurry up!” My annoying brother called from the kitchen.
“We better get in there,” Sophie laughed and gave my hand a small squeeze.
The cake was set up on the island so everyone could gather around it.
Soph grabbed a box of candles and stuck nineteen in. She searched through a drawer and lit them before they all started to sing.
“Make a wish!” Sophie exclaimed when the song ended.
I blew out the candles, but I didn’t make a wish. I didn’t need one. I had everything I wanted, right here in this room.
I did have a hope though.
I hoped I was worthy of Sophie.
I made sure all the candles were blown out and grinned at Sophie. “Now, cut me some cake.”
She laughed and reached for the cake cutter. “Alright, birthday boy, which piece do you want?”
“That one,” I pointed to one of the end pieces. Wasn’t that everyone’s favorite piece? The more icing the better, at least in my opinion.
She cut me a piece of cake that would be equivalent to two slices. She knew me so well. She stuck a fork in the middle and handed it to me.
I hurried to the table with my cake.
“Who’s next?” Sophie asked.
“Me! Me! Me!” Bryce raised his hand and waved.
Sophie cut the cake for everyone and I got a second slice before she finally sat down. She seemed full of nervous energy, like she was trying to distract herself. If there weren’t so many people around I’d ask her what was wrong.
“Happy Birthday, Caeden,” Garrett, Sophie’s dad, told me again.
“Thanks,” I smiled but I was still trying to figure out what was going on with Sophie.
“We’re so happy Sophie has you,” Christine added.
I blushed. “I think I’m the lucky one.” And I was. I saw Lucinda in the far corner of the kitchen and called out, “Hey Lucinda!” She lifted her gaze from her plate of cake and I said, “The cake is delicious! Thank you!”
Sophie finished her piece of cake and looked around the room. “Are you guys done?” She asked. When everyone nodded she stood and opened the cabinet that hid the trashcan. “Trash goes in here, not scattered around my house,” she warned, eyeing everyone.
I brightened. “Does this mean present time?” I asked, dropping my paper plate in the trashcan.
“Yes,” she laughed, rolling her eyes at me.
“Woohoo!” I exclaimed, running to the family room.
I had just started shaking the presents when they all walked in and Sophie sat down beside me.
“Which one can I open first?” I asked.
“Whichever you want,” she shrugged.
I tore the wrapping paper off of the present I was holding. It was a wallet from Sophie.
“Thanks babe,” I grinned at her.
“Don’t thank me yet. There’s more,” her eyes sparkled and I wondered what my she-wolf had up her sleeve.
The next present I opened was from Bryce.
“Thanks Bryce!” I waved the Xbox game at my brother.
“I bought that with the intention that you’d invite me over to play,” Bryce grinned.
“Sure, sure,” I chuckled.
“I mean it. Don’t make me take it back. You know I will,” he warned and I knew he wasn’t bluffing. That was Bryce.
“I promise to let you come over and play it,” I agreed so he would shut up and let me finish opening the rest of my gifts.
“Thank you, that’s all I ask,” Bryce relaxed, leaning against the wall.
I looked beside me at Sophie. “Bryce always buys presents with…ulterior motives,” I explained.
Bryce piped in, “What’s the point in buying someone a present if I’m not going to benefit from it?”
I rolled my eyes at my little brother.
I tore open my next present and discovered an assortment of gift cards from Sophie’s parents.
“Wow! Thank you!” I hugged Sophie’s mom. “Here, babe, hold onto these. I don’t want to lose them.” I handed Sophie the box.
The next box was huge and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what it was.
“I have no idea what this is…” I whispered, ripping the paper off. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed when I saw the shiny blue electric guitar. “Mom! You didn’t!”
“I did,” my mom grinned.
“This is incredible,” I murmured, pulling the guitar out. “I’ve wanted this for so long,” I strummed the strings lightly. “Wow, thank you, mom!” I put the guitar down and hugged her.
I opened the rest of my presents and said, “Thank you so much. This has been the best birthday I’ve ever had.” I stood and started to pick up the trash.
“Hold up, there’s one more,” Sophie informed me.
I hadn’t seen another present and began to look around for it. “There is?” I asked.
“I have a surprise for you, remember?” She grinned.
“Oh, right,” I sat down again.
She pulled a box out of her pocket and handed it to me. “I hope you love it,” she squeaked when I began to tear the paper off.
I could tell she was nervous since she kept nibbling on her lower lip and twisting the bottom of her shirt in her hands.
“Babe, I know I’ll love it,” I ripped off the last of the wrapping paper.
I was left with a small rectangular white box. I slowly lifted the lid off, trying to guess what was inside.
Everyone around me, including Sophie, seemed to be holding their breath.
I stared in wonder at what I saw inside the box.
There was no way.
It wasn’t possible.
But there it was, right in front of me, a positive symbol on a pregnancy test.
My heart was racing. I was torn between feeling elated and scared shitless.
“What is it?” I heard my brother ask.
“Caeden?” My mom asked.
“Tell us! We’re dying over here!” Chris shrieked.
With wide eyes I faced my wife. “Does this mean what I think I means?” I asked in shock. I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This couldn’t be real life.
She nodded, crying happy tears.
Sophie was having my baby.
I was going to be a dad.
I turned to face everyone and a grin spread across my face.
“We’re having a baby!” I announced.