Home > Tarian Outcast (New Tarian Pride #3)

Tarian Outcast (New Tarian Pride #3)
Author: T.S. Joyce

Chapter One

Kannon was definitely about to kill a human.

Murder. He was about to murder the idiot in the seat next to him, and he probably wouldn’t even feel guilty about it. Ronin, his Alpha, was going to be so mad, but he would forgive him. Probably. Or kill him. Whatever. “Put me out of my fuckin’ misery,” he snarled under his breath as Jockstrap, as he’d mentally named the titan beside him, shoved him in the arm again.

“Dude,” Jockstrap whisper-screamed. “Dude!”

Three more hours on this flight, three more hours. He just had to make it three more hours. Jockstrap leaned into his ear. “Dude, look at that chick’s tits.”

If he punched this guy in the esophagus, really, the people around him would probably be thankful. Give him a trophy, hand him their babies to kiss on the forehead, make him president, and so on, so forth. There was no way this guy wasn’t annoying everyone on this plane.

Kannon swallowed the snarl in his throat and leaned closer to the window, away from Jockstrap. Get the hint, you fuckin’ speck of fart grease.

Kannon knew what “chick” he was talking about. He’d seen her when he’d sat down in this seat an hour ago. Pretty girl, curvy, minimal make-up, great eyebrows. Eyebrows were the windows to the eyes and the eyes were the window to the soul. Some guys noticed lips or eyes first, but Kannon was strange. He noticed eyebrows.

“Duuuuuuude,” Jockstrap said, with one of those surfer-guy laughs.

Currently, Kannon was estimating the dimensions of the window and wondering if he could fit Jockstrap’s carcass through it.

“We’re millimeters away from nipple. Oh, my God, this is awesome. I can almost see the dark skin.”

What the hell? Kannon gave in and looked across Jockstrap’s massive frame. The raven-haired girl across the aisle had removed her hoodie, apparently chugged a miniature plastic bottle of wine, if the empty in her lap was anything to go by, and fallen asleep. She was curled up in the seat like a cat, her tank top dipping dangerously low and showing off some epic cleavage.

His rage was instant. Poor girl didn’t know she was vulnerable, and this idiot was ogling her in her sleep.

A growl ripped out of him as his lion asked not so politely to, “Let me the fuck out.” Kannon grabbed Jockstrap by the throat, stood, shoved the choking moron into his vacated seat like a giant ragdoll, and made his way to the aisle. It took him about two and a half seconds to strip out of his jacket while Jockstrap complained about his rough handling in the whiniest, pussiest way Kannon had ever heard. “Heeeeeey.” His voice sounded like a mosquito.

“Do something then,” he gritted out in a voice that couldn’t even pass as human.

Whatever Jockstrap saw in his eyes—probably a blazing gold color and the pinpoint pupils of his inner lion—he wisely shut his pie hole.

Hands shaking to punch the guy and give his pretty-boy face some character, Kannon draped his jacket gently over the sleeping girl. The passengers around him were murmuring, and there was an air of panic, but screw being discreet with his animal now.

One lady two rows back slow-clapped, though. He didn’t know her from Eve, but he liked her.

“Sir, is there a problem?” a worried-looking stewardess asked Kannon.

“Nope, no problem anymore.” Unless Jockstrap decided to open his stupid mouth again. Kannon gave the flight attendant, Marian, her nametag read, a forced smile. “I fixed it.”

“Okay, well clearly you are one of those shifters.” She looked down at a little handheld computer in her grasp. “Oh, yes, there you are. Lion…” Her voice died off on the word, and she cleared her throat. “Lion shifter.” Then she whispered, “Holy shit,” under her breath. “Okay,” she said, looking up with a plastered smile. She was starting to smell like terror. “Everything is fine. I mean, not the violence… Sir, are you okay?” she asked Jockstrap.

“Well, I’m feeling a little violated,” he complained, rubbing his throat.

“Shut the fuck up,” Kannon advised through a smile.

“Noted,” Jockstrap said, lowering his gaze to the floor. Wise idiot.

“I have a seat in first class open,” Marian murmured to Kannon. “Would you feel more comfortable up there so you don’t…don’t…”

“Change into a man-eating lion?” Kannon sat down in Jockstrap’s old seat and stretched his leg as much as he was able under the chair in front of him. “I’m good right here.”

“But…I’m offering you first class,” Marian said with a frown.

“I would rather sit directly in this asshole’s line of site so this girl can sleep in peace.” Kannon gestured to the sleepy lady across the aisle. She hadn’t moved a muscle, except her bottom lip was pouted out now and she wore a slight frown in her sleep. She looked like a grumpy kitten. Cute. Kannon turned in his seat to face Jockstrap and smiled. “Now you can look at me.”

Jockstrap looked quite worried as he raised his hand. “Uh, can I have that seat in first class?”

“Were you creeping on a sleeping woman?” Marian asked, one eyebrow cocked.

“Yes, he was!” the slow-clap woman a couple rows back enlightened her.

“Then no,” Marian muttered. And then she did an about-face and marched up the aisle toward the front of the plane.

Kannon was pretty sure she had muttered, “Please don’t kill him,” under her breath, but she could’ve also said, “Sleezeball skillet,” Kannon wasn’t sure. Either way, now he had to stare at this fucktart until they landed because the one thing he hated more than anything was a womanizing sack of shit pervert who actually thought his stupid behavior awarded him a seat upgrade.

The woman across the aisle had slept through the whole thing, but good. She didn’t have to be embarrassed or self-conscious.

She’d never been safer in her entire life than she was right now, and she didn’t even know it.

Chapter Two

“Baggage claim is carousel nine,” said the announcement over the plane’s intercom.

Katy Craigson squinted her eyes open. The plane had come to a stop and all around her, people were standing up, gathering bags, and pulling their carry-on luggage from the overhead bins.

Holy moly, had she slept the entire flight?

Disoriented, she sat up, and an unfamiliar jacket slipped from her lap. It was almost her turn to exit the aircraft, but she stared dumbly down at the piled jacket that smelled like some cologne she didn’t recognize. She liked the scent a lot. The material was a beige, thick canvas fabric that was well worn in, but looked very high quality. She blinked her dry, bleary eyes a few times, making sure she wasn’t dreaming.

When a giant hand plucked the jacket off her lap, she looked up, startled. A tall man with a model’s face stood above her, head almost reaching the ceiling. He had black hair like hers, swept up in some sleep-mussed look some guys spent an hour trying to achieve. His chiseled jaw was covered in short black stubble, his lips were full with a hint of smile lines, and his fit AF physique was on full display in his navy T-shirt. He wore dark-wash jeans with a chain wallet and a belt that rode low on his hips. His eyebrows were dark and animated, but it was his eyes that stunned her. They were like liquid gold.

Shifter!

It was a single moment locked in his gaze, and then he was reaching above her. Wordlessly, he pulled down her eye-scorching pink carry-on suitcase her friend, Drea, had bought her for her thirtieth birthday and set it down on the aisle like it weighed literally zero pounds and zero ounces.

And then he walked toward the exit, his jacket tucked in the crook of his arm.

When she looked down, her boobs had definitely escaped her tank top. Shhhit!

Cheeks catching fire, she pulled at her shirt until it covered more of her, went to stand but got trapped by the seatbelt, and fell back into the cushion. She finally unbuckled with a deafening click and stumbled into the aisle as the people in the rows behind her muttered and mumbled.

Embarrassed down to her core, Katy grabbed her suitcase and escaped the plane. That man was the most attractive man she’d ever seen, but he was also the first shifter she’d ever met. She’d always imagined how meeting a real-life shifter would be, and then it had happened when she was half asleep and still a little buzzed from that mini-bottle of wine she’d downed.

Her mortification was infinite. Everyone on this dang flight to Colorado had probably seen both of her teets. Her udders. Her grab-bags. Her tatas. Her twin full-and-heavies. Her—

“Thank you for flying with us,” a stewardess said with a kind smile as Katy staggered ungracefully out the exit door.

“Thank you…for flying, too,” she mumbled over her shoulder. Oh goodness, she needed to wake up all the way.

Self-consciously, she eased to the side as soon as she was off the ramp and pulled her hoodie on, thoroughly covering the bosoms. Having to piss like a race-horse, she scurried like a little mouse to the nearest restroom. And no, she did not look for the hot shifter. Just kidding, she scanned the crowd around her like a psychopath.

But he’d disappeared as though he’d never existed at all. Which was quite possible because she had been really disoriented. Maybe she’d imagined him. Weirder things had happened to her. Because she was weird.

She found a restroom, and as she was washing her hands, a blond-haired woman she recognized from the plane eased up to the sink beside her. “You had quite the champion,” the lady said.

“I’m sorry?” Katy said, looking around to make sure the woman was talking to her.

“That lion shifter threw some guy across the side of the plane for looking at your boobs. And then he turned down an upgrade to first class just so he could make sure that asshole left you alone.”

“The one…who…put his jacket on me?” The hot man had been her hero?

“Yep. It was quite the show. Best plane ride ever. I think he stared at that guy the entire last three hours of the flight,” the woman said, giggling as she rinsed soap off her hands. “Anyway, just thought you should know.” She shook water off her hands and turned to Katy. “Good men still exist.” And then she winked and made her way out of the restroom, leaving Katy with her mouth hanging open and her mind racing.

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