So when someone dumps a pixie baby of all things on his doorstep, he does the only thing he can think of. He tries to palm it off on someone else. Unfortunately his neighbour is out of town, leaving her sister, Tessa, to house-sit. Her single and disturbingly attractive sister.
Which leaves Feral with a couple of problems, especially when a bunch of pixie ninja wannabe's break into the place and try to steal the baby. Does he turn his back on the pixies, a race he's always hated… or will Tessa cast her own spell on the strong, silent type Kyn Warrior?
There was a baby on his doorstep.
What Kyn warrior Feral knew about babies would've fit on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare. But even he was sure doorsteps weren't their natural habitat. Which begged the question, why was there one on his doorstep, and where were the people who were supposed to be looking after it?
“Well hello little...actually, what the hell are you?” he murmured, unable to work out what sex the baby was, from the non-gender specific yellow blanket wrapped around him. It was the sort of colour he knew women had a multitude of names for, and God help a guy if he got it wrong.
“So, how did you get out here?” He squatted down to pick it up. It took three attempts; his large hands just didn’t seem to be the right shape, to pick up something so tiny. He lifted the squirming bundle carefully and glanced up and down the corridor, trying to catch a glimpse of a loiterer waiting around, watching the little one.
Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not surprising. Even if someone had been lurking in the shadows, the near six and a half feet of solid, pseudo-tattooed, bare-chested Kyn male who’d opened the door would have scared them off for sure.
Then the smell hit him.
Pungent and forceful, it stripped several layers off the inside of his nose like a gallon of paint thinner. He recoiled and wrinkled his nose in disgust. He'd never smelt anything so god-awful in his life!
“Jee...zuz Christ, are you supposed to smell that bad?” He looked at the bundle in surprise, settling it into the crook of his arm. He didn't really want it so close, not smelling as foul as it did. But there wasn't anyone else around, and big-arsed, scary Kyn warrior he might be, he couldn't leave it alone on the floor. Anything could happen to the little bit. It could get cold and sick or wild dogs could come along…or…something. Although the stench might have warned even the latter off.
“Okay, let’s see who you are then.” He reached out to move the edge of the blanket now covering the baby’s face—his fingers gentle as he pulled it free. He froze in surprise as his gaze locked on the baby's hair.
It was bright pink.
Which meant two things: One, the baby was male. And two, even worse, it was a Pixie. They were the only species Feral knew of with weird hair colour. Of course he could be way off track here, but he seriously doubted anyone had taken a bleach bottle to the baby's head to get that sort of colour.
“You just had to be a Pixie, didn't you?” He glared up and down the corridor again. Still no one. He sighed heavily, no point standing out on the doorstep like a spare prick at an orgy. A chill ran up the hallway and he shivered. Besides, it was cold out here and babies needed to be kept warm, didn't they?
He stepped back into his apartment, hooking a bare foot around the door and kicking it shut before wandering into the main room. He came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the open area and frowned. Ok, what the hell do I do now?
It was one of his rare nights off, so he wasn't dressed for company. A pair of ripped, faded jeans hung off his hips and his feet were bare. Alone as he was, he hadn’t bothered with a shirt, the dark marks across one side of his body and up his neck that marked him as a Kyn warrior, clearly visible. Adding to the dress problem, he’d already had a couple of beers, so he couldn’t drive. Which left him with a problem. A small, baby-shaped one that smelled.
He looked down, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips as the baby opened its eyes and blinked at him. Its wide, bright eyes were peacock blue. A colour which seemed odd next to the shocking colour of its...Feral corrected himself...his colour of hair.
“I don't suppose you've got any suggestions as to what we should do, eh, little man?” The low rumble of his voice being the only sound in the large living room, he spoke more to reassure himself; after all, the baby couldn’t answer him, could it?
The baby just looked back and smiled. The toothless, gummy smile of the very young. Feral had to admit, even for a Pixie, he was cute. The sort of cute that women went gaga over. The little one was also more placid than he'd been lead to believe babies were. But just then, even as the thought wandered through his mind, the baby's face crumpled. A slow motion movement which had the big Kyn warrior riveted in fascinated horror.
The cry started off low, like an old fashioned air raid siren. Feral had only ever heard them in films, but now, he held an appreciation of what it must have been like in London during the Blitz. It seemed impossible someone so small could make so much noise. But he was, and he was carrying on doing it, threatening to pierce Feral's eardrums with the sheer volume.
“Shh…shh…shh, it's fine. Everything's fine!” Feral jiggled the baby a little, trying to calm it down, but his action only released fresh waves of the foul stench emanating from the diaper. It wasn't fine. It was so far from fine it beggared belief. He must really have pissed the fates off at some point for them to lump a baby on him, a Pixie baby no less, when his dislike...no, his hatred of Pixies was well known. Perhaps I kicked kittens or something in a former life?
Out of ideas, he strode across the room to the breakfast counter. The apartments on his block were open plan, with the kitchen and dining room leading into the main living space. Bathrooms and bedrooms were separated by the narrow excuse for an entrance hall.