The Reindeer's St. Patrick's Surprise (Reindeer Holidays Book 2)

By: E A Price

Branch huffed. “We’ve been spending time with Mira’s sister – some of the things she says sticks.”

“I would hardly say Amanda is a twinkie – she’s only a few years younger than Mira.”

Branch narrowed his eyes. “Mira’s not a twinkie.”

Harlan arched an eyebrow. “We’ve decided to part ways.”

His brother grunted. “You got bored of her.”

“I was not bored,” he said without any heat. “We just decided we would be better off focusing on other things.”

He decided he would rather focus on anything other than a woman who enjoyed trying to sneak herself, and forty of her closest friends, into his house in the middle of the night in order to make lime jello in his pool. The chlorine reacted badly to the jello – a few people needed their stomachs pumped. To say nothing about what it did to his filter.

He managed to throw one of his friends at her – she was cute and bubbly, and just looking for a good time with a rich guy who was happy to whisk her away to Bora Bora at the drop of a hat, and who also didn’t mind jello in his pool.

Since his ill-fated attempt at marriage, he hadn’t dated seriously. He had enjoyed dalliances, with exciting women who just wanted to have fun, but recently, he hadn’t found them particularly satisfying. Not that he was about to admit that. Since Branch found Mira, their mother started making noises about Harlan settling down and giving her grandkids, and that was not going to happen.

His brother, his alpha, was going to mate; he was planning on settling down. It wasn’t official yet, but it would be soon. Harlan saw the way he looked at Mira; it was only a matter of time before there was a herd of mini-Branch’s running around.

Branch gave him an uncertain look and then growled softly. “Mal tells me that Corinne is back in town.”

Harlan stared at him. The two of them watched each other for a few moments. Harlan let what he said sink in while Branch watched for his reaction.

“News to me,” said Harlan slowly.

Over the years he had gone out of his way to avoid Corinne’s herd. He heard vaguely that she left town shortly after their wedding day, but he hadn’t wanted to know where she was or what she was doing. He considered himself to be too gentlemanly to hurt females, but for the first few years after the aborted wedding, he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t wrap his hands around her throat if he ever saw him again. Best to avoid temptation.

“Probably best I don’t tell Mom,” said Branch.

“Probably,” muttered Harlan dully.

“She’s still smarting over the ice sculptures.” Branch attempted to put a bit of levity into his voice, but he wasn’t exactly funny by nature and given his audience, it fell flat – flat on its face.

What was Corinne doing in town now? He assumed she’d be mated by now. Would he care about seeing her again?

“How did Mal hear about this?”

Mal was his brother’s head enforcer, in charge of the herd security and tough as hell. He was always aware of potential security risks to the herd. Would he consider Corinne a risk to them?

Branch looked mildly uncomfortable as he admitted, “Actually he saw her at the movies.”

Harlan almost let out a guffaw. “Mal goes to the movies?” He assumed Mal went skydiving or chewed on glass for fun in his free time. “Please tell me he likes romantic comedies.”

“Don’t change the subject,” grumbled Branch. “Corinne’s herd have been trying to reach out to me for a few days, and now we know she’s back.”

Harlan grunted.

His brother smiled grimly. “So far I’ve been far too busy to speak to them.”

Corinne’s herd may have swiped a huge business deal from them, but thanks to poor management and bad decisions they were now in financial straits, while Harlan’s herd flourished. Losing the deal may have set them back, but not for long. No, the only thing that took a large blow was Harlan’s pride.

“I’m sure that pissed off Davies,” mused Harlan, managing to dredge up a half-smile while imagining the herd’s alpha, purple with rage. The redheaded male was quick to temper. He reminded Harlan of Yosemite Sam during his hissy fits.

“Yep,” said Branch with relish. “Not sure I have it within myself not to curse at him down the phone.”

The two males rarely swore thanks to their mother insisting on a swear jar while they were growing up, plus a grandmother who liked to hit them when they swore. She hit with her purse which she carried rocks in, so they soon learned their lesson.

Branch narrowed his eyes. “I don’t have to worry about Corinne, do I?”