Pregnant By The Panther

By: Riley Moreno

Paranormal Shifter Romance

Chapter One

Father and Son

Sonya was starving. Diesel had made her breakfast in bed, a stack of waffles under a mountain of clotted cream and rivers of syrup; but that felt like hours ago. Her stomach grumbled, her knees hurt, her feet were cramping and the woman just wouldn’t shut up.

“He’s very sensitive,” the woman was stick thin with oversized glasses that made her look like a starved owl. “He only eats canned tuna, and almond milk. I really don’t see what the problem could be. He was fine after his last visit with Dr. Brennen. But now he’s temperamental and won’t come when I call him. Mr. Snagalpuss, meow for Mommy;” the creamy white Persian stared at the floor, “come on pussy, pussy. See!”

“Please fill in these forms,” Sonya said pushing papers at the woman. “Dr. Brennen will look in to your cat.”

“Mr. Snagalpuss,” the woman corrected.

“Your cat will be fine,” Sonya said, disliking the woman immensely. “Fill in the forms and hand them to Lucy over there,” she pointed to the front desk. Lucy, a young woman with bright blue hair, was glaring at the woman with the cat. “I’m going out to lunch, Luc,” she waved at the girl who waved at her then started scolding the woman for going straight in to a doctor’s room without speaking to reception first.

Sonya took off her white coat, picked up her bag and checked her reflection in the mirror above the sink in her office bathroom. Her hazel eyes looked tired; her face was swollen and rounder, even her nose looked bigger. Her caramel colored hair shone though, glistening thick and long down her shoulders. Sonya took a surreptitious look down at her bloated body and her swelling stomach and grimaced.

The weather forecast was sunny with a possible snow storm by the end of the week. The last of the winters offering, it was going to be big and last for days before spring finally came in. Sonya breathed in the piney scent and enjoyed the feel of sun on her cold skin.

She walked two blocks to the Windmill Café, an old windmill turned in to a restaurant in Waterville. Shifter Grove was a thirty minute drive from Waterville city and Sonya worked in the veterinarian clinic of Dr. Brennen as an assistant doctor. She wouldn’t have bothered walking that far on her swollen legs if they didn’t serve fantastic gargantuan portions of fried fish and chips.

Sonya was meeting her friends for lunch. Diesel’s birthday was in a weeks’ time and she wanted to plan the final details. There was also the matter of her present. She wanted to give Diesel something that was meaningful, that he would love. Diesel had given her so much she wanted to give back just as much.

Diesel Wake was Sonya’s boyfriend, a WerePanther and the Sheriff of Shifter Grove. He was also the father of the baby Sonya was pregnant with. Sonya had been on the run from her ex-boyfriend, a WereTiger mercenary who killed people for a living, when she had met Diesel in Shifter Grove, a town where Shifter’s and non-Shifter’s lived in peace and harmony. Diesel had given her a home to stay and his protection. Belonging to broken homes, both Diesel and Sonya had wanted a loving family and Diesel had won her heart and her loyalty.

Her pregnancy had been a surprise for them both but a pleasant one. Sonya had contemplated marriage but Diesel hadn’t been comfortable with that. Sonya understood; never having seen a marriage that lasted she didn’t see the point of the institute of marriage. They didn’t need an official document telling them they loved each other.

Sonya settled in to a booth, ordered herself a lemonade, took out her planner and waited for her friends. She jotted down the things that still needed to be taken care of. Then she turned to the page which gave her the most anxiety these days:

Diesel’s birthday present.

Samantha slipped in to the booth, her ass making squeaky noises against the plastic upholstery. She brushed her red hair out of her face, slipped out of her heavy coat and signaled to the waitress.

“Root beer please,” she said, then turned to Sonya. “Hi.”

Sonya grinned.

Samantha was a WereFox. She had the long pinched face of a wily fox in the bushes, the bright red hair that was almost orange and big round, pink rimmed eyes that gave her a perpetually surprised expression. Samantha was a twitchy woman who thought too fast, spoke too fast and did things too fast like her entire life was a hair trigger away from falling around her ears.