Scotsman Angus Buchanan is lonely, but his alien heritage makes it difficult for him to find a partner. Not many women can overlook his tentacles. At his cousin’s wedding in America, he meets marine biologist Sasha. She is intrigued by his unique anatomy and might just be the true love he’s waited for–or at least the woman to help rid him of his pesky virginity.
Angus Buchanan was lonely. There was no denying it. He was keenly aware of the sense of emptiness that always seemed to accompany him, but even more so today, as he watched his eldest cousin getting married. Their union was beautiful and symbolic of finding a soul mate. Both Colin and Liana had tears in their eyes by the time the priest announced them married.
Angus had to blink back a bit of moisture himself. He cleared his throat to get a grip on his emotions, knowing losing control could be disastrous. It would be bad enough back in Scotland, in the village near their ancestral lands. At least most of the folks there were familiar with the strange ancestry of the Buchanan family. But the idea of losing his control here was unthinkable. Modern American wedding guests would freak out.
He imagined Liana would freak out as well. After all, Colin had been lucky enough not to inherit the…trait…that cursed Angus. It was doubtful he’d ever told his fiancée, now wife, the truth of their alien ancestry. The other man had been able to leave behind their peculiar history when he’d emigrated from Scotland ten years ago.
Angus wished he could be so lucky. Alas, he was cursed with the family oddity. Some of his relatives considered it a blessing, but not him. It made things awkward and uncomfortable when trying to date a woman. That explained why he was still a twenty-five-year-old virgin.
As though to remind him of that sad fact, his older brother nudged him as they lined up to accompany the bridal attendants back down the aisle. “She’s a lovely lass.”
Angus barely glanced at the tiny black woman he was paired with. “Aye.” She certainly was, but there was no point in getting his hopes up. He knew that well enough by now.
“Liana said weddings are mostly an excuse to hook up, brother, at least for the singles.” Ian nudged him again just as Angus stepped out of range, making him stumble a bit as he approached the lovely woman. Trying to hide his blush from the clumsiness, he extended an arm. “Hello again, Sasha.”
She smiled, her full lips catching his attention in a way that made him ache. “Hello, Angus.” Tilting her head sent a wave of loose curls cascading across his arm. “I do hope I’ll be a better conversationalist this afternoon.”
He smiled, trying to ignore the way her curls clung to his arm, wrapping around his bicep like a tentacle. “I believe I’m the problem, lass. My thick brogue, you know.”
“This is your first visit to America, right?” At Angus’s nod, she sighed. “I’m sorry it had to be Akron, Ohio. There are much better places to see.”
“Aye. I did want to see southern California, but…” He shrugged, unable to verbalize how daunting the idea of mingling with so many people had left him fearful of losing control. Stress, fear, or excitement could loosen control of his peculiarity, so it was safer to stick with small crowds. Even the hundred-plus guests at the wedding were making him nervous.
“I live in San Diego. Next time you come, we’ll meet up there, and I’ll show you around.”
He nodded, but knew he’d never take her up on the offer. It was probably a kindness not supported by any real sincerity. She had been a gracious dining companion yesterday at the rehearsal dinner, and she was pleasant today, but that didn’t mean she had any interest in him.
Oh, he supposed he was handsome enough. Built along the same sturdy, muscular lines of all the other men in his family, he’d caught a few feminine eyes before. There had even been that one awkward time when he was sure Seamus O’Malley was checking him out. The Buchanan tawny hair and green eyes made plenty of panties wet, according to Ian, but he’d never tried that trick for himself.
As the afternoon passed, he enjoyed Sasha’s company more and more. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one. Angus found himself partaking of a few too many whiskeys from the open bar as twilight approached. His bridesmaid was busy dancing with every other lad in the place, and every single one of them held her much too close. She ought to slug them.
Or he could. Angus shook his head. She hadn’t invited him to have any sort of emotions for her, and she certainly didn’t need his protection in a room full of guests. No matter how attractive he found her, he knew it was another relationship destined to fail before it could begin. Tossing back one more whiskey, he slammed the glass onto the table a bit more forcefully than necessary.
With a nod at his brother, who had flown over with him, but wasn’t sharing his room, he got up from the table and left the wedding. As soon as he was in the modest room on the third floor of the bed and breakfast hosting his cousin’s wedding, he started stripping off his formal jacket and the shirt underneath. The darned things were terribly itchy. At least Colin had selected kilts. Pants were a special kind of torture with his heritage and required even more rigid control than usual to make sure nothing slipped out.