Title: Doyle

image shows a blond man with blue eyes staring at camera. Left cheek shows tiger stripes ghosting in on his cheek. Text reads: Doyle, A Kit Colbana World Short Story

Published by: Shiloh Walker, Inc
Release Date: August 2022
Genre: ,

A Kit Colbana World Short Story

This is a short story. It is only a short story.

Doyle. Human. Tiger. Aneiri. Alone.

Always on the outside, even in a clan. Now, as his dominance grows and threatens to spill out in a wave of violence, he might have to choose between staying with the only family he's ever known, striking out to lead a solitary life or spill blood of those loyal to the clan...and the few he calls family.

follows the events of Haunted Blade and Haunted Magic

Pre-order links coming soon.

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Dont you talk to me in the tone, Doyle. Ill reach over this table and smack you across the head,” she said, temper snapping in her voice. Im not asking so I can run and rat you out. Im asking because this is the third fucking fight youve been in this month—even for a shifter of your dominance and age, thats a lot. Im worried.”

Clenching my jaw, I looked away. Ive got it under control, Char.”

Do you?”

Swearing, I got up and started to pace. The tiger pushed close to the surface and I stopped by the window, staring out over Chars lush landscape. Her position as Healer paid well.

She was trained as a medic, too, and the Assembly paid her a monthly retainer so shed be on call in the event of disaster or emergency. Lately, thered been a lot of both in the city. Florida had an entire season dedicated to shitty weather so there were usually any number of disasters where her services were requested. She had a fair amount of disposable income and invested it in her home. It showed. There were times I came here and used the key she'd given me just so I could sit her backyard and meditate. The meditation shit was something both Chang and Kit were teaching me. It was boring as hell and I hated it, but it did work to help leash the tiger and soothe the rages Id dealt with for most of my life.

But no amount of meditation would rid me of the aggression.

The fights are inevitable at this point, Char,” I said, admitting the truth out loud to the first person outside of Chang.

Hed been the one who had made me realize it and Id still taken forever to accept it.

The room behind me went silent, Chars breath freezing in her lungs until I couldnt even hear it passing in and out now. I heard the hum of the fridge and the air conditioning circulating, the rapid beat of her heart as it kicked up in response to what Id told her. Then, in a burst, she exhaled. There was the soft swish, swish, swish of the pale purple pants shed pulled on with a breezy crop top that left two inches of her soft, round belly exposed, then she was behind me.

Turning to her, I met her gaze.

Her brown eyes were almost black and she had her lower lip caught between her teeth as she wrapped her arms around her middle.

How inevitable, Doyle?”

Cracking my neck, I looked away.

She shoved me lightly. Answer me!

I caught her hands, held them trapped against my chest. The fear in her voice broke my heart. I pushed the knowledge aside, because thinking about it meant thinking about what shed come to mean to me and that was dangerous—for both of us, and unfair to her if everything ended happening the way it probably would later on down the road.

How inevitable?” she said again and this time, she was the one with the growl in her voice.

From what Ive been told, within the next decade, there will only be two cats in the Clan with more dominance than me,” I told her.

Her eyes widened and for a second, she swayed.

Hey…” Grabbing her hips, I steadied her. Breathe. Now.”

But shed already steadied. Damon is one, I guess. And judging by how antagonistic you are with Scott lately, Im assuming hes not the other.”

Scotts not one of the two strongest in the Clan, sugar.”

Tiny lines appeared around her eyes as she closed them, understanding coming.

Who have you talked with?”

Who else?” Sighing, I lowered head and nuzzled her curls, then eased back and met her gaze. Chang. He told me a while back, but it took a minute for me to process it, then deal with it. Me being a tiger…well, that both complicates things and makes it easier.”

She cocked her head, eyes narrowing as she considered how being a tiger might make things harder and easier at the same time.

Only somebody who either was a tiger shifter or had some understanding of how different tigers are could get it. But Char was our Healer and shed been in the Clan when my aunt was still alive. So she had some idea.

Tiger shifters werent exactly commonplace in the US—or much of anywhere outside India and a couple of remote groups in Asia.

My dad and aunt were misnomers, direct descendants of a Samoyed girl who had been kidnapped and brought into the US in the 1800s. The guy who kidnapped her hadnt realized she wasnt human. If he had, no doubt he have found another indigenous tribe to prey upon. The dumb bastard fucked around and found out, ended up dead and bloody when the girls family tracked him down. It took a while—money still made things easier even centuries ago.

On their way to tracking down the white man who stole their baby girl, the Samoyed family bloodied and broke a lot of people and they decided it was safer to just stay in the new country. Some of their tribe followed over the years and most of the Amur tiger shifters in the US are their descendants.

I dont look like I have Samoyed blood, but that was…fuck if I know how many generations back. The only thing about me from that part of my ancestry that holds true are the tiger shifter genetics.

Youre solitary by nature,” Char murmured softly. But the duality of having human blood from your dads mother and whatever genetic material your birth mother gifted you with, that alters the balance. Youre not one who craves—or thrives—on total solitude. In fact, you need a…balance, a measure of independence outside the Clan structure while still finding the support from the Clan itself…and your Alpha.”

Not surprised shed nailed it so quickly, I shrugged. More or less. Chang…” I stopped, not certain I wanted to share what the man who was, in all ways that counted, a second father to me—or maybe I should consider him a grandfather—many times removed.

Chang what?”

Rubbing the back of my neck, I debated. It wouldnt be a bad thing to have somebody else know about this, somebody I could share it with—and I couldnt tell Kit. Shed explode if she knew the shitty way I had to deal with the boiling aggression brought on by the building dominance inside me. But…

If I tell you, can we consider it…” Running my tongue across my teeth, I wondered if this was going to make me seem like an asshole.

Char arched a winged, black brow, her full lips curving in a cynical smile. Can we consider it a private conversation between a Healer and a Clan mate dealing with a private internal struggle? Sure, considering thats what it is. Since nothing you tell me is going to be anything Id consider a threat to the Clans health, I wont feel obligated to report it—and, should I ever feel thats the case? Id go to Chang or Damon. Never Scott.”

Our gazes locked, clashed, while my face heated. He isnt my adversary, Char.”


No.” Her voice softened, but the intensity in her voice only deepened. But hell become yours once he realizes youre a threat to him.”