McKenzie Cousins, Book 1
That’s all Sirena McKenzie has ever wanted—someone who will love and cherish her forever, and be there for her through thick and thin. Just like the kind of love her parents have.
But what she got was Harry Bennett—a man who can’t keep his zipper up.
Garrett Hudson gave up on romance a long time ago.
When he meets Sirena, their connection is instant. She’s beautiful, smart, and he loves that she appreciates romance. She’s everything he thought he would never find in a woman…but she’s also heavily pregnant.
Sirena knows Garrett is the man of her dreams, but she’s also realistic. No matter how strong their connection is, she’s carrying another man’s baby and she has no idea if Garrett can accept that.
Catch up with the McKenzie family in this first installment of the new McKenzie Cousins Series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, Lexi Buchanan.
Cover Design – Robin Harper, Wicked Cool Designs
“Michael do you have a minute?” I ask my brother with a wry smile on my face. My brother looks at home sitting behind the huge desk in the McKenzie Holding’s building in downtown Lexington. He became CEO along with our sister—his twin—Charlotte, and our cousins, Alexander and Olivia, when our father and uncle Sebastian had semi-retired. I smile at the thought because neither of them have fully retired and not a week goes by without them being in the office breathing down Michael or Alexander’s neck.
It irritates Charlotte and Olivia no end because they leave them alone and personally I think it’s because they both have a wicked temper.
Michael has always been the more sensitive and he’s always the one I go to for help or advice and I know that he will always be in my corner regardless of what I have to deal with. He reminds me of our father in that respect. Michael has broad shoulders and the McKenzie dark hair, and with the dark scruff covering the lower part of his face, the girls go crazy. He’s never short of company, but I know he isn’t happy. He isn’t fooling me.
As I’m trying to read his mind, Michael looks up and smiles. “I always have a minute for my sister,” he replies, smoothly. “Come and sit, Sirena. What’s up?”
Moving forward, I sigh in relief as I take the weight off my aching legs. “I’ve had enough, Michael.” My chin trembles and I know that my tears are going to be falling soon. “I’m not sure I can do this.”
“Oh crap.” Michael jumps up and crouching in front of me takes hold of my hands. “I think Mom might be better at this.” He winces and truly looks pained.
My brother’s panic makes me laugh as the tears finally start. “What am I going to do?” I wail and Michael looks to the door, probably contemplating his escape or praying for help.
“Oh stop.” I tug my hands free. “You’re my brother and should be used to us girls by now. You’re also a guy and I need someone to explain Harry to me.”
Michael sighs and moves to sit beside me. “Harry is an asshole who doesn’t deserve to share the air you breathe.”
I hiccup and silently cry into my hands. After a few minutes, Michael gently tugs them away and gives me a sad smile.
“Listen to me.” Michael starts wiping my tears with his fingers but then gives up and grabs some Kleenex to finish the job. “You are one of the strongest women I know, Sirena. I also think you know what you have to do and if there wasn’t a baby involved, then you’d have already done it.”
“I just want a man to love me like Dad does Mom. I want him to cherish me and to want to take care of his child and me. I want to be able to return that love tenfold so that he never has to doubt how much I love him. I want that.” I dab at my eyes. “And instead I’m married to a womanizing asshole who doesn’t remember he’s married and that his wife is pregnant with his child.”
My brother tightens his jaw in anger on my behalf, but right now I want a solution to my dilemma—do I stay with asshole Harry and try to stick it out until at least after the baby is born, or do I tell him that I’m leaving and will be in touch with him once our baby arrives? Harry probably wouldn’t even notice if I just moved out without saying a word.
“I’ll support whatever decision you make. Just tell me what you want me to do?” Michael brushes the hair back from my face and smiles. “I have the house by the lake if you want to go there.”
“Really?” I let the idea take hold.
At five months along I shouldn’t need medical attention for a while and my next OB appointment isn’t for a few weeks. “I like that idea.” I smile softly.
“Thought you might.” Michael’s gaze flickers between his desk and me. This tells me he’s busy and that I’m holding him up, but in my distressed state, he’s being too nice to kick me out.
“I’ll go.” I hold my hand out so that Michael can lift me from the chair.
He grins widely at the sight of my struggle that I laugh. “Don’t you dare say anything!” I glare playfully.
“I wouldn’t dare.” He chuckles. “Look sis, if you can get packed up in time, I’ll come by after work and help you move.”
Reaching up, I tug my brother’s face to mine and press a kiss to his whisker-covered cheek. “Thank you.”
Michael wraps his arms around my shoulders and pulls me against him. His chin rests on the top of my head. “I love you. You have to promise that if you need anything that you’ll call, otherwise I’ll take you to Mom and Dad’s instead.”
“I mean it, Sirena. You’re five months pregnant so it’s not just you I’m worried about.”
I raise my face to Michael’s and place one last kiss to his cheek. “I know and I promise.” Moving toward the door, I turn and glance back at Michael. “Can we keep this between the two of us for now.” I wave my hand, motioning to him and then back to me.
“Not for long though,” he partly agrees with a nod. “Mom will be asking questions soon, and when she doesn’t get an answer, I’ll have to deal with Dad.”
“Give me a few days and I’ll call them . . . I’ll see you later.”
“Take care, sis.” He waves me out of his office.
With Michael’s promise to help me move out weighing heavily on my thoughts, the last thing I expect is to find someone else walking down the corridor toward the elevator. Although McKenzie Holding’s is a large international architectural and construction company, they like to keep the head office quiet and serene without clients running in to others especially for those clients who require utter most secrecy.
Reaching the elevator, I glance at the man from the corner of my eye and smile when he catches my gaze. His scent, soft and woodsy, floats toward me as he holds his hand out to indicate I’m to enter the elevator first.
He’s older than me, perhaps in his forties with light brown hair that holds a hint of grey around the temples. His smile and the amusement in his blue eyes cause me to forget my problems as I sink into his gaze.
“Lobby or parking garage?” he asks with a brow raised.
“Lobby.” I sigh, wishing that I’d driven because my body aches.
The doors slide closed and the tall man beside me turns, offering his hand, “Garrett Hudson.” He smiles brightly and my heart stutters, my eyes widening in surprise at the flare of unexpected attraction I feel.
I hesitate and reply, “Sirena Bennett,” shaking his outstretched hand.