EVERYBODY has a favorite season. Mine is summer. Certainly our love affair first began when I was a child and three months of vacation with nothing to do but get into trouble was irresistible. But as I grew, I realized that during those long hot days of June, July, and August, there were no expectations of me. There was always time, when summer was over, to get my life in order, prepare for school, the new year, whatever was to come. In summer anything was possible.
Lifting my head, I stopped a minute from crossing the parking lot to savor the warm night breeze as it danced over my skin. The town where I lived, Incline Village, north of Lake Tahoe, was never too hot and just one of the many reasons I loved my home.
Six months ago, I would have never thought that I would be calling any place home ever again, but that was before I met Logan Church. In such a short time I had gone from being an outcast to being the mate of a semel, or tribe leader, and being part of a tribe again.
I was born both a werepanther and a reah. Had I also been born a woman, then my life would have made sense, but as it was, my road had been a rocky one. Reahs only mated with semels, and as semels were only ever male, the only mate I could conceivably have would be a man. While what I was had always made sense to me, as men, not women, had always been what mesmerized me, the tribe I grew up with, as well as my family, had quickly decided that I was an abomination. Having been cast out at sixteen, it had been me and my best friend Crane alone without a place to call home until I had met Logan Church, my mate.
Now, as a recognized reah, my life was no longer simply me and my best friend Crane, but instead about my mate and his family and my new tribe. I was still reeling, still overwhelmed, buried under a landslide of obligations and protocol and demands on my time. It was daunting and had become even more so in the past week. I had no idea how I was even going to begin to explain events to my mate.
I let the scent of wildflowers, the faint trace of the lake, and the charcoal burning close by distract me from my thoughts. The smells drifted around me as I resumed my walk. Lazy days of summer were aptly named; I wanted to lounge in a hammock somewhere and forget all about the events of…