A Game of Cat & Mouse is coming out....TOMORROW!!!! YEAH!
Here is the 1st CHAPTER!
Caleb Anderson lazed in the woods beside his house, the small stream lulling him as he lay upon the rock enjoying the afternoon sun. He needed this more often. It’d been too long since he last allowed his cougar free, and he was feeling the stress, especially with the females trying to gain his attention and vying for him to claim one of them as his alpha female. To top it off, the office had been hectic lately. Caleb loved being an architect, and he realized how lucky he was to have his own contracting firm at the age of thirty. Lately though he had felt the weight of maintaining his own business and keeping the pride from breaking apart at the seams.
Caleb had prayed to the powers that be more over the past year than he could ever remember at any other time. The deaths of his parents had not required so much prayer, although admittedly, he was praying for different things. His parents’ deaths had left him in charge of the whole pride. He’d needed guidance, help to run a pride he’d not planned on running for a long time. Thoughts of his parents’ sudden deaths caused his heart to ache in an all-too-familiar way.
Caleb’s parents had died in a car crash. It’d been a one-vehicle incident. It looked as if his father had swerved to the left, hitting a tree. The police assumed it was just his father’s attempt to miss some of the area wildlife, and he couldn’t right himself before crashing. Whatever the reason, it had left Caleb with the whole pride, alone, without an alpha female.
Caleb wished his father were here now. His father had been a wise and proud leader. Everyone had loved his father and simply adored his mother. Caleb knew he would never be as great as his parents, but he would strive to make them proud. He knew one thing for certain; he would only take an alpha female when he found his true mate. However, the females of his pride didn’t seem to understand that concept.
From long ago, his mother’s voice came back to him as she tucked her six-year-old boy into bed.
“Son, when the time comes to find a mate, don’t settle, baby. Don’t settle for anything less than your true mate. I wouldn’t want my son to be anything but happy.”
“Like you and Daddy?”
Caleb’s mother smiled at him, her golden brown eyes lighting with a dreamy gaze.
“Yes, sweetheart, just like me and Daddy.”
Stretching out his claws scraping against the rock, Caleb turned lazily to the other side. This was his favorite spot, just a few miles within the woods behind his house. The thick wooded area thinned out around the stream that wove through much of the pride’s property, and the rocks that surrounded the small meandering body of water allowed for some decent sunning spots during the afternoon. Caleb could still remember playing here as a kitten with other boys in the pride. He could also remember getting in trouble and his mother spanking him. Caleb allowed the sound of the stream to pull him into a nap. Yes, a nap was what he needed. Every cat needed a catnap.
A scent tickled his nose, pulling him back from what promised to be a blessed dream world. This scent had him up and searching for the source before he realized what he was doing. Caleb had to find it.
Miranda Sullivan could not believe her luck of becoming lost and in mouse form no less. All she had wanted to do was explore some of the wooded area surrounding her home, but after a few hours of walking around in circles, she was totally exhausted. Now all she wanted was to get back to her new house, the one-bedroom, one-bath cottage she’d fallen instantly in love with. What wasn’t to love with its light blue paint and dark blue trim, the little bay window in the living room that allowed the light to shine through in the morning, and the flower garden in the back had enticed her to sign the lease?
At first, she hadn’t been too keen on the whole move-out-on-her-own thing. Miranda had actually enjoyed living with her family. However, the truth of the matter was she’d graduated college, earned her degree in elementary education, and had even earned the position at Pinewood Creek Elementary School. Therefore, she couldn’t let all her hard work go to waste, but letting go of the security provided by living with her parents had been difficult.
Miranda gave a squeak of distress as her frustration mounted. Yeah, it would be easier to find her way in human form, but walking around naked in the woods was one way to attract attention – and probably not the kind she wanted.
Turning around in a circle, she finally heard the trickling of water. Well, even if she didn’t find her way out of this seemingly endless forest anytime soon, she was still parched. At least if she followed the sound of the stream, she could assuage her thirst if nothing else, and maybe she would find a way out of this never-ending forest.
Her heart nearly exploded out of her chest when the shadow fell over her, but she almost wet herself when she looked up to find sharp teeth, sharp claws, and the attention of an honest-to-gods cougar.