Three weeks and counting until Jaguar's Kiss and time for another Teaser Tuesday! Lila and her bestie Patch are wandering the pride lands with a few beers, trying to celebrate her engagement...
Lila took another swig of beer. It was darker than she liked, the taste sharper than the fruity ales she preferred, but tonight she liked the bite. She didn’t feel brave. She didn’t know what she felt. Not how a bride was supposed to feel, that was for sure. “I don’t know why I’m not more excited. I get to plan a wedding. And force you to wear a dress loaded with ruffles and flounces.”
Patch ignored her attempt to goad her with bridesmaid dress hell. “You don’t love him.”
“I don’t see how that matters. My parents don’t love each other. It’s never been a problem for them.”
“You aren’t your mother.”
“No. More’s the pity.”
A white fence appeared out of the darkness beside them. The elk enclosure. They’d come farther than she thought.
“You know I didn’t mean it like that.”
No, Patch was her staunchest ally. She would never say what Lila always thought the pride elders were thinking. That Lila didn’t have her mother’s strength. That she didn’t have her poise and intellect and leadership ability. That Lila wasn’t Alpha’s mate material at all. That she was just a girly pleaser who could play the role when it was easy but would buckle under the first real threat.
“I just meant that you’ve always wanted to be in love,” Patch explained. “Ever since we were kids.”
She had. It was almost embarrassing to admit, since she’d known since birth that no fairy tale prince was going to sweep her off her feet. She had a role to play and falling in love wasn’t part of it. “Maybe I’ll fall in love with Roman. He’s very…” She couldn’t think of anything. He was handsome. He was smart. He was strong and powerful. He was everything a lion should be. “He’s a great man.”
He just never looked at her like she was even remotely special. He looked at her like a duty. She supposed there was affection there, but no interest. No passion. No heat. He didn’t look at her like…
Like Santiago looks at me.