This paranormal novella appears in the anthology Growl. Each of the stories includes a cat—domestic or wild. Mine is the love story of a shifter, a Siberian Amur tiger, chosen because they are the largest tigers in the wild and endangered. I found all I needed on the tigers. Setting a story in Siberia with Siberian lovers was the real challenge.
When the moon is full, Sergei changes. If their love survives what he is, might he someday kill Grigorij, his lover?
Sokoloff tried to turn the spigot lever instead of lifting it up. On impulse, Sergei placed his hand on the other man’s and demonstrated. Again, the sense of connection sparked through him as his skin made contact with Sokoloff’s skin. He jerked his hand back, and for a moment neither of them moved or spoke.
The professor moved first, letting the hot water dilute the tea to his taste and, still, neither of them said a word.
Sergei slid a biscuit onto a small plate and they returned to the table. Sokoloff sat in a chair behind the leather pouch he’d laid out there, so Sergei set the plate in front of him.
Avoiding further physical contact, Sergei didn’t sit next to his guest. He put one foot on a chair at the end of the table and held his tea on his knee. Even then he was close enough to look down on Sokoloff’s head of thick, dark hair which was as neatly trimmed as his beard and mustache. As he studied the finely shaped fingers holding the biscuit and glass, the sense that he knew something more about him cropped up again. What that something was stubbornly refused to be remembered.
As he watched the finely shaped lips close on the rim to sip the steaming liquid, emotions stirred at his center and he looked away.
Sokoloff shut his eyes and put his head back. “Hmm. Perfect. I like it strong and hot. Is it Russian Caravan?”
Sergei nodded, wondering why the response pleased him as much as it did. It was such a silly thing. What could it possibly matter that they liked the same type of tea?
They sat in comfortable silence until they’d almost finished their tea, and then Sergei nodded toward the leather satchel on the table. “Tell me about your project.”
The professor sprang to life with an enthusiasm Sergei could almost feel.
“What do you know about Siberian tigers?”
Sergei choked on his tea.
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