Authors: Trinity Blacio
|A Christmas Tail|
|Number IV of|
Masters of the Cats
|Smashwords Edition (2014)|
Always on the run and alone, Betsy Samuel never believed she would ever have a family, much less be mated. With scars covering her body and her heart, Betsy decides to trust the three warriors who seem to be working their way into her heart. But would they be able to accept all her hang-ups and the fact she has two other children out there somewhere? Would her Christmas be everything she dreamed of?
Barry Zorn had failed his weru once before and he wasn't about to fail his meru. The small woman, Lacey's little sister, had a wall of stone around her heart, but he and his werus were bound and determined to tear the wall down and surround her with love, even if it meant catching a tiger by her tail.
But could they give her the best gift possible, her missing children and the Christmas she's always dreamed of? London, a city of history, is the site of their bonding, but would it also be the birthplace of a new era for their large family and heal recent wounds for the women that have given their hearts to these worriers?
A Christmas Tail, Book Four of The Masters of the Cats Series
© 2014 by Trinity Blacio
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For more information contact:
Riverdale Avenue Books
5676 Riverdale Avenue
Riverdale, NY 10471.
Cover by Insatiable Fantasy Designs Inc.
Digital ISBN 978-1-62601-135-9
Print ISBN 978-1-62601-136-6
First Edition December 2014
This book is dedicated to my mother who has stood beside me when everyone else hasn’t. I love you mom.
Betsy Samuel observed the crowd around her in the room. She was so used to being alone and hiding for the last few years, that it was uncomfortable, to say the least. The animal inside her paced and was nervous to be around so many. Not to mention the three men that seemed to be following her every move with their eyes.
Betsy hissed and looked down,
‘NO! I will not have mates!’
She yelled at the cat inside of her that wanted to claim them.
She turned her attention to her sister Lacey and Lacy’s men - Dan, Isaac and Anthony - who had taken up the mantel of leadership where they should be, ignoring the animals inside. Betsy had been wrong to blame her sister, but after years of being physically and sexually abused by their father and by others, it was still hard for her to let it go. Beside her was Abby, her new friend, who worked with her day and night to help the scars heal inside and out.
“Betsy, how are you doing?” Lacey asked. Lacey came to her and Abby with Dan escorting her while Isaac and Anthony talked to the other three men who made Betsy’s body wish for more as the animal inside wanted to claim them.
“I’m fine. Congrats Sis, you deserve it, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” Betsy hugged her sister tightly.
“You’ll have this one day, I promise,” Lacey said and immediately Betsy looked to her left for the three other men, but they were no longer where they had been.
“No. I have to find my children first before I can think of anything else. I didn’t see them or hold them, but they are mine and I need to have them in my arms,” she stepped back and nodded to Dan.
“We’ll help you. I want my niece and nephew here where we can protect them. At least they’re not his children, that’s one plus,” Lacey mumbled, and Betsy nodded.
“There was one, but I believe the gods knew it was wrong and I lost that baby. But let’s not think about that. This is your night. Did you ever imagine so many would show up?” Betsy asked her sister, knowing there was over a hundred people in attendance in the crowd around them.
“No, I just wish...” Lacey looked around and her mate, Dan, hugged her.
“I know, maybe when things settle, you’ll see her again, but for now, we all must make a life for ourselves. You have your sister back, us and three little bundles here,” Dan said placing his hand on her belly. “We should be grateful.”
“That we should, Dan,” Isaac said, coming up to them with the three men that had been staring at Betsy all night. “Betsy, I would like to introduce you to Barry Zorn, Orion Trentons, and Davis Fricken. They have been assigned to you as your personal guards,” Isaac stated, as he pointed to each man.
Barry stepped forward and took her hand, kissing it. “It’s a pleasure to meet such a beautiful woman. I had to do a double take earlier. You are so tiny, I thought you were a child, but once I looked again, there was no mistaking the woman that you are,” he said. She shivered as his cat’s scent drifted to her.
“You’re a cat? It’s rare to find any male cats. I thought most of them were dead. Are you three together?” Betsy asked, feeling a little bit cornered.
“Yes, kitten, they are my
and I’m their
. At least that is what I’ve been told, since we have come together,” Barry said with a wink as Orion pushed him out of the way and took her hand, kissing every finger.
The man had to be over six feet, his bald head almost had her wanting to reach up and run her hand over it, but his gray smoky eyes are what caught her attention and held her.
“We will protect you with our lives and you will want for nothing. Soon your little ones will be in your arms safe and protected,” he stated, before Orion stepped back to allow Davis to come forward.
Where Orion was bald, Davis had thick black and brown hair down to his shoulders making her wish it was hers. His dark brown eyes were big and focused on her.
Leaning down, he kissed the top of the scar on her cheek. “It is a pleasure to meet you, my hearts. Rest assured no one will hurt you again and live to talk about it.” Betsy heard him growl, and yanked her hand out of his.
“Hey guys, back up a little. You are freaking my sister out,” Lacey pushed through the three men and glared at them.
“Go on, two steps back. She’s not ready for any claiming, so cool it,” Lacey said and Betsy looked from them to her.
“There will be no claiming. My children are, and will always be, my first priority. I can’t have what you have, Lacey... No.” She pushed through the crowd, all of a sudden feeling closed in, needing air. Everything was closing in on her.
Once outside she leaned down, her hands on her knees and took deep breaths. She hadn’t had a panic attack in the last few weeks, but something was changing and Betsy couldn’t tell if it was good or bad.
“This can’t happen, not now,” Betsy whispered, and stared down at the snowy ground when she saw a pair of black boots.
“I’m sorry we scared you, kitten. Come, we’ll take you home and you can rest.” Barry offered her his hand and she slowly rose to stare into his golden eyes, feeling like a deer frozen in headlights for a few seconds before she started shaking her head.
“You don’t get it, I can’t be with anyone... they
did things to me. I’m not fit for anyone, let alone you
three.” Betsy whispered as her bones and muscles changed as se began to shift, needing to be alone.
She heard Barry yell, but ignored him, moving through the snow. Oh, she knew all three of them would follow, but what they didn’t know was that Lacy wasn’t the only one with gifts from their mother.
“Just too bad that it hadn’t come to form before all hell broke loose,”
she snarled inside her head and turned the corner out the sight of the others before thinking of the houses she had seen earlier that day.
The hot energy from her gift slid down her body as she disappeared, to reappear in the house complex Betsy had visited earlier with Abby.
Fresh snow now covered the empty dark streets as the small white and orange striped Bengal Tiger moved through the streets of the foreclosed houses. At one time there would have been different colored lights blinking on each of the houses lining the streets, Christmas trees in the windows and children out playing in snow.
Snowflakes fell covering her fur as Betsy laughed, enjoying the peaceful night air and fresh scent of winter.
The house was quiet, not a creature was stirring but this lonely tiger who ate the mouse and scared everyone in the area away
,” Betsy whispered inside, loneliness once more plaguing her thoughts. She wanted the lights, the tree, and presents. To wake up in someone’s arms, knowing she was safe. The image of Orion popped in her mind’s eye and Betsy shook her head.
She would not go there. One look at her scarred and deformed body and they would go running. No, it was best Betsy kept them away from her, but already she knew the cat was going to give her problems.
Ours, mates, safe
!” rushed through her head, shocking her. Betsy stopped walking and shook the snow off of her. It was the first time the entity, the cat, had actually spoken to her.
Because it’s the first time I felt you weren’t going to fall apart. I’m called Nella. I’m just sorry I wasn’t here when you needed me the most. But those three men are your mates. They will keep you safe and help you find your children.”
Were her two little ones playing, waiting for the human myth of Santa or were they locked up in cages like she had been for part of her life?
You can’t be sure, no one can. They won’t want me, you know this. I’m not fit to be with any man again,”
she mumbled and started to move again. Betsy turned the corner and headed to the house that had seemed to call to her. One she planned on taking for herself.
Some scars are not going to stop those three from loving you. You are just afraid and you have good reason, but it’s time you stopped running and hiding. Time to live, get your children and be happy.”
At the end of a cul-de-sac the large log cabin home was out of place among the more modern homes, but it was beautiful in its own way. The house structurally had no problems, but windows needed to be replaced along with the roof.
Bones crunched and changed as Betsy shifted and stood, now looking up at the house she would claim. “Soon Mandy, you and Jordon will be here, playing in the snow with your Mommy.” Tears rolled down her cheeks as she jumped, hearing a car approach.
Once more she shifted, both she and Nella on alert to the possibility of a threat. The cat took off, running for cover as two cars came down the street towards her house. She snarled and watched as the headlights passed the street she was on.
No one should be here. The land and all the homes had been purchased and security would be installed in the next few days, but until then it looked like she had the duty.
The hunter took control and started moving toward the music and laughs. Maybe Betsy could scare them away, but with her luck the idiots would be looking for trouble and right now she was in the mood to dish it out too.
There they were, she snorted. The smell of liquor and drugs was strong, but even that was nothing compared to the stench coming from these men.
!” Nella snapped.
The local gang, the Blood Cats, seemed to be having some kind of party and from what she could tell a girl was not happy. The one who seemed to be the leader of the group yanked her out of the car and shoved her to the ground. Her hands and legs were tied.
“We’ll teach you to stick your nose into our business, bitch!” the punk said and started to undo his pants, but stopped when he heard the roar of Betsy’s cat.
Not only was Betsy furious, but so was Nella. They would die tonight even if the thought of biting into one of the stinky ones made her stomach roll.