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Cat People (A Jaguar People Prelude Bonus Short-Story)
CAT PEOPLE

  Urban Thriller

  Realm of the Jaguar People Series

  Copyrighted © October 31, 2016 by Lenore Wolfe

  Triquetra Press

  Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  First Printing April 08, 2015

  ASIN: B00RYCTF62

  Copyrighted © December 7, 2015 by Lenore Wolfe

  All rights reserved.

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite online store and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The personal names have been invented by the author, and any likeness to the name of any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This book may contain references to specific commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, specific brand-name products and/or trade names of products, which are trademarks or registered trademarks and/or trade names, and these are property of their respective owners. Lenore Wolfe or her associates, have no association with any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, specific brand-name products and/or trade names of products.

  By this act

  And words of rhyme

  Trouble not

  These books of mine

  With these words

  I now thee render

  Candle burn

  and bad return

  3 times stronger

  to its sender.

  (Ancient Celtic)

  Would you like to receive an email when Lenore Wolfe releases a new book or conducts a giveaway? If you’re interested in my future works, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or join my mailing list. I do not believe in spam. I only announce new releases or free promotions.

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  WITCH FANTASY

  Daughters of the Circle Series by Lenore Wolfe

  DAUGHTERS OF THE CIRLCE

  Shadows in Ravenwood

  Daughters of the Circle Series Book One

  Released March 08 2015

  WITCHES OF RAVENWOOD

  Daughters of the Circle Book Two

  Released June 04 2015

  Dark Paranormal Fantasy sister series by Lenore Wolfe

  THE FALLEN ONE

  Sons of the Dark Mother Series Book One

  To be Re-released January 2015

  Dark Fantasy

  A Tribute Novella

  THE FALLEN ONE

  Sons of the Dark Mother Series Book Two

  To be Re-released January 2015

  Dark Fantasy

  AUTHOR’S NOTES:

  For those of you who have expressed an interest in reading all the sister-series in order, the following is a note about each of these story updates. The original, Doorway of the Triquetra in the series Children of Atlantis, has evolved into Jaguar Witch, was originally e-published in 2012. The original story has since blossomed, as each of these Sister-Series each made themselves known.

  While the first book is not a Young Adult novel, and should only be read by adults, the rest are cross-genre books that are well received as Young Adult and Adult alike. Missing the first series of these sister-series, Doorway of the Triquetra will in no way hurt the enjoyment of the rest of these sister-series, since each series also stands on its own. Reading all these sister-series is only for the enjoyment of readers who have asked to know the order in which they were all written.

  The second series in the sister-series is Sons of the Dark Mother, with the first book The Fallen One. There are four volumes to the first book, since this book turned out to be extremely large. The first volume of the second book will center around Dracon, called Embraced by Shadows will be release in 2017. If this series hits a cord with you, there are two more princes in this series that will eventually make themselves known.

  The third series in the sister-series is the series Realm of the Elemental witch, with the first book, Fire Sprite, which is a Middle School Fantasy Young Adult book, and can be skipped by any who don’t want to read something quite this young without missing anything. The second book of this series is Khan and is scheduled to be released in early 2017, while the third and last book of this series is Alli and is scheduled to be released in late 2017. The second in this series is Water Sprite, and is due out in 2018-19, Air Sprite 2019-20 and Earth Sprite 2020-21.

  The fourth series written in this sister-series is Daughters of the Circle: Shadows in Ravenwood, Witches in Ravenwood, Faerie in Ravenwood, which is about to be re-released in November of 2016, and Magick in Ravenwood, which is about to be released in December of 2016. This series will likely have numerous books since there are many showing themselves to me in the works.

  The fifth of these sister-series is Cat People. The short-story prequel of these is the book you’re about to read now. Expect to see the first book, Cry of the Jaguar, during Halloween 2017.

  And the sixth is Raven’s Kiss, in the Witch and the Vampire, is a more romantic part of these sister-series, and will also be released in early 2016. You will find parts of that in Daughters of the Circle as these stories intertwine.

  On that note, you will see random chapters that appear from Jaguar Witch—and The Fallen One—in Daughters of the Circle. The opposite will also be true. These were done on purpose to help you understand the timeline in these stories, and integrate their various stories, as these series cross in and out of one other’s lives, when they meet.

  Lastly, there is another sister-series that will work soon work its way into the mix. It is a series that is set back in the 100’s and is the history of the ancestors behind these series. You will notice the first of these in the beginning of Ravyn’s Kiss and in Daughters of the Circe. The first of these is Solstice Fire.

  Happy Reading! Enjoy!

  CONTENTS

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  FREE EXCERPT

  ABOUT AUTHOR

  SIGN UP FOR NEW RELEASES

  ALSO BY LENORE WOLFE

  READER PERKS

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  To those who remind me to never give up on love….

  But I especially want to thank my readers. I look forward to your feedback always.

  This is the Prequel Short-story to

  CAT PEOPLE, CRY OF THE JAGUAR

  From the Realm of the Jaguar People Series

  Coming out in the early spring of 2017

  (Watch for the upcoming information on the release of the novel at the end of this stor
y).

  Enjoy!

  Chapter One

  An Awakening

  Josephine loved her cousin. She did. Even though she had no earthly idea why. After all, no one fit the ice-princess persona better than Katherine. Not that Katherine acted like a princess, far from it. It was—she was cold like a brutal northern wind. A deep freezer cold.

  Stone cold.

  Still, there was something there. Josephine couldn’t put her finger on what—but something. Whatever the mysterious link that kept her connected to Kat—Jo couldn’t seem to shake it. And that literally kept her awake at night. Who loved someone that cold? It didn’t make sense. Her cousin never once made a single warm overture toward her—even when she’d been a terrified eight-year old child who lost her parents.

  Jo sat heavily on the bed beside her suitcase, staring around the room she was to leave forever. This wasn’t much of a home—but it was the only one she’d had since her parent’s death.

  Katherine was her aunt’s only daughter. Her Aunt Jane had a son somewhere, but Jo never met him. Never wanted to, either. Jo’s parents apparently had a falling out with her, long ago. Her uncle—Kat’s father—left before Kat was born. Jo had no idea whether Kat and her brother shared the same father.

  Jo wasn’t trying to be mean. It was only that her aunt—was one bad woman. She couldn’t figure out how her aunt successfully lured anymore men into her life.

  Yet, somehow, she did manage to have a boyfriend now and then.

  Jo couldn’t imagine how she’d pulled that one off—nor what the latest one could possibly be thinking. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. He seemed perfectly normal. Why would he want her?

  Not that her aunt was bad looking. That wasn’t it, at all. In fact, Jo could see how, at one time, she might have been as beautiful as her daughter—only lacking the graceful way Kat moved. Jo somehow knew Kat got that from her uncle—like her own mother.

  That cat-like grace….

  Josephine shook away the thought of her mother, reaching to cup her head. It hurt too much to think about, and she still couldn’t bear it. Her parent’s death put her here. And since they’d been warm, gentle, loving parents—nothing about the first eight years of her life prepared her for the next eight—here. So, no, Jo didn’t want to think about her parents. She never wanted to do so again. Her hateful aunt made remembering them too unbearable. She’d been much too cruel—too nasty—too much of a….

  Jo shook her head, again. She shouldn’t think like that. She shouldn’t. But—well—her aunt wasn’t only mean. Before she’d come here, Jo never knew anyone could be that cruel. She was even brutal to her own daughter….

  Katherine might have been only four years older than Jo—but she seemed much, much older. They had nothing in common. Now, she could leave—go wherever she wanted. And Jo didn’t know if she loved Kat enough to follow her to St. Louis. Why would she? But, then, how could she not. It wasn’t like there was anywhere else for her to go.

  Kat was always distant, keeping everyone, including her, at arm’s length. And now that her aunt, Kat’s mother, passed, Jo saw none of the grief one would expect for someone who lost her mother.

  Jo shrugged. Not that she blamed Kat. Her aunt hadn’t only been cold to her. She’d been vicious. Even going so far as to lock them in separate places, whenever her newest boyfriend wasn’t looking. Jo didn’t know where she locked Kat, and Kat never told her. After all, she and Kat didn’t talk, except for things like pass the butter.

  Kat didn’t talk to anyone, not just her.

  When her Aunt locked Jo away—she locked her in the basement. The first time her aunt had done so, when Jo was eight, she cried for hours. She’d done so every single day, after, too, banging on the door, begging for her to let her out, beating on the door until her hands were black and blue. Years passed, and she worked the nerve to go down the dark basement stairs.

  What she’d seen there kept her from ever doing so again….

  Jo had no idea why her aunt hated her own daughter so much, but she knew why her aunt hated her. Her aunt made that clear. She hated Jo’s mother. Whenever she talked about her, she used words like, ‘that woman’. She never called her by name. And even though she obviously cared for her brother—she made it clear she had no use for the dirty spawn who came from ‘that woman’. Jo often wondered why she bothered to take her in at all.

  Then, last week, her aunt dropped dead in the middle of one of her tirades.

  Jo had stared in horror, unsure what to do, but Kat didn’t seem that shocked—or even mildly surprised. She simply walked over and touched her mother’s throat, looking for a pulse, then walked over, picked up the house phone and dialed 9-1-1, telling them her mother was dead—her tone devoid of emotion. When the police came, Jo was terrified, yet half surprised when they didn’t haul Kat off. But the nice police woman only shrugged when one of the men mentioned it, saying everyone grieved in their own way.

  Then, when they were gone, Kat announced she was taking Jo to her brother’s in St. Louis.

  That was three short days, ago. Now, Josephine fought the urge to fidget under the open stares of the people around them as they walked through the airport. It was the same everywhere Kathrine went. She couldn’t help it. Jo didn’t know if her cousin was oblivious to the attention she attracted, or if she simply was used to it. With her long, straight, inky-black hair, and her dark exotic eyes, her cousin was a haunting, striking beauty who drew the eye. Whose cat-like grace and rolling walk, reminded Jo of a large, jungle cat, stalking her prey.

  Perhaps that was the real reason people turned to stare.

  They announced the boarding and Jo quickly followed her cousin through the line, putting her bag in the overhead bins and slumping into her seat. Letting out a little breath of relief, she glanced out the window, wondering what her new home would be like.

  Yet, anything was better than what they’d been through—wasn’t it?

  Chapter Two

  Jo’s Dark Encounter

  Josephine liked Daniel straight away, which surprised her. She didn’t expect that. She’d expected the same unusual behavior she came to associate with Kat and her mother. But, instead, his easy manner and warm smile put her immediately at ease.

  Still, she couldn’t quite trust him.

  She glanced at him now, as he brought them into the formal dining room and showed them the table he had his staff arrange. Jo stared at it, her mouth open. She couldn’t help it. She never saw so much food in her life.

  Her gaze took in the different dishes and finally lifted to take him in. He grinned at her, and pulling out a chair, he beaconed her to come and take a seat. She moved on wooden limbs, still staring at all the food. Once seated, he lifted a platter and began filling her plate. By the time he lifted the third dish, she waived him away.

  She’d never eat so much.

  He still grinned at her, as he helped his sister to take the seat next to her. Again, he began filling her plate. Kat didn’t move. She remained still as stone, causing Jo to shift, uncomfortable. But Daniel saw what was happening, and set down the platter.

  Smiling, he sat across from them.

  “You must be rich,” Jo stammered, filling the silence, then flushed.

  His smile didn’t falter. “You’re probably wondering how you could have been stuck all those years with my mother—while I had all this.” He lifted his head, taking in the beautiful dining room. Jo followed his gaze to the beautiful Cherrywood buffet, the silver candle sticks, the glistening chandelier.

  She lowered her gaze to her plate, so he wouldn’t see what she wanted to keep hidden behind her eyes. Yeah—she wanted to know. She’d been treated worse than anything she ever imagined—while he had all this. She couldn’t help how that made her feel.

  He reached across the table, covering her hand.

  “She wouldn’t let me bring you here,” he said.

  She sucked in her breath, raised her gaze to stare at him now.
How could she have stopped you?” She flushed again, looked down, but the rising anger made her say, “She was much too poor to stop you.” He squeezed her hand, and she pulled it away, picking up her fork to cover the fact that she’d done so.

  “You don’t understand,” he said, his tone quite mysterious.

  She couldn’t help it. She glanced over at Kat, who seemed to ignore the conversation—as usual. Jo sucked in her breath, then stared at his face. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll bite.” She set down her fork. “What don’t I understand?

  He smiled at her. His smile seemed a little sad, but she dismissed it. She wasn’t about to be lured.

  “She knows my secret,” he said.

  Jo sucked in her breath, strangling on it. “So—you, too,” she said. It wasn’t a question. This was why she hadn’t wanted to come. It was dangerous enough being around Kat. Now—there were two of them.

  Jo had been having her suspicions. But no one would ever believe a story like that. She’d even taken to hiding weapons. What else could she do? Things like this didn’t happen. They didn’t exist. Yet, here she was, faced with the truth. Yes. Now, there were two of them.

  One, she might be able to fight. Two—she didn’t stand a chance.

  Jo glanced at Kat and froze—her fork poised in midair. Her cousin no longer ignored them. In fact, she almost seemed to smile. Jo blinked, staring at her face. But the small, almost hidden, smile didn’t disappear.

  She set down her fork, no longer hungry, staring at Daniel.

  “Oh, come now, cousin,” he said. “You know I’d never hurt you.” He glanced at his sister. “I can’t tell you how nice it is to have you here.” He glanced around. “It’s been terribly—lonely—having all of this—and no one to share it with.”

  “I’ll bet,” Jo said, then winced, unable to bite off the sarcasm that filled her throat.

 
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