A moment for tara, p.1
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       A Moment for Tara, p.1

           Tamar Sloan
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A Moment for Tara
A Moment for Tara

  By Tamar Sloan

  Cover Art Designed by SYNECA FEATHERSTONE

  Copyright © 2017

  Table of Contents

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  About Tamar Sloan

  Chapter One

  Back Before

  For as long as I can remember Noah, Mitch and I have been the three amigos, the three musketeers, Huey, Dewey and Louie.

  From nappies, when we frolicked in communal drool puddles on Mom’s rug (okay, I don’t actually remember that, but I’ve got the photos to prove that it really happened). To first grade, where I had the tornado of all red-headed-tantrums because I WAS GOING TO JACKSONVILLE ELEMENTARY - coincidentally where Mitch and Noah were enrolled - even though I live in adjacent Wilmot. To yesterday, when we laid bets on what color our wolf forms would be when we turn sixteen in just a few short months (as a red-head I was a pretty done deal).

  The fact that my childhood besties were guys was a bonus. When you have more younger sisters than should be legal in a first world country - six with number seven billowing in Mom’s tum - you well and truly get your daily dose of the morning hair line-up, how short is too short, and the total domination of pink. The Phelan boys were my grounding in a chaotic world of oestrogen overload, eldest child responsibilities and Bratz doll invasions.

  But do you want to know what kinda sucks? And I mean more than stepping on a Bratz doll first thing in the morning (Lego ain’t got nothing on Yasmin). More than having a high body temperature that no one can know about so you still have to rug up and get beanie hair. More than asparagus.

  When the one who went and stole your heart is one of those BFFs.

  Sure, most people would think I’m on the wrong side of the coin. Being in love with your best friend since forever is kinda cool, right? Well, none of those people are me.

  And my guess is they’re all human too.

  Do you want to know when it started to suck?

  Well, for that I need to go back a bit.

  We were at the Glade, only three months ago, but it feels a whole lot longer than that. Mom’s bump was growing steadily and she needed a break. Even though she’s pale and frail at the best of times, she was on her way to a parchment paper look with this pregnancy. So I took three of my Channon siblings to the Glade; six-year-old Flora, four-year-old Breanna and two-year-old Christa. The Glade, the Channon and Phelan Were-church/mosque/temple built for us by Mother Nature, is the one place the wildness of children, particularly the Channon children, is welcomed. Even celebrated.

  Noah and Mitch met us there. They’re twins, the fraternal type which means they’re not identical. In fact, they have matching blue eyes - gifted by their father’s DNA - and that’s where their similarities end. Noah has blond-hunk-without-even-trying ticked in every box, whilst Mitch is all dark-haired-boy-next-door good looks. Their ying-yang coloring puts an entirely different spin on their supposedly identical eyes. Noah’s lighten and warm.

  Mitch’s darken and gain depth.

  Anyway, I digress…

  Flora, Breanna and Christa ran, tripped in the lush grass, and like it’s a giant green cushion, got up and ran again. They all know this place is secret, but not why. That we learn when we’re older and less likely to blurt that we have a tendency to turn into wolves at the age of sixteen. Children sense this place is special. Heck, the air knows this place is something else. It seems to hold still, like it doesn’t want to move on. The whole place is a breath held in Mama Nature’s lungs.

  A game of tips evolved, possibly when I tagged Noah crying ‘eat my socks!’ then sprinted to the opposite end of the clearing. He’d grinned, then stumbled forward when Mitch used him as a platform to launch his own race in my direction.

  Flora, Breanna and Christa dispersed in random directions, looking like a Stooges comedy as two bumped into each other, side-stepped one way then the other, then bumped into each other again. Flora was long gone, heading to the opposite end of the Glade.

  Noah went all ‘fee-fie-fo-fum I smell the fur of a little one’ and started stalking. I was happy to stand and watch, listening to my little sisters’ laughter as they scuttled back and forth, laughing at Noah roaring like a stuck Were. But Mitch? I don’t think he’s ever stood back and watched anything.

  He started circling, blue eyes glinting with mischief, slowly closing in. I knew what was coming, I’ve seen it countless times before, and I felt my smile stretch from one side of the Glade to the other. Noah knew what was coming too, you can’t miss a great big hulk of muscle and dark hair in an open glade no matter how ninja-like he steps. He knew Mitch would wait until the three little Channons had scampered off again.

  But he’d forgotten that Mitch was the one who pretty much single handedly built our super-secret-cubby-castle deep in the forest behind his house. Which means that Mitch is the master craftsman of all things wood. The moment he was close enough his hand had whipped out and a twiggy throwing star had sailed through the air. Noah’s quick reflexes had him ducking, which is exactly what Mitch was expecting. He ran in, bowled Noah over like a lone pin and headed back to the center of the Glade.

  Noah stood, put his head down and went from stationary to sprinting in a blink, his focus clearly on one target - Mitch. Mitch laughed, catch-me-if-you-can written all over his face.

  They ran like two brothers having too much fun, like two guys who know they are about to become more than human. They ran until Noah slowly cornered Mitch at one end, the trees behind them, and Noah faked a left then went in from the right. Mitch didn’t even try to escape the boulder of blond coming at him. In true Phelan twin fashion, he met him head on and they crashed, fell and tumbled.

  The moment that happened, like all the times before, the-children-of-the-three-ring-circus attacked. The instant the two brothers were down they knew that was their cue. Like a swarm of red squirrels, they overran the tumbling two. And just like he always has, Noah disentangled himself and left Mitch to be swallowed by Channon children. He acted like the three feisty little red heads were his own personal army, and with his opponent down, he left them to finish it. The kids were laughing, Mitch and Noah were laughing, I fell over I was laughing so hard — never suspecting what was coming next.

  I look back now and wonder. Why would I fall for one and not the other? Why would I fall for the one I’m not supposed to choose? We were all having fun. No one stood out amongst the others. That’s one of the things that was awesome about our trio. We are like the three primary colours - red, blue and yellow. Equal. You need them all to make up the rest. Mix ‘em up and you get more.

  And on that day Mitch didn’t do anything different than what he always has. So why? But then I think about it some more. Whilst Dana, my next sister down, always gravitated to Noah - maybe thanks to Dad’s casual comments; ‘that Noah’s got a good head on his shoulders’, ‘he’ll make a good Alpha that one’ - I could see that his steady, patient personality would be something a person could be attracted to. But the young ones loved Mitch. He was like a big juicy bone to a bunch of little Weres. They never considered turning and attacking Noah, they loved rumbling with Mitch.

  As I watched him rolling on the grass, laughter and ‘no mercy’ and ‘oomph’ filling the Glade, something slipped. It was a slow build, but like all slow builds when it finally hits tipping point, it teeters, then falls spectacularly.

  I
ve always loved Mitch. His laughter, his passion for creating, his commitment to his family. But in that sunlit moment in the Glade the world as I knew it dissolved and disappeared. And like a breathtaking painting blooming on a blank canvas, something else was created in its stead. All of a sudden familiar dark brown hair had dark chocolate highlights, blue eyes developed depths I hadn’t noticed, like layers of water color seeping and swirling into each other. Those eyes became deepwater eyes, and that boy became the focus of my rapidly beating heart.

  And just like that I tripped, tumbled and fell in love with Mitch Phelan.

  It felt so right, so true, so downright destined.

  But it was wrong, disloyal and infinitely impossible.

  And that’s why it sucks.

 
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