“Are you sure you signed up for the cougars and cubs camping trip?” Kevin asked incredulously. He eyed the woman in front of him. She looked to be about mid-forties, tall, slender and in decent shape. She was also wearing pink Prada espadrilles, a pink and black Juicy Couture velour track suit, and was toting a Louis Viton bag—pink and black, of course—that was bigger than she was. Oh, and she was definitely human.
To his horror, she gave him an annoyed look, then dug one of the flyers his mom had printed up out of her purse and handed it to him. He had not actually handed any of them out because the population of cougar shifters in the US was not really big enough to need it. Word-of-mouth advertisement was more than sufficient. That was the whole point of this camping trip, actually; to bring the younger generation together in the hopes of building connections that would help their species thrive better in the 21st century. Somehow this blond haired, blue-eyed Geriatric Barbie Doll had gotten ahold of one. Then it hit him. Middle aged human Barbie. Cougars and cubs.
She thought this was a dating thing.
“Ma’am, I think we have a bit of a misunderstanding,” Kevin chuckled nervously. “This camping trip is for mothers and children, not grandmothers with boyfriends young enough to be their children.”
“I assumed as much,” the female said angrily, flushing. Damn, now he’d offended her. This was exactly why he didn’t want a mate. With males, you said what you meant with none of this “how are they going to take if” crud. He was a cat, no a psychologist. He didn’t want to have to think his words over before opening his mouth.
“We;;,” he hedged looking for a way out of this that wouldn’t land him with a lawsuit. She definitely looked like the kind of Southern Cali woman who would sue over any little slight. “Your shoes!” he declared, looking at her feet triumphantly. He looked back up at her face, smirking.
“What about my shoes?” she asked in that quiet, too sweet tone of voice females of every species used to let a male know he was on thin ice.
“Well, your shoes,” he began again, gulping nervously. “They are very nice but this is a camping trip. You can’t hike in those frilling kind of shoes.”
“We aren’t hiking yet, though. Are we? Seems to me I’m still trying to check in.”
“Um, well, ok,” he shuddered. “What about a tent? We won’t have—“
“I understand the point behind camping, young man. That’s why I packed everything I needed—including food and a sleeping bag—in my duffle. I admit I didn’t bring a tent, but there isn’t likely to be any need for one this time of year.”
“Look,” Kevin finally said. “I’ll be upfront with you, lady. This isn’t the kind of thing women like you would enjoy, so—“
“Hell will freeze over before I leave now, sonny,” she said with a remarkably feline snarl.
Damn, damn and triple damn! he swore. How in the name of Lycos was he going to keep this silly human from finding out about shifters if she was underfoot all weekend? The point of holding a camping trip in early fall was so they could have the forest to themselves and so the cubs could be, well, cubs? The camping trip which he’d been looking forward to was no longer looking like fun anymore.