Ezmerelda has just suffered through two indignities. The first was her thirtieth birthday and the second was the lineup of suitors that her father brought along as guests to the party.
Her friend Krisia offers her a chance to stop her family from fixing Ezzy up at every opportunity. With depressing honesty her friend tells her that she needs to go to the Shifter’s Crossroads and find herself a mate.
The transporter sends her through the magical portal to the place where shifters go as a last resort when they can’t find a mate of their own. The Crossroads.
It was a great day, an amazing day, a birthday that would live forever in the traumatized minds of the men at the county fair by the time the dream team of Krisia and the birthday girl herself, Ezzy, left.
Ezmerelda Atkinson had had a great day, and as she clutched the stuffed something or other that she had won at the ring toss booth, she eyed her family home with trepidation.
“Are you sure you have to bring me here? I would be happy to go back to the carnival and whip around the ferris wheel a few more times.”
Krisia swallowed. “I am not generally airborne at any time day or night, so I will file that one under how much do you want to see those corn dogs?”
Ezzy chuckled and got out of the subtly stylish sedan. “You had better come in.”
“I promised your family I wouldn’t stay long, but sure. I will watch you blow out your mouse cake.” Krisia smirked as she left her car.
Ezzy shuddered. “I hope they didn’t. It wasn’t funny when I was eighteen—it is definitely not funny now.”
As they approached the house, they veered to the side and walked around back. Shifter gatherings were held outside as often as possible, and Ezzy’s birthday was no exception.
Ezzy heard a ping and saw Krisia tuck her cell phone back into her bra. The birthday girl sighed. “You just had to, didn’t you?”
Krisia shrugged. “They asked me very politely.”
As they rounded the corner, Ezzy’s family screamed, “Happy Birthday!”
She flinched and tried to smile, but the three strangers clumped on the edge of the gathering sent up her warning signs.
Her father rushed her and gave her a hug. “Ezmerelda, happy birthday. I have some men I would like you to meet.”
“Dad, I don’t want to be fixed up with anyone.”
“Ezmerelda, you are thirty now. You need to find a mate and have little ones. It is your duty as the eldest. You know Doria has her mate picked out. They are only waiting for you to be matched first.”
She whispered in her father’s ear. “It is an antiquated tradition.”
He leaned back and stared into her eyes. “But it is still our tradition.”