Bearfoot and Pregnant(7)

By: Milly Taiden







FIVE



Cassie glanced at Gerri and said the words she’d been thinking all weekend. “I’m going to take a big leap here and say I’ll come with you.”

Whether it was a pretend trip or not, she needed something to take her mind of her bank account. She’d spent time with Massimo, Ivy, and Ivan and found out Massimo was a bear shifter who loved to flirt. He had gone out of his way to ask her out and proposition her.

Though he was handsome, with his bright blue eyes and wavy blond hair, she hadn’t felt that chemistry she’d hoped for so she declined his offers. They chose to stay in touch and see about being friends. He was nice and they’d had fun over the weekend.

The time spent with Massimo made her realize she might be able to find a shifter she could have chemistry with. Plus, what if this shifter planet really existed? She needed to know the truth.

“Wonderful,” Gerri said as if realizing she had no real comebacks. “We leave in the morning. Pack only a few items of clothing. The weather where Bella lives is very breezy and summery. Besides, we’ll get you one of the amazing dress fabrics you will fall madly in love with.”

“Say this is true, how long would we be gone?”

“Two or three days at most.” Gerri pursed her lips. “I really do have a lot of work to catch up on still.”

“Suppose I believe you and this is all real.” She shook her head at her own words. Real? Aliens? Right. “What exactly can I expect?”

“Well, there will be a big party to welcome the new babies to the royal family. You should expect to see a lot of shifters.”

Oh, yeah. The shifters. That’s really why she wanted to go now that she’d had more experience with a male shifter. Massimo was hot in his own clean cut sort of way. Still, Gerri had said so much stuff that Cassie had totally ignored because she truly believed the old lady was nuts. Now she wished she could remember.

“Are they friendly?”

She’d yet to meet others aside from Gerri and now Massimo, on Earth. It was pretty clear shifters were at the top of the food chain. Humans co-mingled with them on Earth, but mainly because the number of shifters superseded humans in most places. So people were used them. Not to mention the shifter males were hot. Like make your panties catch fire hot.

“Generally,” Gerri replied. “You have your bad apples like any other place, but Aurora isn’t like Earth. Women with curves are highly prized and wanted by male shifters for mates.”

She snorted in laughter. “Yeah, okay. Now I really know you’ve lost your mind and made this place up. I have yet to meet a single guy who won’t tell me I’m still young enough to lose weight and look good.”

“That’s because human males are idiots, darling.”

This was true. Still. “Come on, Gerri,” she started. “You can’t really expect me to believe that. A planet where fat girls are not made fun of? That we aren’t pushed to the side for sexier, thinner chicks and more importantly, aren’t made to feel like crap because we are bigger? Just saying it sounds fake.”

Gerri sighed with a shake of her head. “Oh, wow. This place has done a number on you.”

Maybe. Possibly. Okay, yes. It had. She’d lived all her life listening to the daughters of the women her dad dated calling her Miss Piggy. And the sons of her dad’s employees telling her they wouldn’t date her even if her dad paid them. The worst was probably when her own father had seen her work hard at losing weight and being healthy and instead of encouraging her to keep going, he’d ask her if she was cheating at night or get angry at her lack of visible progress.

The memories of the pain she’d suffered from strangers, classmates, and her own father had never erased from her mind. It had never truly gone away. Not that it ever would. She’d used that pain to learn to become emotionally stronger. To not let others hurt her over her size or shape.

She’d never gotten skinny. She’d grown bigger. Diet. Exercise and healthy eating hadn’t don’t squat to reduce her size. She’d gone to dieticians and even had multiple medical exams to see if maybe she had medical issues. Nope. Her body just liked being big. Real big.

But she adjusted. She learned to like herself and not let her size keep her from doing things slimmer women did like running, hiking, and when the occasion dictated, dancing.

“When was the last time you went out with a nice guy who treated you right?” Gerri asked. She might have thought the question a joke if there wasn’t real interest in Gerri’s eyes.

“Seriously?”

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