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Desert in Bloom

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She was always beautiful.

But at the spring festivals her people held, Cutter learned just how beautiful she could be. Not even heavy with their cubs would she resist the call to dance with them, and she mesmerized him. It wasn't the filmy scarves or the glittering bangles or the polished jewels.

She was radiant, effused by a light that left his heart hammering and his head floating among the stars. She radiated life, glowed with such strength that he was almost afraid to touch her.

Then, he did, and she was real, his Leetah, as he was her Tam.