Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bryght(47)

By: Cathryn Cade

Mara Jag shook her head, elegantly, as she did everything—Calla wanted to be just like her as she matured—and gave Calla look of compassion.

“It shouldn’t be, for anyone except your aunt. What that woman was thinking, keeping you away from all the activities a young tygress should be engaged in, including exploring your sexuality, I do not understand. None of what happened was your fault, nor Tryon’s, and that’s how you should play it. Take my word, darlings, it will be seen as romantic.”

While Calla gaped, and Tryon grinned in a way that said he was remembering another, hotter aspect of their history, Mara Jag went on. “Two young lovers who could not forget each other, reunited in dire circumstances. Working together to save a ship full of innocent beings … the public will love it.”

She was right. They did.

Thus, Calla survived the embarrassing but not as bad as she’d dreaded on-camera interview, then introduced the witty, dashing Lars Spotte to Renné, who was gazing starstruck at him from the studio audience. The two became a couple and attended the wedding together, this time with Lars giving Renné smoldering looks from the wedding audience as Renné stood up with Calla.

Tryon and Calla were married on the grounds of the Jag country estate. Chaz Jaguari himself came to do a love song for the bride and groom, and although Tryon had to hold his bride up when the crooner gave her one of his patented steamy looks as he sang, the groom only growled under his breath, not aloud.

All the Jags’ many family, friends and associates attended, along with the crew commanders of the Orion, a few of Calla’s friends and Renné’s parents, but not Calla’s aunt, who knew nothing of the wedding because she never watched the news, preferring to stay in her own narrow, dark little version of the world. No one missed her.

And having gotten a look at her pathetic life through private investigators he hired, Tryon felt such mingled pity and disgust, he left the woman to it. His tyger-lily was free of her now, and he could give her the life of joy and sensual delights she deserved. That was what mattered.

Calla wore a cream lace wedding gown, the Jag marriage collar, with matching earrings and bracelet given her by her groom the night before the wedding—the first of many he intended to place on her. Her hair was caught up with cream roses, to fall down her back in loose curls. She carried a bouquet of deep pink and orange tiger-lilies bound in cream ribbon.

She paced the carpeted wedding aisle to her husband on Renné’s arm. Tryon couldn’t take his eyes off of her, nor she him. He stood tall and broad and unbelievably handsome in a dark gold tuxedo with the Jag jeweled pin at his lapel, his friend and employee Ian Panthar at his side.

The blaze of tender love and fierce possessiveness in the groom’s eyes as he looked at his bride had to be seen to be believed. The females in the audience sighed nearly as one.

Jostyn Jag smiled to himself, and put his arm around his wife. He knew exactly why his son wore that smile—he had his true mate at his side.

Mara smiled up at him, though she did it through tears. “Our boy belongs to someone else now.”

Her husband pressed a kiss to her temple. “Yes, but just think—we’ll have grand-children to spoil in a few years.”

“This is true,” she agreed happily. “I hope they don’t wait too long.”

“You know,” Sirena Blaze murmured slyly to Captain Craig from their front row seats across the aisle, “Perhaps from now on we should require that all Tyger navigators be married before they sign on for long voyages. It would save us a great deal of trouble.”

Steve Craig chuckled quietly. “A sound idea.”

On his other side, Commander Navos leaned in. “No, because then legally it could be said that if one crew commander must be married, all must be.”

The three exchanged a sobering glance, and shook their heads. Marriage for them? That would never happen.

The End

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