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Chapter One

Sex had become a chore. Maybe not a chore, but it wasn’t something Meg looked forward to either. She had her choice of males, three to be exact, though the eldest of the lions was able to overrule her if he desired. And then there was the fact that the three men she could choose from also serviced her sisters. And cousins. And aunts. Oh, there were a couple of women in the pride who’d migrated from other groups as part of a “lioness exchange” in order to ensure there was no in-breeding. But the fact remained. The dick that entered her had probably been inside one of her family members. Recently.

Ick. Ew. Gross.

“Margaret!” Great. Her Aunt Nia. “Margaret! It’s your turn, dear heart.” Meg sighed and brought her legs closer to her chest and rested her forearms on her knees, her chin then settling on her forearms. She stared across the street, watching the pigeons flutter and fly around the fountain, pecking at the seeds dropped by the old man who lived down the street. How she envied the birds. Their monogamous nature meant that they’d only mate with each other as long as they lived. She longed for the same treatment, regardless of how odd it made her.

Pride ladies did not object to sharing. They bore the children they were gifted with gladly, and then surrendered them to another pride or they joined the ranks. A lioness definitely didn’t look outside the pride for sex. Ever. A lioness gave birth to lion cubs.

Period. End of story.

Her feelings didn’t matter. They never mattered.

“Margare—Oh! There you are.”

Meg tore her thoughts away from her heart’s desire and plastered a smile on her face before turning her attention to Nia. “Hey, Aunt Nia.” Her aunt harrumphed. “I’ve been calling for you, Miss Margaret. It’s your day and Lincoln has a mid-afternoon meeting. Marcus has a dinner date with some woman he’s thinking of bringing into the pride, and Nicholas wants to do his morning run. They’d like you to come in and make your choice so they can get on with their day.” Her choice. Right. She held back her snort of contempt. Barely. Out of the three of them, Meg preferred Nicky, but she knew he wasn’t attracted to her plus-sized frame.

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