His lover's death filled Nate Hawthorn with rage. From that time were born legends of bloodthirsty cats and killer bears, of humans entering the woods and never leaving. More
Legend exaggerated, and he had calmed down and accepted the transiency of human life. Fragile, defenseless, but curious, brave, and loving. He'd allowed their presence in his valley in the beginning because they intrigued him with their resourceful cleverness in turning their fragile bodies into a strength rather than the weakness he'd taken them for.
When Daniel died, he'd chosen to live among them for simple reasons. He felt closer to his lover walking among his descendents. He took a warped pride in the growth and the progress of the town Daniel had started, in the prosperity of Daniel's people even as their growth and progress had overtaken his woods. Perhaps some fatalistic part of him believed that the circle of life would one day claim him, had known that they would one day kill him.
When Seth Greenwood, a junior architect with a local firm who dreamed of bigger things, pinned his hopes for career advancement on a project that required the use of Nate's land, Nate realized how much he wanted to live. And how very much he wanted Seth.