The theme for this week is characters. I thought I’d introduce you to Rohan Patel, one of the heroes in my upcoming release CatNap. Rohan is a tiger shifter. He’s a caring person with an innate strength. Level-headed and mature, he has a sense of fun. He loves his sister enough to start up a new business with her. They tease each other, keep each other in line and are friends as well as siblings.
I think both of the following short excerpts help give a sense of Rohan and his character.
CatNap is due out from Ellora’s Cave on 2 September 2009.
CatNap by Shelley Munro
At six they closed the shop. It was earlier than usual, but since they had two days before the new owners took over, he and Ambar had decided to close early to organize the last of their packing before the move to Middlemarch.
Ambar started doing the cash up while Rohan went to check on their guest. He found him sound asleep, his clothes tossed over the end of the bed. He lay on his back, the covers draped low on his waist, his easily discernable ribs highlighting his need of a few good meals. At least they could fix that. The man stirred, rolling to his side, and Rohan saw several old scars on his back. Rohan frowned, not liking where his mind went on seeing those scars. Had someone beat him? The man shifted onto his back again. His breathing sounded normal and even, so Rohan ripped his gaze off the enticing sight and forced himself to leave the room and their guest sleeping.
Back downstairs, he restocked the laundry powder and cleaning material aisles, his mind on their guest and Middlemarch. What the hell were they going to do?
Ambar grabbed the money to take to the safe, pausing at his side. “What are we going to do, Rohan?”
“I’ve been thinking about that. The obvious solution would be to take him with us to Middlemarch.”
“But what if someone follows us? Or we take him to Middlemarch and he turns into a problem. We don’t know him, but we’d be responsible.”
Rohan pictured the male asleep in his bed and knew Ambar was right to preach caution despite his gut instinct and his yearning to keep the man with them. There was something about him that called to Rohan. He wanted to know him better. He wanted to care for him. A snort escaped. If that didn’t beat all. A big strong tiger shifter like him turning soft. Nah, wouldn’t happen. It was frustration, that’s all.
Since their parents’ death they’d started a new tradition—a drink before dinner where they discussed anything and everything. Their parents hadn’t approved of alcohol either, and the ritual made them feel like rebellious teens.
Rohan joined Ambar in the small lounge. The room appeared stark and plain with only a single three-seater couch left. A stack of boxes piled against one wall, ready for collection by the removal company.
“He’s still asleep. I’ve been thinking about Saber Mitchell. Maybe we shouldn’t do anything and just take him with us.”
“Because you have the hots for him.” Ambar took a sip of her wine. “Are you gay?”
Rohan almost choked on his beer. Ambar didn’t believe in tiptoeing around anything. He bit back a smile, knowing he was lucky she didn’t sound judgmental. Her voice held curiosity but none of the distaste he’d feared. “Why would you think that?”
“You didn’t run away in horror when the stranger said he wanted to f**k you. And I’m not blind. I know an erection when I see one.”
“Ambar! Hell.” There were limits to their closeness. They’d never talked about sex in such detail before. Fiery heat seeped into his cheeks, and he couldn’t look his sister in the eye.
“I know you dated women but I never saw you kiss any of your dates,” Ambar said.
“Were you spying on me?” He didn’t have to pretend exasperation. A man should have some privacy.
“At least you were allowed to date,” his sister reminded him, and just like that his irritation dispersed. He’d had way more freedom than Ambar and he knew it.
To read other excerpts on the Snippet Saturday trail follow the links below: