Tiger's Dream - Colleen Houck

By

Colleen Houck

ALSO BY COLLEEN HOUCK

TIGER’S SAGA

Tiger’s Promise

Tiger’s Curse

Tiger’s Quest

Tiger’s Voyage

Tiger’s Destiny

REAWAKENED SERIES

Reawakened

Recreated

Reignited

Reunited

TIGER’S DREAM

All Rights Reserved © 2017 by Colleen Houck

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Colleen Houck

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran

Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises

was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,

the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine

the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit

the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous,

look deep into your heart

and you shall find it is only that

which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful,

look again in your heart,

and you shall see

in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,”

and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come,

and when one sits alone with you at your board,

remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty

are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver,

needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

For my sisters Shara, Tonnie, and Linda

We laugh together, we cry together, and we dream together

Tiger’s Dream

~ Contents ~

PrologueEmbers

Chapter 1Phet Revealed

Chapter 2Saving Kelsey

Chapter 3Enlightenment

Chapter 4Tokyo

Chapter 5Voyeur

Chapter 6Capture

Chapter 7A Tiger’s Tale

Chapter 8Crashing the Party

Chapter 9Fasting and Famine

Chapter 10Beach Party

Chapter 11Puppy Love

Chapter 12Lost Boys

Chapter 13Silk Liberated

Chapter 14Intruder Alert

Chapter 15Truth Stone

Chapter 16Too Little Too Late

Chapter 17A Villain by any Other Name

Chapter 18The Princess and the Tiger

Chapter 19A Narrow Escape

Chapter 20A Man-Eater and a Miracle

Chapter 21The Last Gift

Chapter 22The Fifth Sacrifice

Chapter 23Teacher

Chapter 24Poolside Confession

Chapter 25A Cave and a Circus

Chapter 26Becoming Phet

Chapter 27Shrine of Earth

Chapter 28The Grove

Chapter 29Birds of a Feather

Chapter 30Shrine of Air

Chapter 31Future Glimpse

Chapter 32Shrine of Fire

Chapter 33Shrine of Water

Chapter 34Mermaid’s Icy Kiss

Chapter 35A Dream Forgotten

Chapter 36A Promise Fulfilled

Chapter 37A Dream Realized

Chapter 38Wanderer

EpilogueSomnolence

Prologue

Embers

Her wild heart raced, pounding chaotically like the stream she’d paused at. Her thin limbs trembled, and as moonlight cut across her form, I could see her pulse throb and her eyes flick back and forth, alert to danger. I watched her from the shadows of the trees—a black specter intent upon her demise. After sticking her nose in the air one last time, she nervously lowered her head for a drink.

Springing from my hiding place, I tore through grass and brush, eating up the distance like a shooting star. My claws scraped against a gnarled root thrusting up through the ground like the arm of a rising skeleton, and she heard the noise.

Bounding swiftly, the deer jerked to the left. I leapt, but my teeth caught only the thick fur of her winter coat. She let out a frightened squeal of alarm. As I charged after her, my blood raced and I felt more alive than I had in months.

I pounced again and this time wrapped my claws around her heaving torso in a deadly embrace. She struggled beneath me, bucking as best she could as I bit her neck. Sinking my teeth in, I clamped down on her windpipe. Crushing it would suffocate her, and I believed it was a gentler, more humane way to take down an animal, but suddenly, I felt