Chapter 1 **Prologue**

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"Michael!" screamed Bailey. "My water just broke! The cubs are coming!"

Michael came running from the garage at his mate's scream. He quickly helped her down the porch steps, and out to the car.

"Don't worry Bailey," he told her. "I'll get you there, and everything will be okay."

"They're early though," she groaned nervously, "and there are four of them."

"Then we are extra blessed to have one more to love," soothed Michael as he closed her car door, and ran for his own.


"I can not believe I ever thought having four cubs was a blessing," scoffed Bailey at her daughter Vivian. "You are nothing but one problem after another."

The two of them had just left the clan doctor's office. As usual Bailey's worthless runt cub had something wrong with her. Bailey had been told the problems stemmed from her giving birth early. Her other three were healthy, but the doctor told them that the forth cub hadn't had time to fully develop. This had made Vivian a small and sickly child.

Bailey had just wanted to get rid of her, take her off to the orphanage or something, but her mate Michael refused.

"I can't wait until you transform into your bear, if you can even do that," said Bailey with a snort, rolling her eyes. "At least then you can train to be a fighter or something. Anything to get you out of my hair."

Vivian, was small, clumsy, and pale. Her curly black hair, she'd inherited from her dad, was the only thing about her that was pretty in Bailey's eyes.

Bailey turned away, disgusted by the girl.

When she'd found out she was having a forth cub she'd been so happy, but the child had been barely breathing when born, her lungs not fully developed. The clan Doctor hadn't expected her to last the night. Yet here she was, fourteen years later, still alive.

Vivian had a lot of physical problems though, problems that few shifters had. Bad vision meant she needed glasses by the time she was six. Bad ear infections had caused her to be hard of hearing. She'd developed asthma young, and having colds often had her fighting other bronchial issues also. She carried an inhaler everywhere and used it often.

Now, well, now Vivian had another issue, one shifter females don't have. She was ovulating like a human female! Although, it was at some later age then most human girls. The Doctor said it could have started later because of her shifter gene, or that she was late bloomer because she was a preemie.

Vivian had come whining and crying to Bailey that morning that she was bleeding to death.

Bailey rolled her eyes as she remembered the pitiful wails of the girl.

They were she-bears for crying out loud! They had a heat cycle, not a menstrual cycle, and only reproduced every couple of years. 

 She-bears don't have periods!

"Worthless child," muttered Bailey again. "Your birthday is in two days. Hopefully you'll shift into a beautiful she-bear, and lose your human issues. Then some young man will want you, and I can be rid of you."

Bailey was silent the rest of the ride home, turning on the radio to drown out the girls pitiful groaning.


"Good morning Tiny," said Michael.

Vivian, his baby girl whom he'd nicknamed Tiny walked into the kitchen. She gave him a slight smile, and his heart burst with joy at her smile.

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