Interview with a were-jaguar

Jaguar at the PortalAimee: Thanks for dropping by, Ixchel and Finn. I thought it might be fun to test your knowledge of each other in the Newlywed Game!
Ixchel: But we’re…

Finn: Sounds like fun!

Ixchel: …Not married. Okay, whatever.

Aimee: Thanks for being such good sports. You’ll notice you each have a notepad in front of you. I’m going to start with an easy question about Finn. He’ll write down his answer and then Ixchel has to guess what he wrote. Finn, if you could be any animal, what would you be?

[They pause while Finn scribbles on the notepad.]

Ixchel: [rolling her eyes] This is an easy one. A jaguar, of course.

Aimee: Finn? [She accepts the pad of paper out of his hand and takes a look.] Oops! Not quite right. Looks like Finn would be…a dolphin!

Ixchel: But that makes no sense! You are a were-jaguar.

Finn: She said, if I could be any animal, which would I be. And I’d be a dolphin.

Ixchel: [sighing] Okay. Let’s get this over with. I’ve got puppies in the waiting room that need their shots. What’s next?

Aimee: Now we get to test Finn’s knowledge. So I’ll ask Ixchel — what do you consider your greatest weakness?

[Finn scrunches his eyebrows together, obviously thinking hard as Ixchel scribbles for a long time on her pad of paper.]

Aimee: Okay, Finn, you’re up. What’s Ixchel’s greatest failing?

Finn: So, first of all, this is one of those trick questions that men have a right not to answer.

Ixchel: Oh, come on. I’m not going to get mad at you.

Finn: [gazing into her eyes] But, see, it’s not really a trick question. Because Aimee didn’t ask what I think is your greatest failing — which, by the way, is nothing. She asked what you think is your greatest failing. And you’d say…trust.

Aimee: Well, it seemed like Ixchel was writing a novel over there. So let’s see if Finn was right.
[Ixchel grins as she flips the paper over. The edges are covered with doodles, but in the center she’s boldly scrawled “TRUST.”]

Aimee: Finn’s on a roll! Okay, let’s see if Ixchel can catch up as we ask Finn….what would prompt you to tell a lie?

[Now it’s Finn’s turn to look uncomfortable, but he quickly scribbles his answer.]

Aimee: Ixchel?

Ixchel: [reaching over and taking Finn’s hand] You know, we can leave if you want to.

Finn: [taking a deep breath] No, I’m good. It’s your chance to shine.

Ixchel: Okay, in that case, Finn would say — fear.
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Aimee: Looks like you know him pretty well after all. Now, for our final question. Ixchel…do you believe in love at first sight?

[Finn perks back up as they wait for Ixchel to decide. She taps the pen against her lips, scrunches up her nose, then shrugs and writes.]

Aimee: [accepting the paper, then smiling knowingly] So, what do you think, Finn?

Finn: [sounding positive of the outcome] She doesn’t, but I do.
[Ixchel’s stiff spine melts a bit as she takes the paper back from the interviewer and flips the pad over. It reads “I didn’t used to…but
I’ve changed my mind.”] Aimee: Well, it looks like it’s a tie, folks!

Finn: You could say that. Or you could say we both won.

[Finn pulls Ixchel in for a kiss on the lips.]

Aimee: Ooookay. Let’s keep this PG, kids. We’ll try out another round after this commercial break.

Deep-voiced announcer: Want to learn more about Finn and Ixchel’s adventures facing down Mexican gods and falling in love? Check out Aimee Easterling’s Jaguar at the Portal, available for a limited time in the 21-novel bundle Happily Ever Alpha. When once upon a time isn’t enough….