Hi! 😁 Thank you, Addison, for allowing me back on the blog! It’s always a delight to be here.
If you know me, you know that I write stories for strange holidays, and this month’s story is called Squirrel Circus. I wrote it to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day. I’ve wanted to write a story for Squirrel Appreciation Day for a long time. I had it in my welcome sequence in my newsletter (that you can join here if you want 😘). I said if you have a specific day you want a story for, hit reply, or if you just want to convince me to write a story for Squirrel Appreciation Day. Or something along those lines. I’ve had to change it now, obviously, since I’ve written a story for Squirrel Appreciation Day.
It’s not that I’m obsessed with squirrels. I mean, they’re fun to look at when they chase each other and jump from tree to tree outside my window. And I don’t know how many times, when I’ve been out walking, I’ve stopped to look at the prints in the snow, wondering what the heck has walked here, only to realise it’s a squirrel. So they add some entertainment to everyday life.
But squirrels don’t live easy lives. They misplace about 75% of the food they gather, and many predators wouldn’t mind having them for dinner. So when I started writing Squirrel Circus, I made Jyran, our squirrel shifter, misplace his nuts and other things.
If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you know that I often write fated mates, and wouldn’t it be fun if our poor squirrel’s mate was his biggest threat? Yes, it would. So Gideon, a growly, grumpy wolf shifter, was born. But we couldn’t have it as easy as them meeting and then living happily ever after, of course not.
Gideon doesn’t even look at Jyran before he rejects him. He will not be mated to a freaking rat, fluffy tail or not. So, he throws Jyran out of his bar and tells himself they’ll never meet again. And he sticks to it for several years. When the excerpt below starts, Jyran and Gideon haven’t had any contact for six years. It doesn’t mean Jyran has forgotten about him, far from.
Gideon might not have wanted a squirrel for a mate, but Jyran could live with having a wolf as one. Though not now, not when Gideon has already humiliated him once.
So the guys needed a little push, and that comes in the form of Adara – Jyran’s best friend and Gideon’s childhood friend. When her career as a singer is threatened, both Jyran and Gideon try to help, and to do it, they might have to… cooperate.
I loved writing this one! Squirrels, I might have to do more squirrels at some point 😁
Can you forgive being rejected by your mate?
For as long as Jyran Pechman can remember, he’s dreamed about finding his soulmate. As a child, he lost his family, and he’s been moving around ever since. He hates it, and he wants nothing more than to have a home. A mate. A place to belong.
Gideon Everett might have dreamed about the day he’d find his mate, but his mate was never an unorganized, nut-hoarding squirrel shifter in those dreams. Wolves eat squirrels, so when Jyran walks into Gideon’s bar, he throws him out and tells him he wants nothing to do with him. He has a reputation to think about, and he will not be known as the wolf who mated a squirrel.
Being rejected hurts more than Jyran ever imagined, and he swears never to set foot in Gideon’s bar again. After the initial shock, Gideon is almost sure he made the right decision. Almost. What if he made the wrong decision? Now when he knows his mate is out there, can he live on as if they’ve never met, or does he have to … ugh … apologize?
Jyran looked over at Justin as he slept on the hotel bed. They were in Ordbury for the week. It was one of the bigger cities on the tour, and Adara had two performances here. Jyran loved it, not because he liked Ordbury much, but it was only an hour’s drive from Doson where Gideon was. It didn’t matter. Jyran wouldn’t go there, but he liked knowing he was close.
They’d stay for a week. One blessed week in the same room. He could unpack his things, then move them, and move them again—stupid squirrel brain. And he could see Justin.
He liked Justin. They’d hooked up regularly for a couple of months. He wished he could love him. He was kind, funny, caring, human, and he didn’t have a clue Jyran wasn’t. Every fiber of his being wished he could feel for Justin what he suspected Justin felt for him, but while he liked him, and they had fun in bed, it didn’t touch Jyran’s soul.
He sighed and slid his gaze over Justin’s bare body again. He’d have to end it. End it before Justin got in too deep. He never meant to hurt him, but he’d been so lonely.
It had been the same with Michael, and with David before him, and Ryan before him. They were all lovely men, all kind and fun to be around. They kept him from burying himself in despair, but it wasn’t right.
Adara always kept a close eye on him, made sure he was safe, and over the years, she’d replaced her staff. They were all human now. She would deny it, but it was to keep him safe. Humans couldn’t smell him and know what he was. They didn’t want to kill him because he liked nuts. Damn, he wanted nuts.
He got up and checked the mini bar. No nuts. He’d moved them. Tiptoeing over to the dresser, he opened the top drawer and stared at the empty space in the corner next to his slacks. Hmm. Had he moved them to the bathroom? Had he put them in the bathroom cabinet? Yes, he had! He silently opened the bathroom door and opened the cabinet. Nope.
Rubbing his forehead, he went to the shoe rack where he had several pairs of dress shoes in different shades of black and brown. Pushed into the toe of his favorite pair of dark brown monk strap shoes was a bag of cashew nuts. He stared at the bag. Where had he put the peanuts?
It didn’t matter. He’d find them later and put them somewhere where he could find them more easily. He glanced at Justin to make sure he was still asleep, then he reached for a pen and a paper. Almost every night, he wrote a letter to Gideon. It was a stupid habit, and he never sent them, but in the beginning he’d been so filled with hurt, he’d forced himself to find an outlet.
All his life, he’d dreamed about finding his mate. To have someone who loved him, who didn’t care he was a squirrel. Someone he could lean on. Someone who’d protect him. Someone with whom he could be honest about who he was.
Gideon had taken one look at him—he hadn’t looked at him, he’d smelled him—and said no.
So Jyran wrote letters. He shared his thoughts and feelings, his hopes and dreams, his longings and desires. And then on days when he was extra resentful, he’d take a stack and burn them. It was cathartic.
Gideon Everett could go fuck himself.
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.