Ark hated what he was, hated the stigma that surrounded even the unrelated miniscule arachnids that resembled him. He was a Morphae, one of the few remaining, and wished that he could be anything else. So few were they in number that they lived among the humans, hiding in plain sight. As they were neither the pack nor pride type of shifter, Ark had never actually seen another of his kind. Sometimes he wondered if there were any others. But then, Ark had more pressing concerns than whether any more Morphae roamed the earth.
It was that time again, for him to disappear for a while, only to reappear somewhere else. He’d stayed too long without aging, and was starting to get funny looks from those that knew him as Arthur Morel, especially his business partner. It was a hassle to have to start all over with a new identity every thirty years or so. New name, new place, new occupation. Ark had lived on every continent, in almost every country and even some that no longer existed. He’d been called by many surnames, but always his first name remained Arthur. It was just easier that way and he couldn’t give his real name, not just because it could not be pronounced by humans, but because it gave away his nature and what he was.
Ark hated the existing without really living. He had avoided any attachments to humans, especially as he preferred the males over the females, as his essence demanded. To find a lover was probably Ark’s biggest wish, though he knew it was never going to happen.
Mattie Parkinson had been watching her business partner for over two decades now. She’d contained her glee as every year passed and Arthur didn’t show a sign of time wearing on him. But then, Mattie knew what Arthur was. As a Symbion she sensed shifters, especially as her species needed them to survive. That was the crux of her existence. Symbions would die without a host body, even if they continued outside of it. The sexual nature of their relationship was what kept the life spark in a Symbion and Mattie had been without for almost two hundred years. She was coming to the end of what her last host had given her. She needed another and a Morphae was probably the best choice she could have since they lived much longer than any other shifter.
What Mattie had to figure out, was how to get close to Arthur without surprising him of her interest after so long. Mattie was aware that Morphae prefer their same gender, so Mattie would have to change hers. She had assumed the female gender to be with the male shifter she’d bonded with so many years ago. But with such androgynous looks, Mattie knew she could convince Arthur that “she” was really a “he” and then change her gender without Arthur being the wiser and become Matty, or some other name. But before she could come up with a plan to get close to him, Arthur disappeared. Mattie had to find him and soon, or she would die. She refused to acknowledge that it was only Arthur that she wanted instead of any shifter she might sense. By their very nature, Symbions weren’t known for falling in love. But as she searched, it was becoming clear she might be wrong.