Sunday, October 26, 2014

ShapeShifter Seductions ~ Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop


Welcome to Howl-O-Ween in our shapeshifter town of Talbot's Peak, Montana. Here are some flash scenes depicting the costumed fun and frolic, and yes, they could be on the erotic side of romance. 

If you'd like a chance to win an ebook from our backlists, please leave a comment. 

And remember! to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post for a chance to win the hop-wide grand prize. 
~~~~~~


OLE!

Jamie adjusted his horns one last time before he clomped down the stairs. “You ready?”

“I was born ready,” Lamar announced, and swept out of the kitchen. “Oh. You mean for the parade.”

“Yeah. What did you think—oh my dog.” Jamie stopped dead. “You’re really wearing that.”

“And why not?” Lamar had dressed in a skin-tight, spangly gold-and-scarlet matador costume that would have caught a blind man’s eye at fifty feet, topped off with a blood red bullfighter’s cape. He twirled once, lashing the cape as he moved. It just barely missed a picture frame on an end table. He stopped and struck a pose. “Every year it’s showgirl this and nudie that. This year I want to honor my Spanish roots, and get in touch with my masculine side. However much of that exists, that is.” He flipped the cape again. A candy dish, thankfully empty, thumped onto the carpet. “You like?”

“I guess. I mean, I ain’t used to seeing you all covered up. Usually you’re, y’know … ”

“Naked?”

“Pretty much. Not that I mind.”

“I know you don’t mind,” Lamar said, with a passable growl that nevertheless ended on a hiss because he was a snake and he just couldn’t help it. “But we’re going to be outside, and Montana gets cold in October. Cold isn’t good for my skin.” He gestured with his chin at Jamie’s furry body suit. “That comes off too, right?”

“It will eventually, with the right persuasion.” Jamie did a slow turn to show off the rest of his bull costume: the horns, the mitten hooves, the calf-high boots, the tufted tail. He swayed his butt and got the tail going into a spin. Lamar watched, fascinated.

“Let the night pass swiftly,” he breathed in Spanish.

“The parade shouldn’t take more’n an hour,” Jamie said. “Then what? Over to the Pleasure Club?”

Lamar hissed again, a quick little burst that escaped him before he could stop it. Jamie knew that sound. He stilled his butt and his twirling bull tail. “Lamar. What’d you do?”

“I … may have committed us to be chaperones at the sleepover,” he said in a rush. “The one at the gym, for the ninos. I suppose I should have said something.”

“Would’a helped. When’d all this happen?”

Lamar swallowed. Because he was a snake, his whole body got involved. “About two days ago. There will be special-needs children at the sleepover. One group is hearing impaired. Usually Mary tends to them, but she’s got a date tonight. Bo asked if we’d fill in, being as how we’re both fluent in sign language. No one says no to Bo Ewing.”

“You do. And have.” Jamie’s eyes narrowed. “What’s up with you?”

Lamar was the picture of innocence. “Que?”

“This year’s whole Halloween deal. You wearing an outfit that covers you up. Not yelping when my outfit covers me up. No Pleasure Club. Doing nice things for other people. For kids. You don’t even like kids. What are you after?”

“Nothing, I swear.” He held up the cape before his body like a shield. “I just wanted to do something different this year. Every holiday becomes the same old same old. I get naked, you get twitchy—”

“I get embarrassed,” Jamie admitted. “I’m pretty used to you being an exhibitionist by now. Don’t mean I … ”

He trailed off. His eyes got wide. In two strides he crossed the room to Lamar and swept him up, cape and all.

“I get embarrassed,” Jamie repeated. “And I get uncomfortable in crowds, and I do like kids, and I hate showing off my body in public, and maybe my sex drive ain’t firing on as many cylinders as yours is, and … and you’re doing stuff that bores you silly but makes me feel more comfortable. You’re doing this for me.”

“I love you,” Lamar said. “Like that’s some big revelation.”

“Showin’ it this way is. It’s … ” Jamie quirked a grin. “It’s probably the scariest Halloween prank you ever pulled on anybody.”

“No prank, querido. Tonight we do things your dull, repressed, closeted way. We keep our clothes on in public and look after rugrats. But for Thanksgiving I’m going to strip you naked and tie you up and stuff you in ways the Pilgrims never dreamed of. You get no choice in the matter.”

“Deal. Y’know … ” Jamie’s grin widened as it warmed. “Them kids ain’t gonna be up all night. Bet there’s a storage room in the gym. With mats and stuff. If we can’t find a mat, well, we still got this.” He tugged his hairy top with a mittened hand. “If we can find a recording of Bolero … ”

Lamar waggled his eyebrows. “Already got one. They have players in the AV room.”

“So this ain’t all about you being considerate.”

“Snakes grow slowly. You can’t expect me to mature all at once.” He wrapped the cape around Jamie’s butt, just below the fake tail. “Eh, toro?”

Jamie nudged him with his Styrofoam horns. “Ole.

Posted by Pat C. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


GOOD LUCK AND TWO HUNKS


Sonya tugged at the hem of her skirt wishing she’d remembered how short the outfit was before putting it on.   Instead, she waited to the last minute to shop for her costume.  Outfits within her price range ran too small.  Those that fit cost more than she budgeted for.  Rummaging in her closet produced remnants of past Halloween costumes. A pair of knee high black leather boots, a witch’s pointy hat, a blood red cape, a cheerleader’s skirt, and a low cut black bra with sequins and a diaphanous matching pullover top.  Not her first choice given her heritage, witch genes aside.  Her magical abilities ranked next to nil.

A bit of makeup, her shoulder length copper hair tamed into a braid, and voila!    One enticing cutie for a night of. . .luck and passion.   Getting Diego’s attention and a sultry slow dance or two started her wish list.  Waking up in his arms and bed closed out the items to a fantasy filled night.  Not that she didn’t want more.  Diego’s charm and looks---the man was a hunk.  Six pack abs, muscles that reminded her of the lifeguards on the Baywatch reruns she viewed when insomnia took over, and a waist that begged for a pair of feminine legs wrapped around him as he plunged deep into her repeatedly.   Yes, at this rate her thong panties would need changing before she left for the party.  Her fantasies ran hotter than volcanic where Diego was concerned.

Tying her demi mask on, Sonya glanced in the mirror.  Maybe, just maybe, she could turn on her flirting skills and score tonight.  After all, she practiced.  Practicing in the mirror without feedback was better than not all, right?  Either way, she had to try.  Enticing a response mattered.  As she passed her kitchen table, she picked up her hat and leather pouch holding her car keys and wallet.  Part way out the door she paused looking at the old broom hanging the corner of her garage.  No, she wasn’t chancing things.  Last time she rode that cantankerous item, its quirky personality took over taking her for a ride that damn near landed her in the backseat of Diego’s convertible as he sped down the highway.  The blonde riding with him wouldn’t have welcomed the intrusion either. Some women didn’t like sharing.  Sonya didn’t mind.  Finding the right partners for a night of hot salacious sexiness sounded ultimately delicious.   Fanning herself, she bolted for her car knowing her courage needed room to increase and fly.  Ten minutes later, she hit the gas as she entered the highway with the car’s sunroof open.

Out on the highway closer to town, Diego shown the flashlight on the lug nut Kole clanked with a hammer.  “Dude, tell me again why you don’t have AAA?”  Diego winced at his voice tone. 

Kole looked up, shielding his eyes.  “Membership ran out before payday.  Takes time to renew.  Damn nuts are frozen.”
Diego bit his lip.  Mirth tickled his funny ironic sense of humor.  Laughter wanted out.  Clamored for freedom.  Kole’s Jeep offered more room for the two of them than his Mini Cooper did.  Having an all-wheel drive vehicle made sense given winters in Montana.  Gulping air, Diego willed his irony to relax.  He could have driven if his car wasn’t in the shop. 

Diego stepped back as Kole rose.  Their costumes differed in one item.  The blood red shirt he wore matched the lining of his cape.  Kole’s shirt matched his cape the black lining helped the midnight blue shirt he wore stand out as he moved.  Tonight their lust and need weighed heavy upon them.  The blood rare steaks and O-negative martinis sated the hunger rumbling through their bellies.  Passion boiled beneath the surface threatening to overtake both of them.  None of their clan vampiresses wanted them.  The unclaimed ones hunted for single mates instead of two.  Looking to others made sense.  Would one woman find them dually desirable?

Kole opened the passenger door, tossed the lug wrench inside.  Slamming the door shut, he grimaced.  His groin ached with carnal need rising as the moon reached its pinnacle.  Masturbating lead to more ache and lust. He’d found that out the hard way over the past three nights.  Diego admitted as much as they groused at each other as twilight fell rousing them both from their daylight sleep.  Their intended smelled near.  Each night over the last week, as they sat on the patio enjoying post dinner drinks and sweets, her scent teased them.  Tantalizing them to venture into the night to find and claim her.   Tonight she would elude them no more.  The hunt for her was on.  On until his Jeep declared no.  Kole turned, kicked at the tire, and swore as his boot connected with the Jeep’s frame.

“Frig it hurts,” he continued, leaning against the Jeep.  Diego’s snort didn’t help.  Blast his ironical humor.  Kole inhaled trying to keep his satirical wit in check.  Neither of them needed a fit of tongue and cheek puns mixed with innuendos happening.  Vampires didn’t hold their sides, howling like hyenas, and look at each other burst out in more laughter.  Another reason their clan considered them odd balls.
 
“I hear a car coming.  Wave the flashlight so we can get some help,” Kole said.

Diego made his way to the back of the Jeep well off the side of the road. He began arcing his arm back and forth hoping this person stopped and called AAA for them.  Two dead cell phones lay on the counsel between the front seats.  Practicality fled probably for the sake of its sanity as lust and craving united their intertwined demands.  If deities heard their whispered litanies, this person would stop.

Sonya slowed as first one flash then another caught her attention.  On the third flash, the vehicle and the two men standing near it came into view.  She gulped, gripping the steering wheel harder.  Squinting as another flash of light arced over them, she started braking.  Diego and his best friend Kole broke down, flagging her down.  Talk about good luck.  Easing on to the berm, she offered a quick prayer.  “Let tonight be the night.  Two is all right!”

Discussions ensued, calls made, and Diego sat next to her while Kole’s warmth and sensuous scent caressed one side of her nose.  Diego’s physical presence warmed her other side as lasciviously.  Wetness flowed drenching her panties even more as need worked its way upwards pooling in her belly until sparks flew higher.  Her nipples pushed against her bra cups begging for caresses.  Keeping her mind on driving became more difficult.  She jumped as Diego touched her.

“Sorry, Sonya.  I don’t know if you heard me,” he spoke.  His voice like silk slipping over her taut clit, teasing it, demanding she yield to him.
 
She couldn’t reach between her legs and adjust her panties.  Sighing, she replied.  “No I didn’t.  I’m sorry.”

Kole deep dark voice wrapped around her neck shoulders as he spoke.  “No worries.  Our place is near here.  Do you mind taking us home?”

Sonya caught her bottom lip between her teeth, hoping her hormones didn’t call out her answer.   One breath, then another did little to dampen the images flashing through her mind.  Not one, but two hunks claimed her.  More wetness dampened her panties.  As a beam from a street light illuminated, Diego, she caught him inhaling.  His gaze caught hers before she looked away.

Kole spoke again as if he read her and Diego’s silent communication.  “Yes, your lovely aroma attracts us.”

Moments passed seemingly eternity until Sonya knew her answer.  No more second quessing.  No flights of fantasy awaited her.  What she dreamt of, wanted, and maybe even needed awaited her.  Before dawn, two would claim her as theirs.  She knew this as sure as she exited the highway making the turns and stops needed to bring her to the address Diego gave her once she agreed to take them home.

Hours later, the sun shone through the partially covered windows. Trails of clothing littered the hallway leading to the back of the house.  The cries of passion and possession left no doubts as to who belonged to whom.  Bite marks adorned necks.  Sonya wore two set of fang marks on each side.  One at her neck the other on her inner thigh. Diego’s bruised neck and shoulder spoke of his possession.  Kole wore similar marks.  Three sated lovers slept entwined knowing their futures now combined.


Posted by Solara Gordon
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The UnMasked Beast Ball at the Pleasure Club 

"You take care of our beautiful mate, pardner. I'll go attend to the dining details." Zance affected a courtly bow, and Sherilyn giggled just a bit at the sight of her rough tough cowboy.

Zance bent at the waist as much as he could without dislodging the magnificent wolf headdress he wore, depicting his animal shifter side. Obviously, he'd been practicing, given the smooth motion of his bow. Sherilyn loved him all the more for it.

Unlike the costume ball in "The Three Musketeers", a 1973 movie, the life-size wolf head looked close to real. In honor of his wolf's coat colors, Zance's satin finery had been done in shades of gray, silvery white, and tan.

"As you say, pardner." Dontoya answered, playing his part. He took command of Sherilyn's elbow, his touch gentlemanly seductive in the extreme. "Our agreement, darlin'. Zance gets to dance with you first," he intimately whispered close to her ear.

"So, that was the outcome of your cat and dog fight last week. You two were covered in leaves...gave me an excuse to brush your coats. And pet you for as long as I wanted."

"Felt mighty good." Dontoya's smoky tone slid over her skin.

"Is that so? You didn't say that at the time." Forgetting her own lightweight feline headdress for an instant, Sherilyn danced a whirl so she faced Dontoya. Her fanciful satin gown –- a confection of several lavender shades and lace — deliciously brushed her legs as she teetered, off balance. "Oops."

Dontoya easily caught hold of her arm, steadying her. An amused smile played on his handsome face, and sheer love beamed from his dark eyes.

"No wonder men encouraged these fashions," Sherilyn teased. She leaned toward Dontoya intentionally displaying her mostly bared breasts. "It made women helpless without them."

Dontoya rumbled an un-gentleman-like growl, and Sherilyn almost believed the sound came from his black cougar headdress. Certainly, his inner beast growled with mating need. The ferocity coursed through her causing Sherilyn to tremble.

Their gazes locked, and she observed restraint shadow Dontoya's eyes. "Claws later," she sultrily baited the cat beast, even as her tightly bound nipples throbbed with pleasure.

Time fell away, and they entered their private world. Dontoya lightened his grip, then raised her hand to his lips. He kissing-nibbled her fingers, somehow avoiding the pretend cat claws on her fingerless, pale lavender gloves.

Sherilyn's breaths escaped rapidly, her bosom heaving. No wonder this bodice-constrictive fashion had become popular once upon a time. The sensations were erotic as hell and simultaneously she felt like an elegant princess.

"Elegant eroticism," she breathy-voiced.

"Yes," Dontoya lowered her hand, even as Sherilyn tingled with their mind connection.

She smiled flirtatiously, then stroked her fingertip down the midnight satin finery covering Dontoya's broad hunky chest. "My own black cougar man, I love how you look tonight. You are fantasy-irresistible. And I intend to enjoy uncovering you down to that beastly cock of yours. Minimally but temptingly covered, I hope."

"You can count on it. Me and Zance intend on struttin' our stuff in our 'barely there' costumes...Sheri Kat darlin'." Dontoya's virile drawl always curled Sherilyn's toes.

"Thank you for indulging me–"

"No, darlin'. Don't thank me. Seein' you dressed up and radiant... then, undressing you later, that's my reward." Dontoya eased her beside him. "I'm seein' a prime spot for viewin'."

As they moved across the pearlescent dance floor— illumined by candles in crystal chandeliers — the beautiful melodic sound of chamber music transformed the usual atmosphere of the grand supperclub. The delicate scents of rose, lavender, and jasmine perfumed the air further enhancing the extravagant ambience.

"I can't wait to see the animals the human non-shifters and the witches who aren't shifters have chosen for headdresses," Sherilyn enthused, even as she spied Serenity, one of the Pleasure Club's dance instructors. Entirely human, the petite slender woman with a wild mane of coppery hair, had chosen a cardinal, the female of the species, to wear as her headdress.

"I'm wondering if the club's renowned vampire escorts will be sporting vampire bats atop their heads,"  Dontoya offered, his tone drily amused.

"No vampire bats yet. No vampires either...by my supernatural senses."

"You've gotten downright good at spotting anyone on the supernatural side, darlin', no matter how human they look."

"Why thank you, kind cougar sir." Once Dontoya positioned them to watch the arriving guests, Sherilyn throatily purred, "Purrrrrfect."

They'd arrived early just for this enjoyment, and now Sherilyn quivered with utter delight as she observed the parade of women in their elaborate gowns, the men costumed in Louis XV finery –- and all of them wearing their fantastical beast headdresses. Albeit, the costumes were gorgeous fantasy versions of the historic French era's resplendent garments, rather than faithful reproductions.

"So far, the wolf shifters are winning," Sherilyn remarked, since the wolf headdresses outnumbered all the other 'unmasked beasts'.

"The big cats are more unique, more varied in appearance," Dontoya defended, his tone bantering.

"We feline types have to stick together." Sherilyn squeezed his hand, excitement owning her. "Tigers, jaguars, lions, leopards, and pumas. Bears too, grizzly, black, and here comes a polar bear, omy! Looks like the rabbit shifter crowd is here as well."

"Canines are king," Zance drawled, having obviously mind-tuned into what she and Dontoya had been saying. Behind Sherilyn, Zance circled her waist with his arms pulling her against his hard, cowboy-sexy frame. "Coyotes, jackals, foxes," he crooned to her ear, "and I seen several breeds of dog." 

"The herbies are showin' up now," Dontoya announced, as rams, sheep, bovines, a moose, an elk, an antelope, and a couple of buffalo entered the ballroom.

"Probably came as a group," Zance opined. "Instinct against us predators."

"I had no clue there were so many horse shapeshifters living in the Peak." Given her love of horses, Sherilyn eagerly watched for all those wearing equine headdresses. "Oh, and the birds are so exquisite. Look at that swan."

"The flamingos are more to my likin'," Dontoya rumbled, a grin in his voice.

"I'm partial to that hawk headdress. And the golden eagle is darn impressive." Zance nuzzled Sherilyn's neck, then touched his tongue tip to her skin, as if he kissed her as wolf.

Sherilyn melted against him. "I feel transported. I'm with the men I love and we're inside another beautiful, very luxurious realm."

"Me and Dontoya are always feelin' transported by you, sweet kitten." Zance hugged her waist. "Aren't we?"

"Transported to the heights of passion where the heart rules." Dontoya embraced her hand within his large one, squeezing. "Well, I'll be a son of a gun. I didn't know we had a skunk shapeshifter amongst us."

"Oooh, I see a chipmunk." Sherilyn stood on tiptoe to get a better view. At that moment Pasha and White Fang entered.

"Pasha must've seduced him to holy heck and back." Zance straightened abruptly. "To get White Fang in that sissy blue satin getup."

"Matches his eyes," Sherilyn defended, her gaze fastened on White Fang's majestic wolf headdress. The blue eyes were remarkably real looking.

"My bet is Pasha must be wearing the 'barely there' costume you described to us under that gold silk gown. What do you say, darlin'?" Dontoya cradled her hand between both of his, further igniting Sherilyn's desire for him.

"The fantasy lioness headdress is the same. So, I'd say you win that bet, my black cougar man," Sherilyn crooned seductively.

"Am I winning my bet?" Zance's raspy low voice sizzled her earlobe. For the briefest moment, his palms grazed like feathers over Sherilyn's nipples. The momentary friction caused her clit to jerk and pulse, the sensation splendidly carnal.

Earlier, as Sherilyn had dressed for the ball, Zance and Dontoya had brought her an erotic gift. The golden rings on her breasts only slightly pinched her aroused nipples. Yet the increased pleasure she felt, blissfully flamed through Sherilyn, and kept her on the edge of unbridled lust.

"You'd be winning that bet, cowboy," she huskily whispered. Languidly, she shimmied against Zance.

"My idea." Dontoya faced Sherilyn.

His hands spanned her waist, claiming her, and without effort Dontoya lifted her. Once Sherilyn's breasts pressed against his chest, he slowly allowed her to slide down his beefcake body. Sherilyn moaned at the exquisite and fiery pleasure.

"My very own unmasked beasts," she whispery sang, intoxicated by the very savagery of her passions. 

~~~~~~

This is the fourth flash scene in a series I wrote. If you'd like to read the previous flashes, here are the links.

First Flash Scene:
Time to unmask my inner cat...

Second Flash Scene:
Nothing scarier to a man...

Third Flash Scene:
"I'll be wantin' your claws later."

~~~~~~


HAPPY HOWL-O-WEEN!

Savanna 

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Guys! Do you have your costumes on?"

"Guys! Do you have your costumes on?" Marissa shouted. She wasn't naming names because it was entirely possible her mate was not ready yet either. Their twins would be, so long as nothing distracted them. Being 8-year-old wolf pups, they distracted easily, though.

"Yeah, Mom!" someone shouted back from the kitchen. "We're just waiting on y--" The bellow was cut off with an oof, probably due to an elbow to the ribs from his brother. That would be Loki, her dark haired mischief maker. Thor was happy, blonde, and pretty much clueless about things like tact, manners, and things not to be said to mothers.

"The boys are just putting the finishing touches on the ordurve tray for the kid's party," Mooney, her mate, said without yelling. Clever wolf, he clearly knew she was close enough to hear him. She could also hear the manic giggles of small boys up to no good.

The first thing she saw when she walked into the kitchen was Mooney, of course. Damn, he looked good in the 17th century ivory suit she'd ordered for him for tonight's masquerade ball. Six and a half feet of swarthy, well-muscled hunk all decked out in a replica costume from the 1970s version of "The Three Musketeers" was enough to make any mortal woman drool, and it took a lot of effort to wrench her greedy eyes away.

And there it was. The most awesome veggie tray ever created.

"I am so putting you two to work making center pieces the next time I get a catering job!"

~ Rebecca Gillan 

~~~~~~


 
What's With this Town?

“Man, Silas, this town blows!” Daniel said, picking through his haul of tricks more than treats.

“I know, geez, raw veggies and meatballs.  No one gave out candy like they were supposed to.
Bunch a freaks.” Silas whined, tossing his entire bag in the trash.  “You know what, I overheard one of the guests talking about this wicked cool website that has scary Halloween stuff on it.”

“Cool!  But, mom would never let us look at the site.”

“Mom’s working, doofus and not here.  She’ll never know we looked.”

“That’s right.  Bring it, bro!”

The boys scrambled to the computer and booted it up.  “Do you know the web address, Silas?”

“Yeah, just hang on a sec.”

Silas tapped in the address and waited, Daniel hanging over his shoulder.  The screen went black and the cursor blinked in the upper left corner.

“Did you break it, Silas?”

“No, shut up.”

A string of letters ran across the screen…

Asjasfjapjpasjajpfjawpifjapjfasdlawofjwpfjpfjpsdfsdfasjfpsajfpisjdfpasjdsdfjsjfasdfaj

“Man, you broke it!”  “I did not!”

The computer beeped, commanding the boy’s attentions and the typing started again…

I can see you.

“Omygod, Silas, shut it down…shut it down!”

“Don’t be dumb, Daniel, it’s just a website.  It can’t really see us.  I bet it says that to all the people who check it out.”

“Oh, okay…yeah, that makes sense.  It can’t see us.”

Are you sure about that?????

“Silasssss.”

“It says that to everyone dummy.”

I really don’t Daniel, I mostly wait for mean little boys who pick on their sister like you and your brother Silas.  Then I come to haunt you on Halloween night.

The room temperature dropped to meat locker level and the computer started flashing and making clicking noises.  Over and over the same words were typing themselves…

You are naughty boys, you are naughty boys, you are naughty boys……

“Aaaaaahhhhhh…” “Move, move, move” “I want mommy…” “Shut up, Daniel.”  The lights went out and sent the boys running to the door, screaming at each other the entire way.  The lock clicked loudly, sending them to the couch instead where they pulled their knees up and cried as the pearly white ghost slipped in through the window and flew around above them.  The giant, see through, Indian, stood in the corner with a full headdress of feathers and warned them to be nicer to their sister or they would be justly punished when he returned.

“I’m sorry,” I’m sorry,” they both cried, burying their heads and calling for their mom.

The lights went out and the room around them quieted moments before the door squeaked open.

“Silas, Daniel…What are you doing?  Why are you sitting in the dark?” Their mom asked as he turned on the lights.

The boys looked around the now quiet room and wondered if they’d imagined it all when their sister sat down between them and dumped out her bag, brimming with candy. “Johnny found all the good candy places.”  She said, smiling at them.  “What did you get?”

“SILAS! DANIEL!”  The boys pulled themselves away from the unbelievable amount of candy their sister had scored in this rotten town when their mom screeched at them from the other side of the table.  She held up the laptop and frowned at them like she did before she took away their electronic games.  “Care to explain?”

On the computer there was a picture of them and a list of the sites they’d secretly visited over the last few days.  All ones their mom had expressly forbidden them from accessing.

“You two are busted.  Go get the games and bring them to me.  I hope you had a Happy Halloween, because it’s the last one you’ll be celebrating for a very long time.

###

Alec sat back and listened to the boys being punished by their mom on top of being scared by his owl under the sheet and someone’s watching you from the computer routines.  They deserved it for treating their sister so badly, but he had one more for them.

As he logged into the Trojan he’d built and typed the words he wished he could see their faces as they read them…

I’ll be watching…

He’d have to live with their screams filling this floor of the hotel from several doors down.  Muahahahahah

~Serena Shay~ 


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

B IS FOR BUSY!! BUSY AS A BEE!



Good Evening Gang,

Sorry for the late post.  The last two weeks flew by.  Vacation time kept me busy with family and Spice Homestead to do lists.  Work is in the last quarter of the year.  Much to get done before calendar year ends.  I'm working on a scrumptious post for the Blog hop we're participating in starting on the 27th and running through the 31st.  

Remember to keep a good book or two handy to share with your spice and loves.  I know I will!

Until the Blog hop starts,

Solara

Friday, October 24, 2014

There's No Such Thing as Ghosts, Baby Believer!


Alec swung his head a full 270 degrees on each side and wished he could eat tootsie pops in his animal form while he watched the desk clerks children play in the leaves on the front lawn.  The sugary goodness was his weakness.

They were a rowdy trio of human ankle biters.  The boys appeared to gang up on the little girl, treating her cruelly, but not ever crossing that unspoken line.  They had to be siblings.  What could they be doing in this mecca of shape shifting flesh?  Were they savvy to the fact that nearly all their neighbors could become vicious animals?

“Is too...” said the sing-songy voice of a little girl.

“No way,” said boy one.

“You’re a baby believer, Rosie.  Just a baby believer.  No way is this place haunted,” said boy two. 
“There is no such thing as ghosts.”

“Hawke is real, Silas,” the little girl called Rosie, cried. “You’ll see…he’s going to come back and take away all your favorite toys and make you go to bed without dinner.”

“You can’t come back if you’re a ghost, Rosie, which means you’re dead.  Dead, dead, dead stupid Fred.”

“Stop it, don’t say that about Hawke,” little Rosie sniffled and sobbed out loud.  “Don’t say that! 
Hawke is going to come back and be my good daddy.”

“Shut up!” “Take that back!” both boys screamed at once, while throwing leaves at their sister.  “Our dad is coming back to get us, not some stupid ghost!”

The little girl ran away in tears while the boys turned on each other and started pushing and shoving.  They laughed as they went down in a pile of dead leaves, uncaring that they’d chased the darling little girl away and brought her to tears.

Alec was glad he’d decided to stay in town seven days ago when his other six compatriots chose to make camp closer to the pleasure club to spy on the mark.  He was the resident geek and needed the juice the hotel offered.  His life was computers and electronics and his babies needed that electrical nectar to live.

It seemed though that he had another task to handle, one that just made itself known down below.  The boys didn’t believe in ghosts now, but by the time Halloween was over, they would.  He’d make sure of it.
~~~
Alec, the geeky owl from Pat's Magnificent Seven post awhile back has come to town to play and it looks like he's planning to take care of a little bullying problem while he's at it.

Have a nice weekend!  See you back here next week for our Halloween blog hop!

Serena

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Witch's Moon, Chapter 8

So last week I had nothing because I was moping over loosing 2/3rds of my manuscript for Witch's Moon when a bug or something caused Google Drive to wipe it out back to an April revision point. Luckily, I am a paranoid person who has lost work one too many times and I had a print copy. It's still an earlier version, but it was pretty much the whole story. I have been typing madly, trying to get it all back down before I forgot the revisions I'd made recently, so I have not been writing anything knew. And since it's Wednesday, I owe you guys a post. Therefor you are getting another chapter from the story. The picture has nothing to do with the story. I just like it and Supernatural is running again, which means I've bot Winchesters on the brain. Enjoy!

~ Rebecca

PS, yes I know Lex is a douche. ;)








Chapter 8

As the morning wore on into early afternoon, the crowd changed from curious shape shifters looking for gossip to weary holiday shoppers looking for some caffeinated courage before heading back out into the fray. Talbot's Peak has a small town feel to it despite having a fairly large population at least partially because few of its residents actually lived within city limits. Most of the houses were businesses, not family dwellings with most of the population living on ranches or communes. We also have a thriving kitsch market of hand crafted everything. This draws shoppers looking for that extra special gift for miles around, even from as far away as Seattle and Vancouver. It’s one of my favorite things about this town.
The reason this matters to the story is that almost all of the local businesses cater to shifters first. Human customers are a pleasant side market only. You can buy cosmetics, lotions, and body sprays made to appeal to animal noses that are every bit as nice as the expensive national brands for a fraction of the price. Most locals, even the humans, used them. But not Maggie Novak. Miss "I Want To Be Famous" wore Chanel Number 5, which smells like ass to shifter noses, or so I've been told. It kind of makes sense since she wants to pass herself off as a glamorous human. She dresses like Paris Hilton, uses human beauty products, and eats the kind of trendy food humans prefer which also changes her body chemistry to something non-coyoteish. It’s not that she smells bad, per se. She just stands out kind of awkwardly in this town and it let me, with my regular human nose, know when she walked into Java Joe's a little after two pm.
It should be noted that before today, Maggie Novak had never once stepped foot in my coffee shop.
She wasn't here for a coffee today, either, because instead of going to the counter to place her order, she just kind of looked around like she owned the place and disapproved before making a bee-line over to Mooney. She didn't sit down at the counter, either. I was too far away to overhear but I saw Mooney's body language became stiff. I decided that was all the invitation I needed to barge into the conversation.
"I think you fail to understand, beta," Maggie was saying. "I need to talk to you and I'm not going to stand here at the counter like a pig at the feed trough."
"Can I get you something," I said quickly before Mooney, who quite clearly knew she was making a dig at him, said something snarky that he might regret later.
"Go away," Maggie sneered at me. I smiled my sweetest smile and Mooney looked at me uncertainly.
"I'm sorry, Miss Novak, but the tables are for paying customers. We're very busy today so I must ask you to buy something or leave."
"And if I demanded to talk to the owner of this dive?" she replied with the same saccharin tone.
"You are speaking to one of them. But please don't feel compelled to remain here if you feel it isn't up to your personal standards." We stared at each other for a long minute with Mooney sitting back watching like he was expecting a fight to break out any second. Finally, Maggie's eye turned gleefully cruel.
"I'll have a triple latte skinny no-whip with one half pump of pumpkin spice syrup and none of that monkey frou-frou stuff. Extra hot."
I smiled even wider and left to go fix her drink. Oh, I knew she thought she'd won by making me serve her, but she forgot that this was my place of business. It didn't lower my status to serve a customer. Shape shifters who owned restaurants served their customers without losing status, and I'm not even a shifter. That being said, there was nothing saying I had to meekly take that insult just because I didn’t have a body hair issue.
I slipped behind the bar and grabbed a mug, shooing Gloria, who still had not left the shop, away when she tried to butt in.
"You shouldn't wait on her!" Gloria hissed anxiously. "She'll take it as you backing down from a challenge!"
"She isn’t the first bitch I've dealt with, Glo," I said, still grinning. "I want there to be no confusion about who fixed her drink."
"Um..."
"Trust me, she's going to know that I know how to play this dominance game. I saw Lex do this lots of times. It's an acceptable way for a dual-natured entity who owns a business to snub someone without having to refuse them service."
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Because refusing her service would signal fear—"
"Whereas offering deliberately shoddy service offers a challenge, yes. Watch and learn, my young friend." I eyed the steaming cup of coffee and milk—extra hot, as requested—and debated on the extras. She’d said one-half pump of pumpkin spice syrup, but I didn’t want to waste it. It’s my bestselling flavor this time of year and I’m almost out. Just then, I heard a ruckus out in the seating are and looked up in time to see Mooney go from defensive to furious. I couldn’t help myself, I had to pop into his mind. With a quick shuffling of magic in my chi, I flipped on the telepomancy spell.
[Everything was going along perfectly for the first time since I moved back here at my FORMER best brother’s request. I got a hot girl and work I actually like and then this. This mangy, self-important coyote sashays in and informs me—and everyone listening—that she agreed to go out with me in exchange for getting tickets to that blue-blood pack function in a few days. And when I asked what the bleeding hell she was baying about, she informs me that my alpha had offered her an invite to that New Year’s Eve ball or whatever it was the Hancock Pack had planned. Like. Hell.]
Oh, hell. I grab the paper to-go cup, put a shot of three random kinds of syrup in the drink, swirled it with a spoon once and then charged out to keep my hunky wolf out of trouble. If his alpha sent the bitch, publically refusing to go to the ball with her would constitute a direct challenge, something Mooney probably didn’t want to do. I forget who said you should never make permanent mistakes in the name of temporary anger, but it was good advice.
“So you think Mooney should grace you with his arm for this event because?” I purred as I set the to-go cup on the counter in front of Maggie.
“I wasn’t talking to you, ape,” Maggie sneered. “So where were we. Oh, yes! Mooney, you will come with me now so I can get a look in your closet, make sure you own something appropriate for a high society function.”
“Um, no,” Mooney said dismissively.
[You have to go with her to the party, babe,] I thought at him with my still open mind link.
[Why, because my brother thinks I need to go on a date with this she-bag?]
[Because your alpha wants you there,] I shot back. [And because it’s a ticket into the Hancock party. Ghan’s an egotistical asshat; there’s a good chance he’ll try something. With you on the inside and me on the outside, we’re sure to catch it in time to turn it back on him.]
“Well, that will save a trip because if you don’t have anything presentable, we can go right out and rent you a tux or something,” Maggie pontificated, sounding she thought she was high society herself. Mooney and I snorted at the same time, then traded mutual looks of ridicule. It was kind of nice having someone who understood my sense of humor, I realized with a smile.
“No, I do not need you to dress me, Maggie,” Mooney cut it. “I’m a big boy and I do know how to do that myself.”
“I want to see the outfit you want plan to wear,” she sniffed. And then sniffed again, this time at her drink. “What did you put in my drink?” she asked shrilly.
“Um, I have no idea,” I answered truthfully. And I didn’t; I’d just put one pump of three flavors in without looking.
“I’m on a diet, you cow! I hope you aren’t expecting me to drink this!”
“Nope, I wasn’t expecting anything as civilized as that,” I replied, again truthfully. “You came here looking for a fight, not refreshment.”
“I needed to speak to my date for the Hancock gala,” she snarled through clenched teeth.
“Someone gave you my boyfriend’s phone number, I presume? If you wanted to arrange for a work assignment, all you had to do was call him,” I said sweetly, mentally preparing for the fight I knew was coming. There were quite a few non-shifter customers and all of them were paying rapt attention, especially once I’d let it slip that Mooney was my guy. The shifters may or may not be pulling favorites, but every single human was now firmly on my side. From Mooney, I was getting a buzz of confusion, so I shut down the mind link. I was going to need every bit of focus I could scrounge. I may have stacked the odds as far in my favor as I could, but Maggie Novak was no push-over.
She threw her coffee at me, extra hot as she had ordered, of course. I knew it was coming. Making yourself take a hit like right in the face is hard, but I took it. Oh, crap, extra hot coffee and eyelids do not mix well!
No one moved. No one but me, anyway. I had to let the skank have the first hit so that I would be released from the code of hospitality, but it was my turn now. And this was my turf. I whipped my table rag out of my apron pocket, spun it tightly and snapped her with it right in the ass. I was wiping the remains of the hot coffee out of my eyes when one of the ugly throw pillows I kept on the sitting room couch hit me upside the head. Seriously? Did that bitch just throw my own pillow at me? Game on!


* * * * * * * * * *


“Marissa. Darling,” a slimy voice called from behind the door. I huffed, annoyed even more than before because I now had to clean up the mess I’d made. That snaggle-toothed old coyote didn’t fight half bad. Of course, now my little business would be a major draw to both humans and shifter—the various races all loved a good cat fight. I was also wondering when Maggie would realize she’d been liberally dusted with mange powder during the scuffle. Probably just in time to look like a red hot mess for her fancy society thing.
Mooney had left with Maggie so she could make sure the suit he said he owned was appropriate for the ball and everyone else had fled the coffee shop soon after, so I was stuck doing clean-up by myself. I had tried not to be bitter about that, but clearly I had not succeeded.
“What Lex?” I huffed once it became clear he wasn’t going to say anything until I acknowledged him. I pumped every ounce of annoyance into my voice I could scrounge, though. I still had to do another wash down to make sure I got all the magical contamination cleaned up and I didn’t want to argue with a pissed off cat while I cleaned. A long pause caused me to look back at the hairless little freak. Lex looked beyond pissed, I realized.
“I still hold your fate in my hands, bitch,” Lex said in a warning tone, his deep voice almost a growl, clearly understanding my unspoken jab.
“Witch, Lex. I’m a witch, not a bitch.” I turned my back on him and continued cleaning up the coffee shop.
“I told you to get close to the mutt, not fight over him,” Lex said as he gingerly made his way over to the counter from the back room. “What part of that didn’t you understand? First last night at the super club and now this. It makes you look like a child desperately clinging to a toy she doesn’t want to lose.”
“Lex, these are canids we’re talking about. Mooney isn’t going to pay me any real attention unless he thinks he’s going to get some. And the female is always the one to make the first move.”
“Admit it,” he hissed. “You actually do want to—how is it you hairless apes put it?—hit that.”
“Yes, O Great Hairless Cat Leader, us hairless apes do say that,” I drawled, rolling my eyes as I emptied the bucket of water and disinfectant I’d been using to clean up with. It wouldn’t do for my customers to end up with mange and nothing cleaned that up better than pinesol, for some strange reason. Maggie would know full well where she got it from, but if anyone else started molting and smelling bad, public opinion might take pity on her and believe the big bad human had maliciously harmed her. “Besides,” I said as I refilled the bucked and began mopping the floor again, “I already did ‘hit that.’ And it was good, too. If I get a chance, I’ll probably ‘hit that’ again.”
“You sound like a whore,” Lex jeered. “He’s not even a felix.”
“Of course Mooney isn’t felix; he’s a wolf,” I said, ignoring the whore bit. Lex doesn’t talk like that unless he’s trying to be horrible. Hell, he doesn’t even call actual people who make a living by providing sex ‘whores.’ The real meat of that insult was the thing about Mooney’s pack standing.
“Look, Lex, he’s a male and I’m a female. All our parts line up well enough,” I sighed, getting tired of this childish game. We play it every time he thinks I’m starting to get serious with a guy, making me wonder if I, at twenty-three, weren’t more mature than the cat who holds my leash, or if this was what passed for parental concern for cat gods. “I don’t really care about pack standing and he’s fun and convenient. I don’t know why you care who I date, anyway.”
“Because whatever you do reflects back onto me, monkey-child.”
“Ya know, Lex,” I said, huffing a bit because I’d begun speed mopping. “If you don’t like how my actions reflect back on you, you could always release me from your service.”
“And if you don’t like my meddling in your personal life, you could always leave my service of your own free will. You are over the age of twenty-one and emancipated,” he replied, his tone growing silky again.
“You know why I won’t leave,” I snapped. “What I don’t understand is why you won’t officially release me. It’s not like you have any use for my powers anyway.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” Lex replied gloatingly. I stopped mopping to stare at him, partially shocked and partially mad.
“I have no access to your native power, true,” he conceded, “but since I locked those away when you were just a child, you haven’t developed them.”
“What do you mean, my natural powers? I’m still using magic the same way I’ve always used it.” It was a question, but I was afraid I knew the answer.
“No, my darling,” Lex said, shaking his head mournfully, a mannerism that he’d perfected long before I ever knew him. “You’ve been using the sympathetic magic I taught you after I bound your true magic. Since I taught you those skills, they are mine until I formally give them to you. But I don’t have to give them to you, just as you don’t have to stay in my service.” He got up to leave but paused and looked back over his shoulder at me. “You might not want to get too attacked you’re your little wolfie, Marissa dear. He doesn’t seem to be overly attacked to you.”
With his words, a vision swam over me, sent by Lex. I could hear him chuckling as he walked away but my mind was full of other things.

“Did you hear that?” Mooney asked as he poured someone a glass of tea. He was standing in a small kitchenette, the kind found in efficiency apartments. It was a very clean space even though it was the size of a postage stamp, with nothing on the counters other than a coffee pot and a toaster. He spun around and put the pitcher of tea back in the fridge, and that was also almost empty, containing mostly condiment bottles and a few cans of cheap beer.
“Feel what?” Maggie said as she walked out of what had to be the bedroom. My blood froze as I realized that Lex, the shit, was sending me a real-time vision of Mooney and Maggie in what had to be Mooney’s bachelor apartment. It doesn’t matter, I told myself as I watched the snaggle-toothed old coyote running her hand over a book case full of trophies in Mooney’s living room. I knew he had taken her to see his suite. It only made sense that he’d have to take her to his apartment to see it since he wasn’t the type to have a bunch of clothes at the cleaners.
“Nothing,” Mooney said with an uncomfortable shrug. “Here’s your tea. So what did you think of my wardrobe? Will it be sufficient for this party?”
“It will,” she said as she left the living room area and walked all slinky and sultry towards him. “I like your place. I was expecting something early fraternity house, but this is really quite comfortable.”
Mooney didn’t say anything but he also didn’t pull away when the bitch draped herself all over him like a limp weed. I tried to pull out of the vision when she began unbuttoning his shirt but I couldn’t. Dammit, Lex! I did not want to see this!
“So,” Mooney said as he set her unclaimed glass of iced tea on the counter behind him. He jutted his chin back toward the bedroom. “You wanna?”
“I thought you’d never ask,” she purred.

I came out of the vision slowly to find myself kneeling in a puddle of spilled mop water, tears running down my face. Goddamn him! Goddamn them both and goddamn Lex while I was at it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"I'll be wantin' your claws later."



Closer and closer howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

A bit of authorly news... I've finished the first round of edits for RIDE THE ROAN STUD, written by my alter ego, Stevie Klark, Now, I'm looking forward to the cover art.

Okay, here's the third flash scene in my short series of flashes leading up to the Halloween Blog Hop ~ October 27-31. For the setup, and to read the first one, click on the title Time to unmask my inner cat...
And for the second flash scene ~ Nothing scarier to a man... check last week's blog.

~~~~~~

From last week...

Sherilyn followed Pasha's gaze, seeing the very skimpy, nail-polish red costume. "Ohmy! Omy effing stars." 

~~~

"I'll be wantin' your claws later."

"What do you think?" Pasha seductively crooned. "Do you think my wolf-man wants me in chains?"

"Chain...chain...chain..." Sherilyn softly sang the lyrics, trying not to imagine White Fang's lust with Pasha. Dismissing the images, she studied the exact design of the 'barely there' costume.

Fine golden chains connected circles of red satin that would barely cover Pasha's nipples. The sensual drape of chains covered the translucent mannequin's shoulders, and crisscrossed over the back. More of the delicate chains were linked to the small triangle of red satin designed to cover Pasha's sex. The fragile-appearing golden chains had also been fashioned to exquisitely drape over her hips and ass.

Sherilyn couldn't help it, asking, "Have you paraded around in something similar? I imagine the feel of those chains slipping over your skin would be quite erotic."

"Quite, indeed. But to answer your question. No, in my long life I've yet to 'parade' around in such a similar enticement. However, gemstone beads draped against your skin, or moving as fringe, heightens the erotic nature."

"I just bet it does," Sherilyn murmured, as sensual tingles slithered over her sex mound. She lifted her gaze to the costume's headdress, a realistic looking lioness, yet with finer features. And the coat color was a deep gold tinged by fiery red.

"Okay, Pasha, I have to ask. Is that what you look like when you shift?"

Pasha sang a deep purr. "Close enough. Although I would prefer none know my true appearance as cat. Word travels fast in the supernatural underground. Then, those who hunt us rise like relentless ghouls."

"It's not easy being a goddess," Sherilyn lightly bantered to take the edge off. She squeezed Pasha's arm as a show of empathy.

"Not when you traverse the human world, and befriend them." Pasha drew in a quick breath, palpable in its pain, then continued. "Immortality has its drawbacks."

The sorrow in Pasha's voice hit Sherilyn square in the heart. "Yes. The loss of a loved one...you never get over it. You simply move on with life."

"I understand your parents departed this material world. And your brother lives in the crystal world. May I offer my belated condolences."

Sherilyn choked back an involuntary sob, pain penetrating her heart like a dart. She'd been so happy of late, it was easy to believe the wounds had disappeared. "Condolences on the loss of your friend...all of your losses," she awkwardly added.

"You are kind." Pasha stroked Sherilyn's arm as if it was a pet cat. "Perhaps, too kind at times. It is good that Zance and Dontoya watch over you, protect you."

"It certainly is easy to be 'kind' to them. Well, most of the time. Zance likes riling me up occasionally, just so I use my verbal fangs on him."

Pasha throatily laughed, and the air cleared as if a storm passed them by. "I well understand, my friend. White Fang can't resist raising my feline hackles. He adores it when I chase him. Claws included."

Sherilyn blushed at the revealed intimacy, even as Pasha steered them toward a grouping of leopardess sexy-wear. She wasn't certain why. Perhaps, it had been the sheer sexual truth she'd heard in Pasha's voice.

"Question if I may." Sherilyn began, as they moved to admire a collection of Big Cat headdresses done in white plush, some with a silvery shimmer... others with gold and bronze glistening their faux fur.

"About the Ubarions?" Pasha stroked her fingertip down the nose of a beautiful white lioness.

"Yes. Were they too kind as a race?"

"Overall, as I understand their evolution, yes. However, their kindness also brought great rewards. Originally, they were introduced to space travel because of their intelligence but also because of their sweet natures. Although, by that time, the Ubarions had learned to ferociously protect themselves. When needed."

"Fascinating," Sherilyn murmured. Pasha's words resonated, no doubt.

"There you are, sweetheart." Zance's voice carried throughout the large showroom. So did Dontoya's low irritated growl.

"I sniffed her out first." Sherilyn heard Dontoya's growly whisper to Zance.

 As they turned toward her mates, Sherilyn confidentially told Pasha, "They have this thing about cat-and-dog quarreling over me."

"Can't you see this is girl time?" Sherilyn teasingly chided at their approach. Damn, if every inch of her didn't turn all steamy with desire. Like always.

"Ms. Pasha." Dontoya bowed respectfully, and with an elegance that had Sherilyn's heart rate tripping madly. She loved it when he played the gentleman. Just as she loved it when Zance played the bad-boy wrangler with her.

"Ms. Pasha," Zance echoed, the intense gleam of his eyes showing his respect.

"Gentlemen, your mate and I haven't selected our costumes yet. May I suggest you enjoy libations if you've already chosen your 'barely there' beast costumes." Pasha's tone was pure lazy seduction. Yet the smile Sherilyn observed was all cat goddess command.

"Have you chosen?" Sherilyn asked, privately amused by the scenario.

"Not yet. Me and Dontoya had a hankerin' to see you first." Zance flashed a grin. "Besides, all this fantasy lingerie sure puts a cowboy in a buckin' mood."

"Sure does," Dontoya rumbled, his underlying tone raw dark heat.

Without warning, he seized Sherilyn's upper arm. Hauling her close, Dontoya possessed her lips. His kiss sizzled shock and awe through Sherilyn, and she almost melted completely.

"My turn," Zance wolf-growled. Swinging Sherilyn into his embrace, Zance planted a kiss on her mouth, even as he dipped her over his beast-strong arm. 

Dizzy with pleasure, Sherilyn could barely stand once Zance brought her upright, his mouth still clinging to hers.

"Later, sweetheart," Zance promised, then stepped back.

"Go away," Sherilyn hissed, the instant sanity returned. "Before I make a fool out of myself and leap on you... both of you, and claw your clothes off."

"Sure thing, darlin'," Dontoya drawled, smooth as fine bourbon. "I'll be wantin' your claws later."

TO BE CONTINUED...
~~~~~~


Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ...

Savanna 

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ride 'Em, Cowboy!

Twice a month the Pleasure Club held a Ladies’ Night. “That don’t mean you get to dress up like a lady,” Jamie said to Lamar. “I do that all the time,” Lamar said in response. “Ladies’ Night gives me a chance to switch up. Keeps the act fresh.”

When he and Jamie responded to Mooney’s call and he saw the huge stuffed unicorn abandoned at the side of the road, inspiration struck. Over Jamie's objections he'd lugged the big toy home, and started planning.

The Thursday night crowd was a rowdy bunch. The women wanted men, and they wanted them handsome, muscular, mostly naked and gyrating up on the stage. Lamar had all that covered, except for the musclebound part. Snakes just couldn’t bulk up, not even the constrictors. On the other hand, no man and very few women on earth could out-gyrate a snake.

Jamie was seated in the front row as usual, and getting jostled by howling, slavering women. The previous acts had whipped them into a frenzy. Even the herbivores were clamoring for blood, or other body fluids. Everybody knew Lamar was the best male (and occasionally female) dancer in the club, after Gypsy. He hadn’t revealed his new routine’s specifics to Jamie, just smirked a lot. He’d taken almost obsessive care of the stuffed unicorn, brushing its mane and fluffing its fur.

Please, Jamie prayed to the wolf gods, don’t let it be too obscene.

The stage lights came up. Lamar burst through the curtain. He had on a cowboy hat, a leather vest, chaps, boots, and a gun belt slung low on his narrow hips, with the single holster and a long-barreled Colt positioned where mammalian men kept their hardware. He came out firing cap pistols, with the stuffed unicorn positioned between his knees as if he were riding it. The unicorn had a condom on its horn. Jamie groaned and prayed harder.

Lamar did a high-legged dismount and went into his sinuous dance. The women crowded the stage and waved dollar bills. Lamar turned his bare butt to them and twerked hard enough to rattle the Colt in its holster. He flashed a smirky grin at his audience, but mostly at Jamie.

“Why do I do this?” Jamie muttered to himself. His lament went unheard beneath the screams of the women. “Why do I punish myself like this? I ain’t even Catholic.”

But dayum, the boy could dance up a storm. Wasn’t nobody on earth could dance like a snake with its sex drive cranked up to the max. Jamie crossed his legs to hide his hard-on. Again, nobody noticed. Nobody except Lamar. The women might think otherwise, but Jamie knew that grin and wink combo was meant for him alone. What Lamar kept in the pouch behind the holster belonged to him alone, too. Jamie gave up on his scowl—Lamar always ignored it anyway—and grinned back. Lamar responded with a hip roll that got a whole passel of dollar bills waving in his direction.

After a drop to the stage floor for some serious suggestive writhing, Lamar fetched up against the unicorn. He pursed his lips and planted a kiss on the plush creature’s muzzle.

The spell Marissa had placed on the beast over the phone chose that precise moment to wear off.

The whole room shook with shrieks when the stuffed toy unicorn suddenly shimmered and grew to life size. Nobody screamed louder than Lamar. He dove off the stage into the crowd, fought his way to Jamie, and scrambled into his lover’s lap. His arms coiled around Jamie’s neck in a stranglehold.

“Dayum,” Jamie said. “I knew you had a kiss that can wake the dead, but dayum!”

“That wasn’t part of the act!” Lamar hissed. “Moon Moon! He set me up, the stinking—” His hiss dissolved into raging Spanish.

Meanwhile, the unicorn stood on the stage and stared out quizzically at the audience. He blinked and shook his horn. The remains of the condom split and went flying. The unicorn finally located Lamar amid the chaos and extended his muzzle. Lamar shrank back against Jamie.

“Does this mean no second date?” the unicorn said.

# # #

The unicorn’s name was Hugh. He could assume a human form, but chose to stay in his unicorn shape because the women clearly liked it better. They sashayed past Lamar and Jamie’s table in a steady stream, to fondle his sparkling horn or run their fingers through his mane. Hugh did nothing to discourage this, though he politely passed any dollars they waved at him over to Lamar. As far as the Pleasure Club patrons were concerned, this was the best damn show the snake had ever put on.

“I don’t know how I missed this place,” Hugh said. “I have got to come back here.”

“They’re not virgins, y’know,” Jamie warned him. “Good luck finding a virgin anywhere in Talbot’s Peak.”

“I’m not into virgins. That’s a misconception. It’s purity that gets us galloping. This whole room’s pure sex right now.” He bared his big horse teeth. “Me like.”

“Listen,” Lamar started. “When you were, uh, a stuffed toy … ”

“Do I remember anything? Just bits and pieces. I didn’t mind it, really. I was plenty drunk when I passed out. Stuffed toys don’t get hangovers. Thanks for all the brushings, by the way. My coat’s never looked better.”

“Any time,” Lamar said. “Um. Is one of those bits and pieces … ”

“The night you two played Lone Ranger and Zorro in the kitchen? Oh yeah. That was pure, too. Loved the ‘sword’ fight.” He winked. “I’m normally into women, but any time you boys would like a third—”

“We’re good,” Jamie said quickly.

Hugh rippled his coat in a striking rainbow shrug. “Your loss. Y’think maybe I can get some of these fine ladies to buy me a hard cider?”