Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"Never tell a vampire, 'bite me'."
Happy Halloweek, Shapeshifter Lovers... yes, I saw that phrase on another author’s chat loop post and grabbed it. That’s *one*, just one of the secrets to writing good fiction. Steal, steal, steal, as on of my college writing professors was fond of saying.
No, don’t plagiarize, of course! But, if you see a description or a phrase that calls your name, make it your own, and add your own twist. After all, the bard, Shakespeare supposedly practiced that religiously... whoever Shakespeare really was, or was not?
Okay, then, during these wild and crazy, wearing-a-costume days, the bad girl comes out in me. More than at any other time of the year. So, yes, I’m going to pilfer from our very own Pat Cunningham for my Halloween Flash by using her first tip “to get you through All Hallow’s Eve”.
“What do you want, bat boy?”
“Damn, no. Not what I need.” Karoline scowled as the traffic light turned red.
She nearly uttered a quick spell to change it. But, instead hit the brakes hard. There’d been a rain shower earlier in the evening and her tires skidded a bit.
Once Karoline came to a full stop, she glared at the ticket camera. “I’m making it my business to fry your circuits. Tomorrow.” Gripping her steering wheel mercilessly, she muttered, “I should have been speeding, I would have made the effing --"
Smack! Crunch. The loud dull sound that meant another vehicle had struck her bumper charged through her an instant before her car rocked back and forth like a boat.
“What the freaking crap now?” With anger streaking down to her toes and blazing out the top of her head, Karoline threw open the door.
Blown by the strong gusting winds, wet autumn leaves struck her face, and glued themselves to her black velvet cape. Hiking her gown’s voluminous skirt, she launched outward. Her loose hair danced wildly, the strands slapping her cheeks. Heedless of any danger, Karoline marched toward the back of her car.
“Oh, wonderful, some prize idiot thinks he really is Batman.”
For a split second, Karoline hesitated taking in the futuristic, sleekly styled, black-as-midnight car. “At least, whoever, might be rich enough to pay for the damage. If not, I’ll add his ‘bat wings’ to my cauldron, and throw some gasoline on the flames.”
“Please, beautiful witch, not my bat wings.”
Startled that he’d heard her since he appeared to be coffin-sealed inside his bat car, Karoline was even more taken aback by the rich-as-dark-chocolate timbre of the man's voice.
Still, propelled by pure fire, she firmed her chin and approached as he rose upward. Good Goddess did he ever quit? Apparently not. He had to be well over six feet. Agile as a ballroom dancer, he stepped from behind the door’s long gleaming curve, and closed it with an elegant flick of his wrist.
Her head tilted backwards at a ridiculous angle just to see his face, and Karoline stopped in her tracks. Not that she could see his features since they were shadowed by the large cowl of his vampire costume. “What?” she snapped. "No bat wings springing up. Just a regular door.”
“I must apologize for our abrupt meeting. However, it seemed the only certain way to gain your attention.”
“Attention!” Karoline sputtered, burning at the stake of her own fury. “You run into my car to get my attention. Unbelievable.” Letting go of her skirts, she balled her fists. “One good aim,” she derisively muttered.
“Ah, yes, your athletic spunk is quite renowned within my circle.” He took a courtly step toward her. The unusual glitter of his pale eyes had her taking a mental step back. “I recall,” he suavely continued, “betting on you to win the cage match --"
“How did you...?” she interrupted. “No one knows about my fights.” Jerking in several breaths, Karoline assessed him. “Except my manager...because...”
“Yes, Jahrundi. Because he is your kind.”
Once she’d absorbed the shock, Karoline countered by narrowing her eyes. “What do you want, bat boy?”
She caught the hint of a smile before he lowered his head. He swept downward, and bowed in some sort of French, old-fashioned manner. At least, from the period epic movies she’d seen, that’s how it appeared.
Rising with more elegance than any man had a right to, he extended a card. When she didn’t take it, he deftly slipped it inside a vest pocket. “Ah, yes. One never knows the sorcery that could imbue a card of introduction. Is that not so, my beautiful Egyptian cat?”
A growl rumbled up from her belly, but with practiced ease, Karoline kept her cat from clawing its way out, and leaping for his oh-so debonair throat.
“I am Viscount Zavoyon Dicarlo, recently of Vhulferth Court.”
Ignoring his sinfully sexy voice, Karoline arched her brows high. “Not Count Dracula?”
“Would you like me to be Count Dracula on this All Hallow’s Eve?”
Her heart stopped and started, all while it felt like bats flapped their wings in the belfry of her loins. Damn! That was so not a good sign.
“I have a date. And I’m late. No thanks to you.” Noticing she stood on the balls of her feet, Karoline clicked down on the moderate heels of her witch shoes, as she called them. “I asked you a question. Viscount,” she enunciated snarkily.
“Indeed, may I address you as Karoline?”
He leaned forward ever so slightly, and Karoline suddenly had a full view of his face. She swallowed, hiding her gasp of appreciation. He certainly looked like some otherworldly immortal designed to excite a woman’s deepest passions.
“Oh, great, the tall, dark and mysterious Viscount, knows my name.” Shaking her head vigorously, Karoline sought to fling her hair back, now plastered to her face by a blast of wind.
“I must insist on escorting you out the arriving storm.” He offered his arm.
Gripping a swathe of her hair, Karoline stared at him as both of their capes billowed and whipped around them.
“Insist all you want. You know what. I’m leaving now.” She took several steps backward and prepared to dash to her car. Already drops of rain pelted her. Worse, he pelted her with those eyes that reminded her of perfectly cut peridot.
“I am in need of your assistance in removing a particularly vile curse from my sister.” His arm remained in position.
Karoline heaved in a breath, then shoved it out as fast. He didn’t lie. Not that she could tell, and she was good at knowing lies. Very good.
“Find another witch. I promised to help a friend tonight. I don’t break promises.”
Thinking she’d convinced him since he remained silent, Karoline pivoted toward her car door.
The name of the warlock shapeshifter who had almost possessed her sister’s soul caused Karoline to spin around. With her heart tripping painfully, she gazed at him. Keeping his arm in position, he approached her with the arrogant assumption that he had won her over.
“There is no need to break your promise. I will act as your date. Then we will depart for Vhulfeth Court.”
“I told you, Viscount. I already have a date.”
“Shall I use my powers of persuasion to dismiss him?”
Karoline gaped for a moment. Then, the force of a bonfire filled her, and livid, she snarled, “Bite me.”
“Never tell a vampire, ‘bite me’.”
He hauled her against him, his mouth crushing hers with such bold passion, Karoline didn’t fight. And, even as his fang slid down the side of her neck in a long slow caress, she clung to him.
“A small taste only, beautiful witch,” he rasped.
Dazed, almost delirious with desire, Karoline felt the needle-sharp prick of his fangs as they sank into her tender flesh, where her neck met her shoulder. As quick, the point of his tongue laved her wound, sensual and warm.
The Kougar’s news ~
I will be guest blogging at Fang-tastic Books ~ fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com ~ this coming Wednesday, the *27th* ~ The Veil Between the Worlds... disappearing?
~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN SHAPESHIFTING ~
~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~