So what’s up with PETA here lately? I remember when they used to be a respectable animal rights group. They still make some notable victories in animal rights but you rarely hear about it. Instead, we get regaled with horror stories about the President of the United States swatting flies on national TV and protests of movies because an animal actor that appeared in it died of old age shortly after filming. They made ground-breaking strides in making fur unfashionable. They keep exotic animal smuggling and laboratories in check when various world governments just don’t have the resources to do so. Why don’t they promote that instead of the goofy stuff???
Ok. I’m done with my rant. This week’s flash is a continuation of one I tried to post a few weeks ago when Blogger was eating my posts. We rejoin the sexy but frustrated Caid who trying to take two druid pups for a camping trip in Lon Chaney National Forest when a certain lady cougar decides to “help” give the pups some practice tracking. Here’s a link back to the first part, if you missed it or can’t remember what was going on.
Cougars were good sprinters but this distance running was for cheetahs! And hounds, apparently, Jen acknowledge ruefully. Her plan to lead them to an area frequented by moose had started out well. Moose were not very populous in this region, so it might have been a chance of a lifetime for them. Jen either hadn’t been as far ahead of the hounds as she thought or they were better at tracking full speed than she’d given them credit for. She had a feeling, judging by how fast they were chasing her, that the later was the case.
One last flying leap got her to relative safely of the lower branches of a stout old cottonwood tree no more than a tail’s length ahead of the pups. Just as she managed to scamper up another level, one of them- probably the rambunctious jumper from earlier- nipped way too close to her tail. Jen yowled her outrage, hoping the eerie scream would make them back off the way it did for normal dogs. No such luck, though she did seem to be above the Olympian’s lunging range now. She turned and growled down at the pair just in time to see the most incredible sight of her life!
A large snowy owl dive-bombed the pair! The Olympian ducked but continued leaping at her. The other pup, upon seeing the owl, sat down like he‘d been given some silent command. The owl circled back and this time, just as it came within range, shifted into the large male and tackled the Olympian jumper.
“Ayden, yield!” the adult commanded sharply. “Don’t you ever use your brain or do you simply act on impulse?” The pup looked up at the male, who was literally sitting on him, then went completely limp. As soon as the elder moved, though, he started lunging again. Jen felt a surge of electricity in the air, one that started to force her to change before she tightened her mental grip on her animal form. The pups, though, were forced to change. The one who’d been sitting quietly watching the other two was still squatting in a rather silly facsimile of a dog. The young instigator, though, was still struggling wildly. After several moments and a few attempts to shift despite the elder’s magic, he finally stopped struggling and looked pleadingly up at his captor.
“Just what did you think you were doing?” the large naked male rumbled. Jen couldn’t quite place his accent. He sounded vaguely British but not quite. He definitely had a fine bod, whatever he was. Broad shoulders and a heavily muscled chest, as one might expect of a flying shifter. Narrow waist, long legs, also well-muscled but sleek. Tush of a Greek god. Long wavy dark hair. A-hem. It hadn’t taken long to get over her annoyance once the pups were under control, not with a view like that, anyway.
“She’s a human,” the sitting pup replied vacantly. Jen blinked, nonplused. Um, ok.
“Very good, Shainnon.” the elder said, glancing at him. He shook the rambunctious one and asked, “How did he know that?”
“She smells faintly of human and blood and death,” the cub answered woodenly, his tone implying he thought it obvious.
Jen took a few sample sniffs of herself, but found nothing odd. She looked back at the group and noticed the odd child was watching her, noting her reaction to the conversation words. He said nothing, though, just started crawling around on his hands and knees sniffing the ground and tree trunk. What a very odd child.
“What kind of death and blood?” the elder quizzed the impetuous pup, almost sounding bored, like they‘d gone through this a time or two. His question seemed to catch the pup off guard.
“What do you mean, what kind of death? There’s only one kind, isn’t there?” the pup asked, sounding confused. The elder sighed his frustration. Jen’s eyes were drawn away from the anticks of the odd child. Damn, that man, er, bird had a nice chest! As she watched, he released the pup he’d been holding and crossed his arms, making the muscles of his upper body dance in a most delicious way. It wasn’t her mouth that began watering at the sight, though.
“Sentient deaths have a different smell than base creature deaths, Ayden. Surly you’re old enough to know this. So, what kind of death? What kind of blood?”
“Rabbit blood,” the odd one answered off-handedly, trying to scratch his ear with his left foot. “We probably interrupted her dinner.”
“Shainnon, you are in base form. Use your hand to scratch that itch, please.”
Jen chuffed her amusement, her animal form’s version of a laugh. That Shainnon was an amusing little goof. The one called Ayden was probably a good pup when he was calm, she imagined, but he hadn’t impressed her with his intellect. She watched their guardian as he tried to turn this into a learning experience. Jen was fine with being the subject of the lesson so long as she got to look her fill at the big one. If her teachers in school had looked like that, she might have done better in school.
The scent of warm feathers and rich musk filled her nose, luring her away from the trio to find its source. Ok, she knew the source—the big male. But this smell wasn’t coming from him. After he’d gotten his point through the ruffian’s head that she wasn’t something to chase or attack, he’d made the pups apologize to her then dragged them by the ears—literally—back up the game trail, collecting bits of their discarded clothing along the way. The male—Caid, the pups called him—hadn’t been able to find his shirt. Jen, following them back up the trail, had just found it.
She buried her nose in the soft fabric of the tee shirt, letting his scent roll over her senses like liquid heat. To her pleasure, Jen could detect no female on his clothing, only him. She purred deep in her chest as visions of Caid naked under the stars danced in her memory. No female scent of his cloths meant no female in his life. She picked up the garment in her mouth and turned to continue following the trio back to their camp site. Sooner or later those scamps were going to fall asleep. Then she could take the shirt back to its sexy owner. What a perfect excuse to introduce herself to him!