Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I don’t care. Give me fangs.
Tuesday, yowls and howls, shapeshifter lovers. Writing today’s flash was like flying on a wing and a prayer... only there are no winged beasties and no official prayers included... and now there’s no real ending... apologies to one and all. Still, I hope you enjoy.
“I’m a total fangbanger.” The scantily clad young woman’s squeeing voice cut through the coffee shop crowd, drawing glances from several of Talbot’s Peak, Montana’s supernatural residents.
“Oh, yeah... me, too! Vampire, werewolf, big cat shapeshifter, I don’t care. Give me fangs.” Her friend’s voice trilled with barely contained lust above the clatter of spoons in real mugs, and the after-work conversations.
Both of the twenty-somethings giggled like naughty schoolgirls, then wriggled in their best imitation of a porno queen. Their breasts bounced and their hips shook as they stood on tiptoe, scanning the crowd.
Desiree mentally shook her head, watching their faces positively glisten, as if the vampire-werewolf-big cat shifter of their dreams would suddenly rise up, stride toward them like a demon-possessed alpha, and carry them off for days of the most decadent and indescribable pleasures.
Recently, Desiree had witnessed all too many of these scenes during her investigations for the vampire detective agency, where she’d worked for the last five years. Happily worked, to her utter surprise. They’d hired her after she’d been dumped/laid off by the big city newspaper, despite her numerous awards for criminal investigative journalism. Yeah, just before her full retirement benefits would have kicked in.
For reasons Desiree hadn’t comprehended at first, the two vamp owners wanted a human detective. Once she’d gotten past the staggering shock of who and what they were -- Han and Brent hadn’t been shy about demonstrating their fangs or their supernatural abilities -- Desiree had soon realized that as a mere human she was often ignored in the world of Supernatural Beings, and could operate with covert effectiveness.
“Blame the underground club circuit.” Marshall Slade Winchester, bastard great grandson of ‘the’ Winchester, according to Desiree’s deep investigation, rumbled the words only for her hearing. Setting his mug down, he faced her as if they were intimately speaking. “Word’s been getting out this town is a Mecca for paranormal creatures. There’s a popular band called Entice the Moon.” Damn, if his blue-gray eyes weren’t as penetrating as how she’d imagined an Old West Marshall’s would be. “Their songs are mostly about shapeshifters and vampires in Talbot’s Peak.”
Averting her gaze, Desiree picked up her caffé latte, and sipped. Good god, that’s all she needed. A crush on a man who was likely some type of Supernatural, even given his human ancestry. She’d been paired up with him for this assignment, and that was enough to clue her in.
“Yeah, I know the band. They’re all shifters. The Beatles meet the Wolfman on an acid trip.” At his sideways glance, Desiree added, “Old fogie here. Remember? I can’t keep up with the current crop of musicians. So far, I haven’t found out what shifter breeds they are -- if they’re even wolves. Where they originally came from is still a mystery.” Desiree pointedly gazed in the direction of the breast-jiggling babes. “Looks like ‘the ladies’ are about to get some action.”
“Cliff and his younger brother, Garth. Know ‘em by reputation. The girls are safe enough. As in not ending up dinner, or being sexually violated.”
Desiree made a show of leaning closer to Slade. The Leopard shapeshifter they’d been tailing for the past several hours walked past them on his way out of the coffee shop. “Werewolves, aren’t they?”
“Yep, Cliff and Garth are werewolves and regulars at the Pleasure Club. Heard they like givin’ the human gals a thrill or two.”
“Pleasure Club?” Desiree raised a brow as Slade angled himself toward her.
“Showin’ is better’n tellin’.” He hesitated, a man not wanting to say his next words. “Got an in with the owner. We know each other from times past. Chances are that’s where our target is headin’ sooner or later.”
“Pleasure Club as in anything-goes sex?” Desiree asked, even though a thousand other questions clamored for her attention... like how did he know their target’s every move before the leopard shapeshifter made it... beyond psi-sensing, that is?
They’d been on the leopard shifter’s trail for over a week now. Her Vampire Detective Agency had been hired because the ‘cat burglar’ had stolen a Sumerian artefact reputed to possess magical powers. The interesting kicker, the wand-like artefact didn’t have any affect on humans, but only on certain types of Supernaturals. The other kicker, the client wanted to know the identity of the buyer more than the immediate return of the priceless artefact.
So, here they were -- the man who was sexier than any male had a right to be, the man she’d been forced to partner with for nearly a month now. He turned in his chair and faced her. His gaze bored into hers with an intensity she felt down to her curling toes.
“Almost anything-goes sex. Dante does have rules,” he rasped.
“The werewolf owner.” He paused, his eye shadowing. “I’ve made arrangements for a suite at the Pleasure Club.”
Desiree’s throat threatened to close up. She grabbed her glass of water and drank, then managed. “You’re that certain...that’s where he’ll go next?”
“Have I been wrong yet?”
Jerking his gaze from her, Slade swooped up his Stetson. He settled it on his head with that subtle swagger of his that always got to her. Dammit!
Rising, he offered his arm as if they were on a date. Desiree forced herself to refocus, not so difficult, since she’d had a lifetime of practice... still, her hand trembled slightly as she gripped her purse, and stood.
“Our quarry is on the move,” Slade whispered in her ear, once her arm twined with his.
Intuitively sensing that herself, Desiree prepared herself for the next round in this game of following the perp. What she wasn’t prepared for was the ‘I want to kill you’ expression on the face of her ex from some twenty years ago. Balling his fists, Frank blocked the doorway.
Desiree inhaled sharply, and stopped in her tracks.
“Who’s that ugly bastard?” Slade growled.
A mistake, she almost answered. A colossal, stupid and very much regretted mistake.
“You look just like her,” Frank shouted like a pissed off gnome. “Who are you? Her daughter? She owes me money. Lots of it. And I want it.” Aggressively, he strode toward her. As he shoved past anyone in his way, his ruddy face turned to blotchy purple.
Having decided her best strategy was simply to ignore Frank, as if she owned no clue he was even addressing her, Desiree tightened her hold on Slade’s muscle-bound arm. She attempted to steer him around Frank’s path.
Slade didn’t budge. She felt him tense like a fighter. The next thing she knew, he drove a mean uppercut into Frank’s unsuspecting jaw. Some part of Desiree screamed with joy as she watched her ex crumple, then crash land onto a table quickly vacated by the couple who had been sitting there.
“Sorry for the disturbance, everyone. But I think he had it comin’. If someone will point me to the proprietor, I’ll pay for the damage and for coffee all around.”
“Yeah, he had it coming, alright,” a lovely young woman with blue hair walked toward them. “Someone call the paramedics, will ya?”
With his usual efficiency, Slade removed the money clip from his wad of cash and peeled off five of his hundred dollar bills. “That do it?” he asked in his charming, cowboy voice.
“Sure makes my day.” The blue haired woman smiled widely at both of them. “You two have a nice day.”
After a tip of his hat, Slade escorted Desiree from the coffee shop. Without a word, he seated her in their black, top of the line SUV. Once he was behind the wheel and driving them through Talbot’s Peak, he demanded, “Explain.”
Desiree rolled her eyes, even as her pent up frustration from years past surged over her like a damn tsunami. “You really want me to explain? Explain what precisely?”
“Start with who that bastard was.”
“My ex significant other. If you must know.” She paused, crossed her arms tightly, then snapped, “Thank you for knocking him on his fat, no good ass.”
Sweetheart! Well, if that didn’t just pick her up and toss her into the eye of a storm. Desiree stared out the side window seeing nothing.
“Ex, how long ago? And why didn’t he recognize you?” His words were bullets aimed right at her.
“Oh gosh... gee... oh, golly,” Desiree sarcastically drawled. “Let me see now... I think it was about twenty-one years ago,” she spit out the last of her words fast. “Uh... we’re headed out of town.”
“The Pleasure Club isn’t in Talbot’s Peak proper. Twenty-one years ago?”
“Yes, that’s right. If you must know one of my boss’s decided he’d give me a little vampire injection. As a thank you bonus. It was just enough to...to do the ageless thing.”
“I thought so. You are so dang beautiful... I knew you weren’t turned...” About to say more, Slade clamped his mouth shut, and Desiree watched the muscles of his jaws work.
God in heaven, what now? Evidently, she wasn’t the only one with desire burning her up so bad she lay awake for far too long. It’d been a good thing there hadn’t been much time for sleeping as they’d tracked the leopard shifter across the country.
Afraid anything she might say would only inflame the situation, Desiree let the silence continue, and did her best to think. Disjointed was the best she could do. That, and memorize the few road signs and the fewer landmarks they passed.
“When this assignment is over,” he began. But, his words hung in the air between them.
“Over,” she softly spoke moments later. Good gosh, her bottom lip was getting sore from biting on it for so long now.
“You don’t know what kind of Supernatural I am, do you?" Several heartbeats later, she heard, "I’ll tell you afterward, sweetheart.”
Recalling the slang term used by scantily clad twenty-something... as if it had suddenly dropped inside her head, Desiree asked, “Will I be a fangbanger?”
His deep laugh filled the SUV like lazily rolling thunder.
Have a Magickal Shapeshifting Week!
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~