Tuesday, October 18, 2011
‘Bring Your Own Wolf’ Costume Party
Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
We’re planning some spooky shifter flash-fun for the week proceeding Halloween. Plus, we’re participating in the Ripped Roaring Halloween Hop.
‘Bring Your Own Wolf’ Costume Party
With her head pounding from a nerve-wracking day at her rotten stupid job as a bank teller... with her stomach growling and pressed against her spine because she’d skipped lunch to license her junker of a car, then pick up her Little Red Riding Hood costume for tonight’s Halloween party... Sapphyra jogged toward the entrance of the shop that sold stuffed animals, many of them realistic looking. That is, before it closed, only minutes away.
“Oh, hell, no,” she burst out. Both anger and impending doom rattled her insides as she glimpsed Helen’s silver Porsche parked nearby.
Rushing inside, a woman on a mission, Sapphyra headed toward the back of the shop where he was. Her wolf. Her beautiful stuffed Timber Wolf with the realistic face and the eyes that seemed to speak to her. For the last two months, she’d saved every darn penny, nickel, and dime to pay for him. She’d given up Starbuck’s coffee.
Now! that super-rich, *I eat everything off a silver spoon* Helen held him under her arm. With the scene unfolding in front of her like a horror movie, Sapphyra came to an abrupt halt. She watched as blonde-perfect-thin Helen reach inside her designer purse and took out credit card case.
She wouldn’t even give him a good home. Sapphyra knew it. Likely he’d be costume decoration for tonight’s ‘Bring Your Own Wolf’ party, then tossed aside like a used snotty tissue.
It was over. So over. Feeling nauseous, about to faint, Sapphyra clenched her eyelids and hoped she didn’t embarrass herself by suddenly collapsing onto the floor.
“Oh, hi, Sapphyra, I didn’t see you come in.” Helen paused. “Is something wrong?”
Managing to unglue her eyes, Sapphyra automatically smiled... after all, she was trained in customer service. Given there was a glimmer of actual concern in Helen’s blue-as-a-mountain-lake eyes, Sapphyra offered, “Long day at the bank. I’m afraid I missed lunch. Looks like you’ll be going to the Wolfsen’s Halloween party.”
“I wouldn’t miss it.” Helen positively glowed, a woman wearing her heart on her sleeve. That much was obvious. “I have my eye on Chet. He’s a real working hunk of a cowboy, in line to take over the Wolfsen ranch... I... well, I hope to catch his eye. So far, he’s paid me no mind at all.”
“Chet is a hunk. I know he’s been uber busy running the ranch, and establishing their new buffalo herd.” Damn her soft heart! Here she was being nice to the woman who had stolen her stuffed wolf. Sapphyra didn’t dare look at Mr. Right Wolf. Likely she’d start bawling, break down like a kid, the tears streaming down her face. Likely she’d snatch him and run.
“That’s right. You must see Chet when he comes to the bank. Oh,” Helen’s hand touched her cheek gracefully, “but I’m keeping you, aren’t I? Doris wants to close up. And I bet you have a good dinner waiting.” Helen beamed a smile. “See you later tonight. Midnight, the witching hour, my pretty,” she whispered like Glinda the good witch imitating the Wicked Witch of the West.
“Later.” Sapphyra forced her lips to curve in a semblance of a smile, then listened as Helen daintily clicked toward the shop’s door.
“Sapphyra, dear, what can I do for you?” Doris approached her. “You know what, if you’re here for a party wolf, I have a couple of new ones in the backroom. Just delivered UPS today.”
In the midst of deflating like a balloon, Sapphyra straightened. She mustered up another smile, and nodded. “Love to see them. I already have a wonderful Little Red Riding costume. Now, I just need the right wolf.”
The right wolf trapped under Helen’s arm. Sapphyra scowled as Doris turned and moved toward her small backroom. At least, her beautiful wolf wasn’t caught in a trap and chewing off his foot, she thought morbidly.
“I bet you’ll look good enough to eat as Little Red Riding Hood.” Doris chuckled. “You know what. Do you remember that prediction you made for me at the school fair? Damn, if it didn’t come true last week.”
“How’s that?” Resigned to hearing that one more of her gypsy fortune-telling predictions had come true, Sapphyra watched Doris part the flaps of a large cardboard box, then dig through the Styrofoam peanuts. Just so sad, and too bad she couldn’t do the psychic thing for herself. Or come out of the mystic, woo-woo closet. But, her aunt was right. For the reasons she’d outlined, it remained too dangerous.
“My nephew rang to say he’d been accepted on an archeological dig in Egypt, and would be leaving immediately. He’s giving me all my sister’s furniture... just like you said. “Doris sniffled, her sadness breaking through.” Even though there wasn’t a will, I know she wanted me to have most of it. Now...” She swiped at her eyes with her sleeve.
“She did. You two were so close. Do you feel her presence?”
“I’ve had two dreams where we talk. Just like we used to. That’s good enough for me.” After giving her head a brisk shake, Doris pulled a plastic-wrapped wolf cub out of the box. “Isn’t he simply adorable?”
Son of Mr. Right Wolf, Sapphyra thought. But not her handsome timber wolf. “He is. Let me take him off your hands so you can close up.”
Minutes later, Sapphyra tucked the too-cute wolf cub under her arm, and walked rapidly toward her ex-boyfriend’s house -- a few blocks away. He’d promised to let her use his big honkin’ pickup truck since she didn’t trust her junker to make it out to Wolfsen ranch, some thirty-five miles out of town.
Having discovered they made better friends than lovers, they’d decided to stay friends despite the several rocky months after their breakup. With dusk falling fast, Sapphyra didn’t see Chris’s new dog, a stray he’d rescued a few weeks ago. Not until the dog’s eyes suddenly blazed through the dimming light like twin golden flames.
Sapphyra’s breath caught in her throat and her heart skipped a beat at the feral wildness she witnessed. So far, though, the dog had been unusually friendly to her.
“Bruno,” she called softly as he politely sat close to the chain link fence that enclosed the backyard. Moving toward him, she offered her hand.
Bruno buried his muzzle in her palm, his wet nose a welcoming kiss. An instant later, as Sapphyra cooed to him, the idea struck full force. “You look like a wolf... why not?”
Intelligence gleamed in the depths of his eyes as Bruno looked at her, slightly cocking his head.
“Want to go to a Halloween party, handsome? “It’s “Bring Your Own Wolf” and you fit that to a T... or is that T-Bone? How about it? There’s a T-Bone steak in it for you, if you behave.”
Zovier, third prince of the Avalon realm, Istracon, remained in the deep shadow observing the approach of the woman, Sapphyra. The moment he’d caught a whiff of her feminine-luscious scent, then seen her, Zovier had wanted her fiercely.
She stirred his loins to a wicked need. No surprise to him. She was a star witch, her lineage from a celestial race once stranded on Earth -- until they could create a portal, and leave. He’d always possessed a man’s weakness for their favors.
With a silent growl, Zovier cursed the curse he remained beneath -- the one that caused him to stay trapped in his wolf form. Being only a beast, he couldn’t return to Istracon. He’d made the arrogant mistake of not watching his magickal back after enraging a sorceress by refusing to be her lover.
With her hand cradling his muzzle, Zovier savored Sapphyra’s sweetfire fragrances. He longed to tell her she haunted his thoughts every moment of every long day of his entrapment in this dense, spiritually corrupt dimension.
So far, he’d failed. She’d resisted all of his attempts to mind communicate with her.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK...
Have a Magickal Shapeshifting Sunday!
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~