Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers, and Happy Sun in Pisces.
From Astrology.com ~ "A new Moon in Pisces on February 21 inspires us to break through the fog of illusion and embrace a unique opportunity to turn fantasies into reality."
With that in mind, this week I am treating you, hopefully! it will be a treat, to a 'rough draft' of the latest chapter from my WIP ~ HER MIDNIGHT STARDUST COWBOYS.
This part of my first ShapeShifter Seductions' erotic romance, is Indiana Jones inspired. As well, Dontoya's ancient American Indian heritage is featured. And, of course, the strength of his inner black cougar shows up.
As a bit of a set up, Dontoya realizes to protect Sherilyn from her enemies, he needs to have the same mental connection with her as Zance, his partner, does. For that, he must retrieve the Ring of Union, as it was called in the ancient times by his tribe. However, the ring is actually an advanced technology that has been lost to most of humanity.
The challenge: the ring is located deep inside his family's home during the Great Deluge. The fifty mile stretch of cave tunnels and immense caverns is in the Grand Canyon, an area currently off limits to tourists, and guarded by private corporation mercenaries. Not only that, a group of his original tribe separated themselves, remaining in their family's caves. To keep themselves hidden, they will kill anyone who intrudes.
Chapter Twenty-Seven ~ Swallowed Him Like a Great Serpent
Almost upon him, the enemy braves mind-hurled their large silver blades, tipped with rattlesnake venom. Dontoya slowed abruptly, then spun imitating a cyclone. The energy field he flung around himself simultaneously, caused the six knives to swerve and miss.
Rattlesnake Spirit had warned him, looming before his mind's eye briefly.
With another Tasmanian-devil spin, as Zance called his ability, Dontoya launched inside the secondary tunnel, a natural part of the cave system. Too late, he realized all the traps had been activated because the Pruezi invaders had attempted to gain entry, but failed.
Since the four traps were located closer to the palatial cavern, Dontoya raced forward, once again relying on his cougar sight. With the luminescence of the main tunnel fading, the inky darkness enveloped him.
Odors swamped Dontoya's nostrils telling him the eco-system of the cave remained vital. Also, nearly seven months ago one of his cousins had walked the tunnel on a learning journey.
His training took over, and a layout of the three mile, gently snaking tunnel appeared before his mind's eye. With each trap clearly defined, he would be able to rapidly switch off the mechanism and transmute the magick. Or, if that wasn't possible, he could use his skills to escape. So, he hoped.
Pacing himself for the long run, Dontoya listened for the pursuit of the six braves, but their footfalls could not be heard. If they weren't chasing after him, then...
His gut roiled and tightened, a sure signal that something more dangerous lay ahead. With his gaze cutting through the darkness, Dontoya saw the first glyph, as depicted on the map inside his mind. The code was a warning to the members of his family about the trap ahead.
Dontoya shielded himself from the energy of the ensnaring curse, then focused on the trap meant to cage an intruder, and seal off further entry into the tunnel. He shot a mental beam at the mechanism, delaying the trigger just long enough. Behind him two sets of old-fashioned bars spiked downward.
Preparing for the next trap, Dontoya shouldered his rifle, and lengthened his racing stride. He heard the stone slabs begin to slide apart.
When an oppressive weight landed on him, Dontoya created etheric wings to defeat the attack of this curse. Mentally lifting himself, he leaped over the widening, nearly six foot gap.
Landing on the other side, far from the edge, he swiftly regained his speed. Had he missed, he would be plummeting into a stone prison, and the water would be rising quickly.
The next trap he faced was a holo field, an advanced technology that held an enemy in suspension, and manifested his worst fears repeatedly. Screaming, then begging for mercy were the end result. That, and eventual insanity.
Dontoya knew the trick to sailing through the field. He'd practiced enough times under the direction of his father. Blanking his mind, he waited until he observed the field's wavering glimmer.
Sherilyn, he spoke silently as he ran toward it, his stride easy and rhythmic.
Dontoya immersed himself in his memory of her, and felt the unique glow of his mate's spirit. As the subtle drag of the field touched his face, he closed his eyes.
At that instant he relived his orgasm with her. An inferno of pleasure smoldered through him. He felt as if the power of the sun moved through him again and again, just as it had before.
Too soon, Dontoya became aware he had emerged on the other side of the field, and now ran in an area of the tunnel that inclined upward. His footfalls slipped on the moister surface, so he lessened his pace.
In the same moments, the faint stench of bat guano from a colony located in another section of the cave sharpened his senses again. His warrior's focus returned full force.
The final trap would blast a trumpeting sound, the frequencies designed to bring an enemy to his knees. If that failed, a vibrational weapon would deploy, searing the interloper's nerves.
To overcome this agony, and move through the disabling sound, Dontoya knew he needed to lighten the weight of his body as he did when levitating. His imagined wings would not carry him this time. His challenge was that he rarely practiced this particular spiritual art, not having any real use for it in his current rancher's life.
Regret at not having done so, would not serve him now, he drily reminded himself. Instead, he thought of Sherilyn, the beautiful mate he and Zance had waited for, and sought for more years than either one them cared to count.
Ruthless determination seized Dontoya. His cougar claws and fangs nearly erupted, and his ferocious desire for her scorched his blood with the need to conquer anything or anyone.
With his heart drumming for his mate, Dontoya sensed for the next action of his enemies. As warrior, he psi-felt no immediate threat so he eased his pace, comfortably jogging.
Despite his physical exertion, Dontoya concentrated on slowing his breaths. To defeat the ancient-technology trap, he had to become invincible in a different way by using his inner strength.
Altering his mind-set to one of universal peace, he mentally hummed until he vibrated. Once in tune with the One Great Spirit, Dontoya prayerfully offered up his flesh, and seconds later, he felt his strides lengthen and float. His boot moccasins barely touched the cave floor.
Making certain he maintained his internal hum, Dontoya pierced the darkness with his cougar gaze seeking the glyph that would warn him of the trap. As he glimpsed it, another warning punched the pit of his stomach hard, and he was jerked off stride.
Someone had breached the sanctity of the cavern, but only the first entryway.
Deliberately locking away that 'knowing' for now, Dontoya regained his oneness with Spirit. Using every ounce of his shamanic discipline, he summoned the lightness of his body, and once again the sensation of floating claimed him.
Even to his gaze, the last trap would be invisible. His only clue would be the distance traveled as the glyph's code signaled.
Dontoya fought to keep his breaths slow and sacred, in time with the spin of the universe. Yet he knew...
The trap's frequencies grabbed for him. There was no sound of trumpeting, but the electro-magnetic crackle that surrounded him hissed like a cave-full of angry snakes.
As if flames licked at his entire body, his skin burned. Still, Dontoya launched himself upward. He flew into the void suddenly yawning before him, and the trap swallowed him like a great serpent.
Transcending the needles of pain being driven into his flesh, Dontoya raised his frequency, entering cosmic consciousness, as his new-age friends called it.
Finally spit out, he landed on his knees. He struggled to rise, but air left his lung in huge gasps. With his energies now depleted, he fell forward. The obsidian blade he still carried cut into his palm drawing blood.
The coppery smell enraged the cougar, and Dontoya surged to his feet. The savage spirit of his cat ran for him, and he sprinted toward the cavern's entrance, toward the enemy who waited upon his arrival.
With his heart pounding like a war drum, with his desire for Sherilyn igniting his blood to lightning, Dontoya swung his rifle into position. On silent feet, he charged around the tunnel's long sinuous curve.
~ Have a Magickal Shapeshifting Week ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~