Painting: Late Night Encounter
Toronto based artist Shawn Pascuttini (firstname.lastname@example.org) shares this painting he created while listening to Coast to Coast.
Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
First, apologies to everyone. I had planned to continue last week's flash scene, Someday My Wolf Prince Will Come.
However, fate and my muse intervened. Enter, the Mutant Werewolves. One is pictured above and was discovered hiding in plain sight on the COAST TO COAST AM website.
Yes, Damien Hancock, the powerful werewolf alpha responsible for taking over the town of Talbot's Peak, has a new unholy pack he's hired. Not only is Damien planning some realistic Halloween mischief... not only is he planning on 'disappearing' his enemies... but, for the rest of story -- so far -- keep on reading.
From the Kougar’s Writing Den ~
Her Midnight Stardust Cowboys
'Unedited' Chapter Sixty-six ~
"Dang it, pard, we're in Mayor Link's sights. What does that chimp shifter want now? We don't live in Talbot's Peak proper. And I ain't endorsin' him no how. Not over Vernon, one of my own wolf kind."
From the corner of his eye, Zance saw Sherilyn quickly glance in Lance Link's direction. "I thought he and Dolly were splitsville. Although, I didn't pay much attention to all the talk at the coffee shop, because who really cares?"
"Downright entertaining, their temporary breakup, if you like slapstick." Dontoya chuckled in his rumbly way. "Me and Zance happened onto the scene."
"I'm headin' the Mayor off at the pass, pard. Why don't you seat our mate, and I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail."
"Countin' on it, pardner."
Zance paused only long enough to see Dontoya take hold of Sherilyn's elbow to assist her up the steps to their table. Guldurn it, her shapely figure encased in that glamorous, slinky gown nearly knocked his eyeballs out.
She was the most gorgeous woman ever created, and Zance mentally thanked the Goddess Moon that his wolf juice had saved her that fateful day, and now ran in her veins forever.
Most important though, Sherilyn belonged to him and Dontoya. Even more important by his reckoning, her heart embraced them both.
Zance strode through the burgeoning festive crowd, meeting Mayor Link and Mrs. Link near the edge of the highly polished dance floor.
"Happy new year, Lance. And, Dolly, don't you just shine this evening, beautiful and lovely as the full moon."
After giving him an audacious wink, Dolly presented her gloved hand, so heavy with the weight of her gemstone-loaded rings, Zance had to wonder if this had been Mayor Link's way of paying for his sexual transgressions.
He pressed a kiss on the top of her hand in an old-fashioned tribute to her womanhood. Dolly excused herself then, and departed with a rustle of her stiff satin skirts.
"Something I can do for you, Mayor?" Zance covertly studied Link's expression, but he'd put on his poker face.
"It's what I can do for you and Dontoya. What I have done to be precise." Link's large dark eyes remained inscrutable.
"Mayor, I ain't too good at playing these kind of politico games. If you got something to say, spit it out."
Link rocked back on his heels, and with confidence oozing out of his pores, he hooked his thumb in his waistcoat pocket. "I understand via the grapevine your mate Sherilyn Wingate, isn't it -- was struck with deadly force, and you came to her rescue."
"That's right. Both me and Dontoya." Zance gave Link his one-eyed stare, and waited.
"Can you identify who was behind the wheel?" The Mayor raised a bushy brow, his gaze bright in that alpha way of chimps.
"Nope. Not which one was drivin'. Only know who the truck belongs to, and saw who was in the passenger seat."
"I've got one of the Brady boys sitting in the pokey right now. Seems as though he confessed to swiping Ms. Wingate's pickup."
Reflexively, Zance stepped into his gunslinger's stance. "When?"
"Last night, during a drinking binge."
"Know I saw Tom Brady through the passenger window. Smelled him too."
The Mayor gave a slight nod of his head. "I'll have Tom Brady brought in for questioning on your say so. If the Sheriff gets something out of him, I'll need you to testify. You and Dontoya, if he saw the same. Agreed?"
"Yep. You and the Sheriff get the goods, and me and Dontoya will play it that way. Let justice take its course." On second thought, Zance added, "Won't be able to testify about how I saved Sherilyn, though."
"Nothing in the public record. Understood. We'll work out the details beforehand."
"And?" Zance asked at Link's telltale hesitation.
"Some of us in Talbot's Peak want to keep the town friendly for both shifters and humans. To put it in plain terms, I need backup."
"I got no problem with that."
"Figured as much. To my knowing, you and Dontoya have never been anti-social to any species." Link rocked back, his expression turning grave. "Got the word today that Damien Hancock is in a howling rage over how Talbot's Peak is changing -- all the newcomers, but mostly anyone with human blood."
"Yep, ole bloody-tooth Damien has gotten too big for his werewolf britches. Ever since he and his pack took over The Peak and nearly made Miss Kitty roadkill. What's 'he thinks he's the king of mountain' up to?"
"Damien and his top lieutenants are planning terror raids. Got that from a reliable source. But," Link's ears twitched, a sign of his nervousness, "rumor has it he's hiring mercenaries, a mutant werewolf pack."
Zance chilled with 'psi-knowing', and his hackles raised painfully. "Mutants?"
"According to Sergei they look like a cross between a Hollywood werewolf mated to one of those cryptid goat suckers."
Mayor Link nodded as if they were only discussing the weather.
"Did Sergei say if his tiger Yakuza boss, Shere Khan, knows anything about these werewolf mutants?"
Lance cracked half a smile. "Sergei said when he reported his sighting, Shere Khan made some Confucius type of joke about summoning the Teenage Mutant Turtles."
"Well hell, grease yer guns, cowpokes. Ain't nothing like a Yakuza varmint with a sense of humor." Zance shook his head at what he was learning.
"Shere Khan has taken his claws out of our fair town for now. Thanks to you and others. But, he's sitting pretty like a fat tick on a lazy bloodhound, just biding his time."
"I reckon that's true." With his thoughts racing, Zance asked, "Talk to Dante about his sire's nefarious plans?"
"No, not yet. Why spoil Dante's grand opening of the supperclub?" Lance glanced around. "A world-class achievement. Me and the misses call it hoop-di-doo elegant."
"World-class is damn right. I ain't been in these razzle-dazzle surroundings for quite a span of time." Zance shot his gaze toward Dante briefly, having caught his scent. He and his lovely Kitty were moony-faced gazing at each other. "Yeah, why spoil his romantic evening? It'll hold."
"Good evening, White Fang, Ms. Pasha. Happy New Year," Mayor Link intoned in his official, I'm-your-friend voice.
"Happy New Year, Mayor, Zance." The super wolf and his cat goddess paramour echoed each other's words.
"You two boys are looking particularly serious," White Fang continued. "Something I need to know about?"
"Are you here with your reporter's hat on?" Lance demanded, his tenor still oily with friendliness.
Zance watched White Fang's small grin form. "It's off for this evening, Mayor. But, don't tell Nick. I have him fooled into believing I'm always investigating the next story."
Mayor Link rolled his eyes to the left, but didn't move his head. "Nick's already eyeballing us from clear across that half-a-football-field sized dance floor." Lance's brow wrinkled like a chimp as he whispered, "And with his extra sharp hearing..."
When the Mayor's words faded, White Fang's deep blue eyes subtly twinkled with humor. "Nick's werewolf nose for news is telling him, 'Flash! Front-page headline'. Quickly followed by 'every copy sold'."
"No worries, gentlemen." Pasha slinked closer to White Fang, resting her hip against him. "Ziva has Nick by the collar, and she's whispering naughty promises in his ear." She spoke in her slow sultry voice, the one that always riled Zance to hot and ready.
But no more. That was reserved for Sherilyn.
"You're surely right, Ms. Pasha." Zance gave her a wink. "Nick is followin' Ziva now, and lookin' like a stud on a short leash."
"Like I was telling Zance, rumor is..." Mayor Link began.
"Tell you what, fellas, Ms. Pasha," Zance interrupted. "I'm itchy as a flea-bitten mutt to get back to my mate. Mayor, me and Dontoya will back you up. White Fang, ole buddy, we'll be attendin' the get-ready meetings like always."
"Congratulations to you and Dontoya on being mated," White Fang offered, his tone genuine.
"Yes, congratulations, and blessed be your union." Pasha glowed, and with his psi-eyes, Zance observed her golden essence whirl, then surround him.
He gave her a slight nod of thanks.
"Your mate, she is Ubarion, is she not?" Pasha smiled, the Egyptian cat goddess who captured any canary she wanted.
Zance answered with a lopsided grin. Figuring the Ubarion cat was now out the bag anyway, and a cat goddess would know the truth, he drawled, "Close enough, Ms. Pasha. But we're keeping it under our hats."
"Of course," Pasha met his gaze squarely, and Zance witnessed the strength of her sacred force. "I will not speak of it. However, if your mate would care to know more about her heritage, I will happily speak with her."
"Enjoy the evenin'." Zance spun on his heel, and like an eagerly panting stud, he strode toward Sherilyn.
Why should Donny-cat get her exclusive company tonight of all nights? Mentally growling, Zance quickened his pace to a near trot.
Dammit! What did that beta, Mooney, want? Zance curled his lips in a silent snarl as Mooney waved him over, then moved like a linebacker to intercept him.
Was the beta werewolf sniffin' for a story? Could be, since Mooney and Nick, the editor of the G&B Gazette, were brothers, and the beta had been the newspaper's sports writer.
Zance couldn't recall if the siblings were still on the fang-ripping outs with each other. Not wanting to make a stir at the supperclub, he reluctantly slowed his steps.
Where was Mooney's dang, good-looking little mate with the blue hair? Marissa, that was her name. Yep, that sweet human witch surely kept Mooney on love's leash.
Zance took advantage when a passing waiter presented a tray holding glasses of bourbon straight up. At least, his usual good luck showed, and right on time, even if he was missin' time with his precious Sherilyn.
Waiting for Mooney to charge through a group of vampires, dressed impeccably in tuxedos, Zance took a healthy swallow. He savored the mellow tempest of flavors as the bourbon slid down his throat.
That was Dante for ya. Always the best whenever he could get his paws on it.
"Reach for the ceiling," Zance muttered about his eyebrows as they raised high. The werewolf's playboy-handsome mug was contorted by an urgent expression, and his eyes shone darker than normal.
"What's stickin' between your fangs, Mooney ole son?"
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~