Tuesday, Almost Full Moon, yowls and howls, shapeshifter lovers.
Some good news on the author front. I'm about to *finally* finish my WIP ~ Her Midnight Stardust Cowboys ~ Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of days. Then, it will be all about editing and revision. That could take some time since my word count is around 90,000.
So, today's flash scene follows Pat's scene from yesterday. I, and my muse, couldn't pass up the challenge of giving Ravi some very well deserved punishment.
Further note: The hero, Zoronado, and his heroine, Sharla, star in these two previous flash scenes.
Zoronado, Black Stallion Shapeshifter & Plastic rapier in hand, she approached the door.
The Black Stallion Versus the Yakuza Tiger
Sharla gripped the black stallion with her thighs as he leaped into a gallop, a rocking stride that felt all too delicious. While she appreciated his gentle manner, especially since she rode bareback, Sharla craved Zoronado's racing speed beneath her.
So far, on their few outings, the stallion shapeshifter had merely tested her ability as a rider, and schooled her on how to handle him. Sharla wanted more. Wildly, fiercely desired so much more.
Leaning forward, she shouted against the wind, "You can do better than this."
Zoronado's ear flicked back, and he gathered himself, increasing the length and swiftness of his stride. The scenic forest trail they enjoyed was so well traveled, it had been cleared of snow.
'Your chiding tone, my beloved, is heard.'
Sharla laughed happily at Zoronado's oh-so gallant manner with her. It had taken time to understand this was his natural way of being. That his seductive role as her Zorro lover at the Pleasure Club -- while a role -- had not been out of character for him.
With the icy wind stinging her cheeks, Sharla leaned over his neck so her face was shielded. Zoronado's silky thick mane slapped her face instead, and Sharla soared with the sensation of being astride him.
The furious scream of a horse in pain caused Sharla to pull back on the reins before she thought. Zoronado had already abruptly slowed, and now halted in his tracks.
Sharla stared in disbelief at the sight before her. In the distance, a crazed horse and rider barreled toward them. Zoronado danced to the side of the trail in an obvious move to protect her.
As they pounded closer, Sharla could see the lathered horse also foamed at the mouth. She had no trouble seeing his eyes, enormous with fright and rage.
"Omygawd." Everything inside her wanted to help, wanted to stop the cruelty she witnessed. But how?
'Dismount, my Sharla. I will attend to this barbarian.'
Before Zoronado finished speaking, Sharla launched off his back. Automatically, she moved backward, and pressed against the tall pine tree closest to her.
After shaking his bridle off, Zoronado charged forward with amazing power, his hindquarters driving him. With her breath lodged in her throat, Sharla watched the scene unfold, and reflexively gripped the hilt of his sword.
Caught between worrying and silently cheering Zoronado on, she waded through the snow, following after him. Gaining the trail, Sharla grabbed breaths, and watched her magnificent black stallion gallop straight toward the horse and rider as if they played a game of 'chicken'.
About to scream, Sharla slammed her mouth shut. The freaked-out horse jumped to the side, and in the same instant, Zoronado snaked his neck. Whoever the rider was, his whip viciously lashed out at her black stallion's head.
"No!" Sharla shouted furiously, as she ran.
But she could have saved her breath. Zoronado clamped down on the man's upper arm, and lifted him straight up before flinging him off his horse, and into a deep bank of snow.
Wheeling around, her black stallion lowered his head. With his ears flattened and his teeth bared, he moved to attack.
Seeing the man suddenly morph into a deadly tiger, Sharla halted. In shock, she let the scream surging up her throat have its way. The shrillness echoed through the wintry air.
With split-second speed, wicked claws sliced at Zoronado, missing his jugular vein by mere inches. He whirled, his back hooves flying. Thud...thud...thud! Against the tiger's jaw. Against the beast's shoulder blade. Then a direct hit on his ribcage.
Rolling, the tiger leaped to his feet, pure snarling fury. The striped beast charged, all rippling muscle and terrible power. On instinct, Sharla drew the blade out of its scabbard, even as she watched the tiger launch for Zoronado's back, its jaws open, ready to snap shut.
Before her mind's eyes, Sharla saw the killing grip of his fangs. "No," burst out of her, and became mist.
Twisting and bucking, Zoronado positioned himself so the enormous beast landed harmlessly against his side. The impact threw the tiger a few feet away.
In the following minutes of horror, Sharla stood helplessly, watching the savage fight take place. With the whirling snow spray, and the incredible speed of the battle, she couldn't tell who was winning.
Her heart dropped to her stomach, and she leaned on the sword as if it was a crutch. Another moment later, everything stopped. The striped beast lay on the trail, dead to the world, but not dead -- his breath steamed from his nostrils.
With his sides heaving, Zoronado walked toward her. The horse, a gray -- now that she could see his color instead of lather -- followed behind him.
The sight of blood streaking his coat had Sharla running to meet her brave and daring black stallion. "Oh gawd, you're not hurt seriously, are you? Please...please, tell me you're not. That you're okay."
'Mere flesh wounds.'
Despite the jaunty tone of his mind-speak, Sharla heard Zoronado's exhaustion. She circled him, inspecting his hide closely.
"Flesh wounds?" she demanded, then gently smoothed her hands over a long jagged tear. Her unreliable healing ability kicked in, and his hide seamed together.
"Come on." Sharla took hold of his mane. "Let's get both of you home and taken care of."
'I must insist that you mount me, most beloved. It is too far for you to walk.'
"Insist all you want, I'm walking." Sharla glanced over her shoulder to make certain the gray still followed them. Looking haggard, but determined the horse kept pace with them.
Recalling Zoronado's words, she bent toward his ear, whispering, "If you insist, I will mount you...later."
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side...
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~