Saturday, June 30, 2012


Tomas rounded the bend and stopped.  Two more yards and he’d be home.  Months passed too quickly without family around to snuggle or even share an evening of childcare with.  Hell, he even missed making Tongson sneeze.  Tavia’s cryptic telepathic messages about the twins and their son left Tomas missing his family more than he cared to admit aloud.

“Home is where the heart is,” he sighed out loud.  “I know where mine is.  Up and around the bend.”  Mickey and Night Hawk’s unit was about to expand.  Their newest addition to the pack would arrive in early October.  Tomas loved the idea of a junior named after him leading his mothers and fathers by their hearts as well as his older brothers and sisters.  

Birds tweeted as he walked past.  They seemed to be calling welcome home or you again.  Tomas smiled.  How long had it been since he last morphed without reason or purpose?  Enjoyed the pleasure of being a cat with no other reason than to pussyfoot around and do the crazy things cats do.  Then there was the tomcat side of things too.  Sure Tavia would fuss and cuss, even shake a wing at him as she soared above the trees scolding him in her owlish way, and yet enjoying his pleasure at pleasing another female of his species for a small bit of time.

Yes, home is where his heart led him night after night, dream and dream while he was away.  Talbot’s Peak housed friends and foes alike.  Ms. Elly and Vernon’s upcoming nuptials defied the shifter’s purist credo.  Hell, most of the pair bonds any more did.    So friggin’ what!  Love didn’t observe strict rules or social dictates.

Tomas paused as he reached the knoll marking the start of their rise on the mountain range.  He could have shifted and traveled less arduously in his native animal format.  That would have taken longer and left him bereft of the gifts he brought with him.  Small in size, everyone would welcome them because they were given with and in love. 

 The handmade rattles for the children were blessed by Serge before he gave them to Tomas.  His handwritten note to Tongson touched Tomas’s heart in more ways than he realized until Serge hugged him as they parted at the end of the Peak’s Solstice celebration.  Tammie’s- the Peak’s newest citizen-quilt patches would keep Tavia and Mickey busy as summer waned and fall arrived.  The magic dust procured by Dante puzzled Tomas.  The old parchment, enclosed with the pouch, contained calligraphy even he didn’t know the origins of.  Tongson probably would.   Useful gifts for each.  The one he carried for himself was the album of souvenir photos of Shere Khan’s heirs and women at several of the town’s events over the many months he’d been away.  His mission paid off.  They knew more about their headstrong power-hungry enemy than he could even begin to surmise.  

Two more bends and a bit higher, home would be in sight.  His heart sang as a jaunty tune came to mind.  Tomas puckered his lips and whistled as he started the last yards home.

Happy Weekend Gang!  

Hope you're keeping cool and out of the many storms rolling through every where.  We at the spice homestead are doing good.  Remember to share a good book and story with your spice and loves.
I sure enjoy doing this!

Tomas's return to Anchorage hearlds a change in the balance of power in Talbot's Peak, maybe.  With Ms. Elly and Vernon's nuptials happening and the media knowing about the Peak's unusual citizens, who knows what will happen to Shere Khan's plans to dominate another section of the shape shifter universe.  Anyone care to take bets on the outcome?


Friday, June 29, 2012

Courtship Conundrum...

Pebble pond, so named for the soft and slippery rocks littering the edges of the sparkling water before descending into the deeper middle.  An overgrowth of trees and bushes allowed only a smattering of sunlight through.  This was the perfect place for a frog to soak in her daily vitamin D needs without being fired into a palm sized treat. 

Greely spied the perfect log a stone’s throw away, teeming with both natural and shifter frogs.  Her purpose in coming today was two-fold.  Yes, the sun would be nice, but also, she needed to break her dry streak and soon.  Months had gone by since she’d last taken a lover. Her last paramour had, in all honesty, been awful. 

He was still in love with his ex-girlfriend and spent the entire evening guilt-ridden for merely having dinner with another woman.  She’d figured sex would be a no go, but after a number of successive drinks, he’d made advances.  She should have turned him down, but that night she’d seen him, The Blacksmith, for the very first time.

Months of sexual inactivity added to the sheer perfection of the dark haired, glittery-eyed smith, led her to make a crucial mistake.  Never go home with a man still in love with someone else.  The sobbing started at the same time he’d finished which, sadly, was two minutes after he’d begun.  The rest of the night she’d spent sopping up his soggy, snotty mess.

Greely blamed herself.  She knew the dating rules, but intentionally dismissed them because of a pretty face on another man.  Karma, the cranky camel she lunched with, made sure to remind her of this mistake on a daily basis.

Greely blamed herself.  She knew the dating rules, but intentionally dismissed them because of a pretty face on another man.  Karma, the cranky camel she lunched with, made sure to remind her of this mistake on a daily basis.

Now here she was, back at the pond about to try again.  The chorus of croakers was loud tonight; everyone was looking for love, but as she drew close to the log all fell silent.  Natural frogs moved to different logs and the shifters moved back to the forest.  Even the big bull frog from the summer solstice, she figured for a sure thing, jumped into the water and swam to the other side of the pond.

Greely plopped herself on the log and waited, hoping someone would come back and take an interest in her.  The minutes grew long turning from ten to twenty and gave her a chance to ponder the odd assortment of items showing up on her doorstep over the last week. 

First to arrive, a rusty cup of sorts, filled with the glittery sands only found on Talbot’s Peak’s underground beach—odd, but kinda sweet.  The next day it was a perfectly smooth, very shiny bowl filled with small colorful candies.  They were her favorites, Everlasting Gobstoppers.  The list of odd, but sweet gifts continued until this morning when there was nothing sweet about the stinky, dirty black rock waiting for her.  

She’d figured this was the work of the purple fairy, but then dismissed it as no one else had received a surprise on their doorsteps.

Thirty minutes passed slowly on the log, wondering if someone here might be an admirer.  She’d never had one before, but thought it would be pretty okay if she did.  Finally a male shifter walked out from the forest on two legs with a very nice third nestled between them.  This could be working out very well. 

This man was good-looking and well formed.  He was no blacksmith, but then who could compare to that dreamy dragon.   She had to stop the useless fantasizing about him.  This evening was about finding another to help her get past the brain melting hunger she had for her unattainable desire and to possibly find her secret admirer. 


Oh heavens.  This was going better than she’s expected.  If he knew her name, he would clearly want to get to know her better and may have been the deliverer of her doorstep treasures.  Greely shifted, pasting a smile on her face even though bark dug into her ass and she longed for another.

“Um, hi.”  She smiled, naked and going for the sexiest eye twinkle she could manage.  “Sorry, I don’t know your name.”

His gaze immediately lowered away from her nudity.  “My name doesn’t matter.  You are no longer welcome at Pebble Pond.”

“No longer welcome…why?” Greely stood, mortification coloring her face.  She was the first to be banned from the pond and she didn’t know why.

“You have been marked as unacceptable.  Please leave.”

Oh god, could this get any worse?  Unacceptable, like she was diseased, dirty and undesirable.  “Who would mark me as such?”  She had to know.

“The Smith.”

There was no pleasure to be had at Pebble Pond only pain as she watched the good-looking man move back to the forest.  There was no secret love interest here for her, merely more embarrassment.

Greely swayed as she made her way back to the car.  The Blacksmith, the finest man she’d ever laid eyes on and her secret crush had marked her as unacceptable.

Was it any wonder she held the dubious title of Doomed Love Club Queen?


Erol reared back his long graceful neck and breathed fire down upon his forge. There was much to be made today, chains for the lusty shifters and horse shoes for the bloody humans.  He’d gotten behind in his work over the last week as he spent great amounts of time rummaging through his treasure looking for the perfect gifts for his soon to be queen.

“Do you really know what you’re doing, Erol?”

The pesky camel was getting on his nerves, but she was a friend to his mate so she would not be eaten.
Only she didn’t need to know that.  “Courtship has not changed that much over time so stop asking me that question, Karma.  Go now, before I toast you and have you for a snack."

She laughed like she knew some secret he did not.  “I’d only give you heartburn, slimy.”

How could Greely not come to him when she learned she’d been marked by his love…


May your courtships be winsome and wise!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Underdog To Save the Day, Starring White Fang

Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

Thank You! To everyone who stopped by during the Sexy Summer Blog Hop. And congratulations to all the winners.

So, yesterday I unexpectedly heard the lyrics of the theme song for Underdog, a Saturday morning cartoon that was one of my favorites as a youngster. Thus, this flash scene was born in my fertile imagination. Hope you enjoy and it is X-Rated.

Underdog To Save the Day, Starring White Fang

Pasha leaned back against the large alabaster column, the coolness pleasing to the bare flesh of her back in this summer heat. She gazed skyward then giggled, a rare occurrence for her.

To contain her laughter, Pasha covered her mouth. She had no intention of missing one moment of White Fang, her super wolf lover, wearing the Underdog costume he'd purchased just to entertain her.

One morning he'd caught her enjoying the silly cartoon character on that internet phenomenon called YouTube. Pasha had been researching superheroes in the mortal world to gain more insight. After all, being a goddess had its limitations when it came to such things.

Somehow she'd cyber-stumbled upon the noble canine with his cape, ferocious snarl and steely gaze. Fascinated, and tickled by some of the similarities to her White Fang, she'd begun studying what was called a Saturday morning cartoon.

As she watched White Fang dramatically straighten his arms high above her, Pasha smothered her giggles. He leaped into flight from the rock ledge of the enormous, natural grotto. His Underdog cape, woefully undersized, billowed behind him as he flew toward her through the glimmering dusk sky.

White Fang, muffled by the mask's muzzle, announced in his baritone voice, "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here."

"Underdog...Underdog," Pasha cried out, imitating a needy heroine. She hadn't been able to quite convince herself to play the part of Sweet Polly Purebred, TV reporter, and the female who put the besotted glint in the caped canine's eye.

When the cartoon's theme music unexpectedly began, Pasha almost jumped like a scaredy-cat, nearly embarrassing herself. Above her, White Fang exaggerated his circling flight in a comical way.

Gradually, he descended singing, "When criminals in this world appear, and break the laws that they should fear, and frighten all who see or hear, the cry goes up both far and near for..."

Understanding her cue, Pasha smiled, then shouted in a singing voice, "Underdog. Underdog. Underdog. Underdog."

Adding to his role, White Fang punched the air with his fist. Soaring, he sang, "Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder..."

"Underdog. Underdog. Oh save me, Underdog. Only you can save me."

Pasha panted at the sight of her canine superhero. Only White Fang could save her with the ferocity and finesse of his carnal passions. To keep herself steady, Pasha reached behind her clinging to the column.

After a midair spin that caused a lovely whirlwind around her, White Fang landed and stood about twenty feet before her. He ripped off the mask, tossing it aside.

"When in this world the headlines read," he intoned in his deep alpha voice. "Of those who's hearts are filled with greed." He moved toward her, his gaze piercing her like an obsidian blade. "And rob and steal from those in need." For moments, their gazes clashed, lightning desire battling lightning need -- then their gazes melted into each other. "To right this wrong with blinding speed goes..."

"Underdog. Underdog. Underdog. Underdog, oh please, save me," she whispered, no air left her in her lungs.

White Fang halted, his mouth mere inches from her own. His virile scent wrapped around her as tangible as a cloak, and intoxicated her like the most potent wine.

"Speed of lightning, roar of thunder...fighting all who rob or plunder," he rasped in a growl, his lips hovering above hers. "What brainless, bumbling fool dares threaten you?"

"An enemy only you can save me from...with a kiss."

"Only a kiss?"

White Fang pressed her against the column, his body deliciously scorching hers. He captured her wrists inside his super strong hands yet his touch remained deceptively gentle.

"Please." Her lips brushed against his. "Do whatever you need to save me, superhero."

Pasha cat-moaned with her desire as White Fang pressed closer, flattening her breasts against his granite-hard chest. He rumbled a wolfish groan, and their lips seized each other.

Sensually they explored the shape and texture of each other's mouths. Then he kissed her hard.

The unrelenting crush of his lips shivered fire through Pasha, and caused her nipples to beg for his touch. Commanding her surrender, White Fang tightened his grip on her wrists.

Pasha's legs weakened, a response only he could draw from her. With a rough growl, White Fang broke his mouth from hers. He nipped kisses on her swollen lips, teasing.

Yet, his lips didn't persuade. He tasted her mouth with the savageness of his passion. Pasha arched against him, thrusting her mound against the super strength of his rigid cock.

The thin fabric of her shift and White Fang's costume tights did little to lessen the extreme heat of his shaft. Wanton from his punishing kisses, and the feel of him, Pasha braced herself against the column, wrapping her legs around his hips.

As she embraced the pillar that was his manhood with her sex lips, and rubbed, White Fang groaned vibrating her mouth. "Pasha," he poured in her ear.

He released her wrists, his hands caressing up her arms. "I want you beneath me in our bed."

Pasha didn't argue despite her wildness to mate with him here and now. White Fang's tone had been demanding, dominating.

"Yes, super dog."

Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Big Announcement

Vernon MacMahon, owner of Talbot’s Peak’s own Grease ‘n’ Grill, takes great pleasure in announcing that Eleanor Ewing has agreed to join him in a state of holy matrimony. The wedding will take place this August at—


Ziva winced. Nick’s tone didn’t bother her, but the volume was uncalled for, especially right up against her sensitive ears. “Problem, boss?”

Nick shook the latest edition of the Gutts ‘n’ Butts Gazette in front of her face. The paper was folded over so the offensive story couldn’t possibly escape her. “What the hell’s this?”

“Your dad came in while you were at lunch and asked me to run the announcement. What was I supposed to do, tell him sorry, can’t do it because his son the editor is a racist jerk?”

“You could have buried it in the back with the used car ads. Not blast it all over the front page!”

Ziva shrugged. “Slow news day?”

“It’s a conspiracy. Everybody’s out to get me.” Nick dragged his hand through his hair. “You know what’s going to happen? Check your computer. Look at the comments. The hate mail has started already.”

“I’ve been screening the emails. We’ve had a couple nasty ones, but I deleted those. The rest have been overwhelmingly positive.”

“The rest are from herbivores. Of course they’d be positive. As far as I’m concerned, good wishes from a herbie counts as hate mail.”

Ziva mentally shook her head. Getting past Nick’s prejudice and his twisted logic was going to take a lot of heavy lifting. “Don’t you want your dad to be happy?”

“He was happy. He had the grill and all the ladies he could hump. Wolf ladies. Some cat-tail once in a while. He doesn’t need to marry somebody who won’t even keep meat in the house. She’ll probably have him eating that tofu crap.” Nick shuddered.

“That’s probably better for him, at his age. He’s not as active as he used to be. When’s the last time he even shifted?”

“He’s shifted, all right. Right over to the herbie camp.”

Nick rolled up the paper and whapped his palm with it. Ziva watched every vicious thwack with fascination. Maybe she could divert all that pent-up anger into something more constructive. Get him to whack that rolled-up paper against her tush, for instance. It would get his mind off his dad and Miss Elly and make everybody happy in the process.

She stood up and reached for him playfully. “Settle down, Nicky. It’s no big deal.”

“No big deal? When my own father is about to marry some stinking—”

He broke off, his stare aimed over her shoulder. Ziva turned around. Mary, Miss Elly’s daughter and the company typist, stood like a statue, her eyes trained on Nick’s lips. Jamie Olsen, the staff photographer, hovered behind her, looking mighty uncomfortable.

“We, um, heard the ruckus,” Jamie said. “I mean, I did. Mary followed me.” He tugged at his shirt collar. “Well. Guess you two are gonna be brother and sister now, huh?”

“Sister?” Nick stared at Mary, looking sicker by the minute. “No. Not a chance. That’s where I draw the line.”

Mary signed something at Jamie. He signed back. When she looked at Nick again, her face had grown dark as a pre-tornado sky. She signed savagely.

“Mary says she ain’t happy about it either, but it’s her mama’s life and she’s good with it,” Jamie translated. “She don’t want you saying anything bad about her mama. Or herbivores in general, come to that.”

“No? Well, get used to it, sweetie. I don’t chew cud and I don’t need a sister at this late date, and I’ll say whatever I want about whoever I want, and that includes your mommy, who is not going to be my mommy in any sense of the word. You don’t like it, too flea-scratching bad.”

Mary glared at him, then signed something. “She said you’re a—” Jamie got red in the face. “She says you’re mean.”

“Look at this face. Tell me if it looks like it cares.”

Mary’s single-finger response needed no translation.

Now Nick got red. “You watch your language, little girl. You join our family, you join the pack. That makes me your alpha as well as your brother. So when I say jump—”

Mary lowered her head and charged.

That was one of the problems with a bighorn sheep. Their heads were granite-hard in both their forms. Nick reflected on this while he sprawled on his back on the floor groaning and holding his stomach. Ziva cradled his head in her lap while Mary glowered down at him. Jamie held onto her to prevent any follow-ups.

“Attacking your boss,” Nick croaked. “I can fire you for that.”

“I don’t think you can,” Jamie said. “A good lawyer’d pass it off as a rank challenge between siblings. You know, pack entrance exam? I don’t think you want to take her on in a real fight. She’d whup your ass. And you ain’t even faced down Bo and Hannibal yet. You keep pushing, you’ll end up the family omega before your pappy and Miss Elly even get to the vows part.”

Scat in the bath water. What the hell did a damn red wolf know about gray wolf pack matters? Not as much as Mary did, blast the sour luck.

Still glaring at Nick, Mary signed to Jamie. “She wants an apology,” he said.

Nick struggled upright. He bared his teeth. “Here’s what you’re getting,” he said. “You’re now in charge of the TP Lupa column. You read all those whiny emails and solve their stupid problems. You deal with selfish old bastards who’ve lost their minds and shake up a stable family by marrying a grass-eater. At least a human would eat meat once in a while.”

“And a grown alpha wouldn’t act like a spoiled puppy and throw a temper tantrum in the work place,” Ziva said calmly. “Now, sweetheart, you’re going to alpha up and apologize to Mary, and you’re going to keep your nose out of your father’s business, and I don’t care how PO’d you get, you’re going to keep your mouth shut before Bo and Hannibal find out about this, because I like having a boyfriend who isn’t a stain in the parking lot. Got it?”

Nick growled like a Chevy's engine, but he couldn’t resist Ziva when she used her dominatrix voice. “Sorry,” he grumbled to Mary. “But you’re not off the hook. You’re doing that column, and you’ll do it with a smile or I’ll can your bighorn ass. You don’t like it, the door’s over there. Understand?”

Mary shrugged, and signed. “If she’s gonna be a columnist, she wants a raise,” Jamie said.

Nick’s jaw dropped. “Let’s give it a month and then we’ll review,” Ziva said quickly. She got Nick back on his feet and helped him into his office, while Jamie hustled Mary out of harm’s way. Who’d be the harmer and who’d be the harmee was still an open question.

“It’s not right,” Nick whined after Ziva shut the door. He sagged against his big antique desk. “It won’t work. Carnie-herbie marriages never work out. He’s only doing this to get a leg up on that stupid mayoral election. He’s going to get himself hurt, and he’s too old to get hurt. How do I make him see reason?”

Like father, like son, Ziva thought. “It’s not about reason. It’s about love. Your father’s been fond of Miss Elly for a long time. You know that. It sounds like they’ve both been lonely. Look at it this way: you’ll finally be able to start the day with a decent breakfast.”

“She serves Fakin’ Bacon. What kind of self-respecting woman serves a wolf Fakin’ Bacon?”

“The kind who may one day have a boar for a son-in-law. Miss Elly will be good for your dad. You’re not even angry with either of them, are you? You’re just upset because the world is changing.”

“It isn’t right.”

“It is what it is. The sun will continue to rise and set, even in a world with Fakin’ Bacon. Are you going to be all right?”

Nick mumbled something. Ziva found a copy of the paper and rolled it up. She slapped it against her palm, as Nick had moments ago. “Or does bad doggie need a bit of retraining?”

“I’m not a bad doggie.” He sure kept his eyes on that paper. He started to pant. “Herbies in a wolf pack. What’s the world coming to?”

“Let me show you,” Ziva purred. She shoved him onto the desk.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Soaking in the Sinful Summer Solstice...

Happy summer solstice one and all! Thanks for joining us on this Sexy Summer Solstice Hop. If your wondering where to begin here's the link

Sit back and enjoy a bit of flashing from our lusty characters in Talbot's Peak.


Lusting from afar...

Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, a moment of magic if you believe such things, and the most fertile time of the year, according to everything Greely’d read. This she could easily believe based on the ache between where her thighs would have been had she been in human form.

Fertility rights went on all around her which was typical for Talbot’s Peak shifting population. Sex, foreplay, and more sex—even post sex flourished around the bonfire. Most couples, groups and what not remained hidden in the tall grasses and behind trees, but to the sensitive animal hearing all around it was a wave of delight for the ear.

“Slower, Daniel, slow…right there, my penquino, oh gawd, Burgess, right there!”

“Heal! Niiiick, ah, he-heal…Good boy…”


Greely smiled, deep inside her little frog body, happy for the lovers enjoying their solstice trysts. It was far better to love wildly then from at a far was her current predicament. Who knew lusting from afar was such a difficult task with all of the staying hidden while tracking his movements—every sensual, twisting, flexing movement.


Not wanting to be left out of the fun an actual frog sat, giving her the, hey baby, eye. Yes, frog’s had moves, but she was only interested in one set of eyes. The glittering green orbs attached to the towns newest and most secretive blacksmith.

He was here tonight, presiding over the fire. His tall frame was lined with muscle upon muscle. Black leather kissed skin which lay taut over each hill and valley defined by said muscles—not a single inch of him jiggled. What would he look like in nothing but chains, his lips pouty and steam puffed from his nostrils.

He was dragon.


Gah! Greeley kicked out with her, hasn’t been to the health club enough, hind leg and kicked at the horny bull frog disturbing her stalking time. He didn’t move, only flicked his tongue in her direction and licking at her eyeball. Gross.

She looked once again at the object of her lust and wondered what he looked like in his dragon form. How would it feel to be his size and strength? She’d be able to fry the little sucker next to her with one little spit of fire…


…and attract the man of her dreams, not the slime ball of her nightmares.


She was watching him again, this time from a log in the underbrush. Her emotions screamed out to him, yet she kept her distance. As she hopped away from the amorous bull frog next to her he longed to call her back, but knew not her name. He would find out though and once he did, she would be his. He would whisper it into the night and the day; he would bring her to his side…

Erol bent and picked up the long tongued intruder and placed him on the palm of his hand. “She’s mine.” Smoke plumed from his nose, surrounding and scaring the little green amphibian. “Come near her again, splat mark, and I’ll barbeque those legs for my dinner.”

May your summer solstice involve many sexy fertility rights!



Solstice Anniversary Celebration

Josh stood back and admired his handiwork. Another sign placed within five hundred feet of where Shape Shifters’ Haunt beach started. The county had granted their exemption after Anthony and Tory explained why beach needed to be marked. Along with the pictures of the bear shifter hanging out of his thong after he shifted making front page of the local rag sheet, the popularity of their stretch of sun and surf quadrupled when word got out about another local nude beach. Soon hordes of shifters and their families would descend upon them.

Anthony waved as he rode toward him on an ATV. He pulled to a stop short of the sign. He cupped his hands to his mouth. “Tory says dinner’s ready. We’ve got another problem to see to before we eat.”

Josh sighed and tossed the hammer in the open toolbox at his feet. He’s been up since sunrise working without more than a half hour break for a lunch followed by a quick swim. He’d love to strip and swim back along the shoreline before he headed up to the house. It’d taken a week to calm things down after the photos hit the street. Now what idiot had descended upon them?

“What nincompoop are we dealing with now?” Josh shook his head.

Anthony smiled as he reached the ATV. “Not that type of problem, hon.” Anthony puckered his lips and blew Josh an airborne kiss.

Anthony wondered if Josh remembered what today represented, if he knew why today mattered more than any other date on the calendar. He’d know soon enough. Josh’s steps ate up the ground separating them. The closer he got the, the dryer Anthony’s mouth got. He could feel those luscious lips pressed against his. The taste of Josh rolling over his tongue and exploding in his mouth sent thrills of excitement and anticipation deep into Anthony’s groin. Anthony reached down and adjusted his shorts. Riding the ATV nude on a hot sunny day wasn’t a risk he took. The feel of Josh’s sweat chest rubbing against his back as they rode back to the house would fuel the heat bursting inside Anthony already.

Josh strapped the toolbox on the back of the ATV and mounted up behind Anthony. Sliding his arms around Anthony’s waist brought Josh within inches of his back as he settled himself on to the narrow seat. “Damn this thing is like riding a banana seat on your junior high bicycle.”

Anthony smiled, holding himself upright until he turned the ATV around and headed back the way he came. Three bumps and a short run up an incline plastered Josh skin to skin with him. Anthony relaxed and leaned back. Humming, he down shifted and slowed the ATV. “I think we’ve found our problem.”

Josh looked where Anthony pointed. A sunshade canopy stood three feet from them. Under it, a blanket laid spread out with an ice bucket on it, a picnic basket with one end open, and two beach towels next to it. As the breeze blew in off the ocean, Josh noticed the lettered sign hanging from the canopy flapping. He blinked twice as he dismounted. He walked up to the sign,catching it with his hand.

Anthony’s arms slide around his waist, fumbling with his belt. “Happy Solstice Anniversary, Dear. Let’s start our celebration.”

Happy Solstice Everyone! Keep those celebrations smexy and full of heat!
Solara Gordon

Sun Dance

When it comes to their holidays, the folks of Talbot’s Peak pull out all the stops. In tune with the earth, they celebrate the summer solstice the way humans do Thanksgiving: a day-long party with plenty of family and food, just without the football.

Observations start at sunrise. People drift in and out around the water-dish fountain, to catch up on gossip and sample the tasty foodstuffs at the stands that have popped up like mushrooms overnight. At irregular intervals groups come together in spontaneous flash mobs for the part of the party known with typical shifter literalness as the Sun Dance.

It always helps if the sun cooperates. Some celebrations have been dubbed Cloud Dances. People still talk about the year the high school drama club, undeterred by Mother Nature, put on an impromptu version of “Singin’ in the Rain,” complete with umbrellas. A couple of kids caught cold, but the video on YouTube racked up over a million hits.

No chance of that today. The sun is up and blazing bright, the smell of grilled meats and veggies has everybody’s nose twitching and mouth watering, music from a dozen boom boxes fills different sections of the square, and the dancing has already begun. Come have a look—

This year it starts with the line dancing. This is cowboy country, and Merry and Dash have come down from the dude ranch to show everybody how to scoot a boot. Gypsy joins in, and if she brings a few extra shakes and wiggles to the movements, nobody comments. Perhaps they would, the male wolves in particular, if Sergei weren’t standing off to one side glowering at everybody. This is not a dance for him. He’ll let Gypsy work this out of her system, then claim her later for a waltz. He is Russian, and patient.

Suddenly there’s a blast of pink, and out of nowhere a dozen flamingos launch into a vigorous jazz ballet. The music’s from some Broadway musical. No one can remember which, but it’s a snappy tune. Lamar, in his sinfully tight chinos and slit-to-the-navel shirt, leaps in and joins them. He doesn’t know the moves, but you can’t fault his enthusiasm. His partner Jamie shrugs and wanders off to join the line dancers.

Of course Guri’s here. He never misses a holiday. He and his brother Sanjay have brought their dates, their sisters, their cousins and any member of the household they could coerce and turned the lower portion of the square into the set of a Bollywood musical. The explosive color of their gaudy garments threatens to eclipse the flamingos. The ballet troupe, of the if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em school, simply blend themselves into the Bengali chaos. The fusion is—well, it’s loud and it’s confusing, but it sure looks like fun. Lamar is having a blast.

At the edge of the square, away from the grownups and asserting their independence, the school-age kids have clustered around Ray Nardo and his garage band, who keep the party jumping with Metallica and Zeppelin covers. His girl Callista belts out the lyrics in a voice that would do James Hetfield proud.

As the day goes on the groups break, reform, merge and morph as the mood and energy strike them. Somebody cranks up the old Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and starts a (mercifully) brief disco revival. Gypsy approaches Ray’s garage band. Money changes hands. The band moves closer to center square and launches into classic rock and roll. Within minutes the jitterbugging crowd has drowned out the discoers. Over in the Indian section, Guri tries his hand, and feet, at ballet, between two lithe, handsome flamingos. Nobody’s told him about pink flamingos. Sanjay considers the situation, shrugs, and jitterbugs with his date.

Out of nowhere Lamar suddenly reappears and snatches Jamie out of the group and hauls him into a tango. If done correctly, Lamar always says, by the end of the dance the woman should be pregnant. Lamar twines around his partner like he wants to test the limits of Jamie’s male biology. Jamie’s having too much fun to care.

The band, meanwhile, has had it with bland ‘50s rock and gone back to heavy metal. Sergei has likewise lost patience and captured his gypsy red wolf. They waltz together, wrapped contentedly in each other’s arms. Several partiers stop to gape: no one has ever tried to waltz to Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon” before. And yet it works. It’s not about the dance steps; it’s about joy. Music and moves are an afterthought.

As the sun sets the dancing takes a different turn. Mayor Link lights the traditional bonfire. As the flames leap and the shadows grow thicker, the face of the crowd begins to change. A red she-wolf and a white tiger lope into the nearby forest, their movements suggestive of a waltz. Two foxes, one red, one fluffy and white, shed their guitars along with their human form and snuggle close to the fire. A boa constrictor changes his tango to tangle, while the red wolf he’s squeezed around growls at him affectionately.

Over in “Bollywood” saris flutter to the ground like autumn leaves as tigers prowl in search of tea. The tiger surrounded by the breathless flamingos looks confused, but content.

In pairs and packs the inhabitants of Talbot’s Peak leave the dancing behind and slip into the woods. This is the shortest night of the year, after all, and they intend to make the most of what hours of darkness they’ve got.

Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.

Posted by Pat C.


She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Dan, at the Midsummer’s Eve bonfire, with another woman—and that woman was wearing a wedding ring that matched the one he told her had been from his dead wife. Tami had been disappointed when he told her he would be going to the bonfire with his family and that she shouldn’t come, that his family would be shocked if he showed up with another woman. Gee, she thought acerbically, could it be because his ‘dearly departed’ wife had not actually departed yet? Men were dogs. They were less than dogs;they were boils on the testicles of dogs. She smiled as the seed of an idea began to percolate. She knew just how to get back at him for tricking her into helping him cheat, too.

She was still smiling the next morning as she sat out on the patio at Java Joes, enjoying a double tall iced chi. She’d been up all night making and hanging flyers. Her revenge had been perfect. Dan was a possum shifter,a very rare type up here in Montana. And he was a very shy type, too, which ment only someone he was very intimate with would have seen his animal form,let alone gotten a picture of him in that form. The fact she’d put Dan’s cell number on the flyer meant that he would know very quickly what she’d done. The confusion and hilarity of a “found dog” poster with the picture of a possum meant everyone in Talbot’s Peak was going to be talking about it for weeks,which meant even if he managed to get every one of the fifty flyers down by the end of the morning—which he wouldn’t, someone was going to keep one as a souvenir—he’d still never live it down. Yep, men were dogs. But Tami was a bunny and bunnies could be devious little shits when you pissed them off. Just ask the editorial crew at the Guts & Butts Gazette.

Right on cue, her phone started ringing.
"Tami, that was not funny," Dan said without any preamble.
"Depends on your sense of humor, Mr. Fake Widdower," Tami shot back.
"I told you not to come to the bonfire-"
"You did, but you know what? I figured there would be no harm in me going with my own family since you wanted to spend the time with your family. Guess what I saw?"
"Baby, let's just talk this-"
"No, I don't think so. I told you how I felt about cheaters. And you lied to me. Tricked me into helping you cheat. Guess what, Dan? Karma's only a bitch when you are."
"Fine. But did you have to say I was a female on the poster?' he whined.
"What part of 'bitch' did you not get?" she asked. "Oh, and after your not-so dead wife gets a load of it, I have a feeling you will quickly be missing your 'nads, lover girl. bu-bye!"

I hope you enjoyed that nice little bit of revenge, inspired by the above picture I found on the interwebs.

~ Rebecca L. Gillan


The Unicorn Mirage

Shay stubbed her big toe for the second time. "Oww!" burst past her lips, but only as an embarrassed whisper. As more excruciating pain shot through her, she compressed her lips to keep from crying out.

Damn. What was it...maybe ten minutes ago she'd run into a small boulder with the same big toe. Now it was a sapling she hadn't seen. With pain crossing and watering her eyes, Shay leaned against the outcropping of rock.

She could have sworn...except she knew it was a had to be...that a nude purple fairy flitted by. The full-sized, obviously a man by his dangling goodies, had even given her a quick jaunty wave.

After shaking her head to clear it, Shay tested her foot. Nope. Pain radiated past her ankle. Just her effing luck she'd probably broken her poor toe.

On the bright side, if it could be called a bright side...and Shay always preferred to look on the bright side...the upshot, however she injured herself these days, it healed rapidly...that is, ever since the majorly covered up incident at the lab where she'd been delivering supplies...and had been bitten several times by animals with razor sharp fangs, animals she never even saw.

Shay only heard them crashing through the lab like that cliche, bulls in a china shop...well, those puncture wounds had healed right before her eyes...and with the enormous amount of hush money she'd been given, she'd grabbed the check, and run...straight to Talbot's Peak on the whispered advice of the lab's security head.

That is, after she'd been officially told, there was a one in three chance she could morph into a both human and a shapeshifter. Big fat load of shit, though. The mucky-muck, important biotech scientist, whose face had turned red as a ripe tomato, hadn't been able to tell her what kind of beast.

But then, her life had always been crazy-assed in one way or another. Several moments of hysterical laughter gurgled past her lips. Goddess, what now?

Hiking up her toga with one hand, Shay hopped on one leg, and hobbled toward the well-used trail she'd been trekking over for what seemed like at least an hour. The beam from the flashlight she'd actually remembered to bring, bobbed around highlighting thickly leafed trees and brambles, and...

Shay froze, standing on one leg. Did she dare believe what was caught in the bluish beam? No, she didn't...but it looked like...

A freaking unicorn. A real one. Like from a fairytale...with shiny horn and all. But not white. It's coat gleamed, a rich shade of mahogany.

She would have thought it was a wood carving...there were so many oddities and unique animal statues in downtown Talbot's Peak...but the beautiful thing swished its super-long tail like some stallions she'd seen.

Shay alternately stared and blinked her eyes while ignoring the throbbing ache of her toe.

She watched as the unicorn mirage arched its long powerful neck and stared right back.

Transfixed, she didn't realize until it was too late. Shay toppled over, ending up in an ungainly heap. "Ouch!" she shrieked. "Ouch, ouch, ouch. Shit!"

With any pretense at decorum gone, Shay rolled back and forth in the loose dirt and mostly mulched pine needles, attempting to find a way to stand without causing more injury to her toe.

Oh, right...with her big toe in sheer agony, now she so wished she hadn't worn the gold sandals that seemed so perfect for her 'on-the-sheer-side' toga. Her no-doubt filthy toga. The one that now twisted around her with a vengeance.

With the movement of her legs hampered, Shay screeched an unladylike curse, and stilled. Huffing out breaths, she managed to sit up. After impatiently brushing back strands of her curly hair, Shay maneuvered enough to begin unwrapping herself.

Who in the hell got lost going to a Summer Solstice party anyway? Especially with the towering bonfire illuminating the night sky. Even now, Shay could hear the faint roaring of the flames. Yet somehow, the path through the thin woods eluded her, and she'd circled the area three times at least.

As Shay ignored her frustration and carefully pulled the delicate, lilac-colored fabric from around her ankles, the playful notes of the hedonistic music mercilessly teased her. But what now, once she finally made it to her feet?

Limp back in defeat to her SUV, parked with the other revelers' vehicles? Yeah, she'd arrived late because her wild springy hair had refused to cooperate...she blamed it on the current bad, cycle 24 behavior of the sun...anyway, there'd been no one to walk with, and Shay was still learning her way around this part of Montana.

Plus, by agreement, no one had brought any electronic devices. Just fine with her. Hell, the gov biotech company tried to track her everywhere. Shay had soon realized she was one big 'what would happen?' experiment to them.

She reached for her flashlight since by some miracle it had landed close to her. For weeks now, Shay had been madly anticipating this Summer Solstice 2012 celebration with her new friends -- all her 'anything outrageous goes on the dance floor' buddies at the Pleasure Club.

Rolling over, Shay pushed herself upward. Gingerly, she put her full weight on the foot with the severely stubbed toe. Okay, she could tolerate the dull ache.

But, should she persevere, find the pathway leading to the celebration? Her hands were covered with dirt despite briskly rubbing them together. No doubt she looked like a complete mess and likely smelled like the forest floor.

Why had fate lined up against her tonight of all nights? Goddess! Horror of horrors. Did this mean she was about to morph into some monstrous creature? Was the summer solstice a trigger?

Just to stay sane, Shay halted her runaway thoughts and inhaled a huge calming breath as she'd trained herself to do. Remaining still inside, she took stock of herself...that is, until she heard rustling, and moments later, the sound of someone large striding in her direction.

Panic seized hold of her. Dante, the owner of the Interspecies Pleasure Club, ran a tight ship from all she'd been told. Still, there were packs of werewolves in them thar woods, and a whole slew of predator shapeshifters. Not to mention, what if some human bloodthirsty killer had somehow...

With her heart racing a mile a minute, Shay jerked her gaze around looking for her best escape route. Yet her feet stayed rooted to the ground.

After all, what if by some miracle that she desperately needed, it was someone who could help her? Shay aimed her flashlight, ready to blind whoever...if...

"Are you lost?" The man's voice came out of the darkness. A voice with a deep sensual tenor that shivered her womanly bits and parts.

Dammit! That's all she needed, a sexy psychotic killer.

"Who goes there?" Shay challenged, even if it was rather ridiculous. But she might as well finish it. "Friend or foe?"

"Friend, of course. Don't shoot, lovely goddess." The man's tone was definitely way too amused. "Flashlights are deadly to my kind."

Taken aback, Shay sucked in a breath before demanding, "Is that so?"

A man emerged from between two of the taller trees, and not from the direction of the trail. From what Shay could see of him, he was tall, athletically built. And obviously bare-chested. The flashlight beam played over his glorious hard muscles -- and they weren't the 'workout at a gym' kind either.

Not wanting to anger him, Shay decided not to point the beam at his face. Instead, she lowered it searching for any weapon he might be carrying. Nothing.

He looked to be wearing only breeches, and Shay wondered if he was attending the Summer Solstice celebration. She knew one thing, she'd never met him before. Not with that long flowing mane. His hair appeared to almost reach his waist, and glinted with a deep reddish color.

"Lower that weapon, and I will assist you," he mocked in a lighthearted manner, as if they joked with each other.
Partly complying, Shay pointed the flashlight at his booted feet. "Have a name?"

"Several, my goddess." He spoke like a classic movie swashbuckler.

Again, Shay was taken aback. Before she could respond, a series of crashing-through-the-forest sounds had her whipping around. Having forgotten to lift her toga out of the way, she tripped.

This was so not her night. Shay wondered what in ever-loving hell she'd done to anger the solstice powers that be.

To save herself from falling face forward, she managed to tilt her body enough so she began toppling backward. Strong arms caught her. Incredibly strong arms then gathered her close.

A celebration all right. Her backside pressed against a man that felt more like an erotic fantasy than reality.

"Saved," she whispered, trying to get her mental bearings, and hoping against hope, he was a good guy.

"Revelers," he explained. "A lusty game of chase, I believe."

With gentle power, he turned her within his embrace. "I am Zephon. May I escort you to the Summer Solstice celebration?"

"Please." Where oh where had her breath gone? "Yes, please."

Easing himself from her, Zephon took gentlemanly possession of her arm.

"Uh, warning." She had to tell him. It was only fair, especially since his cock stood tall as a mighty oak, obviously interested in her womanly charms. "I, I can't...I mean I'm not dating now."

"Not dating?"

The unique quirk of his brow had Shay staring, then studying at his handsome features. Nobly carved, they were also exotic.

But what the...? Shay squinted to make certain. What was that faint glowy spot on his forehead?

A trick in the dim light from the stars above, she told herself, then rushed her words past her lips before she chickened out. "I'm afflicted with a terrible disease."

A slow, slow smile curved his tempting, very masculine lips. "No." He paused searching her face. "You're not, my goddess. I am a healer. I would know if that were so."

Could this really be happening to her? Little ole her? Shay could scarcely believe any of this at all. Still, this was Talbot's Peak. "You would?" she sort of squeaked out.

"Yes, however to answer the question clouding your beautiful eyes, Shay, you have been altered." He pressed two fingers tenderly against her lips to quiet her. "The change will take place soon. Not to worry, I will guide you."

"How in the -- how do you know my name?"

"That's an easy one." His easy grin invited her trust. "Your friend, Varlissa, sent me to find you."

"Varlissa...she's a...she's a horse shapeshifter. Oh..." Shay felt her eyes flash wide open with her sudden realization. "Unicorn?"

"Your unicorn, my goddess."

Summer Solstice Kisses...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~