Tuesday yowls, howls, and growls, shapeshifter lovers.
The month of January is slip-sliding away fast, and here we are newly in the sun sign of Aquarius, in the Age of Aquarius. Likely, this will be a very interesting time period on our planet, to say the least. The whirlwinds of change are all around us now.
So, here's the followup to last week's flash scene. And my naughty snickering muse has done it again. The heroine has dropped a bombshell on the hero. Yep, it looks like there will be a part three.
Beyond Fur, Fang, and Dragon Wings
Immortal Shapeshifter ~ Part Two
Immortal Shapeshifter ~ Part Two
"Come on in before you freeze." Zephan couldn't tell, if the woman was more frightened of having to knock on a stranger's door, or having to trek back to her obviously disabled snowmobile.
"I have a ham radio," he added, to encourage her.
While Zephan well knew he was no danger to her, she didn't know that. He took a step back. Although, if she didn't enter, he'd grab her and haul her inside, then deal with the consequences of having scared her to death.
To his relief, she moved over the threshold with tentative steps. Damn, she was a mite of a thing, and he guessed her age to be around the mid thirties.
"A ham radio will have to do then, Mister...?"
She continued edging inside. Hoping not to spook her, Zephan waited until he could shut the door in a casual manner.
"Just call me by my handle, Zephan." He offered his hand in the modern way.
"I'm Solanja." She removed two pairs of gloves, then gave him her small hand.
He embraced it briefly, but what Zephan learned with his sixth-sense ability astounded him. The least of which, was that Solanja was armed, and knew how to use the derringer she carried.
Zephan smiled to himself. He sure did appreciate a woman who knew her way around a gun. "Why don't you come sit before the fire, and I'll get the radio up and running."
Pausing, he watched her stuff her gloves in her side pockets, then begin unwrapping the thick material guarding her face.
"I could put on the coffee pot," he added.
She didn't answer. Instead her gaze searched his face as if she intently studied every last contour and line of his big mug.
"Are you...?" she began. "I mean I was trying to find someone. When I got lost, and the snowmobile kinda went on the fritz. And...and, well now, I'm wondering if you're...him."
She frowned with speculation, and Zephan buzzed inside like a whole swarm of bees. His ominous feeling wasn't because of Solanja. The danger to him, and to mankind, was from those--likely her family--who surrounded her.
He'd psi-picked up her reason for braving the frigid back country. She searched for someone important to her, her intention single-minded. Zephan sure didn't think it was him. Still, why not find out?
"Might be," he answered. "Don't think so. Important thing is you're out of the cold."
She gave him a wide smile that reminded him of a flirtatious pixie. "Coffee sounds good. Warming up in front of a fire sounds good, too."
Before he could move, she unzipped her heavy duty parka. Zephan observed the ultra-expensive garment she wore. Designed to retain body heat well below zero, it damn sure wasn't sold on the regular market. That he knew.
Of course, what really caught his eye was how the skintight, black suit hugged her small, beautifully shaped figure. "This way, Miss Solanja," he gutturally uttered, once his tongue obeyed his brain.
"Solanja, please. Forget the 'miss'." She stepped beside him as he moved toward the center room where his open hearth blazed.
From the corner of his eye, he watched her graceful strides. She'd professionally trained as a modern dancer yet that wasn't her career. Her specialty, as he'd psi-sensed it, involved finding and purchasing artefacts--the ones that never made it inside a museum. Yeah, the priceless pieces of history the public was never supposed to know about, let alone view.
"Have a seat." Zephan indicated his over-sized couch, the only decent piece of furniture in the small room. "Can I take your coat, Solanja?"
She shoved her hood back, shrugging out of the strictly utilitarian parka. With a soft confident smile, she handed it to him.
Figuring he'd do everything and anything to keep her feeling comfortable with him, Zephan turned and hung it over one of his coats. All of his other hooks were crammed with winter gear.
"Bachelor pad," he explained as he faced her. "I'll grab the coffee. Just brewed a pot. Cream, sugar?"
"Black for now, please. I could use a good dose of caffeine."
With a flip of her short, curly, bronze-red hair, she lowered herself to the couch. Half-mesmerized by the glorious color of her hair, Zephan watched her bend over and unbuckle her tall, supple boots. Again, they weren't the type marketed to the public.
Reluctant to take his gaze off her, he stayed long enough to watch her tuck her slim legs beneath her. Then, he headed for his huge old-fashioned stove, lodged inside a tiny room he called a kitchen.
So far, Solanja played it straight with him. What had him pondering overtime was the fact that--other than her cell phone, which was dead--nothing on her clothing or on her person tracked her location. No bio-device inside her, either.
At least, not that he could detect. Quite unusual for someone in her elite circle. Too unusual.
Zephan quickly placed two mugs beside the coffee pot, and poured out the fresh brew. He'd get answers soon enough. She wanted to talk.
Meanwhile, the mystery didn't sit well with him. And, meanwhile, her woman's fragrance tantalized his nostrils, competing with the steamy coffee he carried.
Solanja had worn no perfume of any kind, and obviously used cleansing products without scent.
Just who in Hades did she search for, as if her life depended on it?
Zephan eyed her as he crossed the room, and she eyed him right back. Gods, she was a distraction he couldn't afford, but wanted.
"Hot," he warned, handing her the mug.
After meeting his gaze, she sniffed her coffee for moments, then wrapped her hands around the man-sized mug. "It's not Starbucks," she teased.
"No, ma'am. Drink enough, and it'll put hair on your chest. Be a real shame in your case."
She glanced up at him quizzically, as if she couldn't quite believe he'd said that.
Zephan grinned broadly. During his gentleman days in Spain, he would never have been so crude. He imagined the men she knew wouldn't either.
Not taking his gaze off her face, he took a healthy swallow of his coffee. Once she'd taken a long sip, and sighed, he parked himself on the other end of the couch.
"Sure you don't want me to get the ham radio operatin'? Must be someone concerned about you."
It took a moment, but she looked at him squarely. "I don't want to be found."
"Running away from someone? 'Course, that don't make sense, does it? You wouldn't be in the backwoods during a winter freeze." A beat later, he continued, "You said you were searchin' for someone. Must be important. Can I help?"
She lowered her gaze, and clutched her mug tightly. "I am running away."
She paused, and when she looked up again, her gaze begged him to understand. "That's only part of the story. I'm here to warn you, too."
"Warn me?" Zephan narrowed his eyes as he rested his mug atop his knee.
She took a sustaining swallow of her coffee. "I'm sorry. I truly am...but, I didn't know."
Zephan didn't interrupt her, waiting as she drew in a sharp breath. "I found..found records of you. I mean, there are ancient writings that describe what you are."
"Ancient writings?" Zephan took a gulp of his coffee.
No doubt, the slaver merchants had kept meticulous records about him, and given she knew her way around artefacts--could read the languages.
"They know." She spoke just above a whisper, her voice strained. "They know you're beyond fur, fang, and dragon wings. I had to warn you."
TO BE CONTINUED... ~~~~~~
~ Have a Magickal and Miraculous New Year ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~