Thursday, February 28, 2013

Before Dante's Inferno, Saving the Gold

Thursday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers. 
Okay, since I was on an editing roll, this is only the first part of Volcano and Sedona's flash scene -- my hero and heroine in WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS.


Before Dante's Inferno, Saving the Gold

Sedona hovered above the enormous stack of gold bars that formed a pyramid. Her angel wings strained to hold her in position.

She still learned how to use them, how to transfer the ethereal energies to keep her manifested wings strong, flapping for long periods. Closing her eyes for moments, she steadied herself -- and lost mental contact with Volcano.

Even now, her carnal cherub spun through the early night sky above her, torpedoing toward the Annunaki transport craft. More crucial right now, though... Sedona cast her inner eye over the hidden cache of gold.

She made certain the mantle of protection she'd created remained unbroken, preventing those who were sometimes called fallen angels from beaming the bars aboard their cloaked craft.

The pirated gold had been stockpiled inside the mountain cavern by one faction of the new world order. As a divine intervention -- a counterstrike against evil -- she and Volcano phased inside the enormous, artificially lit stronghold.

With their combined power they'd battled and defeated two dragon shapeshifter guards, and a squad of super soldiers. Ultimately, with a point of his finger, Volcano delivered them to an inter-dimensional purgatory.


Volcano whirled at quantum speed, each rotation faster than the one before. Too late, the dark ones sensed his presence.

Before he speared into the hyper-grav field of their craft, the crew attempted to streak toward their base on the moon, abandoning their gold prize.

Volcano would have allowed the Annunaki to escape, sealed the gold pyramid inside the sacred ethers, and gone disco dancing with his beloved Sedona -- as they'd planned before this sudden mission.

The dark ones' mistake, dispatching two shadow warriors to kick his cherub butt, and drain his vital force. Angelic elixir energies sold for a premium in the intergalactic marketplace.

As the warriors attacked, Volcano reversed his spin quicker than the blink of an eye. With the density of Earth momentarily cracked open, he seized their snapping whips of energy,

He snaked them back around his foes, disabling their rush to capture him, crush him between their huge forms, then put the black-hole squeeze on him.

Transforming the air around him into a tornadic vortex, Volcano sucked off their remaining energy-force, even as he shot upward.

Righteous satisfaction filled him as he bulleted into the craft's propulsion field, causing it to rock like a ship caught in an ocean superstorm. Once the grav-frequencies were discombobulated, and the craft trembled, Volcano allowed the Annunaki leave.

For a moment, he stayed suspended, watching the disc shudder and limp toward the full moon, the Snow Moon high above.

Sedona. Knowing his beloved woman remained safe, Volcano waited for her to commune with him. As he floated back to Earth, he cleared their path for a return flight to the Interspecies Pleasure Club.

Volcano, you've got them on the run. Okay, not running, but escaping like the snake-bellied cowards they are. Meeting you at the entrance.

Falling now, my angel woman. Into your arms.  

Already his superspeed cycle hummed to life. Yet... How about sky-dancing beneath the Snow Moon before we disco down to the beat?

Before we feel the inferno? At Dante's Inferno... perfect, carnal cherub.  

On wings gleaming with starlight and moonlight, his Sedona ascended toward him, despite her weariness.


~ Have a Magickal Snow Moon Week ~ 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

X-Six Sentences ~ Chapter Sixty-two

Snow Moon Miracles to one and all. Howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

So, a huge ole snowstorm hit my tame prairie. Although, I didn't lose power, and didn't get the brunt of the white out conditions... thank you, Divine... the phone line went on the fritz, and I lost my dial-up connection at about five thirty in the morning. I was closing in on the end of my flash scene. But, since I didn't finish, I'll plan to post on Thursday.

In the meantime... here are Six X-Sentences on my 'coming soon' erotic romance menage.



Chapter Sixty-two:
Sherilyn whimpered against Zance's lips...

Sherilyn whimpered against Zance's lips, wanting Dontoya to handle her breasts beneath the hot swirling water. He rumbled a growl, then smoothed his palms over her generous curves.

At the same time, his shaft slid up and down her pussy slit. Sherilyn drowned in the pleasurable sensations, as Dontoya glided his hands over her breasts, boldly fondling.

Her moans vibrated Zance's mouth, and his tongue penetrated, lustily tangling with hers. The flavor of his cheroot--blended with his man's taste--sizzled her pussy parts even more. 


~ Have a Magickal Snow Moon Week ~ 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, February 25, 2013


“This,” Siobhan said with a touch of unease, “isn’t at all what I expected.”

“What’s wrong?” Kerr asked. He guided her onto the dance floor with a firm hand on her back. “I promised you dinner, correct?”

“Dinner only. Not dancing.”

“So you wind up with a bonus.” His brown eyes teased her. “What’s the matter? Don’t you dance? And you such a fine Irish lass.”

“I’m not riverdancing, if that’s your intent.”

“Me either. You need four legs to do it right. Dante prefers his guests stay human on the dance floor. And upright, more or less.” His smile promised wickedness to come. “He’s got private rooms, if it’s other positions you’re wanting.”

She trod on his instep. “Mind your feet, Mr. Irish Elk.”

He tripped in his effort to keep off her toes. Siobhan snickered.

She mustn’t let the night get to her. Kerr Mulligan had a long record of breaking women’s hearts and wrecking reputations. No elk, this one; that was a lie. He was stallion through and through. And she was a woman—not his species, but that rarely mattered to a stallion. She could hold him on a lead only so long before he reared up and bucked. Then she’d be forced to tip her hand.

But not, Dog willing, until this evening was over.

Siobhan had expected dinner at some cramped, dirty bar, or that tavern run by the Scottie in the kilt. She hadn’t expected Dante’s. The game hen had been cooked to perfection, and the odd liqueur they’d been offered at the end of their meal, courtesy of the management, had topped it off with just the right touch of sweetness. A far cry from the perfunctory holiday dinners she’d attended at the Roebucks’ mansion. A girl could get used to such treatment.

Music started up from hidden speakers, and Kerr’s arm curved around her waist. A girl could get used to this too.

Focus, girl! He’s no date. He’s your target. Now she must hold him in Talbot’s Peak until the hunter arrived. The hunter she’d already notified before Kerr had picked her up for dinner. She matched his smile and allowed him to twirl her about to the energetic beat. Perhaps she’d acted prematurely, summoning the hunter so soon.

No. That was the pooka’s magic, working on her. He was far too skillful, this shifty stallion. Dogs and horses, whiskey and women, these were things the Irish were best at, and Kerr was a master of all. Siobhan added dancing to the list.

The lights dimmed, the tempo slowed. Kerr drew her against him. Playing the part, Siobhan molded her body to his. His hand remained on her upper spine, but she sensed it would sink to its preferred target at the first opportunity. She beat him to the punch with a pinch to his buttock. He started, then grinned. “Not so prim and proper after all, are you, terrier girl?” he murmured in her ear.

“Proper enough for a true Irish lass.”

“That you are.” They swayed together to the beat. “You’re glowing.”

“Is that a polite way of telling me I sweat?”

“No, I mean it.” Their slow dance stuttered to a halt. “You’re really glowing.”

That she was. Siobhan stared at her hand, shimmering pale red-gold in the now-darkened room. This wasn’t her own doing. His? No, he looked as surprised as she. And he was glowing, too.

Nor were they alone. All over the dance floor couples threw off a glimmer like embers in a hearth, in a riot of colors like a rainbow gone berserk. Seductive blues, hot-blooded reds, fiery yellows and delicious greens. Across the room a pair of coyotes whirled in a tornado of violet. No one else seemed the least upset. Indeed, they reveled in their newfound luminosity.

“The drink,” Siobhan realized. “That drink they gave us at the end of the meal. That was the sweet I tasted in it. Magic. This is a spell.”

Kerr’s hand clutched her arms in a show of suspicion. “You can taste magic?”

“Can’t you? After all, you’re—” Dog damn it, he wasn’t supposed to know she knew. “Irish,” she hastily finished.

“As are you,” he retorted, with a passable growl for a horse. He stepped back, putting distance between them. “More than I figured.”

Now what could he mean by—oh. Now that he’d backed off she could see. The magic in the drink had hit the magic in his blood. The outline of his shifter form swirled around his human body, a stallion in plunging blues and blacks and silvers. A tail stretched behind him like ebony smoke. At every move he made, phantom hooves threw off cobalt sparks.

And she? Dear Dog. She lifted her arm to see bright crimson feathering threaded with gold in a fringe along her sleeve. Behind her—yes, there was the tail, a comet of riotous reds. It even wagged, the treacherous thing. Nothing she did could still it.

“Terrier, eh?” Kerr said, not at all friendly.

Siobhan thought fast. “Setters have a bad reputation. Flighty, high-maintenance. Terriers are sturdy. I didn’t want to give a bad impression. And look at you,” she added, switching over to attack. “Elk, indeed.”

He shrugged, setting off a cascade of blue. “Horses have their own bad rep. I didn’t want to scare you off.”

“Terrier or setter, I don’t scare easily.”

“So I see.” Once again his grin emerged, with a silver echo. He caught her hand and reeled her in. “Care to dance?”

They spun across the floor in a twirl of rainbow contrails. Their movements set off Technicolor explosions. Where the others merely twinkled, Kerr and Siobhan flared like novae. It was the magic, of course. Their Irish blood hummed with magic. The spell in the liqueur fed on it, enhanced it. The spectral stallion and setter that wreathed their human bodies intertwined until none could tell where dog ended and horse began. A reflection, she knew, of their heightened emotions.

That couldn’t be. He was only a job. She had already sent for the hunter.

“Well well,” Kerr said on a laugh. “Look at you. We may be needing that private room after all.”

Siobhan’s red setter had grown to titanic proportions. It blazed the scorching scarlet of lust. Kerr’s stallion gleamed an amenable azure, inviting her to mount.

She let go and pushed herself away. The setter refused to diminish. If anything, it burned brighter. So did Siobhan’s cheeks. “I think I’m done with dancing for the night.”

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Squirrel What?!

Gill looked up from the open box sitting on his desk in the mayor's office in downtown Talbot's Peak.  He glanced over his shoulder and back around the room.  Melody had closed the office door as she exited.  Gill leaned back in his chair and snorted.

"Who is the culprit behind this?"  Gill pondered who could be pranking him.  Not that anyone in particular had an inkling that doing so wasn't going to upset him.  His tree group agreed that greased bird feeders was funny until they ended up covered in the gunk from a return prank on them from another tree group.   Gill sat upright as it hit him who could be behind the box and its contents. 

 He plucked the shirt out  of the box and shook it out.  He squinted and pulled the shirt closer.  "Oh holy nuts," he muttered, tossing the shirt aside.  Gill tipped the box upright.  Several more shirts fell out and landed across the desk.  A crumpled sheet of paper stuck out from where it lay between shirts still in the box.  Gill swallowed hard.  What else had Nestor gotten him into?  Hadn't the idiot realized acorn ale and a full moon didn't mix?  Or was this from a poker game that only penny antes were allowed and now pay off was being called in?

Gill smoothed the sheet of paper out on the desk and read the neatly printed message.

Dear Mr Mayor,
Enclosed are the twelve baseball jersey shirts you requested.  Our company appreciates the advertising as well as the community support your office is doing.  May Talbot's Peak win the first shape shifter interspecies league world series!  Please notify us when tryouts and practices start.  Our son and daughter are interested in playing.  It's great that you are leading this effort.

Mack & Maudie Squirrel

Gill shook his head.  Once again he'd stuck his paw in it-this time deeper than he remembered.  Kids!  And sports?!  The closest to sports he got was watching them on television.  Now he had to figure out how to play the game, much less get a team ready to participate.  First he needed to find the money to fund the endeavor.  Who and how much?


Happy Weekend Gang!

Looks like Gill has bitten off another chunk of something.  Let's see where this leads to.  Spring and baseball season are not far off.  As we battle the last weeks of winter, the trees around the Spice Homestead are budding.  Dang though it has been cold inbetween burst of warmth.  Stay safe, warm, and healthy.  Share a good book or two with your Spice and loves as you recreate this weekend.  I know I am!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Lupa Friday

Dear TP Lupa,

How come I couldn't score a date for VD?

Best, Infectious laughter

Hey Infectious, 

Think about it man...what she wants to come near your, ah, laughter on VD.  Try calling it Valentine's Day next year and change up the moniker. 



Dear TP Lupa,

Will the snow ever go away?

B. Foofoo

Well, B,

Punxy Phil claims to have seen his shadow this year which means an early spring...If the little ground snorter lied how about we form a posse and take him out Talbot's Peak style! 



Dear TP Lupa,

I’m pretty sure I saw two glow-in-the-dark wolf cubs out my back window last night.  Should I be worried?

Concerned, Miss Purrrrty Puss

Miss Puss,

How could a living being in Talbot’s Peak be glowing?  Lay off the Nip and I’m sure everything will go back to normal.


TP Lupa,

Oh how I love your words of wisdom, so rawr…  I have so many questions for you…I think I need a face to face, or any other place you see fit!  What do I do about my strong desires for your hard advice?

Yours always,
Bull Pen Bliss

Get back to work, Bull Pen, you’ve got a paper to get out!


And that’s over and out for TP Lupa this week.  If you have any questions you just can’t help submitting, join the newsletter and send them in to then look for the Lupa's tongue in cheek response in next month’s issue.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And the shoe drops... or does it?

                Marissa followed the sound of boys giggling, knowing it meant Loki and Thor were up to something. It probably wouldn’t be anything too bad since they followed the basic kid rule of being totally silent when they were doing something really wrong. They were hiding in a coat closet, by the sound of it, so they were definitely up to something. She cracked the door open and got her silence. And a shock. Why were her kids glowing in the dark???
                “Lex!” she bellowed, making the two faintly purple wolf pups jump. She shut the door. Closed her eyes and bellowed again, “Lexor Luthor!”
                She was greeted with yet more silence. She rubbed her head, trying to ease the sudden headache that slammed into her. Right, he was probably out trying to get some sucker to buy his “Egyptian Elixir of Health.” The very stuff she was willing to bet had caused her kids to suddenly start glowing in the dark. She jerked the closet door back open.
                “Out here now. Get your winter gear on.”

                “Lex!” Marissa bellowed as she entered Rattigan’s Pub.
                “In the back room,” Missy, the bar tender on duty said nodding toward the door to Louie’s office. “What the hell?” she asked as Marissa stormed through, dragging Thor and Loki behind her. Right, it was dark enough in here that they boys’ new color pallet was probably showing. Great.
                She slammed the door to Louie’s office open and stood there glaring at the assembled men.
                “Marissa, this is a closed meeting—“ Lex began.
                “I told you not to use my kids as lab animals in your elixir scheme, Lex. I know I told you to never, ever use my kids as lab animals.”
                “Now really, Marissa—“ he tried to cut in.
                “And now they glow in the dark!” she spat out angrily.
                More silence, this time sounding as if crickets were chirping.
                “You sort of failed to mention the fact this stuff would make me glow in the dark, Lex,” Louie said reproachfully.
                “I assure you, there is nothing harmful about it,” Lex said soothingly as he glared at Marissa. “It’s only the excess energy of the unused magic bleeding off. You can hardly see it, in fact—”
                Marissa dragged the boys out from behind her and into the room and raised here eyebrows. Both boys were shining brightly enough to give everything around them a violet hue. Nobody spoke at first. And then:
                “Can you make this stuff so it glows in other colors?”
                Marissa looked at the speaker, someone she had not noticed when she first stormed into the office. It was Dante Hancock, the owner of the Pleasure Club and other somewhat hush-hush businesses in town. What was he doing here at Rattigans?
                “Well, yes, actually,” Lex said, sounding surprised. “Only the cream soda flavor radiates purple. That nice brandy flavor I concocted made them glow a lovely blue—”
                “You made them glow blue?!?” Marissa screeched.
                “Marissa, calm down,” Dante said firmly. “They are fine. This is actually pretty mild for wolf pups.” He turned his attention back to Lex. “Put me down for two cases of each and of any other flavor/colors you have. I just put in black lights in the downstairs disco room. This would go over big!”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Zaig sauntered into town...

Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

I spent most of my writing time today editing HER MIDNIGHT STARDUST COWBOYS, and got quite a bit done. I'm about two-thirds finished, and figured I'd better go with the flow while I could. Yeah, especially given all the roadblocks there've been.

Thus, hopefully for your enjoyment, I let the muse run fancy free, and this is the result... so far.


Zaig sauntered into town...

Zaig sauntered into town, his curled tail tight to his back. Given it was nearing midnight and snowflakes pelted him, not many were around to witness his arrival in shapeshifter-landia, otherwise known as Talbot's Peak.

Being a Shiba Inu dog shapeshifter, and only weighing about twenty pounds when soaking wet, Zaig figured he needed a positive male attitude. Oh hell yeah, he heard and smelled the werewolves and the big cat shifters roaming, enjoying the wintery night in the forest close to town.

No need for him to be dinner, though. But he sure could use some dinner. His stomach growled, agreeing.

Where? He couldn't morph to human. His energy had been too doggone depleted.  'Doggone', he was already thinking in the western lingo he'd been studying.

Using the last dregs of his energy, Zaig strutted his stuff, and headed toward the late-night bar with the most enticing scent. He'd escaped from the Billings, Montana animal shifter, just in the nick of time before his balls would have been nicked off.

Ouch-howl! Zaig shivered, remembering.

Sprinting for his life, he'd squeezed through a door that was about to be shut. As the good-hearted humans chased after him, Zaig dodged and darted through traffic.

Running as far and as fast as possible, he'd continued his journey to the Red Silk Garter Saloon. Owned by his jackal shifter buddies, the Old West saloon was one of many bars and businesses located inside Dante's underground complex -- so they'd explained to him.

Even though, Zaig performed card tricks for partying fun and not for profit, Drew and Dune had offered him a position at the saloon. Knowing Zaig's ability to deal was slicker than most card sharks, they'd promised him a good salary, and a place to bed down.

Being at loose ends, and with no prospects... hell-yip, with shapeshifter hunters suddenly on his human tail, Zaig had made a run for it, as his dog self. With the Ninja like bastards shadowing him through four states, he hadn't been able to contact Drew and Dune.

Finally shaking the hunters' dogged pursuit, Zaig had curled up inside a vacant dog house, only to be picked by animal control. He'd been in a dead-tired sleep.

Now, salivating from hunger, Zaig broke into a trot beneath the shop awnings where the snow hadn't accumulated. The fragrance of raw and cooking meat drove him forward.

He hoped someone would have a heart, and feed him at what was obviously a late-night bar. Zaig well knew he looked like an underfed stray. Hell, maybe a pathetic one at that.

If no one offered him a meal, he'd rely on his super quick agility, on his wily skills to steal a bite or two, as much as he could gulp down.

"Omygawd, pup," a woman's concerned voice interrupted his dash for the opening door. "What are you doing out here on this freezing cold night?"

Before he knew it, Zaig had been scooped up -- hugged against a bosom he only wished he could see as his human self. Even through the woman's expensive wool coat, Zaig felt her 'make him drool' shape. 

With his hunger temporarily forgotten, he sniffed her scent -- like a rose warmed by  sunshine, but earth-musky and womanly. She wasn't a shifter, but she wasn't only human either.

"Put that mangy thing down," a man's arrogant, cultured voice commanded.

"I will not."

"You will. Or we're--"

"We've been finished for a long time," she interrupted, her tone like a bitch who'd endured too much, and was making her stand.

"Your father won't be happy, Saffina. We have an agreement."

"I don't give a flying you know what. Right now, I'm going in that bar. By myself. I'm going to make certain this dog is fed. Report that to father for all I care."

With that, Saffina hugged him a bit tighter, and marched toward the door someone from inside was opening for her.



~ Have a Magickal and Miraculous Day ~ 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, February 18, 2013


At last. After a week of breakfasts at the Bighorn Diner—most excellent breakfasts, Siobhan was willing to own up to—she finally spotted her quarry.

She matched his features to those in the photo cupped in her palm under the table. That was Kerr Mulligan, sure enough.

She was more astonished now than when the Roebucks first showed her the photo. As a rule, pookas in their human form had a horsey look: long faces, long noses, big teeth. Kerr Mulligan was handsome as the Devil himself. He’d cut his sinfully black hair short like the humans did, perhaps to better blend in. Most pookas wore their hair in manes. Kerr had a mane in the picture. She had to admit, this clipped version suited him well. It framed his cheekbones, large eyes and firm chin with its cute little dimple in a way that made her mouth water.

Siobhan took a quick gulp of tea. She wasn’t here to admire the scenery. She was here to hunt.

She did allow herself to admire his easy charm with the locals. He had a smile and a wave and a good word for just about everyone, meaties and grassies alike. A thin smirk touched one side of her mouth. The old Irish charm, that was a pooka’s greatest magic. This horse had it by the tub.

He’d certainly charmed his way into Fawn Roebuck’s knickers, that was for flushing sure. He hadn’t left her pregnant, thank Dog for small favors, but he’d tainted propriety and outraged the family, and the Roebucks would tolerate neither. Not to mention Fawnie’s injured pride. There lay the true heart of the matter, with a dark and deadly beat. No man trifled with Fawn Roebuck’s affections and walked away unscathed, or for long with his apples intact.

Siobhan stared at her target a fraction too long. The fae blood in the pooka’s veins alerted him to hers. He swept a darkened, narrowed stare around the crowded diner, and found her.

Their eyes collided across the width of the room. Siobhan’s psychic senses screamed an alarm.

Kerr Mulligan sipped his coffee, eyeing her over the rim. Abruptly he left his table and started for her booth.

Well, la. She’d expected this. He was Irish, a pooka, and male. Any red-headed lass with a comely face and a healthy bosom was sure to catch his eye, and reel him in like a trout to the lure. She would let him speak first, and from there gauge how best to keep him on the hook.

He slid in opposite her without invitation, still with his coffee mug in hand. “You’re a new face in here,” he remarked.

“And how would you be knowing that?” she said, ladling on the brogue. If he caught even a whiff of her Boston accent he might guess who’d sent her and bolt. “You’ve yet to look at it.”

“New hair,” he corrected himself, hastily yanking his regard upward to the feature in question. “There aren’t many redheads in this town. Two wolves and that’s it.” His nostrils flared like a suspicious stallion’s. “You’re not a wolf?” It was barely a question.

“Terrier,” she lied smoothly. “Are there any rats about? They get my hackles up.”

“Stay away from Rattigan’s, then. The chef’s twice your size and carries a cleaver.”

“I’ll be steering clear. Thanks for the warning.” He watched her own nose work, and seemed to enjoy the sight. “You’re a … ?”

“Deer.” His lie slid off his tongue as easily as hers. As if any deer would have oats on his breath. “More along the elk line. I’m here visiting family. “

“Elk, is it? And with such eyes. I would have taken you for … for …”

Ah, those eyes. Brown with flecks of emerald, like new shoots of grass poking up through the Irish soil. Not that she’d ever seen it in person. Only in dreams. Her psychic power blatted like an air horn.

“And where would you like to take me?” Kerr prompted.

“Elk, then,” Siobhan said briskly. She diverted herself with a sip of tea to break the pooka’s spell. He hadn’t been born in Ireland any more than she had, but like her he carried magic in his blood. In spades. She would have to be wary.

“Not a hart?” she risked. “A red hart?”

“Irish elk.” Those canny brown eyes betrayed nothing. More quicksand than soil, she decided. A lass could swim in quicksand, if she kept her head. “Funny, you don’t act like a terrier. They’re yappy. You’re a quiet one. Still waters?”

“Deep and deadly.” Siobhan flashed her teeth. “But not to a deer—your pardon, an elk. An elk who seems to have no name, I’m thinking.”

“Kerr,” he answered without hesitation. Thought himself safe, then, here in this mountainy wilderness. “Let me guess. You’re … Meghan? Kathleen?” He snapped his fingers. “Bridget.”

She couldn’t stop a giggle. “Siobhan. Shall I spell it?”

“Don’t bother. At least you’re not Welsh. Welsh spelling always makes my head hurt.” He shook his head, a giveaway. He tossed it as if he still had a mane. “Well, terrier Siobhan, I haven’t had my breakfast yet, and it looks as if you haven’t either. Join me?”

“I should be getting back to work.” Back to Hart’s Desire, to notify the Roebucks the game had been found, and to send their hunter.

He leaned across the table toward her, with a wicked smile more suited to a meatie. “Dinner, then?”

“You’re a fast mover, Mr. Irish Elk.”

“That’s deer for you. We move in leaps and bounds.”

And horses moved at a gallop. This one had a devilish glint in his eye, the stallion with the bit in his teeth. Which bit of her would he want to sink his teeth into, she wondered.

Boston and the Roebucks lay a long ways off. She could hold point a little while longer, before she flushed the quarry for the hunter’s gun. “Dinner it is,” she agreed. Just in time, she remembered. “Not Rattigan’s.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Little Love for Valentine's Day

A little something to warm you up for your special Valentine!

Josh pulled back the curtain and sighed.  Cold didn’t need more description than the snow and ice already decorating the horizon.  The warmth of southern California was great.  He loved the surf and sands more than he realized.  Still it was good to be back home. The bar had thrived under Sally and her husband’s care.  More was to come as they opened a second establishment back in California.  That place would be inhabited from time to time as things permitted.  Josh wondered if the managers Anthony had hired would work out.  That was for another time and place.  Anchorage welcomed them home.
“Can’t sleep,” a soft feminine voice whispered in his ear.  Tory was awake.  Anthony’s snores filled the room in between the soft sighs of Tory’s breath warming Josh’s ear.  Her stomach rubbed up against him.  Their daughter would have a brother come fall.  The tyke would be a handful if he turned out to be anything like Azalea.  Their Azzy was a terror when she took off running.  Since she’d learned to walk she’d kept them going.  Now at two, she loved to wrap those whose attention she captured around her little finger.  Even Tongson had taken to her and her him.  Who knew what the future held in store for their little girl.  One day she wouldn’t be small. 
 Josh would worry about that when the day came.  For now he was content.  Anthony had spent more time with him during their sojourn in California.  The vitality of their connection was vibrant and renewed.  What neither of them had known was how strong their link to Tory would grow either. Yes, they’d been a family unit before.  Josh had grown to love Tory.   Now he was in love with her.  In love with her as much as he was with Anthony.  Making love with either of them felt so right.  And their threesome last night. . .
Josh felt himself grow hard as images and feelings from the prior night’s activity swirled back up.  Tory’s soft kiss reminded him of what loving more than one offered him.  The possibilities were endless.  Yes, things were harder than with two.  He smiled as Tory nibbled his neck and ran her hands down his waist toward his growing desire.  His cock seemed to rise as though eager to greet her searching hand and fill it.  Things were also easier with more than two.  Josh jerked his hips as Tory’s hand closed around him.  He bit his lip to keep from groaning too loudly and waking Anthony.  Though Josh doubted Anthony would sleep much longer given how Tory’s hormones were ramping up.  Last night penetrated by both of them, she’d rocked and moaned to several minor orgasms before she’d cried out in two double orgasms back to back.  Thank the gods and goddesses shape shifters could withstand the ardors of strong love making. 
And there was that. . .they made love.  Fucking happened now and then.  It remained fun and hot as well as sweaty.  Sex was a wondrous gift that could lead to tenderness and incredible feelings.  It could also hurt if the participants weren’t careful.  Josh knew that didn’t necessarily mean just physical either.   He’d learned the hard way.  And his heart had survived.  He’d found a place to call home and a family that worked and fit for him.


What Would Be My Dream Valentine's Day?

Apologies, shapeshifter lovers, this is Part 2 of my flash scene, starring my heroine, Szarelle, an unknown type of cat-dog shapeshifter & my two heroes, Daejh and Dryce, who are Lynx shapeshifters, with a few surprising tricks up the sleeves of their winter parkas.

Part 1 was posted on Tuesday, my regular day to blog. Here's the link


What Would Be My Dream Valentine's Day?

"What in the--" Dryce cut the power, and turned his snowmobile so hard, it slid sideways spraying a wall of snow.

Behind him, his brother, Daejh nearly collided into him, but managed to haul his snowmobile up short.

"I see it," Daejh shouted. "What the scat is a force field doing out here?"

"Never been one here before." Dryce planted his legs in the two-foot blanket of snow,  and jerked around.

He stared at what he'd seen with his Lynx vision. The exotic technology glimmered slightly reflecting the dying rays of the sun.

Daejh maneuvered his snowmobile next to Dryce. For several moments their fast breaths clouded the icy air as they studied the frequency mesh that appeared to cover about a quarter of mile like a dome.

"Nope, never before," Daejh agreed in his pondering rumble. "We've been doin' regular runs out in this territory for nine years--watching out for the eco-system."

"This sure isn't eco-friendly." Dryce slitted his eyes, spying a slight variation in the texture of the snow. "Looks like there could be one of those prepper underground pods."

"I'm not scenting anyone but the woman shifter. You?" Daejh asked.

From the corner of his eye, Dryce watched his brother open his parka only enough to draw out his disrupter, as he called the ray-gun like device he'd invented.

"Only the woman." Dryce spoke after he'd painstakingly sniffed the area, well beyond what the force field covered.

"I always count on your nose, bro." Pointing the disrupter, Daejh growled, "Let's see what this baby can do."

Past experience with his brother's James Bond inventions, had Dryce walking the snowmobile backward. "Hope the satellite surveillance grid misses this."

Don't have time to block it out," Daejh snarled with his determination. "She's desperate. I can feel it," he continued, even as he fired a blast.

White plasma sparks exploded outward. Prepared to grab his brother's shoulder, and haul him out of the way, Dryce stilled instead.

A hole formed, and spread slowly, as if the frequency mesh simply melted. Daejh aimed lower, firing a stronger blast.

Again plasma leapt, looking like lightning serpents. As the atmosphere sizzled with ozone, more of the force field collapsed, and faster now.

"That extra high IQ of yours sure is impressive, bro." Dryce spoke as he switched his snowmobile back on, and revved the engine.

"Right behind you," Daejh shouted. "I don't see the underground structure."

Dryce launched through the opening, then quickly picked up speed. Even as twilight fell, his lynx eyesight locked on the pod's location.

The noxious smell of chemicals hit Dryce square in the nostrils as he closed in. Drugs, the heavy duty pharmaceutical kind permeated the immediate area.

But, what the fuck? Dryce didn't scent any contamination of the woman shifter's blood, though.

She smelled pure, and her luscious fragrance beckoned him. The urge to protect the woman, rescue her raged through Dryce, every molecule of him.

He wasn't certain how. But that didn't matter.

Nearly on top of the structure, Dryce skid to a halt.  "Let's start disrupting this damn concrete."


What would be my dream Valentine's Day?
Szarelle chanted to herself, as she drifted into the light trance state that had always been natural to her.

Scenes from prior Valentine's Day celebrations flitted before her mind's eye. A smile curved her lips since most had been -- if not wildly passionate -- a whole lot of lighthearted fun.

No doubt she was girl who loved to dress up and party with friends, or anyone in the mood for a good-time frolic, as she called it -- the caveat being, Szarelle avoided the whole get-drunk, get-drugged scene like the plague.

Concentrating, she imagined herself wearing the flirty, red-as-sin dress she'd purchased shortly before being abducted. When she'd been hiking as her human self on the Ocho Rios Mystic Mountain in Jamaica.

Her creature side adored prowling the trails, as well. Probably why the mad-scientists creeps had discovered her ability to morph.

So, where in the world ... there were so many beautiful romantic places to choose. Although, her sis, who lived in Talbot's Peak -- or shapeshifter-landia -- had become a rabid fan of the Midnight Stardust Supperclub.

As often as possible during her ordeal, Szarelle gave life to the various events held at the grand elegant establishment, remembering the way Gayle enthused about them, whenever they talked on a secure phone line. Her sis's encrypted emails had also included descriptions, since photos weren't allowed of the Midnight Stardust.

Envisioning the supperclub's glittery ceiling of stars ... the sparkling red and pink hearts decorating the dining area ... the romantic rose-colored lighting surrounding couples on the dance floor ... Szarelle fantasized about becoming the belle of the Valentine's Day ball.

She danced in the arms of handsome shifters, other sexy supernatural men, and the vampire escorts Dante, the club's owner, kept as part of the supperclub's staff -- according to her sis, that is. The creamy rich dessert she pretended to indulge in, was divine, of course, as were the flutes of rosé wine.

Howling to the gods, hunger tormented her. Even now Szarelle salivated for the foods she missed, what she craved.

While her captors did feed her somewhat nutritionally -- so she'd have enough energy shapeshift -- it was hardly the same.

Jerked out of her fantasy by what sounded like three muffled explosions, Szarelle shot upright. When the sounds stopped, she switched to her animal hearing, not certain if her ears deceived her.

Several moments later, the walls and floor trembled. Szarelle grabbed her knees, curling up in the middle of the bunk.

What the fricking hell? Was this a new tactic by the sicko nerd scientists to trick her into morphing?

If so, she wasn't ... sounds like concrete exploding had Szarelle burying her face between her thighs, becoming more of a ball. Around her, the small enclosure quaked.

Earthquake! she screamed inside her mind.

It took an instant, but her mind clicked on. Escape, she had a freaking chance to escape.

Even though, the pod continued to shake, Szarelle peeked above her knees. Hoping to find a way out of her underground prison, she began searching for cracks.

Instead, a giant spray of gravel shot toward the foot of her bunk. Szarelle scooted back fast.

"She's in here," a male voice boomed.


Daejh lowered his disrupter quick, not wanting to frighten the gorgeous woman huddled against the wall. She stared at him, her sapphire, gold-flecked eyes wide, her lips parted in shock. 

Fast as lightning, her expression changed. She scowled ferocious as a wildcat and a wolf combined. "If you're another bad-guy creep, I'm not shapeshifting no matter--"

Knowing they had to get the hell out of Dodge ... that bad-guy creeps raced toward them, Daejh merged his mind with the spirited woman. He projected who he was as a near-instant download. Then, he flooded her mind with his and Dryce's intention to rescue her.

"Shift!" Dryce yelled. His charge inside the small room shoved Daejh to the side. "It's the only way we can keep you warm enough." 

At the woman's hesitation, Daejh encouraged, "We gotta make a run for it."

A split second later, Daejh watched her decide. Heedless of the hospital-type gown that only partially covered her, the woman morphed like her life depended on it. In a yowling fury, with her fangs and claws bared, she completed her shift.

Stepping in front of him, Dryce opened his arms to the mythically beautiful creature who dropped Daejh's jaw. Graceful as a lioness, she sprang, landing perfectly within his brother's embrace.

"Keep us covered," Dryce shouted over his shoulder, once he'd squeezed past.

Spinning fast, following in Dryce's wake, Daejh knew he wanted nothing more than to do just that. He knew, like he sensed his brother knew, they'd just found their mate.


~ Have a Magickal Valentine's Day ~ 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Wild at Heart - A Shapeshifter Valentine Celebration


Laurie opened her front door to find a grinning Digger on her steps. He leaned in and kissed her hard without even saying hello. Laurie relaxed and let him. A girl dating a wolf learned to accept these things. Predator aggression paid off handsomely in other aspects of their relationship. She had no complaints.

They broke when they both ran out of air. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” Digger panted.

Likewise breathless, Laurie stepped back so he could enter. “Did you bring it?”

“Right here.” Digger rooted around in the canvas shopping bag slung over his arm. He came up with a large red cardboard box in the shape of a heart. “Whoa. How’d that get in there?”

“That’s funny packaging for pickles.”

“Cute.” He handed her the box. “I have it on good authority you chicks like this stuff.”

Laurie’s fingers tightened on the box. “Whose authority?”

“Marissa at Java Joe’s. She sent me over to the candy store. That’s where I got this. One hundred percent human made, all natural ingredients.” Digger shook his head. “It was a she there, too. It’s like you human chicks have your own pack or something.”

“Self-preservation.” Reassured, Laurie tugged off the bow and opened the box. The contents sure looked like real chocolates, and smelled like real chocolates. Saliva pooled in her mouth. Laurie swallowed quickly. “Lex didn’t touch these?”

“Lex has never been anywhere near them. They’re safe for human consumption. Whups, can’t forget this.” To the box he added a little wicker basket filled with aromatic sachets. “From my herb garden. I figured you had your fill of flowers, working in the garden center and all.”

“You figured right.” Laurie popped a chocolate into her mouth. The rich taste of butter cream exploded on her tongue. “My god, these are delicious!”

“I thought about getting a box of the racy-looking liquor ones, but … ” His grin widened to wolf proportions. “We can save that for our anniversary.”

“You dirty dog. Wait.” Laurie set the box and the basket aside and darted over to the coffee table. She passed the package sitting there to Digger. “Your turn.”

“Oh. Uh … you know canines have trouble with digesting chocolate, right?”

“I know. Sniff it and tell me what you think.”

Digger complied. His eyes got big. His tongue flashed over his lips. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Open it and find out.”

He ripped off the top of the box. “Holy scat! Where’d you get this?”

“Rattigan’s. Louie’s been making them special all week. It’s like a Whitman’s Sampler, but with meat. There’s venison, beef, rabbit, elk … I think there’s even rattlesnake. Yeah, there it is. See, there’s a guide on the inside lid.”

Digger went right for the Venison Balls. He chewed the first, then gulped the other three whole. “I want to marry you.”

“Prove it. Down on one knee, buster. I want the whole performance.”

“Okay, but you have to show me your throat. With us, a proposal is more a demand for submission.” At Laurie’s expression he quickly amended, “But it’s still a request.”

“Let me think it over during dinner. Then after dinner … ”

From her pants pocket Laurie drew out a handful of shiny foil packets. Digger’s eyes gleamed. “Are those …?”

“You betcha. Breath mints. I figured you’d shoot through your present after dinner, and I’m not kissing a man with raw meat on his breath. Let me keep some for me. I know I’ll be hitting the chocolate.”

Digger dropped his box of meat on the closest chair and hauled Laurie into his arms. “Screw tradition. I’m showing you my throat.”

Laurie smiled. Predator aggression definitely had its advantages. “Good boy,” she murmured into his kiss.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Frieda's Fancy

Frieda lowered her forehead to the intricately carved door and pulled in a shuddering breath.  She’d finally gotten up the nerve to talk to Dante about her secret desire to tie another with the soft Shibari ropes she’d been collecting for what seemed like forever. 

He’d taken her seriously, even offered a calming smile at her halting request to find another who enjoyed the art.  It was really too bad that he was off the market, as the naturally hewn strength of his body would make a beautiful canvas for her ropes. 

He’d pledged to find her another with which to play.  On the other side of this door was the fulfillment of that promise and she was terrified to step through.

“No, you have to do this.  You are this close to realizing a dream…no stopping now,” Frieda mumbled into the wood.  How many pep talks had she given herself—hundreds?  Of those, what was the total sum she’d failed to follow through on—about the same number.  She couldn’t fall short this time.

With that thought held firmly in her heart she eased to door open and stepped inside.


Upon first glance the place was dark, almost foreboding, until she spied the blue-haired god perched upon a chair in the middle of the room.  Light shone down on his perfectly formed and tanned body, free from all fabrics and even body hair.  Her ropes would lie perfectly against his skin.

Frieda moved closer, setting her bag on the floor next to his chair.  She reached out to touch the bulging muscle of his chest, but stopped, determined to do this the right way.

“H-hello,” she squeaked, before clearing the frog from her throat and starting again.  “Hello, my name is
Frieda and you are?”

“At your disposal…”

Dear heavens he was gorgeous… she thought as he brought his gaze level with hers.  Dante had indeed provided her with the perfect partner, but she had to do this right. 

“That’s wonderful, but shouldn’t I have your name and safe word before we play…I-I mean, your name and safe word.  Now!  Please…”

“Relax, lovely lady, you are going to do fine,” he whispered, easing her hand between his.  “You can call me Burgess and my safe word is Blue.”

“Okay, thank you.”  She blew out a nervous breath and started again. “Please sit back and we’ll begin.”


Frieda worked for nearly an hour winding the soft, thin ropes around every part of the body before her.  He was perfect.  His arms were bound behind him stretching his chest tight and showing the rest of the ropes she’d wound, down and around, the rest of his body.

He was a beautiful picture, live art constrained for her desire.  Proof of that arousal grew between her legs.  She longed for release, but could not look away from her creation.

Long, soft arms came around her shoulders while a lush feminine body melded its front to her back.  “My Penguino is a delicious sight, fair Frieda.  And as you can see by the joyous look upon his face, you have pleased him well.  Please, allow my mink, Daniel and I to show our appreciation of your art.”

The softest fur she’d ever felt wrapped around her ankle, while the elusive Mistress Penelope slid her hand lower.  She stroked over Frieda’s stomach and headed further south. 

“Yes…” Frieda whispered, finally giving herself over to the pleasure she’d been seeking for oh so long.

May all of your Valentine gifts be wrapped as tightly and deliciously as Frieda's!


My Valentine Blog Hop

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Is Looming

Tuesday howls, yowls, and growls, shapeshifter lovers.

Yes, it is now the Chinese Year of the Snake, so get your slithery sexy on. And, of course, Valentine's Day is looming on the near horizon. This Thursday, in fact.

We here at SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS, are putting together Valentine's Day flash scenes for your shapeshifting pleasure.

That said, I must apologize for the following flash scene. It's not very Valentiney. However, my energies remain low, and getting the Muse to cooperate was not easy. 

Still, I'm planning to write a romantic follow-up for Valentine's Day.


What Would Be My Dream Valentine's Day?

TV STATION HACKER WARNS OF ZOMBIES IN MONTANA: KRTV says on its website the hackers broadcast that 'dead bodies are rising from their graves' in several Montana counties. GOTTA LOVE MONTANA!

"Now there's a headline. And, hell, here I am in the freeze-your-butt-off state of Montana."

Szarelle stared at Steve Quayle's website on the tiny screen of the handheld computer her captors allowed her. Not a smartphone, of course, and she had no way to text or communicate with anyone.

Fascinated by the news headlines Mr. Quayle updated regularly, and by the breakthrough books he wrote -- two of them being "Giants and Ancient History" and "Genetic Armegeddon" -- Szarelle checked in several times a day.

Yeah, what the 'f' else did she have to do? That is, when her scientist captors finally left her alone.

So far, she refused to shapeshift, despite the various forms of persuasion and torture she'd endured. From promises of wealth ... to gawd knows how many methods of hypnosis ... to the cocktail of drugs they pumped inside her ... to waterboarding, and what Szarelle euphemistically called 'shock therapy'.

Only the amount of electrical current they'd hit her with would have killed a herd of elephants. Of course, the 'pain compliance' had begun after discovering she was somehow immune to their various, highly advanced mind control technologies.

Even their micro implants failed. Her body simply ejected them.

"Six months and counting in this dungeon out in the middle of snowy nowhere." With a sigh of disgust verging on hopelessness, Szarelle placed the palm-sized device on the one tiny table, then leapt up from her primitive bunk.

She moved the few feet to the small, ground level opening that served as a window, then stood on tiptoe. A heavy blanket of snow as far as the eye could see. Yeah, not that far.

Being depressed should have killed her by now. Even if nothing else did. So far, anyway.

Out of habit, Szarelle strained to see as much as she could. Even though, she faced east, the gentle glisten of light and the long indigo shadows told her that sundown was near.

Szarelle hugged herself tight, and shivered. The thin shift she wore didn't do a damn thing to keep her warm. But that was the point.

They wanted her to shift into her furry warm animal self. No, the mad effing scientists didn't want to kill her and dissect her.

That is, if she could be killed. Szarelle didn't own a clue.

She shuddered at the thought of being dissected while still alive. Returning to her bunk, she sat on the edge. Her shoulders slumped forward, every ounce of her feeling dispirited.

Yeah, nearly defeated, Szarelle admitted to herself.

What the freaking hell, she didn't even know what breed of feline-canine she was supposed to be. Her years of fanatical research had provided nothing but a scholar's knowledge about the ancestors of every discovered species of canine and feline on Earth.

Szarelle lived in the hope that the latest archeological discovery would give her the answers ... anything, anything at all.

Before being weaned, she'd been orphaned. A kindly, wolf shapeshifter couple had taken her in as one of their cubs. They'd had a litter, and she'd grown up with four siblings, two sisters, two brothers.

Howls of agony, she missed them. Most likely, her family still believed she was happily hanging out on the beaches of Jamaica -- living the good life, mon.

Szarelle mewed a sound of pure despair. The only thing identifying her had been a makeshift paper collar, with what her adopting mother had assumed was her name written on it.

Her chin dropped to her chest, and Szarelle didn't move. Misery owned her.

On top of her dire circumstances, how cruel was it that Valentine's Day loomed? Her very favorite holiday of the year.

Okay, it was damn stupid to be fretting over such romantic, hearts and flowers silliness when captured by the nerd ghouls from the ninth ring of shadow-government hell. At least, she assumed it was some secret, military industrial complex thing.

Clenching her eyelids, Szarelle slowly raised her head, and let it fall backward. With the pain of desperation ripping through her, she fisted the thin pad that served as her mattress, and rocked back until her head thumped against the cement wall.

If there'd been a ghost of a chance that chewing her way out with her large, razor-sharp fangs, then digging to the surface using her fearsome claws, would work ... but from what Szarelle could tell, the pod like structure had to be four feet thick.

Escape. She willed herself to escape. She daydreamed constantly, vividly of escaping.

That is, when they weren't prodding and poking her, and figuring out some new way to torture her. Then doing it day in and day out.

Szarelle had created so many movie escape scenarios, even written the scripts in her mind ... that if she ever did ... well, she had to escape. Somehow.

But, maybe a career as a screenwriter was real possibility.

After forcing herself to change positions, to lay as comfortably as possible on the bunk, Szarelle stopped herself from shivering. With her hands behind her head, she ignored the cold.

"If I could ... what would be my dream Valentine's Day?" Closing her eyes, she focused, and let her imagination take over.


Daejh paused on his way back to the lean-to, and the fire his brother carefully tended. He lifted his nose to the wind, in the same way he'd do, if in his lynx form.

"Female perfume," he announced to Dryce. "What the scat would a woman cat shifter be doing out here? By herself, and in her human shape?"

Quickly rising from his haunches, Dryce stepped away from the campfire. He sniffed for several long moments, his nose flaring noticeably.

"Cat?" he asked. "She smells more like a dog shifter to me. But the aroma is downright enticin'."

"Think she's lost? In trouble?" Daejh grabbed his parka, slipping into it fast.

"We better find out." Dryce zipped up his parka. "This ain't a fit night out for cat or dog, and especially not a human."



~ Have a Magickal New Year of the Snake ~ 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Leave It to Beaver

Chester loved his wood. All grains, soft and hard. He loved the smell of pine, the durability of oak, the exotic beauty of ebony. He even liked to work with bamboo, although technically that was a grass. Ever since that tiger clan had moved in, he’d been swamped with orders for ornate furniture and objets d’art crafted from his favorite and most expensive materials. Sometimes he missed the simplicity of building a basic table and chairs. However, as long as the tigers were willing to fork over the cash, he’d bow to their desires.

The profits, and the leftovers from his supply of materials, gave him what he really wanted: time enough to play, and the wood to play with.

When the work day was over Chester let his creativity, and his nimble hands, run wild. There wasn’t a chunk of wood, no matter how small or misshapen, that he couldn’t turn into a thing of beauty with his knives and his imagination. The shelves at the Hart’s Desire Gift Shop bore the results of his play: exquisite little figurines, decorated bowls, pipes and flutes, duck decoys, wall hangings and signs. He drew the line at chainsaw sculptures; he found the method far too crude. He had created a seven-foot rearing grizzly out of a thick fir log, for a human bar just over the Talbot’s Peak borough line, but he’d done it in the traditional way, carefully gnawed and chewed to raw, vibrant perfection. Done after dark, when the humans couldn’t see him, of course.

His pop and siblings over at Beaver Brothers Builders just shook their heads at little Chester’s odd, day-dreamy ways. “It’s his mother what done it,” Pops proclaimed. “Put all that artsy-fartsy scat in his head when he was a kit.” Yeah, and when a house needed trim or unique fence posts or the buyers wanted top-of-the-line furniture, who was it they turned to, family included? Chester never regretted leaving the family business to start his own, not for one second. Let Pops gnaw that log down to a splinter, see how he liked the taste of it.

He’d just finished sanding a rocking chair for the cougar lady down in the valley when the shop’s bell jangled the alert. He gave the prospective customer a few minutes to survey the showroom before he went out. The showroom consisted of three sections—sample bedroom, dining room and den, with furniture, accessories and knickknacks all created by the artist. If they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted in the showroom, he had photos of additional styles in catalogues on the counter.

Maybe they’d want something custom-made. A chance to play. Chester hurried into the shop.

And stopped. Dead.

Holy towering timber. When had she come to Talbot’s Peak?

From the top of her head to her five-inch heels, everything about her screamed cat. Her hair was a tawny mane streaked with black, like a tiger’s pelt. A dress as red as fresh-spilled blood clung to every square inch of her skin. She prowled about silently in shoes that should have clacked on the showroom’s hardwood floor. I am dangerous, her body language announced with every step she took. Challenge me at your peril.

When she extended her long, scarlet-lacquered nails toward the bedroom set, Chester finally moved. Pure, unfiltered sex on legs or not, no way would he permit some stray cat to scratch up his demos.

“Oh. Hello,” she said, with a look of surprise that had to be fake, considering his bumbling entrance. She coolly overlooked the noise, and his inability to speak. “Are you the manager, or a salesman?”

“Owner. Manager. Salesman,” Chester blurted out. Did all cats have eyes that green? He’d never paid attention before. Gazing into her eyes was like falling through the canopy of a rain forest. “I do it all. I mean, I’m a one-man operation here.”

Her thin brows rose. “Surely you didn’t craft these pieces yourself?”

That got his hackles up. “Surely I did. My family takes pride in our woodworking.”

“You have every reason to,” she purred, smoothing his bristly temper. “I’ll come right to the point. I’m looking for a dining room set. A table and six chairs. Something rustic without looking cheap. Human-made pieces are too rough for my liking, and those horrid things in the chain stores—” She executed an elegant, body-length shudder. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have come here in the first place, to someone who appreciates wood.”

He was certainly appreciating it at the moment. Thank all the forest gods he had his apron on. He risked a quick glance southward to make sure nothing poked out. “What type of wood would you like? For the set,” he felt compelled to add.

Again with the throaty purr. She had to know what it was doing to him. Cats did everything deliberately. Her running her fingers up and down the bedpost like that couldn’t be an accident either. Chester could have sworn he saw the post shiver. He knew exactly how it felt.

“Pine,” she said finally, after a maddening deliberation and several more strokes to the bedpost. “I like the scent. I also like the designs on the backs of those chairs. That’s what I want. Something like that. Ornate without being gaudy. I like to give intimate dinner parties. I want to impress my guests.”

And Chester wanted to impress her. Badly. Desperately. Pops had always warned his boys about getting involved with a predator. “They’ll bite your ass.” But … dayum.

“Tell me what you want,” Chester said. “For the design."

“I knew this would be the right place. Let’s have a look at what you’ve got.” She started for the counter and the catalogues. On the way she just happened to brush up against him, leg to leg, hip to hip. Chester’s libido teetered on the brink of spontaneous meltdown.

Her emerald eyes impaled him. “What’s your name?”

“Uhhhhhhh …. ”

Her red lips curved upwards, revealing white, pointy teeth. “I’m Sela,” she prompted. Chester made a high keening noise. The cat shrugged. “You tell me your name when you’re ready. I’ll tell you right now, if I’m pleased with the dining room set … I may be in the market for a bed.”

Son of a fisher. “Flip through the catalogues. See what you like. We can do sketches. Uh, I’ll be right back.” He dashed for the back of the store and his closet-sized bathroom. Sometimes the harder woods could be a real pain in the ass.