Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Hope summer is treating you right. Okay, since my tigress shapeshifter, Kytaira, decided not to talk this week, I let my imagination run with this flash scene.
Are Wranglers For Sale in Talbot's Peak?
Startled by the sign on the shop's door, Kagaya halted. "Wrangler Apparel On Sale," she repeated beneath her breath -- in case any of the Earth races in Talbot's Peak wondered why she read a sign out loud.
She'd only learned Americanese since arriving at her people's base, about three months ago, according to her cowboy calendar. The long-established Earth research facility Kagaya now called home was hidden deep inside the nearby mountain range.
"Wrangler," she mouthed. Could it be the store was really selling wranglers? Kagaya snatched the primitive e-reader device out of the pocket of her hiking shorts.
Since discovering what were called romance novels, she'd developed a passion for the pretend stories, especially erotic, happily-ever-after westerns.
Using her mind power, Kagaya commanded 'wrangler'. A lineup of ebooks appeared, and she rapidly reviewed the content.
No, Kagaya wrinkled her brow -- not one mention of a wrangler being purchased in a shop. Still...
What if they were being sold? Maybe for ranch work.
If so, she wanted one for her very own... not that she had a ranch for him. Her people did keep several types of animals at the base, including a stable of Earth horses.
Kagaya didn't want to be cruel... yet, if he could adapt, she'd give him a good home.
Staring at the sign again, she tilted her head. 'Apparel,' she assumed that meant the wrangler came fully attired in ranch gear. Wouldn't that be deliciously entertaining? Dressing her very own wrangler in various cowboy outfits.
Dressing, and undressing him. Kagaya hotly shivered inside, her hormones surging like the particle tides in space.
Flashing back to what she'd been taught, Kagaya frowned again. Owning another human being wasn't lawful in America. Then, buying one didn't seem possible...
"Can I help you? You're looking lost," a friendly voice interrupted.
Kagaya smiled at the woman she identified as a wolf shapeshifter by her energy body. "I am new in town."
"Me too, sort of. Shevry is my name." The wolf woman offered her hand.
Kagaya slipped the e-reader inside her pocket, then shook sable-haired woman's hand briefly. "I'm Kagaya. Nice to meet you, Shevry."
"I just arrived for the summer. I was here last year visiting my Aunt Sozchy. She writes a love advice column for the newspaper, and does a radio show at the Pleasure Club."
"Pleasure Club...yes, I do remember...learning about the club." Kagaya stumbled over her words, the images she'd been shown flitting across her mind. "I've never been there."
"The disco, Dante's Inferno, is one of my favorite hangouts."
"Disco dancing," Kagaya mentally clicked on what that meant, "yes, that does sound fun." With curiosity burning a hole through her, and a craving the size of a giant red star, Kagaya asked, "Have you ever shopped at this store?"
"The Prairie Horseshoe. No, they're new. Hey, I have time. Want to check it out?"
Kagaya nodded in the American way, even though it felt like her head bobbed too fast. Not wanting to appear ignorant, or give away her ET status, Kagaya didn't ask about the wranglers for sale. Instead, she followed Shevry's lead, and they entered the western clothing shop.
"This is the real deal," Shevry remarked.
"Real deal?" Kagaya risked asking.
"Dude, city slicker, rhinestone cowboy," Shevry crooned with a twang. "No, this clothing is for the working man. Man and woman."
"Real wranglers," Kagaya murmured, catching sight of a tall man who fit the bill, as the saying went. He stood at the back of the store, studying a rack of cowboy boots.
She sensed three other presences. Obviously, there was no corral filled with wranglers waiting for homes. Kagaya viscerally felt her disappointment.
She wondered if there was what was called photos or videos instead. She could make a selection, view them, then choose... should she inquire?
Or would she look like a giant prize fool? Was there a difference between enslavement and making a purchase on Earth, in America?
Confusion clouded her thoughts, unusual for Kagaya. Clear thinking, solving the unsolvable was her special talent, what she gave to her people -- and one reason she'd been sent to the Earth base for the duration of the transition, this time of 'chaos-trembling'.
A gently rounded, pretty woman, likely the proprietor, called out, "I'm Lilah. Holler if you need help. Otherwise, make yourselves at home, and have a look around."
"Thank you, we will," Shevry called back, then moved toward a wall of shelving that held what Kagaya identified as denims or jeans.
"You know," Shevry continued, "I could use some wranglers. I signed up for the weekend trail ride at Merry and Dash's dude ranch."
"Do they have wranglers at this dude ranch?" Kagaya dared to ask.
"They sure do, ma'am." The man spoke in a deep drawling timbre. "Pardon, I couldn't help but overhear."
Kagaya whirled, face to face with the tall cowboy. She had to catch her swiftly escaping breaths. He could easily have stepped into the role as her fantasy romance hero.
"Are you a wrangler?" And are you for sale? she silently asked.
"I'll be doing some wrangling, helpin' out Merry and Dash. I sure do hope I can persuade you to join in. Right, Shevry?"
"Deuce, Deuces wild." Shevry spoke teasingly. "Where did you come from? Last I knew from my aunt you'd high-tailed it down Arizona way."
"Summer in Arizona, nope, not in the cards. Besides, the Peak was callin' my name. Now I know why."
His direct gaze penetrated Kagaya, then embraced her good and tight. Unused to this level of boldness from a man, she took a step back.
By his frequency Deuce was not only a puma shapeshifter, but a dimensional traveler. Even now, he'd lessened his physical density. No wonder she hadn't heard his steps, or sensed his approach.
Goddess, Kagaya wanted to close her eyes for a moment, savor the outdoor virile smell of him. Instead, she blurted out like a giant fool, "The sign says 'Wrangler Apparel On Sale'. Does that mean you're for sale, since you wrangle?"
In the following silence, mortification felt as if it burned Kagaya alive. She should have done more studying before venturing into Talbot's Peak.
If it wouldn't have made the situation worse, Kagaya would have altered her vibration, and transported herself back to the base. As it was, she needed a quick solution. "I...I have an appointment. If you'll excuse me."
Hoping she'd acted according to custom, Kagaya spun on her heel toward the door.
After a few strides, a firm large hand claimed her elbow. "I'll walk you to your appointment."
"No need," she began.
"I'm feeling a decided need. You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I'm even thinkin' of putting myself up for sale. And I'll wear Wrangler jeans whenever you want."
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance