Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Here's a continuation of the flash scene I began last week. Wow, I didn't see Sondara's story developing quite this way. But as Pat Cunningham and I discussed briefly over at her Title Magic blog... those left hooks, or the 'out of left field' developments that happen to our heroines and heroes will get you every time.
"Virgin," Sondara seductively purred...
"Virgin," Sondara seductively purred from low in her throat. She swayed toward the hunko'licious man beast who had a chest she could lick forever.
Oh yeah rumble-yum, the bartenders were shirtless, even if they weren't in the jailbait category.
"Virgin?" He played along, raising a thick brow above amber-faceted eyes that certainly purred her pussy. Although, the reporter in her couldn't miss the high canine intelligence lurking in their depths.
Sondara let her gaze roam over his oh-so kissable square jaw as she spoke. "A Virgin Mai-Tai...since I'm working tonight." She didn't bother disguising how turned on she was, crooning her words.
A slight grin tipped up one corner of his chiseled-to-perfection mouth. "Coming up, ma-am." He moved just enough to let her see his impressive arousal outlined by his mahogany-colored leather pants. "First, mind answering a question?"
"I'm not that thirsty." Her body liquid heat, Sondara leaned closer. Her breasts demanded attention, pressing against the satiny mauve film that was her chemise-like top.
"Working?" His deep rasp tingled every inch of his skin.
Oh, where have you been all my life? Stop it, Sondara told her runaway thoughts. You're too old, too smart for this.
"Reporter for the G&B Gazette. Here to cover the opening." With a shake of her tawny-red, shoulder-length hair, Sondara continued, unable to stop herself. "Maybe you'd like to be interviewed later... tell me all about your position at the Cougar's Lair."
"We could discuss my position. All of my positions at The Pleasure Club." His sexy innuendo couldn't be missed. "I better make nice, Ms. Reporter, and get you that Virgin Mai Tai. Don't want a bad review of the club."
Hesitating, he stared over her shoulder. His jaw tightened, and Sondara smelled his protector hormones. "If that hyena shifter gives you any problem--" he paused, "I'll be right back."
"Just another reporter" Sondara assured, not wanting Garret to be disemboweled, given he was merely annoying, not dangerous. "He finds it hyena-amusing to try and scoop my stories."
"Right back," her bare-chested bartender growly barked.
Desire coursed through her like a mighty river, alright, as she followed his tight muscular ass with her gaze.
"What do you want, Garret rhymes with ferret?" she asked sourly, without bothering to turn around.
"I need help."
His straightforward, no-bull, no-bark answer had her whirling around. His paler-than-normal face caused her to ask, "What do you mean? With what?"
"My sister. She's missing. I called in all of my markers. Tracked her to Montana. Then lost her trail. Figured I'd check in with Dante's crew, find out if they'd come across anything, anything at all."
"And?" Sondara reluctantly voiced, knowing exactly where this was going. Not that she could blame Garret... but, she'd given up that life. Long ago. So long ago.
She tensed inside and gripped the edge of the bar hard, with both hands. Likely he'd uncovered that part of her life with his nose-to-the-grindstone investigative skills... yeah, she'd always given him credit for that.
Sadness, worry, desperation consumed his features. "Nothing," he answered, his gaze practically begging her.
It would be useless to ask the usual cop questions about his sister running away, etc. Sondara knew better, sensing the details he hadn't spoken.
After heaving a breath in and out, she quietly offered, "You know I don't do that anymore, haven't for more years than I care to count."
Garret didn't speak. His frozen face reminded her of Mt. Rushmore. That is, except for his twitching jaw muscle.
"You might even know why." Sondara made herself loosen her death grip, then ease forward a bit so the bar's edge wasn't biting into her lower back.
"Your Mai Tai." Her bartender's sexy-growled words tickled the length of her inner cheetah spine, despite the moral dilemma she faced.
"Thank you." Sondara glanced over her shoulder, catching sight of the virile expanse that was his chest. "Can I run a tab, please?"
"On the house. If you tell me your name, Ms. Reporter."
"Cheetahs don't like being trapped," she muttered, wondering at the strange, high-speed turn her life had taken. She seized hold of her drink, somewhat comforted by the familiar icy coolness.
Roars of protest, though. What was with fate? Here she stood sandwiched between Garret and a beefcake bartender, who by all indications was determined to get to her know better.
She'd figured to make a new start in Talbot's Peak, simplify her life.
Not to be, obviously. She mentally grimaced at herself.
Sondara took a sip of her Mai Tai, unable to avoid Garret's pleading gaze.
"Mmm-mmm, tropical decadent," she praised.
"For scat's sake," Garret barked sharp as a knife. "Her name is Sondara. Get to know her later, will ya?"
A growl that burst loudly inside her ear, and chilled her blood, erupted from her bartender. Sondara felt her eyes fly wide open while the rest of her didn't move.
"Gentlemen," was all she could think to say when Garret locked gazes with the canine shifter, his chin raised because her bartender was quite the tall drink of studliness.
"Say the word, Sondara. I'll bounce him out of here like a basketball."
Sondara did not doubt her bartender's words. Not for one split second. He'd spoken with the calm of an approaching storm.
She made a quantum-quick decision. No use spoiling the Cougar's Lair's opening night.
"I'll give you ten minutes, Garret. First, give me ten minutes with..." Sondara twisted lithely, her inner cheetah already chasing after the man who only lowered his gaze from staring Garret down once she faced him.
"Hijacker," he announced. "What they call me around here."
"Must be a story behind that," Garret mumbled loudly, glaring. "Yeah, okay, speak with you in ten minutes."
"He's one helluva researcher." Sondara felt obliged to warn. "If you've got a story behind that name, Hijacker, you can bet good money he'll ferret it out. That is, if he decides to hunt down that trail."
His tone was amused, yet Sondara heard a note of concern. Yeah, there was a story there. One big blockbuster of a story.
"Garret... ferret. I can't resist thinking of him that way." She raised the glass to her lips, and savored the creamy pineapple concoction he'd made for her...all while she studied his expression from beneath her lashes.
"A weaselly hyena. Got it." He cracked a grin. Lowering his face closer to hers, he focused his gaze solely on her.
Sondara laughed, an impetuous burst of sound that hadn't happened in what felt like ages. "So, what's a strapping handsome canine shifter like you doing in a place like this?"
"Are you saying I'm not jailbait?" he teased. At her open-mouthed surprise, he continued, "Shirtless jailbait werewolves. I have superior hearing, Sondara. You caught my eye when you entered the club, my cheetah beauty."
"Is that so," she flirted. "No, you're not jailbait, and you're not a werewolf either. So tell me, what is your breed or breeds?"
His green, amber-glinting eyes darkened for a fraction of a second. "Get to know me and I'll tell you, Sondara."
"I shouldn't. You're a complication I probably don't need."
His slow, slow smile seduced her. "I'll have to convince you I'm just the kind of complication you need. And if you're not back in ten minutes, that hyena weasel gets his ass bounced outta here."
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance