Saturday, November 30, 2013


Gil looked up from the place Ms. Elly set in front of him.  A large acorn squash dominated the plate.  To the left a heaping of mashed potatoes oozing with whipped butter and shredded cheese.  On the remaining third of the plate, a large serving of mixed nut salad topped with almond and sesame seed dressing lay on top of a bed of mixed greens.  His side plate held portions of spinach soufflĂ© and green bean casserole.

“Gil that butter didn’t need a flogger to get that way,” Ms. Elly teased, turning back to the cart behind her.  Uproarious laughter broke out.  Gil glanced down the table to where Blackie sat with her lemon and dill salmon.  Tongson came through again.  After making sure Tomas got home in one piece, the fish arrived days later with a hand written note and receipt bearing the name of the boat the purchase came from.  No shape shifters met their demise.  

Laughter died down as Ms. Elly moved down the table serving others from the cart laden with their plates.  The buffet covered the bar and several tables close by.  Rattigan’s remained closed by his and Louie’s decry.  Those who didn’t have a family or opted to stay away from the yearly generational gatherings that might not end up as merrily as some would like chose to come together with Rattigan’s staff and owner to celebrate.  

Center of pushed together tables, giant vases filled with colored leaves made up the center piece.  Thanks to the Turkles, pies sat cooling in the kitchen.  An emergency meeting of the town council brought the Turkle homestead within the Peak’s limits.  Abram cussed and questioned why for the first forty-eight hours.  After the quietest night’s sleep he’d had in decades, the noise stopped.  Peak law didn’t stand for its citizens ripping each other apart to the point of death.  Fist fights and bloody noses were tolerated.  Otherwise Nick and Bo would be doing more community service than there was available for them to do.

Ms. Elly reached the end of the tables, leaned down and kissed her husband.  Gil smiled.  Those two knew how to love and live.  Nick’s father was an asset to the council.  The old man knew along with Rachel where the bodies were hid. Rachel who should be back by now wasn’t.  Her family said something about a letter she left stating she might be away longer than expected.  Gil hoped his assistant came back soon.  He missed arguing with her and her skills that got an amazing amount of work done.  Rachel earned her vacation.  She had plenty of time on the books.  

At the opposite end of the table, Louie rose.  He hefted his glass aloft, filled with Rattigan’s own Pale Silver Ale.  Glasses up and down the table held each diners preferred beverage.  Other glasses rose as Louie spoke.  “Here’s to another year of good cheer, togetherness, surviving, and good friends as well as family.”

“Here, here,” rang out through the room.  A throat cleared.  Nick’s father rose.  He smiled as he turned meting everyone’s gaze.  “Today I eat with friends and colleagues.  I eat greens and veggies.  Ain’t so bad tasting a bit of how the other side lives, eh darling?”

Gil burst out laughing with the others.  Ms. Elly blushed, cuffed her husband’s arm as he licked his lips.  Others chimed in with their thanks and toasts.  Silence fell as Gil rose.  His turn and words failed him.  Or did they?  He opened his mouth, chirped six times.  “Now let me translate.  Good friends.  Chosen family.  Good eats.”

Ms. Elly rose as quiet resumed.  “All right.  Let’s get to the consuming.  There’s plenty for everyone.  Besides Nick and Bo have dish duty to cross off their civic chore list.” 


Happy Weekend Gang!

Sorry for the late post.  I've been away from the computer.  We had a lovely Thanksgiving here at the Spice Homestead.  Looks like our group on the Peak are enjoying gathering together too.

Cold weather tore a path across the country this week.  May you find warmth and blessings this holiday season.  May your gifts be for what you need and allow you to pay things forward for your good fortune.

Until next week,


Friday, November 29, 2013

A Proper Redemption?

Happy Black Friday, ya'll!  Here's to hoping your Thanksgiving (if you observe T-day that is) was wonderful and filling and your Black Friday is safe.

So I decided to write about Nick's redemption or rather his grand apology to Ziva for being such an ass, and wow did it go on!  Who knew Nicky had it in him!

It's long, but I didn't have the heart to chop it into multiple post so...I hope you have the time to enjoy.  :D

Sweat poured off of Ziva as she returned from her extended run. She looked like a hobo in the making, but with her raised hormone levels and those of her sister and aunt as well, she figured sweat was better than murder.  Especially if the murder in question was of one of her family.  Even though most of the time they deserved a good pounding.

“She’s gonna be so mad at you, mom.”  Her sister, Cami, crouched down in front of her mother and aunt, peeking through a slit in the swinging door to the kitchen.

“How could I say no?”

“It’s easy, Oksana, no.  See simple,” Her aunt chided. “But, I’m glad you didn’t.”

“Mad, mad, mad…I’m telling you.”

“Turkey, Cami, that there is a turkey…Ziva didn’t bring home turkey and really, what is Thanksgiving without turkey?”

Great, she’s going to keep paying the price for that lapse in judgment for some time to come.  Now that she was once again living at home the fun just never ended.

“Cami’s right, Oksana, Ziva is going to rip off your head and shite down your…”

“Liliya, please stop…”

“I heard that on a movie.  Not sure I remember which one, but it was an action one with hot buff guys.  Not unlike the hottie in the kitchen.  We need more hotties around here.”

Her aunts longing was crystal clear and agreed upon by everyone in the house, even Ziva, who just a few days before sated, well, almost sated…no whet was a better word for what she did with her own hottie instead of getting the turkey that some random good-looker now had in the kitchen. 


“Ah, what’s going on ladies?”  Each female family member jumped sky high with her suddenly growled out question.

“Ziva!” Cami held nothing back in her greeting, like she was warning someone.

“We were, um, see the thing is, sweet niece…”

“He had turkey, darling.  Turkey!”

Ziva pushed her mother, sister and aunt out of the way, dreading, but having a good idea who she’d find in the kitchen.



“Hello Mat, eh, Ziva.  How are you this fine day?”  Nick congratulated himself on not finishing his initial thought to call her mate.  Even though in truth she was still and would always be his mate, she was also pissed as hell at him and wouldn’t appreciate the reminder that she was linked to him in any way.

“No, you cannot be here!”

Good Lupa she was a sight.  Her skin tinged red from both anger and exertion.  The fine sheen of sweat dripping down the front of her shirt, between the awe inspiring breasts, in which, he loved to immerse himself.  She was ready to fight, to send him packing, but he couldn’t allow that just now.  He had reparations to make.  A heartfelt apology to render and possibly a bit of begging.  He needed her home.  Their pup missed her almost as much as he did.  “I brought turkey, and all of the fixings…including the giblet infused stuffing annnnnd the fresh cranberry mix you love.  No worries, I told everyone it was for me.”

“Why does everyone keep telling me that?”

“Bribery?”  Nick shot her the grin that always got them past the mad and into the bad dog lovin’.  “It appears your family quite missed having a bird for yesterday’s dinner.”

"And whose fault was that?”

Nick swallowed back the smile wanting to break loose at her crossed arms and tapping foot.  She did this right before she slid a ruler from some unknown nook and cranny of her body during their play. 
“Mine, it was all my fault that you missed getting that turkey the other day and so I’ve brought a replacement.  Plus, this one is bigger.”

“Damn right it was your fault, but you did bring the cranberries…”

“I did.” Thank Lupa he’d remembered her special fondness for the herbie treat, she was starting to cave.  “Freshly mushed and everything.”

“Who did you scam into making it all for you?”

“No one.  I did it all myself.”  Kind of

“Nick, I’ve lived with you…there is only one thing you can cook well and it’s a steak that’s barely touched the grill.  Who made this dinner?”

She knew him too well for him to glide over the truth and they both knew it.  “I really did make everything myself, but Mrs. Elly stood over me, telling me what to do and preaching about how much better I’d feel if I gave up the flesh eating.  I also had to make double on everything for Pop and the Ewing clan…two birds and I swear a billion sides since that’s all the boneheads will eat.”

“I’m glad Pops, and you, got some meat yesterday.”

Her shuffle was adorable.  She cared, but didn’t want to let on about it.  “Actually, only Pop got the turkey.  I had to eat a herbie meal as payment to Mrs. Elly for her instruction.  It was worth it though, to be here today.”

Sure he was laying it on thick, but she was teetering and he really needed her to fall back into his arms and he needed some of that bird.

“That’s a pity…


“White or dark?”

“Dark please, Nicolas-dear.”  Her mother said, not looking at their ridiculously dressed waiter.

“White or dark?”

“Both please.  It’s so hard to choose which meat is better.  The white is so juicy, but the dark has such a distinctive taste.  Wouldn’t you agree?” 

Ziva caught the laugh bubbling up inside at her aunts antics.  Leave it to Liliya to turn turkey preferences into something sexual.  Nick though was being a trooper through it all.  Maybe he really did want to be forgiven.

“Sorry, ma’am, I wouldn’t know which is better.”

“White or dark?”

“Come on Nicky,” her sister Cami cajoled.  “You must like one better than the other?  Dark please.  Which do you prefer?”

“Dark Miss Cami.”

The large huff of air around his answer indeed spoke for itself.  He was nearing the end of his tether and yet he held on.

“White or dark?”

“Definitely white.” She winked up at him after he set the slices on her plate.  “Thank you, Nick. 
Please leave the turkey here and go wait in the kitchen until we are through or have need of you further.”

His hungry look at the meat and then at her before setting the bird down and fading into the other room cinched things for her quite nicely.

“Oh Ziva, now you really must forgive him,” her sister whispered her way.  “Making him serve us in my old French maid costume, he has great legs by the way, was one thing, but then not letting him have any turkey?  Damn, he’s earned a pass.”

Ziva smiled to herself and silently agreed with her sister.  He did have nice legs and damn, but the turkey was delicious.  “Yeah, Cami, I’m thinking about it.”
Have a wonderful, leftover filled weekend!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quick-Fix Wedding, Chapter 1, part 2

This is a continuation from last week. If you missed that part, you can read it here.

“Mamma?” she asked nervously. “What does my groom look like?”
“Don’t worry about that, baby,” her mother whispered. “He’s only going to be a paper groom.”
“But Mamma, I have to sleep with him!” she hissed back.
“Think of it like a one night stand,” he mother whispered back as she dragged Amanda into place at the center of the nave. The organ started playing Pachelbel’s Cannon in G Major and everyone turned to look at her. This was it, she thought. Time to go meet my future groom/fuck buddy or whatever he was. Time to go thwart her grandfather’s will.
Amanda wished she could say her wedding had flown by in a blur but it hadn't. For a woman who had been raised to be strong and independent, these last few weeks since learning of her grandfather's change to her father’s will had been hell. She had almost come to terms with being forced to marry, and only because she loved Pablo like a brother, when Dearest Grandfather found out that Pablo was gay. All she could think of was that while Pablo had been fine with the idea of hood winking “the man”, he was not alright with the stipulation that he had to actually sleep with her. Publically. As in medieval bedding rituals.
This wedding looking more gothic than medieval, though. Medieval people considered weddings to be little more than business transactions that resulted in babies. The bride and groom usually knew each other, and certainly would have met each other, before the wedding. No, marrying a cousin’s cousin sight unseen was straight out of an Elizabethan Goth novel, complete with the evil bastard of a grandfather. Amanda sighed, wishing she had not spent quite so many hours devouring Ann Radcliff’s gothic novels as a teen. It had clearly put a few crazy ideas into her head. Next thing she knew, she’d be looking at her mysterious groom, trying to figure out what deep, dark secrets he was hiding from her!
She looked up at his very large form, blurred by the heavy lace of her veil, and squinted. Nope, nothing out of the ordinary so far as she could tell. Uncle Charles cleared his throat meaningfully. Amanda jumped, realizing she had missed her cue.
“Do you promise to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do you part?” he repeated.
“I do,” he choked out, ignoring the odd thrill that ran up her spine at “’til death do you part.” That was silly. This was still only a temporary marriage, even if it was to her cousin’s cousin rather than to her gay best friend. It was really more of a one night stand that would linger a bit.
“Do you have the ring?” Uncle Charles asked. Her groom fumbled a bit, finally pulling something small out of his pant pocket. At Uncle Charles’ urging, he slipped it onto her ring finger. Another thrill of something other ran down her spine as the thin gold ring, warm from his body heat, slid past her knuckle. She felt a little giddy when he lifted her hand and kissed it softly. She shivered when he folded her small hand into both of his much larger ones, a feeling of destiny settling heavy on her shoulders. She tried to ignore it, thinking it was a product of her earlier musing about gothic romance novels, but she couldn’t quite convince herself.
Finally, he lifted her veil and she got to see her groom for the first time. If she had to come up with one word to describe Jock Hancock, it would be “chiseled.” He hand a square rugged jaw, high sharp cheek bones, and piercing blue eyes. His brown hair was over-long and curling around his ear just a bit, clean but not overly well kempt, the type of man who didn’t care much for what was fashionable. His tall frame looked heavy with muscle from his huge shoulders to his trim, narrow waist, to his mile long legs. Then he bent down to give her the traditional kiss and any thoughts of what he looked like fled.
Jock looked down at his bride and gulped. Oh, Luna above, she was lovely! He reminded himself sternly that this was a quickie wedding of convenience. He didn’t get to keep her. Oh but her scent! It whispered to him of hearth and home and crisp, clean winter snows laying heavy on a pine forest. She was dainty, coming not quite to his shoulder, with a waist so narrow he could probably span it with his hands. When he lifted her veil and saw think black hair, a deep olive complexion and velvety chocolate almond-shaped eyes, he knew he was lost. This may only be a temporary thing for her, but his inner beast was howling for her. His one and only, his mate. ‘Til death would they part, indeed!
He smiled at her and dropped down for the traditional kiss to seal their vows, reminding himself that there was a whole church filled with people who were related to her and knew full well that he was a stranger who’d never set eyes on her before five minutes ago. He kept the kiss chaste and quick, though he did allow himself to breathe deeply of her enticing fragrance. He lifted his head back up and noticed how tense she seemed to be. Aw, no. He couldn’t let his precious if very new mate be uncomfortable around him! So he grinned, stepped back and theatrically bowed over her hand, which he was still holding on to for dear life.
“Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Hancock. My name is Jock and I will be your husband for the duration of this marriage. If there is anything I can do for you, do not hesitate to let me know.” The sound of bawdy laughter filled the small church, but he didn’t care. He saw her sweet, bow-shaped crimson lips quiver with repressed mirth. That was all that mattered to him, that Amanda was put at ease by his tomfoolery.
“Pleased to meet you, too, Jock,” she murmured shyly. He nodded his head back toward the crowded pews and winked.
“Shall we?” he asked. She nodded and blushed. Jock gave her his most encouraging good ol’ boy grin and turned, tucking her hand into the crook of his arm. He was pleased to see that his new wife was as susceptible to good ol’ boy charm as most women. He spent most of his time working the back country on the Pack’s ranch so that was about the only kind of charm he could claim to have. That and wolfish charm, but that usually only worked on female wolves. As good as she smelled, he could tell that Amanda was plain vanilla human. That was just fine by him.
He was startled into laughing when he was what was waiting for them outside the church. He looked over at Amanda to find her chuckling, as well. Honestly, it was the only response most people would have come up with at the sight of a turkey-drawn buggy. Or rather, a horse drawn buggy with the horses decked out like turkeys.
“Sorry about that,” she said. “It was supposed to have been a joke for my friend Pablo, the guy I was actually supposed to have married.”
“No problem,” Jock said gamely. “You drivin’ or am I?”
“You... know how to drive a horse buggy?” she asked uncertainly. Jock laughed again.
“You could say that,” he replied. “I was born and raised on cattle ranches. The teams I usually drive pull hay wagons but I’m sure I can manage a little two-wheel buggy just fine.” He handed her up just as a pack of younger people his and Amanda’s age spilled out of the church at a dead run. Jock noticed that Amelia was in the group and that each person was holding a bag with one hand buried in them. He met Amelia’s eye and shook his head. “Catch us if you can!” he hollered back at them and jumped into the buggy.
“Shouldn’t you be going faster than this to outrun them?” Amanda asked, laughing and shaking flower petals out of her eyes.
“Where’s the fun in that?” he asked. “Besides, the horses were cooling their heels for a good long while. I don’t want to push them too hard.”
“Good point,” she replied.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Long Lost Son of a Wolf-Cat

Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

May your Thanksgiving be a time of joy... and wow, Christmas day is now a mere month away. This year has been a speeding bullet. So, before you know it, 2014 will be on the doorstep, demanding to be let in.

This flash scene was a brilliant flash before my mind's eyes, as I realized Damien Hancock, the crime-boss alpha wolf who originally took over Talbot's Peak with his pack – had a deep dark secret that was now showing up on his territorial doorstep.


Long Lost Son of a Wolf-Cat

As he surveyed one entrance of the Interspecies Pleasure Club from afar, Dajhir lowered his thickly furred hindend, sitting on the frozen blanket of snow. Ever since he'd discovered the identity of his real bio sire... or, his sire had discovered his existence, he'd been on the run.

A very fast long run as both human and while in his animal form.

Airplane hopping, especially given the TSA constraints, and hiking across long stretches of sparsely populated land on his four, now-sore paws was not his particular cup of Earl Grey tea. 

For the last seven years he'd been hiding out as a professor at a small private college in the northeast. Not only could he write his scholarly articles about the relationship of humans and animals from the dawn of history... but he'd gained access to ancient tablets the mainstream public had been denied -- and would be in a state of shock if they only knew the revelations within.

On the one paw, it had been fortuitous that he'd discovered his late dam's diary in a lockbox she'd left to him upon her passing. On the other paw, somehow his notoriously cat-hating sire had received word of his mother's death... then the nightmare had begun.

Damien Hancock was one ruthless son of a bitch -- as Dajhir learned from a shapeshifter private investigator he'd hired, once his life had been endangered several times. Only turning to his feral fangs and claws had saved his hide. That, and he'd carried a switchblade.

An expert in the use of knives for defense, his mother, a lynx shapeshifter, had taught him well. Now he could only be eternally grateful to her.

It seemed his sire also possessed endless wealth, and minions out the proverbial ass to do his sinister bidding. Having survived ten attacks on his life... well by damn, then the lucrative enticements from Damien Hancock had covertly come his way. Well timed, given his professorial career was now in the crapper litter box.

Rumors that he was a drug dealer had swept over the college campus like wildfire. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dajhir despised any addictive substance, and helped whoever he could to get off the soul-stealing chemicals.

Worn thin in body and spirit, and with no place to call home anymore, Dajhir decided to face his sire beast in his own lair. That, and while hiding out in a shapeshifter dive in New Orleans, he'd been told about Dante, his half brother in Talbot's Peak.

At the time, it had sounded too good to be true. But here he sat blasted by an arctic wind during the wee hours of the morning... wondering if he'd be welcomed at the Pleasure Club, or thrown to the pack of wolves that had chased him to an invisible boundary. Obviously, they didn't dare cross into the territory his half brother had carved out.

Dajhir sighed from the depths of his hungry, growling belly. His wolf-cat coat was so dense, the cold rarely penetrated. But, he was a raggedy, matted mess from his tail tip to his puffball-like furred mug. He probably smelled like a mile-high pile of elephant dung as well.

Forcing himself to move down the long snowy slope, he let a small seed of hope guide his slow tired steps. Dajhir thought Thanksgiving was close, and maybe charity would be extended to him, if what he'd heard about Dante was true... even so, he'd lost track of the days.

Shoving away thoughts of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, Dajhir tried to hurry his pace. The smell of blood from his cracked paw pads entered his nostrils... then he saw her... what appeared to be an angel... no wings, but she was dressed all in white, a white snowsuit if his eyesight could be trusted... if he wasn't hallucinating... if...

Was she the angel of death... and he was in fact dying? Dajhir still felt alive, if bone weary.

Deciding there was nothing left to do but meet his fate, Dajhir hobbled toward her, his limbs now refusing to fully cooperate.


Sedina tromped over the crusty snow, determined to find out if the female spirit who had interrupted her daily meditation -- and refused to leave no matter how she'd spiritually commanded the presence -- had been telling the truth. If so, her son was on the edge of collapse, and needed immediate help.

Fortunately, the snow covering wasn't all that deep, and the snowsuit Sedina had recently purchased lived up to its billing. Being a jungle-bred cat shifter, she was so not a fan of cold and snow. And being a bit of a pussy-wuss, she was not all that fond of outdoor adventuring, either.

"" The words left her lips as a frosty mist.

Sedina stopped in her tracks. A monstrously huge and strange creature that appeared to be made out of snow moved painfully toward her. It struck Sedina that the obvious shapeshifter would be magnificent in appearance if it weren't for his awful condition.

She tried jogging toward him, but her slight frame proved to be a hindrance. Sedina settled for walking fast and leaping over the small snowdrifts. All the while she summoned her healing energies.

Okay, she wasn't all that powerful in her ability compared to some, her instructor for one example... not yet anyway, but she was damn well learning. Knowing about the gathering of good witches in the Peak, she'd made the decision to move to the Pleasure Club, and work at the Midnight Stardust Supperclub.

For as long as Sedina could remember, she'd fiercely yearned to walk a spiritual path and develop her psi abilities. Now, she began to sizzle with her healing force the closer she came to the wounded... ? Her feline nose told her the odd-looking, enormous shifter was at least part cat.

Intuitively, Sedina knew the frozen patch of blood she suddenly saw on his upper flank was from a gunshot. "I'm here to help," she shouted, her fast breaths getting in the way of her words.

Fiery amber eyes met her gaze. Only the flames in their depths had gone dim.

Running the last few steps, Sedina sank to her knees and wrapped her arms around the cat beast's massive neck. He collapsed to the ground, taking her with him.

"I'm here to heal you," she soothed. "Your mother sent me."

Tidal waves of healing surged through Sedina entering the shifter's snow-encrusted, overly thin body. More important, she felt his spirit respond as if he wanted to stay in the land of the living.

"You've come home," she whispered several times... yet didn't know why the words poured from her. Only that they were somehow true.


Have a Magickal Season of Thanksgiving... 


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Price of Liberty

“Another one’s coming up the drive, Pa,” Jimmy said. “Headed right for the front door.”

“Son of a buzzard,” Abram Turkle muttered. He shoved back from the table and stalked to the front door. Barely three hours into the Thanksgiving holiday and already the shotgun leaning by the doorjamb had seen action. He might even have hit the last one. He’d slammed the door before making sure.

Abram flung the door open and swung the gun to his shoulder. “Nothing here for you, bub. Just keep walking.”

The wolf stopped dead. Of course it was a wolf. It was always the wolves. They never learned. “Just hunting for my holiday dinner, Mr. Turkle sir. I’ll be on my way.”

“There’s no turkeys on my property, wild or domestic. Try the next ridge over. Or go down to the exit like the pigs are doing. There might be some food left at the buffet if you haul tail.”

The wolf was trying to peer past him into the house, where his family was seated at the dinner table. “As long as I’m here, can I—”

Abram fired over the wolf’s head. The man yelped and shifted to wolf. He hightailed it into the forest, leaving a pile of shredded clothing behind. Abram shut the door. “Every year,” he muttered. “Every damn pinfeathered year.”

It usually started the week before Thanksgiving. Suddenly every predator in Talbot’s Peak just “happened” to wander by the Turkle homestead. They knew he was retired and didn’t run the game farm any more. But then, it wasn’t game they were hunting for.

“Eat beef, dammit,” he grumbled. “Or fish. Or grouse. No law says it has to be turkey. Eat whole grains. They’re better for you. Damn stupid tradition anyway.”

He resumed his seat at the table. Scarcely had he got his butt situated just right when Abel, who was watching the monitors, announced, “We have movement. Six of ‘em coming up the slope from the east. Looks like they’re headed for the pens.”

“Not my chickens!” Abram’s wife Norma shoved back from the table. “I got this one.”

“You want the tommy gun, Ma?” Jimmy asked.

“Got something better.” Norma detoured into the kitchen. Moments later they heard the back door creak open. Abram buttered a biscuit.

Shortly after that a huge whump sounded from out back. A second, louder blast followed it. Abram heard a thin howl, but couldn’t tell if it was a sound of pain or terror. Hopefully both.

The kids abandoned dinner to cluster around the surveillance screens. “Holy crap! Lookit ‘em scatter!” Abel cackled. The whole family rose to award Norma a round of applause when she returned. “Way to go, Ma! What’s in those things?”

“A few common household chemicals in the proper proportions,” Norma said coolly. She seated herself without fuss.

Abram passed her the beets. “You’re a damn fine cook, Mrs. Turkle.”

“Got some stink bombs in the shed,” she said. “In case they come back.”

But nearly an hour passed with no action on any of the hidden cameras posted on the Turkles’ property. Maybe Norma’s homemade explosives had startled some sense into the fuzzy buggers. The kids got a kick out of watching deer and raccoons wander past the motion-sensitive cameras. Best investment he’d ever made, Abram decided, even if they only really used it on this one dad-blasted holiday. Better than watching football, that was for damn sure.

His daughter Sharon got up to clear the table. She still limped a bit from that close call a couple days back. Some she-wolf had chased her almost up to the property line. Lucky for Sharon the wolf was in heat, and a big male had distracted her. Sharon escaped with a pulled calf muscle. It could have been a lot worse.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, so the old axiom went. For turkey shifters, it was more a way of life. Especially at this cursed time of the year.

“We should warn Mrs. Goslin,” Abram said. “Christmas coming up. Lotta folks might be wanting a fat goose this year.”

“Already talked to her,” Norma said. “Her girls are sensible and they know self-defense. They’ll be on guard until New Year’s.”

“We could have Jimmy give ‘em some target lessons. Just in case.”

“Movement,” Abel said suddenly. “Up in the trees. Could be a cougar.”

“Can I take this one?” Jimmy said. “The Winchester hasn’t seen action today.”

“Take your sister,” Abram ordered, motioning to Sharon. “You got the eyes for cats. Watch your brother’s back.”

“Yes, Daddy.” The two made for the gun safe in the den.

Abram loosened his belt. “I hate the holidays.”

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Hyrum stepped back, prayed, and exhaled.  Either the spell would work or fail miserably.  He had no control over the outcome.  No one but the two occupants laying side-by-side in the royal crested bed exercised even the slightest hint of control to decisions affecting the future of many.  Maybe time was on their side.  Maybe it wasn’t.  All he and Carlotta could do for now was watch and wait.

Carlotta’s whimpers sounded from next door.  Her fitful tossing and turning told him the journey began.  The path woven by her subconscious as she linked and strengthened by the bridge between Rachel and Tyburn psychically demand its toll from the builder.  Soon he would take Carlotta’s place as he slept, watching and waiting from the psychic realm while she took her turn in the corporeal one.  How much time and energy they would expend neither knew.  Their lives might be the price.  Thus was their destiny as deity’s guardians.  Enhanced, magically adept and ready to serve, often overlooked due to their position and posture within Soletron.  They knew their worth and value. 

Hyrum moved backwards, keeping his gaze upon Rachel and Tyburn.  Each covered in badges, spelled with healing herbs and incantations, swaddled in their individual and mutual ice blankets, lay touching.  Close enough to sense and feel the others presence without invading personal space unless intimacy happened.  That blaze of passion would come in the latter stages of awakening and renewal.  The final stage might find them locked in sexual congress renewing their connection and perhaps commitment.  Hyrum murmured one last prayer and spell before dropping into the over-stuffed recliner near the doorways leading from the suite.  He picked up the mug of warm broth sitting on the table next to the recliner.  As he sipped, he focused his thoughts on the hazy bridge and shapes taking form in his third eye.

Rachel glanced down at her feet.  Gray cloth shoes covered them.  Long sleeves similar in color graced her arms.   Even her gown reflected the same hue.  She inhaled pulling in the scents of the white wispy clouds billowing up around her.  Rain, heat, and an earthy dampness filled her nose.  Holding her hand out in front of her, she spoke.  “Storms of the past be no more.  Take me to the place I must find light that guides me home each and every time.”
The clouds rose up, engulfing her.  Swirling and darkening, brushing over her, soaking her and the garments she wore until their tears and angst became hers.  Images of her home on the Peak came and went.  Intense feelings warped through and over her.  Bone piercing pain began at the soles of her feet, racing its way upward until her knees buckled, dropping her on them.  Agony writhed its demonic hold deeper into her psyche.  Claiming her, twisting every part of her being, until. . .

White bright light flashed around her, blinding her, forcing her eyes closed.  Her clenched hands weighed like two stone pulling her down, down into the pool of her own tears and anxiety.  Fear iced the edges of the still pool of water.  Clear into the depths, she plunged unable to resist the lure of death’s call.  

A voice broke through her chaotic thoughts and images.  Nudging her back to the surface, guiding her to a place she didn’t know.  A place deep within herself.   “Rest and renew.  Learn and heal.  Together you are stronger than alone.  Yet each of you must be resilient and ready to walk the solo paths your choices present you.”

Rachel shuddered, sighed, and fell forward.  Healing and caring for herself came hard for her.  Her instincts told her this must be.  Her time on the Peak taught her this too.  She’d also learned temperance and concern, giving and feeding her soul sustenance simultaneously, and compromise.  When would her guide appear?  Directing her across the bridge and to the encounter she wasn’t sure she could withstand?

Tyburn winded with pain as he stood.  Dark gray clothing came into focus.  Splotches of red stained patches deep into the fabric.  Some were faded.  Others bore the hue of dried blood.  Some remained bright and tacit in quality.  He tried to breath, drawing in life and . . .

A male voice chastised him.  “You aren’t ready for that.  You cause pain and strife while justifying your actions with love and caring.  Your heart breaks and bleeds while you listen not.”

Tyburn grabbed his gut, clawing at his middle.  Pain in huge fire like waves scorched around and over him.  Agony laughed and cackled, echoing in his mind until, he fell.  He tried to rise. Intense sobs and screams screeched deep into his soul marking his being with burns and hurt until he laid face down sobbing uncontrollably. 
Winds swarmed around him, heating him until his throat and lips dried, cracking as if a great fever enveloped him.  Shaking, he placed his hands palm down attempting to rise.  He pushed up, raising his chest up until his arms straightened.  His elbows wobbled, threatening to crash him on his face again.  The winds picked up in intensity, buffeting him.  Reaching under him, pushing upward, raising him off his hands.  A huge burst swooped under him, flipping him over.

Tyburn rolled and rolled whooshed along like the tumble weeds and dust devils he observed during his time in the southwestern deserts of a place called America.  Flashes of the past raced before him, brambles and thorns pierced him and his garments.  A huge ominous boulder crashed toward him.  One thought remained, claiming him as he collided with the hard stone head first.  His own demonic half demanded and sued for payment for past debts he wasn’t sure he could afford.


Happy Weekend Gang!

Sorry for the late post.  Pris whispered this part of Rachel and Tyburn's story to me last night as I slept.  Each of them are having to face themselves and make life changing decisions.  Decisions that may alter their lives and others too.  It isn't going to be easy.  And they have to face each other yet.  I sense a softer side of each is going to surface offering healing to both.  

I hope the weather isn't buffeted you and yours too badly as winter begins its descent upon the land.  Keep warm, share a good book or more with your loves and spice.  Make time for togetherness and sharing your thanks for each other.  Celebrate your joy and love too.  I know we will be here at the Spice Homestead.

Until next week,