Monday, March 31, 2014
Barry peered out the car window, his voice high and jittery. “Oh Jesus. They’ve spotted us.”
“No shit.” Atcheson cursed under his breath. Of course every eye of every shifter in Talbot’s Peak was now trained directly on them. These were shifters, monsters, inhumans. Naturally they’d be suspicious if a cop car cruised into town and parked in the center square. They’d be doubly wary of anyone who got out of it, especially if those passengers were human. Any element of surprise they’d been hoping for had just vanished like a puff of smoke from one of Barry’s joints.
No way Atcheson was taking the blame for this. They’d lost both the van and Cochrane's Chevy. The cop car, probably the least inconspicuous vehicle ever devised, had been the only thing available. What were they supposed to do?
Roll with the punches, his daddy always said. If possible, throw the first punch yourself.
Atcheson got out from behind the wheel for a look around. Barry and Lowenstein piled out like clowns from a circus car. Atcheson found the analogy depressingly apt. Ted grunted and groaned and finally squeezed himself loose with an assist from Lowenstein. “What now?” he panted. “We gonna eat or what?”
The townsfolk gave them the hairy eyeball—talk about your apt—but no one approached them or challenged them. All in all, life in the square seemed remarkably calm. “Cochrane’s not here yet,” Atcheson deduced. “We couldn’t have passed him. He must have gone straight to the bar.”
“So we hit the bar?” Lowenstein asked.
“Yeah. Set a trap. Catch him when he gets there.” Atcheson turned around to address his team, just like a real leader should. “Remember, he’s a werewolf now. A monster. He’d want us to off him. If he could, I’ll bet he’d—oh Jesus Christ!”
“Mphf?” Ted said. After some effort he’d freed a squished Snickers bar from his back pocket. He’d already peeled back the wrapper and was munching on it right in front of Atcheson, so close Atcheson could smell the toxic combo of caramel, peanut and chocolate.
Dear God, was he insane? Or out to kill the team’s new, untried leader?
Atcheson smacked the candy bar out of Ted’s blubbery hand. “What the hell’s the matter with you?”
“M’hungry, man,” Ted mumbled. He looked hurt.
Now Barry and Lowenstein were looking at him funny. Get a grip, Atcheson ordered himself. He couldn’t afford to lose their support, not yet. “Okay, then. You stay here. Keep an eye out for Cochrane. If you spot him, call us. We’re going on to the bar.”
“That’s an order, mister.” Atcheson clambered back into the cop car. Was his hand burning? Were those hives? No, couldn’t be. Must be his imagination.
# # #
Ted had no time to wedge himself back into the car. Atcheson barely gave Barry and Lowenstein a chance to get in before he peeled out of the square. Within seconds the cop car was a cloud of dust with flashing blue lights. Belatedly, Ted shot it the finger.
He looked around for his Snickers, but a crow had already flown off with it. So much for breakfast.
Hold on. His gaze hit a place across the square. The sign said Bighorn Diner. Now that looked promising. He lumbered over and was welcomed by the seductive aromas of fried eggs and maple syrup. A sign in the window promised Flapjack Special -- All You Can Eat $4.99. All of a sudden the day appeared much brighter.
Screw the team. Screw Cochrane. Screw hunting shapeshifters. What had shapeshifters ever done to anybody anyway? Ted opened the diner door and went inside.
He was the lucky one.
# # #
Among those handing out the stink eyes to Atcheson and his team was a knot of young men on a bench by the town’s dog dish fountain. They were, in fact, wolves. They wore leather jackets and tight jeans and motorcycle boots and dark expressions. Since the Twilight movies came out, they had started dressing in shirtless Ts, or going shirtless entirely.
To be specific, they were Hancock wolves, sworn to Damien Hancock. Their orders were simple: keep an eye out for strangers, humans, and any other beings who wouldn’t be missed. Morloxian was constantly running short of subjects for his ghastly experiments. If he couldn’t get humans he might start using shifters. This tended to spike motivation.
They spoke among themselves in growls and body language, indecipherable to ignorant humans. Monkeys, one said. The others nodded agreement. Hunters, said another. More nods.
The leader of the little pack grinned. Twofer. He jerked his chin at the wolf beside him. The low-rank leaped up to get the truck.
They let the fat one lurch across the square and enter the Bighorn Diner. His heart was probably three beats away from imploding. He’d never survive the trip to the lab, let alone the mutation process. The low-rank returned with their vehicle, a former bread truck that now said Full Moon Deliveries on the side.
The leader got behind the wheel. By now they’d lost sight of the cop car, but that was okay. The apes had been chattering loud enough to be heard clear back to the exit. The big blond ape had said, “the bar,” and there was only one bar at the end of that particular road. Hell, the mutts out there would give them a medal for saving their business from hunters. He trundled the bread truck out of the square.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
[Ménage and More: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, light consensual BDSM, sex toys, HEA]
Tina Davidson can’t avoid being set up with a date for her best friend’s costume-themed wedding shower. When two dates dressed as pirates show up claiming to be her date for the evening, Tina begins wondering what buried treasures she may uncover before the night’s over.
Jon Smithson and Drake Cranston are ready to act on their shared attraction. Jon and Drake have failed at a shared relationship before. They’re ready to try again, this time with Tina.
Tina’s had her share of failed affairs too. Is she ready to put her bad relationships behind her and give love another chance? Brought together by their friends’ wedding turned elopement, the three find their mutual desire growing. Acting upon their desire and attraction is going to do more than heat things up. Can two hunks, one lady, plus nights of passionate lovemaking create a lifelong future together?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Jon moved in close to the faucet, testing the water as he did. “I like both. I’m fine with this temp.”
Drake slid the other door open and entered behind Tina. He reached around her, examining the water temperature as well. “I’m good.” He closed the door.
Drake closed the limited space between him and Tina. Pressed flesh to flesh, warmth increasing to heat wrapped the two of them together. Her neck lay bare before him. Easy access. Soon his lips and teeth followed their earlier path up and down her tempting neck. This close to her ass, one of his fave places on a woman, set his ego to pumping out hormones and messages to his cock. True, his fantasy the other night focused on a balls deep encounter with her anus. His pleasure mattered on hers. Mutual enjoyment plunged both into higher and hotter orgasmic bliss. Three together…Debbie limited her double penetration to her mouth and pussy. Would Tina do the same?
Jon’s hand met his as Drake moved his hands along Tina’s ribs. As Jon came into view, he held a bar of soap. Drake sniffed. His usual brand’s fragrance filled his nostrils. Nothing overly masculine, not flowers either. He nodded.
“You okay with the soap?” he asked, nipping Tina’s earlobe.
He felt and heard her reply. She arched against him, shivered with small rapid shudders, moaned, and responded. “Yess–ss.”
“Good,” Jon added, wetting the bar and lathering his hands. As he rinsed them, he added. “I’ll wet down. Then Drake and I will do you.”
“Right, I can get your back as I wet me down,” Drake said. He held out his hand to Jon. “I’ll hold the soap while you wet down.”
Ten minutes passed as the detached showerhead and hose passed back and forth between Drake and Jon. Soap slicked down Jon’s chest, calling Tina’s hands to help with washing him. On her second pass working soap down his chest toward his waist, Jon covered her hand, guiding her lower until she touched his hard cock. He rocked forward, slicking his length with soap. His neck arched as he closed his eyes, tossing his head back, groaning his delight as she enclosed her fingers around him.
“Can’t take too much or I’ll come,” Jon moaned.
“Savor it bro’. We need to get our lady washed,” Drake offered.
Jon nodded as best he could. Tina’s hand on him set off urges that threatened to flame out of control. Jon sucked in air as he curled his lips around his teeth. He clenched his hands and eased out of Tina’s hand. Exhaling, he accepted the soap from Drake, lathered his hands, and reached for Tina.
First he took a hold of her wrist closest to him, working the soap up and down her arm. Next came her shoulder. Jon slowly and gently drew his soap slicked hands over her breast. Soft and plump, they rolled beneath his touch like down in a pillow. He could see himself at the end of a day cuddled to her with his head on her breast.
“Turn to me so I can finish your other half, please.” Jon held up his soapy hands after washing her waist and top of her thighs. Tina faced forward to him, allowing him to complete cleansing her other half. Jon retrieved the soap from Drake and squatted. Soon his re-lathered hands worked their way up her leg, coming close to her pussy. He blew on her wet hair and soaped her other leg down to her ankle. He looked up. Drake and Tina were passionately French kissing. Jon waited until they broke apart before reaching between her legs.
Tina shuddered as she inhaled. Jon’s wet fingers traced the outline of her mons and dipped in to rim her clit before resuming their looping path down and across her thigh. He reached between her legs, rubbing and stroking her perineum as he made his way toward her buttocks. His nails dragged light upward along the lower underside of her ass cheeks.
Behind her Drake worked his soapy hands up across her shoulders and in long strokes down over her tired muscles finishing at her waist. She watched as he again soaped his hands. As he placed the sudsy bar in the dish, he leaned down, kissed her ear, and whispered his intent. “I feel your excitement and heat every time Jon touches you. I’m gonna ramp things up.”
Two sets of strong male hands cleaned and soaped her ass. Jon caressed her lower portion, gripping and releasing to soothe and appease the muscles along her hips down to where they joined with the muscles of the backs of her thighs. Drake worked soap in smooth strokes down one side of each cheek. His strokes fondled and cupped the fleshy portion Jon’s touch didn’t reach. On Drake’s next pass, his fingers sketched the seam of where her twin cheeks met the cleft of her buttocks. He eased them apart, slicking them with soap as he stroked deeper with each swipe.
At the same time, Jon eased a finger inside her. With soft and gentle thrusts, he worked his digit in and out until she relaxed, permitting him a deeper penetration. He kept up the light pressure on her clit that kept it throbbing and pulsing with each rub. As he stroked deeper, he touched her G-spot. Tina panted with need that increased with her dual on-switches massaged repeatedly.
Drake’s last pass brought his fingers down around and over her anus. With each lap, he pressed firmer. Tina clenched as he came close again. Drake stopped his larger circles and began making smaller, slower ones. His voice pulled her into the pleasure cloud swallowing her. “Relax and enjoy. I’ll stop when you want me to. Has anyone ever told you how delicious your tight rosebud feels against their fingers?”
Tina shook her head as Jon withdrew his fingers from her pussy. He kept steady short strokes and pressure going over and against her swollen clit. She felt him move against her as he stood. She watched his movement through her semi-closed eyes. He pressed closer to her, speaking as he did. “Part of me was in you. Lovely response, sweetie.” Jon quickly brushed his lips over hers before continuing. “Let Drake take you to the next level, please.”
Happy Weekend Gang!
Hope you enjoyed the steaming excerpt from Tina's Treasures! Order your copy and find out how things turn out for Jon, Drake, and Tina.
Remember to stay dry and warm as Spring slips across the land and Winter fights to stay. Share a few good books with your loves and spice inbetween things. I know I am!
Until next week!
Friday, March 28, 2014
She's a smart one though, she told me again so I could place the order and then asked me..."what were you studying today mom?"
"E-commerce," I said with a sigh.
"I figured." And still she smiled at me.
Thank goodness she's understanding of my mushy brain. Schools kicking my writer ass these days, but fear not, Nick, Ziva, Penny and the whole gang are babying Mz. Muse... telling her they can wait for a little bit for me to gather myself back together and get my writers groove back on. Aren't they sweet!
So today I'm offering up some sexy pictures to get the juices flowing and hopefully for me, words of some sort, that are not technical and school approved, on the page.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
It was a truly strange conversation and even the embarrassment of eavesdropping at the bathroom door could not quite drive him away. Suddenly, the door opened. He found himself looking a slightly pallid yet annoyed Guri in the eye.
“Did you need something, Sanjay?” Guri asked in a carefully modulated, falsely polite tone.
“Are you alright in there? You didn’t look so well when you rushed from the breakfast table,” Sanjay said uncertainly.
“I am fine,” Guri replied with a shrug. “I ate something that didn’t agree with me is all.”
“Um, and… well, I heard…” Sanjay stuttered, not at all sure how to ask about the second voice. Guri shrugged again.
“It kept disagreeing with me even after I ate it.”
“So…” Sanjay said after a moment.
“I ate a mouthy leprechaun yesterday at the coffee shop,” Guri replied, apparently knowing what the next unspoken question would be.
“You ate a leprechaun,” Sanjay repeted slowly. “I knew Marissa offered smurfs as a snack for those who know to ask for it, but not leprechauns.”
“It wasn’t on the menu. Not even the secret menu,” Guri continued when Sanjay opened his mouth to ask. “It was a mouthy customer and was being very disrespectful to all who came near. When it started insulting me directly, I was forced to act.”
“So… you ate it,” Sanjay said slowly. Guri nodded and shrugged. “It was a foul tempered, immortal, highly magical creature and you ate it.” Guri nodded again and then grinned.
“It was magically delicious!”
Seamus O’Shaughnessy had never been so humiliated in his whole life! Himself, a faithful son of Danu, eaten by a tiger! The shame of it! He’d never be able to show his face at the fairy mound again when word o’this got. And it would get out, he knew. That damned Purple Fairy was very good at sticking his nose in other people’s business. How the bloody hell he got the humans to dress up like a purple fairy, Seamus didn’t know. But it did mean that the real Purple Fairy could skulk around with impunity since no one thought he was real.
Not that any of that mattered at the moment. What mattered was that great spinning vortex of doom up ahead. He’d been floating through the sewer system for a good hour since the damned cat flushed him down the toilet. Mayhap he should not have been quite so obnoxious whilst traveling through the bugger’s gut, else the cat might o’ dumped him in the woods. But hindsight was twenty-twenty and if he was going to look back on things he should not have done, he’d have to start at the beginning and not have insulted the cat in the first place.
That also didn’t matter, in light of the messy end he was now headed to. Unless he missed his guess, that spinning vortex was a waste separator at the city sewer plant. It would not kill him to go through it, any more than being eaten by a wild animal had killed him. It would strew his carcass, what was left of it, all over hell and back. Then he’d have to roll around and collect his various bits from the slurry in order to make his escape. He didn’t welcome that experience at all.
But what to do? It was rushin’ up fast and a pile of poo had no arms with whitch to climb out of a pipe with.
Just then, he saw his salvation. A naked mole rat wearing coveralls and a bright yellow hard hat was standing on a ledge overlooking the waste separator.
“Help! Fer the love of Danu. Help me! I don’t want to die!” he screamed. He might have no arms, but he did still have lungs and a voice box to scream with, after all.
And because I know you want it, here's the lastest "sighting" of the Purple Fairy!
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Springtime howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
My original flash scene idea had to be nixed, so here's one I hope you'll enjoy.
The Furious Filly
Kassanna screamed a whinny, lowered her head, and charged. Oh hell yeah, she scented the whoring bastard in the biker bar – as she'd been told by a girlfriend.
Fury blazed her blood. Her tail flashed as she raced along the dark forest trail toward the isolated den of iniquity.
Chad, the sleazy stud, had charmed her like a champion. But he'd chosen the wrong filly to cheat on.
Enraged past bearing, Kassanna slid to a halt when she spied the cheater's familiar motorcycle lined up with the rest of the chrome machine horses. Scenes of she and Chad speeding over the highways, her arms wrapped tightly around him, tormented her.
At the time, their fun together had been outrageous, wonderful. Love filled her life.
Now... Kassanna bucked high, and aimed her bared teeth at the bike's back tire. Chomping down, she jerked hard, pulling the motorcycle out of line.
Kassanna half-reared, knocking the bike over with her pounding hooves. STOMP, HOP, STOMP, HOP, STOMP! Mangled metal knifed the tires.
Whirling, she charged the bar's door. Fueled by rage, Kassanna spun around, and lashed out with her back hooves. The crack, the splintering of the thick wood felt more than satisfying.
"Wait!" someone shouted, someone who smelled like a wolf. "I'm opening the door."
Kassanna shrilled a whinny as she rushed inside. Blowing through her nostrils, she smelled her now ex-fiancee. Hell yeah! Hoof-stomping time. There the stud-rat fink stood in the far corner, quickly detaching himself from the floozy he'd been oozing charm all over... probably nibbling her neck, kissing her ear seductively... just like...
More fury blasted through her veins. Kassanna flattened her ears and pawed the wooden floor. Her muscles bunched, and as if she channeled a demoness, she leaped toward Chad, who was mouthing something and waving his arms like she was a maddened bull he could divert.
"Get out of the way!" someone screamed. "Shit, she's comin' through." ... "What the fuck did you do, Chad?"
Kassanna barely heard the mad scramble, the scrape of chairs and tables being dragged out of her way as she trotted like a puma on the hunt. "No, no... it ain't what it looks like. I swear. I swear, apple cheeks."
Apple cheeks! How dare the son of a sway-backed stud. Kassanna bared her teeth preparing to rip chunks out of his no-good hide.
"It's you I love," Chad pathetically cried out before launching himself among the other patrons. They deserted him as Kassanna pursued, heedless of anything in her way.
Chad crashed from chair to chair like a billiard ball. He flung himself onto a table and crawled like his ass was on fire.
Target attained. With a wicked, mental grimace, Kassanna snaked her neck and nipped his butt cheek hard. Chad hollered like a cry baby, as she crunched down on his other ass cheek. Twisting ruthlessly, Kassanna tore his denims.
Her prize, a hunk of his flesh came along with the fabric. Flinging it aside, Kassanna attacked again, leaving her teeth prints on his ass.
"Shit! Someone stop her," Chad screamed. He crawled like a sprayed cockroach onto another table top, his bare bloodied butt exposed.
"You made your bed," a growly voice philosophically tossed.
"You done her wrong," a woman's voice condemned. "Go git him, girl."
Spurred by sheer terror, Chad gained the floor and ran for the door. Kassanna had never seen him move so fast, not even in his horse form. Pursuing, she watched him stumble at the threshold as he whipped around, trying to shut the door against her. No one had bothered closing it.
Chad gave up as she smacked the door with her shoulder, before he could even get it fully closed. The bastard betrayer dashed into the darkness.
"OH MY GAWD! Shit, my bike! What did you do... you, you bitch... FUCK! You, you..ruined it." Chad neighed a scream, his shift underway.
'Yeah, buddy,' she mentally bit him, 'and I'll do it again. You ass wipe.'
With her fury subsiding, somewhat, Kassanna halted in her hoof prints. With a filly's pride, she watched the bitch-whipped stud gallop into the depths of the forest like the hounds of hell were on his hooves. Better than her hooves, she thought. She'd be a she-devil on his trail forever. Chad was one lucky son of a stud Kassanna had decided his stinging hindquarters and a headlong crashing run through the dark of night was enough punishment. For now.
"Darlin', that was the best entertainment I've had in a long, long while," a rough-hewn voice twanged behind Kassanna. "You sure are a spirited little thing, ain't you?"
Curiosity got the better of her, and Kassanna slowly spun around. The tall, lanky man dressed like a working cowboy out on the town, didn't approach. Obviously, he knew better. His stance showed he knew how to handle a distraught horse.
"Yep, that was some show. Now, don't you worry, little lady. I got enough of a bankroll to cover any damages." The man grinned wide as the open range, and nodded toward the hoof-mangled motorcycle. "Now, I ain't payin' for that, though."
Kassanna blew her breath toward him, inhaling his scent.
"Not a horse shapeshifter," he answered what she already knew.
The next instant... stunned by the level of power rolling off the stranger – strong as a raging thunderstorm – Kassanna lifted her head in alarm, and took a couple of steps back. No doubt about it, he owned a force meant to control equine races.
Even though, she sensed no immediate threat from the shaman like cowboy – no trapping frequencies aimed at her – Kassanna instinctively wanted to morph to woman. His power couldn't touch her then.
But that would have left her butt-naked. Damn!
"Smart and beautiful," he crooned, easy as a breeze blowing over prairie wildflowers. "The handle is Denver Zamora, little lady. Me and Dante are engaged in some negotiations."
Kassanna eyed him suspiciously, while wondering why she just didn't gallop off, leave Mr. More Than a Cowboy in the dust. Maybe because he wasn't trying to rope her with his sorcery.
"I was enjoyin' some of his bar's hospitality," Denver added at her bold eye. "How about joinin' me for the evening? Only dinner, good music 'n drinks. Guaranteed I can find you an outfit, darlin'."
Denver looked her over, his own eye bold but with a respect for horseflesh that impressed Kassanna. Well rootin' tootin' hell, why not give the man a show? If he liked what he saw, and she'd know if he did, then why not? No man was ever pulling the race hood over eyes again, and he had no special powers over the woman side of her.
Kassanna took her time, shifting gradually. Still as a statue, Denver stared, obviously struck by her naked assets. Yeah, even though she hadn't shown him her bare butt.
"You promised an outfit," Kassanna reminded.
Faster than a rattlesnake's strike, Denver slid out of his fancy cattleman's jacket. He held it out to her, his face taut with strain, his expression enigmatic. With an exaggerated sway of her hips, Kassanna moved to him, and took hold of the jacket.
She slipped it on quick. The well-made garment, likely tailored for the man wearing it, engulfed Kassanna, hitting below her knees.
"Not quite the fit I was lookin' for," she bantered.
"Dante's club has all sorts of clothing shops. How about we find you somethin' that fits proper?" Denver offered his arm, his manner gentlemanly but with a possessive air, like a man who truly wanted a woman.
"Kassanna is my name, Denver," she offered, following his lead back inside the bar. "Just remember I bite damn hard."
"I'm countin' on it, darlin' Kassanna," he bantered, his voice deliciously baritone.
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance
Monday, March 24, 2014
Overture, curtain, lights. This is it, the night of nights. The players have been introduced, the plot is rolling, the stage is set. That stage is Talbot’s Peak.
# # #
Out at the exit, the police release the Scooby Gang at dawn. They have no real charges to hold them on—everyone agrees Cochrane, currently MIA, was the only one with a gun—and the cops need the cells for the drunk drivers and brawlers that litter the strip every Saturday night. Even Barry receives a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. While the others were ditching their knives, he was flushing his last bag of Panama Red. Barry’s from California. He knows the drill.
The cast assembles at the far end of the cop shop parking lot: Atcheson (“Freddie”), Barry (“Shaggy”), Ted (“Comic Book Guy”), and Lowenstein (“Agent Mulder”). Atcheson tries Cochrane’s number and gets no response. Ditto for Maureen and Pete. He pockets the phone with a vicious oath, his face contorted in frustration.
“What now?” Lowenstein says. “Breakfast?” Ted asks hopefully.
“Screw breakfast,” Atcheson says. His eyes are glittering. This is his chance to seize command, and he grabs it with both hands. “We have to find Cochrane. The werewolf bit him. He’s a monster now, just like the rest of them. He has to die. For his own good,” he quickly adds, noting the expressions of alarm on the faces of his team. “Nobody wants to live as a monster. He’ll thank us, believe me.”
After a moment, they reluctantly nod. Like Ewan before him, Atcheson reaches the conclusion his partners aren’t very bright. That doesn’t dull the thrill of power becoming their new leader gives him. Hunting and killing monsters is what he was born to do. Especially the killing part.
He gives his first orders. “Cochrane’s bound to head for Talbot’s Peak. That’s where we need to go.” He gazes around the parking lot. The motel’s at least a mile away, and the van may not even be there. On the other hand, half a dozen cop cars are parked on the lot, just sitting there. “How are your hot-wiring skills?” he asks Lowenstein. Lowenstein wriggles his fingers and grins.
Ted stares longingly at the string of fast-food places that line the commercial strip, and sighs. There goes breakfast. Maybe they can stop for something on the way.
# # #
Already miles along the road to Talbot’s Peak, Cochrane floors his Chevy, throttles the wheel and grits his teeth. He got away from the alien bunny probe-free, only to discover his arsenal in the trunk was gone. Goddamn freaks. However, they missed the pistol and full clip of ammo he had hidden under the driver’s seat, and the three grenades in the glove compartment. That’s all he’s got left to wipe an entire town full of shapeshifters off the map.
And he’s naked. Again.
“Sons’a bitches,” he snarls. If that’s all he has to work with, so be it. They’re monsters. One way or another, they’re going to die. Vern and the Mayor first. He’s going to twist their heads off their necks with his bare hands. More satisfying anyway. As for the wolf boy, Cochrane can’t wait to beat his head in with the cast on his broken wrist. Wolf Boy gave him that cast. It has symmetry.
A rabbit takes a tentative hop onto the side of the road. Cochrane swerves to run it down. The rabbit makes a frantic dive back into the underbrush, inches ahead of the Chevy’s tires. The car rockets on up the road.
“They’re all gonna die,” Cochrane vows. Yeah, even the bunnies. Especially the bunnies.
# # #
Some miles behind Cochrane and ahead of the Scooby Crew, Ranjeet Patel, aka Pete, aka Silent Sam, drives his own stolen vehicle at a moderate pace along the road to Talbot’s Peak. His trained eye spots the “checkpoints” he’s been warned about. He keeps well within the speed limit. The wolf clan will have agents stationed all along this road. He does not want to draw their attention.
Zhere Ghan’s empire has long employed human servants, even before the tiger lord came to America. Ranjeet’s family has served the House of Ghan for generations. Somebody has to keep the poachers away from the tigers’ pelts. The Ghans were the first shifter clan to recognize the need to fight fire with fire.
Now the wolf lord, Damien Hancock, has stolen that idea. He’s found a human willing to turn other humans into beasts. Lord Ghan wants this human. Ranjeet is to see that he gets him.
The Doctor will not be in Talbot’s Peak itself, but those who know where he is will be. Ranjeet has a name and a species (Ewan the wolf) and a place to start (Dante’s bar). If Vishnu favors him, he will accomplish his mission without the need for violence. Violence is messy, and ruins one’s day.
Violence is what the Tiger Yakuza is for. At a single phone call a dozen ninja will swoop in and do what they do best, once Ranjeet provides them with a location. He himself will secure the Doctor. Some things must be handled personally, to ensure success.
He spots the gleam of saffron eyes by the side of the road, reflected off the headlights. He’s not worried. Cochrane will be travelling this same road, if he isn’t already. The man is insane, and so will make an excellent diversion. While the wolf lord deals with him, Ranjeet can slip in and accomplish his task.
He turns on the car’s radio and whistles along with the tune that comes on. One by one he passes the checkpoints, unhindered.
# # #
These are the pawns. The two kings in this chess game, Zhere Ghan and Dante, stand alert in their command centers and direct their men across the board. Dante gulps coffee. Zhere Ghan sips tea. No one knows where Damien Hancock is, or where he’s hiding his Doctor. Securing that knowledge is the top priority for both sides.
The sun rises on a Talbot’s Peak teetering on the brink of assault from numerous directions. Its populace has no clue. If Dante has his way, they never will. Zhere Ghan is less caring of the pawns. If some of them, including the Doctor, die in this skirmish, so be it. That’s all pawns are for.
# # #
Ewan and Maureen? They’re down in the kitchen of the Pleasure Club, feasting on sandwiches cobbled together from whatever’s been left over from the dinner rush. Maureen wonders if she’ll ever become a real werewolf. Ewan wonders if he’ll ever get to see her tits. They’re the only players on the board not looking to kill anybody. Poor bastards, they haven’t a chance.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Don't forget to enter the drawing below and stop back on the 25th to find out who are winners are here at Shapeshifter Seductions. WE AUTHORS ARE GIVING AWAY PDF COPIES FROM OUR BACKLISTS.
When you're ready to continue the hop here's a link back to the beginning: www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com
Spare Me A Shiftless Spring
“It’s not gonna be the same, I’m just saying.”
“Give it a chance.”
Hmph. Looking out the car window and longed to be racing down this road on paws rather than tires.
“Spring is for outdoor love…wild, outdoor love, not this.”
“We can do this naked, well, except for the shoes. You have to wear the shoes.”
“Hmmm, new fetish, perhaps? Shoes and rulers?”
“Depends on the shoes. The pair you’re going to be sporting, not so much. Now those boots in your closet…”
“Those are some lust inspiring boots. Did you know Penny tries to seduce me every time I wear them?”
“I thought she had a pair of her own?”
“She does, but she says the thought of dominating an alpha wolf like myself does something to her.”
Ziva looked over at her low growling lover, adjusting himself in the seat. “I see it does something to you too…”
“Someday I might need to see that.”
“Someday, I might let you.”
Ziva slid her hand over the gently pooched belly beneath her yoga pants. Yeah, someday seemed to be drawing closer on that subject, but not until this sweet pup was born.
“Have you submitted to her before?”
Nick held himself tightly enough that she worried he’d do damage before they got to the pleasure club. “Not yet,” she said, reaching over to free the weighty appendage from his grip.
“Good. I’d like that first to be together.”
Ziva once again found herself awed by Nick. Even a year ago he would have rebelled at the thought of Penny and herself doing anything remotely sexual, now he was considering involving himself in a scene between the two. Impressive.
“What?” she squeaked, caught up in the thoughts of what the scene might entail and the pleasure she knew they’d all find.”
“We’re here, Ziva.” Nick nodded towards the back door to Dante’s and got out of the car. He came around to her side to help her out of the car.
“Okay,” she said, taking his hand.
“Good, I glad you’re going to give this a chance…it’ll be fun.”
“No, I mean, okay I’d also like that first to be together.”
Nick’s eyes grew hungry as he pushed her back against the car and nuzzled her neck. Her arms wound around him and her leg slid up his thigh. Ziva rubbed against him in the age old way of dry humpers around the world and moaned as she felt her claws slip free.
“Nick, st-stop, my claws…”
“Shite.” Nick stepped away, leaving her cold and needy, but able to breathe through the arousal and find her calm.
“It’s okay, I’ve got it back…I’ve got it back.”
“Damn spring…come on, let’s get inside.”
She’d like to believe spring was the cause of her lack of restraint, but she knew better. Their lovemaking frequently turned them both wild enough to shift either before or after the fact…sometimes even during, but with baby on board she needed to refrain from that.
A soon-to-be-daddy Nick had sworn, outside of emergencies like last Friday’s breakout bear incident at the Gazette, he would refrain from shifting as well. She was impressed with his desire to share this pregnancy with her, but knew the reality—Alpha wolves in Nick’s position had to shift in order to keep the peace.
Just inside the door they stopped at a desk and she smiled at the teen wolf Dante had taken under his wing. “Hey Johnny,”
“Miss Z.” He nodded his head in recognition while attempting to be professional in his new position.
“What size do you need?”
“A woman’s 9 please.”
“And you, Sir?”
“Men’s 13 and the key to the single lane. Dante should have called.”
“He did indeed, Sir. Here you go.”
“Thanks, Johnny.” She smiling at his darling blush.
Nick pulled her to the door, got it unlocked and ushered her inside with a grope and grunt. “Here we are.”
“Yep, bowling,” she sighed, wishing she was out running through the woods rather than wearing rented shoes and hefting heavy who knows what there made of balls.”
Nick tugged her around and into himself, both hands on her butt and whispered into her ear. “Not bowling, naked bowling.”
“That’s true…” she pulled the snap on his jeans and sunk her hand past the waistband. “I guess I’d best find a ball or two."
Nick growled and took her to the plastic seating. They ushered in spring in the age old way of wolves only this year as humans and then she kicked his ass three time in her new favorite sport…naked bowling.
Posted by Serena Shay
# # #
Merry posed in front of the changing room mirror. “How about this one?”
Dash snorted and pawed the linoleum floor, his stallion’s miniscule patience sorely tested. How did human males survive this torture? “Looks nice,” he huffed.
Merry switched to a new pose, hands on hips and bare foot tapping. “Go wait outside then, if you’re going to be like this. I told you, I’m buying a skirt.”
“Don’t see why you need one.”
“Because I feel like I’ve been living in jeans for the past five years, and the ranch is finally turning a profit, and I want to look pretty and it’s spring.” She turned back to the mirror and longingly fingered the skirt’s soft green fabric. “I want to look pretty,” she repeated.
“You already look better than fine.” Dash crowded into the booth with her and rested his big hands on her shoulders. He kneaded her muscles gently. “To me, you look prettiest just after mounting, with your eyes all wide and dewy and hay in your hair. Y’know,” he added, glancing around, “this ain’t as big as a stall, but it does have the shape.”
“Quit it, you big horse. You’re not even supposed to be in here. What if the clerk comes back?”
“You wanted my opinion, right?” He pushed up against her. His “opinion” was rock hard and unavoidable. “This one’s nice, but it’s flimsy. I liked that other one, the cotton thingie with the pleats. Bet that’d come off faster.”
He pressed her up against the mirror. Merry giggled. “I’ll take it.”
# # #
“Good Dog, woman! What do you think you’re doing?”
“Shedding.” Elly McMahon twirled across the bedroom before her husband Vernon in nothing but a red lacy bra and panties. “It’s spring. No more heavy sweaters and bulky wool pants. From here on out it’s—”
“Nothing at all?” Vern asked hopefully.
“You wish. No, that’s summer. Now’s the time for print dresses and heels. And dinner and dancing and—”
“Hair on the furniture?”
“That’s wolf shedding.” Elly paused in her dance to run her hand through Vern’s thick silver hair. “You didn’t mess up the sofa, did you?”
“That was the grandkids. Growing pups dump their winter coats right and left. Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up. Now, what’s this rumor I heard about dinner and dancing?”
“I’ve already made reservations at the Supperclub. I bought a new dress I’m dying to show off. It plunges down to here”—she demonstrated with a sweep of her hand—“and rides up to here.” Her hand slid up her thigh. Vernon followed it with his own. “Whoa, wolfie! Wait until I have it on.”
“Too late for that, m’love.” Vernon bore her backwards, onto the bed. They landed writhing and giggling like lovers half their age. “Tell me more about this dress. Does it have a belt I’ll have to fight with?”
“Of course not. And I don’t want you shaking it in your jaws, either. Those were my favorite sweat pants, you know.”
“That was the grandkids too. They thought it was a rag. They’re young.”
“You still owe me a pair of sweats.”
“Here’s a down payment.” He licked his way up Elly’s bare torso until she forgot about the sweats.
“Promise me one thing,” she gasped against his neck. "Promise you’ll never be one of those old farts who wears sandals with socks. If you ever do, I’ll divorce you.”
“Woman, you know I’m a boot man. Cowboy boots, fast cars and faster women. Now, how the hell does this blasted bra come off?”
# # #
Lamar held up a sparkly scarlet gown. “Does this dress make me look fat?”
“For crying out loud, Lamar,” Jamie said. “You’re a snake. Nothing makes you look fat, unless you swallow a goat. What the hell you need a dress for anyway?”
“For work. For the show. They’ve seen my other costumes. It’s spring, a whole new season. I need a whole new look.” He studied the gown’s bodice. “I don’t think my falsies will fit in here anyway. The last thing I need is to fall out of my outfit right in the middle of the act.”
“What the hell does it matter? They’re fake.”
“It’s the illusion, rojo. They want to pretend they see something. If they actually see it, it’s just gauche.”
“Why even bother with a dress at all? Just wear leather strips and body paint. They want an illusion, make ‘em think they’re looking at a dress.”
“Querido, that’s perfect! Gypsy’s got just the outfit, if I can talk her out of it.” He hopped into Jamie’s lap, gown and all. “Sometimes I absolutely love you, even if you are addicted to—” Lamar shuddered from head to foot. “Flannel.”
“I’m a southern boy. It’s cold up here in the mountains.”
“I’m from Miami and I—oh, never mind. Here. Warm up.” He draped the gown around Jamie’s shoulders. “What do we do with this now?”
“We could give it to Mary. Take it up a couple inches and she’d look damn hot in it. Drive Porker right over the edge.”
“Perfecto! What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on that wall. Where’d you learn so much about fashion, you backwoods country boy?”
Jamie grinned. “From a dang snake who can’t keep his clothes on. Speaking of which … ”
# # #
Mary did indeed look damn hot in the scarlet dress. Porker stuttered incoherently for nearly fifteen minutes. Mary watched in amusement while his lips formed incomprehensible words before she took pity on him and stopped his lips with first a finger, then a kiss. Then both of them went over the edge as Talbot’s Peak welcomed spring.
Posted by Pat C.
The funny little man wearing green everything was sitting by himself at a small table towards the back of the coffee shop, sipping on a tall Irish coffee and chuckling softly to himself every now and then. Guri could only guess that the strange little man was amused by what he was seeing out the large picture window. He himself saw nothing overly amusing. Still, the man was wearing green head to toe, a clear sign that he shared Guri's love of all holidays. If Tamsan had not staged what he called an intervention, Guri would also still be wearing green from head to toe, as well. One day to celebrate a fun holiday like St. Patrick's Day really wasn't enough.
Guri watched the man chuckle again as yet another couple walked hand-in-hand down the street. Unable to restrain his cat form's natural curiosity any longer, he decided to approach the strange little man.
"Hello, my fellow holiday enthusiast!" he said heartily, and perhaps a touch too loudly he realized when Marissa, the owner of Java Joe's cleared her throat. She was always pestering him about "using his inside voice," whatever that was.
The strange little man eyed him maliciously from the corner of his eye, but otherwise ignored Guri. That kind of stung. He may not be a mover and shaker in the Yakooza but he was still a tiger. Wise people did not pay him an insult like that lightly.
"I said hello, my friend," he said, deciding to give the strange little man a second chance to be polite on account of their shared enjoyment of green holidays.
"Go away, ya pea-brain," the stranger said nastily. "I saw you the other day, ridin' that horse you painted green like a senseless imbecile, yelling and whooping and showin' yer arss like a moon-stuck calf."
"I beg your pardon!" Guri exclaimed, shocked by the rude words and uncalled for ridicule.
"Ye've begged it. Now get out o' my sight," the little man spat nastily.
The whole store seemed to go still as everyone inside suddenly sucked in a silent gasp. Guri, furious at the disrespect, took one good, long sniff. Not human, and therefor ok to eat, Guri thought with satisfaction. He smiled at the nasty, smirking, strange little man. He let his cat show in his eyes and when the stranger dropped his smirk--realizing his peril too late!--Guri licked his lips.
"Now hold on just a min--"
No more strangle, insulting, disrespectful little man, he thought with satisfaction as he carefully shifted his head back into its human shape. He looked over at Marissa apologetically.
"I am sorry if I caused you insult for eating your customer, Mrs. McMahon," he said, trying not to blush. "But I could not allow such an insult to stand."
Marissa grinned and shook her head in bemusement. "That's fine, tiger. The leprechaun has been sitting there for several days, insulting everyone he saw. He was bound to lip off to someone who could eat him sooner or later. Besides, that little turd was the guy who gave my kids magic mischief scarves. I'm not exactly sad to see him gone.
Dante muttered a growl as he strode out of his biker bar. Escape! He needed, no required some breathing room... a wild fast ride with the winds... and against the winds.
He needed his motorcycle. He required his Kitty, her soft hand caressing his face.
Hell to Lupa, Spring was in the air. A young wolf's fancy turned to mating... to chasing his mate through the greening forest, the flower-budding fields.
His Kitty girl did love being chased. And he loved chasing her as a man, and as wolf. Dante's cock thickened fighting his black leather pants.
The taste of her white fluffy tail as he captured it, the feel of her silky fur in his mouth when he chased her as wolf -- his Kitty would lithely twist into a ball, spring, and mock-attack his face like a little fiend.
Dante cracked a lascivious grin striding faster toward his Harley, parked at the back of the lot. The late morning sun warmed his face, and lit his very soul.
Escape beckoned like a raw steak cooking on the grill.
As the owner of the Interspecies Pleasure Club, as the alpha werewolf in charge of protecting the territory surrounding Talbot's Peak, Dante's plate was always overloaded with challenges. Hell, now there were his sire's mutant werewolves, and a mammoth mutant werewolf being diabolically created by the mad scientist, Morloxian... then he had to keep a fierce-wolf eye on Zhere Ghan and his Tiger Yakuza... oh yeah, shouting howls to the bright moon, how about that do-good, idiot monster hunter, Cochrane, who was determined to wipe out Talbot's Peak's shifter population... further, he was in the midst of busting a drug operation with Reetha and Rafe... and not to howl-growl about the plethora of details he dealt with everyday when running his always-expanding, underground empire... also, his international connections that needed attention... and! watching how the political winds shifted in town...
Dante barked a loud growl!
He grabbed hold of his souped-up -- to use the old expression -- Harley's polished chrome handlebars. Before he could jump astride, he heard, "Dante! Wait!"
Suppressing a snarl, Dante turned. "What is it, Merley?" he asked the swan shapeshifter. She'd recently taken charge of the Midnight Stardust's Supperclub's kitchen, having worked her way up from being a server.
Obviously sensing his impatience, she hurried through an explanation about a food fight between two of the chefs, ending with, "What should I do?"
"Merley, I gave you the reins because I trust your judgement." Dante hesitated, watching her digest his words, then added, "You have my full authority to take whatever action is necessary to end their feud."
After a moment to consider his words, determination lined her pretty face. Dante mentally watched her inner wings flap, her feathers ruffle in a sign of domination. She gave a nod, and whipped around. Dante let a brief grin tilt one corner of his mouth. Swans, he'd discovered, were far tougher than they appeared.
Dante sprang astride his monster motorcycle, roared the engine to life and headed down the trail toward the open highway. The smells of the forest flooded his nostrils, and Dante savored the new growth, the ripe rich fertility of Mother Earth.
Over the years, as he built more wings on the Pleasure Club, he'd been able to put trusted pack members, shifters of every type and stripe, supernatural folks of every variety, even humans, in positions of authority -- lifting some of the burden off his shoulders.
Dante counted himself one lucky werewolf when it came to the caliber of those who worked for him, and also those who owned other restaurants, entertainment clubs, and businesses within the subterranean Pleasure Club. In spare moments, he frequented many of them -- especially the Jackal twins' old west saloon.
With a gravel-crunching squeal of his tires, he sped onto the blacktop. The engine rumbled like a great beast, and a bad-boy thrill slid though Dante. He leaned forward rapidly accelerating the Harley. Soon he thundered down the long stretch of winding highway, the winds blasting over him, and the taste of Spring on his tongue. Arrrr-ROOOOO!
Given his mood, Dante didn't give one scat damn about any cop, trooper... or black ops helicopter... or, whatever, whoever. Freedom screamed his name. Not like he wasn't unprepared to protect himself.
Between the super wolf, White Fang, and the rest of Dante's inner-circle crew -- they patrolled a large swathe of territory around Talbot's Peak, keeping every enemy at bay. Also, beyond protecting the Peakites, the crew kept watch over each other.
In concert, Gypsy Red Wolf's powerful witch-psychic circle used their paranormal powers in service to the Peak community. And Dante could always count on Mayor Gil. The were-squirrel guarded the town like he guarded his stash of nuts. Viciously.
For the sheer sport of it, Dante zoomed past the small amount of traffic, as if the cars and pickups stood still. Grrrrr-scat... who cared if they took cell phone vids and called the authorities on him? He was wolf, and he needed to roam free -- to stretch his wolfen spirit over the land, as Dante thought of it.
He wolfishly grinned, and felt his fangs lengthen. Yeah-yip-yip, freedom stealers, wiping out your computer data is no challenge for my hacker crew.
On wild impulse, Dante raced toward town. His Kitty was a sexy siren luring him onto her beautiful shores. Damn-yip yes! His balls ached like sons of a gun for her.
Once Dante reached the outskirts of Talbot's Peak, he lessened the motorcycle's speed and headed for the library where his lovely cat woman worked. He let the engine rumble loudly as he cruised the streets, automatically waving at those who hailed him.
Audaciously, Dante rode the Harley up to the front steps of the library. He dismounted fast, his need scorching through him. Taking the steps two at a time, he then nearly burst through the doors, a man-wolf on a mission.
All eyes flew to him. Only the surprised, gorgeous blue eyes of his Kitty girl mattered to Dante. Hellfire and howls, there was no denying his ferocious need for his woman.
Kitty stared at him, her luscious lips slightly parted. Immobile, she held a book in her hand. Likely, she'd been about to give it to the youngster seated next to her, probably for some school project.
Dante didn't bother with words or even a possessive growl. He never broke stride. Snaking his arm out, he captured Kitty's waist, and hauled her close.
Their bodies mated, but their gazes collided. The instant her gaze softened melting into his, Dante slipped his arm beneath her knees, and swooped her up into his embrace.
Pivoting on his boot heels, he devoured the distance to the door with his fast strides. "Where are you taking me, you big bad werewolf?" his Kitty whispery crooned.
Dante shouldered his way out the door before answering. "How about a long, long ride on my motorcycle, little Kitty girl?"
"A long ride? I dunno," she sultrily teased, then squirmed seductively in his arms.
"I'll show you a real good time," he gruffly promised, playing the bad-boy wolf. Dante swung her aboard his motorcycle, then quickly moved in for a kiss.
His Kitty smiled like a vixen, grabbed hold of his black leather jacket, and pulled. Their lips seized each other, and clung. Passion blazed between them, and their untamed, nipping kisses lasted for an indecently long time.
"I suppose I'll be known as the naughty librarian from now on," she murmured, once he broke their mouths apart, once their breaths rushed together.
"My naughty librarian," Dante rasped. He mounted his Harley, and wrapped his arms around her.
Kitty snuggled into the hollow of his body. "Yours," she promised in a purr.
Dante revved the engine back to life. To lycan hell with his cat-hating sire. The time had come to openly claim Kitty, to mate with the woman he loved with his whole heart.
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ...
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance
SEX EDUCATION PHOENIX STYLE
Rachel looked up from her desk. He stood there looking at her, arms folded across his chest, squinting, and shaking his head. She bit her lip to keep her exasperated sigh inside. Two months and he kept trying to understand in the old way. The way that immortals often did with an attitude and their haughtiness.
“Yes?” she asked wondering if she needed to grit her teeth too. Her explanation about sex and actual enjoyment for the sake of pleasure went over his head and down his pants, past his groin and out the door. Then he asked for a demonstration. A bloody blasted demonstration. As if...damn her late husband never complained. Neither had her last two boyfriends either. Now her Phoenix tag along wanted to see firsthand what all this pleasure was about. Cripes, the trip down redemption lane had really wiped out memories and experience. Or had it?
Tyburn walked toward her desk with his hand held out. “May I sit?”
Rachel nodded wondering what asinine question he had now. Unclenching her jaw, she reminded herself to breathe. Both of them were chaperoning the other and keeping track so at the end of this enforced togetherness they could part company.
Tyburn sank into the chair closest to her. He sighed and spoke. “Last month I spent the 14th day of it delivering flowers, hearts with writing on them, cards with hearts on them, chocolates, and even got my ass pinched. Now everywhere I turn everyone has that same wild-eyed look and heat flooding off them.”
Rachel bit her lip hard. Laughter threatened to burst forth. She’d smelled the rutting odor from the moment she walked out her front door a week ago. Warmth and greenery affected the animal half of most of the Peak’s residents as rapidly as it did the human half. The non-shifters amongst them like her got a bit giddy and horny too. She understood what a worn out vibrator and a box of used batteries represented. One week of good sleep and no dreams of shagging Tyburn three to four times a day.
“So you got your ass pinched? What you complaining about? Probably the best thrill you’ve gotten in a while.” Rachel looked down less she started smirking. How did she explain being human? The enjoyment of letting go and just feeling. Like the time she went skinny dipping with her bridge club.
Tyburn drummed his fingers on the desk. His scowl didn’t fool her. His eyes glowed and the corners of his lips turned up. The rascal was up to something. She remembered the time he threatened to toss her into the coldest river in Phoenixdom. Ice and snow covered the banks. Well, it had until their passion melted the snow cap and the ten inches of ice covering the lake down river.
“I guess you don’t get your hormones getting jiggy and needing release?” Rachel looked Tyburn straight in the eye. She folded her arms across her chest and kept staring at him.
Tyburn tossed his head back, laughing loudly. “Oh, so that is what all this is about. Hormones and sex. Lots of physical intimacy. Sweating and noisy stuff.”
Rachel sighed, nodded, and wondered if anywhere in the animal kingdom-human or deity too-was there a place where males and females understood each other from the get go. If there was, she certainly didn’t know about it.
Posted by Solara Gordon
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Seamus O'Shaughnessy had never had much of any use for that pompous ass, the Bishop of Armagh. It didn’t matter that the British-Roman interloper had died more than fifteen-hundred years ago. It only mattered that he, Seamus O’Shaughnessy, was still here and nobody seemed to notice!
For instance, how many people even remembered that St. Patrick’s Day was a saint’s feast day? Few, if any. They thought it was a day for running around saying fake Irish stuff, eating corned beef and cabbage, washing it down with copious amounts of beer, and playing pranks on everyone. Show them a picture of St. Patrick and they will give you a blank look. Show them a picture of himself in full leprechaun regalia and they all yelled, “Sláinte!”
So here he was in Talbot’s Peak, a lovely mountain town, far from his homeland in miles but cut from the same cloth in spirit. And there, before his eye, were a pair of good Irish lads planning out some shenanigans to celebrate this not-so-saintly feast day! They looked like they could use a little help.
“Are you sure this was how Mayor Gill did it?” the larger blond boy was saying to his smaller, dark haired companion.
“No, butt-breath,” the other sighed in frustration. “If this was how Gil did it, it would have worked by now.”
“Mayhap, I could be o’some help?” Seamus said as he slipped out from under a holly bush. The lads didn’t jump, though he knew he’d startled them both. They turned on him in a flash, their human teeth elongating into pointed wolf fangs. Well, puppy fangs, anyway. They weren’t yet big enough to have full wolf fangs yet. Seamus didn’t flinch, though. It may have been a long time since wolves had the run or Ireland, but he did remember them. Never show a wolf fear if you could help it.
Once they had ascertained that it was no adult looking over their shoulders, the boys relaxed a bit. The blond one started sniffing curiously while the dark lad glared at him suspiciously. Seamus ignored the lads for a moment and studied the things laid out in the snow behind them. They had a couple of snow-caked scarves, a large collection of pre-made snowballs, a couple of walkie-talkies with hands-free ear pieces, and a bedraggled notebook opened up to a page that looked to be covered in childish handwriting, though Seamus could not decipher the penmanship a’tall.
“I might be wrong, but neck clothes tend to be more effective when they are wrapped around yer necks and not covered in snow,” Seamus said with an amused chuckle. “Unless, o’course, t’ain’t yer necks you plan to keep warm. But why would ye be wantin’ te warm up a snowball?”
“We ain’t trying to warm the snowballs,” the blond lad said. “We’re trying to fling them around like on slingshots, but they keep breaking! Ouch!” he said in response to the dark lad’s elbow, which had just nailed in in the arm firmly. Seamus cackled gleefully. Oh, yes, these lads were in need o’help to get their shenanigans rollin’, that was for sure.
“What if’n I gave you a little help with it,” he asked slyly.
“What kind of help?" the dark lad asked, suspicious but still interested.
“This kind of help,” Seamus said as he shook a pair of lovely knitted wool scarves from his coat sleeves. One was a deep emerald green wool with gold tassels and the other was gold with emerald green tassels.
“We have scarves,” the blond lad said as he eyed the offerings distainfully. The other lad, though, had a look of cunning in his twinkling blue eyes. That one eyed the scarves and then eyed Seamus himself, missing nothing. A slow grin tried to peek out from behind a perpetual scowl, but the lad clamped it down sharply.
“I supposed these scarves are guaranteed to throw the snowballs?” he asked.
“O’course they are, me laddie!” Seamus said with a meschivious grin. The other boy, catching on to what his companion was thinking, looked at them closer and then met his eyes.
“For what price?”
“Price, me laddie?” Seamus asked, trying to look hurt by their ungreatful questioning. It was fake, but they didn’t know that. Or maybe they did. These lads may be young but they were also quite cunning.
“Mom said all magic comes with a price,” the blond continued.
“If those are magic scarves—and since you are one of the wee folk, they probably are—then there’s a price to be paid for accepting them,” the dark lad said, agreeing with his companion. Seamus realized slightly belatedly that these lads were probably brothers, mayhap even twins. That, combined with their obvious knowledge of the Danu and magic in general, meant they were the witch’s pups. He’d have to tread vera carefully lest their mam come back on him with an eye for revenge. There was lots o’mischief that could be done that didn’t have a bad price to pay, though, and these boys were schooled enough in the laws of magic that if he told them upfront the honest truth of things, Marissa’d have no recourse to come back on him.
“The price for these beauties is the same price as any good prank, me laddies,” Seamus said with an honest grin. “You need to pull them out and give them o’bit o’ use now and then. You canna let them slip from yer keepin’. And you have to pay the piper every St. Patrick’s Day, from this one until the magic fails.”
“Which piper will hold the toll?” the dark lad asked matter-of-factly. Oh, yes, he liked this lad. He liked him a lot. The laddie knew full well that there were more than one type of toll, and more than one type of toll keeper, and still he was willing to consider the gift.
“Why, I will, me ladies. And before ye go askin’, my toll is simple. The folks of this land have all but forgotten the wee ones. Once per year, ye must remind them that leprechauns still walk the green rolling hills.”
“And the scarves? What kind of magic do they hold?” the blond asked carefully. Seamus nodded, pleased to see that both lads knew their stuff.
“They are full of shenanigans, o’course. What other kind of magic would one of my kind be givin’ out to clever lads like yerselves?”
“And how long will the magic last? Can we use them at other times of the year, or only on St. Patrick’s Day?”
“They last so long as ye still have wonder in yer hearts and they can be used on any saint’s feast day,” Seamus finished with a grin.
“This doesn’t come pre-loaded with bad luck, does it?” the dark lad asked, looking almost convinced. Seamus let a little trickle of his magic slip down his fingers and into the scarves, altering the spells woven into them just enough to neutralize the luck that had been crafted into them when they were made. He’d have rather left those spells in place, but the lad knew enough to ask, and his mam knew enough to know that, so Seamus felt it prudent to not leave himself open like that.
“The only luck in ‘em is what you make of it, me laddies. Do good or do ill, it’s all up to you. All that I ask is that you do it well, with a little joy in yer hearts and a twinkle in yer eye. So, do we have a deal?” The lads looked at each other for a long moment and then grinned.
“Deal,” they said in tandem as they reached for the scarves.