Almost Chinese New Year howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Say goodbye to the Year of the Horse on February 19th, and Hello to the Year of the Sheep. Baaaaa, baaaa, black sheep... yes, he/she just might be showing up in Talbot's Peak.
Once again, here's a sneak peek of my current ShapeShifter Seductions WIP, starring my winged horse heroine, Keina, and her more-than-human hero, Drev. In this chapter, the Prince villain invades the sanctity of Drev's bedroom. And, no, this scene has NOT been edited in any way. But I hope you enjoy.
Drev tensed to charge and do battle...
Flabbergasted by Drev's warrior-determined protection of her, Keina's jaw dropped open. Oh, she'd known he was a man who would fight for his woman, to keep her, and to keep her safe. Yet this...this primal level of combativeness toward an unknown foe...Epona!
She couldn't help the favored beat of her heart for him.
Keina reached for Drev's forearm to let him know she wanted his chivalry, and to join her energy with his -- her feminine force with his masculine force, a solidarity in the face of the Prince's invasion of her life.
Glaring in the disgusting bore's direction -- where he stood invisible within the mirror portal -- she demanded, "Leave. What are you doing here?"
"Princess Svonj, it is my right and now my duty to claim you–"
"Don't say it!" Keina ordered, her ire flaming high. "Flubergastov! Did your fiancé discover the truth about your lecherous behavior?"
"Let's say I own no ill will over this change in my fortune." Prince Tretorff slowly revealed himself as he spoke. "Our marriage is to my advantage."
"I do not consent to marriage." Keina daggered her words.
"You have no choice, Princess–"
"I do." She matched his hauteur. "I am not in our realm. I need not honor our ways here."
As she spoke, Drev tensed to charge and do battle. Keina squeezed his muscle-bulging arm, silently asking him to wait. She hoped to dismiss the loutish Prince before it came to physical blows.
Believing himself superior, Tretorff might choose to fully manifest, then attempt to tromp Drev into the floor. Or the vile oaf could simply retreat inside the portal, and indulge in a loud long horse laugh at Drev's expense.
Somehow, the arrogant hoof-ass had convinced one of the court mages to conjure this window into Earth that allowed him to emerge or be unseen at will.
"Do you wish to see me defeat this human, Princess Svonj. I will gladly splatter his blood on my hooves, if that will win your–"
Drev's growl of rage erupted with the force of a volcano. "Bring it on, dirt bag. Right here. Right now."
Keina realized only the grip of her hand stopped Drev from rushing to attack. His warrior fire burned her palm, even as his muscles strengthened beyond any human she'd known.
Astonishment owned her for a moment, even knowing Drev possessed such power. Recapturing her attention, the Prince's countenance darkened dangerously. His lips curled in disdain, and he bared his teeth, a stallion ready to fight over a mare.
"Go home, Prince," she commanded. "Dare to find a suitable woman who wishes you as husband."
"I find you more than suitable," he snarled through clenched teeth.
"I find you utterly unsuitable," Keina shot back. "Leave. I have no desire to see anyone's blood on your hooves." Heaving with anger, she spat out, "Oaf. Self-absorbed oaf."
"Self-absorbed?" the Prince arched a black brow, which made him appear only more menacing. He took a step, but didn't cross the portal's threshold. Not yet.
"Narcissistic." Drev cut with his tone. "Know that term?"
Glowering formidably, Prince Tretorff tensed into a threatening posture. About to leap, his thigh and calf muscles inflated, a comical sight in the bright blue tights
Keina halted the gurgle of laughter forming in her throat. She rose to her knees instead, taking the covering with her. "Really," she shook her head, a filly put-down of him, "what do you think you're going to achieve? If you attempt to bloody your fists or your hooves?"
"By rule of battle, I will claim you," the Prince spoke in a neighing trumpet, his horse close to the surface. "Your return has been granted by the King, as has our marriage."
Eyes for slits, Keina glared. "I have already defeated you. You are a stud-silly fool to believe I will do no less now."
"You would defy the King's will?" Bewilderment actually flashed in his eyes for an instant. "Stand aside, human offal. If you would spare your pathetic hide."
Without hesitation, Drev stalked to the end of the bed, growling. "Let's go. I'll wipe the floor with your royal butt. Prince."
'Prince' sounded like the worst slur in the universe, given Drev's tone, and Keina wondered how her life had suddenly become this surreal. So she'd bucked the norm, and been banished for it...but this unfolding scene?
Wait, she almost shouted, yet held her tongue as the two men viciously tried to stare each other down. There was a time when a filly stepped aside, when the two stallions battling for her couldn't, wouldn't be stopped.
"Oh no," she whispered under her breath, and clutched the comforter tightly. The air crackled as if a lightning storm struck.
Who lunged first, Keina couldn't tell. The Prince launched from the portal, his fists morphing to deadly sharp hooves.
Drev charged like a snorting bull. Head down, he ploughed into the Prince's mid-section, forcing him backward. Prince Tretorff slammed his hooves on both sides of Drev's head.
Ouch! Keina flinched. With one eye shut, she dared a look. As if he trained on a punching bag, Drev struck blow after blow. Shock contorted the Prince's already ugly face.
He neighed furiously, and spun attacking with his feet, now transformed into huge hooves. Soon it became a blur of flying hands and feet, of hooves pounding on human flesh.
As the two men fought in close quarters, thuds and grunts resounded throughout the room. From what Keina could observe, more of Drev's strikes connected, and she cheered inside.
Daring to hope, she tried to follow the *quicker than the eye* battle that moved from one corner of the room to the other. To her immense relief, Drev seemed impervious to the slash and stomp of the Prince's hooves.
Locked in combat, the two of them crashed into the few pieces of furniture, and into the walls. Silently praying to Epona for Drev to be the victor, Keina couldn't tell who was winning at this point.
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance