Happy Belated Summer Solstice howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Well, it seems not everyone in Talbot's Peak is *overjoyed* with the idea of Mayor Gil's census, even for a larger food supply. This is their side of the story... And! Yes, this flash scene is also a continuation of last week's flash, Amazon Warrioress In Talbot's Peak.
Btw, a warning: the copyright cartel in Hollywood is attempting to copyright everything not nailed down, and nailed down... D*sney, the mouse empire, wants to send you a bill even if you say their company name in a personal email. No, this isn't a joke. This was just reported by Max Kaiser, a man in the know.
Delvezio slid his car, a classic sports convertible he'd rebuilt...
Determined to wolf-nip trouble in the bud or the butt, Delvezio slid his car, a classic sports convertible he'd rebuilt, into the parking spot closest to the Peak's radio station. Not wanting to miss one word of Mayor Gil's appeal to line up for a census, he touched the volume of his radio on high, then settled back, one arm slung across the back of his two-seater.
On instinct, Delvezio sniffed the wind. The green-blooming smells of summer buzzed pleasurably through him, and he cracked a quick smile. As well, his wolf salivated over the plateful of delicious food odors wafting from various restaurants. For moments, he gathered in the informative scents about his Peakite family, who was in town and their location.
Delvezio couldn't help shaking his head at the current situation. Where the miscommunications had occurred, he and Dante couldn't figure. He swiped his hand through his wind-tangled, longish hair.
Over a late dinner at the English Pub, he and Dante had banged their two brains together in an attempt to discover, to analyze what had gone wrong. Word from their mole in the mayoral mansion was that Gil believed Talbot's Peak was short of food, and needed state aid.
Was new fatherhood somehow causing the mayor to be wrongly concerned about the amount of 'eats' available? Had he forgotten how to decode their emails? Yeah-snarls, coded because hackers ruled the cyber world, and the dark net was a convenient dumping ground for their hacking victories.
Yip-grrrs... obvious as original sin, no one in the outside world needed to know about the gargantuan, five years worth of food, medicines, and other necessities carefully catalogued and stored at the subterranean shelter, that was attached to the Pleasure Club complex.
As the man-wolf in charge of purchasing supplies for Dante's enormous underground emergency shelter, Delvezio had kept the mayor in the loop, appraising him of their latest preparations, of how much food they'd stored, and now had access to -- especially from Zance and Dontoya's cattle-buffalo ranch... and TP's own Digger, the gardening wolf shifter, and his rabbit shifter cohorts. In fact, all around town, in the public areas, folks had planted veggies and fruits that were free for the picking when ripe. And no pesticides allowed.
Delvezio impatiently tossed his head, and bared his teeth for an instant. Then he fine-tuned in the Tabs and Fuzzy show... not his humor bone to chew on, but he admired their early-morning dedication, and their willingness to let it 'all hang out'.
As he kept his outer cool, his inner wolf snapped at the aggravation of having to handle this political snafu, instead of visiting the small, organic berry farm that was willing to sell whatever their regular customers didn't buy. But they'd requested a face-to-face with him first.
Hell howls, for the last year, he and his team had busted their butts setting up an organic greenhouse supply chain throughout their Talbot's Peak territory. They'd also traveled the state contracting with ranchers and farmers. And not to further growl about the local hunters who brought in their surplus meat for storage in the nearby, ice-cool cave his team had outfitted.
Delvezio knew he didn't mean it...Gil was a good guy with a caring heart...but it almost felt like the mayor slapped him across the muzzle.
"Del...Delvie" the feminine, feline voice hailed. With an amused mumble-grumble under his breath, he watched the audacious teenager, Brenda Oldman, head toward him, her gait a slinky run.
"Brenda," he co-opted the conversation first, "heard you had quite the serenade the other night." Delvezio grinned wolf-large.
She sauntered closer, turning on her female charm. Every line of her body oozed with her budding sexuality, as did her smile. "Yeah, well...it was kinda flattering, if you know I mean. Course, Dad, had to make a big production out of it, chase them off by actually throwing shoes." Brenda rolled her eyes.
"Dads are like that. Always protecting their daughters." Delvezio gave her a paternal grin to remind Brenda, once again, that he had no carnal interest in her. However, he certainly appreciated her real enthusiasm as a regular volunteer who collected leftover food from the Pleasure Club's restaurants, then distributed it to area families needing a helping paw -- mostly to those who lived a good long trek from town. "I hope you're planning an extra special day for your Dad."
"Mom, I, and the brother, are treating him to one of McDuff's Scottish meals. Dad's got a thing for the Scot's Best of Breed Pub, and the hearty fare there, as he calls it." With a teenager's patented dismissive shrug, Brenda added. "The scones and clotted cream are always good."
"Nobody does it better than Duff McDuff when it comes kilt-wearin' dining." Delvezio rumbled a short laugh at his botched imitation of the Scottie dog warrior.
"The kilt-wearing scenery is hot." Brenda naughtily smiled as she sidled closer. She rested a hip on the side of his convertible. "You've never told me where you're from, and I can't place that yummy accent of yours."
"The Basque Country in northern Spain." Delvezio made a show of increasing the radio's volume. When Brenda didn't a chatter a followup, he glanced at her. "Do you need a lesson in geography?"
"Maybe," she sing-sang while rocking her shoulders. "Awesomely explains why you remind me of a matador, but you don't look exactly Spanish."
"I hope that's a compliment," Delvezio bantered as he straightened from the radio. He beamed a paternal smile at her.
"Sure is. But hey, handsome, why are you in town this early?"
"I'm meeting with the mayor after his radio debut with our infamous local celebrities, Tabs and Fuzzy."
"Oh...wow. Okay. Gotta run some errands for Mom. See ya later." With a dazzling, come-hither smile, Brenda spun around and hurried off.
"Teenage girls, especially cat shifters... gotta love 'em," Delvezio growly muttered, then eased back against the leather seat. Unlike Dante, and many of the wolf alphas in the Peak, he'd never been a cat-tail chaser, preferring the company of lady canine shifters. Usually.
As he waited, Delvezio waved to many who passed by, including the bunny twins as he thought of them. Since arriving two years ago, he'd become friendly with many in town, especially those he did business with on behalf of Dante's emergency shelter.
Hearing Gil's intro, he laser-focused his attention.
"Mind if I join you?" Kitty's quiet but intense voice cut through his thoughts instantly. Delvezio shot his gaze to her.
"Hop in, Dante's girl. Sounds like our mayor is about to make his pitch."
"You would think our protest-raid when Linc was mayor, that Gil would be smarter than this. Wonder what's got his tightie-whities in a wad? Not enough nuts this time of year?" Kitty spoke as she slid into the seat next to him.
"Could be a case of mind control. Voice-to-skull tech is being used like there's no tomorrow. Although, our cyber team didn't find any conclusive evidence of an electronic attack on Gil."
"The world is getting more wonky-insane everyday. Stress could be kicking the mayor in the pants, even though we've managed to keep a good quality of life here in the Peak. Still, dangle goodies in front of some, and they can't resist what looks like a free handout."
Delvezio heard Kitty sigh deeply a moment before Gil launched into his well-meant, heartfelt appeal to Peakites. How many would leap like a fish for the baited hook... Delvezio put the bite on his thoughts. If he couldn't convince the mayor TP didn't need state aid, and too many jumped aboard this train to certain hell... other peaceful measures would have to be taken.
"Brain-addled," Kitty muttered in a low yowl, once Gil finished speaking.
"Has da mayor gone bonkers-wonkers? What bad movie am I watchin here?" Ralph the Bear stopped in his tracks, and aimed his gaze at Delvezio. "Who's he tryin' to kid here? I ain't no puppet. Nobody from the government is pullin' my strings, tellin' me what I can eat like they're doin' in those human warehouse schools. Those poor kids ain't got a chance. Their brains are gonna be mush."
Delvezio could only nod in agreement. He couldn't have spoken it better.
"That's right," Sozchy, the Love Wolfess, jumped in, her voice far more strident than when she was on the air with her 'love advice' radio show. "What is the Mayor thinking? I like Gil, he's been a good mayor. But he's not thinking. Clearly not thinking," she emphasized, her jaw tight. "Doesn't he get the long-term game?" Sozchy balled her fists in anger. "First they lure us in with free food, then they'll tell us we won't be able to forage or hunt in our own forests for food. Not if we want more handouts. And they'll be some who get hooked, and believe they can't survive. That's what they did to the Native Americans. They stole their land, and forced them to become dependent."
"You gotta do something, Del." Graystone, one of the ranchers who sold eggs and chickens to the Pleasure Club, stalked toward him, his face turning redder by the moment. Mostly human, with a wolf shifter grandfather, he'd settled in area, and now had a going concern, and a large family. "And I ain't lettin' my wife or children chomp down on any of that GMO Mon-Satan-O frankenfood they'll be foisting off on us. And if anyone else has got a lick o' sense, they won't mess with that crap either. But there's a group of fools at the post office celebrating like it's... what was that Purple Rain song?"
"Celebrating like it's 1999 by Prince, who isn't Prince, but is," Sozchy answered.
"I plan on meeting with the mayor soon as he returns to his office," Delvezio addressed the growing crowd.
"They bring that pesticide-laden frankenfood here, and I'll burn it to the ground." Sharla brandished her designer bag. "On second thought, I'm getting my pitchfork and torch ready to run them out of town."
Before his mind's eye, Delvezio all too easily saw Sharla astride her black stallion shifter mate, Zoronado, flaming torch in hand. Everyone knew she was one feisty human, and didn't back down.
"Hold on." Delvezio raised his hand in a conciliatory manner. "Dante and I will be working behind the scenes to keep everything as it is, and keep the state out of our supernatural-morphing hair."
"I say my mate is quite correct in this matter." Zoronado appeared from somewhere, and claimed his Sharla's waist. "It is wise to prepare now. We cannot allow such a travesty."
"No, we can't," Delvezio firmly stated. "You're right. Everyone prepare. In the meantime, let me talk with the mayor. Nip this in the butt."
"Prepare for the worst, hope for the best." Kitty softly spoke in the momentary silence.
"Recall petition!" Mary Lou shouted in a whinny, being a horse shifter. Even in her human form, she galloped toward them. "What's the mayor doing? Even thinking about letting any state official in our town. If I have to, I'll boycott the mayor and any business that goes along with this... hell's bells, with any state law. I've had enough!"
"Good idea," Kitty yelled to the ever-burgeoning crowd. "Who's onboard with a recall petition? That is, if Gil continues on this 'dangerous to us' all path."
"Besides," Mary Lou sniffed loudly. "What about my business, TP's Livestock Center? I'll lose the business I need to keep going, folks. I've got hay and grain shipments coming in by the truckload. Enough for everyone. And everyone knows I keep my prices fair."
Delvezio knew for a fact Mary Lou did keep her prices fair as possible. He, and one of his trusted team members, regularly worked with her to make certain all the area ranchers received the feed they needed for their livestock.
"Dang, if you're not right on point, Mary Lou. I know I'll lose business, and who knows how many of us small entrepreneurs will lose business, even have to go out of business." Ben, a brown bear shifter, and an organic seed supplier to the local farmers, barreled through the crowd to pin Delvezio with his outraged gaze. "Many of us moved to the Peak for the good opportunities here, and the freedom to do business."
"Here, here!" Stormy, a local rancher, and Dane, the puma shifter's mate, hollered. We got a good thing going in this Talbot's Peak community. We know how to regulate ourselves, and take care of our own. Why are we going to let anyone ruin that?"
"I'm for running anyone going along with this outta town. Like Sharla says. And I got the bikers to do it." Stephanos, a wolf-lion hybrid, barking-roared loud enough to be heard above the crowd.
"Stephanos," Kitty calmly addressed. "I'm with you. I'll ride with you, if it comes to that. But, there's no use in starting a civil war right here in our beloved Peak. I'm certain Dante has a plan to circumvent all of this. If need be."
"Let me say this," Delvezio calmly boomed his voice. "Most of you know Dante has a crack cyber team. Let's just say, this team has stopped certain intrusions by the establishment, and the state already."
Murmurs spiked and peaked around Delvezio as this info was absorbed.
The rapid clatter of hoofbeats startled them all. Delvezio leaped upward, standing on his car seat. What met his gaze simply astounded him, and he was damn well used to the unusual, to any number of paranormal events. His life had been nothing but such supernatural happenings. Since his birth.
A woman warrior, astride a horse the color of burnished gold, galloped in his direction. She reminded him of the legendary Amazon-tribe women, and was so breath-stealing in beauty, he gasped inward.
His heart clattered along with the sound of her horse's hooves, as "Omygawd," tidal-waved around him.
"Has she come to take on the mayor?" Ben, the bear baritone-shouted.
"I hope so," chorused around Delvezio.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance