September howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
So, the inspiration for this flash scene hit the other day, and I couldn't resist playing it out. I hope you enjoy.
Also, I'm doing an author interview on Saturday, September 12th at erotic romance author, Kate Hill's blog. Kate Hill is a wonderful, prolific writer. Check her and her books out at ~kate-hill.com/blog~
UPDATE: My author interview has been rescheduled for September 15th instead... yep, the ole scheduling conflict.
...her stripes showed whenever...
Sapria emerged from a relaxing shower. She smiled as she toweled off her faintly striped skin. Being a zebra shapeshifter, her stripes showed whenever her body temperature heated up.
Several years ago, she'd given up being with human men. The explanations about her stripes had worn thin as a late winter pasture. So, when the opportunity to move to Talbot's Peak territory, and work at the Pleasure Club, had shown up unexpectedly, she'd jumped at it. No, she'd raced toward it.
Sapria reached for the bathrobe, and slipped into the all-engulfing white terry. She let a long sigh escape further relaxing her shoulder muscles. While she enjoyed being a server at the Midnight Stardust Supperclub, they'd been unusually busy this past week.
On her way to the masseuse, Sapria padded out of the health club's shower room, and into a waiting area -- complete with massage-vibrating lounge chairs and soothing background music. Shutting her eyes briefly, she breathed in the lavender blend of essential oils scenting the air.
Since last year, Dante had decreed, or made free, massage therapy for everyone who worked for him -- or at one of the businesses in the Pleasure Club. This was her once-a-week appointment, and Sapria was anticipating Verikucha's extremely talented hands. The woman could turn her into a pool of melted butter.
Yeah, darn good thing she wasn't a lobster shifter. Snort-snuffle-snort, her inner zebra joined in.
"Your table is ready, Sapria." Elisha, the Elk shifter, smiled in her charming way, and motioned toward the door that was now swinging open.
Stepping inside the gorgeously appointed room, done in soft shades of purple and green, Sapria removed her robe. She hung it up, then wrapped a luscious, Pima cotton sheet around herself. This kind of luxury was definitely a good thing.
Hearing the door at the far end open, Sapria turned and looked up. She stopped dead in her tracks.
"What happened to Verikucha?"
Great Striped Equine, how fast was her heart going to race? Instead of her regular woman masseuse, a tall, broad-shouldered man with blazing azure eyes and hair the color of ripened wheat, regarded her. His stance was one of patience, and his professional gaze reminded her of a doctor about to do an exam.
"I understand your masseuse had a personal issue that required her immediate attention."
"Is she okay?" Alarm for the woman who had become more like a friend spiked through Sapria. She fisted the sheet tightly, her instinct to flee while the fleeing was good.
"She is fine. I assure you."
Relief washed over Sapria. "Is there a, a woman masseuse available?" she asked, not wanting to give up her appointment.
The man half-smiled, appearing to be amused. He scented out human yet there was something more. Something indefinable. Obviously, since he was here, he knew about shapeshifters, and the supernatural community that was Talbot's Peak.
Fascinated despite her instinctive fear, Sapria analyzed the story her nostrils were telling her. A powerful and mysterious force coursed through the man's veins. She could taste it just like smelling a predator downwind.
His physique and bearing certainly looked more like a warrior archetype, rather than a gentle giant who could give a good massage. He took a few steps toward the massage table, his expression professionally inviting.
"No, Miss Sapria. I'm the only available masseuse for the next three hours. If you would like to wait, I understand."
Figuring Dante, and his top managers, would never allow anyone of a perverse and dangerous nature to be in this position, Sapria approached the table. "Three hours. No can do. Not today."
"I'll be gentle," he encouraged, his smile minimal. "By the way, my name is Zinoviya."
"Exotic name. May I ask your ethnic heritage?" Careful to expose as little as possible, Sapria climbed on the table, and lay face down.
"My people moved underground during the last ice age. Only a few of us intermingle with upperworld humanity at this time."
That brought up all sorts of intriguing questions. Dang, now her brain brush-fire burned with a multitude of questions.
"Why don't I start with your shoulders?"
His deep resonant voice soothed yet pleasurably skittered through Sapria. No problem, she was in control of herself. Besides, she certainly wasn't in any mood to jump his handsome bones. Nor would she in this circumstance. Respect had been deeply ingrained in her.
With a gentleness that belied his large musculature stature, Zinoviya touched her bare shoulders. Soon he manipulated her muscles, his thumbs pushing away the tension.
Once he'd turned her shoulders into feel-good jelly, he massaged her neck. Again, he used his thumbs to ease away the tightness. As he pressed on the points at the base of her skull, relaxation hummed through her.
Sapria let herself succumb to his different, yet talented style of massage. He moved his hands to her head, manipulating her pressure points. Limbless, she felt him pull the sheet down to her waist.
Beginning at her shoulders again, he kneaded her muscles using a deliberate and effective method. Gradually, he worked his way down her back. His thumbs were pushing away the tension in the small of her back when suddenly 'nothing'. Nothing.!
Sapria heard his retreating footsteps as she blinked, as her mind sparked back to life. What now?
With the heaviness of a brewing thunderstorm, moments passed. Should she just get up and leave?
Okaaay...what else was there to do? Not looking in his direction, Sapria stirred and began to rise.
"My apologies, Sapria. I cannot continue the massage."
Her heart skipped a beat as she kept her back to him and sat upright on the table. "No problem...I'll just leave now." Grabbing the sheet so she was covered, Sapria scooted off the table.
Feeling surreal, unaware of her own steps, Sapria headed for the door.
"I'll be seeing you soon. Count on that, Sapria."
She said nothing as awareness of him slithered down her spine. The man wanted her.
About to step through the door, she heard. "You have lovely stripes."
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance