Thursday, October 26, 2017

Good Intentions

(found this unedited bit of silliness in my files and decided to share.)

“Dammit, lady!”

Charlotte clapped her hand, the one not holding an egg, to her mouth. “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

“You should be. You got egg all over my dang coat!”

“It wasn’t meant for you. It was meant for that murderer in the beaver jacket. Although … are you wearing sheepskin?”

“Yeah.” His lips pulled back in a snarl of a smile. “Killed the sheep myself.”

“Excuse me?”

He tossed the coat aside and shifted. A huge gray wolf stood before her.

Charlotte screamed. And threw the egg at him. It splattered across his muzzle. She quickly palmed another, just in case.

Ralston shifted back. “Okay, you’re getting a spanking for that.”

“You stay away from me!”

But he’d already grabbed her, and pulled her against his firm, naked chest. “Too late, li’l lady.” He eyed her bosom, currently heaving up and down with every panicked breath. “My, what big eggs you have. Any chance you could throw these at me?”

“You know damn well I was aiming for the beaver coat.”

“Yeah, and Mrs. Ainsley’s pissed over that. Her late husband had it made for her. Part of the will. It’s all she has left of him.”

“You mean she—”

“Keeps a part of him with her every day. Now here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to apologize for dishonoring her late husband, you’re going to pay to have that fur cleaned, and then you’re going to join me for breakfast. And if you throw another egg at me, I’ll put you over my knee.”

“I only egg people wearing fur.”

“I’m a shifter. I can’t help wearing fur. When will you PETA freaks realize we don’t need your help?”

“Maybe you do. Aren’t shifters endangered?"

“Not as much as you right now. Mrs. Ainsley can sue you for assault, y’know.”

“I’m not having breakfast with you. I don’t even know you.”

He held out his hand. “Ralston Durham. And you would be … ?”

“Charlotte O’Keefe.” She defiantly took his hand, and shook it. And remembered, seconds too late, the other egg in her palm.

They stared at their mutually slimy hands. “You go make your apologies,” he ordered her in a soft but growling voice. “Then join me in the diner over yonder. And wash your hands.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Just Out from J. J. Collins

Sometimes love comes at you fast. Answering an old friend’s call for help, hunter Dillon Royce comes to Arizona to stop a shapeshifter who’s targeting gay men. He finds himself falling for the prime suspect, cheetah shifter Kaz Genovese. Kaz insists they’re fated mates. Or is he just trying to get close to his latest victim? Dillon needs to solve this one fast, before he totally loses his heart … or his life.


“Sorry, speedy. I can’t take any chances. You’re going into a holding cell until we get this resolved. If you want to call a lawyer—”
“That won’t be necessary.” Kaz shifted. The bonds meant to restrain a human fell loose on the cheetah’s form. He slid his paws free and bit through what he couldn’t slip out of.
Then he leaped at Dillon.
They fell backward, onto the narrow bed. Kaz shifted back. His teeth grazed Dillon’s throat, just a tease, before he crashed his mouth against Dillon’s in another of those soul-blasting kisses.
Dillon had his knife. One thrust and it would be over.
Instead, he accepted the kiss. How had he gone his entire life without being kissed like this? Like Kaz intended to swallow his soul. As if he already had.
His hands moved as if with minds of their own, exploring, groping Kaz. Not an inch of him was still. Every speck of Kaz’s naked body seemed in constant frantic motion. Holding him was like holding on to a primal life force. His body was the desert, spare and barren at first glance but harboring unexpected bursts of color and flavor and life. An entire ecosystem of fiery desire, all of it focused on Dillon.
So long. Too long since he’d had any relief, or so desperately wanted it.
Only when he realized Kaz was tearing at his fly did Dillon come back to his senses. This was all happening too fast.
Somehow, he got his eyes to focus. “Don’t I even get dinner first?”
“What? Oh.” Kaz slumped, all over. Even then his body still vibrated with speed. “You humans and your stupid rituals. What a waste of time. You’re my mate. We were born for each other. Isn’t that enough for you?”
“Sorry, no. I don’t have the luxury of instinct. Right now, I’ve got a set of murders to solve. That’s my first priority. You and your mating urges—” Our mating urges, he couldn’t help thinking. “—Are going to have to wait.”
“Go slow?” Kaz tested the concept and, from the lift of his lip, clearly found it distasteful. “I don’t know if I can do that. Though it would be an interesting test.”
“You’re going to have to. And you’re going to have to sit in a cell for a while. You’re the prime suspect. Can’t be helped.”
“That’s not going to happen,” Kaz said firmly. “Tell you what. I’ll go do some investigating on my own. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow night and we’ll have that dinner. And then I’m claiming you. That’s as slow as I can go.” He palmed Dillon’s cheek. “We’re going to be spending our lives together. I suppose I should ask you your name.”
“It’s Dillon. Dillon Royce.”
“Dillon.” His name sighed off Kaz’s tongue. “Until tomorrow night, my love.” He captured Dillon’s mouth again and sent his senses spinning. When Dillon opened his eyes, those delightful lips were gone, the hand at the back of his neck was gone, the scent of cat was a fading memory, and the door to his room stood open.
He went to the open doorway, although he knew it was pointless. Of course, Kaz was nowhere in sight. The ache in his groin was now joined by a more poignant ache in his soul, its one true mate discovered and abruptly torn away. Maybe there was something to the mate bond after all, even where humans were concerned.
Or maybe that was guilt he felt, that in spite of everything he was falling hard for his number-one suspect. That he’d let a possible killer go free.