Guts and Butts Gazette

Location:  Talbot's Peak, Montana

Cast of Characters:

Leona Lane (panther) – crusading reporter, an uncompromising she-cat struggling to make it in a world dominated by canine males. Spent time in jail for refusing to reveal a source. Her devotion to the truth cost her the man she loved at the time (Devon Hancock).

Maggie Novak (coyote) – gossip columnist and would-be reality TV show hostess. Native to Newark, New Jersey, she ended up in Talbot’s Peak, Montana when she headed for California and ran out of gas. This backwater rag is so beneath her, darling. She’ll do whatever and whoever she has to in order to achieve her ends.

Jamie Olsen (red wolf) – photographer from the Deep South looking to start a new life. Was beaten up in high school for being a “swishtail.” Still in the closet but edging a paw out.

Lamar Balboa (boa constrictor) – newspaper intern and Maggie’s right-hand snake. Of Cuban ancestry, he came out during Spring Break his senior year of high school. He’s learning deceit at Maggie’s feet but a certain redhaired wolf may turn his head.

Brandon Wayne (bat) – “Brand ‘em’s” father saw profit in raising beef in an area dominated by carnivores and turned it into an empire. Rumor has it the Tiger Yakuza was responsible for the death of Johann Wayne, but Damien Hancock may have arranged for the hit. Brand is determined to see justice done. He and White Fang Kent are old friends. (Before you ask, no, he’s not a vampire.)

Damien Hancock (wolf) – owner of the largest territory in Talbot’s Peak – or would be, if not for the Wayne spread. Damien’s determined to rule all he surveys, and from his den on the Peak he can survey quite a bit. No bat – or wolf, or cat, or anything else – is going to get in his way. Older son Devon is being groomed to take over the kingdom, as soon as he’s properly mated off. Younger son Dante – well, you can’t win ‘em all.

Devon Hancock (wolf) – has yet to appear in Our Story. Likes to hump around with other shifter types behind Daddy’s back. He and Leona had a torrid affair before she wrecked it by having scruples. Probably not the swiftest arrow in the quiver.

Jack Wayne (bat) – Brand’s conniving brother, a bit of a sociopath with a twisted sense of humor and a really creepy grin. Three guesses what his nickname is.

Emil Tudbuttle (mole) – why is he even in the story? I was kidding. Really.

White Fang Kent, Ace Crime Reporter

The Super Wolf, who keeps his identity a well-guarded secret, has arrived in Talbot’s Peak, Montana on a mission. The hideaway town has been taken over by a werewolf pack. Their out-of-the-den bravado endangers not only their lives, but the entire shapeshifter world on Earth. Determined to keep his own wolfkind safe and undiscovered, White Fang realizes he must stay to protect the town’s residents from the ruthless enemies they are clueless about. However, he soon discovers he’s stepped into a real life version of As the Werewolf World Turns.

Pasha ~ Catwoman Shifter

Z’Pasha, granddaughter of the Egyptian goddess, Bastet, lives for the day when she can sink her poisonous claws and fangs into the Tiger Yakuza. Two of their Ninja assassins shredded her human friend’s body so brutally, the murder wasn’t reported in the news. Having tracked the elusive assassins across the globe, Pasha believes she is about to corner and castrate the fiendish tigers in the backwoods of Montana. She just needs a bit of super dog assistance. And she knows how to get it. After all, seduction is second nature, and her feline kind knows every shapeshifter male’s weakness.

Name: Mooney McMahon
Species: wolf
Age: 31
Height/build: 6’2”, athletic
Eyes/hair: blue, black

About me: You know that line from Varity Blues, “the next 48 minutes is for the next 48 years?” That is so true. Life as a high school football star was awesome. Live as an adult is kind of boring once the glory days start to fade. I tried working at my brother’s news paper as a sports writer after the triple A ball club I was playing for dropped me, but that didn’t pan out. I fell into a good gig recently, though and think I maybe found me a little she who doesn’t mind the way I operate… assuming she ever forgives me for sleeping with that coyote. But really, she hadn’t said she was my alpha so technically, I was still a free operator at the time.

Name: Marissa Cooper
Species: witch
Age: 23
Height/build: 5’3”, slender
Eyes/hair: blue, blue (yes, my hair really is blue. Get over it.)

About me: My flea-bitten mother sold me to this Egyptian god-wannabe when I was sixteen. I have been putting up with his mewling for the last five years solely because he’s still a few steps up from my mother, the drug addicted black witch. I’m pretty sure I could break the slave bond at will but the little flea bag let me set up a coffee shop as a front for his activities and I actually get to keep half the income, so why ruin a good thing. I can’t say as I like Lex’s newest assignment for me, though. I am absolutely not into seducing a guy just to gain access to his family. I wouldn’t mind a turn in the sack with Mooney for the heck of it, though. He may be more hound-dog than wolf, but he’s hella fine! And he’s got big hands. You know what they say about wolves who have big hands…

Name: Lexor Luthor
Species: sphinx cat
Age: beyond your imagination, mortal
Height/build: 5’6”, distinguished (Marissa may call me scrawny, but what would she know)
Eyes/hair: brown, bald

About me: I am the grandson of Nefertem, the ancient lion god of perfumes. Laugh if you want, infidels. The true power of perfume is not the frou-frou chemical concoctions you monkey-things like. The true power of perfuming is in things like anesthesiology, healing and meditation. This is something that nearly worthless monkey-thing slave child I bargained for does not grasp. A thousand years ago, my grandfather’s grimorie was stolen by a faction of the Tiger Yakooza. I have finally tracked it down to this back woods town in Montana. Now if I can just keep my indentured servant and my paid help focused on their tasks and not each other’s bodies, I may be able to regain my grandfather’s book and earn a place in heaven. Where it does not snow. Ever.

Nicolas Taggert McMahon(wolf) - Editor in chief of the Guts and Butts gazette, Alpha male and maybe one of the most hated men in Talbot's Peak, Montana. Yes, he's done some underhanded things, but they were all done for a damn good reason. Unfortunately, he can't talk about that reason, yet.

Zeva Wilk(wolf) - The only alpha female in her family pack has put her in charge of a flighty aunt, a bitter mother and a sex starved sister. She also serves drinks part-time at Dante's Interspieces Haven and is an unwilling edition to the Guts and Butts staff in charge of, can you believe it, personals. She'd at one time hoped to find a nice beta male to mate with and ease her load, but as luck would have it, her mate was all alpha, all asshat and did nothing but rile her up at every turn. He also seemed to have no idea they were mates. Great, add one more thing to her To Do list.

Prudence Penelope Jorgensson(parrot) - Administrative Assistant extraordinaire, the keeper of secrets and a flamboyant flirt looking for love in all the right places. But will her purple leather, thigh-high boots walk her into the man of her dreams or the man of her screams? Could they be one in the same?

Danny "mink in heat" Muldoon-He's been in and out of the closest so often, they've installed a revolving door to accommodate him. He refuses to admit his bi-sexual curiosity, stating his male preference over anything remotely feminine. He's worked the mail room longer than Nick or Anthony have owned the paper. Doesn't speak well of his work ethic, does it?

Victoria "Tory" Griswald (Wolf)-Her tight laced upbringing and over achieveing parents set the stage for her submissive side. Left to her own devices, she'd follow Anthony to the ends of the earth. Even share him with another bitch or two occasionally, but getting Anthony to respect her brains and quick wit is only one of the burrs standing between them and a match made in D/S heaven.

Anthony "Alpha" Wulfson (wolf-husky mix)-former newspaper owner and entrepreneur, he goes where he wants, when he wants, and didn't look back until Tory entered his life. No other bitch tugs at his heart and conscience like Tory. Though there are a few others he wouldn't mind having in his wolf pack harem, and it isn't all females he's panting over either. Just how much is Tory willing to share?

Burgess King, a Little Penguin from Phillips Island, Australia. A cop by trade, he has been working with the Elder Council to try and track down a series of unusual thefts: guardian spirits. He knows it is the Tiger Yakooza behind it but has no idea why they are stealing these ancient tutelary deities.

Dante, Biker Alpha

Dante knows he’ll never be the werewolf son his top-of-the-pack sire wanted. That’s Devon, his brother’s role. He left Talbot’s Peak to protect the catwoman he loves. Now, he’s back. And while he’s looking for a way to win her heart again, and keep her protected, he intends to make his own alpha mark. As the secret owner of the Last Bite Lodge, Dante also owns the interspecies pleasure club hidden below.
Katrina ~Cat~ Collins, aka Kitty Kewtie

Katrina is the sweet little cat shifter who started it all with her letter to the editor. She is determined to recover from her devastating heartbreak, and continue on with her life. After a night of tender and wild passion between them, Dante swung astride his Harley and left town. Even though, she knew Dante needed time to become the alpha wolf he is now, Katrina wants nothing to do with him. So what, if she dreams about him every night.

Josh Branston (Mixed Mutt Heritage)-He's loved Anthony for almost as long as he's known him. Anthony rescued Josh from life on the streets and brought him into the pack. Due to Josh's mixed heritage and unknown origins, his stature within the pack would be little more than tolerated if he wasn't part of Anthony's extended family and his second in command. Josh has never been jealous of the women in Anthony's life until Tory. Josh wants the passion and tenderness Anthony gave him before a huge part of his heart filled with the one woman Josh finds himself equally attracted to. Can two become three in love?


When Letters to the Editor go Bad...

Nov 5, 2010

To Whom it May Concern:

I'm writing today to question your recent edition of the newly, and inappropriately, named Guts and Butts Gazette.

I am unsure as to what has happened to our hometown newspaper, but it would be good for you to know the members of this community are shocked and dismayed by the new format. Being of the older generation, I start my day by reading the obituaries to find out if dear friends or long time neighbors have passed. What was once named Our Fondest Farewells has been re-titled and is now called Roadkill and excuse me, but featured are people who are not yet dead. As I said, inappropriate.

Let me now move on to the front page. Gone is the national news and local happenings only to be replaced by hunting stories with ~shudder~ pictures of kills. I do not care to see blood and gore over breakfast. Thank you.

And finally, the personals. In no way is Bitchz in Heat appropriate.

Please return to the original format and thank you for your time.

Katrina ~Cat~ Collins

Nov 12, 2010 Guts and Butts, 2nd edition...


Here's wishing Kitty ~Cat~ Collins her very own fond farewell. Story and photo's on page one.


Maggie Dishes the Dirt

Bon jour, pups and kitties, Maggie’s back with the latest scat on all the shifter doings. Which pack leads the pack? Which mutt is sniffing around someone else’s tree? It’s all here and it’s all true. Well, most of it’s true. I just put it out there. Your decision, darlings.

Megacongrats to the Shusters on the birth of their twins! Kayli’s an Alpha already – that puppy can bite! – and Connor’s got the loveliest yellow eyes you ever saw. Get out there and howl, Lily and Jeff – you’ve got every right to be proud!

Oooh, Myra – were those silver fox hairs I spotted on your blouse when we did brunch last Thursday? Is there something you’re not telling us, darling? ‘Fess up!

Good news, girls – Damien, Alpha of the Hancock pack, informs me his son Devon is on the prowl for a mate. Devon’s just out of grad school and likes fresh-killed elk and long hunts in the moonlight. He’s not a cat fancier, however, so no felines need apply. Wag those tails, ladies – the line forms now!

Speaking of felines, a little birdie tells me H.P. is chasing cat-tail again. Don’t lie to me, sweetie – I know that was you at the Sandbox. Somebody put that dog on a leash!

There’s a certain restaurant downtown – you all know the one – whose meat isn’t as fresh as it could be. Come on, W.T., you can’t fool this nose. Roadkill’s roadkill, no matter what kind of a fancy name you slap on it. And a French chef? Poodles are German, darling. Read up on your breeds before you buy.

Oh, Kurt – don’t look now, but someone’s been lifting his leg on your fencepost. Maybe we’ve got an ambitious low-ranker out there looking to improve his position? Word to the wise, dear.

That’s all for this week, sweeties. Maggie’s got to get back to her digging. I’ll be at Tuleroy’s Wednesday night. We’ll see if Julie’s finally caught wise and cut back on the perfume. Eau de Wildebeast is so not you, darling. Toodles!


Competative Sports Around Town

By Mooney McMahon

It’s been a tough week out there for high school sports enthusiasts. The County High Timber Wolves lost to the Naperville Jack Rabbits 7-0 in the first playoff game. What self-respecting carnivore is going to lose to food, I ask you? Next week they are playing the Columbus Waves. Hopefully the pups won’t get washed out by a pond.

Next week is try-outs for the Jr High wrestling team. All you panty-waists will be happy to hear that Coach Barton bowed to pressure and they will be allowing girls to try for a spot on the squad. At this rate, I’ll be announcing dudes trying out for the cheerleading team next year.

As per an official request from the Naperville drama teacher, I am also mentioning that the results from last week’s chess tournament are in. I am not reporting the results, though, because chess is not a freaking sport. Maybe if you had an actual mascot and not food, all those nice young gentleman would be out doing manly things!

The city council did not approve the request to allow roller derby tournaments at the city’s recreational facilities, so next week’s bone crusher will be held at the Roller Rama again, assuming we can get old Mrs. Fuddy-Duddy to drop the cease and desist charges. There man or may not be a TP party planned for Mrs. Fuddy-Duddy’s house tomorrow night to encourage her to play nice.

And on a positive note, the adults-only dodge ball league did get the funding needed to buy Kevlar volleyballs. As you know, that tournament had to be suspended when the Pack popped every stinking one of the normal volleyballs. The new shipment is due in by Wednesday, so the All City Meat and Gravy Dodgeball Tournament should be back on next Saturday.

This is Mooney McMahon signing off for now. And don’t bother sending anymore hate mail my way. I just file it in the circular file. 


White Fang Kent, Crime Reporter

White Fang Kent scanned the online version of the newspaper taken over by a wolf pack he considered to be irresponsible enough to be a danger to all of wolfkind. Especially his wolfkind.

He had no problem if they presented their features and articles as ‘tongue dripping against cheek’. As werewolf fantasy. Truth, he found it damn hell refreshing. But, with the full humans in possession of devastating fire power and still in fear of anything paranormal... well, he wondered if this younger generation had ever seen the horrific Old West photos of slaughtered wolves. Not to howl about the current-day helicopter hunting atrocities.

They probably hadn’t witnessed what he had, the scarecrow remains of several scorched-to-the-ground shapeshifter towns. Not all the residents had been lucky enough to escape with only singed tails. No, it appeared as though, this pack most likely thought the government’s ghost-kill squads were only nasty rumors.

Nov 12, 2010 Guts and Butts, 2nd edition...


Here's wishing Kitty ~Cat~ Collins her very own fond farewell. Story and photo's on page one.

White Fang frowned, and figured his brow looked like an aerial view of the Grand Canyon. Absently lifting his mug of steaming joe, he almost snarled into it. Instead he took a sniff, then swallowed down a healthy swig, or unhealthy, depending on which science study you chose to believe.

“Not subtle enough,” he growl-muttered. Not at all. He set the mug down with a clank, but not hard enough to splash his electronic window-on-the-world equipment. Lykouz! What he wouldn’t give for just a pen and pad at times, and the coffee stains be damned.

Too often, his fingers itched to bang out a story on his old typewriter. He threw a fond glance at the working relic before blinking and staring at the screen again. He’d have to investigate this Kitty Collins, and obviously double quick, before he sought employment as a Guts and Butts Gazette crime reporter.

It was one matter if this Collins, woman or catwoman, deserved to be guts-splattered roadkill. It was a whole other matter if she was a victim of prejudice or, worse, targeted as an unwanted rival by one of the bitches in heat for a mate.

White Fang arched his brows, then they took a leap for the ceiling. Howling about bitches ready to kill...

Good news, girls – Damien, Alpha of the Hancock pack, informs me his son Devon is on the prowl for a mate. Devon’s just out of grad school and likes fresh-killed elk and long hunts in the moonlight. He’s not a cat fancier, however, so no felines need apply. Wag those tails, ladies – the line forms now!
So, was this steak-of-his-daddy’s eye, this Devon really what he appeared to be? Or, was he a closet cat fancier? Perhaps, even a past fancier of Kitty ~Cat~ Collins? Lykouz knows, as a reporter searching out leads, he’d prowled many a freaky-sex lair party filled with wolf grad students.

Taking another long swallow of his joe, White Fang ignored the yip-yip tones of his apartment’s doorbell. When he’d rented the place, his landlady had settled her yellow-gleaming gaze on his lap package, then licked her lips as if they were her wolfen chops.

To his sometimes amusement she’d invited herself in for coffee and bone meal biscuits, several times. White Fang figured he gained a couple ace hands, though. His landlady was a raging gossip queen, which gave him a hiked leg up on the inner workings of the town.

It was also an opportunity to practice for the role he played in public. He’d pretended to be the geek shifter klutz of the century, fending off her amorous advances without offending her bitch sensibilities.

At least, so far, she hadn’t gone rabid werewolf and lunged for his defenseless dick while snapping her formidable jaws. Unlike her wolf breed, he had no desire to harm her or make her into instant roadkill.

One aimed fist between her eyes would knock her out cold and leave her with a nasty headache for about a week’s time. White Fang drained his mug, glad his landlady had decided to quit leaning on the doorbell.

Mooney McMahon, sports reporter...his gaze narrowed as he read.

The city council did not approve the request to allow roller derby tournaments at the city’s recreational facilities, so next week’s bone crusher will be held at the Roller Rama again, assuming we can get old Mrs. Fuddy-Duddy to drop the cease and desist charges.
Was this the same Mooney ‘wanna rip your throat out’ werewolf he’d tangled with in an LA sports bar? Mooney -- not a lookalike for George Clooney -- had gone neon-green eyed with jealousy over the attention his date lavished on White Fang.

While the woman had been a sweet piece of blonde tail, the only interest he’d had in her was if she could tell him the whereabout of her ex-boyfriend. The Dire wolf biker had gruesomely gnawed through two patrol cars, officers included.

Rumor had it the cops were on the take and shot at bikers for sport. Rumor had proven to be true. White Fang’s news story in the internationally distributed, Shapeshifter Globe Trotter, had saved the Dire wolf’s enormous furry hide from extinction.

Leaning back, White Fang stretched out the kinks from last night’s shift. He’d roamed the back streets, getting a feel for the town. Staying out of nose range, he’d watched werewolves hightail it for the surrounding forest. Most of them had been mated pairs.

Bringing the town’s directory up on screen, he typed in a search for Katrina Collins. There it was, address and phone number. Grabbing his cell, he thumbed in the number. No answer, just a cheery voice mail greeting.

With action now required, White Fang rose and strode toward his second floor deck. Once outside, he glanced around, then jumped over the rail. An instant later he blurred to super speed.

Every Story Needs A Bully
“All rise!”

Mooney tore his eyes from the runt at the back of the courtroom and focused on the fox walking in wearing judges robes. Dog! Why couldn’t he have paid a little more attention to the gossip column this week? Hadn’t there been something about gray fox hairs someplace they shouldn’t have been?

“Mr. McMahon, care to tell the court why we are here today?”

Mooney jerked his attention back to the here and now.

“Um, wasn’t there supposed to be some stuff said before you ask me questions?” he asked the judge, trying to buy himself a little more time to recall who supposedly had the fox hair on them and when. He scowled when the room filled with snickering.

“Mr. McMahon, we did that part already,” the judge said slowly, like he was talking to a backwards pup or something.

“Oh,” Mooney said, reminding himself that getting angry at the judge wouldn’t help his case any. “Um, so I was walking back from the Wal-Mart last night-”

“Wal-Mart, Mr. Mooney?” the judge interrupted. “At one ‘o clock in the morning with-” he ruffled some pages on his podium or what ever that desk thing judges use is called, “with four cases of toilette paper?”

“That’s right, your honor. The parking lot was full, so I had to walk a bit-”

“You were found three miles from Wal-Mart, Mr. McMahon,” the judge said pointedly.

“Right,” Mooney agreed with his best win-over-a-tough-crowd smile. “I had almost got to my car when the sheriff shined his flash light in my face.”

“Mr. McMahon, Wal-Mart closes at eleven. Are you saying it took you two hours to walk to your car?”

“Yes, your honor,” Mooney said earnestly. “Remember, I was carrying four cases of toilette paper.”

“And you did all of this drunk? I see here that you spent the night in the drunk tank.”

“Well, I wasn’t drunk, your honor. I did stop at a bar to take a little break, but I didn’t get drunk-”

“And your car just happened to be sitting in front of a house of a person you made threats against, why?”

“I didn’t make no threats against no one, your honor. I was just buying toilette paper.”

“Four cases of it.”

“Yep. Never know when you’re going to have diarrhea,” Mooney confirmed. He scowled again when the sound of snickering began to compete with sounds of disgust.

“All right, Mr. McMahon. I think I’ve heard enough of this farce. I’m going to sentence you to twenty hours community service and a $500 fine-”

“$500?!?” Mooney exploded. “For carrying toilette paper?”

“No, Mr. Mooney, for wasting my time. The community service is for attempting to carry out a threat you made.”

“Now maybe we can talk about this, your honor,” Mooney chuckled, feeling a little desperate. He didn’t have that kind of money and there was no way his brother was going to give him an advance on his pay from the news paper. “You know how these things go. I mean, there was that account of that gray fox hair on that lady-”

“Are you trying to bribe your way out of trouble from threats you made by extorting me over the town gossip column?” the judge asked incredulously.

“Um,” Mooney hedged. “Well, no, your honor. Of course not!”

“Good,” the judge said with a sinister smile. “As I was saying, forty hours of community service and a $1,000 fine-”

“But you just said-”

“And if you should refrain from using the news paper as either a platform for bullying or a source of legal defense, Mr. Mooney. I do not want to see you in my courtroom again. Are we clear?”

“As mud,” Mooney snarled, then spun around and stomped toward the door. There was that Clark White Tooth again. Dog, what was he doing here? Mooney’s eyes narrowed when he saw who the she-steeling whelp was talking to. Kitty Collins. Not that he was into cat-tail, but if he was, that piece of sweetness would be on his list. So the back-biting freak was trying to mack another one of his females, was he? Well he’d just have to do something about that!


Game, Set and Mated Match

How, by all that is sacred to the great Lupa, did she get stuck with personals duty? Last night, in between bottles of beer, pretzels and the occasional grope, she'd been sure that Nick's suggestion of reviewing and approving all of the incoming hook-up requests for the Guts and Butts Gazette had been a joke. Yet, here she sat, among piles of mail, all of the following variety...

* Single, Dapple, Bitch looking for sex only. Those not into kink - need not apply.

* Almost single, Midnight black, Male wolf looking for other males to live out interesting fantasies.

* Lonely, Beta male looking for an alpha to love and adore.

She'd been a good bitch lately, looking for score only with the unmated crowd, not scaring the natives too much and most certainly not abusing her power as an alpha. And look where that had gotten her.

Females were so seldom alpha's, at least in her family, so she'd kept herself on the DL and was hoping to find her mate soon. Problem was all of the beta males left her dry, literally, and even kinda turned her stomach. Who wanted a mate who would tuck his tail between his legs every time she got aggressive.

Ziva wanted a mate who could stand their own against her. One who could make her work for her prize and hey sometimes he could even win. Ziva, it seemed, wanted another alpha of her very own. But first, she had a score to settle with her sneaky editor...

*Single, snarfy, male wolf with big patches of grey fur and an ingrown pimple on his ass, looking for long lasting relationship with a whiny, needy mate. Applicants please call Nick at 567-951-wolf.

Perfect...he may have won the first game by setting her up with the worst job at the Guts and Butts Gazette, but she'd just taken the set. The match however, was still up in the air.

Now for Your Daily Etiquette Lesson

Victoria Griswald, here with your weekly etiquette lesson. This week's letter comes from Kids Have No Manners.

Dear Ms. Griswald,

My husband refuses to chastise the cubs for howling and growling as they eat at the table. Further he wipes his mouth with the table cloth and encourages the children to do the same. Even on calmer nights, snapping and snarling can be heard while I prepare dinner. I've tried explaining how manners reflect on the parents and the home life they provide. My husband belches and says pack mentality wins out over friggin' manners any day. Please help me civilize my home and family. I don't know how much more I can take.



Well Distressed, what do you expect from a pack of animals? It appears your husband and cubs don't get that they have a human side to them as well. Have you tried coming to the table in human form and copying their table manners? Certainly, ruffians and throw backs can't be expected to understand the finer arts of civilized dining. Refuse to put dinner on the table or serve any meal until they begin acting in accordance with established etiquette rules. Be firm and don't back down. Persistence will win.


Victoria Griswald

Ms. Etiquette


I apologize to Distressed. I hope her current living quarters changes soon. Sharing the doghouse with the family pet and his dining habits are not what good family homes are made of. As to her broken china and slashed table clothes showing up at the city dump, some people--I should say animals---have no taste what so ever.

I'll be back from my three month stint in Anchorage soon.

Victoria Griswald

Ms. Etiquette


Leona Lane, Panther on the Prowl

When Mooney McMahon got called before the judge, reporter Leona Lane made sure she was seated in the courtroom front and center. Mooney was an asshole, pure and simple, and Leona enjoyed watching assholes get their due. She enjoyed personally doling out the due even more, but McMahon had strung himself up by the balls, saving her the trouble. Maybe next time.

She smiled while she listened to the little whiner yip over his sentence and fine. TPing some old biddy’s house, for Bast’s sake. Did he have no brain at all? Hello. Canine. Let’s see him lift his leg out of this one.

The police dogs escorted McMahon out of the courtroom. Leona stood and straightened her sleek black jacket. Her hair, of the same ebony shade and shininess, brushed across her shoulders. Enough self-indulgence. Back to work.

Her jade eyes automatically swept the room, and her nose twitched. There might not be much of a story in McMahon’s arraignment, but she sure as scat smelled something here.

There. Three rows back sat White Fang Kent, the new guy at the Guts and Butts Gazette. Leona’s eyes narrowed to suspicious slits. Dog Boy was deep in conversation with that little goody-goody, Katrina Collins. Normally Leona would instantly leap in to champion a fellow feline, but something about Kitty put her hackles up. Maybe it was the way she smiled at Kent, or how she leaned toward him like she expected to get more from that mouth than just words.

Not that I care, Leona thought with a twist of her lips. Take away his yummy looks and that big, strong body and what have you got? Just another dog.

Leona marched up the aisle past them, pretending not to notice. They didn’t appear to notice her at all, pretend or otherwise.

That other observer seated at the back of the courtroom, however, did notice. Leona growled in the pit of her throat. Oh scat. No escaping; she’d been spotted. She made herself approach the bitch with what passed for a smile on her face. “Maggie.”

“Leona, darling.” Maggie Novak, the Guts and Butts gossip columnist, beamed up at her, with plenty of teeth on display. She wore huge dark glasses, a paisley scarf and an eye-scalding yellow feather boa. A coyote’s idea of anonymity. “Always a pleasure to see you.”

“Save it. What are you doing out of the pound? Scrounging for scraps again?”

“Scraps? Who needs to settle for scraps when there’s such a rich banquet available?” She aimed her pointy nose at Kent and Collins. “So many tasty tidbits on display.”

“If that’s your thing. I’ve got bigger fish to catch.”

“Oh, don’t run off just yet. Maybe you can help me out. You know Devon Hancock’s back in town? And totally on the outs with cat-tail for a change. Seems the pup had a run-in with one bad kitty. Any idea who she was?”

“Sorry. I don’t go in for dumpster diving. Get your trash elsewhere.”

“But you and he used to be so close, once upon a time.”

Bast bite her. “Listen, you nosy bitch – ”

Maggie’s feather boa reared up and hissed. Cold reptile eyes glared at Leona from the concealing sheathe of plastic-feathered spandex. Leona hissed back. Of course Maggie wouldn’t go on the prowl without her favorite snaky snitch. “Can it, Lamar, or I’ll tie you in a sheepshank. Same goes for you, Novak. Hancock’s off limits. Got it?”

Maggie smirked. “Temper temper, darling. We wouldn’t want another incident, would we?”

“You don’t want to get on my bad side. Trust me.” Leona stormed off before said bad side could erupt. A good clawing might serve the snoopy hound right, but Leona didn’t need any more charges on her record. She couldn’t blow the lid off this burg if they threw her back in the pound.

Leona burst into the sunlight. She paused on the courthouse steps and took long, deep breaths until she felt as calm as she figured she was going to get. It wasn’t easy. Devon Hancock, of all the Bast-damned people. The one story she could never write without destroying herself in the process.

How much did Maggie know?

Forget that sorry bitch. Like she’d said, she had bigger fish to hook. Though maybe a friendly chat with Devon wouldn’t be a bad idea. If nothing else, she had to make sure the whole mess wouldn’t flare up again. With a quick check to make sure Maggie and Kent weren’t following, Leona headed for her car.


White Fang Kent ~ Truth, Justice, and the Shapeshifter Way

White Fang Kent would have recognized that pungent feline scent beneath a pile of nuclear waste. When had Leona Lane come to town? And, why hadn’t he known it before now? Had the ‘queen of expose’ been hiding out until she could pounce on her latest victim and bag her next sensational headline like a hapless cat.

Lykouz knew, Leona Lane had exposed those who deserved to hang on the end of her very sharp pen. White Fang made no bones about the fact that she possessed the instincts of a bloodthirsty huntress when it came to tracking down a certain class of slimy criminal.

Her hard-nosed reporting was one matter. White Fang felt great respect for an intrepid reporter who got his or her story to ink or bytes, and damn the consequences. However, tossing the truth around like a bullwhip’s lash, and not caring who was struck, like Leona did too often -- that was a whole other matter to his way of thinking.

He’d kept his distance from Leona for that reason. That, and she walked over other reporters, unconcerned that she kept her metaphorical stilettos on.

Yeah, sure, White Fang had rescued her from several sticky situations. But, he’d made certain she never found out. He’d do it again, if necessary. As a man-wolf, he stayed true to himself.

Truth, Justice and the Shapeshifter Way. And, the protection of the innocent. That was White Fang’s creed.

Not that life always cooperated. No, life on Earth was often guts and butts’ messy. And, the blurring of the lines between good and evil never sat well with him. White Fang walked that line constantly in dealing with his sources.

From his peripheral vision, White Fang observed the hyper ambitious, razor-clawed brunette. The Leona Lane he knew, tangled verbally with Maggie. No one in the courtroom needed super hearing to get an earful as those two alpha females sparred for bitch supremacy.

Still, White Fang honed in as they lowered the volume. With the knife-flashing expertise of a Ginsu chef, Leona and Maggie continued fang-trashing each other. To his mind, tickets should have been sold, with the proceeds given to improve the cub play area in the park.

Not surprisingly, Maggie’s boa snitch had his scales scraped the wrong way. Rising to the occasion Lamar hissed a warning. Also, not surprisingly, Leona hissed her own brand of venom.

White Fang nearly let a chuckle escape at the comic-book scene. Instead, the corner of his mouth twitched. So, Leona had done a stint in the local pound. No doubt she’d uncovered enough scat on some of the town’s movers and tail-shakers to ‘convince’ their cooperation whenever she needed it.

He hadn’t been aware of her presence because the shifter hoosegow wasn’t his beat. Nick, the Guts and Butts editor, had been adamant about that. He wanted breaking crime stories straight from the streets and the forest byways.

Once Leona strode like the panther she was, and shoved out the courtroom doors, White Fang grinned down at little Kitty Kewtie, as he thought of her. Her smile might as well have bathed him in bright white light. She owned a gentle and tame spirit, even though the blood of snow leopard shifters ran in her veins.

He’d discovered Kitty, or Katrina Collins, inside a nearby cave by tracking her scent from her home. When he arrived, she’d been pacing and hugging herself, a common enough blanket draped around her. And, that’s where the mystery began for him.

When he’d arrived at the entrance, nothing clued him in on who or how she’d been placed inside the cave. Although he’d scoured the immediate area before they left, he’d found no sign of tracks, even with his x-ray vision.

The trouble, Kitty had been just as confounded by her situation. She hadn’t known who had rescued her. She’d simply awakened inside a sleeping bag, in the buff and sans her buff-colored fur, with no idea of her location except that she recognized the forest smells.

White Fang had detected no tell-tail odors, or physical evidence, that identified her savior. There’d been no knockout drug residue clinging to her, not by his nose. ‘Whoever’ had left a small supply of food and water, and a short scribbled note: Stay. Or become prey. I will return within a day.

White Fang had sniffed that note until every odor molecule had been drawn inside his nostrils. Nothing. His investigative hackles had raised, but he’d quelled his reporter’s frustration, more concerned with Kitty.

She hadn't been able to identify the scratchy nail-writing, either. She’d also looked mystified when he’d asked her if she knew someone special who wrote or read rhyming poetry.

White Fang suspected, however, that Kitty Kewtie did have a suspicion of who saved her from becoming roadkill. Even so, she’d clung to his arm with not one desire to remain inside the cave until her savior appeared.

When he’d questioned her about escorting her to safety, White Fang discovered Kitty possessed an admirable stubborn streak. With her claws popping out, she’d declared no one chased her away from town.

Once they’d returned to her home and shifted back to human form, he’d promised to keep a protective eye on her. Altruism had been his motivation. However, the reporter in him instinctively knew Katrina Collins was the key that would lead him to the answers he wanted. To the real story behind the story of this werewolf pack town.

White Fang also sensed, as her blue eyes beseeched him, that Kitty pined for a man she’d fallen in love with, but couldn’t have.

He had his own suspicion -- laser-eye squared right on Devon Hancock. Call it a gut-roiling hunch. But, his hunches usually proved out. And now that he knew Devon had the carnal hots for humping cat tail... plus, he’d swear it was Devon who showed at the cave, even though ‘whoever’ had been quick enough to elude his direct observation.

Either that, or it was Devon’s younger sibling, Dante. The bad boy biker had recently returned, and remained on the outs with his father.


Double Dog Crossed

“We regret to inform you that, due to your recent legal troubles and the repercussions caused thereunto, we must release you from your duties as a freelance columnist.”

His own brother, his own fur and blood! Mooney stared morosely at the e-mail telling him he was no longer employed at Guts and Butts Gazette. The bastard didn’t even have the balls to fire him to his face. So maybe Nick had told him a time or two that he was a terrible liar and not alpha enough to go trying to throw his weight around. It was all for a good cause! Just think how grateful those hot young roller-derby chicks would have been if he had been able to get their league re-instated!

“You gonna actually order anything?”

Mooney simultaneously jerked his head up and slammed his laptop shut. This was the down side of using the free wifi at the monkey coffee shop- they actually expected you to buy something. Why did they offer it free if it wasn’t? The coffee waitress lady- barista?- was standing directly across the counter from him, leening over it a bit as if she had been trying to look at the computer screen. He noticed the name tag, perched on a beautifly perky breast, read “Marissa.”

“Sure, sure,” he replied, trying not to notice how good the little goth girl looked. He didn’t want to end up in the gossip column as being hot for humans. He eyed the glowing neon menu board above the counter and gulped at the prices. Five bucks for a stinking cup of joe? “Um, how about one of those macchiato things?”

The waitress kind of smirked and eyed his sarcastically. “Don’t drink the fancy stuff much, do ya?”

“Why?” he asked, knowing he looked like a beta. If he had to drop that much dough on a cup of coffee, though, he didn’t want to order something bad. Better to swallow his pride and ask the monkey chick.

“Macchiatos are chick drinks,” she smirked. “How about you get a mocha?”

“Ack! No, I can’t stand chocolate,” Mooney shot back. That was one human food that no wolf could handle.

“Dude, that sucks,” she replied. “Well, how about a cup of the house blend, then.”

“House blend? That’ll work,” Mooney agreed, relived. A plain old cup of coffee was a sure bet and that was only three bucks. He smiled gratefully, forgetting to add his usual touch of smarmy charm. She blinked at him and smiled back kind of weird.

“One cup of Kona Joe coming right up.” He eyed her slim hips as she walked away, secretly ashamed at his budding interest. She-wolves were packed with muscle and curves that made the Alps look like low hills. That slip of a female was all long limbs and delicate arches. Oddly appealing arches. He shook his head and opened his laptop back up. Funky bright blue hair, long in the front and short in back, with chunky streaks of black looked really good on her. So did those super low-rise skinny pants.

An new e-mail had popped into his in-box. “I heard you might be looking for some work,” it read. Very interesting. Mooney quickly opened it and scanned the contents. It was from someone named Lex looking for local talent to do some scouting for him. And the pay was two grand upfront plus expenses! Now that was just the kind of break he needed!


Alpha Editor, Nick McMahon

“No…no, thanks…no, the pimple cleared up fine…ah, really? Is that legal? Wait…no, no thank you. I’ve got to…yes, thank you again, but I really…needtogobye.” Nick dropped the new and quite expensive piece of technology to the ground and squashed it beneath the heal of his rattlesnake boots. “Good riddance.” A new phone number would probably have been cheaper, but the suggestive, salacious and some morally questionable things he’d heard through it in the last week had soiled the cell phone but good.

Nick ran a hand through his hair, wishing he’d remembered to contain the waves with a sturdy leather tie. His week had been hellacious from the get-go and even now, TGIF was more like SWIF - So What, It’s Friday. Time was his enemy this week and she’d left him sadly lacking in his pursuit of the sexy alpha bitch who’d cost him a top of the line cell phone. The long hours spent dealing with the staff had left him cranky as hell.

Vicki ~Ms. Etiquette~ Griswald had run off for three months of fun in Alaska with the new mail boy. What was the deal with the male minks, all the females, no matter what kind of animal they were, loved the little shits. Now this little mink looked like he should still be wearing short pants, but HR assured him everything was on the up and up.

Leona ~look at me wrong and I’ll wear your balls like a scarf~ Lane was just this side of wicked which usually meant she was hot on the trail of a new story. She was hell on wheels when it came to a lead and she always came through with a story so he’d cut her some slack. Besides, she was the least of his worries.

Ace reporter, White Fang Kent, was spending an inordinate amount of time with one Kitty ~complainer~ Collins lately, but had yet to turn in a story… Let’s hope his story didn’t revolve around the ‘case of stupid’ the obit guys had been playing with when they’d posted Miss Kitty’s picture in the newly named Roadkill section of the paper. Nick had taken the crew to the basement, thusly, and given them an ‘up one side and down the other’ ~alpha style~ over that smooth move - they could all now give him an acceptable definition of freedom of speech.

Nick scooped up the remains of his pricy toy and tossed them into the trash outside of the Guts and Butts office. He needed to do something about the opening on the sports beat. Moony was the man for the job, always had been, but his recent jaunt down juvenile street had given Nick no choice but to cut him loose. Maybe he should throw his brother Leona’s way and see if she could straighten the rangy wolf out. If she could, he’d bring Moony back in a heartbeat, plus it would be just plain fun to watch his brother twist at the end of Leona’s rope. Yep, Moony was lucky to have him as a brother.

“…And the crowd goes wild as Ziva Wilk aces yet another serve.”

Nick couldn’t help but smile as he made his way down the hallway, past his office and bee lining for the personals desk. He and the saucy little alpha had a match to finish, one she clearly thought she had in the bag with her little stunt, but she was about to get the surprise of her life. This alpha doesn’t lose…

Ms. Etiquette Learns Restraint

“On your knees.”  Victoria stumbled and dropped to her knees, skinning both.  Who the hell had shoved her?  Where was she?  Damn it was cold.  So fucking cold.

Giggles threatened to erupt and pour out her mouth.  Ms. Etiquette cussing like a drunken lout and laughing about it.  Oh, who the hell cared.  There she’d done it again. 

“Tory, open your eyes.  Come on love.  Wake up.”  Who dared call her that?  No one since her ex Anthony Wolfson had dubbed her that during their twenty four hour sex session, even remotely came close to pinning a nickname on her.  Damn him too.  He’d sold the paper to  Nick McMahon and left town with the proceeds, leaving her living in a style she’d become unaccustomed to.  Not even a kiss my wolfish ass or a hint of where he’d gone until last night.  God, what a night.  Flashes of the prior evening raced through her mind.

“Come on Victoria.  I’m famished.”  Danny the mail boy whined.  So much for his stud abilities in bed or even an interest in women.  He’d been chasing men like the mink in heat he was from the moment they’d arrived.  Three nights in a row the pain in the ass varmint had come in at 3AM drunk and smelling like a male whorehouse….cheap cologne and sex, so much sex he reeked of it even after he tried to shower with her help.  No way in hell was she playing nursemaid to him again.  She’d left her manners by the wayside the second night in.

“Danny, why here?”  Victoria shut the car door and glanced at the neon sign hanging about the entrance.  Antonio’s Bar and Steakhouse…right more like a local pick up joint.  Two males stopped out front and embraced, sharing a lingering kiss before entering.  Great another gay club, geared toward Danny and his kind.  Not that she minded, but all those hunks and lush bodies of maleness and not one of them gave her more than a passing look.  After while a girl began to wonder is she’d lost it or if she could tell a straight male from the rest of the crowd even if he walked into the place.  That was until he walked up.

No it couldn’t be.  Not after all the time they’d spent arguing and swearing, it’d be a cold day---well it was cold!  Bitterly cold and getting colder each minute she stood outside as the wind whipped around her.  Hell must have frozen over, ‘cuz in front of her stood her ex looking fine and as studly as ever.  Shit, now the truth came out!  Anthony had left her for another man.  The bastard!

Balling up her fist, she fought the urge to walk over and slug him in the gut.  Not that it would do her much good.  He stood six foot and his muscular build protected him.  His animal half ever vigilant kept most predators at bay.  Though a few tempted fate and tried to take him out.  He was an Alpha and took no qualms looking and living the role.  Still he couldn’t tell her he’d preferred men.  And what about all that hot sweaty sex they’d had night after night when they’d first gotten together.  Oh, he had a hell of a lot of explaining to do.  Victoria spun and stalked toward him.

Out of the shadows, two masked figures rushed by her, one grabbed her shoulder bag and pulled.  She held on.  No one got her two hundred dollar Louis Vuitton purse.  She wasn’t letting her wallet and cell phone get into some petty criminals’ hands.  She hesitated, letting her momentum propel the perpetrator forward.  High heels and ice don’t mix. 

Scrambling for her footing, another set of hands grasped her free arm shoving her along, ordering her on her knees.  “On your knees bitch.”

Strong arms steadied her and righted her forward descent.  “Who you calling bitch twerp?” 

She knew that voice and those arms anywhere.  Damn Anthony was saving her again.   Not that she could do much in protest.  Ice and heels made skating seem simple.  Pivoting against her savior and her would be assaulter; Victoria tried separating herself from the two.  No such luck.  Her feet slipped out from under her.  Landing on her back and continuing downward, her head hit the parking lot asphalt.  Anthony’s bemused face peered down at her holding Danny by the scruff of his neck in one hand and one of the robbers in the other.  She blinked and everything went black.

“Come on Tory.  Please open your eyes sweetheart.”  Anthony’s purr and warm breath tickled her neck sending ripples of desire out across her and slamming down into her pussy.  God how had she ended up here?  Naked as the day her mother whelped her and with him. 

Victoria tried to move an arm and leg.  Nothing.  She couldn’t move.  What now?  Her eyes flew open.  Anthony’s grin greeted her.  Blinking, she focused on the item dangling from his hand.  Oh holy shit.  A flogger.  And in his other hand….two nipples clamps and a clothes pin.  Her nipples harden and wetness trickled down her ass cheek.  She inhaled.  The scent of sex raced up her nose.  Her clit throbbed and would more with the clothespin on it.  What did Anthony have in mind?


Slow News Day

Maggie glared at her computer screen. Her blank computer screen. No words marred its pristine surface. That was never a good thing, not with deadlines looming. The gossip trail had gone cold of late. She needed a fresh, steamy kill.

Her intern, Lamar Balboa, slithered over to her desk. He was wearing his usual skintight shimmery slacks and that poofy white shirt slit to the waist to show off his tanned chest. Not that it did her any good since he played for the other team, but a girl could always look.

She glared at him sourly. “Tell me you’ve got something.”

“Looks, brains, charm, and abs to die for,” he said breezily. “Other than that, nada. That scrumptious Danny from the mail room ran off to Alaska with icky Vicki. Can you make a column out of that?”

“Not a good one. Chaos bite it. I know there’s trouble brewing. Somebody somewhere is humping the wrong leg, but I can’t zero in on it.”

“We should visit the Sandbox,” Lamar suggested. “Always a good story there.”

“You just want to get laid.”

He shrugged with a reptile’s grace. “Come with me. They have something for everyone.”

“Can’t, darling. Damien Hancock’s throwing a ball for his heir to the throne. I’ve got to wrangle myself an invite. If anything juicy’s going to happen, it’ll happen there.”

“Devon gets a party? Pooh. He’s no fun. Now Dante … ” Lamar’s tongue flicked briefly over his lower lip. “That boy’s got himself one impressive – ” He caught Maggie’s look and lamely finished, “bike.”

“Give it up, Lamar. The Hancocks are too far above your pay grade.” Hers as well, but not for long. One hot scoop and it was syndication, darling. Bright lights, big city. If she could bring down those howlier-than-thou Hancocks in the process, so much the better. “Nick’s going to want coverage of this. He needs all the good graces he can get into if he expects to – ”

“You want me to WHAT?”

Maggie and Lamar exchanged a look. As one, they sprang up and dashed for Nick’s office.

Oh, this was gold. Their Fearless Alpha Leader getting reamed over, under, sideways and down by that cat Leona. She was in full spitting mode this morning, with the claws out and hair sprouting on the backs of her hands. Nick must have really yanked her tail.

From the corner of her eye Maggie spotted Ziva Whatsername edging over from Personals. The three of them took up position just out of sight but not earshot. Like it mattered; the gods could probably hear Leona’s yowls all the way in Valhalla.

Leona had Nick backed up against his desk. “Date your brother? That worthless, loud-mouthed pile of scat? What are you thinking? Can you think at all? Do you know how many ethics laws you’ve violated just by suggesting that?”

“I didn’t say date,” Nick ground out, his Alpha nature flaring up. “Mooney’s going through a tough time right now, what with losing his job and all – ”

“Yeah. Fired by text message. Smooth move, Nicky. Your own brother. Even he deserved better than that.”

“So I thought,” Nick went on, “if you didn’t want to lose your job, you’d do us all a favor.” He cut off Leona’s outraged hiss by adding, “The Hancock party. I want a reporter there. You want a story. Mooney needs female company. I’ll get you in and you take Mooney. All bases covered.”

Maggie’s figurative ears pricked at the second half of his statement. Nick had an in with Hancock?

Leona snarled. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Are you threatening to fire me if I don’t take your brother on assignment? With all due respect, just how big of an idiot are you? Do you enjoy flirting with self-destruction? Do you want to wreck this paper along with your sorry rep?”

Nick bared his teeth. “Given your own rep, Lane, you’re lucky you’ve got a job at all. If you want to keep it, you’ll quit talking back to your boss and do as you’re told.”

She bared her teeth right back. “Scratch the repect. I should have known better than to work for a wolf. Especially one who’s – ”

“Excuse me.” Maggie stepped fearlessly into the battle zone. “I believe we can settle this without anyone getting canned.”

Leona bristled. “What the hell do you think – ”

“Smooth the hackles, darling. I’m only here to help.” She turned to Nick. “You want a reporter at the Hancock bash. That’s society news. My milieu. I’d be honored to have Mooney escort me. I’ve always found your brother interesting.”

“Are you scatting me?” Leona blurted. “Mooney at a society function? Do you know how many possible ways there are for him to screw up?”

“Oh, he’s harmless. Just keep his mouth stuffed with food so he can’t talk and he’s fine. He even does the stuffing himself. I know how to keep him on a leash. You get a front page story, darling, your brother gets a date with a dare I say beautiful and worldly woman, no one gets sacked and no one gets sued over ethics violations and sexual harassment. Do we have a deal?”

She saw Nick’s nose working and knew the brain behind it must be working too. Rumor had it the paper’s new owner was a cat, who would take a dim view of Alpha wolf management tactics. Nick knew which side of his kill the blood flowed from.

“Okay,” he said. “Novak, the party’s yours. So’s Mooney. I’ll get you his number.”

“Already got it, darling.”

“Fine. As for you, Lane – ”

Leona had already stormed out of the office. Maggie spotted Ziva scurrying back to the Personals desk.

Outside the office, Lamar greeted her with bowing motions. “I salute the master.”

“As well you should. Both of them owe me now.” Maybe three. Maggie hadn’t missed the bitch-in-heat scent that always wafted off little Ziva whenever big Nick was around. She’d have to keep an eye on them. The drab, storyless morning had just turned bright and sunny.

“Leona will attend the ball anyway,” Maggie said. “She’ll want to see Devon. She’ll find a way. Stick close to her, sweetie. I want to know every bark and hiss they hurl at each other.”

“Like a second skin, chica.”

“As for Mooney, I’m sure he’ll create a story for me if I can’t find one on my own. The brainless mutt’s always good for a laugh.” Maggie bared her teeth in a wide coyote smile. Events were working out quite nicely.


White Fang Kent ~ A Story With Bite

Werewolf musk hung in the night air as heavy as his own balls. White Fang Kent stealthily moved behind a row of untrimmed bushes. Hidden by a corner shadow, he halted next to the rough-hewn lodge located inside an isolated forest clearing. The place, he’d discovered by simple observation, was a local alpha hangout for bikers and any shifter who was wolf enough to bloody his fangs, and ride with the top dogs.

Suppressing his groan, the one that throbbed like an MF from the crown of his cock, White Fang shot his night-vision gaze over the surrounding area. Nothing. No one. So far. He turned on the laser as he thought of it, peering through the thick log wall. He’d already scented those he knew from town. Now, he wanted a look-see before deciding on his next ‘investigative’ move.

After catching a whiff of Dante’s potent ~I could hump a rodeo bull and not get thrown~ odor near Kitty Kewtie’s backdoor, White Fang had cut short his visit with her. He’d excused himself with the truthful claim that Nick, the G&B editor, had texted, demanding a more sensational story than the one he’d turned in earlier.

White Fang didn’t give one snarling damn about Nick’s deadline, but Dante... howls of Lykouz fate! That was the lead he’d been patiently pursuing. White Fang tracked Dante with his nose, keeping his distance. Using his superspeed, he’d arrived at the edge of the clearing just as Dante grabbed his guitar case from the back of his tricked-out Harley.

Damien Hancock’s youngest cub strode inside the music-routy lodge like the on-the-prowl-for-a-bitch werewolf he was... only who was Dante really stud-panting for? Was it little Kitty Kewtie? Maybe he wanted a sweet piece of wolfen tail for the night to distract himself. Because what White Fang did know, now that he was this close. The odor of heartbreak clung to Dante like skunk roadkill.

White Fang continued his x-ray scan of the lodge’s bar area, seeing only a motley crew of ham-fisted, brew-tipping shifters -- none of them a problem to him -- that is, if they decided he wasn’t welcome.

Wait! Woof-woof. Hold onto his hitching cock.

White Fang scented cat tail inside. Femme fatale felines lookin’ for some scratching-wild sex to be journalistically precise. Ever since his carnal marathon with Bastet’s granddaughter at an Egyptian festival, White Fang favored discreet affairs with the fair feline sex.

As he slipped from behind the bushes, he told his steely shaft to lose the metal. No time like the present for the truth, he silently growled to himself. He needed answers, and fast. That is, if he was going to save Kitty, and the town’s shifter population.

So... Lykouz hell.. the urge to mate caused his balls to bang and rub as he sauntered toward the entrance. So, he was attired like a yuppie geek, the only leather being his Italian loafers. To complete the picture, White Fang stuffed his hands in the pockets of his khaki dockers.

He may have been another breed of wolf, but the pack frenzy had him gripped harder than his landlady’s hand this morning. Toothsome Tina as he thought of her, had made a grab for his lap package after spilling her cooled coffee on him. He’d twisted just enough so she’d seized his thigh.

White Fang strolled inside the dimly lit interior of the rustic lodge. The smells of humping musk, cigar and cigarette smoke, along with various alcoholic beverages, caused him to ratchet down the super-sense.

Easily, he located Dante’s position. He sat at a corner table with three pack buddies. Perched on a stool, he strummed chords on his guitar, not a tune White Fang recognized.

The werewolf band stood at the bar, obviously on a break. With bared teeth and jealous snarls, their mates warned off the few bitches present. White Fang sniffed for a story that would wag Nick’s tail while he edged toward Dante through the almost shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.

Freeze frame, White Fang mentally amused himself. Everyone stilled, swinging their gazes to him. Their eyes looked like miniature headlights that had been switched to brights. Prey or foe, they asked themselves.

Awareness pricked through White Fang as their hackles raised. Their low growls menaced. Jauntily, he lifted his hand in greeting. “Hey, fellas.”

Momentarily caught off guard, the crowd followed his progress as White Fang ambled toward Dante. Warily, the alpha-to-his-core werewolf eyed him. Alpha, yes, yet White Fang also witnessed the soul of a poet in the depths of Dante’s gold-flecked amber eyes.

“White Fang Kent, reporter for the Guts and Butts Gazette,” he introduced himself while offering his hand. “I’d like to interview you as part of an investigation I’m conducting.”

Setting his guitar aside, Dante rose upward, all bad-boy power. His gaze never wavered, even as he signaled for his pack to back off. With deceptive ease he raised his hand and gripped White Fang’s hand, shaking it.

Glad Dante didn’t engage in a contest of strength, so he wasn’t forced to reveal his true strength, White Fang asked, “Is there a place where we can speak privately, Mr. Hancock?”

“The name is Dante.” Rebellion sparked the young werewolf’s eyes. Not the normal rebellion of a son who is ready to paw his own way through the world. Cold brutal resolve lay beneath the sparks.

“Of course --"

“Kent!” The outraged screech squeezed the back of his neck like his mother’s chastising fangs. “You cur dog.”

Reluctantly, White Fang pivoted around. Leona Lane stalked toward him, her gaze slashing at him like the fangs she was starting to sport. “Nice seeing you, too, Leona.”

“Can the insipid politeness, Kent. What the hell are you doing in my territory?” She stopped in front of him. The high tilt of her chin might as well have been a dagger she aimed at his throat.

“Your territory, Lane?” White Fang allowed his eyes to flare. Acting like a geek was one thing, but he never backed down from an outright challenge.

“Nick assigned me the story on this backwoods bar. As if you didn’t know, super duper dog. Yeah, I know all about your --"

“Escort Ms. Lane to the lounge, will you, Brad?” Dante’s commanding, but calm voice interrupted. “If you want your story, Ms. Lane, you’ll mind your professional manners here.”

After a spitting hiss at White Fang, Leona whirled and with a huff of satisfaction, she accepted Brad’s offered arm.

Several thoughts hit White Fang all at once. One, he was Lykouz grateful he hadn’t had to kiss Lane to shut her mouth. Two, there was obviously more real red meat to Dante than he’d suspected. Three, had Dante intentionally left his scent so White Fang would follow? And, what did the mysterious werewolf want from him?

As he turned, facing Dante, the bad-boy werewolf gave him a grin.

“Since you’re not shagging my Kitty, super duper dog,” Dante flicked a knowing glance at his crotch, “how about I give you a story with bite and introduce you to Pasha?”


Cat fight over a non-alpha???

Mooney sat at “his” spot at Mocha Joe’s, the human-run coffee shop, and stared dumbfounded at the two females fighting like cats. As one was human and the other a coyote, this was very odd. And as a male wolf, he had no freaking clue what started it. Well, that wasn’t strictly true- he knew that Marissa putting a triple shot of chocolate syrup in Maggie’s “latte only and none of the monkey frou-frou stuff,” what ever frou-frou stuff was.

Everything had been humming along just fine before the town’s Gossip Girl walked in. He was sitting, as always, at his spot at the end of the counter sipping an excellent cup of espresso and reading the news paper. Marissa was serving a gaggle of teenage geese kids sugary drinks at a cluster of tables by the window. Every now and then, Marissa the sexy Goth barista- he had learned that really was what the monkeys called coffee waitresses- would have a lull in customers and they sit and chat.

His current preoccupation was figuring out who his back-biting former best brother had hired to write this week’s sports column. It was scat, no lively dialog at all. Whoever the author was, he’d even reported the results of the chess tournament. It wasn’t a sport! Marissa was really kind of cool for a human, not something Mooney was used to in a female of any species. She wasn’t into sports but she did like spelunking, which was out-doorsy enough for them to have some common topics to chat about. Now that spelunking- cave exploring- sounded like a good sport. Marissa had even promised to show him how to do it next spring.

Then the mangy, self-important coyote sashayed in and informed him- and everyone listening- that she had agreed to go out with him in exchange for getting tickets to that blue-blood pack function in a few days. He had looked at her and asked what the bleeding hell she was baying about. Maggie informed him his former best brother had offered her an invite to that coming out ball or what every it was for the Hancock clan’s youngest pup. And then Marissa, the normally cheerful and slightly sarcastic human got… weird.

“So you think Mooney should grace you with his arm for this event because?” she purred.

“I wasn’t talking to you, ape,” Maggie sneered. “So where were we. Oh, yes! Mooney, you will come with me now so I can get a look in your closet, make sure you own something appropriate for a high society function.”

“Um, no,” Mooney said dismissively.

“Well, that will save a trip,” Maggie pontificated, sounding she thought she was high society herself. Mooney and Marissa snorted at the same time, then traded mutual looks of ridicule. It was kind of nice having someone who understood his sense of humor, he realized suddenly as he dodged a flying cushion. He grinned as he watch the two shes fight. Maybe that’s why people called them “throw pillows?” He considered wading in and stopping the fight- Maggie really wasn’t hold her own against the physically weaker human.

Nearest he could tell, that shared sarcastic look had been what set Maggie off into a territorial huff. She made her demand for the non frou-frou drink. Maggie had made it with triple the chocolate than she normally would have. Then the fur, feathers and pillows started flying- those goose kids hadn’t moved out of the way fast enough. Then it hit him: were these two fighting over him?


The Green-Eyed Alpha

“Dirty, low down, rotten wolf boy!” As Ziva steamed, her pen hit the desk with increased force. “Firing his brother by text message, pimping out his workers and invites to the Hancock party—no doubt acquired by ill-gotten means.” How had he scored those little bits of gold and who the hell was he planning on taking, not that she was interested or jealous. She wasn’t!

“Miss Wilk.”

Speak of the scruffy mutt. He strolled in here with his silly smirk, disheveled appearance and rock hard ass—damn him anyway. How could he always manage to trip her trigger, even when she knew she should hate him?

“Nicky,” she sneered, calling him by the more effeminate name she knew he hated. Taggert Nicholas McMahon was the name his beautiful and generous mother had bestowed upon him at his whelping. In business, he preferred to use the stronger Nick, but she wondered if there was a time and place that he allowed someone to use the sexier Taggert or better yet, Tag?

“You know, Zeev,” he said, oozing sex with every word as he leaned over her desk. “It’s more professional to refer to me as Mr. McMahon or Sir…”

Dear Lupa she could get into so much trouble with this wicked wolf if she let her guard down even just a little bit. “So I guess scat head is out then?”

“Yes, definitely out…”

Was that a chuckle he’d tried to cover up with a cough? Had she somehow amused him?

“…I actually came in to thank you, Miss Wilk. Without your, what I’m sure was a desire to help me fit in, help; I would be dateless at the Hancock affair…

Oh hell, her stomach dropped and the pen slid from her sweaty hand, was he really telling her about having a date?

“…The calls from your personal ad have been quite intriguing, but this morning’s was just downright naughty. So thank you, Ziva,”

If only she could wipe that smirk off his handsome face.

“Roxann sounds quite delicious.”

Zeva sat back and let out a shaky breath as he took himself from the room. Game, set and yes, he’d just pulled the match right out from under her.


Ms. Etiquette's Lessons Continue “Uh, Anthony, what do you intend to do with that?” Victoria nodded her head toward the flogger Anthony held. She squirmed hoping to loosen the soft rope binding her.

“Oh, this little thing?” Anthony whipped the flogger through the air creating small cracking sounds just above her closest breast. “Pray tell me you don’t know what I do with this. How about I warm up your nipples and clit with it before I answer you?”

Tory swallowed hard. God, he knew how to play her, building the tension until she creamed from wanton need or from his mere touch. Blast his wolfish hide and human one too! Inhaling sharply, she licked her lips. Raising her head as far as she could, she looked down her torso and found where his started next to her. A leather jock strap covered his large endowment. She fought the urge to plead with him. Anthony considered it part of their ritual play for her to resist and implore him to let her go. Maybe if she feigned indifference, he’d--- another crack sounded only louder this time.

“Tory whatever is bouncing through your brain, it isn’t going to work. I told you the last time we were together that next time I was in charge. No more of this equitable crap.” Anthony swished the ends of the flogger across and over her turgid nipples, trailing toward the growing wetness between her legs. “Time to increase our pleasure, don’t you agree my dear?”

Tory opened her mouth to speak. Anthony clamped his hand over her mouth, and leaned closer, growling in her ear. “Only yes sir or no sir. No gets you not what you want.” He reached between her legs working his fingers swiftly over her clit and two quick finger fucks in and out of her pussy. “See being quiet and agreeing will get you the sweet bliss you crave. And maybe this.”

Anthony rose on his knees and shoved his leather jockstrap off his hips. Eight hard firm inches of maleness jutted out from his groin. His dark black pubic hair frizzed around the base as though his cock sprung from a nest.

Tory’s gaze slid further down to where his testicles hung. She bit her lip to keep from begging for a taste. One savor and she’d go back to being hard and non-coquettish. Right, just like Anthony would admit he liked men before he’d take her and bring her to her knees begging for release, her warmed ass bumping up against him as he drove into her balls deep.

“Anthony, I owe you nothing. You walked out on me. Took your collar with you and said I was free to pursue what and whom I wanted.” There she’d thrown his words back at him. What Dom turned his submissive loose and then claimed he still had rights to her? Only Anthony would endeavor to re-stake his claim. A claim he’d walked away from and never looked back at.

“Tory where are your manners? Maybe I should leave you aching and wanting---just let you go for good. How much more do you think you could stand?” Anthony pulled the jock strap the rest of the way off and tossed it aside. He leaned over her breast and blew. Tory jumped, her back arching as ripples of goose bumps formed over her breast tightening her nipple even more.

She watched as Anthony licked two fingertips and reached for her aching tip. Sucking in air, Tory dropped her shoulders to the bed and tried to roll away. No luck. Anthony had bound her in such a manner as to allow her small movements. No more than a wiggle here and there. Great, so much for withdrawing and playing hard to get.

His gaze drew hers. He nodded and . . .

“Oh sweet lupa. Anthony, you bastard!” Tory caught her bottom lip between her teeth and worried it. Deep in her belly wave after wave of ecstasy envelope her.

“I’m bastard enough to know how to please you and make you beg for more.” He plucked her nipple again between his thumb and forefinger, tweaking and pulling as if he were working a screw into place. “Shall I stop?” He pulled his hands away, dropping the cool metal nipple clamps on her belly.

Tory closed her eyes. Need flared up deep inside, aching so badly, she’d almost thrown caution to the wind and said, “Please sir don’t stop.”

Anthony’s warm breathy chuckle rushed up her neck as he sniffed probably taking in her fragrance. “Maybe I will and maybe I won’t my submissive lupa.”


Strange Bedfellows


“And this is where the magic happens,” Mooney announced as he guided his date into his wolf den, aka the bedroom. “Howzabout I make us some coffee and we can – ”

“I’m quite coffeed out, thank you very much,” Maggie snarled. Streamers of chocolate still matted her hair. She must have noticed Mooney’s frown because she switched gears in a hurry. That snarky smile of hers appeared. “However, some iced tea would be lovely.”

“Coming up.” Mooney headed for the kitchen. He was pretty jazzed on caffeine right now himself. Not to mention from the rampaging girlfight Maggie and Marissa had staged in his honor and practically in his lap. Who needed mud wrestling when two hot shes went at it fang and claw for your benefit? The spectacle had left him horny as hell.

Gentleman that he was, he’d taken it upon himself to console the loser. Maggie wasn’t close to coming in first in Mooney’s personal hump race, but he still wasn’t sure where he stood with Marissa in particular, let alone monkeys in general. At least Maggie was fairly close to being a wolf. And the things he’d heard about coyotes – he couldn’t wait to give her a go. A ruff in the hand beat a monkey’s bush, or something along those lines.

“You want lemon?” he hollered at the bedroom. Shes liked it when you did little courteous things like that. Maggie, though, didn’t answer. Probably rooting around in his underwear drawer, he figured. Wait’ll she discovered he didn’t wear underwear. That should get her panting.

Maggie sashayed out of his bedroom and accepted the glass of iced tea with a gracious smile. “You’re such a sweetie,” she told him, batting her lashes. Mooney covered his snort quite expertly, if he did say so himself. Just how old was the ratty bitch, anyway? Odds were good she’d never see 30 again. “They’re all young enough in the dark” was another favorite saying around the McMahon den.

Might as well go right for the throat of matter. “So how much is my douche of a brother paying you to drag me out to this shindig?”

“Not a penny, darling. This is all my pleasure.” Glass in hand, she prowled the room, admiring his many high-school trophies and awards for sports writing, as well as his collection of football memorabilia. Mooney swelled in spite of himself.

“You won’t find gold like that on Nick’s mantel,” he said when Maggie oooh’d over his track trophy. “Little rat-tail sucked at sports. Debate team, for dog’s sake. Who even gives a rip? You letter in sports, they remember you forever.”

“They certainly remember you at the school,” Maggie said. And not in a good way, she thought. “Most fleas” had been the legend under his yearbook picture. She hoped that didn’t still hold true. The apartment stank of cat piss, and she was certain Mooney didn’t own a cat. Perhaps he’d eaten one in the recent past. “You were quite the star.”

“Damn straight. So what’s the deal? You want to do an expose of the fired sports hero or what?”

“Not at all, sweetie. I thought you’d welcome a chance to get revenge on your less-than-caring brother. Fired by text. How gauche.”

“Yeah.” Whatever the hell “gauche” meant. “What’d you have in mind?”

“The party, darling. Nick’s gotten me in, and I can get you in. You’ll have access to Damien Hancock and can tell him whatever you like regarding Nick. Nick wants Hancock’s backing. You can ruin that. You can ruin your brother.” She bared her teeth. “And let’s not forget all the lovely, rich women who’ll be there. It will be like a smorgasbord for you.”

Okay, he knew what a smorgasbord was. Hot damn! Wreck Nick’s chances for social advancement and rub that mutt White Fang’s face in his prowess with the ladies. If he could just ditch this scroungy bitch and hook up with Marissa, life would be perfect. “What’s in it for you?”

“A story, of course. There’s bound to be something on tap at a party of that magnitude. In addition … ” She trailed her fingers up Mooney’s arm. “I get to attend in the company of a handsome, strapping young male. That will definitely turn heads.”

Mooney’s downstairs head took a turn on its own. Hell. She wasn’t Marissa, but she was here. He could turn out the light and pretend. He jutted his chin at the bedroom. “You wanna?”

“Darling, I thought you’d never ask.”

Twenty minutes later, Mooney lay back and gasped for breath. The tales about coyotes were true. Even the older bitches were bendy as all get out. “Dog, woman, you don’t quit.”

“The benefits of experience,” Maggie purred against his throat. “Consider this part of your community service. You certainly served this bit of the community.”

“Bastards. They got me picking up trash on the highway. You wouldn’t believe the scat people throw out of their cars.”

“What about the fine? Now that you’re out work – ”

“Oh, I’m working. I’ve got a contact and a deal going.” His teeth flashed in the dark. Brother Nick was in for one helluva surprise. “Don’t you worry about me, honey. I got it under control.”

“Really.” Maggie toyed with the matted hair on his chest and listened intently.


White Fang Kent ~ Interview with the Biker Alpha

White Fang followed Dante, Biker Alpha, down the stairway and toward a medieval dungeon-like door with an ornate sign: There Be Shapeshifters of Every Kind. Beware of Fangs, Claws and Tails.

The hot tang of cat tail claimed White Fang’s nostrils as Dante shoved open the clanking door. They entered an old-fashioned tavern with sconce candlelight. At first glance, that is. In reality, the underground area was immense, and the overall elegant design surprising.

“Welcome to my interspecies pleasure club.” Dante waved his arm in low-key fashion. “Two pints,” he spoke to a beta werewolf server, dressed in Regency period attire.

“You have been keeping secrets.” White Fang spoke as he seated himself in the private monk’s booth Dante indicated.

After surveying his private kingdom, Dante sat opposite White Fang. With a small grin, he lounged against the wall, his arm resting atop the bench seat. Using his mild-mannered voice, White Fang continued, “I’m going to guess this is a story you don’t want in the Guts and Butts Gazette.”

“On the contrary, ace crime reporter, I want my enterprise exposed -- let’s say to the public at large.”

White Fang raised his brows, his instincts telling him the obvious wasn’t true. “Catch 22?”

“You got me.” Dante paused as the server delivered two foamy pints on a silver platter, a dark brew known for it’s rich malt flavor.

“Serving werewolves on silver. A clever fang sense of humor.” White Fang raised his glass tankard high matching Dante, then they both took a draw. “Superb, as usual.” Keeping his gaze steady and steely, White Fang asked, “What do you want from me?”

“Two things, Kent.” Dante eased forward, his own gaze fierce and uncompromising. “Make that three.” He leaned an elbow on the plank wood table, sadness returning to the depths of his eyes. “I want you to protect my Kitty, my Katrina. Story for a later time,” he added, averting his face.

After a deep quaff of his brew, Dante eyed him again, his resolve pure savagery. “You got your super-dog secrets, Kent, or you wouldn’t have been able to track me here. This place is my secret haven and I intend to keep it that way.”

White Fang waited. Always let them do their own talking, that was his reporter’s experience. It resulted in the best story.

“Got a gang wants to move in on my territory. The Tiger Yakuza. I’ll give you their current hangout.”

“Dominos.” White Fang tipped up a healthy draw, and waited again.

“Fuck, yeah, like dominos. Once they move into a territory, they sink their claws into every business. One by one, they all fall.” Dante pounded his fist on the table once, his eyes flashing with ferociousness and frustration. “The town is in danger.” Settling back again, he wrapped his now clawed hand around the tankard. “Sent anonymous warnings to my sire, then contacted Devon. No action. Scat, like taking over a town from the apes makes the pack invincible. They both got their snouts up their wormy asses. And, Devon is acting like a freaking girly debutante with his big frigging deal party.”

“Had my share of run-ins with the Tiger Yakuza.” White Fang didn’t say 'who' had the fearsome tiger shifters by the furred balls, and 'who' could crush at will. “Sure, I’ll do an investigative report. Add the facts I can prove. That should act as a warning with bonus points.” He curled one corner of his mouth, amused at his next thought. “Nick will get his editor-rocks off.”

Dante gave a satisfied nod. “You’ll be in like Flint, as the apes say.”

Silence followed, and they both lifted their tankards, draining them. From the corner of his eye, White Fang watched the long-legged, elegant catwoman sway toward the bar at the far end of the room. Her figure-hugging red dress was at odds with the Victorian-style pub bar. That was just fine with him. Her curves rivaled those of the actress, Ann-Margret.

Dante eyed him again, his posture relaxed. Yet, the alpha werewolf clearly remained ready to spring into action. “From what I hear, that hot little bitch, Ziva, has Nick licking his blue balls these days.”

White Fang grinned. “Caught Nick humping his desk after one of their snarl-snap matches.” Leaning forward, he confronted Dante with his gaze. “Two out of three. What else do you want?”

“Publicity, Kent.” Dante offered a cocky grin. “No one in town needs to know I own this upscale pleasure club. Just that it’s here.”

“Sure, why not? I’ll work it into the story. A wolf’s den of iniquity. All shapeshifters welcome.”

White Fang knew the instant the curvy catwoman slinked in his direction without seeing her. His cock gave a mighty hitch and his spine iced with warning.

“When Maggie shows I’ll make certain that wily queen of gossip gets the ‘special’ tour. Hear she wrangled herself an invite to Devon’s debutante ball.”

“The guilt monster grabbed Nick by the scruff. So he made certain Mooney got she company.”

“Yeah, brotherly love. Know all about it,” Dante sneered. He tossed down the remaining swallow of brew. When the tankard hit the table, his expression utterly changed. A glint of amusement possessed his eyes, more wolfen now than human.

“Pasha.” Dante subtly nodded, indicating the catwoman in the fire-red dress approaching them. “Like what you see, Kent?”

White Fang hadn’t missed the smallest movement of Pasha’s curvaceous body from the very second she’d seductively strolled in their direction. “Enough to turn alpha.” Switching his gaze to her, he openly stared. “She could raise the mating fur on a snake.”

Dante howled a laugh. “Scat piles, Kent. I’ll keep your alpha identity secret. We both got good reasons to stay hidden.”

“Agreed. Yours is your sire.”

Moments ticked by. “Yeah, super dog. He hates feline shifters. Enough to kill them.”

“Tough break. You have my word I won’t let the cat out of the bag.”

White Fang heard Dante unfold himself, then lightly land on the floor, the sound of his boots minimal. “Pasha is your source. She’s been trying to grab the Tiger Yakuza by the tail for several years now. They murdered an ape friend of hers.”


Wrinkles in the Plot

“Marissa. Darling,” a slimy voice called from behind the door. Marissa huffed, annoyed even more than before.

“What Lex?” she said pumping every ounce of annoyance into her tone of voice. A long pause caused her to look back at the hairless little freak. She was so going to kill her mother for indenturing her to a cat, even an Egyptian sphinx. Especially an Egyptian sphinx. Lexor Luther was under the impression that because, many thousands of years ago, his blood kin had been pharaohs he was royalty. Yeah. A royal pain in her ass.

“I still hold your fate in my hands, bitch,” the mean, scrawny little male hissed. Marissa rolled her eyes.

“Witch, Lex. I’m a witch, not a bitch.” She turned her back on her master and continued cleaning up the coffee shop. That snaggle-toothed old coyote didn’t fight half bad. She smirked. Of course, now her little business would be a major draw to both humans and shifter- the various races all loved a good fight or the chance to see something illicit. Then she giggled, wondering when Maggie would realize she’d been liberally dusted with mange powder during the scuffle. Probably just in time to look like a red hot mess for her fancy society thing.

“I said get close to the mutt, not fight over him,” Lex snarled, though it sounded more like a whine to Marissa’s ears.

“Lex, these are canids. Mooney isn’t going to pay me any real attention unless he thinks he’s going to get some. And the she is always the one to make the first move.”

“Admit it,” he hissed. “You actually do want to- How is it you hairless apes put it?- hit that.”

“Yes, O Great Hairless Cat Leader, us hairless apes do say that,” Marissa drawled, rolling her eyes as she emptied the bucket of hot water and disinfectant she’d been using to clean up with. It wouldn’t do for her customers to end up with mange. Maggie would know full well where she got it from, but if anyone else started molting and smelling bad, someone might actually take pity on her and believe the big bad human had maliciously harmed her.

“And you want him,” Lex gloated. “He’s not even a felix.”

“Of course Mooney isn’t felix; he’s a wolf.

“Fine then,” Lex pouted. “He’s not alphic, either.”

“He’s a male and I’m human,” Marissa sighed, getting tired of this childish game. They played it almost every night, making her wonder is she, at twenty-three, wasn’t older than the cat who held her leash, so to speak. No one actually knew how old Lex was and he encouraged folks to think he was ancient. “I don’t really care about pack standing and he’s a walking furball of hormones. I don’t know why you want me to get in tight with him, anyway. You are already paying him a fortune to keep tabs on the Yakuza.”

“Because while he’s snooping on my mortal enemies, you are going to be snooping on the Pack,” Lux giggled, sounding like a putz. Yeah, thought Marissa. Like the Pack was going to reveal their inner secrets to the human fling of a disgraced sport writer…


Shall We Count it Down?


Yeah, that’s all it would take, ten minutes before his zesty little Zeva stormed in to give him hell about taking a date to Devon’s ball.

“Ten tops,” Nick snarked, making his way to his desk.


He was still patting himself on the back for goading her into that bet over the game of pool. If she’d won, her prize would have been to use him to increase her alpha status among the pack. Damn, he could scarcely imagine what that task would have included. Quite possibly a dog collar around his throat and scrot and a long walk through the compound…yeah, like he’d ever let that happen.


Nope. No submissiveness from him. Nick sank back in the supple leather desk chair and let his mind wander. Unless, of course, they were playing on his turf, which included the two of them locked behind, closed doors with him holding the only key. Yep, he could play her bitch as long as she repaid him in kind.


Hell, maybe he wanted to put any kind of playing at the bottom of the “to do” list for a while. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have an extremely full plate right now, seriously, the last two times White Fang had stopped by his office, he’d been dangerously close to violating his own desk.


…with a dry hump here and a dry hump there, here a hump, there a hump everywhere a hump hump…Editor McMahon needed to get a life…eieio!


Where the hell was she? He was starting to get a bit loopy waiting. With everyone at the paper hating on him, the moments spent toying with Zeva, Nick considered refreshing and some of the most blindingly happy of his day. Some would consider him sick, he knew, but his actions were necessary for keeping his cover.


“Damn, stubborn woman…” Nick flicked the now broken pen into the trash just before the ink started to dribble out. Pain drilled into his temples even as his right eye throbbed. Here he was counting down the minutes, waiting on a woman…a stubborn, irritating, engaging, sexy as hell woman who had him tied up in knots. “Scat!” His time should be spent digging up the dirt on his employees and finding the mole.


“You say something, bossman?” Prudence Penelope Jorgensson, his administrative assistant and shifter of undetermined orgin, stuck her head inside his office. She had the ears of a bat this one, but was as quiet as a cat on the prowl. She was always at the ready for him when he needed her, before he’d needed her most of the time.

“Yeah, pull up my cell phone provider and get me Roxann’s number,” Nick barked, loud enough for most of the office to hear…especially the little hellion down the hall.


“Ya don’t gotta yell, boss man.”

Damn right he’d yell. Zeva needed to get her sweet ass in gear and schlep it into his office, riled up over his choice in date. No more desk disco for this alpha, tonight the only two people dancing would be he and his captivating Zeva.



“Geez, I’m right here with your number.”

Nick grabbed the post-it out of her hand and listened for the sound of heels tap tapping down the hall to stop his call.

“You know you’re lucky we’re alone in the office, boss man, or everyone would know how hard up for some action you are...”

“Yeah, yeah…what?” Alone in the office, what the hell? “Penny…”

His assistant turned back toward him at the door, displeasure alive and well across her face. “Stop calling me Penny, boss man. We’ve talked about this.”

“Bah, what did you just say?”

“Stop call…”

“No, before that.” The thing he had to have misunderstood.

“Oh, no one heard your demands for female companionship phone numbers?”

He was going to lose his mind in a matter of moments. He could feel it welling up inside. “Where is everyone?” Or, just Zeva. Where the hell was Zeva?

“At home, getting ready for the big bash.” The twinkle in Penny’s eye was disheartening. “Did you hear the good news? Zeva scored a last minute date with Dante.” Her sigh burned at his brain. “She’s such a lucky, bitch.”

Nick was shaking; a full body rattle that left him green-eyed and red-faced as he listened to Penny laugh all the way down the hall. So that’s how she wanted to play it, huh. Well fine by him.

As he rang up Miz Roxann, he made a mental note of the punishment he’d dole out to his naughty little Zeva. She’d be hard pressed to sit down for a week by the time he was through.


Snow Aint The only Thing That's Deep In Alaska

“Hello. Will I what? Collect call from who?” Lamar’s sleepy voice grated Danny’s already frazzled nerves two strings short of fried.

“Come on Lamar, take my call.” His muffled plea echoed over intermittent static filled connection.

“Danny, I’ll take the call, but you owe me.” Lamar’s exasperated tone and word emphasis sent shivers down Danny’s back.

Swallowing air and gripping the phone tighter, Danny belched. “Excuse me, Lamar. I need your help.”

“What help could I possibly be? Got yourself in hock again? Your spice caught up with you and demanded back child support?” Lamar’s laugh and sneer roared through the clear line and into Danny’s ear.

“There’s no need to shout. I really need your help. Come on love. You know I’m good for it. Always have been and always will be.”

“Cut the syrupy sweet talk, you slink! Maybe I should say skunk! A two faced one.” Lamar’s ire and word choices cut Danny to the quick.

“What’s gotten into you? “ Danny looked toward the other person occupying the room. Wearing a gun and badge, the police officer pointed at her watch. She held up five fingers.

Danny gulped. Of all the damnedest times for Lamar to decide to be butch. “I’m sorry I took off and left you a note. I didn’t have time to explain.”

“Explain what? You prefer women over men. Or as the latest office gossip tells it, you prefer both and will crawl into whose ever bed reaps you the most rewards.” Lamar’s hiss and heavy sigh heated Danny’s ear.

The policewoman unhooked her baton and tapped it against her leg. Shit, he didn’t want to become some female’s plaything or her bend over boyfriend.

“Okay so I fucked---" Lamar cut him off.

“Fucked anything and everything I’m sure. So cut to the chase my ex-amant or I hang up the phone. And reject your next collect call along with all future ones.” Lamar’s nasty laugh rolled out of the phone, singeing Danny’s eardrum.

Danny glanced at the policewoman walking toward him. He shot up his hand, waving five fingers at her as he blew her an airborne kiss. Maybe he could sweet talk his way out of becoming her bottom to his preferred top position. She nodded and returned to her post.

“I need bail money and Nick to vouch for me. Come on Lamar help your sweetiekins out.” Danny dropped his gaze to his feet. Groveling wasn’t one of his better virtues. Not that he had many if any at all.

“Bail money? How much and why?” Lamar went silent. Danny knew that unspoken demand and tone. Lamar was not taking any more bullshit.

Danny heaved a deep sigh and explained. “I’m in jail. I need five thousand---“

“Five thousand!” Lamar’s voice carried out of the phone and several feet from where Danny stood. “Whatever you got your sluttish ass and cock into, I don’t want to know. Nick is out of the office. And I don’t have that kind of cash or credit. You’re S.O.L.”

“S.O.L.?” Danny grimaced at Lamar’s next words.

“Shit out of luck. Call back in a couple of days when Nick is back and maybe he’ll help you out. But from what I heard as he left the office not too many employees were on his favorites list.” Lamar began to say have fun and hang up. Danny’s high-pitched yelp stayed his action.

“What the hell are you squeaking about now?” Lamar waited, listening intently to the background noise.

“Uhmmm, I gotta go. And take care of business. Just remember the song Do You Take It in the Ass next time you see me.” The phone went dead in Lamar’s ear. A huge grin started growing into a mega watt smile. Oh did he have a tip for Maggie’s next column.


New Guy/Sparks Fly

Nick stood in the doorway to his office and growled out at the newsroom. Another Monday morning, another pile of scat to wade through. He refused to look toward Zeva’s desk, where the little bitch was humming away at her computer with a smug little smirk on her face. So what if she’d scored a date with Dante Hancock? He didn’t give a rip off a bull elk’s throat, and he’d make sure she knew it.

Oh scat. Maggie had just shown up and was beating a path to his office. Too late to duck inside and lock the door. She was – wait a second. “What the hell happened to your hair?”

“Mange powder. Some little monkey skank doused me. Lucky I caught it in time.” The look in her eyes promised dire retribution for said monkey skank. “Mooney wasn’t so fortunate. I doubt if he’ll be presentable by party time. I can’t take a mangy wolf to the ball. I need another date.” She eyed him with frank speculation.

Nick shuddered inwardly. “No. You don’t. Balboa!” he yelled across the newsroom to the intern. The constrictor was coiled on the corner of the new pup’s desk. What was his name? Olsen, right. The photographer. Balboa jumped off the desk and glided over. “You’re covering the Hancock party,” Nick told him. He noticed the new pup had tagged along and added, “Take Olsen with you. I want plenty of pictures.”

Maggie’s jaw dropped. “Darling, you can’t! The party’s my assignment.”

“Not anymore. The plan was, you take Mooney. No Mooney, no party.” He bared his teeth to cut off her protest. “No more arguments, or no more job. Are we clear?”

“There you are, you snake!”

Nick winced. Lycaon bite his balls off, he did not need Leona Lane in full-on bitch mode on a Monday morning. He braced himself for mortal combat while Maggie and her bad hair day stormed off in a huff.

For once, though, he wasn’t her target. She zoomed in on Lamar and let go with both barrels. “What are you, suicidal? Why are you tailing me?”

“Who, me?” He batted his long lashes. “Now why would I follow you around? You know my tastes.”

“I know you’re Maggie’s protégé. She thinks there’s a story, doesn’t she? Tell her to can the scat. I'm not her personal sideshow."

“Por favor, mama, I don’t know what you – ”

“Don’t play dumb. And while you’re at it, ditch the Ricky Ricardo schtick. You’re from Chicago, for Bast’s sake.”

“But the accent makes me sound so sexy.”

“And watch the sibilance. You sound like a leaky balloon.”

“The perils of being a snake, mama.”

“Yeah. I’ll bet you can’t say ‘Mississippi’ in under an hour. Just say ‘good-bye’ so I don’t have to kick what little ass you have.”

“But my ass is so – ” He broke off and stared beyond her shoulder. “Now there is the perfect ass.”

Of course it was a trick, and a pathetic one at that. Leona turned anyway, and was struck by the sight of a gorgeous male ass in tight jeans, headed for Nick. Distraction accomplished, Lamar slipped away.

Perfect, Nick thought. Now my day is complete. He’d never had any fondness for bats. Especially rich bats who owned half the county and thought they were as good as alpha wolves. Bats didn’t even have alphas, for dog’s sake. But they bought a lot of ad space and made for great copy. So Nick gritted his teeth and plastered a smile to his face. “Mr. Wayne. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Just thought I’d drop by and catch up on the local headlines.” He gazed around the newsroom like he owned it. Maybe he did, Nick thought. The Waynes had their thumbs stuck up all kinds of unexpected butts. Scat, would you look at the damned flying rat. Worth millions and he dresses like some cowpoke off the range. And makes it look like he’s wearing Armani. How the hell does he pull that off?

Wayne’s proprietary gaze stopped when it found Leona. He smiled. “You must be Leona Lane. I’ve long admired your work.”

Leona gulped, her usual vitriole on hold. “You have?”

“You believe in justice, and exposing the truth. I’m an ardent follower of both.”

“Yeah, that’s our Leona,” Nick said, trying to worm his way back into the conversation. “Well, it’s been great talking to you, but we have to gear up for the next edition. The Hancock bash, y’know. I suppose he froze you out.”

“On the contrary. He extended a personal invitation.”

“To you?” Nick blurted. “I thought you two were – ”

“We are, but you know Damien. Friends close, enemies closer, and all that.” He continued to smile at Leona. “That’s the other reason I’m in town. I’m in need of a date.”

“You? Really? Your fiancée can’t make it?”

Wayne’s eyes hardened momentarily. “Your intel’s out of date, McMahon. Robin and I broke up a while ago.” His gaze had never left Leona. “Perhaps Ms. Lane would like to accompany me? If you don’t have her busy on assignment, that is.”

Nick was then treated to the only bright spot in his Monday: Leona Lane, struck speechless.

But only momentarily. She opened her mouth. Here it came. He grinned. She was going to claw the bat’s balls off.

“I’d be honored, Mr. Wayne. Anything for a fan.”

“Brand,” he corrected. He took her hand and lifted it to his lips. Both Leona and Nick froze in shock. “Perhaps we can discuss it over lunch?”

Transfixed by the exchange – mierda, that bat was smooth – Lamar belatedly became aware of the whir of Jamie Olsen’s digital camera. “Got it,” the red wolf murmured. “Hadda catch that look on her face.”

“Let me see.” Lamar leaned in, closer than needed. He’d always liked furries, and this boy was cute, with a capital K-E-W-T. And dammit, those photos were gold. Brandon Wayne, one of Talbot Peak’s richest eligible bachelors, making a move on the lady reporter. In this town, that was front-page news with a banner headline. With a picture. With Lamar’s byline and not Maggie’s on it. Things like this could make a career.

He smiled into Jamie’s beautiful honey-gold eyes. “I think I love you,” he said.

Perfect, Nick thought. First the dog-damned bat waltzes out with his lead reporter on his arm, and now the snake was practically dry-humping the new photographer. When had his newsroom turned into Hookup Central, and why wasn’t he getting any? He caught Zeva watching him and bellowed, “What the hell are you looking at? Get back to work!”

# # #


Maggie bulldozered onto the street. That rat-brained, fleabitten whelp! How dare he? The biggest social event of the year and he hands it off to Lamar? Then threatens to fire her? Oh, the fur was going to fly, all right, and not because of any snippy little monkey skank’s mange powder. It was only a question of which of them she’d make suffer first.

Then she spotted the man leaning on the pickup truck, and revenge got shuttled to the back burner.

Hello, opportunity. Maggie patted her hair, frowned at the loose strands that came off on her fingers, and strolled over. He watched her hips roll with frank appreciation. Step one accomplished; got his attention. Magnificent. “Excuse me, but aren’t you -- ?”

“Lonely? Horny? Looking for action?” He leered at her. “All of the above.”

This would be easier than she’d hoped. “I was going to say, aren’t you Jack Wayne?”

“That too.” He kept his arms folded over his chest and his appraising gaze on her body. There was something just a hair off about him – in his scent, his eyes, his body language. Maggie felt no alarm. Her whole family was off in exactly the same way. Fascinating. One so rarely encountered coyote sensibilities in other shifter species.

She pulled in her tummy and thrust out her boobs. “So what brings you in off the range?”

“My a-hole brother, natch. He likes to patrol the city every now and then. Me, I’m here for the sights.” He nodded at Maggie’s rack. “And I do like what I’m seeing.”

“No cost to look, darling. All set for the Hancock wingding? Oh, that’s right. Your families are still on the outs.”

“Brandy-boy got invited. Guess Damien wants to rub his nose in it. My invite must have gotten lost in the mail.” His machete-slice of a grin widened. “I suppose I’ll just have to crash it.”

“I was planning on the same. You know, crashing a society ball is a lot easier as a couple. More fun, too.”

“I hear that. I’m all about fun. You’re the gossip columnist, right?”

“The public needs to be kept informed. I’m Maggie.”

She extended her hand. The bat took it in a way that implied he wasn’t about to let go of it any time soon. “Yeah. I read your column. You ripped into Brand something fierce. I laughed my butt off for a week. I like the way your mind works, doll. You’re twisted.”

Maggie quivered all over. He was so handsome. And connected. And rich. “So, is it a date, Mr. Wayne? Or may I call you Jack?”

That too-wide grin practically split his face. “Call me Joker.”


White Fang Kent and Pasha ~ Dangerously Feral

White Fang had to wonder if the catwoman sultrily stalking him -- a woman who made his dream woman look like the gossip columnist, Maggie -- had been sent by unknown enemies.

Mind probing Pasha would likely be a mistake, even if he could manage to concentrate. He scented goddess blood.

Hidden beneath the natural, femme fatale perfume she exuded -- a fragrance that caused his cock to drip with the need to mate -- was the smell of a lightning storm. A certain sign the catwoman’s lineage went back to the antediluvian gods and goddesses.

White Fang ignored his gentleman’s instinct to rise, and seat her. Why give her a full-on visual of his cock’s fight to overcome the waistband of his pants?

She already knew her affect on him. Seduction was her weapon and he was the target.

“I am Pasha.” With feline grace she offered her hand -- long, slim and tawny gold, yet not fragile in appearance.

“White Fang.” He wrapped his hand entirely around hers simply to feel her, and to let her know he wasn’t without some manner of defense against her carnal claws -- against the slanted glimmer of her spectacular eyes. Jewel green, they were faceted by bronze and cerulean blue.

“May I?” She withdrew her hand, a caress that lingered as sharply as if she’d bitten him during their foreplay.

After a wave of his hand, she languidly arranged herself opposite him. She’d subtly exaggerated the ripe curve of her hips. Now she leaned forward slightly, her arms pressing against the sides of her breasts.

White Fang gave them both what they wanted. He ogled the beautiful generous bounty that was barely contained by her made-for-sex red dress. Somehow he managed to keep his tongue from lolling out in sheer appreciation.

Lykouz hell! He kept himself from leaping over the table and acting like a stud dog desperate for a hump against her haunches. Her lips turned upward, a slow smile of feline enticement. And, of course, cat satisfaction. With a courtesan’s finesse, she quivered her breasts.

“Flaunt and taunt. What do you want...Pasha? Is that your demigoddess name, or are you a full blood?”

She flinched, only seen by his super-powered eyesight. Still, he had to hand it her, and Lykouz knew, he wanted to handle her. Every lush and long curve of her. Every soft silken dip and valley of her.

.Recovering her poise, she swept her dark gold lashes downward for a moment. “Z’Pasha,” she throatily purred. “For your ears only.”

“Only,” he repeated, and knew he sounded like a mesmerized fool. “What’s the story?”

A hint of confusion shone in her gaze. Like an even bigger fool, he felt a primal sense of victory over her. Really, though, he told himself, he was the stupid male who didn’t know he’d been caught in her clever trap. Yeah, so his cock jerked, wanting to be caught in her sweet hot trap.

For nearly a minute, they eyed each other, angling for blows in this unspoken battle for dominance.

“The story you want me to tell as a crime reporter. About the Tiger Yakuza.” White Fang forced himself to straighten before he made a move and licked a trail up her sex-kitten cleavage. “Pardon my lack of manners, Pasha. May I order you a drink? Perhaps you haven’t dined yet.”

“You are good.” The tip of her tongue traced her lips. “Very good, White Fang Kent.” With a sensual roll of her shoulders, she leaned back, lounging more comfortably. “I believe Dante’s wine cellar has a pomegranate wine made in the image of the wine crafted by my sacred ancestors.”

“Of course.” White Fang lifted a finger for service.

Their gazes never strayed from each other, and White Fang allowed himself the luxury of staring at her rosy, gold-dusted lips, enhanced only by a shiny gloss. More than kissable her mouth was made for every act of passion imaginable. He swallowed hard while his steely rod banged at his zipper.

Saved, temporarily, by the arrival of a waiter, the same beta werewolf who had served Dante, White Fang swivelled his gaze to him. “Marc,” he noticed the discreet name tag, “would you bring the lady a bottle of Pomegranate Nile? And another brew for me.”

With an elegant nod of his head, Marc pivoted from them.

“Raw delicious torment,” White Fang growled.

He didn’t bother sparing Pasha his thorough, hungry-as-a-wolf perusal of her. When his gaze settled on her voluptuously pointed nipples, she drew in loud rushing breaths. Her mating heat filled his nostrils, and neither one of them moved for a time that seemed to stretch into infinity.

“Before you make me more insane with desire, super wolf, I’ll give you what you came for.”

“And that is?”

“I’ll take you to my last sighting of the Tiger Yakuza assassins. You’ll get your story, ace crime reporter, just follow the trail.”

Her half-lidded gaze languorously studied his face, then moved over his chest. It felt as if she physically stroked him, and White Fang nearly groaned out loud.

“And, what do you get, Pasha?” he asked a long moment later. His tone was so hoarse, he wondered that the words could be understood.

With a deliberate toss of her hair, she shifted positions, and the curvaceous swells of her breasts beckoned him even more. “Revenge, of course.”

White Fang had never felt so dangerously feral when it came to the fair sex.


Rainbow Colored Woman

“Purple, green, blue…” Prudence Penelope Jorgensson tossed different colored articles of clothing across her bed in search of the perfect outfit for tonight’s visit to Dante’s interspecies haven. She’d been trying to talk herself into taking this step for weeks. This night it was her specific intent to find a lover, or two. “…Yellow, yes yellow it is. A warm, welcoming yellow that will pull all the boys, and girls, over to me.”

As a half parrot, quarter peacock she loved to prance around and strut her bright and bodaciously colored self around, but the quarter human was lusting for love and looking in all the right places. Dante’s promised a wealth of possibilities from which she could choose.

The blue-green fringe along the bodice and bottom of her dress twirled as she turned in circles in front of her mirror. Large fan earrings, done in varying shades of purple were an exact match to her high-heeled, open-toed mules. Her peek-a-boo toes sported the same color yellow as her dress. She was a rainbow of flavor, ready to find a cat with great big teeth.

All the better to eat her with you know.

Yeah, that was a wolf thing, but really, she had enough wolves at work. She didn’t need them in bed too. No sooner had the thought crossed her mind, and her phone was ringing. She’d jinxed herself. Rule number one of an Administrative Assistant was, never think about or verbalize your work/boss on private time.

“Now’s not a good time, bossman,” she breathed into her cell.

“Don’t care, Penny,” Nick groused, bristling all of her unshifted feathers. “I need you on a plane to Alaska…tonight.”

“What!” Open-toed mules were not made for the wilds of Alaska! Montana was one thing, but Alaska, she shuddered to think of what she might have to outrun up there.

“Put the flight and expenses on the company card, including bail for that jackass, Danny. I’ve already called in and vouched for him…I just need you to go retrieve him.”

“Sorry, bossman, no can do. I’ve got plans…”

“Oh yes you can do, Penny, or don’t bother coming…”

“Do not threaten to fire me, Nick, or your fur will surely fly,” she huffed at the ridiculous threat. He’d never followed up on his threat to fire anyone accept his brother and anyone who really looked at the situation could tell it was to protect the mangy galoot. “And don’t call me Penny!”

“I’m sorry, Prudence.” The real Nickolas McMahon was sneaking through the guards she knew he held around him. “I can make it worth your while to go.”

“How?” This had better be good.

“Stay over at the nicest hotel up there; get a massage and a facial. Relax. And put the stay on the card. You can pick up Danny Boy the following morning and head back.”

Damn he knew how to entice. Dante’s would be here when she got back and who knows what she might find to play with in the wild—a bear maybe? Plus, she had the sweetest pair of purple leather, thigh-high boots she was dying to wear.

“Fine, offer accepted.” She used her best put out voice. It wouldn’t do to let on that she was excited. “Let me call the airlines.”

“You’re the best, Pen-elope.”

“Yes, I know.” She hung up on the smart assed wolf and called to reserve her tickets, first class of course. Yeah right, as if she’d endure coach all the way to Alaska.


Be Careful What You Wish For

Danny stood at the threshold of the shaman's shop. His sentence carried community service until Penelope arrived to bail him out. Nick's terse short conversation carried two threats and one said if any more trouble happened, Danny would find out first hand what a dead mink felt like. The other had to do with working until he was dead twice over if he failed to show up back at the office with Penelope. Until then community service and appeasing the female guards at the local jail occupied his time.

"Hello?" Danny pushed the door open, waiting a response. Nothing. Only silence greeted him. Opening the door further, he stepped part way in. Dust and dander tickled his nose. Sneezing, he moved into the shop. Two steps in, a low growl greeted his ears, inching down his back as his own hair stood up. An uneasy feeling began wobbling in his already queasy stomach.

"Mr. Tongson, is that you?" Danny squinted trying to make out where the rows of bookshelves and jars ended.

As his eyes adjusted to the semi-dark interior, he made out a counter. Books lay strewn across it. Puffs of smoke and glowing ashes occupied one end of the waist high counter. Moving closer, a loud groan echoed out from behind the last row of shelves directly behind the counter.

Danny hesitated, inching forward. His eyes swept across the room and back. The last time he'd been somewhere this dark and eerie he'd taken a date to Dante's inter-species pleasure haven.

The money was damn good that night. A few three ways later, and a couple hundred richer, Danny walked out leaving his date to find his own way home.

Another growl echoed through the shop. Danny swallowed hard. "Mr. Tongson, please answer me."

THUD. Danny jumped and spun around. His teeth lengthened, claws unfurled, he hissed. Sweat ran down his back and pooled around his waist. Putting on his best sneer, he kept his mouth open. At least his teeth wouldn't be chattering in fear. Damn, he almost shit his pants. And over a damn door slamming shut.

"God I wish people would stop fucking with me." Danny turned back to the counter.

"Your wish is my command." Lightening flashed across the shop, arching from front to back as it illuminated a large buff looking shadow lounging against one bookshelf. "Though most folks want more sex rather than give it up."

Danny rushed forward. "Now wait one moment. I didn't--- "

"Ah but you wished. Now it is done." The shadow moved forward. Its bulk and size becoming larger with each step. "You cannot go back. The wish is granted. Unless. . ."

Danny reached the counter. "Unless what? I am mink. We love to f----"

"Yes, I know. Fuck to your advantage. People and things are your play toys you believe and act accordingly" The shadow reached the counter and reached above what Danny thought was its head.

Bright light filled the room. Fluorescent bulbs lit up all over the shop. Endless rows of books and specimen jars lined the set directly behind the counter. Danny shielded his eyes as the shadow moved into the light.

Danny blinked. In front of him stood a legendary Canadian Spirit Bear. His glasses sat atop his head, making his shoulder length black hair stand out. His buckskin regalia emphasized his Native American heritage.

"How come you're...." Danny held his tongue not wanting to create further problems. He'd spoken too soon already.

"You interrupted my spell. Now I am bound in between my dual nature until I find Mr. Tongson and retrieve my tome. Fucking Tiger Yakooza. They want it all."

Danny crept backwards, hoping to work his way to the door. One pissed off shape shifter boss was bad enough, but ticking off a spirit---well, he didn't want to wait around to find out.

"Stop unless you want to remain sexless my young pervert." Danny froze. He loved sex as did all of his species.

"What you want?’’ Danny's shoulders fell forward. God he hoped Penelope arrived sooner than later.

"Sex is yours again, but now you will service those you disliked before. Women will dominant you and you will be theirs. Now get out of my shop you submissive pain in the ass."

Danny stumbled toward the door, wanting nothing more than to get out with his cock and balls intact. Screwing women might be as great as humping men, but if it paid was money.

"Oh and no selling yourself either. You will work to earn your keep. And not to the highest bidder unless your Dominatrix says it is all right, and she gets the money."

Danny skittered across the floor, flinging open the door, and rushing out. Once outside, he chaffed his arms, rolled his eyes heaven ward, and muttered, "When will I learn to keep my big mouth shout and my cock in my pants?"


Sunday Bonus

Burgess woke from his nap as the plane touched down. He lifted the shade on the window only to find a sea of darkness. That’s right. It was winter here in Alaska. Just like his native Australia, the days got shorter in the cool months. Unlike his home, though, Anchorage had days where the sun never shone in the deepest winter- this time of year, in fact. That was why the Elder Council had sent him and not one of the ‘roos or koalas. Not that he, as a Little Penguin, was going to fare much better. His species was not an artic one. But even warm climate penguins could handle cold and constant darkness better than most Australian shifter species.

The flight from Melbourne to Anchorage had been long and boring. Too bad it hadn’t also been unnecessary. The Elder Council of Phillips Island had received word from a spirit bear up here that may or may not offer information into the missing tutelaries, or guardian deities, of Australia and South Africa, though, so this trip was very necessary. By the sounds of it, the Tiger Yakooza slipped up when they brought old Tongson into the fray. No one in their right mind encouraged the Canadian Spirit Bears- they were brilliant and brilliantly good at figuring things out. They also tended to keep to themselves. Burgess grinned. He’d been looking into this for years, unable to figure out what the Yakooza were up to until that phone call from Tongson. He couldn’t wait to find out what the crotchety old spirit had discovered.

Burgess let the plane empty out before prying his six foot four frame out of the tortuously uncomfortable airline seat. He had almost flown in animal form for this very reason. As a penguin, he was only sixteen inches tall, weighting in at just over two pounds. As a human, he was built like an Olympic swimmer with massive shoulders and long limbs. His slate blue hair was almost the exact shade of his animal plumage and tended to stick out in every direction if he didn't keep it very short, and his smallish eyes were the same twinkling black of his bird. He didn’t think himself overly remarkable in looks, though he was aware than most human eyes, both male and female, followed him everywhere he went. He assumed it was because of his large, muscular body and not his slightly avian facial features.

He stopped suddenly at the end of the jet way. A vision of rainbow hued loveliness was shouldering her way past his gate, clearly coming from one of the other gates that was disgorging passengers in sluggish waves.

“My my my,” he said to himself. “How did a tropical flower like that end up in the frozen north?” He felt his cock stir to life at the sight and smell of her. Too bad he had a job to do, or he’d be chasing that little bit of fluff in a hurry. The years of hunting down the Yakooza had made his love life a living hell. And that one looked like the kind to make a male perfectly happy to be strapped down under her kinky little boot.


Payback's a Bitch

Marissa slammed the bar door closed and locked up. Damn that Lex and his cockeyed schemes. Spy on a wolf pack? Sure. She’d just waltz into Dante’s with her witchy scent blasting away like a neon sign, a huge flashing arrow that said “human.” Yeah, they’d take her in like a long-lost sister, if she lived through the first five minutes.

The alternative was dating Mooney. Poor puppy. Six phone calls and a text message, all with “mange” as the operative word. Served him right, running with a coyote. And this was her best source of info? Selene help them all, but mostly her.

“Hey, Blue! Heads up!”

Marissa turned, just in time to catch a face full of water balloon. It drenched her hair, skin and clothes. The man standing upright in the convertible hooted in triumph. The car sped off with the man still howling like a maniac.

Son of a bastard! Who the hell? He hadn’t gotten that drunk in HER bar. She blasted a curse in his general direction while searching for the words to the cleansing spell that would leave her dry and tidy again.

Wait. Wait just a cotton-picking minute. Her anger hadn’t even reached full boil yet when the stench hit. It seeped into her clothes and skin and especially into her nose. Its pungency indicated it intended to stick around a while. A long while.

Oh shit. This wasn’t water at all. It was –

Joker Wayne dropped back onto the passenger seat of Maggie’s convertible. He sniffed his fingers. “Eww! What’s that stink? That wasn’t water in that balloon, was it?”

“Water is so plebian,” Maggie said. “The Fulmers owed me a favor. Skunk shifters,” she explained. “There’s a jar of tomato juice in the glove box.”

Joker cackled. “Doll, I am loving you more by the minute.” He smacked the side of the car. “Can this crate go any faster?”

“Hang on.” Maggie floored it. The car sped into the night.


Dante and Kitty ~ Unrequited Shapeshifter Love

Dante strummed the opening chords for the song he’d written about her. How many had he composed so far? He counted ten. He’d written about how much he loved her, and about her girl-next-door loveliness. About her eyes that were the clear blue of a mountain lake. Her eyes. She could always embrace his heart with her gaze.

His notes sounded sour suddenly, and Dante nearly threw his beloved guitar against the stone wall. Instead, he laid it aside, and leaped upward striding for his favorite window. Snowflakes danced on the winds preceding the blizzard he’d sniffed in the air, as he’d walked the short distance from his pleasure club.

Overtaken with restlessness, and the ache that too often consumed him, Dante stared into the depths of the evening forest. Where was she? His Kitty. His Katrina. Was she safe and warm, curled up before her blazing fireplace, holding a mug of catnip tea?

Or did she run and gambol in a forest clearing as she loved doing whenever a new snowfall began? That’s how Dante had first met her in her animal form. While hunting the vermin population that plagued his new den home, he’d come upon her.

Hidden by the trunk of a tall pine tree, he’d stalked her with his predator’s gaze as she playfully raced in circles. With utter joy, she threw her fluffy, yet sleek feline body forward, tumbling and rolling on the thin carpet of leaves and snow. Springing high, she batted at the flurry of snowflakes, her pale fur beautiful against the forest backdrop.

“Katrina.” Her name might as well have been every sad beat of his heart. How long he’d watched her Dante didn’t remember. But, he’d finally joined her by running pell-mell into the clearing.

His Kitty had froze, preparing to run for her life. Dante pretended to ignore her. Performing a series of jumps, he snapped at the large wet flakes. A fair distance from her, he had done his own playful rolling on his back. With his paws lashing the air in every direction, he exposed his belly to her.

Shyly, carefully, she played tag with him. They took turns chasing each other, circling the clearing. Toward the end of the game, they raced madly after each other, churning up the leaves so the bits clung to their coats.

Afterward, their pants steamed up the cold air as they romped with each other like cub and kitten youngsters. Wanting her to trust him, Dante hadn’t tried to wrestle with her. Not during that first meeting between them.

Groaning, Dante pressed his forehead against the cool window pane. He had plans to woo her, win his Katrina’s love again. But, it was a long range strategy that included a way to protect her from his sire.

Scat! He needed her now. Switching to his wolf vision, Dante watched small prey animals forage for their last bites of food, then burrow themselves into their warmest places to wait out the blizzard.

Before he knew it a howl ripped through his lusting loins, straight from the crown of his hard-as-a-log cock. The howl surged inside his throat with such force, he felt it burn. Dante tipped his head back and howled.

He hadn’t been able to shift first, so strong was his longing. Still, the mournful song came from his werewolf soul. And, he knew it also came from the taint his father concealed at all costs. There was full human blood in his lineage, only discovered by a fluke blood test done on Devon.

His cur-fool of a brother had drank himself into a stupor at a frat party, and been taken to a private shapeshifter clinic. Afterward, to his brother’s credit, Devon had bitten the silver bullet, becoming a top student.

Dante wondered how much his sire had paid to ‘retrieve’ those test results, and ‘whom’ he had paid off. During his own quiet investigation, he’d been relieved to find out no blood had been spilled and no one’s head had been fang-torn off over the matter.

To a werewolf pack that turned humans into their kind, it wouldn’t have been a concern. However, his ancestry began at the inception of Rome, originating from a mysterious sect of wolfen. Unlike some of his brethren werewolves, his bite didn’t turn humans.

Taking several steps back from the window, Dante tugged off his boots in record time, then stripped off his shirt and black leather pants. Naked, he ran for the ramp leading down to his den.

As he wound through the long tunnel toward his outside entrance, his shift occurred. His fur emerged, mere pricks of pain. His bones cracked and popped, the sound minimal and the transformation painless.

In under a minute, his skeletal structure became wolf, and so did the rest of his body. His claws scraped the rock as he sprinted. His ears folded flat against his head, seeking relief from the wind.

Bursting into the darkness of evening, he gave his tail a fast shake just to feel the length of it. His speed didn’t lessen. There was no need. The clearing, their clearing was less than a mile away as the crow flew.

Each time his paw pads struck the soft forest floor, the song of the Great Mother vibrated through Dante. And he listened, his wolf being singing with her for a time. Now, he cocked one ear, listening for the familiar gait of his Katrina Cat.

Having disconnected his mind from hers, except to keep her protected, Dante didn’t know where his Kitty was. He only knew he had to be with her, if only to catch a moment’s glimpse of her. Feline or woman, he didn’t care.

If she’d needed him because she was in trouble...or, if anyone planned to harm her, Dante would know her location instantly. It was how he’d been able to secrete his Kitty away to the cave where White Fang found her. That, and the magical elixir Pasha had given him caused him to be invisible.

Hope like love sank its fangs into him, and clamped down. Dante slowed, feeling the wet cold snowflakes softly strike his muzzle. With the clearing close now, he trotted toward the tall pine tree.

Empty. The clearing was as empty as his heart.

Dante ignored the dash of a rabbit, and sat next to the pine’s trunk, his rump collapsing beneath him. He stared at the empty clearing, whimpering. Unable to leave, he watched the thick snowfall cover the ground.

When a howl burst into his throat, he tossed his muzzle high...


With his interrupted howl almost choking him, Dante whipped around.

Kitty, his Katrina crouched behind a boulder about twice her size. She peeked around it, her eyes blue exotic gems in the darkness.

He didn’t move. Kitten, he paused, then dared, it is written.

For long moments neither one of them moved a muscle, not even to blink. Their gazes beamed into one another, the heart’s code, even if his Katrina didn’t know it. Even if she refused it.

Dante waited, knowing it was better if she did refuse him. For now. Still, feeling as if his life was held by a whisker, he waited.

Her sudden launch caught him off guard for a split second. Feline-lithe, she bounded toward him, tagging his shoulder with her nose.

You’re it, dog breath.


Tongue Definitely Included!

“Freedom! Sweet, sweet freedom,” Penelope mumbled as she pushed her way through the hoards of people disembarking from their respective planes. She was so thoroughly disgusted with the level of incompetence she’d just suffered through at the hands of this airline, that the thought of actually getting back on a plane anytime soon turned her stomach. Spilt wine, thank the gods it was white, on her cheerful yellow frock. Possible broken toes and a disastrous rip in the purple leather of her lovely boots, from when said wine bottle was dropped on her foot, and a near concussion from a fellow passenger’s carry-on, which she was sure, must have been loaded down with something wholly inappropriate for an airplane flight. “First class, my ass.”

Worse still was Webster, call me ‘Tex’, something or other, sitting next to her, and for hours on end regaled her with his sexual prowess. Honestly, the man resembled a weasel in every way and expected her to believe he had to beat the ladies off…please. She’d tried to let him down nicely at first, but to no avail. Before they’d landed she’d put it to him straight with a no nonsense “shut the heck up” but still he continued. Once they were fully on the ground, she’d beat a hasty retreat and raced off the plane, but by the smell of his bathed in cologne he was not far behind.

“Pru’dance,” Weasel boy’s deliberate mispronunciation of her name, as he hollered at her from across the terminal, sent frizzles of anger and disgust up her spine. “Hey Pru’dance.”

“Oh buzzards breath,” Penelope moaned, as a group of tourists boxed her in. She needed a way out of this and quick. Note to self, sign up for those self-defense classes you keep meaning to take.

A streak of blue, a dark and gorgeous blue belonging to an equally, if not more gorgeous man, passed by her. He too appeared to be slowed by the tourists and families headed for the door, and thankfully so, because he had exactly what she needed—six foot something of obvious muscle and no lovely lady on his arm. With Weasel boy getting closer, she made a spur of the moment decision. She elbowed her way through the crush of people, grabbed a hold of his buttery, and oh gasp nearly orgasmic, leather coat; turned him around and threw herself into his arms.

“Hello Lover, you almost missed me,” She said loudly enough for Webster “Tex” weasel boy to hear before she laid upon this dazzling display of testosterone the sexiest kiss in her arsenal—tongue definitely included!

Can One Plus Two Equal Three?

Josh cracked the pencil he held in two as he slammed it against the bar. “Anthony’s where?”

Two sets of eyes watched as Josh clenched his hands and closed his eyes. His ragged inhales emphasized his muscular chest and biceps. Anyone near him could feel the heat and anger rolling off him. Sally, the evening barkeep, and Rocky, the bouncer, moved back as Josh rose from behind the bar.

“He took off with a woman who fell in the parking lot two days ago. We’ve had a couple of phone calls from him stating he’d be in touch. Said to tell you, he’d text you when he got a chance.” Sally edged her way past Rocky.

“Come on boss,” Rocky started. He shut his mouth and swallowed hard. Josh’s glare and snarl sent blasts of cold air through out the room. “I’m tightening my lips and shutting them.” Rocky backed toward the exit leading to the office hallway and rear door.

“Stand still you two,” Josh ground out. “Why did Anthony talk to you and not me?”

“I can’t say.” Sally shrugged and looked away. “Anthony does what he wants. I don’t ask questions. I get paid to serve drinks and condoms. Rocky gets paid to keep the peace and make sure no one drives drunk.”

“I know what your jobs are. I hired you and made up your job descriptions.” Josh sighed and combed his fingers through his hair. “Get out. Go home. Tomorrow is another day.”

Sally stopped at the doorframe. “Josh, I wish I could help. But, Anthony doesn’t say much. He keeps to himself. You’re the only one he says much too.”

Rocky pointed to the shelves behind the bar. “I found your cell phone unplugged. Dead battery too. It’s charging. I hope you get a text soon.”

Rocky grabbed Sally’s wrist and pulled her through the door.

Josh leaned his elbows on the bar, burying his face in his hands. He blinked, trying to not give into the tears stinging his eyes. Frustration and angst worked intricate knots and lattice arrays in and out of his gut and up into his heart.

Raising his head, he glanced around the bar. N one remained except him. He reached below the bar.

A shot glass and a bottle of 100-year-old scotch appeared on the bar. He waved his hand and spoke. “Pour with ice.”

Two ice cubes filled the glass as the bottle rose. Its cork popped and floated down to the bar. The glass moved across the bar and caught the amber liquid as the bottle titled. Moments later the bottle settled upright next to the cork.

Josh grasped the glass, swirling its contents. He intently studied it as though he could see something. Taking a deep breath, he pressed a finger to the glass and began chanting.

“Show me what I wish to know. Let the one I seek to see know not that I watch and hear all that he does whether far or near.”

Holding the glass at eye level, Josh continuing slowly swirling the ice and scotch as he repeated his chant two more times. On the third repetition, he hissed and set the glass down. “Damn you Anthony. A friggin’ woman. You swore this time it was you and I. Just you and I.”

Josh leaned down as the view of the woman began clearing. Her shoulder length brunette hair and brown eyes belonged to only one female, Tory Griswald. The grace of her milk white shoulders and neck teased at what the rest of her looked like.

Josh grabbed his wrist to keep from flinging the glass against the wall. “He’s with her. The bitch. Why couldn’t he tell me?”

Two loud beeps echoed from the shelves. Josh watched as his hand trembled as he sat the glass down. Turning, he located where his cell phone sat, lighting up each time it beeped.

He unplugged the phone and flipped it open. It showed three text messages waited. The first referenced Anthony’s number. Knowing he shouldn’t give into his growing curiosity, Josh opened the first message.

Hon, I’m sorry about this. Tory needs me. We’ve got some unfinished business to resolve. I’ll call you in a day or two. Love you!

“Right, you love me when it’s convenient.” Josh raised his thumb ready to delete the message when the voice mail icon appeared. What could it hurt to hear what bullshit Anthony had come up with now?

Josh, I wish you’d answer your phone. Damn it stop avoiding me. I can’t explain everything in a 30-second blip. Tory’s hurt and I’m with her. Call me, please.

Josh replayed the message. He counted to ten and hit save message before reading the rest of the text messages from Anthony. A few moments later, Josh downed the contents of the shot glass and re-corked the bottle. He sat it carefully beneath the bar.

He wished Tory no harm. She’d gotten a large chunk of his heart too about the same time Anthony had gotten his portion. Both of them filled his heat though neither knew it. Maybe the time had come to fess up and see if sharing was an option.