I’m editing my latest novella Shifting Ice (still not sure on the title, changed it from Melting Ice), a prequel to The Gods Defense, and hopefully it’ll be ready to go to betas today and ready for publication in about 2 weeks. So I thought today would be a good day to give a first taste.
Kidnapped kids are the least of her problems…
Lion shifter Tyler Carmichael’s day starts with a telepathic cry for help from children shifters who have been kidnapped by scientists and even she’s not so cold as to leave children to suffer. Now she has to work with the wolves’ king Caesius to rescue them and stop the scientists permanently, before all of humanity finds out about shifters and magic.
But Tyler and Caesius have been teasing each other for years and the sexual games could be their undoing.
And the shifters’ magic isn’t the only kind at play.
I walked down the street. I had to get my car and figure out where to go to find airplane records.
My condo building’s a new, gigantic, curved glass beauty dropped in the middle of the seventies apartments built to accommodate the Vandy population.
The wind shifted as I reached the street between two of the littler apartments leading up to my building’s wide backside and I froze, eyes dilating as my nostrils flared.
I took a long drag of humanity tinted with asphalt air. Something was mixed in there. Something musty and sharp.
I barely saw something stir in the street behind the building from the corner of my eye, and turned as a hand the size of a sauté pan grabbed my wrist.
I dropped my food bag and what was left of my tea, and twisted into the body, giving him a solid elbow to the chest as he dragged me deeper into the street that was nothing more than a glorified alley.
He pulled me around. I wasn’t even surprised as I stared up into the mismatched eyes.
“Ty, chill. I just want to talk.” Caesius clamped down on my wrist harder and fire burned through my body.
Not the hot kind; no, this fire was made of blue flames.
He was in my territory, he took my brother, and he had the audacity to say he just wanted to talk?
Caesius barely whirled around me in time to avoid a four inch spike through the bladder.
I know, a front kick in stilettos, what was I thinking?
This is why you can’t be angry in a fight. Even cold flame clouds your mind.
I’d pay for my knee-jerk reaction.
My left ankle twisted as my other foot came down and the only things keeping me from falling were Caesius’s arms as he pulled mine behind my back like a straightjacket. He hooked my legs from behind, tipping me into the building. The stucco scratched my cheek as I thrashed against Caesius’s grip. His leg held mine so I couldn’t move anything below the waist, keeping my hips tucked up into his.
I growled low in my throat, stomach tightening as the animal inside recognized I’d been bested by a male.
There was only one thing left to be done once a male proved he was strong enough by beating me.
Of course, that was just the estrus talking.
“That didn’t sound angry, Ty,” Caesius whispered, his hot arrogance pouring over the back of my exposed neck like cum.
I gritted my teeth down into a painful smile. He had me pinned in human form. There were no rules saying I had to stay that way.
And I wouldn’t have followed them if there were.
Most books and movies with shifters in them make the change sound violent and messy, and like it’s instantaneous, like you can’t stop in-between. Not so for us. Some are faster and better at it than others, but we can all change parts at a time.
And luckily, I’m part of the some.
I dipped into the golden pool inside my head and pulled at whatever power makes us turgsta. It was warm and sticky, tasting of sweet caramel in my mind. I pushed the power down my arm and it flushed, crawling with unseen ants, but in a good way.
My skin ran under his hand as my muscles twisted and bulged, forcing his grip loose. Thick golden hair sprang up as my hand grew into a paw and sharp claws sprang out.
The entire process took all of three seconds.
I turned my arm out of his hand and thrust it blindly behind me.
“Whoa!” Caesius jumped back, letting me go.
I whirled, paw up, shoulder already shaking with the strain of lifting something so heavy. Yes, I can change specific parts and some twist of magic keeps everything working and blood flowing okay, but that doesn’t mean my body likes it.
I grabbed my nine-mil from my purse with my human hand and sucked the power back from my right arm like a mouthful of spaghetti noodles, making my arm tingle as it turned back.
I took a two handed stance and leveled the gun at him, smiling as I tilted my head.
“Caesius, fancy running into you here. How long has it been?”
He smiled, raising his hands and taking a step back, putting him closer to the mouth of the alley. We were struggling not seven feet from the main sidewalk but no one was walking around this time on a weekday.
“Six.” He scrunched his face up in faux-thought. “No, nearly seven years. Far too long, Ty. You look phenomenal. I love the heels, but everything else is working too. The shirt, the hair, the makeup, especially for those eyes of yours. They’re such a contrast.”
“Nothing like yours. I always wanted to know what you did about yours out in public, just never got around to asking, then there was that whole you trying to kill me thing.” I shrugged again, bobbling my head like it was too light to stay on. “It just got lost up here. So what do you do? You’re not exactly inconspicuous.”
He flashed his million watt smile. “I tell people they’re colored contacts and I dye my hair. The women love it.”
My smile widened. “That’s because they think you’re gay and they just found a new shopping buddy.”
Anger painted his eyes. In modern day America it’s perfectly okay to be homosexual, according to me there’s nothing wrong with it; people have the right to fuck anything as long as it’s willing, but in the turgsta-wolves subculture, there’s no greater insult.
I may as well have said he was as pale as a woman.
“Come on, Caesius,” I purred, smile stretching the limits of my face. “Rise to the bait; give me an excuse to finally shoot you.”