October-spooky howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Yes, Kitty is on a rare rampage. Normally a well-mannered librarian and Dante’s loving mate, Kitty has come a long way, baby… that is, since the time she was considered roadkill by Damien, the werewolf leader who is Dante’s sire, the werewolf who originally took over the town of Talbot’s Peak. Now look at her…
Kitty sighed with deep frustration, which turned into an exasperated huff. Her inner cat tail slashed back and forth as she stared at the fat brown envelope on her office desk. Dante, her mate and the alpha werewolf owner of the Pleasure Club, had stuffed it with money, and with the town’s currency, Talbies.
Hoping to soothe herself, Kitty took a sip of her brewing tea, a lavender blend she found particularly lovely to inhale, as well as to drink. After wriggling into a more comfortable position, she cradled her pleasantly warm mug.
Intentionally, Kitty blanked her mind. For now…phssssst. Bast, before she had a hissing fit, and morphed into her feline form.
She’d so wanted to spend the day training her new assistant, Kailla, on the library’s computer system. She’d painstakingly prepared, and now… well, large dollar figures did strange and wicked things to people, including shifters. Evidently.
Kitty indulged in a long sip of her tea while wondering when folks were going to care more about loving each other, and creating a good life together… that is, more than the enticement of getting the big bucks, especially from a source that could not be trusted.
She shook her blonde curls while images of the big buck shifters in Talbot’s Peak came to mind. Kitty smiled. Like any feline predator worth her catch, she loved fastening her gaze on the powerful bucks as they trotted, as they galloped through the forested areas, and over the meadows.
But those were definitely not the big bucks Mayor Gil, Vernon, and Louie were gluing their gazes on, or had glued their eyeballs on. Kitty well understood their desire to fund a Talbot’s Peak Fall Festival. It was good for business. Plus, family fun for one and all.
Kitty intended to enjoy the events, the sales, the food as advertized by flyers, and in the G&B Gazette. She planned on using her shifter claws to carve a pumpkin for the contest, simply to see if she could do it.
She let another sigh escape. Placing her mug on the electric warmer, she huntress-eyed the plump brown envelope. Once Mayor Gil was in his office…
Last night she and Dante had cuddled together, as they often did, while discussing how best to handle the latest emergency situation in town politics. Like they needed state government involved, infiltrating Talbot’s Peak again. Kitty rolled her eyes. Her inner claws flexed.
Yet, even with this aggravation, she’d arrived early, determined to personally focus on initiating Kailla in the library’s inner workings and protocols. Just as vital, she wanted to learn more about the human woman. Yowls, as cat-jumping quick as possible.
Given Kailla remained blissfully ignorant about shifters and the town’s supernatural population, Kitty intended to earn her trust. For several good reasons. Not the least of which was Thundercloud, the god-wolf shifter who had decided Kailla belonged to him as his mate.
The hot-trend scuttlebutt at Java Joe’s yesterday afternoon had been all about Thundercloud’s courtship-pursuit of the innocent human. Since Kailla hadn’t picked up and left town, the tires squealing, Kitty figured she remained unaware of his shifter side.
Thinking of… Kitty intuitively knew moments before there was a rap on her office door. “Come in,” she called out pleasantly.
Kailla entered and closed the door, her demeanor confident yet respectful. “Finally, we meet in person.” Smiling, she approached, then politely extended her hand.
Kitty stood, and shook the lovely woman’s hand, far more lovely in person than on Skype. No wonder Thundercloud was besotted, mating-bewitched, as Dante would say.
“You’ll forgive me, Kailla.” Kitty plucked up the brown envelope. “I’d planned to devote today to working with you. But I have an unexpected errand to run. Why don’t you walk around, familiarize yourself with our library. It shouldn’t take me long.” Kitty smiled, and gazed deep into the woman’s soul.
What she found impressed her, pleased her.
“Of course, I’d love to just wander about and familiarize myself.”
“Good.” Kitty moved toward the door. “Make a stop in our break area, Kailla. You’ll find all sorts of goodies. Organic and non-GMO, I promise.” That had been one selling point in hiring Kailla, and Kitty had exploited it for all it was worth. The woman’s educational background was extraordinary. Plus, she’d come highly recommended from her former employer.
“Be right back,” Kitty added, then headed for the door. Meow, burnt fishsticks and ‘plans were for fools’! She grabbed her jacket, and shrugged into it, forcing the envelope through the sleeve.
With each step toward the mayor’s mansion, her dander rose along with her inner-cat hackles. Okay meow, maybe she should be more forgiving. But gosh, gee willickers and twitching whiskers, did big sums of money mean that much? Certainly, if starvation and poverty reigned, of course. But Talbot’s Peak, even in these economically challenging times, still thrived. And assistance remained available to all.
Kitty practically burst through the mansion’s front doors. “The Mayor is expecting me,” she tossed at his assistant. “And if he’s not, he should be. Rwwwrrr,” she threw at the woman’s stunned expression.
She didn’t slow her footsteps one iota, and not bothering with any kind of knock, she thrust the door open. “Oh good. You’re all here,” she addressed Vernon and Louie. “That saves me a lot of trouble.”
“Kitty,” Gil began, rising from behind his desk. Confusion clouded his eyes. “What can…”
“Oh, snap it shut, squirrel boy.” Kitty slammed the envelope on his desk. “Why didn’t you contact Delvezio if you needed extra funds for the Fall Fair? To make improvements? Didn’t you agree to that during the last state-agent fiasco we had?”
“What? Cat got your tongue,” Kitty chided in the following silence.
“Hey there,” Louie began, “we don’t need no babysittin’ here.”
“Well, I beg to disagree, rat belly boy.” Kitty snarled, whirling toward him. “You’re not the one protecting the Peak from infiltrators, from black ops attacks day and night… are you?!” Kitty jabbed her finger into his prominent belly. “You wanna get your meat cleaver and meet me at high noon. We’ll see who draws blood first.”
“Kitty, calm down. It was a mistake, an honest mistake,” Vernon intervened. “We didn’t want to burden Dante. That’s all.”
“Well, thanks so much for the concern, wolf for dummies,” Kitty sarcastically responded, her tone sharp as her claws. “Your actions in accepting that state money caused Dante’s cyber team to work like fiends cleaning up ‘your’ mess… erasing it out of the worldwide computer system. And I might add there were far more pressing ‘concerns’ happening. Like protecting the Pleasure Club from a super hack-attack that would have compromised every shifter and supernatural being here. Put that in your non-existent pipes and smoke it!”
“We had no idea.” Gil cautiously spoke, his wary gaze sweeping over her.
Kitty inhaled a huge breath, mentally calling back the fevered words that wanted to explode from her. Instead she slapped her hand on the brown envelope. “If this isn’t enough to fund the Fall Fair, to make your improvements, let me or Delvezio know. And if you have a complaint about Delvezio, if he isn’t helping you, let me know.”
“No complaints.” Gil nervously swallowed.
“Delvezio, no, no complaints about his working with us.”
Vernon’s ‘calm the waters’ tone did nothing for Kitty’s temper. She jerked another breath in and out.
“This isn’t a game, boys. The welfare of everyone in Talbot’s Peak territory is at stake. Dante, I, and many others, want to keep this a haven for our kind… and for the humans we love.” She paused, searching their faces. “Got it?!”
Not waiting for an answer, Kitty spun around marching for the door. Normally, she didn’t throw her weight around, or get her fur-ruff in this big of a huff. But when it came to saving everyone and everything she and Dante loved, that was whole other kettle of flying damn fish. And she wasn’t backing down. Not ever.
Especially not before a rat, no matter how many meat cleavers he had.
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance