Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Little Something Different

Another Wednesday and another blog post I forgot to write. So, here's the first part of a very short story from my WIP files. It's a bit different from what I usually post, but I hope you like it.

~ Rebecca


Davis Patrick McGillicuddy III had been doomed to become cop by virtue of being a McGillicuddy. His whole family had been Boston cops for the last six generations, ever since the first McGillicuddy got off the boat in Boston Harbor back in the 1800s. His name alone might have been enough to brand him a Boy in Blue back then when the Irish mob was running the streets. If you were Irish, you were either going to end up living a life of crime or fighting it. By the time that stereotype died out, enough McGillicuddys had been cops to make it a firm family tradition.

Being born a female in that family didn’t spare one being a cop, either. Not since 1921, when his great-grandfather's older sister Irene took the civil service test and joined the department. Great Aunt Irene had walked her beat in plain clothes because the first woman cops weren’t allowed to dress in the typical uniform of a beat cop. Her primary duty had been keeping the streets safe for young girls to walk to school or work or to go to the movies without fear of being molested. Ally knew all of this thanks to her best friend Casey McGillicuddy.

Ally knew a good deal more about Casey’s family than was probably necessary but the only way she could pump her friend for information about her cousin Davis without letting Casey know she was being pumped for information was to get Casey talking about her whole family. It wasn’t hard or even boring. Ally was an only child and both of her parents were only children. Ally simply told Casey that she loved the insight into what life in a big family was like and Casey ran with it.

Ironically, that was how she first met Davis. And it was “Davis”, not Dave or Davey. There were two other Daves in the family, so Davis, as the third in line, didn’t get his name shortened. He’d have probably been called by his middle name except there were far more than three Patricks. Anyway, that was how she met him. Sort of.

Casey had invited Ally to a McGillicuddy family barbeque the summer both of them were thirteen. Ally, who’d been left home with the housekeeper yet again while her wealthy lawyer parents hobnobbed in Martha’s Vineyard, had jumped at the invitation. She had never been to a family gathering of any sort before and it sounded like a lot of fun. In the back of her mind, Ally was hoping that with so many other kids around, maybe the McGillicuddys wouldn’t realize there was an extra and just treat her as family rather than as a guest.

Unfortunately, that hope hadn’t stayed in the back of her mind. The moment Mary McGillicuddy, Casey’s grandmother and the current matriarch of the family, laid eyes on Ally, that wish came tumbling right out of her mouth. Or not so unfortunately. She’d gotten her wish. Mary McGillicuddy had practically adopted her as an extra grandchild that day. The unfortunate part was that her tongue got the better of her one more time that day.

Casey had introduced the future love of Ally’s life as “my annoying cousin, Davis.” Ally looked at the cousin in question and her mind just kind of shut off. He tongue had not. Without thinking, Ally gave a dopy smile and parroted back, “not Davie or Dave but Davis the third.”

She had tried to call the words back. She then tried to melt into a puddle or something. She was blushing hard enough that she could have passed for a melted cherry popsicle, surely. Everyone laughed, of course, even Davis. But he also gave her a funny look, almost as if saying, what kind of weird stalker girl did Casey bring home?

That was truly unfortunate because try as hard as she could, Ally could not stop staring at him. He was, quite simply, perfect. He had been eighteen to her thirteen—five years is the perfect age gap, right? He was tall and muscular. He had medium brown hair and blue eyes, a perfectly even smile, perfectly white, straight teeth, dimples in his cheeks but not in his chin. He was a teenage girl’s dream come true. And he had thought she was a dweeb, probably because she had been acting like one.

Over the years, Grandma Mary, as she’d taken to calling Casey’s grandmother, had invited Ally to a lot of family get-togethers. Before long, most of the McGillicuddy clan forgot that she wasn’t actually one of them. Ally herself forgot most of the time, too. But not when Davis was there. That initial foot-in-her-mouth crush never waned, though she did manage to teach herself not to act like a dweeb in front of him.

And then there was their high school graduation party, the one that was thrown for them by “the cousins”, not by the older members of the family. The McGillicuddy clan was huge and by some trick of fate, there were five of them, including Ally, graduating that year. The one condition her parents had insisted on for Ally to go to this “cousins only” party was a chaperon, which was total bunk since they weren’t even in town for her high school graduation, but whatever. Grandma Mary had thought it was a good idea to have someone over the age of twenty-one present, too, so no one got mad. The cousins elected Davis, who was by this time was a twenty-three year old cop with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a year of experience on the force. Most importantly, he was a cousin.

But not to Ally. Oh, no, she never mistook him for a relative in any way. This was high school graduation, her time to shine, to become a woman instead of a dopy kid. It was her time and the party was going to be the place, she had decided. It was time for Davis to learn that he was perfect for her and she was perfect for him.

It worked out about as well as she might have guessed, if she’d have taken the time to think about it before hand. She made an ass out of herself. While everyone else had smuggled wine coolers to the party, she had had to make due with vodka. (Her parents hadn’t had anything else remotely wine-like in their liquor cabinet.) While everyone else got a little toasty on watered down wine, she had gotten alcohol poisoning. Davis had not been impressed, since instead of kicking back with his cousins, he’d had to take the drunk dweeb girl to the ER to have her stomach pumped.

No, he had not wanted to kiss her. Not that night or any other since. That afternoon had been their ten year high school reunion. Tonight, all the McGillicuddys were going to throw a ten year anniversary party, which Ally had tried to back out of. Casey wasn’t having any of that, though. She’d informed Ally that, as an honorary McGillicuddy, anniversaries were mandatory.

Ally was not looking forward to tonight. Davis still looked at her weird. Really, it had been ten years. When was he going to get over it? At this point, she’d settle for him just not watching her like she was about to sprout a second head!

* * * * * * * * * *

Davis was so nervous about tonight, he didn’t know what to wear. How stupid can a guy get? Going over to Grandma’s for a barbeque rated jeans and a t-shirt at best, but here he was, standing in front of a mirror, debating if he should change into his new White Sox jersey or just keep the vintage AC/DC shirt on. All because Ally was going to be there.

He had always had this reaction to her. She was smart and sophisticated and way out of his league, even if she did enjoy hanging around with his family. Ok, she more than enjoyed it. As far as his relatives were concerned, Ally was one of them. Her highbrow pedigree and polished manner fit in surprisingly well with their blue collar way of life. But every time he was near her, she clammed right up.

The first time he’d met her, she’d kind of smiled and blushed a bit, but she’d only been a kid then. He told himself that cradle robbing his obnoxious cousin’s best friend was not cool. Over the next five years, he’d watched the sweet, quiet girl grow into a very attractive young woman, but it had never crossed his mind that she was interested in him. Why would she be? She came from serious money and he was a cop brat who was just going to end up on the force, like all the rest of his family. And then, she’d tried to kiss him during the cousins-only graduation party.

He almost let her, too. God, how he’d wanted that kiss, but she’d been stinking drunk. No way was she in any condition to be kissing random guys! So he’d taken her to the hospital instead so that she didn’t get any more sick from swilling hard liquor and spent the last ten years kicking himself in the ass because now, she barely even looked at him. He should have let her kiss him, even if she’d been too drunk to know what she was doing. Instead, the ghost of that missed kiss had haunted him like the Ghost of freaking Christmas Past. “Look, Davis! You could have had a taste of this if you hadn’t been such a stickler for propriety!”

Ten years of wondering what she’d taste like. Would she kiss as sweet as she looked or did she have an inner wild child that would only come out and play for him? Probably not, he mused. She was still the quiet, dignified debutant she’d always been. Her strait black hair was cut in a pageboy bob that framed her classic heart-shaped face perfectly. Her slightly olive toned complexion showed that she never went out in the sun without adequate protection from the sun—quite a feat since he knew for a fact that Casey still dragged Ally to several ball games every year. He clothes were the best labels and always neatly pressed, even her jeans. She was everything a guy could ask for as so far out of his league that he didn’t have a prayer of catching her.

Yet, he was still trying to. Maybe if he’d let her kiss him that night, he could have called her his before she went off to college and discovered boys. That had been his only real chance, that she’d gone to an all-girl junior high and high school, but he’d blown it because he hadn’t realized what he was missing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Drev aimed his hunting rifle...

Frigid-brrrrr howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

Yes, last night broke the cold-temp record for this area. Oh joy... snarl and snark.

So, a couple of announcements. Once I get some time, I'll put the finishing touches on our ShapeShifter Seductions free read, LOVE TO THE RESCUE, and upload it  to Smashwords, etc. Serena Shay has designed a lovely and character-perfect cover.

Also, the final edit for RIDE THE ROAN STUD, written by my alter ego, Stevie Klark, has been turned in. If you want to check out the fab-beautiful cover art click on last week's post.

Alright then, this week I'm offering what could be the first chapter of a Talbot's Peak erotic romance short story... that is, if my wonderful and wacky muse cooperates... and if life cooperates??? Yeah, who knows?


Chapter One ~ Drev Zander

Drev aimed his hunting rifle at the ten foot tall, densely woven bush where he heard the telltale gobbles. He followed the emerging flurry of wings as the wild turkey began to take off in flight. About to the pull the trigger, his jaw dropped instead.

The rifle fell from his line of sight.

"What the 'f'?" left his mouth as puffs of steam. A giant burst of light, then a white-winged, pale purple horse galloped in front of the only turkey he'd been able to track for days.

With a twinkling flash, the ethereal beautiful creature vanished from view. But not before Drev caught the scent of lilac and musky equine, an intriguing mix he found appealing.

What the freakin' hell had he just seen? And, was she real? As in flesh and blood? And not some ephemeral vision, or some strange, inter-dimensional intrusion into his reality.

Damn, he wasn't a drinkin' man, except for a couple of brewskies during the weekly poker game at Louie's bar and grill. And the malty Scottish ale he indulged in on Saturday night's at Duff Mc'Duff's old-fashioned tavern. Nor was Drev into the dug scene. No way, no how.

Okay, he reasoned, it was Talbot's Peak, home of the shapeshifter crowd, and other assorted supernatural beings. He knew about the witches, the vampire dance partners at the supperclub. There was at least one goddess, and an Egyptian demigod.

But a purple tinted Pegasus who could obviously appear and disappear?

Rumors about a nude purple fairy, Drev considered to be town lore. Was he wrong? 

Damn stunned to his core, Drev instinctively clutched his gun tight as he'd trained himself to do in any circumstance. Instinctively, he faded into the mid-afternoon shadows of the forest, a life-saving ability he'd fine-tuned during his short time as a special ops soldier.

Yeah, he'd been kicked out dishonorably. Not following orders did that to a man.

As it turned out, no sweat off his brow. He had no stomach for killing the innocent, or collateral damage as they euphemistically called it.

Yeah, he slept well at night.

Still as stone, on watch for any high strangeness, Drev began buzzing with his hunter's honed intuition. Or the sight as his granny called it.

Given his flash-brief sighting, Drev figured a conversation with dear gran on the other side was long overdue. Not that she'd ever mentioned a winged horse.

Sure as the laughing devil himself, she'd delighted in telling him *scare the hide off you* stories about the Kelpie, a horse shifter, and about the Each Uisge, a Highland supernatural water horse.

Waiting for the buzz to quit, Drev replayed the paranormal event in his mind. So, there had been the sound of hooves softly crunching the blanket of frost-saturated leaves.

With his shock subsiding, and his curiosity on fire, Drev silently moved toward the bush, his keen eye searching for hoof prints. He'd been trained to track by his friend and mentor, Dane, a mountain man and a puma shapeshifter.

Currently, he and Dead Aim Dane, as he was affectionately known, worked together keeping the Peak's animal life in balance, and also supplying meat to Dante. The alpha werewolf owned the subterranean complex known as the Interspecies Pleasure Club, and his customers were ravenous for wild game.

Hunkering down, studying the first hoof impression, Drev felt the fast throb of his blood. Excitement built inside him, even as the land's subtle energies flowed through him telling him more about her.

Yes, the supposedly mythical horse had to be a she, given her dainty structure, the refined shape of her head. As his sighting of her flared before his mind's eye, Drev realized the gorgeous creature's image had been burned into his brain, never to lessen or be forgotten.

Without thought, Drev slowly followed the minimal outline of her hooves. The length of her stride was longer than he'd anticipated, as if she floated.

Scat! As Dane would say. Drev stood on the edge of the mile's high, rock cliff, staring into the blue, autumn-golden Montana sky. Unless his girl Pegasus could transform into a small puffy cloud... well hell, she was nowhere to be seen.

Only her deep hoof prints remained, evidence of her existence, and that she'd launched into the great blue yonder.  Winging where? Or had she merged with the very air?

Drev sighed and growled at the same time. He'd struck out twice today. The young tom had been destined for his brother's Thanksgiving table. Chased out of his flock,  now he'd be prime eatin' for a predator.

Dammit. Drev stomped a boot on the rocky surface, frustration owning him for moments. With four kids and work sporadic these days, his brother and his wife hadn't been able to budget in the traditional feast.

While he could afford to help out, despite his live-off-the-land lifestyle, there wasn't an organic turkey to be had in town. Not that he could find. Yeah, understandable as hell, no store in Talbot's Peak dared offer predator shapeshifters anything but high quality meat and poultry.

Drev slung his rifle over his shoulder, then scanned the primal majesty of the scenery that suited him just damn fine. With a keen ear he listened for any sign of danger. He also listened to the musical symphony of the forest, of the pine-tree valley below.

He'd come to understand this enormous uncivilized land reflected his character, what he was on the inside. Drev drew in large breaths of the crisp cold air, calming and energizing himself for his return trip. 

Not a week ago he'd trekked into Talbot's Peak from his mountainside cabin. Since his brother lived about forty minutes away, he'd arranged for boxes of groceries to be delivered.

These days Drev's only transportation was a snowmobile. And he liked it that way.  Except in a helluva situation like this. Yep, three strikes, he was out. And out of luck. As far as a holiday turkey dinner.

All because of a gossamer-like, winged horse most would consider to be mere hallucination... or a figment of their imagination. Not fevered obviously, but induced by freezing your effing ass off out in the middle of the forest.

In Drev's case, his unusually rapid metabolism kicked in, and he stayed warm enough no matter the frigid temps. Oh yeah, he'd learned why -- the hard, being-experimented-on way. During his short stint, the military's genetic scientists -- funded by trillions of missing tax dollars -- traced it to his Celtic ancestors. Or the ancient lineage responsible for the legendary berserker warriors.

Double piles of scat! Only the denizens in hell knew the monster soulless warriors his blood and tissue samples were likely helping to build, had already genetically built. Once, as Drev was being dragged back to the recovery room by two musclebound soldiers, who believed he was still conked out, he'd glimpsed row after row of nude men on hospital beds.

The usually closed and barred door had been left open.

Using his peripheral vision, Drev mentally recorded the perfect soldier types, perfect because of their super-sized, GI Joe physiques. But shit on a stick, they'd looked like frozen corpses waiting to be animated.

Yeah, brought to life like sc-fi Frankensteins, they would obey orders without question, without sentient thought.

Drev shook his head vigorously, clearing away the nightmare-creepy remembrance.

The moment he stilled, he felt feathers caress his face. The tips of her wing feathers so impossibly delicate as the sensation of being stroked continued for several moments.

I am sorry, hunter, he heard inside his mind. I couldn't help myself. Soft whirls of air brushed against Drev's face. Then. I didn't know you were feeding your family.

For just a split second, Drev had to ask himself if he was take-me-away delusional. Yet, deep down, he knew better. Often, he and Dane communicated telepathically when they hunted together.

Besides, the fragile feminine voice not only teased his soul with a had-to-solve mystery, but triggered every male atom of him. His cock swelled, quickly becoming ramrod hard.


Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, November 17, 2014

Give a Hoot

When it came to all things mechanical, no one in Talbot’s Peak could surpass Lutz and Bortz. The two German-born wolves could build or fix anything that involved pistons and gears. Once, on a bet, they constructed a tractor from scratch. The horse-shifter who’d been pulling his own plow happily paid up.

Right now, Mayor Gil was wondering how much it would cost to get the two to leave town. After they unfixed the town clock, of course.

According to Vernon McMahon, who’d been around long enough to know, the bell in the City Hall clock tower had been silent for decades. (“L’il Larry hasn’t struck the hour since Reagan was in office,” Vernon said.) With a new wife and possibly multiple children on the way, Gil wasn’t thinking straight. He decided Talbot’s Peak could do with a working clock, and “Nutz and Boltz” were just the pair to get the bell ringing again.

He forgot they considered themselves artists, and artists tend to get … artistic.

The first time Li’l Larry announced the time was two in the afternoon. Gil sat at his desk, thunderstruck. He waited until three to make sure he’d heard correctly. Five minutes after that, he summoned Lutz and Bortz.

The two arrived just in time for the four o’clock “chiming.” “Ah,” they said, nodding in chorus. “Ist goot, ja?”

“No, it’s not goot—I mean good. I asked for a bell. Something that goes ding-dong. Not whoo-hoot.”

“Bells. Ding-dong.” Bortz dismissed such conventionalities with a snort. “So 20th century. This has character. What is the English word? Unique?”

“Unique, ja,” Lutz agreed. “The clock now reflects the town. What shifter goes ‘ding-dong’? But whoo-hoot, everybody knows what that is.”

“Everybody expects a clock to sound like a clock. Not an owl. What did you do, rig speakers?”

They nodded happily. “We can change it,” Bortz said. “Wolf, horse, sheep, cow, anything you want. Just record sound.”

“You want to announce the time?” Lutz thrust a palm-sized microphone into Gil’s face. “Speak into here.”

Gil batted the mike away. “No, thanks. I want—”

“We fix the emergency siren, too,” Lutz informed him. “Ist wolf howl now. Get everybody’s attention.”

Ja, ja.” Bortz nodded soberly. “Back home in Buchendorf, sirens go off, everybody panics and dives under bed. Nothing gets done. But wolf howl! They listen to that. Better response.”

“Okay,” Gil cautiously agreed, “that was probably a good idea. I’ll announce the change at the next town meeting. We’ll still have to vote on it. Now, about the clock—”

“You’re right.” Bortz stared thoughtfully up at the clock tower. “We could do more. Do better. Give Talbot’s Peak something no one else has. Clock with personality. Bring the tourists in.” He and Lutz stared at each other, and cried out in unison, “Cuckoo clock!”

“No!” Gil screamed. “Look, it’s—fine. The clock is fine. We’ll let it run for a couple of days and see what the people think. If they like the owl, then owl it is. If they don’t, we go back to a traditional ringing bell. Agreed?”

“Tradition,” Lutz scoffed. “Where's the fun in tradition? Change ist fun. Change ist goot.”

“This is art.” Bortz waved his arm expansively at the clock. “Art is goot for the soul.”

“It’s not up to me.” Gil frantically ran with this loophole. “It’s up to the people. If they decide they want a regular bell, well, then it’s out of my hands. You can understand that, can’t you?”

The two considered this. “Must it be a bell?” Bortz asked.

Hating himself for having to ask, Gil said cautiously, “As opposed to … ?”

“Something else musical. Like flugelhorn. Or glockenspiel.”

“Or cow bell,” Lutz suggested. “Would cows find that offensive?”

The longer we talk, Gil realized, the worse this gets. He decided to put an end to it. “Tell you what. We’ll put it to a vote at the next town meeting. You can present your ideas then. Remember, this is a sound people in town will have to listen to at three in the morning. Try to keep that in mind.”

The wolves exchange a glance. “We don’t live in town,” Bortz said.

Somehow, Gil had figured that. Belatedly, it occurred to him he should have asked Vern why the bell had stopped chiming to begin with. A picture of furious deaf bats with sledgehammers rose in his mind. He squashed it. “Vote. Town meeting. Two weeks from Thursday. We usually start at 7:30, but if you show up early there might still be refreshments. Put a presentation together and we’ll see how it goes. Okay?”

The pair nodded enthusiastically. Too much so, Gil thought. He imagined he could smell the wheels turning in their brains. They bid him a cheery guten tag and loped away.

Oh, God. Two weeks. Two whole weeks to brainstorm, to let their artistic impulses run rampant. Images of gigantic cuckoo clocks wormed their way into his thoughts, fluting their annoying calls at all hours of the day and night. What the hell was I thinking?

On the other hand, they wanted something that would say “Talbot’s Peak.” When viewed in that light, a cuckoo clock seemed like the perfect choice.

Maybe he could appoint Rachel deputy mayor, then call in sick on meeting night and make her deal with this. Yeah. Sounded like a plan. Gil went back inside City Hall, to wait for the five whoo-hoots that would signal the end of his work day.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY: Her Midnight Stardust Cowboys ~ Chapter Thirty-six

Her Midnight Stardust Cowboys 

Note: This week it's all about Sherilyn and her sexual experience.

The first six X-paragraphs from ~

Chapter Thirty-six:
Sherilyn ignited inside...


Sherilyn ignited inside, as if firecrackers shot through her. No wonder, with her two men watching her, wanting her.

Really wanting her.

Her men. Hers.

The reality that she belonged to both of them slammed into her awareness, yet quickly became lost. Zance molded the swells of her hips and ass with his make-her-putty hands.

"Down in front, sweet kitten," he ordered.

As Sherilyn obeyed, his cock's head jabbed against the rim of her pussy, then pushed strongly. "Oooh, that feels too good."


For more Sunday Sneak Peaks


Blurb & Excerpts for HER MIDNIGHT STARDUST COWBOYS are on the page above.

Wishing you shapeshifting cowboy love on the wild side...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Another Side of A Phoenix Named Tyburn

Rachel cracked open the window across the room from her bed.  Tyburn slept with two blankets on him.  He insisted on taking the side of the bed closest to the door.  Something about protecting her. More like his male ego demanded he look macho now and then.  Rachel smiled at her inane thought.  Tyburn’s mellow side came through more than once as they performed with the orchestra. During composing sessions, he even paired up with others to write scores of music that allowed a team effort to shine.  Even his twin sister, Stacia, remarked how changed her brother appeared.

Tyburn’s and Stacia’s voices carried up the stairs from the card game they played below.

“Phoenix full house.  Stars and comets plus the jacks.”  Stacia spread her cards out on the table.

“Hearts beat jacks.  Five of em.  I don’t think you’re gonna win this hand.” Tyburn sipped from the wine glass close to him.

“You think the game’s over?”  Stacia pulled their cards to her.  Mixed them in with the deck and dealt fifteen cards each.

“Got any kegs?”  She grinned as she looked over the cards in her hand.  The face up discard showed a spear with lightening splintering it.
Tyburn looked up, peered back at his hand and spoke.  “Go fish.”

“Twelve cards down and three from the bottom.”  Stacia started to reach for the deck.  Tyburn’s hand grabbed the deck.

“How do I know you aren’t gonna cheat again?”  Tyburn began counting cards, tossing them toward Stacia.

“The way you count, we might be two rebirths getting this game finished.” 

“Better that than a crooked win.”

Tyburn held up the thirteenth card and whistled.  “Now I know why you wanted this one.  Joker with hearts and spears.  The ultimate wild card.  No way sista!”

“Give me five hundred reasons why.”  Stacia’s shrill laugh raked over Rachel’s shoulders as she leaned closed to the railing upstairs.

“Tyburn, it’s late and you promised cuddles.”  Rachel smiled as she pictured him squirming as Stacia gloated at him.   A night of quiet and deep sleep mattered more than a wounded Phoenix pride.  Of course, Tyburn might up the ante and begin telling TMI stories.

“My mate wants cuddles.  Good night Stacia.”  Tyburn pushed back from the table and walked away.

He could feel his sister’s gaze riveted on him.  He didn’t care.  Life took on new meaning the moment Rachel announced her pregnancy.  The human doctor said she might be carrying twins.   Different views and expectations certainly changed how one looked at things.  What more surprises did this rebirth have for him?


Happy Weekend Gang!

Hope you enjoy this snippet into Tyburn and Rachel's life.  Stacia is hinting at her own story and love interest.  Wonder what she has in store and for whom.  

Keep warm, share a few good books with your love and spice.  I know I am!

Until next week,


Friday, November 14, 2014

Shackles & Chains

“Not until I met you…” Greely revisited Erol’s words from the previous day as she stared out the window of her opulent suite. Those five words played like an earworm on steroids through her skull. It was, by far, the most romantic thing he’d ever said to her and also the most frightening.

He’d never planned on staying in Talbot’s Peak, her home and safe haven.  He’d planned on swooping in and checking the place out, see if he could replicate the town’s success in sheltering shapeshifters and creating a sanctuary.  He’d planned on copying that style here in England.

“Okay, Gree, this has gone on long enough girl,” Karma, her best friend and staunchest supporter, huffed as she swept into the room. “You are in a mansion on the shores of the English Channel and you are burying yourself in your room like you’re in a bad prison movie.  Shake a leg and let’s check this place out.  There’s an entire wing dedicated to your Duke’s family…including paintings of their dragon forms.  How cool is that!”

“Karma, please don’t say that.”

“What? Shake a leg or Cool?”

“No, my Duke,” she whispered, wishing instead she had the nerve to scream.

“Ha!  Not saying it isn’t going to make it go away, hon.  You hooked yourself royalty.”  Karma nudged her with an elbow and winked.  “I’m so proud.”

Oh Gawd, that was the scariest thought of all! Someday, she might become a duchess. Lady of a manor with servants, ballrooms, libraries and dungeons if she remembered her history correctly…or was that from her love of historical romances? She was in her lover’s mansion, a freaking mansion, looking out over the biggest body of water she’d seen in some time and all she could think was that this was not home.

Talbot’s Peak had a wonderful underground beach and secret link to the Pacific Ocean, but this was much different.  This had majestic rocks rising up from the water and an actual sunset.  It was cool here, but not as cold as the Peak was starting to get with winter coming.  The openness of the land around her was surprising, but it lacked the same forest feel she’d grown used too.

It was beautiful here, but so very different from the home she knew.  The home she suspected she would eventually be forced to leave.

So Greely seems a bit maudlin today, but I guess the thought of leaving our fair Peak could do that to a girl.

Keep warm out there!