Monday, September 29, 2014

Justifiable Herpecide

A woman walks into a bar. She wears a heavy cloak with the hood pulled up to hide her face—not out of a need to remain anonymous, but out of shame and a growing anger. The anonymity might come in handy for later, she reflects, and leaves the hood up.

The person she seeks sits casually at the bar, nursing a margarita. The woman slides onto a stool beside her target. The target glances her way, one eyebrow raised. “It’s my husband,” the woman says. “This time he’s gone too far.”

She orders a beer. The two sip their drinks and speak in low tones. Eventually an agreement is reached, and money is exchanged.

# # #

Osborne Hancock lay in his bed and grinned, watching the woman approach him. Even in the gloom he could see she was a looker. And naked, just like he’d insisted. He hitched his flabby legs apart. That wide, full-lipped mouth was made to have a cock thrust into it. He could tell by her walk she was ready and willing. Now he was assured she’d be able.

Yeah, that walk. There was something off about that walk. She didn’t move like a wolf, or a cat, or even a human. The sway of her hips suggested a serpent gliding over desert sands. Her scent was dry as scales. Just for a second unease overrode his lust. Then she sat on the edge of the bed with her tits hanging practically in his face, and he told himself he was being a nervous old mutt.

“Howdy,” the woman drawled. “Heard you were in the market for some company.”

“Oh yeah,” Ozzy rumbled. Up close she was even more striking, and her scent even more unsettling. “You’re not a wolf, are you?” he asked.

The woman tossed her hair and grinned at him. “That a problem?”

“Not to me. I like to try new things.”

“You’ll be trying new stuff out tonight for sure, I guarantee you that. Y’know your wife’s in the other room right now?”

“Fuck her. I’d rather fuck you.”

He reached for the woman. She swayed out of reach. “Uh-uh, sugah. I set the pace here. You just sit back and enjoy.”

All right. A skank willing to do all the work. Ozzy lay back down and rolled his fat legs even wider apart.

This evening’s skank took the hint. She positioned her body between his legs and her mouth right in front of his cock. She opened her mouth. Wide.

Holy shit, Ozzy thought. It was like her jaw had come loose. Was that even possible? What kind of a shifter was she?

She showed him.

His lust-befogged brain barely had time to register the fangs before they sank into his penis. What felt like molten acid squirted into his most tender area. He was still writhing when she struck again, this time at his sack. His scream almost shattered the windows.

“You bitch!” he howled through tears of agony. “Stinking—”

A high-speed buzzing answered him. Mocked him. Ozzy squinted through the sting of his tears and focused on the huge rattlesnake coiled between his legs. He hurled a pillow at it. The rattler dodged it easily and thumped off the bed. He lost sight of it in the shadows.

The implications sank in far more slowly than the fangs had. Rattlesnake. Bitten. He’d been poisoned. If he didn’t get help pronto, he was going to die.

Ozzy rolled off the bed and lurched to the door. He yanked it open and bellowed into the corridor for help.

Only one wolf appeared in answer to his frantic howl: Claudette, his meek omega wife. She did not look so meek tonight. She eyed his nudity, the blood and venom smeared across his private parts, in implacable silence.

“Call 911,” he barked at her. “I’ve been snakebit. I’ve been poisoned. I need an ambulance.”

She didn’t move. A little bit of a smile quirked her lips. “I don’t think you’re going to find anybody willing to suck that out.”

“Did you hear me? I’m snakebit! Call a doctor!”

“Don’t work yourself up, dear. It will only spread the poison through your system that much faster.”

Ozzy gaped at her. “You bitch. You put that snake in there.”

“And you pimped out our shes to those alphas. You turned our daughters into whores, for your own selfish ends.” In the twenty-three years of their marriage she’d always had trouble looking him in the eye. She had no trouble now. Her glare burned him like the venom in his bloodstream. “Our daughters, Osbourne. I know you married little low-rank me so you’d feel safe doing whatever you wanted. And I put up with it. Not this time. Even an omega has a breaking point.”

He found it hard to get his breath. His package had started to swell. He lifted his hand to smack her, and was terrified to see that hand shaking.

Screw her. He staggered down the hall in search of help, a phone, anything.

Once he was gone the sidewinder slithered out of the bedroom and became Rosa Terranova again. She rubbed the back of her hand vigorously over her mouth. “I’m gonna be brushing my teeth for hours,” she complained. “We good?”

“And then some.” Claudette pulled a wad of bills from the pocket of her robe and counted half of them into Rosa’s palm. “Your clothes are in my chambers. Use the back exit I showed you. No one will question you. My husband often entertains late-night visitors.”

“Whoo! This is more’n we talked about.”

“I didn’t ask you to bite him there. That was a nice touch, worthy of a bonus.” Something flickered in her eyes. Likely it wasn’t concern. “Will he die?”

“Not if’n he gets treated quick. Him runnin’ around like that ain’t helping him any. If he makes it, he’ll be sick as a dog for a week at least. He ain’t gonna be happy with you.”

“A week should be time enough. But you’re right. I may need some backup during the consolidation phase. How can I reach you?”

“Check for me at Humpty’s. I’m usually at the pool tables. If I ain’t there, leave a message with Jose.” Rosa touched her hand to the brim of an imaginary Stetson. “Pleasure doing business with you, ma’am. I’m lookin’ forward to a long and profitable relationship.”

# # #

After the ambulance hauled her husband away, Claudette called the pack together. In the interim she’d taken time to dress in a dark, tailored suit that screamed power. The pack stared at her in awe. They weren’t used to sniffing confidence on Ozzy’s mousy little wife.

“My husband’s had a medical crisis,” Claudette announced. “He may or may not survive. Actually, that’s irrelevant. I’ve already reported his misdeeds to Damien Hancock. Osborne is no longer alpha of our pack. I’m running things now.” She smiled at the assembled wolves, especially the shes. The relief on their faces made her glow inside. “Things are going to be different from now on.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

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

Her Midnight Stardust Cowboys

Note: This week Sherilyn and Dontoya are acting on their desire for each other.

The first six X-paragraphs from ~
Chapter Thirty-three:
Sherilyn turned molten inside...

Sherilyn turned molten inside, and her eyelids lowered to half-mast as Dontoya pulled her closer. His clean pine scent told her he'd showered earlier. Yet, the smell of his smoky virility had her practically panting.

"Rougher, my mate. But only as your healing allows. Do you understand?"

Only able to nod, Sherilyn drank in the sight of his sculpted muscles, his broad shoulders. She wanted to smooth her hands over the rugged contours of his chest.

She wanted to feel the textures of his bronze gleaming skin, and place kisses on every inch of his torso.

God, she could hardly draw a breath.

Her pussy mound already pulsed, the first twinges unexpectedly sharp as they moved the entire length of her clit. 


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 ~

Friday, September 26, 2014

Clean it up...

 My apologies for the lateness and the roughness of the following post.  It was a spur of the moment idea from my school work soaked brain, but as rough as it is, it sure screams Nick to me.  Honestly, I fall a little more in love with this alpha every time I write him.

 ~yes, Ziva, I know he's yours.  I'll keep my hands to myself, but you can't stop my lustful thoughts.~


“Tell me you didn’t just say he was whoring out his she’s, Dante.” 

“’Fraid I can’t, man. Osbourne is up to no good and yes, it’s been confirmed.”

“Fluffing Lupa!” Nick raised a hand to his forehead and squeezed his temples. He’d hoped this day would never come, but wasn’t surprised that it had.

“S’cuse me?” 


Dante’s barked out laugh stopped Nick’s thoughts short.  This was no laughing matter, yet his friend was somehow finding humor in the subjugation of she’s.  It was so unlike the man.

“Shucks, Dante, this is not fluffing funny.  That gosh darn, flea ridden, pretend alpha is abusing his she’s and you’re laughing? Fluffing, h.e. double hockey sticks, ya pike, er, hiker, we need to stop this!”

“I-I know…”

“Then stop you’re mother-fluffing, ina-fluffing-ppropriate laughter you son-of-an-itch-bay!” Nick roared.

Dante continued with the hysterics, but he wasn’t the only one as Nick soon realized.  He left his office, phone still to his ear only to see the entire newsroom holding their stomachs and laughing like the Talbot’s Peak hyena pack after a night of drinking and revelry.   “What the heffer is going on out here!  Don’t I pay you to do work, not laugh your bums off?”  The verbal reprimand missed the mark as his crew just laughed harder, and Dante gasped for breath on the other end of the call.

Penelope grabbed his arm and pushed him back into his office.  He could tell she, at least, fought a losing battle with trying to swallow her mirth. “Stop, swearing!  Just stop, Bossman.”  She shut the door and laughed so loudly he could hear her through the wood.

“Yeah, please do what Mistress P suggests.”

What was the deal with his swearing? 

“And thank you, my friend, I needed that.  With everything going on around this town, it’s nice to have a moment of lightness.”

“You’re welcome,” Nick muttered, not really understand what was so funny. “I guess.  Though I don’t know what was so funny.”

“Really, you couldn’t hear it?  You just fill the wavelengths with the pinkest, non-swearing swear words known to man, or little girl rather.  Fluffing, gosh darn, son-of-a…”

“All right, I get it. You can stop.”  Nick dropped back into his chair and looked at the calendar.

“Ziva’s trying to break me of my swearing habit before the pup comes.  I promised I’d try.”

“Call it a success then.”


Dante barked then coughed quickly to cover up his laugh. “Don’t get me started again.  Tell me more about this Osbourne.”

“You don’t remember him?” Nick asked, surprised his friend would be drawing a blank on this particular subject.

“Should I?”

“Wow, I figured you would.  Anyway, Ozzy went to school with us.  He was the dorky wolf who was only alpha by the slimmest shred of luck.  He spent all of his time regaling the betas around him with stories of how your old man loved him more than he did you and that he was going to lead your pack one day and then your bum was going to be grass.  Ring any bells?”

“Fluffing, son-of-an-itchbay…”

Nick grimaced. “Oh, shit – shoot – scat, that does sound horrible. I need a new clean up my mouth plan.”

“Yeah, you do, my friend.  You can do it for that sweet mate of yours and your pup.”


 “But damn, Ozzy is that punk?  I only vaguely remember him.  The shit he spewed was ridiculous and I would have been head over heels if Damien had shown this dickhead his brand of love.”

“Fracking right.” Nick laughed alongside Dante at that thought, though it was a humorless kind of laugh.  He remembered all too well the hell that was his friend’s upbringing.  He once again thanked Lupa Dante was so strong.

“That one is better than fluffing.  You know, if I remember correctly, Ozzy ran away and hid anytime I came near.

“He did, then he would beat up one of the betas in his group for not being a better alpha and protecting their alpha’s back.  He screwed up many a wolf that way.”

“Did Mooney ever spend time with him?”

“Never.  I would have garnered Vernon’s wrath if I’d let anything happen to the Moonster, but also, I kill any alpha runt who messed with my brother.”

“I’m glad you and Mooney have come as far as you have.  You’re better together than apart.”

Dante’s word made Nick smile.  “Me too, man.  I’m hoping to get there with Reetha someday, as well.”

“You will.  Just give her time.  Now, is there a story here we can use to take this runt out?”

Nick looked at the notes he’d already been unconsciously taking while taking to his fellow alpha.
“Sure there’s a story here, but I think that’s a bad way to go.  One, because, getting the word out would be tricking…we want the wolves to know what’s going on and the human’s left in the dark.
And two, what this runt needs is totally un-PC and could get us in hot water with some of the other groups here in the Peak.”

“What do you suggest?”

“We grab him during the pack nap and drop him into a group of our alpha she’s.  They will serve up justice, nice and quick-like.  Hell, knowing some of our she’s, he’s going to become someone’s bitch and served up on a whore’s platter.”

Dante’s laugh was infectious.  “Karma’s a bitch!”

“Actually, she pretty darn nice, but I think she has her hands full with helping Erol…and is somewhere over the Atlantic right about now, but I get your meaning.”

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dante liked to bite 'trouble' in the ass...

Autumn howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

It's all about LOVE right now, as the sun enters Libra, and the New Moon rises in Libra, the astrological sign ruled by Venus.

And, yes, we ShapeShifter Seduction Authors are joining in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2014 ~ October 27th-31st. So get ready for a fun Howl-o-ween romp and ride with lots of prizes.

Also, we might just have a 'surprise' for shapeshifter readers on the near horizon. Stay tuned.


Dante liked to bite 'trouble' in the ass...

Dante, alpha werewolf, strode along one of the longer corridors of his massive subterranean complex. Over the years the Interspecies Pleasure Club, as he'd originally named it, had grown beyond his wildest, most fantastical dreams. But that was all to the good, despite the constant demands on his time, his life.

On the way to a meeting with his staff about the UnMasked Beast Ball, one of the club's Halloween events, he waved Deuce over. The young, biker wolf shifter was one of his trusted operatives in the field.

His strong scent, along with Deuce's furrowed brow and dour expression, told Dante his 007 wolf man had stepped into a pile of scat that could erupt into major trouble. Dante liked to bite 'trouble' in the ass before it had a chance to run amok.

Dante mentally growled as images of the recent hellephant hellacious battle flooded his mind. Scat city! He could still smell the mountainous piles of the mutant mammoth werewolf's crap.

"What are you sniffin' in the wind?" he asked, the instant Deuce strode beside him.

"You know an alpha wolf named Osbourne, Ozzy for short?"

"Only by bad reputation," Dante answered, not missing a stride. "My bouncers had to toss him out on his depraved ass several times. Finally had to ban the perv-idjit from the above-ground bar."

"Sayin' something when you have to ban a wolf from a bad-ass biker bar." Deuce barked an unamused laugh.

"He was whoring out the pack's she-wolves. Consensual pleasure is one thing. Forcin' his she-wolves is another... almost gave chase one night... was about to tear his ass a new fierce one." Dante whirled, facing Deuce, who almost collided with him. "That is, until one of the pack's Shes, said her name was Destiny, grabbed my arm saying their pack was working with my sire."

A growl curled Dante's lips. His fangs lengthened. "I don't run his territory. He doesn't run mine. Right now." Pausing, he quelled his instinct to challenge his reprobate sire, Damien.  "That could change."

"Osbourne wasn't gathering intel at the bar?" Deuce looked confused, and he'd tensed, ready for a fight with their enemies.

"Had a long conversation with Destiny about her pack's inner workings. Discovered Osbourne was doing his dirty deals on the sly... right under my sire's *king of the hill*nose. I shouldn't have let it pass. Somehow she convinced me to wait. Said others in her pack were planning a rebellion. Guess that didn't happen."

"Nope. From my pricked ear, it's gone from bad to mega-bad."

"Yeah," Dante spun around, and resumed his stride. "The whole create an unstoppable monster thing with that mad scientist of his, must have consumed my sire to the point he had no eyes to see, no ears to hear...even if the anaconda could have bit his snout, then swallowed him whole."

"From my reckoning," Deuce paused, and Dante knew he waited for permission.

"Spill it scat-quick, secret agent wolf. Halloween waits for no one, and I got a room full of witches waiting."

"We can either sic Nick on Osbourne, let the G&B Gazette get the credit for exposing this piece o' filthy fur. Or, I can give the intel to Damien's enforcer pack."

"Let my sire clean up this stinking perverted mess that is Osbourne, and his minions. Has a certain ironic appeal. But hold off on yelping to the enforcer pack. I'll give Nick a holler later. Let him weigh in first."

"Got it, boss wolf. A room full of witches? Do I get to play?"  Deuce asked, as Dante came to a quick halt, grabbing hold of the door handle.

"Yeah, biker boy. All you have to do is unmask the beast you are." Dante rumbled a chuckle, amused. "Question is, can you dance the cotillion?"

"Cotillion?" Deuce cocked his head, frowning with the effort to remember.

Dante took a moment to grin wide. "Think square dancing while wearing the formal attire popular during the time of Louis XV. While costumed as your beast side."

"What the effing..."

"Look at it this way.  A lot of the ladies love it. The formal sophisticated side of a man... let's say, mated to his primitive beast side."

"Huh?" Deuce eyed him -- for a split second -- as if Dante was drunk on whiskey-marinated raw steak.

"Ever read or watch that fairytale that's not a fairytale -- "Beauty and the Beast"?" Dante arched his brow, enjoying these moments of educating the young wolf about the inner desires of some females -- whether the women knew it or not.

"Sure, know about it. But you're saying I should give up the black leather gear for foo-foo frilly shirts, breeches, and hose? Scat, didn't they wear that brocade stuff too, like those fancy Nehru jackets in the late sixties... Dad has one. "

"Come on, biker boy. I know you get plenty of humping action as a black leather beast. But this is all about impressing the ladies in a different way, letting them live their princess fantasies."

Dante watched Deuce's dark gaze change from consternation to a bright flare of understanding. "Does this work on witches? If it does, I'm in."

"Cotillion classes start next week. Sign up."

"Yeah-howls, for the ladies." Deuce grinned, and Dante figured he had one particular witch in mind. Scat, the clouding smell of his lust couldn't be missed.

With the influx of beautiful witches from all corners of the world, during the past year, Dante didn't know who the young wolf had his nose tilted to... but he obviously hadn't approached her yet.

"I'll send word to our costume designers to 'fit' you in, biker boy. You'll want to get used to wearing that Louis XV frilly gear. Feels different against the crotch, if get my drift." Dante winked.

"Appreciate that, boss wolf." Deuce shoved his hands in the pockets of his black leather pants, even as he began to turn and be on his way.

"Ever dance with a woman in one of those French era gowns?" Dante thought to ask.

"Nope. Not yet. Looking forward to it now."

"Practice makes perfect. Especially with witches," Dante teased, then shoved through the door. 


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


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Wolf-Shifter's Destiny

Well, if this didn’t suck elk antlers. Virgil had put a lot of time and miles behind him, and now he’d have to drive right back to the compound and start all over, this time with Darnell breathing down his neck. All because some bitch in a snit had used him as an impulsive escape route.

She had to go back, of course. That was never in doubt. Virgil tried to explain this to her, but she wasn’t having any. “You’re low-rank,” she said bluntly. “I don’t have to listen to you. You have to do what I say.”

“I’m packless,” Virgil corrected. “If anything, that makes me an alpha, head of the pack of me.” Hey, he realized. It did, didn’t it? He’d left his rank-obsessed pack behind. He was in charge of himself now. He sat up a little straighter. “If you stay away too long, you’ll end up packless too. You have to go back, right now.”

“Maybe I want to be packless.” They were seated at a creaky picnic table at the rest stop. Virgil had gotten them snacks from the machines. The she-wolf crammed coconut candy bars and peanut-butter crackers into her mouth in between refusals to cooperate. “Maybe I’m tired of being used and told who I have to mate with. Maybe the whole upper echelon should get stuffed and mounted on some human’s wall. Maybe alpha privilege sucks.”

He certainly couldn’t argue with that. Nevertheless … “They’ll come looking for you. I don’t want them finding me. You realize this looks like a kidnapping, don’t you? Do you know what they’ll do to me if they catch me with you?”

She daintily licked chocolate off her fingers. “Then we’d better make sure they don’t catch either of us, hadn’t we?”

Scat-damned high-ranks. Virgil munched gloomily on a cheese puff. Lupa save him, how long had these wretched things sat in the snack machine? He flicked it into the grass, where a magpie pounced on it. “What’s your name?”


“You’re kidding.”

“Hey, I didn’t choose it. We’re a wolf pack. Big family. Sooner or later they start running out of decent names.” She glared across the picnic table at him. “What’s your name?”


“Ha! You see? When I have my pup, she’s going to have a real name, like Mary or Sarah or something. Not—”

The she-wolf suddenly clapped a hand to her mouth. She bolted up and darted into the bushes. Magpies scattered. Virgil’s ears picked up on the unmistakable noises of yarking. “Um … Destiny?”

He hesitated to get up and go over there, but it seemed required. He compromised by going to the edge of the brush, with her hunched back just within reach. He hovered his hand uncertainly over her shoulder. “Are you okay?”

“No.” She straightened but didn’t turn around. “No, I’m not scatting okay. I’m pregnant.”

# # #

They sat side by side on the bench, with their hips just brushing. Destiny sipped water from a bottle. Little by little, the story came out. “You remember the alpha conclave last month?”

Virgil nodded sourly. As if he could forget. A bunch of puffed-up alpha assholes paying lip service to unity and cooperation while jockeying for the role of top dog. Hell on earth for any pack member under the rank of beta. Virgil had spent the better part of those two weeks out in the woods in wolf form.

“A lot of the males took off for the woods,” Destiny went on. Virgil nodded again, this time with guilt attached. “They could do that. We girls couldn’t. We were expected to entertain our guests.” She actually used air quotes for entertain. “Our esteemed leader, Ozbourne the Great and Powerful, had hopes of mating off one of us to an unattached alpha. Get a toehold into another pack through blood ties. We were ordered to do whatever it took to win the alphas’ favor.”

Virgil gulped. He’d always assumed the she-wolves had it easy, especially those up the ladder. All they had to do was look pretty and allow the males to pant after them. This aspect of their existence caught him off guard. All of a sudden his own life in the pack, with all its restrictions on mating, didn’t look so bad.

“I was one of the bitches assigned to that yelp from Michigan. You remember him? With the hair?” Virgil didn’t, but he made himself look knowledgeable. “He was cute, but grabby. Nice smile, though. And unattached, or so he said. Ozzy wanted to attach him, and trust me, he cooperated fully. And then … ” Her upper lip twisted, showing teeth. “He went home to the wife he’d neglected to mention. Three weeks later I’m barfing up my kibble and Ozzy’s telling me how lucky I am.”

“Didn’t you use … ?” Virgil stopped himself. He knew humans had methods to prevent accidental whelping. He’d never really thought about it regarding his own situation. Having cubs, establishing a pack, was pretty much the point.

Her bitter words confirmed it. “We weren’t allowed to. Ozzy wanted us fertile. Pregnancy was Plan B.” Again with the air quotes. “My aunt gave me this awful tea to drink. I guess it didn’t work.” She snorted. “Now I’ve got an alpha’s bun in my oven, a possible heir to their pack, and Ozzy’s got leverage. But first he wanted me securely mated to a wolf of his choosing. Somebody who could be his eyes, ears and nose in the Michigan pack. Needless to say, I was not consulted.”

Enter Virgil and his truck, with its convenient tarp over the bed. Given the circumstances, he couldn’t hold it against her. He’d have done the same. He was doing the same. “So where are you headed? Michigan?”

“Are you kidding? I’m headed away. Someplace with woods. I’d rather live as a lone wolf than let the pack push me around any more. I heard you telling Darnitall you were headed for Wyoming. Works for me. Just drop me off wherever.”

“Um. We’re not going to Wyoming. That was just my cover story. I left the pack too."

“Yeah? Why?”

They wouldn’t let me mate. He had a feeling Destiny wouldn’t appreciate hearing that. “I wanted a change of scenery,” he said.

She nodded knowingly. “Yeah. I hear that a lot from the low-ranks. Where are you headed?”

“I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I’ll go all the way to the coast. I’ve never seen the ocean.”

“Me either. You don’t mind the company, do you? I mean, at least until I find a good spot. Someplace Ozzy wouldn’t think of looking for me.”

Or me, Virgil thought. They’d skin him alive and use his tail to decorate a motorcycle. Even if he took her back, they’d rip him to pieces on principle. But he couldn’t just dump a pregnant she-wolf at the side of the road.

Anyway, wasn’t the whole point of his great escape to find himself a she-wolf? Well, now he could check that off his to-do list. Not that he could keep her. Way too much baggage, not to mention the threat to his life. But he could hone his shaky dating skills on a real live girl, at least until she ditched him. Then he’d be better prepared when the real thing came along.

Besides, he’d been part of a pack his whole life. Shaking off life in a crowd might not be as easy as he’d figured. He couldn’t deny his relief at knowing he’d have another wolf around, if only temporarily. All of a sudden the big, bad world outside the pack looked a lot smaller and less scary.

“I pick the radio station,” he said.

She made a face. “You better like rock. Not that emo easy listening crap.”

“There is no other music than rock. Not even country western.”

Destiny brightened immediately. “Oh-kay.”

Smiling, Virgil clinked his bag of cheese puffs against her pack of crackers. Technically they didn’t clink, but he could tell she’d caught the gist. “East Coast, here we come.”