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Story Part 2: Atavistic Were

Here is part two of Atavistic Were:

INTRO: These next two weeks, we’re experimenting. Marcella started a story. My fellow authors are going to further the story and then finally complete it. But no pressure. 😀 We have not talked about our plans or compared notes on the characters or plotline. This should be a surprise for all of us.

Starting from the ending of Part One (click here to read part 1):

“I don’t want your pity.”

“What do you want?”

“It is possible, if unlikely, that I am not the only legend walking around and taking on fur with the moon phases. If other prides have cast out their misfits and those misfits have survived, I’d like you to help me find them.”

Samuel scratched his injured cheek with the tip of his pen. How the hell was he supposed to search for mutant weres? This job screamed danger. Most likely mutants didn’t want to be found and would do anything to protect their secrets. And he had one of his own he kept a tight lid on.

“You really think they want to be found?” he said.

“They will be needing protection. They also will want what I need.”

“And that is…”

Her amber eyes flashed. “I’m asking you to find others like me. What I do with the information is my business.”

Sam shrugged. “Yeah, but why ask me?”

A rough laugh escaped her red lips. “Because, Mr. Samuel Talbridge, you’re one of us.”

Fear shot through his gut down to his toes. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Is it? I’ve been tailing you for months.” Her smile revealed her incisors, curved and seductive. “Several moon phases, actually.”

The sexual pull he felt for this stranger started innocently enough, a slight tingle in his stomach, a strange lurch in his heart. Her gaze latched onto his, but he wouldn’t back down. He had a thing for big cats, the coil of power ready to be unleashed at any moment, the deadly cat and mouse game they loved to play. Shit. He reined in where his sexual fantasy was heading. Right into the gutter, and that meant, he was losing control of the conversation. Taking a deep breath, he briefly closed his eyes. When he opened them, he meant her steely eyes with his staunch determination.

“And if I decide to help you, what’s in it for me?”

BBT Formula for Love Book Cover Banner copyOn another note: I have two blog tours going on at once – through June 13! Chance to win Amazon GC’s…if you comment. For the list of blog stops visiting my website! http://www.vikilyn.com 

Love and Peace,

Viki

 

Story Part the First: Atavistic Were

INTRO: These next two weeks, we’re experimenting. I’ve started a story. My fellow authors are going to further the story and then finally complete it. But no pressure. 😀 We have not talked about our plans or compared notes on the characters or plotline. This should be a surprise for all of us.

“Ms. Smith? I’m Samuel Talbridge, the reporter you asked for.”
The woman pacing the faded, thread-bare carpet of motel room he’d been given a key to, glanced at him. The impression of pale, tawny hair, long, muscular legs, broad shoulders and a prominent jaw line made him hesitate in the open doorway. But it was the intensity in her amber eyes that whispered ‘danger’.
“Come in, Mr. Talbridge. Close the door,” she said in a rich, mellow alto. “Who do you write for?”
Forcing a smile to his face, he complied and then pulled his notepad from his pocket. Most reporters recorded interviews. He did, too, but he found the physical distraction of pen and notepad let him control the flow of information. Something about the woman studying him made him suspect he needed every advantage he could get. “I freelance. My stories are usually published by the local papers. A few have been picked up by the AP. If you have a story. I’d very much like to hear it. Even if Smith isn’t your real name.”
She lifted an eyebrow. “Is that an impediment, my attempt to protect myself?”
“Not if your story warrants it.”
“It does. I am a were, Mr. Talbridge. A were alone. I’d like your . . .”
“What sort of were?”
“One of the big cats.”
His shoulders drooped. He’d been trying to crack the werewolf packs for three years.
‘Ms. Smith’ laughed. “Restrain a puppy, Mr. Talbridge, and it submits, going limp in your grasp, whimpering to urge you not to kill it. Restrain a kitten and it fights to its last ounce of strength against the indignity.”
“Cats are fragile,” he said.
“It pleases me to have you think so.”
In a flash he couldn’t see she spun, lashing out with one hand at his cheek. He felt the breeze of her hand pass. She’d missed.
Blood sprinkled his notepad.
He blinked. His cheek burned. His heart thudded hard against his ribcage as he touched a tentative fingertip to his face. Scratches. She’d whipped her claws across his face. A tremor of belated panic flooded his gut.
He met her cool, amber gaze. Her nostrils flared and her lips curled.
“I see your point,” he said.
“Four of them,” she corrected, lifting her bloodied nails for inspection.
“Right.” He pressed his handkerchief against his face. The burn turned to a throb, but when he pulled the cloth away and glanced at it, very little blood marred the white surface. He put it away to hide the fact that his hands were shaking. “So. You – uh – you’re a solo? Driven from your – what? Pack?”
“Pride,” she corrected, turning away to look out the window again.
“I thought cats were solitary ani–creatures.”
“And nocturnal?” she supplied. “We are. In the wild. But the press of modern civilization requires that we adapt. When hunting territories can be negotiated and worked out, there are advantages in numbers.”
“But you were thrown out. Why?”
“Atavistic manifestation of traits that once existed, but which do no longer.”
The bitter, derisive edge in her tone made him stare at her, trying to discern some hint of what her words meant from the lines of tension in her back. Atavistic?
She glanced over her shoulder at him, amber eyes glittering. “I’m a throwback.”
He leaned forward, curiosity piqued against his better judgment. “How far back?”
“Pleistocene.”
His brain scrambled for footing. What cat had lived so long ago? “Sabre-toothed?”
“Smilodon populator. Huge. Native to parts of the world I’ve never seen,” she said.
“How?”
She sighed, faced him, and shrugged. “I’m not a geneticist. I don’t know. Even those who proposed to study my DNA speak only in terms of hypothesis and conjecture. Am I a mutant to have become something that once existed in the world but which went extinct with the advent of the last ice age? Or is this some unlikely malfunction on the genome? One that brought fourth an ancient form in the modern world? No matter how you slice it, I’m a freak of nature. Something that can’t, shouldn’t exist.”
“But you do.”
“I do.”
“Alone.”
“I don’t want your pity.”
“What do you want?”
“It is possible, if unlikely, that I am not the only legend walking around and taking on fur with the moon phases. If other prides have cast out their misfits and those misfits have survived, I’d like you to help me find them.”

Further Evidence

Another entry into evidence, if you please. To whit: Why it takes so long for Marcella to write anything.

This is Hatshepsut trying to eat one of my earplugs. I write. After a few hours of writing, I take a break and do ten minutes of alpha state meditation to reset my brain. This includes some sensory deprivation – like earplugs – to help focus. It’s a great tool for problem solving in a story. When the timer goes off, ending my session, I’m supposed to get right back up to the page so I can record whatever bubbled to the surface during the meditation. Based on this video, you can see that isn’t happening.

At least I know about Hatshepsut’s odd taste for earplugs. The first time I discovered that she’d eaten my earplugs, and I do mean eaten – she’d left slimy, rubbery yellow and red bits of them all over the floor, I called the vet’s office in a panic. I figured she’d block up her system or be poisoned by the stupid things. No. Nothing to worry about. Not that the vet tech managed to get those words out over the phone. I gathered, from the gales of laughter, that my cat was in no danger.

My Cat, My Friends, My Canada!

I try to say Thank You to the universe on a regular basis. Be it that the streetcar arrived just as I get to the stop or that the sun is shining and no snow has fallen yet or that I get to work and my colleague has a hilarious anecdote to share. I believe that surrounding yourself with positive energy makes a difference. Lol, it doesn’t work for me all the time, but it is definitely something to work toward;).

Now, on to the big things I am grateful for:

1) Emma Peel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is almost exactly a year that Emma Peel came home with me from the clinic. She is a blood donor cat and lives with me as a foster cat until her stint is over and she becomes mine for good. In exchange for caring for her, the clinic takes care of food, litter and any medical dealings necessary.

I missed having a furry friend with me. I LOVE having Emma in my life. She greets me when I come home, is in the same room I am in, tells me about her day, usually when I’m trying to get work done, starts playing with her spiral when I am trying to sleep, has epic battles with my chair covers, and tracks litter all over my floors. And I wouldn’t give her up for anything. She makes me happy. She makes me laugh and smile and enjoy being with her.

BTW, have you noticed how many four-legged friends have appeared on the blog over the last two weeks?

2) My Friends

I have a fabulous group of friends, online and offline, ready to support me in whatever I need, celebrate successes and prop me up when the bad stuff happens. Having this network is amazing, hilarious, inspiring and something I am grateful for on a daily basis.

I started a new job just over five months ago and the two women I work with the most are fantastic! We really clicked and, despite being stressed out of my mind a lot of the times, we laugh our butts off on a daily basis. I don’t know if I would have survived without them these first few months;).

3) Canada

I May 2014 it will be 5 years since I’ve moved to Canada from London, England. Every day I wake up in my wonderful home and walk to the streetcar stop I am grateful for the move. Canada has offered me a much better quality of live and life-work balance. It has given me a better career and salary. It has given me Emma and my friends here in the city which I would never have met otherwise. It has given me a RWA Chapter that has taught me a lorryload of stuff. Without the TRW I probably wouldn’t be published right now. And Canada has also give me some beautiful and wonderfully warm summers. Everyone warns you about the horrid winters, but no one tells you about the amazing summers.

I miss some parts of London, but I have no plans to move back to the UK.

What about you? What are you happy about right now?

Tina Christopher

Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.

The Darkest Meow

It took me a while to figure out what Dark Heroine to write about. Let’s be honest, sometimes you look at an assigned topic and think, “great, a term paper.” But blogs are way more fun than term papers, and I should remember that more often.

For my Dark Heroine, I’m going to chat about Cat. HA! I totes rhymed.

Nope, not this Cat. Although he seems pleased.

Nope, not this Cat. Although he seems pleased.

I mean Catherine Crawford, the kickass half-vampire head lady in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books.https://i0.wp.com/www.jeanienefrost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/halfway-to-the-grave-lg.jpg

In case you’ve been hiding from everything for the last few years, you’ve heard of Cat and Bones. So you know that Cat is a half-vampire who was conditioned from an early age by her mother to hate the bloodsuckers. In order to “atone” for who she is and what vamp-kind had done to her mom, Cat becomes a vigilante slayer.

Pretty cool, huh?

Jeaniene Frost does an awesome job of making Cat relatable, even though she’s super fucked-in-the-head, especially through the first book, HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE. Through Cat’s mother, she’s come to hate herself, hate where she comes from, hate everything. Even though she’s successful at killing vampires, it doesn’t lessen the burden.

And then she meets Bones. A cocky, badass vampire who puts her in her place, while teaching her to accept herself for who, and what, she is.

And I really kind of dig that. A little self-acceptance is awesome. A lot, even more so.

I mean, who doesn’t have complexes handed down by well-meaning and loving parents? Or other adults? Granted, our fights usually aren’t as deep as hating half of our genetics, but isn’t overcoming early ideas part of the coolest stuff about growing up? I think that’s why I love Cat so much. She overcomes. It’s hopeful, in a stabby sort of way. 🙂

Do you like Cat and Bones? What’s your favorite moment from the series? And please, no spoilers. I don’t think I’ve read the last one yet!

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