Late Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
It's the middle of May... can you believe it?
So, this flash scene stars that omnipresent villain, Shere Khan, leader of the Tiger Yakuza in Talbot's Peak.
Dugger, the dingo man, also stars in the lead role as the hero. With a common, take-no-prisoners enemy threatening The Peak, will a temporary alliance be formed?
Alliance, Shere Khan's Offerings
As tiger, Shere Khan muscled his way through the night forest. Uncaring about who or what heard his approach, he thundered a roar without a pause in his stride. Shere Khan listened with satisfaction as the sound echoed around him.
Because of their agreed-upon mind connection, for now, he knew Dugger, the dingo shapeshifter, had been alerted. The negotiation for their tête-à-têt had been quite the mental challenge, and by the end, Shere Khan had gained a new respect for the crafty down-under canine.
Several of Shere Khan's top ninjas followed in his wake, soaring above the treetops. The inept fools who had allowed Ravi's future bride to escape had been placed in disgrace -- shipped back to Shere Khan's cousin, a minor player in the Yakuza empire.
Shere Khan curled his lips and loosed a snarl that struck terror in the hearts of his many enemies. While the use of magick assisted him in the subtle dance of gaining and keeping power, his raw strength suited his purpose and his mood now.
Ignoring the scurrying panic of rodent species and ground-nesting poultry, Shere Khan smashed through a thick web of entangled limbs. He had yet to choose a particularly severe punishment for the girl's father. His false tongue about his daughter's willingness to be a debt payment, was not to be tolerated.
Yet, on the grand chessboard of life, Nilambari's escape offered Shere Khan a bargaining chip. Of late, he had spent many a restless night pondering on the current times -- this ferocious and pivotal Dragon Year of 2012.
Changes in the balance of power were on the near horizon, a balance that no longer favored the Tiger Yakuza. Further, one vital truth had emerged during his deep investigation of the Global League.
Their plan for world dominion would mean the extermination of not only the Yakuza as a fearsome competitor, but of his tiger shapeshifter kind.
Shere Khan uttered a long rumbling growl against such an unacceptable fate.
Already shifted to his man form, Dugger lounged against the barrel-sized tree trunk. He listened to the smash-crash arrival of Shere Khan as he cleaned beneath his nails with his large throwing blade. Mother Moon shone like a spotlight overhead.
'Yeah, see 'em before my mind's eye. Several black pajamas,' he telepathed back to Symone, his beautiful, dimension-hopping sheila.
So far, it'd been painful as a roo's kick to the gut gaining her trust. But he was finally winning her over.
Earlier, he'd nearly jumped for bloody joy when she agreed to be his lookout, watching out for his ass during his summit meeting with the Yakuza leader. Given the Global League's invasion of their territory, he, Dante, and White Fang had agreed it was the best course of action for the sake of Talbot's Peak.
Even now, Dante, as werewolf, was positioned to his right, hidden by the deep shadow of a rock outcropping, a good two stories in height. On his left, White Fang observed from atop a high waterfall, ready to swoop down -- be the superhero to the rescue.
Dugger had discovered right quick that Symone's sharpshooter skills were as bang-on deadly at night as in the daylight. As she'd explained, some of what was labeled junk DNA by the looney scientists on this side of the dimensional curtain had been activated in her. Both by her desperate need to survive impossible circumstances, and later by specialized lab technicians.
Lifting his gaze, Dugger watched Shere Khan halt at the edge of the large clearing. Without a glance his way, and within moments -- hell, like a damn magical spell out of a storybook -- the Yakuza morphed from white tiger to his human form.
Yeah, just as he'd figured, the old gods ran in the tiger shifter's veins from the looks of him. Confirmed, when one of his ninjas floated a silk-thread, ornate robe around his shoulders, as if from on high.
Dugger sheathed his blade with a flip of his wrist, then straightened away from the tree trunk. "Spit and polish duds for out here in the woods, don't you think? But, I guess you are king of the crime mountain."
Shere Khan offered him a wan smile once they faced each other in the center of the clearing. His eyes, however, sparked with fire-devouring intelligence, the type Dugger respected as downright, run-for-a-cave dangerous. If he was in a runnin' mood. He wasn't.
"King of the crime mountain," Shere Khan formally intoned. "A title I find quite acceptable. My apologies, dingo, my wit does not extend to such cleverness with titles. May I address you as Dugger as you originally introduced yourself? Or perhaps, you wish to be addressed by what would be called your last name, here in the states."
"Dugger'll do. What's on your mind precisely? Thought we'd agreed on a meeting of the minds during the dark of the moon."
"So it was planned, yes. However, I suddenly find within my grasp an offering of good faith. Two offerings, perhaps."
"Is this about the brave young woman who escaped your clutches -- as they used to say in the dime pulp novels I read?"
"I know you will dismiss my words, dingo. I will state them for the record, as the politicians say in that useless body known as the congress."
"Yeah?" Dugger raised a brow. Since his hackles weren't giving him fits yet, Dugger didn't snake a hand toward his blade. "What is it?"
Shere Khan drew in a yoga-like breath, and his features became serene, reminding Dugger of a decorative pond on a fancy estate. "I was under the impression the young woman wished to come to me as a bride for my son. Her father deceived me. Or should I say his words deceived the one I sent as representative to settle a rather large debt."
For the bloody life of him, Dugger couldn't smell, hear or see a lie. Maybe, he hadn't daggered beneath the tiger's enigmatic gaze, though. "Listening," he growled.
"I will cease any effort to recover Nilambari to demonstrate my interest in our mutual alliance against the Global League."
"You said 'two offerings." Dugger's inner dingo ears pricked at the near-silent movements of Shere Khan's ninjas. At the same time, he heard Symone power up her science-fiction rifle, preparing to shoot. "You better warn your black pajama boys to stay still as a tick havin' a right good blood feast."
"Ah, yes, your sharpshooter partner. I am in awe of her efficient ability to eliminate our common enemy." Shere Khan unfolded his arms, and slightly waved his right hand. "For the sake of time and trust, and before one of my ninjas becomes too zealous in their duty to protect me, my second offering--"
Shere Khan's next words were lost amid the sudden bedlam of an attack. Super soldiers by Dugger's nose. Dante's blood-chilling growl shook the air, and Dugger heard his short running charge, his leap, then the crunch of his fangs. The ripping began.
In a tornadic spin, White Fang arrived. He fought side-by-side with the ninjas, battling twenty -- by Dugger's count -- of the bio-machine enhanced Global League squad.
He and Shere Khan had spun and stood back to back, their weapons raised. Like stuffed dummies, soldiers began falling around them, all courtesy of Symone, his sheila sharpshooter.
"That's my girl," Dugger whispered. "Won't even let me use my big bad blade."
'Not yet anyway,' he added to himself, thinking of his 'big bad blade' down under.
"You were saying?" Dugger spoke over his shoulder, once the few remaining soldiers were being mopped up.
"If your sharpshooter wishes to return to her time, to her earthly dimension, I am in possession of a proto vortex unit."
Dugger didn't question, for now, how Shere Khan knew. Bloody hell, his every particle screamed against telling Symone. But tell her he would.
He would also use every dingo trick in the book, and on Earth, to make her stay with him.
Have a shapeshifter kind of day!
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~