Monday Moon Pack

I don’t have a Moon Pack Monday posting but I do have an update. I am 30k into Quain so I am making progress. The following is a small unedited blurb from the next Moon Pack Book.

 

Questioning Quain 200

Anthony sat at his desk tapping his pen against his desk as he examined his monthly sales figures. He had little to complain about when it came to the profit margins on his hotel chain. Everything was in the black and the employees were settling in fine. He sighed.

“What’s wrong?” Ellen asked.

Anthony shrugged. “I don’t know. I think I need a new challenge. I’m bored with opening hotels. Maybe we should branch out a bit.” While the past few months had been extremely stressful, his work life had turned dull.

“Well there’s that new development building on 6th. You could go check out the competition.”

Anthony glanced at the clear blue skies showing through his window. “That is an excellent idea, Ellen.”

“Take a long lunch. I can’t stand it when you get twitchy, it makes all the carpets staticy and I keep getting shocked.”

Anthony laughed. “Sorry about that.”

Ellen shrugged. “Makes life interesting.”

If his private life only consisted of carpet shocking it would be as boring as his business concerns. Anthony had lost inspiration after his last hotel opened. Maybe it was time to take a little vacation and drag Silver to the Bahamas before the next crises. He had no doubt there would be one. His psycho relative hadn’t struck yet and who knew how long their truce with Hera lasted. Never trust a goddess with anger management issues even if she was almost fond of you.

After exiting his office building he decided to walk instead of teleporting. The warm weather eased away built up tension in his shoulders. Knots the size of boulders were wedged beneath his shoulder blades. Maybe he should look into hiring a masseuse for the pack?

“Glad to see you’re getting out,” Zeus said, appearing on the sidewalk beside him.

Most people might have jumped when someone appeared right beside them. Anthony didn’t even twitch. “Good to see you grandfather.” He had long ago become accustomed to the god popping in and out of his life.

“Going to work on your godhead?”

“No, I thought I’d just go for a walk.”

“Perhaps to smite someone.”

Anthony laughed. “No. Just to check out the competition.”

“Ooh are we going to crush them.”

“No, just visit. Not everything is a mighty battle.” He couldn’t keep the amusement out of his voice. Gods were so over the top.

“Hmm, doesn’t seem like a very interesting trip.” Zeus’s face formed as close to a pout as possible while still emitting godly power.

“You don’t have to come,” Anthony pointed out in a mild tone.

“I’m bored.”

“Must be catching. That’s why I’m going for a walk.”

“Hmm, maybe your cousin will arrive to challenge you and threaten your life.”

“You can only hope.” Anthony replied in a dry tone. Sometimes being the descendent of a god was more exhausting than worthwhile.

“That’s the spirit.” Zeus slapped him on the back propelling him a few steps forward.

“Are you hungry?” Anthony asked.

Gods didn’t need to eat but sometimes they liked to.

“What are you having?”

“Maybe some fish and chips.” He pointed at a small kiosk that stood a few yards away.

“I hate fish,” Zeus sulked.

“You’re holding a grudge against Poseidon. You don’t hate fish. Besides he talks to fish doesn’t he? You could be eating his best friend.” Anthony walked to the cart Zeus’s booming laughter following him.

“Get me the salmon,” Zeus shouted.

Catnapped Part 20

Jacques watched Nevio for a few minutes admiring how the light glowed against his sharp features. They could say what they wanted about Nevio but Jacques couldn’t deny that he found the vampire attractive.

Shaking his head he stood. “I’ll agree to the change in the contract. I would enjoy going on Underson’s expedition. I haven’t gone on any digs or exploration parties before it will be good experience.”

“Excellent. I’ll do my best to stay out of the way. I might even find things to occupy me while we’re there.”

Questions burned on the tip of his tongue but Jacques kept them to himself. He didn’t wish to know what the vampire got up to. It would be better in the long run if he stayed in denial. He had no wish to get involved in vampire politics or whatever he vampire leader was getting caught up in. Best to mind his own business.

“Okay. Can we schedule the times I give blood so I know when to be around?” Although he didn’t leave the vampire mansion without notice he wasn’t always close to Nevio and didn’t want to be at his beck and call at all times. He preferred to be in denial about his place in Nevio’s life. If they were mates than Jacques was more than a blood source and he expected to be treated as such.

“If it’s all right with you I think I’d prefer my feedings in the afternoon. How about we make a standing appointment around lunch time. That way you can eat right after in case I get too exuberant.”

“All right.” Jacques stood. “In that case I’ve got some work to do. I’ll see you later.”

Disappointment crossed Nevio’s face. “I want you to know you are always free to seek me out. I’d like to get to know you past just for feedings.”

“I’d like that too. However I do have some homework to finish. How about we chat after you take blood tomorrow. You can talk to me while I eat.”

Nevio’s blinding smile took Jacques by surprise. “Excellent. Have a good evening, my sweet.”

Jacques waved goodbye as he walked out the door. Between one step to the next he transformed into his lion form. Despite what he told Nevio, Jacques had had enough being human it was time for some fur.

A few startled gasps had people rushing out of his way. He didn’t bother hiding his lion grin it only made people move faster. The front door stood before him, closed.

Jacques sat on his rump and gave the impediment a ferocious glare, but the wooden surface appeared unfazed.

“Run into a roadblock kitten?” A cheery voice asked.

Jacques responded with a low, unhappy growl.

Zio approached, carefully stepping around him. “Don’t maul me and I’ll get it for you.”

He flicked his ear at the vampire. No sense making any promises he didn’t feel the urge to follow through with.

“Somehow that isn’t reassuring,” Zio said as he opened the door.

Jacques ran through giving Zio a playful swipe of with his claws tucked in.

“Funny feline,” Zio scolded.

The sun against his fur sent Jacques in raptures of boneless pleasure. Prancing over to his rock he sprawled out. When life became too complicated nothing made things better as fast as a spot of sun and a place to lay. The sounds of bees buzzing a merry melody followed Jacques into sleep.

He woke up to someone screaming. The sound pierced his eardrums and had him jolting to his feet searching for danger.

“Lion!” the screamer shouted.

Jacques blinked at the woman standing in front of his rock wearing a filmy short sundress and wedge heels. She smelled human and the bite mark on his neck confirmed his belief that she was there for food.

“Dina, hush,” Zio said. He grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Jacques resting spot.

“But, there’s a fucking lion.”

Jacques sat on his haunches wishing he had popcorn to appreciate the scene a bit better.

“Yes, that is Nevio’s mate. He is a lion shifter.”

“The master has mated to a beast.”

Jacques snarled, no longer finding the conversation amusing.

“I wouldn’t call him that,” Zio pulled the obnoxious woman a few steps away, out of swiping distance. Drat.

“But he is!” She insisted stomping her shoe.

“What are you doing out here anyway?” Zio asked.

Jacques had wondered that also. Her outfit wasn’t made for tromping around outside, not in those heels.

“Someone told me Master Nevio’s mate was outside. I wanted to meet her.” Her expression proclaimed she wanted to do a whole lot more than that and it was probably unpleasant.

Her indeed.

Jacques transformed into his human shape. “I hope you aren’t disappointed,” he drawled.

“You’re a man!” she shrieked.

“And you have no volume control.”

Zio snorted. “Come Dina, you’ve already disturbed Jacques. Better not make things worse.”

Dina tossed her luxurious blond hair that she probably had spent hours fixing to fall in a certain way. “What can he do to me? I’m the most desired donator in the entire mansion.”

“I can have you blackballed by my mate,” Jacques snapped. He hated people who thought they were so much better than anyone else no matter the reason.

“There’d be a riot,” Dina said, but her confident expression had faded a bit.

“Well there ’s only one way to find out.” Jacques turned and walked back to the mansion.

He didn’t know how long he had been napping but the stars were more prominent than the sun right now.

“Wait, wait, I’m sorry.” Dina tottered after him on her tall heels. “Don’t have me banished.”

Jacques turned to face the pleading woman who appeared more desperate than demanding at the moment. “Fine but don’t take that attitude with Nevio or he’ll kick you out.”

She nodded frantically.

Jacques didn’t know if he trusted her sudden change of heart but he decided to take her at face value. If she caused trouble in the future he would take care of her then. His inner ‘king of the jungle’ agreed with that plan.

Catnapped Part 19

The meat vanished quickly beneath the onslaught of Jacques knife and fork as he consumed his sustenance with speed rather than for flavor. The last time he had been this hungry was after a full moon when one of the betas was being an asshole and holding back food from the younger children. Luckily Alpha Caldera had heard about his actions the next morning and disciplined the jerk. Knell had carried the scars from his actions until last year when he was killed in a bar fight. Apparently he hadn’t restricted his jerk behavior to inside the pack and a human with a knife had taken exception to his behavior.

After polishing off his plate he sought out Nevio. The vampire stared at him for several minutes before bowing his head.

“I apologize for taking so much blood. It appears you are sensitive to my bite.”

“What does that mean? Does it affect our contract?” Fear slid through him like a winter fog. If he cancelled the contract he would have to leave. He paused, his racing thoughts. Since when had that been a concern?

“Please have a seat, my dear.” Nevio pointed to a well-padded leather chair on the other side of his desk before moving to sit in its twin.

Jacques pressed his lips together to hold back his demands that Nevio tell him everything. It was obvious from the way Nevio watched him that the vampire knew something about this situation and what it meant.

Nevio rested his elbows on the chair arms then steepled his fingers. For several minutes he didn’t speak as he regarded Jacques like an interesting problem he had yet to solve.
A low growl build in Jacques throat, only years of learned restraint held it back. “You said you wanted to talk.”

The slow smile lighting Nevio’s handsome twisted Jacques up inside. Why couldn’t he be bonded to an ugly vampire. Surely they had those.

“I think we have a problem due to the fact we are mates your blood is more delicious than any other which leads me to taking more than I should and making you weak.”

Jacques scratched at the back of his neck. “How do you think we can solve this problem? You have more experience with this sort of thing so I’m sure you’ve already thought of a solution.”

“Yes, I have. I propose that I drink more frequently from you.”

“And this will help how? I don’t think it will make me less drained unless you plan to take less when you feed.”

“Exactly, you are as brilliant as you are beautiful.”
Jacques rolled his eyes. It must be something about vampirism that made them so over the top with their compliments. He had noticed it in the speech pattern of some of the other vamps also, this need to over compliment people.

“So how will this work?”

“I know this isn’t wasn’t in our contract so I’m offering a special incentive if you will.”

“A bribe you mean,” Jacques didn’t believe in talking around an issue.

“I always forget how straightforward you shifters are,” Nevio pouted.

Jacques yanked his fascinated gaze away from Nevio’s lush mouth to try and stay focused on the conversation. “So what’s the deal?”

Best get things back on track before his lion instincts took over and he pounced on the sexy vampire before him.

“If you allow me to take a small sip of your blood every day for the next two months, I’ll let you go with Mr. Underson on his archeological expedition.”

The immediate urge to pounce on the offer wavered with his innate suspicion over Nevio’s idea. “How will you survive while I’m gone?”

Jacques raised his right eyebrow. “Who said I was going to let you go without me?”

“Am I never going to do anything alone again?” An entire pack of wolves couldn’t hold back his whine.

“Are you so eager to leave me?”

Although Nevio asked in an even tone his eyes reflected a sorrow Jacques hadn’t expected. He chose his next words with care. “No, I just wanted to know the parameters of our relationship. It’s not that I’m trying to escape I’m just used to doing things alone.”

“You lived in a pack,” Nevio pointed out.

“Yes, but I was the only lion and we are more solitary by nature. The pack knew when to leave me alone.”

“I can understand that.” Nevio went back to examining Jacques with his eerily knowing gaze. “I can’t promise anything. Every relationship is different and ours is even more so. I want you to be happy so I will try not to crowd you but I have to tell you, my sweet, that I will always need to know where you are at all times. I might not need to be plastered to your side but my protective instincts want to know that you are safe.”

“Fair enough. I can’t exactly argue over someone following their instincts. My inner lion certainly has enough of them.” He let a wry smile curve his lips. “You aren’t alone in that need. I just don’t want to live my life in a gilded cage.

“Which is why I’m trying to give you space by allowing you to go on this expedition. I am going for blood and curiosity. I’d like to learn more about why you are so fascinated with this sort of thing. For me antiquities are merely parts of my past.”

“How old are you?” Curiosity overcame politeness.

“Old enough.” Nevio flashed a toothy smile.

“Fine, don’t share,” Jacques muttered.

Nevio’s husky laugh rolled through Jacques like a warm tingly wave. He crossed his legs to hide how much he enjoyed the sound

It’s been so long! (Catnapped Part 18)

I have to say I didn’t notice the passing of time. As much as I swore I would catch up this year I can see I’ve already failed that goal. I’m going to have to try and make it up one day at a time. My writing has been off for a long time now. I’m working really hard this week and for the rest of the year to reestablish my connection with my fans that has fallen by the wayside during the hectic process of life. Below you will find the latest edition of catnapped. I’m hoping to get a few of these out a week. With the summer and my kids out of school I think it will be a good test to my commitment to blogging.

***If you are missing part of this story a search on the word catnapped should bring them up.***

“You can’t ever leave him.”

Jacques spun around to face the speaker. The vampire Zio leaned against the opposite wall watching him with a careful expression as if expecting Jacques to turn into a bomb and explode.

“What are you talking about?” There was no getting around it; vampires were weird. Zio’s comment almost sounded like they were continuing a conversation they had never started.

“I mean it. You can’t ever leave Nevio. I don’t mean like leave the house or go off shopping for a day. I mean permanently. He needs you.”

“Is there a reason you’re mentioning it now? I signed a contract promising to be his blood supplier and I’m studying from home. I’m not planning on going anywhere.” What would make Zio believe Jaques planned on going back on his word?

“Even when the contract ends you can’t leave. It was a stupid idea any way to even have a written agreement. You two are mates. Contracts shouldn’t exist between mates.”

“Then why did I sign one?” Jacques huffed. He tried to remember what he knew of vampire mates. “He’s not going to die if I leave or anything.”

“I probably said too much.” Zio turned to walk away.

Jacques growled, grabbed Zio’s shoulder and spun him back around. “If you didn’t want me to know something you shouldn’t have followed me. Now if contracts don’t work between mates the only reason to make me sign one is to keep me here until Nevio convinces me to be his permanent mate. Is that right?”

“I can’t say what our leader might have planned. The only thing I know is that there are few leaders that have a mate and stay in power. They are too easily toppled from their leadership if you take out their mates. You and Nevio are bonded for life.”

“Then why did you tell me I have to stay if you don’t want him to keep me.”

Zio sighed as if Jacques annoyed him. “It might not be good for a leader to have an obvious weakness. It would be worse if you left.”

“I’m getting mixed signals here,” Jacques complained. He held back a frustrated scream. If this kept up he’d have to escape to the pack house for a few days to work out his building aggression. “I’m doing everything requested of me. Leave things alone.” A low growl worked up his throat. When Zio paled even more for a vampire Jacques inner lion all but purred with satisfaction.

Jacques left Zio standing in the hall. Breakfast before homework sounded like a good idea.

A collection of humans sprawled around the kitchen in various levels of clothing and awareness. Among the dozen at least half appeared to have not gone to sleep at all. Jacques nodded to them but didn’t speak as he headed for the fridge.

“You’re not allowed to do that,” a young man commented in a bored voice.

“Allowed to do what?” Jacques frowned.

“Get food out of the refrigerator. We have to wait for the chef.”

His stomach growled. “When is the chef going to show up?”

The unnamed male shrugged. “He gets here around eight sometimes.”

Jacques checked his watch. “I’m not waiting two hours.”

He opened the fridge. A quick scan revealed some roast beef. “Yes.”

The smell of rare meat filled his nose and a happy noise escaped.

“You’re not human are you?” A girl asked, twirling her blond hair.

“Nope.” Jacques grabbed a plate from the cabinet above then a knife from the butcher’s block. “I’m a lion shifter.”

To his surprise several voices made sounds of amazement. He arched an eyebrow at the group. “It’s not like I did anything incredible. I was born this way.”

He sliced a piece of meat off and put it on the tray just as a tall, broad-shouldered man stomped into the room wearing chef whites. “What are you doing in my kitchen?”

“Getting something to eat.”

The chef’s nostril’s flared and he immediately lost his aggressive stance. “Are you Jacques?”

“Yes.”

“Do you need anything else? I was alerted you left your rooms and was about to make you a meal.”

“A glass of milk would be nice.” The iron in the meat would satisfy his inner beast. Apparently he hadn’t been eating enough beef lately if he craved it this much. Of course his last hunt had been before he came here.

“How come he gets special treatment? We have to wait.” Asked a sulky man in silk night clothes.

“He’s Nevio’s mate.” The chef stated handing Jacques a glass of milk, then some tableware for his beef.

“Thanks.” Jacques clutched his glass and plate tight before leaving the room. Uncomfortable about standing in a room with a bunch of humans who would knife him for a chance at the vampire leader.

Humans generally came to a vampire coven either because they needed the money that donating blood offered or they were addicted to a vampire’s bite. Either way they wouldn’t appreciate Jacques high ranking.

Jacques turned a corner and stumbled as he avoided running into a person coming in the opposite direction.

“Good morning Nevio,” Jacques said. His nerves jangled uneasily as the morning sun cast a movie star glow across Nevio’s cheekbones.

“Morning, my lion.” He glanced at what Jacques was holding. “Not a balanced breakfast I see.”

Jacques shrugged, careful of his milk. “My lion wished for meat this morning.”

“Best feed the beast then.” Nevio grinned exposing his sharp teeth. “I know I always like to.”

A giddy giggle burst from Jacques mouth. “Sorry I don’t know where that came from.”

“Don’t worry it was adorable.” Nevio kissed Jacques on the cheek leaving a slight tingling on his skin. “Eat, my dear and I’d like to talk to you after your schooling today.”

“Um, okay.” Later he would castigate himself over his complete lack of confidence when confronted with a sexy vampire. He didn’t know when his emotions regarding Nevio started to change but he had to get a grip if he planned on remaining here. No one wanted a slightly hysterical shifter to be the other half of the vampire leadership.

RJ’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop

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Every year RJ Scott does a monthly Autism Awareness blog hop. Part of that tour is to mention some autism facts. Mine was taken from the National Autism awareness Fact Sheet.

Autism Fact “Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)”

I’m happy to participate in this event because as some of you might be aware of my younger son is on the spectrum. The fact above couldn’t be more true. I have met many children with autism and their struggles are different for each child. Autism is considered a spectrum for its ability to manifest in many ways. Some have only minor learning disabilities while others can’t speak at all. My son is luckily highly functional but that doesn’t prevent him from having to struggle to get his ideas out. Often he has problems collecting his thoughts enough to convey what he wants to say.

After many years of effort by various teachers and at home my son has learned many valuable coping mechanisms and has made impressive improvements. We are very proud of him.

RJ told me that animals are the focus of this year. In our house we have three cats and a dog and although my son doesn’t do a lot of interacting with them other than to grumble when they take the spot he wanted on my office couch, I know he appreciates their innate companionship. I see him sliding his fingers through their fur when one of the cats plops down beside him and enjoying their fluffy texture.

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