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Can you tell I’m in the mood for cooler weather? Well, making these brought it on! Really!
I actually have had cooler weather!
Excerpt from Covert Cougar Christmas!
Covert Cougar Christmas
Copyright © 2015 by Terry Spear
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
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Snowflakes and ice drizzled down his windshield as Travis MacKay hoped the winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for later this week weren’t wrong and the storm was coming in earlier than expected. His Dodge Durango slipped on another patch of ice, and he tightened his hands on the leather-covered steering wheel. He was in a real time crunch already if he was going to pack and move his household goods from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Yuma Town, Colorado before the weather worsened and before New Year’s Day at the latest, when the new owners moved in.
It was nearly two in the morning when he reached the outskirts of town and realized he needed groceries and packing boxes. He was certain some grocery store would be open this late and drove into town, but found that none of them were. Then he spied several bundles of great, clean boxes folded and tied up next to a Dumpster behind a Christmas pop-up store, set up for business only during the holidays. Packing boxes had been another of his pressing priorities to get first thing in the morning and he was delighted to check one thing off his list. He pulled into the alley behind the building and parked.
He got out of the car, but out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of something move. He spun around to see if it truly was what he thought he saw. A golden cougar! Beautiful. The cougar raced past the entrance to the alley. A female, or younger male, not as big as an adult male.
A shifter like him? He couldn’t imagine it was a full cougar. Not in town like this. Yet he had never run across a shifter in Cheyenne before. Because of his cat’s curious nature, it made him want to chase after the cougar and learn the truth.
But he was now working out of Yuma Town as a field agent of the Cougar Special Forces Division, CSFD that took down rogue cougars.
Still, Travis took another long look in the direction the cougar had run, and hoped the cat would return so he could get another look at it when he knew it wouldn’t come back. The cat would think Travis was human and a real danger because he might call the sighting into animal control and someone would come out and shoot the cougar.
Then he saw the Christmas shop’s back door propped open. He was going to holler out that he wanted to use the boxes for moving if that was all right with the shop owner, but heard a heated argument inside, and paused. He listened in case he needed to stop a fight. Being a Ranger with the army and well trained in tactical maneuvers in his current job, Travis was well qualified to intervene and break up a fight, when he heard one of the men arguing say, “What do you mean that bastard wants more money?”
“He said if we don’t pay up, he’ll shut us down permanently. And I don’t mean that we’ll have a chance to pull up stakes and start up our operations someplace else in the States either.”
“Then we need to take him out.”
“Yeah, right. The two of us against—“ The man abruptly quit talking.
His heart thundering in his ears, Travis backed toward his car as quietly as he could, but his boot crunched on frozen snow. He pulled out his Glock, ready in case anyone came out of the building with a gun trained on him.
“So how much did we make on sales today?” the one man asked as if there was nothing the matter.
“Fourteen hundred and some pocket change. So not too bad. The angels are really going over big this year. And the naughty elf wooden ornaments from Denmark too.”
The other man chuckled. “Our Christmas trees are making the real money. Can you give me a hand with setting up another couple of trees where sales have left some bare spots?”
Travis hesitated. His kind didn’t take down human criminals, unless a situation presented itself and he couldn’t avoid it. If the men were cougars, different story. It sounded like the men were up to no good, but without some kind of evidence to go by, he couldn’t alert the police. And he couldn’t go in to check and see if they were cougars either. First thing in the morning when the shop was open, he could sniff around. Or later, when the men went home, he could check out the boxes and see if they smelled like cougars had touched them.
He eyed the pristine boxes one last time, wishing that everything had been on the up and up, and he could have just gotten the boxes and been done with it.
Then Travis saw movement out of his peripheral vision. Instinctively, he lunged to the right, hoping he was overreacting, but if not, that his car would give him cover, hating that it could be shot up though.
A blond-haired man was armed with a rifle and fired a shot. Travis’s quick reaction hadn’t been fast enough. The shooter had been just as quick, like a highly-trained sniper.
Travis heard the shot fired, felt the stick of a dart when it hit his shoulder, and he yanked it out. By the time he fired his own gun at the shooter, Travis was sinking to the asphalt, cursing himself all the way down. His vision blurring, he hoped to hell his shot had impacted on the guy’s body somewhere that it would make a difference. His mind drifting, Travis reminded himself there were two men, not just the one. And then his world faded from gray to black.
I had never seen a red dragonfly in person before, so when I saw one land on one of my little wrought iron trellises, I was excited! I wanted to get a picture of him while outside though, and using the tripod. I managed a few shots inside, just in case I couldn’t get him outside–as in he flew away. Which he did.
But then he came back and I was prepared. I moved around him, he fluttered off a few times, but I caught a few neat shots. Isn’t he beautiful? And magical?
Then I came home after seeing my daughter last night and my neighbors go whole hog on Halloween.
So this was what I came home to. I’m not very good at nighttime photography. So I quickly looked up settings one photographer used, then sent my camera and went back out to take the shots, hoping they’d turn out. And they did!
Okay, I’m off to work on Double Cougar Trouble. 63,000 words to go!
Have a great one!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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