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Behind the Eight Ball teaser:
Chapter One – Heller
The rustling of dead leaves caught my attention, and I froze, with one paw still in the air. Not moving and barely daring to breathe, I waited. My whiskers twitched as a cool October breeze disturbed the scent of decaying leaves and rich soil. The foliage trembled again as something rooted around.
I slowly lowered my paw. The disturbance wasn’t very noticeable, except to my predatory gaze. The movement continued. Gradually, bit by bit, I crept forward, making sure my long fur didn’t disturb the surrounding mounds of dying leaves. It was times like these I wished my coat were short like Dolf’s. One thing was for sure—whatever was below those leaves was going to be mine shortly. All I needed was to cover a little more distance, and I’d be close enough.
Heart thumping, I watched as the movement continued. My muscles tightened, and my bottom started wiggling. Unable to wait, I sprang forward, claws extended. Leaves flew into the air as I landed on my target. Bugs scattered. Eyes narrowed, I searched for…. There! There was the little bugger. I growled at the big black beetle and trapped it with my paw.
Seconds passed. The bug wiggled under my paw, tickling me. Hunched down, I carefully lifted my paw and peeked. Dammit, can’t see. Unable to get a good look, I lifted my paw a little higher… and there it went, scuttling across the ground. Gleefully, I slammed a paw down, trying to trap it. Slap. Slap. Slap. Arrgh! What’s the deal? I keep missing.
Looked like I’d found myself in a game of whack-a-mole, except with a beetle. And off we went. The bug scurried away with me hot on its trail. Every time I thought I had a paw on it, I ended up missing. Stupid critter was fast. I bounded along behind as it raced across the ground. Then it suddenly cut back and ran straight under me.
Surprised, I leaped in the air, all four paws coming off the ground. Whoa! Zigged when I should have zagged. I landed and nonchalantly licked a paw. Hope no one saw that. I had to give the bug credit. That was a smart move. The shrill cry of a mockingbird caught my attention. I lifted my head, searching for the little tattletale.
Up in a tree it sat, its warning cries echoing around the yard. I eyed the tree. Hmm, I could climb it, but the stupid bird will probably just take off. Still, might be fun. Maybe after I finished playing with the bug… and damn. The bug.
My attention returned to where it had been, my tail slashing. Great. Lost it. Stupid bird. I sat up and threw a glare over my shoulder at the bird. Standing, I turned my back to the little menace, tail held high. And that’s what I think of you, buddy. I prowled around for a while, sniffing, enjoying the coolness of the morning.
In the early morning sunlight, the dew on the grass sparked like diamonds. Maybe it was pretty, but the stuff was also cold and wet against my paws. I was glad for my fur. As I wandered back toward the house my stomach growled. I was hungry and… I sniffed. Oh, was that a blue jay I smelled? Oh, oh, a blue jay. Yum.
The human side of me groaned, but the kitty part wanted to jump with joy. The noisy little shits were actually quite intelligent. Catching one was always a feat. Quick as I could, I hid in the bright fall foliage by the back porch. I stayed very, very still so the stupid bird three feet from me didn’t fly off in a panic.
I licked my lips, my whiskers twitching as I watched the little rascal across from me raise its head. Shit, shit, shit. What caught its attention? Come on, already. It’s all fine, nothing to worry about here. No cat hanging around. Just go back to pecking around on the ground. Everything’s good. See? I’m not moving, not even breathing.
Crouched low, I waited while my breakfast relaxed, and returned to looking for acorns. Other birds came and went, but I refused to get distracted. I knew the one I wanted. Inch by agonizing inch brought me closer, my prey completely unaware death hovered. My mouth watered, and my heart thumped.
The chatter of the birds around me was easy and relaxed, no distress calls sounding. That’s right. Just keep on eating. Soon I’m going to be eating you. My body tensed, back legs ready to spring me into action….
And the phone in the house rang.
The birds took off in a wing-flapping mad rush. I turned back to the house, snarling. Unbelievable! I should’ve shut the damn window in the house. I should’ve known better, but I just had to raise the windows this morning. I’d never stopped to think about a ringing phone messing up my stalk.
I darted back inside and shifted just as my cell stopped ringing. I needed to check that since the ringtone was the head beta of our clowder, Dolf. One didn’t ignore any more than one ignored our Alpha. I was one of four betas now, but up until a few years ago, I’d been the clowders hacker.
My main job was protecting our Alpha, even though I ran a lawn service for the clowder members. I also did website design for many paranormals and fixed computers on the side. I was a regular jack-of-all-trades who really, really needed to find his clothes before my nuts froze off. Now that I was furless, I noticed the bite to the fall air even more.
I hurried to my bedroom. The hardwood under my bare feet sent shivers up my spine. As I dressed, I heard my cell beep from the kitchen, letting me know I did indeed have a message. I returned to the kitchen where my cell sat. At least that couldn’t fly off.
* * *
So, I *still* haven't heard anything on 8 Ball. I was hoping to announce a release date, but that's a no go. I *should* be hearing something just any day now. (Yes, I'm climbing the walls lol. This is the 10th week. Rarely does it go this long.)
Anyway, let's talk about Remi a little. You first met him in Trouble Comes in Threes. He's the one who didn't act like an ass when Dolf told all the betas about Kirk, his other mate who happened to be human. Remi is easy-going and fun-loving. He's not one to get mad often. But don't be fooled. Out of the four betas, Remi is the strongest. Just because he's laid back, don't assume he's a pushover lol. He's not.
Now, in Behind the Eight Ball, Remi meets his mate near the end of the book. Surprise, surprise, he's not a human. It certainly caught me by surprise lol. No, Remi's mate is actually a paranormal, and a damn strong one to boot. Remi's story will be book #3 called It Takes Two to Tango.
One of things I noticed about Remi was his love for funny T-shirts. So of course I had to go find a site that sold these kinds of things. Oh man, some of the sayings cracked me up. Matter of fact, both of my kids are getting some of these shirts for birthdays and other holidays lol!
Here are a few saying you might see mentioned in either upcoming book. *wink*