To celebrate the continued adventure, I’ve been offering chapters weekly on my blog, http://practicalkatz.blogspot.com/ during the month of November and thought I’d jump on the wagon and do the same on Some Like it Hot. Of course, if you just can’t wait for the next installment, you can always download the book, and the beautiful cover art by Stella Price, from Amazon or Goodreads.
So, without further ado, here’s Chapter One. I hope you enjoy.
The woman crouched between him and the water his body craved. Fortunately for her, he was not hungry. The peccary he’d taken this morning would keep him for a few days. Yet the sight of her naked haunch, straining to hold her crouched over her work, held him captive.
Instinct told him the meat was forbidden. But he watched for the tightening of muscle that would herald an attempt to flee as though she were prey. She was not prey.
And his full stomach demanded water, not meat.
Whatever prompted her to block access to the stream, arrogance or inexperience, getting rid of her was a simple matter of letting loose the growl forming in his chest.
Or he could move on to the next watering hole.
But he waited and salivated, watching her with something akin to hunger as she prepared a…syringe…with a barb…a needle…as long as her finger, hovering over the bright blooms like a hummingbird. He almost understood, but his cat brain couldn’t quite make the connection.
From flower to flower she moved, more purposeful than a hummingbird, filling the syringe but not feeding. Instead, she emptied each flower’s gathering into a small vial, making notes on its label before moving on to the next.
She’s collecting nectar. The lucid thought warned him of the pending change a fraction of a second before the cramp struck his thigh. Without time to prepare, his body reacted with a jerk and low grunt.
The woman spun on her heels. Her eyes locked to his, immediately aware.
A look of wondrous awe shined in those eyes. Then he smelled the fear a moment before it registered on her face.
* * * *
My God, a black jaguar. The cat crouched behind an elephant ear at the edge of the tree line, less than five meters away. An amazing specimen, perfectly formed, stocky, with the powerful jaws and shoulder of a male in its prime. The black fur gleamed with health. Beth was close enough to distinguish the shadowed rosettes on its back. Her gaze moved to study the face. Golden eyes scrutinized her thoughtfully.
Off in the distance, a howler screeched. The cat gave a low huff. The eyes narrowed.
Awareness of what those jaws could do struck her like a blow. She froze, knowing her fifty kilos had no hope of outrunning or overpowering the predator’s eighty.
Lips curled into a snarl, the cat tensed. A growl grew from deep in its chest, grew and grew, then exploded into a yowl.
She thought she was dead. But the great cat wheeled on its haunches and disappeared among the trees.
Her body went limp with relief and the aftermath of an adrenaline rush. Her legs threatened to drop her to the forest floor, but the other members of the team rushed to her side. She clung to her dignity and stayed upright.
“Beth, are you all right? It’s gone. Come here. Sit down.” Jean-Paul grasped her arm and led her to a mossy area upstream. Dignity was the last thing on her mind by the time he helped her to sit. Her eyes focused on nothing while she waited for the feeling to return to her limbs and her heart to stop racing.
“Stupid,” she reproached herself under her breath. “Working next to a watering hole. I blocked his way. Stupid.” She needed to pull herself together. The mistake was bad enough. Falling apart over one could get her sent home.
Kate plopped down beside her. “Damn, Beth. You’re supposed to stay with the group, for God’s sake.” Her voice was at least an octave higher than normal.
Beth couldn’t argue the point. She’d moved without thinking, not a good behavior to embrace anywhere, especially in this environment–as she’d just proved to herself. The shock was finally passing, the numbness fading; her body was starting to come back to her. But the cat–the initial thrill returned.
“Did you see him?” Astonished laughter rose in her throat. “A black jaguar! My God, did you see how beautiful he was?”
“I saw it looking at you like breakfast,” Kate said. “Beth, get over it. You were careless. You could have been killed.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. We better get back, don’t you think?” Unable to muster the appropriate amount of remorse, Beth picked herself up and started back to the watering hole to collect her sample bag. “Carter said he hasn’t seen a cat or wolf in this area in years,” she mused. “Where did this one come from?”
* * * *
Ch’aho’m–no, he reminded himself, Carlos–didn’t understand how he came to be back in his old territory. When the research center with its influx of people took over the area, he’d moved rather than fight. Moving territory was easy in the forest these days. He didn’t have to worry about stepping on another cat’s toes; his were the only toes to step on.
His old scent markers were faded, but if he followed the creek in this direction, he’d eventually come upon the sagging wooden suspension bridge and orient himself. The cabin wasn’t far.
A night under a roof, a mattress to sleep on, not to mention clothes, sounded wonderful. How long had he been a cat this time?
A long time, weeks. The transformation had been hard. The muscles in his legs still cramped as they re-acclimated themselves to this shape. His bones ached. Still, it felt good to be walking on two legs again. He glanced down at his nakedness to discover part of the discomfort had nothing to do with muscles. He had an erection. Is that what brought him to human form? The woman? Not surprising. After all, how many years had it been since he’d had sex?
While here, he’d make the rounds he’d neglected far too long. A grin crept over his face. A visit to the research center might offer a chance to do something with the erection.
But not with his hummingbird. He sensed danger there. Looking back on their meeting with human perception, she still smelled like prey. Pale skinned, raven-haired, obsidian-eyed–he could get lost in those eyes. For a few seconds, he’d seen into her soul and recognized the desire to reach out, to touch, to stroke, to nuzzle. No wonder he had a hard-on. No, the hummingbird woman was off limits.
With some relief, he found the path to his door overgrown and undisturbed. Not wanting to risk his tender new skin, he picked up a fallen branch to help clear a way for himself through the overhanging foliage and made his way home to see if he still had a job.
* * * *
Beth knew she was dreaming, so the cat’s appearance at her window didn’t surprise or frighten her. Even when it leaped into the room, all she wanted was a closer look, but night in the cloud forest was pitch dark.
It was early; frogs still sang. The moon must certainly be out, but the canopy didn’t let in much light, just enough to detect the black on black shadow of his stocky body and the golden glint of his eyes–two brilliant flashes in the night.
Thunder sounded as the cat approached in slow motion, its powerful shoulder muscles rolling beneath the blackness. His head nudged her, setting the soft cocoon of her hammock into a peaceful sway. The motion lulled her deeper into a languid state. On the return swing, her hand brushed the length of his jaw. The cat leaned in, turning the glancing touch into a caress. With the gentle rocking and soothing contact, Beth soon dropped into dreamless sleep until soft lips whispered across her cheek.
The touch startled her. Still, she didn’t wake. Instead, she fell into the dream, opening her senses to the awareness of a man’s lips caressing her face, neck, shoulders–a beautiful dream, purely sensual and more than welcome.
Warm, wet, his mouth covered her breast, tongue playing over the hardened nipple until it tightened to the point of pain. Her body arched into the sensation; the play grew more heated. Soft puffs of hot breath soughed over her skin, faster, harder, a prod to her growing arousal.
The hammock tilted. She gripped the edges, rolling to one side as two arms came up from below to cradle her through the fabric. The mouth had a body, a strong, hairless, naked chest pressing against her. And a face, his soft, short-stubbled beard, sparse, grazed her skin as a man’s teeth and lips gnawed at her torso. Long, moist strokes of his tongue followed, awakening every nerve.
No sound from him but the soft whistle of air through his nose as he took in her scent, and the hot whoosh of his exhaled breath washing over her.
This was like no wet dream she’d had before. The man, in the dark, eating her alive as though he couldn’t remember his last meal–his hunger came off him in waves. Her body responded, arching into his need, offering a banquet.
His mouth moved back to her breasts. He tilted her, giving himself access to both, sucking at each until her sex throbbed with pulses of fire and her hips rose in supplication.
Taking pity, he abandoned her breasts, chewed and licked his way down her torso until his head slid between her thighs, where he stopped and breathed her in.
A whimper escaped her, rousing her a little, but she fought to maintain her languid state, to hold onto the dream. She raised her knee, opening to him, hips thrusting, brazenly rubbing her sex against his soft beard. Finally, his tongue reached for her in one long stroke from front to back. Her pussy wept for joy. He lapped it up.
Please, she thought, but in the dream, he heard. His mouth fell on her. His tongue stroked the length of her, petting, creating liquid spasm, which he drank greedily with hard swallows that moved in waves down his throat pressed to her belly.
In the dream, she had no shame. Her hips bucked, riding his face, giving him the rhythm to take her over the edge. He followed. Finally, he took her clit between his lips and sucked.
The orgasm exploded through her–like nothing she had ever experienced in life, let alone in a dream. His breathing grew ragged. Finally, little growls escaped his throat, sending vibrations to increase the intensity of the spasms that went on and on.
The arm beneath her shoulders vanished. Only one arm held her, pressing her cunt to his face while the rest of her hung supported by the hammock, head lowered, blood roaring past her ears to her brain as he sucked, growling, huffing, grunting. She heard the slap of flesh against flesh and knew he was bringing himself to climax. The knowledge sent her into a second orgasm. He stiffened, cried out against her, and his teeth clenched the soft flesh of her thigh as his body heaved. A wild sound escaped her.
When it was over, she stretched, every muscle loosened and burning from the powerful force of the orgasm. Her body hummed.
He kissed her thighs, her belly, still panting with exertion, and made his way up her torso, peppering her with gentle kisses, soothing after the ravaging he had given her. His sweetness touched her breasts, first one than the other, careful to avoid the over-sensitive nipples.
She waited, murmuring her pleasure, for the kiss to reach her mouth. His teeth gently closed on her throat.
He was gone…
* * * *
She dropped into a dreamless sleep to the sound of rain splashing on the leaves and the jungle laying itself to rest.
Look for Chapter 2 in a couple weeks.
and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂