Wednesday Words: Critters

This week’s #1lineWed theme is **CRITTERS**. All kinds of critters. Wild or domesticated. Dogs, cats, horses, pigs, birds. Real or preternatural. This week’s Wolf is Riley “Speed” O’Brien, hero of SEAL Moon. That means today’s snippet is from the same book. This was a fun scene to write. As a set-up, they’ve escaped the explosion on the deep sea drilling rig, swimming through the Gulf of Mexico to a deserted island that has Mayan ruins, where Riley and his heroine (and boss), Taylor Dagny are taking refuge.
****
He scouted ahead, found nothing that concerned him. Returning, he led her into the clearing and she halted, staring, mouth slightly agape.

“Pretty amazing, huh?”

“This…” She stepped closer, pulled up short. “What is this?”

“Mayan ruins. There’s a hot spring along with the cold pool and waterfall. We can shelter here until I figure out a way to get us back to the mainland.”

“Ruins?”

Riley glanced at Taylor, who was acting oddly skittish.

“We don’t have to go inside, do we?”

He glanced toward the sky, though the rain forest’s canopy blocked a lot of it. Clouds were scudding across the sun. “Unless you want to sit out here in the rain. Me? I plan on staying dry.” He walked over to the nearest ruin with a door. He leaned down to look inside. Taylor appeared at his side and mimicked his actions.

She peered into the darkness, her heart rate racing in triple time. “It’s too dark to see in there.”

Keeping his face neutral, Riley agreed. “The better to hide from the bad guys.”

“You’re doing it again.” She scowled at him and it was all Riley could do to not kiss the furrows that formed above her nose.

“Doing what again?”

“Making me feel ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous to be concerned about entering ancient ruins lost in the rain forest.”

He stared at her, at her narrow skirt ripped up one side, her torn blouse dipping off one shoulder, her bare feet with their designer pedicured toes. He wisely kept his mouth shut. Old Wolves could learn new tricks. Especially since he could see in the dark. He didn’t mention the flashlight he had in his pack. He stepped through the small opening and looked back at her. “You coming?”

A delicate shudder skated through her, though she wasn’t sure if it was fear of the dark or the darkly sensuous tone of his voice and the implied double entendre. “Are there snakes?”

He bit his tongue and shifted his stance to cover his reaction to her question. “No.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive. There are no snakes.” He headed deeper into the room.

“Why don’t I believe you?” Taylor followed, hesitant, and gingerly walking on tiptoes. Something slithered against her ankle and she launched herself onto Riley’s back, screaming bloody murder.

He winced, her scream like a physical blow to his sensitive ears.

“No snakes. You told me no snakes,” she panted. “What was that?”

He flicked the Zippo lighter he pulled from his pocket, checked the floor. “A vine, duchess. Just a vine. I’m telling you, there aren’t any snakes.”

“Promise?”

“Yes.”

She slithered down off his back. It wasn’t snakes she needed to worry about. It was Wolves. Well, one Wolf, to be precise. He’d leashed his lust for as long as he could. Riley didn’t know how much time they’d have but he was going to seduce her. Or else.
****
And y’all got two critters for the price of one. 😉 Who has critters to share? Writers, offer up some words. Readers, what your favorite animal character in a book? (Pssst I have a soft spot for Harley, the Newfoundland in REDEEMED BY THE COWGIRL.) And don’t forget that BILLIONAIRE COUNTRY released yesterday. 😉 And now, just one more commercial announcement…If you haven’t read Riley and Taylor’s story, you can grab SEAL MOON for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, or buy it and keep it for $2.99.

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About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of two award-winning series--Moonstruck and The Penumbra Papers, Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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2 Responses to Wednesday Words: Critters

  1. Loved it! And squee for a new book! I can’t wait to read it and then put it on my shelf with the others. =oD

    LOL, you ask for critters when I’m writing Ugly and the Beast, I got critters, baby. You already read about Pinky the hellbeast on my blog, so here’s a bit about Oliver…

    I had already mostly tuned out Mom’s standard lecture, but one word filtered through. “Cat? What cat?”
    “As if you didn’t know.” Her finger stabbed again. “Right there, sleeping on your father’s pillow.”
    I didn’t know anything about any cat, but I was afraid to look. The only cat I knew of was the one I’d encountered the night before. And it couldn’t be that one. I’d left him twining around Blanding’s ankles. Didn’t I?
    Forcing myself to follow my mother’s pointed arm, I slowly turned toward the bed. Sure enough, sleeping on the exact spot where my cat-allergic father laid his head every night was a long-haired, black and white cat. Somehow or other, Faux-Stewart had followed me home.
    My eyes went wide. “No, no. Bad cat.” His eyes opened a mere slit, but through that small space he conveyed a world of annoyance.
    “Why on earth would you bring a cat home? Isn’t it bad enough to stayed out all night with some strange man? A cat! Really, Jennifer, you’ve gone too far this time.”
    I did a slow turn toward my mother. She really did have a strange memory. In my entire existence in their home, I’d toed the line every time. I was the good kid. I did my homework on time. I stuck to my curfew. Hell, I went out so infrequently I often wondered why they bothered giving me a curfew. I was never out past nine anyway.
    “I didn’t bring the cat home. I swear. It must’ve followed me.”
    “Get it out of here right this instant.” She stomped to the linen closet. “I’m going to have to scrub all the bedding now, you know. And vacuum everything. I might even have to fumigate. A cat. Jennifer, really.”
    Mom continued to rant as I walked carefully toward Dad’s side of the bed. I didn’t want to scare the poor thing and have him running all over the house. That would really send my mother into the stratosphere. “Come on, Puss’ums…”
    “My name is not Puss’ums. Or Boots. Or Mittens. Or any other cute appellation you wish to thrust upon me. My name is Oliver.”

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