Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bedtime Stories: Shut Up! by Marteeka Karland

Bedtime Stories: Shut Up! by Marteeka  Karland

Read an excerpt

Bedtime Stories: Shut Up!

by Marteeka Karland
cover art by ReneƩ George
ISBN: 978-1-59596-980-4
Genre(s): Paranormal, Humor & Satire
Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Magic and Mayhem
Series: Bedtime Stories
Length: Hot Flash

Book Summary Callie hates being irritated. As official kitty of the Bar and Grille for the Bedtime Stories readers and authors, she's princess of the place. She has the last say in everything she does and with everyone in her vicinity. Then Troll makes a proclamation that could very well get someone killed. It seems she's decided it's time someone took Callie down a peg or two. Anyone who can get the last word in on Callie gets to have his way with her in bed.
It's a proposition Eli can't refuse. The hunky bartender caught Callie's attention with his great Captain and Coke, but his wonderfully muscled body keeps it. He's the man she's been wanting for a very long time. Now, she's about to get all the loving from Eli she can stand.
If she can just shut up.

Bedtime Stories: Shut Up!
Marteeka Karland
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Marteeka Karland

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Callie hunkered down at one end of the bar. In cat form, she wasn't noticed by most of the bar's patrons. Which was just as well. While she loved being petted -- by the right person -- she wasn't much of a people person. Men and women of every race and species imaginable littered the place. Food and drinks flowed through the bar with cat-like efficiency, and the bar's cabana boys flirted with men and women alike. The noise was deafening.
Callie hated noise.
"What's the matter, Callie? Cat got your tongue?"
Not even bothering to hiss, Callie simply made a swipe with her paw across the face of the handsome cabana boy, Dirk. She grazed him, but didn't permanently scar him. Which was more than he deserved. He knew she hated cat jokes. She quickly ducked behind the bar and shifted to her human form. Wrapping up in a conveniently stashed robe, she climbed up on a nearby barstool at the end of the bar and sat. The new bartender sat a Captain and Coke in front of her without being asked. Good help was hard to find, but this guy might work out nicely.
"Ow! What the hell'd you do that for, Callie? I was just teasing!"
"Oh. Dirk. I'd forgotten you were there." She took a drink without looking at the crestfallen cabana boy. "Not such a pretty boy anymore, are you? Why not go pick on someone with your own mentality level?"
In her human form, Callie was anything but a beauty. She knew and accepted that. She had brown hair, brown eyes, and a too-rounded body. The one good feature she had was a perpetual suntan. In her cat form, she loved lying in the sun and, in the summer at least, the inclination wasn't any less in her human form. She also had a hair trigger. She was too small as a cat to do much damage, so, over the years, she'd sharpened her tongue to take care of irritating, pretty boys. It was the only way she could tolerate staying in the Bar and Grille so long.
"You know, one of these days, that mouth is going to get you into trouble."
"Maybe. But until then, I have no intention of sitting by quietly while you irritate me."
Dirk just couldn't leave it alone. "I wasn't trying to irritate you, Callie! I was just teasing you. I had no malicious intent."
Callie merely shrugged. "I don't care what your intent was, you irritated me. Don't like it? Leave me alone."
The noise in the bar hadn't lessened any at all, but their commotion hadn't escaped notice. Marching toward them, in all her glory, was the queen of the Bar and Grille herself. Maddie. Also known as Troll. "Is there a problem?"
Callie didn't like dealing with Troll. Troll was queen of the bar, Callie merely the princess. So she did what she did with everyone she couldn't rip to shreds with words. She ignored her.
"You've got to get your pet under control, ma'am." Poor Dirk didn't know he was in for another tongue lashing when this was done. No one, Troll included, controlled Callie.
Troll merely shrugged. "I don't have any problems with her. Only people who irritate her do. What did you do this time?"
At this point, Callie quit listening and concentrated on her drink. It really was good. The new bartender really knew how to mix a Captain and Coke. She downed the last of it and signaled him for another. She'd thank him, except she was princess of the bar. It was beneath her to thank anyone. Besides, she was the bar mascot. Just the fact that Troll decreed she live here meant free drinks were mandatory.
Troll and Dirk continued to talk, but she tuned them out. Until her name caught her attention. She turned her head slightly, to make sure she'd heard right. A sneer curled across her lip. "You'll regret that, you troll." Callie never looked up from her drink. Troll better hope she didn't take Callie home anytime soon. If she did, Callie swore she'd shit the biggest pile of cat shit in the whole world right in the middle of Troll's bed.
Troll merely shrugged. "If you shit in my bed I'll beat you within an inch of your life, cat. Maybe once you're well and truly fucked, you'll have a better disposition."
"Are you serious about this?" Dirk looked like he couldn't believe his ears. He also looked a little too eager for Callie's taste. "Anyone -- man or woman -- who can make Callie shut up wins a night of raw, nasty sex with her?"
"I'm serious about the one night of sex part," Troll said. "But the method will be her choice. Being a man, I seriously doubt you want to irritate her during sex. I won't be responsible for what happens if you irritate her while you're naked. Besides, she's a perfectly quiet little kitty. You just have to be able to get the last word on her. Not make her shut up, exactly."
"Well, you can count me out, anyway." Dirk waved Troll off. "I'm up for just about anything, but she's a tad too prickly for me."
Callie opened her mouth to deliver a scathing reply, but a deep, gruff voice behind the bar beat her to it. "That's because you're a pussy."
"I am not." Dirk puffed out his chiseled, really good-looking chest. Just because Callie didn't like him didn't mean she couldn't appreciate a nice male chest. "I'm a wolf."
"Pussy. Dog. Either way, you're not man enough for Callie."

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