. . .“You wanted science.” His tone was patient. “I will give you science. A long time ago when earth’s creatures were more flexible, adaptations took place quickly. Many mutations were too strange to live more than one generation. Some could not reproduce and others, too delicious, just got eaten. But from time to time beings with special benefits arose and thrived.”
. . .“Like dinosaurs?”
. . .Chronus laughed. “They didn’t do that well. I’m talking about creatures that adapted to climate change, escaped predators, and fought off competitors for territory. My ancestors were one of those. It’s as simple as that.”
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. . .The Labrador skidded into a mound of snow and threw herself into the deepest drift. Diva rolled and kicked her feet, squealing in delight as dry snow squeaked beneath her chocolate brown coat. She’d missed snow.
. . .For oh so long the dog-shifters had been imprisoned by the werewolves. They’d worked hard to find clues to break the werewolf curse until, on the night of the Winter Solstice, under the star Sirius, and with the help of the human librarians, they’d broken free. Free. Free. Free. She rolled three times before bounding to her feet and barking in sheer joy.
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. . .Bliss opened her eyes and gazed up toward the moon. She’d stayed out later than she’d planned. Here on this ancient mound her meditations were always longer and deeper.
. . .She stretched her long white neck and shook herself, lowered her front legs, raised her butt into the air, and waved her tail. Downward Dog as a dog felt even better than it did as a human.
. . .She needed to run the three miles back to town to meet Harry at Starbarks. One of the problems being a dog-shifter was not wearing a watch. Trotting down the mound and then up the hill into the woods, she delighted in flickers of moonlight creating a subtle strobe effect through the forest back to the library. Smells of small furry animals rose up from cold leaves. The ground, still frosty under her toes, sent hints of new green growth to her sensitive nose, reminding her that spring would soon warm this southern Ohio wilderness.
. . .Pacifico Lopez faced the elevator door and punched ninety-nine. Just the smell of this werewolf office tower made him want to bare his teeth. Anger had brought him to New York City. For months he’d applied his software conglomerate’s resources to track down an international book piracy operation. Now at last he had proof the werewolves’ World Wide Publishing was stealing ebooks by the millions and giving them away free from an unknown location.
. . .Pacifico pulled himself as tall as his five foot two height allowed. A black fedora and shoulder pads added height and bulk and he’d need every centimeter to face Dominika Romano. Online photos showed an older version of her daughter Sybilla, who’d terrorized his town of Shipsfeather. Tall with terrible fierce beauty, the Romano women were alpha from their Mediterranean noses to the tip of their plumed tails.
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