Edited excerpt from Nwa Pante Rising

“Hold still.” Still chuckling Turi came over and knelt beside Shiloh. He tied a knot in one corner of the shirt to keep it from dragging the ground then started to straighten up. Shiloh threw her shoulder into him, almost sending him sprawling. “What the-? Shiloh!”

*That’s for laughing at me all night!* Shiloh darted ahead while he recovered his balance. She was waiting by the gate and looking pretty pleased with herself when Turi caught up with her. *My keys are in my apron; it’s got the blue thingy on it.* 

“Not all night.” Turi corrected. She nosed past him into the yard while he fished into her pocket and came up with her key ring. “Settle down someone could be inside waiting for you.”

*How would you know the difference between who’s been allowed inside my house and who’s there uninvited?* Shiloh’s tail swished in irritation as she waited for him to scent the house. *You don’t know me. I could have hordes of men tromping through on a daily basis for all you know.*

“Hordes of them?” Even though Turi knew better than that from her reaction to their encounter in the nightclub a pang of jealousy stabbed at his gut. He didn’t scent anyone actively in her home; he let her move into the dark kitchen ahead of him.

*Yep; scads and oodles.* She flicked her tail at him as she padded over to the light switch then pawed it on.

“That many huh?” Anyone who used “scads and oodles” wasn’t likely to have a turnstile on her bedroom door. Still there were male scents in her home, deeply ingrained too. “I think I know you well enough Shiloh.” The brothers he assumed as a sense of déjà vu washed over him again. There was something familiar about the scents; they niggled at his brain like a familiar but forgotten song lyric.

*There’s soda in the fridge if you want anything.*

“Thanks.” Turi delved into the refrigerator for a drink; there was no beer so he took a soda then paused to look over at her. “You want anything?” When Shiloh shook her head, he cocked an eyebrow at her. “You sure?”

*Absolutely sure.* Shiloh turned away and headed into the living room making her feelings clear. Turi popped the top on his drink and followed her. Shiloh plopped onto the couch with her head resting on the arm she was the picture of dejection.  * I may have to accept some of this but if I have to eat from a bowl I swear to God, I’ll freaking lose it.*


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