I came up with the concept of The Feline Fugitive about a year and half ago while I was sitting in the backyard watching my kids play. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a shifter story for awhile, but couldn’t come up with that perfect ah-ha plot. It wasn’t that I was unfamiliar with paranormal, most of my short stories incorporate some kind oddity in it. Robin’s Cap features a deranged, bloodthirsty Redcap. A Love Rewritten, a woman is transported inside her favorite romance novel and in Prince Henry’s Secret, the hero is cursed. So I wasn’t scared of trying to write a new genre. My issue was I’m weird. Not in a bad weird sort of way, just a little on the odd side and wanted to write a shifter story that veered away from the more alpha animals. So as I sat pondering what in the world I could make my hero’s counterpart, a dang stray cat walked by.
Now The Feline Fugitive isn’t about catnip and balls of yarn. I take an extremely masculine hero, Luca Doyle, and give him a softer kitty side, but that is as soft as Luca Doyle gets. Faced with being convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, and no way to prove his innocence, he goes on the lam in search of the true murderer, never knowing along the way he would meet the woman he loves and be unable to reveal his true self. Then danger knocks on the door….
Here is a quick trailer (under a minute) I wanted to share with you:
'He's a cat, Roger,' she'd said.
If only she knew how very wrong she was. The longer he lived here the harder it became to mask himself from her. The need to become Luca and mark her as his grew stronger with each passing day. He'd refused to stay in the bedroom with her.
For the second night in a row, he'd missed out on watching the innocence of her relaxed features, the soft sigh that passed her full lips as she dreamed and the small smile gracing her mouth as deep sleep captured her.
Down the hall, the usually closed bedroom door stood partially open. His heart swelled. She'd thought of him. Even was willing to bet she missed him. He sure as hell missed her. Tomorrow, he'd rejoin her. Flopping on his side, he closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep. A muffled noise caused his eyes to pop open. He strained his ears forward then jerked back when the sound repeated.
On all fours, crouched low to the floor, he crept down the hall. He craned his head around the door. An unknown man straddled her lower body, his hand pressed against her mouth.
Caterwauling, Luca raced forward and launched into the air. Claws dug into skin, teeth sank into flesh as he landed on the head of the assailant. The attacker screamed and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. Hissing, he struggled to free himself from the man's strong grasp, but the man hurled him across the room.
Pain exploded throughout his body as he slammed into the wall. Dazed by the impact, he slid to the floor with a thud. Stars shot in front of his eyes, and he shook his head. With effort, he came to his feet. The human inside the cat churned, clawing forward. Fighting for control, he pushed the instinct to emerge aside.
The sound of a hand striking cheek vibrated through the room. Then came Claudette's cry of pain. Roaring with rage, he stopped the battle with concealment and allowed the transformation to take place.
Prickles started in his gut, spreading like wild fire to his extremities. A feeling of elasticity passed over him as his muscle and bone popped and stretched into human form. Morphed, he gasped in labored pants, crouching on the floor. Head lifted, he scanned the couple on the bed with his gaze. Claudette's eyes had rounded into huge blue saucers of horror. The assailant's hand muffled her scream.
"Shut up," the attacker said as he cuffed her on the side of the head with his free hand.
Snarling, Luca sprang forward, tackled the man and sent them both crumpling to the floor. Pain shot through his scalp as the goon yanked a fistful of hair and the force of the wrench turned him sideways. He lost his grip on the man and flipped onto his back, then spun onto the balls of his feet and squatted low.
The assailant jumped up and crossed the room, laughing hysterically. "I knew it was you. You are so predictable. Your hero complex is your own worst enemy."
He narrowed his gaze on the man. Darkness cloaked the room, not allowing much in the way of vision, but he was positive he’d never met him. "Who are you?"
"Don't you mean, what am I?" His outline disappeared, replaced by the small silhouette of a cat.
Luca took a deep inhale with his nose. Nothing. Not even the slightest hint of shifter scent in the air. What was this creature?
The cat jumped into an open window. The light from the street lamp radiated over his tabby coat. Memories of that horrid night which ruined his life rushed over him. The unknown body lying on the floor, pain ricocheting through his head as he was hit from behind, the fire engulfing the building, the glimpse of a fleeing calico alley cat as he fought for consciousness before the fire raged out of control.
Like a fist in the gut, the realization hit him. This cat had set him up.
With a growl, the feline jumped from the window into the tree beside the house and disappeared from view. He stared after him, but whipped around when Claudette moved from the bed. Wide-eyed, she backed toward the door.
"Claudette, I can explain."
He moved with slow steps toward her. She rushed to the corner, grabbed a bat and pointed it at him. "Stay back!"
Halting, he held up his hands, hoping to keep her calm. "Claudette!"
The bat shook in her hands. "Where the hell is my cat?"
Thanks for letting me share!!!