About Shifting Responsibility
Author: Kiernan Kelly
Word Count: 31800
Page Count (pdf): 159
Date Published: 09302019
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
File Types available: epub, pdf, mobi
There’s love in the air at the Midnight Rodeo when corgi-shifter, Loki, meets fainting-goat shifter, Bailey. Trouble is brewing, though, in the form of Epoch, a timekeeper with a bull-sized chip on his shoulder and a crush on a certain corgi-shifter. Tempers flare and love burns hot in this addition to the Midnight Rodeo Series!
The rumbling growl started low in his chest and swelled until it broke free in a ferocious series of barks. Loki ran swiftly between the bulls, snapping at their heels, gracefully evading the streams of fire flowing from their nostrils. Demon bulls were not easy to herd, but he was no ordinary dog-shifter. He was a Pembroke Welsh corgi, bred for generations to be the top herders in the business. And he was the best of the best.
“Get in the pen, you mangy bullshit factory!” He bared his teeth at Dervish, an especially ornery bull who more than lived up to his name. The beast snorted fire and dodged this way and that, trying to use its wide, hard hooves to smash Loki flat or kick him into next week.
Fat chance. Loki’s jaws snapped shut on Dervish’s hind rear leg, drawing the taste of blood and a ringing bellow from the bull. Blech! Loki let go and spat, trying to rid himself of the taste of demon bull. Biting was always a last resort, used only when barking and chasing didn’t work, because damn if the things didn’t taste like gone over chicken. It worked, though. Dervish pivoted and followed the rest of the herd right up the ramp into the pen. Loki quickly shifted into his man form and closed the gate, then threw the latch.
“Fuckers.” He swiped his forearm across his mouth. Herding was tough, dirty, thirsty work. He still had the taste of demon bull in his mouth and was in dire need of a drink and a toothbrush, not necessarily in that order. Or better yet, both at the same time. Right now, brushing his teeth with a healthy helping of Jack Daniels sounded pretty damn good. Happily for him, he was now off duty and had a fifth of whiskey and an Oral B waiting for him at his trailer.
He took off at a trot, uncaring that he was as naked as the day his mama pushed him out into the world. Supes were used to the occasional nude man or woman—it was the norm for shifters, and God knew there were enough of them working the rodeo. All kinds too. Wolves, of course, and cats, bears, even a dragon and a gargoyle. Loki was the only corgi-shifter, though, and while it would’ve been fun to have one of his littermates to pal around with, he got a kick out of being unique.
There’d been a few times when one or another roustabout or rider had thoughtlessly commented on his height—he was, of course, short-legged as a corgi and his man form barely hit the five foot six mark—but those incidents were isolated and few. Those people had swiftly learned he was more compact than merely small. His fists were rock hard, his aim was true, and whoever chose to make them his enemy soon learned the folly of their ways via a few painful bruises.