As one of the #CMCon17 featured bloggers, I get to have a little fun with a few of the fabulous authors who will be hitting the beach for Coastal Magic 2017 by showcasing their many stories. We had so much fun with last year’s At the Beach feature, that we’re doing it again.
Today Charlie Cochet is taking us to the beach with Dex, the main hero from her THIRDS series. The seventh book, Smoke & Mirrors, just recently came out; so if Therians Gone Wild gets your interest, make sure you check out the first book, Hell & High Water.
Therians Gone Wild
Dex turned in his seat and wriggled his eyebrows at Ash. “It’s a surprise.”
For weeks Dex had been planning this little weekend getaway. Not even Sloane knew where they were going. All anyone knew was that they were going to the beach. Dex refused to tell them which one. In fact, he’d waited until they were all packed up and ready to go inside the rental van before putting the address into the navigation system. Dex was practically bouncing with excitement.
“I don’t like surprises,” Ash muttered, his eyes narrowed at Dex.
Dex gasped. “What? Ash Keeler doesn’t like something? No. That can’t be.”
“Bite me. I can’t believe you rented a freaking minivan. I don’t care that’s it Therian-sized. It’s a minivan.”
“I already told you. The van I originally picked was out of service. This was all they had.”
“Or maybe you and Sloane are getting broody,” Ash teased.
Sloane flipped Ash off through the rearview mirror, and Dex chuckled. He turned to face the front, and took Sloane’s hand, giving it a squeeze. A whole weekend of sun, sand, and sipping cocktails with the man he loved, and their makeshift family.
Letty put her hand up.
“How much longer?”
Dex turned and arched an eyebrow at her. “About an hour.”
“Ethan says he’s hungry,” Calvin pitched in from the back row, one headphone popped in, and his eyes glued to his tablet.
“He’s always hungry,” Dex said with a sigh. He gave Hobbs a pointed look. “There are sandwiches in the black cooler. Just one. We’re almost there.”
Hobbs nodded enthusiastically before unfastening his seatbelt and bending over the back seat to rummage in the cooler. Why did the guy always end up with his butt in the air no matter what form he was in? Calvin gave Hobbs’s butt a pat.
“Don’t fall in, buddy. It’s a cooler, not a walk-in refrigerator.”
Hobbs reached up and smacked the back of Calvin’s head.
“Am I going to have to separate you two?” Sloane scolded. “Because I will.”
“Dad,” Cael whined. “I mean Dex. My butt is getting numb. Can we stop and stretch our legs for a few minutes?”
Dex was horrified. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just call me dad. We’re almost there.”
“But my butt,” Cael said with a pout.
“Don’t you start. I will turn this van around! Hobbs, I said one sandwich. One.”
Hobbs blinked at him innocently. He put two of the foil covered hoagies next to each other.
“No, they’re not two halves, they’re two sandwiches. Put one back.”
“How about some music?” Rosa called out.
“We tried that already, remember? Ash vetoed everything.”
“Maybe we should veto Ash,” Rosa muttered, getting an ear flick from Ash. “Ow! Asshole. My ear. Dex!”
“Is it bleeding?” Dex asked, facing the front again, and summoning patience.
“Then suck it up.”
Next to him Sloane chuckled, his eyes alight with amusement.
“Next time, I drive,” Dex muttered. Luckily for him and his sanity, they reached their destination in half an hour. After they parked, Dex rounded everyone up outside the van and put them each in charge of something, whether it was food, beach equipment, towels, clothes, bags, etc. They headed for the large locker station, and they put away their valuables. Then they headed out into an outdoor changing area. From there they could see the stretch of beach, and the ocean. It was beautiful. It was also filled with Therians in their Therian form.
Ash was immediately on high alert. “What the hell’s going on?”
“Easy, agent Keeler. It’s all good.”
“Since when is it legal to shift in public?”
Dex smiled broadly. “Since the city’s new Therian mayor approved the proposal for a Therian beach.”
Cael’s face lit up with excitement. “Are you saying we can play in the sand in our Therian forms?”
Dex gave him a wink. “That’s right, Chirpy. You can pounce in the sand until your spots fall off. No one will say a word.”
“I’m going to ignore the fact you called me that in public, and say wooooo!” Cael grabbed Ash’s arm, and tugged at him. “Come on, Ash! Sand!”
“But….” Ash pouted. “My mane.”
“Please,” Cael purred, pulling out all the stops. He batted his lashes, and ran a finger down Ash’s arm. “We can help each other wash off later.”
Dex gagged. “I think I’m gonna be sick.”
“Screw you, Justice,” Ash growled before turning his attention back to Cael and smiling warmly. “You got it, sweetheart.”
“We can bury Dex in the sand!”
Ash perked up. “Now that sounds like a great idea.”
The two of them ran off to change, and Dex headed for one of the changing stalls with Sloane, telling the rest of their team they’d meet down by the umbrella hut.
“Where’d you find out about this place?” Sloane asked, pulling his T-shirt over his head. Dex sat on the little wooden bench to ogle his boyfriend.
“Of course.” Sloane shook his head in amusement. “You sure it’s okay I change?” He pulled Dex into his arms, and gave his cheek a kiss. “I don’t want to leave you on your own.”
“Hey, it’s not every day you get to play on a beach in your felid form. It’ll be fun.” Dex meant it. Sloane didn’t get to frolic and play in his Therian form often enough. Neither did the rest of their friends. When they did shift, it was usually because they were called out to handle a Therian threat. It wasn’t right not to let Therians shift for a little fun. It was who they were.
“I love you,” Sloane murmured, nuzzling Dex’s temple before kissing him sweetly on the lips.
“I love you too.” He swatted Sloane’s butt. “Now go on. Get your felid freak on.”
Sloane chuckled. He undressed, and Dex winced at the painful groans, and cries as Sloane shifted his mass. His bones, muscles, and skin contorted and changed before the sleek black jaguar appeared. Sloane stretched his legs and back, as if he were coming out of a long catnap. Tail twitching, he rubbed his head up against Dex’s legs, as if the other Therians here didn’t already catch his scent. Dex had used one of Sparks’s handy arm sleeves to mask his mark, just in case. It wasn’t like they were going to be here all day, and the things was waterproof, so it would do for a few hours of beach fun.
Dex put Sloane’s clothes away in their locker, and followed him out to the beach, running after Sloane when his partner took off, jumping and pouncing when he reached their teammates by the hut. Ash, Cael, Sloane, and Hobbs darted off to play while Dex, Letty, Rosa, and Calvin rented umbrellas, and lounge chairs. They hauled all their stuff over, and set up before putting on sunscreen. Letty and Rosa went off to swim.
“You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into,” Calvin said, grabbing his sunscreen from his backpack.
“What I’ve gotten us into.”
Calvin punched him in the arm, and Dex laughed. As Cael frolicked in the sand, chirping his little head off while Ash chased him, Hobbs was digging a big hole. “What’s your boyfriend doing?”
Calvin didn’t look the least bit fazed, and slathered layer upon layer of sunscreen SPF 100.
“You planning on walking through a burning building? What’s with the snowman look?”
“Dude, I got burned on the drive up here and I was in the backseat. I’m not taking any chances.”
Dex chuckled, turning his attention back to Hobbs, surprised by the massive hill of sand he’d dug up. “What the heck is he doing? Wait, where did he go?”
Calvin didn’t even blink. He pointed off to Dex’s left. “He’s over there.”
Hobbs hauled butt down the beach, leaped, soared several feet in the air before landing in the mound of sand. His heavy tiger ass plopped into the middle of the sandy mound he’d created. Only his tail sticking straight up in the air was visible. Dex fell over he was laughing so hard.
“Oh my God,” Dex wheezed. “That’s the funniest shit I’ve ever seen!”
Calvin shrugged, though a smile tugged at his lips. “You know he loves jumping into things.”
“Like ball pits?” Dex laughed at the unimpressed expression his friend gave him.
Hobbs plowed through the bottom of the sandy hill he’d been nestled in, sand piled on his head and body. Calvin scrambled to his feet so fast Dex wondered if he’d been pinched in the ass by a crab or something. Before he could ask Calvin why the sudden departure, Dex was pelted with sand as Hobbs shook himself from nose to tail.
“Dude, seriously?” Dex gaped at Hobbs. His hairball friend closed his eyes and chuffed. He dropped onto the sand beside Dex, sending up a small wave of sand, and covering Dex again. It was like Hobbs had no idea he was a huge-ass tiger Therian that weighed a freaking ton. Dex narrowed his eyes. “This is payback for the sandwiches, isn’t it?”
Hobbs flicked his tail and hit Dex in the face with more sand.
Calvin returned, laughing as he dropped down on the towel beside Dex. “What did I tell you about Ethan? Never come between him and food. I mean, you of all people should get that.”
Dex was about to reply when Ash, Cael, and Sloane came bounding over.
“No. No. Play away from—” Dex didn’t get to finish his sentence before he was knocked onto his back and buried by a tsunami of sand. With a heavy sigh, he looked up at the blue sky. Four big furry heads loomed over him. Cael chirped and booped his nose. “This is my life now.”
Ash shook his mane, and more sand rained down on Dex. He closed his eyes, his lips pressed together so he wouldn’t get any in his mouth. Sloane rubbed his face over Dex’s, removing the sand enough for him to open his eyes. He was going to ask Sloane if he wanted to help him get the rest off when a sandpapery tongue licked him from his jaw to his ear. Damn it. “Thanks, babe, I appreciate that.”
Sloane huffed happily before laying down next to Dex while Ash and Cael proceeded to push more sand on Dex using their paws and noses.
“You know, this seemed like a good idea when I thought of it,” Dex said, glaring at Ash who patted the sand on Dex’s chest.
Calvin laughed as he dropped down next to Dex. “You brought a bunch of felids to play in the sand. What did you expect? You’re lucky Hudson isn’t here. He would have buried you to your neck and then buried all your stuff.
Dex’s eyes widened. “He’d do that?”
“Dude, he’s a wolf Therian. He likes to bury stuff.”
Note to self. Do not bring Hudson to the Therian beach. Or hide all your stuff before he does.
Let and Rosa showed up, and Dex perked up. Calvin was no help at all, and Dex was pretty sure the guy was secretly enjoying Dex’s helplessness. He was packed well and tight in the sand thanks to Ash, Cael, and Hobbs’s mad sand patting skills.
“Hello, ladies. Have I said how beautiful you both look today?”
Rosa and Letty exchanged glances before joining in, each one giving him a sandy boob. He arched an eyebrow at them.
They both broke off into peals of laughter. This was ridiculous. If anyone should be making sand boobs it was him! He pulled at his arms, and moved as much as he could, channeling the Hulk as he burst through his sandy prison with a roar. The girls squealed, and everyone darted off with Dex taking off after them.
“I will have my revenge!”
As he ran into the water behind Sloane, he couldn’t help his dopey grin. Definitely one of his better ideas.
Meet Charlie Cochet!
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From historical to fantasy, contemporary to science fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and, boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Want to purchase Charlie’s novels?
- Hell and High Water
- Blood & Thunder
- Rack & Ruin
- Rise & Fall
- Against the Grain
- Catch a Tiger by the Tail
- Smoke & Mirrors
THIRDS Beyond the Books Vol 1
Mending Noel (North Pole City Tales #1)
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance (Auspicious Troubles of Love #1)
Love in Retrograde
Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue
Forgive and Forget
Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts
Don’t miss your chance to meet over 50 fabulous urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance authors at Coastal Magic next February! This super casual book-lover weekend happens on Daytona Beach, and gives everyone the chance to hang out with fellow readers and amazing storytellers.
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