What the Cat Dragged In

by BA Tortuga

What the Cat Dragged In - BA Tortuga
Part of the Sanctuary series:
Editions:Kindle - Kindle Edition: $ 6.99
ISBN: B072JD6M61
Pages: 216

Don’t people know that cats and dogs don’t mix?

Connor Ragbone finds things. Sometimes it’s gold, sometimes jewels, sometimes people. Set in his hippie ways, he never thought he’d find a pack, but with Sam and Gus and their goofy shifter family, he fits right in. Then he finds Brock.

Shifter Brock Herman is undercover alone, working to break up a poaching ring. The last thing he needs is for Connor to wreck his sting. And now the crazy bobcat just won’t go away!

The poachers lead Brock and Connor on a merry chase all over Western Colorado, looking for shifter bears, but it’s a lost pup who brings them back to Nevada and the pack Sam and Gus are building. That’s when Brock has to decide whether he still travels alone or if Connor and his crazy family are where his heart belongs.

This follow-up to Just Like Cats and Dogs is a feel-good shifter romance novel where cats and dogs prove they can be way more than the enemies nature has made them.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 3 Read lists
Excerpt:

HOP IN, man. We ain’t got shit for time.” Connor was fairly sure that when the guys he’d knocked out with his drugged beer came to and discovered he’d untied the coyote shifter and plopped the skinny, bruised dude in his Mustang, they were gonna be pissed.

Not as pissed as when they discovered he’d taken their weapons and all their cash, but he figured he might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb. He had to fund his little lost-and-found business somehow, and he could sell all that shit.

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The coyote shifter guy blinked at him, settling into the passenger seat. “Who are you?”

Connor Ragbone. I find lost things. You seemed lost. Wanna get the fuck out of here?” Because Connor sure as shit did.

Hell yes. These guys are poachers.” Coyote dude shook his head as if to clear cobwebs.

That doesn’t seem like a very nice thing to be.” He peeled out of the parking lot and tossed Mr. Coyote a pair of sweats. “There are flip-flops in the floorboard. Not fancy, but they’re clothes. You got a name?”

Jason. I—thanks. For finding lost things, I mean. Um, I can’t really remember where I’m from, though, so I have no idea where to go.”

That’s okay. I know a few places that are willing to give a guy a place to put his life back together.” Three or four that were willing and one in particular that totally needed a few more able-bodied males about.

Connor wondered idly how wolves and coyotes got along.

One way or the other, he needed to call his buddies Gus and Sam in northern Nevada and tell them he was coming. He’d get a hundred miles down the road or so and find a truck stop so Jason could shower. Because, wow, the guy was making his eyes water from the unwashed stench.

You mind if I open the window? No? Good.” He rolled the window down and sucked in a deep breath. Good Lord and butter.

Sorry. I know it’s bad. I haven’t been able to get clean for so long.” Cheeks pink, Jason ducked his head, clearly ashamed.

Hey. I been there. Like I said, lost things. You’re found now. There’s a truck stop in a few hours with clean, hot showers.” Truck stops were kind of marvels—food, bathing, silly sex toys, and weird tourist clothes.

That sounds like heaven. Well, that and some Twizzlers. Do you think I could have Twizzlers?” Jason asked, looking so hopeful when Connor glanced at him.

Dude, this guy was way younger than he’d thought. Not as young as the teens he’d found along with Gus and Sam all those months ago, but not surely fully adult either. Those kids had a home now, and he had a feeling Jason was going to end up there too.

Yeah. Yeah, I’m craving some pork skins. Salty, crispy goodness. There’s some chocolate in the glove compartment, I think.” Was chocolate bad for coyotes? He knew it was for dogs, but surely in human form a coyote shifter could metabolize it.

I like chocolate. If I’m shifted, it makes me barf, but in human form, I can mainline it.” Jason laughed, sounding lighter, more free already.

Go for it. I keep it for emergency snackage.”

Thank you.” The kid tore open the glove compartment and took maybe ten seconds to devour two candy bars. “Sorry. I’m just so hungry. They only fed me when they felt like it.”

You don’t have to apologize. You have anyone looking for you? Any family?” No one should go hungry just because people were giant dickheads. Hell, he was opposed to going hungry on general principles.

I don’t know?” Jason sighed. “I don’t think so. I was in… maybe Colorado when I was taken. I drifted a lot. When I started shifting, I freaked out, you know? I can’t—hormones were sucky.”

Damn. Without a stable mentor, some shifters went whackadoodle when they began shifting in their teens. Kids needed a role model. Shifting was tough to control without guidance.

Well, let’s get you fed, clean, and somewhere safe,” Connor promised.

Thank you. I mean, really. You’re my hero.”

He grinned. Yeah, but he had a feeling Gus and Sam might not be so pleased. Good thing he knew they would never turn down someone in actual need. They were following in Sam’s parents’ footsteps and taking in all sorts of misfits.

Most of the people he dropped off left after a month or two, but one or two had stuck.

Okay, maybe five.

Connor grinned. Of course, he’d also stuck around for two months a while back and done a Habitat for Humanity-type build on three new cabins so folks didn’t have to share anymore.

Now he had a cell phone and instructions to check in with his brother from another mother, Sam, once a week, no matter what, and he had a room of his own in the main house.

How fucking weird was that?

Connor was a nomad. He didn’t have a home. The closest thing he did have, however, was a weird cat-and-wolf combo who had the craziest, most amazing family Connor had ever met. And for whatever reason, Sam and Gus loved him.

He headed out of El Paso, making a beeline north.

The worry at the base of his neck didn’t ease until they were an hour into New Mexico. Maybe this guy wasn’t worth chasing, as far as the poachers were concerned, but Connor knew there was always a chance of pursuit.

Jason sacked out on him about Anthony, so instead of stopping, he floored it all the way to Santa Rosa, which was a great place to grab a snack and shower. Tiny town. Easy to see someone coming, and with enough cell signal to call Gus’s pack and warn them there was incoming.

Hey, bud. You want to grab a shower?” Connor pulled into the truck stop and coasted to a parking space. “I need to make a few calls, and then we can have a grilled cheese or something before we get Twizzlers for the road.”

Burger?”

Totally.”

They headed in, and Connor paid for Jason’s shower and a T-shirt for him to wear instead of the improvised hoodie. “I’ll be in the restaurant when you’re all set.”

Thanks, man. Really.” Jason headed off, flip-flops flapping.

He got a booth in the diner and pulled out his phone. He dialed Sam and waited for his buddy to pick up so he could warn the man he was on the way.

Hello?” That warm voice always settled his nerves, Sam solid as a rock.

Hey, Sam. How do y’all feel about coyotes?”

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.


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