Mick looked out across the pavilion floor. Twenty to thirty sixteen year old shape shifters filled the dance floor. Tyburn stood at one side nodding his head as Rachel talked with him. On the opposite side, the two new security guards stood, their gazes patrolling one end of the dance floor to the other.
The two guards hadn’t said much since they rolled into town three weeks prior. Rampant rumors said they were mixed breed runts that looked worse than their bark or bite. Mick shook his head. One was a frilled lizard shifter relocated from Australia after his tour in Iraqi. The other was a porcupine. His accuracy with knives and guns even had several on the police force giving him wide berth. So new breeds came to town. Would they settle down as others had? Find what they were looking for and know they’d come home?
“Makes you think twice about having kids,” Vernon said, strolling up.
Mick chuckled. “I don’t think you’ve got much choice. Yours are here and grown.”
“Good point,” Vernon conceded. “I don’t remember giving my parents as much crap as today’s kids do.”
“Vernon McMahon stopping lying,” Miss Ellie chastised, coming up behind her husband. “You’ve told me your sainted mother pulled your wolfish ass out of more fights than your father did.”
“Fights with my litter mates. Raising twelve rambunctious cubs isn’t easy, “Vernon offered.
“No wonder your father took that traveling salesman position.” Miss Ellie linked her arm with Vernon’s.
“Wasn’t that your late husband my dear?” Vernon lifted Miss Ellie’s hand to his lips and licked her knuckles.
Mick turned ready to make his escape when Miss Ellie spoke. “I see Mooney, Nick, and Zivia. Let’s go see our grandchildren.”
“Yes, dear,” Vernon replied guiding Miss Ellie through the crowd toward the other end of the pavilion.
“I wonder if we’ll be as tame when we’re there age,” Trina asked moving up beside Mick.
“Tame?” Mick questioned. “You haven’t seen those two when they’re pranking.”
“Pranking?” Trina entwined her fingers with his. The rough edges of the two-carat diamond ring she wore roughed his fingers.
Mick raised their hands to his lips. He kissed the back of Trina’s hand and winked. “Oh yeah. Ask Gill about snow ball fights with Vernon and Miss Ellie vs. Thor and Loki.”
Trina snickered. “Another time. You promised to show me some stars once the music got going.”
As if on cue, music began playing and many of the teens started dancing. Mick slipped his arm around Trina’s waist and leaned closer. “Stars and much more once we get home tonight, my love.”