Last week, Dazzled by a Dragon hit the Amazon store, so now I can share my outtakes with you.
I am a true seat-of-the-pants writer, which means my characters take over. When they decide to have an adventure, off they go, riding roughshod over my outline, and leaving me choking on their dust.
I wind up cutting a lot of stuff from my final manuscripts. Originally Dazzled by a Dragon had this cool sub-plot involving drug-running sharks. Unfortunately, that kind of suspense doesn’t belong in Fun & Flirty books, so this material wound up being dumped.
Sorry, Ian and Kim.
Dazzled is the 8th and last book in the Mystic Bay series. But we haven’t seen the last of the people of Mystic Bay!
I have started a new series set on the neighboring island of Hyde. Watch for Wolf Whistle this summer!
Here is an outtake I hope to be able to use in one of the Mystic Tails romances, although probably not Wolf Whistle.
This is material cut from Dazzled.
Enjoy! And let me know what you think of its possibilities.
OUTTAKE FROM DAZZLED BY A DRAGON:
“Here he comes now,” Ian said to the Mer-King.
No one looking at Roger Merryman would have suspected that five minutes earlier he had been as naked as Neptune, and twice as fierce, as he led his squad of mermen in defense of Mystic Bay. He was dressed in his usual restaurateur’s outfit of khaki pants and crisp cotton shirt. Only the damp curls on his head suggested he had recently been in the water.
Three burly men were lying on the deck of Ian’s cruiser. Unconscious. Ian did not propose to ask King Roger exactly how he and the mer-patrol had managed to totally incapacitate three vigorous and experienced thugs. Roger looked capable of wrenching their heads off single handed, but there wasn’t a mark visible on their captives.
The drug runners’ vessel, a new mid-sized speedboat, was tied behind Ian’s cruiser, one of Roger’s nephews at the wheel. The deck was crammed with small plastic-wrapped bricks bound into bales. Even wrapped air-and-water-tight they reeked. Marijuana without a doubt. But the sheriff could make that determination.
The water swarmed with mermen. They bobbed around both cruiser and the speedboat, still revved up by the take down. The sheriff’s boat was putt-putting toward them, obeying the Mystic Bay no wake ordinance. A small skinny man in a khaki uniform was at the wheel. Sheriff Walter Babcock. Beside him a tall lean officer rode shotgun. Literally.
The police boat pulled alongside Ian’s.
Up close Walter Babcock was a just twitchy little rabbit shifter with buck teeth and watery blue eyes. But Roger had informed Ian that he was a good man to have at your back in a fight. His companion wore a tag that read Deputy Wolfmann.
Ian was also acquainted with Drew Wolfmann who was a former Marine, a buddy of Alistair’s, and a werewolf. And the Mer-King’s son-in-law. Drew was perfectly aware of the sting the mer-patrol had set up. Although officially the sheriff was in the dark. Ian and Drew exchanged nods.
“Evening, sir,” Drew said to Roger.
“What seems to be the trouble, Roger?” Sheriff Babcock sucked on his front teeth. He was trying not to laugh. He glanced casually at the bound men in the cruiser.
“Mer-patrol found these guys lurking around the coastline.” Roger was offhand. “Asked them their business and got fired on. Boys performed a citizens arrest and took them and their boat into custody. Discharging a firearm in the vicinity of Mystic Bay.”
Babcock showed his buck teeth. “Violating the no hunting ordinances. And attempted murder.” He clucked his tongue. “Tie up, Wolfmann,” he instructed. “Permission to come aboard, Drake.”
“Granted,” Ian responded.
Drew anchored the police launch and tethered it to Ian’s vessel. The two lawmen stepped into the cruiser and bent over the largest of the limp drug runners.
“Miranda them,” Babcock ordered.
“They’re dead to the world, sir,” Wolfmann said. “Miranda rights will have to wait until they wake up.”
“Well let’s at least get some cuffs on them,” suggested the sheriff.
Ian and Roger watched while the rabbit and wolf wrestled the sharks over and secured their thick wrists with zip tie cuffs. The thugs snored on.
Roger snorted. “They aren’t going anywhere, Wally.”
“I still prefer to have sharks in cuffs rather than not,” Walter returned severely. “Do we need to take these dudes to the hospital?”
Roger shrugged. “They’ll wake up in a bit.” He smiled. Not pleasantly. “I don’t expect they’ll give you any trouble when they do. Might have some trouble with their short term memories. But then most crooks do when questioned by law enforcement.”
“No trouble, like Christopher Wabash* was no-trouble?” Wolfmann’s deep voice was as hard as his face. Ian thought the werewolf might have been amused. In the dark it was difficult to be certain.
Roger smiled another predatory smile, nothing like the genial ones he handed out at the Crab Hut. “Justine’s ex behaved himself in custody, didn’t he, Wally?”
Babcock made a noise that might have been a chuckle. Or might have been choking. “Wasn’t no trouble at all. Not to me. Not to those Fugitive Apprehension Officers from Portland either.”
“Should I examine those packages in the speedboat, Sheriff?” asked Wolfmann.
“Nah. I can smell them from here.” Walter clucked his tongue. “Possession with intent to distribute. Who would have thought? You reckon we got ourselves some drug kingpins here, Wolfmann?”
“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised, Sheriff,” Wolfmann answered straight-faced.
Babcock shook his head in apparent horror. “We’ll take them back to the harbor and take these bales into evidence. But you could take photos now while I find out where these guys were when they were intercepted.”
Wolfmann stepped into the speedboat and whipped out his cell. His flash went off.
“They were nosing around the channels between Mystic Bay and Hyde,” Roger replied promptly and vaguely to the sheriff’s inquiry. “Probably looking for a cave to hide their stash.”
“Stupid thing to do. All the caves on the coast are flooded at high tide,” Wally observed mildly. “And it’s high tide now. Probably on their way to Seattle to distribute.” Having tweaked their story, he turned his head. “What’s your part in this Drake?”
Ian cleared his throat. He had been told what to say. “I was out enjoying a night ride with my good buddy Roger. He was giving me the nickel tour of the West Haven coastline.”
Wolfmann got a fish bone stuck in his throat. He cleared it and cut in, “I’d estimate that at five pounds a brick, we have 600 pounds of high test marijuana in this vessel, Sheriff. Firearms too. Couple of Glocks and an AK47.”
“We’ll have to call in the DEA,” Walter said without any emphasis. But he conveyed the impression that he would rather have cut his own throat.
“Afraid so, Wally,” Roger apologized.
“Where did you say you found these fellows?” Walter asked.
“In the channel between Hyde and West Haven,” Ian spoke up.
“Lot of sea between here and there,” Walter returned. “You got coordinates on that fancy GPS of yours?”
Not that the coordinates would help. The drug runners had been apprehended above the cave entrances, but the mermen had towed them to where Ian had secured their boat. Which was a considerable distance from that location. The DEA could make what they would of his coordinates. But even at low tide that area was open water. The authorities would undoubtedly go with Wally’s version of events.
The sheriff shook his head again. “Should have waited until they started to unload.”
“With them shooting at my boys?” Roger demanded blandly. “Never crossed my mind that they were more than drunk tourists.”
“Naturally,” Walter said dryly. “Rinelle know you’re out here getting shot at, Eldon?” he demanded of the giant merman in the suspects’ vessel.
Eldon cleared his throat. Ian noticed that his long silvery trident had vanished along with Roger’s. Just like the mer-Patrol, which had scattered at the approach of the police vessel. “Rinelle’s in Seattle, Wally,” Eldon said. “College reunion.”
Rinelle Babcock was Eldon’s fiancée and Walter’s sister or first cousin. Like all small towns, the relationships between residents were complex and close and as tangled as a plate of spaghetti. Roger had not selected Eldon for this duty at random.
“Tidy,” allowed Walter. “So long as the boys from the DEA don’t decide that they grew that stuff on West Haven or Hyde.” The Mystic Bay Sheriffs Department also enforced the law on Hyde.
“None of us ever set eyes on those gangsters until tonight,” Roger said. “Hard to farm on a small island without the residents finding out. You ask around. They’ll be strangers to everyone on Hyde and West Haven.”
“Hmph. All right, Wolfmann, you take the police boat in. Drake, I’ll stay aboard while we take these here degenerates back to Mystic Bay. Eldon, you make sure we don’t lose that contraband.”
“Degenerates?” Ian murmured.
“Means people of bad character,” Roger explained kindly. “Victims of their own moral decline.”
“I knew that,” Ian said. “I just thought it was a fancy word to use for these low lifes.”
Roger grinned. “Wally always talks like that. Being in the Mystic Bay jail will be an educational experience for these fellows.”
“You bet,” said Wally. “Elevate their fashion sense too.”
“Nothing like orange to bring out the best in a fellow’s complexion, I always say,” Ian said cheerfully.
Walter shook his head. “They get classic black and white at the Mystic Bay jail.”
“Snappy,” said Ian.
“Haven’t you heard, stripes are big for fall?”
*Wedded to the Wolf
This is material not previously published. ©Isadora Montrose, 2019
Comment below to give me your opinion of this excerpt!