Story Excerpt
Special K

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"Come here, little one." Keeland Fagon squatted down close to the bushes on the side of the road and tried to coax the small kitten out. The poor thing was so small it was all big blue eyes. "I'm not going to hurt you. I promise. Just come out."

The white fur ball of hissing fury just growled at Keeland and cringed back further into the thick prickly bushes. Keeland sighed, knowing that the kitten was so scared that he wasn't going to be able to get it out of the bushes the old fashioned way. He'd have to use stronger measures.

For a moment, Keeland considered just diving into the bushes after the darn thing, but knowing his luck, he'd just end up with an ass full of pricklies, and that really didn’t sound like fun. True, he liked pointy things in his ass, but bushes didn't even come close.

Keeland closed his eyes and concentrated on the kitten. He could feel its overwhelming fear almost immediately. The poor thing was terrified. Keeland sent waves of calm toward the kitten, hoping that it would settle down and come to him.

He couldn't just leave the thing out here to survive on its own. It would die for sure. Keeland wasn't sure what had happened to its mother, but it was obvious from the moment Keeland drove around the bend in the road and saw the kitten crossing in front of him that it was alone in the world.

Keeland hoped to catch the kitten, take it back to his veterinarian clinic, check it over, and then maybe find a good home for it. But leaving it out here in the middle of nowhere to fend for itself just went against everything Keeland believed in.

Gods, he wished people would learn to spay and neuter their pets. There would be a lot less abandoned animals in the world, and it would make his job a lot easier.

Keeland continued to send waves of calm toward the small kitten until he felt a little sandpaper tongue lick the palm of his hand. He opened his eyes in surprise and glanced down to see the kitten trying to curl up in his hands.

"Well, aren't you just the cutest thing," Keeland said as he picked the kitten up and cradled his furry little body to his chest. Well, not really. The kitten looked like it needed a good bath and some food, lots of food.

But he was still cute. And he was a she.


Keeland kept the kitten cuddled to his chest as he stood and started back across the road to his car. "It was a good thing for you that I decided to take the back road to town. You could have been out here for days, maybe even months."

He knew that the kitten couldn't understand a word he was saying, but she would understand the soft tone Keeland used. Keeland found in his line of work that keeping calm usually meant his patients were calm, looking to him for direction and help.

It made him an effective veterinarian.

Which was good considering that he didn't like people much. People were nothing like animals. Animals didn't go out of their way to stab other people in the back. They hunted, but only for food or defense. They cared for their young, and they didn't try and destroy everything around them.

Humans were the exact opposite in Keeland's experience. They did whatever they had to do to make it ahead, including stabbing others in the back and destroy everything of beauty around them. And what they didn't understand, they killed, and people didn't seem to understand much.

Most of them were idiots in Keeland's book.

Just as Keeland reached the center of the small two lane road, a motorcycle came flying around the bend in the road. Keeland barely had time to jump out of the way before the motorcycle was on him.

He dove for the side of the road in front of his car, wincing when his body crashed into the hard, unforgiving ground. He kept his arms tightly wrapped around the kitten as he tumbled across the ground and came to rest in the ditch just beyond the edge of the road.

He heard a loud squealing noise and raised his head just in time to see the large motorcycle go careening off the opposite side of the road. As much as his body ached and told him not to, Keeland jumped up and ran to his truck. He dropped the kitten into the front seat and grabbed his medical bag out from behind his seat.

It was a good thing he had been on his way back from a house call. He might not be a human doctor, but he still had medical training, even if it was for the four legged variety of patients.

Keeland ran to the other side of the road where he had seen the motorcycle go down. It was lying on its side, the engine still running and its tires spinning slowly to a stop. Keeland hurried over and dropped to his knees beside the bike and the rather large man pinned beneath it.

He reached over and turned the engine off, thankful that he had once dated a guy into bikes so he knew where the ignition switch was located. Once the engine stopped roaring, a sudden silence filled the area.

It was almost eerie.

Keeland turned his attention to the man on the ground, lying half under the motorcycle and half on top of it. He wasn't moving.

"Mister?" Keeland called out softly. "Mister?"



Keeland didn't want to take the guy's helmet off until he knew whether there was a neck injury or not. But he was glad that the man was smart enough to follow the law and wear the damn thing. It had probably kept him from suffering massive head trauma.

Keeland carefully checked the rest of the man's body, giving a cursory examination. There didn't seem to be any broken bones, at least not on the side that Keeland could reach. The side under the motorcycle would have to wait until either the man woke up or medical personnel could arrive.

Keeland was also mildly surprised at how well formed the man was. He was tall, much taller than Keeland's own five foot five inches, and he seemed to be rather well built. As Keeland traced over his body, looking for injuries of course, he could feel the massive muscles under his hands, and there were a lot of them.

Keeland stopped examining the man and quickly glanced up when he heard a small moan. He leaned up closer to the man's face. It was kind of hard to make out his features since the man was wearing a helmet with a dark face shield.

"Mister, can you hear me?"