It's November once again.
But it's still pandemic. And for some reason, I still have so much to do!
That doesn't mean I'm giving up on NaNoWriMo this year.
NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is an annual celebration of writing a novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I have set myself a realistic goal. I know that try as I might, I can't reach 50,000 words with what I'm doing. So, I'm putting a small Short Story goal of 15,000 words. My aim is to write 3,000-5,000 words a week. Hoping during the Christmas break to edit or expand.'
So, since it's day 1, here is my progress.
This is a working title. Might change it.
Big Bad Wolf Meets Big Beautiful Woman
A BBW Girl Paranormal Romance
Wolves were terribly superstitious.
That was an understatement.
No. Really. Gus was a perfect example. Argus Urbane, also known as Gus, was addicted to horoscopes. He kept looking at the newspaper and reading the daily horoscope. Every Friday, he had a special reading with Mad Mariah, the resident fortune-teller. As long as it didn’t interfere with work, Markus allowed it.
Markus was the Pack’s Alpha. He founded and held the pack for over a century. Last year, the Alpha found his mate and they lived happily ever after. Then, Markus’s best friend Caleb got married the other month. A lot of his packmates were married so it wasn’t anything special yet Gus was longing for something… anything. Any type of relationship. He’s had flings and girlfriends but they never lasted.
“How’s the Dungeon going?” Markus called him over to his office to talk business.
Markus Simeon, apart from being an independent Werewolf Pack, was also a business pack. It means they weren’t bound by land but by the business. The Pack under him also worked for his businesses. Markus owed a chain of resorts and casinos called Wolves. In it was a playground for both humans and supernaturals. It also had a luxury hotel called The Simeon.
Argus was tasked to create The Dungeon. The Dungeon was an exclusive club for supernaturals. It was located in Basement 4 of The Simeon. Gus was head of construction and maintenance for all of Markus’ properties.
Markus was a very hands-on guy. He opens his own resort and personally sees to every aspect from design to build. He even designs each room by himself. Markus studied interior design this decade so he was well qualified. Gus’ specialty was building things. He went and built anything and everything Markus wanted. As a member of Markus’ inner circle, he could practically read Markus’ mind. Unfortunately, it went both ways.
“The Dungeon’s construction is complete. We’re just testing our twenty-four-seven backup generators and revolving stages,” Gus answered.
“Good, then what’s keeping you occupied?”
Markus looked at him, still that cold, expressionless face that told Gus he said something stupid. “Nothing. The Dungeon is holding auditions tonight and hiring of staff tomorrow. Everything is going according to schedule.”
“Gus, we’re four months behind schedule,” his alpha pointed out.
“Markus, this lockdown isn’t doing anyone any favors. We’ve just about to get a handle on things. Its hard to get labor and performers because of this pandemic,” Gus pointed out.
“There are supernaturals that we can hire. Why aren’t you hiring them?”
Gus huffed in frustration. You think I didn’t do that? They are all scared. Ever since they saw how even the higher forms of being could contract the virus, they have gone underground, hiding from the world. It’s like back in the middle ages!”
“We’ve never reached the middle ages,” Markus pointed out.
“I’ve read the books. The point is, labor of any kind is hard to come by. Also, our profits have halved so there wasn’t any allotment than the ones already budgeted for my department.” Once a bustling resort, it was a veritable ghost town. Only vampires were out and about because they were immune. Witches, Shifters, Elves, and even Werewolves were being cautious.
“We’ve been disinfecting with bleach and benedictions every evening.” Markus wanted all bases covered. He also wanted to protect pack and family who were living in the resort.
“Yeah, you’re going to have to bark at Marketing. My job is construction. I’m trying to be on schedule here,” Gus huffed. He’s been doing that lately.
Well, as much in schedule as after-COVID as they can get. The lockdown pushed back all their plans month later than schedule. Here they were, back in business or trying to be back in business.
“Gus, you’ve spent most of quarantine practically building the Dungeon by yourself.”
“As previously stated, labor problems. I needed it to be complete. Besides, I’m bored. What else was there to do during the lockdown. At least, I didn’t contract anything.” Yeah, he spent three months holed up in basement 4 hauling cement, tiling things, grouting tiles, polishing marble. It was a feat a Werewolf can do especially if he was bored.
“You are in need of a mate.”
Gus frowned. “You are changing the subject.”
Markus shrugged. “Well, we’re done talking about construction. As your alpha, I’m sensing your need of a mate.”
“You make it sound like it’s easy to find them. I’ve had girlfriends before. None of them stayed.” Gus wasn’t the easiest of Werewolves to live with. But no girl can really tell because he never lives with any girlfriend. He stayed with Markus, following where he went.
“It’s easier now than back then.” Markus was half a century older than Gus. Caleb was a full century older that Markus. Facebook only came in the last decade and supernaturals came out just about at the same time. It was easier to communicate now more than ever but that didn’t stop Gus from feeling the isolation.
Gus made a face. “That dating app crap? No thank you.”
“How, pray tell, will you find a mate?” They weren't all as lucky as Markus and Caleb who just bumped into their mates. Some people found it hard. People saw them as a pillar of strength and skill but deep down, they were shy and vulnerable creatures.
“I’ll ask Mad Mariah.” the eighty-four year-old lady was his go-to for any question.
“Speaking of Mariah, she’s having a party this afternoon at the Cavern. It’s her retirement party.”
Gus was shocked. “Retirement? She’s not that old!”
“Heh! Humans age faster. She’s been wanting to retire since the last decade. Tomorrow, she’s leaving for a cruise.”
“What? Who’s taking over her store?”
His alpha shrugged his shoulders. “Her lease is already up. The store is now open for a new tenant.”
Gus started to hyperventilate. Mad Mariah was not just a tenant but the resident fortune-teller. She entertained people at a special backroom where she reads their palms or cards.
A soft knock followed by a hulking goliath of a man came in. “Oh, whoa! Should I call for a medic?”
“Caleb shut the door and maybe you should catch Gus when he keels over,” Markus told his best friend. “Mad Mariah is leaving,” he explained.
“Oh. Gus, are you okay?” He asked the Werewolf who was desperately trying to catch his breath.
“Do… I… Look… ho-khaaay?”
Caleb, the hulking bulk of a vampire, came behind him and shoved his head down. “Breathe between your knees. I’ll see if I can get a paper bag for you to breathe in.”
“Or barf in,” Markus quipped.
No other person could shove Gus like Caleb or Markus. Markus was a big man with dark brown hair and deep green eyes. He was a half-a head taller than Gus. Caleb was an odd vampire. He was all-muscles and as big as Markus, strange for a vampire. Most vampires were tall and lithe but Caleb was not. He was tall but all-muscles like Markus. Black hair and black eyes were from his vampire heritage but his love for the outdoors and gardening came from his human mother. Now the vampy was arranging flowers all over the resort. The vampire was smitten by his new wife.
Gus had to admit, Stella, Caleb’s wife, was adorable. She was big and beautiful but she didn’t know it. Her family was mean to her. They didn’t know what treasure she was. She and Caleb grew some herbs for the resort at the rooftop garden and in her little plot of land. Markus even made some changes to the menu to accommodate more fresh food at the resort.
He had to admit, his kind of girl was around Stella’s size. Gus didn’t like petite wilting flowers who only ate salad and water. Werewolves loved to eat and they liked taking care of their mates.
“Don’t worry, Gus. The world’s not ending just because of Mariah’s leaving tomorrow. You can still Skype her.” Caleb’s words were not comforting. The woman can’t read palm through Skype.
“Two weeks’ notice,” he muttered.
Markus sighed. “She actually gave me a two-months’ notice but she asked that I not tell you. She thinks you’ll get emotional about it.”
“She’s proving her point. You’re getting emotional,” the alpha pointed out.
Markus threw him a box of tissue which he caught easy enough. “Then why are your eyes all red and teary?”
Gus blew into the tissue. “Germs!” He meant to say allergies but germs seemed to pop into his head. To stop embarrassing himself further, the teary-eyed Werewolf stomped out of the office and went to find Mad Mariah. He needed to see her; ask why she wouldn’t tell her best customer of her leaving. Didn’t they form something stronger than just a client-Werewolf relationship? Gus was always the first to greet her, send flowers on her birthday and send a car package when she got a cold. He found her just as her party was starting. Her friends were around her, giving her gifts and passing the champagne around.
Mariah, a seventy-four year-old woman, was not an aging old crone. She was spry, had a spring in her step and loved to color her hair in crazy colors. She was rumored to have a dance instructor of a boyfriend forty years her junior. Although, some accused her of bewitching the poor bloke. Gus knew she did no such thing. Mariah was wholly human. She had very little witch blood.
She looked up to see the hulking Werewolf standing at the entrance of The Cavern. Markus threw a special party for her. Although she had only been in The Shops at Wolves for a year, she was considered a pioneer. She also attracted a lot of people to come to Wolves during the first few months. It was only proper to give her a sendoff.
“Argus Urbane, are those tears?”
Gus wiped his eyes on his sleeves. “No, just allergies.”
“I hope you’re not allergic to champagne. Come on over,” she called to him.
“Are you leaving already? You’re the most important lady in my life this year,” he sniffled.
Mariah laughed. “You mean you just want me to keep reading your cards every week.”
“That and more.”
Champagne and cakes were passed along. Werewolves and most Shifters were constantly eating because they burned calories much faster than humans. Little finger sandwiches in tall trays were also passed along the table.
“Don’t worry, boy. I’m sending my niece to read cards every week. I’ve arranged it with Markus. She’ll set up a tent in the gallery and take up most of my clients.” She pushed and frowned. “Be nice to her, Argus, I’m sensing your fangs around this girl,” Mariah warned.
“I’ll make sure she’s welcomed properly. But Mariah, she won’t have your touch,” he teased.
Mariah kissed his cheek. “Nobody is like me, Gus. That’s why I’m me. My last forecast for you. When you are looking for something, you won’t find it. So, don’t bother. It will find you in the right time.”