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"You're sure—like three thousand percent sure—that I won't have any problems if I go to the dog show?" Lark followed the question with a look meant to convey the importance of her sister's response.
Robin simply glared back. Unperturbed, she replied slowly. "You have nothing to worry about."
Lark got the distinct impression that Robin believed if she said the words enough, Lark would stop questioning her declaration.
Lark snorted. She wasn't mentally handicapped. She was cautious.
Robin pointed to the computer screen behind her, all the while holding Lark's gaze. "Read it for yourself. Again. According to every credible biological experiment, homosexual males are not attracted to heterosexual female pheromones. There are several experiments that point to the fact that homosexual men and heterosexual females excrete the same pheromones. Thus, not a single one of the legion of gay men at the dog show will be attracted to you as a result of your pheromones. Plus, you must remember that as an Ipele descendant you are only going to be irresistible to men in their prime who are heterosexual." Robin smirked. "And from what I've seen of the pictures from the last few shows, the men are neither."
"Oh shut up, Robin. This is Marilyn Monroe Stone's time to shine. I don't care who or what those men are as long as they pin her with a ribbon."
"Here," Robin said as she handed Lark a small perfume bottle. "It's a pheromone blocker. It only works for a short period of time, but it should be enough to get in and out of the dog show."
"Have I told you how much I love you?" Lark asked with a smile.
Robin watched her for several moments. "You and that dog are sick," she declared before turning back to her computer.
Lark barely stifled the urge to stick out her tongue at her sister's back. There was something about her older sister that brought out the worst in Lark. "You just don't understand our relationship," she murmured as she grabbed her suitcase.
"You're damn right I don't. I do, however, understand that you need a man."
<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>* * * *</strong>
Eight hours later, as Lark drove into the public parking lot with the outrageous per hour rate, she was still pondering her sister's comment. The fact was her sister had hit her biggest problem right on its ornery head. She did need a man. Desperately.
Big Willie, her vibrator, no longer cut it in the "getting Lark off" department.
The problem was she only wanted one man.
Almost immediately, a scalding vision of the male of her dreams flashed across her mind. With a honed force of will, Lark pushed aside the nagging image of a tall man with dark hair and amber eyes.
"You can't have that one so don't even go there. It's not worth the agony," she murmured to herself as she opened the back door for Marilyn. The Great Dane bounded out of the car in one leap. She looked up at Lark as if questioning her.
And maybe she was. Marilyn knew all about him.
Lark couldn't help telling Marilyn about him when he called, right before he called, when he should have called. Lark had it bad. Hell, she'd had it bad for over eight years now.
"This friendship is not good for you," Lark muttered to herself.
Marilyn sat up and barked.
"Yes, you do understand, don't you, girl," Lark murmured absently as she scratched behind Marilyn's ear. The Great Dane also knew how scared Lark had been about coming to the dog show when she was going to be in heat and giving off very strong, alluring pheromones even the most determined young heterosexual male would have a hard time ignoring. Marilyn was Lark's best confidant. Unlike her girlfriends, there wasn't a chance in hell of Marilyn telling Lark's secrets.
Thankfully, everyone in her family had a Ph.D. in biology and specialised in fertility. Correction, everyone but moi!
Her mother and father were the co-presidents of a small, but highly influential, fertility clinic in western New York. They knew all that there was to know about female fertility, in both female humans and werewolves. Being one of the few descendant families of the ancient Ipele priestesses, the Burtons were unique among werewolves. All of their females had the ability to mother female werewolf cubs that reached adulthood. An important rarity when only one out of a hundred female cubs made it to term, and more than seventy percent of those born didn't see their first birthday.
Lark was the only one in her family who had not gone into medicine. Always an original, Lark had gone down a different path and become an artist. A paid one, she thought with a smile and clicked the button for the keyless lock on her imported car.
Three hours later, inside the massive stadium housing the Westminster show, Lark turned with Marilyn's competition papers in her hand and came to a standstill. After several seconds, she found her voice. "River?"