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Last week, Lowell Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot City werewolf pack, asked Tom (our fearless wereduck hero) to talk Bryan (Tom’s AWOL werewolf brother) into taking over as packleader.
When Tom asked why, Susan, Lowell’s human PA, told him it was because Rhombeck was being stupid. Okay, she said, “Because he’s being stupid”, but the next few sentences make it clear that she’s referring to Rhombeck.
Rhombeck thinks he’s being perfectly reasonable.
Susan, who is the voice of reason and therefore isn’t buying it, speaks first this week:
“Lowell, nothing needs to change.”
“Everything has changed,” he said, his eyes intent on her face. He snagged her wrist and pulled her to the couch to sit next to him. “I won’t pretend that it hasn’t; I’m glad it has.” He rubbed the side of his head against the top of hers.
I hadn’t figured Rhombeck for a PDA guy, but it wasn’t much of a stretch to see them as a couple outside of the office—unless you factored in his other job.
“Is this a secret marriage kind of thing?” I asked.
“No,” Susan said, patiently waiting for Rhombeck to finish. “it’s an unplanned pregnancy kind of thing.”
“Congratulations?” I said.
“Yes,” Rhombeck said, “thank you.”
Just in case it’s not clear from this selection, Rhombeck’s “other job” is being packleader (you could say, he’s moonlighting–hey? Anyone? Crickets?).
In this book, there’s still some Old Skool were-human miscegenation bigotry to deal with, stemming from Rhombeck’s position as pack leader. The fact that any children he has with Susan wouldn’t be able to shift* is also an issue.
In other news: My family and I are leaving on a Disney cruise in a few days, and while I love you guys, I don’t know if I can swing the WiFi and/or roaming rates—or operate my phone with sufficient competency while battling sunburn and carsickness on the way home—to participate over the next two Sundays.
If I can, I will. If I can’t, I’ll see you next month!
* If Susan had any werewolf ancestors—she doesn’t because I say so—there’s a fifty percent chance the child couldn’t shift. Depending on how recent those ancestors were, there’s also a chance the child could be a full werewolf . . . or a genetic mess. Luckily, this is set in our time, and were-geneticists are totally a thing (Yes, they can shift into scientists whenever they want . . . though most of ’em don’t bother turning back).
This kind of thing happens when you’re describing your idea for a wereduck character and someone says, “Cool. But how does he make more of himself?” And you say, “Oh, $#!%, he doesn’t have any teeth, does he . . .” And then you stare at that picture of Mendel’s peapods for way too long.