When Catherine's aunt dies in a suspicious accident, she comes back to her hometown to settle the estate. She expects it to be an easy job, but she doesn't count on being chased by a pack of wild wolves, and an unknown enemy who sprays graffiti on the house and throws bricks through her windows. When the local police force is less than helpful it is up to Cat to find out what's going on with the help of her all too human lover, Jacob.
Known as the Mad Trapper, Jacob has been in love with Cat since high school. Now that she's back in town he intends to show her that a human-shifter relationship can be just what a were-cat needs to keep her out of trouble.
"Ms. Kane takes a shifter and a human and weaves their loves together with love and adventure. This story has lots of plot twists that will keep the reader guessing until the final reveal."
"I loved that this short story had so much going on and yet it was not cluttered or rushed; there was romance and adventure as well as mystery and malice. The passion, sentiment and sensations were like a warm blanket surrounding me and drawing me deeper into Jacob’s and Cat’s lives."
-- PaulineMichael, Night Owl Reviews
Cat Came Back
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Anne Kane
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Cat could hear them behind her, howling in triumph as she streaked across the hard-crusted snow in the direction of town. Her breath was labored, coming in ragged gasps. There was only one place she could think of where she'd be safe, where the pack would be too afraid to follow her. Unfortunately, she wasn't sure she'd be any safer there than she was with the pack breathing down her neck.
She'd been away from Hunter's Canyon, her hometown in the frozen heights of the Rocky Mountain wilderness, for far too long. When she was barely more than a kitten halfway through high school, she'd migrated to the southern states where the temperatures were warm and life was easy. She'd forgotten how deadly the wolf packs could be when they found a bobcat wandering in the bush, alone. She prayed to any deity who'd listen that her latest mistake wouldn't prove to be fatal.
Up ahead, the lights of town twinkled invitingly. She could hear the music of the Dance Hall beckoning her with its cheerful lilt, but she veered away from it toward a log cabin at the closer edge of town. She squelched the arrow of fear that lanced through her, threatening to freeze her in her tracks.
The Mad Trapper lived in that cabin. They didn't call him Mad for nothing. The man defied all social norms, doing what he wanted when he wanted and be damned to all the gossips in town who thought he should behave himself. He'd been a gangly teenager the last time Cat had seen him, but she still remembered the surprising strength in his hands when he'd wrenched open the jaws of the trap. She'd been careless that day too, and back then the iron leg hold traps had been in common use. He'd rescued her from sure death, but then kept her locked in one of those damn dog carriers for days while he smeared smelly goop on the wound. She wasn't sure what was in the goop -- but it hurt like the devil.
In retrospect he'd probably saved her leg, but at the time she was sure he'd hurt her on purpose. The first time he'd left the door of the carrier unlatched, she'd escaped and fled out an open window. Soon after, her family had moved south and she'd barely given the awkward teen another thought. Now here she was heading for his doorstep, hoping he would save her. Again. Some things never change.
He'd expanded the cabin since she'd been away. The rickety front porch she remembered had been replaced with a deck that ran the full length of the house and wrapped around the side. Streaking up the wooden stairs, she plastered herself against the front door and turned to face her attackers.
For as long as she could remember, there had been a werewolf pack in town and at first, she had assumed it was them. She'd gone to grade school with Jack, the alpha. While he wasn't what she'd call a social butterfly, he was a nice enough guy for a werewolf. He'd have no compunctions about letting his pack chase her for a little fun and excitement, but he'd draw the line at actually hurting her.
When one of the mutts had managed to get close enough to rake his fangs down her hindquarters, she'd realized she was in trouble. These were real wolves, with a real desire to maim and kill. They were bigger than she was, and could probably outlast her in a flat out run. She just hoped their instinct for self-preservation would keep them away from the Mad Trapper's cabin.
So far, so good. The entire pack came to a halt a good ten feet from the deck, milling around on the front lawn in a seething pile of fur. The mutt who'd gotten his fangs on her seemed to be the ringleader, growling softly and trying in vain to urge the others forward. The rest of the pack didn't seem to be inclined to take his advice. A smaller bitch, with gray streaking her muzzle, snapped at him in annoyance when he tried to herd her forward. The mutt snarled softly and turned toward the deck. He made a quick rush that halted just shy of the stairway, his teeth glinting sharply in the bright light of the full moon.
Yeah, a full moon. She'd been dumb enough to decide to go for a run all by her lonesome on the night of a full moon. She arched her back, fluffing her fur up to make herself look larger than she really was while she hissed and spat at the wolf. If he decided to attack alone, she just might stand a chance of fighting him off. At least she hoped she did. Bobcats were no slouches in a fight. So long as his buddies didn't rush in to back him up, she could handle a wolf one on one.
Her side ached, and she could feel the muscles starting to stiffen. Great. It would probably scar too. She turned her head to swipe her tongue at the dripping blood. The wound was worse than she'd thought.
One of the pack, an older male, sat on his haunches and lifted his muzzle toward the moon. He began to howl, the sound wild and plaintive. One by one, the rest of the pack joined in.
Her attacker seemed torn, glancing between his intended prey and his brethren singing to the moon. If she could have, she would have crossed her fingers and wished for him to go back to his pack. Her head started to throb in time to the pain in her side, and she had to concentrate to stay on her feet. Shit! How much blood had she lost?
The rest of the wolves lost interest in her, turning their attention to the pack howl fest. Unfortunately, her attacker was too stubborn to give up just yet. Turning back to face her, he lifted his lips in a silent snarl and began to edge forward, slinking up the stairs.
"Well now. What do we have here?" The soft glow of firelight spilled out onto the deck as the door to the cabin swung open. "Ahh. So the cat really did come back. I heard you were back in town. Grown into a real nice kitty, I see. You might as well come in and let me put some salve on that scrape of yours."
Cat whirled to stare at the trapper in amazement. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the wolf pack melt silently into the night, the big mutt that had attacked her going with them. Her gamble had paid off. So far.