The smell was what tipped him off at first, then the acrid taste drifting in the slight breeze. Lifting his nose to the air, Jared drew it deep into his lungs. Hunters! His senses began to careen out of control as his wolf let out a soft whimper, his instincts telling him to run far and fast. It would be at least an hour before he could safely shift to human form, and while he was stronger as the wolf, it was times like these that he wished he could shift on command. The hunters wouldn’t be looking for a man, but a wolf. He would have to do some fast talking but as a man he would at least have a chance. As a wolf he was doomed because the hunters killed all wolves. Since they had yet to figure out how to tell a normal human from a shifter, being human when hunters were around was always safer. He was going to have to go to ground, and pray that the goddess would keep him safe.
As the sounds of men, and machines drew ever nearer, Jared put his nose to the ground and began smelling for shelter. If he could just find a damp, wet cave whose entrance was either already covered or easily covered, he’d have a chance. Hell, I’d take a pile of wet autumn leaves at this point!
“He’s this way!” He heard one man shout, and it was then that Jared knew his time was running out.
Forcing his wolf’s panic to the back of his mind, Jared lifted his head and scanned his surroundings, seeking any entrance. This part of Oregon was riddled with caves, but finding one could be tricky especially since many of them were along the coastline and could easily fill with water when the tide came in. He finally spotted a circle of inky blackness that stood out a bit more to his wolf’s eyes than the rest of the vivid night. He ran flat out as though the devil were on his tail which in reality that wasn’t too far from the truth. He reached the entrance seconds later and dove inside. There was no time to try and pull branches over the opening, he was just going to have to hope and pray they didn’t see the cave and didn’t come inside. Instead of lying down close to the entrance as he might have done under other circumstances, he carefully followed the wall of the cave on one side, hoping that it would twist and turn deep into the earth thus giving him some form of protection. As he trotted a totally foreign scent entered his nose and it was such that he was unable to stop his wolf from reaching up with one paw and scratching it as it tingled with the strange scent. What is that smell?
It was enough to make his mouth water, musky and tangy at the same time. It made his cock twitch and stretch forward from its sheath reaching for the illusive scent. Great! Just what I need right now, a hard on. Disgust at himself and his body’s reaction to a smell he had never encountered before took root in the more human half of himself. Now was just not the time, he could worry about getting laid later, right now he had to stay alive long enough to get laid.
Echoes of men’s voices bounced off the interior of the cave. So much for hoping they didn’t see the entrance. Knowing instinctively that he was just minutes if not seconds from being discovered, Jared knew he could no longer be cautious. He was going to have to trust the senses of his wolf to keep from running into anything. Pointing his nose in the direction of the mouth watering scent he began running full out, his feet skimming across the ground as his wolf’s body stretched out into sleek lines.
Jared saw a glimmer of light in the distance, so faint it appeared that it was not even there. That’s weird.
Unable to stop, and praying that if there was anyone attached to the odd phosphorescent glow they would either ignore or help him, he stretched his neck out and put on more speed.
Suddenly he rounded a sharp turn in the cave’s walls and was instantly blinded with a flash of white light. Caught completely off guard, and blind as a bat, he let out a howl that was sure to give away his presence within the cave.
What seemed like hours, but which could only have been a moment or two, the light became noticeably dimmer, and Jared’s eyes cleared. The sight that met his gaze was unlike any other he had ever seen unless you counted the science fiction movies his human counterpart was addicted to.
Standing not a foot away from him was a man who stood at least six and half feet tall. White blond hair hung over his left shoulder in a long braid that easily reached his waist, and his skin tone was a deep dark tan. His arms were bare and muscled, the light green veins visible beneath the skin. On his left arm was a bracelet of some kind of silvery metal that was in the shape of a snake. The snake’s eyes were shiny and turquoise. He wore an opaque jumpsuit in a darker turquoise color than the eyes of the snake, that covered his body from his neck to the place where the jumpsuit seemed to disappear into a pair of knee high black boots. He was wearing glasses that looked like a cross between goggles and sunglasses, keeping Jared from seeing his eyes.
As he watched the man, the musky, tangy scent he’d picked up earlier intensified to the point that he could scent nothing else, including the man’s intentions. Arousal tightened his body further, and while his wolf seemed to be okay with the man, Jared’s human side was more cautious. That part of him caused his wolf’s lip to draw back in a snarl when the man who seemed as surprised to see him as he had been to see the man took a step closer.
The man held his hands up and said something in a language that Jared had never heard before, the words melodic. Still unsure, his human side caused the hairs on his back to stand up and his back to arch, a growl trembled from his throat.
The shouts of men drew closer and Jared knew this was it, his life as he knew it was over. No matter how tasty the stranger smelled, if he couldn’t even speak English there was going to be no help on that front.
Then the stranger lifted his glasses/goggles off and Jared got a look at his eyes. The iris was a deep purple color, though the pupil was black like his own. There was compassion there, and something else that Jared couldn’t quite put his finger on. Then the man’s voice slid into his mind. Come, they won’t find you.
Hurry up, come closer to me. I can shield you from them.
His indecision cost him as the sound of gunshots ricocheting off walls rang out and then pain bloomed on his left side, and right flank as two bullets found their mark.
Help me! Was his last thought before he blacked out.
(c) 2009-2010. By Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.