"You can put the shovel down. No harm will come to you."

Chloe glared and gave her head a tight shake without moving her gaze off the lynx. She swore the animal talked, but his mouth didn't move. In fact, he now sat completely motionless, with the innocence of a house cat on his face.

"My name is Granger, and I am a shapeshifter like you. We have the ability to talk to each other telepathically."

The shovel fell from her grip, and she jumped back at the clatter of the handle skimming the chain links of the cage. She hurried over to the other side of the aisle and stood with her back against the wires.

Her coat caught on the metal, and puffs of downy feathers billowed out from the snags. She gnawed on her bottom lip and stared, not wanting to believe the voice in her head. There was no way that lynx had just spoken to her.

"It's true, Aningan. We are from the Lynx family. I've seen you shift and run through the woods, keeping to the deep shadows, too afraid of discovery. I've bided my time in coming to you, but unfortunately those men meant you harm and forced me to come out of hiding."

"Go…go a-away. Scat!" She motioned with her arm for him to take off. His chuckles filled her head.

She froze, her lips pursed in disapproval. Why did she even contemplate the reality of the cat laughing in a very masculine, husky voice? She even heard a hint of tenderness in his teasing. This is crazy.

"You're not crazy. I am your mate, and together we have the ability to communicate telepathically. I can explain everything to you. Is there somewhere we can go, sit down, and I can transform back into my human form? What I have to tell you will answer many of the questions that have troubled you lately."

She shook her head. Not possible. This is all in my imagination. A…an aftershock from watching you tear apart another person. She raised her gloved hand and rubbed her forehead.