Every time she entered this high meadow he could smell her. It wasn’t perfume or soap. It was far more subtle. Like citrus and honey and earth. Like blood and flesh. She was carried on the wind into his cerebral cortex, and once there she was in him.
He always watched from his safe place. She felt him, but she wasn’t animal enough to know it. The musk of her adrenaline each time she started only added to the cocktail sweetening his own blood. As soon as he caught that whiff, nose to the sky, he was hard. Hungry. He was Hunter.
She made it easy.
The noises she alerted to in the leaves were not him. His padded feet made no noise. The wind was always in his favor. And when he finally made his move he was ready to subdue, even while uncertain it would be necessary. He was hungry, but he would not harm her. Hurt her, perhaps. But his hunger demanded she not only be intact, but ideally, willing. The line every predator walked with his prey. Would she understand her part?
He suspected so. She didn’t fight as he’d anticipated. Instead, at his embrace he tasted arousal in the air. A touch of fear, but a mighty release of invitation from her, and he wanted to take her there, then.
He didn’t. He whispered, “Are you frightened, Red?”
She nodded, small and unconvincing movements of her head.
“I’m not sure you are,” he growled. He wouldn’t let her know he liked that. He let her feel his fangs against her neck, and he thrilled at the reactive shudder that quaked her. Now that, that odor was fear. If he pushed her, urine would be the next scent on the wind. Then the animal might take over… He pulled back and licked the spot again. While he did, he disarmed her without her realizing, and stepped back.
She started to turn.
“No!” he barked. “Walk. Take the path, this one leading into the woods. Do not turn around. You won’t like the last thing you see, my Dear.”
…to be continued