In the distance, a twig snapped, the sound sharp and explosive. Unease pricked his skin. Slowly he opened his eyes, scanning the darkness around their campsite. Shadows danced at the edge of the dying light from the fire. Silence reined. No leaves rustled as small animals scuttled along the forest floor. No crickets chirped. No frogs sang.
Gently he nudged his mate, who slept in shifted form in his arms. Eerie blue eyes popped open, bright and clear, but he made no sound. His whiskers twitched, and his nose wiggled as he sniffed. Those beautiful eyes widened as he understood danger stalked them again.
Yeah, they’d dealt with this before.
They’d been so careful, but then, they normally were. Once more it didn’t seem to matter. Why can’t they just leave us alone? They never bother anyone—never stayed in one area long—but trouble always found them. So, who had their panties in a twist now?
When it came to his mate, every damn shifter in the world appeared to had a problem with the beautiful redheaded Omega. Well, fuck every last one of them. They’d learn the hard way not to mess with what was his.
The soft tread of footsteps on grassy ground came closer. Whispers floated on the breeze. “One smells human.”
“Good. Then we don’t have to worry about him.”
He smirked. They always thought that. They were always wrong.
“Go, babe,” he whispered, loosening the grip on his mate. “Find that tree we agreed on. Stay there until this is over.” An escape plan was always a must.
The werecat in his arms shot away, a red blur.
“Dammit, the freak heard us! It’s running!”
Annoyed he pushed to his feet. His mate was not an ‘it’ nor was he a freak. The shifter in human form took off after the werecat. The sound of one of the men shifting carried on the breeze. He didn’t have the strength to take on a shifter, but he did have something else. He tackled the huge wolf before the shift was finished.
Together they rolled toward the base of a tree and into the shadows. Keeping a tight hold on the furry, muscular body, they disappeared into his world, a void that was eternal. And of the deepest black. No light eased the unrelieved darkness. No sound disrupted the never ending quiet. No scent to evoke memories. Complete isolation with no escape.
It was a bleak prison, a land of nothingness, where he abandoned any threats. In the emptiness, they only had their mind to keep them company as they stumbled through the darkness, waiting to die.
Served them right.
The creature in his arms whimpered, snapping his massive jaws and fighting violently for release. Shoving the shifter away, he left the wolf to his fate and stepped out from the shadow world. Before him stood the other man at the base of the tree where a red werecat hissed down at him.
“You freak of natural.” The werewolf growled, cracking his knuckles. “If you come down now, you won’t suffer for days. After we’re done with your freaky ass, we’ll make your death quick, you fucking halfbreed. If I have to come up there and get you, I promise my buddy and I will take turns with you.”
Coldly he stared at the werewolf’s back. Idiot hadn’t even realized he was there yet. “You really shouldn’t have bothered us. Now you pay.” He reached out, snagged the shifter by the shoulder, and pulled the shadows to him.
Threaten his mate and the price was a slow, silent death.