Hunger for the flesh he means. I'd succeeded in slowing my heart, but it was thrumming so hard I feared he'd hear it.
But the tree was dense and good at masking such sounds.
One of the thickest ones in these woods. I hoped it'd serve me well now.
"Samantha!" He barked. "Have it your way!"
From where I was ducked within the tree, I could hear his boots crunching over the twigs as he turned looking for a track or a sign of movement. His voice carrying from various directions as he turned his back then rounded again.
"But don't forget it's me." He persisted. "I know everything about you."
I felt a bloom of a fear as I wondered how true that was.
He does know a lot about me. I'd never felt the need to keep things from him. Thinking him my only friend save Lyra Lani.
"There's nowhere you can go, nowhere you can hide that I won't soon find you..." His words were so ominous I wondered if it was his version of a promise.
He's right. He does know too much about me.
How could I be so careless? Foolish, foolish girl! I cursed myself.
My stomach growled and I cringed. Cradling a hand to it and holding my breath for fear his head would pop through the hole and demand I come out.
I won't. I decided right then and there. And he can't get me out.
I sat in that tree until long after I knew he'd gone. He'd likely be doubling back to check around my hut. He'd often told me scared creatures will typically run home at the first opportunity. Which means that's where he'll be waiting.
My stomach growled again. And my cheeks puffed as I held my breath in panic.
Nothing. I was safe.
I remembered we'd discussed the elderberries earlier but never gone. I haven't eaten since yesterday.
And with the Mating Moon, my appetite would be in full swing. Then my stomach will really begin growling.
I needed to get food in my belly or hiding would be no use. It was bad enough that my female scent would be heightened with the moon's rising. Sending all the males into a sexual frenzy.
They'd tear down the tree to find me, once the moon was at full height, if they caught my stomach growling.
I crept up to peer from the hollow. Nothing.
I slipped from it like being born. Serpenting to the ground before letting my toes unhook from the ledge and drop me to my hands. I rolled to my feet and looked around cautiously.
Jaecar was positioned crouched on a limb. Elbows braced on his knees as he waited. Watching below.
Now and again the wind carried her scent up to him from nearby. He nearly moaned at the pleasure of it. Knowing the Mating Moon was coming in just a few hours.
Though he'd resented Draven forcing his hand, the idea was becoming more appealing to him every moment.
And despite what he'd shouted to Sam he wasn't angry at her. He knew she wouldn't be who she was if she didn't attempt some savvy escape.
He closed his eyes and felt the sun wafting through the trees to warm his cheek and shoulders. A slight breeze stirring his hair across his forehead and the dusting of short whiskers along his chin. For a moment he could envision it was her naked below him. Warm and wet and willing.
Her legs slowly parting for him and her feminine scent drowning his wolf. Making his beast growl hungrily in his throat. Her pale skin made the pale pink of her nipples seem that much darker. It trailed down to the flat of her belly and her small navel. Which flared into her slim hips. Adept for running.
She was so petite that he knew fitting inside her would feel like sinking into a well-suited glove. Her walls easing around him as if wanting to suck him further. Her breaths coming in quick pants as her body adjusted to being filled by a man's flesh.
He envisioned his eyes roving over her.
Her legs lifting to circle around him. Her heels locking behind his ass to keep him grasped to her. Straining to meet him while she moaned wantonly. Begging for more. Begging to be filled.
Jaecar realized he was perilously close to needing to throw her down and fill her now, so aroused by the images he'd conjured that his animal was willing to hunt her.
Just then he glimpsed movement below.
I was oblivious to the fact that Jaecar was in the tree, several branches above the hollow, waiting for me to come out. Patiently twirling a leaf between his fingertips.
He'd known exactly where I was. He did indeed know all my favorite spots.
But I thought I'd made a particularly slick get away as I crept around the branches. Peering behind the tree trunk to make sure he was nowhere near.
Missing him just above me.
Jaecar had known he'd not be able to pull me out of this particular tree. The opening was far too narrow.
The leaf he'd gripped fell from his fingers, floating down behind the tree, once he saw me twining from the entrance.
He braced himself on the branch. Ready to hop down. But knowing startling me too quickly, would just drive me back into this tree. Or another.
I was so careful in my quiet steps and in peering ahead, that I had no idea he was a shadow on my heels, as I forewent the elderberry bushes.
Knowing I couldn't stop there because it was possible, he'd be lying in wait there too.
Remembering his words, his reminder of how well he knew me.
I'll have to find food elsewhere.