Animal Instincts by Patricia Rosemoor

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The predators moved in on me. Trying not to show the anxiety that threatened to consume me, I curled my hands into fists and edged backward. They continued to advance on me. My heart was pounding, my blood racing. Knowing they could sense my fear, I tried to control it. Futile. No escape. The hyena broke from the pack and rushed me. If I turned my back on it, I was dead for sure. I kept putting one foot behind the other and the wolf and the lion picked up their pursuit. The hyena’s muscles bunched and it flew through the air at me. I threw up my hands to protect myself, but it never reached me. Instead, it was as if an invisible wall stopped it cold. It shrieked and fell to the ground in a heap. What do you think you’re doing? Go! The predators stopped and I sensed their sudden fear. Now! the voice in my head thundered. The animals fled and quickly disappeared into the night. I flipped around. At first I didn’t see him. Then I caught a movement to my right and nailed him where he stood. Dark hair whipped around features so rugged they could have been cut from granite. High cheekbones. Broad forehead. Square chin. His eyes appeared silver in the moonlight, and they glowed at me, tightening my stomach and making it hard to breathe. Trembling, I gasped. “What just happened?” “You got into something that doesn’t concern you.” Forget about it. I started. He hadn’t said the last bit out loud. There was something about him so powerful I almost agreed. I fought the desire to give in. “I’m not forgetting about anything. Who are you?” I felt as if he were trying to push the command into my mind. Glaring at him, I pushed back. “What are you?” he asked. “Someone who protects animals.” His silence told me that wasn’t exactly the explanation he was looking for. My pulse threaded as he stepped closer. I sensed both threat and something less tangible, something that made my stomach knot and my throat tighten.

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