Riverford Shifters Collection: Vol. One (Books 1 - 2)
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Kylie lashed out at the much larger great cat, swatting at the air between them warningly with her claws, before backing up a couple of steps and resuming her defensive stance with a series of sharp chuffs.
That was her prey! How dare the other, one of her own brethren, try to take it from her!
She let out another angry chuff and clawed the ground. The other cat blinked its large eyes and then tilted its head in a manner that her senses were screaming was utterly wrong—unnatural.
Slowly it sat back onto its haunches and then before her alarmed eyes, the spotted cat’s entire body began to ripple in an utterly unsettling way before the mass of its body began to shrink down and rearrange itself. Spotted fur rapidly melted into smooth, human skin until everything settled and the body of a man crouched in its place.
Her mind in its current state just could not comprehend what it had just seen. A naked, black-haired man now crouched before her, but he still smelled the same. He still smelled like the great cat of before. The man stared back at her warily, moving to sit with his knees bent up, and then he carefully rested his arms onto them.
“It’s all right,” he said softly in a deep, nonthreatening voice. “Be calm. Be calm. I’m not angry. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Kylie snarled at him and took a cautious step back. What was he saying? He attacked her! He let her prey escape!
“You’re okay,” he cooed in that same, soft voice. “There’s no danger here. I just want to help you. Will you let me help you?”
Help her? Some of her rage subsided as utter confusion began to creep into her mind. What had just happened here?
“Can you shift back now? So we can talk?” the man asked, his eyes wide and imploring. Kylie paused in the process of baring her teeth, the word “shift” tickling the edges of a distant memory even as a surge of fear washed over her, effectively snuffing out the uncontrollable rage of before.
It was him, she realized suddenly, this stranger who had turned from cat to man before her very eyes. It was him she was afraid of, afraid that he was going to find out about— —that I’m a— Her eyes flickered down to the ground, to her two spotted paws with claws fully extended and the fur matted with blood, and she abruptly let out a sound of dismay that did not at all sound like something that should have come out of any kind of feline’s throat.
Shit! I’m a jaguar!