$0.99 Kindle Edition
Publisher Airmid publishing
$0.99 Kindle Edition
Istaga loves Sara but his coyote side is tired of being hunted. Sara is sick of living in the wild. Her wish is for the two of them and their baby to move into town. But when their baby is kidnapped it changes everything.
Istaga was crouched next to the fire pit when Sara entered, the fire sending flame shadows dancing across the dark stone of the cave, the smoke wending its way out the front. He looked up, his gaze bleak. “You won’t believe what I found out.”
One look at his expression told her it was something bad. “What is it?”
“Your former mate is a member of this hunting organization. He will be here this weekend.
Sara felt something squeeze her heart. “How did you find that out?”
Istaga gave a lopsided grin, revealing one of his canines. “I went to the bar in Black Base and talked to John.”
When had he done that?
Sara was dating the town vet, John, when she met Istaga. It was John who had shot Istaga/Coyote with a tranquilizer gun after Coyote attacked and killed a man on the trail—in his defense, if Coyote hadn’t come along at that moment Sara would be dead. But it was the news about Raleigh that made Sara’s skin crawl. She’d hoped to never see or hear from him again. “Raleigh should be in jail. I guess if you have unlimited money you can buy your way out of just about anything, even murder.”
Istaga stared at her blankly. He didn’t fully understand the concept of money and what a huge part it played in American society. “John told me where the main hunts will be and how many hunters he thinks will come.”
Sara met Istaga’s gaze, noticing the animal-like gleam in his yellow eyes. At this moment he looked very dangerous. “Is John participating?”
“I do not think so.”
“Is Kaliska sleeping?” Sara asked, heading deeper into the cave.
Istaga frowned. “I thought she was with you.”
“I told you I was going into town. Don’t tell me you left her here alone.” Sara stared at him, unable to breathe. A second later both of them were calling and combing the cave. When they couldn’t find her they ran outside, but after an hour of searching up and down the hill and along the ridge there was still no sign of her.
“I can’t believe you took off and left her here!” Sara shouted, trying not to give way to panic. “Where could she be?”
Istaga’s eyes narrowed and then he was Coyote, his mouth open in a snarl. Sara backed away and shifted, the two of them facing off with their hackles raised. It was Sara who lunged first, anger and frustration getting the better of her as she attacked her mate. The fight lasted barely a minute before they came to their senses and shifted into human form.
Istaga took hold of Sara’s arm, making her face him. “It doesn’t matter whose fault this is, only that Kaliska is missing and we have to find her.”
Sara broke away from him, tears in her eyes. “Can you track her?”
“I didn’t pick up her scent.”
“What if a bobcat got her--or a mountain lion? Anything could have happened.”
“How about a human?” Istaga asked, lifting his head and sniffing. A second later he was on all fours again, his nose to the ground.
“Wait!” Sara called, but he was already loping down the rocky hill. Sara tried to think but her mind refused to concentrate. When she left for town Istaga was in the cave. She’d assumed he would hang around, since she distinctly remembered telling him where she was going. How could he leave and not notice Kaliska?
Whoever or whatever had taken the baby was long-gone by now. And if it was a human and the baby had been in pup form there was no telling what would happen. But worse than that, if it was a mountain lion, Kaliska was surely dead.
Sara shifted and followed Coyote down the hill. After swimming across the narrow river at the bottom she headed into a thicket of bushes and spindly trees, but in the muddled aromas of vegetation she lost him. Her coyote mind worked on instinct but right now she needed logic. A second later she was herself again and frantic with worry as she headed for the road.
Sara jumped when a truck backfired, all her senses on alert. A series of coyote yips and then a howl split the silence, Istaga’s unmistakable distress call. She pushed her way through the thick bushes and took off running.
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I am a full time writer and I live near the Catalina Mts. in Tucson, Az.,where I can hike for miles!