Grim had always loved the hunt, even as a small child. He’d lure ducklings away from the pond on his father’s estate and kill them all in different ways. He’d behead one, rip the feathers and legs off the other and stab the other. Killing was such an inventive way but nothing beat a bullet shot in bone and sinew.

After killing indigenous tribes and exotic animals on the brink of extinction Grim had wanted a new challenge, something nobody had killed before, an animal worthy of a challenge. He had chanced upon ancient Cherokee texts of men who were animals and one with the earth, Chiefs who had the ability to take the form of a specific animal and hunt in the night for their tribe.

There was a howl a few miles north, a wolf howl, calling his brothers to join ranks. A roar followed and Grim recognized it as lion, just a few meters ahead in the woods. Jackal, hyena, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, he recognized the calls of all.

And then a human scream.

The woods were filled with sounds of carnage. He knew something was amiss, his party had gone asunder and were in trouble now. He thought of going after them to help, but the quick silence of one scream and then the other told him it was too late. They had walked in to a trap.

The Blood Moon rose high in the sky, an angry eye staring down at him, as red as the blood of the Pygmy children they had played golf with; their little bodies buried in the sand, their heads golf balls that he and his friends had swung across the field to their wailing mothers.

There was a growl behind him, a soft pad on the earth. Grim turned around slowly. A tiger, scarred and bedraggled was prowling around him, a low guttural roar escaping its lips. The snap and crackle of a tree branch and Grim turned just in time to see a panther jump lightly on the ground cutting off his retreat on the east. A bear trundled in to the path on the west and a wily fox with sharp fangs. He was cornered.

He lifted his gun to fire at the fox to clear a path but they all ran at him at once, he fired but missed, the scream of terror literally ripped from his mouth as the tiger swiped at his face, gouging out eyes and lips and a big chunk of his nose.

Grim was a pile of fleshy ribbons by the time the Shifter’s were done with him, his hunting days over in a poetic fashion with him as prey.

The Blood Moon rose higher still and the young ones, sequestered in sheds and barns on their personal properties were let out to howl in freedom; they rampaged the woodlands, their shadows lengthening in the red moonlight relishing the hunt and the duality of their nature.

David gamboled with them, for once allowing himself to feel part of instead of apart from this community that had come together to fight a threat. He appreciated, for the first time, that the community was what its leader made it, and where the Sheriff in his childhood had been a coward, Diesel wasn’t.

Diesel led the small party that had volunteered to keep the Blood Moon celebrations as peaceful as possible and when dawn came the only fatalities were the human hunter scum, already buried deep down in a worm filled ditch.

Chapter Ten

Lucy in Love

I liked it longer but David’s gone and cut half his glorious hair off. I’m glad that he’s finally worried about his presentation but being a plain Jane myself I’m a bit worried about that. What if he finds a Hottie who is his equal and dumps me?

He hasn’t dumped me yet and I get the feeling he’s too in awe of me to do anything like it. Sonya thinks David thinks I’m one in a million. Sonya the secretive minx. She’s more friendly now that I know about the Shifting and how both her husband and son are Shifter’s. I can’t blame her really, she’s been nice to me, letting me in on this glorious secret, because the men are glorious and gorgeous; except for Alfred who’s a WereHog; poor thing.

We’re getting ready to go to a reception held in the town hall. It’s in honor of Diesel’s handling of the Blood Moon Festival and also marks the day David will be joining the force as deputy. I’m really proud of him. He’s getting his life sorted and I have the privilege to ride shotgun.

My mom and dad were pleased to hear I finally had a boyfriend. Mom nearly had a coronary when she saw his picture. I still haven’t gotten round to getting them to Skype together; it will be too awkward and a disaster. Needless to say, my Friday nights are no longer Skype nights.

Riley Moreno Books | Billionaire Romance Books |