German watched Sofia’s rear-end view with an appreciative eye, inhaling measured sniffs of her scent as she strutted in front of him. Oh, she was what he’d been sent after, all right, and he wanted nothing more just then than to shut his eyes, to better savor the smell of her. Except he feared he’d wind up tripping and gutting himself on the lethal tines of the pitchfork she’d handed him. Latching onto his self-preservation, he stayed visually tuned in while he let his thoughts gambol off like a rutting deer.
He was in luck if he could get her back to the Compound in one piece. Which wasn’t a given. She was a rogue wolf-woman who hadn’t changed yet, and therefore had no clue about the wolf blood flowing through her veins. If the strength of her scent was any indication, she was on the cusp of that self-discovery, compounding his problem. Because he didn’t have much time to convince this Sofia woman of the impossible, and German didn’t exactly have the reputation for bringing in the rogues alive.
The main problem with rogues is they never knew what was happening to them when they shifted, and it flipped them out. Permanently. Their brains just couldn’t stretch with the truth of what they were, and snapped and broke like hyper-extended rubber bands. One day they were human, and the next? Well, they were a completely different animal, and he’d seen too many who couldn’t cope with the sudden growth of fur, the mouthful of fangs, and the loss of thumbs.
Drafting on the lithe form striding in front of him, German thought about the look Sofia had leveled him with. She had the wolf gaze nailed, whether she knew it or not. If he wasn’t an alpha wolf, he’d have backed off instinctively.
He didn’t want to hang his hopes on that scrap of promise, but the stare was something in her favor, at least. So were the rounded muscles of her strong shoulders, along with the sinewy curve of her spine converging like artwork at the base of her plump, tight butt.
The stick in his Dreamsicle? She had red hair. How gorgeous was that going to be all over her?
German licked his lips as the image of a red wolf starred front and center in his gray matter. Then he chilled as those gamboling thoughts of his tripped on their own merry feet.
If she comes through her transformation with all of her marbles.
Well, shit. There was the strong possibility she wouldn’t, so there wasn’t much point in fantasizing about it. He’d wind up killing her like he had all the others he’d been assigned to retrieve. Which meant the end for him, too. He’d wiped out too many rogues already, and the ruling wolves back at the Compound had given him a long enough leash for him to hang himself with. One more dead wolf-person to his tally would stamp the signature on his warrant, and once caught, he’d be done. Chained up like the animal he was.
The red-head had to come through for him, and German, who still hadn’t wrested his gaze from her rump, certainly wouldn’t mind paying the extra attention it was going to require to help her do it. Even if it meant pitchforking a ton of chicken shit into a manure spreader.
But he’d have to hunt her with supreme caution. She was a wild one even if she didn’t understand her instincts. Translation? She could home in on him without knowing exactly why. And her reaction to him could go either way, depending on how tight a fist human society had on her. She’d either sense something was innately off about him, which most Homo sapiens did. Or, she’d feel an affinity for his wolf and open herself to him.
German readjusted his grip on the handle of the pitchfork while he switched his gaze from the woman to her dog. Then he took a deep breath to gird himself for the tenuous trials awaiting him. Without a doubt, the shoveling of manure was going to be the easy part.