Kaitlin Mahone shifted on her perch—a branch half way up an old oak tree—and watched the sleek black car, that had just rumbled underneath her position, turn into the compound further up the street.
Four men got out, dressed in tight jeans and t-shirts. Judging from their muscular builds she’d reckon they were fighters. They looked around, their eyes glinting amber in the street light, and seemed to sniff the air. Luckily the steady breeze was blowing towards her so her scent wouldn’t indicate her presence.
She frowned for a second. What were the wolves doing meeting the bears? They were supposed to be enemies. Like the cat clans were with the wolves—dogs and cats and all that.
With her enhanced hearing she heard the door set into the compound open and the men turned to be greeted by the dozen or so bears. Except one, who was staring at the oak tree she was in with a fierce intensity. Kaitlin held her breath. Wolves’ hearing and sight was just as good as hers, a puma, and she couldn’t afford to be seen. After what seemed like an eternity but was probably mere seconds, he turned away and joined his brethren in greeting the bears.
Turning her attention to the cat clans supposed allies she saw that at the head of the group was Tito, the second in command and her on/off lover. Her jaw clenched hard at his deceit. She’d only seen him earlier this evening and he hadn’t said anything to her. A snarl left her lips as she watched the group of men enter the large brick building.
Only three things made her shift: anger, pain and her will. She was angry enough now but she forced herself to relax. She needed to stay in control because if she changed, the animal took charge and even ten years after making her first shift at the age of thirteen, she still wasn’t completely in control of the wild animal inside her.
The heavy metal gates clunked shut behind them and she took in a quick breath before she started to climb down from her thirty-foot high branch. She jumped down to the next branch, about five feet below, and landed with prefect balance in the centre. Luckily for her, cats had a good sense of distance and balance and the traits had ingrained themselves in her too. Kaitlin quickly lowered herself to the bottom branch; it was still about nine feet off the ground and she dropped off into thin air. She landed on all fours with only the tiniest sound and glanced around, hoping she hadn’t drawn attention to herself from any shifter in the vicinity.
She didn’t hear anything.
Rising to her feet she set off in the opposite direction to the compound, going to the black motorcycle she’d hidden in the corn field that ran the length of the street. Reaching into the under-seat storage she pulled out her mobile and sent a message to her friend, telling her where she was and that if she wasn’t back by morning to let her parents know. They’d come looking for her, she was sure.
Putting the phone back she walked back up to the street and moved towards the compound. The walls must have been fifteen-foot high; no problem for her at all, and topped with sharp spikes.
She needed to get inside and see what was going on.
Bending her knees, she pushed up quickly and flew up into the air. A puma could jump eighteen feet upwards in one bound but Kaitlin didn’t want to jump that far. Grabbing two spikes she stealthily pulled herself upwards and crouched on the wall top as she scanned her surroundings.
There were several watchmen about. They must be guarding the meeting between the two supposed enemies. Anger clawed at her again, wanting out. She forced it down.
Leanne Crabtree © 2012
This story is available through both Amazon and Smashwords: