Of course, that meant that I was completely alone when I arrived on my doorstep as well as completely distracted by thoughts of Thor. So, I didn’t see the large shadow detach itself from the others and launch itself at me until it was too late.
The shadow and I landed together in a tangle of limbs, leather, and what felt like fur. I gasped for air as the weight of my assailant pressed against my chest. Consumed with thoughts of breathing, I kicked up with all of my might and became immediately grateful that I was still wearing my hunting outfit. The hook on the back of my boot caught something tender on the down swing, and I heard a yelp as the weight lifted, and I could breathe again.
It was about eight o’clock at night and the Moon was hidden, so I wasn’t able to see much but a huge black shape for awhile. The form did look a bit odd, and my attacker was making some weird growling noises, but even all of that in combination with the sensation of fur I’d felt earlier hadn’t prepared me for the sight that met my eyes when the Moon finally poked free of the cloud cover.
He stood at least as tall as Thor and was covered in a mottled gray pelt. He had the head and paws of a wolf, but the upright form of a man. Yes, he was definitely male. Funny how horror stories never mention that sex is very apparent on a werewolf, but let me assure you, it is. Thankfully, it wasn’t all that distracting when they were trying to kill you. I barely gave his swinging package a glance before I released the metal claws from my gloves. It was a good thing too because within the space of time it took me to release my blades, he was already in the air; bound straight for me. I spun aside and landed a blow on his arm. I knew my blades had gone deep, but his bright green eyes glared at me without even a hint of pain.
“You smell like witch,” his voice grated out of his throat, harsh and inhuman, and my brows rose in surprise.
I didn’t know werewolves retained the ability to speak in their wolfman form. You learn something new every day.
“Yeah?” I smirked. “Well, you smell like wet dog.”
He lunged for me, and I ran for the backyard; knocking potted orchids into his path as I went. I wanted him out of the front yard where my neighbors might see him and come to my aid. Yes, people in Hawaii actually helped when they saw others in trouble. Even when that trouble could get them seriously maimed. I thought of Tahnee and Justin next door. They’d send their German Shepherds out in a second if they knew I was being attacked, and the girls would be torn to pieces. I loved Roxy and Vasse; there was no way I’d let them get hurt by this monster.
“I like witches; their blood has a spicy kick,” his voice was much closer than I expected, and I ducked just in time to miss the blow he’d intended for my throat.
He caught me on the upper arm instead, and I rolled away; screaming in pain. I’d never actually been mauled by a bear before, but I was pretty sure the experience would be comparable. I ended up half under the mock-orange bushes bordering my back yard and a small sound caught my attention. Nick was huddled under there as well; pressed up against the wall separating my yard from the next door neighbor’s. He was shaking and looking at me with wide, scaredy cat eyes.
“It’s okay, baby,” I whispered. “Mama’s just gonna to go kick some werewolf ass. You wait here.” I clucked my tongue at him reassuringly before I rolled away and backed up to face the wolfman.
Funny, but that little furball gave me the extra determination I needed to face down the monster. As pathetic as it may sound, that cat is like my child, and I was as enraged as any mother would be when their baby was in danger. Mess with me, and I’ll defend myself, but mess with my cat, and I’ll obliterate you. The wolfman was going down.
I ran at him just as he started forward, but at the last second, I dove low and punched out at both of his knees. I kept going with my momentum, and he toppled over my back. As he thrashed, one of his flailing legs caught me in the head.
My vision shifted sharply as the werewolf crumpled, howling in pain. I went down as well; battling nausea until I was finally able to stand again. I don’t know how much time I lost, but when my head finally cleared, the wolfman was on his stomach; crawling toward me with as much menace as a crawling thing can muster. Let me just say here that a crawling werewolf can reach deep and come up with a lot of menace.
I dove at him again; ignoring the pounding in my head and the sour taste in my mouth as I kicked him in the muzzle as hard as I could. His head spun and blood sprayed out in an impressive arc, but he just shook it off and snarled at me. I know I, like most women, hold most of my strength in my legs so it had been one hell of a kick nad yet it had barely fazed him. Tough bastard.
“I’m going to kill you slowly, bitch,” his voice was even worse now that his mouth was filling with blood.
“It’s witch with a W, and you’re the one on the ground, dog breath.” I kicked him again, and his arm shot out; claws sinking into my left thigh and toppling me.
He roared in triumph as I screamed. Then he lunged forward to finish me off, but I stopped him with a foot in his face. The claws in my thigh shook and cut deeper; grinding my kodachi into my leg and effectively trapping it as well. His other paw batted at me as I continued to kick him. It tore through my leather pants, but the wounds were minor compared to what would happen if I let up so I kept thrusting my foot at him until I heard a snap, and he went limp.
“How’s that for a spicy kick?” Yes, it had to be said.
He was heavy, but I dragged myself out from beneath him; digging into the grass with my blades for leverage. The hardest part was trying to pull out his claws. They were sharp but also ragged and clung to my flesh with a final, determined vengeance. When I finally got free, I crawled away from his body and stretched out on the cool grass.
It felt so good on my face. I breathed in the scent of crushed lawn and night blooming jasmine; reveling in simply being alive. I knew I was bleeding but it was only a trickle so I was pretty sure he hadn’t nicked my femoral artery. I shouldn’t bleed out… hopefully. If I was wrong, I had about five minutes to live.
I made a sound that was part sob and part laugh; the small movement sending pain twitching through me. The cuts in my arm had subsided to a dull burn, but the pain in my legs more than made up for it. If I lay very still, it hurt a little less. So, I took slow, shallow breaths while I waited for my body to stop screaming at me. Right before I slipped into a welcome oblivion, I felt a rough tongue begin to lick my face and a warm, purring body nestle in against my side.