Laura prompted us with Annie Lennox’s No More “I Love You’s”:
Connor should’ve kept a closer eye on Ranger Sitwell.
But he hadn’t and now Dahlia'd been taken. Fortunately, her Gran had called him and told him the odd message Dahlia had passed on about going away. Guilt burst in his chest as he stood at the edge of the reservoir, staring at the inky black waters. He’d pushed her away when she’d told him she loved him. But he’d told her there were no more I-love-yous left in him. He’d tried loving a human in the past and it had gutted him when she died. He couldn’t lose like that again.
And now you’ll lose anyway.
Pushing her away had only lost her on his terms. And it’s fuckin’ gobshite.
Ye owe her, ye do, Connor. Her Gran’s voice blasted through his mind. Ye know what she is to ye, and yer throwin’ it away on fear. He’d heard the scowl in her voice. Ye canna find yer courage to love her? Fine, but ye better bring her home to me at the very least. Sitwell has her and I get the sense she’s bein’ held near deep water. Bring her home. If ye canna save yer heart, save mine.
Fury and pain made him throw back his head and roar before he dove into the frigid waters of the reservoir, shifting into his true form as he slid beneath the inky surface.
Each moment he spent in his human disguise felt like he wore a corset constructing his very self. He burst into the body he was meant to wear, long neck and tail with a finned crest running their lengths. The water sluiced past him as he paddled through, his flippers and tail propelling him forward to the deepest part of the old river valley.
There he paused, his eyes and muzzle tendrils sensing the inhabitants of the man-made loch. As much as he wanted to rejoice in returning to his element, he needed the information of any disturbances.
Connor quieted his mind and “listened” with his body to what the loch remembered. His elongated muzzle with sensitive tendrils caught the disturbances within the quiet waters. The water tasted of fuel as if a boat had passed within the last week and the fish grumbled about the poison in their world. The beavers on the north side of the loch grumbled about waves too large for their dam and a river otter complained of the loss of his favorite hunting perch being fouled by another predator.
Connor shifted his head and followed the otter’s scent. The little Mustelid had built his den near a sandstone promontory that pushed out into the loch. Connor caught the rancid taste of engine oil spilled from a leaking motor. There.
He followed the oily murk to the sandstone, the stripes in the rock still visible under the water. The shadow of a hull rocked on the water and he allowed his head to break the surface. The small motorboat reeked of leaking oil and desperation. His gaze shifted to the sandstone bluff. The scents of desperation and fear intensified, mixed with the soft vanilla of Dahlia and the sharp, fetid smell of the male holding her.
The growl rumbled from his chest as Connor pushed the boat aside and filled the entrance of the cave with his body. A single kerosene lantern burned at he back of the cave, illuminating the man forcing himself on the half-naked woman shoved against the dank wall. Fish-white buttocks flexed in the chemical light as he tried to thrust his anatomy into her.
Black fury scorched Connor’s mind of all coherence except one word.
He hissed and the man turned, his lust-engorged expression morphing into wide-eyed panic just before Connor struck. He closed his jaws around the fetid monster and snatched it away from Dahlia, dragging it out of the cave. He thrashed his head, shaking his prey hard enough to break its back before slamming it repeatedly against the hard surface of the water.
The creature shrieked and whimpered, but he didn’t let up until it stopped moving. Then he sank down into the loch and shoved the broken body between a crevice in the rocks. The wide eyes showed the remnants of the panic the man had felt in the last moments, and satisfaction filled Connor’s chest.
Aye, ye thought ye were the baddest monster about. Rot in hell, ye wee bastard.
He swam back to the cave to recover his mate.
Whoop, there it is, folks. Hope you enjoyed the read. Make sure to check out the other writers participating in the blog hop. There are some FANTASTIC stories waiting to be read HERE.