He dreamed about them, paws sliding on the dirt as he slept. She'd left him food -- plenty of it, and good, too, but...
Jesus whimpered, running in his sleep, mouth watering.
He jolted awake, coming up to stand on all four paws. Chiles. He could smell them roasting.
Was Mariposa home?
He'd love it if she was.
With her dark eyes and her lips and her amazing stew...
She wasn't in the trailer. She wasn't under the dining fly, roasting chiles on the grill.
She wasn't anywhere.
The chiles were, though, along with a hint of male and lust, both scents making his mouth water.
He was such a slut.
He kept to the shade as much as he could, slinking toward the good smells. There. At the other trailer, newer and much sleeker than theirs. The nature professor. Pretty man.
Pretty, yummy man. Jesus could eat him alive -- toes to top.
They'd met several times, coming and going. Jonah was always polite, but there was something predatory about him, something that raised the hair on Jesus' neck.
He moved toward the camp, panting hard. There was meat with the chiles. He could smell it, almost taste it. It smelled like heaven. There was smoke, which meant a grill, and that meant he might be able to make off with something if he was careful.
He headed closer, nostrils flaring. He didn't see the pretty hunting man.
He would be so quick he was like a ghost. He would just grab and run. There was a plate of fajita right there on the edge of the little picnic table... He hopped up, teeth grabbing the steak and pulling, hard.
He heard a shout, then a loud puff of air. The dart hit him just behind the head, sinking deep into his neck.
He yelped, eyes rolling as he dug in and began to run, calling for Mariposa.
He didn't get far. His body fought the drug faster and harder than most wolves' would, but the net fouled his legs and he went down. Hard. His muzzle jittered across the dirt, the sand digging in.
"It's okay, boy. It's okay. I won't hurt you." It was the pretty man's voice, close enough to bite, if he could just get loose.
He barked, praying his mate was close enough to hear.
No one came. No one but the beautiful man leaning over him, wavering in and out of focus. The voice was soothing, but it didn't help.
Mariposa! Mate! Help! Help!