By the time he woke up and began to move again it was early afternoon and he had made excellent time. He found her house through the forest by night fall and saw the smoke curling lazily from the chimney. There was a truck in the driveway along with a blue ford Explorer. He wondered who her visitors were. He sat to wait, and the hours passed until he saw the door open. Zane watched as a man stepped out onto her porch, and she followed him out laughing. Her dark hair was pulled high into a ponytail. And she wore white snow boots to match the form fitting sweater that hugged every curve. Zane emitted a growl from where he sat, and it was loud enough to make the man look around warily.
"You might have mountain lions close by, Promyse. Better be careful." The man's voice was weak in Zane's opinion.
"I'm always careful, Doug. Thanks for caring," she replied.
Zane blinked. He hadn't heard her voice for a year. Doug. What kind of name is that anyway?
The man called Doug fixed his glasses and leaned in for a kiss, but instead Promyse hugged him and placed a small peck on his cheek. Zane wondered what they were doing in her home for hours and didn't like where his mind went to find answers. He watched the SUV drive away with its snow chain cutting into the ground, and Promyse stepped inside and closed the door. Better to get this over with now. He padded out from his hiding place to the front door. He bumped it with his head in his version of a knock and waited for her to open the door.
The door swing open, and she began to speak. "Doug, did you forget your scarf again? I'm beginning to think you do it on...."
Zane watched her brows furrow because no one was there, and he swatted lightly at her leg with his paw. When she looked down her eyes widened, and she emitted a scream that could wake the dead. She tore away inside leaving the door open, and he casually padded in after her.
"Holy shit!" She threw a book in his direction and headed across the living room floor to another room He heard the door slam and walked patiently toward it in panther form before changing into his human skin.
He knocked on the door, and she screeched.
"Honey, open the door."
"Who the hell is out there?' she demanded to know. "There is some big damn panther out there, so I suggest you run. Wait why are you in my house? Jesus! A serial killer and a panther, just my luck right after Doug leaves! I'm calling the sheriff!"
"Promyse, it's me, Zane," he said calmly.
She cracked the door open, and her wide eyes wide went to slits when she saw his face. "What are you doing here? There's a panther running around. It must have gone out the door." She looked at him standing nude, and her eyes became round saucers again. "Why the hell are you naked?"
"Happy birthday?" he said with a grin.
She opened the door and stalked out. "How did you find me, and again, why are you naked?"
He shifted back into panther form. It was his nature after all, and he watched her with patient yellow eyes. Her mouth opened and closed once then twice before she crumpled to the floor in a dead faint. That went well, he thought and shifted easily back to human form. He walked to the door and closed it before taking her prone form from the floor and laying her on the couch. He could have found her bedroom and lay her on the bed, but anytime he and Promyse got near each other and a bed was involved, all rational thought ceased. He would wait for the invitation back to her bed, and when that happened he was never leaving again.