She hung, hands tied together over her head, her toes barely touching the ground. She wore a loose, flowing nightshirt, which barely covered her shaved mound. The brilliant light of the full moon shone like a spotlight, magnifying the surrounding shadows. A breeze stirred, playing with the hem of her garment. Her nipples tightened painfully in response to the cool air.
"I'm going to kill him," she said to herself. "He's dead, just as soon as I get down from here." She didn't know how in the freaking hell he'd done it, but somehow, in some way, he was responsible.
Kiesha pulled and tugged her wrists this way and that, trying to loosen them from the ropes binding her. When the bonds refused to relax, she tried twisting her body, hoping that if she put enough pressure on the rope, it would come undone from the tree limb. Every time she rotated in one direction, momentum carried her back to the same position in which she began. She panted and grunted, then escalated to cursing, venting her frustration as her efforts remained fruitless.
Over her mutterings, she heard a noise. Pausing in her struggles, she listened closely. Loudly, she called out, "Conor, I'm going to kick your butt when I get down from here. You are so dead! If this has anything to do with your harebrained ideas about werewolves and all that other bull you're always talking about..."
Ever since she had known Conor, he was always spouting off about werewolves. Going on and on about what was true and what was myth. He'd said he was training her because one day she would need to know. Yeah, right. As if she believed that crap! But she listened to him anyway, because her momma had taught her to be nice to people, even if she thought they were crazy. Humor them, she'd said. What could it hurt? We wouldn't want to hurt their feelings now, would we?
Thanks to The World According to Conor, she now knew the proper way to greet a werewolf, the hierarchy in werewolf packs, and a bunch of stuff she considered useless. This is what I get for humoring the man, she thought. I'm hanging from a tree, half-naked in the middle of the woods on the night of a full moon.
She heard another sound; it sounded closer than before. "Conor! Get me down from here!" As she waited for him to respond, the hair on the back of her nape stood on end. Something--or someone--was watching her. She'd assumed it was Conor, but now it occurred to her that maybe it wasn't. Suddenly, every horror flick she'd ever seen flashed through her mind. Her mother had always warned watching that stuff would come back to bite her.
Kiesha breathed slowly and deliberately, trying to calm the panic seeking to take hold of her mind. She looked around the clearing, straining to see into the shadows. She thought she saw a pair of yellow eyes staring back at her. Lots of pairs. Oh, this was so not good. As she watched, creatures materialized from the dark thicket into the shadows at the edge of the clearing.
Wolves. Big ones. Five of them.
Frantically, she tried to remember everything she'd ever learned about wolves. Don't stare them in the eyes. No, wait. That was dogs. Show no fear. Well, forget that! She was already so scared, she was surprised she hadn't pissed on herself. Why, oh, why, hadn't she watched Animal Planet while she'd had the chance? Then maybe she'd know what to do.
Did wolves eat humans? God, she hoped not.
She chanted "Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God" under her breath until it became a mantra. Her mind blanked by fear, she could think of nothing else to say.
At the sound of her chanting, the wolves paused and looked at each other. Some form of communication seemed to pass among them. One by one, they stepped forward into the clearing. Staying totally still, she waited to see what they were going to do. Conor, if I die tonight, I will haunt you forever, she thought to herself.
One of the wolves stepped ahead of the others and into the moonlight. It was large and gray with a white muzzle. Along his back, the black-tipped fur formed a pattern. It was hard to tell, but his eyes appeared to glow. No, must be a trick of the moonlight. He eased forward slowly, almost creeping, his ears to his head. If she didn't know better, she'd say it was trying not to scare her. As if! Who wouldn't be afraid of a wolf the size of a pony?
It crept toward her, sniffing the air. Maybe it was just curious. She really didn't know and didn't care, as long as it didn't eat her. As it got closer, she looked directly into its golden eyes, too afraid to move. It came within inches then sat back on its haunches. The wolf stared at her, tongue hanging out of its mouth, head tilted to the side. She swore the thing was laughing at her.
"Find me funny, do you?" she asked. Its ears tilted forward as though it--he, if the size of that thing between its legs was any indication--was listening. "You try waking up tied to a tree in the middle of the woods surrounded by predators and see how you feel." A strange light entered its eyes, and she somehow knew he was laughing at her. Great! He thinks I'm a comedian. Glad someone's being entertained.
While her attention was focused on the gray wolf, the others had quietly eased closer and now sat near him in a semi-circle facing her. As she glanced from wolf to wolf and nothing happened, fear subsided and curiosity took its place. One by one, her muscles relaxed as the tension left her body. She'd never been this close to a live wolf before. If she survived, she might never be again.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, she studied the rest of them. The wolf next to the gray one was just as large, but built on a leaner scale. His black fur was frosted with white. The third wolf was all white with the exception of his nose and muzzle, which were black, drawing attention to those killer fangs of his. The fourth wolf was all black, except for one white sock on the front paw. It might have been comical if he hadn't looked so vicious. The last one was blond. She wondered if wolves had dumb blond jokes like humans did.
Some sort of signal seemed to pass between them once again, and she tensed. What now? One by one, they leaned forward and began to sniff her, starting at her feet and ending at her crotch. One came so close that she felt the moist air from his nostrils on her mound.
"Hey! Cut that out. I'm not some bitch in heat for you to be sniffing at!" One of the wolves made a snuffling sound that reminded her of laughter.
Then the gray wolf moved closer. Beginning at her feet, he slowly ran his nose up her legs, leaving a trail of cool dampness in its wake. With a quick swipe of his tongue, he licked her clit. She gasped as she clamped her thighs together and tried to move away. His growl was low and mean.
He licked her clit again as she swung back into position. Then he tried to shove his nose into her crotch. "Back off, you mangy mutt," she said, and kicked at his head with her foot. He danced gracefully out of the way. Again, she heard that snuffling sound, this time from the rest of the group.
As she dragged her toes to stop from swinging back and forth, the gray wolf looked at the others and nodded. She blinked. He couldn't have just nodded his head. She must be imagining things. No, better yet, she was dreaming. This was a nightmare from which she couldn't wait to awaken.
The wolves threw back their muzzles and howled at the moon, a sound of joyful celebration. It startled her and she jerked, accidentally biting down on her tongue. The pain assured her that this was no dream.
As she sucked on her tongue, trying to ease the pain, the gray wolf stepped forward again. One minute, a wolf stood before her; the next, a man.
A naked, aroused man.
Conor wasn't crazy. Werewolves were real. "Oh, man, I am so screwed." Then everything went black.