Thoughts of rustlers drifted away on the wind. I knew him, every new sinew and muscle in my body was familiar with the cat that stood above. His purring increased, overwhelming my resistance, burying the part of me that was Misery Hess.
He lowered his head and rubbed his muzzle against my furred shoulder, then stepped over my awkward sprawl and flopped down beside me. I flipped to all fours sniffing the air, straining to understand.
My name is Misery Hess and I’m a healer. The words floated through my brain and away. My cat lowered to her belly, and crouched beside the big male, meeting his unblinking gaze.
My name is Misery Hess and I’m a healer. The male cat snorted, and growled, showing white fangs. Then he stood and stalked angrily around me, tail twitching in short, tense jerks. I—she—we--recognized his need to dominate. His verbose rumbling and pacing didn’t frighten us at all.
I felt a smile blossom in the heart of my cat as the male jaguar circled, muscles rippling in the moonlight. Abruptly, as though he’d come to a decision, he rushed me, playfully nipping my shoulder, before he pinned me to the ground.
My cat was no match for his three hundred pounds of brawn. Carefully, he lowered his weight across my back. When I tried to roll away and resist, his teeth closed over the spot where shoulder and neck connect.