I turned away from the temptation of his flesh, becoming more interested in the contents of the basket. The brown-wrapped package I set aside. The remaining items were a lavish assortment of food and I spread my only tablecloth in honor of the event.The cake alone, chocolate with chocolate icing, was more of a treat than I’d ever experienced.
But the roasted beef, not one but two slabs, had my mouth watering with need to sample the barely cooked flesh.
I found a second plate in the cupboard, rounded-up a knife and fork, though they didn’t match mine, and only then remembered my manners. “Please join me as I enjoy this lovely meal you’ve provided.”
When he slid his chair up to the table and filled his plate, I waited until his mouth was full of beef before I added, “As soon as we've finished, you can tell me who the sheriff is rustling cattle for, and why they want to kill you.”
He looked up, fork half raised for a second bite, and ordered, "Eat. Shifting takes a lot of energy. You talk too much."
Then he picked up the carving knife and cut a chunk of meat half the size of one of the roasts. He put it on my plate and motioned at it, repeating, "Eat."
I opened my mouth to argue, only to hear the rumble that started deep in his chest, reaching across the table as a command. His eyes changed, became the amber eyes of the big cat, and I closed my mouth with a snap and picked up my fork.