It’s that time of year on #1lineWed on Twitter. Witch HUNT. Man HUNT. HUNTer’s moon. Scavenger HUNT. Treasure HUNT. HUNT down. HUNT and peck. HUNT club. The WILD Hunt. Good Will HUNTing. HUNT for Red October. In case you haven’t figured it out, the THEME for the day is **HUNT**. This is a snippet about an unnamed character who will likely make an appearance in a Moonstruck Wolf book. All I know is that he’s a bounty hunter. And he has a thing for cute. 😊
I halted. Had I heard right?
A teenager trotted through the park, yelling the word I’d misunderstood. Her hoodie fell back. She wasn’t a youngster after all, just short. Even in the boots she wore, she’d barely come to my chest.
A bark floated on the breeze. The woman whirled, listening. Figuring out the general direction, she jogged off. I followed, way too curious for my own good. I was here on business. Still, I couldn’t resist.
“Where are you, Puck?” she yelled and then muttered, “Stupid dog.” If I hadn’t been a Wolf, I’d never have heard that last bit.
Standing downwind, I caught the scent of a burning match—acrid and sulfurous. She was frustrated. Hands on hips, she surveyed the area. She stiffened, as if sensing my presence, then turned to face me. I stood loose, hands at my side, totally nonthreatening—well as nonthreatening as a 6’4” bounty hunter could look.
“Puck?” I didn’t hide my grin.
“My dog. He got loose.” She wasn’t intimidated. That boded well for future interactions and now that I got a decent look at her, there would be plenty of those.
“I can help you hunt for him.” I’d barely made the offer when a heat-seeking missile hit me from the side. I went down like an NFL lineman had targeted me—and got a face full of black fur, tongue and drool. I griped the sides of his face and pushed.
Was she yelling at me or the damn dog? And why did everything that came out of her mouth make me think of sex?
“Puck this,” I growled, showing my wolf. The dog growled back.
“Don’t hurt him!”
I didn’t take my eyes off the slobberbeast. Evidently, he was too dumb to be afraid of a predator. “You talking to him or me?”
That got me a giggle and I glanced up at her and I got my first close-up look. Her heart-shaped face was the perfect frame for a little turned-up nose, the full lips of her mouth, and blue eyes that crinkled at the corners when she smiled. Fuck me but she was cute.
“Since you’re acting like my dog is going for your throat, you.”
“Me?” I fought back a grin. “He’s the one with teeth and eying my throat.”
“You outweigh him by a hundred pounds, are twice his size, and he’s a Newfie. They don’t do throats. They beat people to death wagging their tails.”
She had a point. Bending only slightly—she was short and the dog was big, she clipped a leash to his collar and hauled him off me. I shoved off the ground and brushed away the dried grass and leaves that my jeans had collected when I hit the ground.
“I apologize,” she said. “What can I do to make up for Puck’s bad behavior?”
Mesmerized by her mouth, I said what was rattling around in my head. “Kiss me.”
I wasn’t sure who was more surprised when she did.
So that’s my hunting story. Do you have any hunt words to share?
Oh, I can’t wait to read this story!!!
It will eventually get fleshed out. Don’t know much about the characters but anyone bounty hunter Wolf and a woman who names her Newfoundland Puck have to be awesome, right?!?! 😉
Sorry I’m late to the party. Spreadsheet avalanche hit me and it took all day to dig out. And by then the left side of my brain was in total control, so I couldn’t think about creativity.
Here’s a bit from a forgotten manuscript that has no title beyond ‘MG Fantasy’.
He thought of Lyra and wondered what she was doing—whether their wagon had made it home yet or if their parents had decided to stop at the marketplace for a few items. Going to the city was a day long trip and using his enrollment in the Academy to stock their larder wouldn’t be unimaginable. Da could buy a new rifle and add to their store of roundballs. Ma could get Lyra a new cloak. Lyra herself could use the gold she’d been hoarding to get herself a dagger to match the one she’d given him as a going away present…
“Young Aryl?” the gray lady said, breaking into his thoughts. He jumped as if she’d spoken in his ear. He could half-swear he could feel her breath on his cheek.
“Do we all need another lesson today? Perhaps one about how distraction can kill?”
Heads turned to stare at him. He could see one newly formed clique shooting angry glares his way. Judging from the soot on their clothes, they were among the ones who’d served in the last lesson. “No, Mistress. I apologize for wool-gathering.”
“Do you think you’re better suited to gathering wool than defending against what faces us in the mists?” Her voice was cool and steady. She didn’t mean it as a taunt, but several of the others laughed. “You must all make your choices now. Is it here you want to be or are you already longing for your beds at home? We cannot have mages whose attentions may be split. If you stay here, you must be here. Always.”
Several backs straightened. Others appeared as uncertain as Aryl felt. At that moment he would’ve given just about anything to be home with Lyra, hunting rabbits in the field or tending sheep with Da. He might even be willing to help Ma with her chores if it meant he wouldn’t have to face the horrors he knew were ahead of them all.
The one thing he wasn’t willing to give up was his pride. If he left now, he would be a disgrace to his family. Da would never understand. And their neighbors would whisper about him behind their backs for as long as the tongue-wagging was good. He couldn’t face that.
“Have you made your choice?” she asked.
That. Was. Awesome! And I don’t read MG anything! I’d read this one, though. I hope you dig it out one day. 🙂