Welcome to installment #8 of the Chasing Shadows – Making Amends series. For more information or to read the previous scene, head to this page.
Mujur crouched on the cliff which overlooked the stream in front of Berani’s cave. The water was so clear the sandy bottom was visible even from his height, and the sunlight glistened on the surface like a thousand crystals. It had taken him weeks to find a path to the top of the cliff, but the effort was worth having a unobstructed view of the surroundings.
The entrance to the cave was well hidden in the bluff and easily missed, while the scarcity of trees meant few could approach without detection. With Berani being the sole female of their clan, Mujur welcomed any advantage to her safety.
Eventually Berani and Eric would return from their adventures or exit the cave. Either way, Mujur had plenty of time to wait for the mated pair.
A soft bump against his leg caught his attention. The cat. The reddish-brown lump of fur had hounded him almost since he’d woken in Bryan’s tent weeks ago. He shoved her away, only to have her return, cocking her head and exposing a pure white neck.
With his belly full, Mujur wanted nothing to do with the critter, and the cat seemed to know. Without fail, the miniature feline always made an appearance shortly after Mujur finished a meal, as if its sole purpose was to lurk in the background and wait for an opportune moment. One of these days, the cat would slip, mistime her approach, and then…
The cat sidled up to him and prodded Mujur’s hand with her flat head. At last, he relented and stroked the soft fur. A few seconds later, the cat rewarded him with a breathy purr.
Mujur sat, letting his legs dangle over the edge. He picked up the fur ball by the nape and rested her in his lap, stroking the feline from head to tail.
Hours later, Eric strolled along the stream, kicking water with each step, completely oblivious to being watched.
Mujur sneered. He still didn’t understand how Berani had turned the cocky human into a wehr-tiger. An even bigger affront was the dark haired fool had managed to manipulate her into choosing him over her own kind. Eric may wear a tiger’s stripes, but he’d always be human, inferior.
Eric stretched out his hand. Berani came into view and walked into his arms. She was the reason Mujur stayed, the reason he tolerated the overconfident crossbreed. He’d promise his protection—a vow he’d honor with his life if necessary… and a hope of redemption. Not even Eric could deny him that.
Eric thought he could keep everyone away. He was wrong. The smelly human knew nothing of wehr-kind. He didn’t belong here, and he didn’t deserve Berani. If not for the fact the wehr-tigress had tied her life to Eric, Mujur would eliminate the mongrel.
The filthy hybrid raked an arc of water, dousing Berani. She giggled, splashed him back, and took off running. She didn’t get far before Eric snatched her and forced his lips on hers.
Mujur jerked at the sudden shoulder pain where he’d absentmindedly scratched too hard. The persistent itch he’d woken with had worsened a little every day and drove him to distraction. He brushed his thumb over the fist-sized patch which was mottled red and rough with scabs in various states of healing. If he could just leave the wound alone perhaps it’d heal. He pressed his palm against the hot surface, finding the pressure soothing, and returned his attention to the couple.
The two lay half in the water and half on land with Eric moving beyond kissing.
While the fool played around, not even cautious enough to keep Berani from prying eyes, Mujur would do his duty and keep her safe. Unlike Eric, he wouldn’t wait for the penanggalan who’d escaped to return. He’d seek the blood sucking demon and destroy it.
Even if not for Berani he’d find it. It was personal. The abomination called, mocking him, and he would find it in time.
He left Berani and her consort. He needed to find Bryan. He didn’t have time to explain his plans to Eric. The ignorant dupe wouldn’t understand even if Mujur tried. The man spoke a completely different language. Inggeris, Bryan had said. The harsh sounds were worse than yapping dingoes.
Mujur hopped to his feet, and the cat fled with a screech. He had seen enough, more than he desired even. Berani was alive and well, despite the colossal error she’d made in choosing the human freak for a mate.