The heartbreaking whine tore at Andrew’s heart, yet he managed to stay in control and move at a slow, cautious pace deeper into the woods. His keen sense of smell had latched onto the fading tang of sweet yet slightly bitter scent, striking fear into his heart and soul. Losing her was not an option, not after finally finding what he’d patiently waited for so long. Fate couldn’t, wouldn’t be cruel to bring them together only to irrevocably tear them apart.
Furious at the slight possibility, his bear bellowed and huffed to get free, extending its short, curved claws while struggling against Andrew’s formidable hold.
“For god’s sake, not now,” he exhorted the growling animal, having already noted a significant reduction in the soul-grabbing scent.
Dealing with an aggressive, agitated bear as well would only make the situation that much harder to handle. The uncomfortable bulge pressing the front of his fitted jeans was difficult enough to deal with. Every time her scent hit his nose, it was an instant aphrodisiac for his body and soul only satisfied by a long bout of wonderful lovemaking with his mate. The after effects left him blissfully inebriated for hours into days. Although she seemed to get as much enjoyment from their lovemaking as him, of late she seemed somewhat distant. He couldn’t help wondering what was behind it. Every time he tried to ask, something came up to put off the conversation until later. Only problem was later never seemed to happen.
This morning he’d awoken with the full intent of no longer putting it off. While tromping through the woods toward her assigned ranger station, the faint whine startled, but it was her distinct smell which sparked off his desire and an uncharacteristic chill. The closer he got to the ranger station, the trail of her scent got thinner rather than stronger, worsening the anxiety kicking up in his insides.
The sweet yet tangy smell of nutmeg was not common in these woods, not unless a camper was overdosing with it while cooking. And then, it would quickly fade. The scent of one’s mate rarely faded, unless. The meaning springing to mind did little to ease the sense of panic rising inside.
From the way it now hung sporadically in the air, instinct said she wasn’t moving on her own, which meant only one thing. One of more hunters, but they were not allowed this time of year. Apparently someone had decided to ignore the fact.
*unedited from “A Bear in Our Midst: Mystery of Keyser Ridge 2”