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The clearing opened before a stream that smelled fresh and wild. Upon spying the wolf lapping at the water, Cady stood back by an elm tree. The creature lifted its head, scenting the air, then turned to stare directly at her.
At the sight of its gold eyes that glowed with moonlight she swore quietly. But just when she felt the urge to turn and run, something instinctual stayed her. That wolf was Blaise. She’d once read an article about defending oneself against a wolf attack. Always maintain eye contact. If she were serious about wanting a relationship with him, she mustn’t be afraid of the man, even when he was in fur and on four legs.
Keeping eye contact, she crouched and held out her hand. The wolf padded up to her. She did have to remind herself he was just like a big dog, and she shouldn’t be afraid. Muscles tensing, she held her breath as the wolf sniffed her fingers, and then licked her hand.
“It’s me,” she said softly. “You’re such a beautiful wolf.”
Brown-and-gray fur brushed her arm. His tongue lashed out to lick her jaw playfully. She stroked his pelt, amazed at its softness. And Cady laughed as the wolf licked her cheek. All fear dissipated.
“I’m glad you invited me along this weekend. I think you wanted this to happen, yes?” She tilted her head against the tree trunk. “I’m good with all this now. I think. Still not so sure about a formal meeting with your werewolf, but I’ll face that challenge when it occurs.”
She gave the wolf a hug. “I’m heading back to the cabin. It’s been a long day. See you in the morning?”
The wolf followed her back, and when she stood in the doorway near the pile of clothes Blaise had left behind, the wolf pawed the ground once and sounded a quick sharp bark. She took that as him wanting her to go inside. But as she closed the door behind her, she managed a peek outside and saw the man’s bare limbs forming out of fur and claw.