Frigid cold night air numbed his body and heightened his senses to a near hyper vigilance. Bray Buchanan lifted his nose into the air and scented the breeze that blew gently through the night.
He carefully scanned the area around him as he moved silently through the forest, going from one tree to another, then to a pile of rocks and some bushes, whatever would hide him as he made his way toward the small cabin off in the distance.
Bray carefully slid around a large out cropping of rocks and pressed his body back against the cold hard stone of the cliff wall. He had learned early on when not to breath, when not to move a single muscle. He could even slow his pulse to almost nonexistent. It enabled him to blend easily with his surroundings.
No one would know he was coming until he was already there.
But someone knew.
Bray could feel it, sense it. There was a presence in the woods tonight, one that Bray believed was waiting for him to move and show himself. Bray almost laughed at the anticipation that sizzled along his skin.
It had been so long since he had faced anyone that had presented him with a true challenge. It was making the game boring. Bray itched to face someone that could truly be a threat—someone who could present him with a real challenge.
His senses had been honed to perfection by years of brutally intense training. Bray could sense the slightest of movements and detect the smallest sound. Scenting the presence of another in the air was child’s play for him.
A tree branch snapped in the brush off to his left. It was a single twig, but it was enough to tell Bray that his pursuer was getting closer. A grin tilted up the side of his mouth as he turned, using his toned muscles to climb effortlessly up the side of the cliff wall he had been pressed against.
Bray moved with a stealth that was belied by his large stature. He moved like a creature not of this world—which made sense as he was not human by any means. He was Loup-Garou, a wolf shifter.
He was also a Senate Sentry, trained to kill without remorse, to bring those that broke the law to justice, and enforce the rules set down by the Senate. His entire life had been geared toward serving the Loup-Garou Senate—from his training, which began at a very early age to his mission tonight.
He had learned to live and breathe his duty…until tonight.
Every step he made was measured and sure as he made his way higher up the cliff and then into a small crevice. Bray crouched down low in the rocks and waited. The sun wasn’t due to rise for several more hours.
He could wait.
Patience was something he had learned at an early age. He had been sent out on a hundred missions, most were more deadly than this one, but none more important. He would fight with every fiber of his being to stay alive and complete this mission, even if it meant becoming the prey to whatever was hunting him.
The flutter of a leaf became two then three, then the bushes off to his left moved and a small figure stepped out onto the edge of the small clearing. Bray stilled as he regarded the dark haired man, noting the way he lifted his face into the breeze and sniffed at the air.
If he had allowed himself movement, his lips would have curled up in a grin. The guy hunting him was good. Bray couldn’t help but admire his abilities as he sniffed the air then smiled, glancing in Bray’s direction. Bray saw the slight curve of an eyebrow and knew that while the man might know which direction he lay in wait, he didn’t know exactly where Bray was located.
Bray slowly lowered his hand, centimeter by centimeter, until he could reach the knife strapped to his thigh. There was going to be a battle. Bray could feel it n his bones. He would have to confront this man before he could continue with his mission.
As he watched the man move effortlessly across the meadow, he couldn’t help but be impressed by him. The guy moved with a grace that spoke of someone well used to their body and what it could do.
He might be a worthy advisory.
Bray slowed his breathing to a mere whisper. He didn’t move a single muscle when the man paused under the small ledge he was perched on. He inhaled slowly, deeply, scenting the air for any others.
The man was alone.
“I know you are here.” The man’s sweet voice rumbled through the night air, and yet it was almost silent at the same time as if he spoke but only to Bray. “I can smell you.”
Despite his rigid control, Bray’s lips twitched with the need to smile. He knew the man could smell him. He had known that for quite some time. But the guy still didn’t know exactly where Bray was hiding.
Bray’s fingers tightened around the hilt of the knife and then he readied himself to drop down onto the man below. But as he squatted there, watching the smooth way the omega moved as he walked a few more steps, it was as if an unseen hand was keeping him rooted to the spot.
When the man’s head began to turn, Bray’s breath locked in his lungs.
Eyes as white as moonstones zeroed in on him and a wicked smile turned up the side of the man’s gorgeous face. The tip of one of his canines shone brightly in the moonlight. “My, my, you are a handsome one, aren’t you?”
Pushing himself back into a crouch, Bray schooled his features. “Flattery will get your throat cut, omega.”
The man’s delicate hand reached up and rubbed at his long swan like throat, but the amusement in his eyes told Bray that he wasn’t in the least bit concerned by the threat. “Come down from there, Sentry, and we’ll see who gets their throat cut.”
Bray snarled as he swung down with practiced ease, raising his knife into the air at the same time. The man was lightning-quick. He dodged the attack as Bray landed in a crouch on the hard ground.
Bray’s head snapped up, eyes narrowing. The extensive training he had gone through since early childhood kicked in as he leapt toward the man. He moved in a circle, his knife clutched tightly in one hand, watching the omega’s every move.
“Don’t tempt me, omega,” he cautioned. As Bray looked into the man’s milky eyes, he saw the deep hunger and aching need in their milky depths. An unfamiliar flutter rippled through his body. “Why are you hunting me? How did you know I was here?”
The man’s eyes turned stormy, almost swirling in different shades of white. His hands fisted at his sides. “This is my territory. Do you really think you can come here and I wouldn’t know?”
Bray gave him a smirk. “Yes.”
The omega bared his teeth. “Try again, Sentry.”
With lightning-fast moves that he didn’t see coming, Bray found himself on his back, his knife knocked away. The breath whooshed from his lungs, but Bray was on his feet again with his knife in hand, before the man could do any more than damage his pride.
“You will pay for that, omega,” Bray ground out.
“Hmm,” the omega mused, light amusement lacing his tone as he cocked his dark eyebrow once again. “Foreplay?”