She paced the ridge line. She’d been in this country many times, tracking the wildlife, enjoying the open, unbothered by the solitude and the wolf, coyote, big cat and bear tracks she often found around the natural springs and along creek beds.
Early autumn. Everything crisp, crunchy… the smallest birds sounded like Bighorn sheep crashing through the underbrush. The sky was a Caribbean blue. Clear, clean and bottomless.
She wore red often this time of year. She didn’t want to be mistaken for a wild thing. She hated orange. She listened to the crashing and turned, looking for the bird or squirrel or groundhog that was making it. Nothing.
She walked longer, the rifle stock bumping reassuringly against her thigh. And she got lost; lost inside her head, inside the fantasies that were more real to her than the barren life she lived, pictures of big men with big cocks, all hungry and smiling wolfishly, all sniffing around and leaving their scents and marks to keep her safe. From what?
Boredom, she thought, and smiled to herself.
She was smiling when the thing came around and covered her mouth, pulling her tight against a large…what? Solid and both hard as rock and soft as bearskin. She was wrapped in an embrace that felt less than human. But too deliberate and gentle to be animal.
Then it spoke in a low growl, “Are you Little Red?”
Fear swelled her throat and tried to choke her. She didn’t know how she knew, but she sensed any fight would be futile. And much to her surprise she felt herself grow wet.
It sniffed deeply. “I think you are,” it growled.
“Who are you?” she rasped against the leathery thing covering her mouth.
“I, little girl, am your favorite fantasy, or your worst nightmare. You pick.” And something warm and wet lashed seductively against her throat over her carotid artery, and a flame of desire swept the length of her body.