Sophie Redding is one of the few humans to have dodged the evacuation of the shapeshifting Sethen. She is on a journey to the Northlands, in a ridiculous outfit and on foot, leaving a trail a mile wide. Commander T'bir is in charge of cleaning out the towns and villages to let his people's city rise from the ground. When a detachment of trackers is unable to capture the human in the red dress, his interest is piqued and he goes on the hunt. Capturing this human may be the tipping point for his people, and her own.
"They lost her." N'lien announced it with surprise. "She jumped off a bridge and swam away."
T'bir couldn't help a grin from creeping over his features. "Did she now? Do they know which way she was headed?"
"She seemed to be heading due north. Possibly to one of the settlements there."
T'bir nodded. "We cleaned out all of those settlements, didn't we?"
"Yes. It was done on the third day, after we cut off communications. She might not know that there is no one in the settlement." N'lien paused to take a call from one of the security patrols.
"I would guarantee that she doesn't. We have done a fairly thorough job of blocking their communications." T'bir ran his hands through his hair. "I am going after her."
"Really, T'bir? She shouldn't be too hard to catch. From the visual that the trackers got, she is wearing bright red and an open skirt. She doesn't exactly sound like she is prepared for a long overland hike while dodging patrols."
T'bir almost growled at his friend of twenty years. "I will hunt her and bring her in."
N'lien finally caught on. "Yes, Commander. Hunt the human female, bring her back. It will do you good to be active."
He stifled another snarl and stalked from the control room. His ship was laid out in a wheel and spoke pattern with the central hub being the control area. The spoke he took led him to the ramp which led to the ground below.
T'bir nodded to the men on duty, shifted into his wolf form and took a northerly path through the blasted city.
He admired the efficiency of their attack even while he inwardly cringed at the smell of death that dotted some of the rubble. His senses were more acute than that of his subordinates, so he would have to tell them of the living humans hiding beneath the street when he returned. Now was for hunting.
A scent caught him, light and sweet with an odour of fear and sweat in it. It was blatantly feminine and stood out amongst the rubble like an orchid on a sand dune.
A low growl started in his throat as his blood heated. This was no ordinary chase. He was on a mate hunt and nothing and no one would get in his way.