Amelia swallowed the panic in her throat as she hurried through the forest. The choking knot of emotion lodged in her chest, making her heart pound harder than her pace warranted. She navigated the woods with care but went as quickly as possible. She had a two-hour head start on the hunter, but when one was stalked by a Kalquorian Nobek, two hours wasn’t much of a buffer.
She’d walked these Kalquorian woods innumerable times with her three mates and their twins. She loved the patchwork quilt of jewel-toned leaves of the trees overhead, the springy ground that seemed to cushion her feet, the bright cheerful songs of drils, small blue Kalquorian reptiles that nested high in the trees. But today she was on her own and running from a cunning and ruthless hunter, one of Kalquor’s best. She knew his savagery, knew him for the predator he was. She’d seen one of his victims, his throat torn out from the brute’s fangs.