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Sergei Tavrovsky is considered a recluse by those who cross his path on campus at Amurskova University, located just outside the Russian Taiga Forest. It’s a perception that fits their audio-visual and computer tech guy just fine. It means he’s successfully crafted his life to protect the secrets of who he is and what he is becomes when the moon is full.
When Grigorij Sokoloff, the friendly and sexy biology professor, storms his quiet citadel to engage him fully in life, Sergei is forced to decide if loving this man is worth the risk that Grigorij might die.
EXCERPT In this scene, the conservation team has just released a tiger they’ve captured and collared.
At last, she stood, fully conscious. Turning her head in their direction, she roared mightily before trotting off.
Mark laughed. “That was an editorial comment if I’ve ever heard one. She’s not happy with us.”
Grigorij checked his iPad for her route. “She’s moving away from us.”
Param sighed with relief. “Thank the gods for that.”
They touched knuckles, pleased with this triumph.
“Not a bad four days’ work,” Mark said.
“The camera we set yesterday! Let’s see what it shows,” Param said as he started off.
The others followed him. In the flush of their success, Grigorij had forgotten about it. He hit replay and they watched.
In the shadowy moonlight of the hazy, grayed photos, they saw Bhamini walk right up to the camera and sniff.
“Curious cat, she is,” Mark said and grinned.
The camera obviously held no interest for her. Next, she wandered over to inspect the rope. When that curiosity caused her to paw the snare, they watched it tighten and knew she was caught.
When she discovered she was trapped, she began the frantic attempts to free herself they had observed on their arrival. Her roars rocked the camera.
“Look! The big one is coming,” Param said.
Amur, the Siberian, approached and chuffed before pacing with her, his deep growls and roars rending the air as one huge paw fought the rope.
Grigorij sensed the anger and frustration he must feel at his helplessness to free her. “I wonder if they’ve had a litter together.”
Mark said, “If not, maybe they will once we’ve freed her. If I were a tiger, I’d love to spend a couple of days with a beauty like her and experience fifty or sixty orgasms.”
Param laughed. “You’d be so exhausted after the last encounter you’d be too weak to get away before she ripped your face with the claws from one of her huge paws.” He was referring to documented female behavior after mating. Most males of the species knew to move out of reach fast as soon as its orgasm ended.
Grigorij laughed with him, but was serious when he said, “I hope they do get together. We need more cubs to overcome the poaching losses.”
He unstrapped the camera from the tree and slid it into his pack.
The excitement of the capture had worn him out, and he had food in his dacha. He skipped a visit to the pub for wine and a meal at home before crawling into bed about two a.m.
* * * *
Amur had waited until the men had driven away before hurrying to catch up with Bhamini, his sister. He’d almost reached her when the sound of different tires squishing on a road covered with ice, snow and slush alerted him to danger. Halting, he listened. His keen hearing brought him the sound of men’s voices, not the voices of the ones who had just been here, but those of men who only brought violence.
Running now, he caught up with his sibling before issuing a warning growl from deep in his throat. Beware. Death comes on two feet. Any tiger within hearing distance would understand its meaning and run until it couldn’t be found.
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