Emmaline gasped as the scenery went from the woods to hills, grass, fields, heather, and maybe a few patches of woodland here and there. But it was nothing like the place she had lived in. She took a peek back to her home, wondering if she had made the right choice . . .
"Hey! Are ya listenin' or not? 'Cause I don't fill like wastin' my breath, ya know?" Axel growled.
Emmaline snapped out of her thoughts and looked at him in surprise.
"Cat got your tongue?"
"Uh . . . ye . . . yeah! I guess?" Emmaline scratched her head.
Axel didn't reply, but stared across the fields and meadows. "There's not much to hide in, so you'll have ta be careful."
Emmaline nodded with agreement and started down the hill. "Wait for me!" Axel squawked with surprise and he was in the air in a second, trailing above her. She continued to run across the meadow that she had seen atop the hill a moment before. Her heart was beating wildly, her breath burned in her lungs, and her chest heaved. She was going so fast, it seemed . . . well, enchanting. So enchanting that she wasn't looking where she was going!
Emmaline was plunged into a huge clump of tangled heather. "Ack!" she screamed.
"Shhh! Ya wanna get us in . . . uh oh! See ya later, alligator!" He snickered and flew off, abandoning Emmaline. "You get -- OW! -- back . . . here . . . urrghh!" She hissed.
"Who goes there?" a deep voice snarled.
"Crap. I'm gonna kill you, Axel!" she muttered.
After she got untangled within the heather, she quietly, but quickly, crawled away. She sighed with relief when she got into the protection of a small cave.
Emmaline had a strange feeling; her back was tingling, the hair on her neck was sticking in the air, and her ears were perked backwards. Something was approaching her. Just when she was about to scream, a hand cupped over her mouth. Squealing and kicking, Emmaline struggled to escape the strong grasp, but she failed.
"Hey, do you wanna get in trouble, or not?" a voice hissed. It didn't sound like Axel, so it had to be some new guy. She could tell that it was a male and he was very strong. Emmaline spun around. She could hardly make out the shape in the darkness, so she couldn't observe.
"Who are you?" Emmaline demanded.
"I am David, a Hume-Tiger who happens to know Axel very well."
"How . . .?"
"Ohh, let's just say that I've gotten stuck in his travels many time before, and I know how he can abandon you - very easily. Don't worry, he'll come back, I promise," David smiled.
"Like I want him to come back," Emmaline muttered. David burst out into a laughter, but he caught himself and quickly quieted. "Even so, we should get outta here. We wouldn't want to have you, a Hume-Fox, to get caught!" he said. Emmaline nodded with agreement.
The two of them crept out of the cave and padded up and down the hills. Now, in broad moonlight, she could see him. David was a tall, but not lanky, eighteen-looking boy with crispy golden-brown hair, curved orange and black-striped ears, a dark blue jacket, and jeans. His tail was long and wispier than most tiger tails, but it was still thin. His face . . . oh, his face! It was so handsome! His eyes were a sparkling, innocent and beautiful blue, while he held an honest smile. His nose was perfect and his skin was smooth and tan.
David looked gorgeous on the outside, but what was his heart? He seems very nice, but nice was different than good, wasn't it? Whether his heart was good or not, Emmaline was trembling with a feeling that she never truly felt before. She cared for her mother and all, but it was an overwhelming sense of care. She felt like she would be willing to die for this David! The feeling that she felt was indescribable, untamed, all powerful . . . too impossible to imagine. And Emmaline thought that this feeling, this true and new feeling, was love.