King of the Jungle Ch. 02bywarrior_wolf©
Hi everyone. I've been getting comments, not all of them favourable, about the names I've used. This is just a little note to set things straight. The names Max and Alec are completely coincidental. The original name for my male character was Chase, but as those who have read Starstruck will know, I ended up using that name for another character. Being stumped for a name, I asked one for my friends advice and she suggested Alec. So its Alec that I used. Once again, the characters in this story are in no way shape or form to do with the Dark Angel series, so get off my back. Once again, all characters are 18 years or over.
P.S. My friend is a huge Dark Angel fan so you can all blame her. Happy reading.
Alec scooped Max up in his arms, knowing she was unable to walk. "Max? That's an unusual name for a girl."
"It's short for Maxine," she whispered. Max snuggled into the warmth of Alec's chest. Although her body was burning hot from the fever, Max felt freezing cold. Alec took Max back inside and lay her gently on the bed. Moving had made Max's wounds leak through the bandaging and he had to change them. Max lay down against the pillows, feeling sore and drowsy. Although she had barely moved, she was still very weak from exhaustion and her wounds. Although she didn't realise it, Max had lost a lot of blood and it would take days for her to be able to walk by herself.
As Alec changed her bandages he found it extremely hard to focus on what he was doing. Max was absolutely beautiful. Although not very tall compared to him, only standing 5ft 8 compared to his 6ft 6, Max seemed much taller than she was. Her body was smooth and graceful, with legs that went on forever. Her waist dipped in slightly and flared out to small but shapely hips. Her breasts weren't too big, probably only a B cup, but they were full and round. Although Max's face would never be called beautiful, her big brown eyes and sensual mouth led an air of innocent seductress that drove men crazy.
As Max looked through the haze, she saw the man come back over to her. "What's your name?"
"It's Alec little one."
"Alec, it suits you."
Alec looked down at Max and smiled. Although it was quite obvious that she was now a woman, she was still so innocent looking. "Why is that?"
"I don't know. It just does."
"I'm going to change your bandages and look at your wounds. It might hurt a little bit, okay."
Thinking about her wounds brought Max around enough to remember that her father would be after her. "Please. You can't tell anyone I'm here. If...if he finds me, he'll kill me." Max started to panic again and tried to get up. Alec had to calm her down quickly before she hurt herself even more.
"It's okay little one. I'm not going to let your father come anywhere near you. I promise." As Alec checked Max's injuries, she quietly slipped off to sleep. Alec was glad. Sleep would be the best thing to help Max heal. Seeing that Max had settled down for the moment, Alec slipped outside and went on the hunt for his dinner.
* * * *
Back at the town, Max's father was at the local pub, getting drunk as usual. He hadn't looked for Max yet. Having gotten so drunk the night before, he had fallen asleep and hadn't woken up until late afternoon. By that time, he had forgotten what had happened the night before. He may have simply forgotten Max all together if it hadn't been for his 'mates' down the pub "Hey Bill, how's that scrumptious slut of a step daughter of yours. You fucked the bitch yet or what?"
Bill looked up from his drink and memories of last night came flooding back. Swearing to himself, he stood up, if somewhat unsteadily, and faced the rest of the men. "I got a proposition for ya men. My lovely little step-daughter has gone walk about in the jungle. I want her back. It's time the little slut learnt who's boss. I'll give any man that finds her $10 000 and they'll get to have her for the night once I've ripped her open and had my fill."
The men in the pub cheered and started to talk excitedly among themselves. Unfortunately for Max, her step-father was very well off, and she was highly desirable among the men in the village. It would only be a matter of time before they found her. Although they weren't as good as Bill at tracking, they were good enough to find a wounded girl in the jungle. Bill grinned evilly to himself. It wouldn't be long. Soon he would have that bitch. Soon he would teach her who was master.
* * * *
A warm hand stroked her side as lips hungrily devoured her own. Max moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him in tighter. He was hungry for her, almost desperate as he pulled Max to him. Max was having the same dream she'd had every night since she'd turned 18, only this time was different. This time her dream lover had a face. It was Alec. Max knew this man, like they had met in the past. She didn't know how, but she knew him, with her body, mind, heart and soul. She loved him, trusted him. As he moved his mouth down to her breasts, he went to lift her arms over her head. Max screamed.
Alec's head shot up to see his hands wrapped around Max's wrists. She was screaming in pain as her shoulder was wrenched upwards. Alec let go of her wrists and sat up quickly. What the hell was he doing? He had been dreaming. He was with a woman, his love. He didn't know why, but somehow, he knew this woman was his mate.
Looking down at Max, he could see her looking at him strangely through her tears. Laying down next to her, he stroked her hair out of her face. "I'm so sorry Max. I didn't know what I was doing."
"I...it's okay. It was my fault too. I...I was dreaming, and you were there, and...and." Max trailed off as she looked at Alec. He was looking at her in a weird way, like something had happened that he was concerned about. Sure, he was concerned about her shoulder, but Max felt that that wasn't what he was worried about.
Alec got off the bed and went to get Max food and drink. Although he had made sure she drank through the night, Max hadn't eaten since she had last been at the house. Coming back with various fruits and water, Max fell hungrily on the food. She hadn't realised how hungry she was. When Max had finished eating, Alec checked her wounds. He was surprised at how fast they seemed to be healing. Alec had expected at least some sort of infection, no matter how minor to invade the wounds, especially Max's shoulder, as the wound was so deep. But there had been nothing. The skin looked healthy and pink, the flesh seemed to be knitting together nicely. Even her fever had gone. It was almost like she wasn't quite human.
Alec decided to go and visit the elders at the village. He needed to know more about Max, and the elders were the best people to go to. They knew everything. "Max, are you going to be alright here by yourself for a little while. I need to go and talk to some people."
"I'll be fine. But where are you going. I didn't know anyone lived in the jungle. I was surprised enough when I realised you lived here. I mean, well, who else is there?"
"No one you need to be worried about. I'll be back soon. Get some rest, you're still tired." Max couldn't argue with him there. Her eyes were already closing and she had only been awake for an hour. Max lay down as Alec left. Looking outside, Max found it hard to judge what time it was, but she thought it to be mid afternoon. How many days it had been though Max couldn't tell. She didn't know how long she had been sleeping.
Being alone, Max's thoughts turned to Alec. He was unlike any man she had ever met. Max had little experience with men, living where she did. The only male contact she had ever had was from her father and the men in the village, so to Max, Alec was the completely opposite of what she knew men to be like. He was so kind, and gentle with her, like he cared for her as a person and not just a piece of ass. It also didn't hurt that he was good looking. His body structure was so different to the men in the village as well. They were all short, but big, powerful men. Max had always equaled them to Neanderthals. A lot of brawn but not much brain. But Alec. He had muscles, but he was more wiry and graceful. His hair was jet black, and he had the most unusual eyes Max had ever seen. They were amber, with small flecks of green, just like a cat. Closing her eyes, Max lay with pictures of Alec in her head that soon turned into another dream, more vivid and disturbing than the last.
* * * *
Alec walked through the branches of the trees until he came to a good one to climb down. He had morphed his toes and fingers into claws to help him grip onto the branch but didn't want to turn fully into his leopard form in case Max saw him. Jumping to the ground, Alec made his way to the village. He didn't go there very often now. He and the village had a bad past and he had been exiled. Although the elders still acknowledged him, most of the other villagers pretended he didn't exist.
Coming to the village, Alec watched the villagers move inside their huts at the sight of him. It was almost like he bought the plague with him. Alec ignored them. He was used to this now. It had been going on for the last 4 years, since he was 21 years old. Walking up the steps of the head elder's hut, Alec knocked on the door. "Come in Alec."
Alec entered and sat down opposite Kikano. "What is bothering you Alec? Something must be wrong for you to come here."
Alec laughed to himself. No pleasant greetings, no how have you been? He wasn't surprised. After all, what he had done was terrible. "I need to know something, about one of the humans that live in the edge of the jungle."
"You wish to know about the girl Maxine, don't you?"
"Yes Kikano. This afternoon, I was asleep dreaming, about her. She was my mate, it was like it was really happening, but not this life, a past life. When I woke up, Max told me she had been dreaming something similar, about me. What does it mean?"
"Maxine's mother was from our village. She was one of us. But she was too curious for her own good. She left the village to go to the town. She wanted to explore. She met Maxine's father and fell in love, decided to leave the village for good. But her husband turned out to be a cruel man. One night when Maxine was young, her mother tried to run with her, back to us. Her husband shot her down and killed her. Why he let the child live I do not know. As to the dreams, well, I think deep down you know now why you are having them."
Alec sat and listened to Kikano in shock. Max was one of them, a shifter. He did now know why he was having the dreams, although Alec had never even considered it happening to him. It was said in legend, that some shifters stayed together for eternity. Throughout each life time, when the time was right, they would dream of their mate and their previous life so they could find each other again.
"Kikano, what am I going to do? Max doesn't know about her mother, or about what she is."
"She will soon. Maxine is coming up to her 21st spring equinox. She will soon change, soon feel the urge to become one with her leopard and hunt."
"If she's going to change soon, then...I need to get back home, Max is alone."
Alec raced into the forest and changed into his leopard form. How could he have been so stupid to have not realised. Shifters can't change until their 21st spring equinox. The week before this happens, the females let off pheromones to let the males know that they would soon be ready to bond and mate. Alec just hoped that he could get to Max in time before another male found her.
* * * *
Max woke up suddenly from the dream she was having, shaking. It had been so real, so life like, that Max thought it was really happening. She had to look down at her body to make sure she didn't have paws and a tail. Max had been running through the forest, looking for something. But she wasn't human. Looking down, Max saw that she was a sleek black leopard. Jumping through the tree tops, Max jumped back to the ground and came to a beautiful clearing. The pool there was crystal clear, with a small waterfall trickling into it, the grass was soft and green, and there waiting for her was another black leopard. She instinctively knew it was Alec, her mate, her love.
Max snapped out of her thoughts, hearing a sound out on the balcony. Thinking it was Alec returning, Max got out of bed to meet him. She really was feeling better. Her wounds had almost healed, and she was able to walk without more than a slight limp. Walking to the door, Max was about to call out to Alec when a large shadow blocked the light from the door. Max screamed in fear and surprise. There was a man standing at the door, but it wasn't Alec. Max started to walk back slowly praying that Alec would return soon.
Kahn stepped further into the room and grinned at the girl. He was glad. It looked like no other males had gotten here yet. Kahn had been traveling all day to get to the female. He had smelled her scent on the wind, and knew he had to find her. Shifters were scarce in his part of the jungle, and he had started fearing he would never find a mate. Seeing the fear on the females face, Kahn tried to calm her down. He didn't want to frighten her, but he would do what was necessary to obtain her.
"It's okay, I won't hurt you, as long as you submit to me willingly female."
"W...what do you want?"
"You, my pretty little female. What's your name?"
"None of your business. Get out." Max had gotten over her fear of this man. He was just like her father with his talk of possession and Max was starting to get pissed off.
"Oh, a female with fire. I think we'll get on well together."
"We won't be doing anything together buster. Now get out!!!"
Kahn was starting to get pissed off. He liked women with fire, but not outright disobedient. This female would soon learn. Kahn walked towards her with purpose now and managed to grab onto Max's wrist. Max tried to fight him off, but he was easily as big as Alec. Not being able to get away, Max screamed for help. "Alec, let me go you bastard. ALEC, HELP"
Max stumbled back as a large black blur streaked past her and slammed into Kahn. Max retreated into a corner. It was a leopard, the biggest leopard she had ever seen. Max was terrified. After everything she had managed to escape from, Max never thought she would end up dying from a hungry leopard. Max sat there watching the man and the leopard fight then froze. The man had managed to push the leopard off of him and started to rip off his clothes. Max sat there staring at him in horror as he began to change. She could hear the sound of bones reshaping and cartilage snapping. Right before her eyes, this man that had been after her turned in to a large ferocious tiger.
Alec watched as the stranger shifted. Although he wanted to kill him, he would wait for the man to change. Alec connected mentally with the stranger. Although he was big enough to take him, he wanted to try and prevent a fight if possible. "You have no right to this woman. She's mine."
"I sensed no mark on her. You have no claim over her."
"She is my eternal mate. She will be mine, just as she was mine in our previous lives. I will fight to the death to keep her if that is what you require."
Kahn sat and thought about what the leopard had said. Eternal mates were different. He knew that even if he was able to defeat the male, the female would kill herself to be with her mate in the next life, rather than stay and be a mate to him. Knowing that he wouldn't win either way, Kahn gracefully backed away and slinked off, back into the jungle.
Alec turned to face Max. She sat, huddled in the corner, with a mixture of fear and wonder on her face. Alec didn't want to scare her, but he had to show her who she was. If he didn't mark her as his soon, more males would challenge him for the right to take Max as their mate, and as strong as Alec was, he was no match for an entire group of males.
Max stared at the giant leopard, sitting no more than 2 feet away. She was scared, of course. This animal could kill her with one swipe of its paw. But at the same time she was mesmerized in the power and beauty of the beast. Watching him rise and come towards her, Max forgot what she had just seen. Slowly sitting forward, Max reached out her hand for the leopard to smell. The leopard lowered it's head and rubbed it against her hand. Fear fled from Max like a mouse flees from a cat. Moving onto her knees, Max opened her hand out flat and started to rub her hand over the big cats head. It sat there purring as Max rubbed it behind the ears.
Getting up, the leopard licked Max gently on the cheek before walking to stand in the middle of the room. As Max watched, the great black leopard that had sat there seconds before slowly shifted. The last thing Max saw before she fainted away was Alec, sitting in the leopard's place.