The sight of his change never ceased to amaze Sanura. She’d never seen a were-cat shift as effortlessly, quickly, and painlessly as Assefa. Shimmered. That word always came to mind whenever she watched him go from man to beast. He simply shimmered. The molecules that comprised his body broke apart and reconfigured themselves so swiftly that, even with Sanura’s advanced second sight, all she ever managed to see was a magical shimmer, a twinkle of light right before his Mngwa appeared.
A long, wide tongue licked her from jaw to hairline. And with a girlie squeal, she threw her arms around the humongous neck of her familiar. Gods, what a magnificent animal, Sanura’s arms barely long enough to cuddle his neck.
I believe we did this earlier, sweetheart, Assefa spoke in her mind.
“Not like this.” Burying her face in the thick black-and-gray fur of her Mngwa, Sanura smiled, loving the feel of him in her arms and the heat his close proximity brought deep within, her fire spirit anxious and happy. “I missed you.”
He knows. He missed you, too. And her.
Her inner spirit began to hiss and wail, wanting freedom from the cage Sanura kept her locked in, afraid to let the fire beast off her leash and what she’d do once emancipated.
But there, with the Mngwa, Sanura could give her inner spirit, if not absolute freedom, more than she’d had before they started performing the spirit fire ritual.
Releasing the nearly seven-hundred-pound cat, whose gigantic claws and teeth were capable of bloody, life-ending damage, she stepped away, giving him plenty of room.
For long minutes, the Mngwa circled and eyed the floor of the bedroom, his golden orbs taking in the area with a critical, discerning gaze.
“For Oya’s sake, Assefa, it’s just a floor inside our private suite. How dirty could it be? Pick a spot and lay your big behind down.”
He growled, showing lots of white, sharp teeth.
Sanura rolled her eyes and pointed to the empty floor space in front of her.
You could at least pretend to be afraid of my saber teeth. I am the predator of all predators, after all.
An arched eyebrow, hands on hips, and a foot tapping with impatience were all the response his statement deserved.
Selecting, purposefully, a location on the other side of the room, the Mngwa reclined in all his legendary glory—a true beast of beasts.
“Suit yourself.” Sanura made her way to the colossal baby, waiting for him to lie on his side when she reached him.
Climb up on your magic carpet, my fire priestess.