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Vic frowned and checked the room again. Where was the sheriff‘s brother? Or a waitress at least. She slid onto a wooden bar seat. And waited a full minute. Then grabbed a handful of peanuts as a reward for being patient and all that shit. But she owed the deceptively easy-going sheriff a thank you for giving her an excuse to meet a local. It didn‘t usually take long to get to know who had information in a town, and who liked to talk. This was an excellent start.
As she cracked peanuts and practiced patience, two of the truckers tossed several dollar bills onto their table and left.
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Vic drummed her fingers on the bar. Didn‘t anyone work in this joint?
Finally a youngster hurried out from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a white apron worn over faded jeans. Sun-colored hair and a British Isle‘s complexion, and—Vic frowned—no way was this kid over twenty-one. The girl checked the room, stopping to talk with the people by the fireplace
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The remaining trucker, a big man with a florid face, pushed himself to his feet with a grunt of effort. After a furtive glance at the underage waitress, he picked up the money left on the table and lurched toward the door.
The girl looked at the table, and her mouth dropped open. ―Hey! You took my tips!‖ She ran after the trucker and circled to stand in front of him, a chihuahua confronting a rottweiler.
[PDF] Leap Of The Lion Book (The Wild Hunt Legacy) (1992 ..
He glared. ―Didn‘t do nothin‘.Get outta my way, kid.‖
―Give me back my money.‖ Hands on hips, the girl had the bravado of a child who‘d never been seriously hurt.
That kid was about to learn a really hard lesson. Vic scowled as she eased off the bar stool and crossed the room. And how dumb was this? She hadn‘t even healed up from the last fight.
The bastard actually swung at the girl.
Almost too late, Vic slammed her forearm into his, knocking his punch to one side. The kid squeaked in shock and back-pedaled quickly. ‘Bout time.
So. Stand down and let him go? Naw, letting the asshole steal from a baby didn‘t sit right.
―Give the kid back her money, and your afternoon won‘t be ruined,‖ Vic said softly.
―Get the fuck out of my way, or I‘ll smash your face.‖ He waved a beefy fist at her.
Vic pushed the little girl farther away and out of the field of fire. Across the room, the other bar occupants were moving to assist.
She didn‘t need or want help. ―Oooo, now I‘m scared.‖
His face turned beet red as his anger overcame his brain—whatever brain he had. Probably not much bigger than his dick. He let out a roar and swung.
Perfect. Vic moved six inches.
His fist hit the door. ―Fuck!‖ Shaking his hand, he reeled back.
While he was distracted, Vic plucked the money out of his undamaged hand. After opening the door, she stood in the opening, waving the dollar bills tauntingly.
He lunged at her. ―Bitch, you‘re gonna—‖
That widdle brain probably couldn‘t think of a word nasty enough, Vic figured, and she moved out of the way again. Well, almost out of the way. She did happen to stick her foot out.
And maybe lift it a little to improve the guy‘s dive.
What a great dive. Face first into the pavement. ―Ouch,‖ Vic said sympathetically, leaning on the open door. ―I bet that hurt.‖
―Yes, I would assume it did,‖ said a deep, cold voice next to her.
Her hands coming up in a defensive move, Vic spun to face the man. Black clothing, leanly muscular, chiseled features, forbidding expression. Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Deadly. She hadn‘t even heard him approach. Dammit, nobody moved that quietly.
He eased two steps back. ―Pardon me. I was simply admiring your work. Bloody fine job.‖
Vic was taken in by the calm tone until she met his gaze. His pupils were black with fury.
―Well. Thank you.‖ A little unnerved, she turned to check the trucker, but he was alive although staggering.
The girl peeked out of the door, saw her assailant retreating, and grabbed Vic around the waist for a hug. As her ribs threatened to cave in, Vic managed not to scream—somehow—
though the world spun like a top.
―Oh, thank you! I was, like, really, really scared,‖ she babbled as Vic tried to escape. The girl had a grip like a plumber‘s wrench.
―Here‘s your money,‖ Vic gasped, handing over the dollar bills in exchange for being released.
―Jamie.‖ The man said the girl‘s name, uninflected, just the name, and, shoving the money into her pocket, the child turned to stand military straight in front of..her father?
He was a good six-three, with black hair and a dark complexion where Jamie was short and fair. The kid‘s features looked nothing like his, and boy, her impulsive attitude was nothing like his. The man was like a volcano filled with molten magma controlled by thick rock walls. The trucker should be grateful Vic got to him first—this guy would have incinerated him.
Jamie stared at her feet. ―I‘m sorry, Daddy. I just wanted my money.‖
―Indeed. And did confronting a drunk work well for you?‖
―I—I didn‘t think he‘d get so mad.‖ Her voice was only a whisper. ―I was scared.‖
Just when Vic had decided the father was a real asshole, he wrapped the little girl in his arms. ―So was I, Jamie, so was I.‖
Vic bit her lip as her insides turned to mush. Fucking-A, she‘d turned into a wimp. Time for a quiet retreat. She glanced at the shaken young couple in the middle of the room, received a thumbs-up from the pool players closer to the door. Rubbing her ribs, she eased away.
The mission had been fun, but not exactly a success—no books, dammit. After letting the door close behind her, she made it partway across the parking lot when she heard the man‘s voice. ―Stop.‖ The ―please‖ that followed seemed to an afterthought.
Vic hesitated. Aftermaths, thank yous, and all that shit tended to suck.
But the kid moved faster than a cockroach in the light and planted herself square in Vic‘s path. ―Daddy wants to talk to you.‖
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Vic sighed. Knocking munchkins ass-over-teakettle just wasn‘t done. She reversed direction with Jamie skipping beside her.
The man held his hand out, his dark eyes intent on hers. ―My name is Calum McGregor.
This is my bar.‖ His fingers were callused, firm, and very strong. ―Thank you for helping my daughter.‖
―I‘m Victoria Waverly. And she shouldn‘t be left alone in your bar,‖ Vic said bluntly.
Manually download docker image command. ―No, she shouldn‘t.‖ Narrowed eyes the color of slate turned toward his daughter.
The kid‘s head went down again. ―I‘m sorry, Daddy. I saw the men leave and I wanted my tip. I didn‘t want that man to take my money.‖
―Jamie, he nearly flattened you.‖
―I‘m sorry,‖ she whispered.
Vic smothered a smile. Neat trick the girl had, turning a man into a marshmallow. I should take notes.
―We‘ll talk at supper tonight,‖ he said as Jamie pulled the door open. Just when the girl probably thought she‘d escaped reprisal, he added, ―Before then, please determine what punishment you think would be appropriate.‖
Heaving a sigh, Jamie disappeared inside.
―She wasn‘t expecting that one,‖ Vic said in approval.
―Indeed.‖ The man tucked his fingers under Vic‘s arm, steered her firmly across the room, and settled her at the bar. ―What can I get you to drink?‖
―Just water, please.‖
He set a bottled water and glass in front of her and leaned his elbow on the counter. ―Is there a way in which I might repay you for saving my daughter?‖
Vic almost asked for a book, then reconsidered as she opened the water and took a sip. She needed information about the shifter beasts. She needed to find Lachlan‘s grandfather. What better place to do recon than the local—and only—tavern? ―I‘d like a job.‖
―A job?‖ Calum felt as if the little female had punched him.
Hire a human? In his tavern? He‘d offered repayment for balance. The Law of Reciprocity had to be observed, even if with a human. He‘d expected her to wave his gesture away or name a monetary amount. But employment? He was trapped in a net of his own making. ―Let me think.‖
She nodded and sipped her water peacefully, the least anxious job applicant he‘d ever seen.
He studied her for a minute, taking in the diminutive body—maybe five-four—trim, but shapely with especially fine breasts. Big eyes, long hair that made a man want to tangle his fingers in it, full lips..a lethal little package, in more ways than the trucker had discovered.
He opened a bottle of water for himself, buying time. Two problems arose. The first—the door to the forest tunnels was in the hallway. Would she notice shifters using it? Probably not.
She‘d spend most of her time in the main room, and the hall also held the restrooms and back exit so there was a reason for people being in that area.
Secondly, how would his shifter customers react to a human employee?
A handful of shifters—especially the older ones—hated humans. Unfortunately for them, unless they wanted to live completely isolated or in Elder Village without amenities, they had to rub shoulders with humans. He looked across the room to where Tom and Pedro were playing pool. They would be no problem. In fact, most of the Daonain wouldn‘t care what species the waitress was so long as the drinks arrived in an expeditious manner. They might even be pleased since he‘d been short-handed since Tiffany had returned to college last month.
For the human haters… It helped she was female. With the scarcity of female Daonain, women were revered, and that regard would likely be extended to this human.
―Miss Waverly,‖ he said, drawing her attention. ―I don‘t have any need for kitchen help.
However, although I already have a waitress, I could use a part-timer.‖ He hesitated and cautioned, ―The bar can occasionally get rather rough. Perhaps—‖
―It sounds perfect.‖ She toasted him with her bottle. ―Waitress and bouncer combined in one.‖
His jaw dropped. ―You do not understand. That was a warning.‖
She tilted her head, and her lips quirked.
He brought to mind the efficient way she‘d dealt with the trucker. No noise during the altercation, no hysterics after. ―Indeed, what was I thinking? Your hours would be seven to eleven on Tuesday and Wednesday, four to two-thirty on Friday and Saturday. I pay standard wages; you keep all your tips.‖
She held out her hand. ―Works for me.‖
He took her hand, feeling the calluses on the delicate fingers. She was no stranger to work…or to fighting. ―Where did you learn to fight like that?‖
―I studied martial arts for a while.‖
―Apparently you were an excellent student. Yes, I believe we have an accord. You may start Friday.‖
―Great. Now that‘s out of the way—is there any chance I can borrow a book?‖
* * *
What an excellent day—some fun beat-up-the-bad-guy exercise, a new job, a good book.
With a wiggle of content, Vic settled herself in the comfortable swing on her front porch and picked up her paperback. A Clancy. Amazing how much the author knew, considering he‘d never done covert ops. Maybe she should take notes.
She put her good leg up on the railing with a grunt of pain and sat back carefully. Her ribs were fine until she moved, then it felt as if someone was shoving a buck knife into her side.
Oh, well. She had coffee steaming on the adjacent small table, a book, a comfy swing, and the sun was warm on her legs. The scent of damp grass mingled with a cool piney breeze off the looming mountain, and she didn‘t start work until tomorrow. Aside from the fact she had a battered body, had lied to her boss, still had to tell some old guy his grandkid was dead, and needed to investigate weird beastie things that looked the same as normal people, life was perfect.
Taking a sip of coffee, she swirled it in her mouth and hummed in pleasure. Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.
As she tipped the cup up, movement in the big oak tree caught her attention, and she tensed, then relaxed. Not a sniper—branches weren‘t thick enough—but what was it? No flutter of wings, no bushy tail. Maybe a cat?
Keeping a wary eye on the tree, she set the swing to gently rocking and dropped the book into her lap. Despite all her preparation, she couldn‘t concentrate on reading. Too much hung over her head.
Could Lachlan‘s remains have been returned to his family? The local police and ambulance crews had been on-site, so she doubted Swane could spirit Lachlan‘s body away. The coffee turned bitter on her tongue as guilt slashed through her. You don't abandon your teammates, dammit.
But she wasn‘t a Marine now. In black ops, there were no teammates.
Concentrate on finding Lachlan‘s grandfather. Surely the people here would talk about the kid, whether they thought he was missing or knew he was dead. So just listening might work, even if it took longer.
And what better place for gossip than a bar? She grinned. That had been righteous good luck, being in the right spot to play hero and score a job. It had been good luck for the little girl as well. Vic‘s gut tightened at how the trucker had swung at Jamie. I should have drop-kicked his balls over the nearest truck. Then again, his face had met the pavement hard enough to turn it into hamburger. That would have to do.
Forcing the tension out of her muscles, she tilted her head back. The puffy white clouds above were piling up against the mountains and growing darker. Probably would storm tonight.
Did werecats run around in the rain?
She sure didn‘t know. How the hell am I going to do this? Okay, she could track mountain lions in the woods, but when she found one, how could she tell if it was a shifter or a real cat?
She touched her still-tender shoulder and grimaced. Considering she‘d discovered, up close and personal, just how friendly mountain lions were when pissed off, that didn‘t sound like the plan of the week.
Hunting cougars in the woods is out.
How about searching for shifters in their human form? Not much easier. Like she could run around with a cattle prod and zap townsfolk until one turned all furry? She snorted. Aside from upsetting the local populace, that overly clever sheriff might not warm to the idea. He was already too focused on her and her business.
She remembered too well how he‘d studied her with those dark green eyes… Hell, he‘d watched her like a kitten watched an ant, waiting for the right moment to pounce.
Lion facts, pictures, information and video. The male lion, with its long mane and proud stature, is one of the most easily-recognizable animals in the world. Lets earn about this incredible African predator.
Facts about lions for kids (and adults!)
Lions are big cats, in more ways than one! Lions are members of the cat family. The scientific term for this family is ‘felidae‘.
A member of the felidae family is called a felid.
The term ‘big cats‘ is often used to separate larger members of the felidae family, such as lions, tigers and jaguars. from the smaller members.
Lions are the second largest felids, being slightly smaller than tigers.
An adult male lion may weigh around 225kg, and measure more than 3 metres from nose to tail.
The lion’s golden colour provides camouflage when it is hunting. A thick band of darker hair grows around a male lion’s neck and shoulders. This is known as a mane. Lions’ manes can vary in colour and size; some male lions appear not to have manes at all.
Female lions, known as lionesses, are smaller than the males, and do not have manes.
Lions are at the top of the food chain. This means that an adult lion has no natural predators.
Lions are mainly nocturnal (active during the night). Lions hunt at night because it’s often too hot during the day.
Lions spend the day sleeping and resting in the shade.
Where Do Lions Live?
Lions are found in the wild in southern and eastern Africa. A very small colony also lives in the Gir Forest National Park in western India.
Lions used to be much more widespread. 2,000 years ago they were even found in Europe. However, thanks mainly to the spread of man, there are far fewer lions in the wild nowadays.
A Pride Of Lions
Unlike other felines, the lion is a social animal and often lives in groups known as prides. There can be as many as 30 lions in a pride, but most prides are smaller.
A typical pride consists of one adult male lion, several lionesses and younger lions of both sexes.
Male lions will often fight other males for their place in a pride. Larger prides can have two or even three males.
Some lions live and hunt alone.
Lionesses give birth to 2-3 cubs. When the young are born they are blind, and have spotted coats.
What Do Lions Eat?
Lions mostly eat grazing herd animals such as antelopes, zebras, gazelles and wildebeests.
How Do Lions Hunt?
Lions usually hunt at night, either alone or in packs.
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A pack of lions can use a number of strategies to catch their prey. Sometimes the pack appears to split up, with some members pursuing prey animals into an ambush set by the others.
As we’ve found, lions can run very fast. However, they can’t run at full speed for very long, and are often not as fast as their prey.
This means that lions either have to sneak up on their prey, or lie in wait for it to get close enough to catch. Lions will wait for hours on end to catch their prey.
Lions can reach their top speed very quickly, and in a quick dash can often get to the prey before it has a chance to flee.
Lions are very strong; a swipe of their paw can be enough to bring down a smaller animal. Lions often kill by strangulation, clamping their powerful jaws around the neck of their prey.
A male lion has enough strength to drag a large animal in its jaws.
Are Lions Endangered?
Lions are not officially an endangered species. However, their numbers are declining and they are considered to be a vulnerable species.
It is thought that there are only between 20,000 – 40,000 lions in Africa. This may sound a lot, but considering there are over 7 billion people, it is really a tiny figure.
Lions face two main problems. The first is that they are hunted by humans who are protecting their own farm animals. The other problem is that the animals that lions eat in the wild are themselves in decline.
10 Amazing Facts About Lions
- Lions like to drink water after they eat. Lions sometimes spend 20 minutes drinking!
- Older lions can start to lose their manes.
- A lion can see 5 to 6 times better than a human.
- A lion can hear prey more than a mile away.
- Lions are carnivores. This means they eat meat. Some of their food includes buffalo, zebra, antelope, giraffes, elephants and wildebeest.
- Lions are the second biggest member of the cat family (the biggest feline is the tiger).
- Lions are social animals but once a pride is formed, outsiders are not welcome.
- Lions spend much of the day sleeping or resting. Some spend between 16 – 20 hours every day at rest.
- Lions are ready to start hunting at 2 years of age.
- Lions are fearsome hunters, but will also scavenge for food.
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Now that you know a lot about Lions, try these activities:
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- Design a poster that will tell people about lions. What information would you include?
- Imagine that you are a scientist working in Africa. You have spent the day observing a pride of lions. Write a log book entry describing what you saw.