Risque Romance Vol 2- Untamed

  • Coming in April 2017!

    ~Chapter One~

    Naomi stared at the small slide in front of her, her gaze becoming slightly unfocused the longer she looked. It couldn't be possible, there was just no physical way that what she was seeing could be happening. Yet it was. She'd retested the samples more times than she could count. What the hell had she found?

    It had started in South America. She'd been in Brazil on an excursion to learn more about the habitats that were quickly disappearing. Everything had been routine. It'd been an amazing trip and she'd been thrilled to have been able to participate. On one of the last days in the jungle itself to source any last samples the team may need or wanted to examine further, they'd found blood splatters. The drops had started small, but as they followed them deeper into the foliage, it became clear that whatever they were hunting was likely quite hurt. Instead of a mission of curiosity, it had turned into a mission of mercy. No animal should suffer so, circle of life be damned.

    They'd all been dismayed when their guide had refused to go further. This area was one of the "condenado" sections, or “doomed”. She'd gathered that the Brazilians thought certain portions of the jungles were cursed, yet none had been able to adequately explain why. Tribal legends, learned behaviors, ancestral memory... any seemed likely in this place. Yet, guide or no guide, the American team wasn't willing to leave. So they'd pressed on after setting their GPS systems. .

    Of course it was her luck to end up finding the hapless creature. She'd heard a small huff, felt the hair on the back of her neck stand straight up. The feeling of being watched was a unique sensation, one she wasn't entirely sure she liked. Turning slowly in an effort to not activate any predator instincts, she'd sucked in a quick breath. Large topaz eyes caught her in their gaze, far more intelligence reflected in them than she'd assumed there would be. Her heart had begun to pound a short, staccato beat as adrenaline ratcheted upwards.

    She hadn't honestly been sure what she would do. Though it was a melanistic jaguar, the deep laceration across its left flank was definitely noticeable. Oddly though, he didn't seem as bad off as he should for losing as much blood as she knew he had. Naomi had hesitantly taken a single step to test how aware he truly was, when he'd bared large fangs, his ears pressed flat against his skull. The injury should have prevented him from running, yet he'd quickly disappeared into the underbrush, seemingly unfazed by the damage. She stood frozen for a few long moments. The look of the large cat, terrifying teeth bared, would be a memory that would haunt her for quite awhile. Realizing that the predator could be circling around to a better vantage point, she shook herself out of her stupor.

    Something had drawn her to collect a few samples of the blood in the sterile packets the team had kept on them while they were researching the area. When she'd radioed and met the others, she'd shared that the jaguar had appeared to still be a viable specimen of the species. The baggies in her pocket were safely tucked away. Why she didn't share them, she hadn't known at the time. Now? She was damned glad she hadn't, because this was something she simply didn't have a valid explanation for.

    She pushed the lab glasses up onto her head, lips pursed as she contemplated what to do. By the white blood cell count in the swab she'd separated from the samples, this animal should have been dead. Not even just dead... it should be completely decayed. Large cats generally had anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 white blood cells at any given time. Wild animals were usually higher on the scale, simply because they existed without the antibiotics and vaccines that captured animals were given. Slightly elevated numbers indicated disease or infection. High numbers meant the animal was septic, and would likely lose its battle with whatever ailed it within a short period of time.

    The slide shook slightly as her hand trembled. Any animal near 65,000 shouldn't still be alive. It simply wasn't possible. And yet, she held the proof in her hands. While injured, the cat had otherwise been in good health. She hadn't imagined it. Checking her watch, she carefully arranged the vials and slides into a chilled thermos. Tucking it safely into her purse, she attached her badge to her lapel well within view. No one would believe these were her private slides if they were searched, and this discovery was one she needed to investigate far more closely... alone.

Comments

6 comments
  • Mandi Konesni
    Mandi Konesni ~Chapter Four~

    For the first time in a long time, she'd checked the clock over and over again while at work. Normally she was the type that got lost in what she was doing, not paying attention to the minutes ticking by. Yet today, she couldn't...  more
    February 9, 2017
  • Mandi Konesni
    Mandi Konesni ~Chapter Five~

    Without conscious thought, she'd found herself in the hazardous biological agents lab. Pulling on protective gear, she slid the glasses into place over the suit. While the strains she would be working with had been rendered mostly...  more
    February 9, 2017
  • Mandi Konesni
    Mandi Konesni ~Chapter Six~

    And so, she had. For a week, she'd worked with him in the labs on learning genetic sequencing and how to work with genetic mutations. She had even met his wife and little girl as they'd come to visit him for lunch one day. He...  more
    February 9, 2017
  • Mandi Konesni
    Mandi Konesni ~Chapter Seven~

    She didn't know how he'd managed to push it through, nor did she ask. Taking personal time from Univital had been like pulling teeth, but eventually they'd approved it without pay. Her home was paid for, it'd been an...  more
    February 9, 2017