The Predater

For the moment, nothing moved. Then Lissa turned and started running, and suddenly the enormous puma materialized as if from nowhere and came hurtling through the air. In two bounds she was on Lissa. Down they went, with Ruby’s mighty paws clutching Lissa around the body and her dagger-like eyeteeth very close to Lissa’s head. All this was accomplished in absolute silence.

The Tribe of Tiger by Elizabeth M. Thomas

The object? Please, there was only ONE object. ONE goal. The means? Stealth. Cunning. Flattery. Surprise. The time? NOW!

Howard caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror that paneled one of the elevator’s walls. Quick inventory. Height-five foot nine, tall for his family. Weight- about twenty over, maybe twenty-five. Hair-what was left had long since turned gray. No beard. No mustache. His nose betrayed his heritage. His dark suit pants matched his dark jacket. His paisley tie went nicely with his striped shirt. He appeared to be exactly what he was, a forty-seven year old accountant from the suburbs. He liked what he saw.

What didn’t show, what wasn’t reflected in the mirror, was Howard’s personality. Howard was a sexual predator. Exuding a confidence that was more felt than either seen or heard, Howard chose his conquests instinctively. He couldn’t define why a woman caught his attention. He just knew. And once a potential bed-partner had his attention, it was only a matter of time.

Neither Ruth, his first wife, nor Diane, his second, tolerated his womanizing. Of course, neither could believe it at first. Howard? Short, fat, balding Howard? Both Ruth and Diane forgave him countless times. Both thought that Howard was simply going through a phase or mid-life crisis. He wasn’t. Both were surprised when he divorced them.

The three signs of middle age on a man are a sports car (preferably red), an earring and a ponytail. Howard drove a late model Buick and wouldn’t have been caught dead with either an earring or a ‘tail. He wasn’t really that much different now than he was at thirty-seven or even twenty-seven. He was a hunter. He enjoyed the entire process from the moment he selected his prey till his first triumphant orgasm. It was the ultimate challenge.

Howard stole another look in the mirror. Through it he could see the woman to his left. Becky was the new in-house bookkeeper for the law firm Howard was visiting. The firm had been a client of his for years. Even though Becky couldn’t have been a day under fifty-one, she had to be described as cute. Thin, perky, just a bit over five-two, Becky had short, dark hair. She was wearing a red sweater and a black skort, one of those short/skirt things that were once called culottes.

Howard asked Becky how she liked the job so far. He quickly checked for rings. None. The hunt was on! They engaged in small talk as the elevator climbed to the fifteenth floor. Becky touched Howard’s arm as she made a point. Howard wondered briefly whether he was the hunter or the hunted. It didn’t matter now.

Nor did it matter later that night.