Though she wasn't very large, the lynx cat struggled to shroud herself in the cover of the ferns. Heavy as they were with dampness, every minute move left her fur sticking to the wet leaves. Scrunching up her nose in distaste, the cat pressed her belly into the wet bracken as hard as she could to hide from the predator several yards ahead of her. The heart beat wildly inside her chest and she squinted her eyes to slits as she breathed deeply, trying to not only get a scent from the danger, but also to calm her anxieties. The pouring rain made it almost impossible to catch a scent other than the bitter, earthy moss. The wind is abysmal as the rain comes through the trees in sheets, slicing through the air like heavy knives.
The man crouched low, his auburn hair matted to his head, long sleeves pushed up to his elbows, as he hovered over his meal, completely unconcerned with the weather. There didn't seem to be any debris on the man or his clothes aside from being drenched, as though he hadn't just violently taken down a 7 foot tall grizzly bear with his bare hands. The cat watched in a mixture of awe and disgust as his body curled over the bear as if he were hugging it, or lying on it to fall asleep. She couldn't tear her eyes from him even as he pulled his lips from the bear's neck and licked them, his eyes closed in what she could only conclude was euphoria. She felt confused and stayed as low as possible, hoping to not be caught peeping on this strange predator that roamed the forest in perfect designer clothing during a downpour. The more she watched him, the more curious she felt about him. What was this man doing out in the middle of the Olympic National Forest? Miles away from any sort of civilization? Surely she was mistaken and he used something other than his hands to incapacitate the huge beast in front of him. Surely she was just imagining this whole thing. In actuality, she was just lounging in a tree somewhere, having the most bizarre dream she'd ever experienced as an animal, she was sure.
Without warning or reason, the predator looked directly into her eyes, which were still narrowed in curiosity, the pupils mere vertical lines as she studied him and her heart skipped a beat when she saw him stand. Fluidly, with more grace than even she possessed, the predator brought up one pale hand to brush the fringe from his forehead as he kept his eyes locked on hers. The lean muscles of his forearm twisted and tensed as he moved. Surely, he couldn't see her? The ferns, the enormous rain drops separating them, the steamy fog that rolled through the forest floor. There was too much in the way for him to literally see her, right?
"I won't hurt you." The soft, dulcet baritone of his voice washed over her as if she were in the cleanest, warmest waterfall with the sun shining brightly on her slick gray coat. He spoke just above a whisper, truly speaking to a frightened animal. An enticing shiver swept up her spine. "I -"
The lynx shot off like a rocket through the underbrush and back toward whence she came before he could finish speaking. There was no way she was risking him talking to her more. What the actual fuck is he? She cried to herself as she ran, harder and faster than she had ever run before, her heart threatening to break the feeble ribs in her chest. Sharp claws dug into the sopping leaf litter as she raced away. She thought she heard running steps behind her and growled low in her throat, warning the predator away. She was supposed to be the most dangerous thing in the forest right now, besides grizzly bears, of course. Nothing should scare her this way, but seeing how the man himself had taken down that large beast had her hind quarters quivering in fear even as she ran still.
It wasn't very long before she realized that he wasn't chasing her anymore and the lynx slid into a large hollowed out tree that had fallen over decades ago. Its rotted core made for a perfect hideaway from the rain and now to calm her panic. Her heart still thundered in her chest and her breathing was muddled, holding her mouth open in an odd show of fatigue that she'd never had to use before to catch her breath. The pupils of her eyes were large from fear, she could tell, and she waited as silently as she could until the rain died down and she could no longer hear anything except birds chirping and squirrels digging or climbing through the trees.