Entabaran’s yellow eyes peered hard for a moment, before he broke into laughter, hugging Hunter.
“How did the pack go?” asked Hunter on breaking the embrace.
Entabaran indicated the fire with a nod of his head. It seemed the pack had yet again tracked men unsuccessfully.
“Queorp caught the scent briefly, and we followed, but we lost the vermin. They’re getting better at hiding,” said Entabaran.
“Yeah, I know,” said Hunter. “They’re running out of food. Maybe it’s time we moved on to a town somewhere.”
Entabaran sucked in a breath. “No, there’s still more of them here.”
“But the pack could starve,” Hunter reminded.
“Don’t forget why we came,” Entabaran said firmly.
Hunter swallowed as the yellow eyes fixed on him once more, this time, the corner of Entarbaran’s mouth twitched as if to snarl. Entabaran often held a different opinion as a challenge to his leadership; it took very little. Hunter waited, knowing his brother’s anger would pass. Second to his female, Entabaran loved Hunter and Kareema more than anything else in the world.
He suddenly hugged Hunter again.
“Oh big brother; I love you so much.”
He broke away, his musk returning to an amiable scent as he clasped Hunter’s shoulder.
“We’ll stay for now,” he said.
The pups returned with the cleaned kill, allowing the females to arrange the dead beast over the fire.
“Uncle Entabaran!” cried Kareema.
He laughed with delight as the little bitch bounded into his arms and began licking his face. She paused a moment to pant exitedly, mere centimetres from his snout.
“What do you think of the man?” she asked.
“He’s big. Your Dad’s the best hunter there is,” he said with an edge of pride.
Kareema nestled into his shoulder, rubbing her head against his, then stopped.
“Look, Uncle Entabaran; a manine!”
The pack turned to see a figure moving across the face of a skyscraper. Hunter had seen manines climb before, but never a sheer building wall. It moved differently to a manine; swifter, although perhaps, not as fluidly. He brought his rifle scope to his eye and adjusted to maximum zoom. A black and red clad creature came into focus, moving across the wall like a lizard; it’s body shape easily distinguishable.
“That’s not a manine; it’s a man,” said Hunter.
He leaned on a public post box and peered through the scope, trying to follow the animal. Holding his breath, he slowly exerted pressure on the trigger. Any hurried movements on his part could end in missing his prey.
“Have you got it?” Entabaran said impatiently.
Hunter ignored him, determined not to let him distract him. Two seconds elapsed as Hunter followed the animal matching its movements as it neared a window.
Entabaran smacked his shoulder.
“Shoot,” he demanded as Hunter fired.
He growled at Entabaran and re-cocked the rifle. Taking aim again, he saw the rear of the man’s calf slipping inside the shattered window, out of his sight.
“That’s why you’re not the Hunter,” he said, glaring at Entabaran.
His brother rolled his yellow eyes at the building.
“The adults with me,” he told the pack. “We’ve got to get to the building before it can get to the ground.”
Hunter slung his rifle and dropped to all fours, joining his pack in the stampede, running swifter than galloping horses.