The bear drew a deep breath. He could feel the woman, smell her. And he knew what followed him. Alyosha Vikronovich hadn’t reached his third century by being stupid or careless. If the tiger wanted to make trouble, he’d have a hard fight against an Asian brown bear. But he needed to reach the female first if he wanted to claim her.
As Dmitry followed the bear, his whiskers quivered, detecting a change in the atmosphere. Although no tiger’s nose was as sensitive as any bear’s, he had other senses to make up for the lack. The great cat’s crystal blue gaze sharpened and focused on his new quarry. He could feel her, he could hear her, he could taste her in the air. This was why he had felt compelled to hike the Appalachian Trail. Leonidus had told him that he had felt the step of his mate’s foot when she landed on Italian soil. Dmitry took that declaration with the proverbial grain of salt; the Barbary lion was known to exaggerate. But it was true nonetheless. He, Dmitry Alkaev, one of the oldest shifters living, could sense the presence of his mate.
With uncanny perception, he knew that the bear could, too. He also knew that the bear would claim her if he did not. Fate did not waste those few females who could be mated to shifter males.
Tessa heard huffing behind her and halted in her tracks. She slowly turned around. As cold, hungry, and tired as she was, slowly was the only speed of which she was capable. A squeak of fear escaped her mouth, which would have hung open were she able to stop chattering and shivering.