Trip to China

Cyrus reclined the seat back as far as it would go. Since this was a luxury plane that meant flat as a slightly uncomfortable bed. A slight ache in his side kept him from moving about too much but that did not stop his mind from moving swiftly through the last two weeks.

He had left Fallon unhappily at home after the aborted Game night viewing. His mind had been full of bloody plans that had not quite fit with her romantic yearnings and he felt bad for having to turn his own mate down. Hopefully the flowers he ordered had perked her up some. Suki had told him that the first delivery of a dozen roses, dozen lilies and a dozen orchids had been impressive so he had sent a dozen flowers daily. A rare smile graced his face as he pictured his mate surrounded by lovely blooms.

The image was replaced by the leaves of the jungle he had just left. It had taken him a week to track down the source of the poachers. A western businessman intent on exploiting the sale of rare animal parts had convinced a small hunting group to ignore the superstitions and warnings to get his rare cat perts.

Destroying the man was simple, Cyrus simply focused his attention, money and power on him and the business failed horrifically. He then made a great show of leaving only to sneak back and murder the man with what appeared to be a suicide. Since he was 'gone' and the man had just lost what tiny fortune he had accumulated the authorities considered the man's leap from the 10 story high apartment balcony an open and shut case. Especially when there was no evidence of anyone else entering, the doorknob would have had fingerprints or been wiped clean by a cloth they hypothesized.

With the backing gone the only task left was to remove the hunters who had participated in the grisly acts. Sneaking about as a leopard lured the two in the jungle to him where they met their gruesome fate, being mauled to death by a needle sharp clawed cat. He fed well that night, relishing every bit of gore he licked from his claws. The last hunter came looking for his friends with another who had refused to be part of the plan but came when the men went missing.

Cyrus had been awaiting their arrival from the trees over the decaying bodies. His intent had been to make an impression upon the final man who had yet to fill his quota previously agreed upon. Instead as he lept from the trees the fool managed to get a shot off, hitting him in the side, breaking two ribs and nicking a lung. Rather than flinch the large leopard stalked towards the pair menacingly. The innocent man placed his gun on the ground floor and knelt to pray while the other frantically tried to fire his gun at the approaching horror. His scrambling was for naught as Cyrus launched at his throat with his overlarge fangs, claws tearing at the man's clothes and skin mercilessly.

Rather than feed heavily the leopard simply killed the hunter quickly before turning to the other man who still prayed, eyes closed, rocking back and forth slightly. After a quiet minute of cleaning his paws the man's eyes opened to take in the blood splattered clearing and the bodies strewn before him. Deliberately Cyrus' golden eyes caught the man's and he made a final move to reestablish the legend and superstition that kept his jungle home free from poachers for so long. With one swipe of his paw he knocked the gun away from the innocent man and it landed on the body of his still warm friend, The message was clear, now that it had been repeated a third time, as the decomposing corpses looked similar with the barrels of their rifles embeded in their guts. Hunters would die here.

With another lick to his paw and a brief nod of his head, Cyrus turned and went into the jungle, disappearing as only a well camouflaged cat can do. The man left the bodies and quietly made his way from the area. The legend would live once more.

Cyrus scheduled a private plane that night and left, still bleeding but uncaring. His pack of leopards had lost only four to those humans, leaving one without a mother. Unfortunately there was little he could do but hope it was accepted and assisted either by another cat or his estate keepers he left with detailed instructions.

With a pained grimace he tried to get comfortable as the plane winged its way across the globe, returning him to Nachton.

Cyrus 15 years ago
The best laid plans and all that rot, Cyrus thought as the 'stewardess' leveled a gun at his chest. Somehow tying up loose ends earlier had resulted in an additional end fraying free. This young woman threatened him with an angry look and steady gun.

"You caused Greg's death!" she railed at him with quiet venom. "I had him firmly in the palm of my hand, his heir in my womb and an easy life ahead of me. Until you came. Why! WHY!"

Cyrus looked at her with a raised brow. From his research Greg Anderson had a mistress but a mercenary one at that, thought not to be much of an issue at all. Apparently she was more unscrupulous than noted and quite displeased with her meal ticket dying.

"He was disrupting my property by paying others to poach the forest. I simply protected my interests, he killed himself." Trying to speak calmly and clearly, Cyrus stayed very still. In his mind Mr. Anderson had killed himself by daring to hunt the leopards. While this woman was not his idea of a good way to kill time on the flight home he had to deal with her.

His thoughts moved quickly, noting that if she could sneak aboard a plane she probably had other unsavory talents and perhaps would not be missed or her death would be accepted should she come to a bad end. Either she thought there was something in this for her or she had every intention of killing him.

"Why are you doing this? What do you hope to gain."

Her sneer made the pretty face an ugly mask. "I decided that either you will pay me what you owe me for taking away Greg or we will all die. I bet a sniveling little man like yourself doesn't want to die. Prove me wrong Mister Arslantai."

Cyrus raised a brow. Apparently this gal was not a local to his area despite her Chinese heritage plainly obvious on her face. While he doubted she could kill him outright should she kill the pilot the crash could do the job for her. Slowly he reached for his scotch and took a sip, contemplating his next move.

"How much were you looking to get?"

Her smile was just as ugly as the sneer had been. And her voice held a wealth of malice. "That is precisely what I wanted to hear."