"Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?"

"Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle."

The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game."

Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay..." he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "...Get ready, General Zaroff."

The general made one of his deepest bows. "I see..." he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford-"


Something like a bark forced its way out of Zaroff's throat as he'd found himself pressed face-first against the wall, a fist in his hair, tugging back so hard it threatened to snap his neck. Damn it all, he'd not give up so easily!

He brought his elbow back sharply into Rainsford's stomach, into the solar plexus. The man staggered back, hand still gripped in hair, just loose enough for Zaroff to wriggle free. The Hunter only had but a chance to glimpse the fire in those eyes before he'd been seized by his shirt.

This was the fight then. He'd torn himself away, the shirt useless now, fumbling for his sword hidden under the bed. He'd not give up.

Vicious nails dragged down his chest, carving angry red marks into his torso. The sword was finally in his grasp. Teeth sunk into his shoulder. He'd plunge the sword back, surprised at how effectively Sanger managed to dodge.

The sword was seized from him then, and all he'd manage to do was rip a neat slice in Rainsford's side. The blade was sharp, now biting at his leg angrily through pants, and he'd skittered away up the bedspread like a frightened spider, trying to climb the bed-curtains.

It didn't help matters that he no longer had clothes to protect himself.

Rainsford's nails dug into his leg.

Zaroff was now being dragged kicking and screaming onto the bed like a spoiled child about to be punished. The General had used every bit of his strength, and still he could not free himself from this wild animal, nails and teeth digging into his skin.

Skin against skin.

He looked up into those eyes that had far lost their humanity, clouded over with instinct.

Teeth sunk into his neck and nails pressed angry half-moons into his hips. Sanger ploughed into him, violated his body with all the courtesy of a lion in heat.

General Zaroff simply let out a feral purr, and succumbed to animalistic pleasure. The wild beast had won this time, and he'd might as well enjoy the victory celebration it had chosen.


...He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.