The guy waited for the longer haired man to walk away then he sat in the grass. He didn’t say anything, remaining quiet.
Davi watched him, unsure what to do. His cat wanted to sniff out the stranger and scope out the situation. Did Davi trust his cat? Yes, but not that man.
Neither Davi or the guy sitting in the grass moved for what seemed like forever. Finally, the man spoke. “Davi? My name is Talisman. I don’t know if you remember me from the petting zoo, but I was there with you.” He didn’t look at Davi or even in Davi’s direction. “I think I’m a few months older than you. I remember being in the pens, having the kids pet us and feeling wonderful. Then the good feelings stopped. I know you’re scared. I was scared, too. Unlike the humans at the petting zoo, we won’t hurt you here.”
Davi debated sitting up but remained hunched down. Maybe, he could trust Talisman, but he didn’t remember him.
“It’s scary. You’ve shifted, and you don’t understand why. I know. I’ve been there. I didn’t shift until I was safe, but when it happened, I didn’t understand what was going on. It’s okay.” He glanced over to where Davi hid. “If you don’t come out, I can’t help you. I promise. I won’t hurt you, and I’ll help you get used switching between your cat and human forms.”
“No.” Davi kept hiding, but decided to at least try to talk to Talisman.
“Can you come out?” Talisman crawled across the grass, closer to Davi. “Would it help if I shifted?” He didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, he yanked his shirt up over his head then stood and shoved his pants down his legs. He kicked out of the boots and stood nude before Davi.
Davi watched Talisman move. Wow. He’d never seen a naked man before, but if that’s what they looked like, he liked what he saw. His cat wasn’t upset, either.
Talisman dropped to his knees and placed his hands in the grass. He lowered his head then wriggled. Fur sprouted on Talisman’s shoulders and back. His teeth elongated and a growl ripped from his throat. The fur spread down his chest to his belly and covered his legs. His hands and feet shifted into paws. When he shook his head, thick fur sprouted behind his ears and beneath his chin. Before Davi’s eyes, the man shifted into the lion.
Talisman sniffed the air then stared directly at Davi’s hiding spot. He strode over to Davi with silent steps and stopped beside the bushes. He nuzzled the underbrush and scratched the earth beneath the bush but didn’t force his way through the leaves. Was he trying to gain Davi’s trust? Could be.
Davi inched his hand forward, allowing Talisman to sniff him. The trust thing Talisman was doing was working. Davi extended his arm through the thick leaves and twigs.
Talisman rubbed his nose over Davi’s fingers then snorted. He licked Davi’s fingers.
Davi withdrew his hand. The fear still gripped him, but if Talisman had wanted to harm him, he would’ve jumped through the bushes and attacked. He didn’t. The lion within Davi wanted to investigate Talisman. Who was he to argue with the cat?
“I’m scared,” Davi whispered. He rose to his knees then crawled out from behind the shrubbery. He sat under one of the skinnier trees and hugged his knees.
Talisman, still in his lion form, sat beside Davi. He licked his paw then rubbed his paw over the top of his head. After a few licks and swipes across his forehead, he snorted.
“Messy.” Davi stole glances at the big cat. Talisman looked so powerful and graceful. He wanted to be like his new friend, but he couldn’t. Carlton’s insults came back to him. Worthless, clumsy, too big, lumbering…no good as a lion.
Talisman butted Davi’s shoulder with his head. He made a sound that resembled a cross between a grunt and a soft roar. Just as quickly as he’d shifted into lion form, Talisman shifted back into his human form. But this time, he wasn’t wearing clothes.
Talisman retrieved his wadded up garments and held them in front of his cock and balls. He settled beside Davi again and stretched his legs. He leaned back, bracing himself on his arms. The pants and shirt lay over his groin, but didn’t hide the erection tenting them.
“Welcome to Sanctuary.”