Alex doesn't actually listen when I tell him to move. I back off a couple of steps, but I'm reluctant to leave him there. Sure, he can hold his own against creatures even stronger than him, but I can't help the pang of concern that shoots through me when I see the shadow approaching us through the darkness.
He turns to meet the shadow and though he looks calm, I notice him pretending to scratch his wrist; in other words, unfastening his knife from its sheath there. Not so calm, maybe.
Or... maybe just hungry.
The figure walking quickly towards us has a shot gun and is yelling abuse.
"Get off my fucking land or I'll shoot! Get away from my sheep!" blah, blah, blah. I'd be worried if it weren't for the fact that Alex is twitching impatiently, sliding the knife out and gripping it tightly. I don't think eating sheep has helped much.
He crouches into a runner's starting position, ready to launch himself at the idiot stomping over towards us.
As the farmer guy lifts his gun, Alex disappears, sprinting towards him.
But he's not the one that collides with the farmer.
In fact, he's still a couple of meters off when the farmer's dragged to the floor in a messy tangle of limbs and cries.
The cries are cut short with a squelching sound that makes my stomach back flip. Alex shouts something at the figure on top of the farmer, hitting out at them angrily, but I can't hear what, I'm too far away.
My brain is screaming at me to run as fast as I can and get the hell out of there. But some sick curiosity makes me move closer, so I can hear what's being said. I just hope I'm not the cat that curiosity killed.
"Oh, sorry," the voice sneers, "did I just steal your dinner?" It's that woman, whatever her name is. Lizzy or something wasn't it? Alex doesn't say anything and she straightens, "how long has it been since you last ate? You can't even speak, you're so hungry. You should have had your snack. Or d'you still love him too much?"