Passion's Pride Alejandro

Chapter One

Sonora, Mexico


A gentle wind blew as Alejandro padded on four powerful legs making his way to the edge of one of his favorite pueblos in Alamos, Sonora.  His father, Gabor, the king of the La Avana shifter tribe, told him many times to avoid the humans in town, but his curiosity got the better of  him.  He liked watching the humans, though they were not many around usually.  After his daily lessons of fighting and learning how to rule his tribe, Alejandro reveled in his little escapades away from his father and his responsibilities of the village.

The sleepy little colonial town, known as the 'Gem of the Sierra Madre', stood the test of time beneath the clear-blue skies.  The sand-filled cobblestone streets gave way to tall buildings, cafes, hotels and a beautiful church.  This time of year was the Music and Arts Festival of Dr. Alfonso Tirado, a famous local obstetrician and artist.

Many would come from other parts of Mexico and the United States, like Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California. There was music, food, beautiful paintings and sculptures lined the streets, and many cultural music celebrity guests and artists attended.

The Plaza De Armas seemed more alive during the festival, pulsing with shadow and sun, trees swaying in the wind to the beat of the excited energy that seemed to capture everyone in it's wake.

The air filled with the srich aromas of bread baking and various foods like tamales and empanadas, being prepared.  The Rosa Agave Cafe of the Hacienda de Los Santos in particular, had the best smells and the intoxicated Alejandro.  His golden eyes shimmered as he stopped to stretch out his broad chested eight foot long, thickly muscular body beneath a tree and yawned his powerful jaws peacefully.  His tawny yellow fur with black spots that looked like rosettes, covering most of his body on top, with the white fur and black spots covering him from under his chin to his belly.  He panted lazily.  Being humid as usual, the breeze felt refreshing to him.

Alejandro has been sneaking to this spot since he was about eight years old.  His two hundred and ten pound alpha male frame throbbed and pulsed with the magical energy that surrounded Alamos.  He even dismissed a tortoise that walked a few feet away from him, making it's way toward the town.  Even you want to go the festival, eh amigo?  He thought to himself.  Though the tortoise would make a great strew, he wasn't in the mood for hunting such easy prey.  He closed his eyes, relishing the breeze and the excitement of the town.

Suddenly, Alejandro hears a woman's voice in his head, Hey, that's my bag! Let go of me!  Her voice jolts through his body, breaking his peaceful respite.  His pulse sped as he opened his eyes and jumped up quickly. Was this a dream? Had he fallen asleep?  Seeing nothing his natural eyes, he sniffed the air and smelled nothing.  It seemed so real.  He wondered if she was a jaguar shifter from his pride. No, wait, our people never venture this far and never during the day in human form!

He close his eyes again, letting his power wash over him.  He could hear the woman's voice and taste her fear, yet he sensed she was not a jaguar shifter, nor was she in Alamos.  He concentratedd a little more, seeing a beauatiful and familiar, brown skinned woman with dark brown almond-shaped eyes, being held fast by a Mexican man in black jeans and snakeskin boots.  There were two other men there and one was trying to steal the woman's lime green bag as she fought against her attackers in fear and frustration.  Upon closer inspection of the vision, Alejandro noticed the men were not police officers and according to the sign behind them, they were in Novajoa, thirty miles away!

How is this possible?  Alejandro thought to himself as his body sprang into action racing at top speed to one of the village homes.  His visions were usually closer to home and mainly of those he already knew.  This was a first for him, being that the woman is human and it was like his body had a mind of its own.  Before he knew it, he was outside a village home where he found a perfectly good late model truck.  He sniffed the air and thankfully, no one was around.

He pushed the front door of the house open using his weight against it.  Once inside, he slowed his breath and began to shift into human form.  He grabbed some clothing he found in one of the bedrooms, black pants, brown sneakers and a t-shirt.  As luck would have it, he found the keys to the dusty truck on a hook in the kitchen.  He kissed the keys thanking EL Shalam, the jaguar god of his people, for granting him favor.  All he knew wa that this woman, whoever she is, is going to be in grave danger and he needed to get to her quickly.