Billy Jo couldn’t sleep. He wasn’t sure what had woke him up, but he felt antsy for some reason. There wasn’t anything to be worried about; he was happier and more content than he had ever been. Harfreder lay next him in a deep sleep; the sounds of her steady breathing were comforting. He put his arm around her holding her and she began to purr. He had learned that purring was type of automatic reaction and she would sometimes purr when she was asleep. 

He loved her. He had said it a week ago, but he hadn’t been completely sure at the time. Since then their relationship had become deeper. He couldn’t hunt until his wounds healed, so they spent a lot of time together actually talking. It was a new experience for him and he found he enjoyed it. He didn’t think it was the talking as much as the just being with her. She would patiently listen to his stories about football and NASCAR even though she had no idea what he was talking about most of the time. She would tell him about hunting, the Hunting People, and the village of Fyrkat. He had been in love before, but this was different. He’d never met a woman like Harfreder. Not only was she hot, but she had a free spirit and was surprisingly undemanding. She liked him just the way he was and wasn’t trying to change him or make him better in some way. She was a lot like him and their idea of fun was the same. Granted their idea of fun had almost gotten them killed, but they’d be more careful next time.

He liked his life here. He enjoyed physical labor; he got a sense of accomplishment from it. Back home he had trouble finding work and the prospects for his future where bleak. Here his skills were prized and he was respected for them. All those cracks about him being a Neanderthal had actually turned out to be true in a way. He fit better into this primitive village than he ever had in the modern world back home. He realized he didn’t want to go home. He was pretty sure Edward felt the same, though probably for different reasons. He’d let everyone know in the morning.

He closed his eyes trying to go back to sleep, but he still had the feeling something wasn’t right. He gradually became aware of sound he’d been hearing as it grew louder. It was a whirling sound like an electric motor. His something not right feeling went directly into dread. This was something bad, real bad. It was pitch black in the long house. He felt around on the floor. Where the hell did he put his pants?

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