Katya looked behind her, checking on every member of the pack before nodding her satisfaction. They'd made excellent time, even with the snow. It seemed fear and adrenaline were on their side, keeping even the younger ones focused on their destination. She'd sent her two scouts ahead to make sure the path to the outcropping in the mountainside was clear.
It was only when they neared the final bend that she heard the grunts and growls of a struggle, and it sent her rigid with fear. She held up her hand, stopping the pack behind her, and a glance around the bend made her bite back a curse. "Tiger," she breathed to the waiting group as she hurried back and handed her pack off. "Mikhail, keep them back. It's alone, but watch for others. If the clan's close behind, you'll have to make a run for it down past the river. Dmitri, you're with me."
She growled softly, moving with as much speed as stealth allowed. The snow had dulled her senses. She should have heard the struggle sooner. Rounding the bend and moving just a fraction down the mountainside, she peeked over a convenient boulder with Dmitri.
The weretiger was female; Katya could tell that much from a distance. Her eyes widened when she watched one of her scouts take a kick directly to the throat. Her pulse skyrocketed at the sight of the weretiger blocking and dodging each of the other scout's attacks, the first man still struggling for breath in a heap of snow and gravel.
A nod to Dmitri, and they sped to the scout's aid. Before they could even reach the fighting pair, the girl tensed and deepened her stance. Katya growled as Dmitri lashed out at the tigress and was thrown off balance, his own momentum used against him. The tigress was still recovering when Katya lunged forward. Her nails barely grazed the dark-haired woman's cheek, blocked by little more than a reflex.