His name was Kurt. He wasn't too sure about anything else in his life, but at least he could hold on to that. That and the fact of his immortality. He was not human, a fact his stepmother made sure to drill into his being. Kurt never knew his father, or even his real mother. The only family he owned was his despised stepmother and cherished brother. They were both human, and so was Kurt at times. The first time his body changed, he had been so scared. He was sure he was going to die. The next morning when he woke to find himself, well, himself, his mind spun with the possibilities.

"What am I?" He kicked the grass as was so often his way of thinking.

Orange hair changed to blonde, yellow eyes to brown, his tail was even gone. He looked, almost human. And for those few hours, he was. Had he not been afraid for his life he would have tried to have fun, the way any normal human would. The moment was past and he climbed to just stand in the highest branches of the sturdiest tree outside town, looking out and trying to control the clouds.

This tree held so many memories…

"Kurt?" Came a voice from below.

His amber eyes sparked at the sound and he jumped, gracefully landing in front of his young brother. Well, stepbrother really but that didn't matter in the least to Kurt. He easily scooped the young frame into his arms and bounded for the top of the tree again, loving the way the child screamed in exhilaration. His brown eyes squeezed tightly shut as both slender arms locked around Kurt's neck for dear life.

"You can look now," He chuckled and moved some of the rusty red hair from the child's face. He opened his eyes one, then the other and drew in a sharp breath.

"We're so high up!"

"Are you scared?" Kurt teased lightly.

"A little," the boy admitted, knowing he was safe to confess such things to his brother.

"Don't be," he hugged him again. "I won't let anything hurt you."

Two hundred years had past. His body matured to adulthood but stopped there, still the transforming continued. Twice a year he would turn human for a night. The thought confused him more than anything, but no one alive could explain it to him. Nothing much had changed over two hundred years. He would continue to make this town pay for the death of his brother. He would continue to attack, again and again, until he could kill that damned priestess and obliterate the town. She was older than he was by only fifty years, and she was growing weaker. Two hundred and seventy years was a long time for a human priestess. She was so close to death, and he waited in that tree, watching the people who'd taken away the only person who'd ever loved him. The boy had been with Kurt since birth, and chronologically, they were the same age. However, on a physical level the boy was years younger. He never questioned Kurt's existence, just accepted him. He trusted him and Kurt had promised to always protect the boy. But his step mother was careless, she left him alone in the streets. He was killed when two men started to fight, one threw an iron javelin and missed. He wasn't there to stop it, but he was there to stop them from hurting anyone else. He stopped them from ever doing anything again.

He remembered the blood on his hands, and the way the boy's mother screamed. Kurt killed her too, enraged and blood thirsty. He lost control, but made no effort to retain it. He killed everyone in his path, blood soaking through his clothes. The smell sent him into a frenzy. Even as he remembered it his claws lengthened. His poison glands filled and leaked down his face from his fangs.

How he wanted to sink those sharp teeth into their necks again, to watch them all die again. The darkness of the hole in his heart was all consuming.

That damned woman had stopped him before his blood lust was sated, ceased his actions with a simple chant. A spell of protection against the town, it made his fangs and claws retract. The red bleeding into his vision faded and all he could see was her face.

She had been beautiful, long black hair pulled back and tied loosely at the base of her neck, and vibrant blue eyes. Yes, she was beautiful, but it had been almost three hundred years. Her face was leathery and old. Her body was frail and always shaking. If he felt anything other than hatred of her, it would have been pity. But no, he hated her. He hated them all.

Of course, he'd fend off any other attackers of the town, but that was purely because it was his territory. These were his lands. He'd been dwelling them for a quarter millennium and it were his home. From the edges of the fields to the farthest reaches of the northern forests. It was all his. No human army could best him in battle; nothing could stop him, nothing but that self-righteous priestess standing below him, looking up as if she could see him watching.

She was old indeed, and tonight he'd descend upon her shine, plunge his claws into her stomach, pull her intestines out and watch her die. Or maybe he would shred her to ribbons and let her bleed to death. There were so many ways to kill her, his heart blackened with each new idea. Her gaze never broke from him, though he knew she couldn't see him. It was impossible for human eyes. Still her intensity caused him to shrink back into the leaves.

She would not live to see the sunrise.

"Myis," he spat her name out at the ground. How he'd grown to loathe that name. It was a curse to his ears, the very thing standing between him and fully righting the wrong of his brother's murder.


****

Heartbeat after heartbeat the day wore on, sinking slowly into evening. Kurt stretched his hands, cracking his knuckles. Two centuries he'd waited for this night and it was almost too much to wait any longer.

Nighttime would be easier he assured himself. You can see just as well as day, and she can't.

Despite his efforts to be patient he found himself leaping to the trees on the very edge of town, near her shrine. Curved grey shingled rippled down the roof like fish scales. Two red columns supported the roof at the entrance. Red tiles covered an outer walk way and continued inside to the wooden floors. The walls were paper-thin and painted with trees and birds. He studied the artwork while waiting. The sun had set, leaving only a purple glow in the west. He could wait no longer. His breathing was even but his heart raced with the thought of biting her neck, tasting her blood and ripping her throat out.

A cool wind blew through the untrampled grass around the shrine as he landed softly and noiselessly. His bare feet made not a sound, his arrogance more than apparent as he moved to enter through the front door. His mouth hung slightly open and more poison dripped onto his tongue, numbing it.

His toes met the wooden floors of the shrine's interior. He'd never ventured that far before, but he knew she would be inside, kneeling at a fire lit alter. It made his hands shake in anticipation.

"I knew you would come Kurt," her voice was shaky. He stopped in mid step, one foot still in the air. She didn't turn to face him, her heart reached out to him one last time. He still refused, still clung to that inky darkness that poisoned his soul. A small sigh escaped her pursed mouth without her consent.

"So you know what I intend to do," he set his foot down, eyes blazing with triumph at her submission. She did not rise to meet him, she knew that she was old and that now was his time.

"I do know," she nodded, lifting to sit up straight, with her back still turned to him. His temper flared at that bit of confidence. She kept her back to him, as if she deemed him no threat.

"Turn around woman," he barked. She made no move and he marched swiftly to her, grabbed her shoulder and jerked her around so fast she fell over. He got down on his knees beside her, pushing the side of he face against the ground with on big clawed hand. Her grey hair was so thin, and he face was older than he'd ever remembered but her eyes were still the same. Those same blue eyes that stared him down into submission the first day they met. He hated those too, and made note to rip them from her skull. His intense golden glare bore into her, but she didn't back down. Made no sign of struggle or discomfort at the pressure he was applying to her, though she knew if he pushed any harder he might just break her jaw.

"Myis," he hissed. "After I kill you tonight, I'm going to kill everyone in this village."

"And you think that will bring your brother back?" Her cool voice was such a contrast to his husky tones.

"I know it won't you stupid wench," he pushed harder, but she remained steady and calm. Her demeanor only enraged him further and he let her go. His eyes didn't move, and she sat up slowly, both of them kneeled and faced each other in the fire light.

"If you're going to kill me Kurt," she started. He hesitated now, feeling that familiar changing feeling. Shit, he cursed as he transformed to human before her very eyes. It was nothing new to Myis. They'd fought while he was in both forms, though this one was slightly less dangerous. Kurt looked down at his hands, faltering for only the briefest second before shouting.

"He was the only person who'd ever loved me. The only one who'd ever trusted me," he screamed in her face. "And your people took him away from me. I'm not such a fool to think that he'll come back to me. But their sins haven't been atoned for."

She still said nothing and he grabbed her throat, squeezing until his fingernails that should have been claws sunk in. He wanted to watch her blood flow and licked him lips. She was so weak; she couldn't even heal her wounds.

Then she did something unexpected. She reached out a hand, palm facing him, and laid it on his chest. A strange numb feeling spread from her hand and his pulse slowed. He jerked away from her suddenly. The flow of energy from her body to him was complete and it washed over him in three waves. He stood and staggered backwards.

"What did you do you me?" His eyes were scared, and she smiled at the raw emotion there. His legs stopped moving as her sealing spell took effect. He stared down at himself, a white and green light whipping around his torso until he couldn't move. It spun upwards, freezing his face in a scream and his hands clenched with imaginary claws piercing his own palms. Myis took a few steps around him, letting go of her pent up emotions and breathing heavily. She rubbed the claw marks on her neck and studied his stone frozen face. Yes she'd been conjuring that spell for the last twenty years, and it was strong indeed. She too had been anticipating this night. She knew he would be impatient, she knew that if she pretended to be weak he would try this on the night he transformed. He could easily be passed off as a statue, and she would teach the next priestess the sealing spell. Kurt's seal would stay strong and their village would always be reminded of the evil in taking another's life.

At that moment however, it was enough to her that the village and its people were safe.