August 6, 2009
6:00 AM
Ross Lake, Washington
Third Quarter Moon

I couldn't tell Captain Pyralis. I knew he'd figure out anyway, but I would still skirt around it as much as possible. Her throat had felt so good under my hands as I choked the life out of her... It scared me. But the night wasn't over.

Pyralis came back for me as I was leaving the building. Apparently the trouble was minuscule, and he didn't even need to go all the way.

"Where's the child?"

I shook my head. "Adopted."

"Where is it now?"I shrugged, working to conceal the broken down door. Apparently, I didn't do a very good job, because he growled like the wolf he was and started striding toward me, focused on the door the whole time. "What happened here?" he barked.

"N-nothing," I had always been a terrible liar.

"Move, soldier."

I played like I didn't hear him for a second. I knew what was going to happen. "Skyll. Move."

Numbly, I succumbed. A second later, Pyralis' tall, bulky, human frame came back out, lips pursed tight. He mumbled a few words, and two other men walked over and handed me the babies they had been holding. Tears stung my eyes.

I stumbled along at the back of the pack with two crying babies I didn't know how to console in my arms and fifty lashes waiting.

I numbly shuffled along until we reached the next house. Since I wasn't yet demoted, I went in behind Pyralis. I don't think the shrieking babies helped matters much, but the woman wasn't giving up her daughter without a struggle.

There was a back and forth game for almost an hour, her denying everything, Pyralis detailing everything we knew.

Finally, Pyralis delivered the ultimatum. "We'll be back in two years. If the child doesn't get passed to us then, you will die. Are we clear?"

She nodded numbly. We headed out. I was shaking with rage, glad for the babies only because they had prevented me from attacking that woman, too.

I awoke to utter darkness. There was nothing around me except- was that a tree I was sleeping against? I couldn't be sure. I realized I was still growling from the remnants of my dream and abruptly cut it off. Everything was quiet. It was far too quiet... I got to my feet, restless and paranoid. Sniffing the air, I knew there was nobody around, but the paranoia still remained. Maybe it's that Wolfire's scent.

I sprinted off in the direction of the scent, following it religiously. From the power of it, Lyth couldn't be too far away, her scent was too strong!

Then it faded, causing me to pause for a second. Wait... Damn. She must have just fallen asleep there...

I continued on, following the scent. She was a fast little bugger... Since I didn't have the

availability of my wolf form, I didn't think I could catch her. In fact, I was pretty sure I couldn't.

The water in my fur was irritating me like hell, but I didn't want to take the time to shake it off. I had a wolfire to chase.

We would have killed to get our hands on her then, and I would do the same now. Whatever it took, I would bring her back. The pre-dawn light came eerily down on me, bathing the world in a paranoia-inducing luminescence. The forest made it ten times worse.

But I didn't pay attention to any of it. I had to keep going; I couldn't stop, not even for food. I was starting two days late, anyway, but at least the recent rain had caused every scent to be magnified. So it was easy to follow her scent.

I was so intent on it that I managed to ram headlong into a tree after a little bit- I guessed she had been foolish enough to rub her scent into the plants. It stopped me for only a second, as I fell back and shook my head to clear it. Then I pressed on, being more careful about the trees.

The sun broke through the trees, blinding me. I had to stop for a second while my eyes adjusted.

Something blazed by me, almost too fast for me to see. Or maybe I was just tired and blinded. It smelled like deer. I couldn't help but chase it; I hadn't eaten in over a day. So I abandoned the wolfire scent, going after my new quarry. The trees flew past as I closed in on the dark shape.

Sensing that it couldn't outrun me, it turned and put its head down. I loved this part; the chase was a guaranteed victory, but the fight? The fight could possibly be lost.

It charged toward me. I remained standing. Then, at the last minute, I dodged and leapt onto the beast's back. It was a scrawny little thing, but I didn't care. I was consumed with bloodlust as my arms curled around its neck. I held on for dear life as it started to thrash and rear, once catching my shoulder on the tip of his antler. That shocked me for a second, and I loosened my grip- but then clamped down even harder. I felt its windpipe turn into powder under my arm, but even then I didn't let go. I savored the moment- the moment I knew I had won. It was truly an amazing feeling, knowing I had vanquished my enemy. Just like I would kill the vampires.

It fell, and I began to feast, my quest forgotten for the moment.