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I hated them once, the humans. They stole everything from me, my family, my friends, my life. But then there was them, those few humans who showed me kindness; they saved me.
It was early evening, and Susume and I were romping in the woods. In our true forms, our wolf forms, we chased each other through the trees. My black fur blended with the long shadows cast by the sun, while his silver and gray fur contrasted with the patches of darkness. He was behind me, playfully nipping at my heels. Suddenly he leaped, tackled me, and then pinned me with my back on the ground.
“Gotcha’, Takai.” Susume said as he shifted to his human form. His hair was cut short, and was the same steel grey color as his fur. If anyone who didn’t know him saw this leather-clad adolescent in his human form, they would have said he looked to be only twenty years old.
I shifted to my human form as well. My long black hair also matched the fur of my wolf form. “Get offa’ me Susume!” I growled, not meaning it as a threat.
“Aw, can’t I play Alpha just this once.” He laughed, still on top of me. His golden eyes shimmered with mischief.
“If you were really an Alpha, then you wouldn’t have to pin your female to the ground.” I joked.
Susume laughed again. “You’re only the Alpha female of our pack because you’re the only female in our pack.”
It was my turn to laugh. “And your point is…?” I mocked. Susume stayed silent. “Well, in that case, can you please get off of me?” I threw him a smile, trying to use my eighteen year old looks to my advantage.
He smiled. “Of course Takai! After all, you did say the magic word.” He lifted himself off of my stomach and then sat down besides me.
“Thanks Susume.” I said quietly after I got into a sitting position. Suddenly, we heard a howl. The sound wound its way through the trees, calling to the members of our pack. It carried on the wind that blew gently through the forest, amplifying its range.
“That’s my brother.” I thought out loud. He wasn’t the oldest wolf of the pack, but he was the Alpha, the leader.
“Fang always has to ruin our fun, doesn’t he?” Susume joked. “Come on, we better go see what your big-bro wants.”
Five minutes later we were back at the cave that we shared, and lived in with the three other members of our pack. I saw my brother, Fang, immediately, and soon after I spotted Damien in the corner. The older wolf looked pretty shook up, his chocolate brown fur matted with blood.
Fang didn’t seem to notice our presence right away. He was in his human form, pacing back and forth through the cave with his hands on his head, clenching whatever of his spiky blond hair he could grab.
“Where’s Caden?” I asked Fang. Caden was the youngest member of our pack, a young stray that we had picked up off the streets.
At my voice, my brother had turned around and opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted.
Surprised, I tuned to face Damien, who had spoken.
“What?” I was sure that I was mistaken, that I had heard him wrong. Caden couldn’t be dead; he was only a pup, in a few weeks he would be old enough to qualify as an adolescent.
“Takai,” It was now my brother’s turn to speak, “Caden is dead. He and Damien were ambushed by some human soldiers while they were out hunting… he didn’t make it.”
“Caden… no…” I buried my face in Susume’s chest, tears escaping my eyes despite my holding them tightly shut. “Damn humans… they’ll pay for this…”
“Takai, I want you to leave.” Fang’s words interrupted my crying. “If anything happened to you, well, I don’t know what I’d do if you got hurt.”
“W-what do you mean?” I stuttered, confused by what my brother had said.
“He means that we’re going to go get revenge for Caden.” Susume interrupted.
“Susume’s right, we have to avenge Caden’s death.” Fang added. Damien agreed with a low growl.
I looked around helplessly. I couldn’t believe that they were doing this to me. “No…no,” I complained, “No, I want to fight with you! Susume, you’re on my side, tell him that I should fight with you!” Susume just looked at me with sad eyes; for once he was agreeing with my brother. I looked at Damien; he had a sad expression on his face as well.
“No, I won’t let you! I’m going to fight with you, and we’re going to win!”
“Takai, please,” Fang began, “please just do what I say. Even if I die, you should live on. You’re young, and shouldn’t have your life taken away from you when you’ve just began to enjoy it.”
I was running, and as I ran I heard the mournful howl of a lone wolf break the silence of the night. Soon, it was accompanied by the melancholy voices of two other wolves. I would have given anything to howl along with those wolves, to fight alongside them, but I couldn’t. I had promised them that I would get to safety. Yet without me their voices sounded incomplete. It was a broken howl that reached my ears.
I fought back tears as I ran. If I cried now I wouldn’t be able to stop. I knew that there had to be a town somewhere, it was just a matter of time till I found one, and once I did I would be able to lay low for a while. Even in my human form, I kept my keen ears, eyes, and nose alert to anything that might mean danger, or salvation.
Finally, I caught a familiar scent, the scent of a metropolis. A smile tugged at my lips despite my fear and grief, and I urged my legs to move faster. Yet, in my haste, I failed to notice a tree root that lay in my path. I fell hard, and by the time I had stopped sliding my whole side was torn-up and bleeding. I cringed in pain as it made its presence known.
Sitting up, I gingerly placed a hand on my side. My shirt was torn, and through it I could feel my warm blood as it seeped out of my body, but I was relived to find that I had no serious injuries.
“Well… what do we have here?” A masculine voice said from within the shadows. Surprised, I whipped my head around to locate the speaker.
“Who are you?” I growled accusingly, my voice dripping with malice.
“It’s okay,” The voice said, “I’m not going to hurt you. My name is Ruka.” He stayed concealed within the safety of the darkness.
I responded with a low growl. His scent was that of a human and Humans were the ones responsible for Caden’s death.
Ruka ignored my lack of a comment. “Can I ask why you’re running through the forest at this time of night?” He stated. By the sound of his voice he could only be a year or two older than myself.
My voice became quiet, and I stuttered as I searched for the right response. I racked my brain for an excuse that might explain for my running about at midnight. None came. “My… my clan was attacked… I don’t know if anyone else survived…” At the last second I elaborated on the truth, hiding the actual details.
Ruka jumped down from his perch in a nearby tree. He had short brown hair that was tousled and stuck up at odd angles, and deep, chocolate colored eyes.
“That’s too bad…” He said, and his brown eyes held true pity.
“Well… I might be able to find a place for you to stay… if you agree to tell me your name.” He leaned over me, a slight smirk on his face.
I looked up. This strange boy was standing right above my, so close. Was he unable to see what I was? Could he not read the signs all pointing to one fact; that I was a wolf? Was he powerless to see the danger I represented? Was he so oblivious that he was unable to see all the vulnerable places he was showing me, those few places that I could have used to kill him in an instant?
“M-my name,” I finally stammered out, my own eyes transfixed with his as I gazed up, “my name is Takai.” I mentally slapped myself for relinquishing such knowledge so easily.
Ruka smiled, glad to have gained some information. “Nice to meet you Takai, it’s an honor to finally meet a wolf.” His smile broadened as he noticed the confused look that crossed my face.
I let out a tired sigh; he had known all along. “So you can tell?” I tensed, ready to run if need be.
“Yes.” He replied simply, in a somewhat bored manner.
“And you’re not scared of me? Not frightened at all, or filled with hatred and abhorrence?” I questioned him, unable to come up with explanation to his strange behavior.
“Should I be?” My new companion replied, tilting his head to the side.
I grew silent. Never before had a human talked to me in that manner. There was no fear present in his voice, nor was there any anger. I didn’t know how to handle it. I averted my eyes to the ground, hoping that it would show me what to do. “No humans ever acted this way around me…”
“Well, there’s a first for everything. Now come on, we need to get those wounds of yours some medical attention.”
I nodded my head numbly and Ruka gently helped me to my feet. Now silent, I followed Ruka through the trees. Soon, without me noticing, a small village came into view. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I nearly ran into Ruka when he stopped walking.
“Welcome,” Ruka stated, “this is the village where I live.” He smiled, and his chocolate brown eyes seemed to sparkle. “It’s not much, but we survive and have some fun now and then.” He led the way through the village, with me blindly following him every step of the way. He could have walked off a cliff and I would have pursued him.
Finally, Ruka stopped in front of a small building. It was a simple one story house that was fit for a bachelor, in size that is.
“Here we are.” He said as he opened the door, revealing an interior just as simple as the exterior. He led the way through the house and stopped before a small room. “This is the guest room,” He explained. Then he paused for a second, as if contemplating something. “I’ll be back in a sec; I’m just going to get some bandages for your wounds.” With that he disappeared down the hallway. He left my sight as he rounded a corner, but my acute hearing followed him as he strode noisily down the corridors.
I sat down on the end of the bed, contemplating what to do if Ruka suddenly decided I was a threat and tried to kill me. I doubted that he would have led me all the way here, given me shelter, and showed me such kindness, the likes of which I will never encounter again, just so he could suddenly have a change of heart and attempt to end my life. But, in the unlikely situation that that was the case, it would be a simple matter to end his life and then leave the village before anyone knew what had happened to poor Ruka.
Just then, Ruka walked back into the room, carrying some bandages and antiseptic to cleanse my wounds.
“Take off your shirt.” He instructed as he sat down next to me, causing the springs in the mattress to creak. I turned towards him, my disgust evident as I glared coldly at him. “It’s not like that, I just need you to take off your shirt so I can bandage your side, that cut’s worse than you think it is.” Without further verbal complaint, I took off my blood soaked shirt, leaving me in only my simple sports bra. “Although I’m not complaining,” I heard him mutter as he looked me up and down, male lust manifesting in his eyes. Feeling uncomfortable under his scrutinizing gaze, I crossed my arms over my chest.
“So,” I started as Ruka began to cleanse my various wounds, “this is a Wolf friendly village? No one’s going to try to blow me, hunt me for bounty, things like that?”
“Well…” Ruka was quiet for a moment. “I wouldn’t say that exactly. You see, there haven’t been any wolves in this village, so…”
“Oh… I see.” I said quietly, pondering what that would mean for me. For some time we continued to sit in silence, neither of us willing to break the quiet that filled the room. Still nothing had been said after Ruka had finished wrapping the last bandage around my body.
“I’ll let you get some rest then.” Ruka said quietly. He stood up and exited the room, leaving me alone with my jumbled thoughts.
“Night…” I muttered quietly as he closed the door. I lied down on the bed and curled up. But, even though the house was warm, I still felt cold without the bodies of my friends around me. Somehow, about a half-hour later, I drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
When I awoke again, it was sunset, the setting sun painting the sky red. I looked about me to see Ruka sitting in a chair near my bed, quietly dozing as he sat.
“How long was I out?” I murmured while sitting up and stretching my aching muscles. I poked Ruka in an attempt to wake him. “Hey Ruka… Ruka?”
“Huh, what!” Ruka woke with a start, causing me to smirk. “Oh, sorry… What did you say?”
I chuckled. “I asked you how long I was asleep for. So… How long was I asleep?”
Ruka glanced at the setting sun. “I’d say you were asleep from last night, till about now…” He counted off on his fingers, silently counting to himself. “About twenty hours I reckon.”
I blinked a few times in confusion. “Wow… that’s,” I searched for the right words, “a lot.”
“I was waiting for you to wake up… but I guess I dozed off.” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
“Well, I was talking to our Lord a few hours ago,” Ruka said suddenly, “and he said he wanted to meet you.”
“Really?” I inquired.
“Yeah. I’ll give you some time to get yourself freshened up before we leave though.”
It was my turn to smile sheepishly. “Okay, I’ll be ready in a few minutes.” Ruka nodded his head and then left me alone.
I emerged a few minutes later, somewhat fresher. I had brushed out my hair and it shone in the sunlight once again.
Ruka looked me up and down again, noting my old, torn shirt that I still wore. “Okay, now that you’re ready, we’re going to see Lord Hakamaru about your situation.” He said, running a hand through his hair, messing it up even more. “If I had some clothes for you to wear other than those, I would give them to you. There is just one problem…”
“Let me guess.” I said in a mocking tone. “You don’t have any clothes, let alone some that are clean. Am I right?”
Ruka chuckled. “Yeah, that’s about it. Now let’s get going, I want to see the Lord before he leaves for the night.” He turned around and started walking out of the house, and I followed.
Once again, Ruka then led me through the city. Eventually we ended up outside a large, tower-like building. The two of us entered and walked down a long corridor until Ruka stopped outside of a large door that was painted red.
Ruka rapped his knuckles on the door. “Come in,” came the muffled reply from the inside. Ruka opened the door for me and I entered. I heard the door close with a heavy ‘thud’ behind me and I soon found Ruka standing at my side.
The Lord Hakamaru looked to be a man in his late thirties. “Why, hello Ruka.” He stated simply, his hard face showing no emotion.
“Hello Lord Hakamaru,” Ruka said, “this is the girl I was telling you about before.”
“Takai, I presume? Yes, I’ve heard a lot about you.” The Lords black eyes bore into mine as I looked up, tearing at my being. “I am Delo Hakamaru, more commonly know as Lord Hakamaru. Now, what brings you to our village?”
Just as I was about to respond the door was thrown open and a black clad, red-headed boy appearing to be my age, maybe older, strode into the room.
“You wished to see me, father?” He addressed Lord Hakamaru, seemingly oblivious to Ruka’s and my presence.
“Ah, you’re right on time, Akku!” Delo exclaimed, his eyes softening as they landed on his son. “This is Takai, the girl Ruka was talking about earlier.”
Akku turned to me and his cold eyes immediately stirred something inside of me, fear. Their emerald color contrasted with the blood red hair that just managed to fall in his face, and they were full of icy hatred.
Delo looked from his son to me, and then from me to his son. “Well, as I was saying, what brings you here, Takai?”
I took in a deep breath. “Well, like I told Ruka, my clan was attacked and-.” Delo cut me off with a wave of his heavily jeweled hand.
“Show me your true form.” He demanded. I noticed Akku raise a suspicious eyebrow.
I pretended to be confused. “I don’t know what you’re talking about-.” Once again the Lord cut me off.
“I’m not blind, girl, now show me your true form!” Delo said in a louder voice.
I sighed. “Fine.” I said quietly. I dropped the illusion, and there I stood, a large, midnight black wolf. I cast my golden eyes to the ground, yet kept my muscles tense and prepared to make a run for it. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a metallic flash and a blur coming at me. I tried to dodge, but a dagger found a home deep in my shoulder. Wounded, I fell to the ground, whimpering, while lying in a pool of my own crimson blood.
Suddenly, Akku was standing over me, another dagger dangerously close to my throat. “Who… No… What are you?!” He yelled. Behind him I could hear Ruka and Delo gasp.
“I am a wolf,” I managed to say, “my name is Takai, and I came here to flee some of your kind who wanted my pack dead.” I growled menacingly. “But I guess you’ll just finish me off now.” I paused for a moment and then growled again, a menacing sound. “Hurry up and get it over with then!”
Suddenly Ruka appeared from nowhere. He roughly wrenched Akku off of me and then punched the emerald-eyed adolescent in the face.
“Ruka, Akku, calm yourselves!” Lord Hakamaru advised. He got out of his chair to tower above us. “Akku, I can see that you are indeed surprised to see that Takai is a wolf, but that is no reason to attack her without warning.” Akku hung his head, but gave me a cold glare out of the corner of his soon-to-be black eye as the bruise manifested itself.
“And Ruka,” An angry Delo now addressed my savior, “I do not appreciate your assaulting my son.”
“I was only protecting Takai…” Ruka muttered, his head down as well.
Lord Hakamaru sighed and dragged a hand over his face. “Well, since Takai didn’t start this I have nothing against her…” Removing his hand from his now tired face he looked at me.
I was still in my true wolf form, my ears pinned flat against my head and a lip lifted in a threatening snarl. But I kept my attention on the Hakamaru, to hear if what he had to say was worth my life being previously threatened.
“I was wondering if you would like to become a member of one of our elite squadrons. With some training I believe you could be very helpful. You have great potential.” He looked at me, his eyes looking into mine hopefully. “What do you say?”
“Well…um…” I was taken a-back, and as of that moment didn’t have the slightest idea of what I should say. I looked at Ruka, who, by the confused look on his face, didn’t seem to have any idea that this was what Lord Hakamaru had been planning. “I guess so… but,” I got to my feet and looked the Lord straight in the eye, “if my pack comes for me, then I will leave, no matter what you do or say to stop me. I will not be imprisoned here!”
“Then it’s settled.” Delo smiled. “Ruka, do you have any complaints about having Takai live with you?”
Ruka shook his head vigorously. “Of course not, I would be honored to have Takai stay with me!” Then he looked at me, his eyes questioning and his hair an even bigger mess because of the shaking it had received. “I mean, if that’s okay with you, Takai?”
I changed back into my human form. Gripping the dagger in my shoulder with my left hand I pulled it out of my shoulder with a sudden jerk. Without anything in its way, my blood flowed freely and was soon dripping down my arm and making its way down my back.
I smiled. “No, I have no problem with staying at your place.” Ruka grinned as well.
“You’re excused then.” Delo said, seemingly satisfied with the outcome of the situation. Without instruction, I turned and followed Ruka as he continued out of the room.
“Well, that was interesting.” Ruka said once we had reemerged into the fresh air.
“Depends on your definition of interesting.” I replied.
“Yeah, well what just happened is my definition of interesting. And punching Akku in the face was just an added bonus.” With that he turned away and started leading the way through the village again.
“Hey!” I called as I ran after him.
We walked in silence and in darkness, for by this time the sun had set and the sky was littered with stars. This time though, as I walked the streets of the village, I paid more attention to it.
After some time though, my keen ears caught the sound of angry voices. Confused and curious as to who would be up and arguing at this hour, I turned to my right just in time to see a boy trip and skid to a stop before Ruka and I. He was clad in navy blue pants and a forest green shirt, both of which were now ripped.
“Dude, what was that!?” The black haired boy yelled. He then looked up, his blue eyes landing on Ruka. “Heh… Hi Ruka. It wasn’t me, I swear!” The poor boy seemed to be one year my younger, still a child in my eyes.
“Kurron…? What exactly did you do this time?” Ruka questioned the boy.
“Hey you! Get back here and pay for that food!” An angry looking man yelled as he came into view.
“Kurron!” Ruka scolded the teen, sounding angry. Kurron bowed his head, mumbled something about how life wasn’t fair, and then went over to pay the angry man.
Ruka shook his head. “When will he learn…?” he sighed. He then turned to me, seeing that I was baffled by the whole situation. “That was Kurron Eros.” He explained. “He’s the village troublemaker.”
“I can see that.” I shook my head in agreement while continuing to watch what was happening to the boy named Kurron. “Hey Ruka?” I turned to face him but he was already a ways down the road. “Ruka!?” Once again I ran to catch up with him. By the time I had caught up with him though, he was already standing outside of his house.
“Slowpoke.” Ruka smirked as he opened the door.
“Your point?” I teased. Ruka chuckled and held the door open for me to enter. “You know, you never told me your whole name, Ruka.” I said as I passed by him.
“I didn’t, did I?” Ruka entered after me and shut the door behind him.
“Well, my full name is Ruka Cian, but please just use Ruka.”
“Do you have a last name?” Ruka inquired.
“Nope.” I answered with a negative.
“Really? Okay then.”
“Hey,” I pretended to be offended, “is there something wrong with not having a last name?”
“No, nothing at all, Takai.”
“Good, so when is my training,” I made quotations with my finders when I said the word ‘training’, “supposed to start?”
Ruka smiled wickedly and handed me a short dagger. “Right now.”
My training was short and intense. For three weeks Ruka awoke me before dawn, and then kept me up until long after the burning sun had set and the luminous moon had risen. We would start by a brief period of one-on-one sparring, followed by rigorous conditioning, and then more sparring later that night.
The main upside of the continuos training was that it kept my mind off of more depressing matters such as the current state of my pack. The four other wolves had been my family, even if Fang was the only one related to me. Caden’s death had torn me apart, and then being separated from the rest of them with no means of communication had devastated me even more.
But now, now Ruka was telling me that Lord Hakamaru had assigned me to a team, and I found myself now part of a new team.
“So, why are we here again?” I heard a somewhat familiar voice say in a nonchalant way. I was nearing the training field Ruka had instructed me to go to for my first meeting with my new team.
“Your such a dunce, Kurron! You’ve forgotten already?” A high-pitched, female voice exclaimed.
“Well, could you tell me again?” It was that same familiar voice again.
“We’re here,” A new, masculine voice interrupted the bickering, “because we must meet our new teammate.”
The familiar voice was silent for a time, but it seemed he couldn’t help but share his opinion. “New teammate, please. We have enough as it is. Don’t you think five for one team will be pushing it?”
“Just shut up, Kurron.” The bodiless, masculine voice stated.
“Grr, don’t push it Lucian.”
“I wonder what they’re like…” I heard the female mumbled to herself.
I smirked and then laughed, announcing my presence. “I hope I’m not a disappointment.” I chuckled at the startled look on Kurron’s, the familiar voice’s face when he finally noticed me. “Name’s Takai, I believe I’m your new teammate.”
As soon as I was done talking, a boy with long, spiky, forest green hair and matching eyes got off the ground where he was sitting and made his way over to me.
“Hey, Takai. My name’s Lucian Eyrn, nice to make your acquaintance.” His voice was that of the masculine that had met my ears before.
I nodded my head, noting that his grip was strong, but that he didn’t speak the way a team leader would. “Nice to meet you too.” I turned to Kurron. “And you,” I smirked, “must be Kurron.”
Kurron seemed dumbstruck by this. “H-how do you know my name?” He stuttered, his blue eyes showing puzzlement.
“Ruka has told me a lot about you.” I laughed.
“So you’re the girl who’s been staying with him. Lucky guy.”
I rolled my eyes at the last comment and turned towards a girl that was now standing at my side. “Hello?”
“Hi Takai, I’m Ariden Inaru.” The girl said, tilting her brunette head to the side and smiling, her hazel eyes sparkling.
“Nice to meet you Ariden. So… Is this everyone?”
“We’re still waiting for our team leader.” Kurron muttered sarcastically.
“I don’t appreciate that tone of voice, Kurron.” I turned in time to spy a mop of red hair and two emerald eyes enter the training field. “I see we have our new teammate…” His eyes widened when he saw me.
“You!” We both yelled as one.
“Great, just great!” Akku mumbled, his voice inaudible to all but my keen ears.
Lucian sighed, shaking his head. “Let’s just start our training already.” He stepped between me and Akku, effectively stopping the glare that was being exchanged between the two of us.
Akku turned his emerald glare from me to poor Lucian, who was standing a few feet from him. “Suit yourself.”
I rolled my eyes, and behind me I could sense Kurron mimicking the motion. “Okay, what did you have in mind?” My voice dripped with sarcasm, fake respect rolling off my tongue.
Akku smirked. “You’ll see.”
Ariden walked to my side and groaned. “I bet I know what he’s planning…”
“Now today team,” Akku walked off a distance and then turned around to face us, “we shall being doing a drill that most of you are familiar with.” He fished in one of his pockets, and pulled out four small crystals. Each crystal was a different color and was dangling on a short string.
I heard Kurron and Lucian groan unenthusiastically, and Ariden muttered about Akku’s stupid training drills.
“As you can see,” Akku continued, “I have four crystals. As usual, you will each be assigned a crystal. Ariden, you get yellow, Lucian, you will have green, Kurron will get blue, and you,” with this he directed his cold gaze on me, “Takai, you will be assigned the red crystal. If you are able to get your assigned crystal from me, you will be allowed to eat one of the lunches I’ve brought. If you are unsuccessful, and aren’t able to retrieve your crystal by the allotted amount of time is up, you will be forced to watch as the others eat the lunches. Got it?” He motioned towards a boulder on the edge of the field, where indeed, five boxed lunches sat.
“Loud and clear.” I replied with confidence. I glanced at the others, and saw Lucian motioning for us to follow him.
Akku smirked, and I sensed that he was going to enjoy tormenting us. “Okay, on your mark… Get set… Go!”
As soon as Akku had said ‘go’ Lucian, Kurron, and Ariden jumped away, while I stayed firmly in place.
“Takai!” I heard Lucian call. “What are you doing?!”
I snickered. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m getting a crystal.” With that, I pulled out a dagger, and charged at my new teammate. I had my inhuman speed on my side, so Akku couldn’t dodge the blow; he had to block.
Akku pulled out a dagger of his own at the last second, and stopped the knife that had been headed towards his neck. I tried to force him back, but was unsuccessful; Akku wouldn’t budge. I leaped back, and gathered myself.
“You’re fast.” He commented.
I smirked and replied sarcastically. “It’s unwise to speak to your enemy.” I cast a sidelong glance at a tree to my left and my ear twitched slightly as I heard my other three teammates talking.
“What do you think she’s doing Lucian?” I heard Ariden asked quietly.
“I don’t know,” The questioned responded, “lets wait and see what happens. What do you think Kurron?”
“She wasn’t like this before… It’s like she’s become a completely different person…” Kurron mumbled, confused by my sudden change in attitude.
Why were they talking so loud? If they really wanted to get their crystals then they would’ve struck when I had engaged Akku. Oh well, it was their loss.
I swiftly moved to the right of Akku, and then pounced. The sharp sound of metal meeting metal echoed through the area as Akku’s and my daggers once again met. While he was busy fending me off, I tried to sweep his legs out from under him. Akku saw it coming and leaped away, and then watched as I leaped back as well.
“You’re never going to beat me that way, you know.” He stated. Akku was still calm, and stood at ease, no sign of tension present.
I let out a sound that sounded close to a growl. Suddenly, I leaped high in the air. As gravity pulled my back down to earth, I raised the dagger above my head, preparing to strike. But, as soon as I got close to Akku, he switched places with me.
“What!?” I gasped as my back hit the ground. I hit hard, knocking the air out of my lungs, and my trusted dagger fell out of my reach. Akku swept his blade towards my throat, and I was forced to catch it with my hands. As the sharp metal cut into my palms, I growled in pain.
Akku leaned over me, his knees on either side of my midsection. One hand was braced above my head, holding him up as he leaned over me.
“What’s the matter?” He asked. “You’re holding back, why? Are you afraid to show yourself? Or are you afraid of what they’ll think of you once they know?”
“Shut… up…” I breathed, trying to keep myself from killing Akku right then and there. My instincts rose up, telling my to clamp my powerful jaws on his neck and break it while it was still within range.
Akku continued once again in a louder voice. “They’re your teammates, you know, they shouldn’t care what you are, as long as you’re on they’re side. What, do you think they’re going to react the way I did?”
“…I said shut up…” I growled through clenched teeth. Oh how I wanted to taste his blood right then, he was angering me so much.
“Why do you hide your true form?” Akku said, raising his voice even more. It seemed that he wanted my teammates to know the truth about me, the truth that he already knew. “Do you have no pride as a Wolf?”
Akku’s last words hit a nerve. “Shut up!” I screamed as I threw him off of my body. He landed nimbly on his feet, but when he looked to where I was, I wasn’t there. In my place stood a midnight black wolf.
From their perch in the nearby tree I was able to make out the startled gasps of Kurron, Ariden, and Lucian.
“What?!” The later cried out as he watched me transform.
“Hey Lucian?” Ariden started to ask a question. “Is that a transformation technique?”
“No.” Kurron interrupted Lucian’s answer. “That’s no technique. Even a simple technique takes a lot of energy, and transforming like that is a long way from simple…”
“Takai just changed…” Lucian ended Kurron’s thought.
Ariden gasped. “Then, that means… she can’t be human…”
“Finally, she comes clean.” Akku said as I snarled at him. “I’ve always wanted my teammates to give it everything they’ve got.”
Suddenly, I lunged at my crimson haired enemy. My wolf fangs glazed his side as I passed him and I tasted some of his blood in my mouth. As I parted with him I left a trail of blood running down his size.
“I win.” I crooned from behind Akku.
Akku turned to my cold voice when I spoke from behind him. I was standing there, in my human form, holding the crystals in front of his face. I turned slightly, to face the boulder, just as the timer went off. Hearing this, I tuned all the way around, and walked off towards the stone.
The three other members of our team leaped from where they had been hiding, and then approached their leader.
“Akku!” Ariden cried when she saw Akku bleeding. “Are you okay?”
“No, but I’ll be better later.” He responded as Ariden attempted to help him. The injured boy roughly pushed her away when she came near.
“I say he deserves it.” Kurron muttered to Lucian as they watched an angered Akku approach me. “That’s karma for treating Takai like scum, not to mention the rest of us.”
“She isn’t human, Kurron, and I think Akku already knew.” Lucian responded in a cool voice.
“That doesn’t give him the right to treat her differently.” Kurron defended me. “Just ‘cause she’s a Wolf doesn’t change the fact that she’s our teammate. Plus, I think it’s cool!”
Lucian just chuckled and shook his head at Kurron’s behavior.
Meanwhile, Akku was still drawing ever nearer to where I sat. “What’s your problem?!” He yelled at me. He had found me sitting against the boulder as I bandaged my hands. The crystals sat beside me.
When I didn’t respond he yelled again. “What is with you?! There was no need for you to attack me!”
My head snapped up, anger burning in my eyes. “The same goes for you, Akku! And stop complaining, I barely glazed you.”
“Barely glazed him!?” Ariden bellowed as she appeared by Akku’s side. “He has a hole in his side!”
“Don’t tell me your standing up for this jerk…” I sighed. Suddenly I was exhausted both mentally and physically.
Akku narrowed his eyes at me, and I turned away, not wanting to meet his angry gaze. As I turned, my own tired gaze fell upon Kurron and Lucian as they came to a stop a few feet to the right of where Akku stood with Ariden.
“Well done.” Lucian congratulated me.
“Yeah, that was awesome!” Kurron cheered, interrupting Lucian’s speech.
“Yes… you fought well.” Lucian continued. “But it seems you don’t take orders well.”
I looked up at him, and my tired eyes met his confused ones.
“Lucian,” I started, “sometimes, things require teamwork. But there are others… that need a distraction.”
“What?” He questioned, his bewilderment just now beginning to show in his voice.
My eyes narrowed slightly as I remembered something. “…Distract the humans with the pretty girl, and soon they don’t notice when a bunch of wolves run off with their food…”
“What do mean by that?” Kurron asked, folding his arms behind his head and cocking it to the side in baffled stupidity.
“She means,” Akku interrupted, his voice unusually bitter, “that she was sacrificing herself so you could get the crystals. Am I right Takai?”
“Yeah…That’s it… I was thinking of giving you guys more time,” I looked at all of my team, excluding Akku, in turn, “but when I heard the timer ticking down, I knew I had to hurry.”
“Yes, you have better hearing than us humans, and you’re stronger and faster too.” Akku stated, his voice full of accusing hatred.
“Uh-huh…” I diverted my gaze to the ground, as if I was ashamed.
“But I don’t understand,” Ariden said, confusion in her voice, “why would you let us have the crystals? I mean we just met.”
“Yeah, what’s with that?” Kurron agreed.
“I did it… because you guys need the food. I could go for a week without eating and not be affected very much.”
“A whole… week?” Kurron looked like he was going to faint.
“Yeah, a week. You got a problem with it, human?” As I said the last word my voice dripped with venom, as if I abhorred it and the creatures it represented.
There was a long silence between the four of them while I continued to sit, fuming in uninvoked anger. Lucian and Kurron looked like they were in deep thought, Ariden was trying to get a grip on what her newest cohort was, and Akku, if possible, seemed almost ashamed by his sudden outburst towards me.
“Well I think its cool.” Yelled Kurron. “That you’re a wolf, that is…” He walked away from Lucian, who at this time was just snapping out of his thoughts, and stuck his hand out for me to shake. “Kurron Eros, this village’s number one, knuckle-headed, ninja wanna-be, at your service!” He waited with his arm outstretched for me to shake his hand.
For a while, I just glared at his hand. Could he be accepting me, just like that? I reasoned that it could be a trap.
“Why are you doing this?” I inquired.
Kurron smiled a goofy, lopsided grin. “Well, cause you’re my teammate now, and I think that we should get along… Even if we are different species.” He added the last as an afterthought.
I glared at him some more, but then suddenly stood up and clasped his hand with my blood stained one. “Takai. Alpha female of the northern border pack and sister to Fang, alpha male of the said pack… At your service. It’s good to know that I have a friend here, especially one outside my species.” We both smiled and both Lucian and Ariden came and embraced me. Akku left before I had time to register his leaving.
My life was good. I trained with my new team everyday, and only occasionally received anything apart from cold glares from Akku. I still lived with Ruka, but he and I were good friends and got along well. All was peaceful until a week after my initial training session with my team and the incident with the crystals.
I was in the lord Hakamaru’s office after being called in on some ‘important business’.
“Okay, now that you’re here, I’m afraid I have some… serious news that I must inform you of.” Lord Hakamaru began. “Some of our scouts located the area where they believe a battle was fought. There is evidence that your friends were in that battle.”
My heart leapt. My friends, my pack, they couldn’t be far now.
“Unfortunately,” Delo continued, “there is no evidence that they survived.”
“Are you saying they’re… dead…?” I said, dumbstruck.
“I’m saying that there is nothing that suggests that they are alive. When I got the news, I told them to search the surrounding area for anything, paw prints, blood, a body… there was nothing.”
For some reason I refused to accept the news of my friends deaths. “I, I want to see for myself.” I said, standing a little taller to show authority.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t allow that. The area is extremely dangerous, especially for someone like you, and if you went I would have to send your whole team with you.”
“No buts!” Delo boomed. “You are not to go anywhere near that area, am I understood?”
Tears welled up in my eyes and I clenched my fists. Suddenly, I burst out of the room in my wolf form, not bothering to listen to Delo’s protests. In my true form, I ran through the now busy streets of the village, avoiding traffic, and sticking to the shadows whenever I could. I was so caught up in fleeing and blinded by tears that I wasn’t watching where I was going. As I turned a corner I ran headlong into a young, crimson-haired boy. His emerald eyes glowered at me.
“Stupid dog.” Akku’s voice was cold as he picked himself off the ground. I lifted a lip in a small snarl. Yet I stayed in my wolf form, unwilling to show Akku my emotional state.
“You should watch where your going, Takai. What’s your problem? ” Akku was obviously angry, and he threw a kick in my direction. I leaped backwards and easily avoided the blow, which seemed to baffle Akku and add to his anger.
“Takai? Takai!” I could heat Delo calling from behind me. “Takai, please?”
Tears welled up in my eyes again and started to spill onto my checks. I saw the expression on Akku’s face change and I took this to my advantage.
I took one powerful bound, and was airborne. In a split second, I nimbly landed on the redhead’s shoulder, all four paws balanced and in position for another leap. And that’s what I did. I pushed off of him, and took off at a full run.
It was some time later in the day and long after I had left the village that I came back to myself.
My tears had long since dried upon my cheeks and now I found myself wandering sullenly through the woods, only somewhat conscious of where my feet were taking me. The emotional pain within me at the moment surpassed any physical pain I had felt before.
“This shouldn’t be happening…” I muttered to myself. “This can’t be happening… Fang, Susume, Damien… you guys can’t be dead… you promised…” I couldn’t take it. Suddenly, I needed to run, to just get away from here, if only for a little while.
Slowly, I picked up pace, first from a walk, to a jog, and then to a full out running-for-your-life sprint. As I ran, I wasn’t even aware of where I was going. I might have run for ages.
The sky had been dark for some time and I didn’t know for how long I had been running, but suddenly I stopped. The earth beneath my feet had changed drastically. Confused, I looked to the ground.
Sand. No longer was I running on the hard packed dirt of the forest, but now on the loose grains of sand that made up the desert.
Startled, I looked around me, for the first time in hours, taking in my surroundings. Before me lay a vast expanse of sand, desolate, uninhabitable. Behind me was the forest that I had been running through, and even farther back was the village where my friends lived their lives. Did anyone even know I was gone?
As I looked back towards the forest, My heart started to ache again. I couldn’t go back there, not yet at least.
So I turned back to the desolate expanse of sand, and once again began to run.
Finally, the next day, I collapsed. I was tired beyond compare, my paws raw and bleeding from running on the sands. I had run all that night and day, only stopping for short breaks where I tried to sleep. Yet my emotions had been running wild and I had been too restless to sleep, or even stop for very long.
But finally, my body had given up.
“My mind says yes, but my body says no…” I mumbled before subconsciously shifting to my human form and passing out.
For a while, I slept peacefully, my body too tired to even conjure up dreams for me to view during my sleep. One hour, then two, and even more countless hours passed, before the scorching sun and the heat of the desert finally awoke me. But even then, I couldn’t move. It was as if the burning sun and the stifling hot air had persuaded my mind to agree with my worn out body, making so that I was paralyzed in the burning heat.
In my human form, I curled up slightly; pulling my arms and knees closer to my chest. It was pathetic movement, but was the only movement I could muster out of my worn body. My eyes no longer focused on the ground before me, leaving me practically blind as I descended into a trance like state.
Suddenly a shadow fell across my almost lifeless form. Someone chuckled from behind me, breaking the trance I was in. I glanced up, my interest mild due to my fatigue. I caught sight of red hair and emerald eyes before my eyes fell back to stare blankly at the ground in front of me.
Seemingly surprised, the boy standing behind me kicked me in the back. It wasn’t much of a kick, but all I was able to respond with was a weak cough.
“I should kill you…” Akku mumbled to himself.
“Go ahead…” I said weakly. “It’s not like anyone… cares about what happens to someone like me…” my cover slipped for a moment, allowing him to see my true form for a second, but it quickly was put back in place, making me appear human once more as I once again descended into a trance.
“You’re a strange one, you know that?” Akku mumbled to himself, “Takai, you don’t seem to fear me, although you know full well that I have the ability to be the cause of your death…” Utterly confused by me, lying half-dead in front of him, he gently picked me up and carried me bridal-style as he searched for some shade to escape the heat of the desert.
My mind was roughly returned to my body as a splash of cold water hit my face. I opened my still blurry eyes to find myself leaning against a long dead tree, its surface worn smooth from the constant winds and sands. Across from me sat the red haired boy whom I knew as Akku, the one who despised me, blocking my exit.
“Who… what… why…” I mumbled trying to make sense of things.
“Shut up,” Akku said sternly, “or I’ll kill you.”
“Go ahead.” I said turning my head to the side. If I died, then maybe I could be with my pack again.
The boy smirked. “Come on now, you have to put up more of a fight than that.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “What do you mean?”
“Come on, you didn’t think I’d actually kill you?”
I blinked and gasped, completely taken aback by this turn of events.
Akku suddenly stood up. “Get up.” He commanded.
“Just do what I say.” He said roughly.
“Why should I trust you?” I inquired in an accusing tone.
“Do you want to die out here?” I averted my gaze to the ground and meekly shook my head no. “I thought so, now do what I say and get up.”
I did as told, but after a few seconds of standing my legs gave out under me. Akku caught me in his arms.
A blush immediately spread across my cheeks and I tried to push myself away from him. “I, I’m okay!” I stammered out.
“No you’re not.” Akku shifted me so instead of him holding me I could lean on him.
Suddenly sand swirled around us, blocking out our surroundings completely. I whimpered slightly, but it was so quiet that Akku didn’t notice.
Then, almost as suddenly, the sand disappeared, and I gasped. We were back at the edge of the forest, and I could smell my faint scent from when I had been here a few days ago.
“How…? Why…?” I asked Akku as I turned to him, baffled.
“It’s a transportation technique that my father taught me.” Akku replied with a smirk that was warm and friendly, the exact opposite of his usual cold grin.
A few hours later, and we were still struggling through the forest, following my own scent trail from a few days before.
“How in the world did I get through here?” I yelled out in exasperation. The underbrush was thick, making the going hard. We had been walking ever since Akku had transported us to the edge of the desert, and I was beginning to tire again, mentally and physically.
“Don’t ask me.” Akku stated in an exasperated tone. “I’m not the one who lost my mind and ran off by myself.”
“Can’t you be nice for once?” I snapped back.
“I am being nice.”
I was about to complain again if it weren’t for the dense forest suddenly ending, leaving us in front of the gates to the village.
“Finally!” I exclaimed as I broke away from Akku. I seamlessly changed to my wolf form and trotted off in the direction of Ruka’s house where I knew a bed was waiting for me.
“Takai!” Ariden gasped as I tiredly walked through the front door of the house. “Where have you been?”
“No where…” I replied right before my legs gave out. Suddenly Lucian was at my side, supporting me
“You okay?” He asked as he put my arm around his shoulder.
I didn’t get the chance to answer because Kurron suddenly ran out of the kitchen in an attempt to tackle me. Luckily Lucian stopped him short in his effort.
“Takai, you’re back!” The hyper active boy yelled. “We were worried about you!”
“Really…?” I asked, astounded.
“Of course!” He exclaimed. Ariden nodded her agreement.
“You were gone for a while, what were you doing?” The green haired adolescent stated.
“I'm sorry… I just needed to sort out my emotions…”
“Lord Hakamaru told us what happened.” Ariden said. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” I said simply. “It’s in the past. What’s done is done.” I looked from Kurron’s face, to Ariden’s, and then finally to Lucian’s, just then noticing the downcast and worried looks they all wore.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, my concern overriding my fatigue. “Ands where is Ruka? This is his house after all.”
“That’s just it…” Kurron began. “He’s been kidnapped…”
“What!?” Akku and I both yelled as one. Akku had finally arrived at the house and had only heard this bit of news.
“What do you mean he was kidnapped?” Akku questioned. From the look on his face it was obvious he was struggling to keep his anger in check.
“When did this happen?” I interrogated the boys.
“Right after Akku left to find you.” Lucian replied. “But Lord Hakamaru wouldn’t let us leave…”
Akku growled and his eyes burned with fire. “Where is my father? We are going to find Ruka.”
“What about Takai?” Ariden questioned.
I pushed myself away from Lucian to stand unassisted. “I agree with Akku.” I said boldly. “And we’re going to find him tonight!”
Our group had been walking in silence for a while. In our search for our kidnapped friend, the minutes seemed to drag by like hours and it felt as if we had been searching for eons. Kurron and Ariden, at this moment, were up ahead scouting the area, leaving Lucian, Akku, and I to bring up the rear. We searched steadily, pushing ahead progressively, but Lucian suddenly stopped dead in his tracks.
“What is it Lucian?” Akku asked as he came to a halt and motioned for me to do the same. Seeing our leaders motionless Kurron and Ariden stopped as well.
“I saw something move…” He said quietly. “Takai, can you tell if there’s anything out there?”
I raised my nose to the wind. “There’s two, no three, distinct scents… they might be dogs,” I closed my eyes in concentration, “but they’re downwind…I can’t tell…”
“Dogs?” A voice rang from somewhere above our small team. “What an insult.”
Suddenly two figures jumped out of the darkness that enshrouded the nearby trees, landing in front of Kurron and Ariden, who were still a distance away from the main group. There was a snarling sound and Ariden shrieked, while Kurron cried out in pain. The area was scared by the sudden stench of blood.
“Kurron!” I yelled as I ran up to where my friend was. I was dimly aware of Lucian and Akku as they followed behind me.
As I passed by a shadow though, a hand shot out and grabbed me. Something struck the back of my head, causing my vision to blur and the shouts of my friends to become distant. The last thing I heard before I slipped into unconsciousness was the sound of Akku and Lucian calling my name.
Blackness enshrouded me, and all I was aware of was that darkness. I felt pain but my mind didn’t register that I was hurt. Suddenly someone, or something, kicked me in the side with such force that it pulled me from the darkness.
I was in a forest, I concluded when my eyes had finally adjusted to my surroundings. Then, as suddenly as the first time, there was another brutal kick to my side.
“Come now Takai, you have to put up more of a fight than that.” A voice crooned from above me as I rolled over onto my stomach and coughed up some blood. “At least Caden fought back.”
“Who are you?” I asked while wiping some blood from my mouth.
“What is this Takai?” The speaker said as he couched down next to me, “Don’t you remember your old pack mate?” He brought his face closer to mine, revealing one I had lived with for most of my life.
“You…” I wheezed as more pain from my side coursed through my body, “Damien, you killed Caden?”
Damien threw his head back as he laughed. “It was simple really.” He said as he stood, “Your brother was so upset by the news that he didn’t bother to consider why Caden’s blood matted my fur far more than my own blood did.”
“Why?” I breathed, “Why would you kill an innocent pup?”
“It was all part of my plan,” Damien said simply as he fingered a dagger he must have stolen from me, “all part of my plan to take back the pack your father stole from me. You see Takai, before it was your brother’s pack, or even your father’s pack, it was mine.
One day, I found a shivering, half-dead wolf on the side of the road. Being the kind alpha that I was, I took him in and let him be part of my pack. But, it wasn’t long after he was healed that the trouble started. He was always looking for my weak spots, always watching for an opening. And then, one day, he struck. He challenged me to a fight for the position of alpha, and who was there to back him up than none other than my mate. He had stolen her too.
He managed to win that fight and became alpha of my pack. Of course now it was his pack that he so graciously let me stay in.
Then, later that spring, my mate, or should I say his mate, blessed us with a little bundle of joy whom she named Fang. And only a year or two later she delivered you.
I was so sick, seeing her give birth to pups that should have been mine, pups that would have been mine. I couldn’t take it. So one day, while they were out hunting, I struck. With your parents out of the way I could be alpha again, and I could always wait for little Takai to grow up so I could have a mate.
Yet when I returned, who was there blocking my way to alpha? Oh, yes I remember, it was Fang. He was just a year into adolescence and yet here he was, challenging me for the rank of alpha.
You see Takai, I knew Caden’s death would upset the fragile balance of the pack, leaving an opening for me to become the rightful alpha once again.”
“You sick, revengeful…” I growled from my position on the ground.
“Now, now Takai, you shouldn’t be so spiteful. Especially since I’m holding the life of one of your pathetic human friends in the balance.” Damien moved aside and it was then that I finally noticed the other person in our presence.
“Ruka!” I screamed. My friend was bound and gagged, his body covered with sweat and blood. His eyes were closed but they blinked wearily open when I screamed his name.
Damien laughed again as Ruka’s eyes visibly widened and he attempted to shout my name, but all that came out was a muffled scream thanks to the gag.
I tried to stand but fell uselessly back to the ground clutching my injured side. Ruka once again attempted to yell my name.
“It’s useless, don’t try to fight the inevitable. All will die, I promise.”
“What do you mean by that?” I gasped.
“Well, you see right now your human friends are fighting none other than Fang and Susume. Only one of the species in that fight will survive, and afterwards the victor will be so tired that they won’t be able to fend me off.”
“You’re willing to go to such extremes as to kill your own pack.” I questioned.
“I can start over, find new outcasts to take in, but this time I will teach them discipline.” Damien chuckled. “Well, seeing as you’re in such a pitiful state I think I can go ahead and make the first kill.” He stopped fiddling with the dagger and approached Ruka. When he was an arms length away from the bound teen Damien raised the dagger in preparation to strike.
“No!” I screamed and with strength and speed I didn’t know I still possessed, I moved between Ruka and the death blow.
The dagger tore through my right shoulder and its tip protruded out the other side. I let out a yelp, yet was still able to deliver a strong kick to Damien’s stomach, sending him back a few paces with the bloody dagger still clenched in his hand; the kick had caused him to rip it from my shoulder violently. Unfortunately that act was all I could muster and I fell to the ground, my body crumpling into a sad, whimpering ball of blood soaked fur. The pain had caused me to change to my true form and I didn’t have the strength or willpower to change back.
“Why you little!” Damien snarled. He picked himself off the ground and strode towards where Ruka and I lay helplessly. “You’ll pay for that!” I yelped again as he backhanded me across the face.
Suddenly there was an answering howl to my pathetic cries. As I listened, mystified by the familiar call, another voice joined in. Then, there was silence for a while before the voices broke through the night again. Fang and Susume were coming, but not alone; they were all coming.
Damien snarled at me again, but his eyes held fear. “No! I’m not going to lose now!” He raised the dagger above his head. “Die!”
Unexpectedly, but welcomely, there was a sudden gust of wind beside me. Akku arrived on time to parry the blow.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Akku barked as he held the determined Damien back. Suddenly, the redhead pulled a second dagger out of a holster on his leg and slashed Damien across the chest. The injured wolf staggered back a few steps, one hand over his bleeding chest.
“Are you okay?” Akku questioned.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I lied. “Just go untie Ruka.”
Akku looked over his shoulder at Ruka before nodding his agreement and leaving my side.
“It’s going to take far more than that to defeat me!” Damien yelled, forcing me to focus my attention on him again. “Now, prepare to…”
“Charge!” Kurron’s annoying voice was a welcome sound as he burst through the trees, the rest of my team close on his heels.
“Damien!” My brother growled as he leaped onto the back of my would-be killer. The two tumbled to the ground in their true forms, light and dark brown fur mixing as they rolled.
“Takai!” Susume yelled as he dashed towards me. “We thought you were gone for good!” He too was in his true form, nuzzling me and licking my wounds as if my life depended on it.
Meanwhile, Fang and Damien had stopped their struggle and a victorious Fang stood above a quickly fading Damien. The older wolf’s throat had been slashed open; he didn’t have long to live.
“P-please… Fang… be kind… I, I’m sorry.” Damien wheezed as my brother growled down at him, the fangs he was named for barred and his hackles raised.
“You’ve done enough damage.” Lucian answered for my brother. Ariden nodded vigorously from her position opposite Lucian. The three humans were slowly forming a ring around Fang and Damien, ensuring that Damien wouldn’t escape.
“Your fatally injured,” Fang said emotionlessly, “you won’t last another three minutes.”
Damien gasped; attempting to breathe in air that refused to meet his lungs. “Then finish me off.” He begged.
“No,” I rasped though the pain I was in, “he should suffer the way he made us suffer.”
Fang turned to me and then nodded. “Takai’s right, you don’t deserve sympathy.”
Startled, Damien struggled under Fang, but to no avail. His eyes were wide and he gasped for air, yet we all watched emotionlessly. Eventually though, the life in his eyes faded, his struggles ceased, and his ragged breaths came to an end. The hackles on my brother’s back slowly settled back down and Lucian approached the motionless body, placing two of his fingers upon Damien’s neck.
“… He’s dead.” Lucian proclaimed after a few moments of searching for a pulse. Everyone let out a sigh of relief at this news.
Fang turned from the dead body of Damien and started towards me, limping slightly. When he reached me he sat down and nuzzled me slightly the way Susume had.
“Are you okay?” He asked. His eyes were full of brotherly concern and it seemed he would break into tears of joy at seeing me alive at any moment.
“No, I’m not. But don’t worry,” I smiled slightly, “soon I’ll be okay… Soon I won’t be broken anymore.”