Thanks for stopping by on this beautiful sunny Friday! I haven’t been able to do much writing this week, I have been eyeball-deep in editing. In lieu of a short piece today I have included one of my favourite scene from the story I have been editing. What I love about this scene is that Lex (finally) seems to werewolf-up to protect her family and shows some spine. I have not yet done the thorough editing on this scene, it’s a little bit long, but wanted to share it’s rough beginnings. As always, thanks for reading!
When I was a kilometer away I could smell them. The acrid stench of sweat and fear overlayed with a smell I could only place as excitement. I recognised one scent marker as that of the younger, fatter guy that had first stalked and caged me. There were two scent markers I couldn’t place. The forest turned to shades of grey and I knew my eyes had shifted. I came to the top of the hill overlooking our home. Cheri was crouched behind the wood pile that wrapped around the cabin, Ben cradled in her lap. She met my eyes and hers widened. I didn’t want to know what I looked like right now, only my eyes and ears had shifted. I could see Danny, in front of the house, struggling with the larger man and another human. A tall, thin, man was creeping around the cabin, hitching his sagging jeans up to his lean hips as he walked. He had a tranquilizer gun in one hand and brass knuckles decorating his other hand. I waited until he saw Cheri, his lecherous grin displaying gaps where teeth should’ve been. Cheri tucked Ben behind her, crouching low. To the hunter it looked like she was protecting her young. I could tell she was ready to attack.
<<Wait>> I said, and Cheri stilled, her eyes never leaving the skinny hunter. He took a step forward, slowly aiming his dart gun. When he shifted its weight I pounced, my feet landing on his back, flattening him to the ground. I heard something snap and I jumped off. I grabbed his right shoulder and he screamed – guess I found the broken bone. I squeezed harder, flipping him onto his back.
“Why are you here” I growled. When he met my eyes I smelled urine. He knew what I was.
“Shane said…Shane said some werebitch lived up here and was all by herself”
“Shane said that did he? And is Shane the pudgy sweaty one?”
Lean-man nodded, his cap falling back.
“Cheri, take Ben inside,” I said, not glancing up from the human quivering at my feet.
My insides burned, sweat pouring down my face as I tried not to give in to my beast. Zeke was right; I was beyond needing to change.
Cheri moved faster than I thought her protruding belly would allow, and ushered Ben through the back door.
“P-please, we won’t tell anyone. I just thought he was jokin’. He’s always goin’ off bout somethin’, ya know?” his eyes rolled, reminding me of a deer looking for an escape before he accepts his end. His adrenaline spiked, and I could hear his heart hammering in his chest. I liked it.
“What’s your name?”
“Well, Gavin, what if I let you go?” I asked, trying to focus on his eyes, remember that he was human and I was not an animal.
“Th-then I’ll leave. I’ll never come back. Promise.” Hope surged through him, cutting through the fear, pouring from his glands.
I pushed down on his shoulder once more. He screamed, eyes fluttering.
“You might want to get that looked at,” I said, shoving him away.
He stumbled, trying to run from me.
“And Gavin?” I called softly and he jerked around.
I leafed through the wallet I had taken from his jeans.
“I see here you don’t live too far. Don’t forget your promise,” I said tossing the wallet at his feet. Tears streamed down his face and he grabbed the wallet, dropping his dart gun in the dirt before hightailing it down the mountain. When he was out of view, I crouched low, moving around the side of the cabin. I could hear grunting from a fight and peered around the corner. Danny was bleeding, his back cut up. He stood, guarding Charles, in human form, and a small wolf, both unconscious. I squinted and could pick out the red markings of the adolescent wolves. Blood thundered in my ears as Danny roared, throwing off the hunter. The hunter was fast, getting off a shot, hitting Danny in the side. He went down, the ground trembling as he hit. The movement startled a young wolf and she fell from the branch where she had been hiding. The hunter wasted no time in sticking her with a dart, her wide eyes catching mine before she crumpled. I looked up – the rest of my pack was in the trees, all in human form.
They were afraid because they were alone. They had no Alpha to lend them strength, no leader to rally behind. My breath came in fast bursts and I saw Shane, my mystery hunter from the other night, hauling a wolf’s body into the back of his truck. I caught sight of a shaggy black tail and my heart dropped. My vision blurred then came sharply into focus. I screamed, racing towards the trigger-happy hunter. I jumped on his back, a cruel mockery of the chase Zeke and I had been playing not an hour ago. I used his size and momentum, tightening my thighs around his torso. When I squeezed there was no give like with Zeke, his bones weren’t made to bend like ours. His two right ribs cracked and he dropped to his knees, pushing at my chest, trying to rip my arms from his neck. I jumped up when he went to all fours, immediately slamming my knee into his clavicle, smiling when I felt the crunch of more bone giving way. I extended my boot, knocking the wind from him. He curled into himself and I kicked the dart gun away.
“Leave, now. Go find Gavin, settle in at his place on Maple and talk about how you can make your miserable lives a little brighter,” I said, watching as he limped as fast as he could down the mountain. It had taken less than fifteen seconds to bring him down. I rounded on Shane, the tell tale stench of booze-soaked sweat emanating from him in toxic waves.
“Guess you’re the werebitch after all. Can’t wait to let your boss know,” he walked towards me, casual, ready with his gun.
“What makes you think I’ll let you get back there?” I asked. My voice was steady and I wiped blood from my face. Shane looked around, noticing for the first time that he was alone.
“I have every right to hunt here!” He spread his legs, planting his feet; his body still blocking my view of Zeke, unconscious in the back of his truck.
“You have no rights here,” my voice thundered, sending birds flying from the trees.
Two pack members dropped down, standing behind me. One after another, adults, teens, and kids, dropped behind me.
“Thanks for revealing yourselves,” Shane sneered, the motion curling his lip grotesquely.
“You are not free to leave, you have come onto our territory and we protect what is ours,” I said, moving forward. My head was buzzing, my claws extending, fur sprouting from my forearms. I needed to focus. I could not lose Zeke right now.
Shane backed up, moving closer to the front of his truck’s cab.
“Return him to us,” I said, motioning to Zeke. His giant body took up the entire back of the trucks’s bed.
“He’s mine. Bagged and tagged. Take it up with the authorities,” Shane wiped sweat from his brow and shuffled another foot closer to his truck.
“On this land, we are the authorities.”
I moved fast, launching myself at him. My claws dug into his fat sides, slicing his belly to ribbons. He shrieked, blood soaking through his bright orange safety vest.
I felt my face elongate, muzzle replacing mouth and didn’t hesitate. His eyes were rolling back, and fear saturated the air. I sunk my teeth into his neck, tearing at sinew and ligaments. Blood sprayed across my face and the ground, pulsing. His legs gave a last twitch and then he was still; his hulking mass taking up too much space. I stood, wiping my mouth with the back of my sleeve. My muzzle was gone, and the forest was green once more. At least I knew I was fully in one form.
“Dinner.” I said and the pack converged on the fallen hunter.
Thanks again for stopping by, see you next Friday!