Somehow, I found myself at the edge of the vampire territory. The terrible stench of death and stale blood filled my lungs and made me cough. Wasn’t the vampire territory a bit too close to the pack house? Either the pack gave up a good chunk of the territory to the vampires while I was gone, or I ran some portion of the way. To be honest, both were possible. I was not in the right mindset at the moment.
“So, the prodigal son returns…” a voice suddenly called from the other side of the border. I looked up and there in the trees stood a tall figure. I didn’t need to see him to know who it was. That arrogant and lazily careless lilt could only belong to a single person. Still, in one elegant and very inhuman jump Daniel got to ground level. He was tall, six feet like me, but he was skinny, almost deadly skinny. He had black hair and brown-green eyes. His skin was pale, and his heart pounded with the blood he stole from some unlucky person. “I can’t believe my eyes… I heard you came back, but I didn’t dare to believe it.” He came right to the edge of the border, smiling at me. “Hello, Reid…”
Werewolves hated vampires. I didn’t much like them too. Except for Daniel. I wasn’t really sure why. Probably because the fourteen-year-old me thought he looked cool. He had mussed hair, a leather jacket, ripped jeans, and piercings in his eyebrows, ears, and tongue. He didn’t change one bit. I shouldn’t have been surprised; he was a vampire. Daniel was one of the many reasons why the pack hated me, why the pack kicked me out.
The pack wouldn’t appreciate it if they saw me talking to him now, but I was too mad at the pack to care. “I see you’re a Walker now,” I pointed out. Vampires couldn’t walk in the daylight, only when they had a very old Master that had the power to make them into Walkers, immune to daylight. Of course, something like that wasn’t easy to earn.
“Yeah, took me good seven years to get it.” He smiled proudly, looking up at the sun. “But you have to admit I look great in the sun.” He smirked, then went a bit more serious, “What about you? Doing good?”
“No, Bran is dead,” I reminded him harshly, the anger still trapped inside me.
“I’m sorry about that. I know you were very close.” He smiled sadly. I was pretty sure he didn’t really care. “You know what would cheer you up?” He grinned. Yeah, he didn’t care about Bran or me hurting one bit. “A nice drink in the bar and a pretty boy on your lap.” He winked at me.
“And you know just the place for that… Let me guess. The Bloody Rose? Yeah, thanks but no thanks.” I shook my head. Vampire bars were dangerous places. Blood, drugs, alcohol, and sex. It was no place for a werewolf. Bloodlust was a dangerous thing I liked to avoid for the sake of everyone at least a hundred miles away from me.
“What a pity…” He sighed with disappointment. “Maybe we could---” He didn’t get to finish it. A short howl echoed through the forest. It was filled with pain and rage. Someone was being attacked.
I didn’t even think about it, my wolf was already answering with a howl of his own in my head. A pack member was in trouble and every instinct screamed at me to go and help. To protect, to hunt, to kill… I ran through the forest, breaking branches and brambles, barely registering that they scratched my cheek.
I heard the fight first. The growling and snapping of jaws, the crunch of bone under teeth. Then I smelled it… Blood and sulfur and something similar to ammonia. At that second, I knew exactly what the wolf was fighting. I pushed down the need to shift and ignored the protests of my wolf. I needed my hands for this.
I took out the dagger I always carried in the holster on my ankle. A short black blade made of carbon steel with a thin line of silver in the middle. I could feel the warmth of the silver even through the leather handle. It was poisonous for werewolves… And for many other creatures.
I ran up a small hill and finally saw the fight. There was a big brown wolf with golden almost amber eyes standing at the bottom of the hill, his hackles were raised, and he was baring his huge fangs at three terrible creatures before him. They looked like dogs, but they had skinny long bodies covered in sleek scales, their tails had sharp spines protruding from them and there were big curled horns on their heads. A small diamond-shaped growth protruded from the middle of their foreheads. Cadracs… Terrible disgusting creatures.
The wolf – Jack I suddenly realized – was hurt badly. He had one big gash on his side, his ear was torn and one of his paws was bent the wrong way. The cadracs were completely fine… Their bodies couldn’t be damaged, which Jack probably didn’t know. One of the dogs leaped, I did the same, meeting it halfway in the air. Using my element of surprise, I could easily slide the blade right into the diamond shaped growth. A horrible screeching sound filled the air before the cadrac’s skull split and his body turned to ash. All of that happened before I even hit the ground.
The other cadracs went for me, their eyes were shining with cold yellow lights. Jack howled his bloodlust before he leaped over me – I was standing but that didn’t stop him – and rolled with one of the cadracs. He scratched at it but his claws didn’t stand a chance at penetrating the scales.
“The thing on their forehead, aim for that!” I yelled at him and quickly dogged as the other cadrac jumped at me. My body was filled with adrenaline and my eyes were no doubt stone grey since I could see much sharper. I kicked at the dog’s mouth as it tried to bite my arm, then quickly jumped back as it came for me with rage-filled eyes. I crouched trying to get it from the bottom, but the cadrac easily dodged and slashed its claws at me. I wasn’t quick enough this time. It only nicked me, if I had a long-sleeved shirt it probably wouldn’t have even broken my skin. But it was still a very dangerous wound. Cadracs were poisonous. I felt the wound burn and a sour taste covered my tongue. I growled, rolled to the side, and as the cadrac snapped its jaws at me, I stabbed the blade into its forehead. It split, killing it. I turned around, but the pack was already there.
Nikolai, a big broad-shouldered grey wolf, held the last cadrac’s muzzle in his jaws, and Dyson, still in human form, stabbed a dagger through its forehead. I blinked and it was gone. Jack lay on the ground, breathing rapidly, his heart slowing down. Diego and Yuri were there though and they carefully picked up the almost five hundred pound werewolf and carried him back to the pack house.
I looked down at my arm. The little nick was surrounded by blackened flesh that burned terribly, but my wound would wait. The venom would spread slowly. Jack had it much worse. I got up and hid away my blade. The wolves that arrived were dividing into threes to search around the territory to make sure there was no other threat here.
I slowly made my way back to the pack house. I breathed deeply, trying like hell to calm down a little bit more with every step. I was practically shaking with adrenaline, still ready to fight. My eyes were still grey, and my wolf desperately wanted to feel blood and flesh under our fangs. My heart pounded too fast and sweat broke on my forehead as I kept my fangs from popping out of my gums. This was bad, really bad… I needed to kill something, anything.