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The beams for the moonlight streaked through the branches of the trees around me, bleaching everything in sight. Where I stood, the forest looked like something out of a black and white movie. A soft breeze blew through the leaves, creating the illusion that something was moving in the canopy above me.
I held my breath and stalked around the tree trunks, my bow and pointed silver arrows pulled back. A twig snapped behind me and I spun around, weapon raised. I glowered into the darkened forest, seeing nothing but sensing something at the same time.
My mind was concocting the perfect insults to spit at my brother when he came. He had told me to meet him and the woods to hunt for a rogue wolf that seemed to have slipped from his grasp just last week.
I bit my lip and continued further in to see if I saw a flicker of firelight; that was a definite way to know if Logan was around or not. He loved the woods, absolutely everything about it.
Personally, I highly disagreed.
The more I trudged deeper into the black night the more I knew that he stood me up. But the moment I decided that I was going to ditch was the moment that two shining eyes found mine. My breath caught and I raised my bow.
But the eyes were too small to be a werewolf, and the soft scurrying sounds it made rapidly climbing the tree only added to what I already suspected. It was odd, not hearing the howl of the monster as it stalked through the black forest, only revealed by the silver beams above.
I paused, hearing a twig snap about ten feet away. My eyes scanned the trees quickly before I grabbed onto the lowest branch closest to me and hauled myself up, climbing higher and higher until I got the full view of the woods around me.
My bow was drawn at all times as I surveyed the black around me, scanning for anything that moved beneath me on the forest floor. After about ten minutes of seeing or hearing nothing else, I decided to relax into the trunk.
I was just about to doze off when a low growl reached my ears from the tree next to me. I smiled cruelly as I caught the distinctive tawny eyes of the wolf, seeing his mouth curl into a snarl, baring his fangs.
Before I could pull the arrow into place I was ripped from my spot in the tree, crashing to the ground with a thud. I screamed in agony as my ankle dislocated. Five feet away he watched me, rocking from side to side, saliva dripping from his fangs.
“You stupid mutt,” I barked, clawing my way to a standing position, “You are messing with the wrong girl!”
For a moment, it looked as if he smiled at me. So I smiled right back.
I yanked the pistol from my belt and shot twice, hitting him in the right leg. He howled and tore his own path through the dark trees. I knew I wasn’t going to lose him; a deep red trail of blood marked where he’d gone.
Quickly I fell to the ground and grabbed my foot, pulling my ankle back into place. I screamed from the pain but made myself recover in an instant. I jumped back up, sliding the gun back into its holster.
Before I took off after him though, I reset my bow, making sure that everything was perfect so I wouldn’t screw up like Logan so often did.
Father taught me better than that.
I’d been raised on hunting werewolves since I was in the fourth grade – training endlessly for hours to perfect my stance, my aim, my agility. I wanted to be the best of the best after what happened to mother…
“Sweetie, get back to your father. I’ll follow in a minute.” The tone in Mother’s voice frightened me. Her back was arched, fingertips brushing against the gun that rested against her hip. I swallowed as the beast stalked out from behind a tree in front of us.
“Mom…” I whimpered, reaching into my back pocket for the knife Logan had given me for my birthday just two days before.
“Get back to your father!” She growled, dodging a blow as the wolf rushed her with amazing speed. I screamed and fell backwards into the dirt.
That’s when he noticed I was there.
His cruel, orange eyes turned to me and he snarled, smiling at the innocence of me. Mother lay on the ground, preparing to pounce.
Slowly, he crawled on all fours towards me, guttural sounds ripping from his chest in pleasure that I’d be his next victim.
I opened my mouth to scream when Mother shot at him, hitting him in the shoulder. He raised his head, howling, turning back to face her.
She never stood a chance.
In an instant he was on top of her, ripping into her throat, torso. Mom was gone before she knew what was happening.
“DAD!” I screeched into the black, hoping he’d appear and save me. Tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t look away from the gore that was taking place in front of me. The beast repeatedly ripped into my mother, not caring that someone loved her…that someone needed her.
That’s when something inside me snapped.
I hated what my life was becoming, but it was the only choice I had.
The gun Mom had been shooting with was loaded with silver bullets, lying just a foot away. I scrambled to get it.
“HEY!” I shouted at the monster, shaking as I stood. It felt like I was standing taller, more confident – braver. His head rolled to the side, my Mother’s blood dripping from his jaws. He growled once more before I pumped three bullets in his chest, two in his skull.
For a moment, I was dazed at what I’d done before falling backwards.
I collapsed into two strong arms, looking up into Logan’s face before I fainted.
The wolf I tracked in the dead of night was the alpha’s second in command.
And I was going to be the person to kill him.
I snickered to myself as he howled, ultimately giving his position away to me in more than one way. The deep crimson of his blood soaked the ground, leading towards the graveyard.
He crashed through the brushes ahead, just as sure as I was of his death. I caught sight of him retreating behind a tomb and I fired a shot, hitting him in the lower back.
Another howl ripped through the night air and I found pleasure in it.
Did I care who the wolf really was? No, I didn’t.
Slowly, I made my way around to the side of the tomb and peeked to see if he was finally done.
My eyes grew wide as I caught a glimpse of what he really was.
Logan lay there, panting in the silver light, shining with sweat. He looked up at me. “Abigail?” I couldn’t move. “Abby…do it. Please.” His body convulsed, blue eyes turning back to bright tawny.
“Logan…why didn’t you tell me?” I wondered, shaking my head at the sight.
“Abigail,” he snapped, dark hair sprouting all over his form. “Shoot me.” His voice barely sounded human. He screamed, dark claws digging into the dirt.
Slowly, I raised my bow ready to shoot. But somehow, I couldn’t let myself kill my older brother – the one man I adored since Father left after Mother died.
The bow fell from my hands as I watched him shift into something abnormal – unnatural. But I still knew that he was my brother.
Logan turned his face to me. I closed my eyes.
It was over.