Only The Beginning (Kaye)

Only The Beginning (Kaye)

Postby Reineer » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:22 am

He was sated...for a while. All those silly myths...They rather amused him, really. Like vampires could only go out at night. Not true, though they preferred it. The sunlight was tolerable, but it stung the skin. Also under the category of untrue was sleeping in coffins; he slept on a very nice bed. The wooden stakes to the heart was untrue as well; his heart had stopped beating centuries ago.

The only real myth was that of his diet: human blood.

The girl had been easy to draw over, actually. Most were. It had been his turn to leave the house, since the rest of his coven had already had their fill. It was necessary to take turns going out for the hunt: if they left their homes unattended, what did that say to the beasts they had for hire? It would give them ideas, really. It could cause problems. His coven was trying to live under the pretense that they were human. It was laughable, really, but if they wanted to remain where they were, where the food was plentiful and not at all hard to come by or disguise as an animal attack when the body was sucked dry they had to play it carefully. There was no need to rouse suspicion, and in order to remain under the radar they had to keep themselves and their servants completely under control.

It was hard to do, when the servants were werewolves.

William could smell the werewolves before the towering manor even came into view. His senses, which had been so dull when he was mortal, had heightened beyond recognition. The smell of his clan was not hard to distinguish either, but it was more comfortable to his nostrils than that of the wolves that he passed on his way through the doors.

The house was large and had been left over from a very wealthy family. The Widmores. People around here thought that the Widmores were an old family that lived there since they came to America all those centuries ago. They were partically right, he supposed. They had lived there since the mid-1600s, and their family had grown considerably since then, William being one of them.

"Christian?" he called, his voice velvet but with a cold bite behind it. "Christian, where are you?"

Christian loped through the wooded estate that belonged to his master's clan. It was near a thousand acres, but that meant nothing to Christian at the moment. To him, it was sights, smells and… feeling. Granted, this territory was technically owned by the Widmore clan of vampires. The wolves, however, saw things differently. It wasn't so much a land to be owned as it was a designated hunting area. This section of forest, as well as much of the nearby city were designated as his hunting grounds. Well, his and his pack, of course.

The wind whipped through his silvery fur as he made his way effortlessly between trees and over fallen timber. His litter-mate, Sylvia, kept up with him. This was no surprise, seeing as he was the litter's runt. Even coming up on 78 years, he still hadn't grown to his full size. What he lacked in stature, he made up for with cunning ingenuity and sheer ferociousness. Both his mother and father worked for the Widmore clan and she had birthed a total of six. Of them, the Widmores had only kept the two and sold the rest.


He shook his mangy head and conversed with Sylvia using the mind-speak they all shared. It wasn't like the communication that took place between humans or even vampires, in fact most of the time, the mind-speak couldn't even be put into words. It was more of a feeling than it was anything else.

They spoke of the latest rumors that had been circling, the ancient artifact that allowed the master to keep controlling the wolf. They had no idea as to how it worked, but rumor had it that the artifact was to be moved shortly and at that time the wolves would strike.

Christian and Sylvia both had mixed feelings on this. Their masters had always treated them well, almost as part of their clan. Of course, neither one had ever known the taste of freedom; except in their dreams. Their dreams were a collective thing, shared amongst all wolves for all time. They ran free and filled their bloodlust on all that opposed them, even on their allies at times.

The two had just chased down a teenage human boy and shared his blood when they had that familiar tingling sensation that was their master returning from his nightly hunt. As one, they turned back toward the manor and sped home.


As Christian entered the large estate, through the cellar entrance, he reverted back to the human form and put on his clothing; he knew his masters hated seeing the wolf-state unless they were in battle. He sensed William was in the study and entered even as he called his name.

"Sir?" Christian said with a slight bow.

What was taking so long? Usually, Christian was waiting for his return. Or Sylvia, but he found her to be less reliable. He supposed that they had gotten hungry as well. They only left when he was out or he dismissed them.

Had he been mortal, he would have sighed in mild frustration. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which side you took), he was not mortal anymore, and simple things like sighing were beyond his power. When his heart stopped beating, so did his need to breath.

William headed soundlessly up to his study, leaving the door open. The Widmore Manor was large, and the lands that surrounded it completely cut off from everyone for acres in any direction. It was strictly private land in every sense of the word, and the Widmore's prefered it that way. Fewer questions and all that. The fact that they had money and power behind their name helped a great deal too.

His mother, for all intensive purposes, was most likely with Lord Widmore, the "father" of their "family". None of them were blood related, but no one asked about it. Probably too afraid to broach the subject in front of any of the clan.

He could smell Christian approaching, hear his heavy footfalls, before he heard his voice. It was strange, really, how silently these wolves could move in their true form, but how loud they appeared in man-form. It was a stark contrast.

William was looking through the mirror when Christian arrived. His blond hair was tied back and his face, as always, was cleanly-shaven. Should any look at his portait from centuries past, he would not appear to have aged a day, not one hour past twenty-three. Tall and lithe, he had been a colonist, loyal to his native England before...Well, before his change, his rebirth. The only thing that had really changed in all that time were his eyes; once blue, now a dull brown so dark it was almost black.

"Did you have success with your hunt, Christian?" he asked, not turning around, his hands behind his back in thought. "I assume that is where you were, yes?"

Christian nodded he knew this was just small talk, he knew that William could smell the blood on him even as he could smell the fresh kill on William. Christian could even tell that it was a female that William had hunted this eve. He could smell the alcohol that she had partaken of as well.

"Sylvia and I went running for a bit, found a tidbit that had been left alone by his friends. And how did you fare, William?" After verifying that no 'others' were present, this was the custom… to dispense with the ego swelling titles. "Were we slumming again tonight?" He added with a grin, full well knowing that his master sometimes went to the seedier side of town just to 'liven' things up.

The formalities really did become tiresome, but William was making sure they were absolutely left alone before he spoke with Christian in any lighter tones. It was not customary for vampires to befriend their servants, after all, no matter how well they treated them.

Daniel, his father, was on the other side of the manor. That was his side, almost exclusively. Daniel's wife, Rose, was there with him. Two of his brothers, Charles and John, were still hunting, as was one of the girls, Charlotte. That left three others, and they were not near them either.

Physically relaxing his stature, William turned so he was facing Christian, a smirk forming on his lips. "Your nose is incredible, Christian." William could tell Christian had taken a young man down; blood was a calling card of sorts, after all. So he had no doubt that Christian knew it was a female he had taken, which was his preference.

"Acually, she was one of the finer ones. Nothing but red wine, you see." He smirked again. "I'm sure her parents are going to be stunned to learn their little pet got herself mauled by a mountain lion. She did not seem the type to go out to the woods."

He saw the look on William's face and shook his head, "I'd have smelled them if they were near, your 'kin' are elsewhere in the manor, if they are here at all."

Christian hesitated, he knew that William hated hearing news like this… "Something for you... Daniel said that he wanted to see you when you returned and I overheard some news tonight just before I went running. It seems Julian is at his tricks again. He has been recruiting heavily to increase his ranks. I'm told that he is looking to overthrow his clan in order to raise up against yours."

His news came through the underground connection, the servants had their own network. It was true that the servants sometimes played their masters against each other, usually favoring the more kind over the cruel.

Christian's own brother had died at the hands of such a master barely older than a pup. His master had been an aficionado of pit fighting the wolves against one another in the arena. William had always left it up to Christian whether he wanted to fight. He had fought a few times and won; since the fights were to the death, however, he didn't do so often for he hated taking the life of one of his own.

In fact, the only reason he had taken on the fights was to infiltrate the sport in order to find the one that had killed his brother. Once he had found him, William sanctioned his death; forming an even tighter bond between Christian and William. For if word had ever gotten out that Christian had killed a vampire, he would have been slaughtered with intent on agony.

"Oh, they're here," he assured him quietly, his eyes flashing. "But you're right; we have nothing to fear now."

His relaxed demenor quickly shifted, however, at the mention of Julian. Ah, he was the bane of their existance! A real thorn in their sides, as the saying went. William frowned, his eyes narrowing. And tonight of all nights he had to learn of this! When the Medallion was being moved? Julian could not have picked a more inoppportune time!

"I see." William turned again, a thoughtful look crossing his flawless features. "I'm sure Daniel already has a plan." Daniel was a warrior in his own right; he had seen this sort of fight before and knew how to handle it, even if it was unsettling. Vampire wars were nothing to snigger at. "But I will speak to him before I retire."

The bond between vampire and werewolf had somehow become dangerously blurred over the countless years William and Christian had been paired. Or, rather, Christian had been given to William. Not only did they break rules by speaking in such candid manners, but William had pulled a few strings for Christian, particularly in the werewolf fighting arenas. Disgusting places, but Christian had need to go there once in a while, or had, before William had taken care of that little problem.

"I think I should go and speak to Daniel, if he has need of me. Thank you, Christian. If I have need of you I will call."

Christian nodded as William turned to leave, waited for just a moment to ensure that he would not return for him straight away, then left himself. He used the back stairwell and made his way down into the bowels of the manor. He found Sylvia chatting with his mother in their semi-private chamber there was sadness in their eyes.

"I only have a few moments before I'll be needed again. There will most likely be a raid on Julian's crew tonight. Any word on the Medallion?"

His mother glanced his way and shook her head. "They have already sent one raid against Julian. Your father was amongst those that fell." Fury and shock slammed into Christian. He was furious because they had not thought to take him and Sylvia with them. "Fucking bloody bastards!" The words came as a snarl.

The shock came in the realization that his father was gone. He was a true warrior and had died for their cause, not his own. Tristan was one of the leaders of the rebellion, he had been the one to discover that the Medallion was on its way to the Windmore enclave. His eyes turned from the pale gold color they were normally to a crimson red.

His mother stood and took him in her arms. "Now is not the time, my son. It falls to you now. Come to me tonight and we will go over your father's plan in detail. We cannot fail. You cannot fail."

Christian was numb as he made his way back to William's quarters.

William departed, sweeping down the staircase and over the eastern portion of the manor, up another grand staircase, and into his father's own study. And he was not alone. Daniel, Rose, Charles, John, Charlotte, Anne, Desmond, and Benjamin were there. William completed the last of the Widmore clan. Nine vampires; quite a formidable force.

"William." William inclined his head silently to his father before taking his place next to Charlotte. Daniel surveyed them all carefully, his black eyes carefully tracing over every face.

"Julian has mounted an army of his own. He plans on attacking tonight, but we cannot let him cross our borders. Not with the Medallion coming here. Of all the nights!" he hissed, his warm voice slipping into a cold snarl. "Anne and Benjamin, I want you to take the eastern front; Charles, you take the back, John you have to cover him. William and Charlotte have the western border, Rose and I will take the front. Desmond," he said, turning to a burly, brown-haired son, "you are to remain here and recieve the Medallion from Penny's clan."

Everyone nodded once before departing. They had mere minutes before they had to meet in the front hall, and in that time they had to be ready. No weapons; they were useless in situations like this. No, it was a quick change into dark, tighter-fitting clothes that would not hinder their inhuman speed and they would be off.

William was not surprised to see Christian waiting in his room for him. "The attack is coming quicker than we anticipated," he said quietly, quickly losing his street clothing and doning on black, tight-fitting clothing, like the rest of his family would be. They would be mere shadows in the forest.

"You are to look after manor," he said, turning toward the door, ready to leave as quickly as he had come in. "Defend it from Julian and his clan. Desmond will remain behind to make sure it everything is looked after. Come only if I call."

While the masters of the house were busying themselves with the defenses, Christian made his way down to his family's quarters once again. He found his mother and sister also busying themselves going over his father's plans.

"It is evident that Julian plans to use the Medallion himself to use the Moon against the Blood. Once he has the artifact, he'll have us at his disposal - we'll die by the hundreds as we are used as soldiers in his unholy war." Sylvia was near frantic as she spat out the news.

Christian's mother, Juliette, was more calm and collected. "Calm down, Sylvia. Instead of seeing the possible negative outcomes. Let us use their own greed against them." A smile crossed her lips as they discussed the alterations to the plans.


Juliette was one of Daniel's trusted bitches. He had, on more than one occasion used her in ways considered inappropriate by most vampires. She needed access to his cell phone, so she worked her way to where Daniel prepared to fight and offered her services to be at his side, fighting for him. The females of the werewolves were often as cruel and vicious as the males, sometimes more so. Daniel smiled at her willingness to fight, even die for him; completely mistaking her true intent. She would simply wait for things to get heated up, and when the opportunity arose, she would take his phone and disable it in some way…


Christian made his way back up into the manor, where he was expected to be… for now, anyway. He knew that his services would be necessary and regardless of other wolves' hatred for the vampires, he still cared for William and wished not to see him fall. Christian waited patiently, not his strongest suit, for the attack to commence and prayed that his sister would be able to complete her task.


Sylvia had invoked the change and made her way out to where the Medallion would be coming from. She did not know exactly where it would be, she only knew the route they would take. The wind was in her favor this night, as she was running into it. It was a stiff breeze that brought the scents of the convoy to her, letting her know that they were still a few miles off. She had to be very careful to not be riddled with silver on her approach. She sped forward to within a mile, then changed back to human form and slipped on a form fitting dress she had carried with her in a pouch.

As they neared she held her hands out, palms up. She used the wolf speak to contact the slaves they had working the convoy with them. Her message was simple, I am sent with a message from Lord Widmore himself and desperately need to speak with the head of the convoy. She bowed her head as was customary.

When the vampires came to meet her, her story was simple, but her task was not. The task: To get them to alter their course to another location, chosen by the wolves. Her story, however...

"I apologize for being so out of breath," She began, "I have been running non-stop since they found out." Her chest heaved dramatically. "Lord Widmore sent me to inform you of Julian's plans. Julian is now mounting an attack against the estate on one front, and on the other… he has sent a small army to catch you unawares. Lord Widmore said to tell you that 'Julian hopes to steal the Amulet in order to take possession of the soldiers'. Whatever that means. That's right, he said it just like that. He said you'd know what he meant. He said that he would have his hands full defending the estate. So, instead of going there, continue on with most of the convoy up the road as if nothing were amiss, this will buy you the time you need to get one vehicle with the Amulet down this service road, its about two miles down this road on the right. Take that back three miles and you'll find a clearing."

She paused for a moment as if to catch her breath. "Now, sir, if you have a message to send back to Lord Widmore, I'll gladly take it - if you like, but I need to be getting back, he is counting on me to help defend the manor."

William rushed down the stairs, emerging into the large circular room at the bottom just as his family did. Daniel and Rose wished them all luck before departing. William narrowed his eyes as Juliette, Christian's mother, followed them. Why was he taking a wolf with him? What was the need for extra protection?

"Come on!" John shouted. His partner, Charles, roared with him and they bolted out. Those two were burly, strong, and more than ready to fight at the first instance; a truely fearsome pair, which was, William supposed, the reason Daniel had paired them up in the first place. Benjamin and Anne, both wispy and frail-looking, darted after them, turning to the east as ordered. They were paired for the strange way their minds worked when together; they moved as though one, and despite their frail-looking bodies they were not to be underestimated.

William looked down as Charlotte placed her hand on his shoulder, signaling it was their turn to leave. Neither were as robust as Charles or John, and they were thicker than Benjamin or Anne. The reason they were paired together was for their speed; they were unrivaled in that respect. Snarling, William led the way, Charlotte glued to his right side as she tore after him. They were gone before the door closed behind them.


Desmond remained standing in the circular hall. He noted some of the wolves looked slightly wary; apparently Daniel had neglected to mention one of them would stay behind. The only reason was because he was the newest in the family and had yet to find a suitable partner to work with. The whole idea of partnered pairs for fighting was something Daniel stuck to strictly. Until he had a partner and got better control of himself, Desmond was to remain behind and watch over the estate and those left in it.


The night was still young as the small clan made their way forward through the Widmore boundaries, crossing over and heading toward the manor. The wind was to their backs; an unfortunate thing, since scent was a strong trait in their kind. Their eyesite was keen, though, as was their hearing, and though they could not smell Sylvia as she came forward, they could hear her and stopped short, stiffening.

The leader of the clan, a large man named Patrick, raised a long pale hand, halting those of his clan. He listened to Sylvia, his dark eyes narrowing. "Daniel said that....Interesting." More interesting, though, that Julian would attack tonight. He must have known about the moving of the Medallion. Why be so reckless?

Bloodlust was not only for their food supply, it seemed.

His main worry, though, was that Daniel had told Sylvia about the Medallion in the first place. That was more dangerous than anything Julian could do. If the wolves knew...Well, he dared not think about it. Sylvia seemed ignorant of the real meaning of the Medallion, though, and he relaxed a bit. Werewolves were below them in every way, after all, and that included intellegence. There was no way Daniel had told them the real meaning of such a precious artifact.

"Tell Lord Widmore that the message has been recieved and has not fallen on deaf ears. Convey my intense interest and need to speak with him on a certain subject when he returns."

Motioning silently, Patrick and his clan turned sharply and disappeared, practically melting into the night. And competely unaware of the trap the supposed simple werewolves had laid for them.


William halted sharply, Charlotte copying him. They both sniffed the air experimentally, and in unison their lips lifted in a snarl. The smell was impossible to miss: strong, like blood and anger, and foreign. It was vampire, but not of their family, and it reeked of enemy.

"Two minutes and closing," Charlotte whispered, her lips barely moving. "We're downwind; they have no idea we're right in their path."

"Which makes our job that much easier," William countered, leaping effortlessly into a tree. Charlotte followed, jumping noiselessly to a different tree to make their ambush even more surprising. It would not trick the others long, but it might give them enough time to catch them slightly off-guard, giving them the advantage.

Christian was left in charge of the wolves, as far as the rebellion was concerned. He knew his mother would be busy with Daniel, so it would be left to him to manage the rest. He roamed throughout the building, gathering information and preparing the wolves to take down the lone vampire guard.


Juliette waited for Daniel to be sidetracked enough, or so she hoped. Then sprang to life and snatched his cell from his side pocket. In an instant, it crumbled within her hands. She glared at him in defiance and awaited his response, she knew it would be quick and harsh.


Sylvia left the convoy and circled around to the ambush site. The wolves had made sure to give the impression that they were simple creatures; bumbling and weak when in their human guise. They hoped it would give them somewhat of the element of surprise if and when the need arose. She was every bit as agile, quiet and nearly as strong in human form as she was in wolf-mode.

When she reached the location she prepared herself and the others. They were armed to the teeth with fully automatic rifles loaded with pure silver hollow point shot, designed to splinter on impact. Many of the rifles used were high-powered; the snipers up high in the trees with clear lines of sight to the ambush location.

The only fear was for their brothers in the SUV's. There may be some casualties from friendly fire, this was the risk they were willing to take and all involved new the risks.

The SUV's had slowed to a crawl due to the ruts in the two-track lane. They jostled to and fro as they made their way to the appointed spot. Patiently, the wolves in the trees waited for their brothers and sisters in the vehicles to act.

They changed in the vehicles with a sudden ferocity and attacked their masters. Blood was spilled quickly and efficiently. The wolves in the vehicle with the amulet sprung upon it guarding it as if it were their lifeline. Shots rang out. Bullets flew through darkened windows. In a matter of seconds, the vampires lay still. All in all, it was a successful attack, the Moon-born had lost six of the seven that were in the vehicles.

They now had control of the Medallion.


Christian felt the change even before Sylvia sang out to him in mind-speak. He felt as if literal chains had been binding him and that they had now fallen off. "NOW, MY BROTHERS! NOW!" He bellowed, taking charge.

A dozen Moon-born went to change and fell upon Desmond, he was brought down before he really knew what had happened. The claw and bite of the wolf to vampire was like poison, and vice versa. The wolves had all but forgotten this until they sank their teeth into the hapless vampire.

Christian was certain that the more seasoned vampires would be far more difficult to take down. He sent out a call to all the wolves in the area to spread the word to get away as fast as possible and to meet at abandoned church they had agreed on in the months prior.

Daniel signaled to Rose to stop, which she did silently. They had been together so long that they hardly needed to speak anymore; one look and they knew what the other was thinking. Right now, they were thinking about how best to stop Julian if he came their way.

And then Juliette sprung.

It happened with such speed, the two vampires had no time to react. Daniel watched in shock as Juliette took his cell phone and crushed it into a useless powder. Rose narrowed her eyes, glancing quickly between the two, her body language as stiff as her husband's.

"Juliette...What are you doing?" he asked, his voice dead quiet and full of venom. "I need that to be in contact with my coven! What if they need us? What if Julian attacks from one of their fronts and they need us as backup?" Then he stopped, his own eyes narrowing. A danger sign.

"But that was your intent all along, no doubt."


Patrick led his clan to the clearing, as instructed. He stiffened. It was too quiet. The forest was silent, and that was odd. Well, with this many vampires running around with the large possibility of attack and a civil war to break out, it was not surprising that the forest would be quieter than normal. But this...This was unheard of.

He barely had time to glance over his shoulder to his second in command when they were the werewolves! The fools! He prepared to spring, to take as many out as he could, all if he could manage it, but a loud shot rang through the air and he fellt to the ground writhing and screeching with unholy cries as the silver ate into his flesh. He was dead only a moment later.

Within moments, werewolf corpses littered the forest floor, but all of the vampires were dead, their still hearts useless in their waking death now all but torn from their bodies where the bullets had eaten through their flesh.

The worst part of the matter was not the loss of life, if you could call it that. No, it was something far more severe, something that would soon alter the balance that had been created and upheld for time uncounted.

The werewolves had the Medallion.


Desmond heard the shouting from Christian, but he did not know what was going on. He was still a baby in his clan, despite being biten when he was thirty, making him one of the oldest, save from Daniel or Rose. He had no time to react.

A dozen were on him. Cowards! Twelve to one was hardly fair odds! He fought furiously, kicking and scratching and biting everything within reach, but it was going to end in disaster and he knew it even before the fatal blow was struck and he fell limp to the floor.


William's lips quivered as Julian's clan drew closer. He had thought that the clan would have split up more by now; there were four here. How many had they brought with them? Were John and Charles alright? What about Benjamin and Anne? Desmond? What of his would-be parents?

Charlotte caught his eye, and silently they both nodded. They had no guns with them; they never tampered with silver unless absolutely necessary. They were sure that Julian and his clan would feel the same way. And they were not disappointed.

Four crept forward, low to the ground and ready for attack should it present itself. Three male and one female. As one, William and Charlotte waited until they were in perfect position before launching themselves from their perches in the trees and on top of them. With the element of surprise, three were killed before any real fight was put up. That left the female, wild-eyed and hissing.

William held back, letting Charlotte go forward into the attack. They moved like panthers, deadly and quick. He had no problem killing females; he drained the blood of mortal women all the time. It just felt more...right, he let Charlotte deal with this one.

As soon as the female dropped to the ground, Charlotte and William stiffened, and in unison looked back toward the manor, hidden behind the deep line of trees. Howls were coming from there...wolf howls.

"What's going on?" Charlotte asked, her lips covered in blood where she had sunk her teeth into her victims. William was much the same way, and both of their eyes were black, turning crimson toward the center in their bloodlust. "They're going to give away our position!"

"Come on," William murmured, leaping back into the tree branches and using them as a twisted running path, moving with inhuman speed through the boughs, Charlotte hot on his heels.

Christian led the pack from the manor when he heard the howling. "Damned fools!" He growled. He sent out the mindspeak to those that could hear, demanding silence and stealth. To his surprise, he received a growled response from none other than Sebastian…

"You, a mere pup? Ha." And another howl sounded in the distance.

Christian knew right then that there would be trouble in the ranks of the newly founded Children of the Moon. He never did understand why others could allow ego to take control over common sense. He shook his wolfish head and continued to lead on to the abandoned church deep in the city.


Juliette felt the chains lift from her as well and knew that her leash had been loosed. She stood defiant. Even had Daniel been alone, she would not stand a chance against him; with two there before her, she merely stood her ground and stared him in the eye.

"No, I am not in league with Julian - we have merely taken advantage of his impeccable timing. Daniel… as far as Masters go, you were better to us than most. I thank you for that. Our time together is done, however. "


Sebastian led the other group thinking that there was no way he would allow a child to be the alpha. The boy Christian will have to be dealt with.

After taking the Medallion, they had melted into the surrounding forest. On the path they had chosen, they should be meeting up with Christian's group soon enough. They loped through the woods at breakneck speeds, becoming a mere blur to the human eye.

Wolves from around the state would be making their way to the meeting place, trickling in over the next few days. Some had already begun turning the old church into a fortress, under the guise of their nightly hunts.

Daniel and Rose looked at Juliette in shock and growing wonder. If she was not in league with Julian, then what was she playing at? Uneas began to gnaw at Daniel. If Julian was coming, surely he would have heard something by now. The wood, which had been silent, was filled now with the sounds of running, faint though it was and impossible for human ears to pick up. Then there was a howling.

"Juliette, I don't know what you're saying." And neither did he. Julian was devious, yes, but what Juliette was saying was nothing short of evil, if not insanity. Her kind had always served under his kind, that was just how things were run. The Medallion made that a fact.

The Medallion...

They could not know. They couldn't! It was impossible! He and his family had been unwaveringly faithful to the law that the Medallion could not be mentioned to those of the Moon! None had slipped in that area, because he would have known about it immediately!

But this was the only thing he could think of. Somehow, they had learned of the Medallion. Only that would explain her strange behavior. Never before had she said anything like this to him or Rose.

"Apparently not good enough, if this is how you are repaying us."


The howls were stiffled not long after the first few were sounded. That in and of itself was enough to make William race even faster, nothing more than a blur through the trees. Charlotte kept his pace with relative ease; they had been matched perfectly in that area. But their speed did not seem great enough, because when they reached the manor no wolf or human could be seen.

William shot out of the trees, skidding to a halt on the ground. Charlotte was beside him immediately, both sniffing the air. It was heavy with the smell of their servants and blood.

Looking at each other uneasily for a moment, they darted into the house in unison, and as one they both stopped abruptly in horror. Desmond, or what remained of him, was laying on the cold marble floor of their home. Charlotte began to wail immediately, but whether it was out of grief or rage it was impossible to tell.

William numbly walked forward. He heard something break behind him, and he knew Charlotte was relieving some of her tension. There were tears and bites all over Desmond's body. Fighitng back his own emotions, William picked one of Desmond's hand up and looked at the nails, as though for confirmation. And he was not disappointed.

"Wolf hair." Charlotte stopped her wild show of anger and stared at him. "There is wolf hair under his nails, Charlotte. And these bites are definately canine. I could smell their blood with his when we came inside."

Charlotte was at his side so fast it was impossible to see her move. "Our servants did this?" William nodded, and if he could he was sure he would have vomitted. Maybe there was a good part about not being mortal, small though it was. "The wolves will pay for this!" Charlotte snarled.

"Ahhh but, My Liege," she said, staring him squarely in the eye. "Being held captive by a good master, leaves me a slave still." Why haven't they killed me already? As if she read his mind… "Daniel… do not hate me, or us. We deserved our freedom. Your kind no longer hold the Medallion. Now it is ours. We regret the blood lost this night, it was necessary. I fear that other enclaves were not so lucky, as far as blood loss went. But then, other masters were not… so lenient with their subjects."

She wondered what would come next. Boldly, she turned her back. "I must now take my leave, Daniel. Fare well."


Christian made his way through the dilapidated side of town, the buildings were damaged and in disrepair, many were boarded up. Derelicts roamed the streets, staggering to and fro as if they were afloat on some rolling sea. In between buildings a fire burned in a barrel here and there. He stuck to the shadows, as did the rest of his pack. Some took to the rooftops, leaping nimbly, but always silent. Soon they found themselves at the rear entrance to the church.

Christian sat in his room near the top of the rectory. He imagined this was where the priest once kept his quarters. He had been asking continuously if anyone had heard from his mother, but none had. Christian had thought of her, sending out the mind-speak, mentally howling to her. This was a call that only a mother would recognize him as her own cub. Dead silence was what was returned to him, and that was what he had feared most.

A messenger came to him as he sat at an old desk, brooding. "Christian, you are being summoned below."

He knew this was coming. Sebastian had been glaring at him all evening, making snide remarks. It would come to this. Christian took his time, he refused to be rushed. He opened the door to the main vestibule and saw Sebastian standing there before an ancient altar.

"Sebastian!" Christian's voice boomed. It showed more power than anyone knew he even held. When his father died, it was like an epiphany for Christian. Gone forever were the days of careless runs through the forest. God, I counted on him for so much. "What have you gone and done now? Do you really want to do this? NOW??" He shook his head as if in disbelief. It was for show, Christian knew this had been coming. "My father had made all the plans for this and you know it. He had confided in my his insight, the glory that we could aspire to. YOU only have designs to better yourself."

Sebastian glared at Christian. "How DARE you! You are but a pup. You know NOTHING of what we are to become! Would YOU challenge ME for leadership here?"

Christian calmed some. "Let us ask all of them." With a dramatic wave he gestured to the wolves in the great hall.

"I don't NEED their permission. Let's have this out, right NOW!" He launched himself up to the top of the altar even as Christian leaped down toward him. They met in mid air, in full change. Fur flew in bloody tufts. Gray and black mingled, separated, came back again. In a blur of motion, not one of the watching werewolves could tell who was winning. Growls and snarls filled the void as a black form flew across the room and destroyed a podium. The wolf lay prone. Christian stood, his chest heaving.

His head tilted back and a pained howl escaped his throat.

Christian was finished with this fight, he turned and loped through the open doorway that led back to his room. His form changing slowly back to human. He knew that he would heal faster as wolf. He wanted to feel the pain. He felt as if he had betrayed one of the best friends that he had ever known. He had left a letter for him in his study, he hoped that this would be enough to make William understand.



By the time you read this, most of it will be over, or… just beginning. I feel as if I have betrayed you. You probably feel the same way. I am sorry that things had to happen the way they did.

We learned that the reason we wolves are slaves was solely because of an ancient artifact. We took control of it and our lives. I, we, are not looking for a war with the vampires. We simply do not wish to be slaves, for our children to be slaves. We do not deserve that, they do not deserve it.

I will touch base with you after things calm down a bit. It will just be you and I. We know each other. Remember that, William.


Her daring would get her in trouble. Daniel hissed dangerously, Rose crouching low beside him. Despite having been reborn over four hundred years ago, they were both as fit and healthy as they had been the day they were bitten. Such was the way with all vampires, and, they supposed, with anyone else that might be immortal. They did not know, because they had not encounted other immortals in all their years.

"I thought you learned all those years ago NOT to turn your back on an enemy." With that whispered snarl, Daniel launched himself at Juliette's turned back, Rose following a millisecond later. Two strong, aged vampires against one foolish werewolf...It was no contest.

"Let's find our family." Daniel stood once again, and with his wife departed the small, now-bloody clearing, leaving his once-faithful servant in tatters as they raced home.


William did not know what to do. His brother lay dead at his feet and the betrayal was starting to set it. All those years he had walked with those wolves, treated them better than most of his kind ever would. And this was the payment he saw for it.

And Christian...

Howling, William slammed his fist against the ground. The marble stone cracked under his knuckles, but it did little to relieve the fury that was coursing through his dry veins. Charlotte screamed along with him, both mourning the loss and venting the anger.

It was not long after this that Charles and John joined them, surprised to see Desmond's remains and to learn what had transpired. Anne came back as well, supporting Benjamin with her. She reported that a part of Julian's clan had attacked them, and were faster then they anticipated. Charles and John said Julian had come there way but had fled before they could do much about him.

It was upon this scene that Daniel and Rose entered. Things were quickly explained to their children, and their children explained what had happened in their absence. "We will...burn...Desmond," Daniel said solemnly. "On a pyre, as is his right. The wolf carcasses--" he nudged one with the toe of his boot as though it carried some disease--"we will dump into a pit. It's more than they deserve, but their stink does little for my nose."

They set to work, but William excused himself. In light of the situation, no one stopped him. He walked up to his study, where he saw a note in Christian's hand writting. Cold, hard fury etched itself on his flawless face as he picked it up and read it. When he finished, he made to throw it into the dying fire, but stayed his hand. Slowly, unable to explain why, he opened a drawer and placed it in there.

In his own neat handwritting, William scrawled:


I do not know why this has happened, or why you had to have a part in it. I regret every second of this war that is about to transpire, and I despise that we have to have a part in it.
You say we are friends. After leaving you here to guard the manor and Desmond, I came back to see my home deserted and my brother in pieces. I trusted you, and you betrayed that.

I will meet with you, if that is what you wish. I will be in the clearing next to the stream...alone. I only hope that what little faith I have left in you and your kind may prove that you come alone as well.

Do not expect my friendship there, though.


Finished, William walked out of the house and down the road, careful now in case there were any werewolves in the area, but his nose did not pick any up. Still, he could not be too careful anymore. He stopped only when he reached the end of the road, nearly three miles away, and placed the letter there. As far as he was concerned, this was No-man's Land. The place between the vampire estate and whe werewolf lands, wherever they roamed.

He would wait for Christian as he said. He could only hope his old friend would think to look for a letter and go there, too.

Juliette had only began to walk away. She knew what would happen even before Daniel spoke. They were on her in an instant. She refused to give the satisfaction of hearing a cry of pain. Juliette became the first Martyr for the Moon in that moment. As they ripped into her, her only thoughts were of her love for her cubs and her faith in Christian to follow through with his father's plan for the clan.


He tilted his head back up in the study of his small apartment and howled. Christian knew that his mother had passed. She had tried to prepare him for this eventuality, but he was reluctant to believe it would happen. Tears streamed down his face as he mourned for his mother. Suddenly, he shook his head and wiped his eyes. He would cry no more.

Sylvia had come in silently, she simply wrapped her arms around him and held him. Her tears fell freely and she was not ashamed for them. When Christian could take no more, he stood and made his way to the window. He invoked the change and burst through the boards and stained glass. He fell two stories to a roof and landed in a crouch. He growled into the night and ran hard and fast.

He wasn't sure where he was running to or why. He just went. Soon the surroundings blurred by him, buildings became fields which became trees. He simply ran without direction.

When he finally came to a stop, his breath came in ragged gasps. He found himself nearly three miles from the old estate, his former home. This was a place where as a younger wolf, his master - no, where William used to meet with him away from the prying eyes of the others of their clans. Here, they could be themselves. There was no pretense. Of course, Christian now realized that he was seen merely as a favorite pet. He sat down in a huff wondering how things would be different. What would happen next.

He watched the length of the road that led back to the estate and then slowly turned around, peering at each section of the small glade they used to meet in. There, on an ancient oak stump, was an envelope. He crept closer thinking how strange it was that someone would leave such a thing here. That was when he noticed the crest of William created by his own signet.

After reading the letter, Christian went far up into the hills where he could be alone. It was a secret place, a place he knew well. He needed to be alone and gather his senses before his meeting with William. He assumed the meeting would be for the next night as there was far too much to be done on this night.

Christian fell asleep under the stars as he wondered how his former masters had fared against Julian's crew.

William made his way slowly back to the manor. What had happened tonight was so unforeseen that he could barely wrap his mind around it. Only hours before he and Christian had been standing in his study and were laughing and talking like he could talk to few others. Now, his brother was dead, the werewolves had intercepted the Medallion, and a war loomed overhead.

His family had lit a fire already when he arrived. He watched with cold eyes as they put what remained of Desmond in it, watching the fire curl his flesh until nothing was left. It was the only way to really bury a vampire, but it was hard to watch, even for the hardened, battle-worn family.

Daniel dismissed them afterwards, stating that the wolves had been taken care of. They would make more plans tomorrow during the day when they were more vulnerable, making their move the next night. Daniel always preferred the night to the daylight, and William could not say he blamed him. It stung and was distracting to go out in the sunlight for extended periods of time, and they would want their heads to be clear for their counter-attack.


William left his study, leaping silently from the open window three stories above to one of the tree branches twenty feet from the house. He was more agile than any werewolf, though the wolves had more strength and endurance behind their attacks and movements.

But he was not worried about an attack....Not yet, anyway. Christian would not attack him. Well, not right away. He would be safe enough for a small talk. After that, it was anyone's guess.

Like a shadow, William flitted from treetop to treetop, smooth and graceful as a jungle cat. It was not long before he reached the clearing with the stream running through its center. He leapt down into the lush grass and fern growth, which silenced his already quiet feet. He sniffed experimentally, tense and edgy.

None of his family members knew he was here, and if Christian did not show himself before the dawn, he would not get his chance to explain his behavior. William was not going to risk his family, or what remained of it, for a traitorous wolf.

One of the many benefits of being a Child of the Moon, you can sleep damn near anywhere and get a good nights rest. Christian had slept beneath a large overhang in the hills last night. He felt refreshed, renewed. He was ready for whatever may happen. Christian knew that the vampires had always seen them as inferior beings. The truth was, there was strengths to both sides. It really fell down to who was the more skilled fighter, or who was the luckiest that night.

He had made his way to the clearing early, and watched William come in. He was not sure if William had kept his word or not about coming alone, either way this needed to be done. Christian dropped soundlessly from a tree and walked into the clearing.

His head nodded slightly out of habit but his eyes remained locked. "William. Allow me to ask you this," Christian began, "What would you have done? Would you have continued on as a slave? If it were our mages that had created a medallion to enslave the vampire nation instead of the other way around? Would you be content to watch as your children were born and stripped from you, sold to the highest bidder? Or to watch your brother die as he is forced to fight against another of his kind? What would you do?"
Posts: 216
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:51 am

Re: Only The Beginning (Kaye)

Postby Reineer » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:22 am

Dawn was approaching fast. If Christian did not show himself soon William was going to leave and let things be as they were. It was with some surprise, then, when Christian dropped out of a tree.

William remained stonily silent, his back to Christian. He was a reasonable man, as far as vampires went. It was difficult being such a person (if that is the correct word) in light of the circumstances, let alone his never-aging and constant awareness of the changes going on around him that he was powerless to stop or be a part of. He understood Christian's side of the story, he really did.

But that still did not excuse what he had done.

"How long as it been that way, Christian?" he asked quietly, slowly turning. "How long have our people held such beliefs? It's been that way since the beginning, and it has been that way for a reason. If it had been the other way around, I am sure I would have done what your kind did as well. I have no doubt about that."

He took a step forward, positively shaking with fury. "But if you think for one second that I am going to move past your...people....slaughtering Desmond like they did, betraying my family and deserting our home when we needed you there, then you are sorely mistaken."

Christian understood his ire, but he was not about to give in to this mentality. He stood nose to nose with his former master, staring him down. "You fret over the death of one vampire, yet your kind has put down hundreds of mine for nothing more than sport. You want to make this about you? I am speaking about my entire race." His own fury was building. His eyes flashed with golden fire.

"This is not about you and I. It is about my kind being able to live and make decisions for themselves. As for this having been 'the way' for all time, that isn't so - your kind, immortals, know this. I don't know if there are any vampires still here from the old days, but my kind have a shared memory, however vague or spotty it may be, of running free."

William was beside himself. He had not lost his temper like this since he was changed, the time when a vampire is easily its most dangerous. At that time, he was out of his mind. Daniel had taken years of his time to calm him back into a functioning mode where he would be safe enough to be left alone for hunting and any other endevour he chose to devote his time to. Now, it all appeared to lost.

"You're right," he hissed, baring his teeth as he fought to control himself. "This is bigger than you and I. A war is about to begin, we both know it. But who do you think is honestly going to come out on top? We've had centuries to learn the art of control; your kind has had centuries of power over you. Two different ends of the spectrum, don't you think?"

He said all of this mockingly. It was odd to think he had once called this wolf his friend. His family had been nothing but kind to Christian's people, and this was how they repaid them...It was unacceptable.

"The Old Ones still exist, you have my word on that," William vowed. "And they will not be happy when they learn of your treachery."

"Ahhhh, William," Christian sighed, "You always were a bit full of yourself. Do you believe for one second…" his voice trailed off as he realized he was about to divulge information best left unvoiced. Christian shook his head. It wasn't easy to switch mindsets from being a slave to being the leader of his own clan.

A soft howl cried from far away. It was not unheard of for a wolf howl to be heard for miles if the land and wind were just right. Christian knew it was time for him to go; this worked out well since the sun would soon be up.

"We shall meet again, old friend." His words were softly spoken and rang with truth, but his jaw was firmly set.

William snarled, deep and guttural, at Christian's cheek. When they had been friends (something he did not consider themselves to be now), Christian could have gotten away with that sort of daring remark. Now, however, it was taking most of his self-control not to launch himself forward and tear Christian apart.

A howl broke out, breaking the tense silence. But what was Christian about to say before that blasted noise? He was going to let something slip, William was sure of it, but what that could be he had no idea.

The sun was about to come up. He had to get home to talk with Daniel and the others, and he wanted to avoid the bright light as much as possible. "Until then," he said spat begrudgingly. With one last snarl, William bolted up into the branches and, like the best-trained acrobat, darted away.

Christian walked through the decrepit vestibule looking to and fro at those around him. He headed for the raised platform where once stood holy men before their congregation. Ascending the stairs, he thought about how he would approach his 'flock'.

"The worst is to be realized." Christian spoke loud and in a clear voice. "We still have those straggling in from the surrounding countryside from various clans and enclaves. Unfortunately, we will not have time to waste. We need to begin to gather weapons and begin pouring silver bullets. Those of the Blood will be upon us seeking some misplaced form of justice. Can I get word from the other enclaves?"

A man looked about and then shakily stood. "I am from Patrick's clan, but was left in the manor. The escape from there was bloody - to say the least. A mere handful of us escaped and many vampires fell."

Christian's hopes fell. "Is this the way of it from the other enclaves as well?"

Murmurs of a positive response rang through the hall. Christian nodded. "This means that we will be facing all of the enclaves, en masse. My father's plans included such events. In the rectory he had set up smelting stations as well as some stockpiles of silver. We have some weapons, but I fear it will not be enough. We may have to rely on our own teeth and claws as well. These are not weak weapons!" Christian's voice rose in pitch, power seemed to emanate from him, stirring the wolves into a fury. "We are not as weak as they thought us to be. We are not as simple as they thought us to be! We will rise to the challenge! We will grow in numbers and we will be strong!"

When he arrived back to the manor, the sun had just broken over the horizon. Daniel looked up as William made his way into his study. Rose was at his side, one pale hand clutching her husband's shoulder. The rest of his siblings were gathered around as well, and the curtains were all drawn.

"Glad you could join us," Daniel said as William shut the door behind him. He took his respected place next to Charlotte, silent.

"Well, what happened last night was a surprise, at best," Daniel started. "And with Patrick's clan all but destroyed, our list of allies in these parts is growing thin. If only Julian's clan had not turned against us!"

There were murmurs of agreement around the group. William, again, remained silent, his arms crossed over his chest. "We can contact Ursa's clan, but any others are beyond out region," Charles said. "I doubt we could launch any attack until we have more forces, and that could take weeks!"

"We don't have weeks!" Daniel stormed, slamming his fist on the table. "Contact Ursa and see if she knows any other clans in the area. I don't care if they are large or small. We can round up loners if we have to!"

Daytime was not the proper time to 'recruit' new faces. Over the next few days more wolves came in just as they had expected.

Christian did his best to organize what he could. Often times, he longed for his father and his mother - they were far better at this sorting out, his mother was a wiz at the details. He sighed and rubbed his head. Sylvia was there... He chuckled to himself. She was a handful herself, but she loved to fight and excelled, even if she was flighty.

They all worked together to create a fortress from the old building. Fortunately, the architecture helped them do it.

Through the shared memories of times past, Christian knew that sorcery was an option. They only need to learn how to tap that resource once again. He quietly asked around if anyone knew anything of this 'old' way, he had a few leads and went about learning more.

It had been drilled into them, while in captivity, that magic was a thing that drove wolves mad. Aren't we already mad??? We have already waged war on the vampires, some enclaves worse than others. I just learned tonight that none of the wolves escaped from Ursa's encampment. Although, some might have made it had they just waited for the chains to fall.

Christian sighed again.

Ursa was extremely upset to learn about the turn of events. Charles came back two days later with the news that she had doubled her guard over her servants and was more than willing to join them. He continued to report that she and all of her clan would arrive in a further two days' time, once they had everything they needed and all their affairs in order.

Things were moving very quickly now at the Widmore manor. Far faster than they had moved in a very long time. William supposed it was because of their immortality that things always seemed to move slow. They no longer had a purpose. They could not have children, even if they could be married. They did not have to worry about money because they already had more than enough. They did not have to worry about death, at least not until the wolves betrayed them. When there was no worry in life, there was no speed. Simple as that.

Their manor had been fortified by the time Ursa and her clan arrived. They were thirteen strong, a great asset to their cause.

"I'm afraid that the only other clans in the area are Patrick's and Julian's," Ursa, a tall dark-haired vampire from the Victorian age, informed them after her arrival. "Patrick's was elimiated, as you know, and Julian's clan would sooner join the wolves than join our cause. They will be another problem on our hands, as far as I can foretell."

"We will worry about Julian later, the wolves are our top proirity," Daniel snarled.

Christian was rallying his troops. It was all a façade, though. His heart wasn't in it. He didn't want a war. He wanted to live in peace. He was torn. Part of him actually longed for his place back in the manor. His life wasn't bad there. He shook his head in his trademark move.

I have to stop thinking like that, there are others that did not have it so easy. If it is a war they want, they shall have it.

Once again Christian pondered contacting Julian's enclave and once again Christian decided against it. He just didn't agree with Julian's way of doing things. No, if anything, this will become a three prong war.


Sylvia suddenly burst into his sanctum. "Christian… It's Sebastian. You should have killed him when you had the chance. Sebastian has sided with Julian. He took much of the weaponry we had with him as well as twenty of our Moon Children."

Damn him! Of course, Christian only had himself to blame. He hadn't wanted to kill Sebastian. Christian looked out the window to see the sun dipping into the horizon of broken and burnt buildings.

Without a word, he led Sylvia down to the main room, calling a meeting of those remaining. "My brothers and sisters" he called out. "We need to gather our forces. Ten of you will remain to protect our Sanctuary, this should be sufficient. With Sebastian joining Julian, things have changed. They now know where we are."

Recently, Sylvia had informed him of the location of tunnels under their Sanctuary. They had been discovered after Sebastian had left, so this knowledge should be safe. Christian had commissioned the tunnels to be expanded to the sewers under the city, as well as the subways. Christian was keeping this information incredibly low key. Need to know.

After appointing which of the clan would be manning the security detail, Christian gathered the remaining to go out into the city. "It is time. Convert the strongest, feed on the rest. There is an armory on West 52nd. We'll gather in two hours three blocks east and take it in force."

The group dispersed into the waning light.

William was fortifying the manor, but to what end, he did not know. If Daniel had any say, they would fight there, where it was well-protected and ready for nothing short of a siege. But if William knew the wolves--if he knew Christian--like he thought he did, then the chances of them attacking at the manor would be slim to none, at best.

But he did as Daniel said. The man (if he could be called that anymore) had been his father for over two hundred years, ever since he was bitten. He owed him his loyalty. He owed him everything. His faith was unwavering, unquestioning.


Benjamin had been out on patrol. They all served their time in that manner; one woul take the front, one would take the back, and they would run the entire perimeter of the Widmore lands and meet back only to do it agian. All night, and through the trees in the daylight to be safe.

"What did you see, Benjamin?" Rose asked. She had been waiting on the front porch, like she did every time one of her children were out. William had been waiting with her, knowing how she got in these situations.

"Nothing, but the wood is too quiet," Benjamin announced. "I don't like it. It made me...uncomfortable."

"Where's Anne?" William asked, stepping forward. Benjamin shook his head. "Go to Daniel and tell him. I'll wait for her."

Christian made his way to the meeting place at the appointed time. His crew was straggling in, bring word about new recruits that would be joining at the new moon; there would be six total thus far. Good, good. Thought Christian, their numbers would be fleshed out soon enough.

The armory was around the corner, a couple of blocks up. Earlier scouting missions had told of some twelve soldiers, most of them weekend warriors and incredibly lax in their duties. No one expected the armory to be hit any time soon.

Christian gave out orders. He would lead the ground attack, vaulting the ten foot high fence from the rear. Sylvia was to spearhead the aerial attack from neighboring building rooftops. Christian had no military practical experience to speak of, only what he had read and what his father had taught him. Even still, the attack went incredibly smoothly. The pincher move was textbook.

Sylvia's crew went in through the rooftop entrance, kicking in the skylights and dropping down from above; Christian's had no issues with vaulting the chain link and entering through the rear door. Stupid humans… didn't even bother to lock the door.

The wolves made their way through the complex, and surprisingly, they found every single one of the soldiers in the recreation room drinking beer and shooting pool. There was only one armed man amongst them; he was disposed of quickly. Not a single drop of wolf blood was spilled in during the attack.

A very successful raid, the wolves had added twenty fully automatic weapons to their arsenal. Christian put the wolves to work smelting the silver, melting them down into bullets and fitting them into the existing ammunition cases. It would take a week or two before all the ammo was made, but the hard work would pay off in the end.

Christian brooded over the prospect of fighting Sebastian and Julian at the same time as Daniel. This will not be pretty.

Benjamin nodded solemnly and headed into the manor, Rose at his heels. He did not look pleased to let William wait for Anne when he knew he should have, but he also had to report to Daniel. It was difficult for them to leave each other, especially when they were partners. The same went for William and Charlotte, and especially Rose and Daniel. The bonds were strongest between those who worked together the most. They were paired for a reason in that manner.

Ducking his head, William darted toward the tree line, pulling to a stop before anything around him even knew he had moved. He sniffed the air experimentally. Anne was not far.

A moment later, she pulled to a halt next to him, he dark hair dishivelled from her race around the grounds. "Did you see anything?"

She shook her head, hissing in annoyance. "Nothing. The forest is quiet. Too quiet. William, something isn't right. I was hearing things out there. Strange things."

"What things?" William asked, his interest peaked.

Anne shook her head again, looking faintly confused. "It's hard to make a lot out. There was a rumor of some attack, but I did not get any more of that. I don't know what else to say. What worries me is the whispering that more wolves are moving in. More seem to come every night."

William stiffened, snarling. Of course the wolves would gather as many of their kind as they could, now that the Medallion was in their claws. There had been more and more coming all the time, he knew, and it was making hunting for his family more difficult than before. The humans seemed on the alert more than usual, and they knew if they hunted on their own a wolf could easily pick them off, if that was their plan. The hunger for blood was starting to settle over the clan.

"Go tell Daniel."
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