1: So Many Sins
The group of human men laughed like a pack of hyenas.
The snorts and guffaws echoed in Alice’s brain as her sanity was stretched to the limit.
All she wanted to do was give in to her beast, jump off the cliff, and attack. Her wolf begged for her to give in and murder all of them. The tang of the blood was almost on her tongue.
She held herself back and watched as the body of a wolf was kicked and it sailed landing in the center of the mob, and they laughed and laughed. Cuts decorated its body as if they were trying to slice away its hide. But no, these monsters didn’t torture for need.
Her lips lifted in a silent snarl. She was outnumbered for the moment, but if this continued she would go down there and rip out their throats, each and every one of the demons.
The wolf was dead, had been dead for some time. And yet the vermin tortured its corpse. They had the blood of her forest brother splattered on their bodies. Its insides had been pulled out from its mouth. They took turns wrapping its body around them and pretending to be the wolf.
If she had gotten here earlier, they all would have died. No matter what her brother had done, she’d have rescued him. That’s what her kind did.
But now she would stand by and watch, and count their sins. And they would pay for each and every single one, she wouldn’t let them escape.
But still, something was off about this whole thing. Yes, there was the group and yet, there was one off by himself.
One of the men was not like the others. He stood apart from them as he stared out. His white hair ruffled in the breeze. The wolf’s body landed next to him and he looked over at the others. “That’s enough,” he whispered as he closed his eyes.
“What’s that?” one of the others laughed. “Is Justa going to stand up for a dead mangy mutt? You’re lucky you’re not as dead as this animal. You know what would have happened if we hadn’t killed it. It would have ripped you apart.”
“Killing for defense, and doing this are two different things,” Justa replied. “You had every right to kill it to defend your own, but you have no right to do this to its body. You have to have respect.”
“Aww,” the man teased He grabbed the wolf’s head and forced its jaws apart as if it was speaking. “What’s wrong, Justa? You don’t have the stomach for revenge? Why do you care I’m dead? I’m just a dumb animal.” They laughed again. “Give it a kiss, Justa!”
Justa blinked slowly as he stared at the dark beast. “We humans are the dumb animals,” he replied with a sigh as he turned away.
“That’s it.” The man dropped the wolf and slammed his fist into Justa’s cheek.
Justa’s head snapped to the side from the force, but he didn’t retaliate nor did he try to defend himself.
Alice frowned and tilted her head. What was with that one? He didn’t appear to be a normal type of human, she had never considered any of them intelligent. Her rage cooled off by a few degrees and she licked her lips as she tried to think.
And she’d never witnessed a human with two-toned hair. His front was white, but the back was black as a raven’s wing. How odd.
But still, the pack would want blood. Despite that not being one of hers, the wolf was still a citizen of the forest and deserved to be treated with respect.
The white-haired man was on the ground. One of the humans had straddled him and was punching him in the face over and over again. Each blow echoed through the clearing as bone cracked under the assault.
She had seen enough.
Alice tipped her head back and howled. The humans paused in their fight and scurried like insects. They dropped the strange one to the ground and they ran as if the hounds of hell were chasing them.
They weren’t yet, but they would be soon.
Alice nodded to the wolf that appeared like an apparition beside her. Her second in command Mark took the signal and streaked off following after the humans.
He’d report back later, and the pack itself would take pleasure in stomping all those humans out. They wouldn’t live long enough to have regrets, but maybe the Goddess would forgive them in the after life.
Alice’s ears twitched as the rest of the pack with her followed after Mark and left her alone on the hill. Her eyes were still pinned to that odd human. He was on his hands and knees now and blood dripped down his face and to the ground.
He ignored the fluids though and went to the wolf’s stiff body. Alice’s ears pinned back. Had this one changed his mind? Was he about to add to the insults the wolf’s body had to face?
Justa picked up the wolf and carried it into the forest. Alice followed from the top of the cliff, keeping an eye on them. He set the body down by a tree and she tilted her head again.
What was this human doing?
He picked up a stick and she growled. She prepared herself to leap down and tear his throat out herself.
The only good human was a dead one. They were a creature that could never be trusted.
But Justa didn’t use the stick on the wolf’s body. Instead, he dug in the dirt and made a hole. Alice blinked and as she watched her ears straightened and rotated forward.
Why was this strange human burying the wolf? Alice knew of their customs, but she couldn’t figure out why a human would do this for a wolf.
A rustling around her drew her attention back to her surroundings and Mark dipped his head. “I’ve found their lodging, it’s not far.”
“Did they see you?” Alice demanded.
“No, the cowards slunk inside and slammed their doors. They think we’re just mere wolves,” he chuckled. “I can not wait until their blood and organs nourish my own body. It will be a lot more use for their parts than those monsters deserve.”
He too titled his head. “What is that one doing? Why isn’t he with the others?” he growled low. “He’s by himself, we could take him out right now.”
“No,” Alice interrupted as she continued to watch Justa. “Leave that one be.”
“Alpha?” Mark questioned. “Why?”
“Because, I have decreed it,” she answered back her eyes still locked on him. “I have an interest in that one. I have no yet decided on his punishment for being a human.”
“You will kill him though, right?” Mark demanded. “You saw what they did to our forest brother.”
“I saw what the others did, that one did not participate.”
“He stood by, that’s guilty enough for me, Alpha. I respect you, but if you let this one go, mark my words, there will be trouble.”
“I hear you,” Alice replied as she continued to watch. The man had finished with his hole and lowered her forest brother down before filling the hole up with dirt once more. “But that one is not normal.”
Mark shrugged his powerful muscles rippling beneath his skin. “I have said my piece. We will attack when the sun dips and the moon rises high. The Goddess blesses us tonight by hiding her face. The darkness will help us in our ambush. They are far too stupid to even know what’s coming.”
“Thank you, Mark,” Alice replied. The man had finished now and was picking some flowers from nearby and scattering them over her forest brother’s remains. He sighed and walked away, back to where the other humans had fled.
This strange one was returning to those who had beat him.
“Alice,” Mark interrupted.
She jerked to attention at the name as her ears flattened. “Show respect,” she growled at him.
He tilted his head and flashed the underside of his neck to her. “We need to get out of here, Alpha. Please, follow me.”
Alice took one more look at where that odd stranger had walked and nodded. “I agree. Let’s return to the pack. We’ll attack tonight.”
And if she did happen to run into that Justa human? Alice wasn’t sure she would be able to do what the pack wished. The murderous rage she felt towards all humans wasn’t present when she studied him.
And as Alice returned to her people and her pack she made a decision. Even if she did run into that human, she would follow the will of the other wolves. She would bring the same punishment to him as she would to any other human that stepped foot on their territory.
When it came down to it, she was on the side of the wolves, not on the side of the beasts that walked around on two legs. Their blood would flow tonight, and no matter who she found she’d rip them apart herself.
And yet, why did those dark stormy eyes of that man come to mind?