Adrenaline thrummed through his veins as his legs pounded through the undergrowth.
Faster and faster.
Hands clenched tight.
Skin wet with perspiration.
His lungs took in deep powerful breaths, calmness against his rushing body.
His mind did not race nor did his heart pick up its pace. He pounded through the dead forest. Its dead trees twisted in gnarled branches and sharp twigs. Bleak midwinter, another filled with vast emptiness.
But that had changed as of late. The precious cargo he held within his grasp had brought him more trouble than good in the recent months, brought him out of his solitude in the north.
The wolves had grown desperate, indeed.
To seek him out after so long.
After so much death.
They had grown desperate now more so than ever. They hoped and prayed for a last resort that held too much mysticism and folklore to be true.
He had seen much but no one could deny nature.
Despite his own views a slight hope lingered within him. He had hardened over time, marred with scars and blood and had finally seen the world as silver and red flames once had.
It was because of those eyes, those that haunted his dreams, that he ran with death nipping at his heels.
He could feel them in the dark as they raced to surround him. To end him as they tried at every opportunity. Another dangerous beast now also roamed the dark and his body was now an example of its brutality.
He was its only match and their many encounters made him grow increasingly weary.
The falling snow chilled his heated skin as he grew closer and closer. His eyes glowed with the beast within, the High Alpha that seeked release. It grew increasingly restless the closer they drew to their destination.
His body contorted in pain as claws sliced through his side and across his back. A severe mortal blow that even a High Alpha would not be able to heal from in time. Silver tipped claws had left far less serious marks on his body.
He felt the blood gush down his side as he crossed over the invisible line that no longer held any power. Fires were lit in the sconces that had been sat empty for many years and made a pathway towards his target.
A familiar figure came into view as he felt his body weaken and slow. His home had not changed despite the years and events that had passed. The only real sense of normalcy that had stayed.
The valley seemed to close around him as he approached the stone table and felt a relief come over him as he sank to his knees and crawled the rest of the way. He wondered if the relief he felt was the same she had in the end, no more blood and death.
No more suffering.
As he reached out his hand, his precious cargo held in his fingertips, for the table its contents shifted as he forced his wrecked body to follow it.
His hand came down strong and sharply as it crashed down onto the table with a deep, resounding boom.
The last of his power slipped from him as he slumped with his back against the table and white light overcame his eyes.