Hunter followed the scent trail; it was a little difficult with the recent rains and other humans contaminating the area. He got a lot of stares from passing by humans that kept their distance from him.
He was after all a huge wolf just trotting down the sidewalk. It wasn’t like he was trying to be menacing, he was trying to find Haven. However the humans still stayed away from him, he didn’t mind. He went on his way but kept an eye out for animal control. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to try calling them, it’s happened before.
However he eventually found his way to the forest without incident. As he stepped into the tree line it made it easier to track Haven since Hunter could follow the muddy foot prints and broken brush Haven had left in his wake.
Anyone with basic tracking skills could follow Haven’s clumsy path, it was a bit sad really. Shaking his head Hunter headed farther into the forest, keeping low to the ground and out of sight in case hunters were about. The forest was quiet, not unusually quiet but enough to set Hunter on edge. Each step he took him brought him closer to the fresher scent of Haven but farther from the safety.
It took longer than expected to find where Haven had gone. The trek through the forest was longer then Hunter thought Haven would have dared wonder away from the town. Haven may have left an obvious trail but he knew where he was going.
His path was so straight.
Obviously Haven knew the forest, though Hunter already knew that. Haven loved the outdoors it would have surprised Hunter if Haven didn’t know his surroundings.
Though where Haven was headed to had to be one of the top questions swimming through Hunter’s head at the moment. Haven had never mentioned a place in the woods he liked to go. He never once went out of view from the house when he ventured out. Haven always seemed to be surprising Hunter every step of the way.
The trail veered off suddenly going straight down into a deep ravine. The destruction made it clear Haven had tripped or something and fell down. Hunter made his way down to find Haven had spent a lot of time at the bottom.
He must have passed out after the fall.
There were no signs of blood or a body so Haven must still be alive. Glancing around Hunter noticed other things. There were branches high up in the trees with ribbons tied to them, delicately drifting in the wind. He’d seen things like that before; they were never a good sign. They were from the Fairy Hunt, markers of places they’d abducted people.
But that wasn’t the most interesting thing there. Other scents mingled with Haven’s and the natural scent of nature around here. Blossoms and citrus hung in the air, easily placed as the perfume Karen wears all the time. Scenting the air the blossoms and citrus was present, even more than Haven’s scent.
There were horse tracks descending on the small clearing in the ravine in all direction to circle a single point before all leaving together. The scent suddenly clicked, he knew it wasn’t exactly blossoms and citrus but it was close. He now knows what the scent was with no idea why he hadn’t recognized it right away.
It was the scent of fairies, clear as a bright sunny day.
Hunter shook his head casting away the dread he felt and followed the horse tracks until they abruptly stopped along with the scent trail and any other traces of anything; even Haven’s scent was gone. Looking down to the ground Hunter stared at the Fairy Ring that swallowed up the trail. Letting out a frustrated growl Hunter turned and headed back to Haven’s place. He had to hurry he had one lead and wasn’t going to let it go cold.
Once back Hunter found Karen she was in the back yard looking out into the forest, Eli was with her and they were talking. He was still too far away to string together full sentences but he heard mention of Haven’s name a few times. Karen said something her voice oddly calm and collected, like when she was on the porch. That was when Eli blew up and started shouting.
“Are you seriously telling me you lost him!? How could you lose someone you’ve been tasked with watching for years!?” Eli demanded, Hunter stopped dead and crouched down low to stay out of view.
“It’s not like I planned for this.” Karen said in that weird calm voice. Eli floundered tossing his arms around in the air before grabbing fist full of his hair and tugging.
“Ugh, this is horrible! It’s that mutt’s fault I lost the sacrifice because of him.” Karen swayed for a moment then shook her head and looked over to Eli and frowned.
“Are we still talking about Haven?” Her voice returning to what Hunter was used to.
“Of course we’re still talking about Haven here! I should have killed him long ago.” Hunter was done listening then. Jumping out and lunging at Eli. Karen let out a startled scream and fell back as a bright light burst from Eli’s body. He morphed and changed as he batted Hunter away as if he were simply a toy. Hunter hit the ground hard as Eli descended on him. Karen let out a scream of panic as Hunter shook the stars away.
Eli’s real form had dark green skin with sparse feathers and black piercing eyes stared down at him as talons closed around Hunter’s neck. Eli looked more like a humanoid bird complete with wings for arms as well as another pair that jutted out of his back. His face was more bird then man complete with a black colored predator’s pointed beak.
“I told the hunters where you were but they insisted on keeping their distance. They insisted you were special and they needed to take their time! Almost a year of time wasted!” Eli let out a harsh laugh.
“Can you believe it, you, special? How on earth is a Rouge wolf special? I personally believe you’re kind are worthless that’s why I’m going to be the one to kill Haven and set the plague free to kill every last wolf on this planet. I’ll be a hero in the Dark Court!” Hunter growled at the Dark fairy and lashed out slashing Eli across the face with his back claws.
Eli stumbled back as bluish green blood poured from the wounds for a moment before simply closing up. The glared Eli gave him was murderous, “Filthy mutt!” He shouted as Hunter lunged at him again this time he managed to get his teeth around Eli’s neck. The taste of his blood was putrid and vile Hunter almost gagged on it.
It was like eating rotten flesh.
But only for a moment, something plunged into his side and familiar pain erupted from that spot on his flank as what he knew was silver poured into his system poisoning him. He was then tossed again flying across the yard and hitting the shed. He heard something crack and was pretty sure the shed would be unharmed judging from the way his entire body jolted in pain.
“Get up stupid!” Someone shouted but Hunter couldn’t think of moving not when his body was busy trying to put itself back together. Someone was at his side then saying something but Hunter was too out of it to focus.
It took a moment before he could render it was Karen hovering over him, “Hey don’t die stupid mutt this girl needs you to stay alive. Come on get up, you’re a resilient bastard aren’t you? Are you just going to lie there and let the Dark court kill Haven?” She went quiet looking up towards the forest then screamed and bolted towards the house.
Hunter watched still too…out if it…
Hunter lay in a crumpled heap as the hunters descended on the backyard. Karen had almost made it to the back door when a tall hulking beast of a man grabbed her hair and jerked her back and onto her knees.
He pressed a knife to her neck and looked over to a tall slender man who stood with Mara. She was watching Hunter whimper in pain and listened to the way his bones popped back into place.
“The silver isn’t going to kill him is it?” She asked.
“No he spent days with more silver then that in his body, he’ll be fine.” Mara narrowed her eyes and gripped her arm. She wasn’t wearing sleeves as she usually did. Now with just a T shirt on the scars on her arms were in plain view.
“He’s my kill, why did you take the shot?” She looked up to the man.
“Because he’s your kill not,” He paused and looked over to where Eli had been but wasn’t anymore. Bluish blood pooled there as a trail of it led into the forest, “A fairy’s.” Mara walked over to Hunter and kneeled down, yanking out the arrow with a quick jerk.
“He’s still my kill father.” Mara said looking back to the man who nodded and looked back to Karen and the man.
“What do we have here?” He said with a smirk as he strolled over to Karen.
“I-I’ll scream.” Karen warned panic and fear forcing her to stutter. Mara’s father’s grin widened to show teeth.
“Is that so?” He asked tilting his head. “Go right ahead little girl, you’ll only bring death to whoever shows up to your aid.” He promised Karen’s eyes widened as more hunters showed up, stepping out of the shadows. “And yes, even if they are human.”
“Enough talking Gerald, we need to clear out and find her brother.” A lanky woman said as she walked up to Mara. Gerald, Mara’s father looked to the woman.“Yes of course. We’ll bring the girl she’ll be changing soon we haven’t much time.” He said. The man holding Karen in place gave a quick nod and smashed his huge fist into the side of her head. When she went limp he tossed her over his shoulder and followed Gerald away and back into the forest.