Victoria stood in the woods encasing her home, stretching her arms above her head. Her waist length, blonde hair had been tied into a loose bun, stray blonde wisps tickling against her tanned face. Her white sports bra and black basketball shorts contrasted each other across her tanned skin, her bare feet caressed by the morning dew of the grass. She dropped her arms to her sides and slowly widened her stance, stretching her legs as she pushed them apart. She had not gone on this type of run in months, she had to make sure that her body would comply. Adrenaline filled her lungs, her heart beating so fast that she almost expected her chest to burst.
A low purr erupted from her throat, causing her to grin. It was torture to not let her wolf out more frequently, but even her run today would have restrictions. Father had approved the run, but without a full transformation, she thought as she pulled her legs back together. She folded her left leg behind her and grasped her ankle, her foot pressing into her butt. Apparently, Father had a visitor today, and we could not take any chances of my wolf fully exposed.
When fully transformed, a Decant became purely animal, the wolf within taking complete control of the body. Only fellow Decant remained unharmed by a Decant in transformation, but all other species were in danger of crossing paths with a fully transformed Decant. In wolf form, a Decant will attack other animals, humans, and whatever else she encountered. That is also why Decants live outside of the town of the humans, she thought. She released her left leg and repeated the stretch with her right leg. She tilted her face up to the sun and closed her eyes, the warmth of the sun enveloping her body. Only pureblood Decants possessed the ability to shift at will, and the ability to control their shift. Half-blood or turned Decants were only able to transform at the mercy of the full moon that forced their transformations, they could not transform at will. Purebloods incurred the wrath of the full moon as well, but it was much worse. During the full moon, no Decant was able to avoid the cycle; purebloods were forced into transformation during the full moon, just like half-bloods and turned Decants, and the forced transformation ended when the sun rose and pushed the full moon out of the sky.
Victoria released her right leg, her face still tilted to the sun. I wonder if half-bloods or turned Decants feel their wolves like I feel mine, she thought. Victoria was the Heiress to the Decant throne, her father, Nicholas, her pack’s current Alpha. Only pureblood Decants were promised Alpha or Luna, as they were the strongest of their kind. Victoria’s mother, Natalie, her father’s Luna, passed away fifty-five years ago, and her father had not taken another Luna since. Decants mated for life, and, when one mate passed before the other, the widowing mate mourned two ways; the wolf, and the person, grieved. The wolf within had to approve of the mate as well, which, in turn, made the wolf fall in love with the mate’s wolf as well.
Victoria shivered, opening her eyes. Father was so devastated by her death that his wolf did not surface again for at least one full year, she remembered. Her wolf released a small whimper. Victoria was two hundred years old, and still had not found a suitable mate. Her wolf was easy to please, her animal instinct enjoying the affections of another wolf, but the actions were just affections to Victoria. She had cared for some of her suitors over the years but falling in love seemed foreign to her. As Heiress, most of the Decants sought her out for the potential to become her Alpha, to obtain power. Father warned me of such at a young age, she thought. She knew to not commit to one until her heart, and the person’s intentions, were true. Some were great fucks though, she thought, a purr of arousal from her wolf causing her to grin. But fucking does not mean that the man is fit for the crown. Especially after Mother’s death, Victoria increased the wall around her heart; more Decants had reached out since Mother’s death, as her time to reign was coming that much closer, but her wall never faltered.
Victoria shook her head and rolled it against her shoulders, cracking her neck. She smelled the air as she rolled her shoulders, the scent of pine needles dancing with grass flooding her nose. Her wolf grew restless, grumbling within. Victoria opened her eyes, their original electric blue color converting to a fiery, bright gold. Her small hands shifted, paws with blonde fur sprouting to life. Her fingernails were overrun with thick, black claws. Her feet contorted, the arch in her feet more prominent as paws with blonde hair consumed them. Her toenails succumbed to thick, black claws as well, digging into the grass slightly. Her jaw then cracked, dropping itself down to allow her upper haw to expand up.
With her mouth properly widened, her canine teeth pushed through her gums. Her top two canine teeth touched the center of her chin, her bottom two canine teeth toughing just above her top lip. Her tongue had also transformed, its long, slick figure grazing over her canines lovingly. God, I have missed this, Victoria thought. Her wolf howled inside, echoing her own heart. It is not near enough, she thought. Victoria and her wolf both craved the full transformation, like an addict craving a drug. Letting her take control, Victoria thought, is so freeing. Although Decants could shift at will, the duration of their transformation was the same; Decants remained in wolf form until sunrise the following day. If only I could let her take control for an hour or so, she thought.
The full moon will be here again soon, Victoria thought, and then we can play. For now, we run. Victoria took off in a sprint, the trees blurring beside her. The crisp air saturated her lungs, Victoria drinking in each breath. The grass beneath her feet grew slick as she gained speed, forcing her concentration more. She dropped her body down and pushed her run harder, now running with all four paws. Her claws sank into the morning soil effortlessly, ripping up bits of grass as she ran. She reached the tree marking the property border, a tall maple tree with claw marks at the base. She growled and ran at the tree even faster, her eyes fixated on the tree.
Victoria thrust herself into a leap and landed on the tree itself, her claws digging into the bark to support herself. She climbed her way into the tree and turned around, reviewing the path that she had just taken. Her house loomed in the distance, her wolf aching to not run back. Father insisted that I was present for his meeting at ten, and it was a little before eight when I left, she thought. I need to shower first, but we will make the route home count. Her wolf grunted in approval, and Victoria lept into the next tree, her claws penetrating the bark. She dipped her head down and inhaled, allowing her snout to push her regular nose away. Both Victoria and her wolf enjoyed the smells of nature compared to the city. The smells of pollution and humans in the same city overpowered her nose and starved her at the same time.
Victoria lept to the next tree, her stomach aching with hunger. Decants ate regular food like humans, but this hunger was deeper; she needed a heart. She lept into the next tree quickly. Decants value life and refuse to hunt for their satisfaction in any living creature, including humans, so they relied on the dead. Victoria had a fresh heart once, when she was a child, when her transformation during the full moon was not monitored. She had made it all the way into town and killed a homeless man.
Victoria jumped in between the trees faster, her stomach gnawing at her. She had been punished for her crime, deprived of any heart of any kind for two weeks. But that punishment was not the problem, she thought. The withdrawals were. She had never tasted a heart so rich, so juicy, so…perfect before. She had devoured that heart in seconds, and her mother caught her before she could kill her second target. The human’s heart possessed her with a blood lust like no other craving. Her father had to lock her in the cellar because she kept attacking the guards, trying to free herself, her wolf refusing to give her control.
Victoria landed on the ground in front of her house, the gravel driveway discomforting her feet. She began transforming back to her human state as she walked up the large driveway, the two-story brick house looking like a mansion. A pearl white water fountain sat before the steps of the house, the triple tier fountain releasing water on each level elegantly. She walked up the steps to the big, wooden double doors with flower etched glass consuming the doors, as if the wood of the doors were just a frame for the art.
Victoria pulled open one of the doors, the spiral staircase of the house greeting her. To her right was the dining room, a long dining table made of solid black marble directly in the center. Five wooden chairs sat on each long side of the table, one chair at the head of the table, and one chair at the foot of the table. She walked through the dining room into the kitchen, the bright white almost blinding.
Father adored marble, customizing all the kitchen counters to be made of white marble, as well as the island in the middle of the kitchen. Victoria opened the fridge and withdrew a red mason jar. She unscrewed the lid and pressed her lips to the rim, drinking the blood down greedily. To extend the shelf life of the hearts, the mason jar in which they resided in was filled to the rim with the host’s blood. Not all Decants cared for the taste of blood, some preferred the taste of the heart muscle directly, but Victoria craved both. The slick blood worked its way down her throat, a deep purr rumbling in her throat at its taste.
As the liquid began to reach its end, Victoria cracked her jaw, releasing her canines as her mouth widened. The heart in the jar slipped into her mouth, her canines tearing into it quickly. The shredded heart slid down her throat, both her and her wolf growling, the deepness of the growl echoing through the kitchen. Her long tongue slid over her lips and canines as she placed the jar in the sink, then glanced at the clock on the wall. “Shit,” she muttered. Father’s guest would be here in half an hour.
Victoria quickly exited the kitchen and rushed up the staircase. She rushed down the upstairs hallway and entered her bedroom, her large kind bed disheveled in front of her. She had deep maroon silk sheets and a white comforter that was wrapped around her pillows. She entered her closet and withdrew a pair of jeans and a blue halter top. She found her strapless black bra and black thong to match, and laid all her clothes on her bed. She then walked over to her balcony and pulled the curtains in front of the balcony door shut. She entered her bathroom that was attached to her bedroom and quickly stripped out of her clothes.
The heat of the shower water relaxed her muscles, soothing her aching body. Victoria had transformed many times in her lifetime, but it never stopped hurting. You just get used to the pain, she thought. She tugged the ponytail out of her bun, her long hair falling freely amongst her body. She washed her hair and scrubbed her body, eliminating the dirt and blood she picked up on her run.
Victoria rinsed herself off and shut off the shower, wrapping a white towel around her waist. She exited the shower and used another white towel to dry her hair. She then faced the mirror and grabbed her brush. I wonder who he is meeting, she thought as she ran the brush through her wet hair. He usually tells me, but this time he chose not to. Something is wrong. She looked at herself in the mirror as she finished brushing her hair, setting her brush on the counter.
Decant bodies stopped aging after twenty-five-years-old in human years, but Victoria swore that she actually looked her age sometimes, mostly when she reminisced on past decades. She quickly dried herself off and slipped into her clothes, pulling on a pair of black socks and black combat boots. She heard a motorcycle in the distance, growing louder as it closed that distance. Father’s guest, she thought. She tied her combat boots and stood up, grabbing her brush again. The smell of exhaust rushed her nose as the motorcycle entered the property, the engine cutting as it parked.
A new smell invaded her nose, burning firewood and musk with a hint of morning dew. Victoria grinned as she recognized the smell, brushing her hair. Why did Father not tell me it was him? She thought. She set the brush back down and exited her room. She leaned against the banister of the stairs as her father walked to the door. Once the door opened, the smell smacked Victoria in the face, the guest entering.
Father’s guest was Jonathon Normand, Master of the vampire race. Jonathon stood at six feet tall, towering over Victoria’s five-foot frame for years. Jonathon had short, black hair, with striking emerald green eyes. The swell of his arm muscles teased the strength of his black shirt, his chest muscles damn near outlined. Jonathon had a black motorcycle helmet in his right hand, resting it against his right leg. He was wearing a pair of jeans that gripped his leg muscles tightly, his own pair of combat boots wiping off dirt before entering the house.
The man was gorgeous. Sinfully sexy, Victoria thought, grinning. We are two different species, but that does not mean my eyes are broken. I can still enjoy looking at him. She then splayed her arms out against the banister, leaning into it as she spoke. “If I could be more damned than I already am,” Victoria said, Jonathon’s head jerking in her direction in surprise, “Jonny Normand is at my house. To what do we owe the honor?”