Fur vs Skin

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3.

โWhen I look into your eyes, I feel something I canโ€™t explain.โž


I scream as cold hard fear slams into my system and immediately coursed through my veins, adrenaline beginning to pour itself into the mainstream and fuel my actions as I stumble away from Marcus โ€” who looked startled at my outburst. His features return back to normal, gradually shrinking back to features of a human but that doesnโ€™t take away the mental image that burns its place in the corner of my mind, eating away at my sanity. Thoughts of what he could possibly do to me ebb at the existing fear that rises with each second, the realization that the rest of them were just like him strikes at my instincts.

โ€œWait! Donโ€™t beโ€”โ€ he didnโ€™t finish as I whirl away from him and rushed to the door, the same time it bursts open and hurtled in the second man with an alert and fierce expression.

I push myself roughly past him not a second later, and out into the deadly winter wonderland that waited for my being, my bare feet burned with the freezing snow sticking to them as I ran blindly out into the snow and farther away from what I was exposed to.

My breathing comes out in white puffs, my vision catching every face of the people that stood around and sat on logs as I run past their faces look on in wonder at my distraught appearance. I didnโ€™t let them or the blistering cold stop me from my escape as I dash away, my feet digging into the snow and towards the bare trees that called for me.

โ€œWait!โ€

I pumped myself faster, flying across the length of the clearing that separated me from the safe heaven that the trees gave off, their limbs reaching out as if to beckon me away from what lies behind me, my soul yearning for the feel of solitude and safeness. My feet sink into the snow as I lengthen the distance between me and Marcus and his people, breaking through the forest line and zigzag between the gaps of the trees.

Earlier events barrel into my mind eyeโ€™s and cloud my vision. Red eyes and flashing fangs flicker in front of me causing me to trip over my own feet and stumble, I catch myself and push harder, the images coming at a faster pace. The red eyes were up close as I stared up at them, they were dull and void of any emotion, the next image was the same red eyes that stared at me in rage and bloodlust.

I gasp, out of breath with perspiration dotting at my forehead, my body willed me to stop and rest but I willed myself forward, dodging under hanging branches and sticks among the ground. My limbs burned with exhaustion, a flicker of an image flipping to the forefront of my mind โ€” a body lied on the floor, marks along the neck, blood seeping from the wounds, deep enough to see the muscles and veins that were revealed beneath. The face was covered by a shadow that soon began to clear as another image conjured from the depths of my thoughts, face soon revealing what Iโ€™ve tried to bury.

My mother.

My heart shattered in my chest, the awareness that she was really gone setting in, it made me slow down my pace as everything came rushing back. I left her in the house alone, despite being dead or not, I left her body with that monster that took her away from me, to slowly decay and rot in a place I once called home. A howl in the distance ripped me from the depths of my dark thoughts, it sounded close and not too far behind, with an erratically beating heart I push myself harder than Iโ€™ve ever done in my life.

Thatโ€™s when I heard them.

The thumping sounds of foot-steps pounding against the ground, slowly closing in on me and causes my heart to lurch into my mouth. The distant sound of snapping tree branches was faintly heard, growing louder with each step it took; whatever this thing was, it was huge and quickly closing the distance between us.

Deep growls pierced through the air like static from an electric wire that has been tampered with, they vibrated through my own body and sent my heart into a frenzy and my blood to pump faster; this thing was it was determined to catch up with me, following every step I took. The farther I run, the deeper the snow got, and tears of frustration well up in my eyes as I slow in speed, not being to pull myself through the obstacle.

The legs of my jeans were soaked and I shivered violently from the cold. I still struggle through the snow when Iโ€™m slammed from behind by a brute, heavy force, the air whooshing out of my lungs. I fall to the ground with a soft โ€˜oofโ€™, bracing my hands to catch most of the fall, before I could even lift myself up onto to my elbows, a heavyweight hovers over me, a wave of heat coming from the thing. All air locks up in my throat as I stare ahead, afraid to move.

Besides my shallow breaths, hot air blows over the top of my head, moving strands of hair into my eyes; everything was still as I wait for the thing to do something, maybe even eat me. But it does nothing

It just stays hovering above me while breathing heavily, the thing shifts up my body and from the corner of my eye I could see a large foot that stretches out into clawed nails, if I wasnโ€™t frozen before I was now as the snow seeps into my body, turning it numb and cold to the touch, despite my shivering; I donโ€™t move a muscle the sound of sniffing is heard.

A huff of air blows at the base of my neck before the feel of something, rough, wet, and cold pokes my neck, moving around and breathes in deeply.

The beast growls low in its throat, the sound vibrating through me as its snout nudges my head, huffing once more. Tears slid down my cheeks as I shut my eyes, accepting my fate of being slaughtered by a beast I couldnโ€™t identify, my mind then wanders to the stray thought of joining my mother, to see her smiling face one last time; the idea of death soon didnโ€™t become that frightening. I jump in my skin when the beast pulls back and howls into the air, the throaty sound echoing in the sky and was quickly cut off by a distant calling.

โ€œArsen, let go of her!โ€

My veins burst with joy and relief at the sound of Marcusโ€™s voice, every nature in me that wanted to get away from him flew out the window as I now called for his name. I made the mistake of twisting around and gazing upon vibrant yellow eyes, their intensity staring through the depths of my irises and coming into direct contact with my soul into my soul.

The sudden action of our eyes locking caused a snap of deep realization, unknown to my conscious. The air was abruptly electrified and charged like currents in a power line, wherever the hairs of the beast touched me, a current of tingles was left in its wake. Iโ€™m suddenly flipped around on my back, snow flying with the fluid action, I swallow a scream that desperately yearns to burst out, our proximities closer than ever as my eyes dart around the beastโ€™s face.

He was hunched over me, his long paws placed on the side of my body, wide, hairy chest rising and falling with each heavy breath that passed through his snout. His upper torso took on an appearance of a maleโ€™s chest, shoulders wide with apparent strength that flexed under its fur to keep its body above mine; those bright yellow eyes stared down at me from the top of his long snout, human intelligence in the pits of them. My eyes fly to the side, clashing gazes with Marcus, his own reassuring me.

โ€œItโ€™s okay, he wonโ€™t hurt you,โ€ he tells me softly, signaling the two men that flanked his sides They both stalk from behind him, moving to opposite sides and into the thinning trees.

โ€œWonโ€™t you?โ€

A growl rumbles through the beastโ€™s chest.

The shuffling sound of Marcusโ€™s feet in the snow is heard. โ€œArsen,โ€ he starts off, slowly, as if talking to a small child, โ€œYou can let her go now, she wonโ€™t be going anywhere.โ€

I whip my face to stare at Marcus once more, giving him an incredulous look, a known fact the minute Iโ€™m released, Iโ€™ll run for my life. At his words, the beastโ€™s chest vibrates and grows louder in volume as I cut my eyes up towards his- the yellow in his eyes darkening and shifting to a midnight black. Something set him off as his lip curled up in a snarl before his mouth dives down, locking on a target, a scream bubbles up my throat as I turn away, shutting my eyes and waiting for the pain to strike.

It never came as the weight on top of me vanished and a commotion began off to the side, a couple of feet away from meโ€” snarls and growls vibrating through the air along the surface of my skin. My eyes snap open at the feel of a hand resting on my shoulder, my gaze flickers over to see Marcus crouching beside me, eyes filled with concern.

Harsh breaths escape my mouth, collecting in front of my face like a cloud of white, I move away from his touch the beat of my heart thudding against my ribcage. Shuffling along the snow, I stumble to my feet, strands of hair falling into my face from the wind, the growls grow more fierce and louder in volume bringing my attention to the beast hunched to the side, its gaze locked on me.

The two wolves that arrived with Marcus stood guarded in front of the beast, growling and snapping their jaws when it tried to take a step closer. It growled its anger, snapping its attention away from me momentarily to swipe a claw in the direction of the wolves, they jumped away just in time, small hairs of their furs falling to the ground from almost being taken out.

Its eyes returned back to mine, keeping me frozen as it once again tried to take a step towards me.

โ€œCalm down, Arsen!โ€ Marcusโ€™s tone held a power that made my skin tremble in awareness and something inside me to bristle.

โ€˜Arsenโ€™ as he called the beast, snarled in the direction of Marcus, louder than the two wolves before him, eyes flashing as his teeth snapped in the air causing the older man to stand taller with tensed muscles; his own eyes flashing bright yellow. Before the beast could get what Marcus had to offer, the sound of snapping bones had my heart stop for a moment as I took in the sight before me.

Steam was coming off its body like a cloud, filling the air as its size began to shrink, the black fur that covered every inch of its body; residing into its pores and slowly being replaced with skin. My wide eyes drink in everything, the snout shrinking and shaping into a human nose and mouth and those bright yellow eyes staying the same, glaring into mine with an intensity that reminded me of the sun; ready to burn you alive.

Once the smoke cleared I stood before a beautifully bare naked man, sculptured to perfection, glaring into my soul with his lips pulled back into a snarl.

โ€œMine!โ€

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