The Art of PersuasionMature

 Fenrir sat on the disembowelled corpse of one of his former pack brothers, naked as the day he was born, hands covered in slick red blood, his long polished black talons still growing from the nail beds on his fingers. This matter of the bear...complicated things slightly. That monster had killed an entire hunting squad with that old Atlantean fool...a whole squad...one bear and an old fool with an axe. Something akin to fear plucked at his heart. NO! I am Fenrir the Black Wolf! Death itself! I am a God! I do not fear mortal beings!  He bellowed to himself as he steadily began licking the wolfs blood from his hands, savouring every last drop as his mind slowly began to figure out how they would remove the bear and the Atlantean from the situation. They have strength now with the bear...that bit is for certain...but we have numbers. It was true! He had a whole army of Lycans with hundreds of humans wanting to become Lycans, by the end of the night if he commanded every Legionaries to be given the bite he could have an army of nearly a thousand at his back...

A pack a thousand strong...not even that abomination could stand against such great numbers. However, the bigger the pack the more his power to control them would dwindle, he couldn't guarantee that if he sent them in for the queen that they would follow his orders, they could just gut her and feast on her body. Unless I sent Erik in...No...I would have to march with them...Only then could I guarantee the Queen would be kept alive. His packs were out searching the city at this very moment, sniffing out their scents, it shouldn't take them long...how long he'd been sat down their in their chambers on the slowly rotting corpse of the wolf he killed, he couldn't say. But eventually Erik walked down the cast iron staircase and stood in front of him, his clothes nothing but rags on his body after he'd changed to escape Fenrir's rage. 'Still no sign of them Fenrir,' he said placing his hands tightly behind his back. 'We've got packs searching every street and scenting every cheap motel within fifteen miles of the city.'

'Have you ever come across a bear before Erik?' Fenrir asked locking yellow eyes with his second in command. His face remained a neutral mask.

'Once.'

'And how did that go for you?'

'We were searching for a girl who owed the pack money, she hired him as protection...'

'I didn't want a back story!' he shouted snarling slightly. Erik just looked down at him, his face unreadable.

'It killed fifteen of my best men and I only escaped by changing and running.' He admitted honestly.

'Do you have any idea how to kill them?'

'They're bigger, stronger and more fierce. But we have speed and numbers.' I already know that you old fool.

'Erik...' said Fenrir rubbing his eye lids with his fingers. 'I didn't keep you alive to tell me things I already know! Now get back out there you old fool! And come back to me with bad news again I'll seriously consider how useful you actually are to me!' for just a second Erik looked like he was about to protest but Fenrir let his hands change back to claws, Erik took the threat with a bow before turning on his heel and leaving. Stupid old fool.

'My Lord?' a voice said after a long silence.

'What?' he said not looking up from the floor he'd been staring at for the past hour.

'My Lord a Vampire is here to see you, she wants to help in finding the Atlanteans.' What? Looking up to the top of the spiral staircase Fenrir saw a young looking girl with ivory skin and umber brown curls falling around her milk pale face. Whether she always was so pale or it was just because of fear he couldn't say...she didn't smell of fear.

'I heard about what they did to your men...' she said sheepishly. 'I want to help bring them to justice.' A firework exploded in his chest. Oh I am a God!

'Leave us,' he said to her guard. 'Come down my dear...see for yourself the destruction they caused my brothers and sisters.' Instead of walking down the steps she just took a running leap over the side, flipping gracefully through the air like an Olympic acrobat before landing with barely a ruffle of noise not three feet away from where he sat. She wore black, like most vampires, seemed to carry no weapons that he could see apart from her fangs, and had eyes of startling icy blue. 'You must excuse my condition my dear...the change rarely accommodates clothes.'

'Two Atlanteans did this?' she asked gobsmacked at the amount of blood and limbs that scattered the floors that he had caused.

'Atlanteans are nothing but mindless killers,' Take it easy...she needs convincing yet. 'They get a thrill from the death of another living thing, this is how Atlantis was destroyed, they killed themselves with weapons so great the continent city was sunk. Now only a few handful remain alive...but they travel the world killing the biggest and deadliest pray they can find.' forging sadness he looked to the ground. 'They killed dozens of my men...then we tracked them here but they fought their way out...'

'I want to help catch them?' she said boldly with a confidence that her small frame didn't suit.

'Why child? They'll kill you! I sent a full pack of my strongest brothers after them and they cut them down like cattle.' She paused for a second as he met her eyes, then he smelt fear.

'I didn't want to be changed. I didn't ask for it. I'm a monster, but with the powers I've been given I want to do some good in this world. I heard your men talking about the Atlanteans that killed your pack members...the world certainly sounds like it would be better off without them.'

'Indeed.' he said trying to make a friendly smile grow across his face, it felt so unnatural. 'I will not be a fool and say we don't need help...if you want to help...find them. Then come back and find me when you learn of their location, if they get a hint that they were discovered they'll flee and will never come to justice.'

'What do they look like?' Over the next hour or so Fenrir clothed himself and told her everything that she needed to know to do her mission, this was so perfect, the last thing they would expect would be a vampire following them. And if they kill the girl, no loss to him.

'The male is the dangerous one, he wields an axe with deadly skill. We believe them to be somewhere in the city or the surrounding countryside.' he pointed out, through their entire conversation the girl never took her eyes of him, it was disconcerting, it was like she knew he was lying to her.

'Where will I find you when I find them?' When? Cocky one you are my dear.

'Find a Lycan, tell him where they are. He'll find me.' Then without a second glance or even a passing goodbye, she was gone. When he was sure she was out of earshot the laughter came, rolling over him in great waves. Oh...This is beautiful! You have your bear my little Atlantean Queen...well now I have a card to play...your move!

The End

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