A Guttering CandleMature

I ran, faster, shaking the lupine smell from my clothes, my hair. If The Leader was to smell her on me, he'd know immediately that I was let free. The plan hinged on the vampires believing they'd won, that the wolves were beaten. 

Then, a tree struck a match against my face, and I fell to my knees, leaves pressing against my cheek as I hit the ground. The wolves had deprived me of food for days, if not longer, and I was famished.   I raised a hand to my cheek, and noticed I was shaking.  Internally, I cursed Rowan for letting me get so weak.  I dragged myself upwards, and set to work.

Afterwards, I was checking my clothes for blood when a twig snapped to my left, and I jolted upward, frantically wiping my mouth. Humans were prone to wandering these woods, idiotic as it is, and to reveal my secret is to doom my race.  A girl was stood, a weary smile on her face.  Her dress was torn, and she wore gloves, her hair tumbling out of her hairstyle." You are not to blame, gentle boy, "she said, her smile dropping, " and I forgive you all. " With that, she fell to the ground, and I noticed what I had missed at first- bite marks.  I gasped as I saw more; five or six separate bitemarks littered her throat and wrists.  Bruises littered her arms and legs, and she had claw marks down her left cheek.   I searched for a pulse, and found none.  We had killed her. 

My mind reeled once more. Vampires as a race did not succumb to keeping humans as pets or playthings, not after the downfall of those who had, staked by survivors and relatives. Yet, it appeared The Leader had chosen to flout his own rule.   She had been victim to a practice we used to reserve for the beautiful and the desirable, when we were foolish and narcissistic -  sanguinem servus. From the first bite, they were hopelessly devoted to us, the bites serving to sate our thirst and increase the devotion. The most devoted would deliberately open veins to tempt us. It was a messy, cruel business, and had therefore been banned. 

I carried her corpse to the last sighting of a wolf pack. The irony, that I was giving the wolves, animals, this girl when I had been released from werewolves. As choices go, I had the better bet. 

The End

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