Tempted by Chickens
Teeth flashed in the dark, dazzling and sharp. Feet thundered through the undergrowth not far behind him. The noise was almost deafening to his sensitive ears, which quivered and rang with the smallest crackle of twigs underfoot.
He slid to the left, moonlight mirrored in the slick of blood dripping from his hind leg. Dogs howled behind him, too close to slacken his pace.
The hunters still followed through the dense trees.
His stomach churned. He hadn’t had an easy kill for miles. Those chickens had just been sat there, plump, prime for the picking. His jaws had slathered with drool when he’d spotted them. They’d been so uselessly protected. It only made sense that he showed the humans how easy it was for poachers…
But now he was running. He hadn’t checked for the silent alarm. Wolf instincts had taken over; all he’d been able to smell was food wafting from the hens. His teeth had barely clamped around a stupid little neck when one of the humans had stepped from the house, shotgun in hand.
The bullet had burned through Kane’s thigh, the crack of gunfire echoing around the place. He’d raced off, but they’d set their stupid mutts on him, tracking him through the forest. More gathered, joining the hunt for the thrill of the chase.
A strategy slammed through Kane’s mind.
Wounded, there were too many to outrun. And he shouldn’t have to outrun them. He was more powerful than them. He was more dangerous.
He backtracked, waiting in the brush. Dogs raced past, too mindless to guess what he’d done. He watched as the humans followed. He would take the slowest first.
His muzzle pressed low to the ground. His grey flank shone in the splintered moonlight, paws making no noise against the strewn pine needles. Heavy paws collided with the hunter’s back, pushing him to the floor, sharp teeth tearing through his throat.
The warm blood pooled in Kane’s mouth, hot and metallic to the taste. There was no time for dinner. He had to move on. He could feed later.
Paws pattered through the woods. He didn’t have long before the dogs doubled back. He had to take the hunters now. He felled another from the back, going straight for the throat to keep the tracker’s screams still. The tear of flesh was like music to Kane’s ears.
He left the corpse, padding after the last two who had no idea they were alone except for their dogs. And then the dogs were gone. They’d caught a whiff of his scent, realising that he was no ordinary wolf and taking to their feet. Kane’s teeth curled into the snarl of a smile. The men were discussing the peculiar behaviour of their dogs when he launched himself at the first, disarming him and ripping at his face.
The second froze in fear for too long. Kane was on him before he could blink. The second body fell dead, his blood coating Kane’s lips. The wolf snorted, treading close to the still breathing human. Blood bubbled through the hunter’s torn lips in a low whimper.
Kane flexed, changing back into his human form, naked and strong. He stole the clothes from the tracker’s friend. The dying hunter watched in disbelief. Kane smirked.
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