This is a short story from I world I created long ago. It’s a great deal more brutal than anything I’ve posted here before, so please keep that in mind.
There was tension in the air; I can nearly hear the crackle of it. The fur on my back and shoulder’s begins to rise, but I force it back down. Not yet, he would let me go soon, but not yet. I could smell the man’s guilt, but there was ceremony to be considered, traditions to be upheld. The man, my victim, was kneeling before the throne of my Lord, eyes downcast, waiting to be acknowledged. My Lord was seated on the throne, watching the man. I was lying to the right and behind the throne. I was carefully positioned so that my black fur blended with the shadows. I was in wolf form, as I always was for these sorts of affairs. I am told that my fur as a wolf is as black as a moonless night and my eyes pure feral yellow. They say I look like a demon of the night. My Lord evidently agrees, as he often uses me for intimidation. This time, however; I was staying out of sight. This night I was here not as incentive, but as an executioner. The man did not need to know that just yet.
Last moon the Speakers of Divinity, a human supremacy group, had attacked the Dlesvin pack. The Alpha female was badly wounded, the Beta male was dead, and the pack was calling for blood. Glivan, my Lord’s spymaster, had been following the leads to find the taint in our lands. This man had been one of those leads, as a supplier of weapons, but now he had outlived his usefulness. The Night Guard had the Speaker’s on the run and it was time to start tying up loose ends.
The man did not yet know why he was here. My Lord called to one of the servants, who brought him a scroll. My Lord unrolled the scroll and began to read, informing the man of his guilt. The scent of fear flooded the chamber. It was intoxicating. I have built a reputation for cruelty and I will confess that it is well deserved. I enjoy the hunt and the kill, but more than that I enjoy my purpose. I teach the enemies of my Lord and my fellow Guardians to fear us. That is how I earned my place among them so long ago, and it will be my place until the night I die.
My Lord has finished reading and the man has gone very pale. My Lord stares into the eyes of the man for a long moment, taking what he needs from the trembling mortal’s mind, before settling back in his throne. There is a soft brush against my mind, after so many centuries together it’s all I require to understand my Lord’s desire. Permission granted. Let the hunt begin.
With calculated slowness I rise, letting my muzzle and eyes enter the flickering torchlight. There are people in the balconies on either side of the Judgment Hall, some members of the Dlesvin pack, others just citizens and I can hear their collective gasp as I emerge. The man gasps and springs to his feet. I curl back my lips, displaying razor sharp canines and let out a thundering growl. Half in and half out of the light, I know I appear massive and he stares at me in frozen fear. I take a single step forward and the man’s paralysis breaks and he backs away.
I rush forward and the man bolts, stopping only when he reaches the double doors of the hall. Desperate, he batters himself against them, but they’re three inches of solid oak and he can do nothing against them. I grab his ankle in my jaws and pull his leg out from under him. He falls hard and I leap away, waiting for him to scramble back to his feet. When he had, I positioned myself between him and the door and rushed him again, forcing him back to the center of the room. When he was once again in full view of the assembled, I leapt, hitting him square in the chest and knocking him to the ground.
My teeth flashed and blood arced from a deep tear in the shoulder. I dove away and darted in again, opening another wound on his flank. Then again, and again. There had to be blood and pain and fear, without them the Dlesvin pack would never be satisfied. I kept going until the shrieks of pain became soft gurgles of agony. I looked to my Lord and He gave a slight nod. I tore out the man’s throat and then tore a deep strip out from under the ribcage.
I backed away and closed my eyes, letting the Change take me. Black fur shrank back to pale skin and bones crunched back to my own human form. The young woman I had been before the bite that had changed my life forever, but only in body. My eyes were still that brilliant yellow; I don’t remember what color they were before. One of the guards approached and handed me a goblet which I accepted. I knelt next to the body and pushed my hand into the open gash I had made beneath the ribcage. I pulled back out with his heart clenched in my fist. I carefully placed the heart above the goblet and squeezed, letting the blood flow down.
When it was full I dropped the heart to the ground beside the body and rose. I walked to my Lord and knelt before him, offering up the goblet. With his right hand he took the goblet from me and with his left he wiped away a bit of gore from my cheek. He brought the goblet to his lips and drank the man’s heart blood, all the while stroking my hair in fond approval.