AN: I need to write, and since my brain is frazzeled from my bad plotting habits, I decided to dedicate my unused time to one shots. *snorts* See how long this lasts…
I watch quietly as the group of travelers laugh, joined together by the warmth of fire on this cold, dreary night. Even with their kimonos and blankets, they still huddle together; searching for the warmth only a pack can give. I count the humans one by one in my mind. 1, 2, 3… all in all, there are a total of 15 weak sacks of flesh.
A small runt child toddles close to the fires edge, her long brown hair swept into a bun, her questioning eyes innocent and large, much like any pup's. I blink. Wait, that makes 16. A woman – the whelp's mother I guess – laughs beside her mate, her hand resting protectively over a rounding stomach. Another woman smiles and walks over to the curious pup, takes the small bitch by the hand and hands her some type of disgusting hard-skinned fruit to eat and a water skin to drink from. A balding old man laughs before drinking from a cup of sake.
Pathetic. They are all easy targets, easy game to sink my teeth into.
Hiding in the shadows outside the campfire, I grip the trunk of the tree I perch on, balancing my feet on the sturdy limb. The tree rustles a bit and I freeze, my eyes locked on the group of humans, my breath caught in my throat. A few moments of silence pass, before I breathe again.
No one noticed the tree shake, all too intent on their laughter and drink.
Across the campsite and to the left, I see the red eyes of my spread out companions, both of them watching the group with intense and hungry concentration. Waiting patiently for the right moment, when the human's guard is at its weakest. So that none can escape.
I suddenly feel sick. Closing my eyes a moment I grip the tree tighter with my right hand, feeling a sort of queasiness wash over me. I quickly try to shake off the disadvantage, I try to see the logic of me as the predator and them as the prey. My belly is hollow, empty from my nights without food, and every few minutes, I feel a sharp pang in my stomach, a reminder of my weakness to hunt. I growl low in anger, not loud enough to alert my prey, but loud enough to announce my frustrations to nature, and to myself.
Tonight, I will forget everything but the chase, forget the tiny fragile humanity that forms beneath the musk of my own wild and reckless nature. Forget the mind that hinders me from pure instinctual bliss.
Tonight I will dine like a true beast.
I breathe in deeply, tasting the air. Immediately the stench of human calls out to my senses, a tantalizing scent mixed with sweat and skin. With the thought comes the vision of my hands wrapped around fresh flesh, hot blood boiling in my mouth, my jaws enclosing around sturdy white bones.
Digging my claws into the tough bark, I watch the hypnotic movements of my human prey, my senses sharp like any pack member's should be. I can hear their every heart beat, their every intake of breath. My breath plumes into white foggy clouds as I exhale.
I am so hungry.
My eyes darken, the pupils dilating, as my fangs lengthen. Feeling my claws elongate, my vision clouding with red, I grin a feral, sadistic, salivating grin.
A wolf prince should never go hungry.
The cords of muscles in my legs bunch, and I crouch on all fours. Bracing against the tree limb, I growl quietly, preparing to spring down below onto my oblivious prey. Large drops of saliva drip from my open mouth, my teeth bared a flashing white. I can already taste the sweetness of victory as a predator…
A picture swims through the red blood lust fog in my minds eye, a picture of a soft smile and silky black hair. A silvery laugh, a gentle hand, the ocean of power lying beneath cloudy grey eyes…
My eyes abruptly clear from red to white, my body suddenly weak, the adrenaline draining from me. With a faint whimper, I curl up on myself as best as I can, gripping my arms and the tree branch with what little strength I have left. The pictures in my head come to life, and I can feel the softness of her hair between my fingers, see the bright smile lighting her face, listen to her gentle heartbeat as she falls into the world of sleep…
I can hear her voice, a gentle stroke against the fire burning in my blood…
…And the fierce instinctual rage dies.
With a snarl of pure frustration, I stand up shakily. Giving the camp one last glare, I hastily turn away, stalking through the trees in a blur of wind. I rush past the shapes of my comrades, both of them confused and disoriented by my strange behavior.
I don't blame them. I am too.
Because once again, I can't do it.
I can't hunt humans anymore, not after meeting her.
If I had known what price I was to pay when I met that girl, I might not have kept her around, kept her alive. She is hindering the feedings of my pack, making me doubt everything I had once done without a care.
Now, I can't help but not care.
She made me care for more then just me and my pack. She made me care about her and her well-being. About her happiness, about her own kind. About her very own pack. That whelp of a kitsune, that lecherous bouzo, that crazy exterminator woman. Even the Inu-kuro. If only to make sure he keeps her safe and happy.
The wind rushes past me as I run, jumping through the tree in search of animal prey. Always animal. Never human.
This is the way it has been since I met her, and will be since she left her mark.
The scent of boar fills my nostrils, and I jump high into the air, letting my transformation to beast take over my thoughts and feelings.
But even then, a single thought worms its way into my humanoid mind, burning into my skull even as I succumb to the wild that is wolf.
No matter what my pack says, I can't help but wonder.
Is it really all that bad to care?
1073 words. I am actually disgusted. I hate writing these short things. Maybe later I'll make it longer