Disclaimer: Of course I don't own DBZ, if I did my smut would be smeared across late night T.V.

Hunter's Moon

Chapter One

The Predator

Bardock slathered the consecrated oil across his bare chest, polishing his defined muscles to a bronze shine. He had been going on the annual Hunt with his father and two brothers since his thirteenth year to symbolize the death of his childhood, and the long journey towards manhood. Now at twenty-one he would attend the Hunt for the first time alone. If he was successful it would prove that he was now a man, and ready to take his place as a warrior among his people.

His father had taken years to train him in the arts of the hunt and warfare. True to tradition, Bardock first learned to wield a bow and arrow, taking his kills from a safe distance. Each subsequent year he learned a new weapon, slowly drawing closer to his prey, until finally he was taught to kill with his bare hands, the true weapon of a warrior.

Throughout the galaxy the Saiyan empire had set aside certain planets for their special environments. Bardock had hunted in the extremes of frozen wastelands and barren deserts, but his favorite was the humid jungles of Annuxsunna. The tangle of vegetation and the wet heat in the air called to the beast inside of him, bringing to bear every animal instinct he possessed.

The Hunts were conducted on the eve of the full moon, the night when the ape was closest to the surface, tearing at his skin, howling to be free. Bardock looked up at the pregnant moon; his incisors lengthened, and his skin itched with blood lust. He inhaled deeply, relishing the sweet mixing of scents in the air. Fear and orchids permeated the atmosphere, saturating his senses. Nearby animals crouched in their holes, shaking with fear at his presence.

The planet was empty of sentient life except for himself and the Prey that had been selected for the Hunt. He had no way of knowing who or what he had been sent to hunt, only that they were somewhere in the jungle---waiting to kill or be killed.

The laws of the Hunt were specific. He was not allowed to wear anything but a leather loin cloth, and to wield no weapons, not even Ki. He had to until the sun's rising to hunt down his Prey and kill it. He had to bring back proof of his kill so he could claim his place among the Saiyan warriors and honor his family. Once he had proven himself he would be assigned a squad where he would proudly serve his King and Lord Frieza.

Bardock inhaled again, his thick chest expanding with air. He stretched out his senses, searching for something unfamiliar, something that didn't belong. A soft scent teased his nose, calling out to him loudly, further awakening the beast inside of him. He could smell fear, pride and strength, but beneath that he scented something dark and musky, sensually appealing. It smelled like hot, pumping blood and dark, sultry promises. He wanted to wallow in it, roll around and coat himself in the scent until covered him completely.

He licked his lips, his tongue sliding over his sharpened fangs. He sought out the brilliance of the moon again, and his onyx eyes dilated, expanding his vision deeper into the shadows of the forest. His blood pulsed, and the beast roared, demanding that he take to the Hunt immediately.

He slid into the shadows, stretching out his thickly muscled legs to cover the distance easily. His footfalls were silent, his bare feet finding their way through the dense underbrush flawlessly. Branches and vines reached out to ensnare him, but they slid off his greased skin, unable to find purchase. Thorns snagged him, but the shallow wounds healed before he took his next step. His bronze body gleamed under the moonlight before the next group of shadows swallowed him greedily.

He opened his mouth, inhaling the scent and tasting it on his tongue. He veered to the left, following the trail that led deeper into the thick jungle. The Prey was on the move, running from the Predator who stalked it. Bardock growled low in his throat as the he gave himself fully to the beast inside of himself. His blood pumped in his veins, the thrill of the chase soaking his cells with adrenaline.

He paused in a glade, his coal black eyes skimming over the shimmer of silver light that marked the passing of his Prey. The ghostly light would be invisible to anyone else, but the beast was able to detect it easily. His Prey had lain immobile in the center of the clearing before moving into the forest opposite of where Bardock now stood. He gnashed is teeth together as his body quivered in anticipation. He gathered his strength, his muscles bulging as he bounded across the glade and into the thick vegetation.

As he disappeared into the darkness he let out a howl of excitement, warning his Prey of its impending doom. In the scent soaked air he smelled the sharp spike of panic, and his senses exploded with need. He dove deeper into the foliage following the sweet scent and fading silver footprints that led him closer to his Prey.