Left 4 Dead and all characters are property of Valve.

I haven't uploaded anything to here in forever! Probably cuz the system for uploading here is retarded. Anyway, I got Left 4 Dead recently (again) and after reading a few other stories about Hunters (mainly The Misadventures of a Curious Hunter, and Protect that which is Beautiful) I came up with this story.

I am a sick bastard.

Cat and Mouse

A hunched form watched the four humans make their way into the city, a low guttural growl sounding in the back of his throat. He could hear them from here, the sloshing of their fresh, untainted blood, their hard labored breathing as they ran for their lives. It was beautiful in its own right, but along with their smell, the smell of fresh meat bringing back memories or warm blood running down his throat, made his mouth water. He screamed at the top of his lungs, and leap from his perch, the smell, sight, and sound of new prey driving him.

He slowed as his prey made it inside a building. He was hungry, and the knowledge of the human's existence itself drove him mad with hunger, but he was not stupid enough to charge them directly. They had weapons, hot metal that could shoot death, and if he did not hide from their sight, he would not live long enough to feast. He kept his distance, but followed his new prey, and watched as they cut their way through dozens of his lesser brothers to the top of the building, into a structure with glass for a roof, its insides littered with potted plants. Making sure they could not see him, he observed his new prey. There were four of them, three male, if he trusted what he smelled. The fourth was female, though that did not interest him much at the time. Meat was meat, no matter how much extra fat there was.

Suddenly, a roar could be heard overhead, making him jump in surprise, and he looked overhead to discover the source of the noise. He nodded in understanding when he saw it was one of those giant metal birds, the type that rained from the sky twelve suns ago, flying in the direction of its nest. He mentally berated himself for being surprised by something so trivial; he could have given his location away to his prey!

His mental discipline was cut short when he heard his prey making words at each other. He had long ago banished the concept of words from his mind, he was more than human now, but a flood of primal memories burst through his brain, and while he could not remember the meaning of the words exactly, he knew their meaning. The humans, his prey, were going to fight their way to the metal birds nest, where they hoped one would take them away from the city.

He would have spat in disgust. The nerve of this prey, his prey! He had been feasting on the tainted blood of his lesser brothers for eight suns, and he would sooner die then allow the first fresh meal to appear in his city to simply escape on the wings of a damn bird! His anger was almost enough to make him pounce one of them, and tear their flesh away as punishment for even thinking they could leave; but he managed to calm himself. He would wait until one separated themselves from the others before attacking. Such a tactic always made for an easy meal.

It did not take his prey long after forming their plan to begin their trek. He followed closely, hunched in hiding, and in preparation, watching his soon to be meal make their futile attempts across the rooftops. He chuckled to himself, thinking of picking them off one by one, when they were weakest: alone. He almost shuddered at the memory of his last meal. He was young, alone, and best of all, frightened. Meat always tasted better when it was lined with fear.

He growled in approval as he watched his prey shoot their way through countless numbers of his lesser brethren. He would not allow any of the others to claim his prey, but it was all the better when the prey themselves eliminated the competition. It was almost entertaining, watching them in their petty efforts to survive. They must have realized their destiny to be nothing more than a meal for him. The survival instinct could be an annoying thing.

He was jarred from his thoughts by a piercing, feminine scream. He looked down to see the one female wrapped in what appeared to be a wet, pink rope, being dragged away from the males. He followed the rope to its origin and saw one of his brothers, one he almost considered equal to himself. A cloud of green smoke surrounded his brother, his long tongue dragging the female towards him. He offhandedly remembered that the humans called this brother a 'Smoker'. Suddenly, the Smoker whipped his long tongue, flipping the female still in its grasps up to where the Smoker perched. She screamed as the Smoker prepared to dig into her flesh, as the males yelled in frustration, attempting to get to where the Smoker had pulled her in an attempt to save her.

Just as the Smoker was about to take tear into the female, who wouldn't stop screaming in terror, he screamed in anger and leaped at his brothers perch. He would not allow any others to claim his prey! When he landed, he swiped at the Smoker severing his tongue from his mouth, and the female was released. She grunted in surprise as the tongue uncoiled itself, freeing her, and she turned back to see what had happened. Her eyes widened when she saw as he slashed at the Smokers neck, and let the nearly decapitated body slump lifelessly into a pool of its own blood.

He turned on his heel, facing the still surprised prey. A large grin crossed his face as he assessed the situation: She was alone, too dumbstruck to react, and he also noticed she had lost her weapon when the Smoker ensnared her. It could not have been more perfect. Faster than lightning, certainly faster then she could stop him, he pounced her, pinning her arms down, and leaned forward to savor the scent of her fear before opening her jugular and ending her pitiful existence.

"Hunter!" he heard his female prey scream, probably as a panicked cry for help, and he was momentarily confused. Was she referring to him? They had come up with names for the rest of his brethren, so it was only natural that they had invented a name for his kind as well, he supposed. Hunter... he grinned in approval as the meaning of the word returned to his mind. If that was what they were calling his kind, he accepted it; surely it was a title that described him perfectly.

Her struggles tore him away from his thoughts, and he smiled with bemusement as she tried to escape his grasp. He would have allowed her to continue, if only so he could continue to drink in her fear, but his empty stomach beat his sadistic desires in urgency. He grabbed her by the neck, which made her stop struggling, and he looked down at her fear filled eyes as the realization of her fate trickled into her mind. The Hunter raised his other hand over his head, ready to make the killing blow. She closed her eyes, as if it would hurt any less by not seeing it coming.

He brought his claw down, aiming for her eyes...

And stopped, genitally circling around her closed eyelid, before tracing down to her cheek. She opened them in surprise, having expected the cold pain of a killing blow, not this gentle probing. The Hunter couldn't help but chuckle at her ever widening eyes as he released her neck, leaned forward, and grinned as she winced in pain when he let the claw that was once his index finger pierce the soft flesh of her cheek, carving a symbol onto her delicate face. He brought his claw to his mouth, and licked at the trace amount of her blood from it.

Doing so made her struggle again, something the Hunter could only continue to laugh at. Both of them stopped when they heard the males' voices getting louder, a sign that they were getting closer, and would surely kill him if he continued toying with his prey this way. He looked back down at her, and saw the hope in her eyes, the small chance that she would be saved forcing away any fear she once let consume her. He wrapped his hand around her neck, thinking how delicious she would taste if those hopes were destroyed right here and now.

But there could be even more fun had if he allowed her to live so he could toy with her more, if only for a while longer. He coughed, her face twisting with disgust when his rancid breath hit her face. It took some effort to remember, to remind his vocal chords of the words they once spoke, and to get them to speak them again. He was determined to let this prey know what she was, and it was worth resorting to their inferior language to instill that truth in her.

He leaned in closely, putting his mouth to her ear. He was amused as she uttered a soft gasp, (perhaps she thought he was going to bite into her neck) He was even more pleased by her bewilderment when he whispered those words to her,

"My prey."

Immediately after forcing out those words, he leaped away, leaving her lying there, stunned. From his new perch, he watched as the three males got to her, amazed that she was still alive. Again, they spoke to each other, no doubt asking her what happened, but before she could answer the eldest male pointed to her cheek. When she brought her hand to it, she discovered what symbol the Hunter had marked her with, and the Hunter could not help but laugh to himself at her look of distress.

An "H" would forever scar her cheek, marking her as his, the Hunters prey. He growled in arrogance as they were forced to continue, less they fall to his lesser brethren. At this point, however, he could care less about what happened to the males. All he cared about now was the female, "Zoey" he heard one of them call her. Zoey...

She was his prey now, and he would never stop hunting her.

This was going to be fun.

End Ch. 1

In case you didn't figure it out, this takes place in the Dead Air campaign. Why? Cuz it's my fav! If you've never played Left 4 Dead... Google it!