Huff-huff-huff.

Heavy, rapid inhales shook the forest.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

The wolves' feet barely touched the ground. They ran as a pack, a family. Brothers.

Moonlight shone in their dark eyes.

Sam led the pack over rivers, over bushes, dodging and ducking through the trees. Midwinter chill clung to his shaggy coat. Frost imbedded in his fur. Snow on his muzzle.

He raised his nose in the air and caught the bittersweet, acrid taste of vampire.

They were close.

The wolf smiled to himself, and the rest of the wolves laughed in half-recognizable snorts.

Then the adrenaline of the hunt took over. They sprinted through the woods, dark streaks against a darker night. Aching muscles, lungs screaming for air, none of it mattered. His nose burned with the scent of monster. His heart sang with the perfection of the hunt.

Perfection.

The only way to describe it.

The thrill of knowing exactly how to run, how to spring, how to bite-

Perfection.

The vampire who jogged up ahead was female. They were close enough for her to have scented them, but she didn't run. She acted like she didn't care. She thought them ordinary wolves, harmless.

She was wrong.

The pack darted forward at the flick of his tail. They surrounded the female in a second. She started to race away, realizing that her life – or lack of life – was in danger.

Too late.

The pack closed in on her.

For a second, Sam considered. She could be innocent. She could be a vegetarian vampire. She could have friends and family and loved ones.

She could be a real person that was just trying to survive as best she could.

Then she turned back and glared at him, teeth bared, and he saw the red of her eyes and decided he didn't care.

It didn't matter if she was a real person.

She was still a bloodsucker.

He growled an order and the wolves sprang.