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I was breathing heavily through my nose so I could better scent my prey.  He was still here.  The strong scent of pine was messing with me but there was still that faint wet dog smell, and the blood chill that went along with it.  I'd lost him, so I was sitting cross-legged, with my katana stuck in the ground and my eyes closed.  The position was reminiscent of a yoga posture.  I pulled a long deep breath in and sank down with the exhale, releasing every molecule of air I could.  I focused on all of the smells around me, on sounds of animals as they traipsed through the underbrush.  I’d been sitting there for maybe three or four minutes now and I was afraid I really had lost him, that all that remained in the vicinity were a few squirrels and an owl looking for a meal.

Suddenly, I knew.  To the east.  In one smooth motion, I launched my body in a way that had taken me some time to perfect.  The grace, strength, and speed attributed to a vampire did not come naturally but had to be learned, trained into muscle memory like with anything else.  We just had more potential than an ordinary human, that's all.

Within minutes of changing course, his revolting scent was getting stronger.  He thought I had given up.  Fool.  He must have stopped too.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so close.  I stopped within twenty feet of him, seeing his massive frame through the pines.  He was a big one alright.  My clan warned me about a powerful one in the area.  Apparently, I’d found him.  In my head, I knew the advantage in this situation was mine.  He couldn’t smell me.  But even without a scent, not much beat a werewolf's hearing and vision, so I'd have to be quick and careful.

I waited in the darkness, not even breathing.  Letting my heart just about stop to aid me in my current endeavor.  There was no way he’d hear me but, as I waited behind a tree, I was still concerned he might see me before I was prepared to attack.  I wanted to observe him for a while before I ended him.  As a general rule, I never enter a battle without being fully prepared for what I am up against.

An hour dragged by, but the werewolf hadn't moved.  This worried me.  And bored me.  I've never been good at sitting still.  My impatience only intensified after turning.  As I sat out of sight, but still within range of my sense smell and hearing, I couldn't help but work through the facts in my head.  As I frowned and nearly puckered up my entire face in consternation, I kept coming to the same conclusion: werewolves simply don’t wait around for no apparent reason.  It was a full moon.  There was fun to be had.  And besides, most werewolves don’t have any self-control when they are fully transformed.  I was starting to get the feeling I was in WAY over my head and I didn't like it.  Not one bit.  As I gnawed on my lower lip, I groaned inwardly, not allowed the luxury of making a noise but frustrated none-the-less.  It looked like this was going to be strictly recon.

Fifteen more minutes and another werewolf showed up from the opposite direction.  Though it seemed strange, from what little I knew of werewolves, they’d been planning on meeting each other.  That much was obvious and, from the looks of things,  I had not one, but two, powerful werewolves on my hands.  Though they didn’t talk, no fully transformed werewolf could because of the jaw structure, they seemed to communicate and when they first met, they shook paws, almost like business associates.  It was kind of creepy.  With their paws, they drew diagrams in the sandy dirt.  I couldn’t see what they drew but I only had to assume it was to make up for the lack of speech.  It took another hour before they dispersed.  I followed the one I’d tracked this far as he left the small clearing and headed to the north.  I had a bad feeling about this...

It took a solid hour and a half before I finally got to see where he was heading and there was just one word for it.  Trouble.  As the forest finally opened into empty fields, I saw a large stone mansion in the background.  As my blood ran cold again, I knew instinctively it was a werewolf safe-haven.  My best guess would be the Were I’d just followed was their leader…




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