The Wolf Tamer
Click on image to enlarge.
by Nicole Ash
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: It isn't the lore that surrounds the hunter, Teon, that leads Kali to him, but the fear and hatred Nash, the werewolf, bears for the hunter who nearly killed him before. The discovery that Teon is a man she could love leaves her torn between fear and hope--the hope that he can save her--the fear that the hunter in him will know her for what she is. Rating: Contains explicit sex, graphic language, and some violence.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: February 2006
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [51 KB]
Reading time: 31-43 min.
Nu spread its crimson glow over the new fallen snow, casting shadows in the trees and under their boughs instead of illuminating the choking darkness. A wolf moon.
The name itself was a hold over from another time and place, part of the 'Old Ways' every child of Cairous learned. A name given some moon, in a distant galaxy, during January. While few truly identified with the names given Erth seasons, it seemed the perfect thing to call this moon, and the season on Erth supposedly mirrored this one. It was a baleful eye, glaring down a curse. The eye of a wolf.
Teon set ancient mythology from his mind. It was, in fact, his father's passion and not his own. Snow crunched under his feet, grating his teeth, as he walked and when he paused, he could hear the steady progress of his father. His father, Carn, had lagged behind far enough that Teon could no longer make out his shape when he glanced back for him. He sighed, pulling his cloak close around himself, not daring to stomp his feet for warmth. They were close now.
"Teon." A whisper, carried by the wind. He realized all at once that the sound of his father's movements had stopped.
"I am here," he responded, waiting for Carn to catch up to him, not surprised when the man's hulking shape coalesced from the shadows like a wraith.
"How many times, boy? How many times 'ave I got to tell ya not to get so blasted far ahead?"
Teon rolled his eyes, mouthing word for word his father's speech, having long ago learnt it by heart.
"It's dangerous to become separated. You never know when the hunter may become the hunted, especially with a full moon out."
Teon turned around, fighting to control a grin, "Yes father. I heard you." Not my fault you're getting slow in your old age! "Can we go?" Here he did allow a grin to slip out.
Carn's glare lasted all of one minute under the shine of that smile. Sighing, he gestured his son ahead. "Go get yourself a wolf, boy. I'll just wait here. Don't guess you really need your old man's help anymore."
"I won't be long." Teon had earned his right to manhood a year and a half ago. By all right's he could now hunt alone, but his father was an old man with old ways and an only son. He worried.
"Here," Carn threw something to his feet as he settled himself down on a fallen log. Teon lifted it gently.
"Your knife." He pulled it from it's leather sheath, transfixed by the play of light over it's silvery blade.
"Your own now."
"I'll take no arguments! I should have given it to ya when you reached manhood, as my father before me. Go on now. Pray you don't need it."
Teon slipped the blade into its sheath and nodded to Carn, hefting his crossbow. "Thank you father. I'll make you proud."
He turned, trotting as silently as he could given the snow, knowing the wolf's winter den was close. Missing his father's whispered words, "You already have."
Teon approached the den with caution, arrow cocked and ready. If he moved too quickly, the sound might alert the wolf before he was within shooting distance. He stood silently, carefully downwind, and surveyed the small, black hole in the side of the hill. In the wane light, he could make out one set of tracks leading into the cave, nothing leading out. The snow crunched as he knelt, preparing himself for the wait, knowing the wolf would come out soon to hunt. His arm already stung from holding his crossbow at the ready, but he knew he'd have only one chance to kill the wolf this night. With any hesitation, it would be gone, and he wanted this wolf.
The same wolf. My gods, the tracks are huge. He'd never before heard of a wolf that ignored all signs of human habitation, that would come into a village past smoky fires and kill livestock so indiscriminately. More like tearing them to shreds. It had never eaten any of them that he could see. Only torn them up. And Kialee.... Kialee, beautiful Kialee was torn apart like a doll ten paces from her house. Out back of her house. What was she even doing back there at night! How could there be so much blood--
From the night behind him came an agonized scream, a scream rife with a fear he'd never before heard in that voice, the scream of his father. His arrow arced through the air and thunked into the ground in front of the wolf's den, forgotten as Teon turned and ran back the way he'd come, ran toward that terrible sound. Teon heard the scream again and again, realized without surprise that his own screams had mingled with it, his dignity lost in that sound of despair. The branches of the trees lashed his face and arms, but his mad dash brought him upon the scene an eternity of moments later. He pulled up short, instinctively drawing an arrow and cocking his bow.
His father was on his back in the snow. The largest, blackest wolf Teon ever lain eyes on had the man's arm in its mouth. He screamed at it, trying to get a bead on it but hoping he could simply scare it away, scare it off his father. It turned its head toward him, jaws still clamped around the arm, its eyes two burning coals.
"Go damn you!"
It ignored him as well as the awkward punch of his father's good arm, jerking its head to the side. Teon heard the sickening crunch of his father's bone, his gut wrenching at his father's piteous scream. He threw the bow away from himself, snatching his knife from its sheath and running at the unconcerned monster. Leaping at it, he stabbed the great beast in the side. The wolf howled more in outrage than in pain. It leapt back from him, then launched itself at him. Teon had no more than a split second to raise his blade before the wolf fell upon him, jaws snapping. His blade caught the beast under the eye and the animal screamed again, backing quickly away. It fixed him with a sinister glare before running into the night.
Teon fell to his knees at his father's side. "Father!" Tearing the bottom of his cloak he tried unsuccessfully to pry his father's hand from the wound. "Stop thrashing and let me help you!"
Carn finally lay still. He did not let go of his arm.
"You can't help me, son."
The calm, matter-of-fact tone of his voice unnerved Teon. His attempt to laugh the note of defeat in his father's voice off came out a sob and his vision blurred. Wiping at his eyes, he realized for the first time he'd been crying.
"What are you talking about old man? It's just your arm." He could see even in the dark that there was no hope for the arm. Bone was jutting out along the forearm and it couldn't have been hanging on by more than a thin shred of flesh. "You'll live."
"Teon," Carn murmured, his sad, pain filled eyes meeting his son's gaze, "kill me."
"What? Have you gone mad? It's just an arm--"
"It was a demon wolf, son. A werewolf. I was dead the moment it bit me. I'm so sorry ... you have to be the one to finish me."
Teon felt a hysterical laugh fighting it's way from his chest. Werewolf? There was no such thing! You've gone mad. "I'm taking you back to the village."
"No!" Cern visibly calmed himself. "Teon, listen. I know you've never been a believer. I know--" He broke off, moaned in agony, clutching at his face. When he spoke again, his voice came out a hiss. "I know you think I'm an old fool."
"Quiet!" His back arched and he turned away, onto his side, clutching his face, curling in a fetal position. "Kill me! For the love of Cairous, kill me!" he screamed. When Teon failed to respond, Carn turned his misshapen face toward him.
Horror washed over Teon. Black hair bristled along his father's body where the flesh was exposed, claws pushed their way through the flesh of his hands. His face had elongated almost to the point of being a snout. "Kill me Teon. Please. Don't ... let me.... I'll kill you if you don't! Everyone--"
Teon closed his eyes and plunged his knife, his father's knife, into Carn's heart. The man's hand closed over his own, Teon looked down into his eyes, tears streaming from his own.
"Thank you ... I ... love.... "He shuddered and was still. Teon could not bear to look at his father's twisted, pain wracked body, but he knew he must carry it the many miles to his village. He would not, could not leave him for the wolves. Father.
His sense of his manhood dissolved in the face of his grief, leaving him feeling like the child he believed he had left behind in his rite of passage and he wept for his loss.
Finally, he wiped his face and lifted his gaze to the sky where the wolf moon still hung and vowed revenge.