Breaking the Habit | v

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At the first sign of a giant Nerina had the ball rolling. Eyes, feet, throat. The first attack had not been smooth but it had worked. In the process, the number of creatures in her care was dwindling. By the fourth giant, they had built up a rhythm. Now Nerina's main concern was not losing more of her advantage before she had gotten to all the giants. She joined them in the attack never feeding. The need rode her hard but she slapped it sideways. She needed a clear head. Needed to focus.

By the time the last giant was slain Nerina and the pack were exhausted. There was only a handful of hounds left. Their sides heaved with the magnitude of the hunt they had undertaken. Twelve giants back to back. There was a small hitch in Nerina's throat as she thought about what she had to do next. She patted the hound on which she had ridden. He had taken the lead as her right hand, protecting her while he did his part. Like a giant pet, he nuzzled the palm of her hand that she used to rub his powerful jaws.

Nerina stood there looking the hound in the eyes. She felt regret. Guilt washed over her as her next move came to her as a kind of betrayal. They had followed her. Risked their lives for her but they had killed. They had killed people in the clan. There was no way Steele would let them live even if she did. They would be hunted and killed. If there were some way she could get them back to their world, she would have.

"Not very fair is it? If I had not done what I did you would not be here now about to pay the price. You are all magnificent cre—"

Nerina was caught off guard as he used his large paw to swipe her sideways. She landed hard on her back. His lifeless body fell on her seconds later, pinning her to the ground. Nerina struggled to get her leg free.

"You must be the vampire."

Nearby there was a woman. The hounds growled their dissatisfaction but none of them moved. Nerina knew they were waiting for her go-ahead. She was their leader. Their alpha. The woman before her had skin the shade of dark cinnamon, her eyes a few shades lighter. Her hair a natural mane of curls was left to do as it pleased.

Nerina did her best to get her legs free. "And you are?"

"Camorra."

With that name, Nerina stopped struggling to look up at the women. There was a smirk there when the woman realized that she recognized her name. When she realized the fear that flashed in Nerina's eyes if only for a second. Camorra prided herself on her reputation. Even did her best to ensure it preceded her. Nerina cursed internally. She had no defense against magic.

At her signal, the hounds attacked. In the ensuing confusion, she managed to get her leg free. Thankfully, it had not been broken. At preternatural speed, Nerina took off. A good distance away she stopped the sound of her pack being slaughtered slowing her down. There was a glimmer of grief there she could not explain. It was her understanding of what they were that linked them. That linked her to them. She took solace in knowing that she had not been the one to eliminate them. Nerina did not honestly think she could have. They had done nothing wrong except for following her orders.

She ran her hands over her face. There was no going back to a silent life of solitude, now was there? She had managed to piss off a very pissed off man. How deep would her hole have to be for Duncan not to find her? There was magic involved. If it could have brought her and Eve back from the dead, what else would it be able to do? Finding her would be a breeze.

"Oh, Nerina what have you gotten yourself into." A world of trouble. Her reprieve from one period of running was over. Now she had to watch her back for wolves and another pissed off witch.

Then there was her dark fate. There was no running away from that.

Nerina squared her shoulders. There was no running away from anything. If Duncan came after her, she would fight. Before this dark fate came to bite her in her butt, she would go out and look for it. She would find out what it was and if she could, she would prepare for it. Btu could one really prepare for fate? It did not matter. Her running away was a bad habit she was going to drop. Whatever came her way, she would face it head on.

Except for death.

That was one thing she intended to avoid.

THE END OF THE VERY BEGINNING

THE END OF THE VERY BEGINNING

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