Chapter One: Noor

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             Noor never thought of the past. He never thought of the broken dreams and the dog tag necklace that hung around his neck like a noose just waiting to be hung from a tree. He believed that the past was just that and that there was no use pondering on what could have been. Every once in awhile the memories of the orphanage seeped themselves towards the front of his brain, but he would push it and push it until it shredded itself up again. He ran away at the age of ten, telling himself he would never return to the abuse and torment of being an orphan.

             He gritted his teeth as he thought of his parents as he walked through the kingdom looking for the next victim of his anger. He knew his parents weren't dead. He knew he wasn't a poor little orphan. He knew that they were out there somewhere, living perfect lives. Lives that didn't include a pup.
             His right wolf-like ear twitched in the direction of a beggar digging through the trash looking for breakfast. His cloak flew in the wind as he stalked carefully through the cobblestone streets. He hissed as the wind ripped through his clothes. His tail stayed down in its regular defensive position. He felt something tug his tail and he whipped around to face a small girl with bright blonde hair and grey eyes staring up at him and laughing.
               He snarled and bared his teeth at her, causing her to run off in fear. All the shops and vendors had just opened up and the smell of food flooded Noor's senses. His stomach rumbled, but he wouldn't allow himself to eat until he got paid for this job. Then he spotted his prey of the day. He rushed forward and grabbed the man's arm, pulling him towards an empty alleyway.
No one tried to stop the confrontation.
             "Heard ya tried to steal from Anticus. Not a smart move." Noor grinned and pulled a dagger from his belt. The man's eyes narrowed at Noor's accent. Noor had an accent that no one had ever heard of. Yet another mysterious thing about his past, present, and future.
             "I don't want any trouble. I got a family to feed!" the man yelled.
             "Well, I got myself to feed and rent to pay. Your families just gonna have to go hungry." Noor replied as he took the dagger and plunged it into the man's heart.  He dodged the spurt of blood and let the man fall to the ground after he took out the dagger. He sawed off the man's greying ears and tail and stuffed them into a brown sack. That's what his employers always asked him to bring back. He flung the sack over his back and walked out of the alley. He could feel the people's piercing stares on him.
            Out of the corner of his eye, he saw some new fairy slaves being brought in from Nidawi. Noor rushed through the bustling streets. Tails hit him and he was pushed between multiple people as he tried to get to Anticus's house. The old man owned a house near the center of the kingdom. No one would ever suspect him of hiring an assassin.
            He owned one of the most popular clothing departments in the kingdom. Noor walked for quite a while before he finally got to Anticus's home. He walked inside without even knocking even though the shop wasn't open for the day yet. He saw Anticus slaving over his newest sewing project. He looked up and smiled as he saw the brown sack that Noor had.
              Noor pushed Anticus's work out of the way and placed the sack onto the worktable. Anticus pushed his glasses up as he grabbed the sack. Anticus was a middle-aged man with bright blonde hair and piercing light blue eyes. His ears and tail mirrored his hair. His canine teeth were made of gold.
             There were rumors of Anticus being a pirate during his younger age, but then they would say that Anticus was much too cheery to be a former pirate. Noor didn't know what he believed. He just knew Anticus paid him to dispose of thieves and people he didn't particularly enjoy speaking with.
            "Where's my payment?" Noor questioned, crossing his arms over his chest and lounging down into a creaking wooden chair. Noor's eyes looked around the room in a bored manner, his eyes barely skimming over the piles of clothes, mannequins, and unfinished projects.
             "Alright, don't get all worked up. I have it here." Anticus said and threw a sack of gold in Noor's direction. Noor caught it and opened it up, pouring the contents into his palm. He counted them and grinned to himself as he put them back in the bag.
"Good day, sir," Noor said and left the shop. He walked back to the inn he rented a room at. He walked through the door and a man grabbed him by the shoulder and tried to drag him through the tavern to the drinks.
              "C'mon Noor! You could use a little drink! Maybe it'll even make ya a bit taller!" the man chuckled. Noor ducked under his arm and growled. He hated all the drunks that were always coming to the tavern that also happened to be the inn he lived at, and he especially hated being called short. While most of the wolves were around seven feet tall, Noor was six feet tall. He was often called a runt, but those people didn't leave his presence with their heads most of the time. He smelled the smoke from the men's pipes.
              He walked up the creaking stairs to the inn part of the tavern. He slammed the door behind him once he reached his room and dumped his many weapons onto the small wooden table near the door. He locked the door and fell backward onto his bed. He sat up, bracing himself on his elbows as he looked down at his boots that now had blood on them. He still had blood on his hands.
              He took a shaking breath. There was always the slight bit of panic after he killed someone, even though he never hesitated. You chose this, he told himself as he walked to the bathroom. You chose this,  you chose this, you chose this, he repeated over and over as he scrubbed the blood off of his hands. He'd been killing for around four years, something almost human stirred inside of his veins.
             He looked at himself in the mirror and his eye caught on the large scar that ran all the way up his arm to the top of his shoulder. The orphanage never told him how he got it, but he wasn't sure if they even knew. His grasp tightened on the edge of the sink. His black hair flowed in front of his face as he remembered his vow to find his parents and kill them forever leaving him all alone at that gods-forsaken orphanage. His eyes misted over, but he shut his eyes. He hadn't cried since his first time killing somebody, and he wasn't about to start now.
            He heard someone pounding on his door and he jumped to his weapons and grabbed a dagger.
            "Who is it?!" he yelled. It could be someone coming to kill him for everything he's done, someone interested in a job, or just someone who has the wrong door. He knew there were only a few people who he was, and there were even fewer people who knew where he lived.
           "The Royal Guard!" a man replied from the other side of the door. Noor swore under his breath and walked to the window, weighing his options of jumping down. He knew he might break his leg, but if he could carefully climb down... now that might work. He opened the window and popped out the screen, placing it carefully on his unmade bed. "We just want to talk!" the guard said, pounding on the door once again. Yeah, right.
             Noor went legs first through the window and gripped onto one of the bricks holding the building together. He risked a glance down and sighed. He couldn't drop from even this height without severely hurting himself. He heard the guards trying to bust down his door. He moved his foot down further and placed it on another brick.
             He continued shimmying his way down the side of the building when he heard the guards yelling to go outside. They must have seen the open window and screen on his bed. Noor started to move faster until he felt a hand wrap around his ankle. He tried to kick them off, but the grip was firm and unmoving. He grabbed his only throwing knife he hadn't put on the table.
             He threw it down with all his force and he heard someone scream. He didn't know who or where he hit, but the grip on his ankle still held. He cursed when he realized he couldn't get out of this situation. Finally, he let himself drop down, landing on his haunches. Guards grabbed his arms and he looked up and grinned at their leader.
               "Good to see you, sir," Noor said, his words drawn out and lazy. He was amused by this. He wasn't scared of this. "To what do I owe the honor?" he smiled.
             "The Alpha has a job for you." the leader answered.
             "The Alpha you say? And what's the pretty price I will be paid?" Noor asked.
             "Not chopping your head off." was the answer he got. He narrowed his eyes, his lazy grin turning into a sharp glare as he was dragged off closer to the center of the kingdom. This, he decided, was not going to be fun.

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