Ylva understood how packs worked. She was part of a very extensive pack. She understood the tactics. She understood the psychology of it all. So standing still while being surrounded she may have stared at the Warg before her, but her attention was solely on the two to the side.

They'd strike first, and then the attack from behind would come shortly followed by the front. Unlike her, these animals weren't gifted with a higher plane of thinking. They did what came naturally. It just so happened that what came naturally to them was also what had come naturally to her. She could see through their possibilities. She was similar to them, though smaller and more sleek. They may have been heavier built, but she made up from the lack of muscle in speed. Which was something some of these creatures were lacking in. Some, not all of them.

It had been weeks since she had seen Beorn. And this was perhaps the fifth fight that she had been put in. She figured out it was punishment for seeking aid from the other resident skin-changer. Tilting her head to the side she leapt over the first Warg which charged towards her. It went hurtling into another just as Ylva turned and ran away from the others which had taken to bounding after her.

Most often than not, when finding herself in these fights, she took to pondering. She often found herself thinking whether she had simply imagined Beorn up in a desperate attempt to battle her own loneliness. But then she'd shake her head at this. They had spent a day or so together in his cage. They had talked, sat and merely survived. That wasn't imagined up. That she knew for sure.

Turning and backing up against the wall she panted. She could only run around in a circuit for so long before growing tired. And when she was having one of these moments it was easy enough to pounce and overpower her.

Yelping and being thrown to the side she went to push herself up only to scream when teeth sunk into her shoulder. Fisting her hand she punched repeatedly at the animal which now held her in its jaws. A few well aimed punches landed in its eye. The Warg squeaked and whined and dropped her. Jumping up she shook her head. She was light headed. Now standing on two legs she looked to the pack around her. Heaving a sigh she removed her hand from her shoulder and clicked her neck.

Running forwards she shifted forms and barged into one Warg, she used as much strength as she could to push it to the side. Standing over it she repaid the favour and sunk her teeth into its shoulder. It whined and squirmed beneath her.

Growling she stayed standing over the Warg as its comrades slowly circled her again. Stomping her paw on the Warg's throat she successfully shut it up only to suffer being tackled to the ground. One moment she had looked away to the form below her and now she was back skidding along the cold bricks.

Rolling onto her back she was going to sit up only to have a Warg pounce on her. She reached up and pushed with all her might at the head which was bearing down on her. Hearing the sounds of chains she became alert and looked up.

The area where the fights took place was nothing more than a pit. It wasn't even properly washed and cleaned out so pieces of fur and splatters of blood still adorned the wall. Above and circling around the pit was an elevated area where the Orcs usually stood and watched.

But this one time there was one watcher in the audience who hadn't been present before. Beorn stood with heaving chains around him in case he got any ideas and decided to change forms and leap down to her aid.

Her eyes widened as she kicked the Warg in the stomach and shifted back into the wolf. She stayed down to the ground, ears flat to her head and her tail low and almost tucked underneath her. Barring her teeth she looked around rather desperately when she was yet again cornered.

Beorn had been bought to this place not to take part in a fight, but to be subjected to watching. He had never watched his own kin fight. But now he was being made to watch the fight which the other skin-changer prisoner was being forced to take part in.

Azog laughed cruelly and jumped down into the pit. He got enjoyment out of seeing the rage which was burning beneath Beorn's eyes. He clearly saw that within each other they had hope, or something along these lines. He had it in mind to crush that hope. He was crushing it by firstly crushing the fiery will of the wolf.

Ylva naturally stood even lower to the ground when Azog drew near, her eyes darkened and she tried backing up. She didn't fight back as much when he decided to fight against her. He kicked, punched, and even put pressure on her injured shoulder. Fighting back would just cause more pain to flow through her. So she just opted to let him have his fun of using her as a personal punching bag, knowing that when he grew bored he'd just leave her alone.

Though when he stepped back and gave a nod, Ylva opened her eyes and frowned suddenly. She weakly pushed herself off of her chest as Beorn was roughly pushed into the pit.

She shook her head slowly. She could not fight him. It wasn't just a matter of practicality. She just couldn't. Beorn seemed to be in much the same mind set. He stayed standing where he was while she stayed shuddering from the cold and the injuries and aches which were finally setting in.

When neither did what he wanted, Azog lashed out. He yanked Ylva up by her hair and dragged her off and gave a nod. The Wargs which were still present turned on Beorn with snarling looks and creeping movements.

It seemed that Azog did not wholly care with how many Wargs he lost. He reappeared moments later after locking Ylva back up to see that three of the six were already dead. Another was limping and attempting to put weight on its front legs when it was suddenly bounded into and a large set of jaws clamped down over its throat.

With a simple shake of his head, Beorn ripped the poor unfortunate creature's throat out before turning on the others which remained. With an almighty roar he ran forwards, pushing himself onto his hind legs he swiped at one which tried leaping at him. The other got pinned down by his whole body weight as he landed back down to the solid floor. It wasn't going to move again, ever. The last remaining Warg had gathered its senses long enough to see the large black bear charging forwards and crashing it against the wall.

From The InsideRead this story for FREE!