Tikaani snarled softly as she slunk along the ground, her nose twitching lightly as she paused. One paw lifted up as she tipped her head to the side, her nostrils flaring slightly as she shuddered before shaking her head and then growling, the sound rumbling deep in her throat and chest. She was an imposing sight for such a small she-wolf. Her fur was completely black, from nose-pad to tail tip and her eyes were so gold that they had green glints, giving her a rather steely gaze whenever she saw fit to offer it to one of the pack who were currently clustered behind her.
She wasn’t the Alpha yet, but the Beta of the pack, the one who ruled with her teeth and her head. Never had she let herself losing her mind to anything that could approach anger- she never needed to. The pack was more than aware of the fact that she could have torn each of their throats out as soon as look at them. As it was, her prey today wasn’t ordinarily on the menu for a wolf such as her.
Those cold golden eyes gleamed, then glistened as she dropped her head and stepped forwards menacingly, her lips wrinkled back to reveal the white daggers which were seated in the maw now gaping open threateningly. The ‘prey’ in front of her backed up a step, confusion filling the amber eyes as the Alpha female tilted her head to the side. A pretty wolf, she was mostly white with just the hint of a silvery grey which travelling over her cheeks. Black tipped her tail, which promptly trailed against the ground as she growled menacingly.
“Tikaani? And…the rest of you? What is the meaning of this? You do know that Amoux will leave you out for the carrion eaters if you harm one bit of fur on my body, don’t you?” Tikaani’s grin widened at Arinaya’s speech, the hatred inside her burning deep. She stepped to the side as soon as she felt the heated gaze of Amoux on her back, dropping her head deferentially as the male wolf stalked past her to his mate.
“That’s what you think, my dear. You are old now, and I need a bitch by my side that will be able to produce pups. You have a choice- become an exile or face down Tikaani here. You know you are no match for her, your teeth are blunt and you haven’t hunted in moons.” Soft snarls rumbled through the she-wolves, their ears perking as they locked their eyes on each other.
“I’ll fight…” Arinaya’s voice was soft, trailing off as she looked at the lean, toned frame of her chief huntress. The one wolf she had thought she could trust, especially since she was only young- two year old wolves weren’t meant to be so ambitious. As it was, they both took their time with stretching, Tikaani running her tongue along the sharp teeth which she was so eager to plunge into flesh.
It only took a moment for the two wolves to clash, Amoux standing amongst his pack and snarling softly in excitement as he watched. Their teeth snapped at each other, the sound of fangs crashing, each sound that was each she-wolf trying to get the upper hand ringing out over suddenly silent lands. Tikaani landed the first blow to drag blood out, her teeth clamping on Arinaya’s cheek and jaw to seize a tight hold.
Arinaya was an experienced fighter however and as soon as she felt blood dripping down onto the ground she twisted her own body, her whole body writhing in her grasp before snapping back at Tikaani’s face. The blood spurting between her jaws fired up that primal heart which stirred inside her, her spine arched as she stepped back and made a show of licking the blood from her jowls.
Tikaani howled, the rage in the sound evident from the way she dropped her head. Her tail curled in against her stomach, her eyes narrowed and the snarl currently disfiguring her face. Arinaya felt a quiver of panic, deep in her stomach at the demonic look of the other wolf, the Beta who was taking over her position. She flicked her amber eyes to Amoux, something in her gentling despite the betrayal she felt.
Her distraction was all that Tikaani needed. She was fast, she had to be to be chief hunter and that was what made her next move so clever. She slipped across Arinaya’s body, seizing her by the hip and suddenly heaving her over, all the muscles under her summer-short coat tensed and hardened as with sheer will the smaller wolf forced the larger one onto her back.
Arinaya met the gaze of Tikaani, pain and betrayal clear as she submitted to the relentless female. She was straddled by her in an instant, the black body topping the white easily.
“How could you do this to me? I know he’s not your father, but you do know he’s using you, right dear?” Her voice was rather unconcerned for what she was facing, the love in her eyes almost making Tikaani turn her head away in shame, though she dare not turn her face away from her mother.
“Oh, I know mother. He won’t stay Alpha alongside me long enough to even get close to the breeding season. But that means you need to die mother, which is why I let you die with dignity. You know you’ll be dying the way each wolf should, under the fangs of another rather than the hooves of the prey.” Arinaya nodded, lifting her chin and bearing her throat to the savage teeth of her daughter.
She didn’t disappoint either, sinking her teeth in deep and shaking her head until she pulled her face free with blood and gore clinging as high as her brow. She watched the final death throes, felt the convulsions in the body below her and rode them out. She only stepped free of the body when it was both still and the almighty heart no longer managed to beat, the body almost immediately beginning to cool. The fur of her face was spiked with blood and as she looked down at her mother she sighed a little. “Goodbye mother. Run free…and I’ll name a pup after you.”
As soon as her voice broke, she disguised the whisper as an attempt to clear her throat of the clinging fur which littered her tongue, her head lifting in a howl that just oozed with triumph, pride and contempt. One by one the pack she now ran lifted back their heads in soft calls, Amoux last of all. His howl became strangled as Tikaani fastened her jaws around his jugular, slowly crushing the life from the dominating, manipulating male who seemed to fade in size as she tightened her jaws, bit by bit until he was limp and choking at her paws.
She stared down at him, lowering her head down to whisper into his ear as the last sparkles of life faded from the darker gold eyes, helplessness and pain sparking briefly before life failed in his body, the crushed windpipe meaning he suffocated quickly.
“You were never good enough for me. Worthless male, needing a wolf bitch to do what you didn’t have the guts for. You learned your lesson in the end, you didn’t watch out for the silent killer. Did you really think I’d suffer you to live after what you put us all through?
This was a scene from Tikaani’s life, which quickly sprang to life and went from a flash fiction to being even longer. I’m loving writing lately, really getting to enjoy these small snapshots into the amazing lives of the characters who sustained me during the writing of Echoes of Winter. Echoes of Winter has become my literary baby, hopefully the first of many, and what a difference it has made to my life! Far more disciplined, I’ve learned more than I thought possible and it’s something which I truly have enjoyed and I AM looking forward to writing book two.
Now this is the part I’m honestly not liking- I have to ask a favour of everyone who is reading my blog posts. In order to make my giveaways and launch amazingly special, I need to have money to do so. The only way I can do that at the moment (mainly because I’m a carer, which means money is tight) is to hold a fund-raiser and the best way to do that is here – and the best part is if I don’t make my target, you get your money back! If I do, then you also reap the rewards, gaining some of the swag I’m going to be making/buying with the money!