“Ahh!” Haulcon’s scream ripped through the air vibrating the branches of the trees above him. He didn’t want to cry out. Had tried to fight it, but they pulled it out of him. Brought him this low.
He would be dead soon. He knew that. The breaths he took were counting down to his last. One of two things would kill him, either the silver seeping into his bloodstream and headed for his heart or the sunlight that would shine in a few hours.
Being a valf there weren’t many things that could end his life. However those that could were deadly, permanent. If he could shift into his wolfen form, he would be able to fight the silver poison. However they had made sure he would not be able to save himself. They had beaten and tied him spread-eagle in the middle of the woods, hands and feet to sturdy, thick oaks. The thick ropes bit deep into his wrists and ankles. If he even attempted to transform, the tight binding would snap his animal limbs at the joints. No wolf could tolerate being in such a position.
They hadn’t stopped there. Those silver-dipped blades they had used to pierce his sides allowed his blood to drain, even as the silver flowed into him. He needed to feed. Blood sustained his clan and their wolves gave them strength, made them powerful, undefeatable; except to their own kind. Those who plotted and planned subterfuge and attacks.
Now he lay in his own pool of blood, waste, and agony waiting for death to come for him. However, he was not fortunate enough for the valf-reaper to come quickly. No, they—his clansmen, his friends—had ensured the afterlife guide’s travel would be unhurried.
His clan, the men he’d grown, learned, and traveled with could have given him the honor of a single silver bullet to his chest. They could have notified his family to bathe his remains in holy water then burn him to ashes. They hadn’t wanted him to have pride in his death. No, he would be left drained and stiffened by the sun’s light. His carcass left for human scientists to discover and examine like a worthless specimen.
The voice could have been that of one of the valf Great Spirit’s angels. The relief at hearing it washed over him just the same.
His senses were deadening. When he was at full valf capacity he would have smelled a human getting close to him from miles away. Now, like a grotesque exhibit he lay prone as the female cringed before him.