The Sun Wolf

The Sun Wolf Thumbnail

Chapter

1

The thick underbrush and crowded trees came to an abrupt end and opened into a field that was beautiful even in the darkness of night. Adrenaline and self-preservation gave the man a burst of energy that was probably his last. The wound across his abdomen darkened the waistband and crotch of his pants. He held one hand on the wound while the other pumped at his side as he ran.  In his younger years he’d ran track, was on the football and baseball teams.  He’d kept in shape after graduation and now, twenty years later, it wasn’t titles, trophies or medals that kept him moving, he was running for his life. He didn’t make horror movie mistake 101 by looking back while he ran, he waited until he’d crossed the open field unscathed before he stopped. The night air was a chorus of crickets, cicadas, frogs and the occasional owl. There was no rustling and better still, no sounds of footsteps. Taking several hurried, but deep, inhales and exhales, he pushed off the tree he’d leaned against and started to run. He knew these woods like the back of his hand, had played in them as boy and then used them as a shortcut as and teenager. Half a mile was all he had to go before he reached the rail yard and after that, his childhood neighborhood. Familiar territory or not, it was pitch black and every low hanging branch pulled at his shirt, every vine  tangled his footsteps. He held his arm in front of his face and swiped away leaf covered limbs as he made his way; thankful for every step that didn’t end in a trip or worse, a fall. His breathing came hard and fast, and the pain in his middle could have been from the running or the claw marks that shredded previously wash-board abs that were the envy of all the men his age and some that were a few years younger. He wasted a much needed breath, as he cursed when he twisted his ankle. The trees were beginning to thin and he could all but taste the smell of the rail yard up ahead. Favoring the foot that sustained the minor injury, he pushed himself not to slow down. The rail yard wasn’t exactly the end of the chase; it’d be abandoned this time of night but it was that much closer to a major street and that meant people. As the trees became sparse and the ground cover changed from grass to hard packed dirt, the man could see the first of the tracks when he heard the sound behind him.

He could be silent…if he wanted to be. He was, after all, a predatory animal. Stalking meant stealth but that was for another time. Besides, what fun was in that? He liked the effects of a noisy pursuit, the sounds and smells. Heavy breathing quickened his pulse and excitement tightened his body as saliva filled his mouth. He heard his prey’s heart, a drum announcing his position, so loud and strong it was a pulse upon his skin.  He tasted its panic; it coated the back of his tongue.  He smelled the fear that seeped from its very pores. It smelled…delicious. Sometimes there was screaming, sometime begging or praying; and then there were his favorite, the fighters; those few souls that smelled both of fear and…determination. It was like two ingredients that shouldn’t go together yet when mixed just so became a delicacy. He stopped, raised his head and scented the air. Closing his eyes he marveled at a sweeter smell. Blood.  His body hummed with anticipation; he could all but taste his reward.

The moon was a sliver in the sky. It offered little aid in town and even less once the artificial lights of civilization were left behind for the small patch of woods that separated downtown from the nearest neighborhood.  Not that it was needed but the woods offered a brief reprieve of the smells of the city. Concrete, car exhausted, tar, and a slew of others riding the wind, were replaced with the smell of earth and trees. He loved outdoors, loved the freedom that comes when running. It was almost as exhilarating as the hunt. Almost.

The open patch of land was unexpected and any other night he would have took time to enjoy the field. The sounds and smells of night were thick, the hot humid wind blowing not bothersome just another thing to be enjoyed, but he had prey to catch. He saw the blood on the trunk of the tree before. Fresh and vivid in his superior night vision, but the wound was gushing and drips lined the path the man had taken. The metallic taste of it in his mouth was better than any visual trail. He could hear the progress of what he pursued, just up ahead, moving fast. Impending death will do that to some people. He leapt into the air, covering the twenty feet that separated them and landed on the man’s back. He went down hard and rolled so he could look into the face of death. His scream was short. No throat, meant no sound.

The motel was old, single story, and the kind of place everyone but old school truckers and poor people avoided. It was right off the highway in a part of the country that promised nothing good. The parking lot was gravel, the walls were cinderblock, the carpet matted and stained and the promised HBO was shown on a big backed TV that had an antenna. It was the perfect spot for horny teenagers, low income affairs and serial killers. No one saw the man emerge from the wooded area behind the motel. Curtains were pulled in every window and the office had a hand written sign stuck to the glass door with duck tape that read, back in five minutes. The man knew the attendant hung the sign up at midnight and took it down at five…sometimes six, the next morning.

Cold air raised goose-bumps on his skin as he opened the door. The light offered when he flip the switch was dim and yellow. The room smelled like industrial cleaner but didn’t look clean because everything was old and shabby. The mauve and forest green comforter sported a crisped edge cigarette burn below the pillow and the bedside table’s veneer was wrinkled and bubbled in the places that weren’t missing.  He crossed the room toeing off his shoes. They were the only things that had been saved. The light in the bathroom offered a brightness that made him squint as his eyes adjusted to the assault.

There had been no water on his trek back and he hadn’t bothered with trying to clean off the evidence of his crime in any other way. The blood started as splattered dots on his forehead, covered the lower half of his face and then soaked him to mid-thigh; plastering his t-shirt to his body and sticking his jeans to his legs. His hands were bloody and dirty, and his arms were streaked in the stuff. He pulled the shirt over his head before peeling off the jeans. The reflection was of a man who could be and was often times mistaken for military, former or current. His seven foot frame was a sculptured work of art. Biceps that bulged, forearms corded with veins, thick thighs and strong calves. His hairless chest and abdomen were carved pectorals and a defined rippled eight pack.  It had been enough blood to color the skin beneath the clothes and his chest rose and fell rapidly as he grabbed the thick length of his erection and a sound that was somewhere between a grunt and moan escaped him as he began to work himself.  He stopped long enough to spit in his hand to loosen the drying blood that had become tacky and he leaned over, placing a hand on the mirror as he watched his hand work.  The muscles in his neck tightened and his body became stiff as he came, his release hitting the mirror in thick ropes and left a trail to the yellowed Formica vanity.  He went to the shower; turning on just the hot water and waited until steam began to fill the small bathroom before stepping in. He put both hands on the square tiled surface in front of him and looked at the water as it ran red and then pink before he grabbed the bar of soap.  Lathering the blue and white swirled bar, he started with his hair and worked his way down until he’d reached his feet. The water ran cold by the time he finished. The bedroom was cold and he passed the bed headed for the window on the other side of the room.  He opened the curtains and lay down on a pile of pillows on the floor. He stared at the barely there moon, drawn to it always. In body and soul.

With the sun already on the wrong side of the sky to make any real use of the day the man stood up completely nude in front of the window. There was no one out even with it being a few hours till dusk. He walked to the large duffel at the bottom of the bed and pulled out a pair of jeans and green on green plaid button down shirt. Checking the shoes one last time for any stray drops of blood before putting them on; he laced them up and pulled his hair up in a knot on top of his head. He opened the door hanging the do-not-disturb sign on the knob before taking a look around to make sure no one was watching. He walked to the side of the building where the ice machine was the only noise and it sounded on its last leg and entered the woods. Headed in the opposite direction as he had come from last night he began to run. Strong legs carried him through the woods and he ran sure footed through the thick undergrowth of the forest. He was a nocturnal creature by habit but being in the tree thick woods made the daylight hours acceptable. He hated when his work took him to cities. He’d been raised in seclusion and lacked most social skills. It didn’t help that he didn’t really like people. Well, he liked them, but not in a…traditional sense of the word.  It was something he’d never had to worry about until recently, but he’d made the transition better than he’d ever imagined. Master must have known something he didn’t.

 The man who’d taken him hadn’t raised him, he’d trained him. The thoughts that recently started to plague him reared their ugly head and no matter how fast he ran he couldn’t outrun the mutinous feelings. It was his first time away from home unsupervised and in the six months he’d been away he’d start to think of a life where he was free. Free of Master, free of assignments, free of the death that followed him…just plain free. The sound of construction snapped him out of his daydream and he focused on the job he’d been given for he may have thoughts of freedom but he was not. Masters yolk was strong, and leash long, reaching across an ocean. He slowed to a brisk walk until he saw a tree with a low hanging branch that he could grab. He climbed with the grace of a cat and sat on a thick branch. He could see the house but was confident no one could see him unless they were looking for him, and no one in the construction zone was.

The square shaped structure was more a compound than a home. The frame was reinforced steel, and the glass doors weren’t tempered but ballistic grade. It was going to be a damn fortress when completed. It made it harder to infiltrate, but not impossible. Besides, he wasn’t there to kill the owner. Last night’s little activities were a trap and he was simply suppose to ensure the authorities looked in the right direction and report to Master when the shit it the fan. So far it hadn’t worked but now that his target was taking up permanent resident it seemed more likely. He was the new kid on the block, capable of what the cops would find if they hadn’t already and if the police didn’t question the newcomer the local Wolfe Hunters would.

He stayed in the tree until the workers packed up their tools and stowed everything for the night. He was about to leave when he heard an approaching car. He settled back down and watched a sleek, black, luxury sedan clear the tree lined road that dumped into the area surrounding the house. He watched as his mark exited the car followed by a giant of a man, who stood just as tall as the treed man but had nowhere near the bulk. They walked the house and the surrounding areas under construction. After an hour they returned to the car and drove off. The assassin didn’t waste time climbing down; he jumped from his perch and ran in the direction of the motel.

This life of freedom, the new and endless possibilities of what if, crowded his mind until it was impossible to think of anything else, including the direction his feet went in. He didn’t worry too much. He often ran that way, with no direction, no destination. It was good to feel the earth under his feet and the sweet smells of summer perfuming the air. The chance of getting lost was nonexistent and twilight announced the day’s end by the time he’d made it back to his room. He entered it just long enough to remove his last decent pair of clothing.

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2 Responses to “The Sun Wolf”

  1. Will there be a 2nd book? I read this book in 3hrs and I loved it

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