Abel slammed the door shut, again and again, his frustration finally giving out as the bent door swung uselessly on a buckled hinge. A slow chuckle made his blood freeze, the ensemble Blood Banes turned as one. Cain spearheaded a group of grotesque vampires. Torn clothing hung loosely from their bony skeletons, and their dirty brown skin clung to their features like cling wrap on their bones.
A howl close by echoed up into the night and the tree line started to shimmer. More of the large werewolves stalked back through, much more than had initially attacked the van. The vampires began to shriek as their mortal enemies appeared. Confronted on both sides, the Blood Banes squeezed together behind the armored truck and moved out to the open road.
Marcus shifted to his human form, his angular face caught the falling moon light. His white skin was stretched taut over his muscles as the change manipulated his skin. He looked to Cain and then to Abel.
“Look, sister, I think we might be interrupting some touching reunion.”
His eyes burnt with the barely contained rage that was circulating through his body. The shift took most of his concentration to control, for newbies like Garrett it was near impossible to revert to human form once the rage built to a frenzy. Only after years of living with the gift was one able to leash some control.
A white werewolf walked between the pack, as she neared Marcus she slowly shifted. The shift was a gruesome event to behold. Her body seemed to buckle down on its self as bones shortened and realigned, lean hind legs straighten and shrunk, the knee bone popped as her feet slowly retracted to human. Her torso slimmed and eight small teats vanished to leave small human breasts, the remaining six nipples marked the descent to her stomach.
Cassandra’s regal face looked to Cain as a small smile played at the corner of her mouth. Abel hadn’t taken his eyes off his brother as the group relocated, his jaw worked at his teeth, the worry being burnt out by the anger washing his body. Abel took a step toward Cain as Geezer grabbed at his sleeve.
“Where is she, Cain?”
Cain stepped away from his aberrant parasites as they hissed at the werewolves. He glanced briefly at the siblings and then choose to ignore them.
“Where you won’t find her.”
“If you harm her I will kill you; God damn your mark. I’ll take you with me.”
Abel pointed his sword at Cain; he clenched the pommel so hard his knuckles had turned white. Cain’s evil smile made his eyes dance as the moon fell even further to the horizon.
“I don’t think so brother, besides I can offer her a better life than you can. Just think of it.”
Cain swept a hand lavishly through the air as he approached the circled group.
“No fear, no rules, no suffocation.”
Marcus frowned as he took a few steps toward the Blood Banes, the werewolves at his back slowly crawled forwards.
“Oi, the fruit is mine, so I suggest you give it to me and leave. If you haven’t already realized your both out numbered “
Geezer turned to Abel and tugged at his shoulder.
“Um gov, don’t mean to be funny, but this mug hasn’t got any clothes on, and I can’t take a man seriously if he hasn’t got any clothes on.”
Abel glanced to Marcus and Cassandra; his annoyance apparent on his face.
“You two know the agreement, if Ivor knows what you’re doing, he’s gonna be pissed.”
Cain studied the siblings, their nakedness and the werewolves behind them. Nonplussed he pointed a finger and flicked his wrist.
“Begone pups. This has nothing to do with you.”
Marcus fought the shift; his legs started to buckle and reform as did his face, his shaggy muzzle elongating with sharp teeth. Cassandra placed a hand on his contracting shoulder and stepped seductively forward, her long white hair blew out behind like a silk cape.
“I know you; you are the one marked like Cain, the originator of these abominations.” She spat the last word with distaste at the grotesque creatures behind him.
“And I know your maker too little girl, so what?”
Cassandra sized him up; she remembered the old stories her wet nurse had told her. When Seth had recently found the gift, he had wandered the wilderness for years in search of some connection to the life given to him. Cain had found him and deceived a naive Seth into creating a pack, a pack that would work beside Cain’s offsprings in an attempt to rule over the humans. After seeing Cain’s depravities Seth and his pack had revolted against him, and a blood feud had ensured every since.
“As my brother suggested, give us the fruit, and we will leave you two to bond.”
“You dumb bitch, the bloody van was empty.”
Geezer leveled a shiny dagger toward her threateningly as loud bang erupted near the tactical van. The shell bounced from side to side as if a great weight had just crashed into it. Momentarily caught off guard, Abel lunged at Cain and grabbed him by the shoulders. He threw him with all his might at the black van. Cain sailed the air and crashed through the back door.
Marcus let the rage feel him, and he shifted back to his hulking werewolves form, his sister at his side changed back and charged at the Blood Banes. Greg raised his automatic as the pack approached, just before they hit the group the siblings jumped clean over them and tore into the vampire.
Abel ran to the van as the buckled doors came flying toward him. Cain jumped from the truck bed and delivered a blow to his head. Abel staggered back and fell, a trickle of blood dripped from his brow and landed across his nose and lip. The metallic taste coated the back of his nose and throat as his vision blurred as a dark shadow fell from the van and crumpled to the floor.
Cain stood over him menacing.
“Kneeling is a good start brother, but I’m still going to take away your precious little girl.”
At the mention of Willow, Abel glanced up; the disorientation slowly left his eyes, he picked up his sword from where it fell next to him and rose to his feet.
“I swore never again that you would take another child from me, I swore to you, that I would kill you if you ever did again.”
Cain sneered and struck out with a right hook, Abel ducked and kicked Cain, he had anticipated the rebelling force of the curse and used it to somersault back and away. Savage growls and the shrieks of the vampires being rent apart filled the twilight of the forest road. The Blood Banes had kept to a tight group and fired sparingly at the few vampires that the werewolves missed. Soon only the werewolves were left, their hunkering bodies sucked in the air and pumped it out like the steam of a train. Marcus howled, and the pack followed, the noise became deafening. Cain walked out behind the trunk and came to stand before the Blood Banes and Abel; the werewolves turned at his presence. Abel looked to Marcus and pointed his sword.
“You know the agreement, go now, and I will forget to tell the Regency what happened here. Stay, and you can all go to hell.”
Marcus’s white fur was tinged with red and black marks, clumps of guts and muscle swung from his shaggy jaws as he looked to his sister and then back again.
The shift was slower this time. A demonstration of the demon he was.
“You defend him?”
“No, he will die, but first, he has my daughter.”
Marcus nodded slowly and turned to his sister.
“Family is a cruel curse, but also the most important thing. Nothing else can matters with your family at your side. This time we will leave but do not make the mistake of taking my magnanimity as weakness.”
With that, he jumped forward and shifted at the same time. The werewolves followed at his back as he barrelled through the tree line and sped away. Cain chuckled and swaggered a little, the remaining Blood Banes checked they weapons and pointed them at him.
“Your toys can not hurt me, are you that stupid.”
Cain last words still echoed around them as his anger rolled from his like waves. A small glow had started to appear as the sun rose on the horizon.
“Yeah well. maybe we can’t, but that can.” Greg pointed up the road, Cain glanced at it and shrugged his shoulders.
Abel leveled his sword at his brother and waved the Blood Banes to stand down. His brother’s words hadn’t been untrue they really couldn’t hurt him with bullets, not even his sword could make a mark on him. Abel walked between his unit and spoke rapidly to the Englishmen.
“Be ready to move,” he nodded towards Cain’s feet.
It took the fighter a little while to realize that it was the dark figure convulsing haltingly behind Cain that Abel had meant rather than Cain himself. Abel sprinted toward his brother as Cain smiled evilly and readied himself for the blow. Abel jumped and extended a leg for a harsh kick to the chest. The impact sent them both flying backward, and geezer half caught Abel as he flew into him.
Evan stopped convulsing and looked up at the fallen figure that had just landed on his back. Evan’s face split with pain as his snort elongated and stretched. The shift racked his body for the first time, pain far worse than anything he had ever felt coursed through him. Rage like no other gripped his soul and squeezed, he howled to the night and lunged for the fallen figure.
Abel shouted to the group, and they all plunged into the armored truck. Greg slammed the truck into gear and hurtled down the road. Geezer aimed a rifle out the back of the door and waited for a clean shot.
“For old times, my friend.”
He pulled the trigger, and a silver tipped bullet sped toward Evan’s head.