He stalked through the forest, eyes missing nothing. He'd been hunting for most of his life, stalking the beasts who stalked the world. How little everyone knew. How blind humanity was! Abel stopped believing in God a long time ago. All he believed in now was himself, his mission, and the fact that the apocalypse was on its way; and that it would be started by what he hunted.
They were fell beasts, his prey. They looked like any other man. They could look you in the eye and you would notice nothing different about them at all until they started sprouting fur and fangs. That's what made them so insidious and hard to exterminate. They could be anyone, your neighbor; your wife. He shuddered as he thought of his own wife.
That was the worst betrayal of all. She'd been one of them. Oh, she'd never turned into a beast. But there were things about her that should not have been possible. She had reflexes that only made sense if she'd been an athlete. She was never sick. She could run too fast. There was a restlessness in her spirit that never seemed to end.
It wasn't until the order brought him in, that he realized what she was. A Therian. Abel sneered at the thought. They were the worst of all. At least the full-blooded beasts didn't pretend to live amongst decent people; they couldn't with the animal nature that ruled their hearts. But Therians, the offspring of a beast and a human; often several generations removed were sly. They appeared almost completely normal, but unlike their kin, there was nothing to give them away except small signs that were easily written off.
Abel didn't write anything off. When the order, a secret society within his church found him, he'd been a fool. They had seen his wife for what she was, and his daughter too and sought to warn him. Once he learned the truth he'd known they had to die. It was hard to kill his wife, but he'd done it for the greater good. His daughter had given him pause, though. She was just a young girl, innocent and adoring. He'd been unable to kill her.
How many times had he stood outside her room, trying to force himself to finally do what he should have done long ago? Why did he not take any of the order up on their offer to take care of it for him? Something stopped him every time, though he didn't know what.
The snapping of a twig sharpened his focus and he put thoughts of his daughter away. The problem of Lily would wait. He moved through the trees with a grace that years of experience lent him. His prey was just up ahead, a female gathering herbs. It was easy pickings in this part of the world. The werewolves in the city were harder, wary, and more dangerous; never letting their females out alone.
Going after the women and children was far easier than going after the males. The males of the species were too powerful to take head to head. The Hunter's history was full of that bloody lesson. The way to wipe them out was targeting their future. It was distasteful of course. But it was for the greater good.
He stalked the woman silently, specially equipped gun at the ready, silencer already on it. No need to draw attention to himself. Finally, she stopped to harvest some herb and he had his shot.
Abel aimed his gun and pulled the trigger with no hesitation. He waited several minutes as she died and finally walked over to her body. It was important to make absolutely certain of the kill. The Order kept detailed records. She was dead.
He patted her down for some form of identification. Not surprisingly she didn't have any. The wolves in this part of the world were different. They didn't seem to mingle with humans much and those he'd killed thus far didn't seem to have any form of ID on them. He'd taken out four since moving here.
This was just the calm before the storm of course. The more he killed the more likely they would realize it was him. It would be some time though. That was the only upside of having a Therian for a daughter. Most wolves assumed because she still lived, that he wouldn't be hunting them. That was the excuse he gave the order for not killing her yet.
He made his way back to the cabin, putting his rifle in the safe and checking on Lily. She'd taken to wandering the forest and he didn't like it, though he supposed there wasn't much better to do around here. She was pretty, focused on her sketchpad in the living room.
Did he love her? He supposed he had once before he'd known what she was. It was sad really. Her bloodline was no fault of hers. But he knew that bad blood will out just as it always did. Eventually, she would catch the notice of some werewolf and be drawn into their world. That, he supposed; was when he would finally kill her. Better to do it himself then let her birth more abominations into the world.
Sure in his purpose, he went to his bedroom without a word.
He walked up to the dead woman. Her name was Loren, and she left behind a mate and two pups. She was the fourth of his own kind he'd found murdered. The only sign of the murderer was a trail of disturbed foliage leading away from the woman. There didn't seem to be any scent. That could only mean one thing.
"Klaus. Another one?" Klaus bowed his head as his Alpha approached.
"Yes. No scent."
"It must be."
"We must restrict pack movements until the hunter can be found and dealt with." Damien, his Alpha sounded calm and almost bored like he usually did; but Klaus knew him well enough to know there was fury burning beneath the stillness.
"What of the Therian? Should we not bring her into our protection?"
"We must be careful. I have my suspicions about her Father."
"Surely the Father of a Therian would not do this."
"Have you seen how he looks at her? That man bears no love for his daughter." Klaus knew exactly what Damien spoke of. But how did Damien know? Klaus suppressed a knowing smirk. His Alpha seemed to have an interest in Lily. It was a good thing too, the man was too often alone. Surely his life would be brightened by Lily's warm presence in it.
"Yes. How shall we do this?"
"It must be done carefully. Her parting with her Father must not distance her from the pack. We must make him reveal himself."
"What if he hurts her?"
"I doubt he will, or else he would have done so already." Klaus had his doubts, but it was not his place to question Damien. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that Lily wasn't going to come out of this unscarred.
"I'll tell everyone to stay firmly away from Lily's cabin and the surrounding forest."