Blood sprayed across the snow, anointing it with war.

He’d seen the doe’s eyes widen before he tore into her neck. She weighed almost nothing. He carried her back to a cluster of trees, heedless of the spotted trail left in his wake. None of the other wolves hunted here. The terrain was a jagged, uneven stretch of ditches and sharp rocks. A few of his pack had already perished while in pursuit of prey. He was the only one who seemed able to navigate the angles and pitfalls.

His sprint had slowed when he picked up the other wolf’s scent. His lungs were flooded with the air of danger, the presence of the other male, but he had yet to see him. He snorted the smell out of his nostrils and charged at the deer. This kill belonged to him.

He settled down on his hocks, the lifeless animal cradled between his paws, and bit into the warm flesh. The blood ran over his teeth and colored his flews bright pink. The neck snapped with ease and he lapped up his meal lazily. He wouldn’t be seen hurriedly eating. He had to show the intruding wolf that he didn’t feel threatened by him.

The sound of snow softly crunching beneath foot pads set him on edge, but he remained still. Then, out of his periphery, the white wolf approached. He kept his head down—typically a sign of submission—but it only made him look dangerously unpredictable, like a snake coiled to strike. He stopped just a few paces before him.

White and black. Stark and bleak.

The dark one slowly stood up, hair bristling, and hovered possessively over the mangled carcass. He growled. You don’t belong here.

This isn’t your place.

It’s my kill. His lip curled.

Nothing here is yours, you fool.

His hackles weren’t even raised. The white one wasn’t intimidated at all.

He clicked his blood-stained teeth angrily. Who are you to pass judgment?

Who are you to question? The white one straightened to his full height.

He instantly felt the tugging at his gut, the need to submit, to swear allegiance to this frost-white beast. He resisted it. You cannot make me yield.

He padded closer. I’m not making you do anything.

It was happening. His ears were curling back. It was harder to maintain direct eye contact. The kill that was once undeniably his now felt like contraband. The blood staining his snout had gone as icy cold as the white wolf’s stare.

He snarled. Leave me!




They were standing nose to nose now. The black one’s withers were slightly higher than the other wolf’s, but there was no question as to whom the authority belonged. He shook his head in a vain attempt to dispel the ever-increasing desire to surrender. The white one stood statue-still, the breath from his nostrils the only proof that he was a sentient being. The smoke swirled around his head. He looked as though he had wings.

He took a step forward. Do you want to die?

He dug his paws into the snow. No.

Then be mine.

He couldn’t fight it anymore. He took a step back and lowered his head. The alpha strode forward and began to feast on the remains of the deer. Shredding through fur and sinew, he ripped out the heart, anchored it against his paws, and began licking it. The dark one obediently stayed near him but made no move to satiate his own wild hunger. When the alpha was finished, he motioned for him to follow.


He licked the blood from his muzzle. Yes…my King.




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