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Black ichor ran freely from the wound in my side. If it hadn’t been for Luc, my pack’s Ulfric, I would be dead. Luc…he was dead now, and it’s that entirely damnable Dragon’s fault, taking away Luc from my pack and me. The pain of the wound, coupled with the coming of my children was almost more than I could stand. Almost. It takes a great deal to slow a lycanthrope down, but this was what would be termed fatal to any but a Lupa. It is a blessing that I am one, was one, always will be a Lupa. However, here I digress. The moon was a night or two shy of being full. Luc was looking for a safe haven from the encroaching Vampires and, instead, found that Dragon. He tried to warn me away, but I had to help him somehow. It was horrible, watching him be ripped to shreds, but I did as a good Lupa would do and stayed, despite my desire to run. When the Dragon turned its attention to me, I knew it scented the young that still grew inside me. I shifted, and that momentary pain of becoming my full Arctic Timber wolf overshadowed much of the pains of my young. I turned as the Dragon roared out its challenge; fur raised on my hackles as my keener senses picked up the scent of my mate’s cooling blood. While I was distracted by the scent of Luc’s blood, the Dragon struck. I wasn’t prepared for the slice of razor sharp talons into my flank. Instead of meeting its attack with one of my own, I ran. Cowardly to run, but I did. I had to protect what I could of myself, even if now I can no longer face my pack. It is better to die alone than hear their jeers and taunts as to how their Lupa turned tail and ran from a challenge. Even now, I am glad that I ran. Though I slowed considerably, I lived. This missive, my last before the Hunters return to me, is evidence of that. Know now, however, that I think fondly of everything I have done. My children were so beautiful, four girls and a son to reclaim Alpha status in our pack. They were growing fast, but now.... Again, I digress. After a year, I tracked the Dragon down. With the children tucked in for their bedtime, I thought they were safe. I laid out my strategy, to attack when it slept. The wait was the hardest part, but eventually it succumbed to the dregs of the night, sated from its meal. I waited an hour longer before launching myself at its throat. The scream of its death threw me for a loop. It lifted its head as the force of my bite tore the life-giving vein, throwing me off. I had only to watch as the Dragon fell into the throes of death, the bright red of its blood shocking me. The only blood I had seen that wasn’t the same black ichor coursing through me was the dull violet blood of the fangs. As the scream from the Dragon’s death faded, the warm scent of its blood touched my snout. It smelled delicious, like the scent of Luc before he claimed me in my first heat. I licked my jowls and went forward cautiously; prepared to leap back should the thing do as much as twitch a nostril at me. It needn’t have been much, but I knew that if I didn’t go carefully, I could end up like Luc. The caution wasn’t necessary, however. There was no sign that the Dragon breathed any longer. The soft, unguarded belly was my target. I shifted back to my more human form, pleased to notice that the knife I had buried hadn’t been discovered. It took only a matter of minutes, but I unburied the blade and smiled. The tool would be sharp enough to carve an opening into the Dragon’s belly for me to take some of the flesh home. After a short prayer to the Wolf God, I began. I won’t burden you with useless details, no matter how tempting. I took only enough meat to feed my young and myself for a few days, leaving the rest for the Wolf God and his pack. Rolling the cloth of my tattered shift over the meat, I began to notice the sounds of humans approaching. Picking my parcel up quickly but gingerly, I began to make my way home. Following my instincts, I became cautious. Blood scented the air around my home, thick and heavy with innocence. I dashed into the little hut and dropped the parcel of meat onto the ground. My young were dead. I howled my pain, shifting back to human as the howling proved to be ineffectual. Finding the black gown I had worn only a year ago, I dressed. Tears burned behind my eyes as I lifted each of my young and carried them outside. I took the day digging five graves. I didn’t’ bother to shift to my wolf form, digging the holes by hand. I heard the humans inside my home, barely caring if they found me burying my children. As a mother, I had a right to bury them. As a Lupa, it was my duty to do so. After the last marker was placed, I heard it. The chilling voice demanding I come inside and relay to the Hunters why I buried demons instead of burning them. I did as demanded, watching as they realized their error. Two of the Hunters ran when they heard I was a Lupa, while the other two stayed. The one with the chilling voice told me that the Dragon I had slain was his pet. He gave me a choice: record within three days the events that lead to this day or I could die. I chose to record the events. Even now, as I rite, they approach with their tea of wolfs bane laced with silver for me to drink. Tonight, I will die, but I will take the Hunters with me before I go.