No Beast So Fierce

No Beast So FierceNo Beast So Fierce

There have been many times in my life when I knew I was doing something stupid. I've lived an extraordinarily long time, even for my kind, and I can see those moments coming with far more clarity than the normal, short-lived human might.
It's never stopped me from doing something stupid, though.

In the late afternoon of a warm, summer day I stepped aboard the Port Nova fastline train, blending inconspicuously with a group of tourists. By tomorrow morning, we'd be half a world away, traveling at leisure through the wild lands. It used to take longer to get from one town to the next . . . ah, but that had been another world and a long time ago. Terra Nova has been a boon for me, with so much of the world still wild where I can run -- though I always come back to civilization. I like being sane, and having the beast within me tamed. I don't want to run too wild and risk never coming back from the wolf.

But I'm babbling aren't I? Getting on the train doesn't look stupid, right?

Except for the vampires who had boarded ahead of me.

Oh yes, werewolves, vampires -- and worse -- are out in the stars with the rest of humanity. However, we're more subtle about our presence these days. Humans no longer believe in the old myths and sometimes that makes them easy prey, as vampires quickly learned. Many people had disappeared in Terra Nova lately. I'd heard about it in coffee shops and hotels; the places where humans gather to gossip and pretend they aren't worried. They didn't know what they faced or how to fight it, and that left the vampires to prey as they wanted. They were getting bold.

The vampires hadn't counted on me, though.

Someone has to stand between the monsters and the humans.

As I stepped into the crowded lounge, I saw something that almost made me back out again. I might have slipped away before Delora spotted me. She would survive anything the vampires could throw at her. I needn't worry about her -- but she had that extra sense, my Delora did, and she looked up --

Not mine anymore. Not in a long, long time. I saw her jungle-green eyes widen and remembered the last time I'd seen her: Constantinople, the night it fell, as we scrambled to get away.

A thousand years ago.

Some people you never forget.

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