Gunshots rang through the woods just ahead. He burst from the trees and leapt onto the hairy back of the staggering beast. Ryan sank his fangs into its flesh and yanked its head back.
Blood spurted and claws reached around in an attempt to dislodge him. They pierced the skin of his neck. Suddenly, it flipped him onto the ground. The beast leapt atop him.
Ryan stabbed his claws into the beast’s abdomen just as teeth closed on his throat. Instead of a crushing bite, the Bestial Butcher threw his head back in a howl of pain.
Using this opportunity, Ryan pushed his way to a standing position and slashed at the Butcher’s neck. Blood gushed from the wound. The beast grabbed its throat with one clawed hand and made to slash at Ryan with the other. Then at the last-minute, it ran into the woods.
Ryan roared in frustration and started after it. However, a frightened moan behind him caught his attention.
Lydia lay on the ground, her gun in the grass next to her. Her eyelids fluttered. Puncture wounds on her shoulder glistened in the firelight. Ryan cursed. The beast had bitten her.
Tonight she would start her transformation. Ryan shook his head and knelt by her blood-covered body. In that moment, he knew he would have to get closer to her than he’d ever hoped.