“Why does Grandmother insist out living here…?” Emily said aloud as she made her way through the forest along the stone path. She glanced down at her basket, giving a small sigh. Well, there was no use arguing with the woman. She was so stubborn…
For whatever reason, Emily’s grandmother lived in a small cottage deep within the large forest. But it was dangerous for her to live there! Did she not think about the giant wolf-men that populated the area?!
Monstrous creatures, those wolf-men were. On average, they stood around eleven feet tall with animal instincts. She had only seen one before when she was a little girl, but she could still remember him clear as day. It had been a dead one, one that the local townspeople had hunted down and killed.
Large claws for hands, hunched over with so much fur… But the creature had a human-like face… But with vicious fangs in his mouth that could tear a man apart, more of a dog nose than human and furry. And bright red eyes like the devil himself.
And that had only been one out of God knew how many were actually out here in this forest. She shouldn’t have been traveling alone either… But her grandmother had insisted on her coming over today. She had tried to get one of her male hunting friends to come along with her, but everyone seemed to be busy today. So she had no choice but to go alone.
It was a bit unsettling. While the forest was peaceful enough so far, she couldn’t help but to be wary of every noise she heard. People said that as long as you stayed on the path, you would be fine, but… A wolf-man could still easily snatch her up from the road and eat her.
She shivered at the thought. She just had to get through this forest. She was already halfway there… Just a little more and she would be at her grandmother’s to deliver her the treats in her basket.
She would have nothing to fear.
Matteus couldn’t help but to laugh softly to himself. The girl was completely unaware that she was being stalked from behind the large trees and bushes.
Truth be told, the creature had always stalked her whenever she made her way down the path to that little cottage in the middle of his domain. He could remember the first time he saw the human girl… She had only been a child then, ten years ago. Now she was a young adult, very pretty in her cute red outfit.
She was wearing a red cape with a little hood to help her block out the sun’s rays from hitting her face. But from his angle, he could still see her wavy dark brown peeking out from the hood. It was a shame that he couldn’t see her face as well. She had such a pretty face, smooth light skin, soft green eyes…
He made it a habit, secretly escorting her to and from her grandmother’s house. He didn’t know why she would come alone… The fool would be the perfect snack for another wolf-man. Or toy, depending on who found her aside from him. But because he had “claimed” her, in a sense, no one dared to come near her.
It shouldn’t have been surprising. He was considered the Alpha of the land. Standing thirteen feet tall, he was massive figure with dark grey fur and bright vermillion eyes. No one would dare challenge him or try to hurt the human he had been following the moment she had set foot into the forest.
Matteus slowly followed behind the girl along the path. He wasn’t sure why he had grown attached to the human. He had remembered seeing her when she had been lost in the forest when she had only been a young girl, probably no older than eight. She was alone, scared, and crying. She shouldn’t have survived, but because he had been the one to find her, she had.
Perhaps it was some long forgotten parental instinct inside of him that had awaken upon seeing her. Hurting her just hadn’t been an option. She was defenseless, vulnerable, and merely a stupid little girl who had gotten lost. He hadn’t done much, simply alerted the villagers looking for her and calling out to her to the girl’s location.
But he hadn’t forgotten about her. Matteus had certainly never expected to see her again, this Emily human… But she had returned to the forest to deliver sweets to her grandmother. Always once a month, every year. When she was younger, she always had an older companion with her, but for the past few years now, she had been traveling alone.
Or so she had believed. She didn’t know about him. He had never shown himself to her and he never planned too. He had thought about it, but the last thing he needed was for her to think he wanted to eat her and alert her village of his presence. That was the last thing he wanted-
Matteus lost track of where he was walking and hit his food against a boulder. He snarled out in pain, only to freeze when he realize he had been too loud. He looked back at the human, eyes widening when he realized she was looking right back at him.
Emily just stared at those two big bright red eyes staring at her. Oh God… Oh God! A wolf-man! She was being stalked by a wolf-man!
Letting out a petrified scream, Emily turned around and ran as fast as she could down the path. She could hear the creature starting to follow her, making her heart face in fright. She knew there was no hope in escaping. Wolf-men were giant, fast creatures… She had been dead the moment he had looked at her.
She ended up tripping over her own to feet, slamming down hard onto the ground. She whimpered out in pain, only to gasp out in fright when she realized that the wolf-man was coming closer. In a vain attempt to scramble to her feet, she attempted to make another run for it down the path…
Only for a large claw to wrap around her body and lift her up off the ground.
She screamed in horror when the ground disappeared beneath her feet. The large claws kept her firmly trapped against the palm her back was pressed up against. She trembled violently in the hand, trying to push at the long fingers and kick her legs wildly.
It did little as she was brought up to the creature’s face. She paled in terror, shrinking into his hand as his bright red eyes were locked on her. But her eyes fell to his mouth, seeing that it was open slightly, his sharp white fangs prominent and making her blood turn to ice.
Just as he brought her closer, she let out another petrified scream, one that was loud enough to make the creature flinch back at its volume and loosen his grip. It was enough for Emily to break free and fall to the ground, landing with a hard thud and grunt.
Matteus looked down at the girl, seeing that her face had tightened up in what appeared to be pain. Well, he wasn’t surprised… She probably sprained her ankle when she fell from his grip. Not a very smart move, considering she was trying to get away from him.
He squatted down in front of her, making gasp out in fright as she tried to scramble away. Sadly though, she didn’t get very far, her ankle in pain.
“N-No…!” she whimpered out. “N-NO! Pl-Please! D-Don’t eat me!”
He couldn’t help but to give a small laugh. “Is that what you’re worried about?”
Hearing his dark, almost demonic like voice terrified her even more. Tears started developing in the corners of her eyes as she feared the worst was to come. She was going to be eaten. He was going to pluck her off the ground and throw her into his mouth and swallow her whole!
Terrified and accepting her fate, Emily curled up into a small ball and started to sob softly. There was no way out of this. There was nothing she could do to even try and escape. She just prayed that the wolf-man would be merciless and eat her in one bite.
His smirk disappeared when he saw her starting to cry. Well… Damn. This wasn’t what he had in mind. He was just teasing her a little; he didn’t actually want to make her cry. Then again, his appearance was probably enough to send even a grown man into hysterics. He was the Alpha of the forest, after all…
Slowly, he moved one of his claws over to her. He pushed her hood gently off of her head, making the girl tense up and whimper in fright. Dear Lord, she was shaking pretty hard, no doubt irritating her injured ankle further.
Emily bit back a cry of fear when she felt his nail touch her ear, curling a small strand of hair. She heard him shift a bit, feeling his breath against her. It made her tremble even harder, shrinking back into herself even more.
Matteus gave a small sniff. She smelled… good. And not in a way where it would make him hungry. She just had a pleasant smell to her. She smelled like a bakery – very sweet and delicious. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering she was carrying a basket of treats with her.
“Don’t you think I would have eaten you already if that was my intention?”
Emily stiffened at the question. She jerked her head up, seeing the wolf-man look down at her with a bored expression. Though he smirked a bit when he saw the confusion on her face.
“I’m not interested in eating helpless little girls… You wouldn’t make much if a meal anyway. Not even a snack.”
She bit her bottom lip and looked away. Was he… trying to funny? Make conversation? No… No, wolf-men ate humans! They didn’t try to make idle chitchat. But… he was. This… terrifying-looking creature with demonic red eyes and that deep booming voice was trying to talk to her.
She couldn’t say anything back though. It was like her voice box had died or something. She just couldn’t find the words to say anything!
Seeing that she was still silent, he gave a heavy huff and took his hand away from her hand. But he had his nails gently run against her skin, making her shiver slightly. Such soft, lovely skin. He wondered if she was aware of it.
“Now how are you supposed to get to your grandmother’s house with an injured leg?”
Her eyes widened. How did he knew she was going to visit her grandmother?!
He laughed at the startled look on her face. “I’ve been watching you for some time now… I know you visit your grandmother once a month and I know that your name is Emily.”
She shrunk into herself. Was he like her stalker?! This… giant… wolf-man stalker… But why? Why had he been watching her? If not to eat… then perhaps he wanted her as some sort of toy? A pet? She paled at the idea, scooting back from him, much to his surprise.
“Pl-Please…” she whimpered out. “D-Don’t hurt me… I-I w-won’t tell anyone I s-saw you or an-anything…! S-So don’t hurt me!”
She still believed he was going to hurt her? He rolled his eyes at that and shook his head. What a stubborn little human…
Emily shrieked when the beast suddenly scooped her off the ground, cradling her in his hand. She clutched at his fingers tightly, squirming in his grip as he carried her away. She felt her heart starting to race with fear and uncertainty, having no idea where he was taking her! Back to his lair? Back onto the main path? Back home? She knew the last one was a long shot and that the first option was more likely… Dear God, why was this happening?!
Matteus moved himself onto the path again and sniffed the air. Since she was no longer capable of walking (and it was technically his fault, he supposed), he would have to carry her to her grandmother’s himself. He hoped the old woman would have medical supplies in her house… She would have been stupid not to.
He glanced down at the girl, who was shaking in his hand.
“Wh-Where are you… taking me?”
She blinked. Her… grandmother’s house? He… wasn’t he going to take her to his lair? To… keep her as some sort of pet? And when he got bored, eat her for a snack? She grew even more confused, squirming in his hand even more than before.
He couldn’t help but to find it cute. What a funny creature… Humans were much more amusing than they were filling. He wondered why his kind tried to stalk these creatures. They were hardly a meal to begin with.
“Unless you wish to go to my lair instead?”
Indeed – they were the most hysterical beings he had encountered. He was glad he had decided to let this pretty little human live all those years ago. She was too amusing and too cute to kill anyway. Would be such a waste…
“Then I shall take you to your grandmother’s… Though I suppose you’ll wish for me to hide from her sights. I think the old woman would drop dead if she saw me holding her precious granddaughter with her little basket of sweets.”
“M-Mister Wolf-Man, I-”
“My name – it’s only fair that I give you mine since I already know yours.”
“O-Oh… U-Um, Matteus?”
Emily hesitated, not sure what she should say exactly. It really did seem like he wasn’t going to eat her or do anything terrible. She supposed it was only appropriate to at least give her word of appreciation for carrying her, as unsettling as the feeling was.
“Th-Thank you,” she stammered, feeling awkward as she looked away. Slowly, she reached into her basket and pulled out a cookie, holding it out to him. “H-Here. I-I know it’s not much, b-but…”
He laughed once at the thanks and the offering. So awkward, yet so completely adorable… He was definitely going to have fun with this little human. She was very sweet though, he would give her that much.
He leaned down and opened his mouth, Emily flinching back at the sight of his teeth. But she figured out what he wanted her to do and quickly threw the cookie into his mouth. He could hardly taste it, considering it was just a crumb to him, but from what he could taste, it was rather good.
“Do you bake these yourself?”
He smirked. “They’re good.”
“Th-Thank you,” she mumbled out, cheeks reddening as she looked away. Both embarrassed and overwhelmed, she threw her red hood over her face again and tried to hide herself from his sights.
Oh yes, Matteus thought. He was definitely going to have much fun with his pretty little human.