More often than not, he dreamed of hunting. Of killing, blood warm in his mouth as his fangs pierced arteries and ripped flesh. But the dreams were more pointed, now. More purposeful. Armor rending beneath his claws and that little, wet scream that nearly every foe let cry as he ripped their throats out. Orcish eyes going empty and dull with death. Trolls falling beneath his claws, his rage murderous and vengeful and unsated.
The hate didn’t own Rhese, but it ravaged him. And he welcomed it, fed it with all his fears and worries, all the terror of a new parent in a world at war. Traitors. Murderers. Cowards. The rot-hearted Horde had brought war back to the world, back to his family’s world – and after all that they’d done together. After all the ways they’d let them into their lives. After all the ways they’d let them into their hearts.
Rhese bit back the growl that was lurking in the back of his throat, staring up at the star-dotted sky above them. Awake. Sleep was never coming. So, though he thrummed with impatience, he waited carefully until his mate had rolled away to cuddle the wolf that kept watch by her side before he climbed silently to his feet.
Tsume looked up at him as he grabbed the spare pack he’d stored on the edge of their favorite Drustvar campsite, her white ears perking. The druid shook his head, putting a finger over his lips. He only needed to mouth the command, “Guard,” and point to Nyssera for the canine to know his meaning. She obeyed, but she didn’t like it, watching him with her tail flicking nervously and her black eyes worried.
He didn’t want it, her concern. Nor would he want to worry Nysse, hence the stealth. He just needed something to do that could start to even the score, that wasn’t lying awake, useless, while anger chewed at him. Looking away from the wolf and his love, Rhese retrieved the long, vicious polearm he’d hidden in a pile of rock fallen from the hillside beside their hollow and snuck away from camp.
A while later, the druid tightened the last buckle on his boot and straightened, baring his white teeth in the moonlight in a feral snarl as he grabbed up the silver and gold weapon and flipped it around his hand before tucking it along his arm. The hippogryph perched on the boulder above and behind him spread its wings and cried the night elf’s silent rage to the sky, its airy screech echoing from the hills. When he whistled, it hopped down and let him swing onto its saddled back. He didn’t shift forms on his night hunts; this was for the kal’dorei, not the druid, so that he could be sure that his prey knew exactly why they died.
“Let’s go hunting, brother,” the man growled, leaning down to pat the beast’s side. His glowing amber eyes narrowed as he stared out over the night-shrouded hills around them. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and find some Horde bastard we recognize to kill, tonight.”