Last Wolf Warrior Excerpt

            “Victory is not in our future I dare say.” Temyia said looking around, “But we will survive! Our families should be at the safe point now.”

          Markus nodded.

          “I agree. We will die but we will die with honor!” He paused and regarded every face, “I will not hold you though, if you wish to run do so now without shame!”

Nobody moved.

All right then. You four,” he said pointing, “release all the animals through the back gate. We will burn the entire place to keep from giving our enemies anything! Let’s barricade the door to give ourselves a little time.”

          They propped the large wooden doors back into place with some timbers and then barricaded it with over turned carriages.

          When everything else was done the group met back at the front gate. Marcus handed torches to some men.

          “When the fighting starts so does the fire! We want to take as many of these bastards with us as we can.”

          They didn’t have to wait long. The regrouped knights burst through the weak barrier and the wolves met them head on.

          Temyia slashed her blade across a man’s exposed throat then pivoted into another man smashing the pommel of one of her knives into an eye. She followed the motion and brought another knife in stabbing the man in the ear.

          As the body fell away, she witnessed the fall of her father. With a growl that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end her father launched himself into a group of warriors literally ripping one’s throat out with his bare hands.

          Swords came in from every angle impaling him. He roared but before he gave in to the darkness; he broke the neck of one more.

          With a growl of her own she rushed the group with knives working furiously. Screams made her turn. The knights of Jerrad had no honor it seemed, a group of men had one of her she-wolves and they were not planning on taking her as a hostage.

          Swiftly her bow came off her back, and she released arrow after arrow. The men fell under her deadly precision. As she skidded to a halt beside the woman, she noticed the injuries were very serious and she would die.

          “Death before capture!” The woman breathed then drove her own dagger through her heart.

          Temyia gritted her teeth and turned back to the fight.   

          By then the fire was blazing bright and hot. It engulfed most of the houses. Their numbers dwindled and soon Temyia stood alone in the inferno. The horn sounded again calling the knights back to the safety of the hills.

           As flames licked her cheek, she lifted her eyes to the sky and stared at the dark heavens.

          A voice sounded from outside the town. From her location she could see out the broken door and the Commander could see her standing within the flames.

          “You do not have to die! Surrender and I promise I will treat you with respect!”

          Fierce yellow eyes flashed in his direction before she tilted her head back and howled into the wind.

He took that as his answer as he came into the village followed by five of his best men.

           As she watched them approached she kept stepping back farther into the flames.

           They followed wearily but still they followed.

           When she stopped they were well out of the sight from the rest of the troops.

           She didn’t give them time to set or surround her, instead she turned quickly whipping her bow from her back and let fly several arrows. The heavily armored, veteran fighters took no lethal hits but it kept them off balance enough for her to draw her sword.

            By working the blade from left to right she engaged four men at a time.

            Unfortunately with two men running unchecked it was only a matter of time before a sword slipped through her defenses. She let out a staggered gasp before spinning around and taking the man’s hand off at the wrist. Blood oozed from the wound in her side down the front of her pants.

            Another blade came in slicing clean through her shoulder. A side mule kick sent the Commander back on his ass.

            The men pulled back a moment to help their Commander to his feet. Slowly Temyia pulled the blade from her body and let it drop to the ground.

            As she fell to her knees blood dripped from her lip, flames singed her skin. Her eyes rose again to the sky. The words of her dying comrade came to mind, ‘Death before capture!’

            Silently she asked the wind, ‘To die with my pack and my father is an honor but if you have other plans for me you better let me know now!’  

           Almost as if in answer the wind suddenly picked up, whipping the flames away from her body, then the heavens broke open and a cool rain drenched her almost instantly.

          Death, it seemed, was not ready for her.

          Her laugh broke the silence and she let her eyes meet those of the Commander.

          “You are outnumbered and injured,” the general told her.

          “True,” she said slowly, “But I hope you don’t think that is going to stop me from fighting!”

          “You have no chance of winning!”

          “We knew that before you even came through that gate!” she sneered at him, “But wolves do not take orders from rats like your Duke Macco or King Jerrad!”

          With those words she got to her feet and pulled her knives out. She didn’t wait for them to advance instead she took a page out of her father’s book and launched herself  into their midst.

          Blood sprayed and the clash of metal on metal drowned out all other sounds.

          With a sudden flash of pain Temyia fell, the last thing she saw before darkness took her was the body of her late father.

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