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A loud thud shook the wall in front of Teodor. Amanda yipped. Something scraped the wall outside, like a rake drawn across concrete. Teodor barked and howled. Amanda joined him. She started to salivate, her hackles raised.
The scrapping stopped. A soft voice, probably too soft for the children to hear, but Teodor could make it out with his wolf ears, began to sing. He did not recognize the language. It seemed guttural, more feeling than words. A feeling that would have made a weaker wolf piss themselves. A song about fear. Children cried and hugged each other.
A long scrape across the windows, leaving four long scratches in the non broken windows. Teodor followed the scratches, barking and growling as he went.
Outside Teodor saw Steopa move. Steopa ran up the outside wall and tackled something. His arms moving in a wide arch, as if he only had a general idea where his target was. Steopa did get his arms around something, briefly. His coat became pressed to his body. But then he was thrown back. Steopa swore. A long, loud curse in Lithuanian.
Some of the children screamed. Amanda howled. Teodor sniffed the air. He could feel the presence move away. Amanda stopped howling. Teodor barke and yip at the window. He could follow it, if he was outside.
Gunner stepped away from the huddled group. “Is it gone?” He asked.
Teodor tilted his head. When ever humans spoke to him like he was a dog, he had to stop himself from answering. He whined at the window. Gunner pulled a lever to the side. The window opened outward. Just big enough for Teodor to climb through. He scratched at the wall as he scrambled out. Amanda followed closely behind. The window slammed shut behind them. Steopa stood up, still covered by shadows. He glanced back at Amanda and Teodor then ran.
It headed back to the city. Steopa took the lead. Vampires could always outrun a werewolf. Teodor had to stop, he could no longer feel what ever it was that had come to the work farm building. Amanda ran ahead, but then she turned back and whined. Teodor shook his head. Amanda changed back to her human form.
“Nothing?” She asked.
Teodor changed. “Yeah, nothing.”
Amanda stamped her foot on the ground. “What the hell was that thing?”
Teodor shook his head. He put his arm around Amanda and pulled her close. “I wish I could tell you.” he said, kissing her cheek.
“It was after those children.” Amanda growled.
“Because they're children with no adults around. Easy prey.”
Teodor nodded. “Horrible, but true. There are some that would prey on the children only because of that.”
“Would you?” Amanda asked. “Have you?”
Teodor shook his head. “Why do you think I was cast out of my pack? They didn't care. I did.”
“Sorry.” Amanda said, she lowered her eyes. “It's just those kids, are on their own, they have no one.”
“Yes,” Amanda said. She shivered. “Let's go back to our clothes.
They did. As Teodor pulled on the boots. Steopa stepped out of the shadows. His face unreadable.
“I had it,” he said.
“I saw,” Teodor said, finishing lacing his boot. “Could you tell what it was?”
Steopa shook his head. He opened his overcoat. Across his chest were four deep furrows. They were now pink and healing. “It raked me.”
Teodor studied the marks. The space between them was much larger than a span of a normal hand.
“It felt like iron,” Steopa said.
“We saw nothing,” Amanda said. “I didn't smell any iron.”
“But that doesn't mean anything,” Teodor said. “We couldn't smell anything, but those children.”
Steopa looked over the large field. “It did have arms, and a head. I would say it was like a human.”
Teodor felt somewhat relieved about that. Amanda stared at Steopa for a moment.
“You don't think it was from the base, do you?” she asked.
Steopa shook his head. “There is nothing there, but me.”
“Iron? Iron fingers, perhaps?” Teodor asked.
“That sounds so familiar.”
Amanda rubbed her head. “I think I need to lay down.”
Steopa buttoned his overcoat up. “Yes, we all should rest.”
As they began to walk back to the old base. Teodor caught Amanda taking one last look at the work farm building where the children were staying. Teodor gave her a small hug, using one arm.
“It will be alright,” he said.
He caught Steopa giving him an odd look. Teodor shrugged. He knew that he was only saying that to reassure Amanda. But part of him also wanted those children safe as well.