"Go ahead! Bare your teeth at me!" She screamed the words, struggling against the bruising grips holding her tightly, holding her down. "I rip them out one by one!" She stood, struggling and defiant, a peasant challenging a king, an Omega staring down an Alpha. I lowered my gaze at the growl he gave in response.

"Silence, female!" the words were enough to press down on the back of my neck, like a physical hand shoving me towards the ground. The words said all he didn't, wouldn't. Females were subservient to all and one did not speak to the Alpha as she had.

I felt for her.

She had been torn and tattered, the shards of her purity lay smeared on the skirt of her dirty, grass stained dress. The Alpha's son took what had not belonged to him, took it without mercy, and she had run to her doom to rail at his father for allowing it.

The weight of such things felt like they would shatter my old bones. I had watched so many females crash and burn. So many of them having their lights snuffed out, pale shadows who now walked the halls, not a noise escaping their mouths as the males took as they pleased.

It was lawless.

It was brutal.

It was the bane of the moon.

Her light was sharp and piercing, there was no warmth of her eye now. The males had drawn the heat away, burning those females that held too much fire. Their screams woke me up in the still night. Their pleas, their begging.

What could an old crone do?

My back and fingers twisted, I was near useless.

I allowed my gaze to lift, to look at the tiny female who came in with teeth bared and eyes wild. There was something similar to steel in her spine, something similar to a wolf in her gaze as she heaved out breaths of pain and hurt and rage.

That is enough.

I willed her to hear it, grasping at the tatters of my former power, grasping for the edges so she would hear.

We do not need another martyr.

We had so many already. Females eaten by the females the Alpha provided. If she has so much fire in her veins, let it protect her. He would drop the torch to kindling that would race to eat them. Flames snapping around them, snarling as it consumed them alive. The stench never left the earth, the taint int eh energy was heavy. That could never be washed out.

No, we didn't need another martyr.

Listen, child!

I grasped, searching for the broken edges that I hoped would reach her in time. I pushed the words at her, hoping the distance between us was not so great, that she was listening, open to hearing the words of an old crone, her back bent and twisted with age.

We do not need another martyr.

We didn't. I couldn't bear anymore. So many souls I carried in my heart. The moon would welcome me home but they would be a heavy burden to carry back to her arms.

Her gaze flicked to me, a brief moment that had my heart clenching in my chest. She had heard.

We need a monster.

Whispers, I was sending her whispered but she had heard. The blood of the wolf was strong within her, as it was in all of the other females. She just needed to listen.

We need a monster.

I watched her teeth grind, watched the tears boil in her eyes. I watched her become undone. An act of depravity, a crime upon her skin. There was a black mark upon her soul, a blight that would burn her to carry. He had taken from her but she needed to transform in order to take it back.

Her head dipped, the fire receding in her veins. I knew it simmered, could read it along her spine. Hair bristling, teeth snapping, tongue licking fang.

We need a monster.

I pushed it towards her as they dragged her away. I pushed it towards her as the Alpha silently gestured at me. The command clear.

Another one to burn.

I pushed it at her as my old body refused to bend, to move, as I followed them across the grounds.

We need a monster.

I pushed it harder as I gripped the knife in my pockets. I pushed it further as I watched her back, watched as they dragged her. I pushed it at her as the red ran down her legs, trailing in the dirt. An act of defilement that would stain the earth like it stained her soul.

We need a monster.

I pushed it again and again until I moved slowly, oh so slowly, to her side. They left her laying there and I watched as fingers curled deep furrows into the earth. I pushed it at her as the Alpha's son watched with a mocking smile. He was his father's son.

We need a monster.

I pushed it at her as they came back with rope. Tie her up. Feed her to the fire. Purify the pack. Another martyr?

Not this one.

The wolf was strong in her, they could see it, and what they could not break they would burn. Another martyr?

Not this one.

I watched them, eyes trailing movements as my grip grew tighter. I watched as she tensed, not from their presence, she didn't flinch away from them. She tensed in warning. A wolf with hackles raised, a warning to stay away. I knew if I looked, her teeth would be bared.

Another martyr?

No, a monster.

We need a monster.

I pushed it at her one final time as my body moved with an ease I had been saving for this moment. Knife in my hand, my body moving fluidly as I struck one male in the neck, my back swing catching the other in his chest. As if she had heard me, as if she knew my silent please, she bolted.

"We need a monster." I said it softly as the two males flailed, their deaths assured. They wouldn't burn another female. I wouldn't carry another soul. She looked back and I saw the flash of wildness in her eyes and I knew I had chosen right even as the Alpha bellowed at my actions.

They had tried to break her but all they did was break her chains. She would return but she would be tempered by inner fire and by trials beyond my imaginings. They would throw themselves at her walls to defeat her and only break themselves. She would be the monster we needed.

"We need a monster." The knife in my hand was so sharp, all it took was one smooth move. A judgment taken from an Alpha, a punishment stripped form his hands. I would not burn as he would wish.

Another martyr?

I supposed it was my time to return to the moon. A fitting martyr for the monster that would come and burn the pack to the ground with the fire she tamed deep within her.