Grass is Greener on the Other Side

North Glenn 
open to anyone

Part of the whole reason why Sayed had decided on Colorado to start his new life was precisely based upon his yearning to be in places like North Glenn. There were some nice parks within traveling distance of Chicago, but they didn't come close to the wilderness of Mountainside. Hiking had been one of the things he'd picked up on after being turned. He'd enjoyed nature before, of course, but hiking at night with his enhanced night vision was something else entirely. Besides, it let him experience trails without people nearby. Consequently, the man did his best to avoid the campground. While he was starting to get a little hungry, he didn't want to attack some poor camper in their tent. Hiking some of the trails in North Glenn was difficult for people, and they'd need their blood to keep going.

But that was no longer the case for Sayed. Hiking was easier for him as a vampire and thus, far more enjoyable. He continued down one rugged trail, enjoying the tranquility of the woods, when he spotted something just off the trail. He paused for a moment, taking in the scene. It was a tree that had clearly been struck by lightning. The tree itself was going to recover, but the ground beneath it was scorched. Shrugging, Sayed made his way over and knelt down in the grass next to the tree. He was out of practice, but still placed his hand on the ground and breathed in deeply. Using his powers to help plants grow faster was a lot like running a marathon. There was some talent needed, but more than anything, it took determination and focus.

He could feel the grass regrowing beneath the tips of his fingers, and much like coming out of water after holding his breath for a long time, he sat back and tried to catch his breath. He smiled at the fresh grass that was sprouting around the tree, and though it wasn't as tall as he would've liked it to have been, it was still progress. He sat for a moment, breathing in deeply, when an unfamiliar scent suddenly flew underneath his nose. He stood up quietly and leaned against the tree as he slowed his breathing. Someone was nearby.

A giant flannel poncho was hugged around her body. It looked more like a blanket with a hole for her head compared to Beata's fragile frame. The evenings were getting colder with the change of the season.

She had gone out for the fresh air and dense forest. It was a nice place to think. Not too quiet with not too many people around. She liked hearing the last of the birdsong before night was finally upon the woods. Liked the whistle of the wind.

Although, judging by her face, one could hardly tell. There was a natural sullen look on her face as she trudged along a hiking trail. With her arms folded across her chest, she looked like she had only just escaped an argument. Her black leather boots collected more dust from the line of dirt with each step.

As the girl drew closer, Sayed watched her carefully. He was sure she was merely a human- she smelled living and didn't have any other distinct smell like he expected a were to have. She looked young, like a teenager, but when it came to feeding, he often found that younger adults bounced back faster. Just because he was a monster didn't mean he also had to be a killer.

Once she had nearly reached the point in the trail that Sayed had left, he stepped away from the tree and towards the girl. As he neared her, he could feel the hunger rolling throughout his body. "I don't think it's a good idea to be walking the trails at night," he said suddenly, stepping back on the trail and pausing where he was to gauge the girl's reaction.

Brown eyes noticed a small loose rock in her path. Something about it was screaming "Kick me! Kick me!" Mercifully, Beata complied and kicked it out of her way.

Suddenly, a man walked out from behind a tree. He wasn't much taller than her, but he gave her a wave of intimidation that was unsettling. It made her glowering turn into a proper glare.

"I don't think it's a good idea to be appearing from behind trees at night like a psycho."

She hugged her arms a little tighter around her chest. Beata would glare at him until he got the idea: which was to piss off. The only psycho she was in the mood to tolerate at that moment was her, herself, and she.

Sayed had been taught, after he was turned, that he was better than human. He was stronger and faster, and they were really only prey. None of the humans he'd ever fed from before had backtalked him, so when this girl did, Sayed couldn't help but be taken aback for just a moment. And then, the old human side of him came back and he gave a chuckle. "That's what I'm talking about. What if I am a psycho?" His question was light, and he was no longer attempting to be intimidating since there seemed to be more to the girl than what had first met his eye.

"Is there even a reason why you're out here? Lots of dangerous things in the woods. Bears and wolves. Not to mention loosing your footing and falling off the trail. Perhaps off a cliff." He walked closer to her, unperturbed by her glare. "Pretty risky- especially for a teenager."

"Then you’re not very good at pretending not to be," she stated very matter-of-fact-ly. Clearly this guy has not seen any good thrillers.

She rolled her eyes.

"I know how to fucking walk," said Beata. "Besides I grew up I know what shit goes on. And I’m an adult, smartass."

Well, she knew as much as one could find out from the news. Her parents had had a tight leash on her until she finally came of age. Which was only a few weeks ago but he didn’t know that.

Oh, she was feisty. Sayed continued to grin, amused by the girl's increasingly insulting manner of speaking to him. But one of the things she'd mentioned had at least gotten an eyebrow raise from him. If she had grown up in the area, surely she was aware of the kind of creatures that lurked around in the night. "Maybe you want something to happen," he said suddenly, moving close enough to the woman that he could reach out and grab her if he wanted.

"I stayed away from where people would be, but you- you decided to go for a night walk on the very trail I happened to be on." It was dark humor, he supposed, though he was still hungry. Still, he was also tired from using his power earlier, and if she was a fighter, it likely wouldn't be worth it. He'd always been rather rubbish at suggestion anyway.

Stubbornly, Beata remained where she stood, even as the man continued to advance. Either out of naïvety or confidence, she knew better than to show even the slightest sign of weakness.

She had fallen a little more silent, though. His grin was irksome. She could practically smell his implication of fate.

It dumbed him down, she thought.

"Never heard of a ‘coincidence,’ huh?"

The girl continued to stand where she was, and Sayed gave a small tsk. "Of course I have. I don't doubt that it was merely a coincidence that you've wandered down the trail and into me."

He stepped just a little closer to her once more, leaning in to further invade her personal space.

"But despite all of that, you're still here," he all but whispered out, as his hand suddenly shot out to wrap around the girl's wrist.


Now he was only stating the obvious. Beata could hardly pay any more attention to his words.

Yeah, yeah, she was still


Reflexively, Beata tried to pull away from his grip. He was stronger than he looked, though. And he was certainly stronger than Beata.

Her free hand swung out to punch his nose, but trying to pull herself away at the same time resulted in her swinging at air.

She yelled out, which he didn't actually care about. He'd hear someone coming long before she could, even if she continued to yell. She took a swing at him at well, which he didn't find surprising. Unfortunately for her, her aim was terrible and he didn't even need to move to not be punched.

"You're an adult, smartass, what are you gonna do?" he said, mocking her as his free hand reached out to grab the fist that had yet to leave the air. He wasn't normally cruel to humans, but with the move and everything else going on, he was feeling a little stressed. "You grew up here, right? You know what shit goes on."

Beata could hardly focus on his words but she was able to hear his mocking tone. She didn’t try punching him again. Even if she actually managed to clock him she knew it would hurt her more than it would hurt him.

"Having fun, are ya, psycho?"

She continued to pull against him. Her other hand reached out to grab his own wrist in an attempt to pull him off.

"God — let go!" Beata growled.

Her vision was beginning to blur from frustrated tears.

Sometimes, Lee needed a good run to burn out the alcohol and shake off the devils that had gotten into his bones. There was only so much drinking to be had before his beast decided to intervene, and he quite frankly wasn't in a state of mind to refuse. Thus, even so soon after a full moon, the grizzly took to the woods, roaming the mountainside.

While a bear's hearing was fair as far as the senses went, it was smell at which a bear excelled.

Sometime into the evening, he smelled something dead, reminiscent of carrion. The grizzly, opportunistic at heart, followed the scent, sniffing at the night air every now and then to stay on course. Given the nature of the smell, he didn't feel much need in stalking whatever morsel awaited him at the end of this breadcrumb trail. He also wasn't in that much of a hurry, all things considered.

In time, he parsed the smell of human on the air as well, but that wasn't particularly troubling. There were campers and other such outdoor enthusiasts in these woods who were of little interest to the grizzly.

Then he came within earshot of the shouting, distant as it was.

He slowed his pace and stood upright, the behemoth that he was, scenting the air once more.

She was fighting back, but not as much as Sayed had seen other humans do. Her insults didn't faze him in the least, though the sight of her eyes starting to fill with tears did. He didn't like making people cry. He wasn't able to grab her other hand, and it soon went to his wrist to try to pull it off. It wasn't going to work, and he decided to try to use his innate vampowers, as he called them, to get the girl to calm down. Using his free hand, he tried to hold her head steady so he could get a good look into her eyes. "Stop fighting," he said firmly, but even he could tell it hadn't stuck.

A breeze rolled through the woods then and Sayed caught the scent of something different. It smelled like a typical animal, but there was something else there. He knew there were Weres in the area, and he wondered if it was one of them. "Shhh," he said to the girl, pulling her closer to him so he could try to wrap his hand over her mouth. "There might be something worse than me out here," he said quietly, trying to get the girl to stop her shouting as well.


Having her head grabbed felt more violating than her wrist being snatched. It was more like an intrusion. More control was lost.

The sudden flash of colour across his irises caused Beata to pause for a moment. Then she heard his words and her own eyes shined with defiance. As good of an idea it was, Beata was hardly about to stop because he told her to.

"Fat chance," she said coolly. When she blinked, she felt a tear drip from her eye. It only made her angrier.

Beata continued to try tugging her arm back whilst trying to pull his away, regardless that it had dawned on her how pointless a feat it was a while ago.

The situation suddenly became much more intense when his hand closed around her mouth. His touch was cold against her hot face. Only then did she become still. Beata panted lightly against his hand. Some of her hair dangled before her face.

He uttered about something worse than him possibly being in the forest. Beata could give a rat’s ass about something that “might” be around. She wanted to say “Doubt it” or “Good,” but her words would be muffled anyway.

"Le’ ‘e go," she said as she stared daggers at him. The words were heavily smothered.

The shouting stopped.

Huffing as he came down onto all fours yet again, the grizzly paced about for a few moments before continuing in the direction of the carrion scent, his gait slower and more deliberate than before. Lee, who hadn't entirely zoned out and let the beast have free reign, figured that something was up, something worth at least investigating.

So, off he went, his head low to the ground while he moved through the forest, quiet for a creature his size.

The scent became stronger as he neared its origin, but it smelled less like something he wanted to eat.

Then, some distance ahead of him, the grizzly made out two human shapes on an unassuming trail; the sight brought him to an abrupt standstill. Another sniff at the air informed him that either they were between him and whatever stench he was following, or the trail ended at their feet.

A low, deep growl resonated in his chest.

Sayed was hardly paying attention to the girl he still kept captive. Instead, he was much more interested about what was coming towards them. With every small breeze, he could smell more of the creature. And then there came the low growl. Sayed's hands tightened momentarily on the girl, startled at the bear he could see just off in the distance.

"Do you see it?" he said quietly, taking his hand off the girl's mouth and pointing in the direction of the bear. "It's a bear," he supplied, because he assumed her human eyes wouldn't be able to make out the massive bear. "I wasn't going to hurt you," Sayed said, looking back at the girl. "But that thing will." Sayed wasn't too worried just yet. The bear, while it smelled animal, also had a slight human scent about it, and the man was sure this meant it was a Were. There was no way of knowing how incontrol the Were was of their beast, but with it standing so far back, Sayed wondered if it was just investigating, and if he could make the human be quiet, maybe the Were would leave and he could then feed in peace.

Beata was growing more and more frustrated. However, she refrained from any more useless thrashing about.

The growl, however, had captured her attention. Her body tensed instinctively. She would have tried to look around for the maker of the sound but the man's cold hand was still on her mouth. But a few seconds later, it was removed. A small imprint had been made where his hand was. It faded with each heartbeat. Hers was suddenly beating faster.

"I know what a fucking bear sounds like," Beata muttered under her breath. She tried looking where he had pointed, but saw nothing. Only dense foliage. A thought occured to her: if there really was a bear nearby, wouldn't he be trying to run away? They had both heard the growl, but the man was suspiciously calm.

Her head snapped back to face him.

"What were you planning to do then?" she asked. Beata made one more attempt to pull her arm away from him.

He saw them, and they saw him.

Huffing irritably, the grizzly shook his head, finding the stench more unappealing with each breath. Snippets of speech reached his ears, but the beast couldn't really care less about what was said. If not for his intoxication earlier in the evening, Lee would have pulled back the figurative reins and left these two be, but a hazy memory drifted to the surface as he continued to scent that awful carrion.

Lee remembered a night on the lake's shore and an encounter with an old woman, clad in a white gown with nary a concern for the dark; she had also smelled of rot and death.

There was a vampire in his woods.

Territorial instinct quickly overtook rational thought as the grizzly huffed again, clacking his jaws together before rising up on his hind legs once more. A fierce bellow escaped him then, intent on driving this intruder from what he considered his. The human present meant little, for the grizzly's smoldering red stare focused solely on the undead.

The girl made another attempt to free herself, and Sayed looked back at her. "Running is just going to attract more attention, so I can let you go, but if you run- the bear will chase you. And most people aren't faster than bears." He tried to hold her gaze again, maybe he could get a suggestion to work this time. "So don't run."

He looked away as he knew once more it didn't stick, and it was going to be up to the girl to stay by him. "I think what we should do is get off the path and out of its way." He couldn't help but jump when the bear roared. "Come on," he said back to the girl, craning his head to the side to motion that he was heading towards the woods. He released her wrist and hoped she would follow him.


Beata refrained any more seething remarks. How many times did she have to tell him she grew up there? She knew about bears.

Her face remained expressionless, but her hands were clammy and there were goosebumps on her skin under her clothes — not just because of the chill. She had to will herself not to shake.

A roar thundered through the air, causing her to inhale sharply and ball up her fists.

The man told her to follow and, foolishly, released her wrist.

Fuck that.

Beata knew not to run, but also knew better to not follow him. She turned around and — in a few long, quick steps — headed to the nearest bush to hide behind. The girl crouched down, balled herself up with her hands holding the back of her neck, and hoped the bear would think she dropped dead and went after the more lively and nervous one instead.

It was a tense few seconds while the grizzly sized them up, oblivious to their chatter.

Then the vampire released the girl, who quickly took a few steps and disappeared from view. It was enough to break the tension, the grizzly falling onto all fours with a loud thud before crashing through the underbrush toward the vampire. This was no place for the undead, and the beast was having none of it; whether his quarry chose to flee or stand and fight was uncertain, perhaps even irrelevant.

All that mattered was driving the vampire from these woods.

Yet, within a few yards of the trail, the grizzly halted, ushering another roar—a final warning of a kind.

Sayed knew the girl wasn't following him the minute he released her wrist. He stopped moving for just a second to watch her, obviously irritated as he was now hungry, tired, and going to have to deal with Werebear. He decided to abandon his initial plan, since he no longer had the human with him, and instead started walking down the trail in the opposite direction of the bear. He wasn't that great of a fighter. He didn't have a clutch. He knew nothing about the Were who had stumbled on him.

There was no need for him to engage and start a fight. "Hope that bear doesn't eat you," he practically growled out at the clump of bushes he knew the girl had hid behind. He kept his pace slow, wanting to hear the bear behind him better. He paused momentarily as he heard the bear rushing forward, and he was about to take off running when the bear stopped and bellowed once more. Sayed turned and looked at him and rolled his eyes. "Oh, shut up!" he yelled back.

Beata rolled her eyes. She might have said the same to him, but, she genuinely did hope for the bear eat him.

The sound of thundering paw steps made her panic a little. Brown eyes stared at the ground before noticing a bug crawling up the stem of the bush. Another roar shot through the air. The proximity of it made her flinch.

Then she heard the man yell out — to the bear, presumably, seeing as Beata hadn't said a word. She wanted to yell back "Dumbass" but didn't want to draw any attention to herself.

Instead, she said it in her head.


The vampire should have kept walking.

No sooner than the undead creature stopped to turn around and yell something back, the grizzly charged forward to close the meager distance left between them. If the trespasser wouldn't leave, then he would pay for his intrusion.

Barreling towards the vampire, jaws agape, the grizzly sought to tackle him to the ground.

From there, his night likely wouldn't improve.


Sayed had never actually met a Were before, but as the bear came thundering down on him, he realized that there was probably good reason for not being around them. It felt like a split second- the bear ran towards him, and just as he turned to take off, the bear was there and easily knocked him to the ground. It'd been a long time since he had physically been overpowered, and it filled him with fear.

"I was leaving!" he shouted at the bear as he clawed the ground in an attempt to gain from traction and get away. He kicked a leg out at the bear, hoping to catch it in the face, but he missed. Maybe it was for the best that it didn't land as it probably would've just pissed the Were off more, but he hoped it was a good enough distraction to allow him to get back to his feet to run.


Maybe the bear could read minds. It certainly seemed to have read hers. Good riddance if the psycho was left as nothing but a splattering of blood across the hiking trail. There were at least seven other people she would like to meet the same demise.

Beata remained crouched where she was, but her head tilted a little in an attempt to see what was happening. Mostly out of a sick kind of fascination in the unfolding event. All she could see was the grizzly's monstrous back further down the trail, but nothing else.

She heard the man yell at the bear.

Who the fuck just yelled at animals? And expected them to understand?

The grizzly was on the vampire, and he could smell the fear on him.

Well, maybe he couldn't, but the vampire was certainly acting like he was afraid, squirming and clawing at the earth an a desperate bid to escape. Then a flailing limb sailed past the grizzly's head, coming rather close to clocking him in the nose. Rather like house cat, he swiped at the vampire's leg, but was a bit too delayed in his attempt to succeed.

Perhaps it was the alcohol from earlier in the night.


Sayed hadn't seen the bear take a swipe at him as he was still pulling himself away. When he realized he wasn't practically underneath the bear anymore, he scrambled to his feet and took off running. This time he wasn't going to wait to see the reaction of the bear. It was clear the Were wanted him gone, and Sayed had gotten over his bullheadedness quickly and decided that he'd oblige the bear.

He only slowed a little, once he felt like his sprint had carried him far enough, and listened for the bear behind him. He didn't know if the Were would chase him the entire way out, or would give up the chase because he was running and not sticking around to fight.

Lee might not have drawn blood, but he felt as though his message was loud and clear.

The moment that the vampire was free, he was quick to run for his life, or unlife as the case would be. Given something to chase, the grizzly pursued for a short length, but ultimately wasn't hellbent on it. This wasn't a hunt, and so long as the vampire kept running, then he could go back to wherever he came from, still in one piece with quite the story to tell.

With a snort and a huff, his blood pumping from the excitement, the grizzly turned his attention back toward the bush that smelled heavily of a small human. He made a deep, almost warbling sound before approaching said shrub, no longer quite so aggressive.

Bears were naturally inquisitive creatures.

Sayed didn't hear the bear behind him, and he paused just briefly to check if it was giving chase. He spotted it near the bush where the girl had been and frowned, but ultimately, she was not his concern. He was hungry, but not hungry enough to fight off a bear when there were easier humans to get to.

Giving an angry sniff, he turned back around and continued off- at more of a steady jog this time. He didn't enjoy running, but he also wanted to show the werebear that he was definitely leaving.

With only a huge, furry brown back to stare at, Beata couldn't see at all what was happening. Eventually, though the bear did turn around. She didn't hear any screams that suggested someone was being ripped apart. How disappointing.

Now, however, the bear's direction seemed to point toward her. Beata lowered herself until her chin touched the ground. Grass tickled her skin. A breeze sent chills down her spine, reminding the skinny girl of how cold the night was.

The bear looked a little more chilled out, but that didn't mean any sudden movements wouldn't change its mind. She remained where she was, staring. There was a stony look across her face, attempting to hide any fear that made her boney legs tremble beneath her.

The girl was brave; he'd give her that.

Rather than run away and give a predator something to chase, she did the smart thing by essentially playing head. Hovering over the frail-looking human, the grizzly sniffed at her with warm, heavy breaths. She didn't pose any threat, nor was the prospect of maneating at all appetizing. Any normal bear likely would have overlooked her and moved on after losing interest.

Lee, however, wanted to ensure that the vampire hadn't roughed her up too badly. He didn't smell any blood, which was a good sign.

The way that she stared at him stoically with nary a hint of fear on her face was admirable.

Most likely would have messed themselves.

The warmth from the bear's breath brought her some comfort that only lasted for a second. Its smell was offputting, but she was used to the odour of cow shit. There wasn't much a difference.

As much as she liked animals, Beata wasn't particularly fond of being in such close proximity to a grizzly without a thick sheet of glass between them. The position she was in was becoming more uncomfortable. Her legs were starting to ache and she felt small in the weakest way. She hated it.

Her brown gaze dropped to the bear's gargantuan paws. She remembered reading that eye contact could be threatening. Hopefully it wouldn't be much longer now until the bear got bored.

Beata's left foot was falling asleep.


Once he was convinced that there was nothing outwardly wrong with the girl besides maybe how thin she was, Lee supposed there was nothing left to do except carry on with the rest of his night. The grizzly, on the other hand, had other ideas. Fearless as she was, the girl had boasted some respectable qualities when faced with danger. Even now, being face to face with a grizzly bear didn't seem to daunt her.

Lee hadn't been so brave when he first met his sire.

Of course, he hadn't torn the girl to ribbons.

That unspeakable temptation was there, though. Instinct whispered like a devil in his ear, haunting the back of his mind. The idea would have disgusted him once upon a time.

He clacked his teeth together, trying to catch the girl in his jaws and pull her out of her hiding place.

Suffice it to say there was a bush in the way.


It felt like hours had gone by, but it was actually barely a minute. She had gotten so bored that her mind had wandered elsewhere: like what was for dinner. Then she remembered she hadn't taken her meds, so, whatever dinner was, would likely be thrown up later.

Her whole left leg was numb and tingly and it irritated her. But also hurt so much that she wanted to kill herself.

However, the flash of teeth had her thinking opposite.

"Fuck," she mouthed mutedly into the grass as she tried to press herself lower against the ground. Running was both cowardly and — in this case — a suicidal idea (although Psycho managed to get away all right). But Beata suddenly saw the appeal in it.


Frustration blossomed among the grizzly's thoughts, irked by tonight's turn of events. A vampire who got away was one thing, the undead being the slippery bastards that they were, but he wasn't about to be bested by a bunch of brambles and briars.

Lee gave another huff before reaching with his paw to drag the girl out, intent on getting his way.

When his claws found flesh, he dug them in and pulled, much like he would if he were fishing.


The moment she saw the paw coming toward her she thought to say "Bad, bear" like she would to a dog that might try pawing her. Beata wished it had just been a dog's paw. Claws longer than kitchen knives tore through her poncho, her denim jeans, and her right leg's thigh.

She cried out from the unbearable burn from her flesh being ripped open. Her jaws had clenched, grounding her teeth together, to stiffle a scream. Beata covered her face with her arms as she was tugged out, hooked by the grizzly's claws like a feeble worm.

"H-hey!" Beata couldn't refrain the strained yell and couldn't hold back the gushing tears wettening her pink face.

But what the hell was this? Did Beata suddenly look particularly manhandleable today?! Even a fucking bear decided to have a go at her.

The moment that Lee smelled blood, he knew that the deed was done; whether the infection would take, he couldn't say. Nevertheless, the grizzly was unmoved by the stifled scream, continuing to drag the girl into view. There was no room for uncertainty or remorse. If it didn't take...

Well, the grizzly hadn't quite thought that far ahead.

Hopefully the infection would take.

Once the girl was no longer hiding underneath a bush, Lee let go of her leg, moving around her in a semicircle of sorts. She was so very small, but she was still young—not much older than Lee was when he had been turned, by the looks of it. The notion of her possibly being his progeny, his legacy, with difficult to fathom. It was unprecedented in nearly every aspect.

Lee was never one to overthink things, however.

"What's your name?" It was rare for Lee to ever speak in the grizzly's form, his voice deep and gravelly.

Beata was panting. She was shaking and she hated it. She wanted to stop it. Pain was only in the mind. Monks knew how to ignore it. The only thing she could think of to do was yoga and that would do shit for her bleeding, torn open leg. She felt an urge to curl around her wound but that wouldn't do anything either besides make her look even more small.

She wanted to crawl away but she was starting feel sick. There was a twisting feeling in her stomach she was all too familiar with.

The world and time suddenly stopped.

"What's your name?"

If she hadn't seen the bear's mouth move, Beata would have been certain she had made it up in her head. But maybe she had. Maybe she had finally become so mental that she was hallucinating.

She swallowed. The urge to vomit suddenly became stronger.


"Beata." He had to admit, it was an odd name as he rolled it around on his tongue.

Perhaps it would be easier to pronounce later, once he had shifted back.

Of course, there was all manner of ways Lee could play this out if he was to be a sire now. There was 'the talk,' in the sense that he could bury the girl in information that probably wouldn't stick, but that wasn't his style. "Do you know what that man was?" Odds were probably fifty-fifty that she did, but Lee was curious.

All the while, he continued to watch the girl as he walked around her.

Beata somehow came to the conclusion that she definitely was hallucinating because she was dying from exsanguination. That was it. Because the only bears she knew to talk were Care Bears. Or the polar bears from The Golden Compass.

"Some psycho," she muttered. A scowl appeared just thinking about him.

Beata's lips parted to pant again. Her mouth was dry.

"Close," he said, "A vampire."

Depending on who she asked, the undead as a whole could be described as psychos. Still, it felt right to let her in on that little detail, given the state of distress Lee had found her in. Eventually, he grew tired of walking and simply stood there, contemplating his next move.

Maybe he was going as about this backwards.

Regardless, he waited to see how she might respond, if she did at all.

"Oh." The croak fell out monotonously.

Beata remembered the weird thing that happened with his eyes. Should that had been some kind of identifier? Her gaze drifted off to stare at the ground as her face contorted into a deeper scowl. Had that been what he had planned to do? Turn her into a blood bag. She knew he'd been lying when he said he wasn't going to hurt her. If not hurt her, then do something fucked up.

Her sickness pushed the thoughts aside. Beata shoved her hand into her hair to hold it away from her face. She twisted to the side and then vomited onto the ground. The wound screamed at the movement. Her limbs began to shake more.

The one arm supporting her was quivering too much to support her weight anymore. Delicately, Beata pushed herself away from the vomit before allowing the rest of her body to slump to the ground. Stars dotted her vision as her breathing became deeper and more desperate.

At that moment, Beata could hardly care less what the talking bear decided to do. She was too exhausted.

It was a simple response, but it could have been much worse.

Resorting to silence, the girl stared at the ground as her expression worsened, the cogs working away inside her head. Given this newfound information, it was reasonable; it didn't take a genius to wonder what would have have happened had Lee not shown up. Not that Lee saw himself as a hero for simply doing his job. Vampires weren't welcome in North Glenn, nor were they welcome to bring their bloody messes to his woods.

Then the poor girl vomited.

Neither sight nor sound nor smell of someone emptying their stomach was a pleasant thing to experience, and the grizzly was careful to step away from the mess.

Be it the stress of tonight, the labor of vomiting, or the injury she sustained from the grizzly's claws, the girl seemed completely worn out. Once again, Lee hovered close by, sniffing at her cautiously. "Can you walk?" It was unlikely, but he'd give her the opportunity to speak for herself.

Beata thought the question was a pointless one. One leg felt like half of it had been torn apart and the other was only just starting to get some proper blood circulation.



She managed to push the upper half of her body up with her arms. But that seemed to be as far as she could go without her shredded leg protesting. The ache in her stomach didn't help much, either. Beata stared at the ground with an unfocused gaze, still feeling rather lightheaded.

Once more, he admired her stubbornness.

Still, he looked over her clawed leg and wondered if she really could walk. From the looks of it, she wasn't faring all that well, which didn't exactly surprise him. All the same, the grizzly have her a small nudge with his snout, hoping to help the girl to her feet as best he could.

"If you can't, let me know."

It was a long walk to get anywhere out here, and he didn't imagine that she would make it far by limping.

The proximity of the bear had gone unnoticed until she felt its nose touch her. Beata swayed a little, like an autumn leaf pushed by a zephyr. A soft, almost inaudible moan escaped her. She licked her dry lips and grimaced a little, still tasting her own sick on her mouth.

Beata lifted a hand to place it on top of the bear's behemoth skull, attempting to use him as support to push herself up. If Care Bear had a problem with it, well, maybe he should leave people alone under bushes next time.

Care Bear was motionless as a hand was placed on his head. Supporting the waif was quite literally effortless, and he was willing to offer her that support when she visibly needed it. He wouldn't rush her, standing vigilant at her side.

Between her injured leg and possible dehydration after being sick, the grizzly figured that they had a long walk ahead of them.

"Do you live around here?" If she happened to live in North Glenn, then that might make things a touch easier.

He supposed that talking also helped.

The toes of her left foot wiggled inside her boot. There was still a bit of a tingling sensation but it was subsiding more quickly, now. Her bloodied leg was held about an inch from the ground. She had grabbed a fistful of brown fur on the bear's neck.

"Red Rock," said Beata.

She was too tired to bother trying to hop on the better leg. Beata tried to take a step with her right leg. As soon as the slightest bit of pressure was applied and the muscles in her thigh had flexed, a shock of pain shot up her body, making her head buzz. An involuntary whimper was made, followed by a faint scoff at herself.

Beata glowered at her leg, wishing it to work properly and stop making her look as weak as she really felt. She didn't even notice that the gashes had already stopped bleeding.

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