“Are you out of your frigging mind?” Faolán growled as he and Brice landed.
“Probably. But for all our plans, we still would have been faced with the same problem in the end. Even with him was caged in the panic room, he'd still be alive. What would we do with him then? Keep him there until he starved to death?”
Unable to deny his logic Faolán shifted, as did Brice, and paced the clearing. "Where is he?"
His question was quickly answered when Maximus appeared. The alpha immediately shifted as well, his lips pulled back in a terrifying snarl.
Brice’s primal instinct was to cower in submission, and he started to before his need to end this once and for all took over. His ears stood erect, his fur bristled, and his lips curled up to display his incisors. He stood his ground and snarled back.
Instantly Faolán did the same while he stalked several yards away from Brice, his eyes never leaving Maximus. He was terrified, but knew if he showed even the least bit of fear the alpha would use it against him.
Maximus swung his head slowly from side to side as he watched them. Then he leap. His massive jaws closed on Brice’s shoulder and he shook him as if he were a rag doll. Brice howled when pain worse than he ever remembered feeling flooded him. It took all his self-control, but he managed to steel himself against it before he snapped his jaws in a futile attempt to bite into the alpha’s leg.
From the side Faolán launched himself at Maximus, his claws tearing through the flesh of the alpha’s hindquarters. The sharp scent and the taste of blood emboldened him, but before he could attack again Maximus had released Brice. He whirled, and slammed one huge paw against Faolán’s head. The young shifter flew back, dazed, then instinctively dropped into a submissive posture, his body lowered, tail between his legs.
Maximus stalked to him, growled threateningly while he pinned Faolán to the ground with his forepaws and cinched his jaws around his throat. "Submit to me, Brice, and I will not kill him."
"I submit." Brice’s whole body shook in fear for his lover as he rolled onto his back, his throat and belly fully exposed, and whimpered.
"As well you should." Maximus released Faolán only long enough to grip his shoulder in his jaws and then dragged him to where Brice lay. "Did the two of you really think you could best me?" He looked between them, at the blood that poured from the wounds he’d inflicted, and howled in triumph. "A good fucking is in order, Brice. I so enjoyed your unwillingness to allow that after the first time.” When Brice didn’t instantly turn to present himself Maximus straddled Faolán, his enormous phallus springing free. "If not you, Brice, then him."
Faolán whined, terrified. He could recall in terrible detail what it felt like when Maximus entered him. The agony, as he was reamed until he passed out from the assault, and the earlier injuries the alpha would inflict to subjugate him.
"No!" Brice stood slowly, ignoring the pain in his shoulder now, as he faced Maximus. "Enough. I’m over being afraid of you, you bastard." And he was, he discovered to his amazement. Rage at what Maximus threatened overcame all else. He rose up on his hind legs and attacked. His weight, though less than Maximus’s, forced the larger shifter off Faolán. Brice bared his teeth, snarled and lashed out with fangs and claws.
Maximus, shocked that he would be attacked instead of submitted to, took a moment to recover. That was all Brice needed. He clamped his jaws on the alpha’s foreleg—tearing flesh from bone—released his hold and bit deeply into his side. Maximus’s howl of agony tore through the night. Brice reveled in the sound of it.
Faolán joined the fray, his claws ripping through the alpha’s hindquarters. Maximus whirled, jaws snapping as he tried to fight back, but the smaller shifters now used their size to their advantage, darting in to inflict more wounds and then dancing out of reach of his jaws and claws. The aroma of blood filled the small clearing.
Slowly Maximus began to weaken, wounds and blood loss taking their toll. He crouched low as he tried to protect his vulnerable throat and belly, snarling impotently.
Brice swung his head to look at Faolán. "We have to..?" Even in the moment of victory—when he knew Maximus had to die—he was uncertain that he had what it took to kill. He’d been human too long; his wolf had been buried too long.
"We do." Faolán replied firmly. "Can you? If not then I will, gladly, and without remorse."
Without replying, Brice closed in on Maximus. The alpha tried to crawl away. Brice snarled, leapt to land on Maximus and bit deeply into the back of his neck. When Maximus arched his head in pain, Faolán moved in for the kill. Blood poured from the alpha’s torn out throat.
The two lovers threw back their heads and howled in triumph.