A Battle for the Princess

The ice began to envelope the unconscious Princess, crystal by lovely, shining crystal. Even though she stood, she looked as though she slept. The ice kept creeping up around her and surrounding her body.

Bjork observed the process with a critical eye, his gaze fixed on the Princess’ face. “Such peace,” he whispered. He took a step closer and touched her chin with a finger. He gently lifted her face up to get a closer look. “You -are- pretty, though in a plain way,” he said clinically. He then smiled. “Never mind,” he said, “for you’re mine now, Princess.” He moved his face closer to hers.

“DON’T TOUCH HER!” 

Bjork paused just a hair’s breadth away from the Princess’ lips and grinned. “Ah, so there you are.” He turned to see a black wolf panting a few feet away from where he stood. The wolf was bleeding in several places, and his right eye was swollen shut. The body’s jerky movements showed that he was limp in his hind leg as well. He sighed like there was nothing alarming in the wolf’s arrival. “I’m surprised you actually came. There was no need for it, though.”

Despite looking weak and battered, a low rumbling growl issued from the wolf’s throat. “Let her go,” he snarled. Bjork blinked as though surprised. “No!” he exclaimed. “Good heavens, no. Why would I? She’s quite a precious little thing, isn’t she? The crowning piece in my collection.” He leaned against the Princess’ head and nuzzled her hair. He inhaled deeply with a smile. 

The wolf growled even louder, his voice almost a roar. “PAWS OFF HER!”

This time, Bjork frowned. He regarded the wounded wolf again. “And what, -PUP-? What can a little dog like you do to someone like me?” With that, he fully faced the wolf. His eyes became fully black, and his mouth lengthened. Fur quickly grew from him and his shoulders bulked from behind him. The ground shook as his true form emerged and his paws thudded loudly against the dirt. 

The huge grizzly roared his challenge, his mouth wide open to show his fangs. “A puppy going against a royal like me? Laughable!” 

The wolf growled again and lunged forward, his own fangs bared. 

The Princess remained in magicked slumber.

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