The truth was, Mathews already hated him. Drudging up that experience, in particular, would only add fuel to the fire.
Young and headstrong, it was his fourth field assignment that delivered the scar he would wear for the rest of his life, the creature who gave it to him, a fiend so frightening he would never forget its face.
His team had split up to search for a reported rogue in the forests near Castine, Maine. Being the cocky young officer who was quickly advancing in his career, he elected to go on alone while the other officers remained in pairs due to issues of safety. He had followed what he thought was the rogue's trail, but hell rained down before he could discover its hiding place.
A disturbance in the trees above had drawn his attention upward, limbs violently shaking while leaves fell in showers to the ground around him. Moments later, Grayson was confident that the devil himself materialized directly in front of him.
The creature was massive, two times Grayson's height with wings stretching from its back. Sickly pale gray skin covered its body, its mouth full of sharp jagged teeth and red eyes that bore into Grayson's soul. It emitted an ear-shattering screech as long clawed fingers reached for him.
Frantic, Grayson's eyes widened, he fumbled for the pistol on his belt, but the creature's hand swept it from his grasp. It landed yards away, and he stood defenseless, panic ripping through his body. The only thing left to do was run, so he did, his heart thundering in his ears, ragged hysterical breath tearing through his lungs and throat.
The devil creature followed, slicing through the air with a sweep of deadly nails as it pursued him, shrieking with fury. Grayson couldn't outrun it. Hot searing pain shot through his back as the talons penetrated his skin, ripping through bone and flesh. He gasped for air, agony driving darkness into his eyes. As he fell into a heap on the ground, he remembered the texture of the leaves beneath his fingers, crunchy and dead, as dead as he would be soon.
When he awoke, he was in the hospital on his stomach, tubes protruding from his arms, his mind fuzzy. Once his vision cleared, he found Captain Hale at his bedside, his face grave. He never told the Captain the actual story, just that he had been attacked.
What happened to Grayson years before had nothing to do with Mathews, at least not then. Their mission together before he left on his sabbatical brought back the terrible memories when he was once again face to face with the monster who scarred his body and mind years earlier.
Dayne Walker was a Were, just like him, had once been an Eliminator, just like him, but it was there the similarities ended. Inside the man lived a creature whose murderous tendencies nearly killed Grayson, a demon so vile and one who used Dayne's body as a shield to survive. It was an unbelievable account and one that Grayson never revealed later in his reports after the mission was complete. To save sounding like a maniac telling ridiculous stories, he would never breathe a word to anyone about Dayne's demon. Mathews was the only other living soul who knew.