Thick auburn fur as sharp as knives swayed with the wind as the hunched creature ran at accelerating speed.
It ran - pushing against the wind - making its snout raise and howl in distaste.
Solid and thorny branches ricocheted off of the creatures furry body and snapped back aggressively into place making every single tree rustle in the darkness.
The abnormally large creature had not stopped, not once, as it ran blindly in the foreign woods.
It ran on two hind legs, and it reached the unnatural height of nearly 6’ feet.
The creature moved at the speed of a freshly shot bullet, its legs moving so fast that its presence would not have even been noticed had it not have been for the large footsteps it had imprinted onto the muddy ground.
The creature was far different from a normal wolf.
This one ran on two legs whereas wolves ran on four.
And this one ran with unexplainable speed and power that it could never be mistaken for a measly wolf.
He had known since the morning that the change would be staring soon.
However, he had not know that the change would take place today, of all days.
Cerberus ran through the woods in his shifted form with his head held high and his vision heightened to the point where - to him - it seemed like he had a flashlight on his forehead lighting the way for him.
Rettacus was running in his wolf form behind him - due to Cerberus being a different breed, his speed was much faster.
Cerberus knew how dire this situation was, and due to how the change had undergone, he knew the freshly shifted lycanthrope was aimlessly running through the woods to goddess knows where.
He had not told Rettacus about what he knew, not because he had not wanted to, but simply because Rettacus had jumped out of the window and shifted far too quick, not giving Cerberus a chance to speak.
Through his large snout Cerberus could smell the lycanthropes strong scent - no commoner could ever smell that.
Especially no wolf.
The scent made Cerberus pick up his speed, to the point where his presence was questionable and all that was left behind was a little rustle and some mud prints.
The woods felt larger than he had ever felt and it angered him as he ran.
He had managed to get some human emotion back during the span of being around Clarice, but evidently it was not enough to tame his beast side.
His beast needed time to change, and every time that his human side urged him to near Clarice - he knew that he was putting her in danger.
However, this time, he urged his beast to chase after her and find her. He needed the girl by him, and he did not care what that meant.
He needed to tame his beast and he knew the risks he would be taking but he did not care.
He knew it was bad to inflict the kind of pain he had on her today but how can he stop something from controlling him after centuries?
He had long given up on himself and now he was struggling to find his old self.
It was hard.
Especially when it was so easy to just remain without humanity and call it a day.
But he knew he could not do that. Especially now, when he has her.
As his beast ran, his mind drifted back to the conversation he had with the healer right after that horrible encounter with Clarice.
Cerberus walked gracefully into the hospital office, not one ounce of regret on his shoulders as he shut the small door behind him.
His eyes landed on the healer that looked like he had been expecting him.
“My son. To what do I owe this pleasure?” The cheeky healer asked making Cerberus furrow his brows in annoyance.
“You seem like you already know.” Cerberus growled out, taking a seat across the healers round desk.
The healer chuckled, “I might have an idea but tell me anyway.”
Cerberus narrowed his eyes and clenched his hand firmly, the hand that had previously elongated sharp claws - inflicting a deep wound into Clarices skin.
“I did it again healer Demetre.” Cerberus gritted out angrily, as if he could not believe what he was confessing.
“Did what?” Healer Demetre asked while gazing intensely at Cerberus’ clenched fist.
“I hurt her and I could not stop it.”
The healer sighed while pinching the bridge of his nose, “can you explain what caused you to hurt her?”
Cerberus swallowed roughly and the healer could take in how slightly ashamed he looked and it made his brows furrow in confusion.
“I left the book on my office table. I had forgotten it this morning. However, once I remembered I came back to put it safely in its place, but found her inside - she nearly read it.” Cerberus explained gruffly, his voice was low but it still held that unwavering power.
Healer Demetre sighed, “maybe it was best for her to read it.”
Cerberus growled while baring his canines and leaning closer towards the healer, “and have her find out what beast her damn life has been signed to?!”
Healer Demetre chuckled, “goddess Cerberus you most definitely are not a beast, and it is about time you realize that because you can not keep living with the same negativity your whole life.”
Cerberus raised his nose while curling his lip, “you try to undergo what I have and then speak to me. Otherwise, you keep your mouth shut.”
The healer shook his head, “My son, you need that girl. Now more than ever, reading that book might be her key to understanding you and maybe later even helping you.”
Cerberus chuckled darkly, “I do not need a pups help.”
Healer Demetre crossed his hands over his chest and smirked making Cerberus raise a brow, “and yet you marked that pup.”
The healer saw something on Cerberus’ face that made his heart nearly stop - a ghost of a smile - but it went away in an instant.
“Cerberus, you need her to understand you. So whether the truth comes from you or from the book, it is going to come out and she will find out.” The healer told him in all seriousness making Cerberus thin his lips.
“Well, I can try to avoid that for as long as possible.”
The healer shook his head, “how long will you avoid it? Do you not see what happens when you do? The girl can end up dead and your second form will not allow you to feel a single thing. Do you want that?”
Cerberus froze for a second before clearing his throat, “maybe that is better. You saw what had happened the first time. It was easy.”
The healer growled lowly, “it was easy because you were fooled by that wench of a woman. Had it not been for her, I know you would have long sealed the deal with Clarice.”
Cerberus raised his nose in disgust, his face scrunching up, “well we can not change the past.”
“Yeah, but you can change the future because I most definitely have had enough of fixing up the poor girl after all that you have put her through.”
That made Cerberus avert his gaze for a second before looking back at the healer, his eyes narrowed into thin slits.
“Why do you all tell me what I can and can not do?” Cerberus growled out angrily while slamming his clenched fist on the table making the healer roll his eyes.
“Because even though you are King, you act like a child. Even now, when you should be with your mate sealing the deal, you are throwing a fit over who is telling you what.”
Cerberus lowered his gaze for a second, he did not know why hearing about that made his stomach churn.
He was in fact acting like a child and he knew it - but he could not help it.
Even now, as he so badly willed his cheeks to stop from burning at the thought of being with the girl intimately, when it most certainly would not be his first time.
“There will be no sealing of any deal anytime soon. Especially not now, after...” Cerberus trailed off making the healers brows furrow.
Cerberus cleared his throat and looked at the fingers of the hand he had hurt Clarice with as if it was his first time seeing it.
“In the office I-” he cleared his throat again, “I could not hold back the rage inside of me, so my claws elongated and pierced into the skin of her forearm. And the wound was deep healer Demetre, I will not deny that.”
“Did you apologize to her after calming down?” The healer asked but instantly regretted asking because he knew who he was talking to, and this man never apologized.
Cerberus growled while furrowing his brows, “No I most certainly did not. For she did not have my permission to enter that room nor peek at my personal things. Her punishment was rightfully given.”
The healer took in his change of voice with discomfort - he hated the way Cerberus’ other form easily controlled him.
“Do you see why you need to get that girl to help you? Do you see now why you need her? Your emotions switch up so easily my son that it is horrifying and you need to understand that she is just a young girl, and that she was probably only curious. Imagine how it is for her? She was taken and-”
“Exactly. She is a damn pup. She does not belong next to me. She can never be my equal. Especially when she can not even hold her own... And she was not taken by me, it was one of my men.” Cerberus all but growled out, the aura around him was shifting and that worried the healer.
“Rettacus? I am sure it was him correct?”
That name made Cerberus curl his lip up before nodding curtly.
The healer smiled, “that boy is so sweet. He really respects her you know.”
Cerberus narrowed his eyes threateningly and the healer chuckled in response.
“Do not get jealous and you tame that lycanthrope of yours. Rettacus is a sweet and respectful young man, he would never pine for what is yours. He only wants to help you, he is not your enemy. In fact, you can learn something from that boy-”
The healer was cut off by Cerberus who abruptly shot out of the chair with a loud growl - his chest puffing out angrily.
“I am older than the very ground you walk on. None of you pitiful men can teach me anything that I do not already know.”
The healer nodded his head, “so you mean to tell me, that you know everything?”
Cerberus furrowed his brows but nodded anyway.
“If you know everything, then you would know that inflicting pain on your mate - of any kind - is a crime that is punishable by law. And that seeing as you have just freshly marked your mate, her change is happening, and due to this new injury you have given her, you might have forced a shift upon her. So now mister know-it-all, put together a freshly marked young girl that is unknowingly going through something ten times stronger than heat and put it together with her suddenly forcefully shifting into her new form...
“...but keep in mind, that the girl has shifted into her wolf maybe what? Three-four times? So imagine how it will be for her now? All those emotions she is feeling? And shifting all alone without her mate by her side, who knows exactly what she is going through. And especially if she ends up somehow in the woods?... If this does end up happening my son, what does it give you?”
Cerberus stood there silently while glowering making the healer narrow his eyes.
“It gives you hell Cerberus. Absolute hell. For you but especially her.”
So my beautiful readers, I just want to wish you all a happy and safe holidays! And a Merry Merry Christmas! ❤️🎅 I hope you guys enjoyed this little chapter and a snippet of our Kings past because there is more to be revealed in the future 🤫