He groaned in pain while clutching his abdomen.
He was struggling to move due to the fresh wounds in his chest that were wrapped up with bandages from his front to his back.
The nurses that had tended to his wounds earlier departed from the room when everything was in order and he sighed before a pained grunt left his lips.
He knew that he had deserved it. He deserved this beating. He had deserved for the King to even take his life.
He was way out of line.
He had done something entirely uncalled for and the scent of Clarices heat the other night made his emotions twist.
After seeing the utter rage and betrayal in his Kings eyes earlier, he felt reality hit him like a truck and all of those uncalled for emotions disintegrated into dust.
He could not look at himself the same.
He fought so badly to get the two mates warmed up to each other and then allowed his stupidity to get the best of him.
He had not realized what had been going on at the time, but now his mind was clear and he was sure it was the smell of Clarices heat that blinded his true feelings and his wolf.
That is why he felt possessive and slightly attracted to her.
He laid back into the makeshift hospital bed with a grimace before his lips etched into a frown.
He replayed the scene in Clarices bedroom over and over again and could feel the scars that had been clawed into his chest by the King himself throb intensely.
What he had done was wrong. But what was more wrong was that he had not realized it right away and he hated himself for that.
He remembered how uncomfortable Clarice had gotten with him when he dared to ask her to try the dress on for him - he cringed at the memory.
His heart squeezed tightly in his chest and he wished to take it all back.
He felt embarrassed, at himself and at his actions.
The door to his room creaked open and he did not bother to look up from his bandaged chest.
He knew the wounds would heal in a couple of days, but his heart and mind would not.
“So, do you mind telling me what had happened for the King to do this to you?” The healer asked softly once he shut the door behind him with a click.
Rettacus sighed heavily, “I did something stupid healer Demetre.”
Healer Demetre walked closer towards him with a frown on his face.
“I know it had something to do with the girl.” Healer Demetre stated and Rettacus curled his lip up.
“Yes. It had something to do with her...” Rettacus trailed off while clenching his fist tightly and glaring at his chest, he could not even speak due to how uttery enraged he was at himself.
“I grew an attraction towards her all of a sudden and it did not go unnoticed by the King. Before what had taken place outside, he had caught me in his mates room in a bad way.” Rettacus explained making the healer nearly recoil in shock.
“In what way?” The healer instantly asked, hoping he did not mean what he thought Rettacus meant.
“In a way that looked like I had been kissing her.”
The healer furrowed his brows angrily before opening his mouth to lecture Rettacus but Rettacus instantly cut him off.
“No, no! I can tell what you are thinking but I did not kiss her. I had only helped her untangle her hair from something, I did not touch her. I would never!”
The healer scoffed, “the King would not hurt you this bad for nothing.”
Rettacus lowered his head in shame, “like I said, I had developed an uncalled for attraction towards her and he sensed it.”
The healer shook his head, “you know better than to pine over what is not yours. Especially for your own Kings mate!”
Rettacus snapped his head up angrily, “I know that! Trust me I know that! I was the one who fought for them to get closer! Who fought for her!”
“Do not raise your tone at me boy. If you knew all that then why did this happen? Why did you develop an attraction?”
Rettacus inhaled deeply to calm himself down, “you are correct, I apologize. I developed an attraction for her because of her heat, I did not realize it today but I do now, I had smelled her scent in the woods that night that she had tried to run away, and for some reason it changed my feelings for her.”
The healer nodded his head in understanding, “ah yes, I had not know that he had yet to mate her. That is very odd.”
Rettacus furrowed his brows, “why odd?”
“Usually, the scent of a Lycanthropes mate is a lot stronger upon heat than a regular wolves. Meaning not only will it be hard for the King to stay away from her, but for any other male around her, mate or not. And her scent has the power to make anyone attracted to her, it is almost like a sirens call.” The healer explained slowly, his words making everything make sense.
Rettacus shook his head before rubbing a hand down his face and wincing, “well, I was an idiot for not realizing sooner, this all could have been avoided.”
The healer frowned, “it is a surprise you have realized it at all because usually the attraction remains until the girl in question completes the mating bond with her mate.”
“Well, once I saw the Kings face before, everything came back and I instantly regretted it. I hate myself.”
“Do not hate yourself Rettacus, it was not your fault. The scent took the best of you, but it is good that you have realized your faults. Now you must slowly make amends.” The healer stated softly while eyeing the white cloth that was tied around Rettacus chest that was already turning bright red.
Rettacus chuckled dryly before wheezing out, “yeah, you try making amends with an angered over possessive King.”
She held his cheek with her small hand, the stubble on his tan skin tickling her palm.
“Will you talk to me now?” She asked softly, the words falling from her swollen lips slowly.
The Kings eyes were glued on her lips and she noticed and quickly grabbed his chin, keeping his face in place - a good distance away from hers.
“You mister must keep your eyes on mine.” She ordered jokingly and she felt his eyes bore into her soul when they found hers.
Her cheeks warmed due to his intensity and she suddenly found herself struggling to keep her eyes on him - she bit back a chuckle.
“Look who can not keep her eyes on mine.” The King whispered teasingly making the tips of her ears burn.
Her eyes found his again and she struggled to stop her stomach from churning.
She had never seen him act like this towards her and it was making her toes curl excitedly.
“Can we talk? For real now.” She asked gingerly, her eyes narrowing in curiosity when his brows furrowed.
“Yes. We can talk now.” He stated, his words making her heart nearly leap from her chest due to her uncontainable excitement.
When they fell into a sudden silence, she noticed they had not moved due to the fact that her fingers had still been gently gripping his chin, so she awkwardly pulled away from him and smiled weakly in embarrassment.
His face remained stoic, as if he had not been bothered by her hand being on his chin and she turned to walk to her bed - he slowly followed behind.
She gulped when she realized the rack that he had mercilessly thrown earlier was still laying on the mattress before tensely pulling it off with a bit of a struggle.
It was a lot heavier than she had imagined it to be, but once she felt a warm presence behind her she froze instantly and watched as the rack was instantly lifted and removed from her sight.
She did not move from where she had been standing, even when she heard him place the rack elsewhere and return - she had been too affected by the feeling of him tightly pressed against her back to move.
Every damn touch had felt like the first time, every time and she did not understand why.
“Are you just going to stand there?” He asked her hoarsely once he had sat down on the edge of her large bed - exactly where she had been sitting when he had first entered the room.
She swallowed roughly before frantically shaking her head - he had abruptly shaken her from her trance, making her cheeks burn once again.
She sat down beside him, however a bit further away from his body and a lot closer to her pillows for she did not trust herself when she was directly in his close proximity.
She could feel his eyes burning through her skin like lasers as they roamed the length of her side profile - that only made her cheeks burn more and she was sure he could see it.
He cleared his throat, “what do you want to know?”
That question brought her back to reality and she instantly turned her body to face him, sparkles of curiosity popping up in her green orbs.
“First I want to know how you found out that I have your book.” She stated while scratching the back of her neck nervously.
She noticed as his eyes narrowed and swallowed the lump that suddenly appeared in her throat roughly.
“I notice when anything is missing paravus, what makes you think I will not notice that.”
She cleared her throat awkwardly, “what does that mean?”
He raised a brow, “you must specify that.”
She chuckled, “what does that word that you just said mean? I think it is latin?”
She watched as his lips etched upwards and her stomach started to do flips, he instantly rubbed his lips as if to hide an amused smirk and she felt a ghost smirk appear on her own but she quickly bit her bottom lip to keep it away.
“Nothing you must worry yourself about. Now start the real questions, I do not have all day.”
She shook her head, she knew whatever he had said in latin would be something she probably would not particularly like, she however was determined to find out - whether it be from him or not.
“Alright, sorry. Can you tell me what I am now? Like I know I am a werewolf. That I have a wolf and all of that, but what now? You are of different breed, and you have marked me, what does that-”
He cut her off instantly, “do not drag that question on, I get it. Seeing as I have..” he trailed off to send her an intense look whilst rubbing his throat, that action making her wet her dry lips, “marked you.” His voice had suddenly gotten a lot raspier making her eyes nearly flutter shut.
“Then you become what I am. Take when a blood sucker bites a human, sometimes they take on a blood suckers form, the same goes here. You take on mine.” He continued, his voice going back to normal after he had cleared it.
She nodded her head softly, “so how does that explain these changes?” She asked while pulling at her darker hair and motioning to her body.
His eyes darkened, “your wolf is taking the form of a Lycanthrope. It has taken that form. Now, your human side is adjusting to it. You are faster, stronger, your hearing is a lot better, as are your reflexes - well, that is all to come, I do not know if that has happened yet, but do expect it.”
“Why were you against marking me at first? Because you were scared for me to find out?” She unexpectedly asked once he had finished making his canines bare slightly - a low growl emitting from his throat.
“I was not scared.” He gritted out, she could tell he was offended by that and nearly laughed, he truly was like a child.
“Then what was it? Did you think I would be scared?” She asked softly, his eyebrows furrowed and she could see as his face softened, only for the slightest millisecond before it hardened again.
“Are you not?” He asked, his low voice barely above a whisper as he glared intensely at her, she responded with a gentle shake of her head and she watched as he let out a soft exhale - she knew that him hearing her say that made him relieved.
“You are my mate Cerberus. I could never hate your breed, nor would I ever hate it, even if I wanted to. There is a reason we were paired, no matter how badly you had tried and still try to deny it.” She told him strongly, her eyes swimming with a bunch of different emotions.
His face remained void of any changes but she knew her words were getting to him - she could notice the way his tense shoulders were falling in ease.
“I just really want to know why you had decided to hurt me so many times even after marking me? Like, do you not feel the mate bond the way other wolves do? Does it not affect you? Will it not affect me after I fully succumb to the changes?” She asked worriedly, the tone in her voice instantly changing and he noticed.
His lips were in a frown, “I feel it.” His voice was hoarse and he quickly cleared his throat.
“I feel the bond the same way you do, and if you choose to feel it even after all of the changes, you will feel it.” She could tell he was purposely avoiding the other parts of her question and it made her curiosity only grow but she knew he was not ready to speak about that so she decided to keep quiet about it, for now at least.
“What does that mean? If I choose to? Can I choose to keep my humanity?” She questioned in complete confusion.
He raised his knee slightly and leaned it onto the mattress to better place his elbow onto it and his chin in his palm as the conversation intensified.
He cleared his throat, “everything after shifting is a choice. Your other side will try to control you, and that side is darker, it is cruel and evil, in better words - the exact opposite of you now. And if you choose to allow it to, that is all you will be, dark and cruel, and it will be a struggle for you to ever come back from it.”
She inhaled shakily whilst processing what he had to say, her eyes roamed the length of his face and she could feel her lips tug downwards.
“Does that upset you?” He asked, with foreign softness making her lips quiver.
“No. What does upset me is that you allowed yours to control you.” She stated sadly, her heartbeat quickening in her chest and it did not go unnoticed by the King who was glaring at her diligently.
“Why did you allow it to? Did you not care for the light inside of you? Or ever think about the possibility of meeting your mate? Or your family?”
Her pressing questions made his lips curl up and his head move from his palm instantly - she watched as his fists clenched tightly.
“This talk is about you not me. If you wish for it to continue, avoid asking me personal questions.”
His words made her close her eyes for a second and inhale deeply before opening them again, “alright, I am sorry.”
He nodded his head in response but did not care to verbally say anything, she gulped quietly.
“When do I shift into my new breed? Or better yet, how will I know?” She asked with a raised brow, her stomach churning at the thought of her bones breaking to morph into that huge creature.
Cerberus took in the look that appeared on her face and nearly chuckled but held it back.
“Oh paravulus, you have already shifted, the attitude changes happened instantly after you had been given your mark, we know that. Slowly came the body changes, but now due to that shift, your body changes and personality changes are set in stone, now your other side will start appearing more and more, and it will be up to you to not allow it to fully take over.”
Her jaw went slack and her eyes agape - she was utterly bewildered and looked almost comical.
“I already shifted?” She spluttered in shock and he rolled his eyes.
“Yes, keep up.”
She slapped a hand over her mouth, unable to contain her shock, “why was I not aware? I mean, I was aware when I shifted into my wolf.”
Cerberus rubbed the back of his neck, “shifting into a Lycanthrope is different, it can happen at any moment and yours just so happened to be whilst you were asleep and unconscious. Which is how you ended up in the woods that night, absolutely bare and afraid.”
Clarice could not blink away the burning sensation in her eyes due to how wide they had gotten and a sound of embarrassment emitted from her throat that made her cheeks warm.
“I thought you had wanted to kill me that night! Why did you not clarify?” She asked angrily, her body absentmindedly scooting closer towards his and he noticed.
“First of all, do not raise your tone at me. Secondly, I had tried to calm you down, I just could not tell you anything in that moment.”
She chuckled dryly while raising her chin in distaste, “let us be real Cerberus, you would not have told me at all had I not found out myself.”
He took in the change in her aura and voice before letting out a humorless chuckle, “that is your other side.”
Clarices brows furrowed and her hand flew to her throat, she rubbed it gently, “why does that happen so suddenly? Like, I can not control it and I do not mean to be rude, to you or anyone.”
Cerberus nodded, she could sense how dull he had gotten after she said what she said and her brow slightly raised.
“That is why you have to learn to control it. If you wish to that is. If you choose to have humanity, then you have to fight to overpower your other side so that you can decide when to use its strength or power. It is all up to you.”
She inhaled shakily, “how do I learn to do that?”
His face instantly fell at that question and she sensed how his mood suddenly entirely changed - it was foreign and different.
It felt sad and that made her chest feel tight.
He turned his head away from her and rubbed a hand down his face, “You must find that out on your own.”
She moved closer to him, the sheets below her bunching up as she dragged herself towards him but she paid them no mind.
“Why?” She urged, she wanted to confirm the sudden thoughts that swirled in her mind.
He cleared his throat before swallowing roughly, his Adams apple moving up and down quickly, “find out yourself, that is the least you can do. You can not always rely on me.”
She knew his words were not intensionally meant to be hurtful so she did not take them to heart - he was trying to sway her from the thoughts she was having with his rude words but it was obvious that he could not.
He was shocked to feel when she gently grabbed his face and turned his head for their eyes to lock - intense earl grey to emerald green.
She swallowed softly, “you do not know how to, do you?” Her voice came out barely above a whisper making his eyes slightly darken in response.
He remained silent and her suspicions were slowly being confirmed.
She rubbed the stubble on his cheek carefully, “it is okay if you never learned how to. It is understandable, for who could have helped you when you were the only one?”
His jaw clenched under the skin of her palm yet it did not make her pull away, if anything, it only made her move closer to him.
“We can learn together, if you wish to. We can both learn how to gain control over our other side together because I know we will need each other during this wild ride.” She told him strongly, yet her voice sounded angelic and light - it kept him stable.
“Please tell me you agree with me.” She whispered out breathlessly, her lips leaning closer to his due to the sudden pull she had felt.
He licked his plump pair before leaning in and allowing them to connect.
They kissed each other with so much unspoken emotion that it sent fireworks shooting throughout the room.
Their eyes were closed and the King allowed his right hand to quickly travel to Clarices neck - where it always seemed to love to go.
The feel of his calloused skin pressing against the delicate skin around her throat made her body heat up and the pace of her lips quicken.
Her hand that was on his face trailed to the top of his head and she felt as she accidentally tipped his crown to the side, making it fall onto the bed - but neither of them paid it any mind.
Her other hand made way into his hair and she played with the locks that she had always craved to feel - they felt luscious and soft in her hold, as she had expected.
He growled deeply when he felt the tension build up between them and she could feel as his lips began to utterly devour her own - her heartbeat was hammering in her chest and she was sure anyone in the vicinity of the room could hear it but she did not care.
Their canines clashed as they began to almost passionately fight with their lips - not once breaking apart to breathe even though both of them could not deny the burning in their lungs.
His hold on her neck tightened, not to the point where it strangled her but to a point where her lower stomach began to ache in response.
Her scent mingled with his and it coated the entire room, and all that could be heard was their loud panting whilst they kissed as if their lives depended on it.
The second they pulled apart to inhale, Cerberus instantly slammed his lips back on hers, his tongue shooting through and quickly finding her own as they fought for dominance.
Clarice found herself behind pushed back as the King laid her down onto the soft mattress and she could feel as her legs wobbled, and as a certain area of her body began to throb intensely.
He found way between her legs and she let out a strangled gasp when she felt his other hand trail from her hip bone, up the side of her body, over the slope of her breast and to push a lock of her hair from her face.
When he ripped his lips forcefully from hers, they were both letting out loud pants and their chests were both rising and falling rapidly.
Their skin felt hot to the touch as a fire built up between them and Cerberus could no longer deny the ache in his gums that has been torturing him since he had first marked her.
He leaned into her neck unexpectedly and pecked the skin right below her chin gently making her fingers instantly find his hair again - he reacted almost simultaneously to her touch with a low growl.
His lips trailed downwards, slowly towards the area where his mark laid and she felt as her hips absentmindedly buckled and her toes curled - her excitement was obvious but neither of them cared in fact it only urged the King to continue.
He licked over the mark and her eyes squeezed shut while her head flew back in undeniable pleasure.
He struggled to hold back his smirk and felt his canines elongate, she was too caught up in the burning in her stomach to notice as he opened his mouth and swiftly bit into the two punctures once again.
That sent a wave of electric shocks down her body and she let out a moan-like scream that awakened another fire in Cerberus’ body.
He pulled out of the mark and licked the blood that seeped out greedily, “together.” He whispered before his bloodied lips instantly found hers again.