Lucian has changed a lot after his shift after the first few shifts now it had become. He did not know for sure when the boys said he looked like the one straight from the underworld movies. He researched on the internet and every search pointed towards Lycan.
He could now shift at will unlike mentioned in those sites. As for the bloodlust on full moons, he ate the raw meat Amanda stocked up for him. Though he across a few wild animals during his run, he never felt the urge to hunt them down.
An occassional chase was enough for the beast. Also, they couldn’t risk getting exposed by hunting down the harmless animals that lived in the forest and it would alert the town municipality.
Abram, who was now eleven years old accompanied Lucian during his runs in the morning and admired his beast. Lucian’s beast warmed up to the curious boy soon and didn’t bother when Abram touched him.
Lucian even gave him a ride on his shoulders. Abram looked up at Lucian as his superhero and always tailed him. Nate joined them sometimes, and he was no different to Abram. They hung out with Lucian whenever they got the chance.
The full moons were the worst for Lucian. His need to claim for Alexa was beyond the control that went ordered the boys to chain him to the bed during the full moons. He spent those moonlit night in the lake house, far away from Alexa.
Abram and Nate stood guarding the room until Lucian was normal again. When his beast began destroying the furniture they made a cage which was stronger enough to hold Lucian for one night. He also took sleeping pills before his shift that made his beast drowsy.
However, Lucian could feel that his beast was getting used to the pills and he must look for another drug in a long run.
Lucian and Alexa applied for early graduation in the sophomore earlier and they enrolled in a three-year program. They applied for several universities and when Lucian asked Alexa where she would be going. She did not give him an answer.
“Son, may I have a word with you?” Victor called him one day. “Is there a problem between you and Alexa?” He asked.
“No nothing biggie. Just an argument I guess,” Lucian replied.
“I know you both love each other,” Victor stated and Lucian whipped around with wide eyes. He couldn’t decline the claim.
“You don’t have to answer that Lucian,” Victor smiled.
“I wanted to tell you that, you both have our blessings. When you are old enough, I am glad to give her away if it’s you who is marrying her.” Victor said patting his shoulder and Lucian nodded dumbfounded.
Victor could sense the tension between the pair. He hoped his talk with Lucian would clear any doubts he may have. Lucian made Alexa happy and he understood her better than anyone else. He knew for sure that Lucian was the best choice for his daughter.
Lucian and Alexa’s seventeenth birthday have come and passed. They got into the University of Burlington and though Alexa wanted to go to someplace different her family was having none of it.
She wanted to go far from Lucian and her parents wouldn’t let her choose. They did not want her to go anywhere alone.
Lucian did not even want me near.
While she wanted to stay in a dorm, her father had rented them a two bedroom apartment in Burlington, which infuriated her. Why would no one understand?
Lucian’s behavior was confusing. Sometimes he spoke to her like old times and other times he avoided her. He didn’t like the other boys in school around her and he glared daggers at whoever even dared to look at her.
At home, he gave her cold shoulder and always spend his time in the forest or locked in his room. If she went with Lucian to college, she needed to clear the air between them. Alexa was in deep thoughts when she saw Lucian going for his usual run into the woods and luckily for her Abram was not with him.
“Lucian! Wait…” Alexa ran behind Lucian.
Lucian quirked his eyebrows as he saw her approaching him. She wore a short floral dress that ended up just above her knees and a matching cardigan than covered her mark and the bust that distracted him a lot.
“I wanted to talk to you,” she said panting. Her breasts rose and fell with the harshness of her breath and he looked away.
“Go on,” he urged not meeting her eyes.
“Not here,” she said walking further into the forest.
Lucian followed her. He couldn’t help but admire the way her hip swayed with each step she took. Her toned long legs looked smooth and he ached to touch her silky skin. He balled his fists, pushing them into his pockets.
She stopped when they reached their favorite spot and turned to face him. He averted his gaze and concentrated on the fallen wooden log.
“Lucian, I want you to be honest with me,” she started and he met her gaze for a short time before looking away. “Why are you avoiding me?” She asked in a pain filled voice. “We used to be so close. I remember all those times we spend in these woods with Abram and Nate.”
He continued to admire the wooden log. His jaw clenched as he tried to control his emotions. Lucian wanted to pull her close and tell her how much he cared, but he restrained himself from doing so. He swallowed hard and shook his head to clear the fog that surrounded his brain.
Maybe I am not good enough for him. Alexa couldn’t help the pain that squeezed her heart. “Do you like me, Lucian?” She asked and he snapped his gaze back to hers.
“Of course I do,” he exclaimed and his gaze zeroed in on her lips as she bit her lower lip nervously.
“No, I did not mean it as a friend. Do you like me more than a friend?” She asked and looked at him expectantly. “It’s okay, just tell me what you feel and I will understand,” She said again.
He thought about it for a moment which felt like a lifetime for her. ‘No’ he shook his head.
She nodded, “I understand. I won’t disturb you again,” she replied softly and started walking towards the home.
Lucian stood watching as she hid her face from him and turned around to go home. “I don’t like you, Alexa, I love you.” He whispered once she was out of his eyesight.
She left before he could tell her how he felt and he struggled to control the beast who wanted to jump bones. A part of him wanted to follow her, and then his rational brain knew it would never stop at that. At the first sight of her, his beast would spring up and claim her as his.
Alexa felt shattered and she had her guards up not letting Lucian know her emotions. Lucian hid feelings from her after a few slip-ups. She learned her lesson after that embarrassing encounter with him earlier.
She was in his room, looking for a book they borrowed from the library when he came out of the bathroom–clad only in a towel. Alexa couldn’t take her eyes of him and when he came closer she kind of lost it. She caressed his cheeks and leaned to kiss him, but he pulled away.
“I’m sorry Alexa we cannot do this.”
She nodded and bit her lip, trying to swallow her embarrassment.
“Alexa, I would appreciate if you can stay away from me. Please try to control your emotions, I can smell your arousal from miles away.” He said before she left the room and she died of embarrassment.
She couldn’t meet his gaze after that and she learned to control her emotions whenever he was around. Then again she couldn’t help how she felt about him. Her love for him only grew every day and she longed for him to return the feelings. Finally, she found enough guts to speak to him today and it was good she asked.
She knew she would never get over what she felt for him, but at least she wouldn’t have her hopes up. She will stay away from him and will give him enough space.
It was two days after their encounter and Alexa stayed away from him. She would smile politely whenever their eyes met, she would discuss anything related to their academics and that’s where it stopped.
She mostly stayed in her room with a book in hand and the family. The family noticed Alexa being withdrawn. Amanda had told Victor to leave them alone to sort out their issues on their own.
In the Lycan Kingdom…
A messenger from Dimitri rushed into the throne room and bowed before the King and Queen. “I have a message from Prince Dimitri,” he announced.
“Go on,” Antonio ordered.
“He has located Prince Lucian’s location. He is in a place called Vermont in the United States of America. Prince Dimitri is now heading to Vermont,” he informed and Giselle beamed with happiness.
“Do you know any other details?” Antonio asked.
“A human family has Prince Lucian in their custody and they have taken him along when they moved out of Tennessee. Prince Dimitri was able to find some legal documents related to their guardianship.” The messenger finished and bowed.
“Good. You may leave now.”
Giselle hugged her husband once the messenger left. “I cannot believe that we’ve found him, after all, this time. I feel so happy, Antonio. We must prepare a grand welcome for our son,” she gushed excitedly as her eyes twinkled with joy.
Antonio smiled. “Of course, my Queen. Your wish is my command,” he whispered as he pulled her close to press his lips to hers. “Now, be a dear and inform this good news to Audriana.”
Giselle did not appreciate Lucian’s arranged mating with Audriana. She was a beautiful woman at all costs, but does she have a beautiful soul inside? Giselle wondered. Her instincts said that her son has chosen someone and she pushed the gnawing thought away as she went to find Audriana.
Soon she found her in the castle garden among the roses. Audrianna looked exquisite in a silver gown that accentuated her body. Her long honey blonde locks danced in the breeze.
“Audriana…” Giselle called happily.
“Giselle,” Audriana beamed and hugged her before pressing her cheek against hers.
“I have news. Dimitri has found Lucian. He will be back to the castle soon,” Giselle informed.
“Wow! That’s wonderful.” Audriana squealed. She picked up Giselle and twirled in circles, making them both giggle. Audriana was getting stronger every day after her first shift.
“That’s wonderful Giselle,” Emery exclaimed from the other side of the garden.
“Emery,” Giselle grinned as she embraced her best friend. Emery Imani Sperazzo was mated to Antonio’s beta Raymond Alexander Sperazzo. Though she was a cheerful woman, Giselle knew well not to judge a book by its cover.
“Audriana, I want you to prepare a grand welcome ball for Lucian. Do whatever you want, I know it would be perfect,” Giselle hugged Audriana again.
“My pleasure,” Audriana replied as she hugged her back.
The time for me to become the Queen has come.