Terra (The Vulgri Hybrids Book One)

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Chapter 8

| Theodore |

Where are you mate?

Who are you?

It’s been two weeks since I last saw my mate. My worry for her well-being was eating at me alive. I’ve never been frustrated and desperate. I shouldn’t have let her go. I should’ve had her followed, but she would sense that and she would hate me. That’s the last thing I would want.

Every day, I continued to despise myself.

When I heard from the Alpha of Dark Moon pack that his members saw a wolf that matched the description of my mate, I went as fast as I could, shifting inside Mesina Academy, adrenaline rushing through my wolf, both of us desperate to find her.

I shifted back to my human form when I found her so that I could talk to her and persuade her to shift. I cried tears of joy and tears of resentment for myself when I held her wolf in my arms. Earlier that day, I found myself being pulled again by my foolish attraction to the Ilwani girl. And then I found her as if she was reminding me to stay loyal and not be a dick of a mate.

Nathalia Levina, that girl was proving more and more suspicious. She skipped school, went to a town forty miles away, which happened to be near the Dark Moon Pack, only to go to a grocery store, then suddenly disappearing, and returning late at night. The coincidence was too hard to ignore.

She definitely knew something about my mate. How to get the information from her was proving to be quite difficult. She was avoiding me for the past weeks, making me more convinced that she was hiding something. Or else, she would be flirting with me like what she usually did. Not that I was complaining but I am a Vulgari who values loyalty the most, and cheating on my mate was never an option.

“Alpha, she is going to melt.” Zion teased, making my head jerk back to our table. I wasn’t aware that I was staring at Nathalia.

“Be careful Alpha, your mate may know you’re looking at another girl.” Joon Ki joined in. I glared at both of them, hoping that they would get the message.

“Theo will never cheat on his mate,” defended Malik but I did not miss the playful glint in his eyes.

“Oh shut up. I was thinking about how to make her admit that she knows who my mate is. Or worse, maybe she and her twin was holding her captive.” The idea sent me into a blind rage that the glass that I was holding broke into pieces, some of the fragments piercing the skin of my palm. I ignored the blood, it would heal soon anyway.

I heard a distinguished gasp and it made me look at Nathalia again, recognizing that it was her that produced the sound. Finally, after two weeks of avoiding me, she was now giving me her attention, well my hand specifically. She was staring at it with a worried expression on her face, her hand that was clutching her fork was trembling.

I looked away. Malik was already tying my injured hand with a handkerchief. He shouldn’t have bothered but I let him.

Why would she worry about me?

Weird girl.

“Theo, our men are asking if they still need to follow Nathalia and Cassandra,” Malik said casually after finishing his first aid.

“Why? Are they complaining?” I asked, irritated.

“No, in fact, they are asking if they could switch to Nathalia’s watch.”

I frowned. “And why is that?”

My three idiot friends looked at each other.

Zion cleared his throat and gave me a cheeky grin. “Well, I joined the ones who were tailing her one time and we followed her to this human bar...”

“And damn she was seriously hot, man! That girl could sing and move her body.” Joon Ki finished for Zion, his eyes filled with admiration and desire.

I felt my blood boiling. They were fantasizing about Nathalia and somehow it did not sit well with me. But I kept my temper down, telling myself that what I was feeling was irrational and unbelievable.

“You should see it for yourself,” Zion added, oblivious to my growing anger.

“Fine. I’ll go there then.” I said, shooting Malik a look, effectively erasing the smirk on his face.

“Oh but it’s not her schedule tonight, Alpha. She goes there Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. After two more days, we can go.” Joon Ki said eagerly.

“No. I will go. Alone.” I looked at them, daring them to defy me.

“But─

“I said I will go alone,” I growled.

The three idiots suddenly burst laughing.

How dare they?

“Okay Alpha,” they said in unison, still laughing. “Whatever you want.”

Giving them one last glare, I stormed out of the cafeteria.

Walking down the hallways of Mesina, I did not really have a specific place to go. I just wanted to cool my head off.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what they said. What was she doing in a human bar? Was she planning to seduce all the male population in the world?

What an impossible girl.

How she was connected to my mate was still a conundrum that I’ve been trying to solve. Maybe I should do it the old fashion way and kidnap her and her twin then force them to confess. They have no affiliation with any Ilwani guilds anyway, so I won’t have to worry about incurring the wrath of one whole guild.

“Theo. Bad day?” I turned and it was Max, a close friend of mine who’s a Lawin.

“Yeah,” I grunted. “How’s it going, Max?”

Maximillian Syndor, one of the strongest Lawin in the academy. He was aiming for the Royal Army in the Kingdom of Maia when we graduate. As of now, he’s a personal bodyguard to the Princess Yllona.

“I’m good. Heard you found your mate, bro?”

“Yeah,” I answered, not really in the mood to explain.

“But she’s missing and you still don’t know who she is,” Max shrugged. “Vulgari like to talk.”

I groaned. “Something like that.”

“You guys have it easy you know, with the Goddess already giving you your mates in life.”

“I guess you’re right. But it’s still not easy.”

“Nothing’s easy man,” he smiled, sadness crossed his eyes for a fraction of a second before returning to neutral. “Hey listen, I need someone to parry with. If you’re not busy, maybe we could do it together. Just like old times.”

I contemplated for a bit and finally agreed. My sword skill was getting rusty anyway.

I remembered the first time we met, I was thirteen and was watching their training sessions, fascinated by the interplay of swords and their feet in sync with their bodies. Swords were not a weapon the wolf people use, we train our bodies and focus more on mixed martial arts.

He saw me watching and even though we’re the same age, he offered to teach me. We’ve been close friends since then.

I joined him in the vacant training room and accepted the wooden sword that he threw at me.

We went into position and started with a few strikes and blocks, my muscles starting to remember all our training together.

“Not bad Theo,” Max took it up a notch, his wrist flicking faster and I struggled to follow his speed with my eyes. But I’m used to speed and soon I was putting him on the defensive.

“You were a good teacher, Max,” I told him. We danced around the room for at least an hour when he cornered me and I released my sword in defeat.

“I can never beat you in this. We should try MMA next time,” I grinned at him.

“Sure. That would be my pleasure.” We clasped each other’s hand as a way of farewell.

The previous vacant room was now filled with a small crowd. Malik emerged from the crowd with a frown on his face. I guess he’s back to beta mode and no longer in a douche friend mode.

Malik gave Max a curt nod before turning to me. “Theo, council representatives are waiting for you in the Lupus dorm.”

I took a towel and wiped my face. “What do they need?”

“It’s about the incident that we reported to Sergio.”

Sighing, I thanked Max for our training session and left the room with Malik. I ignored the girls who were loitering outside of the room.

We walked quietly to the dorms until we reached the private lounge area that was only meant for my pack.

Five Vulgari were waiting for me, one representative for each race. They stood up to acknowledge my presence. I gestured for them to sit down and then I took the seat in front of them.

I spared a glance at the Lupus man among the five, Pedro Javier, one of my father’s men. I never liked him. When I was still young and still living in the palace, I’ve known him to be cruel and merciless in training the royal guards. Someone died from the initiation itself.

“State your purpose,” I demanded.

“Your Highness, we’re here to represent the council. We would like to know more about the incident you reported to Sergio. Is it true you encountered an Ilwani who can control the forest?” The Ilwani man in the middle spoke.

“Yes,” was my simple answer.

“Can you tell us the events that happened that day?” The Lawin woman continued the questioning.

“Well, I’m sure Sergio told you everything already.” I leaned back and crossed my legs. “Basically, I saw my mate then a brown she-wolf appeared then my mate was running, brown she-wolf stayed behind, Ilwani magic helped her escape.”

“Where is your mate, Your Highness?”

That was the million dollar question, wasn’t it?

“You tell me. I’ve been looking for her since school started.”

The council reps looked at each other. Pedro finally spoke. “Thank you for your cooperation, Your Highness. We’ll be on our way.”

That’s it?

I watched them as they stood up and went out of the room in a single file.

It somehow reminded me of ants.

“Malik.” I was still looking at the now closed door.

“Your Highness.”

“Find out everything about their visit here. They know something.”

“Exactly what I was thinking,” agreed Malik.

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