“You are either on my side, by my side, or in my fucking way. Choose wisely.”
“All humans are too report to their assigned section in a calm and orderly manner. All humans are too report to their assigned section in a calm and orderly manner. All humans…” I drown out the voice of the female on the over head speaker and focus on the steady line in front of me. My hands smooth across my coloured sweater and I fold my arms across my chest, trying to look over the masses of people and spot my family.
Oliver and the boys were all taken into different lines, separated after a brief glance at their paper work. The people around me… I didn’t look like the line you wanted to be in. Not when the others were full of healthy looking workers or people who had recited professions that earned more than a sneer.
The line moved at a medium pace, everyone shuffling along mumbling to each other as they made their way up to the lines edge. There was a tap on my shoulder and I spun around to be met with a girl, around my age I’d say and dressed fairly similarly with pastel pink hair. A college student, probably.
“Do you know where this line is taking us?” She asked in a hushed tone and I shook my head, careful to keep my eyes trained in front of me as I answered.
“I think it is just processing, they are sorting something out, that’s for sure,” I respond and she laughs dryly.
“Yeah, us. But for what?” She asks and that familiar sensation of dread pools in my stomach.
“What kind of things did they ask you? Before sorting you into this section?” I ask, titling my head ever so slightly to acknowledge her.
“They asked for my papers and my profession and I told them I was a student,” she says back and I furrow my brows before turning back to her.
“Maybe they are giving us job-”
“No talking!” My head spins to a muscular armed guard patrolling the lines as he narrows his eyes at me.
“Oh go to hell,” the girl behind me says and my body stills.
The guards eyes darken and he grips the girls forearm, pulling her hardly from the line as she yells profanities at him. “Hey! Hey leave her alone,” a man stood further down the opposite line yells.
“Get your fucking hands off me you dog!” She screams as his grip tightens on her. The man defending the girl looks on with a pain that only one who has a connection can hold.
“Get off her!” He yells again, I become more anxious and before I know it more men and women are protesting the wolf detaining my new acquaintance.
Guards file down the section that separates the two lines and barricade the protesters pushing them back as they start becoming even more aggressive. The girls eyes widen in horror as the wolf holding her starts to drag her away and she kicks him wherever she can, screaming and fighting him. I don’t move a muscle, even as the energy of hatred around me ripples through me body.
“Fuck!” The guard yells, looking to the scratch marks on his arm. “Come help me would you?” He yells to a younger recruit who runs up to them before stilling.
The girls pink hair breaks loose from its pony tail as she kicks even harder, making the mans grasp falter enough to let her slip through. “Get her!” He yells at the rigid wolf.
The wolf reaches his hand out and grips the girls wrist and I brace myself for the next step in her protest but she simply twists around, looking at her hand with complete confusion and then up, straight into the eyes of the wolf who lets out a loud snarl. She mustn’t know, she can’t know how reckless that is-
“Mate,” he says lowly and pure terror crosses over her face, her limbs visibly shaking.
The roars of protest from the lines escalate ten fold and I try to find Ollie in the crowd, fear crippling me. I’m right in the thick of it, so close to the wolf clutching a girl I was in conversation with just seconds ago I could reach out and touch them. More wolves pile in and stand firm, blocking the lines from breaking, their expressions hard and unemotional aside from the newly mated man. My lip quivers as I think of Avery, how she was in that same position just a few weeks ago and how much things have changed since then.
All attention turns to the man who started the refute as he pulls back his arm and punches a wolf square in the jaw, kickstarting a riot as more and more people bash against the wolves to break their conformity. “Take her and get out of here!” A higher ranking guard yells at the man holding that pink haired girl crippled with fear, his blue badge of higher standing glimmering in the light. Gamma? Beta?
The girl starts to fight even more now, attempting to drop her weight to the floor and make escorting her harder, tears stinging her eyes as she blubbers no over and over again. The beast she is now chained too just snarls and picks her up with little to no effort, like she isn’t a fully grown woman.
“Mate calm down, stop this nonsense,” he says to her as she pushes against him, his voice low and loving and only audible to someone in my proximity. Her fighting doesn’t stop and neither does that of the crowd, the man who punched an officer now being detained on the concrete floor.
Her pink hair, now tattered and strewn like the crowd flashes through the air as she is slung over his shoulder. Our eyes lock for a split second and the pure terror I see in those eyes, the helplessness I feel and the fate she is now resigned to cracks through me shield as tears pour down my face.
The man walks away from me, carrying her over his shoulder as he retreats from the masses of people who despise him towards the group of his own kind that doesn’t. She screams and protests harder, her face pulling into a different kind of terror, one that has her fighting with every last ounce of energy she has left.
“NO! Let him go, stop put me down! Stop hurting him, your hurting him!” She screams at the man whose face is pressed harder into the concrete as wolves cuff him. His eyes stay trained on her as she is pulled away and its like another surge of fight pushes through him, his body breaking away momentarily from the wolves.
The baton of a guard collides with his face and he collapses onto the floor, struggling to get back up. The guard, uniformed with the blue badge of higher ranking walks up to him and pulls out a gun. Screams of terror and fight escalate and he aims the nozzle at the man on the ground before looking to the fearful crowd. I whip my head to the other side of the passage, letting out a sob of relief as my gaze is met with only more guards, that pink hair no longer in sight. She doesn’t need to see him like this, whoever he is to her.
“If one more person makes single movement outside of their assigned lines, speaks one word, this man will be shot here on sight followed by any and all who continue to protest!” The gunned guard booms, the power of his voice flowing out in seismic waves that spread a rush of silence over the crowd. The man on the floor is still but I can see his eyes from here, the emptiness they contain.
“Good.” The guard says before the gunshot echoes in the silent courtyard, that same announcement the only noise to be heard.
Bile rises up in my throat and I push my hands in my pocket but the shaking doesn’t cease. The mans body is dragged away by wolves, the limp body leaving a strain of red across the pavement.
“Thank you for your service, finding a mate truly is a precious gift.” The guard who started this whole thing says to me, a wicked grin on his face. “Now turn around and keep your mouth shut unless you want to end up just like him,” he says, pointing to the body on the floor. “Is that understood?”
I shake my head, my entire body quivering with dread.
“It’s, yes sir,” he says with a snarl and I open my blubbering mouth.
“Y-yes sir,” I say, my body ceasing with pain.
The line continues to move ahead and I don’t move my eyes from the leather jacket of the man in front of me, moving my legs in sync with the other humans and keeping my mouth clamped shut. When I get to the end of the line I am met with a kiosk of sorts and a woman, human, with a firm look runs her eyes over my body.
“Name.” She recites in a monotonous tone.
“Maeve Wilson,” I stammer out and she types quickly into her computer before turning around and selecting out a large package of what appears to be grey clothing.
“Your new number is 628633,” she hands places the bag onto the counter top and then a small piece of paper reading that number. “If you are asked for your details you will respond with your number followed by occupation which is undesirable. If a job opportunity for someone with your… skill sets arises you will be contacted. The bag of clothing I have given you is now customary apparel, if you are seen to be wearing any clothing not deemed permissible by the booklet enclosed you will face punishment. Housing arrangements will commence within the next few weeks and it is expected that you comply,” she informs, her tone monotonous and even like I am the hundredth person she has told this today.
“O- okay,” I reply, bundling the new items up in my hand.
“Continue on through this line to the exit and return home before the curfew. Next!” She yells and I stumble away, clutching onto the items given with shock. My head twists around to see the rows of humans, lines stretching so far back I can’t tell where they start as the speaker blares again, my muddled brain
“All humans are too report to their assigned section in a calm and orderly manner or they will be met with retribution. All humans are too report to their assigned section in a calm and orderly manner or they will be met with retribution. All humans are too report to their assigned section in a calm and orderly manner or they will be met with retribution.”
“Luna Maeve, what a pleasure to see you yet again.” The Alpha King grins, flashing his pearly white teeth.
I gulp, returning a tight lipped smile in return. “Yes, I was quite surprised when Roman told me you wanted to meet with me- virtually at least,” I respond and he smiles.
“How is your honeymoon going then? You two newly mated love birds must be enjoying your time there.” He says and his implication makes me grind my teeth.
“I’d like to think you didn’t call a meeting to discuss my sex life your majesty and if that is the case then I’d like to request you take a little more professionalism in your work,” I respond, my voice even and firm.
He laughs. “You and I both know that any prospect of heir making is not on the table for you and your precious mate,” he says and I narrow my eyes.
“Is that what this meeting is about? Heir making?” I ask, my hand genuinely hovering over the end call button. If I hadn’t spent so much time around the wolfish culture I’d have pushed that button the second sex even came into the discussion but I know it goes deeper than that. An heir means power and the inability to seize that power is perceived as a major flaw. I get the logic behind it, truly I do. I just don’t agree with it.
“No. I merely wanted to confirm my suspicions, call it curiosity,” he says dismissively, a King who gets what wants, when he wants. “Personal matters aside, I called this meeting to discuss the human reforms you and your mate have been implementing.”
My gut coils. I haven’t worked this hard, scarified this much for him to suddenly swoop in and tell me its all cancelled. “What about them?” I ask and he presses his lips into a firm line.
“I’d like to extend my services beyond allowing these changes to be made. You have caused quite the stir amongst some very powerful people in the world and I admire it. I am willing to consider implementing your reforms on a national level, at least in some basic mandatory form. That being said I make no promises, I am simply expressing my interest in the ideas you have to offer and if they fail…” he trails off and I take a second to look at the setting behind him, the expensive artefacts lining the walls and then the immaculate suit adorning his large frame.
“Why now?” I ask and he raises a brow.
“Excuse me?” He says and I try to maintain my composure.
“I don’t mean to offend you, your highness, but where were you when the wolves decided that treating humans the way they did was acceptable? I just find it so interesting how it took me of all people to push this and the only real reason I can actually even be listened to is precisely because of the fact that I have the ability to pop out babies for a powerful wolf. Do you see the problem there?” I press and he purses his lips into a thin line.
“You are angered because I didn’t enact these reforms initially,” he states and I ponder for a moment before nodding.
“I guess I am. It shouldn’t even be a question of whether or not to implement laws across the the world, especially considering the fact that you were inept in doing so from the start. I guess as a former citizen of yours I want to put in a bad review. A seriously bad review,” I say, my tone holding a sharp edge. I know I seem petty and maybe I am stupid for ripping into the one guy I need to convince but I’m not going to achieve anything through lying. Plus, I doubt he needs anymore sycophants kissing his feet.
He lets out a laugh and shakes his head, “I think I might have to have a little chat with Roman about teaching you proper decorum. You’re clearly new to this type of thing but generally speaking, when you want something from someone, you be nice,” he says and I narrow my eyes.
“I’m not Romans little pet and I understand this type of thing. But it’s also my understanding that you called this meeting with me, not the other way around and that tells me all I need to know,” I point out and that glimmer of amusement flashes through his eyes. Good, I’m dancing on a fine line here and I know it.
“And what exactly do you know?” He asks, making me gulp.
“That you know leaving people like me shackled in oppression, left to watch our family and friends die of starvation or worse, was wrong,” I say watching as he looks intently at me, his motives entirely unreadable. “Treating us so inhumanely was wrong.”
“I think that is where you are wrong. Humans are, greedy, malicious, entitled beings for the most part. I’ll be completely curt with you in saying that you are one of the very few whom I have met that isn’t guided by convoluted measures. Well-aside from risking so much in order to have your freedom, but I suppose I can count that as the foolish mistakes of a naive human girl, can’t I?” He taunts and I’m sure my skin pales.
“How- how did you know about that?” I question, nerves bundling in my stomach. Roman told him?
“I’m the Alpha King sweetie, things like that don’t happen without my knowledge.”
“And you’re wrong,” I say, shaking my head to somehow erase his knowledge of my attempted escape. “Not all humans are evil, you can’t just paint everyone with that same brush and pass it off as an acceptable reason to treat them like that. Treat me like that,” I say to the man who could have prevented my suffering, millions of peoples suffering by simply caring.
“Each different race amongst you believes themselves to be better than the other in some way, every single aspect that makes your kind different from each other sets you at odds. Be it race, gender, sexual orientation, weight-hell even hair colour, there was always something that stopped you from living cohesively, in peace. That was the world. Can you even begin to imagine how being a common enemy to people like that was?” He asks and I stare back at him in silence.
“I have been on this earth for a very long time and I had to make many sacrifices to keep the werewolf population from going near extinct for a large portion of it. Humans hate things that are different to them, they fear it and I have had to tell my people to hide who they truly are so that they aren’t hunted down and slaughtered for merely existing for too long. Wolves never went eating children or wreaking havoc among human kind, we were peaceful creatures who respected the Earth and all of its inhabitants.
No one deserves to be treated like that. I thought for a time, after living a life only full of knowing the pain and suffering dealt by humans that it was fair treatment to them. It wasn’t until you came along as the mate to my heir that I realised the goddesses message to me, the message being that unity won’t come from the ways in which we live now. Call me crazy, a fanatic, whatever you will but the pack system given to us by the goddess works because of its fundamental elements of love and kinship,”
“Love and kinship? You treated us like animals,” he laughs and the second the word falls from my lips more pieces of a larger puzzle click together in my mind.
“It doesn’t feel great does it? I understand the way the world is operating today is not ethical nor is it sustainable but I’m not going to grovel over it,” he states and my fight, l albeit a shadow of what it once was, still stands.
“So you are going to respond to all that inhumanity with oh well?”
“I am going to respond to the inhumanity with humanity. A hard concept to grasp from a wolf like myself I’m sure but my kind are were-wolves. We have a human side,” he says before letting out a frustrated sigh, his hand moving to massage his temples. “I am beginning to feel a lot more pity for your mate,” he grumbles and I can’t exactly argue with him, not when I’m about to fall over the edge of that fine line.
“So you want me to help you with that? With restoring humanity?” I ask and he nods.
“I want us to help each other. Unfortunately, this meeting took an unexpected path and I have people to see, places to be. I am going to ask that you look more into the history of our kind, or at least make some effort to understand the species you condemn before you make any rash decisions. Outside of that I want any and all documents your pack has complied in regards to the reforms sent through to my personal office next week.”
“If you are willing to make these changes I’ll get a history diploma,” I joke and he laughs at this although the tension remains.
“Very well, it was nice to talk… candidly with you,” he says and I nod my head.
“Until next time your highness.” The video conference turns off after he gives me a slight nod of his head and I let out a shaky breath, resting my head in my hands.
I have a lot to think over. An entire belief system to reconsider. Years of torment isn’t an easy thing to just brush off, in fact I don’t think I’m ever truly going to get over what I’ve been through, what I’ve seen. But for the better of the people, to stop others from having to think the way that I do maybe its worth it. And the King, he said some things that made sense because how I feel now, how so many humans feel now, is how the wolves felt when they took over. I think I’d be lying if I said humans wouldn’t turn around and treat the wolves the same-if not worse if they had the chance.
And around and around it goes.
“Dead,” Roman’s large hands move from my neck and I resist the urge to roll my eyes. “You need to position your body more to the left when someone comes at you with a simple front on attack. Now, again,”
Roman moves up to me and moves his hands out which I deflect in what would seem like a simple manoeuvre but in reality has taken me nearly an hour to grasp.
“Good,” he praises before taking a step back.
“How much longer are we going to do this, it’s nearly dark,” I say, looking over at the sunset. We missed out run this morning and I thought Roman was giving me a break from yesterday but turns out he just wanted to put me through hell tonight instead.
“Not long now, let’s just try to put some of this into practice okay? We’ll have a couple spars maybe and then call it a night, sound good?” He asks and I nod. “Right, okay so the aim of this is to get your opponent into a fatal position and then let them tap out. For the purpose of this lets just pretend I am human,”
“Alright,” I say, moving one leg back and positioning my body slightly to the side. I am clad in sports gear, a pair of deep purple leggings and a muscle tee adorning my body that glistens with sweat.
Roman, of course, decided it’d be a great idea to go shirtless again, wearing only shorts. It works in his favour honestly, the defined muscles screaming power and intimidation.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” He asks and I nod firmly.
“Yes.” I answer and he smirks a little.
We circle each other for a bit before he makes a move, which I doge using the same technique as before. I smile to myself, a little triumphant and before I know it he has me in a head lock. Shock befalls my face as he lets me go.
“Lesson number two, don’t ever think you have the upper hand in combat, not until your opponent is well and truly dead,” he says and I scowl.
“You said I was veering a human,” I sneer back, glaring at him.
“You were. Any human could have easily detected and taken advantage of that weak spot. Now, again,” he says and I shake my arms out, bracing myself.
Roman lunges towards my body again, using a set of skills that look forge in to me as my back collides with the ground. Roman positions himself on top of me and raises a hand over where my heart would be as I try to recover my breath. He smiles to himself and I take him off guard, twisting my arms and legs in a jujitsu method taught to me by Oliver countless times.
Through a simple sequence you can turn the tables on any opponent regardless of their weight. I hover my hand over his heart and smirk at the shocked, then proud look covering his face. “What was it you were saying before?” I ask condescendingly and his hand pokes into my stomach, making me let out a groan.
“Dead,” he repeats his fake dagger near my midriff. “How are you going to get out of this one, Maeve?” He asks, his eyes glinting with a mischievous challenge.
I run through all the possible ways in which I could possibly outmanoeuvre an opponent in this position and then stare back at his smirking face, knowing there are none. I climb off him and he stand up with a cocky grin on his face. “Looks like you have quite a bit of training left to-”
I pretend to trip over and lean my body onto his muscular chest for support. His hands fly out onto my hips as he steadies me, letting out a hearty laugh. “Like I said, you have a lot of train-”
I place my hand onto his chest, over his beating heart and feel its rhythm increase as I stare through my lashes into his blue eyes. My hand moves slowly, seductively up his chest and behind his neck and he lets me, startled by my affection but not shocked enough to know where its heading.
“Thank you for helping me train, truly, it means a lot,” I tell him honestly, though the edge I add to my tone serves its own motive. Just like that, his guard lowers even more.
“Its okay, but Maeve-” His hands begin to slide from my waist, like he doesn’t want my advances and so before he can pull away I bring my mouth to his neck and his it gently, noting how all of his muscles contract and relax. “Maeve,” he grumbles and I place another kiss.
He lets out a low groan and my stomach tightens at the sound. I fidget in my position on the ground and I can tell by the way his hands edge slowly towards my ass that he wants to this to escalate. His head lowers to that euphoric position where my neck meets my shoulder and the scar of my mark sits but before his lips can make contact with my skin I swipe my leg underneath his and push his confused body flat on the ground. The moves mimicking his earlier tactic to win the spar.
Roman glares up at me from the ground and I give him a cocky smirk in return before leaning over him. He doesn’t move, although I bet the blow didn’t hurt him he stays there regaining some composure.
My smirk turns into a sweet smile, one of equal strength when it comes to patronising. “Lesson number three, don’t let your opponent lower your guard during a fight.”
I always think of fun things I wanna say to you guys and then forget before I post a chapter oops. I am sleep deprived as hell rn and running on literal empty.
^^ is literally how I look 90% of the time now. also i love horrible bosses. also my planning for this book is on fifty different pieces of scrap paper, the back of my maths book, the columns of all my other books, my notes on my phone, my hand, my wall. just in case you wanted some aesthetically pleasing planning advice :)
ps: pls vote on my book for the readers choice
pps: be honest. what should I post more of on insta? ( I was thinking like better hints, kinda like todays where its a little bit of the chapter so you guys who follow me get an early scoop! let me know your thoughts )
ppps: this is reallyyyyy unedited.