Twenty Two : Zanthos' True Mate
The stifling atmosphere immediately changed with this woman’s appearance. Her warm kind smile and friendly aura brightened Zanthos’ dark attitude.
“Don’t mind this boy. He’s just a big ol’ tease.” She turned to me with a really wide smile.
I know that Zanthos is just a ‘tease’.
She sent a sharp warning glance to Zanthos before her gaze roamed over the contours of my face, her eyes shimmering with astonishment at what she saw.
“I knew you were beautiful beneath all of that makeup but I didn’t expect you to be this gorgeous!” She exclaimed.
I really didn’t know what to reply to her comment other than, “Thank you.”
All of these compliments are making me kind of embarrassed.
“Pardon my rudeness, sweetheart. I never introduced myself the other night. I am Adaleide, Eros’ and Zanthos’ grandmother. Everyone calls me granny Ada.” She reached out and hugged me to her in a warm bear hug that I tried to return.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Emi,” I reply when she finally released me from her arms.
She definitely reminded me of my grandmother with the fragrance of delicious food always surrounding her.
Just hugging her made me feel homesick, thinking about my own family that I haven’t seen in a long time.
“We won’t keep you from the tour, sweetheart. Come on, Zanthos, I need you to help me stir while I make some cookies,” Ada said with a knowing glance at the tall male, who didn’t look like he was willing to go bake cookies with her.
I’m not too sure I really want to eat those cookies that Zanthos helped make.
Because he had a rather dark look on his face at the idea of baking cookies with his grandmother. I was slightly scared that he might put something funny in them.
What if I got diarrhea from it? That sounds gross, but Zanthos is too suspicious for me to believe otherwise.
“Zanthos makes the best cookies, Emi,” Ada explained.
My cheek twitches.
“Yes, Emi. You’ll have to try some of my cookies. They’re better than Eros’,” Zanthos joked with this really creepy curve of his thin lips that gave me the heebie-jeebies. He acted as if cookies meant something else instead of just being a regular cookie.
Him and his gross innuendo.
I shrugged my shoulders and waved them off with a stiff smile on my lips.
Granny Ada caught Zanthos’ forearm and proceeded to drag him off with her, like how she had shoved and dragged me around. This old woman was a lot stronger than what her frail body let on. I was fooled in the beginning and was quickly reminded of the fact that you shouldn’t judge a person by their outer appearance.
Look where that got me.
Before they finally disappeared from sight, Zanthos turned his head around and gave me this wide grin, as if to say that this wasn’t the last I will see of him.
I’m sure that if I see him coming, I am going to go the opposite way.
No doubt about it.
“Are you scared of Zanthos?” I asked when Rora led us down another set of hallways. Her shoulders stiffened at my question and her wide smile seemed to wilt for a split second.
“He is very...intimidating and...” She seemed to ponder on the correct word to say, her fingers nervously pinching the fabric of her shirt between thumb and forefinger.
“Zanthos used to be our Alpha,” Rora said with a slightly hushed voice as if she was afraid that someone was listening to us talk.
I couldn’t help the shivers from wracking my form just from the thought of Zanthos being the Alpha. In fact, it made my skin crawl. Imagine what would have happened if I was stuck with him instead of Eros?
I can already see that dark and dreary path that I would have to travel.
It would suck to be his mate.
Whoever the lucky girl was, I really prayed for her.
“What happened?” I asked because the itch of curiosity got to me.
I wondered as to how Zanthos could have lost his status as Alpha in this pack. I have rarely heard of something like that happening before; although, it wasn’t impossible.
Werewolves born by an Alpha usually had strong genes that put them a notch higher than the regular werewolf, making them capable of inheriting the position. In this world, the stronger always stood at the top, no matter the species or race.
Although the role of Alpha can be fought for, most knew not to challenge an Alpha. It was against their own code and instincts to usurp or fight their superior. The instinct to obey the command of the higher up is extremely hard to go against. I've only heard of few that manage to successfully usurp an Alpha to lead the pack. Most who are foolish enough to challenge an Alpha never have a good fate.
“Zanthos lost his position a long time ago because of his true mate.” Rora seemed hesitant to tell me the story.
Just at the mention of ‘true mate’, I was down for the long story.
“Was his mate someone in the pack?” I asked.
“No. His true mate was a rogue. Her name was Lillith,” she said with a slight emphasis on the word ‘rogue’. Rora didn’t sound like she liked this Lillith a lot, and I was slightly curious as to why she used the word ‘was’ instead of ‘is’.
“Our pack was a lot bigger than it is now. Lillith worked with the hunters and killed almost half of the pack in a trap that the hunters had set up. Zanthos, who was our Alpha at the time, was nowhere to be found during this fight. Everyone was in an uproar over this, and so Alpha Eros had stepped up and led us to safely retreat. Lillith had been captured by Toran, our Beta, and brought to trial. But Zanthos protected Lillith and had willingly let Alpha Eros supersede him as Alpha.”
Who knew that Zanthos was so willing to give up everything for love? He definitely didn’t look like the type.
“So what happened to Lillith then?” I was curious as to if Zanthos succeeded in protecting his mate to the end; even though, she was a traitor of this pack.
“Alpha Eros killed her when she leaked out information from the pack to hunters again.” Her eyes were downcast at the rather morose story.
As in two times?
“I’m sure Zanthos didn’t just stand around and let that happen,” I interjected. He truthfully didn’t look like the type to willingly give up without a fight. I didn’t expect him to. Mates are very important to werewolves, no matter how much of a jerk they are.
“You are correct. Alpha Eros and Zanthos were very close before all of this. When Lillith died, Zanthos had gone into a lethal blood rage and the two had fought in the most vicious battle I had ever seen.”
It was sad that Lillith had managed to create this rift between the brothers, especially because they were close to each other before her appearance.
From Rora’s attitude, I am sure that Lillith didn’t love Zanthos the same way he loved her. I feel slightly sad for him, not that I am going to willingly go and comfort him.
He still creeps me out.
And I think his attitude towards me was probably because of the whole incident with Eros. For some reason, I feel like he’s going to try to sabotage again.
I just know it.
“I remember that Alpha Eros had even lost an arm in this fight,” Rora said to herself, nodding along.
I couldn’t help but feel my skin crawl at the thought of losing an arm.
I'm sure that Eros had both arms when I saw him.
They felt and looked real. So how did he manage to grow it back?
As if noting my slight curiosity, Rora explained, “Strong Alphas are capable of regrowing limbs or other body parts in several decades.”
That sounded pretty magical. Like unicorns and rainbows.
This was something that I didn’t know because I was never given the opportunity to experiment on Class A Alphas. Only higher up scientists had the chance to choose the range and class of specimens. Compared to my low status in the government research facilities, I was only given Class F Omegas and Gammas. I do remember hearing that the scientists had developed a new type of substance that, once ingested, can help hunters heal faster after fights. Perhaps, it was from their experimentation with the Class A Alphas and their magical ability to regrow missing limbs.
“I wish I had that ability,” I slowly murmured. The thought of being able to regrow an arm or leg sounds like a pretty cool power. It was almost like the thought of knowing that you can never die no matter what happens.
“You have an ability similar to that, Emi! Your womb is capable of healing and regrowing almost ten times faster than that of the regular human or werewolf. If anyone ever tries to remove it, your body will automatically regrow it,” Rora exclaimed enthusiastically.
What in the hell did she just say?
My mouth partially opens before promptly closing.
Should I be more proud or horrified that I had this kind of...talent?
I’m not too sure.
At least I know that I have a super womb that was not only capable of birthing full-blooded werewolf children but had the strange and miraculous ability to heal and regenerate.
I am super excited.
Please note my sarcasm.