Thirty One : Interrogation
The feared and revered Cardinal Alpha, Eros Hall.
“Where did you take Emira?” Eros growled out lowly, red tinging his vision as his beast fought for control, sharp canines cutting his lips open as his features became animalistic and feral.
Just the thought of her name made his heart heavy with regret.
He had said that he would protect her, had promised adamantly to her and himself, yet he had failed miserably.
And he had no one to blame but himself.
If only he had taken care of Zanthos before the brother was given the opportunity to kidnap her.
He had failed her.
Bloody hands clenched into a fist while a sour feeling settled in his stomach. His blue eyes darkened into a deep red shade that showed how close his beast was to the surface as her name fluttered across his thought.
There wasn’t a time that she wasn’t on his mind. She was embedded deeply into his every thought with her beautiful smile. Every crinkle of her nose, every playful quirk of her lips when she was being mischievous, or even every glint in her sparkling eyes as she watched him, when she thought he wasn’t looking, was beautiful to him because he found everything about her endearing.
He adored her.
Because she was the missing puzzle piece in his life, the golden key to his heart, the anchor to his sanity.
Emira brought color to his darkness with her light and just the thought of her managed to calm the death and decay in him until he was kneeling at her feet like a mortal man, willing to give her his heart to hold in the palms of her hands.
And he didn’t want it any other way because she was his silver lining, the part of him that he couldn’t live without.
She was what he had been searching for so long. He had personally thought that he would never find his mate, if she existed. That small shrivel of hope he had in the beginning had started to dwindle down next to nothing like a finished candle.
The years turned to decades and finally, to centuries. Many of his own kind had met their soul mates in their early years while he had been left waiting, secretly pining for a woman whom he had never met and could only dream of having.
A woman whom he could spend these dreadfully long years with that would understand him the way he would hope to understand her.
Truthfully, he had thought he had been cursed with immortal life and loneliness for as long as he lived. And when his final bit of hope finally extinguished, Emira had shown up on his doorstep.
Oddly, he had loved her at first sight, no matter how he had ridiculed the possibility of that happening to him. He had been apprehensive at first because of his disbelief but she proved that she was worth standing by his side.
The makeup made her rather hideous but he knew that underneath all that laid far much more than what the eye could see and her shell masked a brilliant soul.
Through all of that makeup and grime that she had put on herself, he could see the bright glint of determination in her eyes and the fierce glow of her will to live.
She made him feel alive again.
Although she was stubborn and head strong, she was also smart and genuine, enticing and genial.
And every day he spent with her made him realize that she was what he was missing in his life.
He refused to live without her.
For the first time, he came to realize how maddening it must have been for Zanthos to lose his mate. Just the thought of losing Emira made him crazy enough with the desire to destroy everything in his wake to have her back. And even if he had to travel to hell and back, he would do it in a heart beat. Because not even death could keep her from him.
Zanthos suddenly cackled out a maniacal laughter at his turmoil before spitting a mouthful of blood into his face.
Zanthos’ dark smirk stretched across bloody lips at the masterpiece he had created on his usually immaculate brother.
And Eros’ patience was wearing extremely thin by now while the thick and sharp scent of blood made his blood beast wild with exhilaration.
“Come on, Eros. Is that the best you can do, big brother?” Zanthos laughed out through a mouthful of blood. The sticky maroon liquid dripped down through the cracks of his teeth, staining his mouth and the front of his shirt red. His gleeful chortling was chilling, wicked and dark, as it resounded against the walls of the dungeon.
It was obvious that Zanthos was pleased at the turn of events.
“Tell me where Emira is, Zanthos. I will not hesitate to make your death long coming, not even when you beg for it,” Eros said, his handsome face curled into a gruesome and feral expression, completely opposite from the usually calm and charming male that most were used to.
Zanthos sharply took in a gasping breath of air that sounded hollow to his own ears as his eyes lidded.
He knew that Eros was smart, always has been since they were children. There was no way that Eros wouldn’t have found out about his association with Emira’s kidnapping, anyone with a brain would have.
And Zanthos didn’t put on a facade and certainly didn’t waste time with pretenses.
There was no need to.
“I bet you’ve never shown Emira this side of you. The poor thing doesn’t know what kind of monster lays underneath, what kind of monster she sleeps next to every night,” Zanthos said lazily, tipping his head to the side at the broken bodies that laid almost disfigured on the ground. Not quite alive yet not quite dead.
Just the thought of causing this feral and monstrous Eros to form made Zanthos’ smile stretch wider across his bloody face.
“She probably doesn’t know how many dead bodies you have stepped on to reach the position that you have today as a Cardinal Alpha. I actually feel bad for the far too trusting girl. She just might become one of those bodies underneath of your feet,” Zanthos continued, watching Eros’ features continue morphing rapidly at his words.
Red tinged eyes narrowed on Zantho’s when Eros lips pursed into a thin line, jaw clenched tightly when his fist went straight through Zanthos abdomen, watching as the younger males face contort into another wide grin of pleasure at the sickening squelch of his organs on impact.
Zanthos chuckled darkly, gagging on a mouthful of blood with his eyes lidded in satisfaction before glancing at the unconscious bodies of his men, all laying brokenly in a heap on the ground. Some had arms missing, others vital organs when none of them defied his orders to keep her location a secret from this terrifyingly monstrous Alpha.
It was good to know that his Alpha command still worked.
“I’m not going to play any games with you, Zanthos.” Eros words were beastly, more guttural and harsh until the words blended together in a series of raging growls when he flexed his claws sickeningly. Then, the sharp claws dug into Zanthos’ chest, opening the cavity and bones until the warm and bloody beating heart was in the palm of his right hand.
At the sudden mind wrenching pain, Zanthos gasped sharply, blood gushing from his mouth in rivulets when Eros squeezed the object that still kept him alive.
Just a little more pressure and the organ would be nothing but dust in between his fingers.
"Do it. I dare you,” Zanthos ground out, keeping a hollow yet menacing smile on his lips yet the paleness of his face already betrayed his confident facial expressions.
And Eros didn’t hesitate this time when his claws punctured the important organ, watching as blood spurted out from all five open holes that his fingers had created.
“Y-You should have seen how b-broken Emira was after my men were all done with her. I have pictures I can send to your phone, Eros.” Zanthos wheezed out as his lungs started collapsing in on itself from extreme blood loss.
Not even superior werewolf healing could save him this time.
Eros eyes narrowed while his body trembled when he could scent the truth in Zanthos words. The encompassing fury was quick to call his blood beast to the surface until his vision bled red, full canines growing from his mouth as he tried to keep the bubbling rage, anger and hatred from consuming him.
Again, Zanthos chuckled out, gleefully noting how Eros eyes darkened a red shade in suppressed rage and blood lust.
He wanted to see Eros crazy, wanted to rile up the perfect son that his father always prided over, wanted to cause the older brother who was always so calm and level headed to become irrational and unhinged.
He wanted Eros’ blood beast to take control and kill everyone in its path like the Northern Cardinal Alpha, Zander Siphe, of the Blood Moon pack after his true mate had died.
Everyone who stood in his beasts way would die a terribly quick and grim death when Eros became consumed in a crazed blood lust, unable to tell family from foe as he cuts them down.
Then, Zanthos wanted Eros to kill Emira with his own two hands, just like how he had killed Zanthos’ true mate.
Because only then, can Eros compensate for all of his past transgressions. Zanthos deemed it a just punishment for his mates death.
"You are treading dangerous territory, Zanthos," Eros growled out through clenched teeth. The words were animalistic and rough even to his own ears.
Zanthos clenched his teeth hard, darkness starting to gather at the corners of his vision when the most sweetest and mesmerizing scent he had ever smelt assaulted his senses. It held him captive, completely enthralled and bewitched by it’s tempting properties until he couldn’t hold himself back in search for it.
He found that the darkness in him seemed to lighten. The hatred and rage seemingly dimmed to nothing and leaving him calm and at peace for the first time in hundreds of years.
What smelled so intoxicatingly delicious?
“Alpha.” Toran called out as he descended the winding stair steps towards the bottom of the dungeon and behind him, two built gamma’s dragged a struggling and cussing woman behind them.
“All the hunters were killed but there was one human that we found sneaking around. I thought you would want to interrogate her,” Toran explained, quickly glancing over the pile of bloody werewolves on his left before returning his gaze, respectively, to the front.
“Let me go, assholes! I know you took Emira,” she said before proceeding to struggle fiercely. “Where is she?”
At the sound of Emira’s name, everyone turned their gaze to the struggling woman in slight curiosity.
The little spitfire was glaring everyone down, eyes narrowed when Zanthos body had become rigid at the first glance into her eyes. The shock and disbelief had made his smiling facade crack and then shatter to millions of pieces.
And all of it did not go unnoticed by Eros.
Blue eyes glinted sharply when Eros pulled the woman to her feet, large hands gripping onto her slim neck and squeezed. He didn’t squeeze hard, just enough to cause her to choke slightly but to Zanthos’ eyes, it looked like he was going to snap her neck.
And so, Zanthos’ reaction was instantaneous.
“Let go of her, Eros!” Zanthos screeched, struggling avidly against the chains like a wounded animal that would not die.
He couldn’t let Eros kill her!
“Why so upset, little brother?” Eros wickedly smirked, tightening his long fingers around the woman’s neck until she scratched at his hand pathetically when he choked off her air flow.
“You son of a bi---” She screeched rather loudly, struggling to untangle his fingers from her throat but the Alpha would not relent.
“I’m going to fucking kill you if you hurt her!” Zanthos growled out menacingly, echoing inside of the confined space like a promise to everyone’s ears.
Eros chose to ignore his threats, carefully turning back to the woman he was carelessly choking with a pretense of killing her. His glanced at Zanthos trembling form from the corner of his eyes while a small corner of his lips quirked upwards.
He noted that Zanthos’ eyes had tinged red now, his beast almost breaking out of its cage in extreme rage and desperation.
Finally, a truthful reaction.
“I-I’ll tell you where Emira is. Just let her go,” Zanthos pleaded, completely forgetting the pain in his open chest cavity and the wounds that littered across his body.
It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered other than keeping her safe.
Dangerous claws scraped across the tender skin of her throat and a small cut formed, blood slowly oozing from the wound in small droplets.
At the scent of her blood, Zanthos growled loudly, causing the cell doors to tremble in the after math as insanity threatened to consume him.
"Eros!" Zanthos piercingly growled out.
Eros ignored him again, noting as the wounds slowly started to knit together as Zanthos will to live become apparent like a rekindled fire in the midst of winter.
“I can’t trust you, Zanthos,” Eros replied after an awfully long pause, watching Zanthos squirm in anxiety like an animal whose tail had been held and tugged at.
He was desperate.
“You can because...” Zanthos grunted out through clenched teeth when he did the one thing he swore that he would never do. He tipped his head to the side, baring his jugular and completely leaving himself open to Eros in the worst way possible.
"...I submit.” Zanthos words echoed across the room, surprising the two Gamma’s and Beta in the cell.
To submit was to admit defeat, to bow down to Eros. It meant giving up his past grievances and leaving himself completely and utterly vulnerable to Eros Hall.
With Zanthos proclamation, Eros’ beast purred in satisfaction at finally taming the wild brother who would not give.
It had taken over centuries now and the victory was extremely satisfying as his enlarged canines pierced through Zanthos’ throat, marking the unblemished flesh with the symbol of family, with the symbol of pack.
And finally, making Eros his Alpha.