Thirty Eight : Where Loyalties Lie
After some careful thinking, I decided not to meddle in Ani and Zanthos’ situation.
Zanthos is a real butt-head but I don’t want to be the reason he loses his mate again, that would be far too cruel of me.
But he is going to have to do the work himself until Ani decides on either him or her fiancé, Wyatt.
It’s blatantly obvious that Ani is choosing Wyatt, yet I have a nagging feeling that things might not be what they seem.
My instincts have proven to be pretty accurate, so I am going to stick with it for now.
And, if I did meddle, Ani may or may not blame me in the future when she realizes that she made a bad decision (this has happened multiple times before).
She’s a grown woman.
She can make her own decisions.
I’ve already told her about what an asshole Zanthos is, and I’ve shown her all of the escape routes when she was transferred to a regular room in the pack house.
I haven’t quite found a way to help her without Zanthos finding out and killing me, so she’s stuck here until we can think things through.
I have enough on my own hands with Eros, if you know what I mean.
But if I were to choose, I think Wyatt would be the better of the two.
He is a lot more mature and understanding compared to Zanthos who is rather immature for being Eros’ older brother.
“Younger brother,” Eros corrected as his tapered fingers weaved through the long strands of my damp hair and untangled the knots.
“Zanthos’ is your younger brother? Really?” I was mildly surprised by his words. But then again, with Zanthos immature behavior, I wouldn’t question it.
Eros hummed a response, pulling long strands of my hair back and over my shoulders so that it would be easier access for him as he continued to help me dry my hair.
I never did realize how relaxing it is to have someone play with your hair.
The only problem is that I have become lazier now with Eros spoiling me so much. He did everything while I mostly just laid on my back and waited to be fed.
I feel kind of useless and wonder if I will ever find a purpose for myself here.
“Then how is he the Alpha before you?” I was terribly curious by now, tipping my head to the side as I started to think of all the possibilities.
“He was born Alpha with dominant traits known to most leading wolves while I was born with more...recessive traits in the pack. I was more..submissive to him,” he explained as I pondered on this new bit of information.
Submissive to Zanthos?
No freaking way!
This is totally news to me.
Eros did not give off the vibe of being submissive in any sense, at least not in my eyes.
Because if that was the case, I should have been the one on top.
“We could try a new position tonight if you want, Emira,” he suddenly said, sending me this rather lascivious glance and making me realize that I was thinking way off topic again.
My lips pursed slightly and I could feel my cheeks burn at the innuendo.
I don’t think I would last very long in that position, not that I do very well in any other position due to Eros never-ending werewolf stamina.
At my last thought, I could see an amused grin curl upon Eros’ lips as if he could already imagine it.
Just when I was about to say something, I lose my train of thought when my eyes trail over to the smooth wall.
“Are you going to put a window back in? I think sunlight would be nice for the room,” I suddenly said when he finally turned off the blow dryer and set it aside.
Although I wasn’t interested in running away anymore, we still don’t have a window in the room. I’m kind of adamant on getting a window because it would make the room a little more aesthetically pleasing.
“Later. There have been a lot of hunters recently and I don’t want anything to happen to you again,” he said after pulling me into his strong arms so that I could comfortably lean against him.
“What does that have to do with having a window?” I asked, settling myself into his embrace until I could feel his heartbeat against my cheek.
“They could catapult someone into the window and leave with you faster than I would like.” He answered rather nonchalantly as if this occurred on a daily basis.
That’s really creative.
I wonder if that has happened to someone before for Eros to think of something rather improbable like that.
With a sigh, I ended up tossing the idea of a window out for now.
But I do wish that there was a way to deter the hunters from here, at least enough so that everyone could stay safe.
At that last thought, a word made way into my head as my memory was jolted from a dream I had days ago.
Ziron-e is a chemical substance that was used as a control when Ani started to genetically alter the Hunters that are currently being used by the government. This chemically altered substance was produced in small amounts by Ani and I before I started working for the government.
In fear of developing problems in the future if the Hunters decide to rebel, Ani was given the task of finding a way to subdue them if such a day came.
Think of it like Kryptonite, except in liquid form.
Ziron-e can counteract their brainwaves from the elements injected into the bloodstream as they were being experimented on. It causes them to lose their concentration and forget their purpose, sending most of them into a coma-like state for a short period of time until the government can reprogram them back into shape.
The only problem is that the ingredients to make Ziron-e is rather hard to find and the government controls a majority of it in the market.
I remembered about this a couple of days ago when I was dreaming about making the substance in my sleep, but I haven’t quite decided on what to do with this knowledge.
If this information is put into the wrong hands, a lot of people could die. And by people, I mean humans.
First, I helped the government kill off werewolves and now I’m thinking of helping werewolves combat the government.
I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
What is wrong and what is right?
Would I be doing the right thing if I let werewolves know about Ziron-e?
I really don’t know.
Before I could change my mind, the words left my mouth quicker than I could regret it, “Eros... There’s a type of chemical that can combat the hunters.”
I glanced towards Eros to note that he was pretty calm about it.
“I know,” he replied. A smile gradually made way onto his lips as I stared back at him quite dumbfounded at his response.
“You know?” I repeated, eyebrows furrowing together at his words before the idea struck me.
“When you were reminiscing or in your dreams, I saw bits and pieces of it.” He nodded and I couldn’t help but wonder what else he is capable of doing with this mate bond of ours. “Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me, Emira.”
So, apparently, Eros can see my dreams and my memories along with read my thoughts.
This is not weird at all...
Other than feeling like I have no privacy, I can’t help but feel rather blessed to have Eros as a mate.
It was obvious he already saw the entire process of creating Ziron-e from my dream but he chose to wait for me to tell him about it instead of immediately replicating the substance for his own use.
I am glad that my opinion matters to him.
It means a lot to know that he cares about how I feel enough to hold back on mass producing the Ziron-e to protect his pack before he got my approval.
Now that I’m the Alpha Female, I guess it’s my responsibility to protect our pack together.
“Thank you for waiting for me,” I muttered against his skin before littering butterfly kisses against his jaw in appreciation.
“So how would I be able to see your memories? Is that possible?” I was quick to jump on the bandwagon because I was truthfully very curious about Eros past.
Was it weird that I wanted to know who he has been with before me? Does that me a jealous woman?
“I like that you’re jealous. It proves that my feelings aren’t misplaced or one-sided,” he murmured, lathering a kiss against the skin of my neck rather affectionately. “But there are no other women. It’s always just been you.”
He seemed quite amused when I squirmed and moved my head to the side.
“That’s not possible. Especially not with how experienced you are,” I remarked rather dryly.
If that’s true than pigs could fly!
There’s no way in hell I am going to be believe that I’m his first.
He chuckled against the top of my head, ruffling the fine hairs as he breathed and sweetly said, “There’s no other woman out there I would rather be with than you, Emira.”
Eros is too good at buttering me up because I feel like believing every word he’s feeding me.
“But 900 years is a long time though,” I teased.
“I had other things to keep me busy,” he murmured against my hair, kissing the tip of my head before pulling me into his arms.
“I still can’t imagine a 900 year old werewolf being celibate for that long,” I murmured.
The thought of it did make me giddy with happiness, regardless of the fact that I was still skeptical.
Before neither of us could say anything more, my stomach decided to grumble rather loudly.
I grinned sheepishly at Eros as we both got up and started out of our room in search for some breakfast.
Knowing Ada, breakfast is probably ready.
The smell of food lightens up my mood more than anything but before we could get very far from our room, I spotted Zanthos down the hall.
Of all the people to run into, it had to be Zanthos.
I could really do without seeing him for as long as possible because I have a feeling that there will be drama when Zanthos is involved.
And true enough, he came after Eros and I as soon as he saw us.
I was tempted to tell Eros to quickly get back in the room and lock the doors closed but Zanthos was a lot quicker.
He stomped up to us like a mad man on a mission and narrowed his eyes before saying, “Where did you take Anira?”
Why is it that I’m always made out to be the villain even when I didn’t do anything?
It was obvious that he was asking me because he was pointedly glaring at me like I killed his newfound mate or something.
I know I seem suspicious because of my relation to Anira but it really wasn’t me who let her out. I already said that I won’t get involved so he has no reason to harass me over it.
“I didn’t take Anira anywhere,” I replied rather cautiously and could only imagine that what Rora said this morning was true.
I guess there are still a lot of people who are holding a grudge on Zanthos because someone let Anira go last night.
Rora said that they couldn’t even catch a trail.
That’s got to suck for Zanthos, especially because he just met her and now she’s gone. I can only imagine what kind of turmoil and rage his beast is in right now.
To him, I probably seem like I have more of a motive than others, which makes complete sense.
“Bullshit!” Zanthos bellowed and nearly startled me back at the decibel of his growl.
“You need to respect, Emira. She is the Alpha Female of our pack now, to whom you should swear your loyalty,” Eros said, eyebrows furrowed together as his lips thinned into a line at Zanthos attitude.
“You want me to swear my loyalty to her? Her?” he stated, rather than asked, mockingly with a demeaning glance of his eyes in my direction. “She is as worthy of my loyalty as you are worthy of being Alpha.”
The sarcasm is hella thick here.
“Neither of you deserve my respect. Not for what you did to Lillith,” Zanthos said with a dark tone of voice.
He had to bring Lillith into this.
“Zanthos.” Eros’ face was rather stony at this point. I could feel the entire atmosphere change dramatically as if a brawl was about to bust out between the two brothers and I am caught in between.
I mean, I don’t mind backing Eros up but I don’t want him to lose his arm again.
Can you even imagine how horrifying that would be?
“It’s true. And you know what, Eros? You don’t deserve happiness, not when you killed mine.” Zanthos was seething at this point. “And I’m not going to let your mate destroy my second chance.”
Truthfully I wanted to tell him that he destroyed his own second chance when he marked Anira without her permission and knocked her unconscious, several times.
I doubt that his method of wooing women would get him very far.
It, obviously, hasn’t worked on Anira.
“How could I not kill her? She led those hunters here and caused our pack members to die!” Eros kept calm, standing tall and taking Zanthos blatant disrespect in a very mature manner that I had to applaud him for.
“Then what about Emira? She’s helped the government kill off hundreds of werewolves.” Zanthos snarled violently with a mocking curl of his lips, “And here you are, putting her on a pedestal and praying to her. You’re a fucking hypocrite, Eros!”
Currently, I am frozen like a doe in the head light, feeling rather guilty because his words were true. Although I didn’t kill them with my own hands, my actions in turn caused a lot of werewolves to die. Which, by the way, is kind of like killing them myself.
As if sensing my unease, Eros caught my hands in his before weaving our fingers tightly together to comfort me.
But, from what I could tell, it looks like a long due fight is about to go down now.
If we’re all going to be brought into this then might as well bring Anira, his second chance mate, in too.
I wonder if Zanthos knows that Anira is a scientist for the government too? And if he does, will he accept her regardless?
“Yes. Emira may have helped the government and in effect caused our kind to die but she’s willing to fix her mistakes. Lillith was given chance after chance to turn over a new leaf but you saw for yourself, Zanthos. She chose the rogues and the hunters over you and Llana, each and every time. Had I have killed her sooner, Llana wouldn’t have died.”
“Don’t make Lillith out to be the monster! I know that it was the rogues that killed Llana. You’re fucking sick if you think that I will believe your bullshit.”
“Zanthos!” Granny Ada chided when she suddenly came down the hall with a tray of food, lips pursed into a grim line.
“It is true. I told Eros to keep this from you in case it hurt you even more,” Ada commented with a rather stern look on her face, showing how serious her words were.
I knew she wanted to say ‘in case you go crazy and kill us all, forcing us to kill you in the end.’
“Then tell me, why? Why would she kill our daughter? What motive did she have to do that?” He was shouting loudly now, features rapidly changing as his anger got the better of him.
Me being the coward I am, took a step back behind Eros.
“Zanthos. You knew how damaged she was from the fight previous when she killed our pack members. She was scared that Eros would easily kill her before she could heal if you weren’t able to protect her,” Ada continued.
Zanthos remained quiet and I could hear the sound of his teeth grinding together.
“You know that the ingesting of a pup’s heart can increase your healing and strength by 10 fold.” Ada didn’t seem too happy to say this next line because I could see her eyes become wet.
"Don’t,” Zanthos ground out.
“That night when Llana died, I found Lillith with her claws in Llana’s chest. She ripped out Llana’s heart and devoured it in front of me.” Granny Ada dabbed at her wet eyes with the sleeve of her shirt, looking away as she told him what had happened. “How many more did you want to die because of her, Zanthos? Me, Eros or....you?”
The expression in his eyes seemed almost heart breaking, full of unfulfilled rage and anger that no longer had a purpose.
Like his entire world had collapsed around him, leaving him completely and utterly helpless.
He looked devastated.
In a way, I feel bad for him now.