Not all men are created equal. We are taught as children that every person is unique, but we are also taught that we should all be considered equals in the eyes of man. This is certainly not true. Some are born with strength, speed, or dexterity that enable them to excel in physical feats. Some are born with greater intelligence allowing them to develop incredible innovations or create brilliant technological advancements. Others are even born with innate talents and skills that, although they wouldn’t bring any immediate benefit to their race, place them above that of the average individual. Finally, there are those with immense wealth; those with the money and ability to purchase the skills introduced before. They may not have the physical prowess, mental aptitude, or emotional finesse that others have, but they are still superior to those around them due to the magnitude of their presence and the force of their wallets. Those who do not possess any of these qualities are simply pawns. They toil away at their short, pointless existence to scrape away a small piece for themselves and otherwise be left alone. In the eyes of the law, all men may be created equal. In the eyes of man, there are sharp delineations between those who have and those who have not.
Fortunately for Dario, he was most definitely a “have”. He was born into a wealthy family. His father, a pioneer in the clothing industry, had made a living off of manufacturing and distributing textiles to a plethora of wealthy clients ranging from mass clothing manufacturers to famous avant-garde clothing designers. Dario was educated by the best teachers, went to the best schools, and was cared for by the best nannies that his father could afford. He thrived in this environment. When his father died, Dario became the head of the company. He expanded the business to the production of munitions; particularly the development of body armor and protective shielding. Dario had thrived and excelled in this life. His brother Remus, however, was a different story.
Dario sat in his Bay Street office, staring mindlessly out the window at the busybodies below. He gave them very little regard. They were just peasants, weak creatures begging for some release from the mundanity that plagued them. Simplicity stalked them every moment of every day, waiting for the moment to strike them into obscurity, pushing them further into the background like some weak player in a decrepit theatre. The whole world is a stage, and all the men and women merely actors.
Useless. All of them.
“Brooding like always, Dario.”
A young man entered the room. His hair was disheveled and his clothes were grungy and torn. His appearance was hardly acceptable for a man of his breeding. Dario eyed the man and instantly felt annoyed by his careless disregard. Dario carried himself and dressed the way men of his station should; his hair had been recently groomed, his suit was well pressed, his physique was well maintained and he carried himself in an almost regal capacity. And yet, his brother stood there with a self-satisfied smirk on his face, his eyes glowing with mischief. Dario knew this meant trouble - Remus was famous for it. Remus preferred the company of the low-life scum that swirl at the bottom of the drain, collecting the refuse of whichever society they sink into.
“What do you want?” Dario asked abruptly.
“You don’t see your brother for two years and the first thing you say is ‘what do you want?’” Remus replied, mockingly imitating his brother’s voice. Dario was less than impressed by his impression, but he shook off his irritation. His brother had always been able to get under his skin so easily.
“Well it’s obvious you want something.” he probed. Dario kept his voice flat and emotionless. He didn’t want to let his brother know that he had already gotten to him. He reached into his pocket, extracted his money clip, and pulled a wad of hundred-dollar bills out from it. He held the cash out to Remus, his charity laden with superiority.
“Oh brother, it’s nothing like that,” Remus responded. Nonetheless, he eyed the bills greedily and gave Dario a sly grin.
Dario remained flat in his effect and began to move the bills back into his pocket. Before he could, Remus had quickly snatched the money out of his hand and pocketed it.
“Waste not, want not. I wasn’t just here for your money though.” Remus continued. “I heard that the Choosing was this week. I didn’t want to miss your big day!”
“Leave. Now.” Dario growled. Remus, however, showed no submission; his eyes met Dario’s, begging for a confrontation. His gaze carried with it a fierce and violent joy in pressing Dario’s buttons. Remus strolled around the room, touching everything he could see, eventually coming to rest upon a comfortable leather chair in the corner of the room.
Dario snarled. His brother was up to something, that much was certain. Despite appearances, Dario did love his brother. They hadn’t always treated one another with such suspicion and disdain. Growing up, they had been the best of friends. They would spend every waking moment together in boarding school, in whatever godforsaken country their dad had placed them in. Even though the weight of their empire was on their shoulders, Remus had always been an unabashed slacker. Nothing seemed to bother him. When they were children, Dario almost found himself holding the slightest bit of admiration for the way Remus regarded the world. Whenever he found himself overburdened by the trials of being the heir to his family’s riches, his brother would swoop in and restore his childhood. Like all things, however, this changed over time.
“Hmmm... I just got here though. No, I think I’ll be staying for a while.” He stretched and reclined in the chair, resting his right leg on the armrest, sprawling out shamelessly on the expensive leather. “Who knows, maybe I’ll like her. Maybe, and I mean maybe, she’ll be so tolerable that I may just have to make my stay permanent. I mean, we will be family after all.”
There was no way that would be happening. As much as Dario didn’t care for the pomp and circumstance of the Choosing, there was no way he would let his brother have a hand in any of it. Then it hit him. The Choosing was only a formality. The selection of a mate was something intended to solidify the rule of the Alpha. After this choice was made, Dario’s rule would be absolute. He knew that, as much as he would prefer his brother to be as far from it as possible, it would only help his cause to have him be present for the ceremony as a show of familial solidarity. He also knew that if Remus proved to be overly troublesome, he could force him to leave once things were less tenuous.
“You may be right. Once I’ve chosen someone, she will be family after all.” Dario paused and eyed his brother. “We’ll need a nanny too, once we decide to expand our family. Someone skilled at handling shit. I can’t think of anyone better suited for the position than you, Remus.” He straightened his suit and smiled at his brother baring his teeth, his words marred with feigned enthusiasm.
Remus saw through it, his face contorting into a smile that flashed his sharp canines. A growl rumbled quietly in Dario’s throat, a quiet reminder that Remus needed to mind his place. While Remus’ smile faded a bit around the edges, he kept his eyes fixed on Dario’s. “I never thought I would see the day. The brothers have reunited! Let’s paint the town red!”