“Are you lost?”
Eden spun around so quickly she nearly fell face first to the golden marbled ground beneath her.
Alpha Ílios himself stood before her, cockily resting one shoulder against the wall.
He wore a sleek dark tuxedo and his golden hair had been neatly combed and styled.
He cleaned up nice she would give him that.
“Hi I’m Eden you hired me a-”
“I am well aware who you are.”
Eden’s mouth gaped.
“Um Beatrice told me to come find you for something.”
Eden mentally facepalmed she sounded like an absolute idiot.
A sudden flash of dread was over her as she considered if perhaps Beatrice had sabotaged her and was trying to make her loose her job.
“Right, you are my escort for the night,” he confirmed, his eyes dancing with mirth.
Eden swallowed and nodded quickly.
Alpha Ílios approached her and outstretched his arm.
Eden hesitantly linked her arm through his as they began to walk to where she assumed the banquet hall was.
“May I ask why you have one of your staff members accompany you to your parties and banquets?”
Alpha Ílios rose a brow at her.
“Please don’t tell me it’s because you’re unable to find a fawning she-wolf to agree to be your date,” she blurted out.
Her cheeks flushed crimson. Her voice was laced with clear Sarcasm and blatantly rude. She didn’t know why but she was entirely unnerved and couldn’t seem to control herself.
Alpha Ílios flashed a dimpled smile her way.
“I am able to find a date, do not fret,” he chided.
Alpha Ílios’s long legs made for long quick strides and Eden struggled to keep up in her impossible shoes. She clung onto his arm for dear life and prayed she would fall and make even more of a fool of herself.
They rounded a corner and began climbing stairs.
Confusion swam around her as she recalled the banquet hall being located on the main floor.
“Why are we going upstairs?” She asked, her dress getting caught on her shoes, causing her to stumble back.
Malcolm gently pressed a hand to the small of her back to halt her from falling down the stairs and urged her forward.
“It is customary for the host to enter by descending down the staircase.”
Eden’s eyes widened. She remembered the massive and extravagant staircase that had been located in the center of the main hall.
“What is it with you wolves and your customs,” she whispered so quietly even her own ears couldn’t catch it.
Alpha Ílios’s lip curved upward and Eden blushed realizing he had in fact, heard what she had said.
They reached the top of the staircase and stood atop a balcony that overlooked the banquet hall. The crowd of people was impossibly larger than before and Eden felt as if she were going to be sick as people began to glance upward at the two.
Alpha Ílios gradually began to ascend down the staircase. Eden’s nails subconsciously dug tightly into his arm as she willed herself not to stumble.
“I’m going to trip and break my neck,” she squeaked.
“You are going to be just fine, love.”
Eden thanked god that the music didn’t halt and that the chorus of chatter did not cease.
She was worried some type of grand arrival announcement would happen.
As they stepped into the crowd the people seemed to subconsciously move out of their way without even looking. As if an invisible field urged them away from the two.
“What exactly am I supposed to do? I’ve never done something like this in my entire life,” she breathed.
“I would be very surprised if you had.”
Soon various people began to approach Alpha Ílios.
And each time a couple or a lone wolf approached the Alpha he would Introduce Eden to them as his date. And each time they would completely ignore Eden. Not that she minded, it meant she didn’t have to interact with these random werewolves.
“Malcolm, how have you been?” A big burly man with a mustache greeted.
“I am just fine, how are you?”
“I could be better. You see, I was really hoping you would sign the contract I proposed to you awhile back,” mustache chuckled.
“Well then it appears your state of well being will not have any room for improvement tonight. My apologies,” Alpha Ílios stated, ending the conversation and walking away.
It became apparent that each person Alpha Ílios encountered had little regard for him. It seemed they all wanted something from him. Money, sex, to strike a deal.
Eden began a game of sorts. With each person who approached and began conversing with Alpha Ílios she would strip them down of their glittering and expensive apparel and fake smiles and narrow down exactly what they were trying to obtain from him.
“Would you like something to drink, Eden?”
Eden snapped out of her daze.
Alpha Ílios smiled at her.
“I was asking if you would like a drink, love.”
Eden bit her lip and nodded, she needed a break from all of the fake smiles and superficial conversation.
They walked across the glittering floor to one of the massive towers of champagne glasses.
Alpha Ílios expertly plucked two glasses near the top and handed one to Eden.
A young woman approached them. She carried herself with an air of arrogance, her blood red ballgown was covered in decorative feathers that fluttered around her like dead leaves.
“Hello, Malcolm it has been awhile since I’ve seen you.”
“Dara,” he bluntly acknowledged.
“Who is this pretty thing?” She smiled, gesturing toward Eden.
“Dara what are you doing here?”
Dara rolled her eyes and folded her arms across her chest.
“You know exactly why I am here. It’s about time to collect-”
“Sotto voce,” Alpha Ílios interrupted.
Dara narrowed her eyes at him and retorted back in a language Eden didn’t recognize.
Alpha Ílios calmly yet coldly replied in the foreign tongue once more before Dara’s eyes widened and she turned around and walked away.
Alpha Ílios laughed rather loudly.
“Dear moon goddess above I wish.”
Eden was utterly perplexed. Who the hell was that woman?
Alpha Ílios looked over at her.
“You look a bit flustered, let’s step outside and get some fresh air,” he suggested.
Eden nodded and tightly clung onto his arm.
Alpha Ílios calmly led Eden out of the banquet hall, he expertly avoided eye contact from the guests without being rude. along with being stopped for small talk.
It was a skill Eden envied.
As they walked through a large doorway that led outside the crisp air and the beautiful garden in from of her immediately refreshed her.
There were no other people nearby save the occasional wandering couple.
The pale light of the moon washed over the garden like a chilling beam of reverence.
Alpha Ílios had gone quiet. He was staring upward at the full moon that hung in the sky.
She couldn’t help but appreciate how the gray light contrasted with his tanned skin and golden hair.
Suddenly Alpha Ílios’s eyes shifted to hers.
He had caught her staring.
“I’ve never liked nighttime,” Eden blurted out. She had been trying to come up with something to say before Alpha Ílios made a witty remark about her admiring him.
“Really? I would take you to be a night owl,” he smiled.
“I like being able to see things clearly.”
“The unknown scares you,” he stated.
Eden nodded she approached a small pillar that held a cluster of forget me nots at the top. The tiny flowers looking up at her as if they had secrets they wanted to whisper to her.
“I too, prefer the daytime to night,” He said, sitting down on a marble bench.
“Why is that?” She asked.
Alpha Ílios abruptly leapt to his feet and shoved Eden to her right. She tripped over her cursed shoes and fell to the ground. Hitting her head against the edge of the hard unforgiving marble bench.
She heard the sound of a gun being fired, and then another. Her head pounded and her vision was blurry and incomprehensible.
Her heartbeat hammered violently in her chest as she struggled to evaluate exactly what was happening.
She tried to push herself up only to have a flurry of dizziness urge her back to the ground. Adrenaline spread through her like a wildfire yet she couldn’t get away.
She rolled to her side and looked up to the scene before her.
The man with the mustache from earlier stood several feet away from Alpha Ílios a pistol outstretched from his hand. Aiming directly at Alpha Ílios’s skull. He was flanked by two snarling and gnashing wolves.
Harsh words were said by the man with the mustache. Everything sounded underwater and she was unable to discern what he had said.
Alpha Ílios lifted his wrist ever so slightly. His long slender fingers relaxed.
The man with the mustache shouted something.
Alpha Ílios’s fingers twitched.
Eden’s vision went black as she succumbed to unconsciousness.