And she felt a thick rope under her fingertips.
Artemis’ lungs deflated when the realization of her assault clicked. Toe-curling, shoulder-cringing, teeth clenching embarrassment seized her soul tight enough to puncture holes into it.
With a melodramatic gasp, she released Raiden’s notably heavy package and covered her mouth with her hands.
When she remembered that they had just been cupping a handful of his reproductive system, she pulled them away from her face fast enough to nearly snap a wrist.
Silence echoed throughout the room.
It got disrupted when a creaky voice rippled out. “Why... why... I’ve never seen such blatant disrespect... Alpha Artemis, this is unacceptable!”
Another Councilmember joined the outcry. “This is ridiculous!”
Artemis ignored the ancient werewolves and focused on the one who according to the bulge in his pants, was very well in his prime.
“Forgive me,” she implored Raiden.
“I’m fine.” There was a tenseness in his voice that said otherwise.
“Did I hurt you? Did I grip you too hard?” she fussed.
It appeared like she was determined to find out if its possible to die from embarrassment.
Raiden adored the wreck of a woman before him. But every word that tumbled out of her quivering lips added more fuel to the fire. She needed to stop talking.
His two heads decided to work together and come up with an idea of how they could quiet her.
Enough! He mentally screamed at the sexual frustration.
His hands shot out with a purpose and landed on her shoulders. Ignoring her question, he spun her around to face the flustered Council and delighted Zena.
“Well... I hope I made my statement,” Artemis projected to the audience as confident as possible.
Why did she have to be so awkward? It probably had something to do with Zena’s psychotic genes.
“No, you did not!”
Vance’s denial breathed life to her irritation.
“You can keep him out of my pack but not from my life. I will continue to see him. The only thing you’ll be achieving through your villainy is showing the werewolf world how eager you are to separate mates. You claim to be religious, don’t you?” She stopped to cross her arms over her chest and stomp a stubborn foot. “Then why are you fighting Luna’s wish of us being together?”
This earned her some murmurs from the other Councilmembers.
Vance remained red as an apple. “You can’t actually believe that this lycan can live normally among us. You are simply upset that you’re not getting what you want since you’ve gotten spoiled by your parents!”
Raiden’s fingers dipped into her shoulders. He had a small urge to tell Vance to choke on his words but a bigger one to destroy him until not even his creator could identify the remains.
“Now that you are rising to your alpha position, the sight of power has blinded your humbleness...”
“Stop right there,” the boom of the scorned woman quieted all voices and blanked out all minds in the room.
"No one will tell me who I am, especially you. You have allowed malicious thorns to bloom in your heart, and this bothers you because you so desperately want to be a flower. I will not allow you the pleasure of justifying your dark feelings by declaring me as the thorned one.”
Zena stood straighter with pride. They raised Artemis well. Remembering her father, she looked down at Lukas’ sleeping form. With the tip of her shoe, she poked his leg with the hopes of waking him up. He was missing out on such a glorious moment.
“Alright. I vote in favor of Alpha Artemis,” Sheryll spoke up.
Agreements started pouring in.
Vance jumped to his feet so fast that Artemis was surprised his old knees didn’t give out.
“One month! If he brings any harm to a werewolf or human within 30 days then he is to never step a foot on your territory again. You gave me your word on this!”
The satisfying hand of victory reached for her face and tipped her chin up.
“Done,” she finalized.
It was over.
Raiden stepped beside her, revealing his distracting lower half. Many eyes, female and male alike, turned to him.
Artemis scoffed. “Stop staring at it. I get that yours stopped working a long time ag—”
Raiden hooked an arm around his spitfire’s waist and carried her away from the center of the room. He walked to Zena, planning on carrying Lukas as well.
Zena shook her head as her hands worked to roll up her sleeves. “Don’t bother. I can handle the big bastard. I’ll see you two in the car.” As promised, she squatted and placed Lukas’ arms over her shoulders and her hands under his thighs.
Raiden strolled out with Artemis dangling from his side. Once they got past the many corners and stares, he returned her feet to the ground.
Artemis cocooned her face against his downy soft shirt. Her fire had died out and all that remained were the ashes of embarrassment.
“I hope that things aren’t too weird...” she grumbled against his chest.
Raiden stroked her back with his palm. “I’m not offended. Thank you for speaking out for me and giving me a voice. I know that I’m not the best at communication...” he struggled to continue, proving his point.
“You are fine as you are,” she embraced him assuringly.
Raiden’s fingers caressed the ends of her bold hair.
“Xm,” he whispered.
Artemis pulled her face from the safety of his shirt and showed his confusion. “What?”
“It’s a word from a critically endangered language. I am its last speaker.”
The explanation dented her frown. “That is sad...”
A wave of happiness washed out the distress from her face when an idea floated to the top. “It doesn’t have to die. You can teach me and Sol!”
This interested him. “Giving me a voice wasn’t enough? You also want to give one to the long-dead speakers of a lost language?”
“Stop giving me credit when it’s not due. You are who will be voicing them and you are who is overcoming your fears. You are strong and sure-footed. I’m just here to push you on whenever you trip.”
The lycan gave her another one of his rare smiles. Whether she accepted it or not, he saw her as the embodiment of faith.
She saw value in what the selfish world didn’t— the rejects and the broken.
“Xm,” he repeated.
(A/N> I’m making this language up lol. Xm= perfect.)
“Something is wrong.”
A figure was tailing the car in the dead of night. They were rushing down the highway at 70 miles per hour and whoever was after them was keeping up just fine. This could only mean that the culprit was a werewolf.
Raiden looked out the window and tried to make out the threat. It was hard to see anything.
But neither literal or figurative darkness could hide Sol’s radiance.
Raiden’s heart stirred with excitement. “Stop! It’s Sol!”
Torn by the urge to protect her mate and pup, Zena hesitantly slowed the car until it stopped.
As Sol got closer to the car his naked form became clearer.
So did the terror on his expression.
Raiden stepped out of the car and left the door open in case they needed to haul ass. Zena was smart enough to remain on the driver’s seat.
Everyone was floored by the shell-shocking apprehension.
“What are you doing here... how are you human?” Raiden spluttered as he subconsciously reached a hand out to make sure that this wasn’t a dream.
Maybe he passed out along with Lukas back at the Council headquarters.
Sol came to a stop in front of Raiden. With a gloom in his usually chirpy voice, he said, “he is looking for you, Raiden. Lust is looking for you.”
Raiden’s head shook. “Bullshit. You saw me put a bullet in his neck. Ezekiel is dead.”
Sol’s hands gripped his shoulders and gave him a single mighty shake. “Yes! Ezekiel is dead! And that is the thing! Once a lycan dies...”
“Another werewolf inherits the title of their sin.”
A/N: I know I said that we wouldn’t see Sol for a while butttt I changed some events around :)