A Few Hours Earlier
When the scoundrels had shifted territories, Adlaric felt it, but he paid no mind to it.
Wolves moved between packs all the time. It was only when Alphas came to the King that Adlaric took matters into his own hands. The wolf realm worked very much like a government. All packs followed Lycanthrope Law and Lycanthrope Law was upheld by the Royal Enforcement. Royal Enforcement was led by Beta Dimitri. All of the realm, however, was under King Adlaric.
The King had a mental link with all wolves. He could turn off some links, at times, but nonetheless he always knew where every wolf was, how they felt, and when needed, Adlaric could access their bodies to view their surroundings.
When his wolf surfaced during a council meeting, Adlaric knew something was truly wrong.
Adlaric let out a menacing growl and stood up. The chair behind him crashed to the ground from the harshness. Dimitri immediately went to his Alpha.
“Mate,” Adalric hoarsely growled as he stomped out of the council meeting. “Mate,” he chanted again, his wolf fully surfacing.
Adlaric and his wolf had a rocky relationship. Adlaric absolutely loathed his possessive, dominant, and cruel counterpart. His wolf was the reason why he killed that guard, his wolf was the reason he was going to die, his wolf was the reason he had to be bound by chains for so long. To Adlaric, his wolf was nothing but a constant nuisance, scratching against his conscience, making him feel more monster than man.
But at this moment, Adlaric was more than thankful and relying on his wolf instincts more than his human instincts. Eve and Adlaric were mates which meant that they were connected through their souls. Adlaric didn’t love Eve. Love didn’t describe what he felt for her. Love wasn’t enough.
As the cold air nipped at his skin, he took a breath before taking the steps two by two. The King’s only motive was to save his Queen. Adlaric hardly shifted, he was just as strong in human form as in wolf form, unlike many other shifters. He could run just as fast in human form. He only shifted when it was absolutely necessary to stake his dominance.
He could tell by the shouts that Dimitri was following him as well as a few royal guards. Adalric’s primal urge took him to where Eve was. When the woods finally faded, he was face-to-face with Eve’s home. Immediately, he picked up the locations of three other shifters; one in the back and two on the sides.
Dimitri appeared beside him, slightly winded, but still in-tune with his Alpha.
“There are shifters here,” Dimitri said.
“But why? What’s going on–” Adlaric’s voice was cut off by the blazing sound of a gunshot. The guards and the royals both acted, instinctually. They all knew the importance of saving their Luna, so coming up with a logistical plan was unimportant.
Adlaric was the first to sprint to the door of the house. The locked door fell apart with his grip. Dimitri followed his Alpha while the guards surrounded the house.
He felt Eve near him, and his instincts took him to the kitchen. Pain and absolute anger ravaged his body, but his face expressed nothing but annoyance.
They heard conversations coming from the back and both royals made their way out of the backdoor that was connected to the kitchen. The scene in front of him made his blood boil.
“Wait! No! Evey isn’t a part of this! You want me. I’m the one that ran away!”
Eve was laying on the ground, blood coating the area around her, with a small pup in front of her. Eros’ hands were out in front of him and Adlaric could smell the fear, protectiveness, and sadness radiating from him. When a wolf took a step toward Eve, the pup growled and bit his hand, tearing a piece of his flesh away.
“Don’t touch her!”
Adlaric thought at this point, it was best to step in, after seeing who were the good and who were the bad. As soon as the wolves saw their Alpha, they lowered their head. He was dominant and they were submissive, even though they wanted to fight against their instinct. Adlaric’s guards were hidden in the trees waiting for his command, but Adalric knew they outnumbered the enemies and on a sick level, his wolf wanted the kill.
“Silence,” Adlaric ordered. Everyone, including the pup fell to their knees. The King always tried to control his dominance, but not right now. Right now his mate was bleeding in front of him, moderately injured.
“You have thirty seconds to explain to me what the fuck is going on before I rip your fucking spinal cord out and shove it down your goddamn throat.” Adlaric was very sure in his words.
Dimitri was slightly shocked that his reserved Alpha was coming undone.
“This pup threatened the lives of our Alpha and Luna, Alpha. We just want to take him off your hands.” The wolf closest to Eros explained. Adalric cocked his head slightly at the title. This wolf called him ‘Alpha’ instead of ‘King,’ which meant two things. The first was that this wolf did not belong to a pack because all packs knew who their King was, and two, this felon was slightly unattached from his Lycanthrope side. All wolves knew, instinctually, who their King was even if they had never met Adlaric himself.
“And why do you want the girl?” Adalric asked, uninterested in their conversation already.
“The girl protected and aided the pup in his treasonous endeavors. She must be punished.”
Adlaric turned to the pup protecting his mate. The King supposed he could play along in their foolish lie for a bit. It was better to know more than they believed you did. “Is this true? Did you threaten the Alpha?”
The pup gulped as he heard the growl of the other wolf. It was a threatening growl to warn the young pup to agree with his story. Did they really think their King was that ignorant?
Smartly, the pup listened to the growl and agreed with the story. “Y-yes, Alpha.”
Adalric waved in a guard to take his mate to get some medical attention, but still the pup growled as menacingly as he could. Adlaric stopped the guard and kneeled down in front of the young wolf.
“What is your name?”
“Why are you protecting the girl?”
“She helped me, Alpha. She’s really nice. She didn’t do anything wrong, except be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Please, do what you want to me, but save her.”
Adlaric liked this pup, maybe because he was actively protecting his mate, knowing he wouldn’t win, or because he was well-mannered.
“I think she’s nice too. I also think you’re nice. And I think I will save both of you.”
The pup’s eyes widened at Adlaric’s words and looked down at Eve. He leaned down and pushed the hair out of her eyes as he whispered, “Do you hear that, Evey...We’re gonna be okay.”
Adlaric straightened up and looked at the other man again. “I’m afraid we have come to a disagreement. I am taking the girl and the pup with me.”
Adalric gave an infamous smirk as he menacingly stepped forward. When the two were a breath away, Adlaric spoke again, “I wasn’t asking.”
The man’s eyes lowered, but he still tried to remain dominant. “My Alpha will have a problem with that, Alpha.”
Adlaric glanced at Dimitri. Knowingly, Dimitri went to pick up Eve and talked the pup into walking with them back to the front of the house. When Eve was with his Beta and the pup safe, Adalric stepped forward, a fierce growl ripping from his lips.
Adalric smirked. “I’m your Alpha. No, I’m your King. Better yet, I’m your fucking God.” Adalric nodded his head toward the woods and winked almost sarcastically.
“W-Why help the girl?”
The other man’s brave facade was crumbling as he saw the royal guards appear from the trees. That made Adlaric’s wolf happy. There’s a distinction to be made: Adlaric was a soul, and his wolf was a soul, and although they shared a host body, the two were not synced. Adalric was kind and chivalrous while his inhuman part was abrasive and primal. The two did not belong as one, yet somehow they were. Adlaric was two personalities in one body. Adlaric’s hand went to his pocket as he spoke the next part.
“Because that girl is your Queen. And it seems to me like you’ve injured her. Do you know what the punishment is? Death. Unfortunately, I need you to run back and give your Alpha a message.”
Adlaric stepped forward and grabbed the man by the back of his head.
“I know you do not haven fidelity to a pack. I know you are a scoundrel. I know that you are working for someone and I know that specific someone is planning a coup. Tell that person that I will find him and I will snap his neck.” Adlaric dropped the man and he scurried away.
The King Alpha glanced at a member of his Kingdom and with a subtle nod Adalric ordered him to track the man running away. With another nod, the other goons who had followed their leader had their necks snapped.
Really, Adalric attempted to avoid violence as much as possible, but when he saw his beautiful mate laying on the ground, something snapped. Suddenly he wasn’t King, he was her mate who just so happened to be King.
As Adalric walked back to the front of the house, he immediately found his mate in Dimitri’s arms and went to take her in his. Eve nuzzled into his embrace and his wolf purred at her natural instinct to get closer to him.
“I’m going to take her to get her checked out.”
Dimitri nodded. “At the house?”
“No, I think a human hospital would be best. Could you tell me where the fuck Austin and Jessica are?”
When Adlaric felt a tiny tug at his pants, he glanced down at Eros with a raised eyebrow.
“I w-was wondering, s-sir, if I could come? S-she’s my friend, Alpha.”
Adalric was impressed. The young pup was scared out of his mind, clearly by his scent, but he was still protecting Eve. That was admirable, so while the pup didn’t know it, he had won over the Alpha. Adalric gave a small smile and nodded his head toward the car that was pulling up. The driver got out and Adalric carefully set Eve in the back, laying her down.
The little boy climbed in the back and sat all the way to the right. Eve was so tiny that she did not take up the entire back seat. Adlaric couldn’t help but smile.
“Hey buddy, put on your seat belt, okay?”
“My what?” Eros peered at Adlaric from inside the car. Adlaric had no idea who Eros was. How could Eros not know basic terminology? Briefly, he promised to find his parents and charge them with neglect.
Adlaric leaned down and wrapped the belt around his waist before snapping it in place.
“Oh, that’s what Evey put on me in her car...I was confused.”
Adlaric nodded before shutting the door and climbing into the driver’s seat. While he was curious about Eros, he needed to get his mate checked. He knew there was nothing severely wrong, but she would need medicine and lycanthrope medication was far too strong.
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