“When my parents left a few nights ago, I saw Eros outside. He was in wolf form. His paw was injured; I helped him. He lived with me and I fed him. A day later, he transformed and told me what he was. He’s just a boy. He didn’t know. He didn’t mean to expose you all. He told me about a King. Will the King punish Eros?”
“No. He’s safe,” Adlaric stated, sternly. Eve looked up and nodded, relief filling her to her core.
“He told me his pack was killed a few years ago. His Alpha, Luna, and parents were killed by those people. Scoundrels he called them. They took Eros to some sort of facility and experimented on him. He said he was forced to shift early. I don’t know much else.”
“Do you know why he came to you? There are dozens of houses on your street.”
Eve shook her head at Dimitri’s question. “No. I don’t know.”
Eros began to shake in her arms and she closed her eyes as she felt his limbs crack and realign themselves. It all still made her queasy. Suddenly, the wolf was gone and replaced with a naked little boy. She wrapped her arms around him and stood up.
“May I sleep? Can he sleep with me?”
She wasn’t asking anyone in particular. She quietly went to leave the room when she remembered the doctor. Eve turned around and looked at him.
“He’s a child who has trauma. You, as a doctor, have an obligation to make your patients feel comfortable. You failed. Do not make the same mistake again because next time it won’t be a human you piss off.”
Eros smiled at how brightly Eve looked at him. She encouraged him to be better. It didn’t take a genius to realize that because of Eros’ upbringing, he lacked basic knowledge of the world. So, this morning when both woke up, Eve decided to give him a little lesson. They started in the kitchen, naming objects, then moved to the living room, and now they were outside.
It was late February, so there was a fresh blanket of snow covering the grounds. Crystals lined the bare branches of trees and the conifer leaves of others, making a beautiful winter wonderland. Eros had been in awe at first, but once he was no longer distracted, he could pay attention to what Eve was saying.
Both had climbed up a small tree and were now sitting on a branch. Eve had a book in her hands that was open to display small words. It was her favorite book; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She would read a page and then Eros would read a few sentences. His reading level was definitely not where it should be, but Eve would help him. She would tell him to sound out the word and remind him of the sounds each letter made.
“I like reading, Evangeline.”
She smiled and kissed the top of his head.
“Eros, can you tell me more about where you came from...”
He stayed silent. He looked up at her and then back down at the book on his lap.
“They kept us in four separate rooms. They were all white, but the walls were glass so we could see each other. When one of us did something bad, they made sure the other’s watched to make sure...t-to make sure we saw the consequences.”
“Why were you there? What did they do to you?”
“They wanted to see if they could trigger early shifts or change humans. Each of us were on a different schedule; I had doses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Others had theirs the other days. At first, they would just evaluate us. After a lot of weeks, the doses began.”
“What did they inject you with?”
“I don’t know. At first, nothing happened. But then I started to throw up a lot and I would shift at weird times. I would be in transition for hours. My first shift was the most painful. After they got bored with me naturally shifting, they would break my bones to see if they could trigger a shift. They wanted to see how far they could push my wolf to the edge.”
Evangeline’s heart lurched at his story. She knew his trauma extended way further than what he told her, but she understood a bit more now.
“Most kids in the trial died when they tried to force shift. I survived. I didn’t realize just how good I had it before my first shift. Once I found my wolf, they began more experiments. Ones where I was awake and they cut me open. They would bind me by wolfsbane that would keep me in place as they...”
Eros hiccuped as tears flowed down his cheeks. Evangeline wiped them away.
“You do not have to continue,” she said softly.
“They would keep me awake for hours– days –just to see how my wolf would react. They would make me watch as they replayed the videos of my parent’s death. They recorded it. They recorded their murder. One day somehow I got away. I don’t know how. I don’t remember. And then I found you.” He smiled as he looked at Eve. “You make me feel something. I smile when I am with you. You make the pain go away.”
Evangeline smiled, but on the inside she was livid. She never felt such anger. She never had such ambition to destroy those who hurt this child.
“You are so strong, Eros. I am so proud of you.”
He cried softly. “Do you think my parents would feel the same way?”
“I know they would,” she promised. “Come on. Let’s have some fun.”
Evangeline helped both of them down and for the rest of the day she made sure he forgot the horrors he had endured so early on. She took him shopping, she played in the snow with him, she played legos with him, and she gave him all the sweets she could. When he was neatly tucked in bed, she kissed his forehead and got up, walking down to the kitchen. There, June and Dimitri were sitting, laughing with one another. They were dating? June never told her.
June could smell the betrayal oozing from her friend. June hurt Evangeline.
Eve smiled, although it didn’t reach her eyes. Everyone was lying to her. June used to be her confidant. June was the only person Eve could always count on.
She had no right to be mad. June was allowed to have her privacy But at the same time, June had tightened hearing and sight. She could smell when Eve was lying or excited. Every facet of Eve’s life was manipulated. June had privacy; Eve did not.
On some level, Evangeline was so jealous. She had Dimitri. Eve wanted Adlaric. June had the abilities. Eve had nothing. She was a simple human living in a complex werewolf world.
Dimitri could feel the hurt from his Luna. His senses were far more heightened than June’s simply because of age and rank. He could smell the insecurity and jealousy radiating from Eve. But most of all, he could smell complete sadness. The girl he had met on her eighteenth birthday was not the woman who stood in front of him.
“Do you know where Adlaric is?”
“Evangeline,” June said again, standing up.
“Don’t call me that. I hate my name you know that.”
June didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry.”
“You and Dimitri are a thing. You weren’t going to tell me, were you?”
The look on June’s face told her enough. Eve nodded, understandingly. She wasn’t expecting a different answer.
“I was. I just...it was complicated.”
“I get it. You two are not like me. It’s none of my businesses. Do you know where Adlaric is?”
“He’s in his office,” June said. “Up the stairs, down the hall, last door.”
Eve followed her instructions and knocked on the grand door. When she heard his voice, she pushed the doors open and smiled as she saw him sitting behind his mahogany desk. His hair was slightly messed from his hand running through it and his white dress shirt was unbuttoned far enough that she could see a hint of his strong muscles underneath. His coat and tie were hung over the back of the chair in front of his desk. There was a glass of something sitting beside him.
His eyes brightened as his mate walked through his door. His hand stopped writing and laid the black pen on his desk.
“Evangeline?” He asked standing up and shutting the door behind her. Evangeline turned around, but she couldn’t ignore the slight pulse that thumped inside stomach.
“Do you know who the King is?”
Adlaric rose an eyebrow at her question. He gestured for her to sit down, but she didn’t budge.
“Yes, I do.” He took a brief pause, smelling her finality. “Why?”
“E-Eros, he told me what those people did to him,” she said, pacing in front of him. “What they did...it shouldn’t be...they need to be found. It’s not fair, Adlaric, it’s not okay.”
Adlaric walked to her and put his hands on her arms, stopping her. It only took a moment for the warmth of her to seep through her shirt. Her breath hitched as his thumbs rubbed circles on her arms. He needed to stop touching her. This wasn’t staying away from her.
“You’re shaking,” he stated. His hand trailed up her arm and cupped the back of her neck. She bit her lip as she felt the sparks erupt throughout her body. His shear strength made her feel things in places she’s never felt before. Every ounce of him made her skin sizzle with unbridled lust. She didn’t realize she was shaking and she wasn’t sure if It was because of her anger or because she wanted more. She wanted so much more. She wanted him to do unspeakable things to her.
He pulled away, growling softly. He didn’t have to hide himself as much. Not since their secret was out.
“I need to speak to him. Or you need to. Someone needs to.” Eve finally found her words
Adalric took soft breaths as he made his way back to his desk. He was slipping. Wolves his age were calmed by their mates, but she was standing right behind him and didn’t understand the gravity of her affection. The mating bond was not complete, which is why he was more agitated the more she came around. It was as if every follicle in his body told him to finish the process. If he had his way he would mount her on his desk and fuck her until the sun rose.
Adalric was overjoyed to find his mate. He thought he would finally be calmed, that his predator side would become dormant. He was wrong. All his monstrous side wanted was to take her, and up until now, he could handle it.
With her standing here, he was slowly losing his control. His beast was clawing to the surface. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go; he found her, he should be satiated. But no, he wanted more.
Slowly, his beast would consume him, just like before, except this time it was because his mate was near, yet untouchable.
He didn’t realize his hands were splintering the wood of his desk. He growled darkly, her scent thick in his office. It was making him lose coherent thinking.
“Adlaric–” She was cut off by his growl. “Adlaric,” she said again, moving closer.
“Get Dimitri,” he rasped out. “Now!”
His loud voice made her jump and she hesitantly left and went down to the kitchen.
This chapter is nasty. So sorry.