The entire situation felt like a business transaction.
“How does your world work? I-I mean...is there a government?”
Adlaric sat back in his seat. “We have a constitutional monarchy. There are packs ruled by Alphas and those Alphas report to the King. Alphas are similar to governors of states in your country. Those Alphas are responsible for the care of those under him. Each Alpha may have one or two Betas. Betas act as enforcers of pack legislation. An Alpha may make a decree in his pack, but in all situations, someone from the Royal Enforcement must certify it. This is how we uphold Lycanthrope rights.”
Eve moved to the edge of her seat slightly. “And all those Alphas have certain land restrictions. You said there’s a King? I’m confused, wouldn’t certain wolves have issues with a dictatorship?”
“Wolves are much different from humans, Evangeline. We crave order and hierarchy. The fundamentals of our society mimic those of our animals. Humans crave freedom and individuality. Lycans crave family and ranks.”
Eve still held skepticism in her voice. “And you’re okay being ruled by one person? There’s a reason why there are checks and balances within most bodies of governments.”
“Your concern is that the King will become corrupt and therefore not look after the well-being of those underneath him?”
“The King has natural instincts as well. It is physically impossible for the King to purposefully hurt those in his Kingdom. Not only does it go against every instinct of the King, he also has an emotional connection with every wolf in the realm. Whatever they feel, the King feels.”
“So, there’s like a check of power literally within the King. Well, what about others? You said every Alpha has a Beta. Does the King have one too?”
Adalric nodded. “That Beta is called the Royal Beta. Royal Beta is in charge of Lycanthrope Enforcement which is the FBI, CIA, INTERPOL, and police force all in one. He responds to the King.”
She sat silently with her head on her arms on the desk.
She’s adorable, he thought. Her lips were pursed slightly and her curly hair fell into her eyes. She was so intrigued by their world and so eager to adapt to what he threw at her. Her eyebrows furrowed and he could easily smell the hesitancy coming from her.
“You may ask Evangeline.” He leaned forward and laid his arms on his desk. She peered up at him and bit her lip.
“What about mates?”
Adlaric smiled. “When Lycanthropes were created, on man was paired with one wolf counterpart. Both souls were put into one host. We are 50 percent wolf and 50 percent man. In all cases, the wolf and the human are not compatible. They rage internal warfare within their host. The human aspect of us are always prohibiting and containing the more feral side. The older we get the more carnal we become. The purpose of mates is to tame the beast so the human can have complete control. Mates make us feel... human. They’re the best thing in our lives. A mate has locks that need our keys and keys that fit our locks.”
“So, it’s like true love?”
“It’s so much deeper than that, Evangeline. The love we have for our mates is so splendid that it reaches our soul. Our souls intertwine and our hearts beat as one. When wolves complete the process, each mate feels the other’s emotions and can enter their thoughts.”
The way he explained it made it seem magical. Evangeline supposed the entire thing was untouchable to her, but she was a romantic at heart. She wanted someone to make her feel the way he described. She wanted to be the light in someones darkness.
“Dimitri and June, they’re mates, right?”
“Can humans have mates?”
Again, he nodded. Eve smiled and pulled away. Perhaps she had one. Her happiness was short-lived as she remembered Adlaric had one too.
“Have you met yours?” Eve wanted him to say no. After a pregnant pause, he nodded and watched her reaction carefully. Her head fell and she played with her hands on her lap.
“Evangeline, what did Eros tell you about his past?”
Evangeline had told him everything the boy had told her. She told him about the experiments and the facility. About how they tortured him and how they made him watch the others get punished. About how he didn’t remember much of how he escaped. She told him everything because she truly believed Adlaric would do his best to help Eros.
By the time she was finished, Adlaric was shaking with anger. His eyes were black and his fists were balled. She placed her hand on top of his and smiled at him. Almost immediately he relaxed and looked into her eyes.
“Eros did not deserve what was done to him. No child or wolf deserves that. But I know you will help him. I have every bit of faith in you as I do in Eros himself. Do you think the people who attacked my home is connected to the man who hit my car?”
Adlaric nodded. “Yes, I do. We should have more information soon. I sent a few trackers to follow up on a leads.”
Eve nodded. She was far more relaxed after she had been told some information about the world that was consuming her life.
“You said I was special... Why? Why did they try to hurt me?”
“You helped Eros. As soon as you became his ally, you became their enemy.”
Still, it made no sense. She was a minuscule person compared to their big picture. Speaking of which, what was their big picture? What exactly were they trying to succeed?
“You will have someone with you at all times when you go outside. It’s best if you remained in the house for now.”
She didn’t like that she didn’t get a choice, but she supposed it was better than dying. Her eyes widened at the last part.
“But I have school.”
“I think it would be best if someone here taught you your lessons or if you started cyber school.”
“I don’t think I would succeed in cyber school,” she admitted, “I need structure.”
“Then someone here will start your lessons with you.” There was another pause. Adlaric figured it was due to how much information she was just given. “You look exhausted.”
She grinned. “I look exhausted? You look like you’re a few centuries old.”
He looked up at her with a straight faced. It took a moment, but his expression finally registered.
“No way,” she stated.
He didn’t say anything. He looked down at the file laying on his desk.
“Wait, how old are you?” She asked getting out of her chair. She had a teasing smile on her face. “Does your age have BC in it? Because if it does, you’re older than...well...Christianity.” She giggled and walked around his desk to his side.
“Aren’t you mad at me?” He asked, looking up at her. He turned himself in his chair to face her.
Her face contorted for a moment. She thought about it. Yes, she was mad at him. Why had he pushed her away? Why did she still feel like something was being held from her.
“Adlaric, why were you ignoring me?”
He sighed and moved his hand across his face. “My mate,” he started. “is very much like you. She’s young. She’s so beautiful and she has this smile that would just...brighten anyone’s world. She’s so kind it’s sickening. You remind me so much of her.”
It hurt for him to talk so lovingly about someone, but this wasn’t about her. He was in pain and she would try her best to help. “Why aren’t you with her then?”
He went silent for a moment. After a pause he abruptly stood up and grabbed his suit jacket off his chair.
“I want to show you something.” He walked around her and opened the door for both of them to go through. He led her upstairs to the third level, a floor she had never been on, and opened two grand doors.
“This is your room, isn’t it?”
His bed was neatly made with three pillows on top of a grey comforter. The pillows were a stark white which sharply contrasted the rest of the dark room. There was a wooden backdrop behind his bed with lights hanging down. Beside his bed were two black dressers; one had a sleek alarm clock and a modernized lamp while the other had two rolexes neatly displayed. Toward the other side were wall-length windows that gave a great view toward the conifers outside.
On the one one side, there was a black, stone fireplace and a chair beside it. Beside the chair was a table with various open books. It was the only part of the room that looked lived in.
Adlaric set his jacket on his bed and went to one of the two doors. As Eve walked past the one door that was slightly opened, she saw the master bathroom. He ignored it and opened the next one.
She gasped as she walked into the walk-in closet. Adlaric walked all the way in and pushed a button on the wall. Automatically, the cabinets opened and a ceiling counter was lowered, displaying various crowns.
He faced her again and stuffed his hands into his pockets.
“Wait these are...” Her eyes brightened with understanding.
“Yes, Evangeline. My name is King Alpha Adalric Maxim Romanov. I’m King of Lycanthropes.”
The secret is EXPOSED.