Adlaric and Dimitri had been in Arkansas for three days. The second day Adlaric’s wolf had been irksome. The King knew It was due to the distance between him and his mate. Most mated wolves could be away from their mate for at minimum of a week, but Adlaric was a King, an Alpha, and he hadn’t completed the mating process. Everything in his nature pulled him to complete his birthright.
He should have known that he could only be away from Eve for a few days at most.
By the third night, Adlaric was hunched over, vomiting the contents of his stomach. His pain was so intense, he shook with shivers and cold-sweats. Dimitri was beside him, helping his Alpha and planning their travels back. They had come this way by their wolves, but Adlaric was in no shape to transition now.
By three in the morning, it took Dimitri and sixteen other wolves to hold their King down from ripping their throats out. His canines were elongated and Adlaric had no control over himself as his wolf consumed him from the inside.
“My King.” Dimitri struggled to get the wolfsbane cuffs around his Alpha’s wrists. Dimitri had no choice but to restrain him. One cuff snapped around his wrist, followed by the other. Both cuffs were locked onto a metal foundational rod.
“Doctor López!” Dimitri growled. “Do it now.”
“Royal Beta, this is my King. What you are asking me to do is treason!”
“And if you don’t he will kill all of us. This is an order! Do it now!”
The doctor pouted but walked closer. She jumped when Adlaric snapped at her and barred his canines. She knelt beside him and took out the syringe, jamming it into his neck.
Adlaric’s struggles softened and soon his eyes shut. Everyone in the room relaxed and tiredly released their hold on Adlaric.
“Fucking hell, this is why he’s King,” Darius commented. Dimitri chuckled and nodded his head as he took out his phone. “What are we going to do?”
Dimitri looked up at Darius as he brought his phone to his ear. “We need to get his mate here.”
June groaned as her phone rang. She turned in her bed and grabbed her phone off the side table. “What the fuck, Dimitri,” she groaned tiredly, falling back into her pillows. She put her hand on her forehead as she heard her mate chuckle over the line.
“Moya lyubov,” Dimitri cooed over the phone. June’s body instantly warmed from his deep voice. His voice was far darker than Adlaric’s and his accent was slightly more defined, having hints of his African and Russian roots. “How do you fare?”
June smiled at his wording. He was always slipping into his centuries customs and she found it endearing. “Well, my love. Why are you calling? It’s three in the morning.”
“I need you to do something, June.”
June sprinted down the hallway to the room Eve was sleeping in. She knocked once then went in.
“Eve,” June whispered, gently shaking her friend. Eve groaned and sleepily turned around.
“Dude, I’m sleeping,” Eve said, thoroughly annoyed at having been awaken.
“It’s Adlaric,” June said. Almost instantly, Eve sprung up and turned toward her friend.
“What is it?”
June got off the bed and turned on the side lamp. She went into Eve’s closet and pulled out a nice sundress. She chose black flats to go along with the pretty, yellow dress.
“June?” Eve asked, hesitantly, as she got out of bed. June put the dress and shoes on the bed before going to her drawers and grabbing underwear.
June knew that Evangeline would be meeting several Kingdom members, and while Eve did not know it, she was about to be judged as a Queen. Image was everything when you were royalty.
June turned to Eve. “I will tell you once we get on the plane. Hurry, Eve, get dressed. Meet me downstairs in five.”
“What about my parents?”
“I’ll let them know.”
Eve groaned as she entered the plane with June. She sat on one chair and buckled herself in as the plane began taxing.
“Are you going to tell me now?” Eve asked, glancing outside the plane window. It was still dark out.
June bit her lip and scratched her head. “Adlaric’s wolf is slipping. He’s... irrational and he’s struggling to regain control over himself. He’s lashing out. At the moment he is sedated, but the sedative will run out and the chemist doesn’t have enough ingredients to make another round.”
Eve’s eyes widened. “What? Why?”
June shook her head, slightly boggled on how to answer. “His wolf longs for his mate. He’s been away from her for far too long. When we are away from our other halves... our wolves become dominant and they consume us. We can’t control it and we can’t come back until our mate is in our arms. It’s why we die when our mates die; we’re one.”
“Why do you think I can help?”
June gulped. “You are similar to her.”
That was all that was said about the matter until the plane landed in a field in Arkansas. As soon as June and Eve exited the plane, Dimitri grabbed June and pulled her into him as they were surrounded by other men. Eve assumed they were all Lycans. They bowed for a moment. Eve smiled and walked next to June.
“I forgot you’re royalty,” Eve joked. June was Royal Female Beta, it was natural for her to be bowed to. June blushed and chuckled slightly, knowing damn well it wasn’t because of her that they were bowing.
“Let’s get going. He’ll wake up soon,” Dimitri said. There was one car waiting and Dimitri led the girls to the car. Eve expected June would ride with her, but she was shocked to see June stay out.
“I’m itching to shift. Do you mind if I go with Dimitri?”
Eve shook her head at June. “By all means, go ahead.”
June shut the car door and Eve rolled down her window to watch as Dimitri shifted. His bones popped out of place and reshaped themselves. Within a blink of an eye, Dimitri’s car-sized brown wolf was there. Eve smiled; he was a cute wolf. Dimitri turned to look at the car and Eve waved. Dimitri blew air out of his snout and pulled his ear back; hello.
All the other members shifted into their wolves and Eve was in awe watching them. It was magical. June smirked at Eve.
“Pretty cool right?” June asked. “They got nothing on me though. I’m prettier.”
Evangeline laughed as her friend ripped her clothes to shift into her bronze wolf. Dimitri was the largest wolf, followed by June’s and then all the others. Some were larger than others, but they were all approximately the same size. They were all various colors and lifted their big heads to the sunny sky and let out a howl. The went into a formation; two went to the front of the car, two to the back and four on each side.
A woman pulled the driver’s door opened and she sat down. She smiled politely. “Hello,” she greeted, sweetly. She had dark black hair and a cute green bow to hold her curly locks.
“Hello. I’m Evangeline.”
The woman smiled and put the car in drive. The wolves all moved at the same speed of the car on the barren roads. Eve was shocked at how easily the wolves kept up with the speed of the car.
“I’m an idiot,” the woman said, clearly frazzled. “I’m Martina López. It’s nice to meet you.”
Eve was slightly distracted by watching the wolves sprinting beside the car. Eve could tell it was June who came beside her and gave a wink. The human laughed and reached her hand out. June rubbed her head against Eve’s hand.
“Why didn’t you use your title?” Eve asked, suddenly. She turned to the driver. Martina looked through the revere mirror.
“What?” Martina asked.
“You’re a doctor,” Eve explained.
“How did you know?”
Eve furrowed her eyebrows and looked around, puzzled. “I-I don’t know...”
Martina smiled. Eve was already picking up her natural Queen instincts. The doctor wondered how a human would respond to the Alpha mate bond. Obviously, species did not decide what gifts one received with the title.
“I thought I should negate my title to make you feel safer.”
Eve shook her head. “Don’t ever not use your title. You spent far too much money and too much time to not use it. Men use theirs all the time. Be proud.”
Again, Martina’s bright red lips curled into a smile and Eve found herself smiling back. The car was slowing down and it came to a stop. Eve got out and so did Martina.
“This is where they were kept?” Eve asked, sadly. Martina nodded as she led her Queen inside. Martina knew that humans were not accustomed to nudity, unlike Lycanthropes. The doctor wanted to save Eve from public embarrassment.
Eve jumped from a feral growl coming down the hall. She didn’t know why or how, but she knew she had to follow it. She heard Martina curse and Dimitri landing next to her but she was on auto-pilot. She walked down the hall to the door the noise was coming from and placed her hand on the knob.
All hesitancy left her as she heard the growl again. She wasn’t afraid. She turned the knob and opened the door.
Adlaric’s head snapped toward her and he struggled against his restraints even more. He growled as the plaster began to crack behind him.
Eve knew she should be afraid, but she wasn’t. Not at all. She saw the burns around his wrists and ran to him. She knelt beside him and cupped his head. “Stop,” she whispered, “Adlaric you must stop! You’re hurting yourself.” He continued to struggle. “Please!” She practically sobbed.
He stopped thrashing and growled softly, looking at Eve. “Evangeline,” he rasped out.
“How can I help? Tell me what to do?” Eve rushed as her hands cupped his face.
His voice was dark and deep, much deeper than his usual voice. Eve nodded and rested her head on his shoulder. He pulled her into his lap and nuzzled her into his side. Adlaric relaxed slightly, but he was still rigid.
“I’m sorry this is all I can do,” Eve whispered. Once again, Adlaric yanked on his chains growled.
“Evangeline,” he groaned out. She pulled away to look at him. He brought his hand up and cupped her soft cheek. His thumb ran over her cheek bone and wiped away a stray tear.
“What is it, Adlaric,” she whispered.
“I need you,” he whispered.
“I’m right here,” she said.
“I need you forever.”
Eve smiled and leaned her forehead against his. “No, you don’t you’re a King, Adlaric.”
“I thought so too. I thought I was strong enough to give you the life you deserve because my world is hell, Eve, it’s hell. I didn’t want you to have to be tied down by policy and order and bodyguards. I need you like I need air to breathe. I need my mate.”
Eve sobbed softly and shook her head. “What are you saying?”
Adlaric pulled away and looked intently into her eyes. She felt her entire world buzz whenever he looked at her and the universe seemed to sizzle when he touched her.
“I’ve lived three-hundred-and-fourteen years, and every second of my pitiful life has been pain. I knew if I found my mate everything would become better, but after several decades of searching, I realized I was doomed to die without love and without unifying both halves of myself. And then you, Evangeline, fell into my arms, literally,” Adlaric smiled at the insanity of it all, “and suddenly all those years were worth it. You accepted me as I am, my Kingdom, my species, my everything, you are the only reason that I continue to live. I have everything when I am with you. Please stay, and if you choose to leave, take me with you. I look at you and I am so grateful I live in a world where you exist. When I look at you– when I think of you –everything is okay. Before I met you, blue was my favorite color, but now brown is. Your eyes are brown. I used to think Debussy created the best sound in our world, but then you spoke and your voice became my favorite melody. Everything about you became my favorite things. The hell I’ve gone through pales in comparison to the thought of a world without you in it. I won’t force you. If you choose, you may leave and never return and I won’t follow you. I’ll let you live a normal, human life. I’m asking you, Evangeline, take me as I am. You’re my mate. Will you allow me to be yours?”