Evangeline was happy. Granted, her hand hurt and she was pretty sure she broke a few fingers, but she was on cloud nine. Adlaric put his hands on her hips and lifted her on the counter.
“What the fuck happened?”
Eve would have winced from June’s shape voice if it wasn’t so humorous to her. Evangeline chuckled and pushed her hair behind her ear. What happened to her tonight was by no means alright, but she was the type of girl to try to lighten the mood. She didn’t react well to confrontation or awkward events so she always laughed at the most inopportune times. “He sat next to me. He seemed nice, but when I went to the bathroom and came out...” She shuttered. “He wanted my number and to go out and I said no. Then he grabbed me and...I punched him.”
“What a dick,” June said. Right when she finished speaking, Dimitri mate walked in with a wallet and threw it to Adlaric who caught with with ease. The Beta settled himself behind June, wrapping his arms around her tiny waist.
“Luna beat him up pretty good. Chick got balls that’s for damn sure,” Dimitri commented with a cocky smirk. Adlaric went through the wallet and threw some cards on the counter before looking at the license.
“Where is he now?” Adlaric asked. The card was nearing breaking from his vice grip. Eve could tell by his stance and expression that he was having a very hard time with the events that transpired.
“Took him home, told his parents, they asked if Eve was going to press charges.” The entire kitchen went silent. All eyes landed on her. She fidgeted and blushed under the attention. One side of her didn’t want to press charges; she hoped he learned his lesson and honestly didn’t want to deal with the judicial system. But the other side of her wanted to leave an example for other women in the same situation. What happened to her was not okay and it never would be, but there could be consequences and she wanted him to face them.
You couldn’t grab, touch, or kiss anyone without consent.
Adlaric grabbed her hand and ran his finger over her bruised knuckles. “How about we get some rest and you make this decision when you feel up to it, yeah?”
Eve winced from the pain in her hand and nodded. “Yeah, that sounds good. I’ll make a decision tomorrow. My hand still really hurts. You don’t have Tylenol anywhere, do you?”
“Your parents are on their way over. I’ll text them to bring something with them.”
“Actually, June,” Adlaric interrupted. “I think there’s something else we can try.”
June and Dimitri shared a knowing look before nodding and walking out of ht kitchen. Eve looked up at Adlaric with skepticism. “Lycan medicine doesn’t work on me?”
“I know,” he said rather hoarsely. “But we are mates. We have healing properties for the other. I’m not sure if it would work with you because you’re a human...May I try?”
Evangeline nodded. “But what is it exactly?”
He grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips. His tongue delved out and licked one knuckle from her tip to her joint. Almost instantly, the ache soothed and she gasped softly. He smiled against her hand and moved his tongue around to her other knuckle and did the same movement. His tongue glided across each one of her bruised fingers until most of the pain subsided. She smiled as she watched her mate take such good care of her. He looked like he enjoyed doing it; like it was such a primitive and carnal reaction to take care of her wounds. Once he was finished and the purple dulled, she smiled up at him and watched him lick his lips.
“How does it feel?”
“Much better,” she answered. He wrapped his arm around her waist and lifted her off. She was pleasantly shocked with how much affection he was showing her. “Adlaric?”
He recoiled. He was always so careful with her, but now he was showing his everything to her. He was being as physical as he wanted to be and that was new to Eve. “I’m sorry.”
Eve raised her eyebrow and bit her lip. “I like it. I like how you touch me. It’s okay. I won’t break.” He grinned at her and she had to bend her neck to look into his eyes. “I wanted to apologize for earlier,” she said suddenly.
“Well,” she furrowed her eyebrows. “It’s occurred to me that perhaps I was a bit... abrasive earlier. I shouldn’t have asked you to do that clearly when I was far too emotional.”
He unwrapped his arm from her and stepped away. She regretted it.
“It was a bit abusive. I mean there I was asking you to do something you might not have wanted to do. What were you supposed to say? I practically forced you.” Now it appeared she was scolding herself as she brought her hand up to her forehead and sighed.
Adlaric grabbed her hand and brought the back of it to his lips, leaving a light kiss. “Here I am asking you to take me as I am, my Kingdom, my wolf, and my riches, and you think you’re the one forcing me? I’ve wanted to kiss you since the day I laid eyes on you.”
Eve smiled as she watched his lips touch her deep skin. “I thought you only found out I was your mate when we touched?”
“Yes, that’s how the bond was made seen by me, but even before we touched I thought you were one of the most beautiful girls in the world.” He stared at her with such adoration she lost her breath. “Are you hungry? Tired?”
“I think I just want to go to bed. Can I sleep with you?”
Adlaric moved a strand of her hair behind her ear and lifted her off the counter. He nodded and grabbed some water and then her hand to walk her up.
They both changed, took a shower- separately -and laid down in bed.The lights were off so Eve could only see his outline.
“What will you do to him?”
Adlaric turned his head to look at her. His eyes adjusted, so they were a bit darker to accommodate. He growled very darkly; he found himself having to look at her to calm down. Adlaric was furious. Every particle in his body pulsed with undulating anger. In the time he was born, if an upper class man had his way with an upper class woman, usually it wasn’t a big deal- much to Adlaric’s distaste. He was very aware that men felt entitled to women still today.
Women owed men shit. No one should ever be touched, let alone kissed, without consent. Starting tomorrow, Adlaric was going to donate to multiple organizations including the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. He was disappointed in himself for not doing so earlier. Eve managed to get away, but what if she hadn’t?
Some other women and men were forced into sexual endeavors and that had to stop.
′ Feminism and consent had come a long way since his birth century, but still there was work to be done.
“I would like nothing more than to end his pathetic excuse of an existence. That being said, I realize that is barbaric and illegal in your world. You are also the victim in this, Evangeline. It has to be your decision. I won’t do anything unless you ask me to.”
He nodded. “Well, in mine, if another male touched your mate, he would be beaten until he couldn’t move. We are very possessive creatures.” Adalric pulled her closer to him and wrapped his arms around her tiny figure. She enlaced her fingers with his on her stomach and smiled contently.
“There’s war brewing in your world,” she whispered.
“Make no mistake; any war that occurs in my world will destroy yours.”
“I’m scared, Adlaric.”
He turned her in his arms so that he could look at her. “You are my heart that beats outside of my chest, moya koroleva. I will protect you with every ounce of my being.”
She wrapped her hand around the back of his head and pulled him close to her. She kissed him, and he returned eagerly, running his hands up her sides. She pulled away and sighed softly.
“But who will protect you?”
“I’m a King, my darling. No one needs to.”
Eve giggled and inclined her head slightly. “Are you saying I can’t protect you?” Adlaric moved her hands above her head. His knee rested between her legs. Her lips parted from the unexpected rush of heat that went to her core. He held her firm on the mattress below him. “I’m stronger than you, obviously.”
Evangeline smirked at his arrogance. She knew he was just being funny, but still. She leaned up and captured his lips again, only now moving her lips down his neck to his collar bone. His grip loosened and her hands went to his firm chest, running over his cultivated muscle. Her hand went lower and lower, and she could hear him take a shuttering breath. And in that moment when he almost came undone, she used all her strength and rolled on top of him, putting his arms above his head.
“I’m smarter though,” she joked.
He smiled and possessively kissed her again. “That you are.”