Evangeline rolled over in her cot and watched as the nurses entered the room again. She looked over to Elizabeth and saw her already sweating from her own injection. Briefly she wondered how Elizabeth could remain so quiet through something so painful. The guards were yelling at Tim who was still recovering from his horrific injuries he suffered from the fight.
“If you take him now, he will die!”
Evangeline sat up as she looked at Elizabeth who was screaming. Elizabeth’s breath caught in her chest and tears formed in her eyes as her legs dangled off the bed. Her hands gripped the cheap cotton with such vigor her nails tore through it and into her palm.
“She’s right,” Eve said with her head still turned to the ground. “Tim’s a strong wolf and a better fighter. It’s foolish to kill him; he’s an asset.”
The nurses dropped Tim. Eve finally looked up. She was resigned. She was tired. She wanted all of this to be over. “Take me.”
“We’ll take whoever the fuck we want.”
“Do you know who I am?” The men remained silent. “I am worth more than Tim and you know that. I’m not here because you want me alive, I’m here because you want to hurt the King. The best way to hurt the King is to hurt me. You know that.” She was tired of the pain and the beatings, but most of all she knew neither Elizabeth nor Tim could withstand another injection. They would bit die, and while she will probably die as well, she was okay with that.
“We have orders.”
“And I am telling you negate your orders for a higher purpose. You both desire to climb the ranks, yes? You want power and riches and you can have them. Think about how your boss will praise you if you hurt me.”
The nurses looked at her and after a brief pause, grabbed her by her hair.
“Eve, this is the last dose for you. It’s by far the worse. You must get through it. You must!” Elizabeth screamed.
“Wait, no! Take me! Take me!” Tim roared, attempting to stand up. The one nurse pushed him back down.
“Who are you?” Maya asked in the midst of all the chaos. Evangeline smiled at her for a brief second.
“I’m all of you.”
They took her to a metal room with surgical lights. Once again, she was bound, except this time it was to a metal slab. There was a blazing light above her and the walls were illuminated in red.
Instead of a nurse, a doctor walked in wearing his coat and mask with a large needle. He set the needle aside and walked around her table.
“I’m afraid you will have an audience this time.”
Evangeline gulped and simply stared at the lamp above her. She hoped the brightness would take away her sight. She didn’t want to watch her veins engorge from the dose. The doctor forced her head to look at the observatory toward her left.
She wanted to scream when she saw Darius standing there, watching her. Evangeline quickly realized she couldn’t trust anyone, not even Enforcer’s of the Royal Guard. He stood there with stern eyes and concrete stature, looking at her with no expression marring his face.
Eve tried to turn away but the doctor smacked her across the face in retaliation. She cried out.
“The King is lucky. You’re quite the bitch to fuck, aren’t you.”
Eve stayed silent, but whimpered with tears falling down her cheeks.
“You’re not much of a Queen now. Usually, I wouldn’t dare possess the thought of sinking myself in a woman who isn’t my mate, but you are just such a sight,” he cooed in her ear. He leaned toward her and ran his hand over her hair. She recoiled from his touch as much as she could. “And where’s the King? Why isn’t he protecting the girl he waited so long for?”
“Why do you hate him so much?”
The man pulled away, contemplating his response. “My mate was ill for quite the time. I was working as a pharmacist in New York. I could keep up with her medications until my pharmacy was reviewed and I was shut down. I went to the King. He denied my claim for help. She died a few months later.”
The doctor finished his story and ran his hand up her calf. “You’re pretty, but she was far prettier. I created all this as a way to attempt to save her and it failed and now I live to hurt the person who could have helped.”
Eve turned to look at him. “You’re Adriel Elberfeld.” The doctor nodded. “You didn’t bring me here to shift me you brought me here to kill me and you want them to watch the Queen die by your hands.”
“Smart and beautiful.” The doctor took out a syringe. He looked up at the viewing area. “Make sure you get everything on tape so we can send it to the King.”
Before the doctor could inject her, havoc started up in the viewing area. She heard shouts followed by howls that all echoed throughout the metal surgical room. Before she could comprehend, Darius was down on the surgical field gripping the neck of the Adriel. Darius forced the doctor off his feet against the further wall. Eve could see the veins in Darius’ hands as he spat at Adriel.
“I’d kill you, but then the King would kill me.”
Adriel chuckled darkly. “Death is merciful. Your King can kill me, but he can never undo the painful guilt of knowing he didn’t protect his mate. You’ll take her home, but she won’t be the same as she was before. He loved who she was, will he love who she is?” Adriel chuckled, coughing. “Or more importantly, will she love the man who built what hurt her most?”
Adriel stopped as shouts were heard outside the door. Eve continued to struggle against her binds. Darius threw Adriel’s head against the wall, knocking him out. He went back to Eve, snapping off what tied her to the bed. She sobbed and wrapped her arms around Darius.
“You found me,” she whispered into his neck.
“No. Adlaric did. I was the only one who could go under cover without being made.”
“Is he here? Is he alright?”
Darius smiled, helping his Queen to her feet. “He needs you. He’s more beast than man. He looked day and night for you, my Liege. He wouldn’t stop, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep. You are his heart. He needs it back.”
“Take me to him,” she whispered.
Eve watched as wolves tore into wolves on the battle field. For the first time in weeks, she was standing outside, watching as war unfolded around her.
Blood coated the daisies in the grass and howls and snarls battled the whispers of wind. She watched wolves turn to men after enduring fatal wounds. She squeezed her eyes painfully shut as she heard people pray to Selene and scream in writhing agony.
A ferocious roar, louder than all the others combined, forced her to open her eyes. She gasped, the familiar buzz sinking in her heart. “Adlaric,” she whispered. Her eyes met those of a giant wolf across the field. The wolf had blood dripping down his snout, and its eyes lacked any warmth to them.
It was Adalric, but it wasn’t. He was colder, brutal, merciless. His canines tore through another wolf, lodging themselves in its neck and throwing its discombobulated head across the deep green grass.
“Adlaric,” she said again, louder this time. She smiled, running toward him. He turned to her, taking careful, almost unsure strides to her. “Adalric!” She screamed, throwing herself against the largest wolf on the field. Her hands melted themselves into his matted fur as her head nuzzled into his neck. She sobbed as she clung to him. The wolf perked up and leaped over her, killing another who was about to pounce on her.
Soon enough, the field went silent. Fighting stopped. The first howl came from Adalric, proclaiming their victory. The silence soon ended and was replaced with shouts of victory and howls of joy.
She watched his bones shift and contort and his fur slip back under his skin. When he turned to her, his large arms wrapped around her waist and he laid her down carefully on the soft grass.
“Are you alright, Evangeline?”
She cried, and cried. He was the only person who was allowed to call her that. He was the only one who could elicit happiness from her full name. She cried because she was finally free. She cried because she was safe. She cried because the hell she faced for over a month was finally over.
As soon as he smelled tears, he called over a doctor and they both examined her.
“I’m fine,” she sobbed. “I just...you saved me.”
Adlaric kissed her against the grass. He kissed her like she was the air he needed to live because she was. The weeks she spent away from him felt like he was burning alive. No, it was worse than that. Burning alive would be better than living without his Evangeline.
He pulled away, her bottom lip being tugged by his teeth. He looked into her dark eyes and smiled. Her eyes were so dark, but held so much light. Her eyes were the brightest things around. “I love you,” he whispered.
She smiled and dragged her hand down his cheek. “Good thing I love you too. I love you more than I love books.”
Adlaric smiled. “Don’t let your books hear that.”