“Adlaric! You have work to do.”
“Why do work when I can just do you.” He teased.
She turned to him with a bright smile plastered on her face. She bit her lip and walked over to his desk, leaning on it just slightly so that he could see down her shirt. He sat behind the big, dark desk with his papers strewn across it. “Well, I suppose if you want to, you could slam me on your desk and fuck me until I can’t walk. You could, oh I don’t know,” she said softly, walking around to stand in front of him. Her finger dragged across the dark wood as she spoke slowly. “slide my jeans down my legs and push my panties aside and make everyone in this house know who I belong to. Or maybe you’d rather bend me over?”
She grinned, shyly, as she sat on his desk right in front of him and spread her legs, placing them on either side of his chair. She leaned forward and grabbed his tie, pulling him closer to her. Evangeline smiled as she kissed his nose and then his lips. “But I thought you wanted to make my first time special?”
He growled as his eyes shifted colors. He pulled away and took deep breaths as he stood facing away from her. “You’re a minx, you know that?” He asked turning around and bracing her between the desk and himself. She giggled and nodded. “Our.” He added after a long pause.
“Our,” he repeated with a slow nod. “You said your first time. It is in fact our first time.”
“Well, yeah, together.” Eve rolled her eyes. He lifted her chin with his finger. He looked at her for a moment, shaking his head.
“No, I don’t. Evangeline I...” He stopped as his face heated up.
“Are you blushing?”
He rolled his eyes with a playful growl. “Moya Koroleva, I’m a virgin as well.”
She gasped and opened here mouth wide. She shook her head in absolute disbelief. “How!?”
“What do you mean ‘how?’”
“I mean you’re like a million years old–”
“Only 999,999 years old, I have to let you know.”
“And you look like that!?” She continued. She ignored everything he said because it never reached her brain. She was completely gobsmacked.
He grinned and pulled her to the edge by her thighs. “What does that mean?”
“I mean you’re far too handsome and far too old to still be a virgin.”
He cocked his head to the side before sitting down on his chair again. “Are you disapointed?” His voice, although still pin-straight, held a little bit of fear and insecurity. She realized then just how hypocritical she had been. She slid off his desk and cupped his face in her hands. She leaned forward and kissed him. “Why did you wait?”
He looked at her and grabbed her hands. “I’ve lusted for others, yes. And believe me, I have wanted to many times.” Eve took her hands from his to which he pulled her into his lap. “But I always knew nothing would ever compare to my mate. And nothing has. You could choose to wait for the rest of our lives and I’d be just as happy if I had taken a thousand women–”
“Stop talking.” She put here pointer dinger against his lips, smiling at him.
“Hey, maybe I don’t want to stop talking.”
“Alright, if you don’t want to make-out that’s fine too–”
“Wait no.” Both laughed as he pulled her close again and kissed down her neck. He sighed as he pulled away reluctantly. “There is something we have to talk about, unfortunately.”
“And that is?”
He lightly guided Eve off his lap and went into the drawer in his desk. He took out several files and handed them to her. She sifted through the photos and documents and furrowed her eyebrows, confused.
Adlaric looked sad, but resigned. “The children need to find adoptive parents, my darling. They need a permanent home, not a foster home, Evangeline.”
She nodded and turned away with the files in her hand. “I know.” She clutched the files in her delicate fingers; she figured it would force the tears away, but she was wrong. Soon, gentle streams went down her cheeks and onto the manilla files.
His heart lurched as he smelled her tears. “Eve,” he whispered. She turned around, wiping her tears. “I know, I know. They deserve proper homes and proper parents. They deserve a family.”
He stood up and took her into his arms. “And they have one. They always will. You, me, June, Dimitri...we will always care for those kids. You gave them a home and you gave them love. You loved them like they were your own. I know it hurts, but it’s for the best.”
She nodded and turned around again as her heart marched on in her chest. “Have you told them?” Her eyes were shiny with unshed tears as she looked at him.
His gaze softened and he shook his head. “I thought you’d like to.”
“When do they leave?”
“Next week,” he replied. His tone was even as he looked at his mate. Eve shook her head as her arms crossed over here chest.
“I have to go tell them.” She bit her lip as she looked at him. The dense sadness in her eyes knocked the breath from his hard chest. She went to the door, but briefly stopped as she neared it. “Even Eros?”
The look on his face was enough to answer her question. She left his office and went downstairs. After lunch and dinner, Evangeline led them all outside for a walk through the wooded area.
“This is a tulip poplar,” Aristotle explained to Eros. Eros looked up at him with a confused gaze.
“How do you know all of this?”
Aris smiled at Eros and shrugged. “I like books. I read a lot of them.”
“That’s so cool! I want to learn how to read. Eve’s been teaching me. She said I’m a fast learner,” he gloated proudly. Aris ruffled his hair with a cute boyish smirk.
“I hear there’s a big library nearby. Maybe we could go one day. I can help you reach the books you can’t and read the ones that are hard for you,” Aris promised.
Eros grinned and jumped up and down before running to Eve who was reading to Aurora on the grass. “Did you hear that Eve? Could we maybe go to the library next week? I promise we will be good.”
Eve swallowed and slowly laid the book down beside her. She pushed a strand of hair behind her hair as she procrastinated speaking. She looked up at Eros and grabbed his hand, smiling sadly. “We should all talk.”
Everyone came and sat down around Eve, nervousness filling their eyes. “What is it?” Emmaline asked. “Is everything alright?” Aristotle continued.
“You know Adlaric and I love each one of you, right?” They all nodded their heads waiting for her to continue. “You all have been through so much. You’re all so strong. You deserve happiness and love. You deserve a family.”
Emmaline’s heart prodded in her chest. They’re going to adopt us, she thought. Her bright smile fell once Eve continued.
“Which is why all of you have been placed with families that intend on adopting you.” Silence took over the small field as she finished here sentence.
“You mean, we aren’t staying with you no more?” Persephone asked.
“Anymore,” Aristotle corrected. She smirked hesitantly at him and nodded.
“Anymore,” she repeated with a simple nod.
“Have we done something wrong?” Asked Cynara.
Eve shook her head quickly. “God, no. None of you have. You have been so good. You deserve more than I can give. You deserve a mama and a dad–”
“I know we are a lot, but you could learn to be a mother and Adalric can learn to be a father,” Emmaline reasoned. Eve smiled softly as she ran her hand over Emmaline’s hair before shaking her head. “It’s far more complicated than that, little one.”
Everyone went silent again. A few minutes later, they all prodded back to their house. The kids slowly and depressingly trudged back up to their rooms. When they passed Adlaric, their eyes’ lowered to the ground. If he had his way, he would figure out someway to keep them with him. But they needed to move on, and they needed to find homes. Permanent ones. Ones with fathers and mothers. Adlaric knew he wasn’t cut out to be a dad, and he knew Eve was not ready to commit to being a mother.
Adlaric sat behind his desk with Darius and Dimitri in front of him. He held a phone in his hand and a black, sleek pen in the other. He growled lightly into the phone. “Tell them I want the best schools for all of them. I will pay for it. I will pay for their insurance, their education, their food, and anything else they may need. I want full background checks on all of their host parents. Yes, I know you already did one, do another. If anything happens to those kids, I won’t be so kind next time.” He hung up and rolled his eyes at Dimitri who just walked in with Darius. “What now?”
“Someone’s chipper,” Darius said sarcastically.
“Last I checked, your mate actively dislikes you,” the King responded. Darius growled lowly, although not enough to threaten his King. Adlaric growled again, this time at himself. “I need another shot.”
“Already? You had one a few hours ago,” Dimitri commented. He walked over to Adlaric and pulled open on of his drawers to grab a syringe.
“It’s getting harder to control,” he responded, solemnly.
“I don’t understand. Why don’t you just tell her that you need to complete the mate bond in order for you to truly be tamed?”
Adalric looked at Darius before dropping his eyes again. “I want her to decide when she is ready, not our primal instincts.” Dimitri just sighed and injected the high dose of sedative. He pulled away and threw the syringe away.
“I don’t know how you can resist,” he said, “when June and I met we couldn’t stop for day–”
“Yes, I know. I’m the one who walked in on you remember?”
Dimitri grinned. “Oh, yeah! I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come for you and your mate,” he joked. Adlaric rolled his eyes. He rolled up the cuffs of his dress shirt and went to his office door.
“Where are you going?” Darius questioned.
“I told Evangeline about the pups this morning. She’s taking it pretty hard.”
“Well, I would too if I nursed them back from the brink of death. Like it or not, Adlaric those kids are hers in a way. Even you imprinted on them.”
The Alpha looked at his enforcer as his jaw clicked into place. He’s never said it out loud because to do so would be admitting it. When a lycanthrope imprints on another, it means they formed a deep bond with that person. He knew that once the pups left, he would have severe separation anxiety. He looked at Darius before leaving his office and going upstairs to find Eve.
He found her in their room, walking out of the closet. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a nice shirt with black flats. She smiled at him– that bright and loving smile –as she walked over and laid her hands on his shoulders. “How was work? The Kingdom’s not falling apart is it?” Eve teased.
He rolled his eyes with a teasing glare, kissing her quickly. “Yes, actually. I’m doing a shit job of it. I think I should let the Queen take over for a bit.”
Evangeline shook her head in disbelief and walked away to put on her earrings. “It’s still so...unrealistic to me. I’m not Queen material.”
“Yes, you are. And once you’re coronated everyone else will think that too.”
She perked up at him. “I’m going to have a coronation?”
He nodded. “Once we finish the process. I should warn you that at your coronation we have to,” he stopped unsure.
“Have to what?”
“It’s ceremonial to, well,” he rubbed the back of his head. “Traditionally, we’d go to the place we claim as our spot in nature and make love again. Outside.”
“So everyone can hear us.” He expected her to blush. He expected her to be completely appalled by the mere thought. But Eve simply bit her lip and smiled.
“Alright, then,” she agreed.
“That’s it?” He stopped himself as the familiar sweet scent invaded his nostrils. He forced his growl back down his throat. “It turns you on.”
Eve giggled and nodded. “Quite frankly, anything regarding you turns me on, but I don’t know...I think it’s kind of hot to think that everyone would be listening to how well you make love to me.”
He groaned and practically fell on their bed with his hands over his face. “You’re killing me.” He heard her hefty laugh before he felt her climb on top of him. She straddled him, placing her hands on his chest.
“I was thinking,” she began, rather hesitantly. By her change in tone, Adlaric figured something was wrong.
“What is it, moya?”
“I just...I-I...I’m ready. Once everything settles down, I want to finish the process. Whenever you’re ready.”
His smile was contagious. He flipped them over and held her hands above her head. “Are you being truthful?”
She laughed and nodded her head. “Yes, I am. I love you. Why wouldn’t I want to with the person I love the most.”
Adlaric leaned down and kissed her nose. “I love you.”
Eve smiled up at him and pulled him down to kiss her. He pulled away, his hands firmly on her hips. “Why are you getting dressed? It’s 8 at night.”
Her eyes dimmed. “I said we would do all the things they wanted to before they left.” She kissed him quickly before moving from underneath him. “We are going to get ice cream. Wanna come?”
“Are you sure you want to go out so soon after coming home...”
She looked around, running her hand over her arm nervously. “I have to move on,” she explained. “If I lock myself in, they win. And I refuse to let them.”
He watched her, meticulously, as she pattered around the room. She refused to meet his eyes and that worried him. Adlaric knew she was afraid to go anywhere by herself, so while he didn’t particularly enjoy ice cream, he did want to protect his mate. He also wanted to spend as much time with the kids as possible.
So that’s how they ended up at the “Snack Shack,” a local dinner about thirty minutes away from their house. He hated venturing off his property and he hated leaving his country even more. He hated the revolting stench that certain humans wore around them. He hated their artificial and detrimental affects on nature. But, now, he smiled. He smiled because Elijah pulled Cynara’s hair to which she pinched him. He smiled as he watched his mate wipe Aurora’s mouth with a napkin. He smiled because for once in his life, he didn’t think about how he lost his family; he thought about how he found his family.
He didn’t want them to leave him.
They walked back to their cars an hour later. Ten people were a lot, so they had to take two separate cars. Aristotle and Adlaric were behind the rest of the group.
“I never thanked you, King Romanov,” Aris started.
“I told you to call me Adlaric,” the King responded kindly.
“Well, now that we no longer will be staying with you, I figured...”
Adlaric turned to the boy and kneeled in front of him. He could hear the laughter and conversations of Eve and the other children as she placed them into their cars. He turned his head to look at her and she looked at him confused at first. Then her face turned to understanding as her eyes flickered to Aris. Adlaric looked at the boy and with deep, honest eyes, he began to talk. “You will always have a place in our home, Aris. All of you will. You will always have the power to call me by my name.”
Aris smiled. “I just wanted to say thank you. Without you, we would have never gotten free. Without Eve we would have never known affection and security.”
Adlaric stood up. “And without all of you, either of us wouldn’t have gotten the chance to know such familial love.”
“I am scared,” he admitted, his head low. “Once we get placed, who knows where we will go. We won’t stay together most likely. I just wonder what happens then. We all grew up together; we’re siblings.” Aris walked away to the car as Adlaric watched.
“What about the amusement park tomorrow?” Asked Adlaric, knowing the lycans would hear him. He smiled as he heard their shouts of happiness.
He wanted to be sad, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t his place. His job was to give them the best few days of their lives and he intended to do so.
Even if he hated leaving his house.