Eve bounced with excitement as she held the map in her cold hands.
“I think I would like to visit the Kremlin and then the Red Square. Perhaps we could go to the Wolf Sanctuary too!”
Jessica smiled at her excited daughter. Eve would always be her little girl, even after Eve realized she was meant for so much more than their human world. Austin nodded and went onto his phone to figure out times of tours.
“There’s a tour at 12 for the Kremlin. If we leave now, we could make it there on time.”
When the family made their way out of the castle, Eve was surprised to see a car waiting for them, started, with a chauffeur outside. Glancing at Adlaric, somehow she just knew he had set this all up.
He briefly turned to her with a subtle glean in his eyes before he held his arm out, gesturing for her to go down the castle steps. Eve, blushing, stepped down with her family and the chauffeur opened her door for her.
She wasn’t used to such chivalry so she smiled brightly. “Thank you!” She wasn’t flirting with him, but to everyone else it looked like she was blushing because of him.
Adalric growled, low in his throat, at how she shook from a simple gesture. With their heightened senses, June and Dimitri gave him a skeptical, yet understanding look. Both could smell the shock and appreciativeness that Eve’s body was giving. They both knew their Alpha was angry at how something so...simple could be so new to Eve. To Adlaric, women should always be treated with respect and respect often meant opening the damn door for them. Dimitri grinned as he stood beside Adlaric on the steps.
“What kind of guys do you think she’s dated if she’s never had a goddamn door opened for her?” The King seethed.
Dimitri sighed, his hands in his pockets. “Do you really want to know?”
Adalric wasn’t sure. He was angry that she dated boys– boys, not men –that treated her poorly. He was also angry that he could smell the faintest scent of attraction for their driver from his little mate. His teeth gnashed as he made his way down the stone.
“I’ll drive,” he said to the driver. He was normally respectful, but his wolf demanded to make their claim on his mate. “Leave,” he ordered, dominantly. The driver gulped as he raced away. Adlaric got into the driver’s seat and drove out the driveway.
Any anger he felt at the castle was gone the moment she was wearing an Ushanka– a Russian fur hat –from a tourist shop in the depths of Moscow. He hated the city; humans had a wretched scent and they lacked decency. They coward for him, but they didn’t respect him. He was a natural leader and he didn’t respond well to those he could not lead. But as he stood here, watching his young mate strolling around the shop with a grin that could compete with the sun, he suddenly didn’t mind being in the city.
Eve laughed as June put on a fur coat and walked around her theatrically. They had stopped in the shop after visiting the Kremlin. Eve quickly learned that Adlaric wasn’t just famous in his town, but everywhere else too. As soon as Adalric had stepped foot in front of the security guy, because you can’t enter without getting scanned, the man looked as if he wanted to pee himself. Adlaric and Dimitri had special clearances which allowed them to forgo the rest of searches, meanwhile Eve and her family had to finish them.
“Oh! Can we go see the State Hermitage Museum?” Eve asked, coming back to her parents. She had taken off the hat and was now in line to buy a souvenir keychain. Austin nodded as he stepped behind his daughter, taking out his wallet. Unknown to Eve, Adlaric had stepped forward and insisted Austin put away his cash. Instead, the Alpha pulled out his wallet and handed him ten crisp one-hundred rubles.
Adlaric insisted on taking care of his mate and that meant financially as well. While the King was an advocate for feminism, he still clung to his archaic customs somewhat and he hoped Eve wouldn’t mind him taking care of her. He didn’t want to dominate her– although, perhaps sexually –he wanted their relationship to be a partnership.
“King,” Austin whispered, hesitating to take the cash.
“I insist,” Adlaric stated, shoving the cash into his mate’s dad’s hands. Austin nodded and put his wallet away and used the cash given to him to pay for Eve’s accessory. When he attempted to give the leftover money back, Adlaric simply said, “consider it a payment for taking care of my mate.”
As they walked through the square to get to the museum, Eve shivered from the wind. Adlaric could feel that she was cold, but what would be an appropriate way to respond that would not freak her out? The King scowled as he realized the best option was to act like he didn’t see, but he quickly stepped in front of his mate so that he would shield the wind from blowing at her so furiously.
For a second, Eve thought maybe he had done it on purpose, but she shoved the thought to the back of her head and kept walking. Adlaric was only wearing a light suit jacket which made her wonder how he was not freezing. Same with Dimitri and even as she payed attention, she realized June was looking hot with heat in her coat.
When a local screamed for his wife right beside her, Eve jumped and instinctually her hands wrapped around Adlaric’s waist from behind. Her body knew he was safe. Eve’s natural instinct was to get as close to him as possible. When she realized how uncalled for her actions were, she reluctantly pulled away.
“I’m s-sorry,” she stuttered, looking at her shoes. She tried to ignore the look of shock on her mother’s face. Jessica was human; she did not know how it felt to be a mate or to love as one. It was shocking to see her daughter act so attached to a man she had just met. Maybe the mate-bond was just that strong. Still, it was alarming to Jessica.
A warm finger gently lifted Eve’s chin and her eyes met Adlaric’s. She couldn’t breath; he was gorgeous.
“Don’t stutter, poslaniye s nebes,” He whispered softly. He was so tall, she had to crank her neck to look up at him, even as he slightly leaned over.
Eve gulped as he spoke Russian to her. She never realized how sexy Russian could sound. She wet her bottom lip with her tongue from the sound of his deep, chocolatey voice. Before she knew it, Adlaric sharply pulled away and stood with his back toward her, his hands balled in fists. Was he mad at her? It seemed like it.
Adlaric hadn’t realized that his mate was entering her prime. He forgot that her body would reach sexual and emotional maturity in the years to come. Her body reacted strongly to him, and he could smell it; every feeling, emotion, even taste her thoughts. So when that taut, sweet, succulent scent reached his nostrils, his wolf abruptly pushed his way to the front of his consciousness. Arousal.
Adlaric was caught so off-guard, he pulled around and steeled himself. He had not realized his movements could be confused for something else like anger. He had to make distance between them or he would lose all control he had. He glanced at Dimitri hard before marching away from the group.
Dimitri could smell her scent too, although it was not nearly as enticing to him as it was for Adlaric. As soon as Adlaric looked at him, Dimitri knew he had to get away from his mate. Adlaric’s wolf demanded to take his mate.
Dimitri smiled and clapped his hand, changing the atmosphere from awkwardness to one of excitement. “Let’s get going, shall we!”
Adlaric was mad at her, she just knew it. So as she attempted to put a smile on her face. It was still marred with guilt and sadness, though. June distracted her friend with talking about history and once again, Eve was contented, but she couldn’t forget about the burning need to find Adlaric.
As the family exited the museum, they went up the outside steps to the second level. The upper level’s wall was missing pieces from the age of the building. Guests were warned to be careful as to not fall off the second level. Eve should have paid more attention. She missed a loose rock and attempted to find her footing. Before she could, her entire body went tumbling over the edge and she screamed. Dimitri was at the edge at an instant. She expected to feel pain, but suprisingly, she was caught by strong arms.
Adlaric’s wolf howled deep within his head and his hair stood on his arms. Something was wrong, and he knew it. He left his calming area and raced back to where he had parted with the family. He searched for his mate, his eyes wild with worry, but to no avail. They weren’t mated yet, so he couldn’t feel her. He couldn’t track her by scent either; everyone’s scent was everywhere. When ears picked up on her laugh, his eyes snapped to the museum. He smiled when he realized she was okay, but his heart stopped when he saw her trip and...fall.
His hyper speed took him to the museum and he caught her in his arms. His heart seized in his chest as he stared down at her skin. He looked deep in her eyes, searching for any signs of pain. When he saw none, he released a small breath.
“You’re so strong,” she whispered breathlessly.
Adlaric could laugh at her statement if he weren’t so worried. “Are you alright? Did you hurt yourself?”
Eve shook her head. Adlaric, against his better instinct, cradled his mate to his chest. He needed to feel her everywhere. He could have lost her and that scared him. It terrified him. He just needed to feel her heartbeat, her breath against his skin, and her hair against his cheek. He sighed in contentment.
“You’re here,” she whispered.
“Always,” he promised.
No matter where he was or where she went, he would always come to save his precious heaven sent.