Ena [ 1 ]
I shivered at the mere thought of being beaten an inch from death, blocking out the frantic whispers of the people around me. My fingers brushed the petals of the daffodils that decorated the field. They had to be my favourite flowers, the most beautiful too. The shade of yellow that they took reminded me of the burning sun in the afternoon, full of life and powerful.
I could have spent the entire day at the field, but of course we all had to welcome him. The fear that surrounded the utterance of his name spoke volumes, especially because rumour had it that his name was spoken on a dead person's lips. His visit to the North West was a courtesy really. We all knew it, but Alpha Ramiel stressed on the importance of staying on his good side.
Alpha Tristan. I thought, unwillingly shuddering again. His name certainly didn't sound scary, but it was the story behind it that held so much weight. Closing my eyes, I tried to picture what the man looked like, if he didn't look like the beast everyone described him to be. Imagining something out of my worst nightmare seemed like the best way to go—he caused so much death that it was believed he was starting to take its form.
Staring down at the life that bloomed from the ground, I touched the stem delicately before leaning back cautiously on a patch of grass that had no daffodils. My ears tuned into conversation again, and I listened with curiosity that time around.
"Apparently," Raisa spoke, leaning in closer to her group of friends as if that stopped everyone else from hearing what she said. "He started killing because his mate rejected him on the basis of his looks—he's that hideous that his own mate couldn't bare to love him."
The image in my mind subconsciously morphed into something even more hideous at her words. It wasn't the craziest rumour I'd heard, especially since the one where he killed his own brother for looking at him the wrong way sounded entirely absurd, but it did sort of make sense. I certainly wouldn't care for anything if I was rejected because of my looks, I mean, that had to be the cruelest thing ever.
My interest was piqued until it was time to gather at the hall. People began to file in yet nothing could be heard for miles. It was silent for a reason, tense even since he would be arriving soon. It seemed to put a damper on everyone's mood, and the only thing I could think of was making sure I didn't mess up and accidentally embarrass myself, or worse, catch his attention.
I tried my hardest to filter in towards the back, but everyone's reluctance to be at the forefront of the crowd meant that I was closer to the front than I would have liked to be. I side-stepped slowly to hide myself behind Drew, the beta's son, since he was so tall. Alpha Ramiel's voice infiltrated the silence as the cars came into our line of vision and slowed to a stop in front of us. It was so silent, you'd be able to hear a pin drop. I was sure that I hadn't seen everyone so tense since the news of his arrival became known to us.
If Alpha Ramiel was scared, he certainly didn't show it as he took a step forward, the gravel underneath his shoe crunching loudly. The morbid part of me thought that the unlucky people who ever had the displeasure of angering the unseen Alpha felt the crunching of their spines as he killed them brutally yet swiftly. I shook the deadly thought off as the first car door opened. I tucked myself back behind Drew and hid myself from view. I wasn't stupid enough to leave myself open to eye contact.
I could practically hear Drew's spine shifting as he straightened out his back, making sure to keep his head bowed. I was sure that he came out of the car when everyone bowed their heads. I did too, but I wasn't sure if it made much of a difference since I couldn't see him nor him me. Attentively listening to Alpha Ramiel greeting him, I heard the sound of hands colliding in a firm grip and I could hear his knuckles cracking. Damn.
Peering over Drew's shoulder, my eyes fell on him and widened. Whatever image I had conjured up of him swiftly left my mind as I stared at him. He was far from the embodiment of death. His face was strong and defined with features moulded to perfection. Strong shoulders and even stronger hands that loosened around Alpha Ramiel's for a second before they were back at his sides. The glaciers he called eyes swept over the crowd and before they could land on me, I stepped down from my tiptoes, blowing out a breath behind Drew.
The man standing in front of us all certainly didn't look like a nightmare. In fact, he was handsome and better yet, dangerously sexy. I wasn't sure if I'd seen anyone as handsome as him. My thoughts turned sour when I remembered all the cautionary tales that were told about him. They were cautionary because you had to be cautious around him. Appearances were deceiving; every rose had its thorns.
Beta Daniels stepped forward from his position standing behind Alpha Ramiel and bowed his head respectfully. I could just about see the way his legs slightly trembled and gulped. If a beta was scared in his presence, then I definitely had to make sure that he never laid eyes on me.
I cursed my luck when Beta Daniels turned in my direction, beckoning his son forward with a hand.
"Drew, come here."
I had half the mind to grip onto Drew's shirt to stop him from moving, but he was quick on his feet. He bounded forward, leaving me completely exposed as he slowly walked forward with his head angled towards the ground. My hand instantly went to my pocket where a daffodil lay, and I seeked comfort in the softness of the petals as his icy blues collided with mine.
It was then I realised just how dangerous he was because his mere gaze almost brought me to my knees. He reeked of power and dominance, practically towering over the higher ranking wolves in the crowd. His gaze lingered on me for a few treacherous moments and when they left me, I felt the heat bloom through my cheeks. Part of me wished that he would look at me again, but the rational side triumphed when my gaze fell upon his hands again.
They could snap me in half without any effort at all and that thought alone had me crawling back into my shell. I focused on the gravel as the greetings continued and felt relief when it was finally over. We were only required to welcome the Alpha, the actual business was down to Alpha Ramiel. I was eager to return to the fields and shake off the weird feeling I had in the Alpha's presence. I lingered for a lengthy moment more, staring after him unnoticed for a few seconds before his eyes met mine.
I was ready to hightail it out of there until Alpha Ramiel realised why he wasn't being followed. He looked at me in slight shock but overall seemed curious before speaking.
"Kara—you're required to stay. Follow us."
The refusal was on the tip of my tongue until I realised that I couldn't refuse. Fear may have been powerful, but power triumphed over the irrational emotion as I listened to what he said and trailed close behind the two alphas and one beta. What I was required for was beyond me, but I stood at the door of the room when they entered and took a seat on both sides of the desk.
I could barely focus on anything but his broad shoulders and the way his muscles deliciously strained against his shirt. The sinful thought crossed my mind before I could stop it. Clothes were not made with him in mind. He probably looked better out of them.
The frown pulled at my mouth and I pushed it out, replacing it with gorier thoughts. Blood on his hands. Bones cracked and hearts in the palm of his hand. The fear was back and I knew that it was better that he smelled my fear of him rather than my attraction to him. My skin crawled at the fact that I did, but it was like I couldn't help it.
I didn't even realise that they had stopped speaking or that three pairs of eyes were on me, one of which had the power to make hell freeze over. It was nerve wracking to say the least. Alpha Ramiel beckoned me closer, shooting a look to Beta Daniels who promptly left the room. My eyes followed his retreating figure until a new voice spoke, breaking the silence and any attempt on my part to feel just fear.
"Give me your hand." He spoke, extending a muscled arm in my directions, unfolding his nimble fingers to bare his palm to me. I stared at it for a few seconds until I realised that he wasn't asking.
Every bone in my body wanted to protest, but it wasn't in my nature to disobey an alpha, and the most powerful one I'd ever come across at that. My fingers slid over his palm and at our first touch, I felt a pull towards him, one that I couldn't deny as my feet stepped closer towards him, feeling his strong fingers over the back of my hand. His grip was noticeably there but gentle and my heart sinked as it dawned on me.
He was silent for a long moment before he tugged me to him by my hand, standing up and practically towering over me with his icy blues staring down at me. The hairs at the back of my neck stood to attention and my heart raced at his proximity. The only thing I could think of was I was standing face-to-chest with a cold blooded killer, and all I felt was desire.
My knees threatened to buckle under the pressure of his gaze and when his other hand settled on my waist to steady me, I almost gasped at how good he made me feel.
"Your beauty—I've never seen anything like it." His voice was deep and every syllable drew me further into my hypnotised gaze. I was practically staring death in the face yet all I could truly see was the way his lips parted to speak and the way his tongue lifted to enunciate every word clearly.
My hands pressed against his expansive chest and I half expected to not feel the almost steady thumping of his heart. He had one. That was one rumour put to bed. It was then it all hit me full force. That rumour was fake, but the others surely weren't. His eyes may have been light, but they held a haunted darkness to them, one that I couldn't bring myself to overlook. I ripped myself from his hold, gasping as I came to my senses.
It was like someone had tipped a bucket of chilling ice water over my head, chillier than the glaciers that were staring at me with muted emotion. His face was a blank canvas as he stared back at me, straightening out lips that were pulled down into a short-lived frown.
Gone as quick as it came.
"I-I can't do this." I croaked, feeling the absence of his hands against my skin. The silence was impenetrable or so I thought since the growl cracked into the air. His expression darkened and all I saw was death. He reminded me so strongly of death because it followed him everywhere. He was visibly angry, or offended by my comment.
Even the possibility of his closed fist slamming against the wall and crumbling the very foundation of the building reminded me of his lethality. He was destruction and he brought it to everything he touched.
He was a beast first and foremost, and after all that, I was what no one would wish on their worst enemy. His.