A pit formed in the base of my stomach as the overwhelming scent of lust perfumed the air. I could hear her whimsical giggles echo from our bedroom.
I bounded up the mahogany staircase, stopping abruptly to bite back a throat full of bile. The putrid stench of another man’s arousal filled my nostrils.
I could no longer contain my rage. I sunk my claws into the wooden door, nearly tearing the damn thing from its hinges.
My heart pounded painfully against my ear drums at the sight of-
“Huh?!” I jolted to consciousness violently as my Beta continued to nudge my shoulder. “Where am I?”
“Georgia,” my second hand replied. “We’re visiting a small pack in Georgia to discuss a possible union between our people, remember?”
“Yeah yeah,” I sighed groggily. “Some washed up Alpha wants me to marry his whore daughter. I know the drill.”
“Can you at least try to seem interested this time?” Koda begged while running a stressed hand through his thick blond hair. “I don’t feel like getting punched in the mouth again.”
“If she’s hideous, I’m leaving.” I declared while stepping out of the tinted vehicle.
I could sense my Beta roll his big brown eyes behind me and I smirked. He was fun to annoy. I watched as he ran up the cheap stairs and entered the pack house ahead of me, likely wishing to give me a grand entrance.
Two of my guards opened the large double doors for me when I made it to the top of the creaky steps. I heard my Beta announce my presence dramatically.
“Presenting his majesty!” Koda announced loudly, silencing everyone in the puny dining hall. “Alpha Apollo Atticus Asmodeus the fourth!”
I cringed internally at the sound of my full name being presented in such a manner. I suppose I should be used to it by now since we go through this little routine weekly, but I wasn’t.
I hated my full name, it reminded me of my father. Alpha Apollo the Great, he’d been called. Every Lycan in North America knew my father’s name and feared him rightfully. After spending years working tirelessly on my own reputation, I had been granted the same respect and piss inducing terror as my old man.
I nodded at my loyal Beta and entered with my head held high. Eyes painted the cheap marble flooring beneath me. I’m sure my very presence was enough to make each lesser wolf in attendance nauseous.
I strode over to the fidgeting mess that this pack referred to as ‘Alpha’. I bore into the man’s silver orbs intently, but he couldn’t stand to meet my gaze for more than a moment.
Weak, I sneered internally.
“Alpha Apollo,” the man spoke curtly. “I am Richard Matthews, Alpha of the Silver Claw pack.”
“Richard,” I acknowledged smugly.
I refused to refer to him as Alpha. While using the title was a sign of respect, especially among other Alphas, I simply loathed the idea of applying the term to such a feeble minded Lycanthrope.
Richard had fading white hair that appeared greasy. His beady grey eyes were surrounded by thick wrinkles and his large protruding belly made him look as though he may have been expecting a child.
The man sniveling before me was no Alpha, he was simply a poorly aged brute desperate for any attention I bothered giving him. He was nothing to me, and I had absolutely no problem showing it.
“I hope my pack is to your liking,” the old bastard cleared his throat and held his arms out proudly.
“I doubt I’ve seen worse,” I admitted.
The man stared at me in utter disbelief before lowering his head in shame. He knew he wasn’t worthy of his power over these people, and he sure as hell wasn’t worth my time. I wasn’t just an Alpha, I was fucking royalty at this point. I was the most powerful Alpha this world had ever seen, and I demanded to be treated as such.
Did he actually believe I would find this ratty camp to be adequate, let alone enjoyable? He had to be either delusional or drunk off his ass to think he’d earn an ounce of my respect during this meeting. I would never bother entertaining the thought of traveling to this shit-hole if it wasn’t under such imperative circumstances.
“Enough of the formalities,” I uttered. “Bring me the girl.”
“Of course,” he muttered before scurrying off.
I flared my nostrils as I waited impatiently for something to amaze me. When he finally returned, he had a young woman clutching his withering arm.
“Alpha, I’d like to introduce you to my daughter.” He smiled at the poor girl. “This is Evelyn, the sole heir to my throne.”
“A throne would require a kingdom, Richard.” I informed him. “Which you are clearly lacking.”
“Humorous as ever, Alpha.” My Beta chided, likely trying to avoid an altercation. “Perhaps Miss Evelyn would fancy a dance with his lordship?”
“That won’t be necessary,” I waved. “Let me look at you, love.”
The girl released her grip on her father warily and stepped forward. She wore a cheap red dress that was way too tight, causing her tiny breasts to pop out in an unflattering manner.
Her long strawberry tresses hung in frizzy ringlets around her round face. She had the same grey eyes as her father and flaunted a nervous smile upon her thin pink lips.
Someone had painted her face with an obscene amount of makeup in hopes of making her appear younger. Unfortunately for her, she just looked like a strung out hooker.
“How old are you, Emily?” I asked.
“Evelyn,” Koda fake coughed beside me.
“Evelyn!” I corrected, not really giving a shit what I called her.
“Twenty-eight,” she admitted. “But I like to believe I could pass for a twenty year old.”
“It’s nice believing in something, isn’t it?” I jeered. “Are you pure?”
“Um, of course!” She lied.
“That was a trick question,” I smirked. “You don’t think I could sense that you were mated as soon as you walked out?”
“Well, I-! Um! Uh-!” She stuttered.
“It was ages ago!” Richard growled. “As if that really matters anyway! We have a strong army and fields of grain that we would happily share if you were to unite with my daughter.”
“I don’t need your fucking grain!” I snarled. “What you need is my protection and power, which is why you tried to pass off your whore daughter as a born again virgin!”
“How dare you-!” The man began but I was growing tired of the situation.
“Oh, that’s enough!” I groaned. “If you truly wish to challenge me for your pathetic excuse of a child’s hand, then feel free to follow me outside. I’d gladly paint your cheap stair case with your worthless blood you pathetic pile of shit! Otherwise, you can take your crops and shove them up your wrinkly ass. We’re done here!”
I turned and stormed out, not wishing to waste another moment of my time in this shit-show. Koda followed me closely, accompanied by the rest of my soldiers.
The only thing I hated more than an impure female was a liar. I’m not sure who that filthy skank thought she was, but I knew I could do far better.
“That went well,” Koda muttered once we’d entered the limousine.
“I refuse to settle for some rag doll that couldn’t keep her fucking legs closed to save her life!” I snarled furiously. “They waste my time and have the nerve to lie to me! I should have their heads on my fucking mantel!”
“Deep breaths,” my Beta soothed. “They’re not worth the time or energy. You’re the most powerful Alpha in all of North America, of course every man with half a brain would try to pass their daughter off as a virgin. Just breathe.”
“Fucking American wolves!” I barked. “Can’t trust a single one of them! Traitorous mutts!”
“We have many trusted allies in the state packs,” Koda reminded me. “Remember, you’re quite fond of that pack in Michigan.”
“The only reason I put up with it is because their Alpha is a close friend,” I sneered. “And even he manages to test my last fucking nerve!”
“Friends are good!” He beamed. “Maybe we should pay them a visit. I’m sure D-!”
“No!” I roared. “I’m done with this! Endlessly traveling around the United States, and for what?! A petty harlot in a ruby dress?! I can’t keep doing this!”
“We’ll find someone,” he assured me. “There’s still the pack in California that we could-!”
“I’m not going to the west coast,” I decided. “I need a break from all of this.”
“What you need is a mate!” Koda stressed. “Our people are growing restless. It isn’t good for an Alpha to be without his Luna for this long.”
“You don’t think I fucking know that?!” I snapped. “You think I enjoy traveling all over the fucking world in search of a female?!”
“I know this must be difficult for you,” he tried to console me.
“You don’t know a damn thing!” I roared. “You’ve found your mate! You have pups!”
“You own more than half of the Canadian provinces!” Koda argued. “Everyone envies you.”
“I own a big empty house with a skeleton hanging above my fireplace,” I sunk into the plush leather interior brokenly. “Who would envy that?”
“We will find you a mate,” Koda assured me. “Thousands of she-wolves would gladly leave their mates for you while countless men would kill to be you. You could have anything, or anyone you want. You just have to choose!”
I rested my head on my giant hand and stared out the window, silently watching the horrid pack pass us by. I couldn’t allow myself to take my anger and loneliness out on my Beta. While I appreciated his attempt at understanding, there simply was no way he could relate to my heartache.
“I had a mate,” I breathed.
“You were far too good for her,” my friend comforted. “She wasn’t worth your mark or your affection.”
“But she was mine,” I huffed. “My one true mate. The one meant for me, and me alone. My Goddess given Luna.”
“She betrayed you!” Koda raised his voice while trying to knock some sense into me.
“She was the love of my life,” I clipped. “I don’t give a damn what she did, that doesn’t change the way I feel.”
“I understand that,” he began. “But there’s no use in holding onto the past. She’s gone, has been for many years. It’s time you stop letting her control your life and start living it.”
“You’re stepping out of line, Beta.” I warned.
“I’m sorry,” Koda huffed. “I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“You weren’t wrong,” I admitted. “I need to move on, but not right now. Not yet. I don’t think I could survive another disappointment.”
“I get it,” he smiled wryly. “We’ll head home then. I’m sure you’ll find the company much easier to navigate there.”
I smirked at my friend’s jest, knowing exactly what he’d meant. Over the years, I’d grown accustomed to living as a single man. Dozens of women threw themselves at me daily, making my newfound hobby of cherry picking quite interesting.
But as I’ve grown older, my people have begun to question my authority. No one dared to challenge me, but with no Luna to bear my pups fear had spread through my pack like a virus.
If something were to happen to me, it would be a bloodbath. Dominant wolves and neighboring Alphas would fall into battle for my title, taking countless lives of the innocent with them.
Panic surged once I’d turned thirty, as most Lycans my age had a bundle of pups to care for by now. It didn’t help that I was also the same age my father had been when he and my mother were brutally murdered. Needless to say, it was time for me to take a new mate.
But that was proving to be much more difficult than I had assumed it to be. Getting the women wasn’t the problem as I could obviously have any female I wanted, it was finding one worthy of continuing my bloodline.
I hailed from the purest breed of Lycan imaginable. I still bore the golden eyes of my ancestors. My father’s pack in Montreal had been filled to the brim with amber eyed wolves like myself, but thanks to a vampire invasion that wiped out more than half of our people, there were only a handful of purebreds left.
I scowled at the memory. I recalled waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of my mother’s horrified screaming, stepping out of my room just in time to see her get decapitated. My father’s mutilated body was lying beside her in a bloody heap.
Our savior had been a maid that hid my sisters and I in a small closet. The three of us waited in the cramped space for two days before we were rescued. One of our father’s close friends graciously took us in and raised us as his own. The man had been a brilliant Alpha, as was his son.
If I hadn’t been so exhausted from the constant travel, I would’ve happily made the trip to Michigan to pay my adopted brother a visit. I hadn’t seen him since his mate’s funeral, but I did remind myself to call him every now and then just to be sure he was still breathing.
“We’ll have to make a trip down to the Moon Stone pack sometime this year,” I alerted Koda.
“Of course sir,” he agreed. “I’m sure they’d be pleased to see you again.”
“Doubtful,” I smirked. “I manage to piss everyone off someway or another.”
“Well, at least you’re mindful of it.” My Beta joked.
I laughed at his petty jest. He knew as well as I that there weren’t many that could put up with my company. Nevertheless, I reclined into my seat and watched the scenery whip by.
Knowing how difficult I was to put up with, I wondered if I’d ever find a female willing to accept my flaws. I had been incredibly picky in choosing a mate due to my ridiculously high standards, and I feared no woman would ever be able to meet them.
I needed a strong, fearless Luna to rule by my side. One that would submit to me as their Alpha while having no problem putting me into my place when it was required. If I didn’t find her soon, I risked my people revolting against me.
My heart pounded in my chest as I closed my eyes in an attempt to calm my shot nerves. I allowed the calming drive to lull me to sleep. Soon I was blissfully dreaming about a second chance mate that I feared the Goddess would never grant me.