One year ago
“Remind us again why we’re doing this?” we groaned, feeling annoyed with the constant and useless testing the scientist wanted us to do.
And for what?
To see what killed us? What could control us?
Good luck, Chuck!
“Because I’m a Dire Wolf, you’re a Dire Wolf and this was the only way to keep the King and the Counsel happy,” Mom replied logically – and by the tone in her voice, she hated this every bit as much as we did. “While also keeping them away from wolfsbane and silver chains.”
She cited that almost like a mantra by now.
We sighed. Ok, so maybe this wasn’t’ the first time we’d asked and probably wouldn’t be the last, but…
We hated this!
With a passion…!
Especially because no one could know that the tattoo on our back – the tattoo that was a carbon copy of our Mom’s; the one that marked us as a Dire Wolf – was completely fake!
“And remember to say ‘I’ – like normal people,” Mom continued chiding us, looking us up and down, as we rounded the last corner and entered the palace’s parking lot.
“The Science Wing”
We looked out the window, seeing the familiar sign. We literally have better things to do, than to run on a treadmill all day, we groaned to ourselves. Like studying for that test, we had tomorrow! Perhaps get laid afterward, have a drink--- or even better, get Landon drunk and annoy Luka with his latest fling…
We were stuck here – doing TESTS!
“We’ll try,” we replied with a huff--- and instantly fucking it up. “I’ll try,” we corrected ourselves, grunting in annoyance. We hated to have to refer to ourselves as ‘I’. We weren’t ‘I’, we were one but were both! Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to normal people, but we aren’t normal. We are Leviathan! We are wolf and man in one. Not LJ and wolf.
We took our name from our Dad, to honor him. We love him and our Mom. They are the best parents any child could want. And our siblings aren’t half bad either. Before us, there were the twins – Landon and DJ. Landon was shy, smart as shit and so far, the only one who could take us in a fight. DJ was beautiful – inside and out! – and was the one that kept us straight in school, making sure we stayed out of trouble. They were both werewolf-vampire-hybrids, but we didn’t care. After that we think that Mom and Dad at some point wanted more children – biological children – but then Luka came into the picture and our family was complete.
“Let me see you,” Mom said, turning our attention back to her. “Eyes!”
We almost rolled them, before stopping ourselves. This wasn’t her fault and our parents had done what was best for us. We took in a deep breath and concentrated on changing our eye-color to the color we had before we merged in order to not seem suspicious. Before we merged, we had blue eyes; like Dad. But after they were a piercing neon green – even more so than our Mom’s. A piercing green, that we had to hide by constantly changing them to blue.
We didn’t know why we had that ability. Hell, if we wanted to, we could practically shapeshift--- to a certain degree. Hair color was the easiest; next was skin color – although that was painful. And we knew we could alter our height and body mass, but the world of pain we had to suffer through never made it worth it…
Only eye color changed on its own to green. Which meant we always had to remember to suppress the green in public – and during these insufferable tests!
“Better?” we asked, turning our attention back to her with now blue eyes. But she didn’t look happy.
“No,” she sighed, a guilty look on her face. She shook her head, gripping the steering wheel so hard, her knuckles turned white. “You should be free to do and be whoever and whatever you want, without the fear of…”
“Mom!” we cut her off, taking her hand into ours, instantly feeling like shit. We didn’t know why today’s tests seemed to get on our nerves and make us restless; like something in our gut was telling us, that something big was about to happen.
But we also knew that Mom and Dad were as much prisoners’ in all of this as we were. Sure, Dad could take on the King, but at the time, he was still getting Sin City under control and dealing with the aftermath of taking over the vampire clan. The Vampire Counsel, the Werewolf’s Counsel of Elders and the Werewolf King were all crawling all over Black Lunar and in the end, something had to give.
So Mom offered herself as a peace treaty…
“It’s ok,” we said softly, holding her hand like she’d done so many times with us. “You and Dad did what you thought was best for the Pack and for--- me!”
Goddess, how I hated saying ‘me’, we thought, but instead of letting it show, we forced a small reassuring smile at Mom.
“I won’t forget that.”
It was the truth. We loved our Mom and Dad, and we’d do anything for them. And we knew that if the king and his scientists knew about what we really were, it wouldn’t only put Mom and us in danger, but Dad and the entire Black Lunar pack as well.
“Oh, LJ,” Mom sighed and placed her hand over mine. Her beautiful green eyes shining with love and affection; only a small tread of guilt remained. “I love you and I’m so proud of you.”
We smiled back, letting her kiss us on the cheek (that somehow always seemed to lighten the mood) before getting out of the car.
“Are you sick?” one of the scientists asked walking over to us with his infuriating tablet in hand. We eyed it; one day, we were going to break it over his head and force it down his throat…
“You’re starting to show signs of fatigue already.”
We didn’t reply but continued running on the treadmill. We knew that and that was deliberate on our part, actually pushing ourselves a little today. Usually, we’d just say we were tired after they’d ‘uh-ed’ and ‘ah-ed’ for a while, playing the role of a power-suppressed Dire Wolf. In truth, we’d barely broke out sweat from this.
But today something was off.
We glanced around the room. Nothing seemed off – it was your typical doctor-like consult room with some exercise equipment designed for werewolves along with some monitors and machines we didn’t know were for. There were two scientists wandering around with their tablets and pens, doing whatever it was they did--- and that’s when it hit us!
They were nervous!
We sharpened our senses slightly, taking in a deep breath, and sniffed the air.
We suppressed a growl, and this time, honed our sense of hearing. What the fuck was going on? The walls were supposed to be soundproof, but our hearing far succeeded any ordinary werewolf…
“---never to something so grotesque,” Mom snarled, and we could hear her snapping her hand back from the king. Although she was a Dire Wolf-like us and exceptionally strong, her wolf was suppressed by magic, making a strong male like the king her equal.
Had he put his hands on her?
How dared he---?!
“You don’t have a choice,” the King cockily replied; an arrogant fool, about the same age as our Dad, but that’s about the only thing they had in common. Dad was an amazing leader and alpha, whereas the King hid behind the strength he’d inherited by being born to the previous King. “From our experiments, there is a 50/50 chance that any offspring of yours will be a Dire Wolf…”
Of course, this had to be about Dire Wolves!
We growled but pretended to be annoyed at the scientist at the table, and not at the conversation, we weren’t supposed to be hearing…
“So, breed me like a cow to create more?” Mom snarled, but we could hear the panic slowly rising in her voice. What the fuck was the king up to?
“All you have to do is to donate your eggs and our scientist…” the King replied, still sounding cockily calm.
“Oh, and then turn a blind eye to my children so you can do with them as you please?” Mom growled and we could hear her shuffling with her things, quickly packing up whatever she brought along. “You’re worse than The Vampire King if you think that even for a second…”
“I think you’re getting confused here, Luna Stone,” the king cut her off and we could hear her struggle in his hold. “I’m not asking!” He growled threateningly. “I’m telling you what’s going to happen next.”
“What---?!” She gasped but was cut off and a painful whimper escaped her lips. And with every fiber in our body, we knew.
Mom was in danger!
Our blood boiled and anger fueled every cell of our body. We dropped the stupid façade and charged out the door. It only took us a fraction of a second to locate her and within the blink of an eye we ripped off the door, blocking us from our Mom.
Horror struck us, as we took in the scene in front of us. Mom was whimpering on the floor as the King stood above her with a syringe in his hand. Now, we weren’t as smart as Landon and Luka, but we didn’t need to be a genius to figure out, what was going on here…
Before the King had a chance to react, we charged at him, gripping him by the throat and pushing him up against the wall. His expression was a mix of horror and surprise. His last thought, that we’d been fooling him all this time…
He was going to regret waking the monster within us…!
We roared in fury as we ripped him to pieces, enjoying every tear and tug. It wasn’t enough to just kill him; he had to suffer. To feel pain…
For hurting our Mom!
It was Mom calling us. She used her Luna tone, as she used to when we were younger and lost our temper. But it worked. It snapped us out of our rage, and we turned our attention back to her, breathing heavily. She was still on the floor, unable to move because of the serum the king had injected into her. Probably something we’d help him create.
A weapon against Dire Wolves!
A way to control them…
We eyed the mutilated body on the ground. He might be dead, but who was going to stop the next king to do the exact same thing to her? To us? To hurt our family and friends? Our Pack?
We couldn’t let that happen!
We had to protect them!
Turning back to the pieces of meat on the ground, we thought of something. Seeing his blood made us grin. We remembered a ritual the ancient wolves used to do when a weak alpha or king like this one fell. How the strongest took their place.
How we would take his place…
“LJ!” Mom tried to call us back, but there was no going back. We did this to protect them. Everyone! She and Dad had spent their entire life protecting us; now we would protect them…
We dipped our fingers into the blood, taking as much of it as we could--- and drank it.
Everyone in the room felt it. Even Mom. We saw her gasp for air as if something hit her straight in the chest. Her eyes went wide in shock as she was staring at us, unable to believe what we did.
We felt every link – every pack, every soul that had been bounded to him – surge through our body and curl into our mind. We understood that to a weaker wolf, this process would leave them insane, but for us, it felt like being slightly drunk for a second, before it all settled, and our connection was made.
I’m your king now, we announced through the link daring challengers to rise and traitors to think twice. King Leviathan! And you will bow to me or suffer my wrath!
Coming next: The King’s Maid
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