Had I known what would happen to the little Princess's mother, I might have turned around.
I had traveled a mere twenty minutes until I ran into a familiar face.
"Old friends", many would call them. In my case, they weren't friends at all. I had made countless enemies in my lifetime, and I wasn't finished yet.
My past was a complex storm of deceit and betrayal. A past I had whole heartedly left behind.
"You left behind that life for a life of violence." Hades shook his head.
I sighed, my wolf and I sometimes disagreed on such matters. "It was for the best, Hades. Killing is what we have always been known for. Now we kill on our terms."
Twenty minutes into my retreat from the green eyed Princess and the knowing eyes of her mother, I stumbled into someone from my messy past.
Not many people remembered me for who I was. Many of those who remembered the old ways had long been slaughtered, the history within them snuffed out.
"Kakoy syurpriz, Viktor." (What a surprise), A raspy voice from my past chuckled.
I met the dead eyes of someone I had longed to forget.
Kresler, with eyes the color of rotten seaweed. The exact opposite of the emerald eye'd Princess I had been tasked with killing.
Kresler was one of the rare individuals with knowledge of the past, a past many people had tried to burn from the history books.
Many years ago, Kresler was the mate of a young Royal. However, his thirst for power drove him to madness. Kresler was not mated to the oldest, but to the middle daughter. His thirst for power led to a poorly executed coup. His brazen attack left the eldest daughter's mate dead, and the middle daughter had taken her life soon after.
While mad, Kresler still had his wits about him. This made him dangerous. Unfortunately, Kresler was extremely useful to some and killing him would invoke extreme consequences.
"Disgusting rat." Hades growled.
Kresler had fled the Kingdom his mate resided in and created a pack of his own, one consisting of rogues.
In his prime, Kresler had once been one of the most eligible bachelor's in the Northern Kingdoms. His sandy hair now hung lifelessly down his head, his cheeks gaunt from the life of a rogue.
"What do you want, Kresler?" I growled, my voice laced thick with the accent of my childhood.
My accent was the one thing I kept from my previous life, a reminder of what I had been and what I currently am.
"Nichego ot tebya." (Nothing from you), Kresler sneered, the rot on his teeth making an appearance.
"What business do you have here?" I growled, feeling the power bestowed to me swirling around my form.
Hades had always hated Kresler and his shady dealings.
"Zdes' po delu, Viktor. To, s chem vy kogda-to byli znakomy." (Here on business, Viktor. Something you were once familiar with), Kresler's face contorted in what looked like a mix between a sneer and a glare.
I wanted to press harder, demand what business Kresler had in this Kingdom, but I knew better.
The dull shine in Kresler's eyes sparked smugly. He knew I couldn't press for information. I was risking much simply speaking to the rat. No doubt my appearance would make it's way back to the wrong people.
I gritted my teeth together and walked past Kresler, slamming into his shoulder for good measure.
"Someday, we will kill that fucking rat." Hades spat, and I completely agreed with him.
"Uyezzhayete bez proshchaniya? Nekotoryye veshchi ne menyayutsya." (Leaving without a goodbye? Some things never change) Kresler sighed, but there was no sadness in his actions.
I turned my back on Kresler, and it was then I made my first mistake.
I hadn't heard the news until a week later.
Queen Luna Lilliana Adair had been murdered in a brutal rogue attack.
The emerald eye'd Princess Arabella Adair had lost her mother.
I needed no further details to know Kresler was responsible. That kind of brute savagery was something Kresler enjoyed.
It was almost humerus how brazenly I spoke of Kresler and his monstrosities, when I too was capable of the same.
"Capable, yes. But we do not bask in savagery as Kresler does." Hades growled.
Hades was right after all. While I planned to murder the innocent Princess, I had no intentions of doing so in front of her parents. I would not kill something so innocent slowly. True innocence rarely appeared in this world. She would have been snuffed out quickly, much like a candle.
The weeks quickly turned into months and I found myself thinking of the little green eye'd girl.
I still held the task of ending her life, but something was preventing me from doing so. I had been raised in a very specific manner, granting me choice over my emotions. A conscience was something I had only read of, never experienced. Something about this little girl halted my steps, made me question things I had long forgotten.
In each mark I had taken out, each life I had ended, her green gaze reflected onto my victim's eyes.
Something was stirring within me, something pulling me back towards where I saw the young girl.
I found myself doing extensive research on potential mark's, learning their past entirely. I no longer killed whomever I pleased for profit. I began choosing those corrupt, and finally I no longer saw the reflection of her emerald eyes in my victims.
Every few weeks I would find myself back in the forest, the place I had first laid eyes on her.
Over the months, it appeared her father had increased security around the perimeter. It had been two months since I had last visited the forest, and I found myself thinking of it often.
All of my trips to the forest had been in vain. I hadn't seen Princess Arabella Adair since the death of Lilliana.
One evening, I couldn't stand it anymore. The strange feeling that had been brewing for months was finally over flowing. I needed some semblance of the little Princess. It was as if I craved her innocence, and hoped it would heal my tainted soul.
I found myself traveling in the direction of her Kingdom, no specific destination crossed my mind.
I had driven night and day, finally arriving in the town closest to the Adair mansion.
Aimlessly, I pulled the car to a stop and climbed out. I tugged the dark hood of my sweatshirt over my head, concealing what I could.
The Adair Kingdom was the oldest in existence, there could be people here who remember the old ways.
Hades was silent as I traveled down the cluttered sidewalk. Laughter and relaxation floated in the air with the smell of pastries and coffee. Something was happening today, something that called for high spirits.
I had never believed in fate. As a child, I was taught we create our own destiny. Fight for it, even kill for it. Fate was a notion for love-sick fools, those too cowardly and lazy to take initiative.
I had been lost in my thoughts when something small slammed into me. My arms reached out on their own, feeling smooth skin under my hands.
For just a second, nothing had happened.
The dark haired girl looked up, her emerald eyes startled as she realized she had ran into someone.
"It's her." Hades voice ran through my head, at a loss for words.
Sparks, Flames, Shivers.
A sensation I had only read about charged through my skin as though I had touched an electrical current.
The little girl with emerald eyes was like a live wire threatening to bring me to my knees.
"I'm sorry, sir." Arabella Adair's soft voice filled the air between us. I watched her pink lips form the words as they were spoken into existence. She squinted her bright eyes as she struggled to make out the face beneath my hood.
She didn't seem surprised, or even acknowledged the electrical current zapping between us.
"She doesn't know." Hades murmured, completely taken with the little creature before us. "She hasn't turned eighteen yet."
There had never been a time in my life where I was at a loss for words.
Relinquishing the intense urge to pull the little princess into my arms, I turned my back on her and walked away.
"Mate." Hades breathed in sorrow.
"She is too innocent for someone like us." My voice sounded strong as I was battered with emotions I hadn't felt in over ten years, "We would destroy her."