THE CLICK ECHOED THROUGHOUT the rooftop as Aida began to assemble her gun. Her eyes flickered to the field, where Draco was training the most elite warriors from the entire Lycan Kingdom. She wanted to be there, to be fighting and teaching along his side, but with her pregnancy, Draco didn’t want her around. Anger coursed through her veins and she turned away, to avoid watching any longer.
“You’re upset,” a voice came from the opposite end of the roof and Aida looked up. “You want to be down there but he won’t let you.”
“Hi Selene,” Aida sighed, focusing on her gun. “How are you?”
The Moon Goddess laughed and walked across the roof, her dress flowing behind her. “I’m good, Queen Aida, how are you?”
Aida shrugged. “I do want to be down there, but I know that I shouldn’t.”
“So you’re shooting?”
“I’m a good shot,” she muttered. “How are the warriors doing?”
“Why don’t you come see for yourself,” Selene placed her hand in front of Aida’s face.
Cocking her head back and forth, Aida shrugged and took her mother-in-law’s hand. The elevator ride down was quiet, both Goddess, thinking about the upcoming war. When the doors opened, Aida gasped. She could Draco was working them hard, but the sweat and blood seemed to be paying off. Her eyes scanned the mass of Lycans, before falling on her mate; he was walking between partners, hands between his back as he gave everyone feedback. He had yet to notice her, and Aida used that time to scan the group once again. “Wow,” she murmured under her breath. “He’s doing an amazing job training them.”
Selene nodded. “He’s always had a knack for battle. Has he told you anything about their recent developments?”
Aida shook her head. “Last I heard was that they were attacking on the solstice.”
“Rumor has it, they’re going to kidnap King Jason.”
“Is that why he’s training them so hard?”
“Yes,” Selene’s eyes flickered over the group and then she froze. “Looks like my son figured out we’re here.”
Wide eyed, Aida tried to spin on her heel before he could catch her, but she failed.
“Mother,” his voice was hard and full of anger. “What are you thinking bringing her here?”
“She deserves to be here,” Selene shrugged. “She can give you better tips from down here, not from kilometers away looking through a sniper scope.”
“You disobeyed my direct order.” Draco stood in front of Aida, his spine straight and his shoulders rounded, forcing himself to his full height just shy of 7 feet.
Aida swallowed thickly and looked down at her feet. She knew better than to speak out of town when he was no long Draco her mate but Draco her Master.
“Go home, Aida.”
Fighting the tears that pricked her eyes, Aida began to turn around.
“What? That’s it?” Selene raised her voice and hands. “Draco, this wasn’t her idea it was mine!”
“I’m well aware of that Mother,” he seethed. “For now, I’m sending my mate home and I suggest that you go home to yours.”
“I will go home to your father as long as Aida stays—she’s a good warrior Draco, she can help.”
Draco grunted and turned away from both of them and then stopped. “Fine,” he grumbled. “But don’t even think about pulling some shit like that again, okay Mother?”
Selene snorted and rolled her eyes. “I brought you into this world Draco, as a Goddess, I can easily take you out. Don’t even try to threaten me boy.”
Looking down at his shoes, Draco muttered a quick apology. He was a mama’s boy through and through, as much as he wanted to be angry with his mother, his heart wouldn’t allow it. Stepping forward he relished in the comfort of her arms, before backing away and nodding his head goodbye. “Don’t,” he raised a finger in his mates direction, forcing her to clamp her mouth shut.
Aida gripped Adonis’s hand tightly as they walked through the forest and away from the small body of water behind the castle. She had taken him away from her mate, for the time being, hoping to give him time to manage his anger. A twig snapped in the background and Aida’s head snapped up, her eyes wide as they looked around for the source. “Verity?”
“It’s a human,” the wolf inside her head grunted.
Tugging Adonis closer to her body, Aida stopped and turned her ears to the south where the sound originated from. Her heart was racing as she was trying to figure if the human Verity had sniffed out was dangerous or not. Another twig snapped and Aida let out a warning growl.
A man stepped out from behind the pine tree, a sinister grin on his face. “You must be the Queen.”
His voice sent shivers down Aida’s spine. “Draco?” She called out to the bond, but there was no response. “Draco?” She tried again, but to no avail. “Who are you?” Aida asked, turning her attention to the human.
The man grinned, his yellow teeth, twinkling in the sunlight.
Her eyes flickered to the gun he was waving around in the air and Aida froze. There were silver bullets in the gun, once that would only pinch her, but could easily kill Adonis. Another twig snapped in the distance and Aida shuddered. “You’re not alone.”
“Of course not,” he grinned again. “I bring my friends with me every time I go out hunting.”
“Draco!” But she was only met with an eerie silence. Aida saw the bullet leave the barrel before she heard the shot and a loud growl escaped her mouth. She hadn’t met to shift, but the power to protect her son, drove Verity to taking over control. The shift from human to hurt, but it was a necessary one. The silver bullet buried itself in the tree behind where the Queen was once standing.
“Mama!” Adonis cried, his eyes wide with fear.
Verity turned slightly, her golden eyes softening as much as possible in their current situation, and her tail swished back and forth, gently knocking her son on his bottom.
Turning her attention back to the hunters, she growled as the circle they had cornered her in. With a bark, she lunged at the closest human, biting fiercely on his arm. Blood was splattered across her white fur but Verity didn’t stop until she had pinned the yellow toothed man to the ground. “Orion, I need your help.”
“Aida? Are you alright, where are you?” Her father in law’s voice came out trembling and full of worry.
“The pond behind the castle.” Verity barked at the defenseless hunter as he tried to wiggle around. “Hunters made it onto pack grounds, I had to shift to keep Doni safe.” Thundering footsteps could be heard and Verity turned her white head to the side. She bared her canines at the intruders, only to shut her mouth when Orion and other warriors showed up.
“Shift,” Orion murmured. “I brought you clothes.”
Glancing at the man underneath her paw, Verity took the dress in her mouth and stalked off. “How did they get onto pack lands,” Aida asked as she walked out from behind a tree.
Orion shrugged, “I have no idea.” His blue eyes scanned her body searching for any injuries. “Did they hurt you at all?”
“I got shot, but the bullet is gone and I bled out to get the silver out of my body before it healed up.”
“Okay,” squatting down Orion took a shook up Adonis in his arms. “What were you doing out here anyway?”
“Giving your son space,” she spat out angrily.
“He’s still throwing a hissy fit about that?”
“Oh,” Aida grunted. “It’s more than just a hissy fit. He turned the office into a rage room.”
“What do you mean, hunters got onto pack lands!” Draco growled furiously, the palm of his hands slamming down against the dining room table. The warriors in the room flinched, but his family members just rolled their eyes; used to this kind of behaviour. “I assigned border patrol across the entire barrier and extra around the castle, and you’re telling me that not one warrior was around my Queen?”
The head warrior raised his hand, unsure of how to talk to his King.
“What?” Draco seethed.
“Your Majesty, the warriors around by the pond were knocked out, injected with silver.”
Draco let out a grunt and collapsed into the seat. “Leave us,” he waved his hand to the warriors. “I need to have a conversation with my family.” He watched them shuffle out awkwardly, their heads down and their hands wrapped around their long double sided swords. “Catherine, take Adonis to his room.”
“Of course, Your Majesty.” Taking the young Prince from the Queens arms, she shot a sympathetic look at her Queen and walked out of the room.
“Now you,” Draco looked up—his silver hues full of rage. “Tell me what the fuck you were thinking when you shifted while being five months pregnant.”
But Draco cut her off, “actually don’t finish that fucking sentence. Why didn’t you call me, Aida! You’re pregnant, you don’t get to play hero and ignore your duty as a mother!”
A slap echoed throughout the room and Aida’s nostrils flared angrily. “I tried, three times Draco, three fucking times to get your attention, and not once did you answer me! Not once! So don’t get mad at me because I was trying to save our fucking son from dying while you were off throwing a hissy fit!” Her chest heaved up and down quickly as she stared at his cheek, a large handmark on it. “I had to call your fucking father, because my mate wouldn’t bother saving me or my son from near death experience. Imagine the news spread, that the ex King had to save the Queen from being killed.” Opening her mouth to say something else, Aida let out a huff and spun on her heel and walked out.
“Where are you going?” Draco called out after her.
“Away from you,” she grunted. “Don’t bother waiting tonight, I’m sleeping in my chambers.” Aida heard Draco call out to her once more, but she kept walking, her head held high as she tried to ignore the pain in his voice. “Rose,” she murmured when she came across her maid. “I need you to take me to the hospital.”
The maid nodded and walked to the control room, in an attempt to find someone who could drive them. “Is everything alright, My Lady?”
“Just want to check on my boys,” Aida smiled sadly as she touched her stomach. Together, the trio walked to the Rolls Royce and climbed in. “Elias?”
The driver looked in the rear view mirror. “Yes, My Lady?”
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention this trip to the King just yet.”
“My Lady,” Elias trailed off.
“Please,” she begged. “Thank you,” she murmured when he nodded. Stepping out of the car, Aida put her head down and walked through the back entrance used solely for the Royals. “Hi Erika,” Aida smiled at her doctor.
“Aida, what are you doing here?” Erika had become a good friend of Aida’s since her arrival in Greece, it was the only reason she called the Queen by her first name.
“Can we talk?”
Erika glanced over Aida’s body and nodded quickly. Even if her eyes weren’t displaying their tiredness, Erika could see it in the way that Aida carried herself. Her shoulders were more slumped than normal and her hair was tied in a messy bun—a style she never wore out in public. Grabbing her arm, Erika guided them into her office. “What’s wrong, babe?”
Aida let out a sigh and then began ranting about the beginning of her day. She paused occasionally to let Erika speak her mind. “The actual reason I’m here,” she fiddled with her fingers. “I shifted.”
Erika dropped her coffee on the ground. The compostaple cup, hitting with a soft thud! and the tan liquid falling onto the pristine white ground. “You what?” Erika asked.
“I shifted,” Aida mumbled. “I know it’s dangerous, but I had to do it. The Hunters managed to find their way onto pack grounds and they were targeting me and Adonis.”
“Lay back,” Erika ordered. “I’ll do a test.”
With tears in her eyes, the Queen leaned back and waited. The gel on her stomach was cold, but she paid no attention to it. “Erika,” she asked when the room had gone too silent. “Erika, say something.”
Erika sighed. “I’m going to have to induce your labor.”
“What?” Aida sat up, her eyes bewildered.
“You were human when you first mated with Draco, therefore you were on track for a ninth month pregnancy. But because you shifted, and actual wolves give birth between 2-5 months, your body thinks you should be delivering now.”
“Don’t call the King,” Aida grunted as they moved her to a different room.
“Aida,” Erika shook her head.
“Erika, he’s going to be so angry, I don’t need or want him here.”
Erika pursed her lips but didn’t say. Turning on her heel she located Elias and Rose. “I need you to get King Orion and Queen Selene, please.”
“They’re still with King Draco,” Elias said, his voice low and full of concern.
“Bring them all then,” Erika sighed. “She’s going to hate me, but he needs to be here.”