The little she-wolf was quite interesting to watch. Her face conveyed every emotion openly, putting them on display for the world.
A chance; as she called it.
I myself became a key player in the little she-wolfs game, a game to earn my loyalty.
She was clueless to my enjoyment of gambling. What were the odds this little she-wolf would be successful in turning me from my own species. The logical side of me said the odds were slim to none, while some sliver of humanity within me was already hers.
It was clear the price she was willing to pay; her heart.
I couldn’t begin to understand the lives of this animal-like species.
Vampires considered themselves refined, choosing a mate that would suit their every need. Werewolves were slaves to some mythical Goddess in the sky, one who dictated their own mate. Did these wolves have control over anything?
I left the club that night with an infuriated Tristan. His anger swirled around him, but that wasn’t the only emotion pouring from within. Longing and interest framed his face as he struggled to keep this information from my grasp. He was not fast enough, cloaking his face with a mask of indifference.
“Something has happened?” I paused, lifting my eyebrow as I read the quick flicker of emotions.
Tristan looked almost…pained.
“Yes.” Tristan nodded, “Something has happened.”
“Did you fulfill the King’s request?” I asked, watching as his face hardened.
I masked my own face, burying my own emotions deep within me. I swore to never let them see the light of day. A strange yet dull pain formed in my chest, my mind lingering on the little she-wolf.
“I was unable to complete his task.” Tristan hesitated, something I had never seen him do before.
“Tell me if you must.” I pressed, “The King will find out regardless.”
“I marked her, Giovanni.” Tristan stopped walking, our forms cloaked by the night. “I couldn’t stop myself.”
“You marked..the she-wolf?” My interest was more than piqued. Another factor in this complicated game.
For just a split second an image of Breyona flashed in my mind, Tristan’s mark glistening on her neck. Rage flooded through me, possesive rage. A rough grunt escaped my lips as I felt the mate bond roiling within me.
“Has something happened with you, Giovanni?” Tristan turned, his own eyes calculating.
“I am simply fearing for your life, friend.” I frowned, once again shoving the putrid emotions deep down.
“Do not fear for me.” Tristan shook his head, but he still looked troubled. “The King would not dare kill me while my mark lingers on her skin.”
“Perhaps you are right.” I shrugged, “You may also be wrong. A mark is not a simple thing to remove.”
“Trust me, friend.” Tristan’s eyes glinted mischievously. “The King will not kill me.”
Tristan had his own motives, that much was clear. He was unable to hide what he had done, knowing the King would find out regardless.
“You would dare move against the King?” I questioned.
Tristan had been my longest friend–If you could call him that. We had joined the service of the King the same year, had been raised side by side.
“Only a fool would move against the King.” Tristan scoffed, shaking his head. “I simply did what our species must–I marked a mate of my choosing, one worthy of me.”
Something strange rushed through me, adding another overlooked factor to my mind.
“She is still half werewolf.” I noted, “She has an intended mate out there. What will your course of action be if her intended is not you?”
Tristan looked perplexed, as though the thought had never crossed his mind. This did not surprise me. Tristan was compulsive, living in the moment as he pleased. Consequences were not always in his mind.
“I am her intended mate.” Tristan nodded, “I am sure of this. But, I would kill the one destined for my mate.”
I nodded in agreement, but that sliver of Breyona within me was shaking her head. I could see her in my mind, her short brown hair glistening like silk. Her milk and honey skin creamy and soft to the touch.
“I almost had her.” Tristan hissed, “She would’ve been ours if that feral bitch hadn’t interrupted me.”
My body stiffened, my hand clutching the thin napkin my she-wolf had last touched.
I already knew who he was talking about.
“You’ve marked the half-breed?” The King’s voice was calm, a calm I had gotten used to hearing.
The King could be placated when he was angry, red in the face with rage. I had only seen this cold calmness fall on him one time. Twelve men had died that night, painfully.
“Leave us.” The King’s voice whipped across us like ice.
I and the rest of his men turned to leave.
“Stay, Giovanni.” The King ordered.
I wanted to sigh as Tristan had yet again pulled me into his problems.
The rest of the men left the room hastily, not wanting to feel the Kings wrath. Not a single look of pity had come our way. As far as they were concerned, we deserved our fate.
“What have you done, Tristan?” The King turned, his eyes nearing black as they met Tristan’s.
Tristan was confident, something I found very strange. Standing on the precipice of death, and yet he believed himself to be safe.
What could possibly save him now?
Unless–There was a factor I had not included.
What was the half-breed to the King? Why was she important when none others were?
The shadows collected around our King, an ability only he possessed. They swarmed around him, alive as their silky voices whispered. Their words were cold, cutting against the skin like knives.
As Vampire’s we often trafficked in darkness–We were made from it after all. The King however, lived in the darkness he was made from. The beginning of his line bestowed the gift of control, passing it onto the next generation.
“My Lord.” Tristan bowed, his eyes flickering warily to the swirling shadows that slithered at his feet. “I simply claimed the half-breed as my mate. If I had known you intended to claim her as your own; I would have refrained.”
Curiosity flashed in my eyes. Perhaps Tristan wasn’t as stupid as I had once anticipated. The strange glint in his eyes worried me, his life on the line. Tristan was playing a game of his own, one that would lead him far away.
“I do not wish to claim her as my own.” The King scoffed, the shadows twitching eagerly around him. “The half-breed and I are bound by blood.”
The truth; a factor I had contemplated but dismissed entirely.
Blood—The King and the half-breed were related.
She was his daughter.
Tristan’s eyes gleamed maliciously. It was clear this was something the King trusted with none.
All had assumed his rule would end when he perished—No one suspected there was a chance for an heir. Should the half-breed embrace the shadows and take the throne, a Queen would grace our presence for the first time in history.
It was unknown why the King had never produced an heir, as if the idea was impossible.
Knowledge about our species was scarce, scattered to the wind by our own kind.
The truth about Vampires lied with our own species, kept hidden over the decades.
The marking process was much like werewolves. The male marked the female, and then vice versa. After both parties were marked, a bond was formed between the two.
Their power combined, their very essence fused together.
A Vampire could not mate with any other than the one he marked, this was an impossibility.
I looked on at Tristan, fully understanding his insane plan. He had known all along, suspected the importance the half-blood meant to the King.
There was a very high chance I was looking at our new King.
King Tristan—Queen Lola, heir to the Kouritis bloodline.