Right, well i decided to do some revisions to A Wolf's Duty and here they are. If you've just started reading this story ignore my ramblings and happy reading.
A Wolf's Duty
Meetings were truly the bane of his existence Tobias decided as he was forced to sit through yet another painfully boring session with his council of advisors. They were not discussing anything he had not heard before at some point in time. They had, after all, been going through the same motions for the last two hundred years. Being royalty isn't all it's thought to be, he mentally scoffed allowing his mind to wander. These meetings rarely needed his active input, so long as he nodded and made the correct noises of agreement occasionally, the twelve other figures that surrounded the table believed he was paying attention. It was a skill he had learnt early on.
He supposed that wealth was one of the benefits of his position. Even though they were sitting in a private setting that no one else would see, they were still surrounded by riches and luxury. The table that they were currently seated around could have been made simply from wood but that was not the case. The rich mahogany table was instead inlaid with ornate patterns wrought in gold. Ancient tapestries and paintings adorned the stone walls and the room itself was large enough to comfortably seat at least fifty people instead of the mere thirteen that currently filled it.
He allowed his mind to wander until he heard a statement that brought him to attention, immediately demanding he was alert.
"Your highness, it is high time you found a mate." The Council's chairman, Adam, intoned. As was typical of their people Adam's appearance was frozen at the prime of his life and though there were at least three hundred years separating them, he looked no older than thirty-five years old. His short cut blonde hair did not contain any greys and there were no lines around his blue eyes.
Tobias groaned, inwardly bracing himself for what was to come. All eleven other members of the council seated around the table nodded eagerly.
"You are aware of the law of succession, your majesty. You cannot claim the throne without a mate and the definite chance of a legitimate heir and for that you need a mate."
Shaking his head in astonishment, he quickly grinned at Adam, baring his elongated canines. Scanning the aged faces, he found that they were all frowning at him, even those he usually considered allies. "I am aware of the law."
"You cannot expect your father to rule forever. He has sat on the throne for five hundred years, he deserves to retire and you are his last surviving son. You must take over," Adam continued.
"Again I am aware of those facts, but you act as though I am avoiding taking a mate when you should all be well aware that nothing could be further from the truth. I have searched our clans vigorously and have not come across my mate, so my father will simply have to hold onto his crown. It is not as though he does not find enjoyment in being supreme ruler of our people. Kingship is not that much of a hardship. I have waited more than two hundred years, which is almost unheard of, therefore it only makes sense that she will arrive soon enough. As my mother is constantly telling me gentlemen, patience is a virtue. I am surprised that this council of advisors is so lacking in something that is so important."
"My prince, the clans grow restless; they want you on the throne." Another inserted.
"Well they can want all they like," he snapped. "My father is a good King, they will have to be content with that. There is nothing I can do, I cannot simply magic a mate out of nowhere."
"My Prince perhaps you should consider taking one of the high born ladies as your Princess." At the suggestion, silence filled the room and all eyes turned nervously to the Prince awaiting his reaction.
"Are you insane!?" he roared, throwing his chair back as he stood.
"How dare you even suggest such an act? This meeting is over!" His stormy grey eyes flashed amber and his voice became rougher as his fragile control on his anger began to slip. "If you want your hearts to remain beating within your chests then I suggest you never mention such a thing again. I will only take my true mate as my princess and if the people do not like my decision then they can either deal with it or find themselves a new Prince. It is that simple. I will not choose them over her as they should well know. None of our mated males would choose me or any member of the royal family over their mates and I will not do so either. I will wait!"
Striding from the table he flung open the double doors shattering their intricate glass panes in his anger. Walking down the long stone path that led to his parents' suite, he felt his anger multiply as he dwelled on what he just heard. Take a false mate! The very idea makes my stomach churn. I should have killed them all for even allowing one of their number to make such a suggestion.
"Mother! Father!" He yelled upon entering their opulent and richly designed suite. In his anger, the deep red that covered their walls only served to increase his bloodlust and make him regret not spilling the blood of the advisory council.
"What is it, dearest one?" His mother asked, deeply concerned as to the reason for his obvious anger. Standing from her golden chaise and rising to her full height, she quickly cleared the distance between them. Laying a pale hand on his tanned forearm, she pulled him into the suite's living room attempting to gain a degree of privacy. Although over six hundred years old, the queen's features remained frozen in time so she no longer appeared to age past thirty years. Her long red hair fell in waves down her back and piercing grey eyes roamed over her sons features.
"Those imbeciles, that have the gall to refer to themselves as my advisors, made a suggestion to me."
"Obviously you did not agree with it." The loud voice of the King joined their discussion as he reclaimed his mate's hand and drew her back to the chaise, his large frame seemingly overwhelming her more slender one. Smiling widely at his last surviving son, regardless of Tobias' obvious anger, he ran a hand through the dark curls he had passed on to Tobias and prepared himself from the imminent tirade.
"They suggested I take a mate so I could ascend to the throne," he spat out between tightly gritted teeth.
The King's blue eyes twinkled in mischief as he discovered the source of his son's anger. "And they're right! I want to retire while I'm still young enough to enjoy my grandchildren."
"Be quite and listen," Tobias growled. "You'll never be too old to enjoy them; you're a werewolf for crying out loud, longevity ever heard of it? It's not the taking of a mate that has angered me; it is who they want me to take"
The queen frowned in confusion. "I do not understand."
"They do not want me to wait for my one true mate, they believe I should just take one of our noble ladies. I am even fairly confident that one or two would take me, regardless of their real future mate." He internally winced as one in particular came to mind. What a mistake that was. He mentally sighed as a vision of a woman with long blond hair, vibrant blue eyes and an angelic face floated through his mind.
The King's eyes narrowed and his muscles tensed in shock. "Did you kill them?" The quietness of his voice made both the queen and Tobias realise that the King too was now angry. His temper demonstrated in the opposite way of his son with his normally warm demeanour becoming cold and as frosty as ice.
"I shall do it for you then." He stood raising his gaze slightly to directly meet the eyes of his son. "Such a suggestion is tantamount to treason in my eyes, and I will not suffer such fools to live. You must wait for your mate no matter how long the wait is; she is the only one for you. Do not stray from your belief that you will find her. I will remain on the throne until such a time, even if that means I am King for another five hundred years."
"Thank you father; I'm sure she's out there, I just have to find her."
"Alexandria! Alexandria!" The frantic voice of her mother swiftly ejected her from the peaceful utopia her book had immersed her in and thrust her swiftly back to the harsh realities of her life. Looking around her briefly, she took in the familiar smallness of her almost closet like room her eyes landing briefly on her few possessions. The second-hand bed creaked beneath her as she shifted, glancing at her battered desk and even more battered wardrobe and before coming to land on her prized possession; a small shelf containing the few books her mum had managed to buy her, often at great cost to herself. As she smiled her thoughts turned to her loving mother before the woman in question burst through her door.
"Alexandria hide!" she whispered, her tone urgent. Momentarily frozen by the wild look on her mother's face she failed to respond, prompting her mum to grab her by the arm and pull her from the warm bed.
Dragging her across the small room, she opened the wardrobe door before thrusting Alexandria within its confines. At sixteen Alexandria had yet to reach the 5ft mark and so Natasha bent down to pass on her warning, gently brushing one of her daughter's wild curls from her face. Staring into bright green eyes the exact same shape and colour as her own, Natasha again cursed her weakness. Cupping her cheek Natasha's pale skin contrasted against her daughter's caramel skin, but she did not see the differences between them, fear narrowing her attention until all she saw were problems and solutions.
"Alex, it's daddy," she rushed, "he's not himself."
"Is he drinking again mum? He promised he wouldn't, he swore to us."
"I know sweetheart, but we haven't got much time. Stay here. Whatever happens do not come out. Promise me."
"Natasha! Where are you? I know you slept with him! Come here you slut. I'm gonna teach you a lesson!"
Both mother and daughter visibly shuddered as Fred's slurred voice echoed through the halls.
"Mum, you can't do this. He doesn't know what he's doing when he's like this. Hide with me!"
"Where are you, you filthy whore?!" His voice was closer now and their fear multiplied correspondingly.
"Promise me you'll stay here. Promise me!" she hissed.
Surprised at the vehemence in her mother's usually calm voice, Alexandria found herself nodding in agreement.
Smiling in relief, Natasha gave her a quick hug before closing the door and stepping back. Watching through a slim gap in the doors, Alex saw her father walk in.
"There you are Natasha; I've been looking for you." Fred's voice was sickly sweet as he approached his wife and she trembled in response as his large meaty hands clasped her shoulder. "Did you think I wouldn't find out?" he raged, spittle flying in her face. "I know you fucked him."
"Who Fred? I don't know what you're talking about. I haven't slept with anyone honey, I love you, you know that." She smiled gently, hoping to convince him of her innocence.
"LIAR! I know you had sex with him. Just admit it. Tell me the truth you slut." He shook her with every word, convinced of her guilt.
Help us, someone help us. Alexandria thought, hoping against all odds that someone would come to their aid. I'll even take one of his drinking friends right now. I'm desperate, someone help us. Her mind screamed though no sound emerged from her mouth.
Displeased with Natasha's silence, Fred decided to try a different tactic. "Where's the kid she'll tell me the truth about your whoring ways. Where is she?"
Natasha's eyes widened in fear for her daughter and what would happen to her if she were found and her usual weakness momentarily disappeared. "I did it," she mumbled, the lies felt like cotton in her mouth, but she continued for her daughter's sake. She'd never survive one of his rages, she's so small. "I fucked him." Fred's grip loosened, his arms instead forming fists at his sides. "BITCH!" he yelled, slapping her full across the face and sending her spinning into Alexandria's desk. Her head hit an edge and she slumped to the ground.
Forgetting her mother's earlier warning Alexandria sprung from the closet quickly reaching Natasha's side. "Mum. Mum." she sobbed, reaching over to gently shake her. "Wake up mum." Gently cupping her head, Alexandria was alarmed to find her small fingers quickly being covered in a warm liquid. Removing her hands she was astounded to find the liquid was red.
Blood! Mum don't die! I love you. Oh god someone help us! She shrieked within her mind, her body numb and unresponsive to her demands.
…someone help us! The anguished cry tore through Tobias' mind forcing him to leave the land of sleep. His fangs were fully elongated and dripping with the desire to maim and destroy. His eyes had shifted to their predatory amber, easily piercing the darkness of his room. Looking down at his hands he found that they had become claws and in his transition, had shredded the bedding. The cry came again, stronger and he clutched his head in agony.
What the hell is going on?
Help us. The voice sobbed.
Who are you?
Either the voice couldn't hear him or was choosing to ignore him but no response was given but the tears continued and each felt like a knife to Tobias' heart.
Stop crying, you're killing me here. He snapped clutching his chest as his heart continued to stutter in time with her tears. The tears continued regardless, forcing him to adopt a different method. Calming his ragged breaths, he tried to reach for the person on the other end, forcing himself past his physical limits. He felt his mind calm and centre on hers and he enveloped her in his strength and warmth. The sobs stopped and he breathed deep in relief, as the scent of vanilla entered his nose his eyes snapped open and the connection was broken.
"My mate," he whispered in awe as his body's reaction became clear. "She is young, no wonder I hadn't found her yet." A frown appeared on his face as he remembered the tone of her voice and her anxious words. "She's hurt. Someone had the audacity to harm what is mine," he snarled ripping the remains of the shredded sheets from himself and standing. He felt his muscles tense, urging him to change fully and enact revenge on her behalf. "I am coming for you little one. I will find you soon enough."