Eden's POV :
The council .
The Black Council .
My home .
A home that often brought pain to my life , a home that I often wished wasn't the only place I had to stay .
Fighting just to stay alive wasn't the way I wanted to live my life , seeing my brothers forced to kill others just to protect themselves and their family wasn't something anyone would wish to see .
They weren't okay , they were strong on the outside but really inside they were hurting , I knew that each of them were seeing the innocent faces of the young boys everyday whom they were forced to kill on just their first week of joining the council in order to survive . It was not like they wanted to , we all had no choice , it was the decision that was made for us when our father had joined the council years ago .
The council had many rules , one of their main one being : kill , or be killed .
Though all of these experiences left me with scars within , nothing really scared me more than knowing that I'd never belong to anyone other than the council ... not even my own mate would have claim on me .
It didn't seem real until the day they'd tattooed their personal dragon symbol onto my neck , directly above the spot my mate was supposed to lay his claim on me .
I remember crying my eyes out , it wasn't an easy thing to come to terms with the fact that you could never have a mate , or the fact that you'll have to marry whomever the council chose for you .
Despite it all , I still remained strong for I knew I wasn't the only one with this pain , my sister Isabella had the same horrible experience... none of us had it easy , we were all suffering .
Still , I decided that I would be able to go through with it , as long as I never met my mate I would be able to go ahead and marry the man the council chose for me ... as long as I didn't meet the werewolf destined to be mine , I could swallow the pain and move on .
But faith had other plans for me , for I did meet him . Under the worst circumstances I'd met him , he'd been on the ground tied in chains at the mercy of the council... and he was none other than the brother of the mate of my sister Lucy ,the sister I hadn't seen in years , the sister I'd grieved for , the sister our family was all incomplete without . We had finally been reunited with her even though it was for a short period , but in that short period I'd met him.
I touched the dragon tattoo , and closed my eyes as images of the man with warm deep green eyes that could be easily mistaken for blue haunted my thoughts yet again .
Alpha Prince James Lance Vinci, my mate .
Images of his rugged handsome features crossed my mind and I immediately pulled out the brushes and paint out of the draw in front of me . I pushed my wardrobe to block the door from opening as my eyes zeroed in on the wall in front of me .And then I began painting , working my fingers with the brushes , letting them do their magic , letting all my feelings pour out of me and into my masterpiece .
When I was done I stood back and stared at the image in front of me . My heart ached as I stared back at my mate , even here his eyes looked pained for it was the only look I'd seen on him , the only way I remembered him . On the ground with chains all over his body with multiple guards holding him down , his mouth was wide open as he roared to be released , roared to be near me . I closed my eyes and parted my lips as images continued to flow through my mind . Slightly tanned skin , full pink lips , sharp jaw , narrowed nose ... thick dark brown hair with golden highlights .
He was a masterpiece , my mate .
I jumped in my spot at the loud call of my name .
I was so lost in my thoughts of James that I hadn't heard any footsteps .
I jumped at the first knock and hurriedly moved the wardrobe over the wall to hide my painting .
I quickly opened the door and came face to face with one of the council's personal servant .
"The Prosecutor has requested your presence ." She told me . "You must do quickly , it's urgent and he doesn't want to have to wait another second for you ."
I nodded , my heart already beginning to race in my chest . It was never for any good when the prosecutor called me to see him personally , I always panicked right before the meeting .
Without a second thought I pushed my way through the door and shut it behind me as I rushed past all the statues in the narrow pathway and made my way to the dreaded meeting room , where most of the council's important meetings were held .
I took a deep breath before knocking on the black door in front of me .
"Come in ." His cold voice echoed .
I pressed on the handle and spotted him at the window , petting Spade , the black crow .
I bowed on entrance , something that was required every time we were in his presence . "What can I do for you ?" I quietly asked , clasping my hands tightly together .
He continued to stare out the window , not sparing me a single look . "As you know , you've already been promised to Hunter , this is not something that we have ever hidden from you or your family ."
I stiffened at the mention of the heartless Alpha who was often given the name of a monster for his evil ways .
"Yes Prosecutor ."
"Good ."He muttered as he continued to stroke Spade's head . "Then you shouldn't be surprised with what I'm about to say— "
I held my breath as I waited for him to continue .
" The wedding has been confirmed between both of you , I've already made all of the arrangements with Hunter , as you must have already noticed , measures are already being put in place to prepare for the engagement that's set to take place in two days ."
I held in the fear and pain that threatened to consume me whole as I fought to come to terms with his words . I knew that this day would come to me one day , I knew I had to be prepared for it and at a point in time I really thought that I was but all that had changed the moment I'd felt my mate . The moment I'd rested my gaze on him I knew , I just knew that being with anyone but him would completely tear me apart .
I would never be prepared for something like this , not today ... not ever .