1: His punishment
In the palace of La Ville Royale (The city of Royals)
The capital of the Wahala kingdom
The alpha King, Xavier Ainsworth paces around the Palace, apprehensive and angry. Blood courses through his veins and he curses every minute that passes with silence. He had sent all the guards out; he didn't need them around. Their presence only suffocated him the more. He knew he would snap their scrawny neck or rip out their heart if they as much as breathe wrongly beside him.
He had a temper; he knew it since the day he came to the reasoning of his own and navigating his emotions, especially his rage had never been easy, not for someone like him. His mother warned him about the dangers of having such a foamy temper on her dying bed. Her last words were, "control it or it would control you," but what did she know? She grew up without the pressure of being a ruler and only got chosen when she turned eighteen, when the alpha king, Robb, Xavier's father, chose her to be his mate. He, on the other hand, didn't have the burden of the king down on him when he was still a baby. No wonder he grew with so much rage and anger because how can one man carry so much responsibility and still have his people expect him to be perfect? It made no sense. It was foolish, and it angered him.
Who could blame him? Running a kingdom was enough to make anyone mad, and he was so close to mad now.
Red flashes in his vision as the door cracks open and none other than his lousy and worthless younger brother, Edward Ainsworth, and crowned prince walked into the Palace wearing his famous royal blue apparel matching his blue eyes. He brings his sorry self further into the Palace Hall and shuts the door behind him.
"Have the council of alphas decided yet."
"I... Well, I don't know... I do... Didn't check."
"Please remind me what your use to me in this kingdom is?"
He opens his mouth, probably to tell his brother that he was still the prince of the kingdom, but Xavier's glare dared him to speak and like a little fool he was, he couldn't. He gulps and remains quiet.
As Xavier expected.
"The council of alphas disgrace me and want to anger me, I am to marry, they forget I am the alpha king and no one tells me what to do!" Xavier roars, his eyes blazing in a furious red and Edward shook on his stand, frightened.
"The council of elders is the reason behind every alpha king on the throne, brother." Edward's audacity startled Xavier and his head spin around to make sure the i***t had uttered the word. He continues, "You killed two of your own people, and for what? Admiring the woman that you like? Is that enough reason to end the lives of two people? You might not like me saying this, but it's the truth. Even kings have to be held accountable for their actions. You have two choices, marry or step down as alpha king and those two choices are a generous offer."
Xavier raced across the Palace and stood towering above Edward in a second, intimidating his younger brother with both his impressive height and massive build. His claws lift to trace over the side of Edward's face, leaving a deep cut as he goes down to his jaw. Edward's face heals almost immediately, but he still felt the pain of the cut, just like Xavier intended.
"The only reason your head isn't flying for the nonsense you just vomited is because you're my father's son and I promised mother to not let any harm come to you, but say another word and that promise be damned!" he vows through gritted teeth.
The door opens immediately and alpha Chike Smith walked into the Palace hall, dressed in brown apparel and white cotton trousers with a scroll in his hand.
He reaches the centre of the hall and takes a bow. "My king!"
"What?" Xavier snaps, casting a glare at him for intruding while he was still imputing 'the fear Xavier' in his worthless brother.
"The council of alphas have reached a decision and have chosen the bride for you."
Xavier's brow rose, but the glare remains on his face. "Who is it then?"
"I believe it would be best you see it yourself, my king." Alpha Chike stepped forward and stretched his hand out to deliver the scroll to the alpha king before stepping back and out of the Palace.
Xavier's hands tightened around the scroll and he was about to pull it open, then realise Edward could be useful for once in his life and he handed the scroll over to him.
Without complaining, he accepted the scroll offered by his brother, and he slowly stretches it out to read through while Xavier strolled over to the throne to sit on it.
Edward clears his throat and reads audibly and boldly. "As decided by the council of alpha's, the chosen alpha's bride is Ariel of house Asika and you shall wed tomorrow." Edward reads out loud and clear.
"Ariel?" Xavier echoes, the name sounding so familiar for a strange reason, and the look of anger that had lingered on his face changed into that of curiosity.
"That's what it says here."
"You know Ariel right?"
"Yes, she's the first daughter of Jobe Asika. From what I've gathered over the years, she's a beautiful young woman with fair skin and noble character. She's submissive as she would only do as she's told and wouldn't get in your way. Also, she's past the mating age, so she's ripe for the picking. But it was rumoured years back she battled acute-"
"You should have just stopped speaking after you got to ripe for the picking, but you never learnt when to shut your mouth." he hisses, irritated, but not going to let that turn his mood around. "I know Ariel, she's indeed beautiful and fair to behold, looks like the elders' punishment was a blessing after all and if she's as submissive as you claim, then even better," he adds, feeling happy.
Zara has been his mistress for years and she's been everything he ever wanted when it came down to pleasure with a woman. After years of being with someone, emotions are bound to set in and yes, he liked her a lot, more than just someone he sleeps but his father had laid a lifelong curse on him that would activate if he ever married her. So despite wanting her, he knew better than to cross his wicked old man. Regardless, he chose to keep her along and take care of her until they found their way around this curse.
He had lost it when she told him those men called her a w***e, hurt and left her for dead. He vowed to find every one of them and pay them back for what they did to her. When he finally found the men, he could have tortured them and let them go, but death felt better. That's not the story that went throughout the kingdom though, and honestly, he didn't care.
"Does that mean you're okay with the choices of the council of alphas?"
"If I wasn't, do you think I'd be so calm?" He raised a brow, once again doubting Edward was his actual brother. "Go tell the elders I accept the bride they choose and tell them they can begin preparations."
"I do not think your acceptance or rejection changes anything in this decision," he pointed out, ignoring the murderous look on Xavier's face, "but I will tell them, anyway, my king." he bows his head a little, before turning and making his way out of the Palace.
Xavier watch Edward walks away, knowing now that selling him into the slave trade might not be as bad as it seems.