Chapter One

4483 Words
PRINCE ARES My eyes pry open as the newly risen specks of sun start to peep through the slit in the door of my tent. I try to lean up on my elbows, but the throbbing in my head becomes too much. “f*****g hangover.” I wince and fall back down onto the make-shift bed on the floor. The smell of strong ale, burnt cigars, and s*x still lingers around me. Last night was a banger, quite literally, but today is a new day. I can hear soft snoring coming from the other side of the tent and the soft, ginger curls lying on a heap of my clothes reminds me of the wild night we shared. She is still naked, her round backside propped into the air as she uses my jacket to keep her chest warm. I groan in irritation. Did she sleep in my tent? I never let them sleepover. This thought propels me forward and I manage to sit up and rub my temples. I quickly grab some of the flat ale sitting in a cup next to me and swing it down. They say hair of the dog does the trick with hangovers. “Wake up.” I say and use one of my pillows to throw at the girl. Confusion is written all over her face. She gets a fright when she sees it’s me and quickly sits, showing off her full chest and risen mounds. If it weren’t for the pounding in my head, I may have had a little fun. “You need to go back home. I don’t share tents with ladies.” I say flatly and I see a flash of annoyance flicker past her purple eyes. I have no idea what her name is, but she is a pretty, little witch. I smirk as she starts to gather her things. She is just about to leave the tent when I notice her still wearing my jacket. “Uh?” I try to remember her name, but it just doesn’t come to my tongue. She turns around and waits for me to say something. Why does everything have to feel like such a go-slow this morning? “My jacket, please.” I say and the softness in her eyes moves towards the only thing keeping her warm. When she looks back up at me, I see the irritation and disbelief in her eyes. What? Am I supposed to just let some random leave with my clothes? I think not. She huffs and without a word throws the jacket at me and storms out of the tent. I stretch and smile at how easy that was, but don’t miss her cussing my name as she moves further from me. I roll my shoulders and quickly throw on a vest to move out. To my surprise, my best friend is sitting outside with a knowing smirk and a look of humor in his eyes. He must have heard the whole thing. I grab some coffee from his pot brewing on the fire. “Don’t give me that look, Nate.” I say as I sip at the hot liquid. He carries on smiling at me. “What look?” He asks and I roll my eyes. I shrug it off and Nate leans back across a large rock and smugly crosses his arms. “All I am saying is that one day, you’re going to meet your girl and you will have some explaining to do as to why every female across Zenox wants your head on a pike.” Nate laughs and I chuckle with him. “I am already over a hundred years old, Nate. I think if I were to have a mate, I would have met her by now. Not all of us are as lucky as you, my friend.” My voice becomes softer at the final part. It isn’t a secret that Werewolves have mates. Other magical kinds also do in other ways and forms but I reckon the wolves get it the worst. To think someone is walking around somewhere with half my soul just seems more serious, doesn’t it? I am not opposed to mates at all. My father always told me about him and my mother, about their bond and how special it was. If I met her, I would dedicate my body, mind, and soul to her, but I haven’t yet, so I need to keep up my appetite in other ways. “Yes but some time you will. I remember how Linda reacted to me just having a small handful of s****l partners before her.” Nate chimes in and knocks my thoughts. I chuckle at his remark. “Well, that was because you were both only in your twenties! We are older now, wiser and I still haven’t met her. Maybe she doesn’t exist?” I ask into the air and Nate’s smile becomes a bit more strained. I know these trips out always affect him. “Why don’t you go back to Linda? I can spend the next week finishing off my travels alone.” I suggest. Nate joined me on my exploration across Zenox. What am I searching for? Who the f**k knows! I like to travel and meet people. I like to experience life and the world. One day I will take over from my father and my days of traveling and having fun will be a thing of the past. May as well enjoy my freedom whilst I can and am able. “Ares, what beta would I be if I left you on your own? Besides, you need someone to make sure a lady doesn’t slit your throat at night in your sleep.” Nate chuckles. I feel guilty though. I come out on these little adventures every several months and it draws him away from his mate for weeks at a time. He never complains. He never stays behind and he always has my back. A true friend and an incredible beta. I smile at my friend and grab his shoulders to look at me. “But Linda also deserves your time, my friend.” “That is why you will be giving me a two-week vacation as soon as we get back, right?” Nate chuckles and I am left speechless. What can I say? I laugh as well and nod my head. We carry on with our banter and pick at the leftover remnants of roasted rabbit from the night before. I can’t help but feel really lucky for the life I have. Yes, I am a Prince and a powerful wolf, but I have been allowed to travel and experience so much in my time alive. My eyes scan over the way the leaves have started to buzz in electric, purple light. Nate also notices and we both lift our noses as we hear the faint trotting of horses. Horses? Only royals have horses. We look at each other with confused expressions that last for only as long as it takes the horses to approach. I have to squint my eyes as they approach off the path on the horizon. Up North, where the Witch stays, the sun is much brighter than down South where home, Apreez is. I always thought that it was because of the axis of our lands, but upon my travels, I came to realize that the witches' powers illuminate more light than usual. Clicking hooves and the sound of whinnying hits my ears like a giant, chocolate brown horse approaches carrying the intricate brown and black symbol of Apreez. My eyes take in all of the howling wolves in a crescent moon and my legs unconsciously lift. Werewolf royal guards NEVER come this far out of Apreez unless the news is serious. Nate also jumps us and we both stand on high alert as our wolves sit on the edge. The horse comes to a halt and the royal guard climbs off in his full, armored regalia. “Prince Ares.” He says and dips his head low in respect. A few seconds go by as Nate and I have a mind link argument over why we the guard might be here. Nate clears his throat and bulges his eyes at me to say something. “To what do we owe the pleasure?” I ask smugly and Nate rolls his eyes at my playful tone. All these years of travel and adventure have taught me that life is a little more fun on the less serious side. The guard looks a bit taken back by my laid-back tone and straightens himself before reaching in his pocket for a note. I watch as his fingers pass me the small piece of parchment which has been waxed together in brilliant, black ink. When I look closely I see it’s been personally pressed using my father’s stamp. My eyes look back to the guard. “From my father?” I ask to myself but it comes out loud. “His Majesty is requesting your return to Apreez at your soonest convenience.” This is all he says. “Is all okay with the King?” Nate asks now and we both share a concerned expression. I know my father is over five hundred years old, but this is young for a king! The Elven royalty has lived for over two-thousand and is still going strong. I remember the Elven princess lamenting to me as she rode my c**k about how she wishes her parents would bestow the kingdom to her and her brother now. A wicked smile rises at the corner of my lips. She was a firecracker with her pointed ears, her petite little frame, and perfectly straight, platinum hair. Goddess, the way I would take her locks and fist at it as she lowered herself down… “ARES!” Nate’s clicking fingers snap me out of my lustful thoughts. f**k, I literally had s*x last night and I am already getting horny for another night. I shake my head and look back at Nate and the guard. “His majesty is fine. His only instructions were for you to read the letter and for me to ensure you understand the importance of returning as soon as possible.” My brow lifts incuriosity at his words and I quickly break open the wax seal. My father never interrupts my getaways. I make sure to come home just enough to help him see to matters in the Kingdom and to also entertain his family life and we both have a mutual understanding of how we operate in our relationship. He knows that I will always be there for him. My love and respect for my father are unconditional. He raised me as a single father and sacrificed so much for me, even my mother. I sigh and quickly scan over the words on the paper. It’s short and simple. “It would seem we need to go back sooner than I would have liked, Nate. My father is feeling stressed over some upcoming matters pertaining to Apreez.” I say as I place the note in my pocket. “Did he say what matters?” “No, only that he needs the help of his son.” I admit and Nate nods. My father would never ask for help so simply unless it were serious, so I know I need to get back. This was the deal. I can adventure around as much as I want but the Kingdom always comes first. Nate and I start packing up our tents and items quickly and I dismiss the guard. It doesn’t take us long to have everything rolled up and in our bags for the journey. I like to pack light so I can get further on foot. Walking on the land adds a new type of excitement to my travels. When you are riding on a horse or inside a carriage, there is so much that can be missed. Besides, my wolf enjoys the run as well. “What do you think your father needs, Ares?” Nate asks as we start to trek out of the Witches' borders. We have been walking for a few hours already. “Not sure, old friend, but I know my father doesn’t interrupt my trips or ask for help quickly.” *~* Nate and I carry on with our journey and chat about nothing, yet everything at the same time. The sun has started to dip below the golden fields giving the air a nostalgic feel. Based on previous journeys, I would say we are somewhere in the in-between lands where no clans live, yet life continues to bubble. It will be a several-day walk back to Apreez and how vast and diverse the vegetation seem to be as you amble from one place to another. My soul fills with some sort of peace and my wolf sniffs in the wild air. How can one ever find themselves glued to only one place when there are so many beautiful areas out there? “What is that?” Nate asks and I move my eyes to follow his gaze. Somewhere far in the distance, there is a glowing and flickering light. It seems to come and go as the dipping sun rotates. As I scan in, I notice there are several tents and they are each of different colors, as if the rainbow itself decided to land on the golden grasses of the field. A smile twitches at my lips. I have only ever seen these tents during one other expedition. “I do believe we have found our place of rest for the night, Nate.” We both turn to walk in that direction and the sound of whimsical flutes and body percussion start to increase and become more apparent. The air shifts from peaceful to bursting and vibrant as we take our first steps in between the tents. The smell of wine heating in pots with herbs and fruits fills my nostrils and reminds me of a wild time once shared many, many moons ago. I smile and notice how there is a buzz of energy that hovers over the tents and laughter fills the air. Nate looks a little shell-shocked and as though he has stepped foot into a different universe. I looked like that too once. I was only fifty when I met this particular group of people and man, did they show me what it is to live! A woman walks out of her tent and her perfectly round and plump mounds are on full display. Her n*****s are the most delectable shade of brown against her caramel skin. She sees me looking and blows me a long, minty kiss as she winks at me. My c**k twitches. What the f**k was that? Just a little look and I already feel the s****l pull. “Where the f**k are we, Ares?” Nate hisses and his face turns a shade paler than before. He is wearing the biggest frown as his eyes try to look everywhere but at the topless women walking around. I won't lie, the topless thing is a bit of a first for me. I chuckle at his situation. A mated man in a tented camp of enchanted seductresses. “Relax, Nate. These are the Nomadic people. They are a peaceful bunch that moves around Zenox.” I explain and Nate looks unsure. “Are they always so nude?” He strains and I chuckle. His death glares my way only make it worse. I know this sort of setup isn’t the best considering he has a mate at home. “Cheer up, old friend. I am sure Linda will…” I start to say but a familiar voice stops my words as two silky arms snake across my abdomen. “Over fifty years later and still as handsome as the day we met!” The ethereal voice says and I know who it is immediately. “Hilary?” I ask and her sultry laugh confirms it. When I turn around, lo and behold, Hilary is standing almost naked and boasting a body that would have any man begging for more. I take in all of her and she doesn’t even flinch. If anything, it makes her n*****s rise further, and my wolf whines. What is with this energy in the air? “Prince Ares, we weren’t expecting you, but it is not an unwelcome surprise. I see you have brought a friend with this time!” She starts to move closer to Nate and I can feel his wolf surfacing in unease. I grab her arm. “My beta has a mate at home, waiting for him and very much trusting that he will be faithful to their bond.” I say and Nate’s posture relaxes a bit. Hilary is laughing, but every word of mine was serious. I would NEVER do that to Linda or Nate. I respect what they have and share too much. “Away from your mate with only ten days to go until the Spring Equinox? That is mighty brave of you Royal Beta.” Hilary laughs and both Nate and my eyes widen. The Spring Equinox? f**k! No wonder there is so much pent-up energy floating around. Spring Equinox happens only once a year and it's when things just become really balanced. Some myths say that Zenox forms part of a greater whole universe and at this time of the year, the most Northern and most Southern parts of the whole universe align up and put everything on a perfect axis, which is why balance and freedom are restored. It’s a time where things come alive, babies start to grow, mates find one another, and flowers bloom. All in all, it’s a time when Zenox and all who live within it turn to the Goddess Ostara and ask her for good fortune and kind s****l favors. It’s all a serious occasion here and is celebrated throughout Zenox of all kinds with parties, rituals, and events to provoke s*x and mating. I personally think it’s just a great excuse to get my way with some poor female in my bed. My c**k knew it was this time of the year before I did. “Ares…” Nate whispers and I can hear he is strained by this news. I can see it in his eyes. He is struggling and this only makes Hilary laugh more. Mated couples shouldn’t be away from one another at this time of the year. “There is a tent on the furthest edge of the circle. You can find your peace there, Royal beta.” Hilary laughs. Nate looks at me with pleading eyes and I tap his shoulder. “Go, Nate. Don’t let yourself suffer on my account. We leave at the break of dawn tomorrow.” I say and Nate lets out the breath he was holding. I could see the struggle in his eyes. He wanted to stay at my side to perform his duty, but being around so many women and so close to the equinox is never wise for a mated man. I watch as he marches to where Hilary mentioned with his head low. “Thanks for that, Hilary.” I say as we start to walk towards where there are festivities. Hilary grabs us both a cup of hot wine and my taste buds explode at the flavors. My eyes glaze over where there are fires that reach almost as high as the tents. Men are performing some sort of body percussion dance as the women play majestic melodies on their wooden flutes. The music is subtle but the pulsing rhythms mixed into the lilting melody bring goosebumps to the surface of my skin. The Nomadic is a free and spirited bunch as they laugh around the fires, smoking in puffs of herb and joining in on the vibe of the night. Sometimes I wondered if I was meant to be a wolf. I would have fitted in so easily here. “So tell me, Prince Ares, what brings you all the way here?” Hilary asks. I chuckle at her question. “Well, I was on one of my great explorations again and happened to stumble into you guys over here.” I say but Hilary doesn’t look convinced. The Nomadics are a simple and free bunch. They do not contain any sort of magic or shifting capabilities, but they can smell out a lie or read a character better than anybody I know. “My father has summoned me back to Apreez. I am not yet sure why, but he doesn’t usually like to bother me whilst I am away.” I say softly and Hilary nods in understanding. We stay quiet for a moment, sipping on our wine and watching those around us as they embark on a night to remember. I remember when I first met Hilary so long ago. The air was knocked out of me as I watched her dance in the moonlight. Her perfectly black hair that is riddled in dreadlocks, the way her hazel eyes light up and the natural curvature of her body called to me. I tried a little too hard to get her to come to share a tent with me, only to find out that she has a chosen mate amongst the Nomadics. Many magical who aren’t wolves, take on chosen mates instead as they don’t really have fated. When her mate saw me in her tent, he punched me one solid against my face, but the whole thing ended with the three of us laughing and boozing it up. “Tell me, how is Joe?” I ask and her eyes light up. They will always be great friends, even if we only see each other every couple of decades. I carry on listening to her stories about what she has been up to for the past years. My wine cup gets filled magically without me noticing. Whilst Hilary is taking, I can’t help but notice the most stunning little female dancing by the fire. She hasn’t taken her eyes off of me in the past couple of minutes and her lustful gazes are making it very difficult for me to hold down an actual conversation. Hilary’s laughing breaks me out of my thoughts. “I think I am ready to retire for the evening. It was good to catch up, Ares. You may take any tent of your choosing.” Hilary’s laugh is full as she looks between me and the girl. I know I sound like I am a complete womanizer, but sexuality and s*x are in my blood. It is at the very essence of my primal and most basic instinct. “Thank you for letting me and Nate stay here, Hilary.” “Don’t make yourself a stranger again, promise?” She replies and I nod as we both stand. She continues to laugh as she moves away and my eyes land back on the caramel-skinned beauty at the fire. Her movements have slowed and her feet are sliding her closer to me. I feel my body burning with anticipation. When she gets closer to me, I can smell the arousal coating her and it mixes with her winey breath in the most delicious way. The woman’s eyes are a dark, dark brown, almost like two, black pits. “Hello sir, you look like you want to play…” She says huskily, taking my hand in hers. I have never really had much time for pleasantries with women. I can smell it on her and I can smell it on me. The need to f**k. Her lips try to come closer to mine and I grab a fist full of her dreads before yanking her head away as gently as possible. Her lips are only inches from mine and I feel myself getting frustrated. I have never kissed anyone. I don’t intend to. “First of all, I am no sir. You will call me Prince. Second of all, never try to kiss me. I don’t kiss women. Nobody gets to kiss me. Do you understand?” The girl whimpers in understanding but it would seem my little burst of dominance has her dripping with need. I quickly lift her up and she wraps her body around mine. I can feel my c**k begging for this release. “On the bed. On all fours. Facing that way.” I motion towards the makeshift bed on the floor in the tent. She quickly does as I say and before she can even get comfortable, I slam myself into her. f**k! My primal need takes over as I feel myself quickening the pace. Her moans start to join in with the body percussion of its own kind within the tent. My wolf growls as I feel her walls tightening around me and just before I reach my own climax, I pull out and explode all over her backside. That was quick! Both of us are panting loudly and I smile from being ever so slightly pleasured. I quickly grab a cloth and wipe away the evidence of my load on the girl, which she looks thankful for. She is a beauty, but not my beauty. “That was…” She starts to say. “You may get dressed and go as soon as you feel up to it.” I say flatly. Her gaze searches mine for a bit. “Are you f*****g serious?” “I have never been more serious in my life. I don’t do sleepovers. I don’t do romance. This was a great f**k, don’t ruin it with your emotions.” I clip out. “You are an asshole!” I can see by the way she gathers her things and runs out naked that my alpha aura and words struck a nerve. A sigh escapes my mouth as I lie down. I know I am being an asshole, but what else? She knew when she walked into my tent what she was doing. She didn’t even introduce herself first, so why am I the bad guy? I blow out the candle in my tent and turn to lie on my side. I am a wolf prince and I am unmated. All these women are just meaningless until the one who matters comes along. I frown. Sleep takes me quickly and the new daybreak quickly arrives. *~* “Wakey Wakey Prince Charming. Time to get going before your father flips out!” Nate chimes. He sounds just peachy keen and ready for the trip ahead. A new day. We begin the next leg of our journey back to Apreez.
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