“Welcome, Hunter,” the king said, as I walked through the doors.
He was just coming down from the stairs, his beta right behind him, yet even from where I stood, I could faintly smell the scent of his queen on him. It seemed I had been interrupting something, and it just made me smile a little, as I walked closer and grabbed his outstretched hand. There was still this hostility between us, even though we had started working together, and made “peace”. But then again, we were two very powerful males, both descending from very strong lines of wolves. And just the fact we were alphas made us territorial and ready to assert our dominance.
“Come,” he said.
We walked up two sets of stairs, reaching his office on the second floor. More males were waiting there. I didn’t take that as an insult, quite the opposite. Him, having so many powerful males, just meant he knew I was not to be underestimated. I had my own group of powerful males with me. Archer was the one always staying close to me, and I knew should anyone make a wrong move, he would shoot. He had almost ended one of the males here. Evan. The one now mated to the beautiful Madeleine, but while she had been a good candidate as my mate, I had gotten something even better. The king, under my control.
“So,” Valerio said, sitting down on the other side of his desk.
I sat down in front of him, opening my jacket as I did this and leaning a little on my cane, feeling the stiffness in my legs even more after the long flight. I knew he noticed how I was not as quick to sit down, but he didn’t comment on it, and I was glad he didn’t.
“You called for this meeting. What is it I can help you with?” he asked.
I smiled, as I leaned a little on the armrest, rolling my cane around in front of me, tapping a finger against the wolf's head at the end of it. I couldn’t help it … I loved games.
“I believe it is time I cash in that favor,” I told him.
Every one of his trusted males just straightened up wherever they stood in the room, and suddenly there was this power-threatening aura that made my men stir. The king, on the other hand, continued to stay still, even though he had paled a little.
“Okay,” was all he said.
It was not like he could deny me this anyway. He owed me. Sh*t, that felt good to say. To have the king literally under my control. It was like a drug in some way, and I smiled as he sat there anxiously waiting for me to tell him what it was. He hid it well, but I could see it. He most likely knew what I was going to ask of him would not be so simple. He knew me well, it seemed, I thought, because what I would ask of him was really not simple. The best way to get rid of Alpha Cross was simply to kill him, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be seen as a coldblooded killer now, could I?
I opened my mouth ready to tell him what I was going to ask of him, when suddenly the door behind me burst open, and in came a male I had not met before. An alpha clearly, with clear green eyes and very tall, yet he looked... worried? concerned? It was a bit hard to read what was going on with this one. His scent was strange too. He seemed even more anxious than the king, yet now Valerio was getting quite irritated, that we had suddenly been so interrupted, and I couldn’t say I was pleased either. He got up from his seat and shot this one a hard look.
“What the hell, Lucian?! Can’t you see we are in the middle of a meeting?” he asked.
Lucian … Ah, he had to be the cousin of Kaytlyn and Madeleine. I had done my research, of course, but since the two sisters were now mated and no longer an option, I didn’t think much about them, and a little of the information had slipped from my mind, yet now that he came closer, I could not just see the resemblance, but I remembered seeing a picture of him.
He stopped on my left side, not even looking at me and only at the king. He seemed … conflicted now as he stood there, and suddenly I was more interested in what he had to say, than asking the king for a favor. It seemed I had walked into something quite interesting.
“I know,” he said, not even going to apologize for what he had done. “But … I …”
“What?” Valerio asked, getting impatient, not that any alpha had much patience. Yet his temper slowly seemed to disappear, as he saw how scared Lucian almost looked. “What is going on?”
His voice turned softer, and it seemed Lucian had finally made a decision.
“She told me not to come,” he said.
He then slowly glanced over at one of the other males. Chris, the one who had taken Kaytlyn from me. He looked confused back at Lucian, who turned to the king again.
“She is back.”
“Angela … She is back.”
Everyone seemed to freeze in the room, and a silence fell over every one of us. I looked at the king, who seemed to be caught quite off guard. That said something, since he was king.
Suddenly, Chris stepped around some of the others and walked over to Lucian, grabbing his shoulder and turning him around. Ah yes, Chris did have a sister. I remembered reading about that. Lucian nodded.
“How do you know this?” he asked, scared.
“She … She called me.”
“She called you?!” he asked, as if he couldn’t believe he was hearing this.
Lucian nodded, looking towards the king.
“Chris take a step back,” Valerio said.
Chris just shook his head and shook Lucian a little, making him look at him again.
“Why did she call you? Where the hell is she even?!” he growled.
Oh, this was so much more interesting. I had to admit, it was never boring coming here. First time Madeleine was claimed in front of my eyes, the second time I helped free her mate Evan from some psycho who had kidnapped him, and now this. I was not disappointed at all.
“Chris!” the king growled.
Chris shot the king a hard glare, but his yellow eyes told him quite clearly not to push him and, so he took a step back.
“Lucian, what happened?” the king asked.
“She called me last night, telling me to come pick her up,” he said.
“And where is she now?”
“At Evan’s apartment. I thought it was best to take her there.”
“You took her there instead of here?!” Chris asked.
He was clearly not interested in listening, but I could see where he was coming from. If I had heard correctly, Angela had been gone since last fall, and by the looks of it, he cared deeply for his sister. I couldn’t say I knew of such a close family bond. I had had an older brother. Just as big of an arsehole as my father. Nothing to say there, but his younger sister clearly meant the world to him, and it was clear from the threatening and protective energy he sent out in the room.
“She demanded me to,” he said.
He looked at the ground shortly before looking at Chris again.
“She … was scared. She is still scared. She doesn’t want to involve anyone.”
“I am her brother!”
“Exactly,” Lucian said. “And she knows you are a father now too. She fears something might happen to you if you know she is back. Your father is not done with you or the king.”
“What does that mean?” Valerio asked, cutting in.
Lucian looked over his shoulder, a fearful look in his eyes.
“It means he is having you all watched.”
A deep growl emanated from the king, which had everyone, even my men, looking at the ground. I even felt the need to do a little, but I wasn’t as affected as the rest. That was why everyone called him king. That was true alpha power right there.
“That is what she told me,” he said.
I smiled, as things started to escalate, but I also knew when the time was to leave. Now I at least saw a small crack into all these people’s perfect lives. I know! I am sadistic. Can’t help it. I just enjoyed watching people crumble. Even a little.
“Well, your highness, it seems you have something more urgent to take care of. Shall we continue this tomorrow?” I asked, getting up from my chair and buttoning my suit jacket.
His eyes finally turned to me, but instead of accepting, he then asked me:
“Please, just give me 20 minutes, and we can continue.”
“I will give you an hour. I am that kind,” I said. “And I am sure some of your females can keep us company.”
That made every male in here growl, but even if my comment had made it seem like something dirty, I only did that to annoy them. I wanted to meet their mates. I wanted to look deeper into their lives, and it was no secret that their biggest weakness was also their females.
“An hour,” I repeated as I walked towards the door.