"Well?" Lucius demanded, his eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. "Care to explain princess?"He tilted my head, making sure that I had his complete undivided attention.
I stared frozen at him, words incapable of passing my lips.
My mate was dying. And the crimson wolf was getting stronger. Both statements made me sick to my stomach.
"Derek!" Lucius shouted, making me jump in fright from the volume of his voice. "What the hell is going on here? And why did you not report this to me immediately?"
"My brother," he cried in response, shifting back to his naked human form. "She killed my brother. Burned his body to ashes."
"So I see," Lucius replied, Derek's tears not affecting him a bit. "What I want to know is why Ariel and the rest of these fools are outside? Were my instructions not clear enough for you? Why were they let out?"
"Shut up!" Derek shouted, tears streaming down his eyes. "My brother is in ashes and you don't even give a fuck."
All of a sudden, Derek fell down to his knees, coughing out blood on to the grass. He was choking on his own blood and seeing the scowl on Lucius' face, made me realize that he was angry and this was Derek's punishment.
Derek was a victim in all of this like we were, but unlike us, he had a choice.
And he chose the wrong one when he and his brother aligned with the wrong people.
"That's right, I don't," Lucius snarled back, offended no doubt by the tone in his voice. "In fact, I believe this a fitting punishment for you for not following my instructions. And if you don't answer my question boy, I promise you that you'll end up in a worse state than your brother."
Derek continued to cough, tears and snot streaming down his face. "Please, stop. I c-can't breathe."
"Then tell me what I want to know," Lucius demanded back in a cool voice. "Why did you let them out?”
And Derek told him. From Arlo's blackmail, to the book, to me falling asleep...By the end of it, Lucius' eyes were gold and I knew that was a sign that his wolf was pushing out.
He's a hybrid. Something you won't be able to defeat alone. Make the right choice.
"Father," Lucius demanded, watching me with unforgiving eyes. "Go get the book. Seems like my princess here needs another lesson in obedience."
Scar man left to do his bidding as my friends started to protest and shout out in anger and desperation.
"It wasn't her fault," Orion shouted, glaring holes at the dangerous man before me. "If it was anyone's, it was mine."
"And mine," Arlo added, staring at me in a way that told me to keep my mouth shut. "Don't punish her. Punish us instead."
"The type of punishment I have in mind is not something I want to act upon you," Lucius said, smirking cruelly at the end. "No offense, boys."
"You're a fucking bastard," Orion spat out in disgust. "You'll burn in hell for this."
He's dying, Ariel. I'm so close to the surface, princess. When Lucius' father comes back outside with the book, we'll attack.
"Lucius," I begged out, bringing the monster's attention back towards me. "Please."
Don't do it. You'll regret it for the rest of your life. Don't do it.
"What princess?" He laughed out loud, his eyes crinkling on the side. "What exactly are you pleading for now?"
"Trenton is dying," I begged, my lips numb from shock and cold. "Please let me heal him."
"I don't think so," Lucius said, shaking his head. "From what I heard from Derek, you fell asleep before the time limit. Simply said, you lost the game, baby."
Just shut up. We can go home. You'll see your brothers again. You'll see Jason again. Remember him? The boy you once loved?
"Lucius, please," I whimpered out. "I'll do anything you want. Just let me heal him."
"Ariel, stop," Arlo ordered from the place he was frozen in. "It's not worth it anymore. Trenton is already losing too much blood. And you're weak enough already. Spirit isn't going to help you. You'll die healing him!"
"He's my mate!" I shouted back, my voice clogged with tears. "I can't let him die. And that's what's happening, Arlo. He's dying. And it's all my fault."
"No it fucking isn't," Leon snarled out of nowhere. "You owe him nothing. Mate or not, he wanted to die. Hell, he was even asking for death. If he wants to die, let him go. None of this falls on your shoulder."
"But it does," I whispered back.
He's dying because of me.
I was just too ashamed to let them know exactly what part I played to ensure it.
"You're pissing me off, princess," Lucius snarled out. "He might be your mate, but I am everything to you. I can see now that it was a mistake for keeping Trenton alive. I should've just killed him the minute I learnt about your mate bond with him."
"Lucius," his father stated, coming back with the black book in his right arm. I was thankful at least that Leon put the chains back onto the book. "The book was not unlocked, like I predicted. But my question is why take the book in the first place? They used it as a nice bargaining chip against the Sherman brothers."
"Yes," Lucius said, his father's words making him more angry than he already was. "I was wondering about that too. Seems like my little princess knows more than she's letting on. Derek, care to explain?"
Derek was still on the floor, sobbing over his brother's body while glaring holes at me. However he still answered, knowing that his words will cause me my pain. "They believed that the book could lead to their escape. She was the mastermind behind it all, the catalyst for the others' actions."
"Is that so?" Lucius snarled, twisting my blonde locks. He pushed me down roughly to my knees with his hands still in my hair, and I found myself looking pathetically up at him. "You wanted to leave me, princess. Is that you wanted to do? After all I fucking did for you?"
He shook me hard with his hand still gripping my hair and I can only shake my head, begging him with words that'll ignite his anger further. "Trenton."
The slap took me by surprise but I should've expected it. My head whipped to the side and Lucius' tight hold on my hair made the pain even worse.
"Leave her alone," Leon shouted out. "If it wasn't for this freaking power of yours to freeze us, I can kill you in an instant. Release the spell and I'll fight you in a fair battle. I'll drain your blood until there is not a drop left in your worthless body. "
"Shut up," Lucius snarled and before I knew it, he flicked his hand and Leon's neck snapped. He fell face first to the ground.
"Leon!" Arlo and Orion shouted to no avail.
"No!" I screamed, struggling in his hold. "Don't. No more please. Please. I'm sorry. Let my friends be!"
"After everything you did today," Lucius sneered, circling his hand around my throat. He squeezed it once, making it hard to breathe, before his father's voice stopped him.
"Lucius," he reminded him in a soft order. "Think before you act. Think about the bigger picture."
"Oh I'm thinking," Lucius said, but dropped his hand away from my throat after another painful squeeze. "But she'll learn her lesson."
"What do you intend to do?" His father asked, but he sounded bored with everything going around him. "We need to return back to Paris soon and finish our business with Loker.”
“Not yet,” Lucius snarled back, before smiling threateningly down at me. "Father, let her heal him."
No. No. No. I'm so close.
A moment of silence passed.
"I'm assuming you mean her mate," his father stated, rather than asked. "Any particular reason why? You made the rules of the games explicitly clear. Why turn back on them now? Ariel lost fair and square."
I curled my hands into fists, hating Scar-man more and more.
"Yes I know," Lucius asked, but there was a tinge of cruelty in his voice. "But my princess begged nicely and I'm a man that likes to keep my possessions content once in a blue moon."
"Lucius, what are you planning?" Orion gritted out with Arlo voicing out his command as well.
Lucius' father didn't say anything but he did go towards my poor mate. He picked Trenton up without a care and brought him closer to us . Even though I was glad that he was letting me heal him, I knew deep down that he wasn't off the hook.
Not this easily anyways and I was proved correctly with his next words. "Let her heal him and then place the bastard in the catacombs."
I didn't even know what that meant but it sounded so ominous for a place for my mate to be put in.
You doomed us, princess. You had the chance and you ruined it all.
"Is that all?" Lucius father asked, as I healed my mate with my power.
Arlo was right. I was already so weak from the battle that healing my mate felt like absolute torture. But I pushed on until I was sure that my mate was out of danger.
“Not quite," Lucius smiled, picking me up from the ground with ease when Trenton’s breathing was back to normal. He held me in his arms before pressing a light kiss on my lips. “I’m going to put the Eno on him."
I shuddered, feeling disgust making its way through my body.
"What's that?" I whispered, trembling in his arms. "What's a Eno? What are you going to do to him? Tell me."
"Don't worry about him for now," Lucius said, strolling back into the invisible mansion with myself kicking and pleading the entire way. "You'll join him in a bit."
"Ariel!" Orion and Arlo yelled out simultaneously, but their words faded out when Lucius stepped into his house and slammed the door shut on them.
The sound was so final, a sound signalling my demise. Yet, he did not place me down. He climbed up the stairs with me curled tight in his arms.
It was only when we passed his office did I take his words into consideration. Trenton might be out of the water for now, but doesn't mean I am too.
You asked for this.
"Where are we going?" I asked helplessly, looking into his cobalt eyes. He truly was the devil in disguise.
"You did say you would do anything for me, didn't you?" Lucius asked mockingly, a greedy look entering his eyes. "Anything to heal Trenton again, correct?"
"I did," I mumbled back, barely sounding audible. I was too frightened by the way he was acting.
“So no complaints beautiful," Lucius grinned, opening a door to a room that I never entered before. “I feel like I deserve a reward for my generosity. Don't you think so too?"
The room was large and even though it was filled with rich decor and paintings, the only object that captured my attention was his massive bed.
In all my years here, I never took one stepped into Lucius' bedroom. Terror gripped me by the throat as black dots danced across my eyes.
"I think it's time," Lucius whispered right into my ear causing me to whimper. He walked towards the bed before dumping me unceremoniously onto it. I scrambled back on the bed, stopping when I hit the headboard. "And I'm a man that has needs. Needs that my princess can now take care of. My patience have been tried enough and I've reached my limit."
“I-" I had no idea what I was trying to say but I knew that my life would irrevocably change after today. It was the predatory look in his eyes that cemented my thoughts.
It was so much worse than what I seen from previous years. Lucius no longer looked like a boy.
He was no longer a boy.
He was over six feet now, with broad shoulders and bulging muscles that spanned his entire form. His hair was short, each lock of hair curled into perfection.
There was not a single fault about him, look-wise anyways. The inside of him was a completely different story altogether.
"Ariel, you're going to do as I say," Lucius said, lifting his shirt with one swipe before throwing it to the floor. My eyes widened seeing his half-naked form."And if you don't, then need I remind you that Trenton's life is still on the line?"
I shook my head slowly, leaning back on the bed as far as I can go. But there was no escape.
Just him and I.
All alone in this room with no way out and with no one to come in. Fresh tears blurred my vision with his next command but I listened like I was groomed to do.
Like a pet obeying his master. Just like how he once said we were.
"Take off your dress," he commanded, sliding his belt off his pants. "But this time, take off everything. Every last stitch of clothing, princess."
And I did.
With shaking hands, I pulled the dress off me before dropping it down on the bed. My vision was hazy with my tears but through it, I can still see him give me a curt nod towards my undergarments.
With a strange mewl that sounded more animal than human, I removed the rest until I was bare to his gaze.
I had no choice.
You had two, princess. You just chose the wrong one.ns 220.127.116.11da2