Bound by Duty

By The Crimson Quill All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Drama

Reign Over the Animal in Me

It had been a long time since she sat in a vehicle and drove at such a speed. She would have loved to be the one driving but unfortunately, her nearly two-hundred-year-old mate didn’t allow it. She decided that she had pushed him enough for one day and didn’t ask to drive anymore.

In fact, ever since she agreed to his clause and both of them took a soul oath — an unbreakable promise — he had been very silent and uncommunicative other than the occasional touches here and there which wolves tended to do quite often. Sighing, she turned to him. Seeing her staring, he turned to look at her with raised brows.

She smiled ruefully. “I’m sorry about earlier. It had to be done. I know you’re upset but I wouldn’t ask such a thing of you without a good reason, would I?” She stretched her hands to touch his cheek. Leaning into her palm, he placed his palm on hers.

“You youngsters these days are so flighty, one never knows what you’re going to do next.” He murmured. He leaned forward and stroked her hair, untangling her bun. Her brown locks tumbled down her shoulders, the curls framing her face. His breath hitched. “Goddess give me patience,” he whispered.

Without waiting for him to move, she leaned in and placed a soft kiss on his full lips. He grabbed the back of her head gently and guided her to continue the kiss. His onslaught was very soft and patient. He took his time to slowly explore every single inch of her mouth. Inexperienced as she was, she turned passive, accepting all that he was ready to give. Occasionally, she flicked out her tongue, licking the corners of his mouth. He would shiver in delight at the contact.

By the end of it, they were breathing heavily. She tentatively put her head on his shoulders. He immediately put an arm around her, drawing her close. She snuggled into him comfortably, breathing in his sweet, delicious scent. “I’ve never done this before,” She whispered. “I mean, I have hugged men, but I have no experience in this kind of stuff. I just wanted you to know.”

His eyes turned gold as his wolf, Lycan, rose to the surface. Two voices spoke together, “You had better have not. No one touches my mate and gets away with it.”

Danielle sniffed indignantly. Her sense of feminism rose quickly and she replied sharply, “And no woman is going to get away with even eyeing you.” Her hackles were raised both as a woman and as a mate.

Alex stroked her head and placed a kiss on the top of it. “You’re the only woman for me. I have been blessed with you after two hundred years of loneliness, of slowly losing myself to my wolf. If I make a muck of this, I’m not fit to be your mate or your king.” He said quietly.

Her raised hackles hadn’t calmed down yet. “That better be the case, Your Majesty. I don’t share what’s mine.” Then she muttered, “It’s bad enough that I’m sharing you with the kingdom.”

Alex laughed loudly, scaring the driver a little. “Darling, it’s a long ride. It’s best that you rest. I will wake you up when we reach the palace.”

She hummed in reply, sniffing at his beautiful scent once more. She purred contentedly.

Not long after, Alex heard her steady, even breathing, and realised that she had fallen asleep. She was a territorial she-wolf — the first thing he had to remember about her. In his lifetime, this was the first time he was so ludicrously happy about something as small as learning something new about her.

Perhaps to his headstrong mate, a mating was something usual. Something that was supposed to happen anyway in her life. Something that happened at the right place at the right time. She probably wasn’t able to recognise the significance of meeting one’s true mate, being quite young herself.

But it was different with him. The last two decades of his life had been spent struggling to reclaim parts of his humanity that had left him. He had looked for his mate in every single pack secretly, but he hadn’t been able to find her anywhere. He had come to the conclusion that she was a wanderer. So he had spent some time in the forests close to the palace. But he couldn’t go very far. Duty called. He had to run a country — no, an empire of werewolves. Things needed to be done, wolves needed to be protected.

And people needed to not know about his slow degeneration into a beast.

“Don’t pretend as if you didn’t enjoy it,” Lycan, his wolf, said snarkily. ”It wasn’t as if the freedom of numbing yourself didn’t give you high in itself."

Alex didn’t reply to that, continuing his line of thought.

With great difficulty, he had summoned all his available strength and had decided to visit the packs again to find his mate. Someone he was desperate to find, kiss and kidnap back to the palace, tie her down there so she could never leave.

But the Goddess worked in strange ways. From her very initial ‘disrespect’, he knew she wouldn’t be bound. She wouldn’t be tamed. She was a force unto herself. His control over her would only be a struggle.

But he also knew, the moment he laid eyes on her, that she was perfect. And so he didn’t hold back on all the love he had been planning to shower on her since he had found out about mates when he was thirteen.

He took a deep breath in, remembering the oath she made him swear. Whatever her past was, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that they were in the present, and she was his present and he was hers. Bickering over something that might happen in the near future was not a sensible, adult thing to do.

Alex decided that he could let it go. He had a choice before him — to either begin this relationship with a solid foundation of trust or begin with a slew of questions and doubts hurled at one another. He had made his mistakes. He had his secrets. He could understand, and he could let her have hers.

His choice was to be happy with his beautiful Danielle and damned if anything was going to stop him in his path.

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