Masia Endurlan rode swiftly through the night, pressing her horse ever onward down the dirt road. She cursed her brother for his part in this mess. He hadn’t wanted her to marry, had fought with their father through the entire courtship. But to go so far as to deliberately sabotage her marriage? That was unforgivable.
The woman turned at a crossroad, trusting the directions she had ripped from her brother’s mind, along with other information.
Paelius was a werewolf. It took her a while to get used to the thought, but she still loved the elf. It had been three months since they had last seen each other, but how much could an elf change in that time?
Masia could see a building in the distance, candlelight flickering in a window. She sighed at the thought of getting a warm meal that night.
A man suddenly stepped into the road, a sword held in his hands. Masia yanked on the reins, and her horse squealed in protest, nearly bucking her off.
“Sorry boy,” she soothed quickly, dismounting.
Drawing a long narrow blade from her saddlebag, the woman stared at the man.
“By what right do you bar my path?” she demanded, keeping her blade down.
“You are on my property. What are your intentions here?”
“I have reason to believe the elf I love is here,” Masia said.
The man narrowed his eyes.
“There is no elf here. Just my chickens.”
Masia looked past the man, spying a figure walking toward them. A smile broke over her face as she recognized the elf.
“Sandolin,” she said with a slight bow of the head as he neared.
Her horse whinnied, backing away, and the woman turned slightly, trying to soothe the beast.
“Masia,” the elf said with a huff of surprise and just the faintest hint of dislike.
“You know her?” the man with the sword asked.
“She is My Prince’s former betrothed.”
“Former?” Masia asked sharply.
Sandor turned to the man, lightly pressing the sword down with a hiss.
“My Prince will not be happy if she is harmed.”
The sword dropped quickly, the man holding it grabbing at Sandolin’s hand.
“I’m fine,” the elf snapped, snatching his hand away from the human.
He turned and made his way back inside.
“I suppose that was a chicken as well?” Masia asked wryly.
The man grunted.
“I can’t keep everyone happy and safe,” he muttered.
He backed toward the house, glaring at the sword still in Masia’s hand. The woman turned and sheathed her blade, then grabbed the reins of her horse, grateful he hadn’t run off.
She followed the man to the building, tying off her horse to a post before following him inside.
Her eyes scanned the room for threats, before settling on the one that spoke her name.
“Why are you here?” he asked.
Masia’s eyes narrowed at the fading scars across Paelius’ body.
“What happened to you?!” she demanded.
“I ran into a person who disagreed with me,” the elf said dismissively.
She crossed the room and took Paelius’ hand, ignoring a growl from Sandor. The elf winced in discomfort as she moved his wrist, taking in the deep wounds beneath the metal.
“Why is he wearing this bracelet?” she asked, glaring at Sandor. “He’s allergic to silver!”
“He wears it because he wants to,” the human said. “Believe me, I’ve been fighting with him about it since we met.”
“You stubborn fool…”
She leaned into the elf and whispered quietly.
“You don’t need to punish yourself for my brother’s treachery.”
Paelius’ eyes widened. Did she know?
He felt her arms wrap around him, holding him close. The elf embraced his human fiance, letting out a deep breath. When had his love life become so complicated?
He glared at Sandor, a growl cutting off in the elf’s throat.
“Danuva, will there be enough food for all of us?” he asked.
“Yes, if we eat sparingly. But you and Sandor will be sleeping on the floor if she stays the night. I will not have a lady sleeping on the ground under my roof,” the man replied.
Paelius nodded his acceptance.
“Masia, we need to talk,” he said, walking towards the bedroom.
“Keep the door open,” Danuva called as Masia followed the wolf.
“Good sir, are you implying that my virtue might be at risk?” Masia smirked.
“Yes,” Danuva said bluntly, staring at Paelius.
The elf grunted but left the door open. He sat on the bed and waited until the human was sitting beside him.
“So, I’m assuming you pulled from Riardin to find this place,” he said.
“Yes. I will never speak to that bastard again,” Masia swore.
“How much do you know about what happened?”
Masia glanced at the door in concern, her eyes locking with Sandor. The blond elf scowled, a growl in his throat.
“Sandor, that’s enough!” Paelius called, and the elf ducked his head. “You don’t need to worry about them. They know a lot about me.”
“You’re a werewolf,” Masia whispered.
“Riardin raped you, and drove you from your home.”
Paelius blanched at the word. It took him a moment to find his breath.
“Y-yes…” he said.
“He tried to keep us apart, but when I asked why he would separate us, he wouldn’t answer. That’s when I dug through his mind. I hate doing that, but I would hate even more to lose you.”
The human turned, leaning toward the elf. Paelius’ nose filled with the smell of vanilla, sweet and tangy, and the elf nearly drooled. Their lips hovered, almost together, and Paelius pulled away.
“I’m sorry. I can’t be with you,” he muttered.
“Why? Because he touched you?”
‘Because I’ll turn you into a monster too.’
The elf nodded, and the human sighed.
“I understand. But I hope we will remain close. We’ve known each other since childhood,” she said.
The vanilla wafting off Masia suddenly intensified, and Paelius recoiled. He stood quickly, the sounds around him becoming tunnelled.
A growl escaped his throat, and Danuva was at the door an instant later. Lavender began mixing with the vanilla, and Paelius leapt for the door, trying to escape the smells. Sour grape mixed with the others as he saw Sandor, his squire’s eyes large with lust.
Pushing past Danuva without a word, the elven prince grabbed Sandor by the collar and dragged him from the building, praying that Danuva had the presence of mind to explain everything to Masia because he certainly didn’t.
Sandor felt his clothes fall from his body, his mind in a daze. His cinnamon was here, ravaging him with nips and licks. It was almost too much to bear. He could smell Danuva nearby, but he drove the human from his mind. The man would not come between him and his prince tonight.
His body spasmed as the light of the moon hit it, and with a scream, Sandor fell to his hands and knees. Grey hair sprouted from him, and he howled as a fresh bout of pain hit him.
Something pinned him down and the wolf could feel hot breath washing over his neck. Craning his neck, he saw Paelius mounting him, and he whined quietly. His tail flicked to the side as he felt the red wolf prodding at him.
Paelius shoved into him suddenly, and Sandor bit back a yelp as the red wolf thrust. The cinnamon washed over him, filling his mind with a dizzying lust for the werewolf fucking him.
He felt warm liquid dripping into him as Paelius grunted. A loud gasp startled both of them, and Paelius fell off Sandor’s back, still stuck inside the wolf.
Sandor turned carefully, the pressure from Paelius increasing as he moved. He saw Masia darting back into the building and huffed. An audience was the last thing he and Paelius needed.
Growling at Danuva, who was hurrying back inside as well, Sandor was startled to hear Paelius let out a heartbreaking howl. Unbidden, the grey wolf joined his red companion as they sang of successful matings, and a broken heart.
Paelius eventually softened enough for the two to pull apart, and Sandor immediately sat, licking himself as Paelius shifted and dressed. His prince ran into the house, and Sandor held back for a bit. There was nothing he could do to help.
Danuva finished preparing the evening meal, sighing with exhaustion. He had been up all day dealing with Paelius, and now he had to listen to the werewolf trying to convince Masia that what he had done was necessary.
Walking to the bedroom, Danuva stuck his head into the room.
“My lord, my lady, dinner is ready,” he said uncertainly.
“I am no lord. I’m not even a prince,” Paelius snapped.
The room fell silent.
“Forgive me,” the elf muttered, standing.
He pushed past Danuva, the humans staring after him.
“I wanted to help him,” Masia sighed as the front door slammed shut.
“So do I,” Danuva said.
“I had no idea he prefered men. If he had just told me, I wouldn’t have a problem with him taking a male lover.”
“I don’t know if he does prefer men,” Danuva said. “The full moon is not kind to werewolves. It drives them crazy with lust. If he had stayed in the room, he would have taken you, by force if necessary.”
“Did he take you?” the woman demanded.
Danuva stared at his feet.
“Yes,” he admitted. “I let him. And I don’t even know who he is.”
“Crown Prince Paelius Serande of the elves. Or he was until he exiled himself after meeting with my brother.”
“I’m sure he believes it was for the best. He thinks he’s a monster.”
“After what I just saw, I’m not sure he’s wrong.”
“What you just saw was a man, a werewolf, escaping a dangerous situation by relying on a friend. He kept himself from hurting you.”
Masia shook her head, her brown hair flowing around her shoulders.
“And just what exactly makes you an expert on werewolves?”
“My brother. I lived with a werewolf for six years. I learned what his curse meant, alongside him.”
“Then you’ve been assaulted in the basest of manners by your brother?”
“Yes. I would help him relieve his tensions in a way that was satisfactory for both of us. I loved Quarian. I would have, and did, do anything necessary to help him. And you do not need to concern yourself with the details,” Danuva said sharply.
“Then you are a werewolf too.”
“I don’t know. If I am, it is not because of Quarian.”
“It is the full moon. How are you not sure?” Masia demanded.
“I haven’t been forced to shift. I have no lustful thoughts, save for the ones I harbour as a man.”
The man turned to leave.
“Dinner is ready. If you can be civil with all my guests, you may join us. If not, I will bring you your meal. I do not want werewolves fighting in my home.”
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