The boy was only nine and already quite ferocious. Mikael could feel his heart thumping in his breast from fear and even though he was ashamed to admit it but the boy standing in front him, growling was scaring him. Mikael was more scared for the four year old girl clinging to his leg than he was for himself. He glanced fleetingly to the left at the knives on the kitchen counter and back at the boy but that was enough to get the boy moving to cut him off from a source of defence. Mikael knew who the boy was from the scars running down the left side of his face and wondered for just a moment how it had missed his eye. He also wondered for just a moment if the boy was feral and that was why they hadn’t heard too much about him ever since his rescue two years ago.
On any day any Were child was dangerous since they couldn’t control themselves with their change and the heightened emotions and senses that came with it but the most ferocious were the Werewolves and Mikael knew for a fact that this was a werewolf cub. You couldn’t be the first born son and heir to the king of the Were Realm and not be known by everyone in all of Lumeria. Everyone not only knew who the boy was but they also knew what had happened to him three years ago. Another thing that couldn’t be secret in Lumeria was the secrets of the royals of every Realm.
Mikael decided to reason with the boy and prayed he could calm him down.
“Erik, it is Erik right? Erik, son calm yourself and think for a moment, she is only four,” Mikael said in a placating voice that sounded calmer than what he felt.
“SHE IS MINE!” the boy growled pointing to Alex and taking a step forward causing Alexandria, Mikael’s daughter to whimper in fear and cling tighter to her father’s leg. Mikael was glad his wife and five sons were not there at that moment because when it came to their little sister they would have done anything in their power to protect her. His eldest sons at age twelve have already made a name for themselves in the Human warrior’s guild with his second son at age ten starting to challenge his elder brothers’ reputation by becoming very skilled in his own right. His second set of twins at age eight only just entered the guild this year but their ferocity matched their older brothers. There was no telling what would have happened had they been there at that moment.
“Son you cannot claim her at this age, even you must understand this,” Mikael said gently in the hopes of getting through to the boy. Erik frowned and looked at the floor for a second and then up again at Mikael. At that precise moment a breeze blew Alex’s scent towards Erik and he forgot what Mikael just said and took another aggressive step forward. He held out a hand towards Alex and she clung to her father tightly, shaking with fear. Mikael could feel her body burning against his leg and worried that her fever was going higher. It was definitely time to get rid of this boy and take care of his daughter.
“She is my mate and must be with me,” the boy barked and took another step forward but stopped when two men rushed in and flanked the door. They turned and faced each other and a third man walked in. The guards immediately took up defensive positions behind him.
“Your Majesty welcome to my home. Of course I wish the circumstances were better,” Mikael said and bowed slightly to the King of the Were Realm.
“Mikael it is so good to see you again and yes I do wish it were under better circumstances,” King Elrik said and cast his son a chastising look. Elrik moved forward and clasped Mikael’s arms in a friendly gesture. They smiled at each other and after a moment they hugged like old friends. The two guards behind King Elrik inclined their heads in greeting to Mikael and Mikael returned the gesture. Being the personal advisor to the King of the Human Realm meant that Mikael met with the royalty and personnel of all the Realms in Lumeria. Being a humble, cordial person he was always well received and well-liked by all. Elrik saw little Alex, who was no longer clinging to her father’s leg, looking up at him with wide eyes and knelt down in front of her.
“You must be Alexandria,” Elrik said and held out his hand and Alex placed hers in his without hesitation.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for your first birthday but I see you received my gift. Do you like it?” Elrik asked and fingered the gold bracelet on Alex’s tiny wrist. The bracelet was too big for her small wrist and was wrapped several times around it. It had just one charm on it; a snarling wolf.
“She never takes it off,” Mikael said as Alex continued to stare at Elrik in wonder. Elrik smiled at the little girl and stood slowly and turned to face his son.
“Now what shall we do with you boy?” Mikael asked Erik and held up a hand when it looked like Erik would speak.
“You can’t claim her even if she is your mate and you know this,” Elrik said in a quiet voice full of authority. Erik looked at the ground, his hands balled into fists. Elrik went to the boy and knelt in front of him. He gently lifted his chin so that he could look into his eyes, “She is under age as are you. You must wait for her to turn eighteen before you can court her, legally,” Erik’s eyes filled with tears but he nodded his understanding. Elrik stood once more and apologized to Mikael for all the trouble caused by his son.
Mikael lifted Alex into his arms when she yawned and leaned her small body against his leg and she immediately wrapped her small arms around his neck, snuggled in and fell asleep; the results of the fever medication most likely. He watched the royal party climb into their vehicles and drive off. He was about to shut the door when he noticed Erik staring out of the back window at Alex. His heart went out to the boy for all he had suffered in his young life but when it came to his daughter and her freedom of choice he would not allow anyone to take that away from her even if that someone was a damaged Prince.