Status: Finished.

More Than Just Baser Instincts.


I watched Leonard and Arianna as they sat by the forest edge. Guards were watching them as well, but they didn't much seem to care. Leonard held her hands to his heart, and his lips were buried in her hair as he surely whispered sweet promises that neither of them believed. But my sister wore a small smile, and devotion and love was somehow still obvious in that man's blank, silver gaze.

I looked down to my baby. This was why I was giving up my family, so this entire pride had the chance to find theirs. So I gathered my courage and put it all in my son with the hope that he could do more with it than I ever had.

Tiberius... I need to ask a favour of you.

Elaine...? Is that you? What the hell are you doing here! You got out!

I smiled meekly.

I can't get out until this whole place can "get out." And that won't happen until my father is dead. Can I ask a favour of you? I repeated.

Just what kind of favour are you talking about here? There was obvious reluctance in his voice, but I had to just come out and say it.

But it made my own stomach churn.

I need you to run to the forest, shout "you!" and capture me. If the guards find me, I'd probably be thrown into a dungeon of some sort. But if you catch me, you can hopefully convince my father to just keep an eye on me. I need to do some research on this place, but I need some time with some books. You have a library, yes?

God, I hope your mate thinks you're worth all this trouble.
I could almost hear when it clicked inside his head. Does he know you're here?

I cringed away. He knows... But he's not at all happy with it. He's even less happy that I brought Rory—but before you say anything, this pup isn't even his. And we're keeping him from his title. So we're out of the picture, and his life can get back on track. This was the only way I could save you and the rest of my people.

There was silence on the other end, and I sighed. I had not wanted to do this the hard way and risk being man-handled by guards. If they even harmed one hair on Rory's head, I would kill them without a second thought!

"Tiberius! What are you doing!"

My ears perked up, and I glanced over just in time to see Tiberius barreling after me with a crazy look in his eyes. Instincts kicked in and made me scream before I backtracked and tried to run. But his arms wrapped tightly around me as he crashed into me. Thankfully, he flipped us around mid-fall so I fell onto him with Rory tucked safely in my arms. Tiberius started nuzzling my neck affectionately.

"You better know what you're doing," he whispered in my ear, a soft whimper on his breath.

Guards soon came rushing after us, and they all seemed pretty shocked to see me there. A few tripped over themselves as they ran back from whence they came, probably bucking for that promotion. The others stepped toward us.

"Mine! Touch them and die!" Tiberius snapped, clutching me so tightly that my chest heaved desperately for air.

The guards backed up with their arms raised, and Tiberius resumed nuzzling the life out of me. He seemed to be a bit over-the-top, but if these guards bought it, it didn't really matter. Oh! But I should be trying to get away, shouldn't I?

"Let go!" I whimpered, squirming and wriggling just enough to make him tighten his embrace.

"No," he snarled. "Never again. You got away once, but you were promised to me. I won't let you out of my sight!"

The guards looked off in the distance, and it was obvious that they were communicating with someone. Hopefully it was my father. They would tell him how Tiberius had snagged me and how he was behaving like a downright lunatic over Rory and I. Gerald would be so tickled pink that he would give me to Tiberius like some kind of war prize, and I would be free to research ways of impeaching in the Northern Sector.

"Tiberius, this is quite the find."

Even though I had wanted this to happen, his very voice still made the blood in my veins freeze. I immediately stopped resisting Tiberius; instead, I shrunk against him.

Tiberius, like a good underling, rose to his feet—dragging me reluctantly with him. His hands shook slightly as he held me tightly, but he maintained eye contact. This man had so much karma right now; I would have to repay him somehow.

"Sir," he greeted him, and then his gaze drifted down to Rory. The child had finally quieted as his gaze fell upon his grandfather. Even my baby knew that this man was to be feared.

"Imagine my surprise, Elaine. What's wrong? Was I right about your supposed mate? He wanted nothing to do with you when he saw that white cub in your arms!" my father taunted.

It brought tears to my eyes. If only that were the case... No, Quince was an angel in disguise.

"Shut up!" I snapped, blinking furiously against the threat of crying in front of this monster. "Don't even talk about him!"

"I suppose that means I'm right."

I glared up at him, but then a small, nearly inaudible gasp slipped past me. His eyes... He almost looked sad, like it mattered to him that I had "obviously" been so utterly used by a male claiming to be my mate. Like he cared that his daughter was in pain.

"That's what mates do for you," he told me, shaking his head. "But if Tiberius' display here doesn't prove that he's not just some average male, nothing will, Elaine. Does this mean you came here to come back?"

I opened my mouth, but no words came out. I had not even thought about that angle...

And yet, even though my father was a horrible man who had to die for the sake of his people, it was still hard to lie to him.

"Yes," I choked out, my heart breaking. Why did it hurt to do this? "I had nowhere else to go."

He held out one arm, and I watched him through teary eyes. What? Tiberius' grip on me slowly loosened, and I staggered forward with a gasp of disorientation.

But he caught me. Gerald... My father caught me. And his arms wrapped around me. I began choking on sobs then. This was why it hurt: he had just shown me a glimpse of what having a father was like. I had grown up an orphan, without ever knowing my mother or father. And now...

Now it was as if my parents were just sent back down from the Gates of Heaven because my cries and pleas were heard.

"D-Dad?" I whimpered, not even sure that this was real.

"I'm sorry you had to learn this way," he whispered, keeping the moment between us. But then he pulled away, and Tiberius—not breaking character—wrapped his arms around me from behind and secured me against his chest. Louder, Gerald said, "Tiberius, take Elaine inside. Get her and the cub settled in your quarters."

"Yes, sir," Tiberius murmured quietly. "Elaine?"

"Okay," I whispered, not fighting him as he herded me even further from Home.

I could not help but to glance once more over my shoulder. Gerald was facing the way I had come, and his head was hanging. What haunted him so? What plagued him so clearly?

But then he shifted, and he bounded off into the distance.

I turned back forward, sighing deeply. My father was not born a monster, surely. He was made that way. By a woman, that much was clear.

"Do you know why my father hates mates so much?"

"You know the story about your mother running. But... She wasn't the first one."

I turned to look at him.

"What do you mean?"
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry for the delay! But here it is. Nothing like a little internal conflict to liven up the place, eh?

As always, thanks for reading, and hopefully you enjoyed the update :)