Paul - Wolves Inc Office Building
After days of my men digging into Bogdan's background and scrutinizing his every action, I still don't have anything definitive that proves he's the one who wants to murder me. The digging efforts of my team have not yet yielded any results. All I have is Bogdan Badea's name and the fact that he bought shares in Wolves Inc from persons I had no idea wanted to sell.
My wolves are in a state of tenseness. The pack is growing distrustful of my actions, particularly the one associated with a certain strigoi. I must avoid Laura for the sake of both of us. Whatever occurs when she's around is something I'll never understand.
My mood is worsening now, as I have to hear Cristian applauding the results from the RBO party. I don’t know which is worse: when he’s pestering me to do stuff I resent or when he’s beaming around me like a schoolgirl.
"I wasn't sure you would be able to persuade Darius Popovici to inscribe the Wolves logo on his team's uniforms. However, you did it. And he only asked for half of what he had previously sought to consider the transaction. You really are a miracle worker."
“I would like to take credit for this, but Laura was the one who convinced Darius.” I want to add, ‘Without even glamouring him,’ but I stop just in time. Cristian doesn’t know anything about the supernatural world. For him, the world is just what meets the eye.
“Oh, that’s the woman you were with at the party, I presume.” He rubs his hands energetically. “If you’d be so kind as to give me her contact details, I would love to extend her a contract to escort you at every future party. She’s great for business.”
“She’s not for hire. I invited her to be my plus one.”
“Oh, she’s not an escort.” Cristian’s smile widens just when I think that’s not even possible. “Is the old Paul back? You go, stud!”
"If that’s all, you can leave. I have several tasks that I need to attend to." I lower my gaze to the laptop's screen.
His giggling gets further away as his footsteps approach the exit. When I hear the soft clicking of the door closing behind him, I sigh heavily. My schedule is full of boring meetings and presentations. But my mind goes astray toward a certain red-headed woman. I’ve decided to avoid meeting her ever again, so my wandering thoughts fill me with anger.
Irina, my secretary, opens the door a crack, and I lift my eyes from my laptop. Raising an eyebrow, I wait for her to speak.
My glare probably shows my bad mood, because she stutters. "The HR sent t-the new a-assistant they hired to h-help you with your schedule."
Yeah, I remember someone from HR announcing they have found a woman for that position. Having over a thousand employees, I don’t ask for details or names. That’s why I have a whole department to handle these things.
“She can come in.”
I return to reading my schedule on my e-calendar, thinking if I can postpone or ditch some of the meetings there. Suddenly, the lilac scent hits my nostrils, and I barely hold in a groan.
Laura is dressed formally in a black suit, her hair tied into a bun on top of her head, ready to dazzle anybody who catches sight of her.
“What are you doing here?” I ask, my teeth gritted.
“Hi! I’m Laura Nedelcu, your new personal assistant.”
I stare at her outstretched hand, my own crossing firmly over my chest as I lean against the backrest.
"You're taunting me, strigoi!" This is the tone I employ to make even the most ferocious of my wolf warriors cringe. "There's no way in hell you could have gotten this job!"
“Indeed, higher education wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. Though my experience in sorting out life for more than half a century makes me the perfect candidate.”
“You can’t put that on the resume.” I frown and rise from my chair.
"Of course. That’s why I glamoured the HR personnel." She shrugs with ease as if she is talking about breakfast. "I promise you, their minds aren’t affected, and I’m going to thoroughly do my job. Do you have any requirements I must know beforehand? "
“You’re not fit for the job. You overdeliver. I don’t like people who do more than I ask.”
“No outshining you. Understood.”
It is hard for me to maintain my composure while she taunts me openly. As if I don’t matter in the least. Like a cat who discovered a mouse, she loves to play with me. I want to stick to my pacifist mantra, but my wolf demands to show her what this mouse really is. He takes the wheel, going over our agreement.
I lunge. My speed is enough to reach her in less than a second, darting toward her. A hand on her neck as I push her onto the wall. Her back hits the hard concrete, and I flinch inside, thinking I may have harmed her. That can leave a bruise on a normal human. But she isn’t. She’s just an abomination. I must remind myself of that.
"Do you realize we’ll be in deep shit? You’re making things worse by the minute." My voice is rougher, huskier when my wolf talks. "The wolves will want your head if you keep messing with us. The Council will want to put you on trial. You’re a blight. I need to purge you from this world."
“Oh, you’re the wolf, I suppose. Nice to meet you! I’m Laura Nedelcu.”
She has the nerve to outstretch her hand again with a smile on her face. With a hand still holding her neck in a tight grip, my other hand pushes her arm away and then pins it to the wall. I snarl and growl, my wolf showing her my darkest face.
Laura continues unaffected, “Did I invite you to the party? Was I the one who groped your ass in front of the media?” She smirks, completely disregarding my growl. “Oh, and this is sexual harassment. Where can I report this, boss?”
Laura - Wolves Inc Office BuildingPaul's gray eyes have darkened to the point of becoming pitch-black. Maybe this is what he looks like when someone pokes him more than he can handle. His wolf is furious, but this is what I want. We'll be done with this if he bites me in a fit of rage.I look toward the window, stretching my neck for him and making it easier for the wolf to bite me. His hot breath strolls over my skin, making it crease. He sniffs me as if to see if I’m a worthy meal for his majesty.“I like my meat raw and warm.” He licks my neck and then spits on the floor. “You’re rotten and cold.”His words hurt me more than I thought possible. Why do I care what he thinks about me? I know what I am, and no one hates me more for th
Paul - His villa“Dan, you’ll be in charge until I get back.” I throw another shirt in the small suitcase.“Why do you have to leave now? Tomorrow night is a full moon. You’ll miss it.”I slam shut the suitcase and turn to him. “Do you think I don’t know? Do as I ask and stop questioning me.”What am I supposed to say? That I told Laura to wait, but she insisted she would go alone? He will mock me or even resent me for leaving the pack on such an important night to protect a strigoi.“At least put Alin in charge. He has done it before.” Dan follows me through the room as I’m scouring after a tent. My wolf likes to sleep on the grass, me not so much.
Laura - Sohodol CanyonThe road and river go farther into the mountains in a tiny passage between two massive rocks. We've located a patch of thick, verdant grass on which Paul unhurriedly pitches the tent for the night.Darkness creeps faster between the mountains and will soon be upon us. Waiting for him to finish, I march up and down the river stream, flattening the grass under my feet. His calmness and the way he does everything slowly drive me nuts. I was patient until now, but we’re here, and we should hurry to save those girls.The water rushes through caves it carved through stone, whooshing behind me. The sound almost covers my words. “How much longer? We should start our search.”"Chill," Paul says calmly, digging a tiny passage around the ten
Paul - Sohodol CanyonAs I stretch my numb limbs, the sun shines on my face. I grimace, wondering how I ended up sleeping on the grass. My wolf is happy with the outcome, my back not so much. Scrubbing my eyes, I see Laura’s face from last night. She looked so lonely and scared of being alone, so I remained outside, not even getting my sleeping bag. I’m such a retard sometimes. I guess the splinter from the bark does not fall far from the tree.(In Romanian, the saying “The splinter from the bark doesn’t fall far from the tree” has the same meaning just that instead of the proverbial apple is a splinter from the bark.)Under the generally well-dressed Paul Mateescu, the cool-headed CEO, still lurks the adolescent who watched his mother forsake his father for a wealthier man. I vowed nev
Laura - Sohodol CanyonWe strolled silently down the mountain route. Silence followed as soon as he admitted I was an abomination. I'm not sure why hearing it from his lips stung so much. I still felt more pain from his words than from the stake I once drilled into my heart. The astonishment I felt at not dying is only surpassed by this one today. Why should I care what he thinks of me?Without my consent, dreams and hopes keep seeping back into my heart. For a little while, I allowed myself to imagine Paul is unlike any other I'd ever met. In my foolishness, I become enchanted by this little spark filled with possibilities, believing that maybe, just maybe, I have discovered something destined for me.In fact, this is exactly what I need. His harsh words have to change the way I'm starting to see him. He's no
Paul’s wolf - Runcu villageI have no other option than to grudgingly accept being petted and laughed at. My self-esteem is lacking, not being able to even raise my ears again. The only good thing is that my pack isn’t around and that my human has declared this area off-limits to all wolves. I’ll die of embarrassment if any word of this comes out.After the little girl leaves with her father, I flick my tail, creating the momentum to shake my whole body. My instinct tells me this way I get rid of all those humiliating fondles and scratching, but I know the moment will remain there like a scar for life.“Come on. Let’s go to the shop where the girl went missing.” Laura starts walking in front of me, and I follow.Humans claim that wolve
Laura - Sohodol CanyonAt first, I run after the wolf. Soon, I slow down my pace and regain my composure. I see the markings on the trees he left for me. But I don't need these to follow him. His heart beats differently, faster, warmer. I can feel it from miles away.He comes to a halt, and I catch up. However, as I go closer, I smell blood. There's a lot of blood. I nearly trip over a little dry branch on the ground since I'm no longer paying attention to my surroundings. As my hopes fade away, my teeth gnash beneath the weight of my jaw. There is no heartbeat except for the wolf and a few squirrels in the trees. Those girls are no longer alive.I go past Paul and stop in front of the crooked door that barely remains on its hinges. The strigoi is inside. His mind is cluttered – his thoughts all over the place
Paul - Sohodol CanyonI go through the woods nude, holding Laura in my arms. She's still weeping, but more softly, and she's not shivering as much as she used to. I know just the place to help her feel better and get rid of the obnoxious stench of blood that has coated both of us from head to toe. All I can hope for now is that I don't happen to run across any hikers.When I look down at her, she seems vulnerable as she puts her face into my chest. I always end up with her in my arms. As much as it pains me to see her like this, I don't want to let her go. But it's impossible to remain like this forever because this moment is fleeting like any other.As we approach a clearing, I glance around for any danger. My sense of smell can be deceiving near the stream. Luckily, the only things I see are the trees and the rive