Fighting Darius - Book cover

Fighting Darius

Nicole Riddley

2: No Hello or Goodbye



My eighteenth birthday was just a few days ago. It was a big deal for me because we can sense our mate when we turn eighteen. That’s why I had planned a big party. It is going to be epic!

I invited all the good-looking boys whom I had a crush on. Well…that’s basically almost all the unmated werewolf boys at our school.

I know, I know…Genesis called me boy crazy, but who knows, one of those boys could be my mate, right? I was just being thorough. I’m a very dedicated she-wolf.

Well anyway, that didn’t happen. My birthday party, I mean. My best friend Genesis got kidnapped by this crazy female lycan whose name I dare not mention. *Cough* Milan *cough.*

She was kidnapped while helping me get things ready for my epic birthday party.

My bestie Genesis is mated to a lycan prince, Constantine. That crazy lycan bitch wanted Constantine for herself and almost killed my friend.

The moment we realized she was kidnapped was the worst moment of my life. Never had I felt so lost and helpless before.

Reese, my other bestie, and I drove to her parents’ house to be with Genesis’s mother, Lavinia. Lavinia was a blubbering mess.

We were there supposedly to support her and soothe her, but as soon as we saw her crying, Reese and I bawled our eyes out along with her.

Not long after, my mom and Reese’s mom showed up. Our moms loved Genesis almost like their own too, and soon they started bawling their eyes out as well. It turned out to be a big giant tear fest.

No men entered the house that night. I think they heard us crying inside and that was more effective than taping a Do Not Enter sign at the door.

My birthday wish this year wasn’t for me to find a mate, but for my best friend Genesis who’s more like a sister to me to come back to us safe and sound.

I wished so hard. I wished for it with all that I had in me. It was such a relief when we heard that she was alive. We were so relieved and happy that we had another round of tear fest.

I wish I could join them in hunting down and killing that lycan bitch who was planning to kill my best friend, but I think I would be more of a hindrance rather than helping.

I am just a regular werewolf, while they are lycans. I had no business being where lycans were, fighting other lycans.

Lycans are different from us regular werewolves. When they phase, they walk on two feet rather than four and are also bigger, faster, fiercer, smarter, stronger, and more powerful than any werewolves.

They are like killing machines when provoked. No sane werewolf would want to mess with them.

The only way you can kill a lycan is by severing the spine from its body, which is quite impossible for a regular werewolf to do.

They are known to be the direct descendants of the moon goddess, so they are treated like nobility in the werewolf world. In fact, our king, King Alexandros, is a lycan.

We hadn’t seen my best friend so far. They tracked the lycan bitch down and managed to kill her and a group of rebels in Russia.

Genesis and her mate, Constantine, and her other lycan friends, Serena, Lazarus, and Caspian, are supposed to come back from Russia tonight. Serena is mated to Lazarus.

Caspian is actually Prince Caspian. The crown prince, also Constantine’s cousin. Prince Caspian is still unmated. He’s also swoon-worthily good-looking, of course.

If he wasn’t such an idiot, I might have fallen for him. Well, actually, I did have a crush on him…until he opened his mouth.

Then I realized that he’s a cocky, spoiled-brat lycan prince with the mentality of a five-year-old. It took less than a minute after he uttered his first word for me to realize this.

I was cured from my crush on him right away. Thank goddess! All I want to do when he’s around me now is kick him in the nuts. Every. Freaking. Time.

Genesis’s family, Reese and her mate River, and even my parents are waiting at the lycans’ home to greet them. It’s quite late, I think it’s close to midnight by the time they finally arrive.

As soon as their car pulls in, my wolf Juno starts to get weird. I usually listen to my wolf’s instinct, but I decide to ignore her for now.

“Genesis!” I pull my bestie into the biggest hug as soon as I get the chance. I thought I’d never see her again.

“I’m sorry for being such a pain for my birthday party. It was my fault that they got you,” I apologize. Tears start forming in my eyes.

“Oh, Penny…you know it’s not your fault at all. Happy birthday, love,” she whispers in my ear while she squeezes me a bit harder.

“I thought I’d never see you again. Don’t you dare do that to us again,” I scold.

“Not if I can help it,” she manages to say before Reese pulls her away.

After I release Genesis, I straighten up to find myself looking into a pair of icy-blue eyes. Those eyes make my heart stop beating before it starts to race like crazy.

I could feel the buzz of energy in the air between us.

The owner of those eyes is staring back at me. Watching me unwaveringly.

I’ve never seen him before. Obviously, he’s a lycan. He’s so gorgeous…and lethal. His eyes are a mesmerizing icy blue.

He has thick, blond eyebrows that are a tad bit darker than his thick, blond hair. His hair is so pale it’s almost white. It is slicked back and suits him perfectly.

His sharp features look like they’re molded from granite.

His red lips contrast with his fair, flawless complexion. His perfect top lip is firm, yet his bottom lip is full and sexy, at odds with his icy, tough exterior.

There’s a sinister, dangerous air about him that sets my inner alarm bell ringing and buzzing…with excitement.

I’m not normal…or maybe I’m just stupid. Other normal she-wolves would run away from danger. I jump feet first into danger. Danger excites me.

I learn that his name is Darius Ivanovic Rykov. He’s a commander of the Royal Intelligence Force unit and a good friend of Constantine, Lazarus, and Caspian.

He’s here with his two other officers to investigate Genesis’s kidnapping. It’s a huge deal, especially since it’s connected to a ruthless and well-known rebel group.

“Beany Penny! Don’t I get a hug too?” Caspian has a big mischievous grin on his face as he pulls me in for a hug.

Huh? Beany Penny?

I glance quickly back at the smoking-hot, icy-blue-eyed lycan from over Caspian’s shoulder. He has a big scowl on his handsome face as he stares at Caspian and me.

I couldn’t concentrate on anything else around me. People are talking, yet I’m only aware of his every movement and of his eyes on me.

I feel the buzzing energy every time those icy-blue eyes land on me, which is a lot. My ears zone in on his deep, sexy voice as he talks…and that Russian accent. I melt.

My heart flutters in my chest like a trapped little bird, and my stomach clenches almost painfully every time our eyes meet.

All through the night, my eyes keep drifting to him. Like a magnet, I’m hopelessly drawn to him. Like he’s pulling the string to my kite.

He can’t seem to keep his eyes off me too because every time I look at him, he’s already looking at me. Our eyes would meet and lock from across the room. He would be the first to break the spell.

He would drag his eyes away before they would inevitably and reluctantly drift back to me again. It’s as if he can’t help himself.

“Persephone Aspen Ruiz, did you hear a word I was saying?” asks my mom after I fail to answer her question for the third time tonight.

Of course not, Mom.

“Of course I have, Mom,” I answer as I feel my cheeks heating up. Gee, thanks a lot, Mom! Now I’m blushing. I don’t ~do~ blushing!

My eyes involuntarily flicker to Darius’s direction. I notice that there’s a slight smirk on his lips. A little amusement and a hint of satisfaction in his eyes.

Oh, how embarrassing! He must know how much his presence is affecting me.

“He’s hot, eh?” whispers Reese into my ear.

“Who?” I pretend ignorance.

“Who else?” She grins mischievously. “I think he looks like Draco Malfoy…only buffer, hotter, bigger, sexier.”

“Shut up,” I shush her as I notice his eyes slide to me again.

I watch him covertly from afar.

He looks like he’s in his early twenties…twenty-two at the most. He looks so tough, yet sophisticated. Rugged, yet so beautiful. So worldly and cultured.

I’d guess he is all that since he’s older than twenty-two. Genesis’s mate, Constantine, looks like he’s only eighteen, but he’s actually over three hundred years old.

So I imagine he must be a bit older than that.

Compared to humans, us werewolves age slower, but Lycans age a lot slower than werewolves. That means they live a lot longer.

Thankfully, a lycan mate, be it a human or a werewolf, would change into a lycan once they’re bonded.

If you’re wondering about how a werewolf could possibly mate with a lycan, then maybe I should begin by telling you a bit of what I know about lycans.

You see, lycans don’t have mates chosen for them by the moon goddess like us regular werewolves. They get to choose their own mates, either another lycan, a regular werewolf, or even a human.

Even though they’re not blessed with mates, each lycan has “the one” for them. The one that they’re attracted to like no other.

That one person can either be another lycan, a werewolf, or even a human. This one being is called erasthai.

This attraction is governed by their basic survival instinct. It is believed that the erasthai is best suited to the lycan in every way.

The stronger the attraction, the stronger their bond will be when they become mates. Lycans are not known to give up on their erasthais, even if their erasthais are already mated or married to another.

How crazy is that?

That being said, there are lycans who are marked and mated with other lycans who are not their erasthais. The bond isn’t as strong, though.

The bond between lycans who mate with their erasthais can be stronger than that of werewolf mates.

Seeing my best friend Genesis and her lycan mate, Constantine, I can believe that. She’s definitely Constantine’s erasthai. The level of love and understanding between them is incomparable.

Their chosen mate, no matter if she or he is a werewolf or a human, will turn into a lycan after they form a bond.

The mate’s physical appearance as a human also would change to mold perfectly to its other half, the lycan.

In their human form, lycans are better looking and more attractive than us regular werewolves, who are considered to be better looking than most humans…like way more.

So, lycans are amazingly smoking hot.

My friend Genesis, who’s very beautiful to begin with, is now drop-dead gorgeous, just like all the other lycans.

Genesis cornered me into telling her about what’s going on with me the very next day. My bestie thought I was Darius Rykov’s erasthai because that’s how she felt the first time she met Constantine.

I’m so confused because I was waiting for my mate. I wasn’t expecting to be an erasthai to any lycans.

Not at all. What will happen if or when I meet my mate? I don’t know, but all I do know is that the connection is so strong that I can’t stop thinking about him.

Unfortunately, he’s gone right after the investigation without even saying goodbye or acknowledging me at all.

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