The Pride of a Slave Ch. 05byStormHerald©
Hello all, this chapter is a nice long one for everyone, so I hope you enjoy it. Also, I wanted to answer a common question I am getting. The reason it is taking so long for the chapters to come out even though my wonderful editor SkepticalHeritic and I are three chapters ahead, is because I am going over them again trying to catch editing errors. On top of that Literotica takes a bit longer to approve and post stories that are in Rich Text Format which is what I submit my stories as. If you have any more questions give me a post and don't forget to rate, its fun to see me on the top lists sometimes, gives me bragging rights. HeHe, anyway enjoy this chapter, its one of my favorites!!
The following weeks became a boring series of routines, I would wake up, eat breakfast in my room, dress, go to class, and see Dimitri in between classes to go over the work before walking into the next class. I didn't see Ryder much of the following weeks, not acting as if he were avoiding me, but just feeling like he wouldn't go out of his way to seek me out either.
The class that became the most uncomfortable was art. I loved the work, and the attention Joseph paid to each and every student but I became weary of the time he had me spending after school. Eventually after the first week, I realized he was trying to convince me to leave the Palace but I simply couldn't figure out why.
At first I thought he was attracted to me, and considering what was happening back at the place I called home now, it was entirely possible. However, my intuition never failed me, especially when it came to emotions. I felt Joseph wanted me, but it wasn't lust or desire that caused him to constantly refer to the open invitation to live with him. It made me uncomfortable and nervous to be alone with him.
I refused to say anything to anyone though, life was incredibly intense in the Palace, especially as Ryder's birthday was arriving. It was his 19th birthday, which meant that his mother would present possible mates for him. She didn't choose his mates, or anything like that, it wasn't like he was a slave. All she did was make sure he knew each of them, so that if at any point he needed the services of a woman, he knew his options. Wolves didn't marry exactly, because it was hard for an Alpha to be monogamous, this celebration and presentation was the closest to courting as anything got.
Every girl that was presented to him was declaring that she would be there for him should he need it. Eventually one, or many of the girls would carry his children, and from these broods would come his successor. If one particular girl showed an aptitude for leadership and strength she might also be considered to become Ryder's Beta. A position that was more strategic in securing the Pack, than it was romantic. It was lucky, I often thought, that Werewolves could intuitively sense their own children, because it would become confusing otherwise.
It was the day before the celebration that I found myself staying behind with Joseph to help clean up my and the other students mess. I didn't like doing this chore with him, but he too often asked and I was left either declining the offer and seeming rude, or accepting and trying to keep my distance from him.
I would notice him staring at me some days, and other days he would make it a habit to touch my hand, or to brush past me. I hated the feeling of it, because it felt hollow and forced, he didn't desire me any more than I desired him, but he seemed to force himself to act like he did. I couldn't figure out why he was doing it, and this inability to figure out this problem, is what led me to try and distance myself from him.
He touched my hand as we finished and I looked at him snatching my hand back. He ignored the action, "Are you going to Ryder's celebration?"
I shook my head, "That is most certainly not a place for a human."
He seemed relieved and that peaked my curiosity, "Why do you ask?"
He tried to shrug nonchalantly but it didn't hide the actual relief on his face, "You are right, it isn't safe for you there."
I sighed, "Well, I'm going home."
He stopped in front of the door, blocking my way, "The Palace isn't your home."
I glared at him, "If that were the case, it wouldn't be any of your business. Now let me pass."
He pulled away like he was surprised I thought he was blocking me in, but I wasn't stupid. He had been playing this game since the day in the garden, and it left me with an uneasy feeling. I gathered my supplies and walked quickly from the room and retreated hurridly to the outside where the energy felt less oppressive.
I made it back to the Palace before Dimitri did and sat on his bed waiting for him, my tablet and books out, studying to try and keep my mind off of how disturbing my Art teachers behavior had become.
I could tell Dimitri hadn't been expecting me there because he froze in his doorway, not making a single motion towards me. I was lying stomach down on his bed, my feet up and twisted together and the ankles. I was wearing my sweats and tank top, my preferred outfit when studying.
I had decided to stay in his bed to study because Josephs energy and attitude had made me afraid and I always felt the safest when surrounded by Dimitri or Ryder's smell. I also wanted to see him before he went to the party to give him Ryder's gift, so he could have it during the revelry.
He looked at me warily and I laid my face into his bedding and sighed in frustration. I looked back up at him, "I'm not trying to attack you Di, jeeze. I just wanted to catch you before you left, so I could give you Ryder's birthday present."
His face didn't relax and I sighed, "that and I didn't want to study alone in my room, I felt safer here."
His demeanor changed from wary to protective, "What happened?"
I shook my head, "Nothing happened, just getting a bad vibe from this guy and it made me want to hide out here for a bit. I figured since you were leaving to go to Ryder's party I could hang out here until your father was ready for dinner."
Dimitri walked into his closet and closed the door enough so that I couldn't see anything. I looked at the bedroom door avoiding looking in the closets direction.
"Why is dinner with my father so important." His voice was slightly muffled by the door.
"It isn't important as it is just nice. He's taking me out to dinner, nothing fancy but he's trying to be nice considering this will be the first birthday I miss. He thinks it will kill me or something." I said loudly, so he could hear me.
Dimitri popped out wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, "I was worried too, to be honest."
I chuckled, "You guys act like I haven't noticed your men and not my playmates."
Dimitri leveled me with a look, "I distinctly remember your breakdown when Ryder and I started dating."
I groaned, "ohhhh puuulllleeeaaaasssee! Being obsessed with a soul less creature is not considered dating. I would like it if you found someone who I would bow down to in joy instead of scurry around, hoping she doesn't kill me off."
Dimitri snorted, "yeah, and what about Ryder?"
"What about him?"
"You know about this celebration and you know what it entails."
I shifted slightly uncomfortable and kicked my legs down before lifting them, over and over again, "What, that he's getting his mothers blessing to do what he's been doing for years. Yes, my whole existence is being destroyed as we speak."
Dimitri chuckled, "Well I guess you have a point." Dimitri sat next to me on the bed, the distance painfully obvious, but we both pretended it was nothing. He pointed to my tablet, "You have the math equation wrong."
I looked at the equation horrified, "Are you serious?"
Dimitri grabbed my stylus and leaned in close to me and wrote the correct equation on the tablet. I pretended to study the equation closely and compare it to mine, to keep my mind off of his sudden closeness. I spotted the difference and swore.
Dimitri chuckled and I looked at him darkly, "I did my entire homework with the wrong damn equation! I have to redo it! How did you come to this equation."
Dimitri leaned close again and explained how he had gotten to it and where I had gone wrong. I sighed and pressed my head to the tablet, "Thank goodness it's the weekend."
"Hey, I need to be going, where's Ryder's present?"
I jumped up and reached under Dimitri's bed, having hid it there a week ago. Dimitri's eyes looked at me warily but I ignored the look and instead pulled out the three tubes. It had taken me days to find these, and then even more days to get the money together to get them. They were antique and I handed them to Dimitri.
"Right before you guys go into the forest, snap them, shake and they glow, remember?"
Dimitri burst out laughing, "Yeah, he was obsessed with them for almost four years after your Mother had those two little glow sticks."
I nodded, "He is going to be running around, there's no moon out at all, he will have a blast being the only glowing wolf."
Dimitri looked at the little relics curiously, "What color are they?"
I beamed, "Green, his favorite color."
Dimitri put them back into the box and put the box into his backpack, "I will be sure he knows they are from you, for his birthday."
I beamed and gathered my things together, Dimitri stopped me, "Stay if it makes you feel better, I wont be home tonight, so its no big deal."
"Yup, and you have fun with my father."
I made a face and waved him away, "Go go, you have enough fun for the both of us. Off with you, be careful okay?"
Dimitri laughed saying he would and left, closing the door softly behind him. I looked down at the equation written in my tablet, his writing long and beautiful and sighed. I pulled up the homework I had thought I finished, and redid it, applying Dimitri's formula instead of mine.
I got lost in the equations never noticing the time passing until I heard a throat clear in the room. I screeched and flung myself back, promptly falling off the bed, "May I ask why you are on my sons bed?"
Victors voice sounded dangerous and I looked up at him wary, "I wanted to catch him before he left for the party, so I could give him Ryder's gift. I had to wait a while so I was studying, up until your son kindly showed me the math equation I was using wasn't right. And when you came in I was redoing my math homework with the proper equation."
Victors serious face turned amused as he looked at the scattered papers, books, and my tablet, "It seems you have been quite productive. Shall we go to dinner?"
I nodded and got up walking with him out into the garden, to a candle lit dinner for two. I was surprised that he had picked something so romantic, and was instantly wary for no other reason than Joseph's behavior had started to get to me. Victor sat staring at me as I shifted.
"Something else is bothering you."
I looked at Victor for a few moments, trying to decide what to tell him. Unable to lie to him, and needed advise that wouldn't result in someone killing someone else, like it would with the boys I took a deep breath and began to tell him about Joseph.
Victors amused face slowly vanished and I continued to tell him up until today after class, "I can see why you are so nervous then, I thought it had to do with something else."
I sighed and took a sip of the water, politely setting back, "Everyone seems to think I am going to be violently upset because of Ryder's birthday. I'm entirely aware of what Mariah is going to do, and what it means for Ryder. But I feel compelled to remind everyone that Ryder has been promiscuous since he was fifteen, and the fact that his mother is giving him her blessing from now on has little effect on me. Ryder was Ryder yesterday and he will be so tomorrow, and whomever he takes to his bed, be it Pack or not, is none of my business."
Victor smiled amused, "Yes, but I distinctly remember a very violent end to my sons relationship."
I scoffed and leaned back, "I plead differently on that. Ryder takes females to his bed, and should, God willing, he fall in love, he has the fortitude to stay exactly the same Ryder as he has always been. I simply want that for Dimitri, and Delilah, for all her beauty and immortality, did nothing more than make Dimitri into a pawn to which she moved at her will. All I want for Dimitri is to have what Ryder has, but Dimitri isn't really built like that, and as such, I want Dimitri to find someone who will make a wonderful Queen, but will make an even better wife."
Victor looked at me surprised, "Mariah and I may have misjudged your intention as of late."
I winced and blushed knowing exactly what he was talking about, "I...cannot really explain what happened, to be honest. Mostly, because I don't understand it much myself."
Victors raised his eyebrow as the first course was set in front of us, "I will not deny I love them both, and when I was little it was as my playmates, when I grew it was as my brothers. It seems it has developed to something infinitely more complicated."
"Yes, well, there are things you need to understand about that, Seraphina." Victor sighed.
We sat in silence and I had little of the soup, not being fond of cold soups. It was taken away and the next course of a salad was brought, which was much more to my liking.
"I am honestly very confused at how sudden Ryder and Di changed our relationship." I said, digging through the salad for the bits of green I enjoyed most.
Victor left his salad untouched and instead watched me amused, "It would behoove me to inform you that their attentions were not as sudden as you seem to think. I was relieved in the fact that you were so dedicated to your studies that you failed to notice the change in my son and my god son's attentions. About the time you became more endowed as a young lady, was around the time their attentions changed. Mariah and I put our foot down about it, as did your mother."
I set my fork down, and looked at him wary, "Even my mother noticed?"
He chuckled, "Why do you think she no longer allowed you to spend the night here on occasion?"
I smiled, "I thought it was because she wanted to spend more time with me, and because it was truly wrong, socially, that I spend so much of my time with the Princes."
A very serious look crossed Victors face, "You have as much right to live in this palace, Seraphina, as I do, maybe even more so."
I looked at him startled and confused, "I do not understand your meaning, I am a slave, I don't deserve a palace at all. I'm blessed to live here, and honored to be a student at University, but I, by no means, consider myself as expectant of these amazing luxuries."
Victor sighed and became silent as another course was set in front of us, this time raw slices of beef, with a sauce to dip. I left it alone while Victor ate elegantly, savoring the meat.
When he finished he looked up at me, "You know a great deal about the history of how our society came into being, correct?"
I nodded, "I did, after all, want to major in anthropology, your highness."
The corner of his mouth flitted up briefly before settling back down into his stoic face, "Yes, well, there are things that they do not tell you in the history books, things that are written no where, but passed down between families. Precious secrets that if left unsaid keep our society stable, but if found out, would result in possibly, a catastrophic upset, to which it may take years, even decades and many lives before it settled again."
I looked at him entirely intrigued hoping he would tell me what he was talking about. I must have appeared eager because Victor held his hand up, "Not here my dear, somewhere more secluded, when we are finished."
I nodded and we spent the rest of the dinner mostly silent. Victor seemed lost in his own thoughts and I remained silent, both watching him and thinking about what he could possibly be willing to tell me. By the end of the dinner I was anxious and Victor was resigned, and I followed him silently through the halls of the palace and into one of his more secluded studies.
He motioned for me to sit on the very comfortable couch and sat in a chair next to me. He cleared his throat and began his story:
"You are well aware, that the Immortals, the Vampires and Werewolves were both derived from the desire to keep the greatest scientific minds safe from the one thing that no one had been able to escape, death. That a group of scientists over many generations had worked on a elixir that would grant immortality to whomever drank it. The elixir would attach to the cells inability to revive upon damage or age, and would instead cause the cell to regenerate upon being damaged.
"I also know you are well acquainted with the side effects of the elixir, that it would attach to different proteins in different humans, thus separating the immortals into Werewolves, who's cells would not only regenerate but could also undergo a change, changing the human from a human state into a Were, or into a wolf entirely. Where as the Vampires like myself, do not suffer from such severe side effects of the Werewolves, however, there are still side effects, the cold skin, I'm sure you have noticed, our violent intolerance to things such as open flames.
"But none of the side effects were so startling as what was discovered when we turn 40. We, vampires, must feed on the energy of a human or, as you are well acquainted of, our cells begin to degenerate. The same with our Wolf counterparts, if they do not partake of human blood regularly, their cells also degenerate until we are dead.
"That is what you know of our history. What you do not know is that the elixir was continually worked on by the very scientists that had been granted their immortality, and with it the curses of it. What is guarded by my family, and Mariah's family, was that in later years, they perfected the elixir. It became what they had thought it had been when they had first taken it, and given it to their leaders.
"The new elixir, however, when given to immortal test subjects, caused instant degeneration of the cells, and led to nearly instantaneous death. So, instead, the scientists picked two families, whom had potential to be brilliant artists and politicians and gave them the revised elixir, and found that it worked perfectly. It bonded to their cells as they had been hoping for and when the subjects turned 21 their bodies time clock froze, they had become perfectly immortal."
I sat back stunned at this revelation, I had never even dreamed that the scientists had continued to work and perfect the elixir, "what happened next?"
"What happened next was nothing more than a result of fear. The scientists were promptly killed, as were the test subjects and the formula was destroyed."
"Fear Seraphina, all the people of power were already immortal, and the new elixir could not be used by them. They were, for all their imperfections, stuck in their lots as Vampires and Werewolves. What they didn't know, and was later found out, was that the study had been conducted on the family generations before. The elixir's immortality was passed down to their children much like the original Immortality. However, these humans had lost their families, and were forced to become a slaves, simply because their families had been taken away from them, and they had become orphans."
I began to feel a knot in my stomach as Victor continued, "I am ashamed to say that my father spent a great deal of his existence hunting down the descendants of those who had taken the elixir and murdered them, simply by ordering the Administrators to kill them. It was believed that my father and Mariah's father had both killed the last of the descendants, thus eliminating the secret."