Chapter 9: Alto August

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So I love you

because the entire universe conspired 

to help me find you. 

The sun was still out

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The sun was still out. It shone overhead, shedding its afternoon light before the thin rays dissolved into evening sets. The brightness overhead shone over a lone figure in a training yard. 

The figure had been out since the early morning, to the very hour that is now being spoken of. 

No sound came out of Prince Alto August's lips as his body hit the ground swiftly, before he pushed himself back up, only to repeat the process several times. 

With a sudden burst of energy, the prince sprinted to the hoops lying aimlessly around the ring. Still making no noise, no deep breathing or panting sound- the Prince, with what looked like ease, leaped gracefully in the air. 

While suspended, faster than the eye could blink, the body of the Prince shuddered and changed into a dominating black wolf. Falling through the hoop, the wolf suddenly became a Prince- almost as if the transformation itself had never happened- only an illusion to the eye, perhaps a trick of the sun or the results of scattered thoughts from being outside too long in the heat. 

The body of the human, however, became that of a beast once more, as the process was repeated over and over, shifting mid-air and going through various sizes and heights of hoops. 

Gavin watched on in awe of the whole process. No one in the land could perform such a feat. 

How long must he have practiced to be able to do this, he thought. 

The Prince continued his training, paying no mind to Gavin's watchful eyes. 

He was the only one he would allow to watch and Gavin knew this and respected it. 

Gavin felt the sudden urge to train harder, inspired by his Prince. I am the Beta of this Kingdom... were his lingering thoughts while he watched the mighty feats performed as if they were mere warm-ups. 

Full shifting werewolf's now in days were rare, and the Kingdom was lucky that their Prince was so powerful. Most werewolf's now could only half shift or take on a few features of the animal. Some could not even shift at all- their only show that they still belong to such a mythological race being their strong senses. 

The training it took to become a full shifter was hard and intense, taking years of endless focus and dedication. The process itself was very painful and most choose not to undergo such training in fear of reliving such agony. 

Yet here the Prince was. 

No noise of pain, not a whimper of discomfort or even a small intelligible sign to see that he was experiencing any of this. 

He truly is a monster, was all Gavin could think as he kept his eyes trained on the Prince. 

Gavin knew the Prince had noticed him. Though Gavin and the Prince went back, the Beta still felt a small sense of fear for who the boy he had adored grew up to be. 

The Prince cut short his training and walked quietly over to Gavin. 

He took the towel that was offered to him, nodding his thanks and proceeded to wipe the sweat from his eyes. 

Gavin cleared his throat and said, "The Queen is wondering why you did not make it to your fitting?" 

August looked at Gavin with no expression on his face. 

Gavin knew he was already angry for having his training interrupted. He could feel the waves of power coming off of him even thicker after the question was asked. 

"Ah..." Gavin tried his best to not show his discomfort. "I think she wants you there now." 

August kept his gaze level and nodded. Setting down the towel, he picked up his shirt from the bench where he had set that morning. Finished putting it over his head, he nodded again at Gavin. 

Gavin started walking to the Queens Hallway where she was waiting. 

He took a deep sigh, knowing August could hear his pounding heart already.

Ever since they had come back from the search, there had been a cloud of darkness - that Gavin swore up and down he could see- visible trail the Prince.

Almost like a rain cloud had descended upon the young man. 

Gavin knew he had given up. 

It broke both his and his life mate Crystal's heart to see it after the journey and trek they made across the world for him.

"He just needs a little sunshine in his life," Gavin smiled remembering the words his mate had said when he voiced his concern. 

Yes. A little sunshine indeed would lift that dark cloud.

The only problem was, where do you find it? 

The only problem was, where do you find it? 

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