Nick Adore has been in hiding for six years. He does his best to pass himself off as human and only wants to be left alone. But one day, he walks in on a robbery. Instead of quietly walking away, he reveals himself as a blood witch, and now the werewolf king demands to see him.
Conri Biast is king. He has been the king of Norbridge for eleven years, but someone is trying to take him down. For months, he's known there's a blood witch in his territory who refuses to pay his respects, and that puts him on the top of his list of suspects. But when he goes to confront the witch, things don't turn out the way he'd planned. The witch is his mate.
Nick doesn't want to be anywhere near Conri. Being close to kings always ends with him getting hurt, but he finds himself sucked into the power struggle. Conri doesn't know who he can trust, but he knows he needs Nick by his side. Together, they're strong, but are they strong enough to keep the throne?
The closer he came to the house where the blood witch lived, the deeper his frown got. Blood witches were wealthy beyond belief, and yet this one lived in the worst part of the city.
Cellica lived here because the pack had shunned her. She’d broken a mating -- no one ever did. Though the male she’d been mated to had been picked for her and wasn’t her true mate. He had personally made sure the mate wouldn’t come back. He could do nothing about how the pack treated her, not without becoming a member, and he wasn’t going to. He had tried to move her to a better area which she had refused, but she had allowed him to pay her rent a couple of times when things had been worse than usual.
He jogged up the stairs of the decrepit building he’d been told was the blood witch’s residence and knocked on his door.
Conri frowned at the door but didn’t reply. When the footsteps moved away, he knocked again.
“Open the door.” Conri would not shout through a closed door.
“Open the door or I’ll open it myself.”
“I’m calling the cops.”
Conri cursed. “I only want to talk to you.”
“Don’t patronize me.”
Conri frowned again. He wasn’t patronizing. “I wasn’t.”
“How naive do you think I am?”
According to Cellica, the man was short, slim, and young-looking. Conri had been thirty-one when he’d become king, and he’d ruled this city for eleven years. When Cellica had said young-looking, he’d assumed the witch was in his early twenties -- a pup. Someone he could intimidate and control. The months leading up to this day had told him the witch wasn’t easily intimidated though. “Open the door.”
“I think not. Calling the cops now.”
Conri growled. “I’m the king.”
“I don’t care.”
For a second, anger flared in his chest, then he pursed his lips. “You’re not human, which means you belong to me.”
“I’m human. Now go away.”
A second later, Conri heard the witch talk on the phone, informing someone -- the police most likely -- there was someone trying to break into his apartment.
Conri growled. “I’ll be back.” He gave the door a soft knock before slinking down the stairs and out on the street. He walked to the back of the building and counted the windows. The tiny balconies didn’t look sturdy enough to carry his weight, but it was worth a try.
He waited a good half hour, watched a patrol car drive by the building without stopping. The witch had probably called the cops again once he’d left.
With one last glance around, Conri jumped and grabbed the railing of the first balcony. He heaved himself up, balanced on the railing, and reached for the next. He scraped the back of his hand on the metal edge as he climbed. The blood welled up, leaving smears on the balcony below the witch’s, and Conri cursed. If someone called the police and then collected evidence, he was screwed, and all because the spoiled brat wouldn’t open the door.
He dragged himself over the railing and landed soundlessly on the cracked concrete floor of the balcony. Holding his breath, he listened for any signs of the witch calling the cops. When no sounds came for several minutes, he stepped closer to the window and peeked inside.
A small, black-haired man was staring at a laptop, his fingers flying over the keyboard, and a pair of headphones rested over his ears. Conri’s breath got stuck in his throat.
This was the blood witch? He took a step back and counted the balconies -- it had to be the right apartment.
Conri didn’t know why he hesitated. He could open the balcony door and walk right in, but something in the man’s appearance held him back. Why was he living in a tiny apartment? The building could fold any day considering the shape it was in.
According to the intel he’d gotten, the witch rarely left his home, and the last few weeks, he hadn’t even opened his door when he’d had groceries delivered.
He grabbed the door handle and cracked the lock.