He ripped through the walls with his claws, broke every piece of furniture, he destroyed everything in his way –

“Monsieur, please stop!”

And he almost, almost killed Mr. Temps if not for his senses returning in time, and Aurélien whitened when he saw that he was holding the older man up by the neck, the butler’s legs dangling in the air.

Mon Dieu!

His fingers loosened its hold immediately, and the rest of his staff rushed to help as the older man fell to the floor.

“Pardonne-moi,” he said sickly. Forgive me.

He looked at the faces of his people one by one, and he couldn’t understand why they weren’t furious with him. Didn’t they understand what had just happened? Couldn’t they see—-

When the young master started backing away with a look of growing horror on his face, Mr. Temps knew right away what the boy was thinking, and he shook the other people’s hold on him and stepped forward. “No, monsieur, do not blame yourself for this. You, too, were in shock. “

But the young heir only stared at him with unseeing blue eyes.


But it was too late.

In a blink of an eye, the master was gone, leaping out of the second-floor window. Its glass panes exploded into pieces, causing some of the staff to scream as they ducked their heads and covered their faces.

But Mr. Temps only stood there, watching his young master run to the woods on all fours, spurred by the blood of predators that ran through his veins.

Everything would change now, Mr. Temps thought bleakly.

And he was right.

When the master came back, he no longer thought of himself as Aurélien, no longer thought of himself as human – or someone who had the right to love…and be loved.

All that was left was the side of him that could cause inhuman destruction –

That part of him that had killed all those men, mercilessly, savagely –

All that was left was La Bête Sauvage, and it believed in its destiny to live alone.

Maison de Sauvage


Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris

“Perhaps you do not understand the kind of trouble you are in, Mr. Blume. Silence does not save you from facing charges. If you persist in refusing to answer any of our questions, you leave me no choice but to contact the police.”

The security chief fastened his gaze on my father, visibly willing the older man to speak. But Maurice, for all his mild-mannered ways, could also be stubborn if he wanted to be – and by the stoic set of his face, I knew that was exactly how he intended to conduct himself.

The other man waved a hand in my direction. “Do you know why we asked for your daughter to come to Paris? So that you can take a good look at what you will be losing – for the rest of your life – if you still choose not to speak. You will not be there to walk your daughter down the aisle. You will not be there when your daughter gives birth to your first grandchild. You will not be there if something awful happens to your daughter—-”

Maurice blanched, and I cried out at the same time, “Sir!” I knew the security chief was only doing his job, trying to get my father to speak, but those words were too much.

The security chief took a deep breath. “Let me ask you one final time, monsieur. Will you explain yourself to us?”

Maurice slowly shook his head. “There is nothing for me to say.”

Even though I had already expected it, I still couldn’t help inhaling sharply. Perhaps Maurice believed MDS was only bluffing, but I was terrified it wasn’t so. I tentatively touched his sleeve, and my father immediately turned to me. The regret in his faded gray eyes was unmistakable, but so was the resolve in it.

And my heart sank.

He was not going to change his mind about this, even if it meant getting arrested.

The thought filled me with terror, but I willed myself to stay calm, knowing that my hysterics wouldn’t get me anywhere. I let my gaze roam the interrogation room, with its stark white walls and sparse furniture. Was this a symbolic choice of décor, a way to remind someone about how everything was black and white when it came to crime?

Turning to the security chief, I began, “My father didn’t actually get to steal anything—-”

The other man only raised a brow. “You strike me to be an intelligent young woman, mademoiselle. Do you truly intend to waste both our time by pursuing this line of argument?”

“I understand what you mean, monsieur. And yes, the attempt in itself may be considered a crime—-”

“It is a crime.”

I ignored that, continuing emphatically, “But still, sir. May we not also consider the fact that my father has been a hardworking and loyal employee all these years?” I gestured to Maurice, saying feelingly, “My father is old—-”

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