“These are your wolves?” their king asked. His drógi nodded from the shadows, Dante’s pale face a beacon in the darkness. It was midnight and Mother Moon was hiding herself tonight, and so save for the glow of their skin it was dark.
Volos stepped down from the dais, looking from one boy to the other as he made his way to the one on his left. They were identical in face, angular cheeks with harsh eyes glaring at him in mistrust. Their skin was as his own, an opaque moonlight, but their hair was the color of flame. They were children of the sun. Illegitimate in their world.
But they trusted Dante, at least enough to stand here before him, a stranger, at Dante’s asking, frozen not in fear but in readiness to spring. And he himself of course trusted his second and dear.
Taking off his glove slowly, so they would understand what he intended to do, he reached out a bare hand to touch one of the boys on the cheek. Before skin touched skin there was a growl, and the king paused. The brother had not moved, but the warning was clear.
“Instinct,” Volos whispered not turning his head. “You have been raised as pups from a young age, not knowing any civilized life until your first years were behind you. So I shall put this in terms you understand.” And he growled back, his head turning into a black wolf’s head on his human body, his hair becoming fur with as much haste as a shadow-puppet changed shape. When his form was again entirely man he turned to look at the boy.
“I am your king because outside of the forests we need civilization. Dante is my trusted friend, my raven, my fox. You are his. I will command you as I please and you will obey. But you must trust me. Let me earn this trust.”
With that he finally touched the cheek of the boy in front of him. A shock went through his hand, a chill up his spine. A moment later neither of them were solid in form and as heavy mist they rose into the air and melded together. When Volos pulled away they reformed as men, their clothes returning from the shadows, and they floated to the ground.
He proceeded to do the same with the second brother, this ascension letting him know their minds and hearts in a way that was infallible. It too allowed them to know him.
“Dante,” he said as he stepped back from the boys, Lyrian and Leith. “They are feral, but loyal, as good wolves are. They are accepted into the court under your hand.”