“Uh-oh”, I hear Accalia exclaiming in my head.
“H-hey, surprised seeing you here!”
Amanda watches me for a second while rubbing her forehead then proceeds to look behind me and around the corner. “Are you lost?” she says, with a confused face.
“Actually, yes. I got lost while looking for you. Remember, yesterday’s walk to show me around was interrupted by my noisy stomach. I was hoping we could continue it.” I say, taking advantage of the opportunity.
Amanda smiles innocently: “I had an errand to give some instructions to the gardener, but that can wait. The fact that you’re so interested in our village makes me so happy! There are indeed many places that we haven’t visited.”
I smile back at her, feeling a bit down for deceiving her. It makes me think about asking her outright to help me in my quest, but it’s too dangerous. After all, she’s the Beta’s mate. Her loyalty definitely lies with him, so she wouldn’t speak badly of him even if she would have a reason to.
We get on with visiting the rest of the village. I’ve been shown the community center, where their Omegas live, the location for ceremonies which is a huge meadow to the south of the pack territory and the kindergarten. It seemed as if the children were instinctually drawn to me as all of them gathered around us and started describing their toys or inviting us to play. I enjoy the company of children very much, so this visit filled my heart with joy, nearly forgetting the trip’s goal.
“Well, this was the last location I had in mind. Is there any other place you’d like to see?” Amanda says, after the educator came and took the children away.
I think about it for a second, not to seem too excited about it: “Hmm… could you perhaps take me to the pack’s dungeon?”
Amanda was definitely taken aback by my request, but she quickly recovered: “Oh, yes… of course. This way.”
After a good 30 minutes walk, we reached the Midnight pack’s dungeon which was unusually located in a cave. It made sense to place the dungeon and the kindergarten far away from each other. However, this kind of place is normally deep underneath the ground.
“The ground is very rocky in these parts.” says Amanda, almost seeming to read my mind.
From outside, the cave entrance looked exactly as you’d expect an opening in the mountain to look like. Even so, after walking for 5 minutes in more or less complete darkness, a door appears before us. Amanda knocks and a peephole opens and closes in a swift movement. The door is opened by a bulky man with a tag on his chest, staring us up and down. His body and face told different stories, as his face seemed young and innocent.
Amanda straightens her back and says with a serious face: “Hello, Nulduk. I am giving the Luna a tour of the pack village.”
Nulduk looks at me with a raised brow, bares his neck slightly, almost hesitantly, and makes way for us to go inside, leading the way.
“Don’t take it personally, he doesn’t talk much.” Amanda whispers to me.
We pass through multiple layers of guarded doors and latches, until we get to an open area surrounded by walls coated in silver. It’s easy to tell where the silver is the thickest as the connection with your wolf weakens and it feels as if it is asleep. This area we walked into reminds me of a living room. It contains a large sofa, a TV, a kitchenette and a door that seems to lead to a bathroom. There’s also a desk with a lot of folders and files on it. Behind it, there was a door with a transparent window, through which you could see a long hallway with many doors on the sides. Two bulky men were sitting on the sofa playing video games and being loud, while another one, more slim than the others, was sitting at the desk, doing some paperwork.
Nulduk goes in first and attempts to attract their attention with a cough. The two guys on the couch pause their game and look towards us, while the one working at the desk continued his work. Amanda then steps forward and introduces me: “Hi, guys. This is the Luna of the pack, Emily. She would like to visit the pack dungeon to get accustomed to it.”
“Hey, Amanda.” says the loud one, standing up. “The Luna, you say?” The closer he got to us, the more obvious it became that he was going to tower over us. Then he stared at me for a moment and snickered: “She got no mark. She doesn’t even smell like the Alpha. Are you sure she’s the Luna?”
Hearing this, the other guy sitting on the couch stood up quickly and intervened: “Now, Alexei, I’m sure Amanda wouldn’t lie to us. Let’s be respectful.” He grabbed Alexei’s head from behind softly and pushed it down, bowing his head at the same time. “Nice to meet you, Luna. My name is Alexander. This one here is my younger brother, Alexei. Please excuse his earlier behavior.”
Alexei looked a bit confused at his brother, but he eventually shrugged it off.
Amanda nodded and stepped forward towards the guy at the desk, who was still reading and moving papers around. He didn’t even raise his head to look at us as he simply said: “The Alpha didn’t tell me anything about this. I’m afraid I can’t let you pass.”
“Umm… we will not talk to anyone. We just want the Luna to know her way around the dungeon.” replies Amanda.
The guy stopped his movements and directed his eyes at me for a second, without moving his head. Then continued his work, saying: “Unfortunately, Alexei is right. She has no mark. That means the ceremony is not complete, hence she is not an official Luna. I’m afraid I can’t let you pass.”
Amanda tries again: “Come on, Rafael, she’s Edward’s mate. We already came all this way, just let us look around for a few minutes.”
It seemed that Rafael didn’t enjoy people talking back to him, as he stopped his work and looked annoyed at us. The he scoffed: “Regardless of that, she’s not our Luna yet. Anything can happen before the ceremony.”
I’m trying my best to give people the benefit of the doubt, but Rafael’s sentence sounded like a threat, and Amanda’s angry expression just served to tell me she felt the same. We had no time to react before a high, childish-sounding voice fills the room:
“But we let Rachel in last time, didn’t we?”
“SHUT UP, Nulduk!” Rafael bursts, standing up and pinching his nose. “Alright. Everyone, OUT! There’s work to be done, I have no time for random visits. The dungeon is NOT a tourist attraction.”
I felt bad for Nulduk because his facial expression betrayed a pure intention which got rejected instantly. Despite the silver coated walls around us, I could still feel a rage burning inside me and I was not sure if it was mine or Accalia’s. However, making a scene here would only bring further suspicion upon me, hence we decided it was best to leave for now.
Having returned to the mansion, Amanda excuses herself to go and continue her previous errand. As the office door was closed, signaling that Edward was inside, I chose to hang around the living room and rest for awhile. I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I remember is waking up due to a loud bang coming from the door closing. Before opening my eyes fully, her smell hit my nostrils. Rachel entered the mansion pretty confidently, waving her long hair around. Her makeup looked like it was done by a professional as it highlighted all her good features, especially her red, plump lips. The huge heels she was wearing made it hard to ignore her presence. She passed by me and didn’t even acknowledge my existence, making her way directly into Edward’s office. I immediately woke up completely and continued to do what every sane girl of my age and position would do: get close to the office door and try to eavesdrop. The clock displayed 9:13 PM.
I cup my ear to the wall. I hear muffled greetings and Rachel saying, seemingly seductive:
“To what do I owe the pleasure?”
and his raspy voice replying: “We need to talk about Em-“
But everything else went blank when I felt a hand suddenly touch my shoulder.