The Luna Trials Chapter 27
Savannah crumpled the note in her hand, turning to search for the maid who had given it to her in the first place. To her disappointment, the maid was already nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t a big deal; her face was forever imprinted in Savvy’s memory, and she could find her later. For the millionth time, she was happy her parents had chosen not to disclose her little talent. It had proven to be useful in her adulthood so far.
She wondered what the present from Bjorn could be and instinctively knew that she had to go to the centre of the crowd to find out. However, this was when she realised that everything around her smelled like mint.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and hoped this was another one of the white bear’s tricks. In her presence he had already tricked her once, somehow imitating her mate’s scent. She was not going to fall for it.
However, Athena was unsettled inside, whimpering from pain, and Savannah knew events around her were taking a turn for the worse.
“I am fine!” She heard a familiar husky chuckle and felt a pang in her heart. “Really, I am sorry I scared you all! It was nothing!”
“Nothing?” Elene’s voice was unusually high-pitched. “Are you sure? Maybe we need a healer here?”
“No, I feel much better. Thank you, princess” Zack assured her. “It’s just an old trauma. I was poisoned with aconite, and sometimes it reminds of itself. But it’s temporary.”
She hadn’t seen him in months and really believed that the next time their paths would cross would be when she hunted him down to kill him. On her terms. When she was ready and prepared.
Not like this…
Nevertheless, the Moon Goddess had other plans. People in front of her stepped away, and she finally saw none other than her mate standing and talking to Kai and Elene. Another wolf was by his side, and she immediately recognised Zack’s Beta, Viktor.
He was one of the few people she met in his pack. He was also one of the wolves who tried to catch her and kill her when she was trying to escape.
He hadn’t changed much, although something about him was definitely different. He had a crazy glint in his eyes that wasn’t there before. She could feel his wolf howling for their mate, yet Zack didn’t even look at her. What kind of game was he playing?
The worst thing of all this;- she had just been so happy a moment ago. The first time in a while. Zack’s presence had to ruin it for her once again.
She wondered how he could stand there and pretend nothing was going on. However, she quickly remembered that he was an excellent actor.
“You should have left when I told you,” Naya appeared next to her and handed her a glass of champagne that smelled suspiciously like vodka.
“I am surprised you warned me at all,” Savvy admitted, and took a sip of the drink, setting her
sight on the king and his unexpected guest at all times. Alcohol did not affect her too much anyway, but it could calm her nerves just a bit.
“Why?” The werecat curled her l!ps playfully and shrugged her shoulders. “After all, I am not your enemy here.”
“Are you a friend, though?” the princess sniggered. “That is the question.”
“What are you going to do now?” Naya “masterfully” changed the subject, playing with her high silvery-white ponytail. She looked stunning in her azure sparkling dress with cut-out sides that emanated a gentle glow. It did not escape Savannah’s eye that the cat’s long nails were painted with the same pattern as the beads and sequins of her gown.
But she knew that those were actually deadly claws ready to defend their owner any time. Or attack her opponent Brigit strolled past, ignoring them completely, but as she ended up standing behind them while choosing something to eat from the abundance of refreshments offered to the guests, they heard her quiet voice.
“Am I seeing things, or is that the infamous Alpha who is” She abruptly stopped talking, but they all knew what she meant. Savvy was happy that she didn’t call Zack her mate in a grand hall full of shifters with excellent hearing.
“How did you know?” Naya sneered, not looking at the werebear. In fact, neither was looking at the other. “He ran away with his tail between his legs before we rescued you.”
“I rescued myself,” Brigit declared firmly, popping a little chocolate heart into her mouth with her back to the other contenders and the drama in their midst.
“Questionable,” the cat scoffed, lifting her white brow up. Her gaze wandered through the room as if she was more interested in practically anything else, and the three didn’t share this conversation right now.
“What’s questionable is how your kind claimed the victory when you were the last ones to arrive at the battle scene.” Brigit fixed the cape of her dress.
It was made entirely out of glimmering purple beads, the colour of queens. It reminded Savvy of chain armour and a part of her respected Brigit for remaining true to herself,
“Wasn’t that you?” Naya mimicked her tone, and the two growled quietly at each other.
Savannah ignored them and their quiet contention. It had been minutes since they were all here, and Zack didn’t look at her once. Neither did Kai. They were talking, and the more time passed by, the more worried the western princess felt.
“Don’t buy the act,” Athena snarled in her mind. “His wolf is roaring that we belong to them. They would have claimed us and marked us if they could.”
This realization didn’t bring Savvy relief like it probably should for mates, yet satisfaction grew in the knowledge of how much it would hurt him when she rejected him.
Zack glanced at her for the first time as if knowing what she was thinking about. Their eyes locked for a few seconds, and his l!ps curled into a vaguely menacing sneer.
His slight reaction to her alerted Savvy that his being here wasn’t a coincidence. He had known she was in the North. He had come here with a purpose. He had a plan he intended to follow through.
She felt slivers of his emotions seep into her conscience. There was so much raw anger, disappointment, regret, desire … It made her slightly nauseous. She neither wanted nor needed to
feel this anymore. Unfortunately, the mate pull was ever present, and she was thankful that Athena was a royal Alpha lycan, which meant she contained the pride and strength required to still want to reject him. This went against everything, but they both knew they would never be able to trust their mate.
Savannah regretted one thing the most, her stupid decision to mate with Zack on their first day together. This one simple mistake had caused her so much pain. Literally
She watched her mate place a hand on Kai’s shoulder and laugh about something as if they were old friends. Right after which, he looked at her again. There was no smirk this time.
She felt a wave of anger, wishing she could somehow protect herself from his feelings. It was not fair that he was forcing them on her.
“Uh-oh,” Naya whispered, polishing her nails. “I bet he has connected the dots.”
“What dots?” Savvy tried to remain calm. She needed to think in peace and not have to deal with what was being insinuated..
“That the king reeks of you,” Brigit snorted, walking away from them, and Savannah felt blood rushing to her cheeks.
“What?” the werecat next to her chuckled. “It’s not like you two tried to hide it. Is that why Morgan was writhing on the floor in pain?”
Savvy met her gaze, and a little smile involuntarily crept up the corners of her l!ps. “Did it hurt him that much?” she queried, drawing her tongue across her teeth. “He almost cried,” Naya snickered, barely holding back laughter. “Good,” the Western Princess nodded, suddenly feeling much better.
Scanning the room, she searched for Kai with her eyes. Fear crept in when she saw him walking away in Zack’s company. She wanted to talk to Kai, to tell him about her stupid mate. She needed him to know who he was dealing with.
As if hearing her thoughts, Kai turned, his eyes meeting hers in the crowd. His warm gaze calmed her a bit as he mouthed sorry, probably referring to the announcement they had planned to make.
Well, that momentum had been gone now. Savannah was afraid to imagine what a spectacle Zack would have made if Kai had announced his choice.
She itched to gesture for him to speak to her first. She desperately needed to tell him everything, but Elene started clinking a fork to an empty champagne flute thus getting her attention as well as everybody else’s in the room.
“Relax,” Kyle mind linked her, appearing next to her out of nowhere and quickly squeezing her hand in a supportive gesture. “If he wanted to announce … who he is, he would have done it already.”
“That only worries me more,” Savannah confessed with a sigh. “I could have handled that. This means he is here for something else.”
“Tonight, we will get him.” Her friend announced dryly and looked her in the eye. For the first time, he was so serious that she doubted for a second if he was the same light-hearted and carefree person she had known her whole life. “If he doesn’t do the right thing and accept your rejection, I will kill him for you. Tonight … Actually, we should probably kill him anyway, since he is a traitor.”
“Stop,” Savvy hissed. “We can’t kill anyone here. We are guests in the North. Apparently, so is he. This could be taken the wrong way.”
“Say I don’t care, and neither should you.” Kyle furrowed his brows, placing his hands in his pockets. “This is why I should be the one to do it and not you. They will not kill me since I am Reid’s brother. They will extradite me at best, leaving you to continue whatever it is you are doing here…”
A sly smile curved on his l!ps. “I am getting an alliance!” Savannah rolled her eyes, trying not to blush too much.
“Yeah… Sure,” Kyle snorted. “Anyway, good luck at the interview. I think they are ready to start”
Elene gave the contenders their number, though it appeared Petra seemed to be missing, which automatically placed her last.
Savannah looked at her mentor, who was already present wearing a beautifully draped black silk dress with her short hair curled and styled to perfection. She looked satisfied, and the princess wondered if it was part of her carefully crafted plan.
After all, appearing last was an advantage. Especially since a contender from the North wouldn’t get into much trouble.
However, if someone had devised a plan like that, as brilliant as it was, that person wouldn’t be Petra.
Mavis was up first. Savannah noticed how Zara watched her fellow werebird with her l!ps clenched tight. She knew that there was no love lost between the two of them. Werebirds weren’t the strongest shifters, but sometimes it seemed they were the cruellest.
Of course, the twins were the ones handling the interview. Both wore sparkling white outfits to host the event and were in perfect sync as always.
A small stage was constructed for the show in the corner of the hall, an oversized purple and gold chair placed in the middle looked suspiciously like a throne. There were numerous vases with white roses in the background, and Savvy frowned at the sight. She would literally choose any other flower.
They started with simple small talk, warming the werebird up for the main event.
“Mavis,” Chloe smiled politely, and Savvy instantly knew that the question would be provocative, to say the least. “Birds never live outside their flock. How do you imagine yourself being a Queen here? You know that your flock wouldn’t be allowed to join you.”
Mavis was wearing a sparkling black dress with feathers that lacked originality. Considering birds were known for being flashy. However today, only Mavis’s red ombré hair reminded them of who she truly was. Was she trying to tone herself down to appease the northerners? It wasn’t working.
“Well” She angled her head slightly. “Birds don’t usually leave their flocks because we don’t tend to survive on our own. I don’t think I will have that problem next to King Kai.”
“So, what you are saying is that you are here to get our king’s protection?” Claude also seemed nice. “Seemed” being the keyword.
“Of course, not!” Mavis giggled, but the giggle came out awkward. She then started to list her many wonderful qualities, which, Savvy knew, wouldn’t make much difference. They already outed her and everyone now knew she had nothing to bring to the northern table.
Inga got away pretty quickly, but there were no surprises there.
“Penelope, you are next,” Elene called her friend’s name after the twins stopped torturing the contenders. Savvy shot her a surprised look. She was sure the best candidate would be saved for last. The Northern Princess noticed her reaction, rolling her eyes in response.
In the meantime, Penelope walked onto the stage. The guests were quiet each time the contenders spoke. All attention was on them constantly.
As always, Penelope radiated perfection. She was wearing a white silk dress with a chiffon cape which was very simple in design, pairing it with an intricate diamond necklace.
“Penelope, it’s so nice to see you!” Chloe beamed at her. This time it was genuine, and Savannah wanted to make an annoyed sound but stopped herself in time. Today she had bigger problems than these girls. Her two main problems left the room together and hadn’t returned still.
Goddess knew what they were discussing. Maybe Zack had already told Kai he was her mate, and they were arranging her ride home. Or worse … She didn’t even want to go there.
“Tell us, how did you find the competition? Did you get to spend a lot of time with the king?”
Claude leaned slightly forward. He was excited too.
“Kai and I have always spent a lot of time together ever since we were young.” Penelope smiled and tucked a lock of her dark hair shiny hair behind her ear, a subtle blush tinting her cheeks. “We know each other so well, we finish each other’s sentences! We are actually very much alike!”
“Liar!” Athena snorted as they kept listening to what the brunette was saying, “They have nothing in common.”
“Agreed,” Savvy sneered as she crossed her hands on her ch3st. “Wishful thinking!” The wolf added.
“I call that delusional.” The princess almost chuckled but was able to stop herself in time.
Inga followed Penelope and nothing out of the ordinary happened.
“Princess Savannah Stormhold,” Elene called her name, and Savvy exhaled discreetly, forcing a charming smile on her l!ps. She hated these kinds of things, but luckily, she knew how to handle them well.
“Your Highness,” Chloe greeted her according to the rules, and at least there was that. The host gave her a sharp once over.
“Please,” Savvy splashed her hands. “There is no need for formalities. I am a guest here just like everyone else, and I’d rather not use my title. Just call me Savannah.”
“That’s very sweet of you. Savannah, are you trying a lot of new things while you are in the North?” Claude joined the conversation.
“I have definitely tried a few, and I can’t wait to experience more,” she responded, slightly in her chair
“Does that mean you are confident you will stay here, Savannah?” Chloe smirked, waiting for her reaction.
Savvy was about to reply when she saw Kai walking out with Zack from the back room they had previously disappeared into. Both men went in the direction of the TV crew, both looked tense, and both had their eyes on her.