The Luna Trials Chapter 58
“What do you mean they are going to auction her to the highest bidder?!” Savannah was trying to get air inside of her lungs in sharp, angry gulps. This was outrageous! After everything she had been through, this seemed to knock the ground from under her feet now.
Petra.. She wasn’t cut out for life among bears. Hell, she’d barely managed herself among wolves!
“Apparently, several of Bjorn’s high-ranking warriors were so infatuated with Petra when they brought her here that they all asked their King to give her to them. A few Alphas were also present and they took an interest in her as well. And now everyone wants her,” Chloe informed her professionally as if she was still in front of cameras. “They wanted to fight each other, but, Bjorn couldn’t have this, of course, so he told them to make their offers, and he would make a fair decision.”
“Let me guess,” Savvy grated out, “and absolutely none of them wanted to ask what Petra wants!”
“She was sobbing hysterically at this point, wiping away her tears with her tulle dress, so, yeah, they didn’t bother” Chloe affirmed. “They are rough men here. I think seeing this tiny little flower trembling before them was appealing to them. She-bears are either feisty warriors or take the roughness quietly. Petra is a novelty in this place.”
“She is not a toy, though!” Savannah practically exploded but bit her tongue in time. She couldn’t allow herself to make a scene. Not before her plan formed. Not before she knew what to do next. “We need to get her out,” she said in a much quieter tone.
“l am all ears,” Chloe closed the distance between them. “This is exactly what I am here for. Tell me what to do.”
The weight of responsibility was heavy. Savvy was a mess, having people count on her now was complicating things. However, she knew one thing. She couldn’t leave them. She couldn’t leave Petra and Aspen. The thought of Gamma’s destiny made her shiver.
“What do you know about Aspen?” she asked Chloe.
“He is chained to the wall in front of the main entrance in the courtyard. They want to show him off.
Anyone who passes by can hit him or do whatever they want to him. The only thing prohibited is anything that can kill him,” the blonde lowered her eyes. “They want people to see the Gamma defeated. However, the show is only for the bears. They prohibited us from broadcasting about what is being done to him.”
“And what can you broadcast exactly?” Savvy pierced the reporter with her gaze, but the latter stayed quiet and swallowed, her fingers fidgeting over the embellishment on her dress.
Impatient, Savannah charged for the door, j*rking the door open, scaring the maid behind it.
“Give me your phone!” she demanded.
“I. I can’t!” The girl protested.
“Give it to me, or I swear, I am going to kill you on the spot!” Savvy made sure her eyes gleamed gold, showing off her lycan power, and then added an Alpha tone to her voice to amplify the effect. “Give it to me now!”
The maid trembled and got an old phone out of the pocket of her knitted jumper. She probably already hated Savannah more than Bjorn, but the Western Princess wasn’t here to make friends. In fact, she couldn’t careless. She went back to Chloe, opening up the mostfamous news website in the North.
Her heart dropped when she saw the headlines.
“The New Times, The New King?”, “Long Live Darius Bjorn”, “Love Conquers All”.
Angry tears burned her eyes. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.
“l am sorry,” Chloe sounded sincere. “He prepared himself very well, and we didn’t have much choice.”
Savvy ignored her. Whether she had a choice or not was questionable. She couldn’t move because she saw a picture of herself on Bjorn’s back. It was one of the things that was now etched into her memory, one of the worst moments of her life. And it was front page news now.
The photo was taken in a way that no one could see the chains on her hands. The blue cape and her hair fluttered in the wind, and Bjorn’s white bear held his head high. He was the winner, and she was his prize.
Except.. now it looked like she did not mind.
“What is this?” Her voice came out raspy, barely above a whisper.
“This is how he tells your story” Chloe couldn’t face the princess’ gaze.
Savannah hit the play button and heard Claude’s voice telling the viewers that the White Bear King had found his true mate and challenged the Lycan King. He’d won their fight and took his Queen to his castle, from where the two of them would be ruling the North together. They would be working to make it the strongest kingdom as it rightfully deserved. Even the marking ceremony date was already set, and Savvy felt a wave of nausea when she realised that it was in just one day.
“We cannot wait,” Bjorn smiled at the camera.
Savannah and I are each other’s second chances, and I will die before I let anything keep us apart again. True love conquers all.”
She hit the back button as she couldn’t stand it anymore and was about to throw the phone at the wall when she noticed familiar blonde hair in one of the video thumbnails.
“Lachlan,” she whispered in disbelief. Everything happened so fast that she had no time to think of what happened to the Beta of the North. In all honesty, she thought him dead because he was bedridden when the events unfolded, and the last thing she saw before she was taken away was the castle devoured by flames. It was natural to assume that he wouldn’t make it.
She clicked on the play button, and tears welled up in her eyes when she saw Zara standing in the background. Her friend survived as well, and that brought some kind of relief to the princess. However, it was soon forgotten when she heard what Lachlan was saying.
“It is with regret that I announce the death of the last two remaining members of the Royal Family.” he said, and Savvy felt the knife that was stuck in her heart twisting painfully. “Both the King and the Princess were killed in an attack by the white bears, along with their quests King Gideon Stormhold of the Western Lycan Kingdom and Queen Riannon Stormhold. Other victims include Alpha Ramina Knight with her daughter Naya Knight, Alpha..” He was saying name after name – all people that she knew and people she was supposed to get to know soon as the Northern Queen. Only now Savvy realised that there had still been a flicker of hope that they had all survived somehow. Or, if not all of them, at least some of them. Kai, Gideon, Riannon. they were special wolves. They were strong. That thought ended abruptly when she saw her brother’s body lying on the stone floor of the castle with Ria and other bodies lined up right next to him. She didn’t see Kai no matter how hard she looked, though, but Elene was right there.
Maybe it was for the best that she didn’t see him. If she did, she would just break again.
Now she had no hope whatsoever.
Just the drive to destroy the ones responsible for all of this pain.
“This situation leaves us with no choice,” Lachlan continued, “the packs in question will need to choose new Alphas and arrive for the Council in the North and the West respectively to choose new lycan rulers. At the moment, we are awaiting a new attack, but l assure you that the North is still protected, and we have enough forces to keep it safe. Until the new King or Queen is chosen, I will remain the Beta-in-command and make all essential decisions. Remember that the North Star still shines upon our heads, and Fenrir’s will is for us to stay strong.”
He was saying something else, but Savannah couldn’t listen to it anymore.
She handed the phone to Chloe, forgetting that it wasn’t her device to begin with. So many thoughts were circling in her head. She let out a deep sigh, closing her eyes and trying to concentrate on what was important. It was somehow worse this way. She felt that if she just stayed standing like that, all the raw agony would escape her and she’d never be able to get out of it.
She couldn’t go there. She couldn’t afford to be weak. Not now, not when people depended on what she would do next.
“Let’s go!” Savvy motioned for Chloe to follow her, and the woman didn’t hesitate even for a moment.
“Just so you know” she quickly whispered to Savvy,
“Claude managed to save all the footage. Bjorn ordered us to delete everything and only leave the parts you saw, but Claude is good at these things. He saves a copy of everything we record and uploads it to the Cloud. It is all stored there, including.. that day.”
“Good” Savannah nodded, not wishing to go into detail. She wanted the truth to come out one day. Even if she wouldn’t be here to see that, she hoped that others would. “Why didn’t he come with you?” she asked instead.
“You only told them to bring the woman who arrived with you,” Chloe shrugged her shoulders. “We knew that it wasn’t me, but I had to use the opportunity to speak to you. They keep us locked in the room they gave us. We aren’t allowed to leave, but we have to look presentable 24/7 because we never know when Bjorn will request us to start working again. I have to say, he knows what he is doing. His campaign is thought through and well-planned.”
“It will not help him,” Savvy scowled, clenching her fists.
They walked out of the room to find the pale maid and a few guards, one of whom brought Chloe here. They all looked at her with a mix of shock, concern and resistance, sensing that the new queen was troubled.
“Take me to the pink-haired girl,” Savannah ordered, and all four bears remained silent. “I swear to the Moon Goddess, if l have to have the ‘Am l Your Queen?” conversation all over again, you are all going to regret it!”
She probably sounded menacing enough as one of the warriors stepped forward.
“This way,” he bowed his head in a sign of respect, quickly understanding the situation and choosing the lesser of two evils.
“Savvy!” Petra threw herself into her arms themoment she walked into her room. As if they had been friends for years, as if they weren’t rivals just a few days ago.
Although now it seemed like it had been years since the Luna Trials happened, if not in a different lifetime.
Petra looked paler than usual, her pink curly hair was down, and she was still wearing the same dress. She was given a small room with a tiny window, but at least this place was private enough, and it didn’t look like anyone dared to bother her there. There were guards at her door as well.
“Are you okay?” Savannah checked her friend’s face and exposed skin for visible signs of ab.use, but to her relief, found none.
Friends. They were friends now.
Although what surprised the princess the most was the fact that Petra was in a good mood and not crying like Savvy thought she would be.
“Yes, I am fine,” the girl forced a smile on her pretty face. “Are you?”
The question struck Savvy unexpectedly, and she didn’t know how to answer at first, so she chose to simply ignore it.
“Petra, it’s going to be okay,” she assured. “I will find a way out of this, and l swear you will go home as soon as possible.”
“Not without you!” The little Alpha furrowed her brows.
“Petra-” The princess rubbed her temples. “It’s complicated, but-“
“It’s not complicated!” Petra insisted, crossing her arms over her ch3st. “Either we are leaving together, or l stay here with you! I can’t let you save me time after time! I know how you all see me, and maybe l am not a warrior, but I am not a child anymore, either!”
Savvy looked at her. For the first time, she really looked at her, and her l!ps parted slightly. That feisty spirit.. she’d never seen it in this girl before.
“Petra, did you-” She wondered for a second, if all those bears fighting for Petra wasn’t just a coincidence.
“Evelyn taught me well,” the she-wolf smirked, playing with a strand of her pink hair. “She told me time after time that my beauty and innocence are my weapons. I finally understood what she meant to the fullest when we were brought here. Those bears were easy to fall for my sobbing. Just a few glances and each of them felt like the saviour l’d been waiting for. Although it does help that I come from good lineage, I suppose.”
Savvy gaped at her, shocked by the turn of events.
“D*mn, Petra, if you had played this way at The Luna Trials-“
“I tried,” the she-wolf smiled sheepishly. “It was a good experience if l am being honest, but Kai was never interested. From the very first day, he only had his eyes on you.”
They both said nothing for a few moments, just staring at each other. The mention of the Northern King still hurt Savannah, but Petra took her hands and squeezed them lightly. That child.. stopped being a child thanks to recent events.
“I can keep them fighting for a while” Petra added. “
Even when one of them wins me, I can ensure the others don’t let it go. I am sure Bjorn was busy today trying to find a way to appease them all when there is none. I hope it gives you time to act.”
Petra was toying with those bears, and Savvy admired how calmly she spoke about it. This here, right now, was a miracle, and somehow it gave her confidence to proceed with the crazy plan in her head. If Petra could do it, so could she.
“Listen,” Savvy locked their eyes. “You don’t have to do anything. Just stay safe, and when the opportunity to run back home presents itself, use it and don’t think about-
She didn’t get to finish her sentence as the door burst open, and Bjorn stormed in with a hopeful expression written all over his face. Savannah couldn’t help but frown at that, and in an instant, that expression of his faded.
What did he think? That she would throw herself at him and shout Mate! Mine!?
“You are awake,” he said, ineffectually.
“l am,” she confirmed, pushing Petra behind her back. The motion did not go unnoticed and Bjorn scowled.
“Are you- feeling better?” He stepped closer yet wisely held a respectable distance.
“Not really.” she pursed her l!ps and turned away, giving Petra a last hug and whispering to remember her words. “Considering-“
Bjorn cleared his throat as if he remembered the role he had to play. He closed the distance between them in a few steps and Iifted her in his arms before she could even protest.
“You are not supposed to be here!” he grunted and, throwing one dissatisfied look at Petra, who had already managed to force a few tears to roll down her cheeks as her protection, walked out of the room.
Neither of them spoke while he took her to an unfamiliar room, and the moment he placed her back to her feet, she distanced herself as far away from him as she could, studying the surroundings.
“It’s my office,” he told her, responding to the unspoken question. “This is where most of my work and planning are done.”
Savannah quietly walked around, trying to see if there was anything of use to her cause. She was near the desk when Bjorn caught up with her and closed the laptop right before she could take a peek.
“You look better,” he said, and she decided not to answer anything to that either.
He took a step in her direction but hesitated afterwards. This was so not like him. He usually just took what he wanted without asking, but now she knew one important thing. He confessed it to her the night before.
She was his weakness. His desire to have her not just as a woman but as his mate was his weakest point. He wanted more than just her presence there or her body, he wanted more than the strong hybrid alpha pups she could give him. He wanted them to have a connection.
The way real mates did. He wanted that.
And she was going to exploit it while she could.
Unfortunately for him, all she desired now was to destroy him and make it hurt.
His palms cautiously touched her bare shoulders in an attempt to embrace her, but she flinched away from it, and he let her go, sighing heavily.
“Not now,” she said, turning away and planting the idea in his head that there was a possibility of it happening one day. That the day would come, but that it just wasn’t happening today. “I don’t think I am ready.”
“I understand.” Bjorn couldn’t contain his excitement. He was happy to have some kind of dialogue with her now. He was ready to eat the crumbs she gave him, but she wasn’t oblivious. She already knew him enough. She knew that the moment he realised he couldn’t have what he really wanted, he would take what he could. He would try to break her and turn her into what he wanted so badly by force. She was on the clock before he realised the truth. She wasn’t his mate.
Whatever was happening to him, she wasn’t feeling it. If any kind of bond existed between them, it was one-sided.
“Tell me what I can do to make this better?” Bjorn turned her around to face him again and took her chin into his large hand. “I know what I did was unforgivable, but we will still have to make it work. And, Savvy, I want you to be happy with me.”
She wanted to laugh in his face but held it back.
“M don’t think that I’ll ever forgive you” she decided to tell the truth to keep it realistic. Bjorn wasn’t stupid.
He wasn’t going to buy it if she threw herself in his arms.
Not to mention that she didn’t want to embrace him in any way. “But if you want to make me believe you care about me, you can start with a good deed.”
“I can’t let that girl go,” he sighed, knowing what she was going to ask. “She attracted too much attention, and some of my key warriors want her. I can’t make themangry.”
You are going to make some of them angry either way,” she insisted. “l am actually offering you a solution here.”
He tilted his head, trying to read her face.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“You said it yourself” Savvy taunted, placing her hand on his chest. She heard how his heart started beating faster at once. “You can’t make your warriors unhappy. But what do you think is going to happen when one of them gets her and the others don’t?”
“But letting her go would be disrespecting them all,” he exhaled heavily.
“It’s an auction, isn’t it?” her l!ps curled into something resembling a smile. “Invite one more bidder.”
“Who?” Bjorn’s face became grim as he couldn’t see where she was going with this.
“Petra’s father.” Savannah said bluntly. “The rumour has it, he loves her more than anything. He would pay you a hefty sum for his beloved daughter, and my friend would have a chance.”
“You really care about her,” he traced her lower l!p with his thumb, making her l!ps part and sucking in a deep breath.
For a second, Savvy was afraid that he would keep Petra to control her. That would have been the smart choice, because she didn’t want anything to happen to the girl.
However, Bjorn was smug and sure of himself, sure of their bond. And she got away with her request.
“Fine,” he breathed out, his eyes still on her mouth, which he wished to claim. “I”ll do that for you.
“No, Bjorn, do that for you,” she pushed him away and walked towards the window, examining the view.
Sadly, there were just rocks of the icy cliff the castle was built on and the sea beneath it. This wouldn’t be the escape route for her friends.
“No, Savvy, name things what they are,” he went back to his desk and retrieved something from one of the drawers. “You have a soft spot for this girl, you want her out of this place, and it’s not a gift to me. You want this.
And I want something too. I have to do it after the stuff you pulled today.”
“What did l do?” she raised a brow at him defiantly.
“You met the Serpent, walked around the castle without my permission, you were threatening my people with death-” he sighed as if it was hard for him, but she saw the glistening metal in his hands, and anger boiled inside of her, making her heart pound and body tense.
She knew what that was.
“You can’t be serious!” She couldn’t hide her emotions anymore.
“Savannah,” he cooed, “this is temporary. Just so that my people know whom you belong to and that you wouldn’t hurt them.”
“If you do this-“, she was about to threaten him, but he’d already locked it around her wrist..