The Luna Trials: Epilogue 1
“Kai, we should stop!” Savannah pleaded as her husband kept peppering her neckline with ki!ses, trying to relieve her of her dress.
“We really shouldn’t,” he murmured softly, biting her shimmering North Star mark, which always made his wife throw her head back and give him better access. He stood behind her, hands greedily travelling all over her body, grasping and kneading everything that finally belonged to him.
“We -have to-” Savannah gasped, forgetting what it was that they had to do. There had been so much work in the past few weeks. that they couldn’t enjoy their life as newlyweds the way they desired. In fact, they either did not see each other during the days or, worse – they saw each other, were so close to each other, but the circumstances did not let them touch each other. Reunited only at night, they both lacked sleep. However, the choice was always obvious. Especially now that their subordinates made the mistake of leaving them.
alone together for a few minutes.
What were they thinking? That Kai would be locked in a room with his beautiful wife and not touch her? Not a chance!
“I don’t know about you, but I just have to have you. Now!” His voice rasped somewhere in her hair that he let down, throwing away the pins that held an intricate hairdo a few seconds prior. Something that took her omegas an hour to make look perfect. “Your scent drives me crazy, Savvy, so it’s your fault anyway.”
“And how is this fair?” She giggled, ready to succumb to his advances, when someone knocked on the door, disturbing them.
“Shh,” Kai bit her earlobe gently. “If we are quiet, they will go away!”
“No, they will not!” Lachlan grunted behind the door.
“You two are too loud anyway!” Zara supported her mate with a chuckle. “And it’s time! Everyone is already here.”
‘Just five minutes!” Savvy yelled at their friends and turned to face her husband.
“Ten!” he growled, crushing his lips to hers, and then added, when he broke the k!ss to breathe, “Twenty!”
Zara and Lachlan stepped away a respectful distance from the door, knowing it would be longer than twenty minutes. Their King and Queen never knew how to stop once they got together. Which was understandable, of course, but it made their lives so much more complicated.
Zara closed her eyes, and Lachlan chuckled, “What are you doing?”
“Asking the maids to bring a new dress here and to search for the one who did Savvy’s hair. All the previous work just went in the bin. Kai is too passionate to bother with these things. And while I deal with the Queen’s look, you deal with him.”
The werebird pointed at the Western King, who strode in their direction accompanied by his wife. Riannon’s belly was already round and plainly visible and she had one of her hands laid on its top, looking like a vision in her milky white silk dress without any extra decorations. Only a delicate gold and diamond tiara adorned her head in the shape of flowers.
Gideon looked beyond annoyed. “Where the hell are they and how long-”
A loud feminine moan emerged from Kai’s office, followed by a growl that shook the walls.
The four of them froze, which only let them clearly hear another m0an.
“Never mind,” Gideon winced, furrowing his brow. “Tell them-”
A scream this time.
“We’ll meet them in the throne room!” Riannon let out a soft laugh, leading her traumatised husband away. “I told you they were busy!” she jabbed him as they made their exit, clearly enjoying his predicament. “That serves you right.”
This time a moan and a growl happened simultaneously, and the King and Queen of the West had to speed up to escape the audible evidence of the newlyweds’ happy moment together.
“Well, at least no one will question if the marriage is consummated!” Lachlan joked, trying not to think of the woman next to him.
She looked too gorgeous tonight to ignore and he was not made of stone.
Kai and Savannah emerged from the office one hour later, eyes sparkling with happiness and hair and clothing completely dishevelled.
“For Fenrir’s sake!” the Beta ran his hand through his hair as he observed the royal couple, unable to erase the wide grins from their faces.
“Relax!” Kai gripped his shoulder in a friendly manner. “We are the King and the Queen. They literally can’t start the event without us!”
“Yeah, yeah,” Zara rolled her eyes, pushing Savvy back into the office. “With all due respect, you aren’t making our lives easy! Lan, keep him there until we are out. Don’t let him in! Or it will be the same thing all over again!”
“Your command is… well… my command,” Lachlan chuckled as a swarm of omegas appeared to help Savvy look like a picture-perfect Queen again and not like the happy newlywed she really was.
She reappeared in a beautiful blue gown with a train and flowers embroidered all over it. Her hair was up again, although in a more relaxed style now, a few strands loose and her beautiful mark on full display. This was just how Kai liked it. He wanted the whole world to know that this woman chose him and now belonged to him. He allowed himself to wear a black collarless shirt and blazer today so that his North Star was visible as well.
They passed a group of Lunas who probably were supposed to accompany their Alphas but were actively discussing something else.
From the corner of her eye, Savvy recognized a familiar book. The hot pink cover with a Northern blue stripe in the middle and the picture of Claude and Chloe back to back was hard to miss.
“And then the Queen ripped his heart out with her bare hands!” one of the women gasped. “They blurred it in the tv special, but in the book, Claude tells-”
Kai rolled his eyes, lacing his fingers with his wife’s.
“I hate that book,” she mumbled, and he nodded understandingly.
“Those two are something else!” Kai chuckled. “How is it that the book is about us, but they are the ones on the cover?”
“Oh, please!” Savvy let out a little laugh. “If you would like that, I can arrange it! The sales will certainly spike!”
“Besides, haven’t you heard?” Savvy taunted. “The real heroes of the story are Claude and Chloe themselves. Apparently, Chloe told me what to do back at the bear castle and gave me the strength to rebel. While Claude risked his life to get us all out of captivity and then personally encouraged you to turn into Amarok.”
“Seriously?” Kai raised his brow, holding back a laugh. “And people bought that?”
“Well, it’s not like you or I corrected them, right?” Savannah snorted quietly. “So yeah, they are getting away with this one, and everyone loves it. All that being said, our ratings are through the roof now, and Kyle says the book helped sustain the favourable impression we gained after the Avalanche Battle.”
“Are the twins invited today?” Kai glanced at Zara as she was the one who had a folder with the guest list in her hands.
“They are invited everywhere,” Elene greeted her brother at the entrance to the throne room with a stiff smile. She had been waiting for them for Fenrir knew how long. “All the best places, too. You are late. And what the hell did you do to King Gideon? He looked like he was about to get sick. If you ask me, greenish skin colour doesn’t suit him.”
“We’d better not share the details,” Kai winked at his sister, “or you will join him.”
“I am not going to ask.” Elene sighed, shaking her head, Let’s go! After you, Majesties.”
They walked into the Grand Hall decorated for the occasion with blue flowers of different shades. The royal couple of the North took their time getting to their thrones, knowing that all eyes were on them.
Just one month had passed since their wedding and coronation, but they’d mastered every move to perfection. They knew how important today was because their people needed to see them. After the devastating war where so many shifters died, and their world turned upside down with Fenrir’s and Joran’s blessings, it was easy to dwell in panic.
The whole continent could be easily devoured by chaos. It was their role to project confidence to their subjects as a sign that everything was going to be fine and that they had everything under control. They had to give them hope and stability, even if they were still finding their feet in this changed world.
They were finally at the top of the stairs and turned their backs to their respective thrones. Elene and Lachlan stood at Kai’s side, while Zara and Kyle took place next to Savannah.
“We are happy to welcome you to our house,” Kai greeted the guests. “It’s a huge honour to have so many friends who came to help
us in our time of need. Today, we will be celebrating the heroes, dead and alive, saying our thanks to each of you and ensuring that no debt is left unpaid.”
“We will start with a minute of silence, as we remember every wolf, werecat, witch, werebird and other shifters who did not survive the war,” Savannah announced loudly. “While no words will be pronounced, we’ll each reflect on what happened to us and why, pray to our gods, and think of what we can do to avoid letting this happen again.”
One of the lower ranked lycans rang a bell, and everyone present bowed their heads in respect. They had all lost someone in the Avalanche Battle, or in smaller fights and attacks that preceded it. They all personally knew the price of the war.
When the minute was over, and the guests raised their heads, Savannah smiled through tears. It was harder to control her emotions now, thanks to h0rmones.
“And now we will celebrate life!” she gave the floor to her husband.
“King Gideon and Queen Riannon Stormhold,” Kai called the first names and gestured for their relatives to join them at the top of the stairs. “We are family now, but it was a rocky road getting here. I am proud to call you both my friends and family, and I give you my word that I will do everything in my power to ensure that the alliance between The Northern and The Western Lycan Kingdoms remains strong for as long as I live.”
“Accept this token of our gratitude,” Savannah took a little box from Zara and handed it to the couple. Riannon gasped when she saw a beautiful labyrinth medallion with a Northern Star in one of the paths.
“Even in your darkest days, you can count on us,” Kai promised. “It’s enough to send a messenger with this pendant, and we will bring an army to help you.”
“The honour is mine,” Gideon bowed his head respectfully and whispered so that only Kai and Savvy could hear him. “Next time, I will bring you something shiny and pretty too, Fionnlagh.”
“Don’t worry about it. No one expects you to have decent manners!” Kai gave him a crooked smile, and it looked like two old friends were happy to see each other in front of the many cameras in the room.
They exchanged sharp glances, but then Rinannon sighed and asked her husband to help her down the stairs. She could walk perfectly fine, of course, but since Gideon was overprotective of her in this “delicate state”, it worked like a charm.
“Nayara Knight,” Savannah called the next name and the werecat with silver hair walked up to the King and Queen in an elegant green velvet dress. “You saved my life several times already and proved that you could be trusted. I will forever consider you my personal friend, Naya. And I am so grateful for everything you’ve done.”
Savvy handed the woman in front of her a box with the same locket and the same message. If Naya ever needed help, she would get the new werebird leader accepted her box, and the land promised for their help.
Salome was the next one to be rewarded, and after accepting her token, she handed Savannah a box of her own.
“Keep it with you during labour, and your child will be safe,” she whispered. “My Coven will take your baby under its protection.”
Others were rewarded with smaller tokens of appreciation, but all meaningful nonetheless.
When everyone thought that the main ceremony was over, the bell rang again, and Lachlan announced loudly, “Alpha Brigit
Brigit was nervous. They did not let her into the Northern capital for almost a month. A month while the fate of her people was being decided. For all she knew, they could already be doomed despite her attempts to save what was left of them. It was entirely possible that she’d been invited today simply to be executed publicly and in front of the cameras. After what had happened to Aspen, she was sure that everyone hated her.
She deserved it, though. She was no saint.
She had to wait at the entrance, wearing a beautiful silk sea blue dress with long sleeves and a cape covering her shoulders. Today she was representing her kind, and they already had a bad enough reputation alter the war.
Brigit had a couple of challenging weeks behind her. When they were ordered to return to their lands, even after submitting to the Lycan King and Queen, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Although maybe it was what the bears deserved. They couldn’t be trusted
after so many schemes and plots. When she returned to the Bear castle with other Alphas, she had to deal with the aftermath of Bjorn’s rule and death.
Her pack was rightfully accused of being traitors because they killed their own during the battle. Brigit ensured her pack’s survival by challenging the biggest and baddest Alpha bear in the room with the dirtiest words in his mouth. And when she killed him in front of everyone, she acquired his pack as well. She was ready to rinse and repeat, but luckily just one show was enough, and no new challenges were thrown at her later. Without any kind of election or vote, she somehow became their leader.
But that meant she was the one dealing with the aftermath of the war.
They started reorganising and rebuilding. Her kind wasn’t sure that they had a future and what it would be, so she kept them busy to distract them from their gloomy situation.
That was the only thing that had helped her after Aspen.
She worked, and worked, and worked… sometimes as a simple laborer, cleaning up the tower that she’d exploded just a few weeks ago to make Aspen’s escape possible. Each day she strived to overwork herself and fall down onto her bed half dead because nothing else helped her. This was what her days looked like now.
So, when she was summoned with her entourage, she didn’t know what to expect. She didn’t even have an “entourage” to begin with and had to pick a few bears whom she disliked the least since becoming an Alpha. She hoped to be done quickly today…
But also, she hoped that some kind of a miracle happened and Aspen was alive.
Yes, it was stupid, unrealistic and absolutely impossible, considering she left his dead body during the battle. But then the wolves changed. What if…. She was afraid to finish that thought. It was too foolish. He was already dead by then, and Fenrir did not resurrect anyone that time. She’d asked.
Her name was announced, and the doors opened before her, letting her in. The castle had changed since Bjorn set it on fire, but she liked its new look more. It was still an old rough Northern castle, but it seemed fresher and brighter now. As if someone breathed life into Brigit’s eyes darted to the thrones in search of bright red hair. The Gamma was supposed to stand by his King today. But she only saw Lachlan and Kyle. She then started scanning the crowds against her better judgement. It probably looked disrespectful, but she couldn’t help it, greedily studying everyone around.
The King and his Queen gave her the time to do it before they spoke.
“Brigit Borg, it’s a different story with you, isn’t it?” Kai did not look too pleased at seeing her, and that was understandable. “We trusted you once, and you betrayed that trust. You let our enemies into our home and allowed them to destroy it. You caused the deat of my Gamma. These are unforgivable crimes.”
She stopped listening after the words, “the death of my Gamma”. Her heart clenched so painfully even though she thought she had already accepted this fact. If they were to kill her now, she would just say thank you.
“However, we are aware that your circumstances were different,” Savannah started speaking, her lips curled into a soft and friendly smile. “We know that your sister was held hostage, and I personally got to see the way women were treated in the bear territories.
We are also taking into account that you helped us during the last battle, and this help was pivotal for the results we got. We’ve been thinking for a long time about what to do with you and your kind, who fought fiercely for what they believed in. The bear territory will always be a part of the Northern Lycan Kingdom. However, we are willing to give you autonomy to some level. You will have your own laws, with the exception of a few we require you to implement. Such as equal rights for men and women, a ban on forced marriages and so on. You can review and-”
“We accept,” Brigit interjected without realising how rude that probably was to interrupt the Queen. Yet there was nothing to think about. This was already better than what they had hoped for. And after Bjorn’s demise, not too many bears wanted to continue his cause. Most were ready to resume their lives as they were before. But this… this would allow them to make improvements.
“Very well,” Kai nodded, “then we pronounce you Queen Brigit Borg of Nova Oberon, the Bear Kingdom.”
She gasped, looking at them in disbelief. She couldn’t possibly have heard them correctly, however, Savannah was already holding a delicate tiara in her hands.
“Come and knee!,” she tried not to grin but was failing.
The short flight of stairs seemed to be her life’s longest and hardest obstacle as she walked towards the future she never expected.
Carefully, she knelt before the Queen of the North and felt cold metal placed on her head, heavy and uncomfortable. The weight of newfound responsibility. Just like a crown should be.
When Brigit rose, everyone else, except for the kings and queens present, bowed their heads in respect.
“Brigit, you will have to work closely with our new Gamma, Kyle,” Savannah gestured at the redhead lycan next to her, and the Bear Queen’s bottom lip quivered at the mention of the title.
So, he was dead, Dead, dead, dead.
“It would be my honour,” she tried to force a smile, but it did not look convincing.
“Of course, you will also have to work closely with our Ambassador in your kingdom. You already know him,” Kai added with a stiff upper lip. As if he did not want to say it.
The door on the left behind the throne opened, and suddenly the whole world stopped spinning. Brigit’s heart faltered, and she stopped breathing when she saw the man she had never expected to see again.
Aspen walked with a cane, however, his movements were confident even in this situation. His red hair was longer now while the beard was trimmed the same as always. He did not meet her gaze, but she did not care. She wanted to throw herself at him regardless, and only Savannah’s hand on her shoulder brought Brigit back to reality.
“Ambassador Aspen Morr,” Savannah “introduced” him. “We hope the two of you will be able to achieve a successful alliance between our two countries. We are all still Northerners, after all.”
“Of course,” Brigit smiled through tears.
“It would be my honour,” Aspen nodded, and his eyes passed over the Bear Queen just for a moment. This was, however, enough to make her feel as though her whole body was lit on fire.
He left as abruptly as he arrived, but she would never complain. She would never complain about anything ever again because she had just witnessed a miracle.
And hope bloomed in her heart against her will…
Kyle barely managed to stand through the whole ceremony. Those official events were always too dull for him. Not to mention that the North went over the top with all that. He had a lot to get used to.
However, only one thing kept him from yawning Evelyn.
She purposefully did not look at him. Most of the time. But sometimes, she couldn’t control herself and was sparing him a short withering glance. As if she was trying to tell him to stop gawping, albeit she always received a different result.
That woman did not leave his mind, but despite all his efforts, she still rejected him time after time.
Little did she know that it would not work on him. They were probably the oddest couple here, and there were a number of contenders at the moment, but Kyle knew almost instantly since the day he met her that they were right for each other.
It was hard to explain because, on the outside, they were nothing alike. Yet, somehow, they still worked. They’d bonded from day one, and he had never had this with anyone else. Kyle wasn’t sure he would ever have this with anyone else, even if he got to meet his mate. Because Evelyn was perfect to him.
She was the one, and he’d known that for quite some time. Now he had something to offer to her. He was finally more than just Savannah’s best friend. He was now the Gamma of the North after Aspen resigned. Kyle would have a good position in the kingdom, a salary to die for, a place to call home, and all that he was missing was the woman he loved.
He managed to catch her glance for a moment again and saw Evelyn roll her eyes. However, there was a pink tint that graced her cheeks that gave her away. Evelyn wasn’t a woman to blush easily, and yet he managed to get this reaction from her every single time.
Kyle slid his hand into the pocket of his trousers and grasped the tiny box he held in there. A ring with pink diamonds in the shape of a leaf was waiting for its moment. A leaf because Evelyn told him once that she loved autumn, and the colour of the stones was chosen to remind her of Petra who would be leaving her soon.
*Sometimes Kyle envied Petra. The pink haired girl had Evelyn’s unconditional love, while Kyle had to fight for bits and pieces of her attention.
Kai was rewarding Alpha Asher from the West, and Kyle remembered how they ended up fighting side by side to defend their women during the last battle. He had never cared for Ash before, but they would probably spend a lot of time together in the future, considering how close their future wives were. And although no announcements have been made yet, Kyle’s intuition told him that Ash and Petra would be making those really soon.
Ash only had his eyes on the little she wolf. Before this development, he’d only looked at one woman like that his love for many years, Riannon. Except back then, he had to hide it and steal those little glances here and there. Right now, he was getting bolder and did not bother pretending that he was not interested anymore. He looked at Petra in a way so that everyone present in the room with them knew that she was his mate and future Luna.
“I will miss you,” Savannah gave her brother a tight hug, and he wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“You can always come home if you want,” Gideon chuckled and received a warning growl from Kai, who stood nearby.
“My home is here now, Big Brother,” The Queen of the North smiled. Everything changed so much in just the past few months.
“I know, and you deserve to be happy,” her sibling caressed her cheek gently in a fatherly manner. “Probably more than anyone.”
“She will be.” Kai stepped in, pulling his mate into his warm embrace. Savannah leaned into him at once, enjoying the warmth he emitted and letting his arms lock around her waist. “I would die for her.”
“You already did, and it did not make my sister happy,” Gideon reminded him with a huff. “I guess the secret is to not die, Fionnlagh.”
“Savvy, about the baby,” Riannon glanced at her sister-in-law, asking for permission to touch her belly and changing the subject subtly at the same time.
“What about the baby?” the Western King tensed.
“You will find out when the time comes,” Riannon arched her brow at him, and then looked back at the Northern Queen. “If I ever find out anything, I will let you know as soon as possible.”
“Thanks, Ria,” Savannah gave the fellow Queen a tight hug. “I know I can always count on you.”
“By the way,” Gideon pulled out an envelope from his blazer’s inner pocket, “I have something for you. Let’s make it official. After all, it was a condition in our alliance.”
“What is it?” Savvy shot her brow up suspiciously.
“The lands your husband has wanted for so long,” her brother explained.
“I can’t accept them anymore,” Kai shook his head, trying to return the envelope that was handed to him. “This is not why I married your sister.”
“I know,” Gideon smirked. “This is why I am giving it to you now. If you don’t want that as part of the alliance, then consider it my wedding gift to my younger sibling.”
“Which we graciously accept!” Savannah chimed in, grasping the important papers. She wasn’t letting an opportunity like this slide.
“We still need to develop that agriculture project of yours, my love, remember?”
“Yes, you’re right… as always,” he agreed. “But I think there is something else we could do there.”
“May I ask what?” Gideon rubbed his chin. He had some ideas of why Kai needed those territories but wanted a straight answer nonetheless.
“I want to build a new city over time,” the Northerner confessed. “We have so many species, and all of them live isolated from one other. I want to change that. It will be a city where packs would be formed of different species working together. Brand new packs. They will receive land and money if they support the agricultural project. It’s all just ideas for now, of course. But I have met so many people lately… wolves, bears, cats, birds… A lot of them want a change. This could be a start.”
“This sounds wonderful,” Riannon supported the idea. “I was telling Gideon just recently that our Kingdom is ready for more changes too.”
“This territory borders with the West,” Savvy winked. “What if we make it a joint project?”
“I will have to see the details and the proposal first,” Gideon was the only one not succumbing to their collective excitement.
However, when they all glared at him, he added, “But it sounds like- it could work one day.”
They talked about it some more, but all good things always come to an end. And finally, Savannah was watching her brother and sister-in-law getting into their car. The Westerners left the castle grounds soon after that, but Savvy stayed to watch the vehicles disappear into the setting sun.
“We will visit them after the birth,” Kai k!Fssed her temple..
“I know,” his mate turned to look at her wonderful husband, and he leaned down to capture her lips gently. “It just feels like the end of an era.”
“Good,” Kai chuckled and pulled her closer, inhaling her wonderful bluebell scent. “The end of the old era is always the beginning a new one.”