Riannon tried to stay calm. It wasn’t easy in the Lycan king’s presence, but she did try her best. It did not help that he was incredibly good looking. Neither did it help that she remembered very well how he brushed her off and humiliated her over the phone.
The memory was still fresh in her mind, and it bugged her. He bugged her. He made emotions raise inside of her and she did not like it. She was trained well enough to conceive them at all times. Although werewolves were beasts and had animalistic instincts, it was considered bad manners for a Luna to show them. A perfect Luna couldn’t growl, couldn’t get angry, couldn’t display what she felt for everyone to see. A perfect Luna had to be… well, perfect. At all times.
And Ria was always considered one of the best in that regard.
Yet with the Lycan king, she wanted nothing more than to come up and slap his incredibly handsome face. Hard.
She did not even want to do that to Brayden. Although the rational part of her knew that he deserved it more.
But that man in front of her, who did not take his eyes off her…irked her. To the point that she wanted to do something about it. And his scent of coffee and sandalwood, which was the mixture of the two things she loved the most, bothered her too.
Ria wished Onyx was there with her. Her wolf had better instincts and could help her to figure out what to do. She had her all her life and now it was hard to be on her own.
Yet she had no choice. “What exactly do you want to know, Your Majesty?” she tried not to show her irritation, but a little smirk still touched his lips.
“Everything, Riannon,” he addressed her by her name only, which was way too intimate for their first meeting face to face. But he was a lycan. And they were arrogant and considered themselves the higher class of wolf species. Everyone else was below them. So, Ria had to swallow that.
“Should I start with my childhood then?” she couldn’t help making the snarky remark and bit her lip as soon as she said that, making an internal growl leave his body immediately.
Okay, no more jokes then.
“You asked for my help,” he reminded her. “And you refused to help me, Your Majesty,” she pointed out in turn. “Gideon,” he practically gritted through his teeth. “Excuse me?” she darted him a surprised gaze.
was gaping, trying to figure out if he was joking.
“I can’t…” she tried to protest but noticed how his eyes got darker at once.
“It’s an order,” he said coldly, making her gulp.
She wasn’t his biggest fan at the moment but she definitely did not want to make him her enemy.
“Very well,” she clenched her fingers together on her knees, holding her back straight,“ Gideon.”
He relaxed in front of her, hearing his name coming out from her lips. It sounded nice. He wanted her to repeat it over and over, but, of course, couldn’t tell her that. At least not now. Something was very wrong and she did not feel that he was her mate.
Although, the longer they were this close to each other, the more he knew that she was the one for him. This was frustrating and agonising. All he wanted was to grab her and take her back to his lands, to make her feel what he felt, to love her and make her forget all the other men in her life.
His eyes darted to the mark that was visible on her neck. Was that it? Was this the reason why she couldn’t feel their connection? He wanted to sink his canines into her and try to erase that, try to fix that… But of course, he couldn’t. Not without freaking her out and causing a political scandal, which he couldn’t afford now.
“So, you are divorcing your husband,” he said, trying to focus on the positive here. Soon she would be free and he could make his claim then.
“Uhm, yes,” she replied after a little pause and he did not like it. Was she hesitating now?
Her husband was literally with another woman in front of everyone at this very moment.
“Is it decided?” he sounded more menacing than he hoped and she shuddered a bit.
“It is,” Riannon replied calmly and he let out the breath he did not know he was holding,” But he is not aware of it yet.”
“Oh?” the Lycan king arched his brow, watching the woman in front of him in amusement. What kind of game was she playing? “How so?”
“For now he thinks that he could have it all,” her lips curled into a smirk and the beast inside of him was howling at her sassiness, “His wife, his mate and his pack.”
“But you have other plans in mind?” he asked, trying not to sound too hopeful and noticing how Reid who was still also in the room gave him a puzzled look.
“You know that very well, Your… Gideon,” she corrected herself and he smiled. She was other promises to stay loyal, I took that seriously. If I met my mate, I would reject him on the same day.”
He swallowed at the thought.
“And what if he was way better than your husband?” the words left his mouth before he could control himself, “What if he really loved you and was, say… a noble Lycan?”
“It did not matter back then,” she snorted, “He could be the only son of the Moon Goddess! I… I used to love Brayden. I would have kept my promise to him and honoured our marks. But since he didn’t do the same for me…”
“Wasn’t it just a few days?” Reid interjected, “He could still reject his mate for you anytime.”
“But he wouldn’t,” the girl replied way too coldly, “And it doesn’t matter anymore. You can only break someone’s trust once.”
“Very well!” Gideon decided to agree fast until his i***t of a Beta offered her a solution on how to fix the relationship with her husband, “Divorce it is then.”
They both looked at him in shock and he cleared his throat. “But what was it about the pack?” he decided to change the subject quickly.
Riannon explained to him very patiently how they merged the two packs when they were getting married and why she wants to take it back. She had good reasoning when she spoke and he found himself agreeing to everything way too fast. Was this the power of their mate bond? She also mentioned a few times how much she and her husband used to be in love in and he found himself frowning at that every time.
“So,” she asked him, arching her brow and he realised that he had been quiet way too
long, staring at her and thinking of something else.
This was the time for him to answer and he could tell that she did not expect much. If anything, she seemed eager to return back to the party, where all those alphas were all over them and he was sure at least half of them was going to offer her their support in hopes of getting her for themselves. He knew how they looked at her. As if they all were hungry for her.
He also came to the conclusion that he made the worst first impression on his mate if she couldn’t wait to leave him. And he needed to fix that fast.
“I will support you,” he said and her lips parted. He could tell that she did not expect that.
He had a lot of work before him.
“Yes,” a vague smile appeared on his face, “There will be some conditions, of course.”
“Like what?” the Luna crossed her hands on her chest in a defence motion. She was expecting the worse from him and he only had himself to blame.
“Cooperation,” he said the first thing that came to his mind. The only condition that he really wanted to name was for her to become his but he could sense that it wouldn’t work well. Not now. She didn’t feel the bond and he did not know why. He needed time. Desperately. And he needed to find a way to be close to her still.
“What kind?” she asked.
“The usual,” he cleared his throat, “If I am on your side, you are on mine. I also need you not to marry or date anyone until I give you permission.”
“Why?” she mumbled, slightly shocked by the bizarre conversation that they were having.
“I have my reasons. Take it or leave it.” It was a gamble and Gideon knew it. But something told him that she was going to take it. His wolf calmed down too now. He clearly enjoyed her company.
“Unless,” she looked him in the eye with some kind of determination and he got scared that she would decline his offer, “Unless I find my mate.”
He tried to hold back the huge grin that was about to spread over his face but was failing miserable, noticing how Reid was watching the pair with his brows knitted.
“I can accept that,” he smirked, “If you find your mate, you are free to embrace your bond.
“Then it’s a deal,” Riannon stood up and stretched her hand to him for a handshake, which he used to pull her closer, startling her.
“Good,” he wrapped his hand around his waist to the shock of his Beta and led her to the exit, “Shall we go then?”
“Where?” the Luna looked at him with her rosy lips parted.
“We have a show to give…”