Riannon froze with the lycan’s hand still on her neck when she saw her Beta baring his canines at the two of them. What was he thinking? This was offensive to any lycan and the one next to her was their king for Goddess’ sake!
“Do you have a problem?” Gideon angled his head to look at the intruder, still not taking his hand off Ria’s neck. He looked absolutely unbothered on the surface, but the Luna did not let herself be fooled. She could feel fury radiating from his body. Fury and something else. She couldn’t get what it was though.
But she knew one thing – Ash was in big trouble now.
“Yes, I have a problem,” he said, clenching his fists, “You have your hands on my Luna and I demand-”
It was just one second and Riannon felt cold as the king’s arms left her. One second and he already stood next to Ash with his fingers locked around the Beta’s neck, lifting him in the air as if he weight nothing and making her gasp. She knew very well that lycans were faster and stronger. But she couldn’t even imagine that the difference was so vast. If they ever had to fight for any reason then werewolves would have zero chances at winning.
Ash was now making gurgling sounds and Ria hurried to the two men.
“Please, no!” she begged the king and he looked at her unexpectedly softly.
“He was insolent,” Gideon tried to explain to her but seeing a spark of fear in her eyes brought him back to his sense. He was doing it again. Making the wrong impression on her. All he wanted was to find out why she did not feel him and make her used to his presence in his life, but he was showing her this feral side of him. Instead of the one, she could potentially be attracted to.
So, he placed the Beta back to his feet, even though in reality he wanted to snap that neck of his. He never let anyone doubt him in his life except for his sister and Reid. And if anyone did…
“Please, forgive him, Your Majesty,” her formal voice was cutting his ears. No, no, no. This was wrong.
“Gideon,” it slipped off his tongue faster than he realised, and he met her widened eyes.”
Don’t forget that we are not using formalities anymore,” he cleared his throat.
“Of… course,” she mumbled, not knowing how to behave now.
“Luna!” Ash tried to gather himself, still panting. But before he managed to say anything, she gave him the look. The one that meant, shut up now or I will not be able to help you next
“Did anything happen?” she tried to change the subject, “Were you looking for me?”
“Yes,” he practically gritted through his teeth, adjusting his shirt that now looked all crumpled and stuck out of his jeans, “The mail came.”
“And?” Riannon raised her brow not grasping what it had to do with her.
“I think you need to see this,” the Beta turned around and she looked at the king, shaking her shoulders.
“Well, if you have to,” he chuckled friendly as if he did not just try to murder a member of her pack. But yet again, Riannon did not feel any dangerous vibes from him that was why she waved at him to follow her. Living him alone wasn’t an option anyway.
At the entrance of the packhouse a few cars were packs and people were getting boxes out of it, big and small, as well as huge extravagant bouquets of flowers that filled the air with their overly sweet scent.
For a second there, Riannon frowned. Back in her past life, something like this happened. Brayden decided to give his mate “what she deserved” since she had nothing and showered her with gifts. In this life Roxy already had a budget allocated for her needs. And it was annoying that he still did it without any kind of excuse.
However, next, her eyes were dawned on her gloomy husband standing on the stairs and Roxanne, sheepishly hiding behind his back. She wasn’t jumping with joy like the last time. And he did not have the smug smile plastered all over his face… Something was off.
“You seriously thought that I would want to see this?” Riannon tried to hold back her annoyance as she darted her eyes at Ash.
“Why not?” the Beta seemed puzzled there for a second, “The alphas of so many packs sent their regards to you. I thought…”
“I am sorry, what?” she opened her mouth in shock and the beta grazed his eyes over her lips.
“Those are gifts sent by alphas for you, Luna,” he said calmly as he took his eyes off her, “They are-”
“Not wasting their time!” Gideon said in a very deep and cold voice while placing his hands in his pockets. Just why did he think to bring her anything? It was so obvious! You court a woman – you give her gifts. He wanted to swear at himself but this was not the time.
“Oh,” Ria looked back at the people who seemed to be taking the boxes to her rooms.
This was an unexpected development!
A great unexpected development.
She could use this in so many ways. It was giving her options for her plan and she immediately started to think of what to do next.
“Riannon!” her husband growled, coming closer.
He did not look happy. Of course, he didn’t. Back in the day no one would dare send gifts like that without a special occasion to his wife. But now they all thought that she would be back on the market soon. He gave them this impression when he did not reject his mate and even brought her to an important event for everyone to see. And now he was reaping what he sowed.
“Yes, Brayden?” she flapped her eyelashes a few times. Even though he was furious and she had no wolf, the Lycan king was still standing by her side. And for some absolutely ridiculous reason, this was giving her even more confidence than she usually had.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded as if he still had the right to do so.
She was annoyed by his behaviour and looking at him now she wondered what the hell happened to him? Had he always been like this? Or did she not see his true self before because
she was in love?
“I don’t know, Brayden,” she said in the most innocent tone, “I am as surprised as you are. So, if you want to know what is the meaning behind all those gifts from other alphas for your wife, you would probably better call them and ask them.”
They all knew that it would not be possible. If it was just one Alpha, Brayden could call him out and challenge him. They could have a fight and Bray would probably even win. He was one of the strongest after all. But there was one little problem… There were far too many gifts there. From far too many alphas. He couldn’t challenge them all – they would gladly kill him and share his lands. He couldn’t challenge one or two of them – they would ridicule him for the rest of his life for not being brave and strong enough to do it to all of them. Even in turns.
It was a game where he couldn’t win. And everybody knew that now.
So, for the first time in his life, Brayden would have to swallow the insult. Hard.
And it brought a newfound feeling of inner satisfaction to Riannon. That may have been his first time, but she sure as hell would make sure that it wasn’t his last one.
“Anyway,” she chirped, turning to the kind and wrapping her arm around his in a friendly manner, “We still have so many things to discuss. How about we do it in my office?”
to the entrance, they almost bumped into Roxanne with trembling lips and gleaming eyes. She was about to give another show as soon as they left, so Ria stopped right next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“No need to cry, Roxy,” she said loudly, “Just pick what you want and take it. Don’t insult your Alpha and Luna. I think I already proved that I am not greedy and I can share those insignificant things with you.”
She kept on walking without waiting for a response. She knew that she already achieved the desired effect.
Gideon next to her had an inner fight this whole time. His wolf Mars was roaming inside trying to get out and claim what was his. He wanted Riannon so badly, that it was getting dangerous for everyone around them. The Lycan king was used to their inner fights. All royalties had powerful beasts inside them because only they could contain them. But this was getting out of hand. Having their mate so close and not being able to do things to her was maddening.
But at the same time, he couldn’t help but admire the woman who was now calmly walking next to him after dealing with the ones who oppressed her without even needing his help.
A true queen. A treasure.
He was always wondering if the Moon Goddess would be sending him an equal. And now he knew that she did not fail him. For Riannon may have been a werewolf and not a lycan, but she did not lack anything.
“Here,” she pointed to the door that led to her own spacious office and he opened it for her, letting her in first. But as soon as he closed it, he scooped her in his arms, making her squeal from the shock and took her to the desk, gently placing her on top of it.
All that he wanted now was to remove her clothes and take her roughly right there, the way Mars insisted.
But of course, he couldn’t… Her big wide eyes told him that. She still did not feel the bond.
“Wh-what are you doing?” she practically stuttered looking around and he tried really hard to show her his most harmless facial expression. But it probably did not go that well because it made her flinch.
“Your neck,” he coughed, pointing at her so-called mark, “It’s still inflamed.
Not Greedy should probably call the pack doctor,” Riannon prepared to mind link her trusted friend, but Gideon took her face in his hands.
“I can help,” he said, looking straight into her eyes and for some reason, she trusted him instantly, “Would you let me try?”
“Erm,” she trembled, “Okay.”
She had no idea what she was agreeing to and when he buried his face in the crook of her neck, she forgot how to breathe. His hot breath was on her skin, making her feel all kinds of things. The man had this strange effect on her which she could not name.
“What are you doing?” she asked, starting to pant at their closeness.
“You know,” Gideon almost chuckled into her hair, “Lycans have this… healing gift.” “They do?” she asked. She never heard of it before.
“Kind of,” he avoided a straight answer and she wanted to question him more but when she felt a slow and torturous stroke of his tongue onto his sensitive skin. She couldn’t believe what was happening.
The Lycan king was l!cking her now!