Riannon shifted slightly in her husband’s hands, trying to get out of his grasp but he held her in place. Just like he did in their youth when someone looked at her and he suddenly got in his possessive alpha mode. And she always was the popular girl.
Before Ria was sure that he was like that because he loved her. Well, that assumption
was long dead now. It turned out to be as simple as him not wanting to share his toys with anyone. And that realisation hurt her even now.
Besides, the look in Gideon’s eyes worried her. He looked as if he was ready to kill now. And she did not get why would it have such an impression on him. Apart from that “healing” episode, there was nothing between them. Was it possible that he liked her?
However, in just under a second, everything became clear on that end too.
“Don’t you think you are a bit too disrespectful to behave like that during a business meeting, Alpha…”, even though he knew his name very well, Gideon still raised a brow implying that he had forgotten it again.
“Thorn. Just like my wife here. Brayden Thorn,” the werewolf tried not to show how that insulted him. He had a bigger problem at hand. No one wanted to piss off a lycan, even if they did not like them. But the Lycan King went without saying. Even he, the strongest werewolf alpha, couldn’t afford to offend him. At least not now.
So, no matter how much he did not like his wife next to that man, he had to act politely at all times.
“My apologies…”He waited for the king to let him know how to call him.
“King Gideon,” the lycan smirked darkly and Brayden clenched Ria tighter in his hands. Almost to the point of hurting her.
“My apologies, King Gideon,” he tried really hard not to grit his teeth, “It’s just that I missed my wife so much that I couldn’t handle myself properly.”
“Hmm,” Gideon sneered this time, “And here I thought you were an Alpha. Shouldn’t you be able to be more in control of your emotions? Besides, you were just fine without your wife the other day as far as I remember.”
This jab Brayden had to swallow too. There was nothing to tell to that. And Riannon used that moment to get out of his hands and step away, which made Gideon relax at once. He felt as if a heavy boulder was lifted off his chest when she appeared to be closer to him than to her own husband.
“Anyway,” she tried to sound businesslike, “The king and I were discussing the new laws, was.
“Of course,” he interrupted her as usual, not caring for her Luna duties as always. This was a habit of his since he knew she would be handling everything impeccably, so there was no point to take part in any of it. He had a lot of things on his own mind and did not need to add to that. However, when they were deciding on how to handle general pack matters, that was when he wanted her opinion always. Because in most cases it was very helpful. To him.
“Take as much time as you need, my dear,” he wanted to touch her but she crossed her hands on her chest demonstrating to him that he was better not to.
“That’s good that your husband is so helpful and agreeable,” Gideon suddenly looked much happier than before, “We were just talking about how some of the lycan laws may be helpful in our case. And that there is no way to discuss this properly during a short meeting or over the phone. We need to actually work together. So, it was decided that the Luna will come to my kingdom for a week.”
Riannon almost choked on that but played her part, concealing all the emotions. They hadn’t agreed on anything yet.
“A week?” Brayden’s mouth opened as he was processing what he just heard, “This is…”
“Not enough?” Gideon chuckled, “Let’s make it two then.”
“No,” the Alpha growled and the king’s eyes glowed gold. Even Riannon got tense watching the two of them.
“So, you do believe that your wife would be able to deal with everything in one week?” the lycan was forcing him to give him an answer that he wanted to hear. And the werewolf knew very well that in fact, he had no choice in the matter.
“She can even deal with all that faster,” he tried to play the game.
“Let’s not be cruel to the Luna,” Gideon smirked again, “We don’t want to overwork her, do we?”
Riannon was perplexed about all that. They were discussing it as if she was not there and she did not like it one bit.
But if she was honest, this was playing out nicely. Roxy was quiet in her first weeks in the pack and did not do much except for the crying. And it could be good to let Brayden concentrate his attention on her without the feeling of guilt that he had at first. Not to mention that the help from the lycan king was priceless.
Herself… Could it be that his motives weren’t that great? And if she was right about that, could she still use his help?
But then she remembered her people. And realised that for them she would have to at least try. Gideon did not look like a man who would force her into anything. Not to mention that there was a great risk that he wouldn’t even have to. The thought alone of their closeness brought colour to her cheeks and she touched them to cool down, which did not escape the lycan king’s attention.
He had a very hard time controlling his wolf inside as it was. Mars wanted to get out, kill Brayden and everyone else who would dare to object to him claiming his mate. And then he wanted to place a big fat mark on her right on top of her old one. The worst thing was that it was this last part that bothered him the most. He did not want Mars to go on a rampage and hurt his beautiful mate.
So, he had to restraint him extra harder this time, which caused him physical pain. And Riannon’s blushing cheeks were not helping him with all that. He knew he had to get out of there as fast as he could, even though he hated the idea of leaving her alone in this place.
He had to constantly remind himself that Ria wanted to go through with her divorce. And Goddess would sure help him to make it a speedy one. Then the minute she would be free, he would state his claim and go from there. But for now, his main task was not to scare her off. And this had to do. He had to believe in her.
“Of course, we don’t want that,” Brayden seemed displeased.
“So, it’s a done deal then,” Gideon prepared to leave, itching to touch her again, “I will send a car tomorrow.”
“That fast?” the alpha next to him frowned.
“I have no time to lose,” Lycan king was not even looking at him. He looked at Riannon and he was talking to her, “The faster we start, the sooner we will be done.”
She gave him a faint smile, getting his hint and his lips curled at that a bit too.
“I’ll be leaving,” he announced dryly since the alpha ruined their potential goodbyes. He was sure that if he asked Riannon to see him off, the husband would tag along. And he couldn’t see him anymore without slashing his claws over his neck… He had to leave this place. Fast.
Ria sighed as she watched Gideon through the windows going to his car. He looked as if he was in a rush. But right before he got in, he turned and looked right where she was standing.
He couldn’t see her through the white curtains but it still felt as if he knew she was there. at the realisation that it was Onyx.
Onyx was alive!
“Onyx!” she called her, “Are you there? Are you okay?”
Riannon wanted to ask her so many questions but her wolf was not responding anymore.
And she still couldn’t feel her.
However, this was good. This was hope.
“I really don’t like him!” only now the Luna noticed that her husband was standing with her the whole time with his hands crossed. He watched the lycan leave and only then did he let out a deep sigh. “Ri, you need to be careful with him. I don’t trust this guy!”
She looked at him in amusement. Was he serious? Did he think that now they would go have a drink like they used to and discuss everything?
“It’s just business, Brayden, relax,” she tried to sound casual and stepped away from the window, “Besides, a link with the lycans is a good thing for our pack.”
“I think that he is the kind of man who would give you empty promises and nothing in the end,” the Alpha stated with a frown.
Ria looked at him. The audacity. Wasn’t he the one with empty promises in her life?
“Still,” she tried to gather herself, “Other packs wouldn’t know. All they would know is that our Luna is working with the lycans. Imagine the fear that would feel before us.”
“They are already afraid of me enough,” Bray grunted and she almost snorted.
“Can’t deny that,” she decided that she would get rid of him faster if she simply agreed with everything, “By the way, do you need my help with something? It’s unusual to see you here at this hour.”
“I…” He did not know how to phrase her. He knew this woman for so long and she was an important part of his life. With her he shared everything. And yet now it seemed harder than ever. “Throw away the gifts,” he coughed, clearing his throat, “I’ll buy you whatever you need or want. Better than what they sent you.”
“I have no doubt,” she tilted her head watching him in amusement, “But it’s not the point, is it? We can’t be rude. And we already talked about this. However, I was serious that Roxy can take whatever she likes. I think in her case everyone would understand.”
The silence between them quickly became awkward. Not for her. For him. “You take it better than I thought,” he said finally, and she wanted to laugh, getting back.
“It’s not like you left me any choice, is it?” she looked at him through her lashes and he sighed, coming closer to her.
“Let’s talk about all that, okay?” he sat on the verge of her desk, “I don’t want you to feel threatened by Roxy.”
“How kind of you,” she scoffed, “Bray, let’s not do this now. I am not ready to discuss this.”
“Fine,” he smirked and scooped her in his arms in less than a second, placing her on top of the desk to her horror, “Then let’s not talk. Let me prove my feelings to you!”