He took his sweet time as they walked out of the Queen’s bedroom. It was unbelievable that this was where his sister placed Riannon. Albeit, he couldn’t deny he was ecstatic since his room was right next to hers, and he was sure he would be able to bask in her delicate scent at night.
“‘So, the top floor is designated for the Royal Family and our Beta,” he explained as she listened politely, “High-ranked unmated wolves take the rooms on the next floor. Most of my warriors live there. You will meet them all in due time.”
“I can’t wait,” Ria replied, feeling awkward. If she was just a guest, there was no reason for her to meet all his warriors. She resigned herself to not thinking of what he told her in the car. She wasn’t ready to think about it. When her mind wandered to their conversation, it turned soft and mushy.
They walked all the way to the ground floor, where he showed her a few of their reception halls and drawing rooms, each of which was magnificent and done in its own style and colours. However, it was the library that she loved the best.
“Oh. My. Goddess.” Riannon gasped as they walked in after she spied the long walls in the room, which were covered in bookshelves. There were a few comfortable chairs here and there and a little sofa at the very end of the room. Immediately wandering to explore what they had on the shelves, she squeaked in excitement when she spotted books she knew to be rare and coveted.
So, she liked books. It made the Lycan King smile because she wasn’t impressed by the expensive vases the house had on display or overpriced pieces of modern art that Savvy had purchased as if her life depended on it, yet her eyes Iit up as soon as she entered this room.
Surprisingly, it was one of his favourite places in the house.
“Ah, I could live here!” Riannon uttered in complete reverence. For a second, he let himself believe that she was serious about her statement.
“You can,” he offered, a soft smile gracing his handsome features.
“l am seriously considering this!” She grinned at him. “l would sleep on that sofa!”
She pointed her finger at the tiny couch, and Gideon couldn’t help but think about replacing it with one that could fit two people.
“You can take any books you like from here,” he chuckled while watching her.
“Really?” Ria was beyond impressed by what she saw. She had always wanted a library like this.
She had one back in her pack, although it was much smaller and less impressive.
“Of course,” he confirmed, leaning over the doorway. Realisation dawned on him that he could look at her like this forever.
He continued their tour to see other rooms, creating a whole commotion in the kitchen as they walked in. This was the most popular location in the pack, where the majority of its members, who lived in the house, hung out. As soon as they saw her, they all stood up. Savvy and Reid must have forewarned them, which annoyed Gideon a lot.
Couldn’t they keep a secret?
“It’s so nice to meet you, Luna,” complimented of the quys, who stepped forward, stretching out his hand.
“Likewise.” Ria shook his hand.
This is Cyrus, my Gamma,” Gideon introduced, “He is the best warrior of our pack and is responsible for the battle training of the pack.
Speaking of which, Cy, what are you doing here?
What are you all doing here? Isn’t it time for you to exercise?”
“It is,”his Gamma replied, rubbing the back of his neck, “We just had a break and gathered here for
He clearly did not know what to say.
“Protein shakes!” Someone at the back called out, and they uniformly started nodding vigorously.
“Yeah, that’s right!” Cyrus chimed in, “Protein shakes! To grow muscles.”
“Exactly!” They all seemed happy to have come up with something because clearly, Cyrus hadn’t a clue. At the same time, there were no shakes in sight. Gideon was tempted to growl at them to get out when his sister walked in.
“Oh, there you all are!” she giggled, “I sent those shakes to the training field, guys! So, off you go!”
She presented her brother with a dazzling smile as the warriors stumbled toward their easy escape.
“Why are you doing this to me?” he complained via their mind link, “1 am a good brother. I spoil you. I have never failed you. Why, Savvy?”
“What do you mean?” she questioned with a smirk, “I am assisting you here! I am helping you woo her! She needs to feel at home here.”
“I think I got it covered. Thanks,” Gideon grunted, “I can woo my own mate.”
“Yeah, sure,” she teased, rolling her eyes, Some ten-twenty years, and she will be all yours!”
“It’s none of your business, Savvy” he offered to remind her, “I am trying to earn her trust.”
“l am trying to make her feel safe!” his sister retorted, “I also want to create romantic opportunities for the two of you. Any normal brother would be grateful!”
“Oh, I am grateful,” he mentally seethed looking at her menacingly, “l am so grateful I now can’t wait for you to find your mate so that I may get to know him better.”
Riannon stood there between the two siblings, realising they were having a private conversation.
She missed those with her own family. All her siblings were gone.
“Excuse us,” the Lycan King offered to his sister, turning toward her as he took her hand in his without seeking her permission. Lacing their fingers together, he suggested, “Let’s move on out of the house. We don’t want to disturb Savvy with all her scheming-I mean, planning.”
He pulled her out of the mansion, walking hastily so as to be as far away from it as possible.
The tour then continued with him showing her all the places in his kingdom that were significant to him. Luckily, there were many.
Ria did not know what to think. None of this was what she expected at all. This place was warm. The people were nice. It did not feel like the business trip she had intended it to be. It felt like the vacation she needed so desperately.
And this was bad. This was distracting her from her main goal.
“Can we speak about our business?” She finally asked him after he had brought her to the local river right before sunset. It was so beautiful there as the atmosphere was filled with golden light. The water surface reflected the colours of the afterglow.
“Of course,” Gideon agreed, feeling slightly disappointed that business occupied her thoughts at a moment like this. “You can ask me anything.”
“My divorce with Brayden-“
“Consider it a done deal,” he responded at once. “As soon as you raise this request at the Alpha summit, I will approve.”
“And my pack?” She looked at him with hope-filled eyes, and he did not want to lead her astray.
“That will be challenging,” he admitted, “For you to obtain your pack, we will need to work more on the new law. We’ll need to ensure everyone supports it. But once the new law is implemented, there will be nothing in your way.”
“Thank you,” Riannon replied, giving him a sincere smile. He wanted to kiss her more than anything. He leaned, lowering himself toward her, but at the last moment, she pulled away, much to his disappointment, which he hid deep inside, cursing himself for rushing things. It was Savvy’s fault for putting those ideas in his head.
“You told me that you would want a payment in return for your help,” she stated, looking at him with clear blue eyes, “Now that I am here, could you tell me what it is?”
He contemplated her request for a bit. There was nothing he wanted more than for her to reciprocate his feelings. However, he couldn’t disclose that piece of information to her just yet.
Then an idea struck him.
“Yes, I want you to help me with something,” he confirmed, unable to help the smirk that grew on his face.
“What is it?”The beautiful blonde lady in front of him asked, looking very interested. She did not seem worried at all.
“I want to help you get your wolf back,” he confided, startling her.
“Wh-why?” was all she could manage to ask, although after thinking for a beat, she added, “How?
“I don’t know” he disclosed, shrugging his shoulders when a devilish grin appeared on his face. “l am afraid we will have to experiment and test our options. As for the why… sometimes people lose their wolves; I want to know if it is possible to get them back. And, if yes, how do we proceed with this. In other words, it may be good research.”
“Oh.” For some reason, Riannon felt sad, realising it was not what she wanted to hear.
“It’s getting late,” she offered, “And I am a bit tired. Perhaps, we could call it a day?”
“of course,” he agreed, taking her hand in his, yet again, without asking for permission. This was beginning to bother her. Why was he constantly doing that all the time? lt wasn’t like they were a couple. He had confirmed himself that he simply needed her for research. Perhaps it was what made him a great king. Still, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
“The dinner will be at-” Gideon began to explain.
“Actually, if that’s okay, I would prefer to eat in my room, alone,” Ria heard herself saying. It was rude to make a demand like that when you were a guest at a king’s house. It was too late for politeness now.
“If that’s what you want.” the King facing her looked sad, and guilt crept up within her at once, “1 will escort you to your room and have whatever you like brought to you.”
“Thank you.” she mumbled, averting his gaze.
Back in her room, she cursed herself for her stupidity. Why would she let her emotions get in her way? He confessed to her he liked her. Why did she get offended by his mention of the research? He gave her more attention than had been warranted.
Why did she desperately crave more than he was offering?
Was it because he was the first man that she actually liked since Brayden, or was there something else?
Her train of thought was broken when her phone rang, and she saw Maya’s name on the display. This was exactly what she needed since Onyx wasn’t around to talk to.
“Hi!” She answered the call and lay down on the spacious bed with its cream satin sheets.
“How are you?” Her friend’s voice sounded fine, and she felt relieved. Deep inside, she was worried for Maya’s safety.
“l am fine,” she said with a sigh, “It’s just …
Everything seems so strange here.”
“Good strange or bad strange?” the female on the other end of the line asked.
“A bit of both,” Riannon confessed and then briefly told her everything that happened.
“Hmm, interesting.” Maya stretched out the last word.
“Good interesting or bad interesting?” Ria chuckled, covering her face with her free hand.
“Good, of course,” her future Beta snorted,”
After I saw you two making out shamelessly in your office-“
“We weren’t making out!” the Luna protested.
“Yeah … right,” Maya did not sound convinced, “Anyway, I currently like the Lycan way more than your husband. This Roxy b***h got out of everything without even as much as a simple punishment! They said she had a panic attack! Can you believe that?”
“I can,” Riannon sighed, “I’ve been through this before, remember? But, M, while you are there alone, please, lay low and do nothing. I need you to stay safe.”
Ria heard a very unbothered voice.
They talked a little longer about what a douche Brayden had become. Then they said their goodbyes for the day.
Ria went to sleep early since she had a lot to do the next day. Starting with fixing her attitude. It was also the day when the princess was throwing her the White Party.
She drifted off to sleep easily. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a peaceful night’s rest. Maybe it was the stress finally catching up with her, or the worst dream she had experienced to date.
It was the night of her death. Roxy stood above her while she was trying to fight for her life, crawling in the dirt and struggling to move her arms and legs due to the aconite poisoning. The redhead’s laugh kept echoing through her ears.
Then a brown wolf jumped her as she desperately tried to at least recognise him. All while shecouldn’t even scream.
But in reality, she could.
“Riannon!” Gideon shook her in his arms, attempting to wake her up. She looked at him in disbelief, trembling and unable to grasp where they were. The unfamiliar surroundings played a trick on her.
“Wh-what? Where” she muttered as she met his worried gaze.
“You were screaming,” he whispered, holding her close.
At this moment, he realised he was pressing her against his chest, all while wearing nothing but black silk pyjama p*nts.