A million thoughts circled through their heads as they stood looking at each other.
Riannon hesitated. This was so wrong. They barely knew each other. She was still married. Not that she owed Brayden anything at this point.
Because she didn’t. And Gideon was … He was too tempting. It felt as if he could fill the void in her heart that had formed after everything she experienced this past year. Somehow, with him, she felt safe. Which was why she couldn’t help but part her lips, and this was all the invitation he needed.
He didn’t slam his lips into hers like she expected him to. He lowered his lips to hers and nibbled them gently first, making her give him better access. Once their two hot breaths mixed, he covered her mouth with his, deepening the k!ss.
Slowly. At first. But, the more he tasted her, the more he realised the control he was so famous for was slipping away. Bit by bit. Irrevocably. Until a wave of feral desire overwhelmed him, and he couldn’t tear himself off her anymore, towering over her and k!ssing her madly, hectically. He had waited for her for so many years without even knowing.
She was his, even if she didn’t know it yet.
The best part was the way her body responded to his. Her soft hands were now sliding up his back, creating so many tingles on his skin he thought he would explode. He growled into her soft lips, and she moaned, their breathing ragged. He only broke away from her for a mere second here and there to greedily gulp up some air, and then he returned to her, devouring her and bringing her close to whimpering in his arms.
Sense and reasoning escaped Riannon. What seemed so wrong, felt so right.
Her whole body shuddered when she heard Onyx howling loudly in her mind.
“What happened?” Gideon reacted at once, worried to death that he did something wrong.
“My wolf.” Ria looked at him, shocked. “She was just here. I felt her.”
“That’s amazing,” he smiled. “Happy to help.”
He leaned down to kiss her again, but, this time, she placed her palm against his chest.
“What do you mean?” Riannon quirked her brow questioningly.
“She surfaces when you are close to me,” he smirked, “Haven’t you noticed?”
She hadn’t. She didn’t even have time to think of it because she had been dealing with too much.
Now that he said that out loud, she realised he was right. The three times she felt her wolf alive all happened to be when they were together. What could the reason be for that? Was Onyx reacting to the Lycan King’s power? Or was there something else?
Her phone rang, and she chose to ignore it.
However, it kept ringing and ringing. Until it became quite clear it wouldn’t stop. They both groaned as Gideon rolled off her. He watched her crawl to the bedside table for her cell and had to close his eyes as thoughts of what he wanted to do with her filled his mind, driving out all rationality.
“Brayden?” he heard her surprised voice. His heart sank as he sat on the bed, watching her.
Jealousy was not new to him anymore. Every time he thought of her husband, all he wanted was to rip his head off and be done with it. Only he had no right to. The Alpha hadn’t offended him in any way and Gideon played by the rules. If he killed him now, the uprising would have their martyr to use against him as their poster child. Especially if he were to take his wife afterwards.
No, he had to do this right. Too many people depended on him.
Riannon … He wasn’t sure that she would appreciate him taking matters into his own hands by force. Many she-wolves were into this, although she didn’t look like the type.
He had to repeatedly remind himself several times that her wolf would soon be back. Then she would know. If her wolf wouldn’t return, he would do whatever it took to get her out of her marriage and pursue her love and a relationship with him.
Riannon was annoyed. It was two in the early hours of the morning, and Brayden had the audacity to call her. If he cared, he would have called during the day. Except, he didn’t. He just threw a tantrum prior, and that was it.
“What are you doing?” he asked, sounding impatient.
“I am sleeping,” she muttered, “What else could I be doing at this hour?”
“I=” He was not saying anything, and then it occurred to her. Could he sense what she was actually doing with Gideon? She bit her lip instinctively.
That was it!
“I missed you, Ri,” he offered all of a sudden.
She noticed how the Lycan King’s eyes flashed gold. Yet, he hadn’t made a sound. He just sat there, clenching his fists and watching her every move.
“That’s very nice of you,” she replied calmly, ” I am tired, and I want to go back to sleep. Can we talk tomorrow?”
“How are the lycans?” He ignored her words completely. “Are they treating you well?”
“Well enough. You have nothing to worry about.” Her response was dry, and she could sense her husband’s unhappiness with it. “Anyway, I’ll tell you everything when I get back. Right now, all I want is sleep.”
“Not yet, Ri,” he growled at her, “I want to talk to my wife a little more.”
“Fine!” now she sounded annoyed, “How was your day, husband? Did your mate try to hurt herself again and blame it on someone else without any consequences?”
There was silence at the other end of the line, and she hoped that he would end the conversation first. But, of course, he didn’t.
“Ri, I understand that the situation is not easy.
I promise I will handle it. Roxy will behave.” Brayden assured her free hand, “How lucky!”
“Oh, Goddess.” she covered her eyes with her “Ri” he continued, trying to appease her,”
When you come back, we are going to take a few days off just for us. It’s going to be great, and we will talk about everything.”
“Sounds amazing,” she lied, “l am exhausted. I need to go now.”
“Ri,” he stopped her yet again, “Just … don’t do anything stupid there. If anyone tries to force you into anything, call me. I will always come to your rescue. No one will hurt my girl.”
Her lips parted in shock. What was in that man’s brain? It was like she never knew him in the first place. Just this morning his precious mate tried to hurt her, and he hadn’t been there for her.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” she sighed, ready to finally hang up.
“Ri, I really miss you,” he said in that husky voice of his he used when he wanted to sedvce her.
She used to go crazy about it. However, it had no effect on her. She was cured of Brayden’s charms.
“Sweet dreams, Brayden!” she said firmly and swiped her finger to end the call, sighing.
Only then did she realise the Lycan King had watched her throughout her phone conversation, and she paused for a while, trying to gain back her composure.
Just as she was about to turn, the sound of a text message beeped, and she looked at her phone again.
Ri, just remember that you are mine forever.
She stared at this message for a while before slowly putting the phone back. What was that right now? In her past life, he wasn’t that possessive of her from the moment he met Roxanne. The text didn’t have any sweet vibes to it. She did not like this. She did not like it at all.
A bad feeling stirred up in her chest. She was careless. He probably felt what she was doing, and it could go wrong in so many ways from here.
Husbands had more power in this world. Her best card was him not suspecting a thing. If she lost that surprise element, it could end badly for so many people. Herself included.
“You are worried,” Gideon stated as he stood up from the bed before moving toward her. She turned abruptly, almost hitting his chest with her face when he caught her in his arms. She flinched.
It hurt him on a physical level to see this reaction after she talked to her husband. Did she still have feelings toward him? Or was it something else? The atmosphere in the room changed.
“lt’s fine,” he whispered, caressing her cheek, ” You can tell me.-“
“We can’t do anything,” she bit her lips as she said it. It made him growl menacingly. He hated her husband enough already. Now he absolutely despised him.
“Do you still love him?” he asked, and she shook her head.
“No,” Riannon replied bluntly, “I don’t. But, I need him to be unaware of that fact until I am free.
“He felt how good you felt with me?” he chuckled, slightly relieved. When she nodded, a soft blush appearing on her cheeks, he lifted her up and placed her back to the bed.
She was about to protest when he hopped over her to the other half of the bed and lay down there.
“What” she began to ask, curious as to what he was doing, when she saw a smile on his face.
“if we can’t do anything, then we are going to sleep,” he simply offered, “l am not leaving you alone, though. He may feel me kissing you, but he cannot sense me in the same room as you.”
“Alright” she mumbled under her breath, secretly happy he did not leave. She wanted him close.
“Just so you know, as soon as that divorce is finalised, l am bringing you here immediately.” The Lycan added, making blood rush to her cheeks once again.
They lay like that for a while.
“Did he hurt you?” Gideon found himself asking. The pause that followed seemed like torture.
“Not physically.” she replied, letting out a heavy sigh, Its hard to explain.
“You said you don’t love him anymore, but from what I know, he recently brought his mate to your pack a few days ago. ls it that bad?” He did not know why he couldn’t shut up. The possibility of him not liking her answer was huge.
“It’s complicated,” Ria admitted, “He turned out to be not who I thought he was. As I have already tried to explain to you before, it’s not only about me.
There are other people that I need to get out too
Something wasn’t adding up to him. Why was she so sure that something would happen to those people? According to his research regarding her, she and that Alpha had always been a good team.
He was more or less fair to his subordinates.
“Why are you worried about your pack?” he asked, deciding to find that out.
“Because of the woman who would be the next Luna.” Riannon turned to look him in the eye. “She is not a good person. I am not saying that because I am offended by her. Just this morning-“
She suddenly stopped talking, but he placed his large palm onto her tiny hand and squeezed it.
“Just tell me what she did. What they did.” He hoped she would be able to open up to him a little bit. When she sighed, he almost thought she would ask him to leave.
Instead, she told him what had happened. He was so angry he wanted to burn that pack to the ground that same night. He questioned her regarding the pack, and she told him everything that happened since that first day her husband brought that mate of his to their house. His blood was boiling, his wolf demanded blood. In his fury, he was amazed to see how calm Riannon was talking about all that. It seemed as if this wasn’t the worst thing that had happened to her.
He decided to investigate everything there was to find about that omega Roxanne. A part of him was happy for her being Brayden’s mate, but no one could touch his mate and walk out unscathed. He was going to deal with all this one way or another.
She fell asleep in the midst of their conversation. Gazing at he, he allowed himself to brush her cheek briefly. Her scent coated him, and seeing her so close to him, sleeping peacefully, brought him happiness.
Riannon woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and full of strength. A smile curled on her lips as she turned to find Gideon next to her, only the Lycan King was already gone.
She pushed the feeling of disappointment to the far corner of her mind, choosing to take a shower and clean herself up properly. She wanted to look good since she knew she would be meeting him again soon.
A maid brought her breakfast to her room, and about an hour later, Ria had prepared all the papers she needed to discuss with the king. She went directly to his office and found him there with Reid.
“Morning.” They both greeted her warmly. The Beta went for the exit, winking as he passed her.
“I’Il see you at the party today, Luna.” As usual, he forgot to add her name to her title, making it sound as if she was the Luna of his pack. Riannon ignored the implication as her eyes met with Gideon’s.
“Have a seat,” he directed as he politely motioned for her to take a chair in front of his desk.
She did just that.
“Thank you.” She smiled. He averted her gaze, startling her. After what happened last night, this wasn’t what she expected.
“Are those the files you prepared?” he asked, stretching out his hand. She handed him the folders.
He looked through them thoroughly, asking questions and making little amendments where needed, all the while avoiding looking in her direction.
She knew she told him herself that they couldn’t do anything. Was that it? He just wasn’t interested anymore?
She tried to call Onyx to distract herself from her gloomy thoughts in the minutes that he was busy reading. She felt as if she wasn’t there.
“So, all this looks good” he cleared his throat, “Well done. Work on these changes, and we can present this to the other Alphas.”
Their eyes finally locked, and she felt the urgent need to break the ice somehow.
However, his Gamma walked in with some important matters, and Gideon looked at her apologetically.
I’Il see you later at the party. He gave her a weak smile, and she stood up with her head held high.
“As you wish, your majesty,” she said unemotionally and slowly walked out of the room.
Behind the door, she stood for a moment, trying to understand what was happening between them and why she felt so angry. They k!ssed yesterday. it wasn’t like they were now betrothed.
Still, she was fuming on the inside.
She did not meet anyone on her way upstairs, as everyone seemed too busy with party preparations. She saw Savannah in the window of her room, but the princess seemed to be in the middle of a heated argument with one of her helpers.
Riannon paced about the room, although it did not calm her nerves.
See you at the party, he said.
She went into the walk-in closet, where the white dresses hung, waiting for their hour in the sun.
So be it. She would see him at the party. And, he would see her.