Something was happening. Something new. Something amazing.
Ria was an Alpha. Power and strength were not new to her.
However, what was happening right now was beyond anything she had experienced before.
She now saw fear in the wolf’s eyes. She inhaled his scent and smelled its fear as well.
She knew she could crack that skull of his with ease and with her bare hands to boot. From the fear in his eyes, he knew this too. He could tell that his end was near and tried to distance himself from her. She held him with her fingers dug deep in his flesh.
However, at the next moment, a beautiful grey wolf jumped at her enemy, startling her and knocking her prey off her.
Riannon tried to steady her breathing.
Everything around her seemed to be happening in slow motion.
“Onyx,” she called her wolf, feeling how the two of them were together again. In the next moment, that feeling was gone.
Ria could barely breathe and felt warm blood trickling over her hand and belly. The werewolf managed to cut her in a few places.
She saw the grey wolf pulverizing him while mothers covered their young children’s faces.
In just a few seconds, Reid was next to her.
Kneeling close to her face without a stitch of clothing, he quickly brought her back to reality.
“Luna!” he exclaimed, taking her arm in his as he examined her wounds, “Sh.it. He managed to hurt you.”
“It’s okay” she hissed, wincing from the pain as he helped her up, “Just a scratch.”
“lt doesn’t look like a scratch,” the Lycan Beta stated, Iooking worried, “Gideon will kill me for this.
“Why?” Ria’s eyebrows shot up as the feeling of power washed away from her completely.
“Why?” The voice of the mighty Beta was unusually high-pitched, “Because he entrusted me to protect you, and this is what happens!”
“I don’t see how it is your fault!” she countered, giving him a reassuring smile, looking around her at the damage. At least there were no other rogues in plain sight. Savannah walked in through one of the doors, dusting leaves out of her hair. One of the women threw her a shawl which she immediately wrapped around her naked body. It didn’t help much since the fabric was sheer, but at least it was something.
“Oh, my!” she exclaimed I at the two of them, Reid, you are so dead!”
“I know” the man chuckled nervously.
“What’s the big deal?” Ria shrugged her shoulders. “Just lick it, and we’ll be done.”
The silence in the room suddenly got heavy.
“Lick it? As in lick you?” Savvy snorted, “Now, you must really want him to die, don’t you? Is this like an old grudge or something?”
“No!I mean, use your lycan healing ability,”
Riannon said, slowly realising what was really going on.
There was no lycan healing!
“Oh. that!” Savannah couldn’t help a sly grin spreading over her face as she maintained her brother’s obvious lie. “Lycan healing. Duh! Why didn’t we think of that, Reid?”
The Beta turned away, trying desperately to stifle a laugh, and Ria felt like an i***t.
She was going to do what the rogues couldn’t.
She was going to kill the Lycan King.
Just then, Gideon appeared through a wide passage, and everyone gasped at the sight of their kind covered in blood. They instantly smelled that it wasn’t his own, and a wave of sighs of relief rippled through the room.
In the meantime, Riannon forgot how to breathe, let alone what she wanted to say or the fact that seconds earlier, she was plotting Gideon’s demise for his trickery. Her eyes were glued to his perfect body. She had seen it just the night before.
Back then, only the moonlight provided the light they needed to see each other. That and their werewolf sight.
But right now, in broad daylight, she couldn’t take her eyes off his stone-hard muscles.
Sculptures of ancient gods had nothing on that man. His body was immaculate. Each line was perfect from top to bottom. Even the line of dark hair leading from his belly button all the way down to a piece of fabric he had wrapped around his lower torso.
“Brother!” Savvy snorted, “Riannon here is in need of some urgent lycan healing. She asked Reid to lick her, but-“
“I didn’t!” The Beta practically shouted as the princess giggled next to him. The next second, the two of them were pushed away by their king, who grabbed Riannon and lifted her in his arms effortlessly.
“I thought I told you to protect her!” he growled angrily at his second-in-command as he clenched the woman he treasured to his chest.
“And he did,” Ria finally interjected in Reid’s defence, startled by everything that was going on, “
He saved my life.”
Her response calmed the king from his rising fury at seeing her hurt.
“I will take you to your room,” he offered, ignoring everything else around him.
“There is no need.” She tried to protest, “I can walk by myself and- Don’t you have more important matters to deal with down here?”
“It can wait,” he muttered, walking away, “All the rogues are dead anyway. Reid and Savvy will deal with everything else.”
“They were not rogues,” she said, and he stopped, darting his piercing blue eyes at her.
“What?” Gideon furrowed his brows. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Why don’t we go to the office?” Reid suggested, appearing next to them, nudging them gently in the direction of Gideon’s office.
Gideon grunted, although even he had to admit that this conversation had to take place in a private setting.
As soon as the door behind them closed, the Beta went to one of the drawers and retrieved a pair of jeans, pulling them on quickly.
“Riannon, what did you mean just now?” he asked while Gideon held her pressed against his chest. Unknowingly, she leaned over him, relaxing in his firm grasp. It did not occur to her to ask him to place her back on her feet. He seemed comfortable. And so did she.
The Beta had to cough several times to bring their attention back to him.
“So, about our matter,” Reid insisted, “You said they weren’t rogues?”
“Yes,” she nodded, “I am positive they are not rogues.”
“Why? How?” Agitation bubbled up in Reid,” Their scent is pretty obvious.”
“I thought that they were rogues at first,” she said, “But then, when this wolf was on top of me-“
Gideon growled. He hated the thought that she was this close to death. She was his, and they hadn’t had the opportunity to be together as a mated couple. Yet, he almost lost her today. He cursed inwardly. This was outrageous!
“You know how rogues smell, right?” Ria chose her words carefully, “They have that burnt scent. When they are exiled from their packs, the link on their aura which connects them to their pack is burned out together with their true scent.
They end up smelling like fire or smoke. They cannot have any other scent unless they are accepted into another pack, and a new link is formed, restoring their aura.”
“Yes,” Gideon confirmed. Everything she had mentioned was accurate.
“Well, that wolf also smelled of sandalwood and sage,” she informed them, “lt was faint, but it was there. His true scent.”
“But that’s-” Reid rubbed his neck in disbelief.
“Impossible,” Riannon agreed, “For a rogue.
But what if he wasn’t a rogue? If he only pretended to be one then this burned scent is fake while his own is suppressed.” “Then it would explain a lot,” the Lycan King replied. He and his Beta were now staring at each other.
That indeed explained a lot. No rogue would be so stupid as to attack the Royal Lycan Palace.
“This was a very useful observation, Ria,” Gideon offered. He looked at her with gentleness in his eyes. She flinched as it was the first time he used the shortened version of her name. It sounded so nice on his tongue that she wanted him to repeat it. Their eyes met, and his eyes darkened at once. At the same time, his grasp on her tightened.
“Check this out, Reid, and report your findings to me,” the King commanded, walking in the direction of the door, “I will expect your full report in a few hours. Right now, I am going to take care of the Luna.”
“Of course,” the Beta agreed, holding the door open for them, trying to mask his smirk with a serious facial expression. His attempt at hiding his features was an obvious fail.
Gideon took her all the way up the stairs to the bedroom in which they had slept together the previous night. The memories alone caused his breathing to speed up. He carefully placed her back on her feet as she kept a firm hold on his shoulders.
“You are hurt,” he stated in a very low and husky voice, “l am afraid I have to check your wounds.”
“If you must-” was all she mustered in return.