The Lycan King grabbed the phone without bothering to say thank you to his Beta.
“Gideon.” Hearing the voice of his beloved calmed him down.
“Ria,” he breathed out her name, so happy to hear her that he probably sounded desperate at that moment.
He did not care one iota. “Are you all right? Did he do anything to you? I am going to kill him! I swear if one hair from your head.”
“l am fine,” she assured him, “Really. No one touched me, everything is going smoothly here. With the exception of Brayden stealing my phone.”
“Goddess Riannon.” He exhaled loudly, rubbing his forehead in exasperation. “For a second, there I was afraid that he forced you–“
“No,” she stopped him, “Braden is a lot of things, but I don’t think he is capable of that. I am fine. Trust me on this.”
“I still want to kill him,” he grunted, sitting back in his chair. The thought that a man who called his mate his wife existed was unbearable for him.
“You still can’t.” Ria smiled. It felt nice knowing he wanted to protect her. Or maybe he was just possessive of her? It felt nice either way. As long as it was him.
“I still might,” Gideon said.
“I need to tell you something.” Riannon was afraid someone would interrupt them, and she wanted to give him this important piece of information. Apart from Maya, he was the only one willing to help her.
“l am all ears.” The Lycan King straightened his back, knowing that as long as she was ready to spare their precious minutes, it was important.
“Remember my husband’s omega mate?” Riannon played with the hem of her robe nervously.
“How could I forget?”
“Well, the thing is, I don’t think she is an omega anymore.” The Luna was eager to discuss this with her partner in crime. “Gideon, I just talked to her and was able to get emotions out of her. Her true emotions! For the first time! Do you know what happened? She let out her claws, and her eyes shone red. Red, Gideon!”
“Did she attack you?” he growled menacingly.
“No, but she lost it. Just for a few seconds, but I know what I saw!” Ria grinned, “She is definitely not an omega! Besides that, it’s what got her to show her true colours that matters. So, there was this prisoner who tried to frame Maya right before Reid took her with him. I had questioned him in my past life. I tried to crack him this time too. It didn’t work, but I also received some kind of reaction from him. He escaped again, even though I made sure that the best guards were guarding him. And then he came to see me-“
“What?” Gideon snarled. The desire to shift and get to that damned pack to retrieve his mate the old-fashioned way began taking over him.
“Let me finish first,” she brushed him off, “So, he came to see me and was waiting on the balcony. We talked, and he is also not so simple. And yes, his eyes also shine red. I didn’t learn much about him. He introduced himself as Everett in the past and as Axel tonight. Anyway, I simply mentioned him to Roxanne, and she snapped. Just a bit, but I was never able to do this before. She knows that man.”
“Goddess, Riannon,” Gideon frowned, “My list of men to kill is growing by the hour, thanks to you.”
“Sorry,” she chuckled.
“Don’t be,” the lycan stated, “You are worth every effort.”
She blushed, happy that he did not see her now.
With him, it was hard to conceal her emotions the way she used to.
“I think I am really onto something here,” the Luna said excitedly, “Don’t you think?”
“l agree. Still, I don’t want you to do anything about it until you are here with me. Safe.” He told her honestly.
“Your safety comes first before anything else.”
“Okay” she agreed, “I know how to wait.”
“Good,” he praised her. “Now, tell me everything about this guy that you can remember. How he looks, how he talks, where did they catch him. Any little piece of information could help. And don’t worry, I already have people looking into that Roxanne girl. Omega or no omega, there would be some information on her out there.”
She told him everything she could recall from both her past and preşent, and when she was done, they both remained silent.
“I miss you.” Gideon gave up first. He wanted to see her, he wanted to be with her, to hold her in his arms and to take her as many times as he could. He wanted to tell her more than those words. Though not over the phone, he did not want to do it like that. She deserved more than being told she was the love of his life over a call. He wanted her to know it was hard for him to breathe when she wasn’t close. To know he was consumed with thinking of sinking his canines into her neck to leave his mark. To know he desired every man around to know she was his, and he wanted to kill anyone who would dare to think otherwise.
“I miss you too,” Riannon sighed. She was afraid to tell him that he made her heart beat faster, and she couldn’t stop thinking of how good she felt in his arms, how safe. He was the only man she wanted to wake up next to in the mornings, and that she still couldn’t believe how lucky she had been to, be gifted such an amazing mate.
“I can push the summit a day closer” he stated suddenly.
“Don’t!” She regretted it the moment she uttered that word. Nevertheless, they had a plan. “Ill still have to convince a few more people,” the Luna confessed, “Even with your support,I want to play it safe. Lives depend on this.”
“I know,” he groaned painfully, “The next time we meet is final, Ria. I will never let you go again, no matter the results of the summit.”
“I really don’t mind that,” she smiled.
Her smile disappeared when she heard footsteps behind the door.
“I need to go now,” she whispered, “I will call tomorrow. Tell Maya to text me your number, and I will learn it by heart.”
She switched off the phone and hid it in a secret compartment that no one knew about except for her. Not Brayden. Nor Maya.
The next day, Brayden ordered her to remain inside their house while he left to talk to his Alpha buddies about her new law. He also ordered Ash to make sure that she didn’t leave on thè pretence of caring for her safety. Ria felt as if she was a prisoner.
However, it worked for her because as long as her husband felt that he was in control, she had the opportunity to work from her end.
She called all her father’s friends and old allies, telling them about her project and dropping Gideon’s and Brayden’s names occasionally. Then she sent them files containing the work she and Gideon had prepared, aware that some Alphas would oppose it after seeing some of the clauses contained within. However, this was the law. She had to give them full disclosure of the information prior to the Summit.
Brayden returned home late at night, and she pretended to be asleep. It surprised her when he sat on the edge of her bed, and she felt him brushing her hair with his fingers. The way he used to when they were newlyweds. This affectionate gesture used to make her toes curl, but it now had no effect on her at all. Lies. She was actually a tad repulsed.
According to her, he no longer had the right to touch her, and she counted the seconds until he left her room. Probably to go and check on Roxy.
The next day was the last one before the Alpha Summit. The most important one by far. Both she and Brayden were on their phones in their offices, endeavouring to persuade pack leaders to support the changes held in the new law.
Ria ended a call with one arrogant Alpha, who believed women had way too many rights as it were and marriage should be the final decision these females would make. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation, she realised she needed to quickly find a way out of it and began looking for ways to end it politely. He was one of those she’d never get on her side.
Spending one more minute talking to him was pointless and an extreme waste of her time.
The loud knock on her interrupted her thoughts. To her surprise, Brayden walked in with a very unexpected guest.
“Ri” he beamed at her, “Alpha Zack Morgan wanted to talk about our project personally. I hope you have a minute.”
When did it become their project? Riannon did not còmment on the audacity of her husband and just gave the two alphas her most beautiful smile, suppressing the wave of protests rising up within her.
“of course.” She pointed at the two seats, a silent offer. “l am happy that you spared us your precious time, Alpha Morgan.”
“The pleasure is mine,” their quest chuckled. She recognised him as one of the men who sought after her attention at the Alpha Ball. He had a folder in his hands which she had personally sent him the day prior. His opinion was importänt since Zack was gaining rapid influence among the newest and youngest alphas.
“How can we help you?” Brayden went all the way up to her and stood behind her chair, placing his hand pośsessively on her shoulder.
“It was a very interesting read,” Alpha Morgan smirked and placed the folder on Riannon’s desk. She stretched her smile a bit, not knowing what to expect.
She was about to say something when her husband interjected.
“l am happy that you think so,” he said with pride, “
We’ve been working on all that for quite some time.”
“So, you read this?” Zack asked as he looked at him, quite bemused.
“Read it?” Bray snorted, “I helped write most of it.
Riannon realised he was taking credit for it.
Probably out of spite for Gideon since she mentioned the king needed that project. This was her husband’s little act of revenge, the only way he thought he could get at the mighty Lycan.
She quickly calculated how this could play to her advantage. Men trusted men. Brayden was respected as the strongest werewolf Alpha and a mighty warrior. If he credited himself as being behind this new law, they may not need to read it all that? All sixty pages of boring text filled with elaborate phrasing and terms. Ria and her mate made sure to bury everything important deep in those papers. Although not in the small print, because they knew Alphas would pay special attention to those.
“Is that so?” Zack Morgan asked. While he sounded impressed, his eyes landed on the Luna as he added a subtle nod, “Well done.”
“Thank yoų,” Brayden responded, sounding so natural in his receipt of Zack’s compliment as if he really did have a hand in all of this, “We really want for this law to pass on the first Summit. As you know for that, we need the majority of votes. May l ask where you stand on this?”
Their guest gazed at Riannon again and his lips curled into a soft smile.
“You have my vote. That’s for sure. I just wanted to make sure that I understand everything correctly, but seeing you two together, I think I can relax. This matter is in good hands.”
“Brilliant.” Brayden walked over to him and shook his hand, “Thank you for your cooperation. I plan to host a large dinner right after the summit for all our allies. I hope you will join us.”
“I will have to check my schedule and confirm it later,” Alpha Morgan asserted, smiling politely. Rising, he continued,”l see you are both busy, so I will not take any more of your time. I learned everything I needed to learn.”
Riannon stood up to see him out as well.To her, it was clear Zack Morgan definitely read the papers thoroughly.
“Thank you for your support. I personally will never forget it.” She stretched her hand toward him but instead of shaking it, the man bowed and k!ssed her fingers.
“I have nothing against women in power,” he chuckled, “l am very impressed with all your work, Riannon.”
He exchanged a few words with her husband and left, leaving them alone.
“Women in power?” Bray looked at her questioningly when the coast was clear, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That women like Maya would be able to become Betas if they prove themselves,” she informed, deciding to give him a partial truth but to also distract him at the same time with the feeling of guilt which he was hopefully experiencing at hearing Maya’s name.
“Hmm, fine then, Brayden agreed, “As long as they can compete fairly, I don’t see why not”
His phone rang, which he had to pick up, signaling to her he was going back to work. She tried and succeeded at avoiding him for the rest of the day. The next day was showtime.
The next morning, she waltzed down the stairs, wearing a white business suit with flared trousers and a belt tied in a relaxed bow around her waist. Brayden waited for her downstairs and watched her with pride in his eyes as she descended slowly, holding a leather folder in her arms.
“You look beautiful, Ri,” he complimented, wanting to k!ss her. To his surprise, she dodged his lips.
“Makeup,” she explained, realising this could have been a mistake. Luckily, Bray ignored that.
“Later then,” he smirked at her, “Do not worry about today. Everything is going to be great. About me saying I worked with you-Ri, I hope you understood why I did that.”
“To help me, of course,” she lied with a smile, “And 1 am grateful. Let’s go.”
The drive to the hotel where the Alpha Summit was held seemed never-ending, and Riannon counted minutes until their arrival. Finally, the car stopped, and in a few seconds, the driver opened the door for them.
The red carpet was rolled out in place as if this was some kind of awards ceremony, and hotel employees were greeting them at the doors. They walked into the glass-walled luxurious foyer, and Riannon immediately caught the scent of her mate.