“What do you think l should do with her?” Castiel snapped, throwing an angry gaze at Roxy.
“She is a princess,” the redhead explained, hoping to sell him on her brilliant idea, “Well, of sorts. She is important in Thorn’s pack! We can use her.”
“Thorn’s pack is now done. No thanks to you,” the leader of the foxes spat, frowning. “So far, you have been one big disappointment, Roxanne. For someone whom I personally trained. All your work was done by Luna Riannon Michaels.”
“It was just a coincidence,” Roxy furrowed her brows,
“She played you to her advantage,” Castiel smirked,
“You were supposed to destroy her but instead she wiped her feet over you.”
Roxy had nothing to say to his accusation, and she hated how inept it made her feel. She hated that the man she loved so much was singing praises to another. It wasn’t a coincidence she was the best in her group. She worked hard for it, trained hard, all in the hope that one day he would notice her. She was sure he did. He took her to his bed, where her education continued. He personally showed her how to please a man, and she was sure it meant something. He never let anyone touch her, and he singled her out every time. He paid her way more attention than he did to other she-foxes.
Then he sent her on a mission into another man’s bed. She was upset about it. Heartbroken even. However, she was too smart to ever admit it out loud. It didn’t feel great to be used as a tool, but she had no choice. This was her job. This was what he had been preparing her for. Roxy was ready to prove herself to him anyway. After all, Castiel always seemed like a man of broad views. He only respected two things in his life – power and intellect. If she managed to have those, nothing else would matter.
Foxes weren’t like everyone else. Although they were excellent warriors when needed and could easily rival werewolves, what they actually preferred and excelled at was a game of wits. Why fight anyone if you could trick them into doing what you wanted in the first place? Or even better, if you could make your enemies fight each other while you watched? Everything was a challenge and foxes loved their victories.
But this was also why they were never on good terms with the wolves. Wolves always strived for dominance and this was where the problem between the two species lay. Foxes did not like to be dominated.
Wolves really did not like to be manipulated. They took it as an insult if they caught someone trying to deceive them.
Issues were much easier with the werebears, who were all muscle but could be manipulated if the correct pressure was applied. If discovered, they could agree to a certain bargain in the end. Whereas wolves would want blood and nothing else.
This was why they couldn’t live together. So, when the foxes’ population increased and the land they had in their possession became insufficient, wolves did not want to share. Hence, the wolves became a problem. A problem the foxes needed to solve. Or better yet, get rid of. Whatever it cost them.
Although, whatever they tried had consistently failed. Then the Union was formed to unite shifter packs under the wing of Lycans from the Western kingdom.
This was the worst news possible for the foxes. Back then, Castiel’s father was the king and he was not happy with the new situation. Since the Union was formed, if he dared to attack one pack, the rest would advance on him and destroy him. So, the former Fox King began thinking of ways to destroy the Union.
The history and injustice brought upon the werefox was the reason behind his schemes and the reason the most brilliant plan was born.
Retribution was now on Castiel’s shoulders. He had to finish what his father had started.
Roxy wished she could lift some of the weight of responsibility off him. This was always what she thought of when it came to Castiel.
How could she not? The Fox King was amazing.
Tall, handsome, clever, strong and cunning. The perfect man.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t happy with her anymore.
He was disappointed, and there was one person to blame for it.
From the very beginning, she had complicated and sabotaged her plans. It was supposed to be a much easier mission than it turned out. When she studied the Luna prior to her dispatch, she didn’t seem like a threat at all. A chosen mate, stuck up, so perfect she was boring. It should have been easy to get rid of her, and Castiel’s order was clear on her account. To take her place and kill her discreetly.
However, the Luna turned out to be full of surprises.
She put up a real fight, and Roxanne found herself outmatched.
Who knew she would want a divorce so quickly, then expedite the process, and manage to follow it through, taking half of a pack with her! That ruined a lot of their plans.
What Roxy found to be worse was Castiel’s growing interest in Riannon Michaels. This was probably the most painful part. At first, he was entertained by her not behaving the way they predicted. However, lately, it has grown into something else completely. When he visited the pack as a prisoner, she could sense his growing interest with the Luna. She told herself many times it was just her imagination and the pressure of the workload and responsibility she had that was getting to her. Yet, she was still in for a surprise.
She helped him escape as soon as she could, killing good warriors for him and risking her own life. All that to find out that as soon as he got out, he went to see that other woman. That visit to Riannon hurt her, but it was what followed next that absolutely destroyed her from the inside. When the time came for their plan to go into its active phase and slaughter the werewolves, she received another order that she did not expect in the least. Castiel ordered her to make sure Riannon wouldn’t be there. This was the last straw.
She disobeyed her king’s order the first time when she didn’t do anything to stop Riannon from attending the Summit. In fact, she pushed Brayden to make sure they left together. She personally ensured the blonde nuisance was present, hoping the bomb she installed that morning would get rid of her little problem.
Even the time with the bomb went wrong! What was supposed to be the fatal blow to the heads of the alphas, turned into a slap that only made them angry. Somehow, yet again, Riannon Michaels was in the middle of her plan gone wrong.
Moreover, when Castiel discovered she was there and not back in her pack like he ordered, he became furious. The man, who always remained calm, grew furious over a little and insignificant matter like the near death of a Luna. Roxy couldn’t stop thinking about it.
When Riannon mentioned him coming to her again after the pack split, Roxanne absolutely lost it.
What she connived wasn’t a well-thought-through plan, and she knew it. She had to strive harder to get rid of that woman once and for all. Even if it made Castiel angry. She could survive his wrath. What she couldn’t survive was him being interested in another woman. For any reason.
So, she contacted warriors she knew from her time in training and talked them into helping her attack the wolves. She lied to them, saying it was the order of their Alpha. Then Riannon attacked. Roxanne did what she could, but her team lost. Their mission was compromised because their secret was out. The wolves now knew all the whispers and rumours of foxes and bears weren’t empty words. She knew she made a grave mistake if not fatal, and she could only pray her king would forgive her.
This was why she brought him a gift.
Harper was tearing up in the back of the trunk with dirty fabric in her mouth, muffling her whines and protests. Her legs and wrists were chained in silver-plated chains, and she did not look her usual polished self. Roxy figured Harper out first with her obvious unrequited love for Ash. She liked the girl because she could relate to her. This was also the reason it was so easy to make Harper do what she wanted her to do.
Roxanne felt guilty for doing this to the girl. She had a choice, she wouldn’t stoop so low. But, these were desperate times and all. Besides, she couldn’t come up with anything better in such a short amount of time.
“What do l do with her?” Castiel rubbed the bridge of his nose as if he was already annoyed and tired of the whole conversation. Which he probably was.
“Use her as a hostage,” Roxy suggested, “Brayden doesn’t have anyone but her now. He would do anything to get his little sister back.”
“Shame I do not need anything from him anymore,” the Fox King chuckled.
“Riannon Michaels would try to save her too if she found out about this,” she heard herself saying, not quite believing she was bringing this name up.
“You told me they hate each other.” Castiel ran a hand through his hair.
“Hate is a strong word.” Roxanne tried to smile, but her leader remained unimpressed, “They are not the biggest fans of each other. But, I am sure she will come to her sister-in-law’s rescue.”
“Why did you do it?” the King finally asked, “Why like an i***t did you risk everything we have built?”
“The situation required it,” she lied uncomfortably.
She hated lying to him, but today her life depended on it.
“Anything else you want to tell me?” Castiel shot his brow up and looked at her intensely.
There was something important he needed to know. That Riannon could shift and that her wolf glowed when she did. But telling him wouldn’t change anything for her. She would still be punished for her mistakes.
Disclosing that information about Riannon would draw even more of his attention to the werewolf Luna.
“No,” Roxanne said meekly and immediately received a backslap, which made her fall to the ground.
She touched her cheek, which had already started to swell and looked up at her King.
“Liar!” he spat and her heart clenched painfully, “
Still thinking you are more clever than anyone here?”
Castiel clicked his fingers and a man walked out of the mansion from behind him. She recognised him at once as one of the warriors she took with her to try and kill Riannon. Roxy knew that she was definitely in serious trouble.
“I don’t know what you were thinking,” Castiel sneered, “Lying to me is going to cost you!”
“I am sorry.” Roxy fell to her knees, mumbling,
She didn’t have a good explanation.
“As I thought.” The Fox King smirked and motioned to his people, “Take them both to the dungeon. I think Roxanne needs some time alone to understand lying to her superiors is a bad idea. While you are at it, remind her why discipline is so important. Show her hell.”
Two men grabbed her and began pulling her away.
At the same time, a third man threw Harper over his shoulder, to which she made a few pitiful sounds.
“Castiel, please!” Roxy begged him, but he had turned his back to her. She knew if she didn’t do something now, she would probably be dead in the next few hours. “There is something else I know!” Roxy screamed, “Something important! It can help you! I swear it’s important.”
The men holding her stopped, and she realised at the slight pause that she was panting profusely.
Castiel walked towards her and grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at him.
“Then tell me,” he sneered, “Keep in mind, this better be good. Your life depends on it, after all.”