“Explain!” Gideon demanded, growling at the Beta as he uploaded the video onto a big screen.
Maya watched it calmly, her face vacant of any emotions.
“What exactly should I explain?” she asked lazily, only fuelling his anger.
He rewound the video to when Maya fought against Roxanne and pointed at Riannon standing not far from them.
“She was there! You saw her!” He replayed those seconds again and again, making her watch it. “You didn’t even move to help her. I want to know why!”
“I did not notice her!” Maya turned away, and Gideon knew she was lying through her teeth.
“l am not buying this!” he growled. He could feel how his own Beta, Reid, tried to reach him via the mind link. He was worried sick about his mate, and it was one of the reasons why he couldn’t kill her on the spot.
Yet, she was too calm. A traitor who was caught red-handed couldn’t possibly be this serene!
“Maya,” he forced through clenched teeth, “what do you know that I don’t? You clearly saw each other. Ria didn’t even fight that damn fox when he caught her!”
She averted his gaze, and he knew that instant he was on the right path.
“You have to tell me!” he growled, as the room grew smaller and it suddenly became harder to breathe. He never used his royal lycan power. It was dangerous, not only for others, but for him as well. Unleashing the pressing darkness within him could have consequences beyond repair. There was a reason why only the royal lycans had a second battle form. Only they could shift into wolf-like feral humanoid beasts who could walk on their feet. Common lycians could die if they tried.
The blood of royals was the purest and they were the only ones who had enough strength to channel and control their true beast. Those beasts gave them power beyond the imaginable, but this power came at a price.
The longer they stayed in that form, the less they wanted to return to being human. It was too tempting, too corrupting, too soul-destroying. Using that form ruined both the human and the wolf, hence it was saved for the worst battles and the most extreme reasons. When they became true lycans, all emotions disappeared. Only instincts remained. Every time Gideon had to use any part of his feral powers, he knew that once he reached a certain point, he had to stop and go back to being human.
That form made him so strong that any shifter could sense his power from afar. Right now, he only let out a small portion, but Maya lowered her head in submission. This was something out of her control.
“What. Happened. There.” Gideon demanded in a firm menacing tone. Maya gulped, trying to fight the pressure of his authority, but it was useless.
“I can’t,” she whispered desperately.
“l am yourking,” Gideon insisted, letting her know he would make her if she didn’t do it herself.
“You might be my king, but she is my Alpha,”
Maya’s voice was faint, but she faced him with a determination that he could only respect.
He didn’t even need more details. It was clear what had happened back in the woods now. And he wanted to crush things, break them, destroy…
“Just tell me why she did it.” He used all his strength to get the beast to back down, so he could return to his senses and so the girl before him could stop suffocating from his power. It was her first time experiencing raw power like his. Most would probably have already fainted.
Maya took a deep breath as soon as Gideon’s power stopped pressing down on her. She hesitated, but noticed him panting as well, and gave up. There was no point hiding information from him anymore. She stalled him as much as she could. Just like her friend requested.
“She said he would not hurt her. She was certain of it.” The Beta sighed, her voice bleak, as he snapped his head in her direction.
“He drugged her to make her pass out!” the King growled. “He could do anything to her while she is helpless.”
“Riannon is blessed by the Moon Goddess.'” The Beta firmly stated. “She is never heipless. She knows what she is doing.”
“When?” Gideon stopped her with a gesture, because he did not want to hear those explanations. He just needed facts. “When did she make the decision?”
“Right before all this,” Maya confessed. “She told me via mind link, and then she rejected all my protests.
She was sure we would be able to win the war only if we got enough intel. She believed the only way to get it was to get inside their lair. Ria said there were too many secrets with no way to find out whom we can trust. She wanted to fix that problem. She was sure Castiel would be c0cky enough to try and get her. I couldn’t disobey her when she told me to make sure it happens if he tries.
“What about her?” Gideon pointed at the siren-fox behind the glass.
“lt was my initiative,” Maya admitted, “I thought everything was over. I saw Riannon and Castiel behind Roxanne. However, when he attacked and covered her face with that cloth, I knew it was exactly what she wanted. This was why I fought with Roxy longer than I needed to and waited for him to be gone. As a Beta, I cannot disobey my Alpha. “
“You could have followed them!” He reproached her.
“I would be noticed,” the woman stated honestly and firmly. “She ordered not to do it. Also”
She went to her little cross-body bag and got out a Iittle note. Riannon’s scent hit his nostrils and he instantly became calm. Maya handed him the little folded piece of paper. Gideon secretly took another breath just to feel closer to Ria.
“She left this for you,” the Beta offered, stepping away to give him space.
He carefully unfolded the note as if it was some kind of treasure.
Trust me. I trust you to find me.
He really hoped to see more. But these words, her words were exactly what he needed right now. She trusted him. She needed him to trust her. Ria needed him to find a way to get her back. All while she was risking her life to help him win the war.
Gideon closed his eyes, pain rippling through his body, tearing him apart.
She needed him.
He couldn’t afford to linger.
His gaze met Maya’s, communicating this silent understanding between the two of them. He knew she would do anything to get her best friend and Alpha back.
All they needed was Ria’s location.
“So, what’s the plan?” the Beta girl asked, and he turned to look at the glass. Behind it the tiny fox was weeping yet again, trying to fill the air around her with pheromones.
“For a start, make sure only females guard her,” Gideon stated coldly. “We need to make sure she loses any hope of ever getting out of here. When she does, we will break her. Bit by bit. Until she tells us what we need to know.”
Roxanne sat alone in that white room for goodness knows how long. She knew they had not forgotten her.
She knew she was their only chance to get the information they needed.
She knew a lot indeed. Weighing her options, Roxy decided she was not going to share anything. She had two tasks now;to save her baby, and to get back to Castiel.
Roxy hoped he would send someone to save her.
He also knew she was a valuable asset. So, she needed to hold on until then. She could still play on Brayden’s fatherly feelings. It could work if she tried hard enough.
She heard the sound of the lock and turned to see the doors opening. The ability to cry was lost to her as she had drained all the liquid out of herself. Nonetheless, the pheromones lingered heavily in the air, all she needed was a touch of good heartfelt acting.
When she saw two women in black leather looking down at her, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
Women. Not men. This was bad. The worst-case scenario, no less. Her pheromones only worked on males!
“Seriousiy?” one of them chuckled, bringing in the tray with a paper plate and some food on it, as well as a bottle of water. “This ginger hobbit is the big bad criminal they asked us to guard? Couldn’t they do it themselves?”
“Don’t underestimate her,” the other female warned, standing by the door with her arms folded across her chest. “They say she is vicious and can easily get under your skin.”
“Eat,” the one with bushy curly hair ordered and pointed to the chair. Roxy decided not to cause a scene and obeyed quietly.
“You are not wolves” she stated calmly to test her theory.
“Neither are you,” the other one, with straight black hair reaching her shoulders pointed out.
“Who are you?” Roxy asked, prying for information.
“Werecats” the first one answered, “Now, eat. We are not staying here forever. Nothing will be left for you in this room.”
She started eating slowly, listening to their every word.
“I hope our Alpha arrives soon. I don’t want to hang here when the Lycan King is this furious.” The two women whispered to each other, not bothered with her presence.
“Yeah, I mean, I get it. He lost his queen and now she is captive. Who knows what the Fox King is doing to her at this very moment? He did not contact the Union, he did not demand anything. It looks like he only wanted Riannon and now he has her.”
Roxanne slammed her fist on the table, not caring that she attracted their attention.
“What’s up?” one of the girls asked her with an indifferent expression.
“l am not hungry anymore,” the fox replied.
Without saying anything else, they gathered everything they had brought and left her alone, locking her cell again.
Roxanne sat in the same place for a while, keeping her composure; however, images of Castiel and Riannon flooded her mind. She knew him the best, and she knew far too well what he was like when he wanted a woman.
He had always maintained a harem, but he had the consent of every girl in it, herself included. They all wanted to be there, craved it. As far as she knew, this was the first time he had taken someone against their will.
She had no doubt he would take Riannon to his personal house, and the thought alone made her shudder. Had he already given her a red dress? Did he spend his first night with her? Did he like it?
The perfect Luna would fight him off; there was no doubt about that. Deep down inside, she was really scared he would like her even more because of that.
Roxy tried to get rid of these thoughts. There were millions of perfectly sane explanations as to why he needed Riannon. She was the Lycan King’s mate, and it would make so much sense to use her to weaken him.
She chose to believe in this reasoning. It was easier and more comfortable this way.
She prohibited herself from going into the dangerous territory of imagining Riannon in his bed, of thinking about what he would do to her, and how he would take her. She knew everything he liked, so imagining this scenario was easy.
Easy, yet so painful. Too painful for her to bear. Hell, now she would gladly agree to Bridgit, her oldest rival, warming up Caştiel’s bed while she was absent. At least she knew he wasn’t in love with her. She wasn’t so sure about Riannon. Could Castiel even love? Just like that?
Her whole body ached from sitting on the firm surface for hours, and she decided to lie down on the floor to try and stretch her sore muscles a bit.
Did it hurt Riannon this much when she was with her husband? To her, Brayden was never the prize, and she took their mating as a part of her job. It helped that he was good-looking and could bring pleasure to a woman when he wanted to. Nonetheless, to Roxanne, he wasn’t Castiel. All she wished for now was she had never stepped foot in this wretched place.
Hugging herself, she rocked herself to sleep.
Gideon wasn’t happy. Everything was moving too slowly. Too slowly for his liking. He knew he couldn’t push the fake omega too early. Sadly, she was the only one who could give him any information. He sent Brayden in again to make it seem like this was their plan; interrogation after interrogation. Of course, the Alpha returned with no news, which was an outcome they expected.
The King looked out the window of his mate’s office to see the Alphas he invited had already arrived.
“Are you Sure they can all be trusted?” Alpha Ramina asked him as she had joined him earlier than the others. She was the first one he called from the Union.
“No,” Gideon replied honestly, “I can never be sure.
These ones seem to be the most reliable.”
They went to the conference hall and greeted each Alpha as the Alphas came in and took their place. They would have to act as a united front from now on. After all it was their common war and their common enemy.
The Summit helped them to understand that.
“Looking gorgeous as always, Ramina,” Zack Morgan complimented, winking at the Alpha who sat opposite him at the table.
“I know,” the cat accepted, flicking her long sleek hair behind her, looking clearly unimpressed with the compliment. “My Luna says it all the time.”
“She has good taste,.” Zack smirked, and the woman rolled her eyes.
“Are we waiting for someone?” Alpha Caleb asked impatiently.
“My sister will be joining us too,” Gideon took his seat at the head of the table. Maya, Reid, and Ash stayed behind him.
“What for?” Alpha Maddox knitted his brows. Not every pack loved seeing females at such gatherings.
“‘She is bringing my warriors from our kingdom, and she will stay for the meeting because she chose to take part in this fight,” the Lycan King replied emotionlessly.
He could hear their cars pulling up right next to the mansion. In just a few seconds, the doors opened, revealing Savannah dressed in black from head to toe, something that was unusual for her.
“l am sorry I am late,” she offered, looking only at her brother as she spoke until she felt it. This warm feeling, then the scent, the myriads of overwhelming sensations. She couldn’t take it for anything else other than what she suspected so she looked as she turned around the room full of alphas.
“Mate!” A loud growl echoed through the house as everyone gasped in disbelief.