Gideon couldn’t believe his own eyes as he watched his little sister stare at one of the Alphas.
“Mine!” Zack Morgan growled as he stood up and stormed in her direction. Kyle next to Savannah growled defensively but she gestured for him to stop, looking at the man who was already next to her. He was breathing heavily, his eyes glowing dark purple as he took the princess before him in.
“Mate’ Savvy whispered hesitantly.
“Mate” Zack confirmed and took another step in her direction. He extended his hand to her, clearly wishing to at least touch her.
Gideon had mixed feelings about it. It was odd to see his baby sister with a mate. But on the other hand, this was why he refused the marriage deal with the Northern King. He wanted her to have that. This euphoria of finding the one person who could make her whole. And judging by the little tear that fell down
Savvy’s cheek, this was exactly what she felt now.
“May 1?” Zack asked when his fingers almost touched her, and she nodded. The whole room went quiet as finding a mate was considered the most important moment in one’s life. Even an ongoing war could wait a few moments to let two people adjust to not being alone anymore.
Savvy nodded again. Gideon never saw her this quiet. She was always the chatterbox of the family. But now she had no words.
Zack very gently wiped the tears off her face, devouring her with his eyes. They couldn’t speak freelynow in front of everyone, and it was clear that his wolf wanted to get out. But he chose to remain a gentleman, and Gideon was glad that he was the one mated to his little sister. And not a creep like Brayden, who was watching the whole thing not far from him with a shade of annoyance.
“You will never cry again,” Zack whispered, but of course, every lycan or werewolf in the room heard it.
I am Alpha Zack Morgan of the Emerald Mountain Pack.
And it’s my honour to be your mate…”
He paused because he didn’t know her name, and she smiled at him.
“Savannah Stormhold’ she smiled at him, and now it was his turn to open his mouth. He didn’t realize who she was until now. Everything happened so fast.
“Savannah” he tasted her name on his tongue, liking it. He liked everything about her. He loved it.
Instantly. His mate was beautiful beyond belief with sensual lips and eyes the colour of peridots that his mother used to like so much. Her hair was falling in golden brown waves down her shoulders and her fingers felt so fragile when he held them in his large palms. He couldn’t even believe that she was a lycan.
She seemed more like a fair if they existed.
“With all due respect,” Brayden cleared his throat.
“Congratulations to you both but we have a few pressing matters to discuss.”
“Right” Gideon came back to his senses as well.
He is right. Sorry, Sav.”
“It’s fine she wanted to proceed to sit next to her brother, but Zack took her arm and led her to the chair he was sitting on. And when she took it, he stayed behind her, standing and watching so that no other male even dared to look her way.
It was a long meeting, but in the end, they found common ground and were able to agree on the same course of action. After all, it was in everybody’s interest.
Most Alphas wanted to get their revenge on the foxes after the explosion at the Summit. But some were wary and wanted more proof.
But, of course, the biggest problem of all was the fact that they still didn’t know where to find Castiel and Riannon, They had a rough idea of it being somewhere in the foxes’ territory, and Alpha Ramina was very helpful with pointing as to where it might be. She was one of the very few who had visited those lands recently and for now, was the best source of information.
However, Gideon knew that it wasn’t enough. To get his Queen back he needed to have the precise location. He couldn’t risk it.
Unfortunately, there was only one person who could give him the intel he needed.
Roxanne slept on a mattress they brought for her in the same sparkling white room. She hated this place.
And she could tell who came up with the idea. No one tortured her physically, but the whole place was slowly driving her mad. She had no idea what time it was. Or even what day. There was absolutely no way to tell. The room had no windows and was illuminated at all times.
It was as if the time here had stopped.
She tried not to think of what the werecats told her prior. It was too much. She curled up on her so-called bed and hugged her belly. She knew far too well that it wasn’t Castiel’s child. But she could pretend now that it was. It helped her to stay sane. He was the only thing that always helped her survive. And she would survive this too.
She went from a nobody to a harem girl. And from a harem girl to one of Castiel’s best assets. For months and months, he was paying her more attention than to others. She knew that the only reason he didn’t mark her was because he needed to make sure that she was strong enough to be his Luna first.
So, this was her test.
She would pass it and he would take her back.
She would pass it and he would take her back.
She would pass it and…
The door opened so unexpectedly that she shuddered in her place. She couldn’t understand what was going on at first when she saw the lycan king himself with his glowing eyes and bare canines. What the hell was going on? He was always the reasonable one! Why was he like that?
She crawled back to the wall instinctively. He was going to kill her. It was obvious now. She wasn’t going to make it.
“Gideon, stop!” his Beta appeared before him and tried to hold him back. But it was clear that he was weaker. Much weaker.
“Don’t do this!” Maya was right next to them, followed by Ash. They all tried to stop the lycan from…
From what? Roxy gulped, feeling how her whole body started shuddering for real now. This wasn’t a joke.
“If she has no value to him and stays silent, then she has no value to me too!” the king growled, and the little fox covered her face with her fingers, leaving just a little space between them to see what was going on.
“Gideon, it’s notover yet! We can still get Riannon back!” the Beta shouted, obstructing his Alpha from getting closer. From ripping her apart.
“He marked her!” the lycan king growled. “He… he…he made her his and announced her his queen!
The pain l felt when he did it… He can’t stop!”
Each word was like a knife stabbed in her heart.
It couldn’t be true. It couldn’t! Just couldn’t!
Castiel would never…They were all mistaken! He wouldn’t take any other woman as his queen.
Or would he?
She remembered his interest in Riannon. She remembered how every time they spoke on the phone he asked about the Luna. He wanted to know everything- what she did, what she liked. Sometimes he even forgot to ask about how she was doing. She always found an explanation for this. Riannon was the Luna. Riannon was an important piece of the puzzle.
Riannon was an obstruction. There were many reasons for him to be interested in her.
But deep inside, this was exactly what she was afraid of. And every hour she spent here, she was more and more sure of it.
“We can still use her!” Ash grunted; his strength couldn’t compare to the Lycan’s. “He was bluffing when he told you that he has no use for the siren anymore!
This is exactly what he wants! He wants you to kill her so that she doesn’t tell us anything! She served her purpose for him!”
“Don’t make any rash decisions!” Reid growled,”
That’s not what she would want. Stop! Think!”
Roxanne froze on the floor, slowly taking her hands down. The king did not look at her anyway. In one swift move, he freed himself from the three wolves who held him, throwing them to the ground. For a second there, she thought that this would be her end. It was over. She was done…
But the glow in his eyes died down, and, with a loud snarl, he left the room.
Only now was she able to breathe, leaning over the perfect white wall behind her.
This time she survived by miracle, and she knew…
The two men jumped back to their feet and ran out of her cell, leaving only her and Maya, who was already standing again.
“Th-thank you,” Roxy mumbled to her, stuttering
“Shut up!” Maya spat the words, finally sparing the prisoner a glance. “I didn’t do it for you. I did it for him. And also, because you will be my kill. All I need is his permission. As you can see, it wouldn’t be a problem to get it.”
The Beta charged for the door, and Roxy knew that it was her last chance.
“Wait! Please!” she screamed, but her voice came out weak and broken… Pathetic.
“What?” Maya scoffed, “Are you going to cry and sedvce me? it doesn’t work with females.”
“The baby!” Roxanne decided not to waste any time. She did not care how she looked now. The baby is Dean’s!”
That made the she-wolf stop. She didn’t turn to look at the fox, but she did not move either.
“You are lying,” Maya gritted her teeth, her hand on the door handle.
“l am not! It could only have been him! We… He was nice to me…”
“You used him!” the Beta’s claws grew long in an instant. “You used him, and then you killed him.”
“I was wrong!” the fox begged on her knees, “I was so wrong! I…I loved Castiel and thought that he loved me too. You know what love is.”
“I do,” Maya chuckled, “But you don’t!”
“You are right! You are right..” Roxy said with desperation in her voice, ” don’t… No one loved me.I don’t know how… But the baby… The baby is Dean’s. I Maya said nothing.
“Please” the girl kept begging, “At least help me to give birth to it! Please! That’s all l am asking!”
Very slowly, the Beta turned to face her worst enemy.
“How do you imagine me doing this now?” she shook her head. “Everybody hates you. Even Brayden.
You were a spy who ruined us! You gave us nothing!
How do you think…”
“I wili tell you what I know; Roxanne interjected.
“I know where he has taken her. At least, I think I know.”
“Tell me now and maybe” Maya stressed the word, “if the information you give me is confirmed, I will make sure you live long enough to give birth.”
Maya returned to the observation room with a grin on her face as Gideon and Reid were already checking the location on the maps.
“Nice acting,” Brayden told her as he kept watching his fake mate through the window.
“I know, right?” the girl sneered at him. “Way better than yours the other day. Tell me, Bray, how are you adjusting to the new reality of always being second? Or even third?”
She giggled, but he did not respond to her. His life svcked as it was, and there was no way for him to win this argument now.
His pack only existed now because t he lycans gave him the money to keep it afloat.
He hated to admit it, but he made a mistake, after mistake, after mistake… Most of them couldn’t be fixed. He would never get his perfect Luna back. Not really. His love and his best friend was gone now.
His heart and soul were aching for Riannon. He knew that he had wronged her. And he missed her badly. Only she could get him out of such a mess.
But now it was his time to act. Even if she would never be his. Even if she were to spend her whole life with another, he owed it to her after everything to come to her rescue. Or at least to try and help. She had another knight in shining armour now. And he was sure that she wouldn’t stay in captivity for long.
He chuckled at that thought. Because if he knew Riannon, she wasn’t the one who would really need to be rescued. And a part of him even felt sorry for the fox king who willingly brought her into his own house.
“So, long story short. My name is Riannon, and I am a captive. I am not planning to stay here for long as I have a mate, who is a lycan king, and he will come for me very soon,” she said it all in one breath, looking slightly bored. “And while l wait, why don’t we get to know each other better and have a little party?
Consider it my peace offering.”
“Did you poison all that?” someone asked, and her fox guard coughed from the shock. But she slowly poured a whole champagne glass and brought it to her lips.
“Cheers, ladies,” Ria gulped the drink to prove that it was safe.
“No,” she shook her head, “your health is in my best interest. I am just bored here. That’s all.”
“Bridgit, what do you think?” another one of the girls asked the blonde, who had attacked her before.
“So, your name is Bridgit? Nice to meet you. When you don’t try to kill me that is,” Ria scoffed.
“You don’t seriously think that some booze and snacks would make us besties?” the blonde arched her brow, while the others were checking the gifts. None of them dared to touch them though. Not without her permission.
The harem had a hierarchy and currently, she was at the top of it.
“We don’t have to be besties to have fun together once,” Riannon smiled and took one of the chocolate covered strawberries from the table on wheels which she made her guards bring with them. She bit it, taking her time and then took a sip of champagne again.
“Are those Castiel’s cigars?” one of the harem girls pointed her index finger at a small wooden box.
“Yes”‘ Ria smirked at them, “And you would be surprised to find out that he has joints there too. Who could have thought, right?”
She got a few giggles here and there.
“But how did you…” another girl wanted to ask the one question that was on everyone’s mind.
“His treat” Riannon answered without any shade of hesitation. “He said no limits. So, I took whatever I wanted. And you can have whatever you want here too.
They stood there, watching her and eyeing the two tables and trays on them full of everything. Exotic dishes, fruit, alcohol, sweets. It was a little feast.
“l’ve brought cards too,” she added, “We can play poker or whatever.”
“And I see you stole Castiel’s golden chess set” Bridgit stated plainly.
“1 did’ a sly smile stretched over Ria’s lips. “Do you play?”
“Are you sure you are not a fox yourself?” the blonde asked her, folding her hands on her chest.
“l am sure” the woman took the chessboard and got closer slowly. “So, how about a small party while we play? Just one game.”
“Fine” Bridgit breathed out, and all the girls in red around her jumped with glee. They circled the tables, helping themselves. Someone switched on music that they could all enjoy. They led Riannon downstairs and her guards followed. But soon their attention was distracted a little since it appeared that there was a swimming pool on the bottom floor. Some of the red dresses disappeared. And no, none of the ladies had a swimsuit underneath.
Bridgit took the whites and made her first move.
For a while, they played without saying anything to each other. And only when Ria knew that she had set all her traps on the chessboard could she relax a bit. That party would go on as long as she wanted..
While the blonde was thinking, she stood up and walked around a bit. The girls were getting drunk surprisingly fast. But it was to her advantage, of course.
“You know he would make you pay for this, right?”
Bridgit said, eyes on the chessboard at all times.
“l can take care of myself” Riannon chuckled, and they stayed silent a bit longer before the werebear made her move. That made the Alpha return to her seat and consider her options, while her opponent looked around lazily.
The girls were clearly having fun – dancing, singing, drinking cocktails… It hadn’t been like that here for a while. Today, no one cared what they looked like and if their Master would arrive. Today was for them. And it curled Bridgit’s lips just a bit. Which was enough for Ria to notice.
“How did someone like you end up in a freaking harem?!” she asked all of a sudden.
“Why? Don’t you think I fit in just nicely?” Bridgit gave her an eye roll.
“You don’t fit in. You lead them.”
The other woman clearly liked the compliment becausea smile became a bit more evident on her face.
“My father sent me here, she confessed unexpectedly. “I was thinking that I would be his Luna when I arrived here. You should have seen my face when he brought me to this place and gave me a red dress”
“Ouch” Riannon took another gulp. As a woman, she could understand. “Why did you stay?”
“My father knew what he was doing” she shrugged it off, “He was a werebear Alpha. Girls were always just breeding machines for him. My sisters were given to awful males as tributes. I was lucky to be chosen by Castiel. My father hoped that I would give him an heir and my position would become better. As well as their alliance. He was naive.”
“Why?” their eyes met, and she knew that Bridgit was contemplating just how far she could go with her, sharing her story.
Because Castiel made sure none of us could ever get pregnant from him, the girl chuckled bitterly, “This wasn’t our purpose. And because… my father was killed before he could see any benefits of our alliance.
Now my pack has a new Alpha. And I have nowhere to go. Even if I wanted to leave here, I would be a woman without rights. They would just give me to the first male who offers a good price.”
“Not if you come to my lands, Riannon said, and Bridgit’s eyes lingered on her.
“It’s the same everywhere” she scoffed.
“Not anymore,” Ria smiled. “You see, the Union just changed a few laws. Although, to be honest, we had better laws to start with as it sounds.”
“No arranged marriages?” the werebear looked interested.
“Not if the girl is not willing,” she explained. “But there is much more than that. You can fight for the position of a Beta or an Alpha if you like. And if you are married, everything is shared equally after the divorce.
Women have a say in where their kids stay too. And there are many other things too.”
“And all the Alphas seriously agreed to that?”
Bridgit’s eyes widened slightly.
“Not all of them,” Riannon let out a little laugh, But the majority did, and it was enough. Now I am an Alpha myself. It’s an interesting story, actually. Maybe I will tell you about it one day.”
“Maybe l’d listen,” the girl moved her rook with confidence.
“By the way, do you know Roxanne?” it was a shot in the air, but surprisingly it reached its goal as the blonde groaned in annoyance.
“Don’t tell me that the b!tch is still alive!” she scowled.
“I wouldn’t know, Ria shrugged her shoulders.”
The last time I saw her, my best friend was kicking the living crap out of her.”
“Did you sée her dead? Because if you didn’t, it doesn’t count!” Bridgit looked unimpressed, but something changed between the two of them now.
“No, really, why did you stay so long?” Ria let her have her pawn.
“I loved him; Bridgit told her honestly, and it did not escape her that she used past tense. “He has this way with women that… just makes you fall for him.
When he pays you attention, you feel so special… like the only woman in the world for him.”
“That’s an interesting statement considering you all live in a harem,” Riannon couldn’t help but snort.
“I know,” the werebear sighed, but when you are with him, you feel like no one else exists. His scent drives you crazy, and the pleasure he gives you…”
Those are the details I can live without” Ria stopped her. “It makes me think, though. You mentioned the scent…”
“What about it?” Bridgit didn’t even look at her, too busy with the game.
“Well, I can’t ignore the fact that he is a scientist wannabe. Did you ever think that maybe he created a scent to imitate that he is your mate?”
“My beast never acknowledged him as our mate,”
Bridgit laughed, but then paused, looking at the empty space before her. “But the scent is… alluring.”
Riannon decided not to push her more. She seemed like a clever woman. She was capable of getting to the bottom of things herself.
“About mates” she decided to change the subject a bit, “You do know that yours is somewhere there. He is looking for you.”
“I don’t know about that” Bridgit made another move. “Sometimes I think that the gods forgot about me when they were giving out mates.”
“Everyone has one,” Ria moved her bishop, capturing the white queen. “And trust me, when you meet yours, Castiel and his “scent” will be just a distant memory. You wouldn’t even believe that you spent so many years in this beautiful cage.”
The blonde wanted to tell her something, but right then they heard a loud growl coming from the entrance at the top balcony.
“What the hell is all this?!” a snarl echoed through the Eden.