Chapter Four

Alpha Banastre and Luna Hailey are the first to come up to us as we reenter the ballroom.

The music is still loud – a group of violinists and pianists playing by the large oak stage. Chatter has dimmed as we approach the room. Wolves pause to bow at the Alpha King, and I see their stares linger on me. Who is this girl, they must be thinking. Why is she with the Alpha King? Why are they so close? Darcy and Amanda are so green with envy it’s making me feel a bit puffed up just looking at them. I feel him squeeze my hand, leaning down to whisper to me:

“They’re bowing to you,” he murmurs, his lips brushing my ear. My body prickles. “My Luna Queen.”

“Oh,” I don’t know what to say. I feel hot under the collar of my dress. We only make it halfway through the ballroom before Alpha Banastre is stomping towards me, fury emanating from his eyes.

I stiffen, and I think the Alpha King notices. He wraps his arm around my waist, tugging my hip against his.

“It’s okay,” he says softly. “He won’t be able to do anything to you. Not while I’m here.”

“Oh…thank you,” I reply quietly, positive that he can see the blush staining my cheeks. He smiles at me, a warm, gentle smile that opens a flock of butterflies in my chest, but it’s only there for a moment before Alpha Banastre is in front of us, fume puffing from his ears. Luna Hailey can only watch apologetically.

“Anvi…” he growls. He’s not hiding his feelings for me this time, regardless of whether or not the Alpha King is in front of him. He reaches out, probably to grab my wrist, but the Alpha King stops him by pushing his hand aside.

“Hands to yourself, Banastre,” he tsks, chastising Banastre as if he’s a child. He smirks at the color that drains from Alpha Banastre’s face. “Haven’t you learned anything in kinder?”

It’s now that I realize that the Alpha King has an accent, a French one, though I don’t know if it’s the French or the Australians that say kinder.

Alpha Banastre swallows. “Yes, sire,” he murmurs. He glares icily at me, his eyes as sharp and cutting. He’s not even touching me, but I feel the effect of his fury radiate onto me, digging into wounds that I thought had healed a long time ago. It burns my skin, and not in a tingly, exciting type of burning. No, this kind stings. It digs deep into me and rips my flesh out, scorching me.

The Alpha King (I can’t believe I still don’t know his name, should I ask?) glances at me, and through the fabric of my dress, I feel his thumb rub against my hip. It’s meant to calm me down, but the burning coming from both him and Alpha Banastre confuse and overwhelm me. Dots dance in my vision and my legs wobble.

“Um,” I jerk away from the Alpha King, startling him from his glare battle with Alpha Banastre. All six eyes are on me, and I look down bashfully at my shoes. What am I supposed to say?

“Anvi…” Luna Hailey reaches out to me, but I flinch and move away from her, even though my mind is screaming at me to let her comfort me. I don’t look at either of the men. I turn on my heel and run out of the crowd, not stopping until I’m out of the room and in the dimly lit hallway. I’m panting. Sweat beads my forehead and my dress feels heavy. Is it weighing on my heart?

I lean against the wall. The bumps of paint poke into my bare back, but it doesn’t bother me. The cold plaster cools my skin and my mind gradually stops spinning. My heartbeat begins to return to normal and I feel the sweat evaporate.

“Oh…god damn it,” I curse myself for leaving so abruptly. Alpha Banastre’s anger level should really be to Mars by now. I rejected Luna Hailey’s attempt to comfort me and I pushed myself away from my new mate. God, what kind of impression did I just leave? That I can’t handle stressful situations? That I can’t be near an angry Alpha when he’s going to explode on me?

I sink down to the ground, burying my head into my hands. A small whimper escapes my lips; a sigh follows after.

“He’s going to reject me for sure now,” I mutter pathetically, staring down at my hands. “I’m done. My one chance was blown, thanks to me.”

My inner conscience scolds me, but within minutes of just staring at me, she begins to sympathise. I just needed to get away from the situation, to calm myself down and take control of my emotions. But it’s hard when it comes to Alpha Banastre.

“Anvi?” Oscar calls my name. I peer up at him from my hands, acknowledging him briefly.

“Hi, Oscar,” I mumble, resting my cheek on my arm. He frowns, then sits beside me, bringing his knees up just like mine.

“Everything okay?” He asks. I shake my head.

“Not really,” I say. I sigh, turning to him. “I think I just blew my chance with my mate, and signed my death warrant with your dad.”

Oscar winces. “Yikes,” he mutters. “Not the best combo, I’ll admit, especially with Dad.”

“Tell me about it,” I grumble. A heavy sigh escapes my lips again and I throw my head back against the wall, tapping it. “I royally screwed up, Oscar.”

“I don’t think you did. At least, not with the Alpha King,” he says in an attempt to comfort me. His hand slides over mine, and even though it doesn’t feel as good as when the Alpha King did it, it’s still soothing. I quirk my lip.

“You think?”

“Nah, I know,” he says, grinning. “My dad may have it in for you now, Anvi, but I doubt the Alpha King is unhappy with you. If anything, he’s probably worried about you.”

“Well, I guess I did run away from him with no explanation,” I mumble, biting my lip. Oscar nods thoughtfully.

“Yeah, that would probably do it,” he says. “And he’s not just some regular guy, Anvi. He’s the Alpha King. He’s the toughest, strongest, and richest wolf…everywhere! Nobody wants to mess with him. You saw my Dad’s reaction.”

“That’s true.” I smirk at the memory of the Alpha King lifting Alpha Banastre by his neck – the way the blood drained from Alpha Banastre’s face. “Does he have a name?”

“Who?”

“The Alpha King?”

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