Chapter Six (Cont)

The woman there – a pale, round faced lady with hooded eyes and a small red smile who looks to be in her forties grins at me, displaying a row of all perfect teeth except one, which is slightly crooked. She’s holding a broom and dustpan and takes a step forward and out of impulse I take a step back.

Jackson, however, smiles. “Oh, Delia, there you are!”

“I’m sorry for startling you, your highness,” Delia’s voice is throaty and deep and she uses her tongue a lot, like how a snake continuously sticks their tongue out when they talk. “I was in Prince Adonis’s room cleaning. I didn’t hear you come in.”

“That’s okay, Delia. And next time, please let Adonis learn that he has to clean his own room,” Jackson sounds a bit annoyed.

Delia smiles, though. “Yes, Alpha,” she says, and her eyes drift to me. “Hello, Miss.”

“Um…hi?” I squeak and step out of Jackson’s shadow. “Uh, I’m sorry for jumping away like that. You, um, you startled me.”

She gives me a placid smile. “It’s alright, Miss. I know I tend to be quite soft-footed.” She grins cheekily at Jackson. “Why, I’ve even scared the Alpha King here a couple of times.”

“Uh, we don’t need to go there,” Jackson coughs as his ears turn pink.

“Really?” I feel myself smiling too. “You scared him?”

“Yes. He’s actually quite easy to scare, especially when he’s alone in the house,” she pauses and a mischievous glint sparkles in her eye. “Or, when he thinks he’s alone.”

“I never knew that,” I say, smirking up at Jackson. He looks away from me, blushing.

“Yeah, totally amusing,” he grumbles. “Um, Delia, do we have any of the spare rooms cleaned?”

“Spare rooms?” Delia repeats. Jackson nods, and she thinks for a moment, then shakes her head. “No, not that I know of. We haven’t used them since last winter.”

“Shit,” Jackson curses under his breath. His phone beeps and he pulls it out, skimming over the text. His frown deepens.

“I need to take this.” He squeezes my hand apologetically and nods to Delia, then takes a few steps into the nearest hallway and disappears into the shadows, his voice drifting into the wind like the song of a wind-chime.

“I take it you’re the new Luna Queen,” Delia says after a few seconds pass between us. She gestures for me to follow her down the hallway. “You’re very pretty, you know.” She regards me again. “In fact, you remind me of someone.” Her tone thins. “Have we met before?”

“I don’t think so,” I reply, distracted with the many portraits hanging from the walls to pay full attention to her question.

“Right…” Delia stays quiet after that, occasionally grunting or making small noises to direct me away from falling down a staircase that was definitely not in front of me before. We pass down so many doors that look so similar that it makes me wonder how the hell Jackson remembers where he sleeps. Then again, he’s lived here his entire life. It shouldn’t be too hard.

“He has landmarks,” Delia answers my unspoken question. I blink at her and she smirks. “What? Do you really think he has the patience to remember everything in this house? Alpha Jackson only uses certain rooms, so he puts little notches in them.” She stops in front of a room with two oak doors and points to a spot under the handle. True to her words, there’s a cluster of notches shaped like a flower chipped into the wood. It’s extremely detailed. There are many dots and curls and stems winding around the handle.

I whistle lowly. “He’s really good at this kind of thing,” I murmur.

“Crafting? It’s a hobby of his, I’ve noticed.” Delia wrinkles her nose. “I would prefer it if he would sand and chip his wooden blocks outside, but what can I say? I’m just the maid.”

“You definitely have a say.” I touch one of the dents, awed. “If you want, can I ask Jackson to clean up after himself? Or go outside and do his arts and crafts on one of the benches, like you said?”

A reptilian smile crosses Delia’s lips and she shakes her head slowly, leaning against her broom. “It’s no worry, Luna. It’s my job, and Alpha Jackson pays me well.”

I shrug. “Well, if you ever need anything, you can ask me too!” I stand up straight and knot my hands together. They slide against the silk of my dress. “I know I’m new and all…and I may not know all the ropes, but it’s what a Luna Queen does, right? Help?”

Delia nods. “I’ll keep that in mind.” She nudges her head towards the door. “You can head inside if you’d like. I’m sure Alpha Jackson won’t mind.”

My cheeks burn. “Wait, you mean, in his room?”

Delia frowns. “Yes? I’ll have another bedroom prepared by tomorrow, but this is the only other clean room in the house…well, if you count Adonis’s room as clean.”

Her tone tells me all I need to know about Adonis’s room. I shake my head, hesitantly placing my hand on the handle.

“No, it’s fine.” I smile. “Don’t worry yourself over the room. I can help clean up tomorrow if you’d like?”

Delia gives me a strange smile, like she’s getting used to the fact that someone is willing to help her clean up around the house.

“Just rest tonight,” she finally says. Her eyes sweep over me. “You look exhausted, and tomorrow’s a busy day.”

She leaves with a curt bow. I watch her go. She slinks down the hallway and melts into the shadows. It’s like she was never with me in the first place.

Weird, I think. She’s a nice lady, I decide, but a bit…strange. She reminds me of Wednesday Addams, just a bit more welcoming. I don’t recognize her, though, so I find it weird that she thinks she’s seen me before. Maybe she used to be in my old pack. That could be it.

Sighing, I shake my head. I’m exhausted, and I realize that Delia was right. Twisting the handle open, I trudge into the room and close the door behind me.

Before I turn a hand comes to cover my eyes. My body is tugged against something that’s dripping wet and hard. A strong arm holds me tightly against them and cold lips touch my ear. The hold is so familiar. I remember it well. I was screaming. They watched me go. I was crying. They turned a deaf ear. He’s come back. When I thought my life was beginning it came to such a quick end. I do the only thing I can do – what I’ve done since day 1.

I scream.

~~~~~

Hey guys!

I hope you enjoyed this chapter! We’ve now met Delia and know a bit more about Jackson’s family and especially Adonis, his younger brother! I know it’s a bit short, which I’m trying to do to help you readers that are on the move lol 🙂 Who do you think has Anvi just met? Has Banastre truly come back for her? Lemme know in the comments!

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