Chapter Three (Cont)

“I’m disgusted with you,” I finally hear the Alpha King finish. He has Alpha Banastre on his knees now. I’ve never seen him so afraid. His eyes are red and glassy but he looks like he’s trying not to cry, at least, not in front of Luna Hailey and I.

“S-Sir…” Alpha Banastre whimpers. The Alpha King’s stance is tall and stiff. I can’t see his face, but he’s angry. Furious, maybe. It scares me a little, but also excites me. He’s a domineering person, it seems, but he doesn’t take advantage of his power, unlike Alpha Banastre. Then again, I’ve literally known him for less than an hour, so I’m not in a position to make any assumptions…yet.

“This is your last warning,” The Alpha King growls. “One more episode like this that I hear from anybody – be it Alpha, Omega, or Rogue for all I care, you’re out.”

“Y-Yes, Alpha,” Alpha Banastre whimpers like a kicked puppy, and, I’m not going to lie, I kind of feel sorry for him. I don’t know why. He’s abused me ever since knowing I existed, but seeing him on his knees about to cry makes something twinge inside of me. Luna Hailey may be getting some sadistic amusement out of this, but the scene just reminds me too much of myself, on my knees, when I was begging.

“What does he mean, last warning?” I ask Luna Hailey. I didn’t think that anyone knew about Alpha Banastre’s atrocities. And if they did, why didn’t they do anything?

“Alpha law has a three strike policy,” Luna Hailey explains softly. “Banastre already struck out twice. One more time and he’s officially a rogue.”

“And you too?”

“Only if they can find me guilty of helping him,” she says.

“Oh…so, what did he strike out the first time for?”

Luna Hailey goes quiet. Her eyes observe the ground beneath us and her lips purse. She doesn’t answer; I don’t pressure her to.

“Let’s go,” The Alpha King says suddenly, and when I look up he’s gazing at me. “Luna,” he acknowledges Luna Hailey. His eyes go hazy and so do hers.

He’s mind linking her, I think. Lucky!

“Yes, Alpha,” she says out loud, attracting my stare towards her. She nods to me and squeezes my arm reassuringly, her eyes remaining on me for only a moment longer before she goes to Alpha Banastre’s side, grabbing his arm and pulling him away from the pavilion towards the ballroom again. He doesn’t get a chance to look or say anything to me before I hear Luna Hailey begin to yell. Internally, I smirk. First the Alpha King, and now Luna Hailey? My night just got ten times better!

Then, I smell it. The burned firewood and incense. It wraps around me like a greedy vine, embracing me tightly. I want to look up at him, but Alpha Banastre would kill me if I even dared to think so. I keep telling myself that he’s gone – that he can’t see what I’m doing, yet a part of me still subconsciously believes that he’s behind me, shooting me with his pistol-like eyes.

“Anvi,” the Alpha King calls my name, beckoning me to look up at him. My mind has an internal battle. Obey Alpha Banastre’s order or the Alpha King’s. Get beaten by one or the other.

“Anvi,” he says my name again, a command, not a question. This time, I look up at him, but I don’t meet his eyes. Meeting a person’s eyes shows equality, Darcy once told me. And I can never do that, except for Luna Hailey, who allows me.

Instead, I study his face. He’s handsome, that’s for sure. A strong jaw and thin but defined lips. They’re pink, too, like he put a scrub on them. A wave of excitement sweeps through me. Suddenly, I want to kiss him and melt into his embrace. My heart spikes, fluttering anxiously. He’s just looking at me, waiting for me to say something.

Then say it, you idiot! My brain screams. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out. I try again, but end up biting my lip in hesitation. What should I say?

“Um…hi?” Is the first, and stupidest thing that ends up coming out of my mouth. My inner conscience just stares at me, disbelieving. I feel my ears burn. God damn me and my mouth.

Surprisingly, the Alpha King chuckles, his eyes creasing warmly. He takes my hand gently, bringing it up to his lips for a generous kiss.

“Hi,” he murmurs back, his stare never leaving mine. He brings my hand down, but continues to hold it. His touch fills my body with sparks. Is this what meeting your mate feels like?

“How are you?” He asks, quickly looking me over. It’s almost unnoticeable, but I see the way his eyes harden when he sees the marks that Alpha Banastre’s fingers left on my neck. Either he thinks that they’re hickies or bruises, and neither of those conversation outcomes are desirable.

“I’m…good,” I stammer. “I…um…a bit confused, I’ll admit, but okay.”

“Confused about what?” He asks. He leads me towards the stone benches inside the pavilion, sitting beside me. The flowers around us shower the floor with their pink petals and the moon shines her nosy beam on us, eager to hear our conversation.

I blush. “Well, everything, to be honest.” I glance at the ballroom. “I mean, I know who you are, but now, not really.”

He smiles. “To others, I’m the Alpha King,” he says. “To you, I’m your mate.”

“Mate…that feels like such a foreign word,” I mumble.

“Is it? Why?”

“I…” I hesitate. “I was told I would never find my mate,” I finally admit. “And if I did, they would reject me for being an Omega.”

His eyes harden again. It looks black now. Maybe that’s his wolf’s color?

“They’re just insecure, then,” he says. “Being an Omega doesn’t stop wolves from mating with their mates. Many Alphas have Omegas as mates. Do you know why?”

I shake my head.

The Alpha King’s eyes calm and his lips loosen a bit. “Omegas understand the hardships that wolves go through,” He explains. “They – well, most of them, are sympathetic and benevolent to their other pack members, no matter how they’re treated. They understand how everything works, so when they rise to a higher status, they’re more…”

“Useful?”

“In a way, yes, but also they’re just better Alphas and Lunas,” he says. “They treat the pack well and protect them in a way that those born into upper classes can’t understand. They’re one of the best Lunas and Alphas.”

He sounds like he speaks from experience, I think, but don’t say that to him. Instead, I nod, pretending like I understand even though I still don’t know why out of every woman in the world, he’d willingly pick me to be with, regardless of our mate bond.

“So…Anvi,” he smiles when he says my name. “Are you related to Banastre? I don’t think you’re one of his daughters…”

My stomach grows cold. God damn it. I can’t tell him about my parents. I can’t tell him what Alpha Banastre has done to me, no matter how much I want to. Luna Hailey depends on him. Oscar, Darcy, and Amanda need their dad…well, Amanda and Darcy do. I doubt Oscar would mind if Alpha Banastre somehow disappeared. And as pleasant as it is to think that they’ll be better off without him, if I tell the Alpha King what Alpha Banastre and his daughters have done to me, he’ll kill both Banastre and Oscar! I don’t know much about Alpha law, but I do know that everyone will be punished, and I don’t want that for Luna Hailey and Oscar.

Then again, I can advocate for Luna Hailey and Oscar. Hopefully the Alpha King would believe my word, but if anybody deserves a punishment, it’s Banastre. Amanda and Darcy…they were just raised that way. It’s not completely their fault that their father was an asshole to everyone. Besides, the pack deserves freedom and to live without fear of Alpha Banastre and his cruel ways. Yet…

“I’m not related to him,” I finally say. “I work for him, though, um…I suppose work doesn’t begin to properly describe it.”

He frowns. “What do you mean?”

I hesitate. “I…don’t think the ball is a proper place to talk about this,” I admit. “I don’t want to spoil your night or anybody else’s.”

“It would be spoiling my night if you don’t tell me about this ‘work’ that you’re doing for him,” he growls. He looks at my neck again, a quick swipe of the eyes, but I know what he’s thinking. He already has an inkling of what’s been happening.

I look down at my hands. “Look, I just want to enjoy tonight,” I say. “I’ve never been to a ball, and the icing on the cake is meeting you. I just want to enjoy that.” I smile awkwardly up at him, and his gaze melts. “I promise, I’ll explain later, but please? Can we just enjoy?”

He’s silent for a few minutes, pondering. Maybe he’s wondering why I won’t tell him. Well, he’s not the one that’s gonna go home to get beaten tomorrow. The more I keep my mouth shut, the better for me.

“Okay,” he finally says, and holds his hand out for me to take to stand. We both rise, barely any space between us. My heart thumps rapidly. His eyes capture mine. “Let’s go dancing.”

~~~~~~~

Hey everyone!

Anvi and the Alpha King have now officially introduced themselves to one another! But Alpha Banastre doesn’t seem too happy about it? Will Anvi open up to the Alpha King? Will she tell him of Alpha Banastre’s cruelty? Or will her fear of speaking against him stop her?

Also…will Anvi ever learn her mate’s name? 😂

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