Chapter Two (Cont)

“I don’t-!” But I stop. Something wafts to my nose. It smells good. Tantalizingly good. My stomach growls. My fingertips tingle and butterflies release around my heart. Where is that smell coming from? It smells like…burnt firewood and incense – the same kind my mother used to put when she did prayers every morning.

Woah…where is that coming from? I think. It’s attracting me, pulling me towards it. I’m like a moth to a flame…a bee to honey. I need that smell. I need the person who has it. It has to be a person. Food doesn’t usually smell like prayer sticks and fire.

One of the men who blew the trumpet stops and says something, but I don’t hear him. Luna Hailey taps my shoulder, motioning for me to copy her bow, and I do so, but my brain is still lingering on that scent. It’s powerful and greedy, gobbling me up. Gosh darn it, where is it coming from?

“We’ll have to bide some more time,” Luna Hailey scowls as conversation resumes around us. “No doubt Darcy and Amanda will be flinging themselves all over him. Banastre will want to introduce Oscar and I too.”

“Who?” I ask. “Who just came?”

“The-!”

“Alpha King,” Alpha Banastre’s oddly cheerful voice booms. Luna Hailey and I regard one another, a fleeting, desperate last attempt to escape through the doors, but we know it’s no use. Alpha Banastre is approaching us with Darcy and Amanda in tow, both of them giggling and constantly touching the tall man with them, just as Luna Hailey had expected. Oscar is nowhere in sight.

“That’s him,” Luna Hailey hisses, bowing with me again. “The Alpha King.”

“Hm..” I hum, distracted. I’m still caught up on the smell, I have to find it later. But…wait…it’s approaching me…coming closer…

I take a risk and defy Alpha Banastre’s rule, glancing up for a brief moment at the man accompanying them. A gasp almost leaves my mouth.

The man – the Alpha King, I guess – he’s the one that smells so good! Is it a cologne he wears or something? Maybe his suit is new? Whatever it is, it’s definitely coming from him, I have no doubt about that. I feel his eyes burning into my scalp, but Alpha Banastre is probably looking at us now, so I can’t look up again. A low growl leaves someone’s throat.

“Your highness,” Alpha Banastre says, “This is my lovely wife, Hailey.” He takes Luna Hailey into his arms. “Love, this is the Alpha King.”

“A pleasure,” I hear Luna Hailey say. She takes his hand.

“The pleasure is mine, Madame,” The Alpha King says, and his voice is rich and smooth, like the gentle rush of a river. His words spill easily from his tongue like he’s breathing. Something curls in my stomach. My cheeks are suddenly warm.

Damn, it just got hot in here, I think. Who the hell turned the heater up?

“And you’ve already met my daughters,” Alpha Banastre continues. Darcy and Amanda giggle again, and the Alpha King chuckles, but it sounds a bit hesitant and annoyed. I smirk down at the ground. Good.

“I thought you had a son too?” Alpha King asks. I hear Alpha Banastre hesitate, then reply:

“He’s socializing with his friends,” he says, brushing Oscar’s presence aside. “I’ll be sure to have him meet you later.”

“Hm,” The Alpha King grunts. Eyes burn into my scalp once more. “And who’s this lovely young lady?”

“Nobody important,” Alpha Banastre cuts in. “She’s just… a friend of my wife.”

Luna Hailey grits her teeth and Darcy and Amanda giggle, but this time, the Alpha King doesn’t. He’s silent.

“Is that so?” His tone has become icy. I still haven’t seen his face yet, only the extremely polished tips of his shoes. “Tell me, are you mated, miss?”

“No, she-!” Alpha Banastre begins to speak for me, then stops suddenly. I see the Alpha King’s shadow has moved. His hand is up. I grin. Alpha Banastre got silenced! Damn!

“I was asking her, not you,” he says curtly. His shadow drops and I see Alpha Banastre move away. I keep my head down. “I ask you again, my lady. Are you mated?”

Again, I don’t reply, even when Luna Hailey nudges me. Darcy and Amanda are probably glaring daggers at me, and I doubt Alpha Banastre is too happy either. I’m going to be in so much trouble when I go home.

“Anvi…” Luna Hailey hisses. I wince, forced to ignore her to stay out of trouble, but then her breath hitches, and my heart nearly stops beating. The Alpha King’s shadow approaches me, stopping short of my worn shoes. The shadow of his hand moves – where is it going? He smells amazing, I keep thinking. What is it with his smell? Does Luna Hailey smell it too? Amanda? Darcy? They certainly haven’t said anything, which isn’t like the spoiled twins. By now they’d probably be asking for his cologne bottle if they could.

God, I wish you were here to help me, Ama I think. Something warm touches my cheek, a hand. My face flames and by reflex, I look up at the Alpha King as he lifts my head, holding me by my chin. Our eyes meet. Gray against violet. I gasp. He snarls.

“Mate.”

~~~~~

Hey everyone!

What did you think? How will everyone react? What will the Alpha King do? Will Anvi finally escape from Alpha Banastre? And what about Hailey? Oscar? 

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