“Wh-what do you mean?” He asked as he tried to concentrate on the beautiful voice of the woman in front of him, his mate. He was here for a meet-and-greet session that he dreaded. The worst thing was that this session among Alphas, Lunas and their Gammas from every pack in existence was to last for the entire night! ‘Why couldn’t they just skip this night and officially start the one-month collaboration tomorrow?’, the King thought to himself every year.
She raised her eyebrows as she studied his expression, “Huh. You do look genuinely confused.”
His eyebrows furrowed, confused and irritated now, “Again, what do you mean? And what is your name?”
The Alphas, Lunas and the best warrior of each pack, called Gammas, just arrived and he, as their benevolent King, was here to greet them. Although, if he were given a choice, this King would have rather been going through the reports of rogue attacks that were steadily piling up on his desk. He couldn’t wait to get the night over with. If he made his rounds quickly enough, he would still reach home on time to get through three or four files before bed. But when he walked through the doors of the gathering hall, his impatience, reluctance and pure hate for the meet-and-greet vaporized in an instant.
“My name is Lucianne Freesia Paw, your Highness. I take it that you’re going to do it, then?” She said simply. To the King, her name felt like the first spring breeze after many long months of harsh winter, the soft light penetrating through the grey clouds, the breath of life in a cold, dark world.
“Do what?” His confusion couldn’t be masked even if he tried. He felt like his mate was already ten feet away when he had only taken the first step.
When he entered the hall, every wolf and Lycan present looked in his direction and they either nodded or bowed but he merely glanced over them. The animal in him was following a scent that has never graced his nostrils. Butterfly pea and jasmine. ‘What a unique combination’, he thought to himself. His footsteps gained speed as the scent got stronger.
Then, he stopped right behind a five-foot-one brunette. Her back was small, half of it covered with dark, luscious curls falling effortlessly from her head. There was only one word in his mind — mate. The figure started turning around to face him, and his heart stopped. She was surprised by his sudden presence and took a step back. The animal in his head growled, ‘Mine’.
Lucianne turned around because she noticed the stunned faces of her Alpha and Luna, who both bowed in her direction. Upon turning, she came face-to-face with a white suit covered with a black tuxedo, and a strong scent of acacia wood and forest trees graced her nostrils. Shocked at the proximity, she took a step back to see who it was. Realizing that the dark-haired man with slightly tanned skin and lilac eyes was the King himself, she understood her pack leaders’ action. She, too, bent her knees and lowered her head as a form of respect to the highest ruler of all werewolves and Lycans.
A warm feeling crept up her shoulders before she felt the sparks where his hands made contact with her skin. To her dread, she realised that the man in front of her was her mate who spoke in his clear, deep voice, “You don’t have to do that. Please stand. Don’t bow to me.” He said with visible pain and disapproval in his eyes.
Although surprised by the King’s response, Lucianne couldn’t escape her reality of how the bond was going to end. ‘Here we go again’, she thought, before proceeding to ask whether he wanted her to do it, or that he wanted to do it himself - to reject her.
“Do what, Lucianne? Talk to me.” His voice was soft but demanding. His eyes were desperate and lost.
She explained calmly, “Reject me, your Highness. Do you prefer it if I did it or would you like to do it yourself?” The hope and life she gave him earlier seemed like it was about to be snatched away from him almost as soon as he found them.
The King’s lilac eyes turned onyx as he growled thunderously, scaring everyone who was there. The room fell into dead silence. After he exploded in anger at what he had just heard, the King asked in a low, frightening tone, “Why the f*ck would either one of us reject the other?”
Lucianne was surprised again but she remained calm. She shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m not your type, not good enough for you, not pretty enough, you may already have a chosen mate to be engaged to…” before she could finish, her Luna hissed, “Stop it, Lucy!”
The King’s eyes met the Luna’s as he growled, “I didn’t ask you to speak.”
The Luna and her Alpha mate lowered their heads in unison as a sign of apology. No right-minded wolf would challenge a Lycan, let alone the King of Lycans.
The King faced his mate again. His eyes softened a little by how dainty and beautiful she looked. Why did she want to take herself away from him? He asked in a murderous tone, “Who told you those things?”
Lucianne’s eyes turned wide abruptly, “Oh no, your Highness. That’s not what I meant. It’s just... that’s what my previous mates told me before or after they rejected me so I was just giving you an idea on what I’m talking about.”
His angered eyes bore into her unperturbed ones as he asked in a dangerously low tone, “Do you want to reject me?”