Disguise

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Smooched into Silence

Flora’s POV

“So, liked it gentle?”

“Shut up.” I groaned at Xena, as she gave me one of her mischievous smiles. Aah, she knew me better than I knew myself.

We were sitting at the edge of the large sized bed, in Reece’s room. I didn’t even know if we were sharing this room. Last night we’d just fallen asleep here. Today, the day was over, and I thought to myself that after everything between us, sleeping on the same bed was the least of my concerns.

“I like this room, it’s so grand, and I didn’t think anything could top B3.” Xena commented, looking around and I nodded. It was certainly fit for a King. My King.

“Are you nervous about tomorrow?” She asked me, her phone constantly twirling in her hand.

“No, I’m sure we’ll be fine.” I told her and she nodded, uncertain. “Did you see the security for tomorrow? I feel like that much security is making me nervous.” She told me and I nodded. It did seem a bit excessive…but when I had voiced this to Reece, he gave me a ‘don’t-be-stupid’ look.

My head spun to the open closet with my dress for tomorrow hanging out of it in a transparent garment bag. I was more nervous about being crowned Queen than some maniac wanting to kill me.

The door opened and Reece and Grey stepped in, talking over some of the last details for tomorrow. Everything had to be in order. Reece greeted us and Xena got up, it was late, and she wanted to crash anyway.

“I’ll take you to Nate,” Grey offered, and she gave him a smile. Normally, she’d have been all ‘that’s okay,’ but we both knew that she would get lost in this maze of a castle. Soon Reece and I were alone, and my jitters wouldn’t stop.

“Hey, hey hey.” Reece cooed, coming over to hug me tightly. “You’re going to be fine, Flo.” He told me but I still couldn’t stop shaking. I knew this was stupid.

“Flora! Nothing will happen to you – or Xena.” He assured me and I shook my head – I knew that.

He hugged me tighter and I put my arms around his neck as well, pulling him closer. “I know that.” I told him softly, and he pulled back a little to give me a curious look.

“Then what’s going on…?”

“I-I’m going to be crowned Queen tomorrow.” I tried not to sound as stupid as I felt, wasn’t this a dream for many? Reece’s expression morphed to confusion before his expression relaxed and a big smile came on his face.

“Worried you can’t escape me now?” He asked, his eyes crinkling as he held back a laugh and I felt warmth spread through me. “Yes, definitely.” I told him, matching his tone and he gave me a dark look.

“You were crowned Queen, the second I saw you in that hallway, Flora.” He told me kindly and I shrugged. “So, all that about this being my choice and letting me forgive you, was just an act?” It was his turn to shrug.

“I would have never let you go, no one makes the same mistake twice,” He told me, completely sincere and I gave him a mock glare. “So, I didn’t have a choice?”

“Of course, you did, you could say yes.” He told me, not letting me get out of his hold as he looked straight into my eyes. His penetrating gaze was letting me see into him instead. “What would you have done, if I had walked away?” I asked him, suddenly curious and a flash of pain went through him before he shut his eyes. “I would have not let you.” He told me, completely sincere and I believed him. He wouldn’t have. If I knew he was my soulmate then neither would I. You just had to make it work.

“So, you’re saying I shouldn’t be nervous now?” I asked him playfully and his smile returned as he opened his eyes.

“Yep, the right time to be nervous was when I was chasing you down the hall.” He told me, laughing at the memory and I shook my head. I was nervous at that time, but for a different reason. “You pushed me against a wall that day!” I yelled at him, remembering stuff from that night was so hard – like he’d wiped my memory that day.

Reece lifted me up and moved me to the side of the room, “Like this?” He asked as his chest crushed mine, and the wall stood hard at my back. I swallowed nervously. How could I even be nervous after everything?

Before I could respond, his hand was brushing my hair behind to reveal my mark. I could feel the zoo unleash in my stomach and I closed my eyes as his lips met mine. He gave me a slow, teasing kiss. Deep but short, before breaking apart. “I’m sorry for how I treated you that night, and for every night before that,” He told me sincerely and I shook my head. It was all done and dusted – I was just teasing him.

“Don’t-“ But he cut me off midway, taking my lips into another one of his marathons and I obliged. I knew what he was doing but I let it go. He would come to terms in his own time, sometimes that was all you could give another person.

“We should head to bed. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.” He told me, pulling away after a minute.

I frowned but nodded. “In twenty minutes?” I said hopefully and he gave me a rueful smile. “You’re underestimating me.” He warned, and I blushed.

“I just factored in that you’re sleepy.” I winked and he growled, picking me up all of a sudden and hauling me across the room to the bed. I laughed the entire time, excited to meet the beast I’d made.

“Wear your hair up tomorrow, let the world see my marks.” He told me, before biting down gently on the side that didn’t bear his scar. “Reece!” I yelled, thinking about the embarrassment – “No hickeys!” I ordered the animal, but it was too late. My words drowned into a fit of moans and giggles as he descended on me.

My phone buzzed and we broke away. Reece moved over me, reaching for it, but didn’t take a peek at the screen. Instead he handed it to me, and I gave him a proud smile for respecting my privacy. He smiled back, patiently waiting for me to check on it.

I double-tapped the screen and it unlocked with my face, scrolling down, I saw that it was an unknown number. It was an image file and I downloaded it, opening up the photo once it was done. It just seemed like a squiggly mess of lines running across my screen, all black and a few of them blue and green. The boundary of the entire shape was also odd, almost as if it was a map.

“What is this?” I asked Reece and turned my screen to face him. He squinted at the screen, and I resisted the urge to increase the brightness. “I don’t know but it looks like…” His face suddenly morphed into realization as he sat up and snatched the phone, and me up as well. “Hey!” I muttered but he was enlarging the image and scrolling around before his eyes glazed over. “Reece? What’s going on?” I asked him, knowing that soon enough someone or the other was going to come through the door. His thoughts matched mine and he quickly adjusted my top and moved the straps of my bra back into place. My hands went into my hair and automatically began to tame it down.

Within moments, there was a knock on the door, and it opened after a moment. Atticus and Henry Staple entered, in town with Sienna and Grey. “That’s not possible! Those plans were destroyed a millennium ago – the king oversaw it himself!” Grey said, moving to take my phone from his hand.

The four of them began to inspect it and Reece turned to me to explain. “They’re the underground tunnel map for this place. They’re very very old, it’s impossible to get your hands on one of them unless you’ve lived through those times because all the maps were destroyed by the King after a siege was laid to this fort by another disgruntled Alpha. The king ended up losing his daughter in that – and they decided to avoid using them, opting to seal all the tunnels forever. It’s impossible for anyone to go through them either.” I nodded, understanding what was happening. “But if they’re sealed then there is no worry, right? We’ll be fine.” I said but he shook his head. “If they’re sealed, how come someone made this? Those maps were a thousand years old. Someone just made a new copy – or went into the tunnels and mapped them again.

“So, what should we do? Send a guard to all the entrances?” Atticus asked but Grey shook his head. “If this is Jeff Kurt, then he’ll know that Flora and Xena have been lying to him all this while. Our entire plan depends on them thinking that these two will go with them willingly.”

I nodded, it made sense. “But he’s given me no instructions either, shouldn’t I know where to stand or something?” Just as I said it, another incoming message made my phone beep. This time it was the same map – but at the beginning of one of the lines, there was a small x marked. A third message said, ‘delete this when you’re done.’

“Well, we know their plan.” I said simply but nobody looked relieved to have the upper hand. “This is too easy. He can’t trust them that blindly.” Sienna said, and everyone else nodded. I knew that they were right, but at the moment it seemed like the only thing we had to go on. “Besides, there are too many interconnecting paths. The tunnels I’ve heard about are a maze. You could get lost in there for days with no way out. This property is huge, and they extend beyond the property as well. Add that to the fact that sometimes, due to the proximity to the coast, the tunnels would flood during high tide, instantly trapping and drowning people who had no idea what was going on.” I gulped at Henry’s description – they might as well be graves. Thank God the royals had sealed it up.

“Maybe he thinks that they can get away undetected. Or not even get away but just get them away from us undetected?” Grey suggested and I nodded. It was likely – maybe he was just that confident.

“I don’t know, but we shouldn’t underestimate him. Double the security around Flora and Xena tomorrow. I want Atticus and Hank with one of them at all times. Let’s just send a patrol unit in the morning, checking all these entrances. We need to find out where exactly in the palace is this spot marked as X too. Let’s just set some guards there, casually roaming around, in party clothes as if they are guests.” Reece instructed and everyone nodded at the right parts.

“But if you increase our security so much, maybe they’ll be too scared and won’t do anything. Then the whole plan will get ruined!” I told them but Sienna shook her head. “That’s fine. I’m sure they’ll strike again, and we’ll just have to be ready for it, without ever risking the lives of our packmates.”

I wanted to protest a little more, but the stern gazes I was receiving shut me up. I mean, I did have super strength now, so I’d be able to put up at least some fight. And what about all the people surrounding us for protection? Weren’t they directly in the line of fire?

“I wish I could make my powers work all the time, then I could just will for things to turn out okay,” I mused, more to myself than to either of them. They didn’t say anything much, but instead just assured me not to worry and that no one would get hurt and I was panicking for no reason and I should get some sleep - and they would too.

“Don’t even think about trying to use your powers, Flora. You don’t know your limits and asking for too much might hurt you. That just defeats the purpose of this entire charade.” He told me gently when the others had left our room for the night.

I knew he was right. I felt like shit after the whole ice thing in the lake, and that probably wasn’t that big a deal. Besides, maybe I could just will physical things and not change people’s plans and agendas. Aaah – I was so useless to this whole scenario that I didn’t know why they were after me.

They could just leave me be and sooner or later I was bound to fuck up something for them anyway, I thought darkly to myself and Reece gave me a quizzical look. I’d blocked him from my head for a while now.

“I can see steam coming out of your ears as you work your brain.” He told me with a small chuckle, and I chucked a pillow at his gorgeous face. “Shut up.” I instructed but he caught it easily with one hand. “Your strength will still take time to develop to its full potential. It generally takes a year to get to it, and it’s not even been a month since you were marked.”

“Okay?” I asked, because he made it sound like he had something more to add.

Reece hesitated, before running his hand through his hair. “I know this might be a little useless to ask you, but please, please. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you can run, or fight – please run.” He told me and I thought about it for a second.

“What if-“

“No.”

“But-“

“No.”

“Reece-“

This time he shut me up with a swift kiss, not letting me break away from his hold. I fought a little before giving in – at some point he would have to split so that we could breathe, and I would just start then.

“Do you kiss everyone who doesn’t agree with you?” I asked him and he grunted, before pulling us down into the bed and raising the comforter over me. I took it gladly but continued talking. “I know you disagree a lot with Grey. Hmm, that must be interesting. Does Daniella know this then?” I saw his face twitch at the insinuation, but he didn’t respond to me.

“Hmm, I guess it doesn’t count as cheating in your opinion then. So then, tomorrow if I want someone to listen to me, I’m just going to have to – Aaah!”

Reece had climbed on top of me and cupped my mouth in his large warm hand.

“Boy, you definitely have too much energy left in you to keep talking.” He said, but the undercurrent in his tone didn’t put me at ease. I mumbled to say something, but he wouldn’t move his hand. “Let me just tire you out a little.” He told me, moving the comforter from above me as he sat on top. My eyes widened in alarm at his other free hand, which was reaching for the collar of my t-shirt.

“Every time you even think about kissing someone else, you’re going to remember this.” He told me, but instead of tearing the material like I thought he would – his hand reached for the side of my neck – while his other hand moved to pin both my arms above me.

And he started tickling me.

Oh, this was way worse than what we did in the afternoon.

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