Bound By Desire ~ book two Black Moon Alphas

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THREE

I slowly made my way down to the common room, noticing more activity in the estate than there had been before. There was a different feeling in the air, like a lighter energy but an undertone of nerves still.

The staff glanced at me, and I remembered Maias words, that they weren’t paid but they should be. Maia. I didn’t know what to say to her or how to react and I hoped she was still somewhere on the estate, I had faith that the men would have made it a priority to locate her.

I paused at the door, hearing a murmuring sound of people talking in hushed voices and sucked in a breath, straightened my shoulders and pushed the door open with what I hoped was confidence. The room went silent as I felt the eyes of everyone in the room on me, I searched for the men, finding them all seated near my chair and I felt the tinge of satisfaction as I watched their eyes heat, taking in my outfit.

Nykos smiled, giving me a look that said he was going to raise the stakes and I focused hard on the blood bond, hoping I could send the wave of sensual energy to them. When Cain cleared his throat, I knew I had hit the mark.

As I sat down, Helion leant over to whisper in my ear, hand resting on my wrist.

“You look good enough to eat, little vixen but don’t think we don’t know what you are doing.” He smiled and I stared at him with a blank expression, hoping it looked like mock innocence.

As I studied the new faces all watching me with a mixture of anticipation and nerves, I felt the butteflies in my stomach. I had never been prepared to oversee my own pack and my lack of voice right now was going to make this first meeting even more difficult.

I caught sight of Maia in the back of the room, we stared at each other for a moment before she glanced away.

I glanced at the men and touched my throat, frustrated at my inability to do something I had taken for granted. Helion touched my hand and smiled.

“Lady. Everyone here is aware that you are still healing. If you will allow me to talk on your behalf, I can introduce you to the pack and fill you in with what has been happening.” I smiled, squeezing Helions hand in response.

Someone stood at the end of the table and cleared their throat. I recognized the young man I had saved from Nyssa.

“If I may, Lady, I would like to say a few words first…” He waited until I nodded in approval, relief in his eyes.

“I want to thank you first for risking your life and taking me, and the others, away from Nyssa’s pack. Life there was…becoming unbearable.” He hesitated and I watched as one of the young women reached for his hand in comfort. She looked about his age and the look they shared told me they were in love.

A risky thing to show in a pack as relationships weren’t always accepted out of fear that conflicts could arise for the Alphas. She caught me watching and let go of him quickly, blushing as she looked away.

“I understand what you have done because of me has created more conflict amongst the Clans and claiming your brothers old pack will be a political nightmare.” I shook my head, glancing at Helion. Tell him I would do it again if I had to, that no one should be treated like that in their pack. I hoped I had sent the words through the bond, willed them into Helions mind and when all four of them stiffened, I figured I had shouted it successfully to them all.

You and I will have a little chat about your thoughts that you would do it again, Lady. Helion sent back and I narrowed my eyes at him as he turned to the young man.

“Drew, the Lady would like me to convey that she would do it again and that no one should be treated like that.” I saw Drews shoulders tighten before they relaxed. He smiled weakly, moved to sit then paused.

A look of sadness in his eyes as he studied me.

“I was a young member in your brother’s pack and not a part of his inner circle, but I watched and learnt a lot. Your brother was different, not like other Alphas and the few members that had defected to his pack, I could see the differences more with how they responded.” Maia shifted behind him, and he glanced in her direction, they all did.

She had been a part of his pack, I realized, they all knew her which meant that Ryder had been positioning her to take the role of his Alpha. The knowledge shot through me, a mixture of anxiety, fear and anger. How did she end up in my kitchen as a servant? Would Ryders old pack look to her before they looked to me? Did I have a threat under my own roof? I felt Helion squeeze my knee under the table, and I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding.

“Your brother always spoke fondly of you, and it was his love for you that drove him to find the more…” He hesitated, looking for the right word.

“Unique of us that were being rejected in other packs.” My heart ached; I had no idea that my brother spoke of me nor that his pack were wolves he was saving. No wonder the tensions had been high between him and my father.

“I can see why your brother spoke so fondly of you, Lady. You and he are the kind of Alphas that instil a sense of loyalty rarely seen.” He glanced at the men seated next to me and I felt the tears in my eyes. I held my hand to my heart and spoke to Helion.

His words mean so much to me and confirm I made the right choice. Helion squeezed my hand, repeating my words. Nykos shifted in his seat and stood to talk.

“Lady, with the new members still settling in we haven’t assigned duties yet as we wanted to wait for your approval. The estates main rooms are already at full capacity, and we are looking at expanding near the rear of the land to accommodate for more members.” I frowned, more members. What do you mean, more members? I asked and he smiled warily.

“Since the festival, we have had other old pack members write to us in private to seek asylum under the pack member rights claim. I have had to turn them down for lack of space but took the liberty of saying we would take them as soon as you were awake to give the approval and we had the space.”

We all thought you wouldn’t want to turn them down so whilst you have been recovering, we have been busy working on the building plans and logistics required to take on so many pack members. He said silently, and I nodded, they were right, I wouldn’t turn anyone away.

“We just need to get your approval and go over the numbers a final time. In the meantime, I am sure that each new member would like to see you personally, I was informed by Cass that you will need to rest your voice for another week.” He turned to the room to address them all.

“Once the Lady has fully recovered, then you can all request your meetings with her.” I watched the faces of all the new members, their curious glances my way as though they wanted to stare at me, figure out who their Alpha was who had no abilities as a wolf but it was Maia that I wanted to speak to right now.

“You will have to leave that until you can talk. She has refused to talk to us, and we are monitoring her movements, so we know she cant leave.” Helion said softly, catching my thoughts.

“If you are happy to adjourn this meeting, Lady, the men and I would like to have a private one to go over business with you.” Nykos requested and I nodded, everyone standing to hurry out the room.

Maia stopped at the threshold, glancing at me with a look that I could have sworn was desperation before she left.

“We have a lot to tell you, Lilith. Your brother has left us more trails, just when we thought it couldn’t get more interesting, you will never guess what Archer dug up at the mine site.” Helion said and Archer sighed. I looked at him expectantly and he wiped a hand over his face, grimacing.

“I found a temple.”

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