11. The Nobles
“Let me join you guys,”
“This meeting is between Alphas,” Theodore said, shaking his head and sighed in exasperation. Grinding my teeth, I clenched my fists and stood in his way in a challenging manner. His chest heaved with deep growls. It was a warning to be careful.
“I am Alpha and while I’m here, I’m representing the Midnight Moon,”
He stared at me for a moment and I could see his mind working through his eyes. Running his fingers through his hair, he turned away from me. I waited patiently for his answer with my arms folded. Shaking his head, his green eyes darted to me.
“Little one, you’ve got to understand-”
“No, I don’t,” I snapped, irritated. “If anything happens to my brother, I’m next in line for the title, just as Tristan is to succeed after you.”
He frowned, nodding slowly. “That is technically true.”
“Let her join,”
At the sound of his voice, we both looked in his direction. Basil leaned by the threshold of the door, his arms folded with one hand scratching his bearded jaw. His actions reflected his thoughts and his eyes were narrowed slightly, contemplating something I couldn’t decipher. Absentmindedly, my fingers brushed against his mark on the crook of my neck and I tightened my lips knowing he could read my own thoughts. Come to think of it, he was probably doing so right now.
“She’s soon to be Luna,” Was his vague explanation.
He motioned for us to follow and I did, with my uncle following behind. I caught up with his long strides, looking at him from the corner of my eyes in appreciation.
I knew he read my thoughts. Glancing my way, he nodded in reply and snaked his fingers through mine with a light squeeze. My slim, slender fingers looked tiny in his paw-like hands. It showed my acceptance of him as my mate; I didn’t revolt from his touch or tensed. My wolf growled in satisfaction and a ghost of a smile touched his lips when he pinned me with a look so intense, I blushed.
However, it didn’t mean I’d forget of the ghosts that orbit around him.
We headed to his office where the meeting would take place and he opened the door, making room for me to enter first. Scanning my surroundings, I saw Tristan and a few other men I didn’t recognise other than Keith and Cena. They didn’t look up at our arrival.
“Finally, this meeting was supposed to start an hour-” Tristan raised his head and did a double take at my presence. “Izabella?”
“In the flesh,” I said in nonchalance, nodding at the men before turning to Basil. “Where do I sit?”
“What is she doing here? This is strictly business between Alphas,”
I turned to the man who spoke, an elder, and he narrowed his blue eyes at me, the wrinkles at the corner of his eyes becoming prominent with his old age. He was tall but not as tall as the other men in the room. Uncle Theodore greeted him, calling him Albert. I didn’t say anything but my blood boiled at his insensitive comment. Couldn’t he feel my wolf, my authority? I was about to give him a piece of my mind but Basil beat me to it.
“She’s here because I want her to be,” Basil spoke to Albert was who about to reply but with his Alpha’s hard scowl, he tightened his lips. “She has every right to be here,”
He grumbled under his breath, sinking into his seat. Tristan’s cough hid his laughter as well as his fists covering his lips. His father frowned at him in disapproval before taking his seat. “Shall we get this meeting started?”
With my hand still in his, Basil guided me towards the chairs at the end of the long, rectangular table with him sitting at the head and with me on his left. The room was quiet and I suspected it was because of my presence. I was probably the first female to be a part of pack discussions and that thought filled my heart with pride.
The silence was deafening but I wasn’t intimidated by it or the stares I received. I stared right back until they complied and looked away in defeat. I smirked triumphantly.
“We should continue discussing the acceptance ceremony of The Bloodstone,” Theodore’s deep voice shattered through the silence. Leaning his elbows on the table, he watched Basil. “And to officially accept you as a legitimate Alpha. Your rise to The Nobles has been impressive,”
“I don’t seek to be a part of your elite organisation,” Basil growled through gritted teeth, tightening his hold on my hand. “I want no part in this,”
Theodore was quiet for a few seconds and then his eyes narrowed. They shifted a fraction in my direction before returning to Basil.
“If you’ve said those words a month ago, we would’ve accepted your decline but...” Once again, my uncle’s eyes met mine like a domino effect, so did everyone else’s. “You’re mated to our most valued person. She needs to be safe,”
“Are you saying I can’t protect what’s mine?” Basil’s challenged, sitting on the edge of his seat and his anger rolled off him in waves.
“I can take care of myself,” I said, annoyed.
“Your packs were built on terrorising those you could overrule, inhabiting lands that didn’t belong to you,” He snarled. “Mine was built on the blood and tears of those who were abandoned by their own,”
I held my breath, remembering Elizabeth’s words of every member having a history that led them to The Bloodstone. What did Basil go through? Uncle Theodore’s nostrils flared in anger and Tristan straightened in his seat, his eyes locked on Basil. “Don’t be so quick in making your decision.”
“We’ve been fine without your help, right Cena?”
“For fifteen years,” Cena said coolly, calmly. Keith chuckled under his breath.
“You can’t blame us for what our ancestors sought fit for our survival. Izabella is a part of a legacy in The Midnight Moon and she needs to be protected,”
Basil growled and shot to his feet. Tristan jumped to his own feet so fast, he’d knocked the chair over and his eyes were so dark, I chilled at how cold they looked. Clashing with Basil’s wintry eyes, his defensive stance spoke his willingness to fight. My uncle stayed calm and he pushed back against the chair, releasing a tired exhale.
Keith and Cena followed Tristan’s actions and my crazy ass cousin just grinned at them. Tristan was an Alpha male, genetically, if a fight was to occur, he would beat them to a pulp. My mate, however, didn’t appreciate his threatening stance.
“Back down, you’re in my territory,”
“Enough!” I roared, slamming my hands on the wooden table while rising from my seat. I glared at Tristan and he did the same. “Theodore, you have no right to come here and make demands. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself,”
He clenched his jaw and narrowed his eyes. I looked at Basil only to find him watching me.
“I understand you have reasons not to join The Nobles but think about it,” Inhaling sharply, I continued. “If you join, you’ll have access to an army willing to fight and defend your pack and with your skills, they can benefit even further. The children will go to a school limited to only wolves where they don’t have to hide their identity and you’re people, men and women, can be trained to defend themselves,”
The room grew quiet and his eyes glazing over as my words sunk in. His chest heaved when he took a deep breath, shifting on his feet and his frame stiffened. I waited for his answer.
“I’ll think about it,”
“What are you implying?”
“Right now we need a Luna, one that will tend to our people’s needs and not the complexities of the pack that should of an Alpha’s concern.”
I was eavesdropping, how could I not? I didn’t miss the way the elder men were staring at me like I was some rat in their sacred meeting. In their eyes, I tried not to care but deep down, something wouldn’t let me just walk away, not until I heard what they truly felt about me. The walls of the corridor blocked my view of Basil and Albert. With each word that worthless piece of wolf spoke fuelled my anger and determination. The meeting took an hour and I made sure I got in a few words on what I believed was best for The Bloodstone. Each time I did, Albert would give me a particular look I was familiar with.
You don’t belong here.
I got it all the time, so much so, I should be immune to those words. But I wasn’t.
Tears of frustration stung the corners of my eyes but I wouldn’t allow them to fall. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
“She is to stand behind you, not beside you. You are the leader and she is your companion,”
I couldn’t listen to the bullshit he was feeding Basil. Pushing myself off the walls, I headed for the front door, meeting the wind as it brushed my skin mercilessly. I saw Cassandra from a distance and I jogged to her. Her brown eyes widened once she noticed me and raised a brow quizzically.
“Where’s the nearest town?” I asked.
She blinked. “Not far from here, around a mile North, I think. Do you need anyone to come with you?”
“No, I’m going by myself,”
“What about the Alpha, does he know where you’re going?”
Walking past her, I threw a stern look over my shoulder and she straightened her posture. It was a look that sent a silent command and I knew she felt my unbearable authority over her.
“Keep this between us,”