Chapter 35 ~ Convincing
I knew my dad was a good and decent man, I knew he had made many friends over his reign as Alpha and I also knew he was an expert negotiator. Ryder had given him a reason to call to arms, his legion of alliances but never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would bear witness to it. Some fierce and strong Alpha’s filled our hall, I always thought I would never meet the Alpha’s of legend, yet here they sat and the testosterone was suffocating.
Whatever quarrels they fought between them were always put on hold when it came to times of war or need, but you could not miss the glares and pure disdain between rivals, yet, they would not act on it. All Alpha’s sign a treaty when they became allies, to avoid such confrontations.
Claire leans over and whisper’s in Ryder’s ear, both Roland and I can’t help but focus in.
“Have you ever seen so many raging dicks in one room? Jesus the air is so thick, it’s like if I move the wrong way, I’ll get pregnant.” I couldn’t help but chuckle briefly at her observation, Roland, however, growled, unimpressed by the thought of her belly full with some other males pup.
“Yep and they probably all heard you, well-done Lieutenant. If I was you, I’d focus on calming your mate down before he shifts at the thought of someone else’s cock near you.” She whispered back while a few nosey ears that were listening in from the front row, chuckled or smiled knowingly.
I leaned over, placing my hand in full view of the entire audience, atop of Ryder’s as she sat on her throne. My mother had made sure that both my father and I, plus Ryder and her, were seated adjacent to each other so there was no confusion to the fact, not only was Ryder a powerful Hunter but she was to be respected in her proper role as future Luna of our pack and my mate.
Unfortunately, because Prince Avron Arnachtuchia of the Kingdom Meadows was joining us, he too had a throne up on the stage, with one for Gage and their newest mate addition. I had begged mum not to but she refused, stating the disrespect would be unforgivable and war with wolven royalty was not something she wished to endure in her lifetime.
Dimitri and Valentino arrived, the entire crowd stiffened the moment they entered, like a Mexican wave, it rippled from the back of the hall all the way, until they stood in front of the stage. Dimitri refusing to make eye contact with Ryder and she just looked sad as she sparingly glanced at him.
Our wolves patrolled between rows of seats, offering refreshments to everyone. Watching Arlene throw herself at unmated wolves was entertaining, especially, when it came to the unmated Alpha’s, everyone in this room could sense she was not Luna material and yet, she still flaunted herself to anyone who dared glance at her… sad really.
Wolves being wolves though, by the end of tonight, she most definitely will be fucked, some unlucky bastard will fall for her easy lay attitude and she will cling, desperate for attention and a status but she was nothing special - just a hole for a cock. Dad noticed the behaviour and ordered her to finish kitchen duty, she entertained by throwing a hissy fit and stormed out. Both Ryder and Mum looked disapprovingly at one another, clearly, her behaviour was not just despised by me.
“They’re here,” I informed Ryder, having sensed their presence the moment they crossed the borders, being escorted by our pack warriors. An insult to the prince but if he was a smart man, he would understand the need for such drastic measures of protection.
“You okay?” She asked, concern evident in her chocolate brown orbs.
“He touches you, I kill him.” My promise stated with a toothy grin and a dangerous glint in my eyes.
Ryder scoffs, “why would he touch me and risk an alliance?”
“C’mon on now, Rocky baby, he’s even lucky I’ve agreed to this, my wolf is very possessive of you and you know that.”
“You need not be concerned, either of you, I am yours.” I know she’s telling me the truth but a human/wolf mate-ship isn’t the same as, wolf on wolf. Humans can easily be swayed with the right motivation and I was feeling more than insecure.
How epically clever of Avron, he strolls in adorning his ceremonial robes with his fucken muscular chest bared for every Alpha in the room to see, if I thought the testosterone was suffocating before, the moment he strolls in, I swear I heard balls around the room tighten almost to the point of bursting, mine, however, remained intact. Avron led the procession with a redhead female in the middle and… Gage… bringing up the rare with their entire unit left at the back.
Observing Avron’s eyes flick to Ryder as he ran his tongue along his bottom lip… that bastard. I snapped my head to her, only to find Rocky staring up adoringly at me. She places her soft delicate hand in mine and lightly kisses the back of my palm. She was reassuring and calming my wolf, that adoration was written all over her face - she always knew how to make my heart flutter. Taking a deep breath in, I could smell her arousal and it definitely stroked my ego to know that in a room full to the brim of Alpha males, she was lusting after me.
“Alpha Leonardo, Luna Isla,” Avron’s deep voice broke our thirsting eye contact.
“Welcome to our home Prince Avron and who are your companions?”
“Ah, yes, let me introduce to you, my mates? This is Prince Gage Makhil Landerson of Emerson and Ryder’s betrothed…” I growled, she was no longer anything to him, I noticed Gage’s face light up with glee at my possessive reaction. “And our newest addition Dalilah Michaels.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both, this is my wife Isla and our son and future Alpha, Ulric. Obviously, you know, his mate, Ryder.” My dad emphasising on the ‘his mate’ just so they knew exactly who Ryder belonged too and how we would fight for her. They both smirked at our display of dominance over Ryder but they needed to know, no matter what plan they had conjured up in their tiny brains, I would never allow her to marry Gage.
“Lil, isn’t it?” Ryder speaks up from beside me.
“It is High Commander,” Dalilah bows low in respect.
“You must forgive me, Lil, I am shocked by the turn of events, are you not Daughter to Lieutenant Michaels? You belong in the mountain sect?”
“I did until my father decided to trade me to clear his debts to your father.”
“I’m sorry,” Ryder offered with sincerity.
“Please don’t be,” she smiled looking bashfully between her two hulking men either side of her. “Turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” Ryder’s grip tightened on mine and a wide smile adorned her face.
“Should we get on with it then?” I pushed forward.
“Yes, let’s,” Gage answered, his beady eyes raking over Ryder’s body, I looked down at her, but once again, she was completely oblivious to Gage’s actions. Her eyes glued on me.
My father advances the podium and lets out a curt bark to acquire everyone’s attention, the murmur silenced immediately.
“Welcome everyone. I had hoped I would never see this day come to fruition, a day when I would call to arms all of you. A new threat has landed on our shores, we are not governed by a royal family as they were massacred centuries ago by Wolf Hunters. As you are aware our son has been blessed with a Vampire Hunter as his mate and as a result of their joyous union, we have become privy to some rather unnerving information. It seems the King of the Hunters has decreed war on all supernatural beings, including and not exclusive to werewolves. Prince Avron Arnachtuchia of the Kingdom Meadows and his Mates Prince Gage Makhil Landerson of Emerson and Miss Dalilah Michaels can concur as well as Ulric’s mate High Commander Ryder Aryn De La Vega - all three have experienced firsthand the despicable nature we are facing.
“Prince Gage’s father is the King that has ordered the termination and has been planning the genocide of all of our species for years. Prince Gage and Ryder are betrothed and at their wedding and Gages coronation will be the official start of the war. I hand the floor over to Prince Gage so he may explain then answer any questions that you have.” Dad leaves as Gage addresses the hall.
Hours pass by as everyone has their turn at speaking, Ryder sits patiently waiting for her turn to speak, you can see the way she watched in awe as more and more minds were turned in regards to their plight, she had no reason to feel discouraged as she stepped up to the podium.
“Thank you all, my father Maverick De La Vega is responsible for the blood that is being mass produced for the King. He has received a bloodline Vamps blood which allows the ingestor to become ten times stronger, their abilities mimicking that of the Vamp from whence it came. My coven has a member that was bitten by a direct bloodline Vamp and his blood remains undiluted, meaning he is one of our best defences against the ten thousand strong armies, the Hunters purpose… to eradicate.
“There is no mercy, no humanity when it comes to this addiction, the cruelty and sadistic nature of blood ingesting allows no rational thought or feeling. As a result, they fight with conviction, believing they are the judge, jury and executioner in one and all of us must bow to them. You have heard detailed recounts of the abusive horror that grows and burns inside of these men and women, I’m choosing to fight for Ulric, for our love, for the pack and the coven and for our future pups.”
I’m not going to lie, the moment she mentioned our future pups, I almost came right there in front of everyone. Thankfully, a large dark figure stood at the back of the hall and raised his hand drawing my focus away from the appetising idea of filling my woman with my seed.
“So what is the plan? If every Hunter compound has been invited to the coronation where they will unleash their wrath, how does the plan rollout?” It was a solid question, Avron rose from his seat and stood beside Ryder as I watched attentively, the moment he touches her he’s dead. Ryder knew better and removed herself to take her seat next to mine, interlacing our fingers.
“There will be certain people allowed into the proceedings, the wedding of Ryder and Gage will take place first...” at the mention I snarled, an unpleasant thrum flowing through me like waves crashing on the shore. Ryder climbed on top of my lap burying her head into my neck, her instinct to calm my wolf was impeccable. “...And once the document is signed, Gage will be crowned as King. These steps are important as it allows Gage the power to set right all that is wrong, legally and without question, the politics of abolishing such laws, for example, blood ingestion - will only pass the council because he is King.
“They will order the attack as night falls, everyone who could not enter inside the kingdom walls will be allowed in when the gates rise to allow the Hunters out. At this stage we will open any and all entrances into the castle via the control room, we have secured a willing participant that has access to all the codes and our Warlock Vinnik will blast the walls allowing easy entrance. But from there you are all on your own, a fight to the death begins and we pray the war favours our side because the repercussions of failure? Well, it’s too devastating to comprehend.
“Despite my unusual mating to a man and a woman, my Kingdom and our packs will be fighting, including anyone over the age of sixteen. Kieran’s faerie realm, too are joining our cause as well as Harcheros and his Day walking Vampire clan. Rylac comes from a tribe high up in the Shekasie ( she-car-see ) mountain range, as Druids, they are particularly skilled marksman and he has pledged his men and those of the surrounding villages. We hope that with that and the help of your packs, families or allies, it will be enough to crush the tyrannical, blood-lusting egomaniacs. Remember that with the added Bloodline Vampires donation, the army of ten thousand automatically becomes one hundred thousand in strength, agility and skills. In the end, it is your prerogative to join our mission but you must consider, if we fail - you die anyway.”
There was no twitch in his heartbeat, no false fabrication and certainly no bubble wrapping the situation, Avron spoke the truth. The Alpha’s and allies from other realms had a lot to think about, they needed rest and so did we, it had been a long an emotional night for everyone and we had agreed to adjourn to the following night as Dimitri’s or now Valentino’s, Vampires could participate.
I was frantic to return to our bedroom and curl under the covers with my mate and just hold her. My mind and heart had cracked upon hearing of her pending nuptials to the dick, Gage, and our futile attempt to see reason and justification of the impending events were growing tiresome and pointless - for both my wolf and I could not understand.
We climbed into bed after showering in silence, gravitating like magnets into each other’s arms, my lips finding her hairline. I will not let you marry him, I will think of a way, I promise.