Chapter 38 ~ Emerson
My nerves hit their peak the moment those tires touched down on the bitumen and Ulric could feel the tension coursing through my veins - just as I could feel his apprehension.
“Ulric, look at me. I love you, you and only you, everything I say is fake, I feel nothing for Gage, never will.” I smashed my lips against his in desperate need, now was no time for a mistake, our wolves and alliances were on their way, our coven was hastily moving and everything was gearing up for the greatest war the humans had ever seen and would never know about.
“Are you ready my love?” Gage asked with a smile playing across his lips.
“Only you,” I whispered back to Ulric as Gage took my hand and we exited the plane doors.
A large convoy of cars was there to greet us. “Ah, Prince Gage, welcome home.” A short stocky man in a butlers outfit with beady little eyes waved his hand to the open limo door.
“Geoffrey, It’s good to be home. May I introduce the beautiful Princess Ryder Aryn De La Vega.”
“Sir,” I tilted my head slightly and continued to look around as our large group was ushered into other vehicles.
“Princess, we are honoured to have you join our family,” I had a feeling he thought himself above his station but I smiled politely and entered, sliding across the leather seats.
“Ah, Geoffrey...” I pushed open the door as he went to shut it. “My personal guard Ulric will be joining us.” Ulric eyed the man as he shuffled in beside me and Avron and Dalilah entered after him.
Gage was clearly unimpressed with my decision but I could not care less, I snuggled closer to my furry beast for comfort as our car took off towards Emerson Castle.
“Personal guard, ah Rocky?” He teased, “I like the sound of that, we may have to roleplay with that scenario.” His words had my abdomen clenching as my pussy dripped with desire, he could smell it as it thickly perfumed the stagnant air. “Stop before I fuck you in front of your betrothed.”
“Yes stop,” a gruff and unpleasant voice rang.
“No need to be jealous Gagey boy, my cock is the only one she will ever ride,” his beautiful light brown eyes never left mine while Gage seethed next to us. Did I care? No, no, I did not.
Secretly, I enjoyed his Alpha display of ownership, especially when it came to Gage, the very thought of him touching me made my skin crawl in disgust. Ulric had explained that my repulsion to him was because my heart belonged to Ulric but also the mate bond and marking - my body would never yearn for another - I belonged to him and him to me and our lives were now one.
We arrived at the castle and were seen to the throne room immediately. Inside the extravagant room stood the Hunters Council, other Hunters and the King and Queen, though the Queen sat, looking completely out of it. A skinny, tall, dark-skinned man was statured by the doors.
“Ready?” Gage asked as I looped my arm in his.
“As I’ll ever be,” I replied, lifting my chin towards the opened doors.
The statured man began, “Introducing, Prince Gage Mikahil Landerson of Emerson and Princess Ryder Aryn De La Vega.”
We walked down the red-carpeted aisle towards the two golden thrones that seated Queen Harriett and King Elderon Landerson - the Hunter’s Royal family and world-renowned killers. The Queen could barely hold her skin together, she was twitching and flexing her jaw, her mouth opening and closing rapidly. I side glanced Gage, who was obviously assessing the peculiar movements with disappointment - she had begun the celebrations early and dipped into some vampire blood. As a result, she was spasming, jarring, jolting and just in general, unable to control the ingestion.
We reached the end of the runway and bowed deeply, “Ah, my son.” King Elderon descended the throne stairs to hug his child while the Queen fidgeted in her seat, her eyes focussing in and out. “How I have missed you, your mother has been rather uneventful company,” he winked playfully. “Miss Ryder Aryn, it is a pleasure to finally meet you, your father speaks very highly of you. Will he be arriving soon?” My eyes flicked to Gage in a moment of panic, we had not discussed our excuse. Shit, how could we have missed such a major detail?
“My King, unfortunately, he will not be here for this joyous occasion…” Think - think Ryder. “He and his entire unit attacked a hoard of Vampires a thousand strong, they had been moving their coven when my father attacked...” fake tears escaped my eyes. “There were too many and they were ill-equipped, his unit almost in its entirety, wiped out. If it hadn’t of been for your son, my amazing fiancé Gage and his Unit, the hoard of vermin would have survived. I’m so thankful he wasn’t hurt during the fight.” Hmm, maybe I should have been an actor?
“My son... the hero. I am sorry for your loss Miss De La Vega, your father was…”
“An idiot,” I cut him off whilst he was trying to find an appropriate word. “I mean, who is crazy enough to take on that many with no back-up weapons? Mathias is the only survivor of the attack. Gage has graciously accepted him into his unit since he was so brave during the fight and slaughtered more than a hundred vampires with only his blades. I fear my father grew complacent in his old age.”
“It would seem so. Well, you are blessed to have had Gage on hand.”
“Very,” I agreed with a brisk nod. Wow, I should have really taken up acting, I’m so good at this.
“As you are both aware, your union will take place tomorrow evening. Tomorrow is an especially blessed day as it will be the first blood moon in over a century and all Hunters have been gathered to celebrate the passing of the crown. It is time for me to get back to what I do best… Hunting.” He sneered the last word as if he knew a secret we did not, however, we did know his secret and how disappointed will he be when we thwart his plans for world domination.
“Oh, you plan on going back into the field?” I feigned incredulously.
“Yes my dear,” he cups my cheeks. “So soft...” he whispers, “I have unfinished business with all supernaturals. Tell me, dear, are you pure?” I knew exactly where his mind was going.
“Yes my King, my father wanted it that way for our marriage.” I smiled sweetly whilst lying my fucken ass off.
“Good, very good,” he praised while stroking my face. “You will enjoy breaking in virginal pussy my son, nothing quite beats the tightness.” I had to hold everything I had back, all I wanted to do was ram a knife in his chest, the disgusting pig.
“Father, Ryder and her companions have had a long flight and after the loss of both of her parents, I should very much like to show them to their wing and allow them to rest before tomorrow?” Gage intercepted, obviously, he had read my face of disgust.
“You are right son, they will all be bedded in the south wing with you and your unit.”
“Thank you, father.”
We were all escorted to the south wing, the castle was magnificent, far larger than I could have ever imagined, I mentally took in every corridor, every turn, creating a map of how to get back to that throne room. I could feel Ulric’s eyes on me as Gage’s hand held firm on the small of my back, I could feel he did not enjoy him touching me so intimately but he remained in position while Gage spoke fondly of the grandeur and history of his home and palace.
“And this, beautiful Ryder, is your room.” He pushed open the door to reveal a massive studio apartment, far larger than my purple house on my parents compound. At first look, it showed spacious timber flooring with comfortable puffy couches. A winding staircase that wound up to the two other levels, with white sheer drape curtains, the whole foyer was breathtaking. “Here will house, Claire and Roland and of course, your bodyguard, Ulric. Your bags have already been brought up,” Gages nose sneered at Ulric’s name.
“Thank you, Gage, this is wonderful,” I breathed.
“Yes well, I shall see you tomorrow at the altar.”
“Looking forward to it, oh and Gage... I need Dalilah the moment Avron and her arrive,” I called back strutting in.
“Yes, I remember,” he agreed, clearly annoyed by my bedroom company.
We entered in and closed the door, locking it behind us. Ulric did not hesitate and swept me up into his arms but I grasped his face tightly to gain his attention. Pressing my finger to my lips, displaying the universal sign for ‘shh’.
I motioned for Claire to sweep the area, she detangled from Roland and got to work. After half an hour, we had finally installed our bug detecting program in complete silence with two very intrigued wolves watching our movements.
“It’s ready,” Claire whispered.
“Run it,” I ordered. Within seconds, sparks went off all around the studio. In total we collected twenty-six listening devices and three motion sensors, I was pissed beyond belief - they were clever but we were smarter.
“Fucken hell, they don’t trust you,” Roland laughed.
I rolled my eyes, only he could make a joke out of such a grim situation. If our room was bugged, it meant all rooms were, I knew Arrow would have run his debugging program but the others were at risk, “Clay,” I looked up.
“On it,” she nodded and headed out to debug the other rooms.
“What does this mean?” Ulric asked me.
“It means we are being watched, they don’t trust us and they want to know of our plans, I just hope Clay and Roland can get to your wolves before they say anything.”
“They know to stay silent trust me,” his thumbs circled my hips delicately.
“I do trust you, with my life, but they don’t know how Hunters work.”
“Rocky baby, give the word and we will get out of here.”
“Do you trust me, Ul?”
“Yes, although every day this ridiculous plan draws closer the less faith I have,” his face flashed fear and hurt.
“Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” he rolled his eyes.
“Good, because I don’t trust Gage, let alone his family. When the time comes, I’m going to need you to remember that I love you and only you.”
“I shall try.”
“Not try, Ul, remember,” I warned with a soft kiss to his lips.
“Fine, just know that this hurts, watching you with him.”
“I know it does, it repulses me to have his hands on me but I pretend they are yours.”
“Do you?” He quirks his eyebrow.
“I do,” I breathe heatedly, “yours are the only hands that make me shudder with pleasure.”
“They are only meant for you Rocky.”
We spent the night making exquisite love, eating and then copulating again. Tomorrow I would have to sign over my name in blood to Gage Mikahil Landerson, all Hunter marriages were signed in blood, creating an unbreakable bond. I think Gage thought I had no idea about the custom and that’s why he seemed so adamant on our union and cocky about his position. Little did he know, that I always had a contingency plan and it was only a matter of time before said plan was to come into effect.
A/N: Hmm, things are about to get crazy!