No one came into High Tower but the top members of each pack. Usually adults or Alphas, but here I was in the very court room I had heard of but never seen.
Alpha Baden’s six Guardians have escorted me into the room, which is the moment they decide to take off and find Baden again.
I expect to see Baden’s mysterious family; the royal members of Pack Moon that had apparently kept his secret that he was their only son for literally years, if not two decades.
However, I don’t get the privilege of seeing the Pack Moon royals that owned Half-Moon Academy.
Instead, all I see are my old family and some pack mates, twenty members, in chains and covered in dirt, standing to the side before a judge on a raised podium.
In the circular room, the seats are only filled with a couple of nosey gossips - elderly wolves that have nothing better to do.
“Move forward,” two men behind me block any escape when I look over my shoulder, wondering if it’s even worth trying to run.
“You must be Maia,” the judge says stonily as I turn back to see the older woman dressed in the wolf furs of other executed treasonous wolves. I nod and she adds, “Please come forward, I don’t have all day.”
Neither do I, but I didn’t have a life either in three hours once I was led to be executed.
I feel like saying it, but I’m not brave enough as I simply walk forward to see my old pack mates, eyes down cast and looking thoroughly defeated.
“Now that the last member is here, I can continue,” the judge begins, “Today, you stand before us accused of crossing into Moon territory with no regards for common Wolf Law. You signed a contract with the Prime Alpha to stay out of Moon territory - at all costs. You’ve crossed over, I’ve been told, to go ‘sight seeing’... I take that as a direct attempt to spit on the contract you signed, with complete disregard for your Prime Alpha. By werewolf law, you will be punished accordingly... with your lives. Maia,” the judge pauses and decides to ask of me, “Do you have anything to say?”
“Um... yeah... why am I here?” I ask.
“The Prime Alpha wishes that no more members of Pack Crescent be present in Moon territory. An immediate execution has been ordered of all bad blood... is there anyway you’d like to defend yourself or your family?” I’m surprised the judge cares, but I guess she just wants to hear my side of the story.
“I have nothing to ask for other than a simple last request,” I reply, thinking of my immediate annoyance.
Baden could have helped me but he didn’t care that I was going to die - none of his family did.
I had to get their attention to warrant some sort of negotiation for my life.
I knew if the Prime Alpha was the one to make an order for execution, this judge had no power to save us - only to communicate and set in action what he wished to happen.
Only direct contact with a royal would help... and I had one in mind.
“There are allowances for last requests, but you must tell me what that is, Maia,” the judge slowly raises a brow at me, almost as if she is hoping I find a way out of this.
“I want to tell Alpha Baden an important message - right now, before the court room if I have to, before you.”
“You will have to tell me what you wish to say,” the judge repeats.
“I wish to remind him of my scholarship. I don’t wish to bother the Prime Alpha - I may as well speak with his son. Plus, I need to tell Baden that he needs to remember to shower - he stinks like hell. No offence, judge - I am on death row and I want to make sure I am being honest in what I wish to tell him before you.”
The judge pauses at this, shocked that I know of the blood relation. Or maybe it was because I blatantly said Baden stank like hell.
Regardless, I wait patiently and politely for her to reply.
“May I ask,” the judge chooses her words carefully, “...do you have any sort of relationship with Alpha Baden... Maia?”
Her question confuses me and I don’t like the suspicious tone in the judge’s voice.
“Uh... why?” I ask, refusing to answer right away as I get a hint of what she is thinking.
Did... did she perhaps... assume we were dating?
Maybe the judge thought I was keen to insult Baden because we had a potential relationship and I was striking out in anger now that I was set for death?
I mean, I’d roll with it - as long as it guaranteed me my life.
“You will have to wait while I fetch Alpha Baden,” the judge doesn’t wait for me to reply as she starts to make a call.
I turn around to look at my old pack, glancing up at me with hope in their eyes.
They hadn’t been kind to me - I had been glad to get away from them.
But now I was their only hope of survival.
Maybe I could save all our lives - but first I had to insult Alpha Baden to do it.