Beta's Bride [ShadowPack #2]

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Chapter 10: The Folk Festival

Xavier was looking at his mother, waiting for her to tell her the news that he wanted to hear. He did not know much about his father after he married his mother. They said that it was an arranged match and they have not complied with it.

Must have taken a lot of strength for her to endure her husband, Xavier thought before his mother was showing him a piece of paper. It was rather old looking really and he was taking it to read the content in it. It was written in English.

"An agreement?" Xavier asked her before his mother nodded. Then, he read. And blinked. Then reread it again.

"Is this even legit, mother?" he asked her before she sighed. His mother has been weary and he knew that he cannot force her to tell him everything. But this agreement...it changed everything that he stood for these past years.

After his father's betrayal.

His sister's secret.

His own selfishness.

He gulped before his mother took his hand. Xavier turned to look at her before she smiled at him.

"We have known that you were attached to her since we visited Italy when you were just a child. This family has known your father for quite some time and they have trusted her with you when you were older. I see that you have no complaints about it," his mother said rather perceptively before Xavier rubbed his nape.

"Well, the thing is—"

"No need to explain, dearest. You will simply have to make a choice. Her or the girl that you will be seeing tonight," she said before he snapped his eyes to his mother. She rolled her eyes.

"I may be old, but I am not deaf. I can sense that your wolf was howling for her until he can get to meet her tonight. He cannot wait to get out of here," his mother said before she arched her eyebrow at him.

Xavier blushed.

"Well, if you excuse me then," he mumbled before he was gripping the letter of agreement between two parties, the one that his father has set up for him when he was only a child with the young girl that he never knew.

This might be his chance to tell Stella how he really feels about her.

"Good luck, dear. I know you will make the right choice," his mother said before Xavier walked out of the living room as fast as his legs can carry him.

Tonight, it will all right, he chanted before h changed as he was carrying another bag of his clothes to get ready when he was having a date with one Stella Canali.

*****

Stella still doesn't know what to make of this date. Would she be dressing casually like she did when she went out for a night in town or would she be putting some effort to make sure that Xavier will not turn away from her?

She sighed before she was looking at the clothes that she bought with her on the vacation. She clicked her tongue before she was shoving it away. She should have gone shopping today. But of course, it was a moment of spontaneity that she asked Xavier to go to the Folk Festival with her.

She laid on the bed and turned to look at the clock on the night table. It was only hours away from the festival started. And she was not getting a shower and ready yet. Then, a knock was on her door.

"Coming," she said before she went to open the door. She looked at the receptionist that was holding a box in front of him. Stella smiled before she was looking at the parcel in his hands.

"Miss Canali, yes?" he asked before she nodded. Then, he asked her to sign for her delivery and she took the box to put it on the bed. She was curious to know what was inside here and who sent it to her.

Then, she found scissors and opened the box. Before her eyes, there was a letter that stated 'For your date tonight'. No signature. No name. Just that. She turned to look at the card before she smelled it. Stella saw the act on a crime scene of an American crime series one time. Maybe she would get a clue.

Lilac. It smelled of lilac.

Stella crinkled her nose for she did not fancy lilac at all. She was more into something fresh like lemon or apple. That would be much more satisfying. Lilac smelled like an old lady, in her opinion.

Not that she would condemn for this secret admirer of hers to use lilac though. It was a personal choice on that matter.

Then, she was looking inside the box after she discarded the card and gasped. Are you kidding me?! She mused before she picked up a new cocktail dress that was fancy enough but modest enough for her to wear for her date tonight.

Stella went to hold the fabric in front of her body as she was looking at her reflection in the mirror before she grinned. Now, she was motivated to get ready with this new dress to adorn her body before her date with Xavier tonight.

*****

She was late, as usual, Xavier mused as he was looking at his watch. It was 6 PM and there was no sign of Stella. She told him that she would be in the town square at 6 PM and Xavier, as eager as he was, trying to be early so that she would not be waiting for him.

It was a bad decision for a man to make a lady waited for him.

He sighed before he was looking around, trying to see where would Stella be. He bet that she would be wearing her casual dress for their date. It's not like they were officially dating or anything, right?

She would bloody well wear rags for all Xavier cared.

But his heart—and his wolf—demanded him to make sure that Stella would be dressed up for their date and maybe keep his eyes on her all the time. He wanted to see her in something other than jeans and blouses. He wanted her to be wearing a dress, for Pete's sake!

Then, something was irking his hair on his nape before a voice was clearing behind him.

"Hello, Xavier," the sultry, seductive, familiar voice of Stella was hitting his eardrums from behind. He rolled his eyes before he turned around, ready to give some lecture on her tardiness—

A lump caught in his throat, for Xavier cannot form a sentence with the sight that was in front of him right now.

Stella smiled before she blushed as she turned to look at her choice of clothing for tonight. It was a short red dress that has short sleeves fitted to her figure nicely. She was smiling rather sheepishly, considering her choice of wardrobe, which was bold.

"I am sorry I am late. I was having some trouble with the directions when there was a lot of people around the streets and I got confused and—"

She did not finish the sentence of her rambling when Xavier pulled her closer and kissed her on the lips. It was on the impulse of course but it was the right to do right now, in the middle of the streets where everyone would see him kissing Stella, claiming that she was his.

And bloody hell, she was.

Stella was gasping for a moment before she was clutching his nape with her delicate hands and pulled him closer. She was returning his kisses before she was licking his lower lips. Damn it! Xavier was trying to control his lust for her as his wolf was purring happily at the contact that they made.

"And hi to you too," Xavier said after he was pulling all his strength to break their kiss as Stella was closing her eyes before she opened it. The blue orbs were digging into his grey orbs. He smirked before he perked her lips again.

"I hope the wait was worth it," Stella whispered huskily before he chuckled lowly. He was gripping her waist closer to his before digging his fingers into it.

"Absolutely," he said before Stella was looking around them, conscious of their surroundings.

"Xavier, people are staring," she said quietly before her blue orbs were staring at him. He smirked before he was drawing her closer again.

"Let them. Let them know that you only belong to me as I belong to you," he was not meant to say that for Stella was snapping her eyes at him before her breathing came out harsh.

"You do have a thing for timing this poorly," she said before he was dragging her away from the town square to enter the folk festival which was located at the end of the road.

"I just state the truth and I am not regretting it anyway," he said before they were scanning the roads and the vendors that were set up for them to browse and walked past by.

*****

"Ugh, I don't even know why I bother to come along to this festival. It's not like it was something that I can gain from," Samantha Lykos said before her best friend, a human named Karisa Papadopoulos was chuckling lowly beside her. She was the daughter of a carpenter that ordered the lumbers from her village and she had met her when she was working at the famous café.

"Oh, come on, Sam. This would be fun. And I heard that there was this belief that if you go to the folk festival, you might find your 'the one'," Karisa said before Sam snorted. Her best friend was a hopeless romantic and she just gets it by with her fascination with a coincidence meeting that would eventually lead to marriage.

"Just so you know, I am not thinking to find 'the one' here. I have too much on my plate already," Sam retorted before she was thinking about her reclusive brother, Sebastian, who was a doctor, an officiator, and an Ultima to consider IF she did find her mate.

Sam sighed before Karisa was shaking her head at her.

"Come now, this is supposed to be fun even without the prospect of meeting 'the one', like you suggested. But nonetheless, we got to spend some time together. That's the main thing," Karisa said before Sam smiled and moved forward to walk into the festival.

Only this time, she did not think that she would be meeting her 'the one' at all.

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