He walked the castle grounds, as he did every night, carefree and appreciating everything he had in life. While the expectations and stresses of his future weighed heavy on his mind he couldn’t help but sigh with relief that one of his most significant challenges was now past him.
A knowing smile lingered at the corner of his lips as he stuffed his hands into his pockets and laughed sheepishly, Noah couldn’t help but feel a sense of cocky pride. He had done it. He had finally found his mate, the other half of him he had been waiting for since his first complete shift. It hadn’t been an easy journey, and he often found himself questioning whether his mate was out there and if all his searching was worth it but she had presented herself one day as a newcomer to the Blackwood region, and he knew then and there that she was the one.
There was no mistaking the attraction he felt and the deep connection and bond that formed as soon as the pair began talking to each other. The sensations he felt and the reaction his body gave in her presence, there was no other way to explain it, she had to be his. She had to be his mate, the one destined for him, the one made just for him.
With a crooked smile lingering on his lips, he recounted the day she walked into the castle and into his heart. Her dishevelled hair and the complete hopelessness on her face at being stranded in a new place almost amused him. If it had been any other person, he would have been in a fit of giggles, but when his eyes fell on her olive skin, his world stopped turning immediately. He remembered Leo being with him; the pair had been chatting about summer training up at Craggy Bluff with his aunt and uncle. A highlight for every attendee every single year was the gigantic bonfire at the end of summer training to celebrate everyone’s achievements, and the two boys had been discussing how to make it better than in previous years.
Everyone in the room fell silent when they realised that Noah and the young woman shared a bond. A bond many of them would never understand. He stepped towards her, everything around him still. She looked up at him expectantly but did not move, she barely looked like she was breathing when he came to stand right in front of her.
Noah saw her nostrils flare and a glint in her eye grow as he took a single step closer. The space between them was quickly lost as he came to a stand before her, staring down into her dark brown eyes with glee. Taking one deep breath he sensed her eagerness to please him and that in itself pleased him greatly. He stood silently before her for a moment then reached down and took her hand in his. The touch between them was not quite as he’d expected but he pushed it quickly from his mind, he had found his mate. What did it matter if touching her didn’t produce the feeling others had described? Everything else felt right, and that was all that mattered to him.
In a bold and hasty move that would later prove costly Noah turned to everyone in the room, his heart thumping in his chest wildly, “I’ve found my mate!” He proclaimed with pride. He didn’t even know her name, but he knew she was the most perfect creature he had ever laid eyes on.
Noah ambled down one of many manicured footpaths that lead around the castle grounds with no destination in mind. Two guards followed behind him as they always did. No one in the castle could ever be too complaisant when it came to the royal family and with him being the next in line to the throne they could never be too safe.
The night was calm, and still not a cloud marked the skies above, and a hint of the coming full moon hung amongst the billions of twinkling stars, a slither of light like a doorway to another world.
His thoughts were soon interrupted as he saw a shadow dart across his path. In an instant, his two guards were at his side concerned that it was a possible attacker. As the three of them observed silently they saw that it was a couple, “bring them to me,” Noah stated as both guards ran off quickly. Watching the two men he couldn’t help but grin, “two lovers caught in the night,” he knew it was uncommon but he had heard stories of castle staff falling in love with guards.
The Royal Guards, a title given to the most elite. were forbidden from showing public affection and acknowledging a significant other, even if it was a mate. If it were a pair of guards, they would be dismissed immediately. If it were one of his sisters, then Noah would have a little fun watching them squirm and try to bribe their way out of him telling their father.
His two guards soon returned holding one person each by the scruff of the neck. Just as he’d imagined it was a man and a woman but as he lay eyes on the woman he felt his heart shatter into a million pieces, “throw him in the cells,” he demanded quickly as the man was dragged off with little fuss leaving Noah with his most trusted guard Wade, who had the woman in his grasp. Noah’s mate Medea Overton, a woman he had dedicated years of his life to had just been caught with another man?
She stood with her head bowed, not out of respect for Noah but out of embarrassment that she’d been caught.
“Who is that man?” Noah questioned her promptly. He had never been the jealous type and had never put restrictions on Medea and what she was allowed to do, but he stood there staring down at her wishing that he had taken more control. The thought also crossed his mind that if he needed to set boundaries for her to begin with then there was something wrong.
Medea stayed silent for as long as she dared. S, her long curly hair obscuring her gaze as she tried to sneak a look at him. She saw Noah’s anger at her betrayal of him, and although part of her felt remorse, she also felt relief. She no longer had to hide her secret. “He is my mate,” she finally answered after a long silence as she lifted her gaze to meet Noah’s and as expected he was not happy. Not at all.
Noah growled and took her by the shoulders, “what do you mean he’s your mate?” He questioned her furiously, “I am your mate! I am the only one you should be with!” He insisted as his gaze grew more intense and his grip on her tighter.
“We were never mates,” Medea stammered as she felt the full force of what Noah’s anger. Though he didn’t strike her she felt it. “The feelings you’ve had for me when we first met....” she trailed off before Noah growled again prompting her to continue, “they weren’t real. What you felt was a spell, a strong spell at that. If you’d have claimed me then we would have been mates forever but you waited for too long. Thankfully I found my real mate before any real damage was done,” she began to weep but Noah noted that there were no tears, just noises.
“How could you betray me like that!” His voice boomed through the silent night. He was hurt, angry and ashamed. His hasty decision to proclaim her as his mate had not worked in his favor at all. “Throw her in the dungeons. I’ll deal with it later.”
Wade dragged the woman off before she yelled, “Don’t blame me, Noah, someone who you love dearly has done this, and it wasn’t me!” She laughed as Wade muttered for her to shut up or he’d make sure she never saw the light of day again.
That left Noah standing all alone trying to save himself from falling into a million pieces. How could he have been so blind and so foolish? So many questions began forming in his head about who was responsible and why he would keep Medea and get the answers he wanted and if he couldn’t then he knew a vampire that could.
As he stalked off towards the castle Noah found himself silently making a list of things he would no longer be doing. After dedicating three years of his life to her he no longer had anything to show for it. How could he have been so wrong? Their wedding had been drawing nearer and Noah’s father was ready to hand him the crown, Medea had easily slotted into his life and had quickly become part of the family. How had she managed to manipulate everyone so easily?
A shell-shocked Noah locked himself away in his room stewing over what had happened. What was he to do now and how was he to ever trust anyone else after Medea’s betrayal of him? Start writing here…