Chapter 23: Obstrepat
I open my mouth to deliver a snarky remark but nothing comes out before there’s a gentle knocking on the doorframe that pulls me away from Alpha Kaine. A woman stands in the doorway with her head bowed. He fist unclenches and falls to her side before she folds her fingers in front of her.
“The Queen requests that you both change and prepare yourselves for dinner.” Alpha Kaine nods and shoos her away with his hand without even saying thank you. She curtsies and leaves without another word.
“Change?” I ask. “What does she mean, change?” Alpha Kaine looks me over once before he walks over to the large closet stationed to one side of his bedroom. When the lights flick on I find myself wandering over to him.
The closet is massive and obviously filled with a range of clothing, all in his current size from the looks of it. I wonder if he requests that clothes of his be brought over or if the staff buys him a wardrobe in anticipation for his visits so he can travel light.
“I don’t know if you noticed this but we are in the royal palace. We can’t exactly dress like...” He looks me over again. He is no longer indifferent about my choice of clothing. His disgust is immediately made apparent. “That,” he finishes.
I pull at the edge of my shirt and frown. I liked this shirt. I remember making the cutouts around the neckline myself not too long before I was kidnapped. “Oh,” I say. “Did we even pack any formal wear?” I ask. Most of the night’s events before our morning departure had been a bit of a blur. We talked. We folded his clothes and I fell asleep. When I woke up he gave me a few hours to wake up before shoving what he told me was a suitcase with my things inside before we left.
“Did you pack my things for me?” I ask him, scanning the room for our luggage. My suitcase is nowhere to be found and neither is his.
“It won’t be in here,” he tells me. “We don’t need anything we packed. The things we brought are things that my mother needed. Nothing you packed is of any importance to you right now.” He flicks through the hangers on the rack, pulling a suit jacket out and holding it up to his chest.
The jacket was a deep grey, much like the walls of his room and the item seemed to be made from only the finest material for the oldest Alpha. The grey didn’t just seem to be a favorite of his, it obviously worked well with his olive skin tone. I avert my gaze as he pulls out a shirt to match it.
“If I don’t have any things where do I find the clothes I’m supposed to wear? I don’t really live here part time so I don’t have a closet full of clothes hanging around here.” He walks out of the closet and drops the outfit on the bed, putting his hand on the small of my back instead.
“There’s one right over there,” he tells me. “My mother filled it with things that were your size before we came. She wanted to make sure everything was ready for the human girl who was coming as my personal assistant.”
“How do they know my size?” I ask him. “Girls aren’t one size fits all, you know.” He doesn’t react, choosing to remain silent and unmoving as I put the pieces together. “You had someone look at the sizes of my clothes and go shopping for me?” He nods curtly.
“Of course I did. I knew you couldn’t just wear your regular attire here. You would be the talk of the service quarters. It would make the both of us look bad. You for dressing inappropriately and me for carting you around when you look homeless.” I swallow my pride as he delivers the insults blow for blow, not caring about the nuclear damage he’s leaving in his wake.
“Are you done?” I ask when he takes a deep breath.
“Go get dressed,” he tells me. They’ll be expecting you to make an appearance for dinner. You can’t just ignore it and not go,” he continues.
“Should I dress in anything special?” I ask. “I’m not quite sure where to start,” I tell him awkwardly. He ignores me and pulls off his shirt, covering it with a simple shirt he pulled from the closet to go with his suit jacket and pants.
I spin on my heel and pull open the closet doors in front of me. This closet is even bigger than the one Alpha Kaine was given. Unlike his closet mine has a separate rack and vanity for accessories. I let my fingertips brush against the dresses as I walk by, enjoying their silky material.
“Holy shit,” I exclaim as I flick my own light switch. A beautiful crystal chandelier in the center of the room lights on command, casting beautiful shadows on the white walls. The closet is decorated differently than his. The rooms are pearl white and trimmed with a faded pink hue that gives it a more feminine feel.
“I can choose anything from here?” I call out to him. I pull a few odd purses from the shelf and hold them out in front of me before setting them back down as if they were made of glass.
Alpha Kaine appears in the doorway and leans on the doorframe with crossed arms. As I start to pull dresses off the rack he smiles a bit. The moment I pull a plain brown dress with thick material from the rack his smile fades and he marches over to me, pulling the dress from my hand before setting it back on the rack.
“You aren’t wearing that," he tells me. His tone feels threatening and I sigh loudly, making sure he knows just how bored I am with his constant mood swings.
“What do you think I should wear then, Alpha?” I cross my arms and lean on one of my hips as he begins to look through the dresses. I would expect the rustic Alpha Kaine to know absolutely nothing about fashion and act like he wanted to punch a hole through the wall. I had forgotten that he has raised as a Prince and only made an Alpha not too long ago. I’m sure he knew more about fashion than I did.
He tosses a pale blue dress to me. The material lands on my head and I let out a yelp of surprise at the impact of the fabric. “Wear this,” he says to me. “The blue will look good with your eyes.” Then he leaves.
I grimace as I hold the dress up to my chest in the mirror. It wasn’t my style. The pretty little princess vibe just didn’t feel like me. I don’t even remember ever dressing up in fancy dresses and my mom’s pearls like all the Shifter girls my age always did. My mom didn’t own pearls and we couldn’t afford to buy any dresses for me to wear like the other girls could.
I strip quickly in case Alpha Kaine decides to come back and contradict more of my fashion choices. You shouldn’t be wearing something this glamorous. This is the clothing of a princess. Not only are you a commoner but a human one at that. True to his word, the dress was my size. The bodice hugged my body before the skirt flared out around my waist, the skirt stopping midway down my calves.
The zip was on the side which prevented me from needing to ask for help. Alpha Kaine wouldn’t want to help you with that anyway. “I’m dressed,” I say loudly, hoping he’ll come in and just accept me the way I am. I enjoyed dressing up like every other girl but I just felt like Alpha Kaine was trying to hide the snarky sarcastic me that I was when I was brought in by his guards all those weeks ago.
“You aren’t done yet,” he tells me with a small laugh. “You need shoes, jewelry, and a nice hairdo before we can go down and eat.” He steers me to the vanity and gently shoves my shoulders down until I sit on the bench. He grabs my hand and tangles it in my hair, making me hold it up and off my neck.
He reaches to the side of the vanity and gently pulls a string of pearls off the rack, draping it around my neck and doing the clasp in the back. His fingers brush the nape of my neck and I try to hold my breath to keep myself from seeming as unnecessarily nervous as I am. “Can you do your hair up in a bun?” he asks. He picks up a matching set of pearl earrings and a butterfly comb to stick in my hair.
“What’s wrong with my hair? Is it ratty again?” I tease. He laughs and traces the edge of my jawline, shaking his head.
“As much as I enjoy your wild hair, I don’t think it’s quite the right style for a formal dinner with my family. They’re very eager to meet my assistant," he says. I don’t really like the labels he keeps putting me under while we’re in the presence of others. When we’re alone together he never seems to mind when I call myself his prisoner or his servant but ever since we got here he seems to be attempting to find a nicer version of my placement. I’m not sure if it’s to try to appease his family or make himself feel better about what he has done to me.
I pull the hairbrush off the vanity and began to brush through my hair, taking a hair tie or two off of the small tray in front of me. The bracelets there match the beautiful white jewelry look that Alpha Kaine seemed to like me wearing but I think that would be too much. He pushes some heels over to me with his foot and smiles at me as I secure a neat ponytail in place before grabbing the bobby pins and comb to finish off the style.
“I don’t really go to formal events,” I remind him. “I don’t know a thing about what fork to use or about the basic manners one should have when in the presence of the King.” He shrugs and bends down to put on my shoes, taking my ankle in his hand and gently guiding my foot into the small heel.
“I’ll be there every step of the way,” He tells me from below the vanity. I stick the comb in and work on securing the earrings as he comes up to stand behind me. Alpha Kaine rests his hands on the back of my chair and leans to whisper in my ear as I reach for a red lipstick to top off my look.
“You look perfect, Anita. You were born for this,” He offers me his hand to help me to my feet. I gently place my hand in his and let him pull me up before I trip over the edge of the table like a clutz and fall into his chest. He catches me with a small smile, his hands cupping my elbows.
“Better I fall in front of you than in front of the King,” I laugh nervously. He nods once and offers his arm to me as Prince Maximus did before. I place my hand in the crook of his elbow and let the other fall to my side. He observes my body language and shakes his head quickly.
“Put your hand over your other one. Lean into me a bit.” I raise an eyebrow at him.
“It’s proper,” he says with a smirk. “It makes us appear closer to each other. My parents will like that. I’ve never really brought a girl here before.” I take a deep breath in and let it out through pursed lips. “You’ll do great. I’ll help you with the forks,” he chuckles.