The Queen in Shadows

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Chapter 37

I feel weightless as the trolley winds through the grounds, bringing us home. The Alpha King has been given to us by the moon. Mercer’s procedure is successful and we have tentative plans to remove more collars. We have an alliance with the Alphas, for the first time in a long time, there is something positive and peaceful forming between wolves and vampires. Lastly, Phoenix knows about me. My mate loves me and accepts me.

Things that used to seem impossible now feel like they are within our grasp.

As we turn into the courtyard Dannon slows the trolley.

I feel Phoenix tense beside me, causing me to pull my head from his shoulder. Dread fills me instantly.

Arius is here.

He’s standing in the courtyard with a few guards.

As our trolley comes to a full stop he steps forward, his trademark grin spread across his face. I feel nauseous. Phoenix wraps his arm around my shoulders, pulling me into his side, both comforting and protecting me.

“There’s the happy couple!”

“What do you want, Arius?” Phoenix’ voice is hard and angry.

“I’m just checking up on the newlyweds. Marriage is quite the adjustment. It’s especially hard when the bride and groom are so... different.”

I try to keep my face steady. Arius’ eyes are locked onto mine, watching for a reaction. His eyes are dark and cold but there is something there, something dangerous and threatening, beyond his usual menacing nature.

He knows.

How the fuck does he know?

I set my jaw and look into his eyes, I won’t give him a reaction. I won’t cower back. I hold eye contact. Beside me Phoenix is hard as stone, his body language and expression give nothing away. Inside it’s another story altogether. I can feel his panic.

“We’re fine.” He grits through his teeth.

“So glad to hear that,” Arius never breaks eye contact with me. He begins to step forward. Phoenix′ grip on me becomes unbearably tight, pulling my body into his painfully.

With each step toward us, his smile grows wider and more sinister. He stops so close that our feet almost touch. Phoenix stays eerily still, his feet rooted into the ground, not backing down.

“The moon looks lovely tonight? Doesn’t it, Princess?” He says so softly it’s hard to hear him.

In a whirlwind of vampire speed there is a blur of action. He reaches out so quickly that I don’t even have time to jerk back. He runs his cold hand over my cheek tenderly. I feel the familiar tingle of silver against my skin. His rings graze my cheek but I don’t react. Phoenix grabs his hand and pushes it away. I’m left breathless, trying to comprehend everything that happened in the blink of an eye.

He steps around me, his shoulder rubbing against Phoenix and I as he slips past, sliding into his seat.

“I’ll be seeing you soon,” he calls over his shoulder as his trolley disappears around the corner.

I turn to Phoenix about to speak, he grabs me in his arms then runs at lightning speed. We’re over the path, up the stairs and in the house in a single breath.

He sets me down and begins to pace.

“He doesn’t know for sure!” He runs his hands through his hair.

“H-how?” Is all I can manage.

“I don’t know. I don’t know how he could possibly even suspect. That was a test, that’s why he touched you. He isn’t certain. Only Sloane, Celine and Mercer know, aside from us. They would never tell. We haven’t even told Miles and Dannon. He’s suspicious somehow but I’m positive it wasn’t them.”

“What do we do?”

He runs his hands through his hair and pinches his eyes closed.

“Tonight? Nothing. Tomorrow we need to talk to Mercer.”

He pulls me into a soft embrace.

“We may need to move faster than we originally planned, I doubt Arius will sit on this for long,” he rests his chin on my head, “come to bed, it’s been a long day.”

"I'm sure I won't be able to sleep after that..."

He lets out a sad sigh as he take me up the stairs. We walk wearily up the stairs together, the distant memory of the weightlessness I felt earlier is impossible to imagine now.


His brilliant blue eyes meet mine, "yeah, baby?" His voice is tired but I can feel the softness.

"I'm afraid," my lip quivers, "this could ruin everything."

He sits down on our bed and pulls me to stand between his legs.

"Noelle, I promise you, no matter what happens, you will be safe, your people will be safe and free. This might be a setback but I will keep you safe. I will raze this Kingdom to the ground to protect you."

Tears flow freely down my cheeks, "I can protect you too, you know. There is nothing I won't do for you."

He smiles before pressing his lips to the mark on my neck. My body shudders as he runs his hands down my back.

What started as an emotional, loving moments suddenly feels like more.

I run my hands through his hair and he groans. I feel desperate for him, desperate to feel him as physically close as he can be.

"Phoenix," I whisper against his mouth, "love me, make me forget this."

He inhales a sharp breath before pushing his fingers against my pants, forcing them down my legs.

When he stands, I reach for his pants, pulling them clumsily down, his hard length pushing against my stomach.

He lifts me into his arm, pulling my legs around his waist.

He pushes me against the wall while sliding inside of me. A strangled, relieved moan leaves both of us as we press our mouths together.

Everything feels scary and dangerous, the world is imploding around us but, here, in his arms, I feel safe.

His thrusts are slow, he rolls his hips into me over and over again.

"Mark me, Noelle," he whispers softly against my neck, "I need it, please."

I know it's dangerous but I can't stop myself. It's like his blood is calling to me, like the soft skin of his neck is beckoning me to him.

When I sink my canines into his neck I feel a strong thump in his chest, our hearts beating together, once, as the bond between us grows impossibly stronger.

I feel the release of intense pressure as our bodies peak together. Pleasure drowning both of us in wave after intense wave.

He chokes my name into the air as I lick and kiss his soft skin.

I stare at the mark on his neck, the mark that shows the world that he's mine. My chest swells with pride, I can't believe that's he's mine.

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