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Chapter 5

I stare into the bright amber eyes I’ve come to know so well. We are standing in our favourite spot. Up on top of one of the many waterfalls in the woods, but this waterfall is our spot. We’ve never come across anyone else in the vicinity; it’s private and secluded. Wisteria hangs from the trees, making us feel hidden from the world.

“I love you so much”, he… Rex says as he pushes my chestnut hair out of my face; caressing my cheek. A shiver of pleasure runs down my spine from his touch.

“I love you too. Four more years and I’ll know you’re mine... forever”, I say, beaming up at him.

Rex leans in close, the tips of our noses brushing as he inhales my scent.

“I already am”, he whispers before brushing his lips to my own; he pulls back slightly, gauging my reaction, waiting for the green light.

I smile up at him, giving him a tiny nod; his lips come crashing down on my own, his tongue brushes along my lower lip, seeking entrance which I gladly provide; our tongues dance to their own beat as they dance in unison together.

My heart is beating erratically; as it swells with love, my body is getting hot, oh so hot. I’m panting… hard. I want so much more… but he pulls away.

Rex is looking at me like he could eat me for breakfast, lunch and dinner and boy would I let him!

His body jolts, he gasps, as his expression suddenly changes. He’s now looking at me apologetically, but I don’t understand why. Emotions are flashing through him so thick and fast I can’t keep up, sorrow, anger, despair.

What is happening? I don’t understand, I take a step back confused.

I can’t see anything but red... red everywhere.

I wake up screaming for Rex, as I have done so many times before. My body is slick with a cold sweat. This dream couldn’t have happened on a worse night; I’m already feeling downhearted and vulnerable from the bonfire. I know it may not seem like I did… but I tried last night, I really tried. Only for some arse to try and force himself on me. Thank the goddess my brothers were there, at the right place, at the right time.

Once they had gotten me home, they put me to bed with a hot water bottle and comfort food. They stayed with me and watched a film to cheer me up; before eventually going back to their rooms, the hellhounds were whining and howling as they had been away from their master too long. Ozzy had shut them outside of my bed chamber and commanded them to stay - they were not pleased.

My room is full of books; it’s like a library, floor to ceiling books of all kinds and genres, fiction and non-fiction, you name it, I’ve probably got it. To get to my bed, you have to climb a ladder to reach a small inconspicuous balcony; there’s a cosy nook in the wall that houses my bed, a TV on the wall and a small chaise lounge close to the balcony.

On the lower part of my room, I have another seating area in the middle of the room, along with more reading nooks. I have nooks by the windows, in the corners of the room... some hammocks even hanging from parts of the ceiling. In the corners sit large bean bags and knitted blankets, just waiting to be dived into and lost in.

I am dreading leaving my safe space this morning, but I promised Dinah I would help her with ball preparations.

I groan as I roll out of bed; not even bothering to try and stop myself from falling, I land with a thump on the floor next to my bed.

From the floor, I look around for some clothes to put on. Grabbing whatever is in reach, which, luckily for me, is my comfy loungewear, I throw them on, not even bothering to brush my hair.

I scowl at myself in the mirror. This is all the effort in appearance anyone will be getting from me today.

After grabbing a quick slice of toast from the kitchen, I head to the hall…bed head and all to meet Dinah.

She is already making notes and ticking things off her list, which is attached to a clipboard.

I walk up to her. Just as I’m about to open my mouth to speak, she cuts in.

“Hey, hun. Grab that clipboard over there”, she points, without looking my way, “take a look at what’s left and see what you’re able to get done”.

As I grab the clipboard and start to look through the list, Dinah looks up, examining me with her all-seeing witchy Dinah eyes.

“Are you ok?” She asks with concern.

“Me? Yeah... of course”, I say without taking my eyes off of the clipboard.

Dinah sighs, taking the clipboard from me.

“By are you ok... what I meant was, what has happened? You look a mess, Mae. I know something is wrong”.

Looking at her with tortured eyes, I tell her everything that happened last night, Jasper, what he was trying to do, how he made me feel.

There is no point lying to Dinah, she will get it out of you eventually.

Dinah stands practically foaming at the mouth, “He did... what!?” She roars, accidentally splitting the clipboard in half.

“Please, don’t tell anyone!” I beg, “Hunter and Ozzy already dealt with him... he won’t bother me again, I’m sure of it!”


"Please, Dinah”, I grasp my hands, literally begging, I don’t want this getting out. It’ll make not only me but my parents look weak for having such an incompetent daughter.

Begrudgingly she concedes, promising not to tell a soul.

There’s a fair amount that I can help with, the most important is to call each pack personally, putting on the charm and telling them how excited we are to be hosting them - they all love a personal touch. I can put on a fake smile for the sake of some phone calls. Taking a list of attendees, I get to work.

“Hi Alpha Oliver, it’s Princess Mae of the Royal Pack. I hope you’re well?... I just wanted to call and tell you how excited we are to have you for the ball. I’ll look forward to seeing what stunning ensemble your talented Luna puts together. See you soon”.

Alpha Oliver’s Luna dabbles in the fashion industry, she designs and creates gowns for human celebrities and high ranked wolves too. I try to throw in something personal with each call, the big-headed Lords and Ladies love to hear about themselves.

Once I’ve finished making the calls, I head back to the ballroom and see the flowers have arrived; I make quick work helping Dinah to find homes for them all.

“Soooo...” Dinah starts awkwardly, giving me a quick side glance, “...who knows, maybe you’ll meet your mate at the ball”, Dinah says, attempting to be casual.

I sigh, “I think we both know that won’t happen”, I smile sadly at her. She nods her head in understanding.

“You know… you could take a chosen mate, Mae… please don’t feel as though I would ever hold it against you”, she says honestly, though I can see the pain in her eyes.

“I know, I know. I just… it’s… No one…” I huff, trying to find the words I need, to honestly depict how I feel about a chosen mate, “No one makes me feel alive like Rex did”, I open up. “He could brighten up the greyest of days, with just one smile, or persuade me to go anywhere with him in a heartbeat with just a quick wink. No one else will ever make me feel that way. I feel lost without him. I’m tired without him. I only barely manage to scrape by each day; I feel like a part of me is gone, and that part of me held the key to my soul”.

Dinah sighs, taking my hands in hers as she looks at me with sadness in her eyes. The sadness isn’t to pity me it’s for the loss we have both suffered.

“I feel the same way, but I think you suffer worse because you don’t have your mate to pull you through each day. I’m sorry this has happened to you, Mae”, Dinah says sadly.

“Why would you be sorry? You have nothing to be sorry for. It’s those sons of bitches that took him... they’re the ones that will be sorry. We will find him one day… we have to Dinah. If not… I can just be a little spinster princess”, I joke half-heartedly.

“There’s nothing small about you”, she laughs; before her walls come back up a minute later.

What she says is true, I swamp petite 5ft 2 Dinah at 5ft 11, I was the tallest girl in my class at school and college, though I never noticed how tall I was when I would stand with Rex, who at fifteen was 6ft 5, he made me feel delicate and small, but in the best of ways.

“Anyway, I can take it from here”, she nods her head towards the door, “you go and enjoy the rest of your day”, she smiles, tapping my hand gently. I fidget a little on the spot, unsure whether or not I should stay... I can see the pain in her eyes, I want to make it better somehow, but I’m not sure that’s possible.

“Go on, off you go!” She shoos, waving with me off with her hands.

I acknowledge with a nod and rush out without looking back.

Opening the door to my room, I hear voices coming from within; my mum is one of them, cooing and wowing over goddess knows what.

I shove the large wooden doors fully open, my gaze landing on something beautiful; my jaw all but hits the floor. Stood in the middle of the room, adorned by a mannequin is the most spectacular dress I have ever seen.

The chest is gold plated, like armour for a warrior. The plate crosses over the breast area before spreading out over the shoulders. Finishing with a few spikes at the end of the plates that flare away from the shoulders. The bottom of the dress splays out, but softer than a princess dress, there is no poof to it; it’s embellished with tiny sparkling golden stones. A long slit goes up one leg right the way up to the top of the thigh. It’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

My mum pops her head out from behind the mannequin, “SURPRISE!” She shouts, giving some jazz hands for dramatics, “what do you think?” She asks, eyes lit up and sparkling with hope.

“What do I think!? Mum, this is the most amazing dress I’ve ever seen!” I say gobsmacked.

“Well, good, because I wanted it to be perfect for you and what better way but to show the world who you really are… a warrior”, she smiles at me proudly.

“Ha! Good one, mum, I’m not a warrior. I can’t even beat a little Fairy”.

“Oh, but you are Mae, even if you don’t feel like one, even if all you’ve done is get up in the morning… I know how hard that is for you, something that everyone else takes for granted. I see your inner turmoil in your eyes, but you still try to pretend everything is ok. Even if we don’t get to see that big beaming smile of yours, we get to see you fighting every day and that, my beautiful girl, makes you the strongest warrior I know”.

“Mum…” I say as my bottom lip quivers, my eyes becoming teary.

She might not realise it, but that’s one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me. I’d never noticed she saw through me, that she knew of my pain; of course, I know she’s aware I’m hurting since Rex has been gone, but this is the first time she’s acknowledged that she recognises the extent of it. Not in a cruel if I ignore it, it’ll go away kind of way, but I think she knows I like to try and deal with things myself. I don’t like a fuss; this is her way of saying I see you and I appreciate you.

Throwing myself in her arms, I give her the biggest hug, “thank you, mum”, I say tearfully.

I lay in my bed tossing and turning. Usually, due to fatigue, I sleep like a log; but tonight, I can’t seem to shake a feeling of dread sinking into my gut. Looking over to my clock, I groan.

Ugh, 3am!

Perhaps it’s just anxiety about the ball tomorrow, I think to myself.

Or maybe it’s the thought of coming across Jasper again!

Slowly I swing my legs out of bed and get up. There is no point just lying awake all night, is there.

I make my way outside into the palace gardens. The grounds are enormous - acres of land surround the Palace. Filled with rose gardens, a large greenhouse filled with exotic flowers and fountains, lakes and ponds that are dotted about here and there.

First up on my hit list tonight is the rose gardens. I sit amongst the flowers for some time, just smelling their beautiful scent and looking up to the stars. I continue my route through the gardens, the gravel crunching beneath my slip-on shoes sounds louder at this time of night when everything and everyone is asleep.

I jump slightly when some movement catches my attention in the greenhouse… I can see a figure walking back and forth.

What is someone doing up at this time?

Maybe they’re struggling to sleep too?

As I reach the grassed area, I hesitate as nerves start to creep in.

What if it’s someone snooping that shouldn’t even be on the grounds?

Slowing my walking pace, I begin to creep, careful to make as little noise as humanly possible. I squat behind a bush and try to get a better look at this huge, mysterious figure.

I can’t get a good look at them, the greenhouse is dark and the figure has their back turned to me. The figure’s voice in the greenhouse is starting to rise.

I know that voice... I’m sure I do.

“Get everything you have gathered and get out of there as soon as possible. He can’t find out what we have planned!” The familiar male voice sounds on edge. There is a pause making me realise he must be on the phone.

“No, you don’t understand! We will never get this chance to do this again. Do as I have instructed. Goodbye”. He says, ending the call abruptly.

“Bloody imbecile!” He vents out loud.

The figure steps out of the greenhouse and into an area where the moonlight highlights their face.


I let out a small breath of surprise. His eyes flash to the area I’m hiding.

Crap, crap, crap! I can’t get caught snooping!

Staying statue still, I hold my breath and hope that’s enough to deter the Lycans hearing. My heart is pounding in my chest from fear of the unknown.

I don’t know what Idris was talking about, nor to whom, but I have a feeling he’s gone to these lengths, getting up so early and coming all the way out here, so that no one knows about it… and I don’t want to get caught eavesdropping.

He stares at the area around me some more... just staring... for what feels like forever.

He takes a tentative step forwards, sniffing at the night air, eyes fixed on me as though they can see me... before he turns and stalks off, stomping back towards the Palace.

Fuck, did he see me!?

No, surely not... he would’ve said something if he did.

What is Idris doing having secretive conversations at this time of night?

Could it have something to do with whatever he was hiding in his office?

I’m not sure, but I plan to find out.

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