Chapter 14: Civil War
Letting the guard click the door locked behind me, I wiped the sweat from my palms and started upstairs slowly to go and find Lyon. What would I even say? How could I even justify it, knowing about his mother now? I knew at my core that Lyon was upset because he knew I could be putting my own life at risk, but if there was a second marriage slaughter within the line of succession, that ran issues for their bloodline; a bloodline I wasn’t eager to continue at the moment.
Climbing to the top of the steps, I went to open my mouth to speak but was interrupted by the crowd of guards that was gathering near the entrance to the palace. Some were running left and right, going to secure windows and shutters. My eyes danced around the room, but landed on a platinum hair clad Ella right outside the gates.
I pushed my way to the front, looking out at the army she had brought.
“I thought we had three days,” I hissed towards Lyon and Damien’s general direction.
“Three days is different in dog years,” Lyon joked. Damien shot him daggers, and he dropped the smirking expression.
“You know what I’m here for, Cyan,” Ella’s voice echoed throughout the courtyard.
“Why is she talking to you like she knows you?” Damien frowned.
“Because she does,” I said simply, stepping outside the palace doors. Damien reached his hand out after me, but I slipped from his grasp too early. I stayed perched at the top of the steps, but looked down at her. This is how they all saw me anyway; disposable, vulnerable.
“You aren’t getting Xander, Ella,” I dismissed. “We’re untouchable in here.”
“Do you remember our little conversation earlier, when I told you that everything happened because I wanted it to? Today is no exception.”
The others were looking around at each other, confused, and that’s when Xander emerged with the guard down at the bottom of the steps. The guard had him in a choke hold as he stepped him out in front for all to see. I felt Damien step forward and grip my forearm out of fear, the rest of the guards murmuring.
“If you think that Ace only made a visit to you, think again.”
“You have no power with the Moon Goddess.” My statement was more hopeful than anything.
“The Royal Family has made somewhat of a mess over the past couple of decades,” she observed. The guard came over and unlocked the gate, letting in only Ella and what I would guess was her beta in beside her. He was a redhead and couldn’t have been older than seventeen, and he looked absolutely terrified. “After the Mad King killing his own mate and then an attack at the royal wedding, your credentials have come into question. Not all of your people here believe that a human is fit to rule as Luna.”
“You don’t get to challenge my rule, rogue,” Damien growled.
“That’s where you’re wrong, you see. I’m not a rogue, although I won’t pretend to be the Alpha of the Rogues, that job belongs to Xander. I’m a Beta from an outlying pack, a rather large one that has followed me here. Be careful with your derogatory terminology, your majesty.”
“How do people like her?” I heard Lyon whisper in the background.
“I’m not here for Xander, Cyan. Xander is here for me.”
I watch as the guard let go of Xander with ease. He stood, brushing the dirt off of his clothes, and for a moment he looked exactly like he did the day that I first met him.
“How could you?” I croaked, just soft enough that I knew he could hear me.
“This is bigger than you.”
Once Xander was gone, a Council Meeting was immediately struck up. I was sitting in my chair, stunned by the move that had just been made. What was this supposed to mean, this is bigger than you? He had never been so cryptic in all my days of knowing him.
Upon realizing that my name was repeatedly being called, I looked up wide-eyed at the audience before me.
“Cyan?” Damien reiterated the question.
“I’m sorry, what?” I mumbled. He looked thoroughly irritated, and I couldn’t blame him. I was embarrassing him on already thin ice.
“Do you know why Xander would have done this? You are, after all, the one who’s spent the most time with him,” he added distastefully.
“I expect that he just got out of captivity, why would he want to re-enter it in another castle?” I shrugged.
“You’re lying,” he gritted.
“We’ll take the Queen at her word,” The Council assured, trying to diffuse the tension.
“Who knows, Council Member, maybe she’s in cohorts with him,” Damien suggested.
I looked at him with my mouth half open.
“You can’t seriously suggest that,” I half-whispered, half-shouted.
“Maybe you should be locked up in interrogation,” he shrugged.
“Stop it, would you?” I shrieked, standing from my seat. That caught him off guard. “I’ll stop playing the charade, and you can too. Look, I get it. I married you, and you thought we had a chance, and we’ve been playing a political charade for a year. I get it. You do not get to try and discredit me in front of these people, because no matter how much you hate it, helping Xander escape is the only reason we know anything about Ella. Hate me all you want, but I might just be the reason you’re alive,” I seethed.
Without so much as letting him breathe, I exited the room. Making my way into the hallway, Lyon gripped my wrist and spun me around.
“What was that act?” he asked.
“You’re beginning to act like your superior,” I seethed, trying to claw at his hand to get it off me. He didn’t budge.
“If you keep this up, he’s going to lock you away.”
I gave him a raised eyebrow, unsure about where he was going with this.
“Despite what Xander did today, we both know he still has a soft spot about you. If you can get to him and hear what’s really going on…”
“You want me to sneak out? Again?”
The idea was nearly laughable, but Lyon showed no sign of ceasing. I knew he was right; something bigger was happening and I was the only one that would be able to get even remotely close to it. The only recurring problem, however, was that now that Xander was free of the mansion, who knew where he would be?
“Get running, I’ll stall for you.”
“What’s with this whole new vigilante act?” I demanded as his eyes scanned the hall nervously.
“I think we both know that Damien is beginning to turn into his father. Maybe, just maybe Xander is salvageable.”
“Don’t let him hear that,” I warned.
“When I took the oath the day I was titled Beta, I promised to protect my people. I’ll do that in whatever form necessary,” he promised.
I gave him a small smile that came out more as a grimace, and I raced out down the hallway. I wouldn’t be lucky enough to get a car out of here, not today. I settled for climbing out a first floor story window, and hopping the fence.
I wasn’t sure exactly where to go, but I figured that the best first place to look was back at the mansion. When I reached the brim of the tree line and saw an abundance of cars, I halted in my steps. I damned my lack of supernatural feeling, and inched closer. Reaching one of the windows, I sidled along the house until I came close enough to the sound of chatter.
I peered around the edge, only getting a blurred view. I recognized a couple of the voices, as if they’d all been gathered in a room together before.
Finally, my eyes set on a pair of semi-familiar brown locks in a tight-fitted all black suit. I nearly dropped my jaw onto the grassy floor of the lawn. I remembered the sight of the man, Lyon had pointed him out as the British Ambassador during the week of my wedding. Adonis Lockridge. As my eyes scanned the rest of the crowd, I could make out visitors of Russia, and South Africa.
This wasn’t a war at all. This was a mutiny.