Captivated (Night Sky - Pentalogy - Book Three)

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Chapter Twelve: Royal Snoggle

“Great idea in placing those cameras in that room,” Leih said with a smile as he watched the footage with his uncle.

“I had them installed after the man attacked Gresha yesterday,” Gio said as he stopped the tape when it showed the man getting to his feet.

“Will they put Matrios to death?” Leih asked, watching Gio.

“I hope not. I don’t like it when my daughter’s hearts are broken,” Gio said as he hit the play button.

“Neither do I,” Leih said with a nod.

They watched as the beast heard the attacker before Leih or Gresha and turned. The Snoggle jumped on top of the man and ripped the knife from his hand, then tore him to shreds.

Gio pressed pause again.

“The trainer had intended to kill a royal,” Gio said as he took a copy from the machine.

“A High Royal,” Leih said with a nod.

“That alone would have given him a death sentence,” Gio said as he placed the copy into another machine.

“Looks like Gresha’s Snoggle took care of that for us,” Leih said with a smile.

“Let’s just hope the Comity sees it that way too,” Gio said with a nod.

They had to wait three hours before they heard back from the Snoggle Comity.

“My king,” the Head Master of the Comity said with a bow.

Gio turned the communications box on.

“What have you decided? Does my daughter get to keep her Snoggle?” Gio asked, watching the group of people who looked at the camera.

“We discussed it at length,” the Head Master said with a nod. “The trainer who was killed is one we have been looking into for years. He has one Snoggle, but he treats it like a slave rather than the High Beast it is.”

Gio and Leih smiled at each other.

“But we can’t look past the fact that the Snoggle killed a Highborn,” the man said with a bow of his head.

“Who was about to kill my daughter,” Gio said with a growl.

“That is the other thing. We looked into why your daughter was even there. Without audio, it is hard to determine her reasoning of being there…”

“She knows the Snoggle’s name,” Leih said, interrupting the man.

“I see.” the man said, looking at the others. “We will be back to you in five minutes.” The screen went blank.

“Damn it,” Leih grunted as he slapped the top of the monitor.

“Don’t break that, Leih. They can’t get back to us if they can’t reach us,” Gio warned.

“Sorry, Uncle,” Leih said as he shoved himself off the desk. “Why can’t you just ignore their decision and let Gresha keep her damn pet.”

“Because if I did that High King or not, I would never be allowed to use their services again,” Gio said as he watched his nephew pace back and forth.

“We won’t need them. We will have Matrios,” Leih protested.

“I don’t know how to get a Snoggle to sniff things out and listen, do you?” Gio asked, watching him.

“No,” Leih grumbled.

The monitor popped on, and Leih stopped pacing.

“We have come to a unanimous decision,” the Head Master said, watching Gio.

~🌌~

“Gresha,” Leih said, walking up to her and the Snoggle.

Gresha looked over at him with a sad look on her face. “Will they take him away?”

“Their original decision had been to do that, yes. They didn’t know why you would be there and why the Snoggle would attack its trainer to save a stranger,” Leih said as he moved closer to her and the beast.

“But…” She started, but he placed a finger to her lips when he got to her side.

“I told them you know his name. They went over the video again and found that you indeed had control of him. He has bonded to you. He was protecting his mistress,” he said with a smile.

“They won’t kill him?” she asked with a light of happiness in her eyes.

He gently kissed her, still smiling. “Even better. You are the first to discover a Snoggle’s true name. They always thought it to be a myth. You can keep your Snoggle; he is released from the Snoggle Society. Any actions from here on out your father will have control over. Your Snoggle is free. He’s all yours,” Leih finished with a grin.

“Thank the Gods,” Gresha squealed as she jumped into her husband’s arms.

‘Does that mean I am free?’

“It does,” Gresha said with a nod.

“What does what?” Leih asked, staring at his wife.

“Matrios asked if it means that he is free,” Gresha said, smiling up at her husband.

“You can understand him?” Leih asked, shocked.

Gresha nodded, “when he chooses to speak to me, yes.”

“Interesting. Does your father know?” he asked, looking at the Snoggle.

“No, not yet.” She said with a shake of her head, then looked at Matrios with a bright smile. “Would you like me to have a ship take you home? You are free now. You can go back to the woods or forest.”

‘No.’

“Are you sure?” she asked as she stepped away from Leih.

‘I am sure, Princess. I am yours. I never knew this was possible. And I like it.’

Gresha laughed; she could swear she saw the Snoggle smile.

“What did he say?” Leih asked, looking between his wife and the Snoggle.

“He wants to stay with me,” she said as she turned and smiled at her husband.

Leih pulled her into his arms and kissed her. “What is it with you, princess?” he asked, looking into her beautiful eyes. “Everyone who meets you wants to stay with you forever.”

Gresha laughed, “lucky, I guess.”

“No, we are the lucky ones,” Leih said as he leaned down and kissed her again.

’He isn’t wrong there, Princess, we are the lucky ones.’

~🌌~

“And to officially release you from the Snoggle Society,” Gio said as he stepped carefully up to the large beast and held the device in his hand up, then looked at his daughter. “Maybe it would be safer if you did this part.”

Gresha smiled and moved away from Leih, then took the device from her father. “I guess that means this is will hurt,” she said, smiling at her Snoggle. He nudged her with his nose, and she laughed as she looked at her father. “What do I do?”

“Hold it to his left ear. It will do the rest.”

Gresha smiled and held the device up. Matrios lowered his head to her, and she held the device to his left ear. He growled and yipped as a chip was pulled from his ear. Gresha pulled the device back once the chip was out.

“Not so bad,” she said with a smile.

’Wasn’t your ear.’

Gresha laughed as she hugged him. He laid his head on her shoulder and let out a puff of air.

Gio took the device from his daughter, then handed her another. She looked up at her father, shocked.

“Another chip? But I thought he’s free,” she said with a frown.

“He is, baby girl. That is for you to give to him if you choose. He’s yours now. If you choose to place that into his ear, then you can find him anywhere in the universe with this,” he said as he handed her a key chain tracker. “So, if someone kidnaps him or he gets lost, you can find him,” Gio said with a smile.

Gresha looked at Matrios. “Up to you,” she said with a smile, holding up the device.

‘If it will make sure we do not lose each other, then yes.’

“I guess that’s what it is for,” she said as she watched him lower his head again so she could hold the device to his ear.

He yipped when it stapled the tracker into his ear.

“All done,” she said, smiling into his big brown eyes.

“You are now responsible for him, Gresha. If he kills anyone…”

“He won’t. Unless I’m in danger,” Gresha said with a smile. “Will you.”

‘Unless you are in danger or you order me to kill, I will refrain from killing.’

His laughter sounded funny in her head again.

She shook her head and smiled. “He agrees.”

“Still so odd that he communicates with you,” Gio said with a shake of his head.

‘Odd for me too.’

Gresha laughed, “he says that it’s odd for him too.”

“So, they do understand us,” Gio said as he studied the Snoggle. “I have been saying they do for thousands of years.”

“They just don’t have a way to communicate back,” Gresha said with a smile.

“Except now they do,” Leih said as he came up behind her and wrapping his arms around her.

‘Get her some ice cream.’

Gresha burst into laughter. “How did you know?”

‘Your children want some.’

“Oh!” Gresha said, placing her hand over her stomach.

“What’s going on?” Leih asked, looking from the Snoggle to his wife.

“Matrios told you to get me some ice cream,” she said with a grin as she turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Me and the kids want ice cream.”

“As you wish,” Leih said as he leaned down and kissing her.

“Celebration ice cream!” Gio shouted.

Gresha laughed against Leih’s lips, then turned to her father. “I so missed you, Daddy.”

Gio smiled as he pulled her away from Leih and took her into his arms. “You have no idea how much I missed you. When I saw you last year as Gretta, I almost broke down and told your brother to bring everyone’s memories back.”

“Daddy,” she said with a cry as she held onto him.

“Enough of this. This is a happy occasion. You have done what no one has ever done before. Let’s go celebrate,” Gio said with a smile.

“Yay, ice cream!” Nahla cheered as she jumped up and down.

“Come here,” Gresha said as she lifted her sister into her arms.

She walked over to Matrios and tapped his backside with her foot. He stood and looked at her as she leaned forward and placed her sister on his back, then smiled at him as she backed away.

“This will show the others that you’re not an evil beast,” Gresha said with a chuckle.

‘Great, make me look like a cuddly puppy, why don’t you.’

Gresha laughed as she nuzzled his nose. “You are.”

He snorted and blew her air into her face. She laughed as she kissed the top of his nose.

The group headed out through the halls and corridors on their way to the city for ice cream.

“Wee,” Nahla squealed, holding onto Matrios’s back. “Giddy up, Matrios,” she said happily.

Matrios obeyed and took off at a run. Nahla squealed with delight as the wind blew through her hair. The adults laughed as the large beast turned around at the end of the hall by jumping onto the wall and pushing off, then ran back to the group of adults. When he got back to them, he skidded to a stop and sent Nahla forward onto his head. She laid on his head, giggling hysterically.

“Again!” she shrieked, looking over his head into his big brown eyes.

‘This kid has too much energy.’

Gresha laughed as she helped her sister sit back on Matrios’s back. “Wait until the twins get here,” she told him with a grin.

‘I think I’ll be sick for the next hundred years or so.’

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