Chapter Three: First Glance
“May I have this dance?” It took all my strength to move. I turned around slowly and kept my eyes to the ground. All I could see was a pair of black shoes. “Look at me,” he demanded. Slowly, I raised my eyes up to meet his.
I couldn’t hear the music anymore. The sound of my heart beating blocked everything else out. I couldn’t see the other girls dancing anymore. The only thing I could see were his eyes. I couldn’t feel the ground under my feet. I felt like I was flying.
It was like time had stood still, the moment our eyes connected everything else faded away. The troubles that had burdened me disappeared. I wasn’t Serena Hope anymore, I was just a girl with a bright smile and a love so strong her whole being radiated with hope.
And suddenly, I could see everything. I could see our future together. I could see myself wearing his mark. I could see myself pregnant with his child. I could see myself marrying him and us raising a family together. I could see us both sitting on a porch, old and grey watching as our grandchildren played in the yard.
And then piece by piece it all faded away. Our grandchildren disappeared, our family vanished, I was never pregnant and my skin was unmarked. I couldn’t see a future, I couldn’t see anything.
I was then standing back in the ballroom, looking at a pair of green eyes. My feet were planted on the ground and my head throbbed. I felt my smiled drop and then a horrible feeling settled into the pit of my stomach.
“Mine,” he growled lowly. There was an outburst of applause as he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me tightly against him. He growled when people tried to approach us to congratulate us, so they just clapped and stayed at a distance. There was nothing more dangerous than a male wolf right after finding their mate.
“No,” I whispered. I put my hands on his chest and pushed, but his arms were like iron around me. “No! Let go!” I said a little louder. Some people stopped clapping, and whispers started to take their place.
“Mine!” He snarled. He nuzzled his face into the crook where my shoulder met my neck.
“Get off of me!” I screamed. The whole ball room went silent. I could see the golden man’s horrified expression. I was ruining his victory.
“You. Are. Mine.” The Prince’s green eyes turned an inky black as he stared down at me.
“No!” I screamed. I took a few steps back and glared at him, “I am not yours!” The Prince grabbed my wrist and yanked me towards him.
“You are my mate!” he said harshly.
I shook my head, tears spilled down my cheeks. “No! No!” I sobbed hysterically. I couldn’t be his mate. I would be stuck here forever! Sudden flashes of Rayne bombarded my vision, what about my sister?
Hurt crossed his features, then embarrassment and finally anger. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me along behind him. Everyone in the room was staring at us, not sure how to react. I was lead out of the ballroom and through multiple hallways.
I couldn’t see, my vision was blurred by tears. The only sound I could hear were our footsteps echoing off of the marble floors. We came to a flight of stairs and he yanked me up those. At the end of another hallway were two large doors.
We went through them and were in a room with a large bed. I realised that this must be his bedroom. I looked around and sniffled a few times. I felt cold and lonely. The Prince had disappeared and I was alone.
I looked around the room, trying to take my mind off of things. I picked up a few pictures and inspected them. Nothing really caught my eye in the room. It looked like no one lived here. It was like a hotel room when you first walk in, beautiful but empty.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” An angry voice demanded.
I spun around to see the Prince standing there with his hands shoved into his pockets. He was no longer dressed up, instead he wore a simple pair of jeans and a black long sleeve.
“What do y-you mean?” I stuttered.
His eyes darkened, “You embarrassed me!” He yelled.
I flinched, “Don’t s-speak t-to me like t-that!”
He narrowed his eyes, “I am your mate and your Prince, I can speak to you however I want to!”
I glared, my hands started to shake. “I want to go home!”
He growled, “This is your home now! Your home is with me!”
“I am not staying here with you! I want to go back to my pack!”
The Prince slammed his fist on the desk in the corner; a small crack appeared in the wood. “God damn it! This is supposed to be the best moment of my life! What the hell is wrong with you!?”
I felt my lower lip tremble, “I just want to go home.” I suddenly felt exhausted; this whole situation was literally draining the energy from my limbs.
His face softened, “But you are home, I’m your home.”
I shook my head, “No, Rayne is my home. I have to get back to my sister, and my pack. I can’t stay here with you.”
The Prince paused for a moment before asking, “What is your name?”
I sighed, “Serena, Serena Hope.”
Suddenly, his anger flared again, “Well Serena, this is your home now. I suggest you learn to accept it.” And with those final words he strutted out of the room, slamming the door on the way out and leaving me by myself.
I was left in that room for the next three days. I just laid in the bed, still in my dress from the other night. A maid was sent in to check on me three times a day, she brought food for me, and a change of clothes, but both went untouched.
I just stared out of the large window that faced the mountains. The Prince hadn’t come to see me since we had that argument; I was both pleased and saddened by this. I didn’t know how I could hate him, but still yearn for his company.
My wolf spent those three days wallowing in her own sadness. She whimpered constantly, begging me to get up and find our mate. She didn’t want to go back to the pack—although she did miss her family—to her, being with her mate was the most important thing.
“Miss Serena?” The maid said hesitantly. I looked over at her quickly and then turned my gaze back to the window. “Have you eaten anything?”
I shook my head, “No,” I croaked. My voice was rough and my throat was dry. I really wanted a glass of water, but I knew I wouldn’t drink it even if I had one.
The maid frowned, “The Prince wants to see you downstairs.” I just pulled the covers up higher. “He ordered me to get you ready for lunch.”
“I’m not hungry,” I whispered.
The woman frowned, “But Miss, you haven’t eaten for days. You are wasting away beneath those blankets.”
I shrugged, “I must have lost my appetite.”
The maid stepped forward, “Miss, I know the Prince isn’t always the most gentle, but he is a good man, I swear. I have worked in this Palace since I was a young girl.”
“Did he steal you away from your home too?” I asked bitterly.
She shook her head, “My family has worked for the royals for centuries, this is my home.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“The Prince wants you to attend lunch with him on the balcony,” she said softly.
“I’m not going,” I declared.
The maid sighed, “Look Miss, if you don’t get up and get ready he is going to come and get you himself. That will just make him angrier.”
“Is he still angry with me?” I asked in a small voice.
The maid’s face softened, “No, dear I think he is mad at himself. But, it is still not a good idea to cross him. He had gotten whatever he’s wanted from a young age.”
“That’s funny, I’ve never gotten anything I wanted.” The maid’s face was full of pity.
“I’m sure he will get you anything you desire Miss,” the maid said tenderly.
I looked over at her, “Really? Will he bring back my dead parents? How about my freedom? Will he give me that? He made it quite clear I was to stay with him in this prison for the rest of my life. I have one living family member, and now I will never be able to see her again.”
The maid was silent for a moment, she seemed to think a lot about what she said next. “Life isn’t forgiving. And sometimes, the best we can do is make the best out of what we have been dealt. Because, if we spend all of our time wishing for something that can never happen, then we find ourselves left with no time at all.”
I mulled her words over in my head for a moment and then decided she was right. I couldn’t lay in this bed and mope around for the rest of my days. I was just going to have to face what lay ahead of me.
“How long do I have?” I asked.
The maid smiled, “About ten minutes.” She stepped outside of the door, promising to return for me. I had no idea how to navigate myself through the Palace so I needed a guide. I walked over to the pile of clothes the maids had brought and ruffled through them.
Finally, I settled with a pair of dark jeans and a blue long sleeve that had been set out. I slipped on a pair of black flats and tied my hair up in a ponytail. I took a wet cloth and wiped away the mascara from under my eyes and brushed my teeth.
The maid knocked on the door and then opened it slowly. We then started to walk. The walk through the palace took a good five minutes—the place was huge. Finally, we entered a large room. At the other side was two large doors that were entirely made of glass. The maid led me to the doors and opened them.
Immediately, the air began to crackle with electricity. My whole body hummed and my wolf tensed. The Prince was sitting at the table, his back was towards me, but I saw the muscles under his shirt tighten—he knew I had come.
I walked forward and took the seat across from him before gazing out over the mountains. The view was much better out here on the balcony than from the window in that room.
“Hello Serena,” he greeted. His voice sent shivers done my spine.
“Hey,” I mumbled.
“I wanted to apologize for yelling at you,” he said calmly. He spoke as if he were negotiate a deal, not trying to patch up my feelings.
“It’s okay,” I muttered. Although it really wasn’t.
He sighed and rubbed his hands over his face, “Why are you unhappy? Is it me?”
“I am unhappy because I miss my family.”
His eyes flashed, “You don’t have a family, you only have a sister.”
I felt my walls go up, “I have a pack, they’re my family. And no matter how many times you tell me this is my home, it’s not. My home is back with my pack. I don’t even know where the hell I am.”
The Prince smiled, “You’re in Alaska. What better place to put the Palace of the Wolves than in the true wilderness? The reason I can tell you now is because you are my mate, and of course, you are the future Queen.”
The word Queen sent my head spinning. “Alaska?” My tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth and I suddenly felt nauseous.
“Are you alright?” He asked, his voice sounded worried. Black spots invaded my vision and I jerked forward. “Serena? Serena? Are you okay? When was the last time you ate something?”
“I’m not h-ungry...” I slurred.
“Take a deep breathes. Have you slept at all these last three days? I told the maids to make sure you were taken care of.” I barely noticed I was now sitting in his lap, his arms were around me.
“I’m okay,” I protested when he pressed a cool cloth to my forehead.
“No, you’re not.” He growled, “You’re wasting away.”
“What’s your name?” I asked randomly, I felt my eyes start to get heavy. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fight off the darkness much longer. My body was ready to shut off. My wolf was already gone.
He laughed nervously, “Sebastian, but you can call me Seb. Just close your eyes Serena, you will be okay.”
I didn’t know why, but I believed him. Suddenly, the week’s events slammed into me like a truck. My head and body ached and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Everything was overwhelming, it was all too much.
So I did what Seb told me to do, I buried my face into his chest and closed my eyes.