Taking in a deep breath as I stepped forward; I nod my head politely to the two doormen who pulled the large oak doors open. Revealing the long large wooden table which was occupied by guests and my family; the room was lit by the setting sunshine which filtered through the large open windows.
Silence fell in the room as I strolled towards the table. This did not discourage me, nor did it scare me, the silence would not defeat my confidence. A small smile appeared on my father’s face as he arose from the head of the table. My father is a large man. No, he is not overweight; he has broad shoulders and a solid build; he is powerful- I did not view him as powerful because he was King, no I viewed him as powerful because of his strength. Little hair was left on his head; it had slowly disappeared through the years; his small beard was nicely trimmed. I returned his smile, as the rest of the table arose from their seats; no one dared stay seated, out of respect.
My eyes darted to the empty seat next to my brother; as a servant pulled the chair out for me to take. Liam had a large smile on his face. His green eyes sparkled with happiness as he ran his hand through short brown hair. Liam was well built, his dominant jaw was freshly shaven, to say he was simply viewed as handsome was a belittlement; he was beyond handsome.
My smile faltered as I took in his happy demeanour; if only he knew what this dinner was about, his happiness would then indeed dim. Nodding my head to my father, as he returned to his seat; the rest of the table soon followed. My father beamed with happiness and pride as he looked at me. I swiftly glanced down to the other end of the table, giving my mother a small smile.
My eyes gazed over the six empty seats across from me, my jaw tightened as I thought about the future occupants. Liam’s hand went to mine under the table and gave it a quick squeeze; reassurance flooded my body at the small gesture, and a small smile reappeared on my face.
“White or Red my Royal Highness?” A waiter asked from my left side.
Low conversation began to return to the room and the tightness in the air began to lift. I let the wall that shielded my thoughts drop so my family could connect to me telepathically. “Finally, I have been dying to speak to you all day! Where have you been hiding?” Liam’s voice boomed in my mind.
“Well one should not wish to eavesdrop in their sisters thoughts all day,” I said as I casually sipped on my red wine. “It’s not like you to hide away or keep secrets from me.” Sighing I pulled my shield back up blocking any further communication. I loathed lying to Liam, though he would understand the cause soon enough for my strange behaviour.
Sending my father a pointed look; as I was sure he had heard mine and Liam’s short conversation. The cracking open of the large oak doors brought myself out of my thoughts; as my eyes shot to the entrance of the dining room.
“King Alpha Griffin, Queen Griffin, Prince Griffin, Princess Griffin and Sir Alexander,” a doorman’s voice announced.
As the family began to make their way towards the table my father again arose from his seat. Instantly the table followed; bringing everyone to their feet once again.
Keeping an eye on the small family as they approached, I stared in amazement. If you didn’t know better; you wouldn’t expect this family to be one of the most powerful royal families in the world. Ours of course challenges them for the title; but that would soon be an issue of the past.
King Griffin was of solid build; his build and posture mirrors my fathers, though King Griffin still has light grey hair on his head and his face was shaven. His eyes shone with determination as he walked towards his seat. Following slightly behind him was his wife Queen Griffin; she was tall but shorter than her husband. Her skin looked like soft velvet, her eyes were diamond in shape and had a magically grey tint; she was a vision of beauty. Princess Sophia followed next. She looked much like her mother, though her hair was long and brown in shade; she could be no older than 16.
The man that travelled behind her made my breathing hitch. He was tall and of muscular build, it was clear that he took pride in his fitness. His facial features were chiselled and his eyes were black, a tint of grey within them; and they were haunting. As he crossed his arms, it only made each muscle that ran along his thick arms more dominant. The man that followed behind Prince Connor seemed to be a guard or a protector. Servants pulled the chairs out and the family took their place at the table.
My eyes locked with Prince Connor’s for a split second, as he took the seat directly across from me; his haunting black eyes shielding his emotions. Greetings were exchanged between the Kings before both took their seats; all guests slowly followed their lead. The waiters began to serve the feast; though I don’t think many would have the stomach for food; as many at the table were consumed with nerves and fear. The only few which were not experiencing these feelings were the Powerful Alpha King’s and of course the Alpha’s sons.
Sipping on what could possibly be my sixth glass of wine, I sat back expecting to get a disapproving look from my father but instead I was greeted with a blank expressionless face; it looked as if he was having a debate within himself. I dropped my mental shield and let my families’ voices fill my mind.
“Alice please calm down,” my father reassured my mother.
“How can I calm down when we are dining with the enemy!” My mother’s voice replied with panic.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Yeah Dad fill Isabella in, she has been too occupied with the wine glass.” Liam snickered.
“Good point Liam, Isabella, perhaps refrain from another refill.” My mother directed.
I crossed my arms and leaned back in my seat; with a displeasing look appearing on my face. I never rat on Liam! That smirk wouldn’t still be in place if mum and dad knew about Annabel sneaking out of Liam’s room in the early hours of this morning! I regretted thinking it as soon as the thought drifted into my head. Immediately Liam choked on his drink, mother dropped her spoon and dad took a deep breath.
Flicking my shield back up in place, and flinging my hand to my forehead; really I should know better! Perhaps the wine was affecting my judgement; I pushed the half full glass of wine away from me, and took interest in the table cloth; ignoring my brothers glares.
“Thanks.” Liam muttered angrily under his breath.
“Should we begin our discussions or is this not a suitable time?” King Alpha Griffin asked.
My eyes scanned the table, it was reasonable to say that our little family scene had not gone unnoticed. I grumbled to myself at the unwanted attention; sighing I glanced at my father, who was displaying a firm expression, “No, it is time for business,” he answered; “everyone excluding royal blood leave the table.”
Seats began to move at the sudden order and tables slowly emptied. Nerves began to raise in my stomach as I realized the time had come; time to tell Liam the truth- and time to put The Kings’ plan in motion. It was surprising to see Sir Alexander stay seated; my father glanced at him but it seemed that he was under the guard of the Griffins so he remained, so he did not question it.
My father did not speak until the oak doors shut firmly, insuring our conversation would remain private. “Isabella, Liam; this is Princess Sophia and Prince Connor,” my father introduced us.
Both Liam and I acknowledged the introduction. Sophia sent has both a tiny smile at the introduction; however Prince Connor remained silent; his face expressionless. Liam narrowed his eyes at Prince Connor’s unfriendliness.
“King Blackmore, I would like to offer the following script.” King Griffin offered handing over a rolled piece of paper, tied with their royal ribbon. My father took the script and began to unroll it, as his eyes gazed over the information he asked, “Princess Isabella, Prince Connor do you understand your commitment within this script?”
“I do.” Prince Connor replied firmly. Shifting in my seat, I remained silent as a few moments passed; I had not read the script nor did I know its contents entirely. All the information I had was what my father had told me. My father lifted his eyes from the script and raised an eyebrow; questioning my silence. Clearing my throat I replied, “I do not understand my commitment within the script, but I understand my commitment and responsibility to my country and to my pack. If the script has my country and my packs best interests in mind, then it is my royal duty to fulfil such commitments.”
Liam shifted uncomfortably in his seat, shooting confused glances in my direction. “May I be as bold to ask what this script is and the meaning of this arrangement?” Liam asked. The table remained silent and I followed by example; until Liam turned his whole body in my direction and took my hand in his. Questions clear within his eyes as he stared at me waiting for me to explain.
Sighing and dropping my gaze; “The script, which will be sealed by the blood of the bounded two, will ensure that the Griffins and Blackmore’s unite, the two royal bloods becoming one. The two packs will be interlinked; the countries and wolves all now meeting the orders under one throne. Once this is completed, both kings will step down; leaving the ruling to only one King and one Queen. This will end all wars between the countries; between the thrones, as we will become one.” My voice echoed through the dining room; I had a feeling that I had also cleared up any questions for Princess Sophia.
“But…” Liam lost himself in thought, his eye brows furrowing as he took in the heavy information. “Only mates can bind.” Liam said confused; “Are you… and Prince..?”
“No.” I quickly cut him off. His jaw tightened, “Then what you are all proposing is impossible.” His fists curled as he began to take control over his temper which was heating up. “They will mate.” King Griffin stated; his sudden outburst brought Liam’s glare in his direction.
“It can be done.” My father spoke up towards Liam. “How would this be?” A soft voice asked. My eyes glanced at Princess Sophia; I couldn’t help by wonder how she had the confidence to address my father.
“Taking the blood from Isabella and Connor while in wolf form; when the two transfer back the blood of the opposite will be injected into their arms. Isabella will then carry Connor’s blood and Connor will carry Isabella’s. As they both have royal blood, this will bind them together. It will result in them becoming mates, thus wiping any original longing or wanting for their previous designed mate.” King Griffin explained to his daughter.
A large fist pounded on the table, which made me jump in fright; “THAT….. THAT… That goes against nature,” Liam roared. “How could you be allowing this!?” My father remained silent as he watched his hot tempered son; not replying to his question.
“And YOU! ISABELLA! Why are you agreeing to this!?” Liam turned his temper to me; I sighed as I watched his face become red with anger.
“Do not speak to her like that!” My mother yelled, now entering the argument.
I let my aura of calmness leave my body, letting it fill the room. The mood in the room changed immediately. The ability to calm and relax others was my skill and power. Some would say that it was useless, but I enjoyed being able to relax a person by a simple touch; also knowing how to de-stress a situation has been more than useful; especially with a hot headed father and brother.
“It was originally planned for yourself and Sophia to be undertaking the script.” My father admitted. Shocked filled Liam’s face as he shifted his weight on his chair; dropping the fork he had bent into pieces, under the force of his fist. “I knew it wasn’t possible for you to go through with it Liam.” I said calmly.
“I know that you and Annabel have mated. Though why you wish to hide this fact is beyond me Liam. I didn’t think it fair for you to be placed in a situation to choose your country and pack over your mate. Not to mention the chances of the process working would be decreased. After all we only have until my birthday to complete the process. Once I am 18 I will be able to find my mate and then the script will become life threatening if undertaken.”
Liam sat lifeless in his chair and let his glare drop to his hands. I felt sadness dwell within me as I watched has his face began to mirror disgust and dislike.
“So you’re the reason.” A cold husky voice entered the air.
I turned to face Connor, it was perhaps only the second sentence I had ever heard from his lips and how offended the small sentence had been. Crossing my arms and leaning back into my chair; as my eyes narrowed. “No one had a gun to your head Prince.”
His dark eyes glared into mine; “My duty to my country, comes before self-choice.”
I broke all eye contact with him; letting my eyes drift to the table cloth. How those words echoed in my mind; because those same words left my mouth when my father addressed this proposal with me. My father left me with no choice; I had to do the right thing for my brother and for the throne.
The country came first, the pack came first and the throne came first. These were the three firsts. They run through the royal blood; ensuring that we uphold them at all cost. “Then it is settled, the script will be taken out before Isabella turns 18.” King Griffin advised.
My father nodded in agreement as he arose from his chair, as he replied back to King Griffin; “Much preparation will be needed and many areas to be addressed.” He extended his hand out to King Griffin; sealing mine and Connor’s fate. King Griffin extended his hand and took my father’s hand. My eyes relocked with Connors; his eyes mirroring mine, our fate has been sealed.
We are royally screwed.