I finish pantry duty, making sure everything is set in the guest rooms. I had Sam order bouquets for each of the suites as an extra touch. In the guest Alpha's suite, I also add a bottle of champagne. If this is the last thing I ever get to do, I want it to be something that makes someone else happy.
It is almost one-thirty in the morning before I plop into bed, exhausted. It has been a shit day. If Luna Caroline has anything to do with it, it will probably be my last. Lex is exhausted too. She stops sulking long enough to tell me she needs me to shift, but I can't. I have no time or energy. I keep promising her I will, but I feel like I've broken that promise. I float off to sleep to the sounds of her whimpering in my head while I cry into the pillow.
To my surprise, my alarm wakes me in the morning. Lex makes me promise to hang on for one more day. We go through the motions of the life I hate. While I'm getting ready, I look in the mirror to find my hair is completely silvery white now. I tuck it into a bun to try to avoid people noticing it.
The delegation from Blood River arrives in the early afternoon. They are all tall and intimidating with tattoos and big muscles. Some of them have visible scars on their arms and faces. They're wearing matching black and white business clothes or all-black security uniforms. Luna Caroline directs them to the sitting room while I quietly bring in pitchers of water and ice tea for them to drink. I do my best to try not to be noticed when one of the women calls me out.
"You there, omega," She says abruptly, staring with green eyes and black hair pulled into a tight ponytail.
I look around and realize she is speaking to me.
"Wine. Wine for everyone."
"Beta Lenora, of course, right away," Luna Caroline says quickly, then nods her head to me.
I rush to the wine cellar and pull out two cases of wine, napkins, and glasses, prepping the drink service cart and head back to the sitting room. I open three bottles each of red and white, leaving the rest for them to do as they wish and I back out of the room so I can start on preparing dinner.
The rest of the day goes without a hitch. The guests seem pleased with dinner. In the evening, I go to each guest suite to make sure everyone is happy with their accommodations. A couple of people ask for more bags of chips or soda but on the whole, everyone seems satisfied.
The last door is the Beta's room. Beta Lenora opens the door wearing a blue t-shirt and jeans, looking much more relaxed than earlier. She has a large tattoo of a rose and a dagger on her forearm. Her dark hair is still pulled back but she isn't wearing makeup. I can see now, she looks only a few years older than me. I can hear her mate inside talking on the phone.
"Thanks for checking on us. Everything is wonderful. The flowers are a beautiful touch. You have good taste," she smiles at me. I bow to her slightly, then turn to leave.
"Wait, what's under your hat?" The Beta asks suspiciously. I stop in my tracks and turn around.
"I'm sorry ma'am?" I ask. I feel the blood drain from my face and a knot forms in my belly.
"Your hat. Why is it so low? What are you trying to hide?" she asks, "Come closer."
I come closer and slowly take off my hat. Keeping my eyes to the ground. My silver hair cascades down my back. It is embarrassingly greasy and visibly dirty. I feel myself blush.
"Oh, I see," she says with surprise in her voice, "Now. Don't be disrespectful. Always look me in the eye when I speak to you."
Oh crap. I look up at her. The light from her room shines right into my eyes. She looks at me blankly for a moment trying to process what she is seeing.
"What are you? A hybrid?"
"No, ma'am. The pack doctor did tests but doesn't know why it happened. He thinks it must be a transformation related to my wolf getting ready to wake up," I mean, it's not a lie...it's just not the whole truth, right? How am I supposed to tell a complete stranger that my wolf says I am the Moon Goddess's actual daughter and that is why I have silver hair and violet eyes?
She grabs my chin and pulls my face closer to hers, inspecting closely, "And does the pack doctor know someone has broken your nose recently? You still have bruises."
"He's treated my injuries in the past," I'm not trying to elaborate or implicate anyone to this woman I don’t know.
"Who's at the door, Lenora?" the Beta inside calls to her.
"Just the omega assigned to us, Milo. What's your name, again?"
"It's Iokaste, ma'am but please call me Kas. I'm not an omega, though. I'm just a servant."
"Her name is Kas. She picked out my beautiful flowers," she's still talking to her mate but she hasn't taken her eyes off me as if she is trying to size me up for some reason. Her brow furrows slightly as she stares. She's making me really self-conscious.
"That's nice. Ask her if I can get bubbly water in the refrigerator."
"No problem, ma'am," She and I share a smile at 'bubbly water', "I will bring it shortly and leave it at the door.”
"Thank you. Oh and Kas, if those bruises aren't healed tomorrow morning, find some powder. Alpha Bronx Mason does not tolerate seeing injuries like that."
I run to the stockroom, get four bottles of San Pellegrino and put them in front of the door, then run away as fast as I can. One million questions run through my head. Will their Alpha kill me for being weaker than other wolves, even if I'm not part of his pack? Is she going to tell Alpha Graham about my unusual features? Will she call him out for letting someone break my nose? I mean, lady, if you think that is bad, I got some news you're not gonna like and then I'm dead meat by your Alpha for sure.
Alpha Graham comes down later and whips me for not having all the items our guests wanted. By morning, Lex has still not been able to fully heal me. So I put on a loose black t-shirt and shorts with a stretched-out waistband. I’m in so much pain, everything is a struggle. Cooking, carrying breakfast trays, leaning over to clean tables. Every move causes scabs to open and bleed, making the back of my shirt damp with blood.
Beta Lenora makes eye contact with me a couple of times. She can tell something is wrong but doesn't say anything.
For some reason she can't explain, Lex is bouncing around in my head all morning.
“The Beta is so nice! I can't wait to meet the Alpha and Luna!”
“Lex, come on. We're not going to get to meet the Alpha and Luna. We're going to melt into the wallpaper and pretend we don't exist.”
“Pshh. I want to meet them.”
“Okay, well I hate to disappoint you, but you're gonna be disappointed.”
Lori comes in while I'm prepping lunch to let me know the Alpha has arrived and I need to make lunch for him as well. There is no Luna. He doesn't have a mate? And according to Lori...he's really handsome. Not that it matters to me, because I'm going to be wallpaper. I don't want him to notice me at all.
I take the trays to the conference room. Alpha Bronx Mason is not there but there is a spot at the table where he is supposed to sit. I leave his meal at the empty seat. Everyone from the Blood River pack politely thanks me as I lay plates in front of them. Their manners betray their intimidating features. No one from the Silver Moon pack says a word to me as I serve them. I collect the trays and walk out quietly. Lori lets me know she will clean the plates so I can focus on dinner and food for the party.
I go to the kitchen but need a minute to collect myself before I get started on dinner. I go out the back door and stand on the stoop. In the distance I see a man smoking. I don't recognize him, it must be the Alpha from Blood River. He is too far away for me to see his actual features though. All I can see is a tall figure with dark hair and a black suit. The wind wafts his cigarette smoke toward me. It smells like cigarettes but I swear it smells like coffee too...or dark chocolate. This guy was a mocha drinker? I laugh to myself at the thought of the big bad Alpha of Blood River sipping on a mochaccino.
I make a four-course meal of Caesar salad, bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizers, beef wellington with braised Brussels sprouts for the main dish, and a key lime pie for dessert. I also make bruschetta, crostinis, tomato fritters, mini calzones, assorted veggie trays with dip, and chocolate truffles to serve for the party. I finished the desserts and veggie trays between breakfast and lunch so there was less for me to worry about now. I realize Lex's advice of finding happiness in cooking has helped me enjoy making this dinner. Maybe because I'm serving people other than my pack or maybe it's because I'm making special food, not just the regular stuff I make for the pack? Either way, I don't mind my work today. I feel a sense of pride in it. There are servers for dinner service since it's a formal event. I stay in the kitchen and make sure everything is plated and going out the door in perfect condition. I'm in the zone, as they say. I peek out from the kitchen after each course is served
I wake up feeling woozy, laying on my stomach in my bed. What the Hell? Was last night some sort of weird dream? I think the Alpha from Blood River attacked me. No. That doesn't seem right. As hard as I try, I can’t remember the details. I hear unfamiliar voices in the hallway but I also hear the doctor and nurse Diane. There is a large man, wearing all black, standing in the doorway with his back facing me. I realize I'm not wearing a shirt. I'm only covered by a sheet and my back is covered in bandages. "Lex, are you there?" I ask, suddenly feeling scared. "I'm here, Kas," Her voice is soft and far away. "Are you okay, Lex? I'm so sorry," I can feel her weakness and pain. Tears sting my eyes. "You have nothing to apologize for, Kas. I'll be alright. You were strong. You held out as long as you could. I tried to slow down time to give you more time to get help but it made me weaker." "Wait, that was you?" "Well, yeah, but it didn't work the way it was supposed to. I can explain
Bronx's POV As soon as my guard, Tyree, told me an omega was trying to get in my suite, I left the party and rushed upstairs. My wolf, Saint, urged me to hurry. “Something’s wrong. We need to get to her now,” he growls. I don’t have any pack secrets in the suite but that doesn't mean I want a stranger going in without my permission. As we turn the corner, we see a scrawny little girl at the end of the hall struggling to push open the heavy door of my suite. The scent of fresh rain and lilacs wafts in the air, somehow making me feel less angry. The girl looks up at us from under her baseball cap when Tyree yells at her. I can’t see her face from the shadow of the hat, but I don’t need to. I’m immediately drawn to her. My heart almost skips a beat. “Mate,” Saint cries out, taking over control of my body. He strides over and roughly pushes her against the door. I feel my fangs extending as I deeply breathe in her scent. “Saint, don’t you DARE mark her,” I warn, pulling on his con
Bronx's POV After about fifteen minutes of failed attempts to try to convince Kas to come out from under the bed, I call Lenora and a nurse to help coax her out. I go to my room to shower and change while they do that. Lenora meets me out in the hallway before I can go back into Kas’s suite. “Is she alright?” I ask, searching Lenora’s eyes for the truth. “Yeah, but that whole thing exhausted her. She is back in bed sleeping,” she admits, shoving her hands in her pockets. "Bronx, I know I told you to be here and be with Kas, but maybe you should go get some sleep yourself," She looks at me sympathetically, "I cant believe you were so distracted that she was able to break your nose. You have to take care of yourself if you're going to take car
Kas's POV I wake up to see it's nighttime. I'm pretty sure the bed I'm in is the softest bed in the world. The scent of coffee and dark chocolate fills my senses and for the first time in forever, I feel completely relaxed. Happy little sparks shoot around my body. I realize I am cradled in a large man's arms, like a kid with a teddy bear. He's so tall that I feel like a little kid next to him. My face is against his t-shirt, breathing in his intoxicating scent. I'm too short to look up to see his face from my position, but I already know it's Alpha Bronx Mason. I start to feel panic try to rise in my chest, but Lex gently pushes it back down. "Enjoy this moment, Kas," she whispers when she feels me starting to struggle, "He is your mate. He isn't going to hurt you." “We don't even know h
We stay like this for a while until he says, "How about we get you something to eat? You haven't had anything solid in almost a week.” I pull away from our comfortable position and think about it. "Yeah, I'm pretty hungry," I agree. I don't actually feel hungry, but I don't want to make him upset with me either. Not when things are starting to go so well. “Alright, I'll make you a little snack. Then we can get the kitchen to bring something up for you.” “Thank you, I'm just going to freshen up real quick, if that's okay?” “Of course. The bathroom is through that door," he points to a door at the back of the suite. He helps me get out of his lap and I make my way to the bathr
We come out of the bathroom to find Bronx watching TV in the sitting area. He stands up when he hears the bathroom door open. When he turns around, he freezes. "Oh my Goddess," he says under his breath. He gulps as he stares at me. "She cleans up nice, huh?" Lenora smiles. "Uh, yeah, I- uh, stun- that - I," he's not able to make a full sentence as he stares at me. "You know what, I'm just gonna go," Lenora says over my shoulder as she points to the door. She gives me a thumbs up and a wink as she leaves. I stand where she left me, not sure what to do with my hands. "Waannnaaa… watch TV with me?" Bronx points behind him at the television. Lenora lunges across the table, sailing over top of me, causing the person who had grabbed me to let go. I hear growling and snarling as she fights with the person. At the same time, Ashley grabs me by the wrist and pulls me away from the scuffle. She runs into the bathroom and locks the door. “Kas, are you okay?" Ashley holds both sides of my face, "Come on, Kas, answer me, please.” I feel myself looking at her, but I feel numb. Like my mind is separating from my body. There is a high pitched hum taking over my hearing. Even Lex is trying to call me but she sounds so far away. I can't feel her like I usually do. Ashley is patting my face. I see her talking to me, but I can't hear her anymore. All I hear is the steady high pitched hum. My body starts shivering in fear. I need to calm down. Lenora and Ashley are g
Forever in the Past and Forever in the Future 14
Lenora lunges across the table, sailing over top of me, causing the person who had grabbed me to let go. I hear growling and snarling as she fights with the person. At the same time, Ashley grabs me by the wrist and pulls me away from the scuffle. She runs into the bathroom and locks the door. “Kas, are you okay?" Ashley holds both sides of my face, "Come on, Kas, answer me, please.” I feel myself looking at her, but I feel numb. Like my mind is separating from my body. There is a high pitched hum taking over my hearing. Even Lex is trying to call me but she sounds so far away. I can't feel her like I usually do. Ashley is patting my face. I see her talking to me, but I can't hear her anymore. All I hear is the steady high pitched hum. My body starts shivering in fear. I need to calm down. Lenora and Ashley are g