Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate Chapter 154

Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell

Chapter 154 Emergency

The hum of chatter faded as soon as the Steward announced their arrival and every person in attendance stood and turned to watch the newly instated royal couple with interest.

Ann took a deep breath to steady her nerves as unobtrusively as she could. She f*orc*ed a demure smile on her face as she and Adam made their way toward their seats and tried desperately to ignore the countless judgmental eyes now focused solely on her.

The Royal Table sat at the far back of the room, elevated slightly above the others on a beautifully sculpted dais. Two ornate chairs, crafted in Silver and decorated expertly with reliefs of the Moon Goddess and her first children sculpted into the metalwork, sat central to the table, flanked on either side by additional chairs for the most senior of the Royal Enclave.

As Ann and Adam passed the many faces of the wide array of dignitaries a*s*sembled in the banquet hall, they held their heads high as the surrounding shifters bowed their heads or bared their necks as a sign of respect to the passing couple.

‘Oh look how respected we are already!’ Maeve preened proudly as she fought the urge to extend her dominance just a little, ‘Clearly, they appreciate that we are a magnificent fit for the throne.’

‘Clearly,’ Ann replied with a chuckle, ‘Not all of these faces are friendly though. Politics and diplomacy are tricky at the best of times, especially with the devious hearts behind some of these faces.’

‘Oh yes, because you’re an expert on spotting sinister intentions,’ Maeve sniggered sarcastically. ‘Are you ever going to let that go?’ Ann replied with a little sigh as her frustration leaked into her tone. ‘Evidently not. You’re a big girl. You can take it. Own your problems before they own you and all that…’ Maeve replied nonchalantly.

‘Well listen here clever clogs, I might not be the best at understanding and spotting things outside of the palace but I have, however, been around diplomats and politicians since a young age and I know exactly which ones I need to look out for.’ Ann bit back defensively, ‘Whilst some are happy to work on a mutually beneficial relationship, there is still a good amount that will only look out for their own interests, or will continuously find a way to undermine your authority just to get off on their own little power trip.’

‘I’d like to see them try.’ Maeve growled suddenly, as she bared her teeth. ‘Again, we can’t just go around ripping people apart. It would have been disastrous before, but now? Seriously… can you imagine the reaction?!’ Ann admonished.

‘No worries, we can use our Queenly powers to make it all go away,” Maeve snorted jokingly with a wicked glint in her eye, although Ann wasn’t quite sure if she was joking or not

The Senior members of the Enclave bowed their heads respectfully and greeted them as they took their seats at the table in the central position, with the steward directing people that they may now sit again.

Both Ann and Adam were almost immediately engaged in conversation with the Elders that sat closest to them as the dishes that had been prepared were brought in and laid out on the tables.

“If I could have your attention please!” The steward’s voice called out above the hum of conversation, as people slowly turned their attention to him.

Once the noise had finally quietened down he smiled broadly and spread his arms wide in a welcoming gesture.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the grand coronation of our new Alpha Queen, Ann Nocturne, and to welcome her consort, Adam Nocturne into the lineage of our treasured Royal bloodline.” He began to a chorus of shouted greetings and well wishes, interspersed with the sound of applause.

He waited for the noise to die down again before continuing seriously.

“It is our fervent hope that together, they will lead our kingdom to new heights. It is a special occasion indeed, for it is said that every coronation marks the beginning of a new era and what is even more extraordinary and exceptional, is that this era will be led by an Alpha Queen, an occurrence that hasn’t been seen for centuries! This truly is a time when legends will come alive and perhaps the impossible will become possible.”

A reverent silence followed his words as he reached for a glass at his side and held it high in front of him. “So with this in mind, I propose the first toast of the evening! As we raise our glasses in honor of our rulers, let us not forget the ancient tales of kingdoms ruled by werewolves and the hardships that we have already faced, and the dire threats that we overcame. For tonight, we celebrate not only the triumphs of our human natures, but also those of the noble beasts that dwell within our hearts. May this feast be blessed by the light of the moon and the unified calls of each pack that resides within our kingdom. May we continue to face down each threat with unrelenting determination, and emerge victorious in all of our endeavors! So please, raise your glasses to our Alpha Queen Ann Nocturne!”

A chorus of shouts echoing the sentiments of the steward rippled through the room as Ann and Adam raised their glasses towards the expectant faces and drank deeply.

The feast progressed as expected. People ate and drank their fill and as the day turned into the evening, the a*s*sembled nobles began to bid their farewells and make their way home.

“We should probably think about retiring for the night too, my Queen,” Adam murmured into Ann’s ear as he leaned in a little closer.

When her eyes locked with his, she immediately saw the heat that smoldered in his eyes and she knew exactly what he was insinuating.

“What’s there to think about? Let’s get out of here,” she replied coyly, trying her best not to laugh at the amount of restraint that Adam was clearly having to put into stopping himself from picking her up and carrying her out of the room in front of so many people.

As Ann began to bid her farewells, the doors to the banquet hall were suddenly thrown open, and the figure of a very disheveled and stressed-looking Enclave guard approached the royal table rapidly.

His sudden appearance and drawn curious looks and disapproving whispers as the guests tracked his progress towards the table and very unsubtly strained to overhear whatever was unfolding in front of them.

Ann turned to face him with a small frown as a sense of unease suddenly gripped her and the Royal guards that had been posted at either end of the table rushed to place a barrier between the man and their Queen. “What is the meaning of this intrusion!?” One of the Senior Elders questioned imperiously. “How dare you approach the Queen so openly and at such a time too!”

“Please…” the man pleaded with anguish in his eyes, “It is imperative that I speak with you I immediately. It would be better to do so somewhere privately.”

“Who are you to demand an audience with our Queen?! Outrageous!” the outraged voices of nobles that had gathered behind them cried out.

The man shifted uncomfortably as he turned to glance over his shoulder at the nobles behind and turned back to look imploringly at the newly instated Alpha Queen.

“Your highness, please. It is regarding the special convoy that was sent recently. It is crucial that I speak with you and your advisors privately.”

Ann’s stomach dropped as a wave of foreboding washed over her. She had a terrible feeling that she knew exactly what the man was going to report.

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