Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell
Chapter 20 The Coming Ceremony
Ann scowled furiously at her phone and jabbed her fork angrily into the food in front of her. She had lost all appet*ite.
“It depends on how you define okay.” She muttered, sighing heavily and slamming her fork onto the table again.
She sagged forwards, her shoulder drooping, and rested her head in her hands. Adam couldn’t decide if she was upset or angry, or somewhere in between. He reached for his coffee and took a sip.
“Whatever it is, Ann, I’ll help if I can. We’re a team now. If it affects you this way, then it affects me too. I want my Luna to be happy.” He said rea*s*suringly.
Ann swept her hair from her face and peered at him across the table.
“I’m not sure it’s anything that you could help with, Adam. Although I appreciate the sentiment. There isn’t anything I need to be here for tomorrow evening is there?” Adam frowned slightly as he thought and narrowed his eyes slightly.
“As long as you return here tomorrow night then you are free to do as you please. It’s only the ceremonies this afternoon to officially bind us and welcomes you into the pack, after that, you are free to do as you please.”
Ann nodded thoughtfully.
“Okay. I have to attend my step-sister’s engagement announcement tomorrow, that’s all.”
“The step-sister you don’t get on with at all?” Adam asked with a hint of bewilderment.
“The very same. If she thinks she’s getting her filthy hands on my mother’s jewelry, she has another thing coming.” Ann hissed, a look of dark determination on her face.
Ann had returned to her room shortly after breakfast, having eaten very little despite Adam’s insistence.
She was in the process of being pampered and preened before the official ceremonies began. The stylists employed at the pack had made a selection of outfits for her to wear during the day for each ceremony and had instructions to find her something impressive for tomorrow’s engagement party as well.
Ann suspected that word had gotten around the pack that not only did the feared Alpha appear to be putty in her hands, but that she was also of royal blood. Everyone seemed to be working insanely hard to try to meet her expectations and seemed to be going above and beyond what was necessary.
She was offered freshly made snacks and a huge array of drinks and the next omega that approached her c*oc*ked her head curiously and attempted to strike up a conversation.
“Is all this really necessary?”
“All what Luna?” She replied with a little frown.
“All of this…” Ann gestured wildly to the hive of activity in her room in a little disbelief.
The omega chuckled and placed yet another drink in her hand.
“Of course, it is Luna! What sort of pack doesn’t care for its leaders? This is to prove that we can take care of you well and see to your needs, whatever they may be.”
“It’s really not necessary, I can take care of myself you know? If I need a drink or something to eat then I’m more than capable of seeing to that myself. I’m sure you all have better things to be doing than taking care of the whims of your Luna.”
The omega looked horrified at her words.
“Not at all, Luna! This is our job! Once you are mated and marked, you’ll be a*s*signed a personal chef and a*s*sistants to ensure that all of your needs are taken care of. This way, the only thing you have to worry about is the upbringing of all those pups you’ll produce and the traditional Luna duties.” She grinned brightly.
It was Ann’s turn to look horrified. If they had their way, they would turn her into a glorified breeder. Was that even in her contract? Had she missed something hidden in the small print that required her to produce pups every year?
“There’s no need to look so scared, Luna. You’ll be well taken care of here. The little princes and princesses you produce will be adored by all. Despite his reputation, Alpha Nocturne is a good Alpha, he takes care of us well.” She smiled gently.
Ann nodded d*um*bly. She was really going to have to check the contract over and perhaps ask Adam if she had agreed to those terms. She definitely didn’t remember agreeing to them…
‘We were drunk though.’ Maeve offered unhelpfully. ‘Oh god, Maeve. I don’t think I’m ready for pups just yet.’ Ann replied, an edge of panic in her voice.
‘I’m more than ready…I can’t wait to have all those little wagging tails and chubby bellies running around our legs.’ Maeve answered wistfully.
‘You won’t have to carry them!’
‘You and I do share the same body you know…we share exactly the same feelings and sensations…’ Maeve grumbled.
‘Well, yes, but you aren’t going to have to push them out, are you?’
‘Don’t be silly. Of course, I’ll help in childbirth. Just think Ann, we’ll get to play with them and show them off!’ Maeve answered happily. ‘We’ll have many strong pups that will be the envy of all who see them!’
Ann scowled in response and suddenly found herself focusing on a different omega than was there in front of her previously.
“Do you not like these, Luna?” The woman asked, a hint of trepidation on her face.
Ann was confused momentarily as she took in the material of the dresses held up before her.
“Oh! I’m sorry… I wasn’t paying attention. I was..”
“No need to explain, Luna, we understand. It’s a stressful day for all of us so I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.” The omega answered as relief washed over her face and the tension seemed to be lifted from her body.
“We were just wondering which dress you preferred for the Elder’s binding ceremony, that’s all…we couldn’t decide between these and we’re still learning about your tastes…” her words trailed off apologetically.
Ann smiled rea*s*suringly at her and cast her eyes across the dresses on offer. She selected an elegant-looking ivory c*oc*ktail-style dress encrusted with diamonds around the outline of the bust and along the straps.
The ceremony would be essentially a wedding, without the extravagance of the royal treasury, and officiated by the elders of this pack, and not the King himself.
Ann didn’t care though. This wedding suited her needs as much as it did Alpha Nocturne’s and she intended to not only meet the expectations dutifully but surp@ssthem if possible.
If it served to piss her step-sister off in the meantime, then that would only make the whole arrangement more satisfying.
Ann grinned to herself as the omega’s finished their work on her hair and makeup and waited patiently for the knock on her door to signal the start of the day’s lengthy events.