Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell
Chapter 38 The Traditional Gift-giving
“Please, everyone, if you would like to move through to the banqueting hall, we’ll continue there,” Narcissa announced to the remaining people in the ballroom. “We have another announcement to make and the traditional gift-giving between the Alpha King and his daughter.”
Ann rolled her eyes as Lexi linked her arm through hers and forcibly coerced her through the small entryway and into the banquet hall.
The Royal family sat at the head table as the banquet was well underway.
Before long, Narcissa stood and called everyone’s attention.
“I’d like to propose a toast before the gift-giving.” She said graciously as she raised her glassand the rest of the room hastened to follow.
“Here’s to the long and happy marriage of Ada and Brad, and the long and healthy lives of their pups. The marriage signifies the strengthening of our kind and brings us together in an alliance not only of diplomacy but also of blood… please, drink to the happy couple.” Narcissa beamed as she gulped the liquid in her glass.
Ada elbowed Brad in his side and whispered furiously as he reluctantly did the same. Ann also gulped her drink, but she refused to raise her glass.
She hoped they both got what they deserve and that an innocent child wasn’t pulled into this madness.
“Now I’ll hand you over to my husband for the traditional gift-giving.” Narcissa trilled and inclined her head towards the Alpha King.
He stood slowly, almost unwillingly as he cast a guilty glance toward Ann before swinging his gaze to look apprehensively at Ada, Narcissa, and Brad.
He took the prepared boxes handed to him by one of the servants and Ann watched carefully as he approached.
The gift-giving was unimpressive in itself, but when Ann realized what exactly was being given, her mouth gaped open and she stood angrily.
Ada’s face was a mask of joy as the jewelry set was unveiled and she flicked a look filled with malice and contempt toward Ann as she held the items up for the media present to see.
“Oh, father! These are beautiful, thank you so much! You do me a great honor!” She simpered.
The items she had been gifted were from Ann’s maternal grandmother and the sight of them around her neck and in her hands ignited a fury in Ann that she hadn’t known she possessed.
“Take them off.” Ann snapped angrily as a deathly silence filled the room.
Ada p@inted her face with a mask of innocence.
“I’m sorry. What’s wrong, Ann? Don’t you like them?” The tone she used was a perfect balance.
To those unfamiliar with her duplicitous nature, it sounded as if she were merely asking an innocent question, but her words were laced with malice.
She knew that Ann loved those heirlooms… they were meant for her when she ascended the throne. They were never meant for Ada.
Yet there she stood, wearing the jewelry that her grandmother and mother had worn… the only real memories she had left from either of them, and Ada knew it.
“I’ll give you one chance to take them off, Ada. Those aren’t yours and you know it…” Ann growled out lowly, feeling Maeve’s anger begin to rise quite rapidly.
“Ann, don’t do this here. Not in front of all these people.” The Alpha King intervened lowly, the guilt clear in his eyes.
“Are you insane? Those are my mother’s! Those are MY heirlooms from MY mother! The woman you rejected for this WH*ORE and your bastard child!” Ann roared furiously, feeling Maeve push forward and try to wrestle control.
It was strange… Maeve wasn’t speaking, but insisting on surging forward.
Ada’s eyes were shining with anticipation as she wrapped her arms around her stomach protectively and transformed her face into a mask of fear.
“Ann! I don’t understand… why are you so angry?” Ada pleaded in a pitiful voice, the emotion in her voice at odds with the emotion in her eyes.
Ann could barely think straight anymore, it was like her head was full of static and intense pressure that only seemed to build with each passing second.
Ann clenched her jaw and closed her eyes, dropping her head to her chest and struggling to retain control. Her sanity was hanging by a thread and she could feel it, mixed with blind rage and terrifying panic from Maeve.
It was simply too much to bear.
Ann’s head exploded backward as a terrifying roar tore from within and Maeve surged forwards, taking control of Ann’s body and forcing a twisted half-human, half¬wolf form with a humanoid figure.
She was aware of the terrified screams all around her, but it was muffled as if she was underwater.
Lexi’s panicked voice shouted desperately for her to grab a hold of herself as she snapped wildly at the air and advanced menacingly towards Ada.
All pretense had been wiped from Ada’s face as she scrambled backward wildly and Narcissa rushed to her daughter’s side.
“You stupid little girl. What did you do?!” Narcissa hissed into Ada’s ear furiously as she pulled her away.
“I… I didn’t mean to …” Ada stuttered as she tripped over her own feet trying to back away.
“Shut up! Just… I’ll deal with you after… if we ever manage to get out of here alive.” Narcissa snarled as she dragged her backward.
Although everything was muffled, Ann had heard every word. Realizing that they were probably to blame for whatever this was… she let go of the last thread that held Maeve back.
With the last thread of restraint gone Maeve pounced, springing towards them at a frightening speed, her eyes wild and her teeth bared.