Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell
Chapter 61 The Lie
Ann’s stomach seemed to tie itself in knots as they descended the stairs together and made their way into the dining room.
She had felt Adam’s tension increase as he readied himself for a confrontation with the elders… but it never materialized. The hallway and dining room were empty apart from the usual Omega’s scurrying about.
The tension seemed to dissipate almost immediately from Adam’s shoulders and he pulled a chair out at the dining table for Ann to sit at with a tight smile.
They hadn’t chosen to dress any differently, a*s*suming that it may @rouse suspicion if their usual styles had changed. Ann sat in a pale blue merino wool sweater with a high neck and her hair down, and Adam had stuck with his usual business suit with a high neck collar on his shirt.
They chatted lightly about their plans for the day. After all, nothing had changed in their work lives and they still had important meetings to attend to. As they talked quietly between themselves, the dining hall began to fill up with members of the Pack that had attended the morning’s training.
The majority of females eyed Ann suspiciously as they filed in, whispering behind their hands and staring pointedly at them both. Both she and Adam were aware of the subtle change in the att*itude of the Pack’s members.
They were giving off a distinctly unfriendly feeling towards Ann, and she shifted uncomfortably in her seat as Adam leaned towards her to whisper in her ear rea*s*suringly.
“Don’t worry, Ann. They won’t approach you while I’m here.”
Ann snorted and turned to look at him with a glint in her eye.
“Adam, It’s okay. I’m not afraid of them, you know? I can handle myself and if, for some reason, I can’t, then Maeve will handle the rest.” She whispered back with a soft smile.
Adam frowned slightly.
Wasn’t that his job? To protect his mate from any threats? Did she really not need him?
He blinked, a little stunned as he realized that he had, for the briefest of moments, thought of her as his true mate and not merely a contracted mate. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that something more was going on between the two of them.
Yet, he couldn’t quite decide just what that ‘something’ was.
Was this fake mark intensifying his feelings for her?
Was it just a by-product of the Daemon magick?
He stared at Ann speculatively as he leaned back in his chair.
It was as if she was already imprinted in his heart and although his wolf rarely communicated with him, even before the Daemon Lord’s help with the mark, he couldn’t get her out of his head.
“Is everything okay Adam?” Ann asked, her eyes searching his and filled with concern.
Adam smiled lightly.
“It’s fine. I was just lost in thought for a moment Ann, that’s all.” He answered dismissively as his eyes were drawn to the figure of an agile-looking raven-haired woman who threw malicious-looking glares towards Ann. Adam growled lightly in her direction, making Ann jump a little as she turned to see what was bothering him.
The woman smirked as she approached them, her hate -filled eyes focused intently on Ann as Adam stood slowly next to Ann, in readiness for whatever this woman had in store.
Whatever it was, it didn’t feel like it was going to be a pleasant experience for them.
As the woman came to a stop in front of them, Adam stepped in front of Ann and growled again lowly.
“Alpha,” the woman greeted with a deferential tilt of her head, “I would like a moment to talk with our Luna, if I may.”
Her voice was like silk and it made Adam’s skin crawl for some unknown reason.
He frowned as he shook the feeling away and tried to place her face, yet he couldn’t.
She was familiar, yet not… and the fact that he couldn’t recall her, or her position in the Pack perplexed him.
He could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end and he shifted slightly, his mistrust and aggressive apprehension clear in his stance.
“And just what do you need to speak to my mate about?” Adam said in a dangerously low tone.
The woman chuckled darkly.
“Are you sure she’s your mate, Alpha? It’s been said that you haven’t even bothered to mark her. Now what kind of Alpha doesn’t claim, mark and mate his goddess intended as soon as they have the chance?” She answered with a c*oc*ky smirk, folding her arms arrogantly in front of her.
Adam’s face darkened instantly as he sneered at her. “You’re overstepping female. I don’t know who you are, nor why you dare to challenge my authority in such a way but…”
“She challenges you because you have lied to the Pack!” A cold contemptuous voice rang out across the dining room. “This Pack is your family and you are charged with our safety and wellbeing… yet… you lie to us about the true status of your mate!”
The low hum of conversation ceased immediately as an almost deafening silence descended in the dining hall. Every face turned to look at the person who was bold enough to speak so condescendingly to their Alpha and a mixture of emotions ran across them all.
Some nodded in agreement whereas others frowned their disapproval, and others were merely curious as to what was going on.
Ann’s mouth set in a grim line as she watched a small group of the Elders enter the dining hall with Tomas emerging at the front of them with a disdainful sneer on his face.
She flicked her eyes to the woman who had approached them and for the briefest moment, she felt as if she almost recognized her.
The disdainful sneer and malice that danced in her eyes felt as familiar as her own skin, but as quick as it had appeared both the woman’s expression and the feeling that sent a cold shiver down her spine fluttered out of reach as she grasped wildly after it.