Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell
Chapter 89 The Special Gift
“Grandmother had a few run-in’s with dark witches in her younger days, but she was lucky enough to have been friendly with the daughter of a light witch. She gifted her this with the promise that it would protect her and whoever wore it, from dark magic.” Adam explained softly as he watched Ann run her fingers over the delicate design.
“Adam… I don’t know what to say… it’s beautiful!” Ann exclaimed almost reverently.
“She was fond of intricate designs and artwork, as I’m sure you can tell.” Adam chuckled softly. “It’s made from obsidian and moonstone and wrapped in platinum. If you open it up, inside is a depiction of Selene, the Moon Goddess, and her first children, the Lycans, and her second born, the Werewolves.”
Ann nodded wordlessly. There wasn’t much she could say, it was truly a breathtaking piece.
“I should have given you this earlier, Ann. At this point, I’m willing to try anything that has the slightest chance of being able to protect you from those vile women.” He murmured as he ran his hands along her shoulders.
He smiled to himself as he felt her shiver of anticipation from his touch.
“Will you put it on for me Adam?” Ann asked quietly as she looked up at him through her lashes.
Adam smiled and took the necklace, gently placing it around her neck and straightening the locket on her front.
“It really suits you, you know… I’m sure every one of my family would have loved you.” He murmured quietly, staring deeply into her eyes.
They had decided between them that it was better to hide the pendant from view, just in case Narcissa or Ada recognized the necklace for what it was. So Ann had tucked it safely underneath the neckline of her dress, invisible to the n*ake*d eye, but still there and providing whatever protection it could.
As they strode through the austere stone corridors of the Elder’s residence, Ann found herself shivering but whether it was through anticipation or anxiety, she couldn’t quite decide.
They knocked at the heavy iron-bound Oak doors and waited to be called, standing in silence side by side, united against whatever was to come.
The doors swung open slowly and a strong commanding voice boomed out from the darkness beyond.
“State your names.”
Adam glanced at her with a raised eyebrow, the over-the -top dramatic edge that this was being conducted with grated on Adam. He much preferred things to proceed quickly and efficiently. In his opinion, having a receptionist here would probably speed things up a little. “Ann Nocturne, formerly Ann Veritas, Crown Princess and heir to the Alpha Throne.” She answered loudly.
Although she sounded confident and calm, inside, she felt completely different about this whole situation. Even Maeve was agitated inside of her, pacing relentlessly eager for the whole thing to be over.
“And who is with you, child?” A different, softer voice called out.
“My husband and mate, Adam Nocturne, Alpha of the Dark Moon Pack.”. Ann answered again in the same tone as before.
Adam reached for her hand and squeezed it gently to try to rea*s*sure her as murmurs filled the darkness beyond. “You may enter.” The softer voice answered again as the darkness of the room beyond the doors erupted into a blaze of light.
Ann stepped through the doors with Adam closely following behind.
She had never seen the judgment rooms before. It was only the King and those on trial or required to bear witness that frequented these halls, and the Elders themselves of course.
A loud snort sounded from the very front of the chamber and as Ann’s eyes adjusted to the brightness after waiting in darkness so long, the figure of her father was revealed as he perched on the throne at the center of the ring of Elders.
Both, Ann and Adam, found themselves on a raised platform in the center of the room.
It was very much reminiscent of the Colosseums found in roman times, with the Elders positioned in individual seats around an upper ring looking down on them, and her father positioned in the middle.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ann noticed that Ada sat proudly on her left-hand side, at a slightly higher level and her mother sat to the right of where she and Adam stood.
Adam snorted lightly and bent forward to whisper in her ear.
“I have to hand it to them, if I were anyone else, I would probably feel a little intimidated right about now.”
Ann quickly stifled a chuckle as she moved forward to stand at the stone lectern before her, and awaited further instructions.
“Do you know why you are here today?” A voice asked from somewhere above her, echoing oddly in the chamber thanks to the acoustics of the domed roof.
“Do you admit the charges laid against you?”
Ann paused, willing herself to speak without giving away the anxiety that she felt.
“I do not.” She stated loudly, to shocked gasps and murmurs from around the uppermost ring.
“SILENCE!” Leopold roared as he slammed his fist on the arm of his throne. “She lies continuously about the relationship that she and Ada share! We have had to deal with countless incidents over the years..”
“Yes, we are aware of your position on this matter most keenly, your highness, however, this is a trial according to the laws of the kingdom and the accused has the right to speak, as well as the accuser.” A trembling voice answered, the disapproval of Leopold’s outburst clear in his tone.
“We will hear from you momentarily, Ann Nocturne, but first, I’m going to read out the list of charges brought against you, and the punishment that the accusers seek.” Ann nodded silently as she gazed straight ahead at her father’s impatient face. She wanted to see his face and see if he held any regard for her at all anymore.
Emotions were easy to disguise over the phone and she supposed somewhere deep inside, she just wanted this final confirmation that he had really washed his hands of her.
“You are summoned here today and charged with a violent a*s*sault of the King’s daughter to his current wife, and her unborn child. Both Ada and Narcissa have given accounts of the day, as has Alpha King Leopold. They see this as an attack on the royal lineage itself and therefore ask that it be treated as treason against the crown itself. The penalty that they seek for your alleged violence and criminal behavior is exile from the royal family. Do you understand and accept these charges?” “I understand the allegations and the charges that they wish to bring, however, I do not accept these charges,” Ann said defiantly staring furiously ahead at her father’s face as he sneered down at her in disgust.