Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell
Chapter 96 Family Affairs, Kingdom Affairs
The Elders had been true to their word and Ada had been partially released from the hold that they had placed on her and her panic stricken eyes showed just how aware she truly was.
Maeve howled with satisfaction as they watched Narcissa and Ada confronted with evidence of their own schemes. Although Narcissa was not directly implicated in this particular recording, Ann didn’t care.
It was enough for her to clear her name and retain her title, as much as she no longer wished to be a*s*sociated with this poor excuse of a family.
Adam was her priority for now, and the Dark Moon Pack was her home for as long as she remained with Adam.
As the recording ended and the holographic display disappeared, Leopold was stood frozen with an expression of shock as he mouthed soundlessly words that he clearly wanted to say, but couldn’t f0rce out.
Narcissa didn’t bother to raise her head to glare at the elders, instead, in the final few minutes of the recording, she had come to the realization that there was no saving Ada from whatever punishment the court decided, the best that she could hope for was to not be dragged down alongside her.
She stared at Ada, her fury directed at full f0rce and the fear in her daughters eyes was evident for all to see.
“How could you?” Narcissa almost hissed in the perfect imitation of a p@ined whisper. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done? What irreparable damage that you have caused to your fathers reputation?”
Her sudden outburst seemed to shake Leopold out of whatever loop that he had been stuck in within his head, and he took a shaky step forward, his face clouded with uncertainty.
“Narcissa, my love… did you know about this?!” He implored desperately, his voice trembling in the heavy silence that surrounded them.
“What? No! How… how could you even think that?!” She retorted in a small voice.
The King pursed his lips and stared directly at the spot where Ann and Adam stood united.
“Ann.. I’m sorry, I should have…”
“SILENCE!” the ancient voice boomed furiously. “The time for reconciliation is not now, Leopold. You have chosen to make a mockery of this court, bringing your second daughter’s despicable schemes into the eyes of the public and damaging the reputation of the crown in doing so!” it roared, the deafening volume of his words reverberating through the very air.
“I didn’t know… I thought..” Leopold began, looking in that moment, as if his whole world had been ripped apart.
“It is your job to know, Leopold! If you cannot control the events within your home, then how can you control the safety of an entire kingdom?!” The ancient voice thundered, the fury contained within making even Ann wince in pity for her father.
They were right though. He should have known better.
“We cannot let this go unpunished, Leopold.” A female voice rose up, tinged with sadness, “Out of respect for the former Luna Queen that now rests with the Goddess, and her child that stands falsely accused before us, the elder council is in agreement that your requested judgement of exile is denied.”
Maeve howled her approval, but Ann felt nothing. It was as if she was empty, devoid of any emotion. It should never have come to this in the first place.
“In addition, your lack of concern for kingdom-wide affairs over the past few years, as well as your political conduct in recent months, has raised a never ending stream of concerns, Leopold. Concerns that only seem to mount as each day passes. As a result of this, your competency to continue to rule will be thoroughly investigated as we have, for a long time actually, held serious concerns.”
Leopold dragged his eyes from Ann’s face and stared miserably up into the darkness above him, nodding in resignation as they cast their judgement.
“NO! YOU cannot do this! This is treason! You have united against your rightful king to engineer his downfall!” Narcissa screamed hysterically as she pointed wildly up at the balconies above.
A chorus of t*itters sounded from above as Leopold admonished her quietly.
“That’s enough Narcissa. Both you, and our blood daughter have caused this.” He murmured quietly, his eyes now dull and full of grief as he sagged in his chair on the dais.
Narcissa’s eyes flashed with disdain momentarily before she quickly hid it and turned to face Ann.
“I hope you’re happy with the distress and p@in that you’ve caused your father. If it wasn’t for you…”
“ENOUGH NARCISSA!” the ancient voice roared. “Princess Ann has been absolved of any guilt in this case. It is your daughter that must be held accountable for her actions. It is your daughter who is currently under suspicion of treason as she plotted to have the rightful heir to the Alpha’s throne removed from power.”
“If I were you, I would be very careful about the words that I choose to use within this chamber as they will be remembered for a very long time and potentially used in future judgements.” An angry female voice hissed from above.
“Ann Veritas, now known as Ann Nocturne, current Luna of the Dark Moon Pack, shall retain her title as Princess Regent and retain her claim as rightful heir to the Alpha’s Throne. Alpha King Leopold Veritas, his Queen Consort Narcissa and their blood child Ada will be investigated for competency and compliance in regards to their effective running of the Kingdom.” The Ancient voice boomed.
His proclamation sent shivers down Ann’s spines and Adam squeezed her hand rea*s*suringly. Had it really been that simple?
“We have decided, however, by a slim majority, to waive the standard requirements for confinement within the dungeons as neither Narcissa, nor Ada have the presence of wolves. Ada’s pregnancy also makes her further vulnerable to harm within those quarters and, despite her glaringly obvious guilt, the child she carries is yet an innocent. For those reasons it has been decided that as weaker beings, it would be inhumane to confine them in those conditions and they will be kept under house arrest within one wing of their palace, and monitored by the Specialist Guard of the Royal Council.”
Narcissa’s face was visibly pale and her hands trembled wildly, as much as she tried to hide it. She couldn’t bring herself to look at either her useless excuse of a husband, nor her disappointing failure of a daughter.
Time was not on her side and she would have to think fast to come up with a solution before everything that she had worked for came crashing down around her.
She watched Ann and Adam leave, closely entwined in each others arms and narrowed her eyes hatefully.
As the heavy door clicked shut behind them Narcissa promised her self that even if it was the last thing that she did, she would make sure that both of them paid for the disruption to her plans.