- A Secret Meeting
“Zaia!” Valerie turns back to me the moment the women leave the bathroom.
“Sorry, I got distracted.” I shake my
head, trying to clear it.
“Are you really ok? I know this is a lot to take in, but I really do need you to listen,” Valerie whispers urgently.
“I know Val, I’m sorry.” I reply. “I just Sebastian clearly moved on and does as he wants. I don’t understand why he isn’t making her his Luna. She’s carrying his child. What more do people want?”
A part of me wants to tell him her truth, tell him that she threatened our children and at least warn him that even if he doesn’t want me, to tread carefully, for the sake of the pack.
“What?” Valerie asks, staring at me, her eyes wide
I look up at her. “Hmm?”
“You said she’s pregnant… did she say that? Jai’s not mentioned anything… I mean, even if it’s early days, Sebastian would tell him.”
My brows furrow; Early days?
“Valerie, she was pregnant four months ago… I know you can’t tell too much in her gown-”
Valerie scoffs. “What? The bitch wears skin-tight clothes every damn day. Trust me, she’s not pregnant. Plus, she was drinking the moment we got here!”
My heart skips a beat as I stare at her in shock
She lied to me.
“Oh… I’m going to kill that bitch.” Valerie turns, and I grab onto her wrist and shake my head.
“No… leave it. It was probably to hurt me… regardless of if it is… she’s still the one he chose.” I reply, now fearing for my children even more.
I look down at the antidote vials I had hidden behind me when the women entered and slip them into my clutch bag. I need to get stronger. I need to get back to the healthy me so I can protect my babies from anything.
“We need to tell Sebastian, the dumbass – that she’s lying!”
I frown. It makes me wonder… what else has she lied about? The kidnapping? And who knows what else she’s been telling Sebastian?
Someone who can threaten an unborn baby and lie about being pregnant can’t be trusted as a Luna. The pack doesn’t deserve that.
Although I am no longer part of the pack, I’m still worried about them.
We both agree to leave the bathroom at separate times, with me leaving first, and I almost bump into Atticus, who is waiting outside, leaning against the wall.
My heart thumps. I didn’t notice him.
He’s standing there, arms crossed, and he gives me a small smile, his eyes raking over me and to the darker patch on my dress, where the drink had spilt.
“I’ve had a dress brought for you, so you can change,” he says, motioning to the right, and I turn to see a woman standing there holding a dress bag.
He won’t let me leave so quickly…
“Thank you,” I reply, knowing I can’t refuse Things have already become quite suspicious.
I take the peach dress from the woman.
“You are most welcome. Come this
way, ma’am.” She motions for me to follow, leading me into one of the side rooms to change.
Once I have changed, I put on the ivory heels and mask before I head back out to where Atticus is still waiting for me.
“Come, let’s return to the party.”
I nod, giving him a small smile, although his comment from earlier still makes me uncomfortable
“Atticus…” I begin, after we have taken a few steps.
“Thank you for standing up for me, however… you called me your woman in front of the entire room. We both know that’s not true… I don’t want people to misunderstand,” I say, trying to sound as gentle as possible The last thing I want is to piss off another Alpha.
He stops in his tracks and looks down at me.
I look up at him, and he glances down the hallway as if making sure there’s no one around. I see two people walking in the opposite direction, but otherwise, we are alone.
“I am sorry for that, but I wanted to make it clear to that man that you are not just anyone. You are born to be a Luna.”
My heart thuds at those words. It’s not the first time a man has said that to me
But I’m never good enough to keep as a mate or wife…
“I will wait for you, Zaia. Take as much time as you need. I’m not going anywhere.”
I open my mouth to tell him I am not looking to move on when he places a finger on my lips and shakes his head.
“Don’t reject me now… I said I’ll wait… because I am ready to, whether that’s weeks… months… or even years. You stepped into my life when I was least expecting someone to, and I want you to stay.”
I remain silent. Fate plays its twisted game… The man I have always loved doesn’t want me, yet the one I am not interested in wants me…
I’m better alone. Don’t cause heartbreak and you will not face heartbreak…
He takes my hand and guides me back inside the ballroom. I spot Sebastian talking to a few men, a wineglass in his hand, and Annalise is by his side.
I frown slightly, staring at her puffy dress. She played it smart. Not only is the dress extremely full of ruffled
layers from the waist down, but when she hugged me, she had been by my side, not in front of me
There was no way for me to have known she was lying if Valerie didn’t tell me.
She’s clever, I’ll give her that, but then, she has always been excellent at manipulating the situation.
Sebastian suddenly looks up and for a second our eyes meet before I quickly look away.
“May I have one dance?”
I look up at Atticus before I nod. One dance, and then perhaps I can get out of here.
Escaping the ball was impossible. Atticus has kept to my side like glue One dance became two, and then he introduced me to a few people
For dinner, I am seated beside his mother and sister. His mother, Shelby, is a lovely woman, and you can tell she still has a sore throat, as she keeps thanking me for taking over On the other hand, his sister, Linette, well she isn’t too keen on me and I can’t blame her.
After all, like she muttered earlier, he could do better. I want him to find a woman to have his children and be a good Luna to the pack.
Sebastian’s eyes have been on me a few times, and if there was any doubt that he didn’t know who I am, I am now certain he knows.
It’s not a coincidence, the way his irritation is rising, every time Atticus is close to me
Funny… he got the woman he wanted, yet he isn’t even focusing on her, nor has he given her any attention the
I glance back at Annalise, only to see her glancing around the hall, almost as if looking for something before she mutters something to Sebastian, who gives her a nod without even looking at her before she disappears into the crowds.
“…I’m considering buying the land west of the Plaza… perhaps a ten- storey shopping mall.” Atticus is saying to the two men he’s talking to.
“West? Isn’t that the land that Sebastian King is after?” I glance at the man who spoke, and Atticus smiles.
“All’s fair in love and business, wouldn’t you agree, Naya?”
I nod distractedly, wondering where Annalise has gone.
“Ah Alpha, Mr Vermont wishes to speak to you,” Atticus’s Beta Cameron says quietly.
“Excuse me, gentlemen,” he says before he turns to me.
“Mind if I go to the bathroom?” I ask quietly.
“Not at all. Take care of yourself,” he replies, before we part ways.
I leave the hall, taking out my phone and text Mom that things are going ok. After a run to the bathroom, I message Atticus, letting him know that I feel tired and I’ll be heading home.
ATTICUS: Won’t you stay for the fireworks?
ZAIA. I’m sorry, but it’s been a long night.
It’s not a lie. My feet are aching and I’m ready to just turn in for the night.
Deciding to avoid everyone, I leave the bathroom, remove my heels and head around the side of the building.
We kept all the supplies for the evening down this side, and unlike the main areas of the mansions, this area is deserted and there’s not even a guard on site.
Nothing to do or see here, anyway I lift the dark purple rope barrier and bending over, slide under it as I turn left, I key in the code for the double doors and I frown when it doesn’t beep.
I tug at the door, and it pulls open.
My heart skips a beat. Who was so careless as to leave it unlocked! Especially when we have so many guests around. Even if it’s just a public hall, the staff needs to be more careful.
I will mention it to the head organiser tomorrow.
Shaking my head, I step inside; the door dulling the sound of the music from the ballroom and I walk down the corridor, ready to go home, and have a long bath!
I glance back at the door, remembering Sebastian, and I sigh softly.
Although he betrayed me, seeing him again… it hurt, but deep down, I wanted to too.
I turn the bend, stopping when I hear quiet voices.
Who’s down here?
I glance around and spot a shaft of light from one of the storerooms. Maybe one of the staff had come to get supplies, so I head over to the room, planning to tell them to keep the doors locked at all times.
I’m about to open the door when I recognise the voice from inside, freezing.
What on earth is she doing here?
“… now,” she murmurs.
“Remember what you’re told. Meeting here is a risk.”
A man’s voice… but I can’t make much out, it’s too low…
“I know. Everything is going to plan,” Annalise responds.
I lean closer, wanting to peek inside, but the sound of footsteps makes me quickly back away and round the corner, praying they didn’t hear me
I peer around after a few moments and see the shadow of a man on the floor
Who is it?
I hear footsteps and pull back. I can’t risk being seen. I glance around, wondering where to hide, but to my relief, the footsteps are fading, probably heading towards the exit I was planning to take.
Thank the goddess!
I wait a few moments, but hearing the sound of heels, I realise only the man has left. I quickly hurry back the way I had come, quietly exiting through the double doors and swiftly making my way to the front hall.
My heart is still racing from the near run-in and I’m almost at the front door when I stop, glancing back over my shoulder
I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance again…
After a few moment’s hesitation, I hurry back through the crowds until I spot Annalise making her way through
the hall back towards the ballroom.
“Annalise!” I call her when I’m a mere few feet away from her.
She stops in her tracks and turns to look at me.
“What do you want?” she mutters, glancing around.
I motion with my head to the front doors,
“Come with me,” I say quietly.
She casts a furtive glance around and from the half of her face that I can see, she doesn’t look pleased, however, it’s obvious she doesn’t want to be seen with me either
“Fine,” she mutters following me out.
I walk down the steps, still holding my shoes and bag and we move to the side, plenty of people are out here and everyone is minding their own business.
“What do you want?!” she hisses,
“Who were you speaking to inside?” I
“Who?” she asks, confused.
“In the storeroom.”
Her face instantly pales and how I wish she wasn’t wearing a mask so I could see her expression, but the shock is soon replaced by a sneer.
“Wouldn’t you like to know… be careful, Zaia, keep pushing your nose into others’ business and only you will suffer. Ever heard of the saying, curiosity killed the cat? No?”
“Ever heard that a cat has nine lives, no?” I counter sarcastically “Answer me Annalise, who were you speaking to?”
I didn’t think she would tell me, but it
was worth a shot.
I smile coldly and step closer. “Fine. Don’t answer me, but remember, every lie ever told will always be revealed. Tell me, Annalise… Were you really held captive for the last three years, or was it all a façade to manipulate Sebastian into believing that I had a hand in it, because we both know that its not true”
Her chest is heaving as she stares back at me, tight-lipped, and I gauge her reaction.
A wave of cold washes over me and I know I’m right….
It was all one big lie.