MARRIED TO THE ALPHA - VOLUME 2 - Season 10 Episode 24
“James?” Luna Layla called when she saw him spacing out. “I know this event puts a lot of pressure on you, but… It’s your sixteenth birthday. You will be an adult soon. Try to have a good time while you can.”
“I will keep that on my mind, mother,” James responded in his official tone. He was not used to his mother… mothering him.
As far as James could remember, Luna Layla would let Alpha Edward do whatever he wanted in the name of training the future Alpha, and she never stepped in; not even when Alpha Edward punished James harshly or forced him to do horrid things.
She didn’t intervene when Alpha Edward took young James to observe people being tortured. By his tenth birthday, James knew exactly where to cut for maximum pain without killing his victim.
James was unsure what broke him first, the gruesome visuals, the screams, the beatings he got whenever he would look away or showed discomfort, or the fact that no one thought of making it stop. Not even his mother.
James found it ironic that he got the most care from strangers, yet his so-called parents get to boast how their son is a young Alpha with a promising future.
George was the only one in the Red Moon pack that treated James like a regular person without fear and agenda. Alpha Damon treated James like a young adult whose opinion matters. Petra, Zack, and Erik treated him as friends. And Cornelia showed him that there is such a thing as unconditional acceptance.
Luna Layla was the one who sent Marcy away, and for a whole decade, James didn’t hear people talk about Marcy. And now that Marcy was really gone, it was like she never existed. Is that how a mother acts?
Seeing that Luna Layla was just staring at him, James said, “I’m sure that many ladies will be happy to keep me company tonight. Do you have a female on your mind I should allow to entertain me?” It was a normal question as everyone had preferences about who should get access to James first.
Luna Layla’s perfectly groomed eyebrows came together to form a frown. “Is that what you want or what your father wants?”
“Is there a difference?”, James responded with a question.
James’ insides churned at the thought of any woman other than Cornelia, but this was an event where he will be the center of attention. James will avoid getting physical, but he can’t avoid talking to people. He needed to be cool about it or his parents would notice that something was off and that would put Cornelia in danger.
Luna Layla released a long breath. “I… James…” Her mouth opened, but no words came out for a few long seconds. Eventually, she said, “Never mind. Happy birthday, James.”
“Thank you. Shall we?” James offered her his hand, and she put her hand on his forearm as they walked out together.
As they moved down the stairs, James could feel the tug of his wolf urging him to not go lower than the second floor.
James pressed his lips into a line. Silly wolf. They couldn’t go to Cornelia at this time. But she will join them at the party. Soon. James wondered what dress will Cornelia wear.
Luna Layla gave his arm a squeeze, reminding him that they were about the enter the event hall.
Two warriors dressed in black slacks and red shirts were standing at the door, and one turned to shout into the event hall, “Luna Layla Redmayne and young Alpha James Redmayne!”
James groaned internally. His mother always loved theatrics, and this looked like an entrance to a medieval party. The only things missing to make the experience more realistic would be if the warriors at the door wore metallic full-body armor with spears in their hands.
‘Is everyone getting this grandiose announcement?’ James asked his mother through their mind-link.
‘Only important people,’ she responded while holding her chin high.
James and Luna Layla paused at the door to observe many heads turned their way.
At one glance, James counted eleven Alphas, seven Lunas, and more than one dozen Elders. He didn’t bother counting other high-ranking members, but there were about two hundred people present. It was an impressive lineup.
The massive event hall was decorated with deep purple and golden fabric draped along the walls, and majestic crystal chandeliers illuminated the space. People were elegantly dressed and it had a royal feel.
If anyone knew how to throw a fancy party, that would be Luna Layla.
‘You’ve outdone yourself, mother,’ James said to his mother through the mind link.
She smiled. ‘Thank you. I hope you like it.’
“There you are,” Alpha Edward spoke enthusiastically while walking toward James and Luna Layla from the crowd. He put his hands on Luna Layla’s shoulders and kissed her cheek. “If you took another two minutes, I would come to check on you.”
James tried to pry his arm out of his mother’s hold, but she tightened her grip, silently telling him to stay put.
“If we knew you were waiting, we would hurry up,” Luna Layla responded to Alpha Edward.
James didn’t feel like participating in this happy-family charade. No one was fooled, anyway.
Normally, James would endure, but since he marked Cornelia, his wolf was acting up and James had difficulty staying composed when things didn’t go his way. He needed Cornelia for his wolf to calm down, but that was not an option now.
“Can we go and greet guests now?” James asked impatiently. “People didn’t come here to watch three of us talking.”
“Right,” Alpha Edward said curtly. “Let’s start from here…”
Alpha Edward led the way, followed by Luna Layla and James.
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James was happy that his position as the future Alpha allowed him to be arrogant and not smile or engage in small talk.
Behind that unreadable fa?ade, James was focusing on his bond with Cornelia. He wanted to feel how close she was. Why was she still on the second floor? Was something wrong?
On the second floor, Cornelia was in Talia’s room with Talia, Damon, Keith, Arya, Gideon, Mindy, Sandy, and Tyler.
Damon demanded that they go through everything one more time. Their stories needed to match, or people will be suspicious.
“It will be alright, Damon,” Talia assured him. She could feel his anxiousness rising. “Even if our stories don’t match completely, no one will dare to question us. Besides, for anything that’s not obvious, people will say that they are not familiar with details. Are you having second thoughts? We don’t need to announce my…”
“No, no!” Damon quickly said. He wanted to announce her identity. No more secrets. He wanted everyone to know that his Luna is Alpha Natalia, but he was also nervous. It all sounded great while they were planning, but now that they were about to do it, Damon realized that so many things could go wrong. What if people figure out she is pregnant and use that against her?
Damon shook those negative thoughts away. Talia was fantastic, and even with her pregnancy, she could use her aura and abilities, and she had Liseli also, and Damon had no intention of taking a step away from Talia.
“I am ready,” Damon assured Talia. “Let’s do this. If anyone dares to say anything against you, I will kill him and that’s it.”
Talia smiled helplessly.
“Kitten,” Damon called solemnly. “Don’t do anything foolish. Don’t leave my side.” He looked at the people in the room. “I want you to keep your eyes on Talia all the time.”