Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate Chapter 244

Alpha Nocturne’s Contracted Mate by A E Randell

Chapter 244 Portraits

The next morning Ann saw very few people in the corridors as she made her way to the room that Bartholomew had set aside for use for the portrait today.

Maeve had already been insufferable today, waking her early on with her insistent chatter and asking whether or not she should shower and bemoaned the fact that no one was around to rub fragrant oils into her coat.

She didn’t take kindly to Ann’s suggestion that no one really liked the smell of wet dog anyway and had skulked back into the recesses of Ann’s mind with a petulant face.

As she entered the room and saw Bartholomew helping the artist set up the backdrop and props, she wanted to turn around and walk straight back out.

She had no idea how they did it, but they had managed to somehow create Maeve’s vision perfectly, right down to the crimson silk and crown.

Ann winced as Maeve rattled around her head excitedly, practically clawing at her eyes in her excitement to shift.

“Ah! You Highness! What do you think?”

Bartholomew greeted with a broad smile as he spread his arms wide, gesturing to the backdrop that he had helped to create.

“Maeve loves it.” She grimaced, “So much so that I’m going to have to shift shortly or I think she may just claw her way out of my skull.”

Bartholomew chuckled as the artist smiled in satisfaction, clearly pleased that she had managed to capture the desired feel for the portrait on the first attempt.

“If you would like to shift and take a seat on the elevated throne that we prepared for you, I can set the other props in place for you. Is your wolf okay with that?” The artist asked softly.

“Are you kidding? She’ll love that. I promise she will be putty in your hands. Honestly, I’ve never known her so obsessed with anything so … pretentious” Ann snorted before quickly adding “…no offence.”

The artist chuckled as Ann made her way to the screen and began removing her clothes in preparation for the shift.

“I’ll treat her as a Queen should be treated, your highness.” she simpered and Ann tried her best not to cringe.

No sooner had the last piece of clothing been removed did Maeve surge forwards and force the shift as Ann swore at her internally.

It was over in seconds and Maeve stretched her front and back l*egs luxuriously behind the screen before sniffing the air carefully.

‘It’s perfectly safe Maeve… it’s literally just Bartholomew and the artist.’ Ann muttered snarkily as she rolled her eyes.

‘You can never be too careful,’ Maeve replied with a smirk as she slipped the necklace carefully over her tail, “There’s not a chance that I’m leaving this off…’ she muttered as she pulled it down to a satisfactory position, ensuring her fur hid it well.

As soon as she was satisfied, she lifted her head eagerly and padded proudly out from behind the screen and across to the setting that had been prepared.

The artist made appreciative gasps and agreeable noises as Maeve made her way past her, much to her delight.

“Oh, such a beautiful, regal, Alpha Female! Just look at how her fur shines and ripples over her muscles… how her eyes radiate her primal power… just… I’m so honored that you would choose me for this!” The artist gushed with tears in her eyes as she fussed over her.

‘I could get used to this.’ Maeve smirked as Ann rolled her eyes and sighed.

‘Well don’t. Don’t lose your wits completely Maeve, by all means, bask in the glory of her attention for now, but don’t let it go to your head. These… artists and courtiers… they’re vacuous and will say exactly what you want to hear just to get in your good graces even if they don’t believe it. It’s all in their own self-interest.” Ann cautioned.

‘Well, as soon as it stops being in MY self-interest, I’ll just rip their pretty little faces to shreds so they remember not to take advantage of the Alpha Queen and her wolf in the future.’ Maeve snorted unrepentantly as she climbed onto the seat and settled herself as el*egantly as she could.

‘Maeve! You can’t just go around ripping people’s faces off!’

‘Well, they can’t just go around stabbing us in the back. Relax, it’ll send a message to people in the future…’

‘Yeah that you’re a tyrant and happy to make enemies…’

‘I never said I wanted to be liked… I’m perfectly happy to be adored…’

Ann wanted to scream in frustration as Maeve sniggered and half closed her eyes in clear bliss as the artist settled the crown and a very large, very ornate necklace around her neck, brushing her fur into a pleasing display as she draped reams of crimson silk over her body, leaving only her front half visible.

‘I still fail to understand why you insist on wearing clothes…even silk is itchy on the fur…’ Maeve grumbled as Ann grimaced silently in the corner.

“If you’re happy with that, then I’ll begin.”

The artist grinned brightly as she clapped her hands together enthusiastically and stepped back to admire the placement. “Please try to stay as still as possible… I want to capture everything as it is right at this moment. You are stunning and I want the world to see it reflected in this portrait!”

Maeve rumbled her approval as Ann settled back and prepared herself for a long wait. This was undoubtedly one of the worst experiences of being a royal. She was dreading her own portrait, and so far, she has successfully managed to postpone it, but she didn’t know how much longer she could keep that up.

It felt like they had been sitting there forever, to the point that even Maeve was complaining about her muscles stiffening up.

Ann wasn’t sure when it had happened but she had clearly nodded off at some point and if it wasn’t for Maeve’s loud complaints she probably would have slept for even longer than she did.

“Alright, I think it’s safe to say I’m done!”

The artist announced with a flourish. “I have only a few more finishing t*ouches to add, but they are mainly superficial and I can manage those without your presence if you have somewhere else you need to be.”

Maeve stood immediately, shaking the silk from her hindquarters and allowing the crown to drop to the ground noisily as she stretched her aching l*egs in front of her.

‘I changed my mind…’ Maeve mumbled moodily, “I don’t want to sit for portraits ever again. I’m all stiff…’

‘You know what they say,’ Ann sniggered,

‘Be careful what you wish for.’

Maeve swore loudly at her as she loped behind the screen, only too eager to shift back and let Ann take over.

“Don’t gloat, it’s not fitting for your soft and squishy personality,’ Maeve mumbled in irritation, ‘Focus on getting yourself to the doctor for the appointment.’

Ann chuckled as she retrieved the necklace from the floor where it had fallen and affixed it around her neck again as she began to get dressed. 

‘I’ll have you know I’m working damn hard to toughen up my soft and squishy personality, and another thing, it’s the obstetrician Maeve… not the doctor.’ Ann corrected, dressing as quickly as she could.

‘I don’t really give a s**t what it’s called, I want them to confirm our pups so that you can stop denying their existence and actually start taking care of yourself.’

Author Note: If you want to see Maeve’s Portrait for yourself, hop over to my author page on FB and join the reader group there! Everyone is welcome!

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