The Luna Trials by Marissa Gilbert Chapter 21

The Luna Trials by Marissa Gilbert Read Online Chapter 21

A splitting headache turned every movement into pure t*ortur*e as Savannah desperately struggled to open her heavy eyelids. She couldn’t figure out what was going on for a while until the recollection of the accident formed in her mind.

She fell down, rolling, slipping, and hitting rocks, dry, sharp twigs and other debris on her way down. She tried her best to grasp onto something, but the hill was too steep, and everything was happening too fast. The Princess couldn’t see much thanks to the helmet, but if she was honest, this was probably what helped her stay alive.

One thing was for sure. The fall was over, and she was now half-sitting, goddess knew where.

Every bone and muscle in her body ached, bringing temporary agony. Her lycan accelerated healing was already kicking in, but it would still take her a few good minutes to simply come to her senses. The worst thing was that one of her feet 

felt as if it was broken, and this one injury would probably take a while to heal and get back to normal. She saw two large palms moving in front of her and felt someone removing her helmet. Savvy instantly hoped it was Kai, thanking the Moon Goddess for keeping him safe. However, shetensed when she met the gaze of just one blue eye and noticed white hair sparkling in the moonlight. This time at least, he was adequately dressed-black pants, boots and an aviator jacket made of rough leather and black fur. A modern pirate, no less.

The familiar stranger carefully took the helmet off, supporting her head, and scanning her with his eye. The other was covered with a black eye patch with some kind of northern pattern.

“You!” Savvy breathed out, and a vague smile curved his lips.

“Me,” the werebear shifter confirmed and stretched his hand to her neck, making her shudder uncomfortably. “You are bleeding,” he stated calmly as if it wasn’t an extraordinary situation.

“Yeah, it happens sometimes when you fall down a cliff!” Savvy lifted her chin up defiantly. “And you are just passing by, of course.”

“No,” he chuckled and still touched her skin, causing stinging sensations. “I arranged all this.”

His bluntness made her part her lips, and he liked the effect he made on her. At least she respected him for not pretending he had nothing to do with it.

“So, this is an a*s*sa*s*sination attempt then?” she clenched her lips tightly and looked around in search of Kai, sadly realizing she was the only one to fall down the slope. Nonetheless, it was probably for the best, meaning that the King of The North must be in a much better state than she was.

“No,” the bear started to unzip her jacket, and despite her protests, he overpowered her with ease and pulled it off her shoulders as carefully as he could, shocking her even more with his gentleness. “I just wanted to create a distraction so we could talk. Who knows when the next time will be that you can get out of the castle, Savannah?”

She gulped involuntarily. He knew who she was! This couldn’t mean anything good.

“Relax, Princess,” he coaxed, his healthy eye glowing red. “If I wanted to K*ll you, you’d already be dead, and I wouldn’t be tending to your wounds either.”

“Is that what you are doing?” she shot him a wary glance.

“Of course. Though if Fionlagh d*ies, I wouldn’t mind. But that’s unlikely. Someone like him will never d*ie in a battle!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Savvy narrowed her eyes suspiciously. That didn’t sound like just a random set of words.

“Maybe one day you will find out,” he retorted as he sneered and brushed his palm over her bare arm, checking for injuries and leaning in closely so that his hot breath was now burning her skin.

“I think I am fine! Thanks!” she exclaimed, trying to distance herself, despite the lack of space she had to move. Images of their last encounter, where he quickly overpowered her flashed before her eyes. The white werebear was very strong. So strong that to have a chance against him, she would have to let out what was inside of her. No matter the situation, her inner beast had to be her last resort.

“Does this look fine to you?” he asked, raising one of her legs so she could see her foot turned out at an unnatural angle. It also hurt like hell.

“I will heal,” Savvy insisted, pressing her lips. She did not like being vulnerable at all.

“You will be in agony for quite some time,” he explained patiently, undoing the straps of her sandals. “Terrible choice of shoes for the North by the way.”

“Where is Kai?” She was slightly fed up with the small talk. He had just admitted that he arranged this attack, causing her to fall. There was no way he was getting away with acting like her saviour right now.

His eye glinted dangerously, and in the next moment, he tore the fabric of her jeans to gain better access to her foot, yet the predatory look he gave her made her squirm.

“Stay in place,” he advised, sliding his palm up her calf and gripping her tightly. “Ready?”

“I asked you a question!” Savannah was getting angrier by the second, and more frustrated, but the werebear twisted her broken foot to set her bones back in place. Excruciating pain overtook her as she simultaneously released an ear-splitting shriek. He held her in place, watching her chest heaving up and down.

“Easy!” He pressed her against the ground, maintaining a firm hold of her leg.

Savvy could feel her healing speed up and knew that, thanks to the corrected position of the bones, it would be mere minutes until she was properly healed.

“Where. Is. Kai?” she repeated her question, still panting slightly, and saw a displeased expression on the bear’s face. 

“Does it matter?” He raised his brow while one of his hands drew soothing circles on her flesh.

“It matters to me,” the girl insisted, trying not to move.

“Don’t tell me you like,” the man gritted his teeth, “that prick,” he spat out, not even trying to hide his irritation.

“It’s not about that.” She shook her head and tried to remove his hands from her. As if to prove a point, he didn’t move an inch.

“The lucky bastard is busy. Although I wish he was the one to fall and not you. This,” he offered as he gestured his arms about him, “wasn’t planned.”

I am flattered,” Savannah snorted in an attempt to hide her agitation. “But to what do I owe the honour of you not wanting me to break my neck?”

“When I met you first, I didn’t know who you were,” he started, only to be interrupted immediately 

“This makes two of us. Why don’t you introduce yourself then? You already know who I am.”

 “I do,” the man in front of her admitted readily. “I watched the show after all. Rewound it a few times to get a better look at you too.”

“I was there for like two seconds.” Savvy averted his eyes, his gaze endeavoring to pierce hers, but she looked up the slope to see if Kai was all right. She could hear faint sounds of a fight, which meant that he was alive at least. He was also too far from her at the moment. She regretted that they couldn’t stay and faced the battle together. Now he was on his own up there, and she was alone down here with this dangerous bear.

“That’s why I didn’t watch the twins. I liked that other one better” He smirked slightly when her attention was entirely back on him. “The Truthteller, was it?”

“How would I know?” Savvy shrugged, starting to fear where all this would lead them. “My leg is fine now. Would you let go of it?”

“It doesn’t look fine to me yet.” He caressed her again, and now she knew he was simply playing with her. For him, she was nothing more than prey.

It did not help when she heard movements in the dark behind them and saw a few pairs of eyes dangerously glinting in the depth of the woods. He wasn’t alone, although even if he was, it would be more than enough to cause trouble.

“I have to say I was surprised to see you go out with him.” The bear decided to change the subject. “I would a*s*sume you would be the one to hate him the most because of what he has done.”

“Who says I don’t hate him?” Savannah tried to seem unconcerned.

“Don’t play with me, princess!” He snapped and finally took his hands off her. “I have eyes everywhere. You were watched today, and the two of you looked like you had the time of your life.”

“So?” Savvy tried to stand up, but the healing wasn’t complete yet, and she stumbled. However, the bear did not let her fall, catching her in time. Catching a glimpse of his facial expression, Savvy quickly realized the situation.

“He humiliated you and made you compete with other women for what was supposed to be yours in the first place, and this is your reaction? A date?” She knew he was testing her, so she managed to stay calm, simultaneously controlling herself and her wolf. Savannah knew too little to make any conclusions or decisions at this moment. Luckily, she was brought up as a royal and knew how to play the game of wills quite well.

“Trust me,” she challenged, meeting his watchful gaze, “there is hardly one girl in the Trials fighting for Kai Fionlagh. Each contender has her own reasons to be there. I am no exception.”

 “And what is your reason, Savannah?” He tried to take her chin into his hand, but she managed to escape his attempt. 

“Now that is a rude question, considering you still haven’t introduced yourself, yet you have already managed to injure me.”

“I am ready to apologies for that. My name is Darius Bjorn, and I am at your full service, Princess.” He bowed and took 

her hand into his, brushing his lips over her delicate fingers, as if he was a gentleman and not one of the white bear rebels endangering all the lycans. Savannah was surprised he really had not tried to K*ll her or at least kidnap her to terrorise Gideon. That would undoubtedly be an easy way out

However, all these thoughts left her when a wave of a slightly familiar scent coated the two of them, tickling her nostrils and unsettling Athena in her mind. She searched for its source, only to realise that it was the werebear himself.

“What’s wrong, Princess.7’ he taunted, an innocent smirk curling his lips.

Kai snarled loudly as two bears and another two wolves approached him after he K*lled the first five who dared to attack him. How many more were hiding nearby, biding their time? The metallic taste of the werewolves’ blood was still on his tongue. Werewolves, not lycans. From their scent, they weren’t local. Considering who he was dealing with, he knew scents weren’t something he could rely on anymore.

However, at this moment, none of this bothered him …

For the first time in his life, Kai was afraid. Tenacious primal fear cordoned off his body and soul. He thought he had forgotten what fear felt like years ago, but here it was, ever-present and stronger than ever before. He was worried sick for the girl he stupidly took on a date, purely out of his selfish desires. He shouldn’t have done it. If he hadn’t, Savannah would now be in the safety of her bedroom, sleeping peacefully, but he got greedy. He wanted her to see the real him. He wanted to have her all to himself for once. He wanted her to stop seeing the cold northern king and start seeing the man he knew she could fall in love with one day. If he tried hard and proved himself to her, maybe they could …

He had miscalculated. It was his mistake, and Savannah was left paying for it. He saw her fall off the hill in the last few seconds before he was attacked. Kai didn’t even get to shift or see what happened to the western princess because someone’s canines were already buried in his flesh.

Asgard had different feelings. Somehow his wolf was sure that Savannah was alive, and that knowledge gave him the strength not to lose it here and now. However, his wolf was enraged. Raw fury filled him to the brim, and his wolf instincts overtook him. He had to let it all out.

Both bears charged at him at once, ma*s*sive and ferocious, but he lunged at the bigger one, easily escaping his smaller companion’s claws and sharp teeth. Without wasting time, Asgard went for the main artery in its neck, tearing it off and spitting it out on the ground with the rest of his flesh. At the same time, he managed to S***h an eye with his talons. Just to ensure that this bear would be distracted while he was dealing with the rest of its crew.

One of the werewolves tried to bite his side, but Asgard was too fast for him. Turning around, he snarled and leapt at the second werebear, who was also much slower. He had to take them out first. He dug his claws in the enemy’s fur while his canines closed in a death grip around the bear’s throat, ripping off his head. He had to put a lot of f0rce into that, but the final result was worth it in the end.

A few seconds later, he had disposed of the other werewolf with one sharp bite, sending him to meet Fenrir’s justice. The last one came at him, desperate for a win yet unable to get to anything vital in Asgard’s body. With a mighty twist, the lycan grasped his smaller opponent with his teeth, pulled him off his feet and slammed the bastard to the ground, crushing the life out of him.

With a loud roar, the dying giant charged at him, blood still gushing down its neck where the first werebear had a piece missing from their first encounter. Asgard quickly stepped aside andbrought his claws down in one huge strike. The bear fell to the ground, twitching and gasping for breath..

The lycan didn’t even spare him a last glance, knowing that he was as good as dead, considering how much blood he was losing. No regeneration could help that,.

He saw more glowing eyes in the darkness and knew he had just seconds before the next batch would charge at him. Kai wasn’t going to wait for them this time. They we/en’t of interest to him. Considering they were attacking him in small groups, it was obvious they had only one purpose today. To stall for time.

He had mind-linked Lachlan and Aspen, to let them know what happened and knew help would be here soon. However, he was not going to wait for it. There was only one thing on his mind now, only one person-Savannah

It was absolutely impossible, and Savvy knew that. The smirk on Bjorn’s face indicated he understood the level of the effect his scent was producing on her.

Cedarwood with a hint of mint Zack’s scent was hard to forget as it haunted her day and night. She loathed it to the point she stopped drinking her favorite mint tea and changed her toothpaste to a berry-flavored one. Each time it reminded her of her mate, who betrayed her and was ready to K*ll her if he had to.

Nonetheless, a part of her still responded to that damn scent. The scent that was now slowly coating her. There was something else in it, something different, and she couldn’t tell at once, but slowly, a note of chestnut was added to it. It was hard to notice at first, but it slowly replaced the cedar. Bjorn took it as a sign and bent down to reach, to touch her lips with his. Savannah flinched away, startled even more than before.

“What are you,” she hesitated, “doing?” she asked, her brows knitted together. “Pardon me,” the werebear chuckled softly but didn’t move away. “I thought you were ready …

His gaze told her what he thought. Wishful to the point of being hungry, but also playful. As if he was toying with her.

“Ready?” she arched her brow and tried to push him away, but he remained in his place. “May I ask, ready for what?”

“You’ll know when you feel it,” he teased, his light silver hair shining in the moonlight. Athena was on high alert when he was around.

“Is this the important conversation you almost K*lled me for?” She decided to go back to the point. 

“You came here to marry the King of The North, and I am ready to a*s*sist you with that.”

She first thought that he was joking, but their eyes met, and not a muscle twitched on his face.

“Hmm. That’s one interesting offer considering that you hai/e to attack Kai to simply speak to me.” Savannah decided to play d*um*b. She knew too well what he meant, or at least she thought she knew. But this was getting ridiculous.

“I think you know I am not talking about him ” Bjorn smirked and pressed her tighter against himself. “Trust me, Princess, his days on the throne are numbered.”

“Is that so?” She tried to distance herself from him, but it was proving to be complicated without applying f0rce. Remembering how easily he overpowered her the last time, she didn’t want to take any chances until she knew more.

“You don’t believe me yet,” he interjected, his eye glowed red as she tensed. However, the bear lowered himself to her ear and whispered, “That’s fine. I wasn’t counting on it during my first attempt. You will watch him lose one thing after another before your very eyes, and you then will believe me.” Savvy gulped. That werebear sounded confident. Too confident to ignore.

“In the meantime, I will court you,” he announced, and she felt slightly uncomfortable. Just what did that mean? 

“Sounds … promising,” she mumbled, and he moved a strand of hair off her forehead.

“Understand that we need to get to know each other better before you can say yes to me, but I am a patient man.” His straightforwardness was scaring her. Just why was he so confident?

 “I am making no promises,” she said bluntly, Darius Bjorn was giving her bad vibes, and she was unaware of what to do with this turn of events.

“I am not asking you to. I am making my move and letting you know about it, Savannah.” He cupped her chin and tilted it slightly toward him. “I will be sending you gifts. You will know when they arrive. You can stop bothering with the Trials. Trust me, you don’t need them.”

“Forgive me for not dropping my own agenda because a man I have only met twice says so.” She rolled her eyes, unclear on how else c she should react. It was yet another male who thought he knew better than she did on what she needed. She wasn’t interested in those. Not to mention his whole att*itude and background were questionable, to say the least.

“Savannah, I understand,” he told her. “I know that you’ve been hurt before and …”

He made a pause to enjoy her wide eyes. Many people in the West knew about her story, but it was unlikely for it to spread in the North, yet what Bjorn was implying couldn’t be read any differently. He obviously knew about her and Zack, which partially explained the scent he emitted.

“I will learn how to deal with you over time, and you will learn to trust me.” A promise which strangely seemed like a threat to her. “Just wait for my gifts, and you’ll see…”

Suddenly, he abruptly looked to his right and then back at her, sighing. “I am afraid I have to go now, Savannah. I am not saying goodbye. Remember, I am the one who can give you what you came to the North for. Not him.”

“Listen,” she interrupted him, but he placed a finger to her lips.

“No time now,” Bjorn shook his head. “If you want to speak to me, place a lantern on your window when you go to sleep.”.

She wanted to tell him that it was extremely unlikely she’d be calling him when she was going to sleep, but they got distracted. They both heard the sounds of four large paws landing nearby. Savannah knew it was Kai before she smelled his scent and a feeling of relief made her exhale happily. She turned to look at Bjorn, but the white werebear was already gone.

*Sawy!” The lycan king was running in her direction, absolutely n@ked and covered in blood. It didn’t bother him, but her cheeks flushed before he could reach her..

“Kai!” She tried to warn him about his nudity with her sharp tone, but he ignored her completely, locking her in his arms and giving her the tightest of hugs. It felt divine. Even she had to admit to that. His head was buried in the crook of her neck, and he inhaled sharply.

Suddenly, his whole body stiffened. “Who did this to you?” Kai growled.

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