The Luna Trials by Marissa Gilbert Chapter 81

The Luna Trials by Marissa Gilbert Read Online

Bonus Chapter 1. (Kyle+Evelyn)

Kyle was nervous. He hadn’t seen Evelyn for two whole weeks since Zara and Lachlan’s pompous wedding in the capital, where he had proposed to the woman of his dreams for the second time, and she laughed into his face. Again. He closed his eyes, remembering the pain that pierced his chest at her second rejection.

Hopefully, the third time was a charm.

He knew she was the only one for him, but Evelyn refused to believe that for some reason.

She was older, and his boyish nature didn’t help him convince her that he was the man for her. Or maybe there was something else to it all.

He was sure that she did feel the same. They had a connection, not every mated couple had. They clicked together perfectly despite being polar opposites.

Her eyes told him she reciprocated his feelings each time their gazes locked. The delicate blush on her cheeks was giving her away too. Evelyn snarled when some she-wolves wanted to dance with him at the wedding. And when they made love, it was evident that their bond wasn’t just physical.

All the signs were there, but she kept denying them, insisting they were simply a product of his imagination.

He watched her when Zara went down the aisle in her beautiful white gown with feathers, and when she and Lachlan said their vows to each other, Kyle noticed his beloved tearing up. However, it was not the sweet adoration everyone else experienced at that beautiful moment of two souls uniting into one. What he read on Evelyn’s face was… regret. And it only made him want to hug her tight and tell her they had this too. They had what Zara and Lachlan had and what Savannah and Kai had. They had love, passion, and loyalty. She had his complete trust, and he wasn’t going anywhere. All she had to do was to let him in. Not physically this time. Mentally.

That being said, her constant rejections were bringing him down. Doubts were eating his heart and soul from the inside. What if he misread her, after all? What if she wanted all that but not with him? He would never want to f*orc*e her into anything. Kyle only wished to make her happy.

Evelyn never shared why she couldn’t trust him, but he knew there was a story there, and he would get it out of her one way or another.

“Almost there.” Ash was absentmindedly clenching the folder in his hands, his knuckles turning white from the pressure. He had a problem of his own to solve today. That wedding didn’t go well for him either. Petra’s father was obstructing him from getting his Luna, which turned into an even bigger mess over time.

The first time Alpha of the Blue Forest pack refused to talk to Ash. The second time, at the very same wedding where everyone was happy except for the two new friends, Alpha Biernat laughed at Ash’s face, calling him a “westerner” as if it was an insult, and then added that he wouldn’t talk to him without a formal introduction. Queen Savannah had to step in and fix this little problem for Ash, making the introduction. Which was awkward, considering they had met before. Still, the moment she left them to perform her queenly duties, Petra’s father demanded a written request from Ash, explaining why he wanted Petra as his Luna and a marriage contract proposal attached, with a hefty sum as a gift for the pack. When Ash brought him the papers, they were turned down because no Northern AND Western Lycan Kings stamps were on them. So, they had to fix this too.

Kyle accompanied Ash each time in the hope of seeing Evelyn again. He couldn’t f*orc*e their meetings, and she left the capital together with Petra. So, there was no other way to meet her because she stopped responding to his calls and messages.

“We are not giving up this time,” Ash told him, although it looked like he was talking to himself.

“No, we are not,” Kyle agreed, playing with the ring box in his pocket.

“He wouldn’t come up with something new, right?” the werewolf glanced at him.

“Of course he would,” Kyle smirked. “But we will be ready this time.”

They tried to predict everything else Petra’s father could throw at Ash, knowing that whatever he was doing, he was doing it on purpose.

The lycan and the werewolf needed this motivational talk. However, none of them was ever going to admit it.

Adventures started the moment they arrived at the pack’s border. Their car and the ones that followed after were denied entrance by the Blue Forest warriors, saying they needed the correct permits.

“Oh, really?” Kai sneered and handed a paper to the werewolf that looked like the one in charge. They anticipated all that, and he had already asked Savvy for help once again. “This should solve our little problem. It grants us entrance and an audience with an Alpha of any northern pack when we require this. Queen’s orders.”

“Unless your Alpha objects, of course,” Ash commented dryly. “Then we will pass the Queen how he feels about her commands.”

That worked perfectly; they were allowed inside the pack in less than a minute.

The Alpha’s House was easy to find as it was the biggest mansion in the area. Ash smiled when he saw flowerbeds with pink freesias surrounding the ma*s*sive building. There was no doubt who they bloomed for.

The Beta met them at the doors, welcoming the two men inside the spacious house. A grand staircase was in the middle of the rich wooden hall, and they heard quick footsteps from the top floor.

“Ash!” Petra beamed as she ran down the stairs in a flowing pale pink dress, her hair unruly as she probably did not expect any guests today.

Kyle’s heart skipped a beat when he noticed his Lyn following the other woman slowly. There was so much grace in her that she could easily pass for a werecat. Their eyes locked, and his throat bobbed with how emotional the moment felt.

Evelyn’s eyes glistened momentarily when she saw him, and he hoped it was because she missed him. Kyle begged both the Moon Goddess and Fenrir for it to be true.

Meanwhile, Petra almost made it to Ash when her father caught her wrist halfway and turned her around, eventually bringing her back to the bottom of the stairs.

“Not so fast!” he grunted, and the smile dropped from his daughter’s face.

“Daddy,” she looked at him reproachfully, furrowing her pink eyebrows, but he ignored her.

“Later,” the Alpha brushed his daughter off, turning back to their guests. “Gentlemen, to what do I owe the ple@sure?”

“My intentions still haven’t changed since the last time we spoke, Alpha,” Ash met his future father-in-law’s gaze. “I came to claim my mate and my Luna.”

“I a*s*sume you prepared the documents?” Alpha Biernat frowned, shooting a quick glance at the folder.

“Of course. Everything is ready as you asked,” Ash confirmed. “And more. Just in case.”

“Finally prepared!” the older Alpha huffed a laugh. “Well, before we waste time on all this, I must warn you that there is quite a line of suitors for my Petra.”

“I am well aware,” Ash nodded, suppressing an angry growl.

“Good. Great. Then you don’t mind fighting them to prove–”

“I am ready to fight whoever it takes to get my mate. As long as Petra is willing, I will not give up on her. So, bring your line of Alphas, please. I would like to deal with them as soon as possible. I went to fight for Petra before I knew who she was to me, and I am not leaving her now.” Ash finished his speech, staring straight at his mate’s father without blinking, their Alpha auras clashing.

Everyone around them got quiet, and Kyle exchanged concerned glances with Evelyn. This would either be a breakthrough or the end.

A resounding laugh brought them back to reality. Alpha Biernat threw his head back, letting himself shake with rumbling laughter.

“Maybe we can still make something out of you, boy!” the man grunted, placing his hand on Ash’s shoulder. “Imagine my disappointment when my girl who was raised to become a Queen was mated to just an Alpha. And not even a northerner. Such a disgrace–”

“She will have everything a queen has,” Ash a*s*sured him. “I will see to it.”

Alpha Biernat’s fingers clenched Ash’s flesh painfully as a warning. “When you came back from the bear territory, and I found out from my daughter and not from you that you are destined mates, I knew you did not appreciate the gift that Fenrir bestowed on you! Naturally, I had to help you to see that. Now, you will always remember to treasure what I give you.”

“So, you are giving Petra to Alpha Jones?” Kyle decided to clarify everything at once. If a northern alpha gave his or their word, he had to keep it. They were earnest about the honour here, and the Gamma wanted to ensure that at least his new friend got what he wanted.

“After he fights my best warrior, signs the contract and transfers all the money we agreed on, he can take her,” Alpha Biernat confirmed in a business-like manner, and they all wanted to cheer, but, luckily, they knew better. Petra’s father would only take it as a sign of weakness and make poor Ash jump through more hoops.

“Let’s do this then,” the young Alpha grinned. “My pack can’t wait to meet their Luna, and I want to bring her to them tonight.”

Petra did her best to hold back a smile, and Kyle finally managed to catch another glance from Evelyn, who seemed pleased as well.

Ash could handle the fight and the documents on his own. This was something he was ready for. And that meant Kyle would have his chance to speak to his beloved now while everyone else was busy with the drama. Everything was finally turning for the best.

A delicious scent of raspberries and mint made Kyle search for its source involuntarily.

“Mate!” A beautiful female voice sounded, and everyone in the spacious reception area froze in shock.

Evelyn gripped the rail of the staircase she stood on tightly, watching Petra’s cousin Lila appear from the opposite passage. The beautiful young girl descended slowly, sniffing the air with her cute button nose and ignoring everything around her as if she were in a trance.

“Mate!” This time the word sounded more confident.

Lila knew every man in the pack. She was already twenty, which meant she hadn’t been mated to any of them. The only two new males in the room were Ash and Kyle. But Ash had already found his mate.

Evelyn closed her eyes, the realisation slowly sinking in. This was the end.

She always knew their story was going to end this way. They were doomed from the very beginning.

“Mate,” Kyle stared at Lila in confusion, hands in pockets. Evelyn realised that he had probably forgotten about her already.

“Fenrir with you!” Alpha Biernat Let out a chesty laugh. “Our Lila got herself the kingdom’s Gamma for a mate! What a fruitful year for our family!”

Evelyn watched as Lila walked towards Kyle. She was perfection from head to toe with her short lilac hair and deep blue eyes. One of the best pack’s warriors, she was also well-educated and of pure alpha blood. Lila never lacked male attention and was destined for a great mate. Now, as she stood before the redhead lycan, anyone who saw them together could tell they were a match made in heaven.

Evelyn couldn’t look at them anymore.

It took all her willpower not to show how it broke her to see them together, making her so empty inside. This was precisely what she was afraid of this whole time. Kyle was one of a kind. She knew that sooner or later, he would meet his mate and forget about his temporary fascination with her. This was why she chose to push him away the moment she realised her feelings for him. If she accepted him and then the inevitable happened, it would only hurt her more.

What she did was the safest option, and Evelyn knew enough grief not to want it in her life again.

Lila was of the right age and background. She would give him beautiful, strong pups. It was right.

“Congratulations, Lila!” Alpha Biernat was the only one happy now. No one else still commented. “The Gamma of the North! What a catch! And you, Gamma– Lucky indeed!”

Petra placed her hand on Evelyn’s and squeezed it. She was too sweet for her own good, considering she had her own mate to worry about. And Evelyn… she had nothing.

“Excuse me,” she cleared her throat quickly, attracting everyone’s attention but stubbornly avoiding sparing Kyle a glance.

Not waiting to witness more of this t*ortur*e, she retreated to her bedroom. They would all understand her, after all. And now… none of them needed her.

A part of Evelyn hoped that Kyle would rush after her, that he would choose her over everything. A stupid, irrational, naive part.

Back in safety, Evelyn let a single tear run down her cheek. And then a few more. She did not like to cry, but today proved to be more emotional than ever.

This was, however, right. Both Lila and Kyle deserve the best. They would have a happy life together. The same as Petra would have a happy life with Ash. Everyone would be happy, and she would be happy for them.

She had to be…

A knock on the door made her wipe her tears angrily before she opened it, wishing nothing more than to tell whoever it was to leave her alone.

“Lyn!” Concern was written all over Kyle’s face.

“Don’t be silly!” She f*orc*ed the brightest fake smile on her face. Over the years, she became very good at those. “These are happy tears! Petra, Lila and you all found you’re better halves. I’m so excited for all of you!”

“Forget about Lila,” Kyle furrowed his brows, trying to grasp her, but she dodged, knowing that if she didn’t, she would burst out crying.

“Not funny!” Evelyn scolded. “This girl is now your mate, and you’re going to respect her!”

“She is not my mate!” he f*orc*ed his way into the room as she gasped.

“Yes, she is! And you need to understand how lucky you are!” Evelyn closed her face with her hands, trying to form the words she needed to persuade that insufferable man. “Lila is amazing! You and her… it makes so much sense! She will make you happy. She will give you the life you deserve with kids and love. She will support you through thick and thin in your new career. She will stand with you against the world–”

“I’d like that,” Kyle interrupted, stabbing her heart with his words. She stopped talking, finding it painful to breathe. “With you,” he added quickly and placed his large palms on her shoulders.

“For Fenrir’s sake!” she muttered. “Kyle, your mate is downstairs.”

“No,” he shook his head calmly. “I have no mate. I had one a few minutes ago, but I don’t anymore.”

Her eyes widened, and only now she noticed crystals of sweat on his forehead. Kyle didn’t look too good, and his breathing was laboured too.

“What did you do?” she drew a sharp breath, fingers digging into his chest. The lycan chuckled painfully and pulled her into his warm embrace, holding her tight. He lost his face in her hair, inhaling her scent.

“It was a mutual rejection, Lyn,” he said, and she flinched.

“Kyle!” she bit her lip, not knowing how to react anymore.

“She did not want a mate and had other plans,” he informed her. “And I am madly in love with someone else. I am glad that everything happened the way it did. That was meant to be.”

“She was your mate!” Evelyn’s eyes searched his face for any signs of regret. She found none.

“You are my mate,” he smiled with his devilish smile. “My chosen mate. The one and only. If it’s not you, Lyn, then I don’t want it.”

“I will not make you happy!” she shook her head. “I am a– curse. Everyone I touch dies. My mate and my daughter–”

He knew that story. When Evelyn was much younger, she had a husband and a daughter the same age as Petra. She lost them in a fierce rogue attack. At the same time, Petra lost her mother. The little pink-haired girl who needed a mother brought the woman who needed her daughter back to life. They needed each other like air.

But Petra was a grown-up now. She was starting a life of her own, and although Evelyn initially planned to go with her to Ash’s pack, she knew that Petra didn’t need her there. Now she was alone again.

“It was many years ago, and since then, you helped a young girl to become a wonderful woman. And in the process, you helped to save the kingdom. Don’t you dare forget that!” Kyle kissed away a new tear that rolled down her cheek, and for the first time, she looked at him. She really looked at him.

“Kyle, you need someone–” She wanted to explain why he had made a mistake and why he needed to return to Lila and ask her to give him a chance.

“I only need you,” he stopped her, brushing away another tear from her cheek with his thumb. “I know what I want, Lyn. I want the strong and smart woman I fell in love with. The only one who makes me happy. The one who made me feel complete. The one who is always ahead of me and with whom I only hope to catch up one day. I want you.”

She couldn’t find the right words for the first time in her life. Kyle was free now. He had just rejected his true mate for her. On the spot… Just like that…

This was surreal, and at the same time, it was the reality.

“I love you, Lyn,” he made her look at him. “You rejected me so many times, and here I still am. Not going anywhere. Ever. Unless–”

Lyn’s heart clenched painfully. “Unless what?”

“Unless you tell me you don’t love me,” he sighed. “Say that you really don’t want to see me anymore. Tell me I repulse you, and you’d never be with someone like me. I will respect that. I will back off. But I will still love you.”

Her lips parted.

He really meant it.

“And if I have to prove my feelings over and over then–”

Evelyn didn’t let him finish, standing on her tiptoes and claiming his lips in a surprise kiss.

Kyle breathed out his relief into her mouth, finally letting himself wrap his hands around her, grasping her flesh. He missed her so badly.

“Tell me you accept me,” he muttered between greedy kisses. “Tell me you want me.”

“I love you!” she confessed for the first time, and they both broke the kiss because this was more important. Kyle rested his forehead on Lyn’s, his fingers drawing circles on her back.

“Say it again,” he begged.

“I love you, Kyle,” the woman repeated her words with confidence this time. “I love you so much it hurts sometimes. I think of you every minute of every day. And I–”

“Then choose me too.” Kyle got a little velvet box out of his pocket and opened it for her. “Be my mate, Lyn. Let me mark you. Marry me. Give me that wonderful life you were talking about. I want it so much, but only if it’s with you.”

She traced the metal band of the ring with her finger, noticing how it was shaped like maple leaves. The pale pink diamond in the middle, the exact shade of Petra’s hair colour, made her smile, and she looked back at him with adoration.

“You really do know me,” Evelyn smiled.

“You love autumn and Petra,” Kyle nodded. “I tried to–”

“And you,” she interjected, placing her palm into his so he could put that ring on her finger once and for all. “I also love you, my impossible mate.”

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