Shackled to the Crown

arranged marriage

The Lost Alpha: Book 2

Royalty comes at a cost. Someone always has to pay the price.

Michael and Jemma’s new life is the one they always dreamed of. Surrounded by family and friends it’s the best that they could ever have hoped for, but it’s not without its struggles.

Between the judgemental Alphas and vengeful rogues, their cosy little pack doesn’t have much breathing space. Tensions run high as they hit a brick wall with every alliance they try to forge.

Matters only worsen when that crisp white omen falls in Michael’s lap. In blood-red wax sits his family crest, sealing not only the envelope but possibly his fate. So the question remains.

Shall we go to the ball?

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“Ouch!” Jemma cried as Tiff pulled hard at the corset’s ribbons, tucking in her waist and plumping up her bosom. “Breathe it in, girl!” Tiff instructed, putting her bare foot on her back to pull them harder. “I think this is a little tight!” Jemma complained; feeling like her ribs may give out any seconds. As if she wasn’t already breathless enough without the corset. Tiff groaned, loosening off a bit (but not much) before finally tying it off into a big bow. Jemma turned to her and Tiff’s hands flew to her mouth and tears welled in her eyes as she smiled at her. “You look beautiful,” Tiff said hugging her hard. Jemma turned to look at herself in the mirror. She looked so beautiful...yet so alien. Her mousy brown hair was tied up in a stylish up-do, that let some perfect curls cascade down onto her shoulder, and it was topped off with her sparkly white veil. Her skin was flawless and she had the perfect amount of make up on for her face. Her green eyes were bright and vibrant with her eye shadow contrasting them perfectly, making the colour pop, her lips were full and glossed in a light pink that gave her the innocent look. Then there was the dress. The white bridal gown. Corset on top that flared out like a Cinderella dress at the waist. She had to wear an underskirt with rings in to keep the dress away from her feet. The gown was stunning, brilliant white with pastel blue flowers that lined the corset and flowed into the skirt. She felt like a princess. She slipped on her matching heels and her look was complete. There was a knock at the door. “Come in,” Tiff shouted. Her dad popped his head around the door, his breath catching in his throat when he saw his baby girl stood there in her bridal gown. “Sweetheart,” he whispered, “You look amazing.” “Thanks dad,” she whispered back, scared that she may cry and ruin the makeup that Tiff had spent hours on. He came in and gave her a lingering hug before reaching in his pocket and pulled something out. It was a tiara, a beautiful one at that. “It was your mother’s,” he informed her with a sad smile, “I know she’d want you to wear it on your special day, like she wore it on ours.” Jemma smiled at her father. Tiff took the tiara from her dad and placed it perfectly in place on her head, securing it with pins and extra hair. Her dad seemed even weepier when she showed him, but they were tears of happiness for her, he put a firm hand on her cheek, stroking lightly with his thumb, “You look so much like your mother,” he whispered proudly. Jemma placed her hand on his and leaned into it. It was a nice sentimental moment with her father on her big day. “When are we going down?” Tiff asked, interrupting their sweet moment. “They’re ready when you are,” he informed her, swiping the tears from his face, hoping Jemma wouldn’t see. Tiff hopped into her six-inch heels that matched her baby blue bridesmaid dress and grabbed her bouquet and Jemma’s. “Come on then!” Tiff scurried to the door, only to scurry back to grab her matching clutch that contained Jemma’s essentials, as well as Tiff’s. “Tiff, calm down,” Jemma giggled, “You’re going to ruin your hair.” “I’ve worked too hard on this wedding to let anything go wrong,” Tiff told her, “You may be my Luna, but I am your maid of honour and today, you listen to me!” “I’m the bride!” Jemma argued. “Irrelevant,” Tiff held up her hands to silence her, “Haul arse, now!” They reached the outer double doors to the pack house and Jemma’s heart was hammering away in her chest. She held tightly onto her father’s arm and he squeezed back in reassurance. Tiff grabbed her train as they readied for the reveal. She could hear talking outside, whispers of anticipation. She could smell her mate on the other side of the doors. She hadn’t been allowed to see him for the last twenty four hours as the wedding day approached and she was itching to be back at his side. After today she would be his wife. It was crazy to think. “Ready?” her father asked. She nodded, holding her bouquet tightly against her chest. He gave a quiet knock on the door and suddenly they were being opened. The sun spilled into the entrance hall where they stood, making Jemma’s dress blindingly white. She looked like an angel stood there. The music started and they started their slow walk down the aisle. The wedding was held in the new pack house grounds and was set out so beautifully. Flowers everywhere, lining the aisle and seating, floral archways for her to walk under down the aisle and a lovely blue carpet for her to walk down making it all seem so surreal. Her father walked proudly at her side as Jemma’s eyes couldn’t help scan the guests. There were a lot of Jemma’s old co-worker friends from Hallywell’s, only the ones she really got along with though and her few new friends from Auburn media. Under a gazebo near the front, sat Tristan, Myra and Will, all looking at her in adoration. Jenny Auburn sat near the front, smiling encouragingly at her; she was sat next to Jackie. Ugh...Jackie. Harry, Lucas and Darren sat on one row, giving her respectful but cheerful looks, while Lily and Teagan were behind them with beaming smiles. All five of them were new pack members that Harry had rounded up from Logan’s old pack; they were more than happy to join our pack and had been fantastic so far. Her gaze then landed on Nick stood up front as the best man, he was also beaming at her, but clearly his gaze kept snapping to his beautiful mate behind her. Then she looked at him. Her mate. Michael. Stood there with a shocked but loving expression. He was so handsome and his black suit really suited him, and really showed off his broad frame. He was perfect. Jemma couldn’t believe that she was just about to marry this man. How had she gotten so lucky? After what seemed like the longest walk of her life she reached the front and joined Michael, her father handing her over traditionally to him and going to take his seat up front. Michael leaned in and whispered softly in her ear, “You look like an angel.” Jemma smiled and blushed, not sure what to say to that. Her heart rate hit a new record as silence fell and the ceremony began. After all the formalities were done and the wedding dinner was over with it was time to kick back for the evening party. Tiff had really gone above and beyond with her wedding planning and Jemma felt sorry for her poor father’s wallet. Even though Michael had offered to pay, her dad had insisted on principle that he would be the one to give his daughter the perfect day. The back of the pack house had been transformed into a swanky venue for the evening. Tiff had thought of everything, the flowers, the balloons, the confetti, she even had the table cloths matching her dress. The food on the buffet was divine and the music was specially tuned to Michael and Jemma’s tastes. Everyone was having a good time and Jemma was being extra careful not to drip anything down on her perfect dress. She watched as everyone mingled and enjoyed the food. This really had been the perfect day and it wasn’t over yet. She only wished that her mother was here to enjoy it with her, but she knew that her mother was watching from wherever she was. Tiff and Nick were swaying on the dance floor, both of them already quite drunk. Tiff was keeping her footing better than Nick was; which really was something for Tiff, especially in those killer heels. Tristan appeared at the side of her offering her another cocktail that she gladly took. “Well, look at you,” he smirked at her, “I never thought I’d see you looking like a pretty princess.” Jemma gave him a look, but couldn’t keep the smile from her face. “It suits you,” he added, sipping at his own drink. “I’ll take that as a compliment,” Jemma raised a brow at him. “Don’t,” he smirked back, “Anyway, where is your new husband?” “You mean your Alpha?” Jemma shot back with a smirk of her own. “Yes, my Alpha,” he sighed, the idea was still foreign to him, but he was slowly coming around. Tristan enjoyed being a part of the pack. “Hey wolf and wannabe,” Myra greeted them as she sauntered over with Will. Tristan frowned at her. Myra, his sister, however, couldn’t get over the fact that he had decided to join a wolf pack. Will, being a former wolf himself, applauded him for it and had stated on many occasions that if he could he would join a pack again. “Congratulations again, Jem,” Will hugged her as he reached them, “You look stunning in that dress, Michael is a lucky man.” She blushed a little at the kind words, “Thank you, Will.” “Ugh,” Myra rolled her eyes, “I hate weddings, too soppy and sentimental.” “You don’t want to get married?” Tristan asked her. “No!” she replied, offended he would even ask, “Can you picture me in one of those over priced frocks?” she made a gagging motion. “But you have your beloved,” Tristan probed, gesturing to Will. “Will doesn’t want to get married,” Myra frowned, but from the looks on Will’s face, this was the first he knew of this, “Do you?” she asked, just for emphasis. “Well I –” he began, but she then turned her disbelieving look on him. “Not you as well!” she accused, and then rolled her eyes for the final time before leaving while saying; “I need a drink.” “F.Y.I you’re not marrying my sister,” Tristan added menacingly to Will before he scuttled off after Myra. “That was harsh of you,” Jemma commented, taking a big drink of her cocktail. Tristan shrugged, “Kid needs to learn his boundaries.” Jemma frowned, but didn’t question him any further, not really wanting to have this argument with Tristan at her wedding. The look on Will’s face however said that he did want to marry Myra, which was sweet, just unfortunately Tristan couldn’t see that. He was too blinded by his big brother goggles to notice. Teagan appeared from the other side of her, shortly followed by Lily. “Hey, Luna,” Teagan hugged her with a giggle, “I’m itching to see this first dance, cleared memory on my phone and everything.” Teagan was a light-hearted bubbly soul and was a Delta in the pack, she had grown on Jemma considerably since they first met and now Jemma couldn’t imagine the pack without her. “It’s soon,” Jemma giggled back. Lily stepped out from behind Teagan, handing her yet another cocktail. “Made especially for our now-official Luna,” Lily smiled at her. Jemma looked between the cocktails in her hands and then commented, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you guys were trying to get me drunk.” “We’re just helping you build up your courage for tonight,” Teagan wiggled her eyebrows and then burst out laughing, making everyone laugh along with her. Finally the time came for the first dance and Michael and Jemma stepped into the space that had been cleared by the guests. Michael took her by the waist and pulled her against him, they began to sway and move as the music started. Jemma had been so nervous, but right here and now with her mate, it was like they were the only two people in the world. “You are mine, Mrs. Cairnes,” Michael whispered playfully as he stole a quick kiss while they danced. “And you are mine,” she whispered back, nipping at his lip. “My wife. My Luna,” he said, wistfully as if he couldn’t believe it himself. “Always,” she smiled brightly at him. “Always,” he agreed before claiming her lips.

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