1. Confess Your Feelings I

1413 Words
There's a selection. Alpha Kier hasn't found his mate and he has given up on finding her. I thought that meant I had a chance. I thought that meant one day, he'll notice me in my rags, hiding by the corner, watching him as always. But no. He's having Alpha females over to pick a suitable woman to mate with and make his Luna. And me? I'm right here, washing the plates the invited maidens will dine with. Every glass plate clangs loudly as I dump them in the sink, visibly vibrating with indignation. I can't deal. I really can't deal with this. Why can't I be his bride? Because I don't have Alpha blood running through my veins? Because I haven't shifted yet? Because I'm not beautiful enough? Mother used to say I have the most beautiful eyes; eyes that capture attention and hold it. Eyes that enchant and seduce. She said it could one day be helpful. I don't see how when Alpha Kier won't look at me. "Do not make me whack you in the head, Jessamine! You break one more plate, you sleep in the stables!" The Chief Cook yells and I flinch at the vicious tone. Someone laughs not too far from me. Amelie, probably. "Reality finally hit her hard. Maybe she'll stop hovering around the Alpha like a leech now. Stupid." I bare my teeth at her and the others join in laughing. Everyone knows of my feelings except the actual person I harbor these feelings for. They call me stupid every day. They call me a fool. They call me insane for thinking I'll ever be noticed. There are women who flock around the castle just to get him to look at them. Beautiful women from powerful families and packs. They all want him. He is the richest, most powerful Alpha in Neredia. It also doesn't help that he has looks that should belong to a god. Looks that would befit only the mate of the Goddess herself. But that is not why I fell in love with him. "Hurry now! They're arriving!" I hear the Head Maid scream from outside, running in with her skirts raised with her hands. "Out with the dessert! Now! Jessamine, move from there! We need all the hands we can get!" I wipe a tear from my cheek as I abandon the dirty dishes, leaving my partner, Layana, with it. She gives me the evil eye, muttering something about how I'm a delusional i***t under her breath. I'm handed two trays and I find myself shoved in the line of maids headed towards the Grand Hall where the most important events are hosted. The air is leaving my lungs and my breaths are harsh and fast. Another tear drops from my eyes and I force my feet to move forward. I am shoved and pushed around until we reach the hall. It becomes even more difficult to breathe. The women are all so painstakingly beautiful, moving with a grace I will never dream of having. Their voices lilt and they giggle like gargoyles—if gargoyles ever giggle. They exude power, sophistication and. . . I want to stab something. I can’t have waited twelve years since I met him for the Alpha to notice me, only to have him stolen away from me by one of these vain seductresses. Alpha Kier is mine. He just doesn’t know it yet. Call me delusional or sick in the head, but being an Omega doesn’t make me weak-minded. I can have dreams and desires. I can fight for what I love. I can be the woman I want to be. And the woman I want to be is the Alpha’s woman. My eyes scan the overly crowded hall, taking note of the seating arrangements of all the maidens on display with their full bosoms and waists cinched by corsets. I notice Beta Randale ticking names off the list and monitoring the new arrivals. I have a plan. Get used to those. My head is always full of crazy things that always end up putting me into trouble. My fingers slip on one of the saucers and tea spills on one of the contenders. She’s up on her feet immediately, tossing her fan in my face. It hits me smack in the forehead as she screams, “Stupid, do you have any idea how much the stones on this dress costs?!” “Sorry, I wasn’t—“ “Randale?” She calls out, bright eyes sizing me up with unhidden disgust. Beta Randale instantly appears by her side. “Do you teach your servants to speak back and insult your guests?” My brows furrow. “But I didn’t even—“ Beta Randale narrows his eyes at me and I know better than to keep talking. “Apologize to Lady Moira.” How about I empty the entire teapot on her glossy dark hair instead? Against my better judgement, and because I need to set my plan into motion before Alpha Kier and his mother arrive, I bow my head low in subservience. “I apologize for my shortcomings, Lady Moira. If there’s anything I can do to—“ The infuriating woman huffs a breath and brushes me aside, walking away from me in the middle of my apology. I raise my head a little and find Beta Randale’s scrutinizing gaze on me. I smile. He doesn’t return my smile. Just gives me a sharp look and says, “Not today, Jessamine. Behave.” He walks away, but my eyes are on the scroll in his hands. The scroll containing the list of eligible contenders for the position of Luna. I need to get my name on that list. “Don’t do it, Jess,” I hear Lovette say beside me as we set down the trays onto new tables. Lovette is my only friend in this place, and half the time she’s either chiding me or warning me about my intrusive thoughts. I blink innocently. “What do you mean?” Her brown eyes narrow at me and she wipes sweat off her chin. “You’ve got that look in your eyes again.” I smile sheepishly. “What look?” “The one that says you’re about to do something insane. I beg you in the name of the Goddess, please, not today,” she says, grabbing my wrist and pulling me out of the hall behind her. I yank my hand from hers once we’re outside. “I’m not going to do anything.” I pout. “Nothing out of the usual at least.” She scoffs. “That’s what you said before you sneaked in through the Alpha’s window and got yourself locked in his bathroom. If I hadn’t been cleaning that day, you’d be rotting in the dungeons!” I slap my hand over her mouth. “What if someone hears you?!” She bites my head and I let go when we start getting funny looks from the maids and sentries passing by. Gripping her shoulders, I say in a hushed tone, “Just. . .cover for me. For five minutes after Alpha Kier arrives.” “Why?” Her eyes drift to the hall behind me and the preparations going on, as well as the maidens flitting about in voluminous dresses. “Hell no, Jessamine! Have you lost your mind? You mean to join the selection? You’re a freakin’ Omega. The first requirement was having Alpha blood!” I nibble on my lower lip nervously. “This is the best chance I’ll ever have at getting him to notice me and acknowledge me as something. He’ll look at me today, Lovette. He’ll really look at me and see me!” A small sound escapes Lovette’s lips. “Heavens, she’s finally gone mad.” I ignore her comment. “I literally have nothing to lose. He’ll either reject me or accept me—“ “Oh, he’s definitely going to reject you. What is wrong with you? This is no joke. If this goes wrong—which it will—you will get thrown out of the pack.” I hear her, but you can’t advice a woman who’s in love and has her mind made up. “Alpha Kier is worth the risk. Promise me you’ll help me. Please.” Lovette sighs. “I better not get in trouble for this, Jess.”
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