Chapter 8 - An Unexpected Development

< Aero >

My jaw tensed at the temper simmering inside me. I had no desire to hold a woman’s hand, but I didn’t have a choice. I had to keep up appearances.

The bride, however, lifted her hands up without a second thought and waited for me to hold it.

When the high priest cleared his throat, that was when I realized I hadn’t actually moved yet.

With a deep breath to settle my developing temper, I accepted her hands, enveloping them with my large palm.

“Your Majesty, you may now say your vows,” the old man stated. I gave him an arched brow. What did he say again?

“Start with your bride’s name, Your Majesty, and say your vows loudly for all to hear,” he reminded.

I had to take another deep breath to control the growing turmoil inside me. Fuck! Why must there be vows in a wedding? I should abolish this when I get my hands on paperworks again.

“Se...rena,” I started, my voice toneless. A large part of me was hesitant to speak her name. I was lucky to have remembered her name even. “I offer you a life filled with contentment, of peace and happiness. I offer you protection and safety, and a life filled with bounty and wealth.

In the back of my head, there were some double meaning in my words. Once she returns to her world, she’d be exactly getting these things.

I wanted to stop right there, but then the high priest cleared his throat again and murmured, “Your vow of love, Your Majesty. Let your people hear it. Give them inspiration.

My nostrils subtly flared. The audacity of this old man was beyond measure, but again, I had to keep up appearances.

I stared sharply at my bride through the holes of the lace covering so that she’d sense my displeasure. Surely, she was intelligent enough to know that the incoming words I would spew from my mouth didn’t mean a single thing.

Holding her hands tightly, I started again with my voice even louder this time, “You are the woman who captured my heart and chased out the darkness within and for this, I vow to love and cherish you for the rest of my life. I vow to keep you by my side forever. My heart is yours for all eternity.

A deafening applause suddenly erupted and the cheers of the crowd burst through the air. They were crying out their happiness and as I looked around, there were numerous spectators who actually cried and hugged each other.

I was beyond stunned by their reaction to my vow. Where they really that moved with my words?

It looked like they were.

But a selfish part of me simply snickered. Their overwhelming reaction meant I nailed my acting perfectly. Now, it was my dear bride’s turn to sell her ruse.

The crowd fell silent as they waited for her to speak.

“Your Majesty, King Aero of the Kingdom of Phanteon,” she started in the most fluid, sweetest voice I heard from a woman. “I have none to give you aside from what I have now: my body, my heart, and my love. Take care of me as I promise to take care of you. I will be your conscience, your guide. I will keep your heart safe and sound, and nurture it with my calming embrace. I will protect you as you would to me. I will be the queen your kingdom needs...badly,” she added with a hint of sarcasm, “and I will be the mother to your pups...and promise to take care of them with love and devotion.

Again, the booming sound of cheers and claps filled the amphitheater. It went on for over a minute until the high priest lifted his hand up to silence them.

He placed his palm underneath our interlocked hands and guided it up to level his forehead and then started chanting. A couple of minutes later, a white light shown from our hands. In the form of a chain, it slithered out of our palms and went over and around our wrists to bind us together. Then, a mark appeared specifically on our right inner wrists. It looked like a crescent moon.

I gaped at the sight of it. Never had I seen this happening in a wedding before. Judging from the surprised look of the high priest and the audience, they thought the same too.

Silence reigned the atmosphere once the white light disappeared.

The woman looked at me with wide eyes, a question forming in her mind. I could easily decipher it as, 'What the fuck was that?!'

Then, she looked at her right wrist, a frown forming on her face again.

“Hail to the Goddess!” the high priest ecstatically boomed. “What you witnessed seconds ago was proof that our Goddess had blessed this union! We had never witnessed such before. This calls for a greater celebration!

For the fucking nth time, the crowd cheered again, but this time it was noisier and headache-inducing.

I battled to keep my composure intact. This wasn’t supposed to happen! Whatever this mark meant on my wrist, I had a feeling it would give me problems soon.

Out from the corner of my eye, I noticed a young boy approach us holding a tray of ritual equipment: a ceremonial chalice filled with clear water and a small platinum bowl filled with red power.

The high priest took out the chalice and handed it to me.

“We must move on with the wedding ritual,” he said with mirth. “Drink thy chalice and be whole with your bride.

Through clenched teeth, I accepted the chalice and drank half of its contents.

Afterwards, I handed it to my bride and she took it with her hands visibly shaking.

Fuck. Now she’s unstable!

After all I had been through...after painstakingly keeping my temper intact, I can’t have her ruining this ceremony just for suddenly being frightened!

So, when I handed her the chalice, I also grabbed her hand and squeezed it tight. “Be still. Everything is okay,” I whispered low, faking my smile.

She took this as a promise judging from the sudden lift of her chin.

“Drink thy chalice and be whole with your husband,” the high priest said.

She drank the contents and thereafter handed it back to the old man.

When this was done, he took out the platinum bowl, dipped his thumb inside it and signaled both of us to lean closer.

We both did, rather hesitantly might I add, and then the high priest drew a single line across our foreheads with the red powder.

“The ceremony has ended. The wedding is fulfilled!” he shouted. “Let all the realms know that this union is binding and unbreakable!

I listened to the old man’s words and for the first time ever, a sense of dread filled me like a great flood.


What have I got myself into?

“Hail to our Alpha and Luna! Hail King Aero and Queen Serena!” my brother shouted somewhere close to the stage. I cast a look at my royal council and the rest of the audience when they all chorused our names. They looked lively and cheerful. Not a hint of concern or suspicion on their faces. They genuinely looked pleased with my union with this woman, but I’m sure when they find out she’s a human they would flip out and declare the union null and void.

I had gone through too much embarrassment. As if I’d let that happen.

Elijah met my stare. He nodded slightly, silently telling me it was time. I knew what I had to do, yes. All couples wedded in the kingdom do it as a tradition. I was their king so I was expected to do the same.

Mentally, I had already prepared for it for two days. I thought I prepared myself enough, but in front of this woman, in front of my new wife and queen, I was not sure anymore.

“Kiss!” Somebody from the crowd reminded me. Fuck. And then everybody followed shouting that one damning word.

“Kiss! Kiss!

I grinned at them and waved a hand to recognize their request. Fuck. But deep inside though, I wanted to rip their throats out.

“Is a kiss really necessary?” she asked worriedly to me whilst giving out a fake smile to the audience.

I wrapped an arm around her waist and brought her closer to me. “It’s tradition here, to show that the wedded couple is indeed happy with the union.

“I’m not happy with this union,” she blurted out, again fake smiling the crowd and waving at them like a queen naturally would.

I groaned in frustration. “So am I, but we have to give them a show.

“Shit,” was the last word I heard from her when I stooped down, lifted her veil up and captured her mouth.

The crowd burst out with cheers once more. It was getting really tiring to hear it.

As initially planned, I only wanted our mouths pressed, create an illusion that we were passionately kissing, but to my surprise, her lips slightly parted. I whiffed I really good scent from her. A scent I hadn’t picked up in a woman or any other creature for that matter. It was filling up my mind with euphoria. My nose liked it. My lungs adored it. Then, unconsciously, I parted my lips too. At the touch of our moistened mouths and the mixture of our warm breaths, an unknown kind of need filled me.

My wolf howled inside and before I knew it, I was kissing my fake wife like a mad beast that had escaped from its prison.


Double fuck.

Triple fuck.

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