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Our families had an agreement.

Kane

I stand aside from the crowd. Some people noticed my arrival and started gossiping no longer than a few seconds later. I knew something like this might happen because it's the first time I have shown up, so obviously, everyone would make a big deal out of it. 

My mother and Amon walk around greeting any shifter near them but give the present humans the cold shoulder. I roll my eyes as I lean against the tree. 

My gaze follows them as they take their places on the platform. Amon clears his throat as he steps in front of the microphone. "I would like to congratulate everyone who has come here today. It may seem that there aren't many people here today, but I can assure everyone that you will find someone special today." No sooner do these words pass his lips than the crowd erupts in cheers. 

He steps aside, and my mother takes over the ceremonial speech. "We're proud to announce we have some humans to join our ceremony. To live side by side in peace, as a united nation, we must share our traditions as they have shared theirs. So, without further adieu, let's begin the ceremony." 

She takes her time explaining what will happen next, as those humans have no idea how this whole thing works. My eyes search the crowd, but there's no sign of the one I've been waiting for. What if she's not of age and won't arrive? 

"Ladies, line up!" My mother's voice brings me back to reality. For once, she did something useful. 

My gaze settles on the long line the women have formed. I skim over them twice, but I still don't see her. "Damn it!" I hiss to myself. If she doesn't show up, I'll leave. There won't be a reason for me to stick around anymore.

"Calm down, Drama Queen, this is just the first lineup!" My wolf hisses at the exact moment I want to drop the stupid idea and leave. 

I let him rant as he reminds me of the system of these ceremonies. He's right. I completely forgot that the first lineup is for the women who haven't been chosen by anyone yet. 

Although I try my best to keep a low profile, some of the men standing in front of me already discuss my arrival without noticing me behind them.

"Did you know Luna's son is here?" The first to speak is one of the warriors. I've met him a few times at training. 

A red-haired guy frantically scans the crowd as he whispers. "Is he? Where?"

"I don't know, but someone noticed him before the ceremony began." The warrior sounds calm, but I sense some unease in him. I wonder why he feels so intimidated by my presence. "Everyone's talking about him now; they think he chose someone." 

The warrior's friend throws an arm around his shoulders and chuckles, "Yeah, like that's going to happen."

"It might, but who would be stupid enough to accept him?" The red-haired gnome laughs. I'd love to walk up to them and join the conversation since I'm the centre of attention, but I have to restrain myself. It's more important to keep a low profile than to confront a bunch of insecure men badmouthing me.

"Right, that guy's a nut." Well, that's fucking rude. 

The warrior shushes his friends. "Guys, have you ever seen him? Like, his face?" The question catches me off guard. Why is it anything of importance all of a sudden?

"I ran into him the other day, but I didn't see his face. It's unreal to mistake this guy for someone in this pack," tiny red-haired asshole brags. 

"Why?"

After a moment of silence, I assume the guys will forget about the gossip, but the warrior jumps in to share something. "The cook at the packhouse told me there's something wrong with him. He's always been way taller than everyone else in the pack, even the Alpha. If you see someone above the crowd, always wears black, and never takes off that stupid hood- congratulations, you've met Luna's son." 

The only things these men add next all sound the same. They all say, "I think I met him at the bar." Or something like, "You probably did; it's his bar."

I'm sure they could come up with more rather stupid theories, but I decide to stop being the creep who eavesdrops on their conversations. None of them has provided any information that could be of any use to me, so why should I bother?

I focus on the ceremony- nearly all women have taken places next to the men who chose them. Some are standing near one; others are torn between two. The women chosen by two or more men will sit back and wait for the fight.

It's funny that I like to think we are civilised, but barbarian customs are too deeply rooted for the pack to break away from traditions. The ceremony is an excellent example of that. 

When several men have their eyes on a woman, they must step into the Arena and fight. The last man standing gets the woman. No offence, but that's way too much effort to get pussy, if anyone wants my opinion. 

The last woman in line steps forward, and a man approaches her. Those two are lucky, or at least they look reasonably happy. No one challenges the male, so they are free to go. 

I grow a little anxious, waiting for the next lineup. 

My mother and Amon walk up to the microphone and start calling out names. I watch the line grow longer, but there's still no sign of the dark-haired beauty I've been waiting for. 

I groan and pinch the bridge of my nose. Probably a bad idea because the men notice me and quickly run away. Well, so much for staying low profile it is. It won't be long before everyone knows where I stand. Fucking gossiping morons. 

"Selena, Amelia, Cynthia, Amethyst, and Krissy, please line up!" Mother calls out to the last participants, and I finally notice the one I'm standing here for. 

She's trembling, but I can't tell if it's fear or the little to no fabric of her ceremonial dress to blame. Why do women still have to wear such things? It's been centuries since the first ceremony, and some things haven't fucking changed. 

I don't know her name, but I see her searching the crowd for someone. Could it be that there's already someone she hopes will pick her? I hope the fuck not. 

I get ready to step out of the shadows when one of the last girls leaves the lineup. There are three left, and one of them is the one I'll take home with me, even if I have to fight to the death.

She seems so weak, so scared and worried; it makes her so much more attractive. Sure a strong and independent woman is amazing, but for some reason, I always wanted someone I could protect and hold. Perhaps those are stupid instincts, but I can't fight them. 

With each passing minute, I become more anxious, and so does my mother. She knows I'm present, and only human women are left to choose. Oh, how I enjoy the look on her face- she's seething with anger. 

When there are only two women left in line, I get more excited. The blonde steps forward, and multiple men call her name. One by one, they approach the woman and offer her their hand. I feel like she knows what she's doing because the blonde accepts all men. Well, this is going to be interesting, it's a battle I don't want to miss. It's been a while since so many men have chosen one woman. 

As everyone, but my beauty, leaves the lineup, I let out a breath of relief. But then, something unexpected happens as I notice an older woman approaching her. 

"Alpha, Luna," she bows to show respect. I don't like her- only braindead ass-kissers can show respect to those morons. "May I say something?" She asks, casting a sideways glance at the woman I intend to choose. 

My mother nods her head, encouraging the woman to speak to avoid holding back the ceremony. 

"Thank you, Luna. My daughter was chosen by someone a long time ago, our families had an agreement, and she joined the ceremony as a formality." No wonder I didn't like this woman. Sneaky old bitch, that's not how the ceremony works!

"I understand, but we still have to follow the rules. Let the young man who chose your daughter step forward, and then, we'll see if there is anyone else whose eye she caught. I understand your position as a mother, but humans will follow the rules the same as we do." My mother explains, and for once, I'm glad she doesn't try to impose new versions of rules or laws on a sacred ceremony. 

I watch as a man approaches the beauty, and just as he tries to hold her hand, something inside me snaps, and I let out a bloodcurdling growl before I can stop it.

Comments (7)
goodnovel comment avatar
Kelly Rohrer
Ommggggg I’m getting Eros vibes baby
goodnovel comment avatar
Michaella
This is getting good
goodnovel comment avatar
Skylyn Gordon
Well…let’s see how this plays out.
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