Nerezza's Point of View
Two Years Later
The room was crowded with people. Chatting. Dancing. But most importantly, drinking champagne and gossiping about one another. Their eyes took in everything. Noticed every detail around them. Nothing could escape their scrutiny. Not even the new woman Duke Delaronte had brought along escaped their attention. Or escaped their gossip.
I was a fish in an ocean filled with sharks but this wasn't my first rodeo. I had danced with high society ever since Priamos' monthly deposits stopped. When Farren had complained that her school uniform no longer fit and our money had dried up. About five months after he had gone missing and two after my eighteenth birthday.
Getting a normal job wouldn't have kept Farren in her school. Or kept the mortgage on the apartment going. Besides, I had no other talents besides my wit and beauty. Sometimes I still played the piano but not nearl
Nerezza's Point of ViewThe moon was high by the time I got home. A few lights were still burning. Food sat on the stovetop, covered and waiting. Farren hummed from the upstairs loft we shared, lost in her own world.Reaching down, I tugged the heels off of my feet. They cramped and protested. I had stood too long and would most likely feel the consequences tomorrow. Hopefully, the king would stay true to his word and call for me in the morning. Share lunch with me at the royal palace. Get to know me, as he had stated."Farren, I am home!" I called upstairs. The humming stopped. Papers rustled and light footsteps padded to the top of the stairs. White blonde hair peeked out behind the rails as Farren smiled down at me."How did it go?" She asked brightly. I sighed and dumped my shoes on the floor. Strolled on in just my dress as I undid my hair for the evening."I never expected the Duke to be a kind man but he is wo
Nerezza's Point of ViewGrand halls and portraits of every kind stunned me to silence. The man from before led me dutifully through it all. Remarked on various pieces that had caught my eye. Oftentimes, he would stop and explain the origins of the pieces. Tell me more about the artist and why the piece was commissioned. I loved seeing the world through the lens of someone else. Loved seeing pieces come to life with added details that I would never have thought about.Our tour stopped once we reached the middle garden. According to the man, it was the garden especially commandeered by the king. I was still very unaware of what his name was. But I followed him silently, taking in every aspect of what might just one day be my home."This is where our journey together ends, Miss Nerezza. I hope that you have a peaceful afternoon with his Majesty. If you have any questions regarding the encounter, you may ask me afterward." The man sta
Nerezza's Point of ViewOne Year Later"How long will you be gone for?" I could hear the distress in Farren's voice as she asked me this from the door. I didn't look up, instead, I continued packing up the clothes I would need in South Africa. Unlike our more timid climates, the country was hot and unrelenting. Short clothes were a must for this trip.According to Reginald (my king), there was a pack taking shape in the heart of the country. Guided by a rogue Alpha who had clawed his way to the top. Surrounded himself with only the strongest of men to help him build his empire. The king had a vested interest in seeing this pack succeed. No other information was given."I will be gone for about a week to two weeks. I promise to be back by the time you have your seventeenth birthday party. The king is hosting a rather grand ball in your name, at my behest." I told Farren, tucking away my underwear in a sma
Nerezza's Point of ViewSouth Africa was truly a wonderous place to see from the air. Thick bushlands accompanied by sparkling oceans. Wildlife of all kinds walking around in the more patchy areas. I couldn't keep my eyes off of the ground. Every once in a while, we would pass over towns booming with life. Cars that zoomed in and out of traffic.From this high above, it all looked so small. Insignificant. Until we descended. Beautiful beyond compare but my mind couldn't grasp why the king would want to sponsor a pack in such a remote location. That was until we had landed.The city they had chosen for their pack was even more filled with life than all the other places I had viewed before. It was a masterpiece of skyscrapers and busy streets. Trees growing in every nook and cranny. Life was flourishing here, even if there were mostly humans. Which was to be expected, seeing as the pack was just starting. Blooming into something mor
Nerezza's Point of ViewTwo Weeks LaterSouth Africa had been a breath of fresh air after all. Considering how rocky my relationship had started with Alpha Ciaran, it ended on a pleasant note. We had adjusted to each other rather splendidly. Made a long-lasting friendship after the entire business aspect was done and dusted. I couldn't say that about the rest of them.Ozias was all work and no play. Somehow, he reminded me a lot of myself. Maverick was all work and no play. Dargan was neither. He kept mostly to himself. Stuck to the shadows and hallways. We rarely spoke and when we did it was about his sector of their empire.Several projects were started. A lot of donations were made to several charities. I invested more money than I had first thought I would but the mines held a lot of promise. With chrome prices climbing steadily and platinum a valuable metal, the odds of seeing a return w
Nerezza's Point of ViewReginald was in his office as always. His glasses rested on the tip of his nose. Brows scrunched in concentration. I had opened the door silently and watched him from the shadows. Bags lined the bottom of his eyes. Cast him ten years older than he was. The sight was heartbreaking.I may have grown up hating anything authority but Reginald had changed my mind about it all. About him. I saw a side to the ferocious king that no one else did. Saw his more tame side. The heart that beat beneath that hard exterior. I knew the conflict with Reggie had taken a bite out of him. Left him feeling bare. Any father would feel that way after fighting with their son but this was a particularly sore spot.Reggie had never kept it a secret that he wanted the throne more than he wanted his father around. Power-hungry and simple-minded, Reggie would do anything to gain his father's crown. Which hurt Reginald beyond comparison. The
Nerezza's Point of ViewI had put the awkward moment with Reginald out of my mind. Carried on as if nothing was wrong. It was Farren's seventeenth birthday today. The day she was able to find her mate. Fall in love and let the world blossom around her.For wolves, this was a great milestone. It meant she was done being a child. Stepped into the world as an adult now. Her high school career was almost over as well, ending in just shy of two weeks. Things were starting to look up for the young girl.After many trials and tribulations, we had made it this far. From homeless to living in the royal palace. None of it would have ever happened if it hadn't been for Farren encouraging me. Standing by me when the world was burning. Her strength pulled me through losing Conan. Losing Priamos.The sun was barely over the horizon when I slipped out of bed. Padded on silent feet to the door to our chambers. The maids had left a small but stun
Nerezza's Point of ViewBeatrice had outdone herself. Gave Farren only the best theme and execution. From fairy lights dangling between greenery and a fountain of wine in one corner. It embodied the pixie-like girl from head to toe. Even the glasses were shaped like crystals. Every inch of the room was covered in color. Sparkled beneath the soft lights.When I entered, the crown princess stood in the middle of the ballroom, shouting away orders. Her back was toward me. Her hair dangled in perfect coils behind her. The muted blue gown she donned was to make sure she didn't outshine Farren in any way. Not that anyone could with the dress she had chosen."Princess Beatrice," I called and walked toward her. She gracefully swung her head over her shoulder to look at me. The scowl was instantaneous. I plastered a smile on my face, her expression not bothering me in the slightest."Miss Nerezza. I want to say it is a pleasure, but