The Beast And The Blessed

Chapter 9

Nine: Natalie

Natalie’s P.O.V.

It was a difficult thing, sleeping in a strange place. But it was the awe and excitement that came with
the realization that things here would not be the same as they were in my old pack that kept me awake.
Even if I was just a breeder, I would still be treated as the King’s mate… or at the very least, I would
one day be the mother to the heir.

No more would I be an omega. No more would ! be beaten or abused.

It was empowering. But it was that rush of adrenaline that made it hard to sleep. Each time I fell into my
light slumber, I would wake up only minutes later. Then the excitement would hit me again, and I would
struggle to fall back asleep.

I wanted to go explore to see the rest of not only the castle but the kingdom. I also wanted to try more
of the food they had here.

The dinner had been a tense affair with only myself and the king. Joselin had made herself scarce
when the food arrived and had taken my guard with her, leaving us with a smug comment about how
time alone. would be good for us. But it was the spell she cast over the door, locking me in the office
with my mate that forced us into sharing a meal together.

He looked angry, glaring at me and tensing his jaw every few minutes, letting me know my presence
was not welcome without saying a single word. I had seen for myself that he *without warning, and
figured if he wanted to *me, he would. I was terrified of it and of him, but if this were to be my life now, I
had to not let that hang over me.

Since he was the one who chose me, I dug into my food with enthusiasm, not bothering myself with his

It was the best decision I ever made. I had never had such tender meat or such buttery freshly baked


Once I was done and had sat back in my chair with my hands over my stomach, I looked back up,
expecting to see the familiar glare of the sexy man. Instead, I found a slight smile. One that vanished
as soon as I returned it.

I had a feeling there was more going on than I was aware of. There had to be for him to have chosen
me of all people. I wasn’t so naïve to think he had chosen me because he actually wanted me. The
only thing I could do was enjoy it while it lasted.

The silk of the pillow case felt amazing against my skin as I rolled onto my side, and I snuggled my face
in closer, knowing that it would help to keep me cool during the warm summer nights. I ran my hand
over the sheet as I pulled it up to my face, stopping when I came into contact with a warm body.

My eyes shot open in surprise. I had known I was to share the room with him. He had said as much
when he declared it as ‘our’ room. But I had stayed up late, exploring and enjoying my newfound
freedom and home. When I had gotten back to the room and he wasn’t there, I had assumed he would
be sleeping elsewhere.

I hadn’t expected to find him in bed in the middle of the night.

In the big picture, sleeping next to him was nothing compared to the other expectations he had for me
as his chosen mate. The moonlight streaming in through the sheer curtains shone just bright enough to
allow me to see the outlines of his features. Even so, I couldn’t help but notice that he was an entirely
different person.

He was completely relaxed and at peace. The tightness to his eyebrows and jaw was gone, and in his
place was no longer a king with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was just a man.

A man that probably still hated me, but a man nonetheless.

For a moment, I wished that he would open his eyes, and I could talk to this version of him before he
woke back as the king with his anger and frustration.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep easily, not knowing a stranger was sleeping next to me.
The situation made my throat go dry, and while I was grateful that he hadn’t woken me to fulfill my new
duties, the reality of the situation had me feeling panicked.

The once comfortable blanket felt scratchy as I slowly rolled, trying not to disturb or wake the man next
to me. My breathing seemed louder than before, and as I moved I had never been more aware of my
joints popping than I was at that moment. It was like my body had turned against me, wanting to wake
him up with how loud I was being.

I had freed only one leg when he started to move, and I froze with wide eyes as I waited for him to

Instead, a shiver ran through my body as he tossed his large, muscular arm over me, pulling me back
into the bed and against his chest. I couldn’t remember how to move, let alone breathe as he moved in
his sleep to form his body against the back of mine.

His warm body wrapped around me was like being wrapped in a blanket made just for me. Everything
about him holding me felt right, and that was what made it so wrong.

My body began to relax without my mind following, and I let out the breath I had been holding when his
nose touched the back of my neck, nuzzling it lightly before going still again..

Goosebumps rose along my skin, confusing me more as I couldn’t figure out if it was from pleasure or
fear. My body was saying one thing while my mind was saying another.

It was sensory overload, and I opened my *to speak. I needed to tell him to release me, and to let me
sleep elsewhere to stop the confusing thoughts, but he beat me to it.

His deep voice was thick with sleep. It was low and rough as he spoke, sending a shiver down my
spine.” Mine.”

I was aware that he was still asleep as his breathing hadn’t changed, and he hadn’t moved beyond
pulling me in closer, something he wouldn’t do if he were conscious.

Yet, his soft declaration silenced my mind, and my eyes closed as I was lulled to sleep by his deep

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