The Beast And The Blessed
Damien was great.
I firmly believed that he was a good fit for Charlie, and after he seemed to warm up to me, he ended up
being really funny. At the beginning of dinner, it was all one-word answers after Killian snapped at the
couple, but as I asked him more questions, he began to open up.
Killian just grunted or growled each time Damien made the rest of us laugh. Charlie was happy that
Joselin and I were getting along with her mate, but I didn’t miss the glare she would send her brother
every so often.
She wanted him to like Damien too, or to at least put in an effort.
“How long are you going to ignore me?” Killian asked, dropping his head down on his pillow as we got
into bed. “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”
I rolled onto my back, turning my head to face him. “I was only irritated that you snapped at me, Killian.
I was over that within a few seconds. I am angry at how you handled tonight.”
He shook his head with a groan, “I am allowed to handle it how I see fit. She is my sister!”
“And she has found her soulmate and is happy!” I said, sitting up and letting the blanket fall to my hips,
taking it down a few inches on his chest as I did so. “Do you think maybe the reason they were keeping
it a secret might be because they knew you wouldn’t be accepting? All she wanted you to do was be
civil and maybe get to know the man she loves.”
”1 was civil! Isn’t that what you asked of me, civility? I could very easily have killed him and been done
with it since she didn’t wear a mark.
Charlotte would have survived. I held myself back for you!” Killian lifted his hand in exasperation as he
grumbled his annoyance. 2
My heart fluttered in my chest at his admission. He wanted to be a better man for me, a just man. I had
seen him kill without blinking, and now he was…changing.
When I had asked for civility, I had meant his treatment toward me. But seeing that he had heard me
made all my anger melt away.
“I appreciate it. Maybe one day, the two of you will get along. He seemed to make Charlie very happy.
Plus, he was chosen for her by the Goddess, it wasn’t like it was an ill-thought-out one-night stand.
They are in a
relationship. They are soul mates.” I smiled with excitement as I placed my hand on his stomach,
feeling the warmth of his skin through the sheet.
“We’ll see.” He grumbled before wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me back down until my
back was against his chest. The grumble of defeat and annoyance made me smile brighter as I knew I
won. He would end up giving Damien a chance, and I had the feeling once he did, he
would really like him. “He will need to show me the respect I have earned though.”
I rolled my eyes, knowing his speech of Tm the big bad wolf, and everyone bows to me’ was coming.
“He seemed very respectful tonight.”
“Toward you,” Killian mumbled as sleep grew thick in his voice.
I thought back to the evening, but I didn’t pick up on anything out of the ordinary. The way he was
treating us tonight was the same as the rest of the kingdom. I couldn’t remember any blatant disrespect
from anyone beyond me eating before Killian out of spite for him snapping at me.
He shushed me softly, nuzzling his nose into my neck. “Don’t worry about it. We have bigger things to
focus on tomorrow with your coronation in a couple days. The bear can wait.”
Butterflies filled my stomach as I thought about the ceremony that thousands of people would watch. I
had no doubt by the mad rush through the castle today that it was going to be bigger than I ever could
“Do you think your people will be okay with me by your side?” My whisper was met by his slow and
even breathing. It was something that I would have to talk to him about tomorrow if there was time.
‘They went sparring! Can you believe that?”
The loud bang of the bedroom door being thrown open made me jump. My hand swung to Killian’s side
of the bed, seeking protection, but the sheets were cold. I groaned as the blanket was pulled back,
letting in the sunlight and cold morning air as Charlie climbed beneath the bedding, leaning back
against the headboard.
“Good Morning,” I mumbled as I let out a yawn and tried to find the exact position I was in before,
putting my back to her.
“How could he think that this is what I wanted when I asked him to give Damien a chance?” The
dramatics were too much for me so early, and I blocked it out as I let my eyes close and sleep pull me
back under. “You would think they would grab a drink, play a game, maybe work out… but no. They
were both happy with sparring.”
I cracked one eye open, cringing at the offensive sunlight before closing it again. “So, go watch them
and make sure they don’t kill each other.”
Charlie’s hand slapped back down on the bedding, “I tried. The guards wouldn’t let me in. They said
Killian ordered the training room to be closed off to everyone.”
I bit back my groan as I rolled onto my back and blinked several times until I was used to the light,
knowing I wasn’t going to get the peace and late morning that I had hoped for. The clock on the wall
said it was only seven. Since I had to stay up past midnight for the ceremony tomorrow, I had wanted to
sleep in each morning to make it easier on my body.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t get a chance to talk to him before dinner,” I said as Charlie let out a stressed
“It’s okay. It wasn’t fair for me to ask you to talk to him for me. I should have done it myself.” Charlie
said, patting my arm from on top of the blanket. “Killian really has grown a lot since he met you. He acts
like a completely different person, but in a good way. I’m glad he found you.”
I bit my lip as I smiled, remembering who he was when I first met him. The way he had lifted me by my
backpack and thrown me over his shoulder like a sack of flour. It was uncomfortable then, and
admittedly, a little painful. I had been terrified when he had brought me to his bedroom that he would be
violent and rough, but he had wanted to put even more space between us than I did.
Now he holds me every night and listens to me. He cherishes me and treats me better than I ever
“Thanks, Charlie. I’m glad you found Damien too. You deserve to be happy.”
Her cheeks turned red, and I laughed as the fierce mercenary princess looked away. She cleared her
throat after a moment, and I looked up at the ceiling as I debated leaving the warm blankets to go
relieve myself. “Have you decided what you are going to wear to the ceremony tomorrow night?”
It was as if her words held magic, and a knock on the door had her calling out for our guests to come in
despite my glare. I was not dressed for guests, and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth or hair.
Yet, the group that came in smiled widely as they wheeled racks of clothes and several binders and
books that had my caffeine-deprived mind
shutting down. I wasn’t ready to do any work today, not until I had a shower at the very least.
But it ended up being fun. We spent hours combing through each binder, selecting a few last-minute
arrangements for the ceremony. They had been prepared for years, just updating and adding to the
original plan from
Queen Lillian’s coronation as the Queen Consort. When I was brought home, they made sure to have
everything on hand at all times for when I was marked.
They seemed to be more excited about it than I was.
I was nervous.
They were talking about how it would be televised for everyone to see, and going over every detail from
the floral arrangements to the color of my toenails. There was nothing they had left out. Not wanting to
cause a fuss and add more work, I let them go with what they already had prepared.
There was no reason to make changes to the plans they already had in place.
The dresses were another story. Every dress they brought forward had been worn by a queen before.
They had offered to have one made for me as others had done in the past, but it didn’t seem realistic
with the time constraint. Even if the full moon wasn’t so close, with the war looming over us, I knew this
would have to happen sooner rather than later.
It would have been rushed either way.
But it also felt weird doing this without Killian. Was there anything that he had wanted for the ceremony
that wasn’t in the books? Did he prefer one color goblet to the other that I would present him before our
bonding ceremony to be used during the coronation?
Charlie seemed to catch on to my emotions and asked for the room to be cleared as politely as she
could before she reached over and grabbed my hand. “What is it?”
“I am a human. What if the people revolt because they don’t want a human on the throne? Shifters hate
humans. Hell, even the fae hate humans.” I said as I turned to face her as she began to laugh loudly.
“Please! You smell every bit a wolf, and even more so now that you wear my brother’s mark. You are
not human. You just haven’t shifted yet.” Charlie walked back toward the rack of dresses, and I
narrowed my eyes at all of the white see-through lace designs. Being naked on television was not on
my bucket list, but it seemed I would have to find a way to get on board with it as everyone would be
seeing me through the fabric anyway. “I think this one is the prettiest.”
It was a medium-length dress, falling just below my knees, and the extra layer of lace from the breasts
to my thighs made it harder to see
everything through it. The three-quarter sleeves started around the biceps and would leave my
shoulders void of fabric.
I bit my lip as I stared at it. It was beautiful, and apparently, it had been used in a mating ceremony
among the Lycan Queens centuries ago, long before humans knew they existed.
Charlie held it out to me, and I smiled as I rushed to the bathroom, pulled off my clothes, and slid the
lace over my body.
When I walked out, Charlie’s jaw dropped, and my heart stopped as Killian came through the door.
Blood was dried on his chin, and I could see a red line under his ear where his skin had already started
the mend. Their sparring seemed to have been more than what would normally be done in training, and
I just hoped Damien was also on his feet and recovering.
“You look incredible.” Killian’s low voice sent a shiver down my spine, and I smiled at him with
embarrassment coloring my cheeks. “Please tell me you are wearing that tomorrow night.”
I nodded once before biting my lip. “As long as it’s not bad luck for you to see me in it right now.”
“Nothing about mating with you could ever bring us bad luck. You are the most beautiful woman I have
ever seen. I am honored I get to call you my queen.” The moment was ruined as Charlie let out an
emotional ‘aw’ before apologizing for disturbing us as she rushed out of the room, mumbling about
checking on her man.
I looked back to Killian, seeing that the anger and frustration from last night were gone and that he was
happier. His shoulders looked lighter, and the smile on his face was softer than ever as he approached
me, running his finger down my cheek and over my exposed collarbone to the tops of my breasts.
Part of me expected him to want more, and I would have been willing to give him more. It didn’t matter
that I had my team of designers waiting in the hallway. I would have given this man anything that he
wanted from me at that moment.
Instead, his hand stopped as he placed his palm over my chest, his eyes closing as he felt my
heartbeat. I wanted him to be able to hear it, to hear the words running through my mind. But I didn’t
want to push him before he was ready.
Yet, with every beat of my heart, I could hear them clearly, like a chant trying to be loud enough to
break out of my chest and reach him.
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you…
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