Chapter 58 – Damage Control
On the fourth day of the festival we wake to headlines about Lydia’s reappearance in Moon Valley. I’m just coming out of the bathroom following my morning bout of vomiting, when I find Sinclair standing in the doorway, glaring at the newspaper. I startle slightly, not expecting to see him in my rooms. I left his bed only half an hour ago, and wasn’t planning on seeing him again until breakfast. I’m not sure what’s on the front page of the paper, but it must be bad if it couldn’t
He glances up at me, frowning deeply. “I thought I asked you to tell me when you feel ill.”
“Dominic, it’s happening so often now that it would be impossible to tell you every time, and it’s not as if I have a lot of warning when it comes on.” I argue, though this isn’t the full truth. As much as his presence and gentle hands soothe me, I still find it horribly embarrassing to be sick in front of him, and I avoid informing him whenever possible.
Sinclair narrows his eyes, but before he can call me out for bending the truth I cross the distance between us. “What’s going on?”
He shows me the paper, which is dominated by a large black and white photo of Sinclair and Lydia by the snow maze. The headlines are in bold black lettering above the image. Trouble in Paradise? Former Luna Returns to Reclaim her Mate.
My eyes widen in shock, and I quickly scan the article. While the
media had been kept away from the main feast, they clearly hadn’t been barred from the rest of the fair. Worse, it seems like they overheard most or all of Sinclair’s confrontation with Lydia.
Though Moon Valley Alpha Dominic Sinclair seems to have won the lottery with his second chance mate, Ella Correntin, his attention wasn’ t on his bride-to-be at the annual Yuletide Feast in Oldtown. Instead the prospective King was seen chasing his ex-wife Lydia Davis – now of the Bloodbane pack through the fair, causing his pregnant mate to walk out of the event in protest. Onlookers report that the two engaged in a heated conversation wherein Lydia professed her desire to mend bridges with the Alpha, claiming she still loves him and that his second chance mate isn’t strong enough to lead the Moon Valley Pack. let alone the Kingdom. Though Sinclair rejected her advances, Lydia fiercely declared she wasn’t going to give up on him, leaving many to wonder if the fated pair might be able to repair their relationship.
“They’re all like this.” He shares, tension lacing his words. “Every paper and tabloid is some version of this Fucking Lydia probably planted the story herself, given the way they left out the pieces that might make her look bad.”
Guilt washes over me as I realize how leaving the festival must have looked to onlookers, especially given this information. “I’m so sorry I left.” I murmur “I didn’t think, I should have stuck it out and waited for you to come back.”
Sinclair frowns down at me. “What are you talking about?”
“It makes it look like I was angry with you and we’re on the rocks.” I explain, my pulse fluttering.
“Ella, none of this is your fault.” Sinclair promises. “If anyone is to blame it’s me for arguing with her in public, and Lydia for turning up to cause trouble in the first place.”
“But “I try to object.
“I said it isn’t your fault, and I meant it.” Sinclair interrupts, placing his pointer finger against my lips
“Is this going to hurt the campaign?” I ask, though it comes out rather muddled since his finger is still pressed to my mouth.
“It’s a hiccup.” Sinclair states simply, “We’ll do some damage control at the festival tonight. I’ll invite a few trusted reporters and make a statement refuting all this, but the more important part is that we put on a good show. We’ll look so happy and in love that everyone will forget this ever happened.”
“Okay.” I nod, trying to steady my nerves. “And it’s wassailing tonight, right? So all we have to do is drink and sing carols and enjoy the fair.
“Right,” he confirms.
“I wish I could really drink.” I lament. “I could use a bit of liquid courage tonight.”
“You have nothing to worry about.” Sinclair croons. “I know it makes you nervous but you always do beautifully at these events.”
“When I stay at them long enough to participate, you mean?” I correct him, still regretting my decision to run out yesterday.
“You’re growing the pack a prince.” Sinclair smiles, “you get a free pass when it comes to all these public responsibilities. In case you’ve forgotten I was voting for you to stay home entirely until you
convinced me otherwise.”
“I should have let you coddle me after all.” I sigh, “we could have
avoided all this.”
Sinclair gathers me to his chest, hugging me tightly. “I’m glad to see you’re learning that I’m always right.” He teases.
Groaning. I try to squirm out of his hold – much good that it does. “You know I regretted it the moment I said it.”
“I’m not going to let you forget it, either.” Sinclair chuckles.
I laugh, ceasing my struggles and submitting to his petting. “Bossy
When we arrive at the festival, the media descends almost
immediately. Cameras are flashing before we even exit the car. Sinclair
wraps a protective arm around my shoulders, growling softly when the reporters get too close, and eventually they back off, realizing they’ll be endangering more than their careers if they invade my space.
“Alpha, do you have any comment about the reports regarding your ex- wife?” One of the reporter’s asks, shoving a microphone forward.
“I’ll tell you what I told Lydia last night.” Sinclair begins coolly. “That I’m happier with Ella than I ever was with her, and there’s not a
snowball’s chance in hell that I would ever take back someone who
walked out on their pack when they needed them most. There’s no love lost between us, but I have no respect for a Luna who abandons her responsibilities as a leader.”
The reporter murmur and exchange glances, and suddenly the microphone is pointing to me. “Ella, how do you feel about Lydia’s accusations that you’re not strong enough to be the Alpha’s mate?”
I lean into Sinclair, trying to draw on his own raw power to give myself the confidence I need. “I think that Lydia is obviously the kind of woman who believes there’s only one way to lead, and one way to be strong. If she believes that compassion and kindness are signs of weakness, well I think that says more about her than it says about
Sinclair leans down, dropping his lips to my ear. “You’re too humble.” He rumbles affectionately, making me blush. “You ought to tell them how fearlessly you braved those bath snakes yesterday.”
I can barely contain my laughter, grinning up at him and whispering, “I
can’t say that.
Sinclair’s cheeks split into a wide smile, and he kisses the tip of my nose before turning back to the clambering paparrazzi. “trust me. gentlemen, this one stands up to me on a daily basis. She might come in a sweet package but she’s got nerves of steel.”
I’m blushing again, but the reporters are eating it up. They’re wearing the ravening expression of hungry jackals. and I suspect they’re thrilled to be getting this on tape. I can already predict the waves this will make when Sinclair looks at me the way he is now I feel like I’m the
center of his universe, and I know it’s all an act. To outsiders it will be beyond convincing. “Is there anything you would tell Lydia, if you
“I would tell her that if she cares about her life she’ll stay away from
my mate.” I growl, surprising myself with my own ferocity. Where on earth did that come from? “And that the next time she wants to get a look at me she can introduce herself directly, rather than sneaking up on a breeding woman while she’s suffering morning sickness.”
This last statement causes a near frenzy, and Sinclair growls again. I watch as the crowd cowers instinctively, tucking their proverbial tails between their legs. “When did this happen?”
“Last night.” Sinclair answers darkly. “Why else do you think I went after her, or that Ella left? We’ve all seen what jealous she-wolves can do at the best of times, and I don’t take threats to my family lightly While the crowd immediately begins clamboring for more information, Sinclair raises a hand to forstall them. “Now, I’m going to take my
beautiful mate and get lost in the snow maze.” He announces, squeezing my waist. “And don’t be surprised if she’s seeing stars when we come out again.”
Hearty chuckles rise from our audience and though I assumed Sinclair was joking. I quickly learn quite the opposite. He spends the rest of the evening kissing and caressing me for all to see, and by the time we get back to the house I think I’m so turned on that I think I’ll go crazy if I don’t find a release. Unfortunately there’s no chances for that tonight because Sinclair takes me to bed almost as soon as we walk through the door. For the first time I seriously consider throwing in the towel and simply asking him to have sex with me, even though I know it’s just my libido talking The little voice in my head is whining with need, and I find myself hungrily watching Sinclair as he climbs into bed beside me.
Can I really do this?
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- Alpha Leo and the Heart of Fire
- Boss, Your Wife’s Asking for A Divorce, Again
- Forever in the Past and Forever in the Future
- Caged between the beta & alpha
- When His Eyes Opened
- Coolest Girl in Town
- Alphas Possession by Jessicahall
- Fated To The Alpha Series
- Her Cold-Hearted Alpha
- Her Destined Alpha
- Let me go, Mr. Hill
- Love You Enough to Leave You
- Loving The Gamma
- Pursuing My Ex-Wife Isn’t Easy
- The CEO Alpha King By Blessing D
- The Mafia Bosses Broken Queen
- The Pinnacle of Life