Chapter Three - Ireland

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I stared at my reflection in the mirror. At home, I had a routine. Wake up, eat, go to work, finish work, see Kyle, have dinner, go home and repeat. Perhaps I wouldn't have a shift one day or Kyle would be busy another but that was pretty much my life. I didn't dress up or do my makeup or anything like that. But everything was different now.

I'd pulled my naturally straight hair up into a tight ponytail. I'd used makeup to give myself sultry eyes and ruby red lips. I was in a skin-tight olive green dress that went just below my knees and black ankle boots with heels. A kickass leather jacket kept me warm. I was fancy enough to meet the royals but still kept my natural edge.

"Ready?" Kyle appeared behind me, his arms wrapping around my waist as his chin rested on my shoulder. We looked at each other through the reflection of the mirror.

"Not really." I admitted.

He kissed my cheek. "I won't let anything happen to you."

I knew he'd try but at the end of the day, Kyle wasn't the strongest man... or creature on Earth. I placed my hands over his, "I know." I said, anyway.

A knock on the hotel room door split us apart. Kyle opened it and stepped aside to let Paul in. He looked us over. Kyle was in black pants, a white dress shirt with a black leather jacket on top. Paul grinned; perhaps it was our grungy touch that amused him. "Good enough." He gathered. "Let's go, we can't be late." He was dressed in a formal suit.

"Thank you for coming with us." I told him as we rode the elevator down to the lobby.

Paul locked eyes with me, "It's my duty to protect my people."

I didn't say anything more. Kyle was his people. I wasn't. He'd always protect Kyle over me and if anything happened today, chances were that Kyle and Paul would make it out before I did. Who was I but a frail human who'd been doomed to find out the secret of a lifetime?

***

The door of our black Land Rover was opened by a guard. I barely paid attention to the uniformed man because the massive castle in front of us had blown me away. They weren't kidding when they called them the royals. This place was completely off the grid. Surrounded by high trees and acres and acres of forest.

The stonewalls, the towers, the eloquent flower garden were all vital touches to make the grounds extraordinary. To think people called this place home. Kyle took my hand. When I looked at him I realized he was just as taken by our surroundings as I was. The same guard who had let us out stood before us now.

"Alpha Paul, Kyle Dover, Alaska Granger," He nodded to each of us individually, "King and Queen Wolfric will see you immediately."

I gulped, my heart pounded ferociously in my chest. A part of me was certain that I'd never leave this place alive. This was quite possibly my last breath of fresh air. I inhaled deeply, welcoming the damp scent of the forest and wet dirt and squeezed my eyes as the wind rustled my ponytail. Goodbye, world, it was nice knowing you.

We were escorted into the castle. Guards stood by the doors but they did not follow us. They didn't even look at us. The same man led us deeper into the remarkable building. shiny floors and spectacular chandeliers made up the inside. Marble pillars and antique paintings encompassed us. It was as breathtaking and cold as a museum. I was grateful my boots had rubber soles and didn't make a noise as I walked. I wouldn't have been able to handle the extra attention.

The guard opened a door at the very far side of the castle and let us in. "Your Majesties, I have the defendants ready for trial."

"Thank you, Columbus. You may leave." A woman responded in the loveliest tone of voice I had ever heard. She stood at the head of the table with a towering man. Her blonde hair was coiffed into an elegant bun; pearl earrings and a stunning necklace gave her an air of sophistication. She was garbed in a blood red dress. Contrastingly, the man beside her looked grim. His dark hair was greying and he was in a suit and tie. He had broad shoulders and capable hands that made him look more like a warrior than a King.

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