Chapter Twenty-Eight: Did Somebody Say Orgy?

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I gawked at the ring, utterly dumbstruck. It was white gold, with tiny, sparkly diamonds running down either side of the band. And resting in the middle was a sapphire bigger than my entire thumbnail. It was simple, yet elegant.

And like the dress Dean Lachlan had sent me, it was too much.

"I don't know what to say," I breathed.

I knew what I wanted to say, though.

I'm not ready for marriage.

"You don't have to say anything, not right away." He took out the ring and placed it on my left ring finger. "Saturday. You can give me your decision then. But for now, consider this a token of my affection."

I forced a smile, encumbered by the weight this beautiful piece of jewelry carried.

"Thank you." I looked down at the ring, watching it twinkle in the candle light. "And thanks for the dress. It was beautiful."

Dean Lachlan tilted my chin up to peer into my eyes. "Ah, tis but a mere pile of rags when compared to your beauty." He planted a chaste kiss on my lips, and smiled. "But I am delighted to hear you like it."

Before I could say anything else, a loud moan erupted from somewhere in the crowd. At first I thought someone was hurt, but then a low grunt followed, and I felt myself pale.

"I see someone decided to start the consummation ceremony early." Dean Lachlan chuckled humorlessly.

"Consummation ceremony?" I kept my gaze locked on to him to keep from looking at the group in front of us.

Not that it helped much.

I could see movement out of my periphery. People were getting undressed, and some were panting and groaning.

"When a vampire couple betroth themselves to one another, it is tradition for their kin to engage in a...shared sexual encounter."

"You mean an orgy?"

"Well," the Dean rubbed the back of his neck, sheepishly. "I wouldn't put it quite like that..."

"But that's what this is," I took my hand out of his, revolted. "Am I...are we supposed to take part in this?"

Was this what he had in mind for our raincheck from this morning?

He shrugged. "Traditionally, yes. The newly engaged couple normally initiate the, um, festivities. But since you are new to our world, I had asked everyone to control themselves."

The moans and heavy breathing got louder, and a female voice shouted out her release. The noise caused my head to whip around thoughtlessly, and I gasped at the view.

Everyone was naked; their bodies smashing and grinding into each other at various speeds and in different positions. Some women were bent over tables, being pounded from behind. Others were giving oral--or receiving it-- and there was even a few same-sex couples swept up in the carnal moment.

"Yeah, I don't think they got the memo."

I could feel myself getting hot all over, my heart thumping in time to the unexpected throb between my legs.

"Gabriel," Duke approached our table, fully clothed and seething. "I thought you decided to not have the consummation ceremony."

Seeing him dressed had me curious. Where were the other camp sec members?

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I braced myself to scan the crowd.

Lucius was at my right, near a set of thick, Royal blue curtains, looking as pissed as Duke had.

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