The Beast And The Blessed
It was one thing to sleep with someone for fun. Some people like hiding in the trees, or going behind a
building. Some even like having sex in front of others. It was natural to enjoy sex and instinct to want to
claim one’s mate. Humans were normally more conservative and ashamed, but our beasts didn’t care
about modesty or privacy.
I had thought that whatever this was with Charlie and the bear shifter was a passing fling. I had hoped
that she would find someone who would love and cherish her. Someone who would care enough to at
least rent a room or stay in one of our guest rooms. I had hoped that person would respect her enough
to put aside their pride to give her a roof over her head and a warm place to sleep.
She didn’t need to be sleeping in the forest right now. Not when there were vampire sightings right
outside and now in the city.
My glare scanned over her neck, and I saw her smile fall when I failed to respond. She bore no mark,
which meant there was still time to make her see reason. She could reject him and find someone else
to mark her, a man who would put her and her safety first.
“It is an honor to meet you, Your Majesty,” Damien said with a bow. I let out a deep exhale through my
nose as I noticed he did not bow as deeply for me as he did for my mate. He waited for me to
acknowledge him so he could rise, but I remained silent.
Charlie cleared her throat loudly, and I turned to her. Her bright green eyes somehow managed to
make my mother’s look dull, an impossible task if I had not seen both pairs of eyes for myself in my
lifetime. The anger in them was growing with every passing second, but I kept my emotions masked.
“Let’s sit, shall we?”
The bear stood, his eyes finding Natalie instantly, and I watched curiously as he waited for her to place
her hand on the back of her chair before he moved. His hands stayed at his side as Charlie looped her
arm through the crook of his elbow and pulled him to the empty seats on the other side of the table.
I stood, watching as he pulled out Charlie’s chair next to mine before taking his own seat. Joselin and
Natalie joined them, leaving me standing on my own at the head of the table.
The feeling of my human mate’s small foot nudging the toe of my shoes made me look at her. She was
so beautiful but so disappointed. Her mouth was curved downward, and her eyes had lost their shine
as she expressed her dissatisfaction with me wordlessly.
I wanted to make her happy, but more so, I wanted to kill him.
His actions toward my sister had already proven that he is unworthy of her, but the way he kept eyeing
my mate was pushing my last nerve.
“It is the duty of a mate to protect and honor their partner.” My words carried across the table, but my
gaze was on the stranger sitting at my table. His black eyes glanced from me to Charlie before he
settled back on me. I could see his arm tensing, informing me that he was clenching his fist under the
I dare you. Take a swing.
“It is the duty of any man to protect and honor their woman, mate or not.” His words made Charlie
tense, and she looked down at her plate.
The servants were prompt and tapped on the door twice before entering the room silently and placing
the first course in front of each of us. I glanced down at the bowl of soup, knowing they had made it for
Charlie, as it was her favorite.
I hadn’t ever favored it, and I was positive by the way Natalie wrinkled her nose that she didn’t either.
Seeing her unhappy with her meal made my mood darken even more.
Natalie cleared her throat softly as she picked up her spoon to take a bite.’ Damien, we are happy to
have you here. I have heard wonderful things about you from Charlie.”
My head snapped over to her, and for a moment I felt like a little kid pouting that she wasn’t on my side.
But Natalie held my glare head on until
I looked away. She was the only person that I would ever submit to, and she knew it. That woman had
a hold on me so strongly that it was almost immoral.
’Thank you, Your Majesty.” He dipped his head toward Natalie before taking a bite of the soup. The
corner of his lips curled up as he placed the utensil back down and smiled at my little sister with a
’Tell me, Damien, do you feel you have upheld your duty to Charlie?” I raised one eyebrow at him,
challenging him to argue what I already knew, but he remained silent. “From where I am standing, we
have had several sightings of vampires on the border of town and now in town, and yet you are having
the princess sleep in the elements, exposed to the danger of war.”
“Killian!” Charlie scolded loudly, and I turned my glare on her. “That is my choice! It is not on him.”
“No!” I agreed. “It’s on both of you. We have plenty of empty rooms in the castle and several in the inns
around town. Yet, you both stupidly chose to expose yourself and risk your life… ‘he’ is choosing to risk
your life than put out a few coins to stay in the city!”
“I think what Killian is trying to say is that you’ve been home for a bit now, and it would have been nice
to meet or at least know about Damien a bit sooner,” Natalie said softly, but Joselin snorted beside her.
“I think what he is trying to say is that he doesn’t like you fucking his sister.” Joselin laughed as she
stared Damien down across the table from her, jumping as my fist crashed down loudly against the
“Silence!” I ordered, my voice echoing through the room. Joselin hid her smile behind her hand, and
Natalie glared at me as I stood up. I could feel her anger pulsing through our bond. The need to
apologize to her was strong, but my anger was driving me.
I didn’t want Charlie to be mated to the bear, but I didn’t have a say in it. She had already made her
choice, and by the look of it, he had chosen her too.
“Killian, I am safe with him. I promise.” Charlie leaned forward, placing her hand atop mine, and I felt
myself relax. “If it would put you at ease, we can stay here tonight.”
It did make me feel better. I needed to know she was safe.
“Fine.” I snapped, ignoring the victorious look on her face as she took a spoonful of soup and
swallowed it with a smile. I would fight her on staying longer tomorrow.
The servants knocked once, moving cautiously like gazelle being led into a lion’s den. The tension was
still thick in the air as they removed the mostly untouched bowls of soup and placed down our main
I wanted to dive into the stuffed chicken breast but turned to Natalie first. Her lips were pursed together,
and she refused to make eye contact with me as she picked up her utensils and began to cut the meat.
From the corner of my eye, I watched as the bear waited for Natalie to take her first bite before he dug
into his food. My own plate sat untouched, but Joselin and Charlie shrugged before throwing customs
to the wind and enjoying their meal.
There was no doubt about it that I was in trouble for snapping at my mate in front of others, and I had to
figure out a way to fix it as soon as possible.
Joselin glanced up from her plate to me, raising an eyebrow as if to ask why I wasn’t eating. I turned to
glare at the bear, who caught onto the silent conversation before looking back to my best friend.
She turned to him with a smirk, and I was tempted to throw my fork at her when she opened her mouth,
knowing nothing good would come of it.” Don’t mind him, really. He’s just pissed because he didn’t get
to finish earlier when I interrupted them going at it.”
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