River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 19

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 19

Chapter 19
The dining hall was thick with tension.
Any minute, River expected drops of ice-cold rain and hail to come. pouring down around her right in the middle of the castle. She would have welcomed the physical shock.
Maybe it would wash off this feeling.
She felt sick.
Hurt.
And more than anything else, pi ssed off!
How the hell did Victoria Pullman wind up here?
And what was her prince doing on his little outings?
Her prince.
Dam n it, she was carrying his child, so he was!
Even if he didn’t know about it yet.
But still. He said….
He said he only wanted her.
River sat right next to Malachi, at the head of the long dining table, but it may as well have been the other end of the hall. He hadn’t said more than a few words to her since he returned.
Oliver had patently avoided everyone since their arrival, except to apologize to River.
Apparently, he had trouble “controlling” Malachi on this trip.
And then he had the gall not to explain what the f uck that meant! The captain had been locked in his office all day dealing with orders and documents.
He wouldn’t even admit Anna when River pushed her to go bother him
about it.
As a result, Anna was just as worried. Oliver was overbearing in his duties, but he rarely acted quite so dour. At least with the princess.
Everything was bad.
But of course it could always get worse.
The evening meal dragged on in silence but the clinking of silverware and plates.
Victoria alternated between staring at Malachi more like ogling him — and glaring at River. It wasn’t precisely hostile, but it certainly wasn’t kind.
She said little, content to bask in the horrid awkwardness of the gathering.
An nalise sat beside River giving Victoria the evil eye whenever she wasn’t looking while Oliver tried his best to disappear in his dinner.
The only person who sat smiling the entire time, was Jakov.
He had really done himself up. A slim fit coat and an ascot tucked neatly into his silk button up billowed out just below his chin to match his flipped and altogether way-to-perfect hairdo.
“Oh my, but this vichyssoise is simply chilling. Stale. Far too tense with hints of awkwardness. Makes me feel positively uncomfortable,” Jakov hummed, looking down at his soup. “Or maybe that’s the company.” He added under his breath, giving River the tiniest flick of his eyebrows.
She appreciated his mockery of the situation, but she was hardly in the mood.
“So Victoria. Whatever possessed you to hop on your broomstick and come join us here at the Castle?” An nalise tilted her head with her sweetest
smile.
River felt the aggression pulsing from Anna. The princess was an excellent judge of character from what River had seen so far. That she could read. Victoria as a threat was a relief.
Chapter 19
“An na!” Oliver hissed, glancing at Kai. The prince’s eyes flashed for a split second in anger.
Victoria just turned a long and sultry gaze on Malachi and smirked. “I was invited. For a very important reason.”
“I didn’t realize the castle needed the septic system unclogged again,” Anna quipped.
Jakov, Oliver, and River all almost choked at the same time.
Victoria’s cool facade cracked just a hair and her lip twitched. “Malachi? Are you going to stand for this?”
The prince stood up stiffly, his chair clattering to the floor. Both of his firsts were planted on the table. “Victoria is our guest, and will be treated as such! Am I clear?”
Anna sniffed impolitely. Oliver averted his eyes.
River stood up. “No.”
“No?!” His voice rose.
“No, you are not clear. You haven’t said a thing since you got back. What is she doing here, Kai? Why did you bring her with you from a routine trip to the packs?”
Malachi’s eyes grew distant again and he bowed his head for a second, seeming to gather his thoughts, or fight down his temper. When he looked. back up they looked glazed and unfocused.
“Victoria needed my help. And I offered it willingly to one treated unjustly. While I was assisting her, it came to my attention that-that…” a grimace passed over his face.
“Tell her. Or I will. Gladly,” Victoria crooned.
“It became very clear that she is also a potential mate. My original, intended mate.”
River nearly doubled over from the gut punch feeling of the statement.
Chapter 19
River ran out of the dining hall before anyone could say anything.
She thought she caught Anna’s outcry, either of her name or yelling at her brother. But it didn’t matter. Nothing did.
The cool of the garden did nothing to sooth her raging temper, her burning cheeks smeared with tears of anguish.
How could any of this be possible?
And how could he?
This was exactly what she had been terrified of. Being rejected.
That’s what you get for putting your heart on the line, River.
Idiot.
She lost track of time sitting on the stone bench. Eventually she got too
cold.
River wandered aimlessly through the quiet rooms and stairways.
Hardly aware, she looked up to find herself in a familiar place.
The doors to the King’s apartments were still partially open, spilling a thin line of warm light into the passage. One door opened fully to her approach with Grandma Lucy standing, waiting for her in her nightgown.
“Come here, dear.”
“Oh, Grandma…” And the st upid tears came back.
They sat together on the couch for a time, River’s head buried in the soft folds of satin on her grandmother’s lap.
“It’s uncanny.”
“W-what is?”
“What had happened to you. Micah was….mine. I was his. We promised to be together. To accept the bond that formed between us on our eighteenth birthdays.”
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Chapter 19
River sat up, glancing from the King’s room back to her grandma. “That’s why…”
“Yes. It never really goes away for some. Do not mistake my words. I loved your grandfather dearly. But he was my second chance. And a good one.”
“Why did King Micah not stay with you?”
“An am ba ssador and his daughter visited the castle. One day he was hist vibrant, compassionate self, the next he was…different. Colder. More ambitious. Like her,” the rims of her eyes glistened in the lamp light.
“And she just stole him away? How can that be?”
“The Councilor for the King at the time presented proof that Lycans had more than one potential mate. In the presence of a stronger female, the royal male would be drawn to her,” Grandma said softly, but bitter.
“There has to be something I can do.”
“I don’t want you to do anything rash, River. Attacking or trying to harm at guest of the kingdom is a crime punished by exile, or in some cases, death.”
H
“But…I’m having his baby.”
“And you must be very careful what you do with that information next. Victoria is a viper. She will turn that against you. Make him think you slept. with another male, or coerced him to impregnate you to entrap him.”
“That’s…”She wanted to say ridiculous. But this was Victoria.
Somehow she knew the possibility was very real for her to get River thrown out of the castle. Exiled.
River sat for a while, trying to think of something. Grandma’s hand started falling a bit limp in her hand.
“Get some rest, Grandma.”
“You too, dear. I am here for you,” she whispered, kissing River’s forehead, “And so are others.”
Chapter 19
She was right.
River had allies.
At least one.
A nnalise would know what to do. Or she would have a way to cause at
whole heap of trouble for Victoria while leaving River completely blame
free.
The princess wasn’t in her room.
So River went to the next logical place, the kitchen.
Everyone had gone to bed except for a maid preparing dough for the morning. She smiled tiredly at River but hadn’t seen An nalise.
“Care for a cup of tea to soothe your worry before you go?”
“Um. Yeah. I would.”
“Come, you can keep each other company,” the kindly female led River into a small side room meant for the staff with couches and a roaring
fireplace.
And Victoria, sitting in one of the big chairs, sipping tea.
River contemplated leaving.
Something inside her reared up against it.
She was here first.
Maybe she just needed to confront Victoria. Try to reason with her.
Or at least get things back on civil terms. Maybe there was a diplomatic way out of this.
“Do you mind if I join you?” She tried to sound pleasant.
“Hm? Oh, Creepy Creek it’s you.”
River frowned as she sat down. She wanted to call Victoria a dozen
Chapter 19
different horrible names. “I think I’ve outgrown that little nickname.”
“I did notice that you’d gained some weight. Mostly in your hips.” The female lifted the teapot and offered to fill the extra cup beside her. River shrugged in acceptance.
“Cute. Just use my real name from now on, please?” Kill her with kindness,
River.
“Whatever. What’s the matter with you, can’t sleep?”
“Something like that. You?” River sipped the tea. Not bad.
“My room is the worst. I guess there was some confusion with me staying in Malachi’s room.” She turned a scornful eye on River.
“No confusion. That’s where I’ve been sleeping.” OK, maybe she was being a little catty. Vitchy had it coming, though.
The comment had the desired effect. Victoria sniffed rudely before mumbling, “Not for long.”
The two females sat in the flickering glow for a while, saying nothing.
“What…what happened to-?”
“Clay? Hmph. He’s done. His parents committed him to some facility upstate.” She didn’t sound very upset about it. “Guess you got what you wanted. To ruin him for me.”
“Believe me, that wasn’t my intention. But honestly I am glad neither of us ended up with him. He was a bad person, Victoria.”
The sharp featured woman tilted her head, studying River for a minute.
It reminded her of a hawk watching a mouse far below.
“So I guess you did me a favor.”
“I wouldn’t call it that,” River shrugged, getting uncomfortable with the way the conversation had gone.
“Oh, no, you did. If you hadn’t almost been raped by Clay, I might have
Chapter 19
wound up his mate. Worse, I would have never realized what Malachi was to me. And I would have never made it here.” She rose, smiling a little too wide, none of the expression reaching her eyes.
River set her tea down, using the movement to look away from the awkward gaze.
“I think I’ll head to bed. And I would really love to repay all of the favors. you’ve done for me, River. I’ll start by giving you a little advice. Don’t get too attached to Kai. Or this castle.”
River hated the way Victoria said her name even worse than the
nicknames.
Victoria left without looking back at her.
Just when she thought they might start to get a long even a little…
So much for diplomacy, River. River Landon, Professional Bridge Burner
She sat sipping her tea for a while, letting the quiet calm her mind.
When her eyes started to droop she rose to head back to bed. A thought occurred to her halfway to Kai’s rooms. Was she supposed to sleep with
him still with another mate in the castle?
Maybe she should go stay in Anna’s rooms.
The castle felt too dark and abandoned as she made her way un
And her head was swimming…
In the dark hallway she turned to ascend to the princess’s floor and almost screamed as she bumped into someone. She wavered unsteadily, catching herself against the wall.
“Out for a little midnight stroll, puppet?”
“Ugh. Jakov, you scared the s hit out of me. And I am not your puppet.” She tried to shove him out of the way.
“Oh, not at all. You’re clearly hers. She had you dancing on her strings
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Chapter 19
from the second she arrived.”
“I’m really not in the mood, I feel terrible,” she ground out through clenched teeth.
“I have something that will get you in the mood, if you’ll let me help you” he breathed, leaning down toward her ear.
River pulled away, scowling. Was he seriously coming onto her?
“I’d rather drink poison, thank you.
“Precisely.” His eyes gleamed with mischief. What was he getting at?
Dark spots dropped like ink into the corners of her vision. The room started to tilt.
The last thing she remembered was the sharp pain in her gut and one of Jakov’s vice-like hands grabbing her.
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River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

Score 9.3
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Artist: Released: January 11, 2024 Native Language: English

How To Read Novel River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River Landon is ostracized by her classmates for being an orphan. When she turns 21, she realises that she is fated to the Alpha's son! But when he rejects her and claims his girlfriend instead, River is heartbroken. Little does she know that life has more in store for her than Just being the Luna of a Pack... Enter Kai, a mysterious stranger who's new to town..

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River Landon is ostracized by her classmates for being an orphan. When she turns 21, she realises that she is fated to the Alpha's son! But when he rejects her and claims his girlfriend instead, River is heartbroken. Little does she know that life has more in store for her than Just being the Luna of a Pack... Enter Kai, a mysterious stranger who's new to town..

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