Chapter 3: Just me and Alpha Evan.
"Miss Claudia? I'm Peelle.A pleasure to meet you again."
It was the subordinate from before, the higher-ranking one who had called me up onto the platform.
There were three other Scarlet pack werewolves behind him who watched me with curious eyes, but
none of them gave me disgusted glares even though they could doubtless sense my mixed-breed
They stood at attention in the hallway, allowing me to leave my bedroom.
Were they saving their scorn for later?
(She's pretty) , Peelle thought as he offered his hand to take my bag, and I smiled.I could sense no
hidden hostility from his thoughts, and the kindness was enough to lower my guard.
"Hello, Peelle," I said.
"It's a pleasure."
But if I'd hoped for friendly company, I was to be disappointed.
There was no conversation as they hustled me out of the Dark Moon pack house with no farewells, no
conversation as someone drove us all to Scarlet pack territory and Alpha Evan's estate, no
conversation as I was summarily towed into the luxurious manor.
The high ceilings, the beautiful architecture, the sparkling fountains and gardens all took my breath
Even the dozens of staff hurrying around were dressed in immaculate uniforms that looked more
expensive that half the things in Elly's and Maria's closets.I didn't have a chance to absorb this new
They rushed me through the halls and into a private dining room right away, and I sat stunned in my
chair for several minutes after the double doors closed.
What was all of this? Wasn't I supposed to be a maid? Surely there were maid quarters I was meant to
place my things in.I should be learning how to start my cleaning duties.
But there was food on the table, far more than I could ever finish.
Maybe I was meant to wait for others to join me, but what if this was the only chance I had to eat? What
if they realized they'd made a mistake and pulled me away? I had to take advantage of this while I
could.I stuffed myself as much as possible, but with how little I'd always been given to eat at the pack
house, I hardly finished one plate before I had to give up.
The richness of the meat in particular made my stomach ache...but it was so delicious.I'd never had
anything even a tenth as good in my entire life.
When the dining room doors opened again, two women appeared in staff uniform and approached as I
The older one in the front looked me over with a scrutinizing eye, as if I were an item on display.
"We have a lot to do, but the base is good," she said.
"We'll take her to the beauty parlor."
"Beauty -- parlor?" I stammered.
"Yes, that's correct."
Despite her brief answer, the thoughts swirling around in her head were far more hurried.
(Hm...Alpha Evan will prefer it that way, with the hair done up, I think.We need to put her in decent
clothes, those rags are outrageous.If only he had brought back women before so I could know his
taste, but this is the first time he's taken an interest in any.We'll just have to make do, I suppose.) If I
weren't so off-balance, I would have laughed.
They thought I was his lover! Or certainly something other than an unfortunate maid.
But...she was right about my clothes.They were rags.
A wave of mortification swept over me -- even the lowliest laborers here were dressed far better than I
was, but these were the most presentable clothes I possessed.
"We have a lot of work to do," the woman repeated.
"Come this way, please."
They had called it a parlor, but it was an entire wing attached to the manor that would have made Elly
and Maria weep with its grandness.
Marble baths, perfumeries, whole rooms full of clothes that Dark Moon could never afford.
And I was being pampered in the middle of it all.
The scent of roses, jasmine, freesia, and a dozen other faint aromas ghosted around me as half a
dozen women scrubbed me clean and fitted me in various fabrics.
They even bathed me despite my mortified protests, but at least the compliments in their thoughts put
my self-consciousness to rest.
(Her skin is so smooth.So easy to clean.) She doesn't have a strong body but it's still a pleasant shape.
On the small side, but she has a pretty face.
That makes up for it, I think.
Maybe it was vain to be so happy, but all my life in Dark Moon, no one had ever had a complimenting
thought about me.
It might be an invasion of privacy to be able to read these women's thoughts, but I couldn't help it
anyway.I might as well accept it.It got me through the arduous grooming and cosmetics and even the
massage.I cringed at the sensation of others’ hands all over me, but I gritted my teeth and bore it.I
eventually fell asleep on the massaging table.I knew it only because I began dreaming.
Grass...blue sky.Clouds above.
Something about this place was so familiar, but the wolf lying on the grass stole my attention.
"Cassiel!" I exclaimed.
"You came back!"
I hadn't felt her presence in so long...but before she could reply, I was pulled out of the dream and out
of my sleep.
"It's time, Miss Claudia.Please follow me."
They showed me to the master suite several floors up, the band of women in uniform filing one after the
They were so formal, so sophisticated.
I was so out of place among them no matter what beautiful silks they draped me in, even this delicate
Alpha Evan would be sorely disappointed when he figured that out.
But there was no putting it off.
The lead woman bowed me into the suite, escorting me through the beautiful double doors in silence.
And there, in the center of the room on an armchair, Alpha Evan waited like a king.
The room was large and just as magnificent as the rest of the manor, but it was...dark.
The only light came from the crackling fireplace, and the shadows hid his face.
There was no hiding that Alpha stature, though.
The woman backed away, still bowing, and the doors closed behind me.
Now it was just me, and Alpha Evan.He observed me for a moment, and I smelled alcohol in the air.
Had he been drinking? And...what was that other scent? Metallic...blood? I shivered.