6 THE INTRODUCTORY GALA
Jason, Evening time at the Dixen Palace
"Lord Jason, sorry to disturb your nap but it's time to prepare for the gala. You have to escort the queen you know" Sandre's voice came from the other side of the door. Jason's groans were the only reply he got.
"So, I'm free to come in then?" Sandre asked, chuckling.
An object hit the door with a thud and Sandre surmised Jason threw a pillow at the door. He opened the door and narrowly missed the other pillow thrown at his head.
"You're lucky there are no pillows left" Jason threatened, his voice muffled by the bed.
"Our future Luna king likes to sleep then, noted" Sandre mused.
"Get up my lord, the gala begins in two hours and the queen doesn't like tardiness"
"Shut up Sandre, you don't have to antagonize me, I'm up" Jason grinded out, pouting.
"Here" Sandre said, tossing him a three-piece suit. Jason looked at the piece of clothing distastefully.
"Why do I have to wear this?"
"Because it was specially prepared for you by Seriel. You don't want to turn down a gift from the Beta queen, do you?"
"No" he replied, defeated.
Few minutes later, he was dressed and ready to go. He was dressed in a silver three-piece suit, with a red rose pinned to his breast pocket, a diamond stud and silver wristwatch given to him by Lorema and a designer shoe gifted to him by Savannah.
"Time to go pick up your queen" Sandre said happily, clapping his hands.
He led Jason down the corridor to her room. He wished him good luck and left him in an uncomfortable silence. After a few moments, he gathered his wits and knocked the door.
"Yes?" her velvety voice came from inside. Her voice would've calmed him, if she weren't the reason he was a ball of nerves in the first place.
"It's Jason. I'm here to escort you to the gala" "ah yes, I'll be out in a moment" she replied. He heard some shuffling noises before the door opened to reveal his mate, dressed in a silver short gown. Jason's jaw almost hit the ground. She was absolutely stunning. She had some red accessory to what she was wearing, making her look even sexier. He was royally screwed.
He moistened his lips and raised his arm. "Shall we, my queen?"
"We certainly shall" But, instead of taking her hand in his, she pushed it back down lightly.
"Since you're terrified of me for no reason, I think you should hold my hand while you're escorting me into the ballroom. I know being mated to a strange female alpha from a foreign realm can be a lot to take in but I'm always here if you need someone to talk to when you're overwhelmed.
If you don't feel like talking to me, you can always find Maery in the kitchen or servant area at lunch. The rest of the time, I don't know where she is" she kindly offered.
"Okay. Thank you Alpha"
"Don't mention it. Let's go" she replied, gliding towards the door, Jason following meekly behind her.
They entered the garage and found the limo they were using to get back to the conference hall. The limo was already full and it seemed like they were waiting for them. Even Sandre was there.
"C'mon lovebirds, in you come" Savannah called, waving them in. Xunia went in first then he followed after, locking the door. He sat beside Xunia at the back while the others were seated in the two side rows. There were a lot of people that he hadn't met there but he assumed they were the escorts.
They set out immediately. There was a mini party going on inside the limo and there was also karaoke. He would've laughed if he wasn't a huge ball of nerves.
"Whiskey?" Lorema offered, giving him a shot glass.
"No, I don't drink" he refused, making her pout. "I had this specially brought from earth on short notice. It's such a waste now" She lamented. He rolled his eyes at her.
"Why don't you drink it?"
"Ew, are u kidding me? of course not. Earth liquor is disgusting" He rolled his eyes at her again.
"Okay, have some from our secret winery. It had the most exquisite wines not even the most influential faeries can drink from it. This is called the Alilian Nectar" Savannah said, giving him the purple colored wine in a crystal wine cup.
He took a sip and a rich flavour engulfed his tongue. He couldn't help but down the cup in one go.
"This flavour is the most delectable I've had in my life. I almost swallowed my tongue. The person who made this is a genius" He exclaimed, making everyone chuckle.
"Well, thank you. It's one of my best creations" Lorema said, winking.
"You made this? She made this?"
"Hey, don't be surprised. Her wine making skills are the best in the world only second to the Alpha Queen's. We go and hunt for the ingredients just for her to make wine and liquor for us" Seriel replied, patting the wine bottle in her hands.
He continued to chat with them and take sips from the wine. After two hours drive, they arrived at the conference hall. They alighted in front of the hall and entered. It looked just like a Hollywood red carpet event with reporters and fans standing at opposite sides of the carpet.
He felt everyone stare at him, trying to figure out who he was because only high ranking royals could attend the gala. It seemed like everyone knew the royals and they were all like celebrities. However, they only looked at him for a few moments before going back to taking pictures and cheering their favorite royals.
The conference hall had been transformed in just a few hours to a building fit for a party. The escorts led him to the main hall where the gala was taking place while Xunia went ahead.
When they got to the huge white doors leading to the ballroom, Xunia offered her hand to him.
"Are you ready for your new life as Lord Jason of the Aries clan?"
"As ready as I'll ever be, my queen" He replied, straightening up and taking her hand in his. "Good" she said, her eyes lit in satisfaction.
"Her majesty, the Alpha Queen Xunia of the Aries clan and Lord Jason of house Dixen" a voice announced, and they walked into the ballroom. It was designed like the ones they had in the 18th century England. It was a truly magnificent sight, with gold, silver, diamonds and other precious gems.
"Truly beautiful, isn't it?" He snapped back to reality to see it was Xunia that asked him that question.
"Yes, it is" He replied, his breath taken away by the beauty of the place.
"Ask me for a dance Jason, it's customary that the mate always asks for the first dance" Xunia whispered, low enough for only him to catch it.
"My queen, would you do me the honor of giving me this first dance?" He asked, bowing. A look of surprise flashed on her face before it was replaced with a smile. Meanwhile, the other females around them were swooning and fanning themselves. Some of them even going as far as wolf whistling.
"I would" She did a courtesy and offered her hand to him. They got into position and started to waltz. They were smoothly gliding across the dance floor which gave them both an aura of regalia. Others soon joined in for the opening dance.
"You surprise me, young wolf. I never knew you knew how to waltz" Xunia commended with a smile.
"My sister made me learn it so I could be her prom date in case she had none. I kept practicing and got better at it. It's a very soothing dance" He replied honestly. She smiled and nodded at his reply.
She started to show him some nobles and told him who they were.
"That's the current high priestess of the fairy order in the whole realm. She's kind of arrogant and petty so it's best if you stay away from her. Over there is the druid queen in charge of my forest. She's a bit of a trouble maker but she's okay.
That's the Alpha Chief of the Leo clan dressed like a cross between a caveman and a Viking. He's loud, obnoxious, rough and brawny but I guess he's okay too. That over sized elephant there is the king of Saduls. He's too soft so you two would get along just swell" He scowled at her, getting a cheeky grin in return.
Soon, the opening dance came to an end and after taking a bow, he rushed to his table to get some water. He looked back to see Xunia mixing in with the rest of the crowd and smiling. She looked so elegant and calm. He settled on his seat to watch the performances.
"The performers are quite skilled, aren't they?" a voice came from beside him. He shivered and goosebumps covered his neck. He turned to look at the person talking and almost jumped at her appearance. It was the druid queen that Xunia had shown him earlier.
She had brownish black skin like an old tree bark, long twig like horns, huge wings like those of dragonflies and glowing green eyes which looked like emerald rocks. She wore a green mossy like dress with a pearl necklace and no shoes. She had a small Pentagon shaped dark crystal in the middle of her forehead.
Although her appearance was weird and unsettling, she was still very beautiful. He could only nod in response.
"You must be new around here cos I've never seen you before. I'm Astara, druid queen in charge of the Aries Pack forests. Nice to meet you" She introduced, stretching her hand to shake him.
"Lord Jason of house Dixen. Pleasure to meet you Astara" He replied and she nodded. She kept staring at him before her head was pushed away.
"Knock it off Astara, you're creeping him out" Savannah said annoyed.
"Creeping him out? I was just inspecting him" "You were way too far inside his comfort zone. Just stop it. He's not from around here so he's not used to the ways of the druids"
"He has to get used to it. After all, I'm part of his mate's escort" Astara replied, shrugging.
He was surprised she knew. A hand slinged over his shoulder, pulling him close to the person who owned it.
"Are you bothering my mate Astara?" Xunia asked her with an amused look.
"Of course not my Queen, I wouldn't dare. I was simply assessing him" the druid replied, bowing.
"Well then, you can do that later. Go talk to the dragon king about the recent forest fires"
"At once your majesty" She replied and hurried off.
"And you Savannah, you're relieved of guard duty. You can go and prank the Alpha Chiefs now"
"Thank God. I thought I was going to die of boredom if i stayed any longer"
"Stop being so dramatic. Shoo" She pushed Savannah away. She then turned to him.
"Now now Jason, it was a bit rude and heartless of you to run off and leave me to entertain those stuffy nobles and royals. I thought finally having a mate meant I won't have to suffer it alone" Xunia said pouting.
"I'm sorry, I don't mix well with royals either. I was a bit nervous so I came here for snacks" "Snacks? Don't tell me you stress eat?"
"Of course not, I was just a little hungry and all that dancing made me thirsty" He replied, blushing.
"It was just one dance"
"You have no idea how much I was sweating"
That made her laugh. Somehow, the sight of her laughing made him smile.
"So, your majesty, how come my family is not here? I thought they should've increased in status. Even my alpha isn't here" He inquired, looking around.
"You're right, your family should be here. Unfortunately, your dear mother is under punishment and temporary banishment along with the remainder of your pack so they're not allowed inside this realm. As for your Alpha, his status will still remain below. He doesn't have the license to this kind of event unless he earns it" She replied a little coldly at the end.
Not desiring the environment between them to become awkward, he changed the subject. The rest of the party went well and so did the next three months.