Olivia’s words struck through me like a fatal blow. I didn’t deserve to be here. I knew that. Everyone
they were nobility, all prim
But it wasn’t because I had loose morals or a child. It was simply because and proper, and I was a shadow of my former self. A wolf–less waitress, just trying to get by.
I had no right to waste the princes‘ time.
They didn’t know that I wasn’t here for romance. I had no intention of marrying any prince. I just wanted
medical care for Elva, and to find my wolf.
I couldn’t tell them that, though, so I kept it all bundled up inside of me, buried down into the deepest
part of myself.
Let them think whatever they wanted. They would anyway, no matter what I said.
Olivia sneered, smug like she’d won a victory here.
Yet before she or I or anyone else could say another word, Nathan tapped onto his microphone and
drew all of our gazes up to the lifted platform.
“Congratulations again, on surviving the first round of eliminations,” he said.
Now that the other girls‘ attentions had been waylaid, I noticed as I looked around that the room did feel more spacious. Even the girls who had mocked me had been much less than the typical number.
We were only down from 25 to 15, yet the difference felt like more.
However,” Nathan continued, “The competition must continue, and therefore we will begin preparations for the next challenge you will face. This time you will each be playing hostess to the royal family for a
I tried to think what that would entail, but I didn’t participate in any garden parties at the academy. The
other girls, however, seemed like they would burst in excitement. They eagerly whispered to each other
with wide smiles on their faces
Nathan cleared his throat to silence them.
“You will each be given your own table to serve a drink and a selection of hors d’oeuvres. You will be judged on your outfit and hosting abilities, as well as the presentation and taste of the food.”
Now, food I could do. With my restaurant experience, I knew a bit about food and how to plate it. I would
I glanced around for Charlotte, and saw her standing in the back of the room, far away from the others. She really did seem to hate crowds. This whole competition must have been miserable for her.
With her help and Charlotte’s, I felt confident that I could succeed in this challenge. I had to, for Elva’s sake, and for that of my wolf. I didn’t want to win this choosing game, but I wanted to stay in the running
for as long as I could.
With a challenge like this, everything should come together.
“Now for the twist,” Nathan said, silencing the room once more.
My stomach sunk down to the ground. Trepidation crept along my spine.
“You are to host together, two to a table. Pairs will be selected at random.”
A simultaneous gasp filled the room, then everyone began chattering at once.
“Ladies! Ladies, please! Your attention.” Once Nathan had it, he continued, “The Luna must always maintain poise and perfection even under such duress as having to cooperate with an
That quieted everyone in a hurry, stifling their outrage. If the Luna would handle this with grace, then they had to too, or risk scoring low.
I didn’t particularly care what a Luna would or wouldn’t do. But even I recognized that I would have to emulate her diplomatic nature if I had any hope of continuing to survive here.
will now assign the pairs,” Nathan said. A servant handed him a clipboard.