In camp two, the girls were chasing any prince. It didn’t matter which one. These ambitious girls just wanted to be Luna. Olivia and Linda were firmly in this camp.
In the third camp, where I belonged, the girls were here involuntarily. Perhaps their parents wanted them to engage in a political marriage, or perhaps they were simply chosen and couldn’t say no. These were the quiet ones, like Susie, and definitely the minority.
One of the more curious girls asked, “What do you think of the rule that we aren’t allowed to flirt with
anyone other than a prince?”
“Who else would we flirt with? A guard? Don’t make me laugh!” said another girl.
“Some of the Betas are handsome,” said Susie. Many people, including me, glanced at her with surprise.
When she noticed, her whole face tumed red. Her gaze dropped to her lap. “Never mind.”
I thought it was terribly unfair to the girls. So many of us here for just three boys. But I kept my opinion to
I could practically hear what they would say, What is the point of this if not for the princes? Or, no one
got to be Luna by flirting with a guard.
Meanwhile, Olivia and Linda had been previously whisper–hissing at each other too quiet for anyone to
hear, but now their argument was rising in volume.
The two were considered front–runners by the other girls. Both were from prominent packs, and were
confident and beautiful.
When they argued, it drew attention.
Both, it seemed, had intentions for Nicholas.
I refuse to settle for a lesser son,” Olivia said. “I have told you that, time and time again, every time you
propose this foolish alliance.”
Prince Nicholas would suit me best, Olivia. My suggested alliance was only offered in an attempt to
p you from being needlessly eliminated.”
would suit you best for the same reason he would sult me best, and don’t you dare deny it, Linda
Later’s doubting yourself. Any prince you pick would have a chance.
11 won’t fell for your flattery if you bellave that, then you go fo
“Oh, dear Olivia.” Linda laughed. “How will you be Luna when I am? Nicholas is the prince for me. With him on my arm, I won’t fail.”
Their disregard of Nicholas’s choice in all this scratched at my nerves. They acted like he was some
kind of prize to be won and not a person.
“I’m waming you, Linda. Back off.”
“Prince Nicholas belongs to me, Olivia.
My outrage spiked and I stood so fast, I knocked my chair over.
“Prince Nicholas is a person! He doesn’t belong to anyone.
Olivia, Linda, and everyone else looked at me in surprise.
“He is a person with thoughts and feelings and desires of his own. Maybe instead of staking claims, you
ask him if he even wants you.”
“Of course, he wants.. me.” Olivia trailed off, then coughed politely into her napkin.
The whole of the room had hushed, but they weren’t looking at me anymore.
I had the distinct feeling I was missing something
“Hi, Nick–lass!” Elva said.
Slowly, I turned toward the entrance of the dining room.
Nicholas stood there, looking back at me.
I couldn’t tell how much he had heard. He was just… staring at me.
I wanted to explain myself, but what would I say? That I hadn’t meant it?
I had meant it. I meant every single word.
Nicholas deserved to be treated like the person he was.
So why was he looking at me like he couldn’t believe I’d said so?