The judge takes me aside to a balcony overlooking all of Half-Moon Academy. As I see blue sky overlooking the whole steep landscape of blue stone buildings, which were connected by many bridges and beautiful cobbled paths... I can see the beauty.
I had never been able to truly see it down on the surface, but up this high, the view was magnificent.
“Why did you want to speak with me privately?” I ask the judge, who leans back on the balcony while warmed by her furs.
“I will order a decree to have a more traditional law invoked. Your scholarship was well earned, I looked at the grades you got in high school. I will have Alpha Baden be your personal escort - as you are now an enemy of Pack Moon, to prove loyalty you must impress a member of the royal family. I’ll give you six months. But once Alpha Baden comes up here - you must get him to stay. Do not insult his smell, please, Maia... just remind him of your scholarship. Be polite.”
“What about the twenty members of my pack?” I ask.
“Imprisonment for half a year is the best I can do until Baden approves of you as an ally... then maybe you can save your pack’s lives,” the judge tells me, “That is not for you to worry about for now, however. I will speak with the Prime Alpha. He trusts me to speak the law - he respects my word even when it may seem he only respects his own instincts.”
“I barely know the royal family,” I reply, smirking, “No one ever really sees them. I guess they prefer to keep to themselves.”
“That is none of your concern either,” the judge speaks lightly but firmly, until she goes quiet as a set of wide spaced footsteps become louder and closer from the court room just behind us. With them comes that familiar spicy scent - completely overpowering. I sneeze uncontrollably and loudly before I’ve even turned around.
As the judge and I both turn, I can’t help but feel happy and relieved that Alpha Baden bothered to come at all.
He doesn’t look impressed.
“You want to speak with me, Maia?” Alpha Baden asks me, with pretend kindness.
“I wanted to -”
"You wanted - yes. You wanted to say something. Are you an Alpha again? Remind me” he states simply, barely able to make himself look at me while glancing into the sky instead.
Did he have to be so damn rude?
“I’m... I’m not... um-”
“Maia,” the judge encourages me, “You requested to speak with him, go on.”
“I achieved to gain a scholarship to come here,” I answer, watching Alpha Baden slowly blink, disinterested.
“Okay... so? Nice chat - I’ll leave a flower on your grave uh - what was your name again?” Baden asks.
“I’m implementing a law you won’t like,” the judge cuts off Baden, speaking before he decides to spin around and stalk off.
I forget how to breathe after she interrupted him but mostly because of his cold hearted speech.
Alpha Baden was worse than I had thought.
And my first thoughts weren’t even good.
Which meant he was now the royal prick of pricks.
“Enlighten me,” Baden growls low, clearly annoyed by the judge’s high tone.
“Pack Crescent has failed every trial except one that they have not attempted - Maia asked me about it,” the judge lies to Alpha Baden and I try not to let my knowledge of her lie show.
“Again, enlighten me, please - I don’t have all day,” Baden can’t look anymore impatient - just like a spoilt twat!
“Maia has six months to prove herself as a loyal wolf, who will be allowed to reside in Moon territory - first she will be assessed and accompanied at all times by a wolf from Pack Moon for those six months. A member of importance,” as the judge lowers her tone, it’s like she expects Baden to act up... and he does so, instantly.
“You have to be kidding me,” he snarls, almost ready to throw something.
Hopefully not me - off the balcony.
I almost think it crosses his mind as he looks over me properly - absolutely disgusted by my existence.
“You know I never kid, Baden,” the judge clearly has some secret trump card over Alpha Baden because eventually his vial look my way soon changes to simple distate.
Which yes, was an improvement.
“Follow me... Omega,” he uses the term with absolute menace.
With that one insult I know my life is about to become hell for the next six months.
“Follow,” the judge sighs, relaxed, “I’ll handle your family, Maia.”
I don’t say anything as Alpha Baden slowly turns and stalks away, waiting for me to follow like a pup.
I hesitate but eventually I have to move to catch up with his long strides.
While the judge took care of my family... hopefully I could handle the secret son of the Prime Alpha.
I then can’t help but think about his damn strong odour, which always affected me so intensely at first contact.
I’d need to invest in some boxes of tissues fire, before I considered anything else.