She was marrying another. After years as her beta, her confidant, her partner, the one she swore would be her king!, she stood beside another and gave herself to him.
Yet he too stood at her side, silent, obedient, her wish his desire. He had vowed such to her in a ceremony so very similar to this, hers for far longer, and hers in ways no one else could understand.
She did not love the man. Her husband was a political match, a powerful ringian who would help Jasmine in ruling those of this territory, and no more. While it was hopeful feelings would grow, and more than just power was taken into account, it was only hope.
He had more than hope. He had years. He had had her body, her heart, her mind. She had his entire being.
The kiss she gave her new husband was formal. No stretching on her toes out of eagerness, no wrapping her arms around his neck. Their walk was clumsy as they moved arm in arm. Kyva knew how to keep pace with her, how to cover her, how to steer her. He knew her openings, her blind spots, the rhythm of her body in a fight and in lovemaking. He had saved her life and she his. Right now her husband was a hindrance and beside him she would lose her life.
They parted at the end of the aisle, their respective betas moving to their sides. The king’s was a man, a cousin, and the two fell into an easy and practiced step as they walked away. Kyva took Jasmine’s hand and then slid his arm around her waist. He felt the dagger at the side of her thigh. In this position it would be faster to unsheathe her blade than to grab his own. She too kept an arm up on his shoulder, ready to slide down and take his sword while he stepped in front of her and she readied herself at his back.
The ringian were both a bestia and a group who began as mages, but the years had made their magia part of them in so much that they were now born with it in their blood. They hunted werewolves and were their own court and kingdom amid the land of Astrarctia.
They walked to the reception inseparable.
“If I may speak to the rhyia as her beta before we continue on?” Kyva said to those around him.
Jasmine nodded and the rest of her party went ahead leaving them alone. No one thought it odd or unusual. They were alpha and beta. They would not be disturbed.
When eyes no longer watched them Kyva stepped in front of Jasmine and knelt before her.
“You are mine,” he said to her. She did not reply. In turn he stood and pressed up against her, kissing her, forcing her to step back. He moved forward until she was up against the wall and then shifted her weight, gathering her up into his arms so she dangled in the air. “You have always been mine, and I yours.”
Her reply was a kiss with equal fervor. She reached towards Kyva’s trousers and he shoved her skirts aside. Only moments, but they consummated her marriage while her husband waited for her.
“The last time,” she whispered, smoothing her skirts after they stood apart again. “I am wed now, Kyva.”
He ignored her, tilting up her chin for a parting kiss. She stretched up on her toes to reach him and he enveloped her again. His bit her lip and tasted her blood.
Then, for the first time, he denied her.
“No. You and I were tied long before this day.”
She said nothing but turned to enter her reception.
He licked his lips, straightened his clothes, and followed.