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Vows were spoken. Those were important. Rings were exchanged. It was said that the groom, or alpha, had had the rings specially made by a master jeweler in Russia. It was said that there was an inscription inside each: Let the past not be forgotten. Let the lessons not be in vain.
It was the wedding of the year. Journalists from around the world were in attendance, and when it came time for the bride to go to her knees and swear her loyalty to the alpha of the pack she had just married into, the alpha shocked them all.
He went to his knees. His hands clasped hers.
“You proved your loyalty, countless times over. As a child fighting for your friends’ freedom. As a woman fighting for her mate’s heart. As coya fighting for the peace we all dream of. I pledge myself, Alpha Del-Rey Delgado, to my mate, my wife, my coya, Anya Kobrin Delgado. May our future be filled with promise and may your smile always light my way.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as a reporter, Cassa Hawkins, even checked to be sure. Well, maybe there was one dry eye in the house, besides hers. The large Breed that stood in the shadows across the room. His eyes were, like hers, scanning the crowd, watching, as though he were waiting, hunting.
What, my beautiful Bengal, are you hunting?
Unfortunately, despite her wicked, wicked fantasies, she had a feeling he wasn’t hunting her. Too bad. She heard he was a wild man in bed; she’d never had a wild man in her bed.
She almost snorted at that thought. It had been a long damned time since she had had any man in her bed.
Her attention was drawn back to the ceremony as howls and roars, cheers of goodwill and laughter echoed through the cavernous underground arena.
Del-Rey and Anya had turned, hands clasped, to face the crowd watching them while the priest that officiated over the ceremony pronounced them man and wife.
It really was a beautiful affair.
What made Cassa’s heart clench, though, was when Del-Rey turned his bride back to him, lowered his head and took her lips in a kiss that looked more like a promise.
As Anya Delgado arched in his arms, Cassa’s brows lifted at the small, rounded mound of her tummy as it became visible. Was it possible? Was this mate actually pregnant? She looked closer.
“You don’t want to put that in your little article.”
She jerked, her eyes widening at the voice in her ear. Her head swung to the side. Oddly striped gold and black hair met her cheek. It grew long around his face, silken, tempting to touch. His eyes were green, jungle green and flecked with gold. His scent wrapped around her, spicy and male, and tempted her to lick her lips.
“Meaning?” she drawled as she felt his hand touch her hip, his head move closer until his lips were at her ear.
“The suspicion I see in those pretty gray eyes,” he murmured. “Any additional announcement will come when the time is right. You can be a part of the group allowed into that announcement, or you can be strangely uninvited to that one as well as many others.”
She sighed. Okay, no telling about that intriguing little bulge.
“I want an exclusive,” she demanded. “Someone else will beat me to the punch. You’ll owe me.”
His chuckle stroked over her senses. “You might get more than you bargained for.”
Her lips twitched. “And you might be biting off more than you can chew.”