Hue and I sat one one side of a table with Ian and Briar on the other side. Justin Kringle, the North Pole’s COO, sat at the head of the table. He had graciously offered to serve as a non-biased witness to the terms of the agreements between the Dragons and Werewolves.
Justin’s sparkling eyes were level and displayed no emotion as he read the terms of the Werewolves were offering to prevent the war. Clearing his voice he began to read:
“I Cariss, Chieftain of Clan MacGregor of the Were set forth the following terms in hopes of bringing about a peaceful resolution to the threatening war.
1.) The Dragon known as Alizeyah will face one warrior of our choosing on the battlefield.
2.) If the Dragon Champion Alizeyah loses she will forfeit herself to Clan MacGregor for punishment and dishonorment trials.
3.) If the Werewolf Champion loses he/she will forfeit herself to the Dragon’s Council for punishment and dishonorment trials.
4.) While the duel will not be to the death once a victor is named the winning clan does have dominion over the defeated.
The Rules of the Duel shall be as follows:
1.) Participants may not bring outside weapons in to the field.
2.) They may use defenses natural to their origins.”
Justin paused and looked up at the four of us. “Are there any questions?”
Hue clutched my hand under the table and looked at Ian and Briar. “I don’t see this as a fair arrangement. Alizeyah is being named as a champion but you have not revealed your champion. If your clan has the right to choose who will battle then the Dragon’s should as well.”
Ian resonded with a calm tone that didn’t match the emotions in his eyes. “Alizeyah is responsible for this war. She was the one that involved herself in the Werewolf laws; that is why she was named. This happened because she couldn’t stay out of affairs she shouldn’t have been involved with.”
Hue’s anger flared for the first time in a week. He shot to his feet, slamming a fist against the table, casing it to shake under the impact. “No, this happened because you as her lover lied to her and then didn’t keep your bitch on a leash.” Hue jabbed a finger in Briar’s direction. “I will also remind you that what she did, was done for your benefit, and finally, I was the one to inflict any damage. I will stand in as her champion.” The final words were snapped loudly.
I tugged on Hue’s arm urging him back down into the chair before looking at Ian. “Can you at least tell me who I will be facing? Name your clan’s champion?” I searched his eyes which showed how torn he was about this entire situation.
Ian nodded. “Originally, we had decided to name Briar the champion. Then we found out today she is pregnant and we do not with to endanger any pups.”
I nodded and Hue looked at me, horrified. “Agreed, I wouldn’t want to chance her miscarrying over something like this. A baby doesn’t choose who its parents are.” I turned and looked at Hue. “I’m sorry to cause so much trouble, but I will take care of it.” His brows drew together as he read my thoughts and then the shock of my next words hit him before I spoke. I stood up and looked at Ian and Briar. “So be it, Ian, I will accept the terms provided you defend your clan as champion. As she is your mate you will take responsibility for her.”
“I can’t fight you! I won’t fight you. I am a trained warrior, I could kill you,” he argued.
“Well, that’s a chance I will take. I suggest you start practicing because I will not be holding back because of my feelings.” I sat back down when Hue tugged on me.
“Do you understand what you’re asking?” Briar blurted out. “If he loses then the future of our clan will be in your hands. If he wins our clan will most likely strip you of your title and you could very well end up a slave or something horrible since you had the audacity to challenge the son of Cariss.” Her words actually sounded concerned.
“Briar, even if Ian fights with everything he has in him, I don’t plan on losing. The fate of your clan will rest in my hands. The two of you should prepare Cariss for it now.” I turned to Justin. “If Ian will accept the challenge I will accept the terms.” Hue started to argue but was cut off when Ian agreed.
“So be it. The Duel will take place next week on neutral ground.” Justin signed the bottom of the contract then handed it to myself and Ian to sign. Hue stormed out of the meeting room, and neither Ian nor Briar could meet my eyes. Justin looked at me one last time and offered a reluctant smile. “I hope this won’t interfere with business here at the Pole. Either way, good luck. Ian would be a challenge for Lord Hudraer or Lord Vallen. I’m afraid for you.”
“Don’t be.” I shook my head. “I destroyed a Dragon High Priestess with no training. It’s been months and I know ten times what I did then. I just hope I don’t accidentally kill him and make things worse.” I didn’t say anything else to reassure him, I just left to go find Hue.