The other man nodded. “Let us begin.”
Rebecca presented the facts clearly and concisely and it was so wonderfully worded that even Misty was tempted to question her memory and sanity. Maybe it was really her fault?
With the note mysteriously gone, there was really no way to prove that what she said was true.
“As it is against Lyccan laws to harbor individuals, especially non-Lyccans, with questionable loyalties, Misty Wall must therefore be banished permanently from---”
The woman’s face suffused in pleasure.
Misty was dismayed. They were truly personally acquainted then?
Domenico asked gently, “Are you not forgetting something?”
Rebecca’s smile faded. “Excuse me?”
“The vote to vouch for her loyalty.”
Rebecca’s face became inscrutable. “I simply assumed it was irrelevant, considering---”
“For the sake of protocol, mmm?” Domenico’s smile was devastatingly sexy.
“Of course. I apologize. I only thought of saving everyone time regarding this matter.” She tossed Misty a look that blamed her for her very existence, but Misty was too depressed to care.
Domenico and Rebecca knew each other. Rebecca hadn’t been lying all this time. Maybe they were even lovers? She had been confident that Domenico would believe in her no matter what, but what if he chose to believe Rebecca over her? What if he felt Rebecca was more trustworthy perhaps because she was Lyccan as well and he probably knew her longer than he knew Misty?
“Per Lyccan laws, this woman may be awarded with clemency if her innocence is vouched by a minimum of two representatives who are at least directly related to their pack leaders.” Rebecca sent Domenico a look of sham sympathy. “I’m sorry, Domenico. But you do understand that you cannot be the one to vouch her, right?”
Domenico’s eyes became icy. “That isn’t stated in the law.”
“But if you have the utmost confidence in her, surely you would not need to lend your support?”
Bitch, Domenico thought, striving to keep his expression cool even though a sliver of panic sliced his chest.
He would exact his vengeance on Rebecca for this, Domenico vowed to himself even as he scanned the faces of the people around him. What he saw was enough to tell him that no one would vouch for Misty. The evidence weighed too heavily against her. He was counting on one man, but who else would vouch for Misty if Domenico was out of the picture? Worse, the man he was counting on was not even present.
“Then I will vouch for her,” a small voice from the back said.
Domenico stiffened. This was unexpected and he hated surprises. Could this be a trap?
Rebecca straightened. “Present yourself.”
The crowd parted, revealing a young meek-looking girl. The crowd buzzed with anticipation as she ascended the stage with small measured steps and t
Misty gasped. “Penny?”
Rebecca glared at the girl. “You are?”
“Penelope from the Buenaventura pack, granddaughter to the pack leader.”
Misty couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Penny was a princess?
Rebecca’s lips tightened. A silent threat in her voice, she asked, “You are absolutely sure that you would like to risk everything to vouch for this woman?” The words “that you barely know” were apparent on Rebecca’s face.
“I may not have known her for a long time, but I know her well enough to know with all my heart that she is the victim here,” Penny mumbled.
Although it did not show on his face, Domenico was quietly amazed at the young woman’s decision to vouch for Misty. He had never expected for Misty to befriend the famously introverted princess of the Buenaventura pack. She was so shy that few people even knew what she looked like, in spite of her royal status.
The doors at the back burst open again, this time with much fanfare when a voice asked, “Am I too late?”
Heads swiveled to the doorway, and Domenico finally let himself relax at the familiar voice. Misty was safe. He would never have forgiven himself if there was even the slightest chance that Misty would come to harm. There should never even have the slightest chance of it, and he would not commit the same mistake again.
He was beginning to understand Matteo’s concern over the risks he was taking with Misty and despised the fact that it took almost losing Misty to make him realize it.
“Jayme?” Filippo choked as a tall guy swiftly made his way to the stage.
Misty’s eyes widened when she saw who it was.
It was the guy at the rooftop!
People around her appeared shocked at his presence, which confused her. Why? Was he human like her?
She blushed when the man winked at her. “I heard through the grapevine and came here as fast as I could.” Then he looked at Mr. Cavalier. “Hello, Father.”
He was a prince like Domenico then?
Filippo was still shaking his head. “You never participate in such matters.”
So that was why they were all surprised, Misty realized and blushed harder when Jayme’s gaze returned to her.
Domenico’s fists clenched at his sides. The pup better not try anything if he did not want to have every bone in his body broken. Misty was his. He willed Misty to look at him even though he could not yet afford to look at her. To do so would mean he doubted her and he did not want anyone thinking that.
But Misty didn’t look. She was too entranced at the exchange of words between Jayme and Rebecca.
“Rebecca, Rebecca,” Jayme was murmuring, wagging a finger at the other woman. “This is beyond you.”
Rebecca’s face hardened and her body became poker stiff underneath her black lace dress. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Jayme shrugged. “We’ll see. But in case you’re wondering, I vouch for her loyalty as part of the Cavalier pack.”
Rebecca’s eyes gleamed. “That is not accepted. It is your pack that she has committed an offense against.”
Jayme shrugged. “Then as grandson of the Valencia pack leader.” He smiled at Rebecca, one that had invisible fangs. “I hope you didn’t forget I am connected to the Valencias as well.”
Rebecca looked like she had just swallowed poison.
Misty was still dazed. She had spoken to royalty and she hadn’t even known? All this lacked was---
“Then for the minimum of two votes,” Rebecca began stiffly.
“Did you really have to say ‘minimum’?” Another female voice piped from the back. This time, the noise from the crowd was deafening.