Home > Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(12)

Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(12)
Author: Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone

Sitting straighter in my chair, Finn followed my movements by standing. I knew more than one eye was on my giant familiar; he was a legend in our world, but to me he was so much more than that. He was the other half to my soul. We had been bonded when I was five years old and my life would be nothing without him.

At that thought, I shot a dark look toward Selene. The spare heir was looking a little too smug in her spot, front and center. Red curls artfully pinned atop her head, her deep brown eyes glinted as they locked onto me. She wore her purple silk shirt with its large symbol of her house on the front. Thankfully, Larak was nowhere to be seen. Her snake familiar had tried to kill Finn, and if he was seen in my vicinity again, I would figure out a way to have him destroyed. She knew that, which is why she was keeping him hidden away.

I wished there was an easy way for me to strip her of her heir and spare queen rights, but for now I had no options. There were old laws that even the queen was bound to, and nothing in my power could change this unless Selene screwed up. No one wanted a sixteen-year-old, just-appointed queen heir running the wolf-shifter world if I died, no matter how mature she was.

Calista had spies in all the boroughs trying to dig up dirt on Selene, and I had a lot of loyal shifters in the Bronx pack. But so far there had been nothing I could use against her. She’d screw up eventually, though. I had to believe it. She was as slimy as her snake.

Dismissing her with a cold throwaway glance, I focused on the rest of the room. The mild chattering faded away immediately. Mecca swirled in arcs around me, I could feel it, and judging from the expressions of the others here, they could too.

“Thank you all for coming on such short notice,” I said, my voice low and steady. “I would not have called for you in this manner unless it was of incredible importance. What I am going to say to you in this room cannot be shared with any others. Not yet. This is the reason you all signed the spelled confidentiality papers on the way in, so that our magic born will know if you reveal this, and we will punish you accordingly. There is no wavering on this order. I will not have anarchy in my kingdom, not when there are other ways to go about this.”

Telling the general shifter population of a suspected impending fae war would cause chaos, which would only make it easier for them to divide and conquer us.

A mixture of confusion and anger spilled across the faces before me. They didn’t like their rights being stripped from them, but they knew better than to argue. Not with their queen.

How they’d feel once they knew everything … well, we were about to find out.

“The Tuatha de Danann have returned to our world…”

I did not let my voice waver. If there was even a single seed of doubt in my tone, they would jump all over that hesitation and never let go. I needed them to believe me. I needed them to start preparing.

Their initial reactions were less intense than I expected. A few shifted in their seats and some wore confused faces.

“I have recently learned that the fae are at war with each other. In the Otherworld, the Summer and Winter Courts have battled for power, for land, and for control of the mecca for generations. It seems some of this battle is spilling over into our world now. We believe…” I gestured to the council members, “that it was fae who killed the Red Queen. I was also recently attacked by a member of the dark fae court, and we barely escaped with our lives. One of my dominants was killed, along with other pack members, and some of King Kade’s bears.”

The intensity was coming now. More than one alpha was out of their chair, and noise built in the room as they started to question me. I held up both of my hands. “I understand your confusion. We never speak of the fae. We learn nothing of their history. But this ignorance can stand no longer. They know about us. They have attacked and tried to weaken us already, in the hopes that soon they can walk through to our mecca and take it from us. We cannot let this happen. To take the mecca would be to take the very thing that makes us powerful.

“It’s time to start preparing our people for war. Shifters need to be trained, sources of magic collected and given to our magic born so they may prepare. I need your help. We all need to work together or they will cut through us with ease.”

I paused, letting my message and energy fill the space. I was not at all surprised when my dominants crowded closer to me; the alphas did not look happy. In fact I would go as far to say that we were about five seconds from a riot. I shifted my head to the council and gave them a nod. It was their turn to step in. I was a new queen, and while I had the power, respect and trust would take time. The council, on the other hand, were well trusted by the people.

Torine stood, and his deep voice cut through the confusion. “The queen speaks truth on this. We have seen the evidence.”

Some of the noise died down as he went on to explain everything that had happened over the past few weeks. He skimmed over the bears’ involvement in all of this, which was the path we’d all decided on earlier. I already knew my people would have trouble accepting the truth of a fae war. No need to make it even harder by bringing up the enemy they did actually believe in.

When Torine was done, a sort of stunned silence descended across the room. Most of the alphas had sunk back into their chairs, eyes wide and mouths slack. We had torn their safe world apart with our revelations, but I was sure that most of them would come to the realization that it was better to know, to be prepared.

I spoke again, my voice even but firm. “I know you’re in shock right now. That we even have this sort of enemy out there is not something any of us have had to consider in our lifetimes. But ignorance does not stop the fae from attacking. It only gets us killed without even having a chance to put up a fight. It’s time for you all to head to your packs and start preparing for this war. But you cannot tell them everything yet. Mass panic doesn’t help anyone. I’m doing as much as I can behind the scenes. I want every one of you to know that I’ll be doing everything in my power to fight them … but I am going to need your help.”

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