Home > Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(13)

Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(13)
Author: Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone

More than one head nodded. Some of their shock and fear was being replaced by anger and determination. We were a resilient species; we protected what was ours. Our people. Our packs. Our power. The fae would not take us unawares. We would not die off like the witches and warlocks.

One woman stood. She had long jet-black hair and carried herself in a way that told me she was a great and well-respected leader. A quick mental scan of the dossier provided me with her name: Bianca, Boston’s alpha. Word on the street was that she went out of her way to help other packs – a version of the nice cat lady who took in strays, but who could also kill you with her bare hands. The other alphas loved her. I could see it in the way they looked at her now, waiting for her reaction. I held my head high, ready for whatever response she had.

“Long live the queen!” she roared, holding her fist high. I breathed a sigh of relief as the others chorused their agreement. My people were with me.

The meeting broke up soon after as the alphas prepared to return to their packs. The council gave them all one final warning of secrecy, and some information about fae security and increased patrols for all bodies of water around their territories, and then they were gone.

When it was just me and my dominants in the room, I let out a deep breath. My body almost caved forward as the tension eased itself from my tightly wound chest. Finn rested his head upon my leg, and I curled over so I could wrap myself around him.

This queen thing is so much bigger than I expected. How am I going to be enough of a shifter to do everything required of me?

A rush of warmth caressed me, and I closed my eyes at the sensation of his energy mingling with my own. You’re already enough. You’re giving your people everything you have. No one can expect more than that of you. Bringing in the alphas is a sign of the true leader within you. Delegation is important. Letting go of control and trusting in others is one of the hardest steps all leaders take. I admire your strength, and I’m so proud of you.

Have I told you lately how grateful I am that you chose me as your heir? I leaned back and kissed him on the nose.

I chose well. I chose my equal.

Well, if that wasn’t enough to give a queen her daily confidence boost, I don’t know what was. Finn was incredible, and for him to say that meant everything to me.

“You okay, Princess?” Blaine stepped in closer, still looking all guard-like, but some of the tension was gone from his handsome face. I sat back from Finn, reaching a hand out for Blaine to pull me to my feet. Then I surprised us both by wrapping my arms around him and hugging him close.

“Thank you for being my friend,” I murmured against his chest. “All of these years you have protected me, even before I needed guards.” The room was empty now except for my dominants. I would never show this much affection in public – even Monica, Jen, Victor, and Ben were at the far wall, giving us privacy.

His arms tightened then, and suddenly I was completely pressed against his hard muscles. His familiar scent and warmth wrapped around me and it almost felt protective, like Blaine was somehow a blanket I could crawl beneath to hide from the scary horrors of the world.

“You’re my best friend, Ari. I would die for you without even thinking about it. I’ve always known you would be queen, and I knew that there was no one worthier of the role. You’re different from the other heirs. You’re … more.”

I pulled back. My brow rose as I gave him my “what the heck” look. “You couldn’t possibly have known I’d be queen. The Red Queen stood for over a hundred years. And how am I different?”

Blaine tilted his head down to see me better; his light green eyes were glimmering, the color depthless. I stood on tiptoes to get close to him; he was much taller than me.

“When you were five and had just bonded with Finn, I had a dream. It was strange, this kaleidoscope of changing colors and scenes. The last one, which stayed with me right until I woke up, was a beautiful woman with white hair standing on a grassy hill. The grass was so green that it hurt my eyes, her dress so red it was beyond any color I knew. Upon her head was a crown of purple mecca stones.”

I was clutching at him now, my nails surely digging into his biceps, but he didn’t flinch.

“I had that dream for months. After some time, I started to realize it was you, that I was seeing you as future queen. It was almost like someone wanted me to know you were going to be queen and that I had to protect you. I had to make sure you would have the chance.”

My breath was coming out in fast little huffs as I tried to process this. “Only magic born see visions in their dreams,” I said in a whisper. “How is this possible?”

Blaine shrugged. “I have no idea. I never told anyone for fear that I’d be thought crazy, or worse, that it was a true vision and would be seen as a threat to the Red Queen. My great-great-grandfather was magic born. Maybe I inherited some of his gift.”

Was that possible?

“Thanks for telling me,” I said.

I realized this was the first time in a long time I’d really looked at my friend. Really saw him. He had sacrificed so much of his own life to serve me. “Thank you for everything.”

He hugged me again, and it was only when a throat cleared that we pulled apart. I turned to find Calista in the doorway, tablet in hand and a half-smile on her face.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I’m going to need her highness for a few minutes.”

Blaine stepped back and I let all the softer emotions inside of me swirl around for a bit before I tucked them away. It felt as if things had changed slightly, as if there was a depth to our friendship that had not been there earlier. It was a nice feeling and I was surprised by it.

   
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