Home > Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(7)

Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(7)
Author: Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone

The knock at my door startled me from my thoughts. “Come in.” I sat up straighter on my throne, adjusting my crown, preparing to receive my next royal appointments.

My guards let in two women who were wheeling a cart full of bolts of silk fabric. I tried not to groan. I liked fashion as much as the next woman, but picking out fabric all day when I had a fae war to prepare for was a complete waste of my time.

“Your Majesty, thank you so much for commissioning us to make your royal gown for the summer festival,” said the one who was slightly closer to me. She was a robust woman, not fat – wolves had fast metabolisms – but short and solid. Her hair was a shade of golden brown, her eyes similar, and she smiled prettily as she bowed so low her nose was nearly touching the floor.

“Yes, thank you,” the other added, as she too bowed. She was finer boned and her hair was a strawberry blonde, her eyes an arresting shade of gray. Not as pretty or vivacious as her friend, but still striking.

I had never seen either of them before, not during my coronation, or when I went through the staff of the royal mansion. Calista must have commissioned them from outside my staff, and since I already had a palace seamstress, Casey Marie, who had been custom making everything so far, I wondered why we were going out-of-house for this dress.

“Of course. You’re the best.” I assumed this to be true; Calista wouldn’t hire any other.

They both blushed and shared a smile as if I had just made their day. “Thank you, Your Highness,” golden-haired said again. “As you know, we specialize in costumes. Have you decided what you would like to dress as?”

Of course, it all made perfect sense now. Casey wasn’t proficient in costume wear. Oh sure, she could have easily whipped a dress up if I needed her to, but it wasn’t her specialty and the queen would be expected to go all-out on costume, especially for my first festival since my coronation. The summer festival was a time to dress up – fairy wings, masquerade masks, Renaissance dress – Violet didn’t even need to change from her daily wear. Whatever you could imagine you could become. Last year the Red Queen had a beautiful peacock dress with mask and feathers.

With everything going on, it had completely slipped my mind that I’d need a costume. “Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t given it much thought,” I said honestly. I stood, approaching them, looking at the different silks they had. The teal caught my eye, and so did a soft, sunset pink.

“Well, Your Majesty, could we make a suggestion?” This came from the petite redhead.

I smiled at her. “Please do.”

She grabbed the teal silk I was running my hands across and unrolled a long piece, holding it up to me. “Queen of the water?”

The golden-haired seamstress unrolled the pink I had also been eyeing. “Queen of love.” She winked.

I let out a laugh, truly enjoying their imaginations. “You know what … I trust you. Surprise me.”

Both of their mouths popped open in unison, astonishment written across their faces.

They recovered quickly though, grabbing at tape measures and paper. I held out my arms so they could measure me. I was excited for the festival, but there were too many other things on my plate for me to completely lose myself in the joy. As they ran around me taking notes, my mind wandered and I found myself thinking of what Kade would be dressed as. I should not be thinking of the bear king when I wasn’t with him. Maybe I did need to take a mate. I needed the distraction, and it would be good for my people to see me in a strong wolf relationship.

But the thought of it had my gut tied up in knots, instead of the excitement I should have been feeling.

After the ladies left, I sat through three hours of royal appointments, which included catering for the summer festival, decorations, and entertainment.

After this, it was time to play referee. You know, when grown shifters need their queen to figure out their problems. Award for the most annoying of the morning went to two dominant wolves bickering about their need for another parking space. Neither of them would budge an inch, although both agreed that I should pay for it from the royal allowance.

We paid taxes in our society, all shifters did. The royal house paid the human government, and the rest of the packs paid the royal house. The shifter tax to us was only ten percent, but some shifters thought it meant they were entitled to ask for things they should be paying for themselves. A parking spot in Manhattan was a massive cost per year, and not one the crown would be covering.

Now, if these alphas had told me they had fallen on hard times and needed money for their pack to stay sheltered, fed, and clothed, then I would give it without hesitation, but a parking spot … not happening. After telling them no and dismissing them, Calista came to get me to take me to my lunch appointment.

“Please tell me my lunch appointment isn’t some petty task like this morning,” I huffed as Calista expertly traversed the hallways, leading me to my private dining area.

“No, I thought you might like a break from all of that,” she said as she opened the door, and I was relieved to see Violet sitting and waiting for me. The magic born were a sight to behold. Even though I had known Violet my entire life, I never got used to her unique beauty or incredible talent with magic.

“Ari, you’re late and I’m starving,” she moaned.

Calista tsk tsked her for using my name, but I loved that Violet, like Blaine, treated me no differently now that I was queen.

I took a seat beside her as Calista scurried off to whatever was next on her list of to-do’s. I was starting to think she worked a lot harder than me, a fact I was very grateful for.

   
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