Home > Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(9)

Queen Alpha (NYC Mecca #2)(9)
Author: Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone

I sucked in a ragged breath. Damn Violet, leave it to her to not ask a word about us for weeks and then drop this. I set the sandwich down and cleared my throat. I couldn’t keep it bottled up any longer, and I trusted my oldest friend.

“You know that bear I kissed on the Island when I was fifteen?”

Some of her seriousness faded, and a smile of remembrance crossed her face. “Scrawny guy? You talked about him for weeks.”

I sighed. “That’s Kade.”

Now it was Violet’s turn for her mouth to pop open in surprise. “Holy shifter,” she breathed. “Girl, he is so not scrawny.”

I chuckled. “Yeah, he’s not now. So yeah, we have this history, and then he was in the garden at the Summit and he remembered me. He kissed me. It’s … I’m the queen of the wolves and he’s a bear king.”

I let my words trail off and Violet’s eyes darkened as she read some emotion across my face. She reached out a hand to lightly touch mine before pulling away; she didn’t say anything more. We both knew there was nothing either of us could do or say. No matter the attraction Kade and I shared, we could never be. After this we ate in companionable silence, both of us lost in our own thoughts.

The next day, the wolf council lined up before me. We were in the basement area, preparing for the alpha meeting. All eleven were dressed in their full robes, arms crossed over their stubborn chests. I was meeting with them first, before we opened the doors to the alphas of the boroughs, and the lesser leaders of the smaller packs. These leaders had come from far and wide to learn of my news.

Finn sat at my feet. He said that all was quiet in Manhattan right now, but I could still sense the tension thrumming in his huge body. His worry was bleeding over into me, but I couldn’t focus on that. I had a bunch of ignorant shifters to deal with.

“You can no longer keep secrets of the Tuatha from me,” I said for the third time since we started this meeting. “Torine … you should have told me about the magic books. We should be researching everything we can to learn of a weapon to help us in this war.”

They just continued staring at me, eyes glittering, expressions hard and unyielding. “You weren’t there,” I said, some of my composure fading away, anger leaking into my words. “It was a single fae and he cut through us no problem. Ka … King Kade and I barely managed to take him down, and we have the mecca at our command. What do you think will happen if an entire army comes through?”

Unease filtered through them then. Some shifted where they stood, and Glenda, my old teacher, stepped forward to address me directly. “Queen Arianna, you must understand that the magic information within those walls is beyond our knowledge. Beyond any wolf shifter’s knowledge. Most of the books are not even in a recognizable language. So while there’s a chance you would find some information inside to help, there’s an even bigger chance that whomever read the books would be destroyed, or would discover a power to destroy our packs. It’s too large a risk for us to let that information out.”

Well, I already knew Violet could read them, and so far no one was dead. So far. I hoped my friend knew what she was doing.

Finn shifted closer to me. Tell them, Ari. Force them to understand. This is going to come to us whether we are ready or not.

I ran my hand over the wolf, and the rumbles shaking his huge body calmed somewhat. I’ll make them understand, and if they don’t, I’ll figure out a way to make sure that all of the shifters are ready. I don’t need them. It would just be easier with their help.

I tilted my head slightly up so my voice would project with strength. A tip from Calista’s many years of training. “It’s not your place to decide who gets to do what in this house. I am the queen. I want to know everything that is happening with my people.”

I never wanted to start my rule at odds with the council. They were wise in history and tradition, but they continued to force my hand. They had left me with no choice.

Torine cleared his throat. “It was the Red Queen’s desire that we seal away all books pertaining to knowledge of the fae.”

What? Why on Earth would the Red Queen do that? I tucked that piece of information away for another time. It was another part of the puzzle that made up the former wolf queen. Hopefully I’d have a full picture soon of who she was. Which might also lead me to how she ended up dead at the hands of the fae.

My voice was filled with steel when I addressed the council this time. “Well, it’s my wish that you unseal them and allow my palace magic born to look them over. Times of war require us to take some risks. We may all die either way, but it’s better to stand true and fight than to cower in ignorance and hope for the best. You will show me this room after the meeting, and I will do as I see fit with the information within. Do I make myself clear?”

I let the mecca energy leak from me, and that, teamed with the pure command and arrogance of my order, had the council looking very uncomfortable. Some even took a step back to distance themselves from me. I hated playing the dominating queen, but I was starting to see that a firm hand was required at times. Especially with the council. They were old and powerful, used to having all the knowledge and manipulating things behind the scenes. Not happening on my rule any longer.

Despite a few dirty looks, no one argued with me again, so I moved on. “Next thing on our agenda is the alpha meeting. How much do you think it is wise for us to reveal to them? What actions are we going to request from them? I agree it’s not time to tell the general shifter population yet, but the leaders should know almost as much as we do. I expect them to start training their shifters to see and understand the signs of the Tuatha de Danann. Water is an issue. We must have guards assigned to large bodies of water around our packs. Our magic born need to be recalled to the royal mansion. They’ll have to start working with me and the bear king. We need to take action now before it’s too late.”

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