Finding My Queen

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Chapter 24

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Victoria

The first thing I hear upon waking up is the birds singing outside. Slipping out of bed, I make a quick trip to the bathroom, before grabbing my robe to put on.

Sliding open the terrace door, I glance back over my shoulder to find Cal still peacefully sleeping in bed. Smiling at just the sight of him causes my body to hum with need.

Stepping out, I leave him to sleep as I enjoy the peaceful sunrise. Gazing down around me at the village that is slowly becoming alive with people opening up their shops.

I have yet to really explore but I understand Cal's need to protect and keep my identity a secret until I am announced at the ceremony.

I smell Cal's scent coming closer before I see him. It is still so surreal how my vampire scenes are much heightened than when I was human. "Good Morning, my Queen" he murmurs as he wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me into him, to kiss along my neck.

"Good Morning, my King. How did you sleep?" I ask, turning in his arms to face him. "With you next to me, it's always the best sleep," he says playfully, winking down at me.

We stand outside a little while longer, watching the sunrise over us, it's a beautiful fall crisp morning and tomorrow everyone in the kingdom will be even more alive with activity as everyone gets ready for the crowning ceremony.

To say I'm not just a little nervous would be a lie because I am very nervous about becoming their Queen, the Queen of all Vampires at that.

I went from being a teenage orphan to a college student trying to make it in the world, only to find my life wasn't really what it should have been.

To find out, I was really the daughter of the late King Maxwell and Queen Clarissa, and that my life was torn away from me before I even had a chance.

And on top of all that to also find out I was born a vampire, a princess, and now going to be a Queen. It is all so surreal.

Dressed and ready for our day, we make our way down for breakfast. As soon as Ashley sees me step into the dining room, she jumps up and rushes over to me. Pulling me into a tight hug, "oh my gosh girl, I've been so worried about you. Are you ok, do you feel any different?" She rushes to say.

From behind her, I hear a growl come from Malcolm. I glance around Ashley, giving him a confused look as Cal steps up next to me, glaring back at him. "What's your deal?" I ask, confused as to why he seems pissed at me.

I see him relax some, "sorry, I wasn't sure how this would play out..." He starts, but my laugh cuts him off. "You thought I was going to... What, attack her?" I ask, still laughing. "Good one Malcolm, but come on. Have a little more faith in me. I mean, you did leave your King with a... what would you call me? A newly awaken vampire and nothing happened. At least nothing, bad anyways" I say with a playful wink.

Taking Ashley's hand, I lead us over to the table filled with lots of delicious goodies, and the smell of coffee has my mouth-watering.

"My apologies, Princess. That was wrong of me to still growl at you" Malcolm says, sounding worried.

Looking up, I can see he looks a little uneasy, it is then that I understand he is worried that he may be punished for disrespecting me, as this is the first time anyone that knows of my true identity has addressed me as Princess.

Glancing from Malcolm to Cal, "love, please. Malcolm didn't mean anything by it, he was just worried for his mate" I calmly inform him.

"But I would never harm my best friend, so please everyone, let's just relax and enjoy this amazing breakfast together and get on with our day" I explain, looking around at everyone, before turning to Ashley, "I also want to see what dress you decided on."

Breakfast was wonderful, the tension no longer there as everyone chatted. They made sure to give me a glass of blood to continue to help with any cravings I have. "Is that actually good?" Ashley had asked at one point, looking at the glass curiously. "It's sweet. Trust me at first I was unsure what to think as well but it is surprisingly tasty" I inform her.

When we are all done, Anna, along with Ashley and Margaret takes me on a tour of the castle, ending in Malcolm and Ashley's wing where she shows me her dress. Since Malcolm is Cal's 2nd in command, he is like the Vice President of sorts, which would make Ashley the 2nd Lady.

"Oh, I love this dress, Ash. Very you" I tell her when she comes out of the bathroom with it on. The dress is dark blue almost black floor-length, both front and back scoops down, and a split up the left side.

*******

Making our way back to the main floor, Andrew is waiting at the bottom of the stairs. "Ladies, I was to inform you that the King will be busy for the next few hours but has set up lunch in the gardens for you all," he tells us.

"Also, Princess before we go outside, I was to give you this. It is your ring that will help you walk in the sun. The King says it is only temporary as it is one of his, and he is getting one that will fit you better but this should work for now" Andrew says, handing me the ring before leading the way outside to the gardens.

"Wow, this place is beautiful," I say, looking around in awe as we keep walking. There are over hundreds of different flowers everywhere you look.

"This was King Cal's late mother's garden, she had so much joy in growing all these flowers, it was one of her wishes that they still are maintained long after she was gone" Andrew explains as he continues to guide us through.

Coming to the center, there is a small pond, and next to that is a gazebo that is already set up with blankets and pillows spread out and covered dishes waiting for us. Each of us takes a spot on the ground, except Margaret, who sits on one of the benches. A maid joins us, pouring each of us a drink as we uncover each dish and make our plates.

"So Andrew, tell me a little about you, how did you come to be Cal's personal assistant?" I ask, as we relax and enjoy our meal.

"King Cal ended up saving me many years ago. I was being attacked by a group of men who found it revolting and unheard of for a man to be attracted to another man. And yes, back then it was unheard of, but you can't help who you love and are attracted to." I can hear the pain from Andrew as he talks about his past.

"The King saved me, healed me, and asked if I would like to become immortal and work for him. I was a little uncertain if I truly wanted to become immortal but I soon found that would be the best thing for me. And even though being immortal can have its moments of difficulty it to have lots of rewards. Also who wouldn't want to work for the King of all Vampires?" Andrew explains.

We talk more about what else is on the castle property as well as the different shops that are around the village as we eat and watch the ducks swim in the pond.

I end up losing track of what time it is when Cal comes strolling over with Malcolm and Robert. "Enjoy your lunch everyone?" He asks, sitting down behind me. "It was very lovely, thank you for setting this up for us. I think we have planned on making this a weekly thing" I say, feeding him a piece of fruit. "That sounds like the perfect idea. I'm glad you all have become fast friends" he replies, placing a kiss on my shoulder.

"Are you all done for the day or just taking a break?" I ask, handing him my drink to try. "Just a small break, before I head back to work. I needed to see you since I have to leave and go into the village for a while, but I will be back in time for dinner" he informs me.

Cal stands, holding out his hand for me to take. He pulls me up and tells everyone we will be back before leading me away.

"I have dinner for just the two of us planned tonight. I want to spend the evening just you and I since tomorrow will be busy" he murmurs before leaning down to kiss me.

"I want you to enjoy the rest of your afternoon, but before I go. I need to introduce you to your security team," he tells me when he breaks the kiss. Leading me back over to the gazebo, where I see four new people talking to Robert.

"Miss. Victoria, Miss. Ashley. I would like you to meet half of your security team. This is Ben, Alan, Kelsey, and Tabitha, the other four members, you will meet tomorrow. While you are on castle grounds, you will each always have 2 security team members around, when you leave the castle grounds you will each have four" Robert begins to explain to us.

'Tomorrow night at the ceremony all eight of your security team will be in attendance along with mine and Malcolm's. If you are to ever have any issues regarding them, please come to Robert, Malcolm, or I" Cal jump in to say.

"I leave you in good hands and will see you later for dinner love," Cal said, pulling me in for one last hug and kiss before leaving.

*******

After Cal left for the village, Anna shows us more of the grounds with the security team trailing behind us. When we finally make it back to the main part of the castle, I say my goodbyes as I want some time to relax in a bath before I get ready for my dinner date.

Ben and Kelsey follow, only to stop at the entrance of our wing. "If you need anything, let us know," Ben says, handing me a card with their number.

After taking an hour in the bath, while listening to some audiobooks, I have just enough time to get my hair and makeup done and to get dressed.

Cal never said where we were going but I put some effort into my look tonight, with some simple makeup and loose curls, top it off with a little black dress and high heeled boots and I'm ready to go and just in time as Cal walks into our room.

"Beautiful as ever, my love. Just give me a minute to change and I'll be ready" Cal says, giving me a quick kiss on his way to his closet.

Not a moment later he is back and looking handsome as ever. Taking my hand, we walk out, when I think he is going to take the stairs down he surprises me by leading me up another staircase and out onto the rooftop of the castle.

"Wow, it's beautiful up here," I say, looking at the sight around me. "This is one of the places I go when I need to get away and think, I look at everything around me and remember why I continue doing what I do," Cal says from behind me while wrapping his arms around my waist.

Leaning back into him we stand in silence as we take in the view of the setting sun.

"I had the chef make us up a delicious dinner" Cal whispers into my ear.

Turning me around he points to a small table set for two on top of a platform. Walking over, he steps up first, then takes my hand and helps me up and to my seat.

One of the butlers comes out, setting our dishes down in front of us then pours Cal a little wine in his glass to taste, "from your winery?" I ask as I watch Cal take a sip. "Indeed, this one is from the year you were born," he says with a smile. Setting his glass down he nods to the butler to go ahead and pour us each a glass.

"Tonight's dinner will consist of, steak, potatoes au gratin, green beans, and dinner rolls. For dessert, a special surprise. If you need anything else, please let me know. Enjoy" he says, bowing before turning and leaving us alone.

"So did you ever meet my parents while they were alive?" I ask, so far I only have Margaret to talk to about them. I'm hoping soon I'll be able to find others who could tell me things about my parents as well.

"Yes, I have actually. Your father and I had fought alongside one another in many battles. He was a great and honest man. And your mother, well you are so much alike, it is unreal how I didn't see it before" he answers.

"My mother and I, how so?" I ask, eager to learn all I can.

"Like with what happened this morning with Ashley. Normally with any new vampire or in cases like yours, newly awaken, they can't help but feel the need to feed off of humans and since Ashley is still human and had startled you by running up and hugging you without much thought to her safety, you could have easily attacked her" Cal explains, making me more aware that the simplest things a normal human would do can now be dangerous when it comes to vampires.

"That is what caused Malcolm, being Ashley's mate to go on guard and send a warning growl, which then caused me to also growl in return as you are my mate and soon to be Queen. Even though Malcolm's reaction was normal it was also disrespectful towards his Queen" he goes on explaining.

"But like your mother, you played it off with a joke because you knew Ashley had nothing to fear with you. So you in a roundabout way was able to put Malcolm in his place and make light of the situation. Something your mother was known to do as well when an issue wasn't as serious as your father would take it to be" Cal explains.

I can't help but smile at that and feel giddy that my mother and I share the same kind-hearted ways of dealing with things.

"To be honest, I was shocked to learn your father's own brother was the one who planned the attack on your parents. Your father always thought highly of Marcus and would do anything for him" Cal murmurs, scrawling in thought.

"When their parents, your grandparents were killed, your father took over as King. He made sure Marcus was always taken care of since he was still young. So I don't know where things went wrong" Cal murmurs, looking deep in thought.

Changing the subject, Cal goes on to explain more about what will happen tomorrow as we finish our dinner.

When the butler brings out dessert for us, I'm excited to see it is one of my favorites, cheesecake. "I was told to inform you that this was Miss. Ashley's mother's recipe" he says, bowing once more before leaving. "No way, oh my gosh, I love Ashley for doing this" I squeal happily as I dig in.

We have our cheesecake and coffee as we watch the stars come out and brighten up the night sky. "I feel like all I've done today is eat" I joke as I finish my last bite. "Probably a good thing as tomorrow will be busy and you may forget," he tells me as we laugh together.

When we make it back to our room later that night, I'm exhausted. It has been such a whirlwind these past few weeks, and I'm hoping once tomorrow is over with, things can start to slow down some.

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