E P I L O G U E
O N E M O N T H L A T E R
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Rhys asked, leaning opposite of me with a worried look on his handsome face “Because if not, I can cancel this meeting and we can go on our date early”
“You’re really excited about this date” I raised an eyebrow at his eagerness
“Aren’t you? We really haven’t had a chance to fully enjoy each other’s company since this whole Wolf Moon fiasco” he blushed harder and mumbled “Plus, I really miss my beautiful Mate”
“AWE!” I cooed, walking forward and wrapping my arms around his waist “I missed my big macho Alpha too!”
He sighed and gripped my hips before leaning forward and kissing the tip of my nose
“I’m never going to live this down, am I?”
“Nope” I snickered before stepping away from him and putting on my game face “Okay, I’m ready”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure” I said before opening the huge wooden doors and walking into the board room full of Alphas and Betas from across the world.
I felt their eyes appraising me and while some Alphas smiled at me, others gave me disgusted looks.
I climbed the small platform to the stage and addressed the room.
From the corner of my eye, I watched as my dad slipped in quietly and take his place next to Rhys.
Both of them gave me confident smiles but their eyes held worry.
Worry for both me and the reactions of all these Wolves.
“As some of you already know” I began “I have called this meeting to discuss some very important matters with you all”
The Alphas and Betas didn’t object right away so I took that as a good sign to continue
“About one month ago, many of you were forced to participate in the Genocide of our fellow brethren” Someone snorted at my use of ‘Our’ and Rhys growled “Because of that, I have called this meeting not only to hear your side of the story but to also announce that from this moment on, the Dimitrious will no longer be making the sole decisions in regards to the well-being of the Wolf community”
Everyone was shocked into silence but as always, there was always that one person who had something to say.
“You said ‘sole decision’ so I’m assuming the Dimitrious are still in charge?” A female Alpha asked from the middle row “Am I correct to assume that?”
“Yes” I said, matching her gaze “Your assumption is correct”
“So nothing has really change then?” Another voice called out from the back row
“That’s incorrect” I said “Things will be run like a Democracy now. You’ll get a say in any decision made”
“But do we really have a voice?” Someone else chimed in
“And what gives you the right to be our Queen” Two other voices asked from the far left
More and more voices began talking at once and to say I was being overwhelmed was an understatement.
It felt like I was being put on trial for a crime I didn’t even commit
My Wolf Valkyrie appeared at my side, nuzzling her huge head against my thigh. I combed my fingers through her soft fur and took a much needed deep breath to calm my nerves.
I noticed that the room quieted significantly so when I looked up, I was shocked to see everyone giving me a surprised look.
I raised an eyebrow
“Is everyone done throwing a tantrum now?” I asked “So that we can go back to having a civilized adult conversation?”
“Why should the Dimitrious be the ones to rule?” A bald pudgy Beta asked from the front row “Especially a little girl?”
He gave me a disgusted look and Valkyrie stalked toward him, raising her upper lip in a snarl.
He sunk further back in his seat farther and avoided eye contact with her.
Rhys snickered quietly as Valkyrie continued to stare down the man
“Yeah” Someone called out “Don’t you have a brother and father who can rule more efficiently?”
I raised an eyebrow
“So because they have a penis means that they could rule more efficiently?” Kaden called out from his position against the wall “If anything, that makes them more likely to screw things up”
I laughed along with the rest of the crowd but quickly covered it up with a cough
“My father and brother wouldn’t be able to rule” I said “Since they have no claim to the Dimitriou Throne”
“What do you mean?”
“In the Dimitriou line, females are the only ones who have the right to the Dimitriou throne” I said “It was the one condition my ancestors made with the Moon Goddess when the Wolves were created”
“And you mean to keep this condition going?” someone asked “Leaving out any future male contenders?”
“No,” I said honestly “But both my father and older brother forgo the throne to me”
“And your younger brother”
This time I laughed loudly without covering it up
Murmurs whispered throughout the crowd
“As of right now, my brother is a child” I said coolly “When he gets older and if he wants a chance at the throne, then we will reconvene once again and decide on the matter. But until then...”
I found each and everyone of the gazes and held them “Until that moment happens, I will lead us, to the best of my abilities, into a era of peace and prosperity”
“Can you even transform into a Wolf?” the bald beta muttered from his seat “Or are you full Hunter?”
Valkyrie snarled and snapped at him from the staged
He winced and scooted his chair back farther
I raised an eyebrow
“Is this what all of you are thinking?” I addressed the whole “That because I am half Hunter and because my Wolf can apparate or appear out of thin air that I cannot transform into a Wolf like the rest of you?”
“How are we supposed to believe in a leader who isn’t fully one of us” A quiet female voice said from the back.
I raised an eyebrow at the girl, who was no older than me, and she gave me an apologetic smile.
“I mean we understand your sentiment, we truly do, but how are you fully supposed to understand where we’re coming from if you think like a Hunter instead of thinking like a Wolf”
“I understand where you’re coming from,” I said to her ” But I don’t think my parentage should be the one thing defining my ability to lead”
“Look, if I’m being honest” I sighed “I wasn’t raised as a Wolf or Hunter. I was raised as a human who was supposed to be oblivious to the supernatural world and all that it entailed. The closest thing I could get to Wolves, Witches, or Hunters would be the ones I would read about in my favorite books”
I took a deep breath and walked toward the front of the audience
“I will never deny or resent the fact that I was born from both a Hunter and a Wolf. Why? Because that’s what makes me...well, me. Kassiopeia Nyx Dimitriou. I don’t claim to know the struggles or the hardships you’ve faced, so don’t claim to know me or my leadership abilities. All I ask of you is to help me bring peace to the Wolves. We’ve shed enough blood and buried enough people”
I gave them a sad smile “I don’t know about you but I don’t want to experience anymore heartbreak”
“I think that went well” Rhys murmured against me lips as his grip around my waist became firmer “Considering that you only had a month to practice”
I laughed and pulled slightly back from our kiss, twirling the ends of his hair with my fingers
“Really?” I asked “Because to me it was a complete disaster”
He kissed the corner of my mouth and let me go “Nothing’s ever a disaster when you’re involved Princess”
“Yeah right” I snorted “Now where are you taking me?”
He gave me a lopsided grin and poked my nose “Wouldn’t you like to know”
“Yeah” I deadpanned “I would. Why do you think I asked?”
He pouted “Can’t you play along?”
I raised an eyebrow and sighed “Fine. I’ll play along just this once”
He beamed and gave me a quick kiss on my lips before opening his car door for me “Thank you”
I poked his chest “Don’t get use to it”
He grinned “No promises”
Soon we were on the road and when he turned the volume up on the radio, I started laughing in surprise.
A Whole New World was blasting on the speakers and when I turned to Rhys, he was wearing a big Cheshire cat grin.
“What are you up to?”
“Nothing” he said before nudging me to sing
“Nuh uh” I shook my head “You do not want to hear me sing”
“I sure do” he said in a sing song voice “Why else would I bust out my good Disney showtunes?”
“To embarrass yourself” I sang back to him in an equally annoying voice
“There you go!” He tapped the wheel excitedly and sat straighter in his seat “You’re doing it!”
“No I’m not!” I laughed as Rhys started singing Aladdin’s part
“Come on Princess!” he pleaded, giving me his puppy dog eyes
I relented and began singing softly
“I can’t hear you!” Rhys laughed, holding a hand to his ear
I leaned over the center council and sang extremely loud in his ear “A WHOLE NEW WORLD!”
He swore and nudged me back into my seat
“I wanted you to sing” he muttered “Not blow my eardrum out”
I snickered “Did I forget to mention I’m tone deaf too?”
“That would have been useful information to know” He laughed before parking in a dark looking parking lot.
I raised my eyebrow “Jeez, I knew my singing was bad but I didn’t know that it was kill-worthy bad”
“I’m not going to kill you” He opened my door and held out his hand “I’ve waited too long for you”
My heart softened and I gave him a peck on the cheek “Smooth Alpha. Real smooth”
He caught my hand and led me down a small trail to a...dock?
“What are we doing?”
He helped me into the small boat before climbing in himself, unchaining the boat, and using the two paddles to row us farther into in lake.
A few minutes into our comfortable silence, Kiss the Girl began playing throughout the whole lake.
I snorted in laughter “You did not”
Rhys grinned and leaned forward to give me a quick kiss “I so totally did”
“How?” I asked “Why?”
“You said you loved a good romance and while I can’t give you a Greek Mythology whirlwind kind of romance, I thought a Disney one would do instead”
“I’m glad you chose the Disney route” I said and shuddered when I thought about Greek Mythology “We’ve definitely experienced enough Greek mythology to last us a lifetime”
“So I did good?”
I grinned “You did great”
“Good” He grinned back at me “Because if you said you hated it I would have jumped out of the boat”
“And leave me stranded? And all alone?”
“Not stranded” he said and put down the oars “Because we’re here”
He jumped out of the boat and dragged it further up the rocky shore
“And where is here exactly?” I asked, looking around the huge lot of bare land surrounded in ungroomed grass and trash.
“This,” he stated slowly, handing me a rolled up piece of paper with a neat bow around it “Is our new home”
My eyebrows shot up in surprise as I took the paper and unraveled it.
When I read the huge “Deed of Land” heading, I choked on air.
“Tell me you didn’t” I whispered as tears began to blur my vision “Please tell me this isn’t real”
“Every Princess deserves a castle of her own” he whispered softly to me “And while it might not be as extravagant as the ones in Disney movies, it’ll be something we can call ours”
“How?” I choked out
“My parents made me get a job as soon as I was old enough to get one” he said “They liked that it built character. I liked it because I was finally able to make and spend my own money without having them hovering over my shoulder and complaining about how much I spend. After I realized how expensive everything was, I began saving every other paycheck. While it wasn’t an enormous amount, it was enough to convince my father to match the amount.”
He gave me a sheepish smile “Your parents chipped in too so I wouldn’t have to get a loan out”
I chuckled and wiped my eyes “This is all moving to fast”
He grabbed my hands and gently caressed my knuckles with his thumbs.
“I know everything’s moving fast” he said “But we don’t have to start building now. We can wait a few years, take it slow, and then start building it to our liking. We can go as slow as you want as long as we’re doing it together”
He twirled me in his arms as the song Tale As Old As Time began playing
“Plus, if you decide to go to college here, this place is only 20 minutes away from the local University or Community College”
“You had everything planned out already huh?” I teased “What if I would have got upset and threw you in the water”
He laughed and spun me around to face him “That was a chance I was willing to take”
“And was it worth it?” I asked
“I don’t know” he said, his pretty grey eyes locking with mine ”Was it worth the risk? Or did I make a complete fool of myself?”
“It was absolutely worth it” I kissed him ”Best first date ever"