The After Effects

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To Lead The North

It was all a dream. It had to be. There was no way that all of this is real. For starters, me killing my father, who was also the ruler of the North. On top of that, people are insisting that I take his spot.

Me? A queen? What a joke.

The past week has been absolute chaos.

After dethroning and murdering my father, I slept for two days. Apparently coming into ones powers can be quite exhausting. Killing two people with newfound powers, well that is especially tiring.

My deep sleep was the only downtime I’ve had this entire week. The moment I was awake, my father’s council and men were demanding I meet with all of them to discuss recent events. As if that wasn’t tiring enough, helpers and citizens have been coming to the castle all week, giving me gifts and begging me to take over.

It was only recently that I realized why they were doing this.

I’m supposed to take my father’s spot.

That leads me to my current conversation with Locke. Rorek had his arms wrapped around me, offering me comfort while Soren stood, amused, in the corner of the room.

“You’re crazy if you think I can take his spot,” I hissed at my brother, who was definitely off his rocker, considering what he was telling me.

Locke straightened and crossed his arms, not buying my attitude. “We have literally been trained to be royalty since before the Plague even happened,” he scoffed. “And don’t even give me that ‘I was fighting for my life’ crap, because when you weren’t fighting he had a teacher down in your cell preaching to you about this and that.”

I wanted to be upset at his coarse words, but he was right. Although the learning environment wasn’t ideal, the time that wasn’t spent training was spent with a mean old lady that drilled math, science, and many other subjects into my brain.

“Why can’t you be King?” I was grasping at straws at this point.

A small part of me tingled at the thought of being Queen, of having the power to help change the world for the better. But a large part of didn’t think I deserved it. Yeah, I killed the King, but that’s all I did. I’ve killed since I was fourteen and it’s something I’m strangely good at. What if that was all I was good at?

“Because you killed the King,” Locke pointed at me in case I missed his emphasis on you. “Besides, we both know you’d be a better ruler than I could ever be.” His eyes flickered over my shoulder to the large male encompassing me in his embrace. “You have someone to rule alongside you and you have a real reason to fix this deeply messed up world,” Locke spoke with pride. His words, while they could be interpreted as sad, were him telling me how proud he was of me and how far I’ve come.

I turned slightly in the huge arms that wrapped around my waist to face amethyst eyes. “What do you think, mountain man?” I asked my significant other.

“I think that you’ve always known that it would come to this, and I think you are more than ready to rule over these people, who also seem to really like you,” Rorek said, his purple eyes dancing with black, signaling that he and his dragon were speaking as one.

“But what if I lead them wron-”

Soren caught me off as he pushed off the corner he had been standing in. “The fact that you’re even concerned about that, proves that you would be a good leader. Acer," Soren quirked his eyebrow as he called me by my dreadful title. “you are probably the person most fit to rule, second, only to me, of course.” I rolled my eyes at the male’s insist swagger.

“Beautiful words,” I teased the Prince, though I really did find his words helpful.

After all, he spent the majority of his life alone so he could focus and prepare to rule over the Southern territory whenever his father retires. If anyone could deem me fit to rule, it was indeed him.

Locke watched me closely, gauging whatever I was going to say. I studied his jade green eyes closely before speaking again. “You’ll be by my side?” I asked my brother.

Who’s cocky grin made me want to retract my words before he answered. “If you want me by your side, I’ll be there. My only condition is that you give me a cool title,” my brother said, making me want to roll my eyes again.

I took a deep sigh, hoping and praying to whoever was out there that I was making the right decision. The arms around me tightened in a reassuring squeeze. I looked to my brother, who had been by my side my whole life and supported nearly everything I’ve done.

His jade grin eyes shimmered with confidence. The bastard already knew my answer, I mentally scoffed.

“Fine,” I sighed. “Make me a Queen.”

A mischievous smirk crossed my brother’s face as he fell into a deep bow. “As you wish your Majesty,” his words struck deep inside of me.

Me... A Queen... Who would’ve thought?

A light knock pulled me from my thoughts, causing everyone to turn to the door as someone peeked in.

“Your Majesty,” A helper said to me, even though she hadn’t heard our conversation, she had willingly called me that. “There are two ladies here to see you.”

I turned to Locke, a quirk in my eyebrow. He returned my look with a shrug of his shoulders. Before turning back to the door, I caught the smirk on Soren’s face. So this was his doing, I thought just as the door burst open and a little girl can sprinting in.

Rorek released his hold just as a tiny human crashed into me, nearly causing me to fall over, a squeal emitting from the girl at the same time.

“Ivy!” Harper’s young voice cheered as her little arms wrapped tightly around my waist.

Locke chuckled at her before turning to the other woman stepping into the room. Julie had a sweet smile on her face as she and Locke held eye contact, Julie was the first to break it with a blush coloring her cheeks.

Rorek rumbled over my shoulder as I continued hugging my favorite human. “Thank you for bringing her,” he said to Julie.

I turned at that, my mouth agape. “You planned this?” I asked my mate, who had the nerve to look shy about it.

“Well, Soren and I planned it together. We figured you would want her here for when you are... coronated.” Rorek said, his eyes not quite meeting mine as he shifted nervously.

Hah, the big guy had such a kind heart, I could only smile at my mate, truly too happy to come up with any words.

Harper’s chin propped against my stomach as she looked up at me. “You’re going to be a real Queen?” She asked, excitement carrying her words.

I brought my hand to her head, patting it as I nodded my head. “And you’re going to be a princess,” I said, not being able to contain my grin that broke out at her beaming smile.

“You’re going to be the most beautiful Queen to ever live! I need to find you a dress!” Harper suddenly unlatched from me and left the room, a guard hot on her heels and listening to her explain her plan.

Julie smiled at her before turning back to me. “She’s a wonderful young lady,” she said, voicing what I was already thinking.

“She’s quite a lively ten-year-old,” I sighed, falling back into Rorek’s arms, a stupid smile refusing to leave my face.

Confusion suddenly scrunched Julie’s face as her face blushed red. “Well actually, your Majesty...” Julie seemed hesitant to say whatever she wanted.

Luckily Locke stepped up and reassured her. “She doesn’t bite, you can say whatever you want,” he told her.

Julie nodded at his words and faced me. “Harper is actually a little older than we originally thought. I was curious one day and met with her aunt who told me when her birthday was and explained that at the time Harper came to live with you, she was actually twelve. Her birthday was nearly two weeks ago, making her thirteen,” Julie explained.

Well that... makes a lot of sense, actually. I mused.

I looked at Locke with a smirk on my face. “We’re raising a teenager,” I told him, who chuckled in response.

Locke turned to Julie, his face softened as he spoke. “Thank you for taking great care of her while we were away. We are in debt to you,” he said, his soft toning surprising me.

That was until I realized why he was acting different around her. He liked her. Locke and Julie sitting in a tree... you know the rest.

I smirked as Rorek chuckled from behind me. Soren pushed off the wall, his serious face on.

“Ivy Bjerke,” Soren said in a strong voice. “I hope you’re ready for this, because there’s no turning back...” He trailed off and made a general gesture.

Soren, the cocky and snotty prince who I knew would be a great Monarch to serve alongside. Him leading the South and me, the North. His friendship would be invaluable with this strange new world I had only recently been made aware of.

Locke watched me intently, waiting for whatever I had to say. I knew that no matter what I said, Locke would support me and be by my side. My brother and best friend since birth, the only person who had seen me at my worst and helped me to be the best.

Harper, well, something told me that she would definitely keep my life interesting, especially as she got older. I was glad I had found her though. I knew that one day she would do great things. I truly couldn't wait to see the young woman she would grow up to be.

Rorek stood steady at my back, his reassuring presence keeping me grounded like always. My mate. The man that had come into my life at a completely unexpected time, in the most unexpected way. We were equals, halves of a whole that had clicked together and would never break apart. He was there for me when I couldn't pick myself off the floor of the showers after my fights in the arena, and he had continued to be there for me without fail. He was truly my mate and I was excited to see where our special bond would take us.

I took in the faces of the people who made up my... family. That's what we were. A crazy and dysfunctional family that would be there for me. I was no longer that scared girl in the Black Forest, I was the Acer, and I was determined to help my people.

I'm Ivy Bjerke, a Fae female, and I'm the new Queen of the North.

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