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Heart of the Alpha (Part 1 of the Alpha Queen series)

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Chapter 2

Saber opened her eyes and was surprised by her surroundings. She did not feel like she had died, but she remembered dying - the peaceful darkness enveloping her. But why would she be here? In the Fae monster’s Fun Room? Even after death…

Her pain was gone, so she lowered herself off the stone slab. She moved to the closed door and found it unlocked. It took a while and some exploring to find an exit, but at a different end of the hall there was a tiny archway. Saber crawled through the opening which appeared to be a tunnel of some sort.

Making her way through the twisting crawlspace for what felt like forever, eventually Saber came out into the starry night. Standing, she looked around her. There was a small creek running in both directions. She tried to call on her wolf and was relieved to find it still there.

Saber waddled into the creek and shifted. It felt amazing to be free after so long. She sniffed the wind and took off running, staying in the water and following the creek into the night.

The further she ran, the more convinced she became that she was still alive. Sweat was running through her fur, her even breathing was beginning to falter after a while. Soon the creek met with a river, but she could not recall the name of it. A huge boulder - with smaller ones flanking it - stood out, creating a perfect little alcove that could serve as a resting spot.

She had to keep going if she was, in fact, alive. No doubt the Fae Queen’s men would be looking for their prisoner once her absence was discovered. Drinking some water, Saber realized she would need food soon and steeled her resolve to try to steal some along the way.

Her decision was made to head to the tunnels under the mountain close to her home. Her father had taken her along a few times when he had visited the human realm, so finding her way should be easy. The only concern was going back home. It had been decimated by the Fae army. Saber did not know how it would feel.

Everyone who had no answer about the Heart was slaughtered outright. She had little doubt that no one from her pack remained, but she had no options. There was no one outside their pack that she could consider an ally.

Saber set out once more after a brief respite, determined to get to the mountains before nightfall. She could hunt once the dark came. Maybe some supplies had survived the magic fires that had engulfed her home when she was taken.

Saber could only hope she would be strong enough to face it. Breathing deep, she tried to find some resolve for whatever lay ahead. She knew only one thing for sure, she would not survive Caspian again.


As Caspian bathed his unconscious Queen, his manner became hurried. But he had to take care that his Queen wouldn’t be reminded of the dungeons when she woke. He would surely have her wrath if that happened.

Her beautiful body and the little noises she made while he attended her only had him hurrying more. It was a fact that his Queen had not taken a consort since before he was born, and she could not have any of her cadre since they were all her sons.

Saber was her gift to him instead - the Queen's way of acknowledging his feelings for her. And the sight of his Queens body was coiling deep in his gut. He had to have Saber again, she would be unspoiled since his Queen had given so much of herself to bring her back from death. A new beginning for Saber and his love story which was supposed to have ended.

Dressing then tucking her into her bed, he kissed her forehead in silent appreciation. He loved his Queen so much. They all did. And her cadre wouldn’t think twice about dying for her if required.

Caspian exited her chambers and stationed a guard at her doors. He made sure to remind the guard that his Queen would have his head if she was disturbed. The prince returned to the dungeons at a brisk pace, not even noticing the questioning looks he received for coming out of the Fae Queens chambers.

Only her hand-maidens were allowed in there, and he certainly was not one of them. He’d just stepped away from the stairs when he heard Asher call to him. His impatience to get back to Saber got the better of him and he snapped, “What is it?”

“We were on patrol and found something. I think you’d better come take a look. I need my suspicions confirmed.” Asher was by far the most princely of the Queens cadre, always looking down on everyone. Even his betters. Bastard.

“Now?” Caspian asked irritably.

“While it’s fresh, yes.”

Caspian headed past Asher to examine whatever it was they’d found, giving him a hateful look. I’ll find a way to deal with you yet, bastard. You don’t even belong here.


Queen Mab woke with a start. She must have been dreaming. Her heart was beating faster than it had in ages. She struggled to catch her breath, even though she couldn’t remember what the dream was about. She caught the smell of sunshine and knew Caspian had followed her orders well.

Looking down she saw that he’d cleaned her of the dungeons. Such a good boy. After calming her beating heart, she got out of bed and sent for her maidens. Stepping into the magical waters once again, she relished the soothing relief of it.

The maidens came in as she climbed from the sunken tub, weaving their own magic to dress and pamper her before her day could begin. One by one they took their leave, until it was only her hair that was left. This maiden was impressively skilled.

Mab still didn’t know exactly what her magic was, but she always left her hair feeling more… alive. That was the only way she could describe it.

“Remind me of your name again child.” Queen Mab ordered.

“Lola, your majesty.” Came the quiet reply.

“Well… Doesn’t that sound a bit… human?” Mab wondered aloud.

“I was raised in the human realm with my mother. My father sent for me as soon as my magic manifested, my Queen.” The girl kept her eyes on her task, not pausing once.

“I must admit, I know you’ve been with me for a while. But time flows like a river into an ocean when one is immortal. How long have you done my hair child?” The Queen hoped she did not have a mortal lifespan. It would be very inconvenient to have to look for another when this one is so adept.

“Fifty years this Equinox, my Queen.” Seeing as she still looked like a girl, Mab sighed in relief. Thank the stars for small mercies.

Lola had just finished an intricate style when there was a knock at the door. She paused and saw to it, coming back with a folded note for her Majesty.

Lola cowered against the wall as the Queens anger became a palpable thing. It was rolling off her in literal waves as she stormed out of chambers. Lola felt a single tear roll down her cheek as she squared her shoulders and left to resume her duties.


Saber was tired. She’d been running since before dawn, only taking small breaks to catch her breath and ease her muscles. At least in wolf-form she had plenty of stamina, but she was out of practice. What she couldn’t figure out was how she was in perfect health, or seemed to be. Caspian had told her it had been a year. And she was at the very least knocking at death’s door before she lost consciousness. So how the hell was this possible?

In her cell, she’d been chained spread-eagled all the time, which was why Caspian had to carry her. He could have left the door wide open and her unchained and she could never have gotten up, never-mind just walking out as she had.

For the moment she couldn’t afford letting those worries get in her way. She also wasn’t going to think about what happened to her. She was here, alive, on the run. And that was her only focus right now.

She slowed her approach as the two willow trees came into view. She’d made it. She was home. Recalling Caspian telling her happy birthday, it felt good.

It was fitting that she should be home now, on the day of her birth. Since she’d been taken the night before her previous birthday, today should mark her 21st. Thank you Luna, she sent her gratitude to the heavens as she passed between the enormous willows.

There were only traces of the pack that had called this area home. Lush grass was growing everywhere, even over abandoned toys. Nature had taken over almost completely after everything was burned to ash. It was a good sign that fertility was still a factor here. Saber made her way to the only stone building their pack had. The walls were completely blackened and no glass remained in the windows.

It was heartbreaking to note the roof was also completely gone. Entering her house slowly, she walked in a daze toward the hearth where the whole pack would have gathered for dinner. They’d been so happy here, together. And now the loneliness threatened to overwhelm her. But she was here on a mission. To survive. To stay out of their clutches.

She found her way into the huge kitchen, only to remember she needed clothes. She’d been naked the whole day, although in wolf-form it didn’t register. Saber went to her room and was surprised to find everything still there. Albeit thrown around and the bed in a discarded heap. Even her closet was still full of clothes.

She shifted into her human form. After another dazed moment with a tear spilling free, she packed some necessities. She sank to her knees and prayed that Luna guide her.

Her sensitive nose picked up the smell of burnt ozone. As soon as she opened her eyes a blast of lightening shot straight through her from above. The pain was intense enough that her arms spread wide as she tried to scream to the heavens. A moment later she crumpled to the floor, out cold.

Saber woke up feeling electrified, though not in a bad way. She was totally energized, thinking it might spill out at any moment. That was only supposed to happen the day her father stepped down as Alpha King, when the magic transferred to whoever was next in line.

Being his daughter didn’t guarantee it would pass to her though. That honor would belong to the strongest wolf in the realm. But I’m the only one left of our clan, so I guess strength doesn’t apply in this case.

“That was not the kind of guidance I had in mind Luna, but I’m honored to serve.” Moving to get up, there was a slight burning sensation near to her hip. Closer inspection showed a glowing lightening bolt about the size of her thumb. Like if you could bottle lightening, and it was moving like static, but staying within the bottle. The bolt looked alive.

“That’s a pretty mark,” Saber said to no one, grimacing. Although her father had told her about his awakening, he had never mentioned it would be a lightening bolt from the skies marking him. All Alpha Kings received fire as their blessing.

Truth be told, he had never really told her what to expect. But they had believed there was all the time in the world. Peace had reigned for the past three hundred years because he was a great ruler.

Not bothering to put on clothes since she’d be wolfing out anyway, she staggered down to the kitchen for a water-bottle. Taking one last look at the hearth, she turned and walked out through the back door forever. Because that would be how long the Fae lived compared to wolves. Shifting once outside, Saber pushed her nose through the handles of her duffel bag. When it was secured around her neck, she ran for the mountains.

Night fell just as she reached the set of caves. She left her bag inside the first - behind a big stone, and went hunting. She would have loved a properly cooked meal, but could not risk a fire. Wolves were all about the hunt anyway, and she tracked her prey effortlessly.

The instincts came naturally once she had the young boar in her sights. Instincts honed all her life. She took him down quickly and most importantly, quietly, by breaking its neck.

After dragging the lifeless carcass to the cave, she ate her fill but had to shift to drink some water from her bottle. Doubting that Caspian would be able to track her human scent all the way inside the cave, she stayed human and put on some clothes.

It would be better to traverse these caves with hands instead of paws anyway. Saber dumped the rest of the carcass a little ways away so that scavengers could finish it off. Thereby eliminating her trail before the Fae could find her.

Dampness from the earth soon had her nose itching, but she kept going. It was not long before she found the fake stone hiding the breach to the human realm. It took no effort to lift it enough for her to pass underneath, careful not to leave scuff marks on the floor. Since the lightning struck her, she had yet to find something that tested her strength. The hunt had been child’s play, but she was not counting that because hunting hadn’t challenged her since she was thirteen.

A singe filled the cave as she passed through the force field protecting the breach from the humans. The air quickly became staler and drier as she moved toward the exit. This side of the doorway did not reside deep in a system of caves, but rather sat high up on a mountain in a shallow alcove, looking like just another boulder.

It was midday as she exited. Her father had explained to her that here in the human realm, days were much shorter. Technically the wolves can live in either realm, since they were born when Luna accepted a human as a mate.

But that happened so long ago that only Mab could know the truth, with her being the only surviving heir of what once was. And Saber could not imagine anyone remembering things from fifteen thousand years ago.

She took another drink of water before setting down the treacherous mountain pass. It felt like hours had passed by the time she came to the bottom. Thick trees made for good cover as she made her way toward the town they had visited before.

This time around there was nothing to sell, and staying in these woods would leave a stronger scent for the Fae to follow. Saber felt lucky that her father had insisted she learn the human language, even to read and write their stocky scribbling.

There were signs and posts everywhere, announcing all manner of things. Deciding to browse through the streets first, she found herself in awe of all the different kinds of shops. Watching the humans interact with each other, she quickly determined that they were using currency in the form of small metal discs and paper. There was no trading here, and then a butcher shop caught her interest and she entered with an idea. Heading straight for the nearest person - a woman - who looked like she was helping other people, Saber took in the many different types of meat they had on their shelves.

The shelves seemed to be keeping everything cold and when she put her hand on one, a gentle hum drifted up her arm. Amazing, she thought just as the woman turned to her. She was looking at Saber’s clothes strangely, but she was smiling. Saber took that as a good sign.

“I need to know… Do you buy any… wild meat? Wild animals?” She asked the woman in broken English. Her expression immediately softened as understanding dawned.

“Ah, not from around these parts, are ya? No matter. Yes we buy from local hunters deary. Do ya know ’bout someone new?”

Saber nodded and tried the other question that plagued her. “Do you have… place to sleep?” Nerves were suddenly fluttering in the pit of her stomach.

“Oh, I uh… No deary. Not here. But there’s an inn up the road. Just ask for Darla. She’ll set ya up nicely, I’m sure.” Saber flinched when the woman reached to take her arm. More understanding showed on her face when she took in Saber’s scrunched-up eyes.

“Come on, I’ll show ya where ta go deary. Name’s Sally by the way. Tell Darla I sentcha.”

Saber nodded and followed her outside, where the woman pointed to a very pink sign. Saber nodded and took off in that direction.

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