"Dad, I've told you a hundred times. I don't need a bodyguard." I groaned, flopping down on my bed. My dad was quiet for awhile, but I could still sense his presence in my room.
"You know he's only trying to keep you safe." My wolf Aela, scolded me.
"Arabella." My dad's stern voice called out and I reluctantly sat up and met his silver eyes. I could feel the power of the Alpha King fill my bedroom and I resisted the urge to shudder.
Aela grumbled, "We'll you've done it now."
His Alpha power didn't affect me quite the same, being his daughter had some perks. Nonetheless, I resisted the urge to cringe under his intense gaze.
I sighed, knowing this conversation was going nowhere. "Yes dad?"
"You will behave and let your body guard protect you." His commanding voice filled my ears and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
All of the training I had endured wouldn't change his mind. He insisted I was no match for his enemies, not without becoming Queen. He refused to relinquish his title while I was mate-less and had more motivation than ever to assign me an unwanted body guard.
"Fine." I snapped, "But you know I'll never behave." I crossed my arms and looked out of my bedroom window, letting my eyes roam the massive garden out back.
My dad gave me a sympathetic smile and sat on the bed, "Arabella, you know this is the last thing I want. We have enemies everywhere. I have to make sure you're safe."
I huffed and kept my gaze trained on the gardens. There was no way I planned on playing nice, not while what little freedom I had was being taken away.
"I can't lose you too Bella." I could hear my dad's empty voice and my heart squeezed. My green eyes met his own as I looked at how broken hearted he truly was.
I had lost my mother only a year ago, and my father had lost his mate. My dad had an image that he put on for the world to see. A firm and borderline cruel Alpha King who would keep his people safe. Only I and my mother were allowed to see this side of him, the side with feelings.
Unable to hold onto my anger, I frowned at him. "When will he be here?"
I rolled my eyes when my dad's face broke out into a relieved grin, and I couldn't hold back the small smile that played on my lips.
"Tomorrow morning." My dad nodded, giving his phone a quick glance. He hardly had any time these days, with the war going on and the assassinations, he was up to his neck in work.
I sighed, "Very well. Will he be staying in my room as well?" I smirked.
My dad's face turned an interesting shade of red, "Absolutely not." He sputtered, "You'll be moving to one of the adjoining rooms and he will take the other."
"Good. I'd rather see him as little as possible." I huffed, leaning into my dad's outstretched arm.
"Just do me a favor, Bella. Don't leave the grounds today. You can tomorrow, but not without your body guard. I'll send the maids up later to move your stuff." I sighed and nodded my head, determined to enjoy these few moment's alone with my dad.
As always, they never lasted long.
"I have to go, Bella." My dad sighed, running his fingers through his salt and pepper hair. I looked closely at his face and realized how tired he truly looked after losing Mom. They both had me when they were only twenty years old. I'll be turning eighteen in a month, which made him only thirty seven.
I sighed and wrapped my arms around him tightly, my stomach clenching at the thought of losing him. "Just be safe for me."
"I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. Not when I have you constantly getting into trouble." He smirked, and that familiar twinkle filled his silver eyes.
I scoffed at him, "I'll deal with the body guard, but I don't plan on behaving!" I called out as he was leaving my room. I could hear his deep chuckle fading down the hallway.
I pulled myself out of bed and threw on a pair of jeans and an off-shoulder blouse. Everytime I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of my mom. My raven colored hair ran down my back in silky waves, and my curvy body almost mirrored her own. The only thing I got from my father were his luscious eyelashes and his temper.
I pulled out my cellphone and sent my two best friends a quick text. Caroline and Shannon were my two closest friends. Both were the daughter's of our cleaning ladies, but that never changed how I felt about them. For the longest time, I was raised along side them.
They kept me company through the many years of being an only child. Typically, the first born son would take over the position of Alpha or in my case, Alpha King. While my Mom and Dad continued trying for another child, that simply wasn't their fate. My Dad, being the stubborn man he is, declared I would be named Alpha Queen when he resigned. The first Alpha Queen in history.
I glanced down at my phone as the screen lit up. Caroline was out of town visiting family, but Shannon would be waiting for me in the gardens. I sent back a quick message, thankful we were well into the modern world.
Things had changed from the days of brick castles and tiny villages. While our house was the same size as a castle, it was more of a glorified mansion. We still had cooks, maid's and the Royal Guard. The many cities and towns that surrounded our home were all under my Dad's command. He ran the biggest Kingdom in the world, and someday I would do the same.
I spent countless years learning etiquette, training and history. Each lesson had been simple, but I struggled with following the rules of others. Blame it on my Alpha blood or the fact that I'm stubborn, but I often make and follow my own rules.
I skipped from my room and down the main corridor. I dodged maid's and cook's as I ran down the stairs, heading for the garden. My favorite place in the entire house was either the garden or the massive library. My Mom would get lost for hours in the thousands of books we had. Anytime she was missing for too long, my Dad and I would sneak off to the library to find her.
To get to the gardens, I had to walk through the bustling kitchens. The kitchen was easily the size of a restaurant, able to host feasts and gala's at a moment's notice. I ducked under upraised trays of muffins and pastries, letting the seductively sweet aroma fill my nose.
At all hours of the day the kitchen was absolutely hectic. My Mom would have food sent to the less fortunate in town and she always demanded they be fed the same quality of food as us Royals. My Dad kept the rule in place after her death, and each day he made sure the food made it to the less fortunate.
I crept through the kitchen and when I noticed nobody's eyes on me, I let my fingers wrap around a warm chocolate chip muffin.
Just as I was about to bring the warm muffin to my lips I heard my name called, "Arabella, drop that muffin!"
I noticed Shannon's mom, Sheila, coming after me, a dirty rag held up as a weapon. Giving her a sheepish smile, I set the muffin down and took off running through the kitchen.
Sheila had always been a second mom to me, and quickly stepped up to the plate when my real mom had passed. They were close friends, and her death hit her hard. Even as Royal's, my family never looked down on anyone else. We commanded respect due to our Alpha blood, but we never needlessly abused or tormented anyone. I knew some of the other Kingdom's in the world weren't so friendly.
I jogged out the massive patio doors and breathed the fresh air outside. Spring had just begun and I enjoyed every moment. Spring was my favorite season. The flowers in the garden began to bloom with their sweet scents mingling into something exotic and exquisite.
Breathing in the crisp roses and the sweet honeysuckle, I walked down the dirt path to the large gazebo that sat in the center. I could see Shannon's curly hair pop up as she met my eyes.
Shannon was the responsible one in our little group. Caroline had a wild side, like me. Shannon tried, and often failed to keep us in line and out of trouble. While I was a full Lycan, Caroline and Shannon were human. Our territory had a mix of human and lycan, lycan having the higher population. Many human's in our Kingdom were half lycan, but only a handful of them could actually shift.
"Took you long enough." Shannon shook her head, her chocolate curls bouncing with the simple motion. Shannon's skin was the color of fresh espresso, making her honey colored eyes stand out.
I shrugged and plopped down on one of the chairs inside the gazebo, "Dad needed to talk to me."
"Anything important?" Shannon raised her eye brow at me, her honey colored eyes calculating.
I huffed at her, hating when she looked at me like that. Shannon could be a master interrogator, a single speculative look from her honey eyes would make anyone talk.
We were interrupted by two of the servants coming up the stairs of the gazebo, a metal cart full of food and drinks followed them.
"Oh sorry, I let them know you'd be eating breakfast here." Shannon gave me a smile.
Being constantly waited on was something I still wasn't too comfortable with. I was always looked at with caution, almost fear. No one wanted to get on Dad's bad side, if only they could see him the way I do.
"I appreciate that." I smiled at her, "Eat with me!"
I pushed a plate of scrambled eggs her way, "Take whatever you'd like."
She gave me an appreciative smile and began to eat. I turned to the servants who lugged the food cart up the gazebo stairs.
"Thank you for breakfast. Leave the cart, I'll make sure it's returned." I smiled at the two of them. The servants hated when I did anything on my own. Everyone at the house had worked there for many years, watching me grow up. They knew I appreciated everything they did, but I still felt the need to help where I could.
"So, what did you and the Alpha King talk about?" Shannon frowned, and I could see the worry in her golden orbs.
I sighed, plopping a large strawberry in my mouth. I was missing that chocolate chip muffin. "He's assigning me a personal body guard." I grumbled.
"Oh, I'm sure you hate that." Shannon giggled, and I stuck my tongue out at her.
"You know that's the last thing I want." I mumbled.
Shannon giggled again and I gave her a weary look, "What would Caroline say if she were here?"
I thought that over for a moment, "Probably something about making him sleep in the same bed as me, y'know for safety." I snickered.
"Or the potential hotness of your personal bodyguard." Shannon laughed, and I joined in.
Feeling happy and content with the cool Spring breeze caressing my skin, I munched on a piece of sausage. "She'd give a new definition to personal bodyguard." I giggled.
After finishing breakfast we walked the grounds of the garden. Shannon loved the garden as much as I did. The two of us waved at the gardeners who were working today.
I trailed my fingers over the soft petal's of a vibrant tulip and down the rough stem of a couple sunflowers.
"Arabella, could you come here for a moment? I'm in the library." My uncle's voice flooded through my head.
I nodded, then remembered he couldn't see it. "I'll be there shortly, uncle."
"I've got to go." I sighed, "Uncle's calling me."
Shannon nodded in understanding, "I'll make sure the cart gets back to the kitchen."
"Thank you." I smiled at her. Giving her a quick peck on the cheek, I ran from the garden's and back to the house.
As I child, I often got lost roaming the halls. In my spare time I would explore and make maps of the building, pretending each room held some amazing secret. The library, with it's dark oak doors, held a world full of mermaids and mythical creatures. As I grew older, my imagination faded. My awareness left imagination behind and began to see the horrors of the world.
I shoved the library door's open with ease, my eyes settling on my Uncle Jaspar. He was hunched over a large and rather dusty book.
"Ah, there you are." His head shot up, and his silver eyes met my green ones. Everyone on my father's side had silver eyes. As everyone so often reminded me, I was the spitting image of my mother.
I smirked at him, "You called?"
Jaspar is my Dad's much younger brother. Their ten years apart, making Uncle Jaspar only twenty eight. He looked much like what my Dad did when he was younger, and plagued with less stress. Jaspar's curly brown hair sat short on his head, framed with full eyebrows and long eyelashes. Every male in my dad's family were built like giant's. It was typical for Lycan's to be muscular, but Dad and Uncle Jaspar were ginormous.
"I heard about your father's plans for you." Uncle Jaspar gave me a sympathetic smile. He always seemed to understand how I felt about things, even if he agreed with Dad most of the time.
I rolled my eyes, "Guess all that training was for nothing."
Uncle Jaspar had a small smile on his face, "All that training will be useful if someone slips past your body guard. You should never hope to put your training to use, Arabella." I sighed, the stern look on his face resembled Dad's.
"I know, I know. I just hate having someone follow me no matter where I go." I grumbled, sitting down on one of the soft couches scattered throughout the library.
Uncle Jaspar smiled, "You're the heir to the entire Kingdom, Arabella and you're his daughter. You can't blame him for taking every precaution."
"You're right, I can't. But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it." I raised my eyebrow at him.
He chuckled, "I would expect nothing less. You're too much like your mother." He shook his head as if he were thinking of a fond memory. My heart squeezed every time someone mentioned how similar I was to my Mom. She was one of my best friends.
"Has your father told you who would be guarding you?" Uncle Jaspar's question caught me off guard.
I frowned, "No? He hasn't said anything. I just assumed it would be some warrior." I shrugged.
"Knowing your father, he's not going to choose just any warrior." Uncle Jaspar shrugged, but it felt forced.
I pushed my suspicious thoughts to the side, chalking it up to irritation. "Dad would get me a personal army if he could." I rolled my eyes.
"You are right about that." Uncle Jaspar chuckled.
After leaving the library, I had tried to track Shannon down. I held back a groan as Sheila told me she had left for work. Shannon worked at a local coffee shop in town and would often bring me back iced mocha's or other sweets.
Things in the house were slowly getting more and more boring as the hours passed. I wanted to make the most of my day, knowing I would have a aggressive shadow following me everywhere tomorrow.
Around 6 p.m. one of the maid's showed me to my new bedroom. I glared at the large door on the far wall, knowing my body guard would be just a few feet away. My new suite provided some extra room, giving me the illusion of privacy.
I flopped down on my bed and listened to music, and when that finally got boring I shuffled into the bathroom. Over the years the house had been through substantial remodeling, and my favorite part of it were the bathrooms.
Each bathroom had a walk in shower, and a bathtub big enough to be a pool. I turned the hot water on and watched the tub begin to fill. I pulled out some vanilla bubble bath and stifled a grin as I dumped the entire bottle in.
I relaxed in the bath until the hot water turned cold and my fingers resembled prunes. Feeling much more calm about tomorrow, I curled into the warm bed and drifted off to sleep.
I would just like to clarify that in this novel, mates are discovered at 18 years or older. They are also discovered by touch instead of scent.