His Hybrid Queen

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Chapter 2

Claire


The strong morning light aggressed my sensitive eyes and forced me to wake up. Unlike my previous room, the late Queen’s chambers -my grandmother- were facing east. I was offered the King’s room since I was the Alpha, but I refused to be connected to him, or reminded of him in any way possible. So I ended up here, in this room with authentic Louis IVX vintage furniture. It hasn’t been redecorated since the passing of the previous Queen.


I won’t complain though. Every piece was old but had an odd charm to it. I’ll pretend that I traveled to the past and live like Mary-Antoinette. On a second thought, maybe not. Because she ended up on the guillotine and I still needed my head attached to my neck, thank you very much.


I couldn't help but to think about late and fallen queens with the dark mood I was in. To say I felt miserable was an understatement. I felt like shit. I cried myself to sleep, if that’s what you would call tossing around all night. The few moments where I could close my eyes were riddled with nightmares. I relived my last encounter with Victor repeatedly, but it ended with him rejecting me instead, and I woke up for another fit of uncontrollable sobbing.


I dragged my feet to the bathroom to start my morning routine. As the cool water cascaded on my head and body, my mind began slowly to clear from its groggy state. I reflected on the events of the previous day and wondered what exactly triggered that unfortunate break-up.


All I wanted was some time to keep Victor safe while I defuse the Nikolai situation. Despite my best intentions, things escalated so quickly. Victor dropped the rejection bomb without giving me a chance to explain anything. I knew all about his fickle temper, but it was unlike him to be so hotheaded and impulsive.


The way he spoke to me made me think that this break-up could be for good. He gave up on us so suddenly, asking me to reject him. But I couldn’t go with it. Even though our bond was still intact, I couldn’t see how we could salvage our relationship after that fight. We both said things to hurt each other, which broke my heart even further. Because the last thing I ever wanted was to cause him harm in any kind.


I snapped myself from contemplating on all my life decisions before I had another meltdown and actually showered. Instead of standing under the shower staring into the wall. I wrapped my body in a bathrobe and shuffled back to the bedroom. I dropped my ass on the cushioned chair in the walk-in closet and slumped. I had no idea how a Queen should dress.
I couldn’t just throw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.


I knew there won’t be any paparazzi and I won’t see my photos in any tabloid, yet I had to wear an outfit suitable for my position. Even if I didn’t have all the confidence that I can perform, I had to at least look the part. I didn’t want to lose people’s respect because of a poor choice of clothing. Luckily for me, Molly came to my rescue as usual to help me get ready in the morning.


Molly helped me pick out a knee-length A-line dress with a light cardigan. The summer days were still hot, but it was chilly inside the stone walls of this old castle. She styled my hair in a neat bun and I opted for a simplistic nude make-up. After a quick breakfast, I headed out to find Severin waiting outside my door, like the past couple of days to fill me in with the day’s schedule.


“Will your Majesty take part in the council meeting, or do you have more important occupations to attend to?” He asked after we greeted each other.
“Nothing is more important to me, than the safety and wellbeing of my people.” I stated despite not getting the insinuation behind Severin’s words.


He showed me the way to the meeting room on the first floor where he introduced me to three young men as Betas Garrick, Garret and Garrison. Not only their names sounded similar but their faces were quasi-identical as if my eyes were playing tricks on me. They shared the same chocolate brown eyes, dark hair and facial features. They looked like a younger version of Severin.


I was confused about who was my Beta and why there were three of them. It must have been visible on my face. Because Severin confirmed my suspicions that the trio were in fact triplets and his sons. He then proceeded to explain how they came up with this arrangement. The previous Alpha wouldn’t bother more and more with his duties, so when the time came for Severin to pass the Beta mantle, he seated in the council on behalf of the King instead of retiring. Which explains the reason behind his question earlier.


Then he added simply that the boys were sharing everything since the womb, and it was only natural for them to share the position as well. I wondered for a second if that would apply to their mate as well before I swatted the idea away. It wasn't the place nor the time to dwell on such fantasies.


After that, we took our seats with me at the head of the table. Severin started by detailing everyone’s role: Garrick was in charge of trade and agriculture, Garret was managing the social affairs and Garrison was the head of security and border patrol. As for their father, he had the keys to the Royal Treasury.


The meeting was lengthy and complicated as they took turns presenting the issues that bothered them. It was too much to handle, and I wasn’t prepared to hear about so many problems. More and more documents were piling up in front of me, and I felt the beginning of a headache gnawing at me. I took notes and told them I needed to think about it, before deciding on any matter .


Last but not least, it was time to talk about finances. If there was a word to describe the Royal Treasury’s state, it would be “empty”. I was shocked, to say the least. After that pompous coronation ceremony, I thought the pack was doing well financially. It turned out that it was an extension of a bank loan that made it possible.


It is fortune and power that makes royalty what they are. Strip one of those and the Monarchy will be in a perilous slope. Marie-Antoinette came to my mind again. Bankrupting the state played a big role in triggering the French Revolution.


I knew I shouldn’t worry about meeting the same fate, since I wasn’t the one responsible for this crisis. But I couldn’t help the overwhelming sense of dread that took over me. I felt less and less confident that I belonged on this throne. Could I have misinterpreted my mom when she talked about my destiny?


My inner thoughts were interrupted when my council asked to take their leave. I let the triplets go to their respective functions and asked Severin to remain for a brief chat.
“How did we come to this?” I asked him, pointing at the financial statement with the fat amount of debt. If I had to come out with solutions, I needed at least to know what caused the problems first.
“I will step down from the council and accept any punishment you will see fit.” Severin answered with an even voice and a blank expression.


I was dumbstruck by his statement. It was the last thing I expected, given how cordial he was with me since we met. I haven't visited other packs other than Victor’s, but I knew it was naïve to assume that the friendly relationship he had with Steven was the standard for Alpha-Beta dynamics. I’ve forgotten that they knew each other for years while I met my Betas only hours ago. He might be compelled to obey my order, but I had to earn his respect and allegiance.


“I’m not blaming you in any way. I’m sure you have done what you judged was the best for the pack.” I reassured him. Underneath the icy facade, I felt he was desperate for the acknowledgement from his Alpha. “How can I ask you to leave when the pack needs you the most? When I need you.” I said truthfully, even if it made me look weak.


Severin lifted his gaze at me for the first time and met me with wide, glassy eyes before taking an interest in the carpet again. It was enough, though, for me to see the flicker of emotions that he was trying so hard to hide. I knew then, the weight that an Alpha’s word can hold, and that an act of kindness can be more effective than a display of power.


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