Being an Alpha wasn't a simple job. Especially for a pack as big as the Royal Pack. Not to mention that the years of neglect by the late King made the problems pile up. I had to work twice as hard as any regular Alpha, not only because of that but also because I hadn’t had any kind of training before I took on the mantle.
My insomnia came back with a vengeance. I couldn’t sleep more than a few hours at night, so I figured I should make better use of my time by spending it at the library. It was an impressive space with thousands of books from floor to ceiling. The shelves were so high that I needed a ladder to reach the top levels. It was a bookworm’s dream come true with the variety of work and subjects.
The oldest and most precious books were kept in a bulletproof glass room. The humidity and temperature were under control to preserve the delicate volumes and manuscripts. I was eager to satisfy my curiosity and find what kind of knowledge those books held. But until now, I found what I sought in the accessible area.
I had finished yet another day full of decision making. Though I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path or not. I couldn’t afford to learn through trial and error when the situation was complicated as it is. I grabbed a bunch of books to read in my room instead of the library. When the night falls, the dark corners and the shadows were giving me a haunted house vibe.
When I reached my study, Gardenia, the superintendent, was waiting for me with two young women. I expected it since Molly gave her two weeks’ notice so she can take care of her pregnant daughter and help with the baby after she gives birth. I was happy with Molly and I didn’t want to replace her, but I couldn’t be selfish and prevent her from being in her future grandchild’s life. I wished I had grandparents growing up, but they died decades ago.
“Good evening, your Majesty.” Gardenia greeted me, bowing her head. “This is Crystal and Ruby. They are the daughters of the most prominent families in the pack. They are here for an interview to pick one of them to be your lady-in-waiting.” She explained.
I placed the books on my desk and gave the two candidates a once over look. Ruby was wearing skinny jeans and a shirt, revealing her cleavage. Crystal was wearing a pale blue dress so short that it wouldn’t make the fingertip test. Their appearance and smug expressions reminded me of the girls that used to bully me at school. More importantly, I didn’t approve of their choice of wardrobe. Following their taste will implicate breaking royal etiquette.
However, I couldn’t dismiss them without a valid reason and I didn’t have any experience with interviews, so I came up with a quick solution.
“Instead of an interview, you will have a test.” I declared to the three women who exchanged stunned looks.
The office was adjacent to my bedroom, so I led them to the ensuite closet.
“I will be spending tomorrow touring the territory and meeting with pack members. You have five minutes to pick an appropriate outfit for the day.”
Crystal and Ruby blinked at me as if I spoke a foreign language. I lifted my hand to look at my wristwatch.
“Your time starts now.” It spurred them to begin looking through the racks and cabinets.
After five minutes, not a second later, they were holding two outfits. I took one look at their picks to tell that two girls won’t be the right stylist for me. It was an easy test, and they failed. I was intent on being fair and telling where they went wrong as I tried on the garments.
I started by putting on Ruby’s pick. It was a black pencil skirt with a cream blouse. The skirt was too tight and hindered my movements, and the blouse was see-through. It was an obvious no-go.
Then It was Crystal's turn. She chose a fitted blouse with a pleated skirt that stopped above the knee. It wasn’t as short as hers, and it wouldn’t be a problem if I was staying inside. However, given the windy season and the silky light material, I would be at risk of flashing my underwear, which was inappropriate.
I turned away from the mirror, pondering how to phrase my rejection. The two girls dressed me like they would dress themselves without considering my needs. I wasn’t mistaken in my first impression when I thought they were unfit for the position.
Before I’d tell them I’d rather dress by myself, I saw a pair of slacks and a white button-down shirt suspended in the air. If it weren’t for the fingers holding the hanger, I would have thought that my closet was possessed.
“Come closer.” I encouraged the person to reveal themselves.
Extending her arms so I can take the clothes from her hands, I could see she was a maid by her uniform.
“What are you doing here? You should be cleaning the kitchens!” Gardenia yelled at the maid, who shrunk in fear.
“Everyone deserves a chance.” I said evenly, despite my annoyance that Gardenia raised her voice in my presence.
“But she’s a lowly… ”
“What?” I interrupted her without hiding my irritation this time. “A lowly omega? A scullery maid? Any member of the pack should have the chance to serve their Alpha despite their rank.”
I remembered the time not so long ago where I was at the margins of the society. I was looked down upon because I was a foster child. Life wasn’t kind to me, and I didn’t want other people to suffer the same injustice because of the rank they were born into.
The superintendent recoiled and bared her neck in submission. I had inadvertently used my Alpha voice, but she brought on herself.
“What’s your name?” I asked the maid.
“Cassie, your Majesty.”
“Is that short for Cassandra?”
"No. Cassiopeia, your Majesty.”
What a beautiful but unsuited name for her reserved demeanor, I thought to myself as I tried on the dress pants and the shirt. Looking at the mirror, the practical yet business like attire fitted me perfectly and I would have chosen it myself. My reflection looked professional and approachable at the same time, which was what I needed for tomorrow's tour.
“Cassie, you just got promoted.” I announced to her with a smile.
“But she’s unworthy to be at your service!” Gardenia exclaimed, giving a side look at Cassie with a disgusted look on her face.
“She will be on a trial period.” I conceded even though I didn’t have to.
“I don’t want to hear about it!” I growled at her, losing my temper.
I granted her concerns, and she took it for leniency. I was tired, lacking sleep, and I couldn’t tolerate her stinking attitude anymore. I wondered how Severin put up with her. They were mates but their characters were complete opposites. There was no Luna in the castle for years, and she must have thought of herself as the lady of the house. If she thinks she could step over me because I was young, it’s time for her wake-up call.
I turned my attention at Ruby and Crystal, who knew better than to raise their eyes at me.
“You two, I have another job for you.” I ushered them to follow me.
The girls scurried behind me as I walked through the set of doors and corridors until I reached the King's quarters. I led them inside one room where rows of hangers stood heavy. There were piles of shoes and bags and all kinds of accessories piled up.
“I need you to sort and organize everything in this room. Make an inventory and an estimated price for each item.” I said, and they nodded in understanding.
“How are your computer’s skills?”
“Alright I guess.” I presumed that they probably posed for Instagram on a regular basis.
“I want you to create a listing online to sell whatever you can and get a pretty penny from it.” I waved my hand at everything my uncle had bought for his mistresses.
I realized that the solutions that I was looking for were much simpler than I thought. I just had to reverse every poor decision my uncle made and I will be able to fix everything.