The Lycan's Queen - Book cover

The Lycan's Queen

L.S. Patel

Chapter 2

My heart stopped as I saw a manicured hand reach for Hunter’s. The smile fell off my face, and I’m sure I didn’t hide my look of disgust and betrayal.

Carter held my hand, and now I realized why he’d stayed by my side.

He’d known about Hunter and me kissing, he’d known about my crush on Hunter, and he’d known that I would be crushed when I saw this.

My eyes didn’t leave Hunter’s back as he helped a stunning girl out of the car. One look at them, and I knew that the worst had already happened.

“Hello everyone,” he said. He looked with adoration at the gorgeous girl whose hand he was holding. “I’d like you all to meet my mate, Lana Reed.”

Now I knew why my wolf was pacing—not because Hunter was my mate but because Hunter already had a mate.

Tears threatened to fall, but I refused to let them. I wouldn’t let Hunter see how much this affected me. I needed to be strong.

I turned to Carter, who had a guilty look on his face. I tried to smile at him, and I shook my head sadly. It wasn’t his fault, and it wasn’t Hunter’s either—you can’t pick your mate.

I wished that you could.

Seeing the person you pined for take someone else around and introduce her was like a stab in the gut. I felt like I’d wasted the last four years, sitting and waiting for him like a complete and utter idiot.

Hunter was making his way down the line with Lana. The pure happiness on his face was another blow.

I wished he’d had that smile when he looked at me, but that smile was reserved for his mate.

I let go of Carter’s hand and wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. Hunter was introducing Lana to Sai and Zoya. I was up next. I couldn’t let him see how upset I was.

I would try my best to be happy for him, like everyone else. Hopefully, I would get through it without crying.

I took a deep breath as Hunter and Lana moved to me. The memories of four years ago flashed before my eyes—his gorgeous smile, that amazing kiss, his promises.

I closed my eyes and snapped out of my daydream. When I opened them, Hunter was smiling at me, but not like he used to. Just a friendly smile, like he’d given everyone else.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Lana. Good luck taming this one,” I joked.

Lana laughed. “I like you! You’re funny. Hopefully we can hang out more. I need more female friends.”

My insides twisted at her words. She seemed so nice. That made it more difficult to hate her.

“Of course. I would love to hang out with you.” I smiled. Damn me for being too polite. Why couldn’t I have just kept my mouth shut?

Lana smiled back, and the couple moved down the line. Carter had moved, and I was left standing there with only my thoughts.

I jumped at a light touch on my shoulder—it was Zoya, with sadness in her eyes. I sighed and shook my head.

I didn’t want to talk, and I didn’t want sympathy. I just wanted to sit in my room and cry, but I couldn’t leave yet.

Instead of focusing on Hunter and Lana, I looked for Carter, who was currently talking to the council members. Once he finished, he turned to look at me, probably sensing my gaze.

He came over to me and murmured, “Go home, Aarya. I give you permission. Don’t stand here while you’re breaking. You need to go home.”

I looked at him with tears in my eyes and rasped in a broken whisper, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Carter looked upset. He wiped a stray tear from my cheek. “Oh, Smiley. I didn’t know how to. I didn’t want to tell you over the phone or through a letter. I wanted to tell you in person, but I didn’t get a chance. I’m so sorry.”

I sniffled and sighed. “It wasn’t your fault. I have to move on, but I’m going to need some time.”

Carter nodded. I knew he understood. He kissed my forehead, and I started heading back to my house.

I heard Carter tell the group that I’d gone home because I was tired. As soon as I got to my house, I rushed upstairs and changed into comfy clothes.

I used to wear Hunter’s T-shirt every night to bed, but that night, I got it out of my dresser and chucked it straight in the garbage. I wouldn’t wear it anymore. I’d lost all rights to Hunter when he’d found his mate.

His mate.

I hadn’t realized it was possible for my heart to break even more at the thought of those words.

I collapsed on my bed and let the tears fall. I let them soak my pillow.

When I rolled over on the bed, my eyes landed on my book, The Secret Mate, lying on the floor. I quickly slid it under my bed, out of sight. All this heartbreak was just too much for me.

After all this time of wanting a mate—dreaming of the sort of relationship my parents had—now I found myself suddenly not wanting a mate. I didn’t want someone to love me. I was broken. I didn’t want the pain of loving someone.

Mates were meant to be this magical thing, and I used to believe in it wholeheartedly, but now I didn’t. Mates caused pain and sadness. Who wanted that?

The tears were still flowing when my family came home. I heard my mom stop outside my door, and I hoped she wouldn’t come in.

I held my breath to stop my sobs. If Mom heard me cry, I knew she wouldn’t hesitate to come into my room.

“Tara, let her sleep. We have an early start tomorrow,” I heard my dad say quietly.

The footsteps faded away, and I glanced up at my ceiling. Dad was right—we had an early start tomorrow. I needed to get some sleep.

I closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the world of my dreams.


A loud buzzing made me groan as I rolled over and turned off my phone alarm. Today was the day—the lycan ball.

I knew I would be tired, and it only added to the dread. Hopefully I could fall asleep in the car.

I forced myself out of bed and got dressed. I cringed when looked in the mirror and saw the bags under my eyes. Clearly, last night hadn’t been the best night’s sleep.

I sighed and put some makeup on to look a little more alive.

When I came downstairs, my parents were drinking their tea, and Sai and Zoya were eating breakfast.

Suddenly, four pairs of eyes turned to look at me, and I saw the same thing in all of them—sympathy.

I didn’t want their sympathy. All I really wanted was to lie in bed and cry all day, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I needed to prove to Hunter and to myself that I was strong.

My dad handed me a cup of coffee, and I smiled.

Mom and Zoya talked about how amazing my first time at the ball would be. I was grateful for the distraction, and I tried to let myself believe them.

Once we had eaten, it was time to hit the road. I got into the car and immediately rested my head against the cool glass and blasted music in my headphones.

Dad and Mom left me alone, and I let the music take me into my own world. Before long, sleep took over, giving my body a much-needed break.


“Aarya, wake up.” My mom gently shook me.

I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and realized we were at a gas station. I stretched my arms and got out of the car. Zoya and Sai got out of their car and waved to me.

“Go and get something to eat, and make sure you go to the bathroom. We still have two hours left,” Mom told me, handing me some cash.

I walked into the store to get some food. I must have had a grimace etched on my face because everyone who looked at me quickly looked away.

“Smiley—or should I say Scowly—why the long face?” It was Carter. He ruffled my hair.

“Urgh, seriously? Why the hair?” I complained, pushing him away and combing it with my fingers.

Carter chuckled. “Because I haven’t been able to do that for four years, and your reaction is priceless, as always.”

I rolled my eyes. I kept walking through the aisles of the gas station but stopped in my tracks when I heard a sickeningly sweet laugh—it was Lana. Oh, great. The last thing I needed was to see Lana and Hunter.

“Come on, Smiley. Let’s grab some food,” Carter said softly, pulling me in another direction.

I picked up a wrap, a chocolate bar, and a bottle of water. As I was standing in line, I heard that laugh again. They were behind me.

Why did everybody have to be here at once?

Deep breaths, Aarya, deep breaths. All you need to do is pay and leave. Don’t give them any attention.

I put my items on the counter and rolled my eyes when I heard Lana laugh again. What the hell was so damn funny? Actually, never mind—I didn’t want to know.

After I paid, I rushed out of the gas station, desperate for fresh air. I wanted to wait for Carter, but I didn’t want to risk running into the two lovebirds.

Luckily, Dad was already buckled in. He smiled as I climbed into the back seat. I looked out the window and accidentally laid eyes on them in the parking lot.

Even one glance was enough—Hunter and Lana looked like that lovey-dovey couple everyone hates, the ones who are always showing public displays of affection and annoying everyone.

Hunter had his arm around Lana’s shoulder and was kissing down her neck without shame. If I could see, then so could everyone else. Lana seemed to be enjoying it, though.

I made a face and made eye contact with Carter, who was coming out of the gas station and fake gagging behind them. That made me laugh. Carter smiled at me and, seeing me laugh, pretended to cut his throat.

At least I knew I wasn’t the only one who hated seeing this.

Once Mom was back in the car, Dad told us we had just under two hours left. We would get to our hotel around 1 p.m.

I spent the first hour eating my food and reading a book I had packed. No more romance novels for me—this was a thriller-mystery book. Definitely more up my alley.

The second hour, I fell asleep yet again. It was probably a good thing—I needed sleep before the ball.

Mom woke me up when we arrived at the hotel. Carter came over to our car and grinned when he saw me rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

“Sleeping Beauty finally awakens,” he said, offering me his hand.

I took it gratefully. “Whatever. I needed sleep, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to survive tonight.”

“I also need sleep, but no, I had to do the damn drive here,” he complained as we walked through the hotel doors.

“Well, get some sleep when we check in,” I suggested.

“So, Smiley—be my date to the lycan ball tonight. I can’t imagine going with anyone else,” Carter said dramatically. “You’re the oxygen I breathe, the—”

I hit him playfully. “Okay, Mr. Dramatic. Tone it down. I guess I’ll go with you.”

“Good. If you had said no, I would have just forced you anyway.” Carter winked at me and went to his parents, who were checking in.

I giggled at how silly he was. I knew he was acting goofier than usual to distract me, but it was working.

As I walked over to my parents, my ears unintentionally picked up Hunter and Lana’s conversation.

“I can’t wait till we get our room. I just want to tear these clothes off you,” Hunter said.

“You can’t say that! Everyone can hear you,” Lana exclaimed.

“Let them hear. I don’t care. I just want to show you off tonight at the ball.”

I shook my head and tried to focus on something—anything—else. Even though I had intruded on their private conversation, it still stung.

Hunter clearly didn’t remember what had happened four years ago, or he didn’t care. He’s happy, and he’s moved on, I thought.

I had to accept that I wasn’t in Lana’s position, even though I’d dreamed of it for so long. I knew that the sooner I embraced this, the better it would be for me.

My dad handed me my room key. Thank the Goddess I had my own room, because right then, I was trying so hard not to let the tears fall.

Dad, Mom, Zoya, and Sai were all on a different floor from me, so I headed off. Mom warned me to start getting ready at 4 p.m. because the cars would arrive at 7 p.m. to pick us up.

Luck was finally on my side—Hunter and Lana weren’t on my floor either. Zoya messaged me just as I got into my room and said they were on hers. I found out Carter was on my floor, though.

I quickly unpacked and plugged my phone in to charge. Images of Hunter and Lana were burned on my retinas.

I walked out onto my room’s balcony, fully prepared to bawl my eyes out until I had to start getting ready.

I sat in a hanging chair and looked out at the view of the Royal Pack. Tears had already started to blur my vision.

The hotel was very close to the palace, and from this vantage point, I could see just how expansive and luxurious the palace really was. The feeling of wonder made the lump in my throat shrink a little.

I would be heading there tonight for the ball, and for the first time, I felt a twinge of excitement about the evening.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked closer. I could just barely make out the faint shape of a wolf running frantically back and forth in the field behind the palace.

I tuned into my werewolf senses, and after a moment, I swore I could even hear the wolf howling.

It wasn’t a howl of excitement. And it wasn’t a howl of aggression either.

It was a howl of deep emotional pain.

As I listened to the noise, my wolf started to stir inside me.

I didn’t know what was happening.

All I knew was that I felt drawn to that wolf, like I wanted to get close enough to touch him.

Like I wanted to be the one to heal his pain.

Could that be Adonis Dimitri Grey? The king?

There was no way to be sure. But I was desperate to find out.

Pro Tip!

You can find discounts, promotions, and the latest updates on our [Galatea Facebook]( group! Join our community today!

Next chapter
Rated 4.4 of 5 on the App Store
82.5K Ratings
Galatea logo

Unlimited books, immersive experiences.

Galatea FacebookGalatea InstagramGalatea TikTok