Becoming the Werewolf Queen - Book cover

Becoming the Werewolf Queen

B. Chase

Chapter Three


His mate! Ash could hardly believe it. He hadn’t given a lot of thought about finding his mate since he had become alpha, minus a general curiosity that all unmated wolves must feel.

The untimely death of his father had thrust him into the role of alpha earlier than anticipated.

Though he had prepared for it his whole life, Ash had focused his energy over the last five years on every matter involving the pack, wishing to prove himself a capable leader.

He was comfortable in his role now and knew he had earned the respect of the entire pack with his careful diligence and success since stepping into power.

He’d been to this castle half a dozen times since he had become alpha. Why had he never smelled her before today?

These yearly trips were not just for business matters.

Of course, they were a large part of it; even though his pack—or “kingdom” to the humans of the realm—did pretty well on their own, it was necessary to procure items from outside their territory as well.

The yearly tour was also a chance for the unmated warriors in his pack to find their mates once they had exhausted hope of finding them among the wolves.

Occasionally, members of the other packs would join them as well, desperate to find their fated match.

The vast majority of mates were found within the packs. However, it wasn’t entirely uncommon for a human to turn out to be a mate.

It happened often enough that many were willing to make the two-week journey through the territory of the humans.

The council elders thought that the phenomenon of humans matching with their kind was due to the rare humans who could strengthen the bloodline, and the mate bond was the indication of a strong addition to the gene pool.

Luca, his beta, had found his last year, in the kingdom of Saphine on the coast, and Jill had been welcomed with open arms into the pack.

All it took was one look to know you had met your fated mate. And that woman on the tower was his.

“Mateo.” He mind-linked a guard at the back of the group. ~“Shift and go hunt in the forest, quickly. We should bring food if we intend to stay. A deer would be best, but boar would do, whichever you find first.”~

Mateo nodded and got off his horse, handing the reins to the man next to him. He headed toward the trees, already unbuttoning his shirt to shift.

“Be discreet!” Ash warned~. “And keep the damage to the animal…minimal.”~

“Yes, Alpha,” Mateo replied, before disappearing into the trees.

It was difficult to hunt in their wolf forms in cases like this, where they had to preserve the meat for later use. The instinct was usually too powerful to not completely consume the animal after the kill.

Mateo had the most control out of his hunters, and Ash knew he was able to restrain himself.

He heard a horn from the castle, a sharp announcement of their arrival piercing the morning air.

They had finally been spotted by someone other than his mystery mate. Perhaps she was the one who called the alarm, Ash mused.

An alarm was certainly what it sounded like, though it was meant to be respectful. His flag announced their identity clearly enough, so there was no real cause for concern to the inhabitants of the castle.

But the Kodia Pack tended to have that effect: of concern and suspicion. His people were respected well enough among the humans, but there was always an undercurrent of mistrust.

He knew the rumors that circulated about them fanned the flames of suspicion, and the imposing stature of his kind hinted at something more than human.

They were taller, and stronger, and their features were more attractive.

Everything about them was just a little bit more, and though they could move among the humans and pass as their kind, they always drew attention and fueled the rumors. Some had even guessed the truth.

But they were never more than whispers, floating in the wake of their visits. No one would dare say anything to Ash or his men directly.

Kodia, and Ash by extension, held too much power to not be welcomed into the other kingdoms, no matter how much the other kings disliked it. Their gold mines in the mountains accounted for much of that power.

Ash pressed his horse forward, and the others followed. He couldn’t wait to meet his mate.

The royal blood he sensed from her would pose a complication. It would have been easier if it was just a common girl with no ties to the kingdom. Her social status hardly mattered to Ash.

The wolves cared little for such things; the mate bond ruled above all else. But as a royal, special agreements and alliances would have to be made to secure her hand.

Ash was certainly a suitable match in the eyes of the humans, his role as king gave him much influence and prestige. But the mistrust of his people as a whole made for difficult marriage alliances.

A man in his position should have been approached with offers of marriage from human leaders with eligible daughters long ago, but none had been forthcoming.

Not that he would have accepted any of them, he thought wryly. His kind tried their best to wait for their mates.

But why was she dressed like that? Ash wondered. Her simple clothes defied the scent that came from her.

And why does no one know of a royal girl from this kingdom? Pershing had only sons. Perhaps she was simply visiting, but a royal guest would hardly be permitted to venture to the top of the tower alone.

There was much to unravel about his mysterious mate.

He smiled as he rode toward the castle. One thing was for sure—he was no longer dreading this visit.

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