Nineteen-year-old werewolf Aarya never considered herself to be a hopeless romantic until the boy she loved left her for his mate. Freshly heartbroken, she reluctantly attends the Lycan Ball, where she meets Lycan King Dimitri Adonis—and their connection is instant. Now the fiery couple must navigate the dangerous world of imperial intrigue while facing spurned ex-lovers, jealous underlings, and more.
Age Rating: 18+
The Lycan’s Queen by Laila is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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Nineteen-year-old werewolf, Aarya, never considered herself to be a hopeless romantic until the boy she loved left her for his mate. Freshly heartbroken, she reluctantly attends the Lycan Ball, where she meets Lycan King Dimitri Adonis—and their connection is instant. Now the fiery couple must navigate the dangerous world of imperial intrigue while facing spurned ex-lovers, jealous underlings, and more.
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Laila
“He kissed me deeply and I knew in that moment that we would be all right.” Snapping the now finished book shut, I sighed.
Normally I wasn’t the type of girl who obsessed over romantic stories, but last week changed that.
All I’ve been doing is reading these unrealistic romantic stories and obviously imagining myself as the female lead. Who is the male lead, you might be wondering?
The same guy who stole my heart four years ago, Hunter Hall.
“Aarya, do you want to come grocery shopping with me?” My mom’s unmistakable voice shouted up the stairs.
“No, Mom.” I replied.
Aarya Bedi, that’s my name. I am nineteen years old, and if you can’t already tell from my name, I am Indian, and yes, I am a werewolf.
Currently, I live with my parents, Sid and Tara; they’ve been mated/married for twenty-seven years. My older brother, Sai, is twenty-four and his mate, Zoya, is also twenty-four.
Our pack is called Black Moon; I love our community. Everyone knows everyone and growing up here was amazing. Right now, I am training to be a pack doctor; it was always something I wanted to do.
I remember when I used to get teased when I said I wanted to become a pack doctor. My skin color and the stereotypes were the cause, of course.
Everyone thought it was the perfect career for me since I am Indian, and we are all apparently doctors, lawyers, or accountants. It used to bother me, but now I embrace it.
My mind was racing with thoughts about Hunter Hall; he was our Beta. He and our alpha, Carter Ward, were sent away for training four years ago, and they were coming back today.
I still remember the day before they left. Hunter came up to me with his gorgeous blue eyes and told me to wait for him. I was only fifteen at the time, but I knew I would wait for him.
After all, I was utterly in love with Hunter. He was my first kiss; I can still remember the feeling of his lips against mine.
Most wolves find their mates at eighteen, and since Hunter wasn’t here when I turned eighteen and I didn’t find my mate, I was convinced that Hunter was my mate.
Groaning, I rolled off my bed and walked over to my bookshelf. I had to think of something else, otherwise I would go insane. My bookshelf was overflowing with books. You could say I was a bookworm.
My fingers brushed against the covers of many books before stopping at one. Picking it up, I sighed. It was the history of humans, werewolves, and lycans. Not a story but pure facts.
However, I knew that if I read another romantic story, my irrational thoughts would never let me rest.
I got comfortable in bed and began to read. Humans, werewolves, and lycans all lived in peace, and we have done for thousands of years now.
It was no secret that lycans ruled over us all; they were much stronger and powerful than us werewolves.
Our royal family was made entirely of lycans. I always found them to be extremely intimidating; they had this aura about them.
Skimming through the history of how we all came together for a significant battle, I found the chapter that always intrigued me.
Lycans’ mates. They were considered to be so precious to lycans. It was said that if a lycan loses their mate, they can go on a rampage and kill thousands and destroy cities.
There is a special army that is trained to deal with such situations. Lycans can only have one mate. They are unable to mark and mate with someone else if their mate dies, like us werewolves can.
I always found that so fascinating. If a werewolf were to lose their mate, we had the option of finding happiness by marking and mating someone else, but lycans were not able to do that.
That’s why a lycan’s mate was so precious, and it also made lycans extremely loyal. As I continued reading, I came across the aging part. Lycans stop aging at twenty.
Many still celebrate their birthdays, but they technically are still twenty; they can live for hundreds of years.
Before our current king, the previous king ruled for five hundred years before handing the reins to his son. It is said that he went traveling with his mate, and no one has heard from them since.
Us werewolves also live for a long time but not as long as lycans; we just age slowly.
It also said how if a lycan’s mate is a human or a werewolf, their body adjusts to become a lycan. They become stronger and more powerful and are considered to be a lycan.
That bit always freaked me out, but I knew it to be true. After all, my best friend was now a lycan.
Even though I never admitted it to her, I always felt intimidated by her. She changed, and that scared me.
Since the book wasn’t new, it failed to mention our new king, Adonis Dimitri Grey. Apparently everyone called him Dimitri, and only those close enough to him were allowed to call him Adonis.
Our king was strange; he took over the throne with no mate by his side, which was unheard of. All the lycan kings before him had found their mates before becoming king.
He also hated pictures apparently; there were only three of him. One when he was born, another when his siblings were born, and the last one when he took over the throne.
I was only a child when he took over the throne; it has been ten years. No one really knows the king’s real age, and I suspect that he probably doesn’t tell anyone either.
A familiar ringtone started playing, and I rolled over to grab my phone, which was on charge. Seeing the name flash up on the screen, I smiled and quickly answered.
“Sophia Butler, long time no speak,” I teased.
“Aarya Bedi, stop teasing me. You know I have been busy,” my best friend Sophia whined.
“Have you really been busy? Or has Luke been keeping you trapped away?” I continued to tease.
Sophia laughed, “You are horrible. You know I have been busy. After all, the Lycan Ball is coming up! Aren’t you excited?”
Ah yes, the Lycan Ball. The kingdom’s way to ensure that all packs get to see the palace and meet the king. I hated it.
This was our pack’s second time being picked to go but my first time actually going. I have always hated dances, school dances, wedding receptions. I don’t know why because I love dressing up.
I have a feeling that the reason I hated the Lycan Ball, even though I had never been, was because I was intimidated by the lycans.
The first time we got picked, I was struck down by an awful case of the flu. My grandparents flew from Canada, where they live, to come look after me while the rest of my family went.
That’s how my best friend met her lycan mate, Luke.
She’s the one I mentioned before. Sophia met Luke at the ball four years ago, and since then, she was changed a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy when she rang and told me, even if I was puking my guts out. But a part of me knew I would lose my best friend.
After all, she was a lycan now, and they had very important roles and responsibilities. Her mate, Luke Martin, was head of the warriors, so Sophia remained busy all the time.
Since she loved organizing so much, she was in charge of organizing important events, and the Lycan Ball was the most important one Sophia would ever organize.
“Oh yes. I am so looking forward to it,” I sarcastically replied.
“Well the good thing is you’ll get to see me.” Sophia tried cheering me up.
“That’s true. We haven’t seen each other in a year. Not since you came back home to see your little nephew.” I sighed.
“I miss you too. I wish I could come back more often.” Sophia also sighed.
“You’re busy, I get it. Thank God for technology though. We can always talk even if we aren’t together,” I said.
“That’s so true. Oh, Aarya! I just can’t wait to see you! You leave tomorrow, right?” Sophia asked.
“Yep, tomorrow. Bright and early.” I sighed.“Stop sighing! At least try and be a little excited,” Sophia complained.
“Okay, sorry. I will try.” I laughed.
“Well I have to go now. Duty calls, but I can’t wait to see you tomorrow,” Sophia replied.
“See you tomorrow,” I said, hanging up.
It wasn’t long before my mom came into my room with Zoya, carrying a bag. I knew what was in there: my dress for the ball.
“Aarya, you need to pack. You know we leave early tomorrow,” Mom said, shaking her head at me.
Groaning, Zoya laughed and said, “I’ll help her pack.”
Mom nodded and left. Zoya dragged me out of bed and helped me pack. It was a distraction from thinking about Hunter.
Once we were done, I asked Zoya, “So, any news on when Hunter and Carter will be back?”
“Why? Impatient, are we?” Zoya chuckled.
“No, I’m just curious, that’s all.” I rolled my eyes.
Zoya was the only one in my pack who knew that Hunter kissed me and I loved him. Everyone else just thought I had a crush on him.
I didn’t want my parents to know, and especially not my brother. He wouldn’t take the news very well, but I knew I could trust Zoya.
“Well they should be here very soon. Are you nervous?” Zoya asked.
“A little. I just can’t wait to see him,” I admitted.
Zoya and I sat on my bed and chatted for a while. I loved the fact that I could open up to Zoya; she was basically my sister.
Sai said that he loved seeing that his sister and mate had an amazing relationship. I was just lucky Zoya was so cool! After Sophia left, I felt lonely, but Zoya was always there for me.
Before long, my werewolf hearing picked up the sound of cars coming down the path. I jumped up, my heart beating fast as nerves started to get to me.
It was finally time. I was going to see Hunter after four years.
Zoya held my hand as we walked downstairs together. Did I look ok? I ran my hands through my hair, and Zoya shook her head.
Deep breaths, Aarya, you’ve got this. It’s okay. Luckily, our house was near the pack house, where the alpha and beta lived with their families.
Sai was waiting for us downstairs and held Zoya’s hand. “Let’s go and see our alpha and beta.”
Zoya never let go of my hand as we walked the short distance to where the cars were already parked. My heart was beating so fast, I just wanted to see Hunter.
We walked up to the cars, and my wolf was restless. Was that the sign I had been looking for? My mate was here?
My dreams were coming true. Hunter would step out of that car, and he would know we are mates. Hearing the car door open, my head snapped to the sound.
First, our alpha, Carter Ward, got out. He hadn’t changed a bit. Well, except he got muscular. His green eyes twinkled with mischief and happiness. Yep, the same old Carter.
He brushed some of his blond hair out of his face before hugging his parents and younger brother. I watched as he said hello to everyone before stopping at me.
I was lucky that the future alpha wanted to be my friend. Throughout school, Carter was always there for me, and I couldn’t thank him enough.
I considered him to be one of my best friends, along with Sophia.
A contagious smile took over his face, and I found myself smiling also. The next thing I know, Carter has picked me up and spun me around, causing the adults to laugh.
“Aarya! Oh, how I have missed you! You’ve changed quite a bit. Puberty, hey?” Carter teased.
I rolled my eyes and hugged him. “It’s good to see you too, Carter. You haven’t changed at all. Don’t worry, sometimes people are late bloomers,” I joked, earning a laugh from Carter’s parents.
Carter smiled and hugged me again. “I really did miss you, Smiley.”
“I missed you too,” grinning at Carter’s nickname for me, which he hadn’t forgotten.
Hearing the car door open, I glanced over Carter’s shoulders to see a familiar body get out of the car. His back was facing me, so he didn’t know I was standing behind him.
I wanted to see his blue eyes full of love and adoration for me.
Carter moved out of the way and stood by my side, which I thought was a little weird. Surely he should have continued saying hello to everyone?
Maybe he wanted to see the moment Hunter and I acknowledged each other as mates. Yes, that must be it.
My wolf continued to pace, fueling my thoughts that Hunter was indeed my mate. I watched as his light brown hair blew in the wind. His back was still turned to me; I just wanted him to turn around.
What was he waiting for?
Just as I thought he was about to turn around, and that magical moment I had dreamed about would happen, Hunter turned back to the car and held his hand out.
My heart stopped as I saw a manicured hand reach for Hunter’s. The smile fell off my face and was replaced with a look of betrayal.
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Carter held my hand, and now I realized why he stood by my side. He knew about Hunter and I kissing, he knew about my crush on Hunter, and he knew that I would be crushed when I saw him.
My eyes didn’t leave Hunter’s back as he helped a stunning girl out of the car. One look at them both and you knew they were mates. My heart felt like it just shattered into millions of pieces.
My wolf pacing wasn’t because of Hunter being my mate but because Hunter had a mate. There was a big difference.
Tears threatened to fall, but I refused to let them. Hunter couldn’t see how much this affected me; I needed to be strong.
I turned to look at Carter, who had a guilty look on his face. I smiled sadly at him and shook my head. It wasn’t his fault, and it wasn’t Hunter’s, really; you can’t pick your mate.
Although this is the one time that I wished that you could. Seeing the person you pined for take his mate around and introduce her was like a stab in the gut.
A waste of my four years, sitting and waiting like a complete and utter idiot for him.
Hunter was making his way down the line with his mate. The smile on his face was another blow for me.
I wish he had that smile when he looked at me, but that smile was reserved for his mate, and that wasn’t me.
I let go of Carter’s hand and wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. Hunter was introducing his mate to Sai and Zoya; it was me next. I couldn’t let him see how upset I was.
Instead, I would be happy for him, like everyone else. Hopefully I would manage to get through this introduction without crying.
I took a deep breath as Hunter moved down to me. Suddenly the memories of us four years ago flashed before my eyes. His gorgeous smile, that amazing kiss, his promises.
Closing my eyes, I snapped out of my daydream. When I opened them, Hunter was smiling at me, not like he used to. Just a friendly smile, like he had done with everyone else.
“Aarya, I’d like you to meet my mate, Lana Reed.” Hunter gestured to his mate.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Lana. Good luck taming this one,” I joked.
Lana laughed and said, “I like you! You’re funny. Hopefully we can hang out more. I need more female friends.”
My gut twisted at her words; she was 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 told her that I didn’t want to hang out with her?
Lana smiled back, and the couple moved down the line. Carter had left, and I was left standing there with only my thoughts.
Zoya gently touched my shoulder, causing me to jump. I looked at her to see the sadness in her eyes. I sighed and shook my head.
I didn’t want to talk, and I didn’t want the sympathy. I just wanted to sit in my room and cry, but I couldn’t leave just yet.
Instead of my eyes following Hunter and Lana, I focused on Carter, who was currently talking to the council members.
Once he was finished talking to the council members, he turned to look at me, probably sensing my gaze, which was firmly locked on him.
He came over to me and whispered, “Go home, Aarya. I give you permission. Don’t stand here while you are breaking. You need to go home.”
I looked at him with tears in my eyes and whispered brokenly, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Carter looked upset. He wiped the stray tear that had escaped.
“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 to. I am so sorry.”
Sniffling, I sighed, “It wasn’t your fault. I have to move on, but I also need some time to come to terms with this.”
Carter nodded his head, understanding what I was saying. He kissed my forehead and I turned around, heading back to my house.
I heard Carter tell my family and everyone that he let me go home because I was tired. As soon as I got in my house, I rushed upstairs and got changed into comfy clothes.
I used to wear Hunter’s T-shirt every night to bed, but I got it out of my cupboard and chucked it straight in the bin. I shouldn’t wear it anymore; I lost all right to Hunter when he found his mate.
His mate. My heart broke even more, if that was even possible.
Collapsing on my bed, I let the tears fall. I let them soak my pillow, and I let myself cry. All this heartbreak was too much for me.
After all this time of wanting a mate, wanting what my parents had, I found myself not wanting a mate. I didn’t want someone to love me; I was broken. I didn’t want the pain of having a mate.
Mates were meant to be this magical thing, and I used to believe in it wholeheartedly, but now I don’t. Mates cause pain and sadness. Who wants that?
The tears didn’t stop as 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, she wouldn’t even hesitate to come in my room.
“Tara, let her sleep. We have an early start tomorrow,” my dad’s voice said quietly.I heard the footsteps fade away, and I glanced up at my ceiling. Dad was right, we had an early start tomorrow. I needed to get some sleep.
Closing my eyes, I let myself get lost in my world of dreams.…
A loud buzzing made me groan as I rolled over and turned off my phone alarm. Today was the day of the Lycan Ball.
I was dreading it because I knew I would be tired. Hopefully I could fall asleep in the car.
Forcing myself out of bed, I got dressed and cringed when I saw the bags under my eyes. Clearly last night was not the night that I was going to get a good night’s sleep.
Sighing, I got ready and put some makeup on to look a little more alive.
When I came downstairs, my parents were drinking their cups of 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 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 the ball would be to me since this was my first time. I was grateful for the distraction.
Once we had eaten, it was time to hit the road. I got into the car and immediately blasted my music out of my headphones and rested my head against the cool glass.
Dad and Mom left me alone as 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 service station. Stretching my arms, I 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 toilet. We still have two hours left,” Mom told me, handing me some cash.
Sighing, I walked into a shop to get some food. I think I had a permanent scowl etched on my face because everyone looked at me but then quickly looked away.
“Smiley. Or should I say Scowly? Why the long face?” Carter ruffled my hair.
“Urgh, seriously? Why the hair?” I complained, pushing Carter away and fixing my hair.
“Because I haven’t been able to do that for four years, and your reaction is priceless, as always.” Carter chuckled.
Rolling my eyes, I trailed round the shop but stopped in my tracks when I heard the sickeningly sweet laugh of Lana. Oh great, the last thing I needed was to see Lana and Hunter.
“Come on, Smiley. Let’s quickly grab some food,” Carter said softly, taking me in the other direction of the shop.
I picked up a wrap along with a chocolate bar and a bottle of water. As I was standing in the queue, I heard that laugh again. They were behind me.
Deep breaths, Aarya, deep breaths. All you need to do is pay and leave. Don’t pay them any attention, I told myself.
I put my items down on the counter and rolled my eyes as I heard Lana laugh yet again. What the hell was Hunter saying to her? Actually, scrap that, I didn’t want to know.
After I paid, I rushed out of the shop, desperately needing fresh air. I wanted to wait for Carter, but I also didn’t want to risk running into Hunter and Lana.
Decisions, decisions. Obviously I went with the best option, which was to go to the car and avoid seeing Hunter and Lana.
Luckily, Dad was already in the car. He smiled as I climbed into the backseat. I found myself looking outside the window, and I saw Hunter and Lana.
Even just one glance at them, they looked like that lovey-dovey couple that everyone hates. The ones who are always showing PDA and annoying the heck out of everyone.
Hunter had his arm over Lana’s shoulder and was kissing down her neck, in public! If I could see, then everyone else could as well. Lana seemed to be enjoying it though.
I made a face and, at the same time, made eye contact with Carter, who was gagging behind them. That caused me to laugh. He smiled at me, seeing me laugh, and 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. It was already 11 a.m., so we would be there about one-ish.
As Dad started driving, I spent the first hour eating my food and reading my book that I had packed. No more romance novels for me, this was a thrilling 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 Lycan Ball tonight.
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 says, handing me his hand.
I took his hand and said, “Whatever. I needed sleep, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to survive tonight.”
“I also needed sleep, but no, I had to do the damn drive here,” he complained as we walked into the hotel reception.
I laughed at Carter’s face and said, “Well, get some sleep when we check in.”
“So, Smiley. Tonight, be my date to the Lycan Ball. I can’t imagine going with anyone else. You’re the oxygen I breathe, the…,” Carter dramatically said.
I playfully hit him, “Okay, Mr. Dramatic. Tone it down. I guess I will go with you.”
“Good. If you said no, I would have just forced you anyway.” Carter winked at me and went to where his parents were checking in.
I giggled at how silly he was. Carter was doing a good job at distracting me, and I knew that was why he was acting sillier than usual.
As I walked over to my parents, my ears zoned unintentionally on 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,” Hunter replied.
Shaking my head, I focused on anything else. I felt like I intruded on their private conversation, but it still stung.
Hunter clearly didn’t remember what happened four years ago, or he doesn’t care. He is happy, and he has moved on.
My plan was to go with Hunter tonight because in my dream world, I thought we would be mates. I would be in the position Lana was in, but I wasn’t.
The sooner I realized this, the better it would be for me.
Sighing, I made my way over to my parents, who handed me my room key. Thank God I had my own room because right now I was trying so hard not to let the tears fall.
Dad and Mom were on a different floor to me, so I headed off. Mom warned me to start getting ready at 4 p.m. because the cars would be here at 7 p.m. to pick us up.
Zoya and Sai were on the same floor as my parents, so I was alone on this floor.
Luck was finally on my side as Hunter and Lana were not on my floor. Zoya messaged me just as I got into my room and said they were on her floor.
Carter messaged me asking me what floor I was on, and of course he was on my floor.
I quickly unpacked and plugged my phone in to charge. The images of Hunter and Lana haunted me.
It was 2 p.m., I had to do something before my thoughts consumed me. I walked into the bathroom and stripped, turning the shower on.
When I got into the hot shower, the tears started falling. They wouldn’t stop, and I decided to just let them fall. I needed to get this out of my system. I let it drown my tears and sorrow.
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