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+
They say that there is no creature in the world more fearsome than a lycan who has lost his mate—because when a lycan loses his mate, he loses himself, too.
His soul drowns in a well of despair, and what swims back to the surface is a monster—a monster who will kill anyone in his path, who will destroy cities and overthrow empires.
Armies will try to stop him, but the lycan’s terror is greater than the force of a thousand werewolves.
They are no match for him—they do not understand his pain. How could they? If a werewolf loses their mate, they can mark another. But a lycan only has one…
One chance at eternal happiness.
So if he loses her, he will not rest until he has inflicted as much agony as he has endured.
But what they don’t tell you is what happens when he finds her…
Oh, Goddess, when he finds her…
In the span of a single glance, the lycan’s universe rearranges. And there she stands, at the center of it. His sun. His moon. His right. His wrong. The person he’ll live for and the person he’ll die for, too.
No passion is greater.
No connection is stronger.
No ecstasy is more all-consuming.
How do I know, you ask?
Because, against all odds, a lycan found me.
And he made me his queen.
In the lycan world, gossip spread like wildfire.
Whispers trickled through the pipelines ceaselessly.
Some news was more valuable than others. News about the lycan king was above everything else.
Adonis Dimitri Grey.
With the reputation of the devil and the face of a god, it was hard not to be intrigued.
I’d heard rumors that King Dimitri often went into terrible rages and needed to be restrained by his guards.
Another rumor said that he hated pictures. I’d only seen three—one from when he was born, another from when his siblings were born, and the last one from when he took over the throne.
I’d only been a child when he became king. Ten years had passed since then.
While lycans stopped aging at twenty, they went on to live for hundreds of years. No one knew the king’s real age, and I suspected that he probably didn’t tell anyone.
“Aarya,” Zoya whispered from across the library table, her phone in her hand. “Have you heard the latest goss?”
Zoya was my brother Sai’s mate. Like me, she was a student at the pack college.
The girl sitting next to her shushed us.
Finals were just around the corner. I was training to be a pack doctor, something I’d always wanted to do. Unfortunately, this meant I spent tireless hours in the library, my eyes glued to my textbooks.
Because of my skin color and the stereotypes, I used to get teased when I said I wanted to become a pack doctor.
Everyone thought it was the perfect career for me since I was Indian. Apparently, we were all doctors, lawyers, or accountants. It used to bother me, but now I embraced it.
Zoya rolled her eyes at the girl, then hissed at me, “Bathroom, now!”
“I’m sorry,” I mouthed to the annoyed studying girl as I got up to follow Zoya, but she didn’t even raise her gaze from her book to look in my direction.
In the bathroom, I hoisted myself up on the sink. “What is it now, Zoya?”
She smiled deviously.
“Spill,” I demanded, now truly curious.
“Apparently,” she said, “the king is going mad without a mate. They say he’s locked himself in his tower and refuses to leave.”
“That sounds awful,” I replied. “But that’s hardly urgent new—”
“Wait for it,” she interrupted. “I haven’t even gotten to the good part. His council is insisting he finds a mate by the end of the Lycan Royal Ball. The Lycan Royal Ball that we got invitations to this morning.”
This morning I had been woken by my parents frantically shaking me awake with the invitation in their hand.
I’d missed the last ball because I was sick with the flu. Everyone but me got to dance the night away and meet the other packs and the king himself. My best friend Sophia Butler had even found her mate. They’d been inseparable ever since.
Now was my second chance.
“As if it would be me,” I snorted.
“Aarya Bedi, don’t you dare put yourself down like that. It could be you.”
“Yeah, right.” I hopped off the counter, ready to leave. “I’m going back to study.”
Zoya stopped me. “Wait. There is one more piece of news that might be of interest to you.”
I froze in my tracks.
“News about a certain pack beta coming back from boarding school.”
My muscles tensed.
“Word on the street is that their headmaster dismissed them early,” Zoya continued. “Long story short, Hunter Hall is coming home this afternoon.”
My heart started to race with anticipation.
I hadn’t heard that name in nearly four years.
I still remembered the day he left. Hunter’s gorgeous blue eyes had pierced mine, and he’d told me to wait for him. I was only fifteen at the time, but I knew I would.
After all, I was utterly in love with Hunter. He was my first kiss. I could still remember the feeling of his lips against mine.
Most wolves find their mates at eighteen, and since Hunter hadn’t been here when I’d turned eighteen, I hadn’t mated yet. I felt excited for his return. I wanted to finally feel that spark, that connection.
Suddenly, the gravity of the moment dawned on me.
Hunter Hall, the gorgeous beta who’d stolen my heart, was coming home.
Luckily, the campus was near the pack house, where the alpha and beta lived with their families.
By the time I got there, their car was pulling in.
Deep breaths, Aarya, I thought. You’ve got this. It’s okay.
Zoya never let go of my hand as we walked the short distance to the cars. My heart was beating so fast—I just wanted to see Hunter.
My wolf was restless.
Was that the sign I had been looking for? Was my mate here?
My dreams were coming true. Hunter would step out of that car, and he would know we were mates. When I heard the car door open, all my senses became heightened.
First, our alpha, Carter Ward, got out. He hadn’t changed a bit—well, except that he had gotten more muscular.
His green eyes twinkled with mischief and happiness.
Yep, 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 by me.
I was lucky that our new alpha wanted to be my friend. Throughout school, Carter had always been there for me.
I considered him one of my best friends, along with Sophia.
A contagious smile bloomed on his face, and I found myself smiling too. The next thing I knew, Carter had picked me up and spun me around. The adults laughed.
“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 another laugh from Carter’s parents.
Carter smiled and hugged me again. “I really did miss you, Smiley.”
I grinned at Carter’s nickname for me. He hadn’t forgotten. “I missed you too.”
Hearing the other car door open, I glanced over Carter’s shoulders to see a familiar figure emerge. 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 Carter should have moved on to greet everyone else?
Maybe he wanted to see the moment Hunter and I acknowledged each other as mates.
My wolf continued to pace, fueling my thoughts that Hunter was indeed my mate.
I watched Hunter’s light-brown hair blow in the wind. His back was still turned to me. I just wanted him to turn around.
I held my breath, waiting for the moment he would realize I was his mate.
Please turn around.
What was he waiting for?
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