RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Broken Queen

Danni D

Ariel is a twenty-year-old werewolf with dreams of becoming a pack warrior. At least, that was until she was kidnapped by Hunters two years ago and used as the test subject of horrible experiments. With the help of the Moon Goddess, Ariel finally gains her freedom. But finding her mate and picking up life where she left off may be even harder than she imagined.

Age Rating: 18+ (Torture, Extreme Violence/Gore)

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Broken Queen - Book cover
RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Broken Queen

Danni D

Ariel is a twenty-year-old werewolf with dreams of becoming a pack warrior. At least, that was until she was kidnapped by Hunters two years ago and used as the test subject of horrible experiments. With the help of the Moon Goddess, Ariel finally gains her freedom. But finding her mate and picking up life where she left off may be even harder than she imagined.

Age Rating: 18+ (Torture, Extreme Violence/Gore)

1: Gift of the Goddess

ARIEL

“Come on Ariel, show me what you’ve got.”

Xavier’s muscular arms wrap around me, and he pushes me back against the wall.

His earthy scent is making me feel lightheaded, and it’s hard to breathe when his broad chest is pressed against mine.

I’m losing my focus, but I can’t let that happen.

I can’t give in.

I have to prove what I’m capable of.

Swiftly, I grab Xavier’s wrist, pull it over my shoulder, and then twist my body—flipping the guy flat on his back.

I smirk. “Is that what you wanted to see?”

The crowd goes wild—yeah, the crowd. Because I’m in the middle of the hardest test of my life, and everyone is waiting to see if I’ll rise to the occasion, or fall on my face.

All my squadmates are cheering me on from the sidelines, hoping I pass my final test to become a fully-fledged pack warrior.

Suddenly, I feel my legs sweep out from under me, and I land on my back, hard.

Within seconds, Xavier is on top of me—like really on top of me.

I’m just wearing a sports bra, and our sweat-slicked bodies stick together as he pins me down.

He leans over and whispers in my ear. “Just give in, Ariel. Don’t fight it.”

My heart is thumping, threatening to burst from my chest.

Xavier’s breath is hot on my neck. “Maybe later we can do this without clothes.”

His hand slides down my stomach to my thigh, gripping it tightly, hungrily.

My body squirms underneath him, craving his touch, surrendering to the heat.

Giving in is an enticing proposition, especially given how hot Xavier is, but right now I’ve got more important things on my mind…

I savor the look of shock on Xavier’s face as I swing my legs upward and wrap them around his neck, putting him in a triangle chokehold.

More important things—like kicking his ass.

“Looks like I’m the one on top now,” I whisper.

I squeeze my thighs as tight as I can, making sure Xavier won’t be able to break free.

Moments later Xavier taps the ground, signaling his surrender.

The crowd erupts in cheers, and my squadmates swarm the arena, jumping, shouting, spraying sports drinks in every direction.

I fall back on the floor, dazed. Did I really just beat Xavier? Did I actually win?

Xavier gets up before I do and extends his hand. I take it and he pulls me up, then straight into his chest.

“Well done, Ariel. Today, you proved yourself a true warrior.”

He leans down, and for a moment I think he’s going to kiss me, but then—

Xavier growls softly in my ear. “And tonight, you’ll prove yourself worthy of an alpha in other ways.”

My heart leaps into my throat and I’m left utterly speechless.

Oh, my Goddess—Xavier wants ME?

***

I sit down next to the serene lake, shaded by the canopy of trees above me, and pull my boots off, chucking them to the side.

I dip my feet into the water and breathe a sigh of relief.

My feet are killing me. Training is always excruciating, but it has definitely toughened me up, and today, it’s all finally paid off.

I’m no longer just a trainee…

Today, I’m officially a member of the pack warriors.

I gaze proudly at the crescent moon tattoo on the inside of my arm—the mark of a warrior.

My pack, the Crescent Moon Pack, has one of the best warrior training programs around and my squadron has become like my second family.

We call ourselves the “X-Squad” in honor of our fearless team leader, Xavier.

Well, in fairness, he came up with the name, but I actually think it’s quite catchy.

The sound of grunts and guttural growling suddenly draws my attention to the nearby docks.

Speak of the Devil…

Xavier is sparring with our squad mate, James.

He sends lightning-fast punches in James’s direction, keeping him off balance, then jumps in the air and lands a sailing kick right into his stomach, knocking him on his ass.

Xavier slowly pulls off his shirt to reveal his toned torso and rippling muscles as he wipes the sweat from his glistening body.

Goddess, he’s so fit…

Xavier flashes James a cocky smile. “You may have gotten your moon mark, but you’re still no match for me, Jamesy-boy.”

Xavier starts flexing, and as I lean forward to get a better look, I almost fall face-first in the lake.

I manage to catch my balance just in time, finding myself staring at my reflection in the water.

My chestnut-colored hair is an absolute mess, but my dark yellow eyes stand out from the dirt all over my face.

When I was young, dad always said my eyes looked like sunflowers, so he started calling me his little sunflower until I protested against such a girlie nickname.

I’m not a flower, I’m a warrior! I would shouted, indignantly.

So he started calling me his little warrior instead, and that one stuck.

Out of everyone, I can’t wait to tell him the news about my acceptance into the warrior program first.

I know he’ll be so proud of me.

My mother, on the other hand…

She thinks that it’s distasteful for girls to be warriors. She always tells me I should be more like my sister, Natalia.

Natalia would never be caught dead with tangled hair and a dirty face—always so preened and proper.

When I look up, I notice that Xavier is staring at me from the docks. I instantly become self-conscious, trying to smooth the knots in my hair.

Xavier’s proposition is still fresh in my mind, but I’m not sure what I’ll do.

We’re not confirmed mates yet, and part of me wants to wait...

But Goddess, he sure is hot. He shoots me a smirk, and I quickly turn away, embarrassed.

Ugh, why do I look like such a damn mess right now?

I always thought Xavier liked the prissy types like my sister. I never would have thought that ~I~ was his type.

I’m really regretting not hitting the showers after my training session, but I was just so excited to get my warriors’ mark.

“What the hell are you fussing about?” an arrogant, but assuring voice says from behind me.

“You always look like you’ve just fought off a pack of wolves—combing your fingers through your hair isn’t going to change that.”

Oh Amy, never change.

My best friend, Amy, sits down next to me and nudges me in the shoulder.

I’m surprised we’re such good friends, given that she’s more Natalia’s speed than mine, but we’ve been inseparable since childhood.

“I heard the news! We need to go out and celebrate, bitch!” she says, kicking her feet into the water, next to mine.

“Honestly, I’m exhausted,” I say. “We might have to save the celebration for another night.”

Plus, I may have plans with Xavier tonight…

“You do look redder than a blood moon,” she says as she suddenly notices Xavier parading around the dock, shirtless. “Is it because of the training or because of him.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say, my face growing warm.

Pleeeease tell me you don’t have a crush on that muscle-bound moron,” Amy says, shaking her head. “You know he only got that team leader role because he’s next in line to be the Alpha.”

“He’s also a really good fighter,” I retort, defensively.

“Oh my Goddess, you want him to be your mate!” Amy says, teasing. “You want to have his pups, don’t you?”

“I do not!” I shout, splashing water on her. “I don’t think about him like that at all! The only kind of mates we are is squad mates.”

Sure, just keep telling yourself that.

“I guess you’ll know for sure when you turn eighteen in a few months,” she replies, raising her eyebrows.

Werewolves can only recognize their mates when they both turn eighteen, so potentially she’s right; my mate could’ve been right under my nose all this time.

But some wolves never find their destined mates…and end up mating with other wolves in the same position.

It makes me sad to think about not waiting for your true mate.

“Just think—your destined mate could be anyone in this pack,” Amy says, sighing.

“Or another pack,” I reply, correcting her. “Our destined mates aren’t always so close to home. Though Goddess willing, we won’t have to search too far.”

“If my mate is in some remote pack, halfway across the world, I think I might convert to a new religion,” Amy says with a smirk.

We both burst into laughter and fall back, lying on the grass. As the sky darkens, the crescent-shaped moon becomes clear.

“I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what destiny has in store for me,” I say, smiling.

TWO YEARS LATER

I feel the chains pulling tighter, and I fight back the urge to cry out in pain. The silver shackles bite into my raw wrists.

You would think that I would be used to the pain after two years of being treated like a worthless animal, a science experiment, but sometimes it becomes unbearable.

The first year was the worst…

The experiments—injecting microdoses of liquid wolfsbane into my veins and analyzing the effects on my body. And my wolf.

I learned in the beginning that the burning feeling coursing through my veins was the wolfsbane as it weakened and cut off my connection to my wolf.

I’ve been a whole year without my wolf. Only feeling her faintly in the far corners of my mind, whimpering in pain and sadness.

Never in my life have I ever felt so overwhelmingly alone.

They took my family…

My friends…

And my wolf.

My eyes start to flutter shut as the pain becomes too much.

I feel a sharp smack across my already bruised cheek.

“Don’t go passing out on me yet, bitch. We’ve only barely started today.” Curt, the leader of the hunters, digs his dirty fingernails into my shoulder.

“Go to hell,” I say, mustering up what little fight I have left.

Curt’s cold, gray eyes—as strange as it sounds—are the only thing that has kept me going. The thought of ripping them from his head…

I think often about the first time I saw those eyes—the same night I’d been accepted into warrior training.

I’d fallen asleep by the lake, and when I woke up, those eyes were hovering over me, glaring at me with absolute malice.

Our pack had never done anything violent to humankind, but that didn’t matter to hunters.

All they want is the complete eradication of werewolves.

But what they want with me—why they’ve kept me alive to experiment on me for two years—I have no idea.

“I think you need to be reminded of your place, mutt,” Curt says as he picks up a syringe filled with silver liquid.

“No…NO!” I scream as he punctures my skin.

My spine begins to stretch and, a horrible cracking noise echoes throughout the room as my bones break.

He’s forcing my wolf out somehow, but the silver is keeping my body from healing during the transformation.

The pain is unreal.

I feel my ribs puncture my lungs and blood spills out of my mouth.

In fact, it’s spilling out of several places in my body as my bones penetrate my skin like a mangled mess.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Curt shouts. “I think I gave her too much! Medic! Get the fuck over here!”

I want to howl so badly from the pain, but all I can muster is a pathetic raspy wheeze.

The room is beginning to blur and close in around me.

“Get her fucking stable!” Curt yells. “We can’t lose our best test subject. She’s almost perfected!”

As the darkness settles in, I hear a soft and ethereal voice…

“Don’t give up, my child.”

***

I’m sitting at the edge of the lake again, just like two years ago, but this time it isn’t Amy sitting next to me, but a woman I’ve never seen before.

She’s beautiful in every way—pale blue eyes, long silver hair running down her back, and milky smooth skin that almost seems to glow.

Who is this captivating woman?

“Hello, Ariel. I wish we were meeting under better circumstances,” the woman says warmly.

“Who…who are you? And how do you know me?” I ask, confused.

“My name is Selene, though some call me the Moon Goddess,” she replies with a soft laugh.

Oh my Goddess, THE Moon Goddess. Holy…

“Don’t be nervous, my child. I must apologize to you.”

The Moon Goddess apologize to me? I guess I haven’t exactly felt her presence for quite some time.

“You were never supposed to be taken by the hunters,” she says calmly, her warm smile never leaving her face.

“But my sister, Fate, can be quite vengeful and she had another plan in mind. We don’t often see eye-to-eye.”

“I know the feeling,” I say, thinking of my own sister.

“In order to right these wrongs, I’m bestowing upon you a gift—the gift of healing.”

Selene leans forward and kisses me on the forehead. “May you heal both your own pain…and the pain of others. Be a light unto those who need it most.”

As Selene sits back, she places her palm against my cheek and her eyes sparkle.

“One more thing, Ariel. This is not the life I have planned for you. You must escape this place—and find your mate.”

“My mate? Wait, who is my mate?”

I feel a warmth surge through my body as the Goddess begins to fade away.

“Find him, Ariel. Only you can heal him.”

***

I jolt awake, still shackled to the operating table, although the room is empty.

Was that just some weird fever dream?

As the haze of the dream begins to wear off, one thing becomes clear.

I should be dead.

Before passing out, my entire body was broken, my bones were jutting out of my body, I was losing so much blood…

So imagine my surprise when I crane my neck to look at my battered body to find that…

All my wounds have been healed.

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