Princess Kinsey Wymarc drifted out to the balcony off her bedchamber and studied the beautiful mountains beyond the castle. They were grand and daunting, stretching on forever. After the recent rain, specks of green now dotted the mountainsides. Soon spring and summer would be here.
A heavy knock from the main door disrupted her quiet moment. She returned to the bedchamber and called, “Come.” A smile tugged at her lips when her younger sister bounded into the room.
Agatha rushed across the distance after shutting the heavy door. She grabbed her sister’s hands and asked, “What were they like? Were they all handsome?”
Kinsey sighed, then sat down on the wooden trunk at the foot of her bed. “They were big brooding Alphas, like our father.”
Agatha rolled her eyes and dropped her shoulders. “How can you hate Alphas so?” She hopped onto the foot of the bed next to her sister.
“I do not haaate them.” Kinsey watched Agatha swing her legs and considered when her sister would be given away to an Alpha. Unlike Kinsey, Agatha’s future and duty to the kingdom entailed a marriage-alliance. “I just find them very boorish and volatile.”
Agatha huffed and leaned forward, cupping her chin in her hands. “I think they are all handsome.”
Kinsey chuckled at her sister’s romantic ideas about Alphas and the relationship between them and Omegas. From childhood, Alphas and Omegas were taught about their strict roles—until an Omega was bound to an Alpha, and only then would an Omega truly understand the value of having a mate who cared for them. Whereas Agatha bought into the norms, Kinsey did not. At one time, it didn’t matter what Kinsey thought, because her older brother Devon was destined to take the crown. But his death changed everything, especially Kinsey’s future.
As the next in line to rule, Kinsey had newfound control over her fate, and the old talks about who to wed Kinsey off to were gone. The kingdom’s future rested squarely on Kinsey’s shoulders as the queen-to-be. But for Agatha, nothing had changed for her and that seemed to appeal to her, at least Kinsey had assumed, until recently. There were biting remarks and mutters about unfairness each time their parents mentioned prospective husbands.
“Many Betas are handsome and far better natured than Alphas,” Kinsey said.
Agatha huffed and peered over at her sister. “Father says I will most likely be wed to a Beta noble.”
Kinsey squeezed her sister’s thigh and argued, “It could change. We can never be sure what will happen.”
Agatha gave a soft rumble, then straightened up. “Please tell me what they were like? Will I get to see them, at least once?”
Chuckling as she stood from the trunk, Kinsey walked over to one of the sofa chairs in the sitting area. “I do not see why not.” She paused and caught her sister smiling from ear to ear. “My sister should have a say in whom I choose.”
Hopping off the bed, Agatha rushed over to her sister and grabbed her hands. “I wish to see them now! Mother said there are four Alphas.”
“Aggie, they just went to their rooms,” Kinsey argued. “They had a long journey here.”
“I know, but we could just peek.” Agatha pouted and tugged on her sister’s arm. “Please, sister.” She shifted closer and leaned into Kinsey, hugging her.
Kinsey accepted the hug, nuzzled her sister’s cheek, and hummed low in a rare show of affection. As kids they had been close and often snuggled together, but into their teenage years, they only shared affection when one of them was upset. “All right. We can go see them, but we cannot stay long.”
Agatha squeezed her harder, nearly taking all the air out of her, then bolted across the room and yanked the door open all while urging her sister to hurry up. Kinsey rolled her eyes but left the bedchamber.
Two guards stood sentry outside her door and waited for the princesses. The soldiers had been assigned to the princesses when they first started to walk. Agatha was on her second guard; she had caught the first guard having sex with a servant. Wilmont all but beheaded the guard, then ordered Huxley as her replacement.
Kinsey had been assigned Gerald. He had sworn his blade to the House of Wymarc, and when Kinsey became a young teen, he had gone to her in private, kneeled, and pledged his life. Kinsey wanted to deny his pledge, not believing anyone’s life was worth hers. But rejecting Gerald’s pledge would have broken him.
When the sisters hurried down the hallway, Huxley and Gerald followed them without question. Kinsey guided her sister to the west wing where the Alphas were being held until she made her final choice. The wing had six rooms but only four of the doors were guarded. The first guard straightened his stance when the princesses arrived, then waited for his orders.
“Wait here for us,” Kinsey told Gerald and Huxley. “We wish to see the Alphas,” she told the guard outside one of the Alpha’s rooms. “We will start with this one.”
The guard nodded, turned, and knocked on the door once before entering the room. He kept a hand on the hilt of his sword and ordered the Alpha to get up.
Kinsey couldn’t see past the guard’s body blocking the doorway. It was for their safety, as well as protecting Agatha’s young eyes. Once the guard stepped aside, they were allowed to go in and meet the Alpha.
The Alpha took a few steps closer and stood in the center of the small bedchamber. Wearing nothing but loose pants that hid his lower half, his upper body left nothing to the imagination. His chest was muscular, and six pads of muscles lined his stomach. A tiny trail of dark hair traveled from his belly button and disappeared beneath his pants. The veins in his arms stood out as he hooked his hands in front of his body.
Like his eyes, his hair was black as night and very short. His dimpled chin added to his gruff appearance. On his neck a dragon tattoo crawled up the right side from his shoulder, and several old scars trailed down his left arm. She could only imagine their history in battle.
Kinsey inhaled his distinct scent. While in the great hall, she couldn’t discern each of the Alphas’ pheromones, especially since they’d been cleansed down just prior to the meeting; however, a few hours later, his unique scent was noticeable.
He smells like my father, she thought and frowned.
Agatha, however, was giggling, clearly showing her youth while remaining by her sister’s side. “Where were you born?”
The Alpha cleared his throat and replied, “On a farm in the Cushar Kingdom.”
“That is why his eyes are so dark,” Agatha whispered.
“I know.” Kinsey tilted her head and eyed the bulky Alpha. “How did you come to be in the Kingdom of Tharnstone?”
“War,” he said with a huff.
“He was probably a soldier,” Agatha whispered.
On the losing side, Kinsey concluded. She grabbed Agatha’s shoulder and directed her out of the room. “Rest well,” she said to the Alpha on her way out.
The next Alpha was several years older than the first one and appeared less dominant. He was still a strong presence, regardless. His features reminded Kinsey of her father, which she hadn’t noticed earlier in the great hall. She hoped it was just the bad lighting in the room.
The third Alpha was in similar shape as the first Alpha and about the same age. He was slightly shorter but plenty taller than Kinsey and her sister. His shirt’s seams strained against his bulging muscles. Unlike the first two Alphas, his hair was long, curly, and light brown. His eyes were a smoky gray, and when her sister cooed, Kinsey all but dragged Agatha out of the room.
Approaching the last Alpha’s room, Kinsey shifted on her feet while the guard went into the bedroom first. She nibbled on her lip until the guard stepped aside to allow her and her sister to enter. Her eyes locked on the Alpha. Forcing her attention away, Kinsey smirked at Agatha’s gawk.
“It is a degen,” Agatha whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.
The guard grunted but remained silent.
“Agatha,” Kinsey warned and shot her a glare for the vulgar word. She huffed at her sister, then gazed over at the Alpha, who stood beside the foot of the bed.
“Sorry,” Agatha muttered and looked at the floor but only for a moment. Her attention focused back on the Alpha, and she stared just like her older sister was doing.
Kinsey studied the Alpha in the firelight’s glow. In the great hall, she had thought the Alpha was strange. All her life she had associated Alphas with hulking, muscular warriors who grunted and growled about everything. Her father was the super Alpha of them all.
However, this Alpha was different. She was still very tall and large, but her features were softened by feminine lines. Her short and shaggy straight hair, coupled with freckles across the crest of her cheeks, gave her a cute air. Between broad shoulders were the perfect swell of breasts that contradicted the muscles hidden under the clothing. According to Philip, the Alpha had the appropriate tools to handle Kinsey’s needs.
“Where are you from?” Agatha finally mustered the courage to ask.
The Alpha didn’t meet Agatha’s eyes and continued to stare into the distance. For a beat, it seemed as if she would ignore Agatha’s inquiry, which didn’t settle well with Kinsey. “I have forgotten.”
Agatha frowned and folded her arms. “How can you forget where you are from?”
Kinsey sniffed at the air, drawing in the Alpha’s spicy scent. Like the Alpha herself, it was different and also intriguing. She touched her sister’s shoulder and replied, “Sometimes we forget things that are better forgotten.”
Agatha pursed her lips and said, “Like that time I fell from the balcony.”
Rumbling in agreement, Kinsey nodded and sighed. “Exactly.” Like Agatha, she boxed away the awful memory and said, “We should let her sleep.” She smelled Agatha’s displeasure about leaving so soon.
“I like her hair.” Agatha folded her arms and leaned into her sister. “It is different from the other Alphas.”
“Yes.” Kinsey chuckled and nudged her sister to the open door, but she hesitated when she heard a familiar voice.
“Here comes Father,” Agatha muttered.
Before Kinsey or Agatha could leave, their father entered the room and dominated the space. He placed his hands on his hips and studied his daughters. “It is getting late and supper will be served soon.”
“We are sorry, Father.” Kinsey smiled in hopes to disarm the hint of annoyance she smelled on him. “I wanted to show Agatha the Alphas you brought me.”
Wilmont stood behind his daughters, blocking the exit. His attention flickered to the Alpha behind them, who remained passive and silent. He rumbled low and asked, “Did you explain to her—” he nodded to Agatha—”why this Alpha is a degen?”
Kinsey clenched her jaw and sensed where her father’s questioning might go. “Agatha knows why.” She was grateful that her sister started bobbing her head. “Just like I do,” she said, not being able to keep the edge out of her voice. As a child, she only knew of Alphas and Omegas being a certain way. Later in life, she had learned that there were other breeds of Alphas and Omegas who didn’t conform to the majority. This was the first time that Kinsey had met the special breed of Alpha.
“But you have not seen what makes her or others like her a degenerate.” Wilmont turned to the slave and ordered, “Remove your bottoms.”
“Father, is this really necessary right now?” Kinsey glowered when she looked from her father to the Alpha, who was already untying the pants’ string. Grabbing her sister, she shoved Agatha behind her back and blocked her view of the Alpha dropping her drawers. She should have looked away herself, but her curiosity won out and caused her grip to loosen on her sister.
Below the shirt’s hem, the Alpha’s toned stomach ended where muscular thighs began, and between them was a penis about the length of Kinsey’s hand. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen someone’s penis, having accidently walked in on her parents at an early age. But she had seen a Beta’s dick, which was similar in size to the Alpha before her. Typical Alphas were bigger than Betas and degenerate Omegas.
A soft set of giggles cut through Kinsey’s appraisal of the Alpha. She growled at Agatha, who had stepped out from behind her. “Go wait outside.” With her hand, she covered her sister’s eyes.
“Kinsey,” Agatha whined and struggled to pry Kinsey’s hand from her face. “It is just a penis.”
Wilmont grunted and folded his arms, but he allowed Kinsey to shove Agatha out of the room. He then remarked, “A little one with no balls.”
Kinsey heard it and glanced over at the slave, who retained a stoic face. She suspected the Alpha had grown a thick skin over the years from other Alphas, like her father, mocking her.
“Are you sure you wish to waste time on a degen?” Wilmont asked. “She is more useful mucking stalls.” Crossing the small distance, Kinsey neared the Alpha and kept her eyes above her neckline. Kinsey raised her hand but refrained from touching the Alpha, who smelled of tension and caged anger. After a sigh, she whispered, “Put on your bottoms.” She stepped aside when the slave bent down to pick up her clothes. Returning to her father, she paused in front of him and said, “Do not be envious that her breasts are bigger than your balls, Father.” Patting him on the stomach, she exited the room. “Are you hungry, Aggie?” Behind her, she heard her father’s rumbles about her joke, but she shrugged it off. She and her father had struck a deal that they both had to honor.