Death had never phased Rye. She had seen her grandparents, both sets, pass away and it was something she always accepted as a part of nature.
But her father wasn't supposed to die, well at least not yet. Rye thought she had more time with him. She thought he would be there clapping for her when she graduated from college or when she received her MCAT scores. God only knew her mother would be too busy with her werewolf diplomatic business or the twins, Chyna and India.
Rye had no hard feelings towards her younger sisters, honest. It was her mother she had an issue with.
Olivia Alden was always too busy for her first born. She claims it was her job but Rye couldn't help but feel it was because Rye was human. Olivia, being a werewolf, would have naturally wanted her first born to carry the wolf DNA. But being mated to a human she had known the chances of their children carrying the wolf DNA was 50/50. Lucky for her, and unlucky for Rye, the twins both carried wolf DNA.
Olivia had taken off long periods of times for the twins, time she had not taken off for Rye.
"You father couldn't have handled the wolf changes and behaviors with the twins," She had explained to Rye. "You were the easiest to raise out of all my children."
"Easiest because you were never there!" Rye had screamed at her. It was a battle that they had both fought many times.
But Rye couldn't complain about the childhood she had with her father. Jacob Alden was an European History professor who taught Rye to dissect frogs during summer vacations. He would call her his little prodigy. "My Rye is the greatest in the world."
Were Chyna and India envious of their father's relationship with their elder sister? Perhaps. But unlike Rye, the twins were shy and quiet. They were obedient and would never dream of doing half the things their sister did. Olivia always had an eye on the twins and Jacob on Rye.
But now there was no one to watch Rye. She felt completely lost as she sat still on that uncomfortable chair at the funeral parlor and looked around at the many faces in the room. She looked at Chyna and India both sobbing delicately, their blue eyes puffy and prominent on their round faces. Oliva stood next to the casket, her demeanor not betraying an ounce of emotion.
Who are these people? Rye thought. She didn't feel sad or hurt when she got the call about the accident two days ago. She didn't feel her eyes swell up with tears when they had her father laid in the cherry wood casket. And she most definitely didn't feel comfort when her mother pulled her into a tight hug outside the funeral home.
But she had felt angry. She had just let her arms hang by her side and held her breath, waiting for her mother to pull away. She was angered by her touch. How dare her cry? Her father deserved better. He deserved a mate that spent his birthdays with him. He deserved a mate that called him to just let him know she loved him.
Mates were suppose to be your better half. Rye would hear stories from her grandmother about how when you find the one your whole word moved around them. They were the essence of you existence. But when Rye watched her parents she thought it was all just a bunch of bull.
To her, it was an animalistic instinct that insured the survival of a species. It wasn't love. It was a twisted sick lust that doomed two individuals to stay together for the survival of their kind...well at least for maybe one of their kind in Rye's parent's case.
"I am so sorry for your loss," A voice pulled Rye's attention away from throwing daggers at her mother through her eyes.
She turned to see an elderly gentleman standing in front of her. He had salt and pepper hair that was neatly trimmed and styled. His black suit looked tailored to perfection. The surrounding of his irise was ringed in gold.
Rye had only met one or two pure blooded Lycans before, mainly friends of her mother from work. Only pure Lycans had a ring of gold around their iris. Too light for the human eye to catch, but given Rye's senses were heightened from her mother's werewolf DNA's, she caught it.
Pure Lycans were rare. Over the ages they had mixed with humans, creating the werewolf race. Those werewolves mixed with more humans and either created werewolves or misce, human children with heightened senses, like Rye.
"Jacob was a wonderful husband and father," The man continued. This time Rye noticed his thick british accent.
Rye looked into his eyes and blinked, "Do you say the same line at all funerals or do you have different ones that you rotate between?"
The man struggled to say something else. He opened and closed his mouth like a gaping fish.
"How about, 'So what now? Are you burying him or burning him to a crisp?" Rye suggested, "Maybe try that one out at the next funeral you're at. And please do let me know how it goes. I've been meaning to ask someone that."
Olivia saw her daughter speaking to one of the royal councilmans from across the room and hurried over before Rye said something bazar.
"Councilman Jude," Olivia approached the pair, eyeing her daughter suspiciously after seeing the baffled looked on the old man's face, "Thank you for coming."
Rye sat back and looked straight ahead. She couldn't help but let a tiny laugh escape her lips as she correctly predicted her mother's actions. Of course she was treating Jacob's funeral like a networking event.
Both the councilmen and Oliva turned to look at the strange girl with dark hair sitting in front of them.
"I see you have met my eldest daughter Rye," Olivia said in a polite voice, "Rye please stand up dear, this is royal councilmen Lawson Jude from Romania."
Rye pretended not to hear.
"Rye," Olivia's voice was laced with warning.
"It's quite alright, Mrs. Alden," Lawson sensed the tension between the mother and daughter and didn't want to be the cause of anything further. "We were all so gravely shocked to hear about Jacob's passing so suddenly. King Dorin sends his toughts and prayers to your family."
Rye was fed up with hearing the same sentence over and over again. She stood up with a stomp of her feet, making sure it was loud enough for everyone to hear. She looked at Lawson and Olivia, who were frozen mid conversation from her sudden movements.
"Remember to ask if they're planning on burning the body to a crisp," Rye said to Lawson before turning on her heels and walking out of the funeral home.
Lawson and Olivia stood motionless watching the young girl disappears around the corner.
With embarrassment in her eyes Olivia turned to Lawson, "Councilman, I am s-"
"Mrs. Alden I believe you have given birth to a Luna, possibly the Queen Luna we have been searching for for two centuries."
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Queen Material ( Ace of Queens #1)Werewolf
"My heart is in your hands...do with it as you please." Rye Alden counted herself lucky for not inheriting the werewolf genes from her mother. She was content with her ordinary life and her human father. But when tragedy strikes and her father is k...