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A Prophecy of Crowns and Harmony

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Blurb

In a realm hidden from human eyes, the werewolf king has outlawed inter-species mate bonds and driven out or killed most of those who disagree with him. As a prophecy is made and a curse is placed, what will happen to those unknowingly thrust into the heart of the conflict? Will fate help them find a way to restore balance and peace? Or will they lose all they hold dear to them?

Please Note: This book is rated MATURE 18+. There will be foul language, violence, and s*x in this book.

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Author’s Note and Prologue
Author's Note Hello and thank you for giving my book a chance! Please note that if you are just now starting this book, it is going through the contract signing process, and will likely go to PTR very soon. I am not sure of the exact date, but it is coming. Just wanted to give any readers a heads up before they began! That being said, the book is COMPLETE aside from the possibility of a few bonus chapters. Thank you! King Tobias POV King Tobias Bancroft gave a smug smile as he looked around the table at the people who were dining with him. He toyed with the stem of his crystal wineglass in front of him. The dark red liquid reminded him of the blood of his enemies, the blood he had spilled in order to get to the position he was in today — King of the Werewolf Kingdom. The long, ornate mahogany table was adorned with gold place settings. The most expensive long-stemmed roses in the entire realm sat in the centerpieces placed at precise spots along the length of the table. His court members were all in attendance, dressed in their very best, in rich fabrics and colors. The women wore exquisite evening gowns and ballgowns and decorated their bodies with glittering jewels. The men wore designer suits tailored in a perfect fit to their bodies. He had no regrets, none whatsoever, about the steps he and his father before him had taken in order to secure their rightful place on the throne. They guaranteed a future of this rich and lavish lifestyle for him and his descendants; a lifetime being worshiped by his fellow werewolves, of being able to have complete control over the alphas of all the packs in the kingdom. It hadn’t been a straightforward path, and it had taken much longer than he or his father had ever expected. But he had now achieved their goal, and had eliminated the last of the rival line, eliminated any competition for a legitimate claim to the throne. The path was clear for his now four-year-old son, Leonidas, to take over the throne without obstacles when his own time came. His eyes softened a bit as they rested on his son, who sat between his mother, Tobias’s mate, Queen Jessamine, and the Beta to the Werewolf Kingdom, Malcolm Silver. The little alpha wolf sat as upright as possible, eating his food with precise movements, ever the perfect little prince that they were raising him to be. He would make a fine king one day — as long as he continued to excel in his training and continued to run their kingdom in the way King Tobias directed him to. Because Selene help him if anyone dared try to make Leonidas change things back to the way they were before; back when the Werewolf Kingdom and all the other kingdoms of The Shrouded Realm were at “peace” with each other. When wolves thought they could deny Selene, deny the will of the goddess, by claiming their fated mates were witches or fairies or any member of the other kingdoms who was not a werewolf. It was madness — complete and utter madness — to even think that the Moon Goddess would condone or even bless such blasphemous unions. No, they had put an end to that years ago. They forbade any mate pairing that wasn’t with another werewolf, punishing or banishing those who went against the new law. They dissolved almost all of their alliances with the other kingdoms, keeping only their treaty with the witches, since the High Witch King had a mutual distaste for mate pairings that were not of the same race. Each pack in the Werewolf Kingdom now had a small witch coven living in their pack. The pretense was they were providing extra protection with their enchantments and spells, when in reality they were acting as spies for King Tobias and the High Witch King, reporting back on whether the members of the individual packs were following the mating laws. It was too bad that he had to relinquish some control to the individual packs in his kingdom. But the land was too widespread, the packs too distant from the royal territory, for him to rule over them effectively. That was why he didn’t absorb all the packs into one, and let the individual pack alphas keep their titles and lands and packs. It helped him to delegate, and helped the kingdom to run more efficiently, for each pack to have its own alpha. Of course, there were still the smaller, unincorporated packs that stayed on the outskirts — not quite rogues, but not full-fledged packs either. These packs seemed to think they could avoid royal scrutiny by keeping to themselves and staying near the borders of the kingdom. It was a problem, to be sure, but a problem that he would resolve during his reign or his son’s. King Tobias still couldn’t believe that his own cousin, the former heir to the throne, had allowed his future beta to be mated to a witch. It would have been such an embarrassment for the beta of the kingdom to be mated to a witch instead of a wolf. That act had been the last straw for Tobias and his father. It was then that they had enacted the plan that they had been brewing for over a decade, the plan to dethrone his uncle and the rest of his family, taking over the throne and the kingdom themselves in order to save the Werewolf Kingdom from permanent destruction under their reign. While all of this had been accomplished many years ago, they had only recently received confirmation that the last of his uncle’s line was gone. No trace of them or anyone with royal blood remained within the Werewolf Kingdom or any of the other kingdoms, so tonight was a celebration. Tonight was the first night where they felt they were free from the threat of the “true” bloodline coming back to stake a claim to the kingdom. They could finally rest, finally live without the looming shadow over their heads, finally enjoy the luxuries of being the rulers of the greatest kingdom in the realm. King Tobias stood and lifted his glass, signaling to the rest of the dining room that he was preparing to make a speech, a toast. The members of the royal court hastened to cut their conversations short, the indistinct murmur of conversation ending, resulting in a respectful silence as they waited for words from their king. “My fellow wolves, my subjects, my friends,” he began, his deep voice echoing through the room as he spoke with authority and pride. “Tonight is an important night. A special night, the first of what I hope will be many. Tonight, we celebrate that we have achieved what my father and I set out to accomplish many years ago. My family has become the indisputable royal family with no one to question our claim. No one will come out of the shadows and fight for what they deem to be their birthright. We have created a kingdom where we can guarantee that only the strongest wolves will remain, where we can take on any who dare to rise against us and fight for beliefs that we know without a doubt to be against the will of Selene. Tonight, I toast all of you, and all of those who have helped us achieve this goal!” The entire dining room erupted into cheers as the wolves present congratulated themselves and each other. They raised their glasses to their lips and drank to their health and to their successes. When their glasses lowered from their mouths, the lights around the dining room flickered. King Tobias narrowed his eyes, his gaze darting around the room until he heard a scream from the Beta female, Kamila. He looked over at her, and she had locked her eyes on the head witch of the Royal Pack Coven, Felicity. Felicity’s eyes were wide, her pupils blown so wide her yellow irises were no longer visible. A whirlwind swirled around her, blowing her long black hair into a frenzy. Her clothing whipped around as if she stood on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. The strange, magical wind only encompassed her, leaving the rest of the room and occupants untouched, undisturbed. Her body rose from the ground, her feet lifting several inches off of the floor, her arms spread wide and her palms lifted towards the ceiling. Her mouth opened, and an otherworldly voice mixed with her own soprano sang through her, “It will begin with a stolen crown A worthy scion Nature and Moon Forbidden but inevitable Forever bringing harmony The chains of the past will threaten But the light will sunder them And turn them to dust.” The words echoed around the room, bouncing off the walls and crashing into the minds and the hearts of those who heard them. As the last words left her mouth, Felicity returned to normal, her body lowering back to the ground. She collapsed into her chair, her chest rising and falling in an unnatural rhythm as she looked around the room, and at the wolves who were now staring at her. King Tobias’s body filled with rage, and his soul felt as though it plunged into the depths of the icy lake of the Underworld as he realized what had just happened in his dining room. The gods and goddesses gave a prophecy to the royal coven, a prophecy that seemed to threaten to unravel everything that he had worked for over the years. Felicity paled as her eyes met the king’s, her body shaking like a leaf in the wind as she beheld the anger boiling in his eyes. She knew she had failed him, that they all had failed him, and they would never finish with the work they had started all those years ago. “None of you will speak of this to anyone,” King Tobias commanded in his Alpha tone, making eye contact with every person in the room. He couldn’t risk this getting out to the other packs, or Selene forbid, the other kingdoms. “Cabinet members. My office. Now,” he continued in his alpha tone, commanding his inner circle to meet with him. He then turned and left the room before anyone could even question him or speak to him. His inner circle followed in silence; they all knew that this wasn’t the place to speak of these matters, that they needed to be in his private, soundproofed office to make sure no one overheard them. He could hear the footsteps of those he had summoned following behind him down the long, ornate marble hallway; heard as his mate handed their son off to his nanny for the evening. He didn’t stop to wish Leo goodnight — he didn’t have time for that. His son was old enough to understand that his father’s duties needed to come first, that the kingdom would always be first before family. He burst through the doors to his large office; the shelves framing the doorway rattled with the force of his entry. He stalked to the large walnut desk at the center, the color of which contrasted with the navy blue walls of the room. There was an aura of false calm around him as he sat down behind his desk, surrounded by his closest friends and advisors. “Repeat the prophecy to me,” he commanded Felicity. He had already formed his own ideas, his own interpretation of the prophecy, of what it might mean. But he wanted to listen to it again before he jumped to any conclusions. Felicity recited the prophecy word for word, the entirety of it already embedded in her memory by magic, where it would stay forever. “It will begin with a stolen crown A worthy scion Nature and Moon Forbidden but inevitable Forever bringing harmony The chains of the past will threaten But the light will sunder them And turn them to dust.” King Tobias sat there thinking for a moment, contemplating the words again. “A stolen crown… a worthy scion? Nature and moon?” he muttered to himself, his hand rubbing over his mouth as he thought. “What does it mean?” he asked, looking at Felicity again. Felicity hesitated as she sat in front of him. Her hands gripped the arms of her chair as she tried to regain her strength after the vision she had just received. Visions such as the one she just had always expunged a great deal of energy out of her, and she usually needed at least a whole day to recover. “I — I saw little. Visions — or rather, premonitions — such as these, are the will of the god or goddess who grants them, their voice being amplified through me as a conduit to their people.” “I am well aware of how the deities grant visions to seer witches,” he gritted out between clenched teeth. “What I am asking is, what does it mean?” She swallowed down her rising nerves from the ire of the Werewolf King. His anger was thick, palpable; she could almost taste it, it was so heavy in the air. “It would appear… as though we did not eliminate your uncle’s line,” she whispered. The silence in the room was deafening. The king stared at the witch, his jaw clenched, his whole body trembling as he processed the words he had just heard. Her words confirmed his earlier thoughts, and he realized what those words meant for him and his family, for the future that he had worked so hard to achieve. “How is this possible?!” King Tobias shouted, his fist pounding into the top of his desk, leaving behind a crack in the solid wood from the strength of his rage. The members of his cabinet jumped at the sound of the cracking wood, their eyes avoiding him as they bowed their heads in submission. None of them wanted to be the first to speak, to be the one on the receiving end of the anger held within the beast. “You assured me, you gave me your word, that we had eliminated the last of his line!” he continued, his words now directed at Felicity. Her lip trembled, but she tried to hide it, taking a deep breath as she prepared to speak, “Your Majesty — Alpha — I —” “Enough with your stammering, witch. I demand an explanation!” he bellowed, unleashing all of his powerful aura on those present, forcing them all to their knees. “The detection spell doesn’t lie, Your Majesty! The spell did not find any descendents of your uncle’s bloodline within this or any other kingdom!” Felicity exclaimed, her hands shaking as she tried to rein in her fear. “Then why is the prophecy speaking of a stolen crown? A worthy scion?? Why would we receive this prophecy?!” He stood up as he spoke, towering over everyone in the room. Queen Jessamine tentatively stepped up to his side, her hands shaking as she reached for him. She hoped to use the mate bond to settle his rage, to help him see more clearly instead of yelling without reason at his friends and advisors. “Get away from me, woman!” he shouted at her, his arm shoving her into the bookcase behind his desk. He couldn’t let her do that in front of the ranked members of the kingdom, couldn’t let them see how weak he was. He paced back and forth behind the desk. The king ignored the queen’s quiet cries from where she sat on the floor, hunched over herself to hide her tears from the cabinet members. “What about ‘Nature and Moon’? ‘Forbidden but inevitable’?” he asked the witch after he had thought for a moment. “My best guess,” she began, “is that the scion, or the heir, will have a mate bond with one who worships nature, or the earth goddess, Gaia.” “So either a witch or a fairy,” King Tobias finished. “And since we know the witches would never approve of this union, it must be the fairies,” he concluded. A plan formed in his mind as he spoke, a sinister, dark plan. “We will target the royal line of the fairies, the Fae,” he began in a low voice. His movement stopped as he pressed his fingertips into the top of his desk, leaning forward as he spoke. “This way, ‘Nature and Moon’ can never unite, and my uncle’s line will have to end.” He laced every word with a subtle alpha command, so none in the room could go against his plan. “Your will be done,” they all murmured, exchanging glances with each other as they all filed out of the room one by one, leaving only King Tobias and Felicity. Once they were alone, King Tobias turned back to his bookcase, pulling out a small, black, well-worn book from the shelf. He then sat back at his desk, his fingers steepled together in front of him, his eyes staring at Felicity over the tops of them. “While I have faith in my assassins to complete this task without hiccups, we need a back-up, a failsafe, in case somehow they thwart us again. I do not know or care how my uncle’s descendants tricked you, but the fact remains that they did. We need to prevent them from being together in case the fairies try to trick us in the same way my family did,” he said to her, lowering his hand to drum his fingers against the desk as he continued. “There is a curse,” he told her, nodding to the book on the desk. “A curse that was used only one other time I know of,” he informed her. “And what is this curse?” she asked him, her voice still shaking as she addressed the murderous king. “It prevents mates from ever being able to accept or reject their bond. They will forever live as fated mates, but never able to sever the bond or accept and mark each other. This will prevent them from sharing their strength and powers with each other and being strong enough to take the throne.” He stared at Felicity from his seat at his desk, his eyes boring into hers. “Do whatever it takes. Do not fail me again.”

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