“Princesses go first!” a push on my back and I fall all the way down to the ground right in the middle of the busy hall. Marissa Desmond, our school beauty and one of the meanest creatures I know gives out a loud laugh. “I am sorry, Your Highness! I didn’t see you there! It’s such a shame you do not take after your father or mother, otherwise, you could avoid that nasty fall! I hope you didn’t break anything?”
Have you ever felt unworthy? This is how I live every day of my life. I am a daughter of the great Alpha King and his amazing witch Queen, the beautiful power couple of our world. My dad, Xavier Grayson, is an Alpha among all wolves, my mother, Stella Grayson, is a famous witch, one of the strongest, who once brought back mates for everyone, my younger brother is a pure-blood strong Alpha and a future King himself. And even my little 9-year-old sister is a promising witch.
And then there is me. The Empty Princess they call me. Behind my back, of course. But I still hear it. I am neither a wolf nor a witch. I never shifted and I never was able to create a spell or summon one of the four elements. I am useless. And everybody knows that. The downside of being a princess – everyone knows everything about you and they also all know you in the face. Being invisible is not an option.
And the worst part of all is that I have to attend the Springwood Academy – a boarding school for young witches AND werewolves. So, pretty much everyone here is stronger than me! If I wasn’t the king’s daughter then I could have avoided this school. But since I am one – I have to go here for safety reasons. The setting is protected by the strongest Coven of the Black Rose and also by the warriors from my father’s Royal Pack. But safety is such an obscure concept. There is nothing safe about being a human in a supernatural world. And that’s exactly what I am – just a mere human among wolves and witches. With absolutely no options to protect myself except for calling my daddy’s name.
I quietly gather my books from the floor and raise as gracefully as I can, considering my knee is bleeding. “That’s quite all right, Marissa,” I say clenching my lips, not allowing them to tremble and trying to hold back tears that are forming, “You do need to have brains to navigate without bumping into people. So, I wouldn’t expect too much from you.”
“Don’t worry, babe, this one barks but doesn’t bite! Because she just can’t!” Hunter Forrester, one of the brightest stars of our school chuckles when he wraps his hand around Marissa’s… no, not waits, her ass. He is not the shy type. All their little crew of assholes starts laughing hysterically. At me. Again. This is our everyday routine. I guess it helps them to feel so much better about themselves if they can laugh at the mighty King’s daughter.
If Dad knew… he would make them and their families, even packs, pay the price. But also, I know that he would feel pain in his heart. The one that he never admits he has. His daughter, his firstborn… and just a mere human. Both he and mum always tell me that it’s ok. As long as I am alive and healthy they are happy to have me in their lives and whatever. And that’s what hurts me the most. I am their weak point, their Achilles’s’ heel… and also I am their only embarrassment. They would never say it out loud, but I know I am.
That’s why I swore to myself that I would never bother them with my troubles. I’d never overuse my status. I would never ask them to deal with my problems for me. And I would try really hard not to create new ones as well. Because they already have too much on their plate. And I have already disappointed them enough.
“I can bite just fine,” I smirk at Hunter, “You are the one to know.”
He stops laughing, his eyes turning dangerously golden. Which means his wolf is at the surface. They both know that I am referring to that one time when he tried to kiss me at a royal party and I bit him in response. Hard. Because he grabbed my ass at the same time and I was just 16 and not ready for anything of the sort. Apparently, I had to be happy that the great Hunter Forrester paid me attention, considering I was an empty shell. His words, not mine. That’s when I slapped him. And it kind of escalated from there. Partly, all the bullying I daily experience is on him. I may be a princess but he is the king of the school.
The other part is purely on his on and off girlfriend Marissa. She hates me for reasons I don’t know about (although I guess) and always pays very special attention to making my life a living hell. They are both wolves and Alphas at that. And considering that they are both jerks, I think it’s a match made in heaven. But they have both turned 18 already and found out that they are not mates. Bummer.
I flee while I still can but I feel with my skin that Hunter is following me. Probably to say something spiteful again. But we both stop at the majestic staircases of our school’s main hall. Something is going on here. Everyone is gathered to watch something. Goddess, I hope it’s not a fight again.
But when I squeeze into the porch, I see exactly what they are all looking at. A young and extremely handsome man is talking to our headmistress.
“That’s him!” a girl next to me says.
“Who?” his friend asks eagerly.
“The warlock! He is our new substitute teacher of Elemental magic!” the girl whispers but I stand close enough to hear it.
“Sounds amazing! He is so hot!” both girls start to giggle, while the man and the headmistress start to walk up the stairs.
“It’s Alexander Kingston!” I hear someone else saying, “I can’t believe he came here!”
Wait… I know that name. All too well because our family had a whole discussion about him coming to our pack the other day. He is my uncle Connor’s illegitimate son. Well, Connor is not exactly my uncle, just a distant relative. That makes Alexander my tenth cousin, goodness know how many times removed… But, again, all witches are relatives of sorts… Not that I am one of them… Anyhow, this is the first time I see him because, honestly, uncle Connor is a manwhore and probably has loads of children around the world and never cares about any of them. However, Alexander there seems to inherit incredible magical powers, some say he is even stronger than Connor and my mum taken together. And those two are strong all right! So, it became impossible to ignore him. Not to mention, that Connor needs an heir, someone who would lead the Coven of the Black Rose after him. Too bad Alexander hates his guts for obvious reasons.
Nevertheless, he is here, at the Springwood Academy. And only witches of the Coven of the Black Rose can enter here so freely and become teachers. So, that must mean that he is at least considering becoming the heir.
I look at him intensely and suddenly he turns his head and looks at me, winking playfully. Wow!
“Prick!” I hear Hunter’s growl next to my ear and turn to meet his golden eyes.
“Insecure much?” I smirk and push through to walk away, but he grabs my hand.
“Where do you think you are going?” he snorts, “Hot for the teacher?”
“As if!” I snort, “I am going to the infirmary to get this cleaned!” I point to my bleeding knee, “Not that it’s any of your business!”
He lets go of my hand after about the third time I try to get it back from him and I run away as quickly as I can. Hate this jerk!
The rest of the day is uneventful and it goes by much slower than I hoped. I am ready to leave to my room when a pitchy voice announces through the speaker: “Aria Grayson, please come to the headmistress’ office…”