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When you are young, it is so easy to get caught up in wanting your freedom but there is always a price to pay for that. Luxe Edenburg, a princess in the majestic kingdom of Nyland and heir to the throne is a young woman with a fiery spirit and captivating beauty that is admired by suitors from all over the kingdom and outside. However, none of them are alluring to her as she longs for a love that transcends the norms and societal expectations, and at the age of twenty-one, she is not ready to settle for less. She would rather spend time outside the walls of the palace interacting with nature than attend high-end royal dinners and the balls her parents throw yearly in their fevered search for the perfect suitor for her unaware that she is never going to see any of the young men the way they want her to. The reason is hidden deep within the folds of her deepest batch of secrets for as long as she discovered it but how much longer can it be? An encounter with a mysterious woman, Elle Fraulein, during one of her adventures outdoors, hangs the secret on a balance because right away, she believes that she has found what she has been looking for. Before she knows it, she is captured in the complexities of a forbidden love that is frowned upon by her people. For years, werewolves and humans have been mortal enemies and are bound by strong laws that forbid them from interacting in any way, let alone falling in love. What she doesn't know is that Elle is a werewolf spy who has been sent to unravel the castle's secrets and expose its vulnerability to her pack. She wants to expose the royal family for a secret that has been kept for decades, a secret that affected the werewolves greatly. Both of them are loyal to their families and they carry so much responsibility on their shoulders, being next in line in leadership. How much can this truth damage when it comes out? Can they rise above the secrets and the lies and find their place in the kingdom by destroying the stereotype of anything that isn't human or will this betrayal result in a mortal war they can never come back from?

Chapter 1

As the first rays of the sun penetrated through the ornate glass windows of her chamber, Princess Luxe Edenburg turned in bed with a soft moan appreciating the rest she had gotten. The sweet sounds of birdsong reached her ears as a breeze washed into the room through the window making the curtains dance as if in agreement with the dawning of that day. Princess Luxe smiled in contentment and swept her feet off the bed, onto the soft velvet carpet that awaited her every morning. Her pale blonde hair cascaded down her back in gorgeous curls even though she had just woken up but that wasn't the only feature that made her extravagantly the pride of the whole kingdom. Her eyes were like the glorious morning sun, always shining on everyone but only a few dared to look into them. Her elegant figure and beauty left tongues wagging not only in the royal court but also far and beyond in other kingdoms. She was a prized woman that many had tried to get but she had never felt like she belonged with anyone of them. Pulling her silk gown to get around the room, she walked over to a window and stared outside meeting the bustle of the courtyard and the inviting sun that always made her wake up way before every royal in the castle. She never wasted time waiting on anyone to serve her especially if it was one of the days she strolled outside the castle. Today was one of them. She glided across the room and sat down in front of a large dressing mirror that reflected her regal presence. She grabbed a silver comb and started brushing her locks, her reflection twinkling back at her. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed an envelope folded neatly and placed on a towel at the corner of the table. It wasn't unusual for her to find such letters there, mostly from her younger sister who was in boarding school or about a royal responsibility she needed to attend to. However, her sister was home for the holidays so it couldn't be from her and her next guess was accurate. Inside the envelope was an elegantly handwritten invitation for her to attend a royal ball that week. Every other princess would have been smiling their hearts out, swelling with anticipation as balls meant that they would get to be introduced to potential suitors from neighboring kingdoms and most likely fall in love but for her, it was just the same old boring tradition that she couldn't get rid of even though she hated it the most. She never wanted to attend them but her parents made her, saying that if she never got a suitor she would never be able to take over the kingdom one day. Her response had always been that she was still young even though most girls her age were already either engaged or married. She pushed the letter away in disinterest and went on brushing her hair as she stared back at her reflection. Being a princess wasn't something she hated. She was passionate about inheriting the throne and leading the people. She just hated the rules that governed her and every blue blood that accorded her to walk, dress, eat and drink a certain way, and be expected to get married by a certain age otherwise no one would marry her when she was too old. She hated all that but she knew her duty was to her kingdom. What broke her most was also knowing that she would probably never get to experience the love she was longing for and that was just something she didn't like to think about. She was still hopeful but to keep herself going, she had adopted an interest in bonding with nature to restore and lift her spirit. If she couldn't get the love she longed for, why couldn't she just grapple with what nature could offer and at least be happy?The door to her chamber creaked open and she half expected to see her maid but then only her sister Princess Celeste could come inside her room without knocking. "What in the world are you doing up at this hour? I thought you were going to get your beauty sleep until noon now that you aren't in school?" she asked with a laugh as Celeste walked over to her, her demeanor more lively than she had ever seen her in the morning.Celeste waved an exact copy of the invitation letter she had received in excitement. "Guess who got invited to her first ball!" she squealed." I'm so excited, I can't sleep!" Luxe smiled as she observed her sister go on and on about the very thing she hated most and wanted no part of. Celeste had just turned seventeen which was the age grooming to become the future queen began just in case the first crown princess didn't work out. "Imagine all those handsome princes, dukes... asking me for a dance in front of everyone. How prideful is that going to be?" "Very prideful!" she nodded. "For you."Celeste narrowed her eyes at her, "Tell me you are not turning it down Luxe." "You know I can't do that. I have to attend but that doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy it. This is more your thing than it will ever be mine and I feel so bad that it is mandatory, especially for me." "Well, maybe when you are the queen you can change that rule for people to be able to make the choice." "Yeah, maybe," she sighed deeply. "Why are you so down? Just because you didn't find a suitor in the last ones doesn't mean that you won't find one. With your beauty and elegance, you could get anyone you wanted."If only that was true. Sure she would have already gotten one had she been looking for those blue bloods with highly obnoxious looks that every girl wanted but that wasn't what she was looking for. She didn't dare to tell anyone that she never wanted any man at all, let alone royalty because she didn't know what their reaction would be toward that. She was the crown princess and her duty to the kingdom was to get married to a man, lead, and have little blue bloods who would take after her. She shook her head, "I'm beginning to think that my person is either not from this world or is not born yet." They both laughed. "I don't think this time is going to be different." "You are just too choosy sis," Celeste rolled her eyes. "We are princesses. Shouldn't we always get what we want?" "I know what I want and I'm going to get it. A tall lad with blue eyes or green, maybe three years older than me. Whoever he is, a prince, a Duke, or even a Prince's hand, I'll take him and make him mine!"Luxe laughed comfortably. Celeste was always the social butterfly when it came to the outside world. She was resilient, strong-headed, and always knew what she wanted. Well, she would say that she did too but the difference between them was that Celeste never held back. She would make a great queen someday and Luxe always admired those qualities in her. That was why she was always so happy to have her back home because, in a way, she was her pillar. "Can I ask for a favor?" she asked even though she was sure Celeste was going to turn her down. "Sure, as long as it's within my ability." "Come with me outside today. Let's take a walk outside the palace together in the woods, just bond with nature." "Um, no. That's way beyond my ability." She went on quickly, "I'm outdoorsy but not that kind of outdoors. I'm not going to walk through a forest that could have all sorts of animals. Snakes, wild dogs, and don't get me started on deers." "Deers are beautiful and harmless." "Their eyes are creepy!" Celeste replied making her laugh. "I'll go to the farmers market with you but not anywhere near that forest." "You hate the farmers market, something to do with ducks." "Yeah but at least there I can talk to people and not animals or trees."She laughed, "You are so dramatic! Bonding with nature is the best kind of therapy you don't know you need until you experience it."Celeste stepped away, "You are never going to get married to the trees now, are you?"She meant it as a joke and Luxe knew it so she just decided to flow with it. "You know what, maybe I will. They make me happy and feel at peace the most. Maybe I'm meant for nature not people," she teased. "You are weird but I love you," Celeste said with finality. "I'll see you later sis. I'm going to check out the best gown for this ball."The moment Celeste disappeared, Luxe exhaled. She was living a lie and none of the people even those closest to her knew that. She was twenty-one and all she wanted was to live freely without having to question every feeling she got for fear of disappointing everyone. She wanted to be herself and not what everyone wanted her to be or said she should be. Maybe it was time to make that true.She rose from the dressing table and headed to her closet. Inside were several gowns and royal dresses that she wore daily to fulfill her duty as a princess but at the corner of the closet was her favorite outfit. Black leather pants, boots, a sleeveless top, and a light jacket. There was also a beanie hat that she sometimes wore with the outfit when it was too cold or when she didn't want to tie her hair into a bun or braid it. It wasn't ideal for a princess to wear things like that but she wore them once in a while away from the eyes and wagging tongues. That day, however, she grabbed them without thinking twice. She was in the mood to break some rules and she acted before her mind could change course.

Chapter 2

Seventeen years ago...The clatter of objects and low growls echoing in the large house alerted her snapping her out of her sleep. It was just like any other normal day and as usual, she woke up and walked out of her bedroom, keeping out of the hallway as much as she could to avoid being kicked out of the way by some grumpy wolves going out for a hunt. She was just four years old but with the sharpness of a teenager and that made her an exemption from the other cubs. Of course, it made sense, she was the Alpha's daughter and the blood ran thick in her system. She headed straight to her parents' room and they weren't surprised to see her there. It was like a tradition for her to go see them off before they went hunting early in the morning. "Good morning Elle!" her father greeted jovially and she went over to hug them both. The Alpha and the Luna of the Blue Ridge pack were the best parents anyone would have asked for and


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