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“Did you hear that there’s a Nansi bitch runnin’ ‘round?” A cruel, dark voice asks as it reaches for Beth around the corner she’s hiding.

“Nansi? Please, that pack died out years ago in’ the Greene massacre.” Another disbelieving voice answers. “Certainly ain’t no bitches to breed with anymore. Hell, they’re the fuckin’ royal’s man, every dog would wanna get his dick in her.”

“Exactly what I’m sayin’ Dwighty boy. We happen’ to find her an’ I want that cunt first. I don’t do sloppy left overs. S’why Cherry had to go, am I right?” The first voice responds with a sinister chuckle.

The other voice: ‘Dwighty’ or maybe Dwight, snorts. “You want every cunt, Negan. Any cunt. Even my sloppy left overs.”

“Yeah, an’ I always get it too. S’why Cherry’s cunt was ruined after me,” Negan snaps back in a fading voice as they turn into a different alley.

Beth squeezes her eyes closed and tries not to panic, even as she trembles where she stands. People know she’s here, people believe she’s here. It’s her own fault. She got stupid, desperate, revealed herself too many times to the public. There’s no mistaking who she is with her blonde hair and yellow flecked blue eyes. The Greene daughter, the last surviving member of the Greene family from the royal pack Nansi. No other pack looks like the Nansi. Every other pack is either dark or variations of browns. Some blue eyes, some green. Plain though, not gifted with the golden dust of royalty in their pools of colour.

She slipped up and now people believe in the whispers of her escape from death. They’ll hunt her down and force pups in her belly. Pups she can’t have. Pups she can never carry, a useless woman, barren; with the inability to breed. Beth fled because she was the only surviving daughter of the her family slaughter; the only living heir. She fled not because she couldn’t lead. Her older brother Shawn was killed in a rebellion when she was young, so the throne was to be Maggie’s: her older sister. Some packs declare only to have men as their Kings but the Nansi never cared for such customs.

The only problem was, Maggie denounced her right to the throne in a public gathering. She was in love and planned to breed with a Dalka named Glenn, a pack that were known for their old ways and old Gods. They didn’t follow customs or rules and were barely tolerated. Her father was furious that the Dalka should insult his hospitality by allowing their unruly ways for so long, simply for one of their own to try and claim his daughter, a Princess by right and royalty by the blood in her veins and the gold in her eyes. That day is the one and only time Beth has ever witnessed the Tear.

The Tear is when royalty denounces their throne for a peasants life and the gold flecks leave their eyes. Dalka while unruly were not poor so it wasn’t much of a peasants life that Maggie was choosing. Regardless of her status to be, she had chosen to be a prized bitch rather than a Queen in their fathers eyes. Beth was to rightly take the throne and that’s when her father forced Maggie to teach Beth how to rule, as punishment for her betrayal. It was punishment because he didn’t consent to break the ties that bound her to her pack, something only an Alpha can do, until she completed her task.

It would be the day Beth took her rightful place and broke her bones in the Shift with her people as witness. From there she would fall into the heat of the full moon and let the man her father chose breed her with the future heir, this generation stronger than the last as has been the way since the beginning of time. That was how Beth discovered she was barren. Beth Greene is the reason there is only one Nansi alive today, one Greene. Because the man who tried to breed her couldn’t do it. No matter how much they fucked, how many times they lost themselves to the Heat and how many times he planted his seed in her, she didn’t catch.

They never knotted. She knew she was barren by the third week and he did too. He chopped her father’s head off for it. Burned her sister before her eyes and her Dalka lover too. Slaughtered the Nansi in their beds. The Dalka cast her out and took her throne as punishment for the death of one of theirs. They declared themselves royalty, despite their lack of golden hair or eyes, as if any one of their spineless dickhead men were Alpha’s, as if they would dare if her father was still alive. With the Nansi dead and her exiled, the throne was theirs to keep.

The only good that has come of them is they murdered her husband. Beth’s never been so satisfied to see someone die. Now she can never go back to her place of birth in the Singing Valleys, even if the throne is hers. She can’t produce an heir and it’s better to lose the claim now than in a few months time, when another husband learns of her barrenness. Besides, no man will lie with her if they do find out and the Dalka would be happy to let them know, since Glenn, Maggie's lover, told them before his death. So yes, she can lead but she won’t.

She needs to get away from here, somewhere far and somehow, very fast. Engaging in the Shift would leave a scent for miles. Men would be hunting her from every corner of the map. No, it’s her human half that has to carry her, slower than the wolf admittedly but still hers to command, to use. Turning in a hurry, Beth finds herself hurtling her body into something solid with rapid speed. It takes a second to understand it’s a muscular chest and the skin wrapped around it is as hot as freshly cooked meat. The smell of him hits her first, pounds through her cunt and tugs at her nipples like invisible ropes.

His voice hits her next, dark and husky, her spine tingling with its gravel quality. “You shouldn’t be here, Princess.”

Lastly, it’s the bulky, mysterious sight of him and all Beth can do is blink in surprise at this hulking shadow before her who has tied her tongue, his eyes masked by long, dark hair full of filth. “Princess?” She croaks. “I’m afraid you’re mista-”

“Ain’t no time for bullshit, Nansi, daughter of Alpha Greene. I got somewhere for you to go. Accept my help or don’t but don’t lie to my face,” the stranger snaps.

There’s really no other answer. “Okay, but we have to hurry.”

His lip curls and she sees the wolf just beneath the surface of him like a vibrating film on his flesh. “I know. I can smell your pretty little cunt just as well as the rest of ‘em.”

Beth’s breath catches in her throat. “An’ the Heat is gettin’ closer.”

“I know.” He smiles, slow and hot and disastrous to her breathing. “An’ I’m the last mutt you wanna be near when that happens. C’mon.”

He takes her wrist and they run.