If I had told you that we would one day live among blood drinkers, shapeshifters, and faeries, would you have believed me?
I wouldn't have believed myself either.
But that's exactly what our world has come down to, and for many of us, acclimating to this new reality wasn't as inconceivable as one would've expected.
Then again, the clues had been around us all for ages. There's a reason why Game of Thrones was such a massive hit. It's the same reason why people dug Westworld even if they only understood a fraction of it, and it's also why The Walking Dead still isn't, well, dead.
Life as we knew it had become unbearably and uninspiringly mundane, and it used to be, Hollywood was the only way to even remember what words like adventure and magic meant. Or at least it had been so...until the preters.
Preters are the most commonly used term nowadays to refer to beings who look like but are not quite humans, and though they've been "out" for over two years now, our insights about them are still vastly limited.
Just as we have different races, so do preters, who - despite being vastly smaller in number - are a lot more diverse. We've got Lyccans and the Caros, the Souris and the Fae, and - if the rumors are true - a few more that remain hidden. Regardless of one's race, however, preters in general are viewed by many of our kind as the closest thing to having gods walk among us. And who can blame them, really?
Preters are faster and stronger, their senses a dozen times sharper, and in all honesty, I've yet to see a single preter who's unequivocally unattractive. So yes, it's understandable why they have humans so enamored...to the point that men have online shrines dedicated to female preters like, say, Estrella Moretti - Allard.
Despite being one of the younger sisters of billionaire heartthrob Domenico Moretti, Estrella had managed to lead a fairly private life. This all changed, however, when the preters' existence became public knowledge.
Aside from being a Lyccan princess by blood, Estrella had also become the ruling princess of the Faes and Faeries by virtue of her marriage to Lysander Allard. According to my sources, Fae society remains one of the most archaic among preters, and a good example of this are the factors that determine the legitimacy of a persons' claim to the throne.
Following the dissolution of the High Circle, the Fae had elected Lysander to become its ruling prince. This also meant that his bride, Estrella, could rule in his stead if the situation called for it...but only up to a certain point.
A female consort may only rule the Fae for twelve lunar eclipses. Afterwards, if the princess is unable to submit unquestionable proof that her husband still lives, she is to marry another before the thirteenth - or be forced to relinquish the throne.
In Estrella's case, eleven eclipses have already come to pass since Lysander last appeared before his people, and this had both humans and preters alike see the princess as some modern-day Penelope. With Estrella's Odysseus showing no signs of returning, the entire kingdom of Faes is now up for grabs, and the only way for any man to become its ruling prince is to have Estrella wear his ring on her finger.
Self-proclaimed experts of preter politics say that Estrella's Moretti upbringing is likely to have her choose a malleable male who wouldn't make the mistake of challenging her rule. And while such news had been scathingly dismissed by the princess' reps, it caused a stir nevertheless, with men (mostly humans) lining up outside the gates of her residence in Coral Springs.
To date, no official announcement has been provided by either the Lyccan or Fae camp, and so the world continues to wait with bated breath. Will Estrella choose to give up the throne in order to remain Lysander Allard's bride - or has the taste of power become so addictive, she would not hesitate to forsake her alleged first love in order to remain queen?