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Warrior Fae by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Warrior Fae

by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti


Book 5 in the Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac

I once thought one of my ruthless boys could be the killer I’m hunting. They’re all dark, deadly and more than capable of brutality.

But now I’m held by the King I’ve been stalking in the shadows and when I unmask him, he’ll realise he made a huge mistake in taking my brother from this world.

My Kings are coming for me, I know that in my soul. They’re on their way to rip me from my enemy’s arms and tear him apart for me.

My heart beats to the sound of their names.

But I won’t wait around to be rescued. Everything has led me to this moment and I’m ready to destroy the Fae who stole my brother from me.

Secrets will be uncovered. Destiny will be decided. Death will deliver us all in the end.

No one will escape the conclusion of this story without blood on their hands. I guess it’s a good thing I’m a Vampire then, because I just so happen to have a taste for blood.

Age Recommendation:



Urban Fantasy

Reverse Harem


Warrior Fae is the final book in Caroline Peckham's and Susanne Valenti's Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac series, and centers around Elise and her harem - Leon, Ryder, Dante and Gabriel - as they follow the final clues on what happened to Elise's brother Gareth, and to finally take down the mysterious King and his cult named The Black Card.

That was a pretty short description for an almost 1000 page book, wasn't it. Kind of makes you think it didn't need to be 1000 pages. And if you thought that, you would be correct. The conclusion of this series suffers from the same problem as the past books in this series: too much sex, not enough story. I know what you are thinking - I am a romance book reviewer. Shouldn't I like the sex? And to that I say OF COURSE I DO! And yes, Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti write great, steamy sex ... but ... so does Sarah J Maas. The conclusion of her Throne of Glass series was similar in length ... and 95% of that book was FUCKING PLOT! It was action! I couldn't put it down. Whereas with Warrior Fae, I was bored way too often. The sex gets repetitive. I found myself putting my book down more often then not to do housework - GASP - and enjoying the odd hour or two on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, before reminding myself that I was super behind on my blog duties, I want this book finished before A Shadow in the Ember comes out (Oct 19th) and I need to get back to reading. And it felt like a chore. The only times in the book I truly enjoyed were the parts that furthered the story, but they were spaced out so far apart, the story flow was ruined for me.

There are things I enjoyed about this book. And since it's a big one, I will leave most of them to the favorite moments list below. But I do want to point out that I liked that each man of the harem had their own personal tests to see through before being -------spoiler---------> officially mated to Elise. Ryder and Dante needed to put aside their hate for one another themselves, before the stars removing their enemy bond was great, and Gabriel test of self-sacrifice for those he loves. Awesome! <---------------. Also, that epilogue is everything you want in a reverse harem. -----------------> Everyone as parents - fucking delightful. Surprising. I honestly assumed they would have had 4 children - so each mate had one blood offspring - but honestly, I liked this better. No one knows who the biological father is. Two children, and they all are equal parents with their own styles. I fucking gobbled that shit up. <----------------------. I guess I should mention the big bad in the book. My suspicions were spot on, so I wasn't surprised. That's all I really had to say on that. ***shrugging shoulders*** And finally, I liked Elise's ---------------> goodbye to her brother. I swear it brought tears to my eyes. Their bond is the star of these books. <----------------------

Warrior Fae was an overly long conclusion to a too long series, that is more sex than plot, but if you are looking for a reverse harem that has a little plot, and lots of steam, you will enjoy this one. The men involved are all very different, Elise is a force to be reckoned with and when we do get around to plot, it's actually very interesting. If you like Zodiac Academy, it's worth reading this to get background information that is actually connected to Zodiac Academy. And despite me really not being crazy for this particular series, I do plan on continuing with the Darkmore Penitentiary series, because that seems interesting as fuck.

  1. Dante's mother being so supportive of his unusual relationship with Elise and Leon

  2. Ryder's hallucination, where they all looked like Lion King characters, and he made Dante look like Pumba

  3. The scrapbook MUHAHAHAHA

  4. Leon tricking the guys and connecting them all so they can always find each other

  5. Leon and Elise's cover story at Darkmore to get the handcuffs taken off her.

  6. Ryder's anger over how cute Gabriel finds him in his smallest snake form and putting him in his pocket

  7. Eugene and Ryder working together

  8. Dante and Ryder making a star vow to end the war between the gangs

  9. Dante saving Ryder, and the stars and Elise and OH MY GOD

  10. Gabriel visiting Orion and the engorgement potion mishap LOL

  11. Elise and the mated trip making a stick to give to Gabriel so she could mate with Gabriel the harpy way

  12. Leon pranking Ryder

  13. Gabriel and Ryder trying out for Pitball

  14. Dante taking Elise to the graveyard to visit his dad, and him telling her they paid for a plot for Gareth if she is ready

  15. Periwinkle

  16. Dante and Elise making Lionel uncomfortable

  17. Gabriel's constant visions to save Ryder and them all when they go into the bar

  18. Dante's mom with Ryder <3

  19. Ryder and Rosa <3

  20. Everyone drunk at the party at Dante's family home ... especially Gabriel and Leon lol

  21. Ryder's photoshoot BAHAHAH

  22. The memory of Gareth and Elise watching the Pegasus fart fetish

  23. Everyone high LOL

  24. Eugene saving the day

  25. The Christmas memory of the doll

  26. Marlowe <3

  27. Leon punching Dante in the face to get Ryder to smile for the camera

  28. Ryder's trust in Gabriel saving his life

  29. Ryder faking his death, and leaving gang life

  30. The electrocution prank

  31. Elise finally accessing her brothers memories and finding out what happened.

  32. Elise saying goodbye to Gareth

  33. Gabriel and Elise's divine moment

  34. Leon's mating party for Gabriel


Leon: “Stay, Scar. Cuddle me.”

Ryder: “I’d rather cuddle a bag of butcher knives,” Rosa: “You and him…and Elise? What about Leon?”

Ryder: “Long story short, the Lion isn’t going anywhere so we have to suck that up. Big Bird too.” Dante: “Grazie,”

Ryder: “That better be fuck you in your fancy language, Inferno,” Ryder: “Mufasa,”

I warned.

Leon: “I can see why she likes your hugs,”

Ryder: “Get off me, asshole.” Ryder: “Don’t be sad, be angry. You’re gonna need all the rage you can muster tonight.”

Leon: “Can’t I be both? You’re both. Remember that Siren who gave us the keys to this place while you were concealing yourself as my friend Barry?”

I didn’t answer, my lips pressed tightly together as I gave him a death glare to warn him off of rehashing this story. Again.

Leon: “She said she could feel how sad you were and wondered if you needed a tissue, remember?”

Ryder: “That’s not what she said,”

Leon: “Pretty sure she did, that’s why I added those tears to your concealment spell to keep your cover.”

Ryder: “I remember that part,”

I growled, as my fists clenched.

Leon: “And then Gabriel reminded you that you could have just shifted into a tiny snake and hidden in his pocket instead of embarrassing yourself as sad boy Barry.”

Ryder: “Yes,. I remember, Leon. You don’t have to keep-”

Leon: “And then I showed you that website where you can buy tiny hats for tiny snakes and bought a whole range for you to cheer you up, and I almost smiled about it, but then I remembered Elise was gone and-”

Ryder: “I was fucking there. And if you put a tiny hat near me in any of my snake forms, I will shift into my biggest form and eat you whole. That isn’t a threat, that is a promise.”

Leon: “Aww, look at us making pinkie promises, Elise would be so proud,” Leon: “Don’t do this right now. We can have marital spats later when Elise is home.”

Dante: “Marital spats?”

Leon: “Yeah, I mean we’re not married yet, but we all will be to Elise one day, right? So Ryder will be your husband-in-law.”

Ryder: “Stop talking. I’ll work with Inferno tonight.”

Leon; “And always,”

Leon whispered like he thought I wouldn’t hear. Dante: "Sei il mio mondo, amore mio."

Elise: "I love you, Dante,"

Dante: "Bene. Then don't leave me again. I can't be without you a second time, bella." Leon: “Everyone let your magic flow toward mine. You can feel it in Elise, really deep in her. Can you feel me inside her?”

Dante: “Dalle stelle, do you have to say it like that?”

Dante breathed as Ryder grunted.

Leon: “What’s wrong with how I’m saying it? I’m just making it clear that you can feel my power really deep and now I’m reaching it out to you all. Can you feel it burying itself in you? Can you feel the tip of it pushing in?”

Gabriel: “For the love of the moon, Leon. We can all feel it.” Ryder: “What the fuck, Mufasa? I don’t just feel Elise, I can feel you standing right there as well as the rest of you assholes.”

Dante: “Leone,”

Dante growled in warning and my eyes flicked to Gabriel who was suspiciously quiet.

Yes. He knew this would happen. He was my secret best friend.

Elise stifled a laugh as I jumped off the table and hooked her out of Ryder’s lap.

Leon: “Whoops. Oh well, guess we’re all soul brothers now – bye!” Lyle: “Goodness, what on earth are you doing wearing those, ma’am?”

Elise: “Well um-”

Leon: “I paid way too much money for these from a buddy. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to be able to buy these things, but he promised they’d spice up our sex lives and I’m a man who follows his cock, if you know what I mean?”

I asked, mutters breaking out behind me in the waiting room as Lyle turned beet red.

Lyle: “Oh, I see. Well, er, why are you showing them to me, sir?”

Leon: “Well the thing is, I got a little too excited when I put them on her and tied her to my bed last night. My girl was just lying there, naked, with no magic, completely at my mercy, legs spread wiiiiide.”

I wiggled my eyebrows and the guy flushed somehow even redder.

Elise: “We’re experimental like that,”

Elise chipped in in a husky voice that made my cock twitch with the fantasy.

Fuck, why hadn’t I actually taken advantage of these cuffs while I had the chance? Elise: “Leon likes to see how far he can push me, but he doesn’t realize I don’t have any limits.”

Leon: “She really doesn’t,”

I laughed, reaching out to clap Lyle on the shoulder and he blinked hard, his gaze flitting to Elise then back to me.

Leon: “Anyway, she fought like a wild thing when I was trying to get them on her – she really commits when we roleplay – and once I got them in place, I thought it would be a great idea to swallow the key so she couldn’t escape.”

Lyle: “Oh no,”

Elise: “Yeah, that’s what I said after he’d fucked me every colour of the rainbow,”

Elise said with a light laugh, slapping my arm.

Elise: “Didn’t I, baby?”

Leon: “Yeah, and then you asked why my ten inch cock wasn’t in your mouth and we did that thing with the Basilisk vibrator until you almost choked out.”

Elise: “Well you know what I always say. You can’t use a safe word with a cock that far down your throat.” Leon: “She does always say that – not while my cock’s down her throat though, obviously,”

I chuckled while Lyle seemed to shrink from a grape into a raisin in his chair.

Leon: “Anyways, I thought I could just do a little digestion spell or two to speed up the process of dumpsday, but I got distracted when the moment finally came-”

Elise: “He loves watching cartoons on his Atlas while he’s on the pooper, don’t you baby?”

Leon: “Yeah. I forgot all about the damn key and flushed it right away!" I stripped out of my clothes, tossing them to Gabriel a little aggressively before shifting into my smallest snake form. Gabriel scooped me up, slipping me into his pocket and I wriggled around to get more comfortable. He started laughing, patting me lightly.

Gabriel: “Stop it, that tickles.”

I hissed angrily, managing to poke my head out and glaring up at him which only made him laugh harder.

Gabriel: “You’re so fucking cute like that, Ryder,”

he snorted then his wings burst from his back and he took off into the sky. Eugene: “Um, Mr Draconis?”

Ryder: “Don’t call me that, I’m not your fucking accountant.”

Eugene: “Okay, um, Mr Ryder…” Elise: “You’re so hot when you go psycho like that,” Leon: "It’s us five and no one else. I’ll kill anyone who touches her except you guys.”

Ryder: “Because that makes sense,” I

Leon: “Exactly,”

Ryder: “Why does it?”

I pushed because as much as I was all in with this, it did seem like a weird line to draw. He’d been close with Dante before all of this but not me and Gabriel, so why work so hard to include us if the idea of Eugene sent him batshit?

Leon: “Because. You guys are prime Lioness material. And the prime number of Lionesses is three. You’re top shelf specimens so we already have a full line up. Elise is ours and that’s it.”

Ryder: “Wait a fucking minute, I’m not your Lioness and if three is such a great number then how come you want it to be the four of us?”

Leon: “Gah! Elise isn’t a Lioness, she’s a Lion. So she needs three Lionesses.”

He pointed at me, Dante and Gabriel in turn then gave me a look to say see.

Ryder: “What about you?”

Leon: “I don’t count. I’m not a Lioness.” Dante: “Sono il drago dei lupi, il mostro del cielo-

Ryder: “At least insult me in a language everyone can understand, stupida,”

Dante: “It’s stupido,” Gabriel: “We’ve got two minutes before the FIB show up. Let’s go.”

He patted his sweatpants’ pocket and a ripple of frustration ran through me.

Ryder: “I’m not flying in your damn pocket again. It’s fucking emasculating.”

Gabriel: “Well it’s either that or you can fly on Dante’s back with Leon because Elise took the stardust with her,”

Gabriel reasoned as Leon tossed the head into a dumpster and started doing a victory lap around us as if he’d just scored a Pit.

Dante: “He’s not riding me,”

Ryder: “Like I’d ever ride you. I’d ride your mamma though.”

Dante: “What did you say about my mamma?!”

Dante roared and I smirked, stripping out of my clothes and handing them to Gabriel to carry. I shifted into a small snake and Gabriel scooped me up in his hands while I hissed furiously at the oncoming Dragon asshole. Gabriel gripped my jaws and snapped them closed with his finger and thumb.

Gabriel: “Stop it, we need to leave.”

He was lucky I mildly enjoyed his company, or he’d be dead for that. Rosa suddenly whacked her around the head with the dingy stick and Cindy shrieked, leaping back in surprise.

Rosa: “What the hell?”

Cindy planted her hands on her hips.

Rosa: “Oops, thought I saw a mindwort, but it must have been one of your brain cells jumping ship. My bad,” Ryder: “I think that the only thing this little power trip is achieving for you, Bruce, is convincing your friends that you have a tiny cock,” Dante: “Holy shit, fratello. I think the stars just made us best friends.” Gabriel: “How about we have this lengthy discussion over afternoon tea? Actually, we can have a sit-down meal and we may as well lay the table for four as my monster cock is about to walk off my body and start a life of its own any second!” Kelly: “I, um, mixed an engorgement potion with some Faeagra. I’ve been waiting for a chance to slip them to you and when Fran left her purse with me and I saw the Proballs with your name on them, well…”

she trailed, her eyes wide as she gazed at Orion’s sharp fangs.

Kelly: “You could use a withering potion to counter the engorgement but the Faeagra will last about an hour.”

Orion: “Right, go get it,”

Orion commanded, pointing her out of the room then looked to Francesca.

Orion: “Go with her and make sure she gets the right potion.”

She nodded, leading Kelly out of the room and leaving us there once more, their giggles sounding back to me as I scowled.

Gabriel: “I don’t like the sound of a withering potion. I don’t want my dick to wither.”

Orion: “It’ll be fine. You can…use my bed to prop up your balls if you want.”

Gabriel: “Thank you,”

I shuffled over to his bed, heaved them up and laid them on his mattress with a sigh of relief.

Gabriel: “Fuck my life.”

Orion: “Yeah, fuck your life,”

Orion sniggered and I cracked half a smile. It took a couple of minutes to shrink back down, but finally it returned to its normal size and I checked my balls over twice to make sure they were okay. The only problem was, I was still fucking hard.

Francesca: “I’ll er, leave you guys to it,”

Francesca said awkwardly and I glanced over at her, realizing I should not have my cock out in front of her but I guessed she’d seen everything at this point.

Francesca: “Nice meeting you,”

she called, her cheeks turning rosy as her gaze dipped to my cock then back to my face.

Francesca: “Really nice. Not that it’s really nice, I mean you are. I mean um, it’s not small even now it’s small, if you know what I mean? Oh that sounded dumb, um it’s a nice big, cock.”

She cleared her throat, turned and marched out of the room, slapping her palm against her forehead and Orion started laughing. Leon: "Ryder is going to make it. Aren't you?"

Ryder: "Fuck no. I'm perfectly happy mated to my girl. I don't have any interest in mating with Big Bird next."

Leon: "That's why you and Elise will power share to make it. Aaaand, I think me and Dante should slip a little in too. So that it's from all of us. All you have to do is open up and let us drive some inside you. I promise you can take it."

Ryder: "Why the fuck do you always have to phrase shit like that?" Elise: "I love you, Gabriel. Please don't shut me out because the stars are determined to test us."

His eyes rose from the branch to meet my gaze and he slowly reached out to cup my jaw in his grasp, running his thumb across my skin and banishing the concealment spell I'd put in place to hide the new silver in my eyes.

Gabriel: "You know I love you too. I just..."

Elise: "It will be us next. I don't need The Sight to know that. I don't need a vision or anything like that because I feel it. Since the moment I first met you, I've felt it in my soul. Just like I felt it for the others. I've told you time and again how much I need all of you and this only proves it. We've all been wondering why the heavens chose Leon to be my one and only when it was clear I'd never love any of you any differently from one another. And now I know. He's not my one and only. It's all of you. Just like I've always said it was. And if the stars want to make us wait for our silver rings or even if they don't ever decide to give them to us, I still feel in my soul that your place is right here with us too. So I got you a branch because I want to be your mate. I want to do it the Harpy way and promise you forever at my side. Will you accept it?" Would Elise be up for a leadership rota? Could I convince the guys of it too? It seemed like a decent answer, especially when the alternative was me losing my shit and eating one of them for lunch. I’d eat Dante first. Nah, Gabriel. Ryder’s muscles were constantly rigid so eating him would be like cracking through a pistachio with my teeth. But Gabe, he was always calm, composed. He probably did yoga at the buttcrack of dawn while he recharged his magic in front of the sunrise. He’d taste like a croissant, soft and sweet in the middle. Dante would be tougher to rip into at first, like a toffee with a gooey centre. Mmm, I’d do Gabe to start then finish with Dante. Maybe I’d rip my claws down Ryder’s belly to crack into that nutty exterior of his after I’d had the others, then suck out his crunchy insides – wait, what the fuck am I doing?! Oh my stars, I’m going to eat my boyfriends-in-law! Leon: “Good idea. He’s great at making decisions, isn’t he Elise?”

I nudged her and she frowned at me with a shrug.

Elise: “Sure,”

she said and I didn’t miss the slightly smug grin pulling at Gabriel’s lips or the way his chest puffed out ever-so-slightly.

Oh Gabe. You’re gonna make such a good Lioness when I whip you into shape. Leon: “I just remembered I bought another entire array of tiny little hats for Ryder in his smallest Basilisk form for our scrapbook photos.”

She looked up at me with her lips wide and excitement twisted through her silvery eyes.

Elise: “You did?”

Leon: “Yup. Next time he passes out as a teeny weenie snake, we’re doing a whole photoshoot.”

Elise: “Yes. Can we put him in a tiny bowtie too?” Leon: “Little monster. You can put him in any tiny clothes you can dream up. I will personally make it happen.” Elise wolf whistled and Ryder glowered at her with a promise of death in his eyes.

Leon: “He’s gonna spank your ass raw for that, little monster,”

Elise: “Worth it,” Ryder: “Asshole,”

he muttered before jogging away and I beamed at his back.

Ah, I love the smell of new best friends. A thumping of footfalls sounded my way again and suddenly Ryder was on top of me, wrestling me in the dirt as he punched me. I rolled him over, throwing wild punches as we fought like cubs and my Rydikins tried to kill me. It was so cute how much I got under his skin. He snarled, trying to shake me off, clearly not caring if he dropped to the bottom of the ten foot hole.

Leon: “It’s like a backwards Lion King moment,”

Ryder: “Let go of me you piece of shit,”

Leon: “So you can fall down there and cry about being too scared to play Pitball?”

Ryder: “I’m not scared of anything. Games are for children. I’m not gonna waste my time on one.”

Leon: “Suuure. That’s why you won’t play. I’ll keep up the story, don’t worry.”

Ryder: “There’s no story,”

he snarled and I winked again.

Ryder: “Stop winking.”

Leon: “I’m not winking.”

I winked. Elise: “Why is that tight ass uniform so hot on him?”

Leon: “Because his buttcheeks are like two slabs of iron and we never get to appreciate that enough,”

Elise: “We?”

Leon: “Hey, I can appreciate the male form,” Ryder strode back towards us and I held up my hand for a high five.

Leon: “No hard feelings, right dude? It was just a little game.”

He punched me in the head and my vision swum for a moment as adrenaline burst into my veins.

Leon: “Low five?”

I wheezed out, offering my hand lower instead.

Ryder: “Face five.” He slapped me hard across the cheek while a smile played around the corner of his lips and I knew we were bros again. Best bros. Gabriel blinked out of some vision and turned to me in surprise.

Gabriel: “Oh hey. Why are you startling my pig?”

Ryder: “I dunno, ask the pig,”

I tossed back, folding my arms as Meteoris started introing the class. She kinda looked like a child with her tiny frame and blonde pigtails, but she must have been in her thirties.

Gabriel: “Why are you startled by the big, tattooed Basilisk who looks like he’d eat you whole?”

Elise: “How did you tame that ghost hound?”

Ryder: “It’s broken,”

Elise: “Because only broken things could possibly like you, right?”

She arched a brow and I nodded slowly.

Ryder: “Yes.”

Elise: “Including me?”

Ryder: “You’re the most broken thing in my collection and my favourite,”

I murmured and she smiled widely at that.

Elise: “What other things are in your collection?” Ryder: “My soul and now the hound.” My heart pounded at the wildness in her gaze and I grinned darkly as I caught on to her plan to make Lionel Acrux as uncomfortable as Faely possible.

Dante: “Give me that dirty talk I love so much, bella,”

I purred loudly and she swallowed a laugh.

Elise: “I need to be ravished by you, big boy. I need your Dragon dongle in my Pit hole right now.”

Ryder: "My crown might be slipping right now, but I'm still a king." We all hopped down and Leon shifted back, pouncing on Ryder and licking his face before doing the same to Dante then running away before either of them could do anything about it.

Ryder: "Your fucking cock just slapped my leg,"

Leon: "Oh come now, Ryder, we all know how much you love my cock really," Ryder: “Wear your pain as armour, Rosalie. There is nothing more frightening in this world than a Fae who can bleed in front of their enemies without flinching.” Dante's mom: “You will not bleed in my home, nuovo figlio.”

Ryder: “Why’d you keep calling me that?”

Dante's Mom: “It means new son. The stars have bound you to my Drago which makes you mine too, you see? Nuovo figlio. Elise: “Are you guys really gonna do that for me?”

Leon: “Yeah, I’d do anything for you.”

Gabriel: “I’d fly to the moon and bring back a piece of it for you. By the stars, do you think I could actually do that?”

His eyes glazed for a moment then he frowned.

Gabriel: “Apparently I’d die. But I’d die for you, Elise.”

Dante: “I’d die for her harder, stronzo,”

Ryder: “I’d have all of my skin peeled off while I was still alive, then die for her,”

I said smugly, slinging an arm over the back of the tub behind her.

Elise: “Aww you guuuys,” I slapped Gabriel in the face, making him wake with a jolt and Elise’s name on his lips then I healed him enough to clear his head.

Gabriel: “Oh shit…”

he groaned, rubbing his eyes as he followed me out of the tub and Leon and Elise climbed out and ran onto the grass, chasing each other in circles as they laughed, trying to slap each other’s asses.

Gabriel: “Did I almost let Leon suck my dick?”

Gabriel hissed at me, gripping my arm so hard the pain gave me a little shot of magic.

Ryder: “Yeah,”

I answered with a smirk.

Gabriel: “By the stars,”

Rosalie: “Are you coming? You can ride on my back if you want to, Ryder?”

Dante: “I think you’ve touched my little cousin plenty tonight,”

Rosalie: “He’s just going to ride me, Dante, calm down,”

Dante: “Stop saying that,”

Rosalie: “What’s wrong with him riding me?”

Dante: . “Stop it,”

Leon: “Ride me instead, Ryder,”

Leon called as he stripped out of his wet boxers and bared his dick to the world.

Elise: “Yay! We can ride together,”

Elise cried and I nodded, heading over to join her as Gabriel followed a step behind.

Leon: “Oh hey, Gabe’s awake,”

Leon said with a grin, lifting a hand to his head and healing himself. He burst out laughing, pointing at Gabriel.

Leon; “I totally would have sucked your dick, dude. Isn’t that cool? This is the best night ever!” Leon: “Invite him here!”

Leon cried excitedly, snatching my Atlas and pressing call on Orion’s number before holding it to his ear.

Leon: “Guess whooo?”

He hit the speakerphone button so Orion’s dry tone came down the line.

Orion: “Is it my best friend?”

he deadpanned and Leon clutched the phone to his chest as he whisper shouted to us.

Leon: “Did you hear that? He called me his best friend.”

He held the phone back to his ear with a cattish grin on his face then leapt onto the couch face down, kicking his legs up behind him and swinging them back and forth.

Gabriel: “Any chance you can come over? I’ll send you the location.”

Orion: “Yeah sure, just so long as your Lion friend doesn’t try and invite me to any more orgies. Also, I’ve tried unsubscribing to his newsletter, but it just keeps popping up every week. Do you know how I can get rid of it? I can’t escape it, man.”

Gabriel: “What newsletter?”

Orion: “It’s called the Weekly Orgy. It’s mostly pictures of Elise in skimpy underwear, but sometimes there’s columns on the pros of polyamory and the health benefits of orgies for Pitball players. It’s er, pretty intense, Noxy. I assumed you got it too.”

My hand clenched around my Atlas as my gaze narrowed on Leon.

Gabriel: “No, but I’ll make sure you don’t ever get another one,”

Leon: "Midnight Amethyst crystals - as in motherfucking luck in a rock."

Elise: "Oooh,"

I cooed, reaching out to take one of them from him and holding it up so that I could watch the way the colours shimmered in the light.

Leon: "I got us one each and two for Elise because without her there is way too much sausage in this sandwich and as much as I would be down for sucking a dick or two in the right circumstances, I just feel like we need to extra protect our only pussy."

Elise: "Wow Leo, I feel so touched by that loving declaration," Leon: "So tell me, Ryder,"

Leon pressed as he jogged forward and slung an arm around the Basilisk's neck.

Leon: "Are you team Anna or team Elsa?"

Ryder growled and shoved his arm off as he started to stride towards Ethan.

Ryder: "I'm not having this dumb as fuck discussion with you, Simba. Just let it go."

Leon's mouth fell open in shock and he turned back to face the three of us while Ryder kept walking away and I couldn't help but laugh.

Leon: "Did you hear that? He told me to let it go. Oh my stars he's so fucking in love with me and Frozen!" Elise: "You want a doughnut?"

I held the plate out to them, and Middle Kipling's face flickered with rage for what I was pretty certain was the first time I'd ever seen any emotion on it.

Middle Kipling: "You can keep your carb filled whores, thank you very much,"

he bit out before turning sharply and stalking from the room.

Kipling Senior: "He's not a fan of food with holes,"

Kipling Junior: "Too provocative,"

Kipling Senior: "Practically begging for it,"

Kipling Junior: "Especially if there's a glazed topping."

Junior nodded at the doughnuts and the two of them turned and walked away without another word, leaving me to spit my fucking doughnut out with a shudder.

Elise: "By the fucking stars,"

I groaned while Gabriel laughed at my expense before snagging himself a doughnut and happily biting into it. Gabriel: “Hold onto me,”

Gabriel commanded and we all clustered tight around him as Leon started giggling.

Leon: “The moon just told me I’m pretty,”

he whispered right in my ear and I found myself laughing too. Dante: “A morte e ritorno,”

I growled as Gabriel led the way out of the dark into the burning light of the fire pit in the cavern.

Ryder: “A morte e ritorno,”

Ryder growled low under his breath and I looked to him in surprise, my heart rising in my chest as he shot me a look and shrugged. Merda santa, I loved that serpente.

Text: Marlowe: Ho-ly cow, I couldn’t watch when the Fireside took you out in the 7th round! But you came back strong, my girl!

I couldn’t even deny the grin that was stuck to my lips as I read his messages. He really was watching my games and the pride in his tone made me feel all kind of…warm inside.

Elise: You might wanna look away for the 10th round – I was knocked out cold and had to sit the 11th out *laughing emoji* Faebook: Leon Night: Calling all Mindys! Stop Dante Oscura and Ryder Draconis from reaching the Cafaeteria before I get there! #Mindysassemble #Mindymob

Brianna Hayes: On my way! I will tear down the Cafaeteria before I let them in it, then rebuild it for when you arrive. #dropadragon #stopasnake

Gemma Guinan: I just dove out of a top floor window in Altair Halls, broke my leg and healed it. Worth it for you Leon. I’m coming! #sticksandstonesmaybreakmybonesbutonlyfailurecanhurtme

April Hatcher: We will build a Mindy wall and they’ll never get through our impenetrable love for you, my king! #walloflove

Kaysie Ward: A feast shall be waiting for you when you arrive with your queen @EliseCallisto!

Erica Collins: I was off on a run in my Lioness form, but I’m coming for you now, Leon! Watch out for me – I’m the naked girl clasping her bosoms with your beautiful Lion face shaved into my lady hair. #theybounceforyou

Telisha Mortensen: @EricaCollins if you were naked in the woods, where were you keeping your Atlas to see this post??? #toomanyplotholes #theresonlyoneplacewithspace #Lionessesbecrazy (less) Text: Scar: We’re going to watch Frozen. Are you coming back to our room?

My lips parted and utter excitement ran through me. I shoved my Atlas back into my pocket and started running up the stairs, taking them two at a time. He’d finally dropped his walls, he was allowing me to peek into his heart and see the Disney princess living in there. Was it Belle? Aurora? Ariel? Of course it was Ariel. He’d been waiting to get his legs for years and live above the sea. Leon: "Guys, I think we all need to take a moment for a hug circle."

Ryder: "I'm not ever going to participate in a fucking hug circle," Scarlett walked over to Gabriel, gripping his jaw and angling his face towards me.

Scarlett: “It’s sweet you’ve come to watch your boyfriend die,”

she said to him and mocking laughter rang out around us, making my upper lip curl back. Ryder: “He’s not my boyfriend. He’s my boyfriend-in-law.” Dante: "Non potrei vivere in un mondo senza di te, amore mio,” I couldn't live in a world without you, my love. Dante: “You can’t change the past, fratello. Il passato non ha altro da dire, ma il futuro è una canzone senza fine.”

Ryder: “What does that mean?” Dante: “The past has nothing else to say, but the future is an endless song,” Ryder: "Just stick a knife in there and force it out,"

Ryder snapped from somewhere beyond the room, sounding more than a little irritated.

Leon: "I thought you weren't supposed to stick metal things in toasters? Or is that lawn mowers?"

Ryder: "Give it a try and I guess we'll find out," Gabriel: “I’ve loved you every day. The more I fought it, the more I wanted you. If I could meet you for the first time again, I’d do it all differently. I’d love you as you deserved to be loved from day one,” Leon: “Look!”

Leon cried as the weight of that voice lifted and I raised my head to find him pointing at the half figure of eight mark between the crook of his forefinger and thumb.

Leon: “You have one too!”

He grabbed my hand, yanking it up to lock with mine and as our marks connected to make an infinity symbol, I felt my bond with him flare and burn.

Leon: “Ohhh fuck that feels like coming,”

Leon sighed and I yanked my hand back, smacking him with it.

Gabriel: “Don’t ruin it, dipshit,” Kipling Senior: "Our brother isn't here,"

Kipling Junior: "The middle one,"

Junior added and a collective sigh went up.

Bianca: "Well where could he have gotten to?"

Bianca cried just as Leon gasped in horror.

Leon: "Who was looking after the cake?"

Elise: "Oh no,"

I breathed, catching Dante's eye as a horrified look passed between us.

Leon: "I'm coming, my beauty!"

Leon roared, talking off and racing back against the lawn. I took a step to follow him but Gabriel caught my arm, a look of disgust written across his features.

Gabriel: "It's too late. Far too fucking late."

Ryder: "You saw that?"

Gabriel: "Sometimes The Sight is a curse."

Leon's screams of horror filled the air a moment later and Bianca started swearing in Faetalian. Dante wrapped his arms around me and I couldn't help but laugh as the truth began to spread and the Wolves all howled their grief over losing the cake to the cock of a Griffin with a weird as fuck fetish.

Dante: "I'm so sorry, carina,"

Elise: "He saved you from having to give that Dragon Lord asshole your sperm, Drago. The least we can allow him is a wedding cake to remember."

Gabriel began dry heaving and Ryder scrunched his nose up while I looked up at the camera and grinned just as the flash went off. It sure as fuck wasn't a perfect picture, especially as a Griffin with his pants around his ankles and frosting smeared all over his junk ran past being chased by a raging Nemean Lion just as it was taken, but I had to admit, it was definitely a moment to remember. Elise: “Leo!”

Elise jabbed him in the ribs and he farted.

Dante: “Nooo!”

Dante cried, stuck at the ass end of Leon as he fought to get away. Elise: “By the stars,”

I growled, trying to a see a way to wake him up.

Dante:Merda santa, it smells like some gross animal crawled up his ass and died,”

Dante growled, using his air magic to waft the fart away. Ryder: "I can't look away,"

Ryder murmured, almost to himself as the midwife barked orders to make sure the attention was on her again.

Ryder: "Why can't I look away?"

Dante: "It's like staring at the sun, fratello. Once you lay eyes on it, she catches you in her grasp and even though it burns to watch, you just can't stop."

Gabriel: "Can the three of you please-"

Gabriel snapped, but he was cut off by their collective gasps of horror.

Ryder: "This is like watching a massacre,"

Leon: "RIP her poor vagina. I think I'm going to be sick,"

I’d been damn certain she was going to be a Basilisk too, but then she’d gone and Emerged as a Pegasus last year and by the stars was it a fucking drama. She’d Emerged in the shower, exploded through the glass, cut herself to shit and whinnied like the house was falling down. I loved her no matter what her Order, but by the stars, don’t get me started on the glitter. It got everywhere. And while Leon and Elise were off winning Pitball tournaments, Gabriel was working as a professor and Dante was off overseeing Oscura gang duties, guess who was left here to clean it up all the time? Me. Of all our family, was I really the most suited to being a star damned house husband? No one ever told me that raising a teenager was akin to raising a demon sent from the depths of hell and moulding them into a functioning Fae. RJ: “Morning,”

RJ said brightly, appearing dressed in her dark blue Elderhills Highschool uniform, her skirt rolled up to way above her mid-thigh.

Ryder: “No.”

I flicked a finger so a vine grabbed hold of the hem and forced it to unroll. Leon: “What’s happened?”

Gabriel: “It’s that Corbin boy,”

Leon: “No,”

Gabriel: “Yes,”

Gabriel hissed and the rattle went off in my chest.

Gabriel: “He’s going to take our girl’s virginity.”

Ryder: “He’s dead. Bring me to him and I’ll break his fucking neck.”

Dante: “A morte e ritorno,” Gabriel: "The stars love predicting carnage, baby. I think they enjoy making us all hurt."

Elise: "Why would they enjoy that?"

Gabriel: "Because happily ever after always tastes sweetest when it's been earned through agony. The best things in life hurt us the most." Elise: “What’s your plan?”

I asked Gabriel, noticing him grinning like he already knew exactly what was about to happen.

Gabriel: “Wait for it,”

he said so we did and I chewed on my lip as I watched the agent gaining on RJ, wondering how she was going to escape him. But I got my answer a second later when the agent pounced on her, tackling her and making her scream as the two of them slammed down into the mud. Jett shot RJ a desperate look then ran for it, saving his own ass and proving that my kings had been right in thinking he wasn’t good enough for our girl after all.

Dante: “What the fuck, falco?”

Dante demanded, making a move to lunge forward and go to her aid, but Gabriel grabbed his arm to stop him.

Gabriel: “Look,”

Gabriel said as my heart pounded and we all stared on, watching as the agent pinned our girl to the ground and she threw her head forward, cracking his nose with her forehead and making blood spill everywhere. Dante: “Merda,”

Dante cursed while Ryder hissed and Leon snarled. I was about three seconds away from shooting down there to help her myself when Gabriel spoke again.

Gabriel: “That’s her perfect mate,”

he said, choking up a little as he looked at our daughter hurling insults at the huge officer who still had her pinned beneath him while he bled all over both of them and called her a crazy whore loud enough for all of us to hear him.

Gabriel: “Isn’t it beautiful?”

Ryder: “You have to be shitting me. No way our girl is destined to end up with a cop.”

Dante: “The stars really do hate us,”


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