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Zodiac Academy: Live and Let Lionel by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti


Live and Let Lionel

by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Self-Published

Book 8.75 in the Zodiac Academy series


This is a bonus content novella to celebrate the series coming to a close and contains 100k words of bonus content from the Zodiac Academy Series.







Genre


Triggers

Violence, Professor/Adult Student, Moon defilement?


 

At first I was annoyed that the twisted sisters released another Zodiac Academy book when we had to wait so long for the final book. And yes, at this point, Restless Stars is out, so the long wait it over. Well, for most of you. While I am 15 chapters in, I had to sadly put it aside for some arcs that are time sensitive.

But back to being annoyed.

After how disappointed I was over Beyond the Veil, I really didn't understand why the sisters were putting time into something else when readers wanted the conclusion.

But.

When I realized that most of these are all just short stories that were previously released as preorder incentives, I was less annoyed. Especially when the new stories that were added were genuinely interesting, and would not have taken them much time to write.

If you haven't been able to read these stories before, you will love having access to them. They don't add more to the story as a whole, but they add more depth to these characters, and give you something to smile or laugh about if you haven't read the final book yet.

If you have read most of the stories before, you can do what I did - skim them to get the general gist of the story again, or reread the ones that you loved. Either way, it's actually a pretty quick read.


Savage

This is one of the stories I have read before, as I think it was a preorder incentive? Not sure for what book, but I know I've read it. I believe it's actually the beginning of a prequel book centered around Hail and Merissa. While the idea of reading a story that ends with tragedy, I can't pretend that I am not interested in their story. Not only because their beginning started out pretty intensely in these chapters, but because I want more Gabe and him being in a loving family.

While fully admitting to how ridiculous some of the aspects of these books are, I'm obsessed. I will absolutely read this book when it's released.


The Shimmering Springs

Oh look. A couple of chapters of the Twisted Sisters continuing to edge us. I won't lie.

I loved it.

Seth and Caleb together are all kinds of hot. Even when it's just spur of the moment make out sessions in caves. This is another previous story, I believe, but I hadn't read it. Glad to have now!

Also, it added some surprising insight into Seth's character and how he thinks, and while I don't like to spoil things if you haven't read it yet, his thoughts on why the council is better for Solaria than royals ruling were interesting to me. Mostly because, while I believe the twins will be great rulers, I don't disagree with Seth's belief's that its better for a group to rule, and have checks and balances in place. After all, Lionel is a great example of why a council ruling would be a better option.


Geraldine

A cute short story featuring Geraldine seeing the twins for the first time. I don't have much thoughts on it, other than it's classic Geraldine. I'm not sure if it's new or not. I don't think it is, but I hadn't read it yet.



Seth on the Moon

I've been meaning to read this one forever, but in the grand scheme of things, it fell off to the side. It was short. It was fucking funny as fuck. It was everything I love about Seth and more.


Night

This was another previously release story, but with an extra chapter. I hadn't read it before though, so it was all new to me. I loved it! I love the Ruthless Boys, and reading them meeting the twins for the first time, and the twins getting to celebrate Thanksgiving with a family - this was pure joy to read.


Orion "Blue" POV

Orion and Darcy are the main reason I love these books so damn much, so when I saw that the sisters were releasing the amazing "Blue" scene, but from Orion's POV for this book, I was sold. I love duel POV's of my favorite couples, but I love it even more when they bring new perspective to some of my favorite moments from the series. Blue is one of them.


Orion "Fairy Fair" POV

This is one of those stories that I had read before, but I just had to reread again, because, it's Orion and Darcy. I remember reading this chapter in the book from Darcy's POV, and Orion doesn't come off looking great. And I mean, even from Orion's POV, he admits he is being a dick. Not only to Darcy, who he believes has left him, but to Francesca as well. Whether you have read it before or not, it's a great read.


Darius 'Throne Room" POV

Who doesn't love a throne scene? I've read this before, but I definitely read it again. While Darius and Tory's relationship at that time in the books was enough to make me pull my hair out, you can't deny that any scenes they have alone together are insanely hot.


Darius 'Stars' POV

This was a brand new story for this book, and it hurt. I hated that moment in the book, but reading is from Darius's point hurt worse, because he understood the consequences. I fully admit I didn't see Tory's character the same after the moment in the books. But if you read this ... shoot, this is a spoiler. Highlight between the arrows and answer me this! ----------> did I miss it in the books where Lionel dark coerced Tory to reject his sons advances, or was that new information? If it was in the books, my friend missed that tidbit as well, but I believe it's new information. It makes sense. He would have seen Darius's obvious obsession with her, and seeing it as a weakness, would want to drive the hate between the two of them even more. And it easily could have happened during her time with Lionel when she was bonded to him. So let me know in the comments - did I miss it, or was this a BIG reveal? Because it definitely helps when it comes to forgiving Tory's character <-------------------


Lionel's Chapters

Meh. Besides that big reveal in the end, his chapters were just meh. More bragging. Some reluctant admiration for his foes. Thankfully, the twisted sisters gave us some mercy, and kept his chapters short. Won't lie though, every time I see his chapter's beginning with his name, and that dick drawn above it, it makes me chuckle.


So there you have it. My thoughts on Live and Let Lionel. If you are a Zodiac Academy fan, and haven't read all the short stories that come with this series, I definitely recommend. It's fun, and just gives a little bit of a different perspective of these characters during pivotal moments in the series.



 



 


Savage


Merissa: “Sometimes we must look into the darkest of nights to discover the greatest of treasures. I don’t balk from that path, Lethia. I just choose to chase a fate greater than my own.”


He would love with a passion rivalled by none and felt by all, he would fall hard and fast, painfully and inescapably into a love so great that it would rock the foundations of the world we knew and beyond.


Merissa: “His life will be hard,”

I murmured as I wound my arm around Marcel’s neck and drew him down over my body, the weight of him pressing over me so beautifully real. Grief closed in on me then. Grief for this man I knew and yet didn’t know. Grief for the boy who would be born of this act and who would never get the chance to know his father. A tear slipped from my eye and tracked down my cheek as Marcel drew back just enough to gaze at me.

Marcel: “For a time. But he will know all the best kinds of love in the end. Even if he never knows ours.”


I let my eyes widen, mouth falling slack as I faked a vision with a sudden gasp that had his eyes lighting.

Arturo: “What do you see?”

Merissa: “A man,”

I breathed, vines crawling across the floor behind him beneath the power of my magic, creeping closer while his greed for my knowledge left him utterly exposed to my whims.

Merissa: “A man with lank hair and a mindless skull…”

Arturo: “What is he doing?”

Arturo asked greedily, reaching out to grab me again, but I saw it and sidestepped once more. I would not let the man who killed my son’s father lay so much as a finger on me.

Merissa: “Flying,”

I breathed.

Merissa: “Without wings…”

Arturo: “Flying? Why? Where?”

Merissa: “Would you like me to show you?”

I asked softly, temptingly, as if I was offering up the chance for him see what it was that I saw.

Arturo: “Yes,”

he panted, reaching for my hand as if I really might give it up. The corner of my lips twitched with a wicked amusement as I met his gaze.

Merissa: “As you wish.”

I curled my fingers and the vines shot out, snaring him beneath his armpits and whipping him from his feet before hurling him out into the corridor where he flew a good ten feet before slamming down on his ass and skidding away like a sack of potatoes that had fallen from a runaway donkey.

Merissa: “I live only to serve you, dear husband,”

I called after him as he bellowed in rage, the sound turning into a furious moo as he lost control of his Order form and shifted into his Minotaur form.


Merissa: “On the darkest day and longest night, I’ll guide you home with love so bright,”


Merissa: “I’ve seen the life we’re destined to share,”

I told him in a low voice while he stared at me like I was some captivating creature who had him in my thrall.

Merissa: “Would you like to see it too?”

The man’s gaze intensified if that was even possible and he parted his lips, seeming to remember himself, looking like he might refuse, but a flash of The Sight told me that he needed to see this. A knowing smile drew my lips up.

Merissa: “The truth will change the world,”

I promised as I pushed the things I had seen of us into his mind, more of our possible future unravelling itself too, as if it had been waiting for this moment to become clear to me as well.


Hamish: “Sire, do forgive the gobbles of my gables-”

Hamish started up, inching closer.

Hamish: “But I cannot hold my loyal lollygagger a second longer. The lady has come bearing a bounty, it would be customary of the gentleFae in question – that is, your most magnanimous, majestic self – to offer her a moment of your invaluable time and perhaps a syrupy sup to wet her whimsy, hm?”


Hail: “I wish to know you,”

I commanded of her.

Merissa: “You will,”

she said with a ring of power in her words.

Merissa: “We are inevitable.”


Hamish: “Sire, please, take a breath. Like we practised, one big jiffy jolly breath in, and one huffing Mary of a breath out, remember?”


Hail: "If you do not know of me yet, then let me warn you now, for it will be your last chance to leave. I will let you run from me, Merissa. I will open this door and cast you back to the life you came from if you wish it. But know this. If you choose to stay after I have told you the truth of me, I will never let you go. You will walk willingly into your captivity, because that is what this will be. The moment I laid eyes on you, an obsession awoke, and it will not die."


The Shimmering Springs


I knew Darius had been friends with him for years, but the dude had issues, and since he’d shot a peach into my mouth during sex ed the other day and nearly choked me to death on it for talking too loudly about my sexual experiences, I couldn’t say I was much of a fan of him.


Caleb’s finger knotted in my shirt and he yanked me closer, making me look to him and realise his fangs had extended. He was fucking hungry and that made me kinda hungry too.

Caleb: “Tell me more,”

he urged of Darius and I was pretty sure he hadn’t even realised he had hold of me. Angry little Vampire. I loved when he got murderous. It made me want to howl to the damn moon.


I could always sense my friends’ moods, whether they wanted my snuggles, needed my snuggles, or if it was simply not snuggle time.


Max: “That girl irritates the hell out of me. I can’t believe Orion put her on the Pitball team. Do you know what she said to me in Cardinal Magic yesterday? That I couldn’t even diddle a dandelion if it bloomed beneath my fiddlestick and told me where to put it. What the fuck does that even mean?”

Max scrubbed his knuckles over his chin.

Seth: “Yeah, she’s nutso, man,”

Max: “I could diddle a dandelion,”

Max muttered, clearly still caught up on what Grus had said to him as he frowned moodily at his beer.


Seth: “That blood moon making you hungry, bro?”

I asked and Caleb’s eyes flashed onto my throat, the Devil in his gaze. It was a well-known fact that blood moons made Vampires all kinds of hungry and that red beauty in the sky tonight was clearly having an effect on him. The moon really could be a dirty girl when she wanted to be, and I liked her style.


Seth: “You spank my ass, Cal, I’ll spank yours back!”

I called after him, casting a paddle in my hand, my eyes locking on my peachy target tucked in his jeans. That ass was mine.


Geraldine: “Take that you pumped up pufferfish! I shall be forever M.O.I.S.T. and you won’t ever stop me!”


Orion: “Fifty points from Terra for showing your cock to a teacher, Altair,”

he snapped, his nose wrinkling as he glared at me and I glared right back.


A roar interrupted us and Darius plummeted from the sky, shifting at the last second and landing on two feet in the space between us.

Darius: “Lance,”

he greeted and I noticed that he wasn’t docked house points for having his fucking cock out.


Washer: “Don’t mind me!”

I jerked back in alarm at the sound of Professor Washer’s voice behind me, spinning and finding him emerging from the water on the far side of the cave, his Siren scales coating his skin and a smile on his lips which was all kinds of false embarrassment.

Washer: “I just need a little gulp of air before I slip back down into the moist depths of this hole. You two know all about that, I’m sure.”


Geraldine


Geraldine: "I very much doubt you have the skills required to know when a lady is about to orgasm, you vulgar ruffian. So kindly take your eyes off of my visage and return to your lollygagging with the other mutts on the reject pile,”

I replied with a dismissive wave of my arm.


Blue


Orio: There’s a storm hitting Zodiac pretty hard and it wasn’t in the weather report. Any chance your friend is involved?

Noxy: Yes, and it’s only going to get worse. Dante’s in a foul mood. He’s bringing storms down over the whole of Solaria right now, and he hasn’t even made it to Celestia yet.

Orio: Lionel’s being a cunt, I presume?

Noxy: However did you guess?


Darcy: “You're not drinking?”

Orion: “No.”

I inched closer, resting my hands on the couch either side of her.

You free my mind more than any drink ever has.


Orion: “If you want me to stop, tell me to stop,”

I said breathlessly, and she wrapped her legs around my waist.

Darcy: “Okay, don't stop,”

she exhaled, and a heady laugh fell from her lungs as I drew her flush against me, needing her more than I needed the sun to rise tomorrow.


Darcy: “For fuck’s sake,”

she gasped.

Darcy: “Move.”

I laughed wickedly, my nose brushing hers.

Orion: “Just checking.”

Darcy: “Stop checking,”

she panted, rocking her hips, and fuck, that felt so good, I had no problem giving in to her.


Orion: “I'm gonna lose my mind over you,”

I gasped, burying myself inside her and demanding her body bow to mine.


Darcy: “You drive a hard bargain, Mr Orion.”

I grinned.

Orion: “I can drive an even harder one if you want?”


Fairy Fair


Orion: “That Lion is one hell of a thief,”

I said, then snapped my head up from the scroll to look at Gabriel.

Orion: “Don’t tell him I said that. He’ll send me a fucking gift basket full of dildos or some shit.”

Gabriel: “That was one time,”

Gabriel said with a snort.

Orion: “What in the actual hell did he think I needed fifteen dildos for?”

I said, shaking my head, confounded all over again by the bizarre gift Leon had sent me after I’d helped him out with some dodgy shit they’d all gotten caught up in back in their days at Aurora Academy.

Gabriel: “I’ll tell him one would have sufficed,”

Gabriel chuckled, and I gave him a hollow look.

Orion: “Don’t you laugh. You wanna know what happened to those dildos? Fucking Washer happened to them. Found them in the trash and made a dream catcher out of them that he hung in his window.”

Gabriel: “By the stars.”


If he touches her, I’ll slice him open and bake all his innards into a pie. I don’t even bake, but for him, I’ll don a little pink apron, make the pastry from scratch, and cook up a pie so damn good that I win first prize in a local baking contest.


Orion: “Do you ever feel like the stars are against you?”

I asked her, and her eyes widened at my sharp tone.

Orion: “Because I’m starting to think they have my name on the top of their shit list, Francesca, because they take away every good thing I set my sights on.”


Washer: “Cooweee!”

Washer’s voice set my nerves on edge, and I didn’t turn my head in the direction it had come from, praying it wasn’t my attention he was after. But apparently, I wasn’t so fortunate. Go fucking figure.

Washer: “Lancey boy! Look behind you!”

I turned reluctantly, finding him waist deep in purple Jello in a wide rubber ring on the ground. There was a sign beside it naming this game ‘Fight a Fellow in the Jello’.

Orion: “Hello, Brian.”

I nodded to him curtly, hoping that would be enough to avoid more of his attention, but of course it wasn’t.

Washer: “Come have a little rompy-pompy in the Jello with me. Elaine is just stripping down in the changing tent to prepare for getting wet and wild, but you could go next. What do you say?”

Orion: “Nah, I’m good,”

I said with a false smile.

Orion: “I’d rather pluck my eyes out with a fork.”

Washer: “What was that?”

he called, cupping a hand around his ear.

Washer: “So loud in this place, isn’t it? Now, come on, strip off and I’ll wrestle you into submission, big boy.”

He started sloshing up and down in the Jello so it made a gross noise, the purple sludge slapping him wetly against his tanned chest and dripping down it. He rolled onto his hands and knees, his speedo-bound ass jerking up in the air as he started arching his spine, tossing his head back so Jello flew from his hair and showered over him.

Orion: “By the stars,”

I cursed, backing up a step.


She gave me a flirtatious look, and my cock sent an email to my brain written in all caps. DEAR BRAIN, FUCK NO. SINCERELY, COCK


Orion: “So where’s the fourth Ninja Turtle?”

I looked around for Caleb, and Darius spewed smoke between his lips, making me arch a brow at him.

Orion: “You haven’t had a fight with Michelangelo, have you?”

Seth: “Pfft. Excuse me, but I’d be Michelangelo. Caleb’s Leonardo. Darius is Raphael, and Max is Donatello. Oh, and I guess that makes you the mutant rat, sir. Master Splinter.”


She was bottled chaos, strength brewing in her like lava in the belly of a volcano, and I doubted she even realised it. But one day, she was going to blow her top, and the whole world was going to realise the danger that had been lying in wait beneath the surface all this time.


She slapped the side of the door in a rage, and my eyebrows arched.

Darcy: “How could you do that? You nearly gave me a heart attack.”

Orion: “To be fair, I nearly gave myself a heart attack, Blue, so can we call it even?”

She shook her head, blinking hard before kicking the front wheel. My brows pulled together.

Orion: “Can you stop attacking my car? She doesn’t like it.”


Orion: “I didn’t mean to upset you. I don’t apologize very often. It’s not a very Fae thing to do. Did I not do it right?”


Darcy: “I wish we could stay at the funfair together.”

She frowned, and it was a stark reminder of how few places we could actually go right now.

Orion: “Well...I hear another funfair has popped up in my bedroom for the night,”

I teased to lighten the mood. A laugh broke free of her throat, and I grinned at the sound, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

Orion: “If you want to go back and find your friends, I get it.”

I squeezed her hand, and she interlaced her fingers with mine.

Darcy: “Hm, well I quite like the sound of this other funfair. Is there a rollercoaster?”

Orion: “No, but there’s a slip and slide?”


Darcy: “You’re never going to let that go, are you?”

Orion: “It just fucks me off that you can go out in public with him and not me.”

Darcy: “Well, that’s how it is,”

she sighed, turning to gaze out of the steamy window beside her. She painted a grumpy face on it and wrote Orion above it, and I glanced over at it with my mouth tugging up at the corner.

Orion: “Is that what I look like to you?”

Darcy: “Not quite.”

She added angry eyebrows and fangs, turning to goad me with a grin.


Darcy: “Promise you won’t laugh?”

she asked, her cheeks colouring a little.

Orion: “On the stars.”

She nodded, looking out of the window so I couldn’t see her expression.

Darcy: “When we were in the battle and you were about to die, I felt compelled to save you. Like…if I didn’t, a part of me would die too. And ever since then, that part of me is getting stronger, like it’s become this tangible thing that lives in me. I’ve never been a jealous person before, but when I see you with Francesca, it’s like I turn into an animal with nothing but basic instincts.”

I didn’t immediately answer, floored by that admission and unsure if I was really lucky enough to have this girl feel that way about me. Plus, she’d just put into words exactly how I’d been feeling, like we were on this runaway train and there was no way to escape our destination now. Even if the tracks led us right over a cliff and into a ravine.

Darcy: “I told you it was crazy,”

I took her hand, winding my fingers between hers and pressing my mouth to the back of her knuckles. She glanced my way, and I realised we were so far down the rabbit hole, not even Alice herself could get us out.

Orion: “Good, because I feel it too.”


Throne Room


Darius: “You’re being ungrateful as fuck,”

I told him, ignoring the puppy dog eyes he was trying on me as I rearranged myself in my seat.

Seth: “It’s not funny anymore,”

he pouted, and I had to work to flatten the smile which was trying to force its way onto my lips.

Darius: “No. It’s not. I went out of my way to buy gifts I knew each of you would really enjoy. I put my heart and soul into selecting that car for Cal and the speedboat for Max, and you don’t see them complaining, do you?”

Seth: “You gave me a bag of freaking Snausages,”

Seth whined, looking to the others for help. Caleb only grinned at him as he dropped into his seat, while Max shrugged like he couldn’t understand the problem.

Darius: “Did you, or did you not, eat all of them?”

Seth: “Well, yeah, but-”

Darius: “And did I or did I not, call you a good boy when you balanced that one on your nose for five seconds before scoffing it?”

I added, and Seth growled.

Seth: “You can’t just casually abuse my praise kink by going all Alpha Daddy on me with a pack of Snausages and get away with not giving me a proper gift,”

Seth growled, pushing to his feet.


Caleb: “Since when have you had a praise kink?”

Caleb asked with interest, and Seth shot him a dark look.

Seth: “Only when Darius does it,”

he shrugged.

Seth: “He has that whole dominant, ‘shove me around the bedroom’ vibe going, and sometimes I think he might even be able to do it to me if the mood took him.”

Caleb: “I could shove you around the bedroom if the mood took me,”

Caleb said, and Seth barked a laugh, his attention stolen by the turn in the conversation.

Seth: “Nah, Cal. You’re pretty and all, but you don’t scream ‘dominant daddy’ to me the same way that Dari-”

Caleb shot towards Seth so fast that I lost the movement in a blink, the two of them crashing back against the table where several of the fake gifts were sent flying. Cal pushed Seth down beneath him, one hand locked around his throat and his fangs bared as he leaned over him, their bodies flush with one another.

Caleb: “Call me pretty again,”

Caleb growled while Seth blinked up at him in surprise.

Seth: “So fucking pretty,”

Seth breathed, his chest rising heavily as Caleb pinned him down on the table. Max released a low whistle of amusement, and I arched a brow at the two of them, their gazes locked with an intensity that made the air surrounding us crackle. Caleb leaned in slowly, and Seth blinked rapidly as the space between their mouths was reduced to almost nothing.

Caleb: “Good pup,”

Caleb said roughly before shooting away again so fast that I didn’t even see his ass hit the chair beside me and he simply appeared to have been sitting there lounging in it like he owned the world the entire time.


Caleb: “By the stars, Darius, who shit in your cornflakes this morning? It’s Christmas day – the one day of the year when we steal a little bit of mortal madness and celebrate the winter solstice with gross consumerism, coupled with an indecent amount of pressure, to show love to people who we may or may not secretly think are pieces of shit just because we share blood with them. It’s special,”

Caleb teased, always the least likely to back down to me, but I wasn’t in the mood for his crap right now, and as my gaze darted to the little box he now held, I could see he knew it too.


Seth: “Ohmastars!”

Seth cooed loudly as he finally opened his gift from me and read the information on the tickets.

Seth: “Two nights in a luxury mountain cabin and a moonlight hot air balloon trip for four! How will I ever choose who to bring with me??”

Caleb: “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Caleb demanded, whirling on him and forgetting about me.

Caleb: “You’re taking the three of us, asshole.”

Seth: “Right, yeah, probably. But I do have other friends, you know. Some of whom like the moon waaaay more than you guys. And if I took my pack, we could have a balloon orgy right up by the moon-”

Caleb: “Someone is going to be piloting the thing, are you planning on them joining in with your orgy or just making them watch?”

Seth: “That depends,”

Caleb: “On?”

Seth: “Are they hot?”


Seth: “Oh, I can’t wait for the ball,”

Seth cried excitedly.

Seth: “I’m gonna get so wasted, and I’m gonna hook up with someone so hot they burn me.”

Caleb: “Like who?”

Caleb asked as we all turned our backs on the throne which had caused so much turmoil in our lives, returning to the sham Christmas we were putting on for the press.

Seth: “That is yet to be decided, young Caleb. But don’t you worry, I’ll be balls deep in someone ultra, magma-level hot before the night is done. Mark my words.”


Orion: “If you like her, you should just-”

Darius: “I don’t like her,”

I ground out.

Darius: “I’m infatuated with her; that’s not the same thing.”

Orion: “So what is it you want from her then? Because you already slept with her, and that clearly did nothing to rid you of this so-called obsession. You said you were set on getting rid of her. Has that changed or-”

Darius: “By the stars, how should I know? It’s not that simple, and I don’t have an answer, or I would have done something about it myself. All I know is that every time she lets her mask slip around me, every time she’s even the slightest bit civil or offers me the hint of a smile or I think she’s flirting with me, I lose my goddamn head and want nothing more than to pull her into my arms and make her beg to be mine.”

Orion: “Well, at least you’re not getting all weird and intense about it,”

he joked, and I groaned.


Tory: “What is it you want from me? Because you’re acting a hell of a lot like some scorned lover, but we never even made it off the starting line, so I don’t understand why-”

Darius: “Neither do I,”

I growled, knowing she was right on some level, even if I rejected that with my entire being. She was mine. And yet she wasn’t at all.

Darius: “But when I see you, all I want is to lay claim to you. I want you to be mine and I know you never will be, and it’s making me even more fucked up than I was to begin with. That’s why I hate you. Not because I’m supposed to or because my father wants me to, but because you represent every freedom I’ve never been given. It’s like you were designed entirely to taunt me and toy with me and crack me open, and I won’t let it stand.”

Tory: “So what do you want from me? Do you want to sit up on that throne with me on my knees before you. Would that end this feud between us?”

Silence. A single beat of it which left me with a terrifyingly clarifying notion.

Darius: “I don’t know."


Tory: “I’ll never bow to you,”

Roxy breathed, the sight of her on her knees before me freezing me in place as I tried to understand, refusing to hope for what it was too unbelievable to be.

Tory: “But if you like me on my knees, then there are better things that I can do down here than kiss your feet.”


Darius: “I don’t want you on your knees. I want you fighting me and hating me and fucking me like you mean it. You’re Roxanya Vega, and you weren’t built to bow to anyone,”

I growled passionately.

Tory: “You want me to hate you?”

she asked in surprise, her gaze roaming over my features like she wanted to study me too.

Darius: “I want you to feel for me. And I’ll take hate if that’s all you’re offering.”


Tory: “Ow,”

she snapped, her eyes blazing with the desire to smack me, and the Dragon in me rose at that challenge, a growl building in my throat.

Darius: “Why are you wearing something that’s so hard to take off?”

I demanded.

Tory: “Because I don’t actually plan on hooking up with assholes all the time, it’s just something that keeps happening to me,”

she growled.


Night


Gabriel: “What the fuck is that?”

He pointed at the banner hanging over the arch I’d just walked through that I’d had specially made for tonight, and I looked up at it innocently, reading the words that were written in blue and silver letters across it. We don’t care you fucked a teacher and got him sent to prison, Darcy!

Gabriel: “And that?”

Gabriel pointed to the red and gold banner hanging over the window to my right. Starcrossing yourself with an Acrux is a power move, Tory!


Leon: “Okay, scrap the banners. I just wanted them to know we’re totally cool with who they are. I could put an illusion on my irises to make them black like Tory’s?”

I suggested.

Gabriel: “No,”

he said with a head shake.

Leon: “I could tell Darcy about the time Ryder fucked a teacher and she ended up getting arrested, power shamed and her whole life was destroyed?”

Gabriel: “Don’t do that,”


Gabriel: “Leon,”

Gabriel growled, stalking toward me with intent like he was going to snatch away my cue cards. But I’d die for my cue cards.

Elise: “The baby kicked!”

Elise shot into the room in a blur, her lilac dress spinning up around her legs before fluttering down again, hanging from the small bump of her belly. Dante came sprinting into the room soaking wet and butt naked from a shower. Fuck the cue cards. I threw them in Dante’s face to blind him, diving into his way as I dropped to my knees and pressed my ear to Elise’s stomach along with my hand, purring even harder.


Something soft and warm pressed against my leg, making me look down and I realised Dante’s bare cock and balls were right on my knee.

Leon: “Um, dude…”

I muttered as he gazed up at Elise, transfixed by her as his mouth parted and he was lost to a moment of utter fascination. I didn’t wanna ruin it, but also, like, I was in a cock and ball crises. I mean, it wasn’t like I hadn’t been in close proximity with his Dragon dong before, but I hadn’t been used to prop up the dong before. It was weighty all that dong, and even when I tried to ignore it and stay in the moment we were all sharing, my eyes kept sliding back to it. I’ll just pretend it’s not there. Keep it classy. Or maybe I can shift back enough to get it to slide off my knee… I tried that, my back immediately hitting Ryder’s leg which was blocking me in and I tried to focus on the debate they were all having about what to name our baby – Leon Junior duh – and focused on my dilemma. Maybe if I just lift it gently, I can slide it off without him noticing. But do I lift it by the balls or the cock?

Both. Definitely both.

Okay, lil guy, let’s get you back home. I went for a wrap-around-ball-scoop move with both hands, cupping his junk in a gentle hold but he instantly zapped me with a bolt of lightning that threw me into Ryder and knocked us both onto our asses.

Ryder: “Fuck,”

Ryder groaned as he fed on both of our pain and my skin sizzled with the crackle of Dante’s storm powers.

Dante: “Dalle stelle,

Dante cursed, getting to his feet.

Dante: “What the hell were you doing?”

Leon: “You could’ve warned me he was gonna do that.”

I narrowed my eyes at Gabriel who was now the only one with Elise in his arms, kissing her neck like he had no clue what was going on. But when he glanced up, there was a knowing smirk on his lips as he shrugged.

Gabriel: “I was distracted,”


Elise: “It’s alright Leon,”

Elise encouraged.

Gabriel: “Just don’t – oh shit,”

Gabriel cursed, moving to intercept me, but it was too late as I broke free of my trance, bounding toward the twins with my arms outstretched. Their eyes widened before I dragged them into the fiercest bear hug known to man, better than any bear shifter could give.

Leon: “I’m Leon,”

I said around an intense purr.

Leon: “Leon Night of the Nights, the best thieves in Solaria and your new brother.”


Ryder: “I didn’t misread shit. That book is far better than any old dusty tome you’re reading. I bet you don’t even know about the Verme Credulone.”

I nearly choked on another laugh, keeping my expression neutral instead. Because Verme Credulone meant gullible worm, which was exactly what he was.

Dante: “What’s that?”

I gasped, pretending to be worried that I’d missed something vital.

Ryder: “It’s a condition where the baby becomes long, skinny and its arms and legs fall off while it’s in the womb.”

Dalle stelle.

Ryder: “And it can be caused by too much sex,”

Dante: “Is that why you didn’t join us in the hot tub last night?”

Ryder: “Yeah, and maybe if you assholes had listened to what I was saying, you wouldn’t have put our baby in fucking jeopardy,”

Dante: “Oh mie stelle,”

I said worriedly and he nodded.


Leon: “Ryder didn’t smile ever, did he Gabe?”

Leon elbowed the Harpy beside him as he dropped back into his seat, abandoning the pillow as Periwinkle took a seat on it.

Leon: “But he started giving Elise little smiles and that was when I knew.”

He bashed his hand down on the table.

Leon: “That he had a happy little snake inside just waiting to come out and play.”

Ryder: “That’s deeply inaccurate,”

Ryder hissed, placing his hand on Elise’s knee beside him, his fingers brushing mine where they sat on her other leg.

Leon: “We had to teach Ryder how to be a person again,”

Leon barrelled on as if he hadn’t spoken.

Leon: “I remember one time, our old professor locked me and him in a shed on campus for detention and cast a spell that meant we had to power share to get out. That was the first time Ryder admitted he loved me.”

Ryder: “What?”

Ryder snapped.

Ryder: “I did no such fucking thing, Mufasa. You kept trying to power fuck me.”

Tory: “To what?”

Tory snorted and Elise cracked up.

Ryder: “You kept telling me to put the tip of my power in you.”

Ryder scowled at Leon.

Leon: “Which you did. And you loved it,”

Leon said, grabbing a bread roll and taking a savage bite out of it, sending crumbs flying everywhere.

Elise: “It’s just as weird as it sounds,”

Elise whispered to the twins across the table.


Seth on the Moon


Mr. Nakatuki: “Mr Capella, we need to have an orientation before you run off!”

Mr Nakatuki’s voice sailed after me but I kept prancing along, too exhilarated as I ran across her beautiful surface. If she was a pretty little tease from afar, she was one dirty slut of rock up close.


Mr. Nakatuki: “You have defiled the moon!”

Nakatuki wailed, looking faint as I got up, covered in moon dust which I could taste on my lips.

Seth: “She wanted it!”

I called back and he tried to usher the others away, trying to cover some of their eyes when a few of them remained in place.

Mr. Nakatuki: “You’ve desecrated this holy being,”

Nakatuki half sobbed.

Seth: “She liked it,”

I insisted. I wasn’t a star damned moon rapist. I could feel her calling my name, drawing me in.


Tory sent a wave of air magic down from the sky, ripping a bone right from its twitching corpse and I let out a gasp, looking up at her in horror.

Seth: “Cal, she’s doing creepy shit again,”

I said urgently, and Caleb sped to my side.


I lowered to my knees beside Caleb, feeling like I was slotting into my rightful place in this world at long last. A home I had ached for at the sides of my friends, all four of us united once again. We had moved through this life as one, like our souls made up a river that flowed together in one direction, and it ended here, in this sea of kismet.


 

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