Zodiac Academy: Ruthless Fae
by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Self - Published
Book 2 in the Beasts and Bullies Series
They tried to break us.
They almost did.
But we're not going anywhere.
The Celestial Heirs think the stars are on their side. But they don't know what's coming. Fighting them one on one isn't an option so we have to be stealthy. Remaining under the radar won't be easy, but if we pull it off, they'll never suspect our involvement when their lives start falling apart.
Besides, they've already taken us to the brink of hell, what more can they really do?
Zodiac Academy: Ruthless Fae is the second book in the Beast and Bullies series by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti. It picks up right after the events of the first book, after the Heir's cut off tricked Darcy and Tory, resulting in Darcy embarrassed, and her hair cut choppy and short, and Tory traumatized from her near drowning. The Heir's plan to break the twins doesn't work though, and Tory and Darcy devise a plan to get their revenge. They may not be powerful enough to fight the Heir's one on one, but they have the street smarts to get back at them at other ways - and give the boys a taste of their own medicine.
So, despite not being overly crazy about the first book (bully romances are not my thing), I went ahead and read the second book, because I was actually invested in Tory and Darcy's story (and the possible relationship between Darcy and Orion). I did like this one more than the last, for two reasons: the boys suffering from Tory and Darcy's revenge plot, and them dismissing the girls involvement, thinking they were not clever enough, and two ... ORION AND DARCY! ----------spoiler-------> Seriously, Orion and Darcy MAKE this book in my opinion. Their bond, to me at least, screams mates. And can I just say ... HOT. HOT HOT HOT! <------- -----------. While I can't say I am loving Tory's arc so far romantically, I got to say, I do love that the twins are truly individualized. Darcy is the quieter, romantic at heart type. Tory is the take no shit from any man, only likes bad boys type of girl, who owns her sexuality. And, sure ... I find Caleb and Tory's "games" insanely hot. But I don't get how she can separate his bullying and their relationship. Well ... I guess she doesn't fully. They do get their revenge on him.
This still isn't living up to the hype I see on #booktok, BUT I'm 2 books in, and I'm invested now. Well - invested in Darcy and Orion. Ha. I'm also curious who Tory will end up with (and more about her past, because I think she has been through more than what we've been told about). I want to know their orders! I want them to rub their strength in those stupid boys faces. lol. So yeah - I will be continuing despite the bullying - which is getting exhausting - and the typos I keep finding. :/
Tory standing up for Darcy when Kylie starts teasing her about her hair
Orion sending Darcy a hint on how to regrow her hair
Darcy signing Caleb up for a bunch of Pegasus appreciation groups
Orion playing favorites during detention, and him behind her on the ladder ...
"Stop looking back, Lance"
Tory sacrificing herself to Washer so darcy could get the card
Orion attacking Seth, and taking Darcy's hair from around his wrist
Tory calling Lionel an oversized iguana
The pool, the Pool, THE POOL
Orion and Darcy fighting together, and Darius and Tory fighting together
Caleb: “How many times have we sat around this room and discussed all the things we don’t like about the way our parents rule? And yet at the first real test of our claim, we bow to their way of doing things.” Seth: “I don't like the look of the fire in your eyes, babe. Didn't I break you well enough?”
I stepped further into his personal space, my heart racing and my shoulders trembling.
Darcy: “Iron is made stronger in the hottest part of the fire, Seth. You didn't break me, you forged me.” Darcy: “Well that's something because I don't ever want a Cyclops in my head again.”
Tory: “Yeah and I don't wanna watch that again either. Her boggly eye was freaking me out.”
Darcy: “How boggly was it exactly?”
I started laughing.
Tory: “The boggliest eye I've ever seen. She looked like Mike Wasoswki from Monsters Inc.” Tory: “Who knew you were a straight up badass underneath the sweet raisin bran exterior?” Tory: “You seriously expect me to kiss you?”
Max: “Unless staying trapped here alone with me for the rest of time is preferable?”
Tory: “On the lips?”
Max: “No, on my ass. Want me to bend over?”
Tory: “That might be preferable to your face,”
Max: “Come on,”
he said, moving closer again, clearly wanting this over with.
Tory: “Just wait!”
I insisted, raising my hand a bit higher, he was almost close enough to touch and I could feel the warmth of his body radiating half an inch from my outstretched palm.
Max: “What for?” Tory: “Can you not talk for a few minutes?”
Tory: “Because if you shut up, then I can try and focus on your looks and forget about the personality that goes with them,” Professor Washer: “I want you to all pair up, use the notes on your Atlas to do a palm reading of each other's life lines. If you discover you are doomed to die tomorrow, please take your wailing into the hallway where I will come and comfort you.” Tory: “Oh yeah, you caught me. Secret fangirl right here. I just love to stand about staring at photos of you, daydreaming about your oh so dreamy body and imagining what it would be like if you had a halfway decent personality.” Max: “You crazy bitch,”
Max wheezed, his voice strangled with pain.
Tory: “I am a crazy bitch. And if you try that screwed up Siren shit on me ever again you’ll find out just how much of a bitch I can be.” Orion: “Water.”
Orion waved his hand and water gathered in the air before me, circling into a glistening sphere. Orion tossed me a cup and I caught it at the last second. The water dropped straight into it with a splash and I guzzled it down greedily,
Caleb: “That's favoritism, sir!”
Orion: “You're right, how rude of me!”
Orion shouted back, lifting a hand and a torrential waterfall poured down on all of the heirs. Max crowed like a cockerel, pounding his chest, seemingly spurred on by the downpour. The others didn't seem quite as happy as the water continued to fall down on them. A laugh rushed from my throat and Orion threw me a wink. Orion: “Shut the fuck up! I'm trying to concentrate here.”
Seth: “Watching porn again, sir?”
Seth shot at him with a smirk. Orion: “Yeah, your mom's really improved since the last edition,”
he answered without missing a beat and Seth's face dropped into a scowl as a laugh tore from my throat. Orion: “No one's untouchable,”
Orion said in a rumbling tone that struck a deep chord in my heart.
Orion: “You just have to find the right buttons to push, Blue.”
He lowered his voice to a secret whisper, leaning in close.
Orion: “Or is it Green?” Tory: “If you want punishment then shouldn’t I be the one to dole it out?”
I asked, cocking an eyebrow at him. No need to mention the fact that it just so happened we’d already started on our plans for him. Caleb smiled darkly.
Caleb: “Depends what you have in mind, sweetheart. Maybe I’d like your brand of punishment.”
I stepped a little closer, breathing in the sweet scent of him as I tilted my mouth close to his and lowered my voice.
Tory: “But if you like it, it’s not going to teach you a lesson, is it?”
Red flowers blossomed to life all around me as I walked and I bit my lip to stop myself from smiling at his display of magic.
Tory: “I’m not really a flowers kind of girl,”
I said, without looking back at him, though I couldn’t resist the urge to taunt him a little too.
Tory: “Perhaps a Pegasus would like them better?”
Caleb: “I don’t want a fucking Pegasus,”
he said with enough grit in his voice to let me know how much that had pissed him off. I laughed and kept walking.
Caleb: “Tell me what you do like then,”
Tory: “Oil and engine fumes,”
I replied. I glanced back just before I headed into the Arena and found him grinning at me like I was a challenge he wanted to rise to.
Tory: “You still need to pay though,”
Caleb: “Whatever you desire, sweetheart.” Orion: “Stop looking at me like that,”
he snarled and I fought the urge to recoil from his terrifying tone.
Darcy: “Like what?”
Orion: “You know what. I'm your teacher.”
Darcy: “I know,”
I balked, horrified at what he was suggesting. That he could somehow read how much I wanted him.
Orion: “Do you?”
he stepped forward. I nodded firmly, though I wasn't sure my body was getting the message because I had the urge to wrap myself around him and kiss him goodbye. It was absolutely crazy. But him running off after a Nymph made me dread the idea that he wouldn't come back.
Orion: “Then stop looking at me like that.”
Embarrassment poured through me like a tsunami, but I fought it away, elbowing aside my shame. Because how dare he accuse me of being inappropriate? He'd had his hands all over me the other day and he'd shouted at me for that too. I was so done with his bullshit. So I stepped forward, looking him square in the eye as my hands began to shake.
Darcy: “Then stop looking back, Lance.” Darcy: “I think I'll get my drinks from a less shady room thanks,”
Tory: “Yeah, I'm gonna decline the date rape.”
Tory smiled hollowly and Darius scoffed.
Darius: “As if I'd need to drug you to get you in my bed,”
Tory: “Keep dreaming, Dragon boy.” Tory: “Who says frightfully? You wear your mask tighter here than you do at the Academy.”
Darius’s eyes darkened a little.
Darius: “Who says it’s a mask? I was born to this. This is who I am, who I’ll ever be.”
I leaned a little closer to him, tiptoeing to speak in his ear.
Tory: “Well, that seems frightfully dull to me. Don’t you ever want to just rebel against all of it?”
Darius caught my gaze and fire seemed to burn within the depths of his eyes.
Darius: “All the time,”
he replied, his voice a low growl. I smiled conspiratorially at him.
Tory: “Prove it,” Darius Acrux may have been a lot of things but it seemed he was a man of his word; he’d promised to be nice to me tonight and that was what he was delivering. I’d have to keep an eye on the time though, at midnight his Cinderella spell might come undone and he’d turn back into an asshole shaped pumpkin. Orion threw a grin back at me as headed to the bar, ducking behind it.
Orion: “What would madam like?”
he asked in a formal tone which was a damn good impression of the Acruxes' butler. I giggled hurrying over to take a stool in front of the bar and placing my clutch down, relishing the cool breeze against my burning neck.
Darcy: “Hmm...a Manhattan?”
I teased and he cocked his head.
Orion: “I'm afraid we're fresh out of bullshit, how about a white wine spritzer with a tiny umbrella in it?” Orion: “I have something for you,”
he said and I turned, blinking out of my dark fantasy.
Darcy: “You do?”
He nodded, reaching into his inside pocket and taking out my coil of blue hair. My heart combusted and a choked noise escaped me. I reached for it and he slid it onto my wrist. He kept my hand in his, his eyes downcast as they remained on the band of hair.
Orion: “I want you to know, I believe you would have gotten this back yourself when you were ready. But I took a lot of pleasure in retrieving it for you all the same.” He glanced above us and his brow furrowed heavily.
Orion: “Up there are a thousand reasons why we can't be together.”
I swallowed thickly, goosebumps rushing along my skin in response to his words. I pressed my back to the cool tiles of the pool and the goosebumps spread deeper, evoking a shiver across my body.
Orion: “I'm bound by so many rules I could waste the rest of your evening telling you them,”
Darcy: “Skip them then, sir.”
A smile played around my mouth as a thrill danced in my chest. He moved closer and rested his hands either side of me on the wall.
Orion: “I think the time for sirs and professors is over, don't you?”
Tory: “Have you got the griffin turd?”
I said, taking it from my pocket it and waving it at her. She wrinkled her nose, wincing away from it.
Tory: “You can do the crumbling.”
Geraldine: “I will be most honored to do the crumbling. And I also brought a special gift for one of the other Heirs with me.”
A dark glimmer entered her eyes as she glanced back at us and I squealed in excitement.
Tory: “I love targeting these assholes." Geraldine: “Smell that?”
Geraldine: “It smells like the Heirs' lives falling apart." Darius: “Moved on to your next conquest already? That sex addiction of yours must be quite difficult to maintain,”
he teased, clearly hoping to get a rise out of me. I leaned closer to him, the scent of cedar and smoke overwhelming me for a moment.
Tory: “Well the real challenge is finding someone who can keep up with me." Tory: “Can I help you?”
Darius: “I’m just waiting to get a coffee.”
Tory: “Let me guess, flat white?”
Darius: “Why do you say that?”
Tory: “Because it’s the most boring coffee you can get. Maybe you’re an espresso guy though, to go with that whole intense thing you’ve got going on... but the idea of you holding one of those teenie tiny cups in your massive hands is kinda ridiculous so I think not.”
I pulled my coffee from the machine and added three heaped spoonfuls of sugar to it as Darius hit the button for a flat white.
Darius: “Whereas you prefer your coffee with a bucket of sugar added because you’re just so damn sweet?”
Tory: “No. I like my sugar with a dash of coffee added because I’m bitter.”
I gave him a false smile then walked away. Her performance made me smirk into my coffee, especially when Darius looked my way again and stared long enough for her to jump to her feet in outrage.
Margarite: “Enjoy it while it lasts, whore,” she snarled at me before stalking away. Tory: “It’s sex addict, not whore. And it’s not cool to mock people for medical afflictions.” Guy: “Hey Tory, if you need someone to help you through your sex addiction, PM me on FaeBook!”
Tory: “My addiction only involves sex with attractive guys, so no thanks!” Orion: “Go on then.”
He gestured to the raging battle.
Orion: “Show me what you've got, Blue.”