Zodiac Academy: The Big A.S.S. Party
by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Book 5.5 in the Beasts and Bullies Series
Once upon a moon, the wild wind whispered in my ear that the true queens were returning to Solaria and I made it my mission to open up their path to the throne so that they could slip right in like an oily oyster.
Now, on this most special and wonderous of days, the very day of their birth – I will prove myself to be the most loyal and dependable of their followers. Though of course, Venus is in my chart and Lady Petunia has caught sight of the bothersome barracuda once more.
Max Rigel is my most sinful of temptations, the shark in the dark who wishes to lure me to his sea cave and I don’t know if I’m Fae enough to resist him for long.
But one thing is for sure, I will make certain the Vegas get the big A.S.S. party they deserve for their birthday or I’ll die trying. Succulent squids be damned!
Zodiac Academy: The Big A.S.S. Party is a novella set between books 5 and 6 in the Beasts and Bullies series written by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti. This novella centers on Geraldine, our favorite Royalist, and Max, one of those pesky heirs. The story begins on the night of the lunar eclipse, and we finally get to see what Geraldine did that night that has Max following her around like a lovesick puppy. After some hilarious dialogue during sexy time, we fast forward to the BIG EVENT. It's the Vega twins birthday, and Geraldine has planned the most amazing of parties for them. Everything will be flawless ... until she finds out that the Heirs have their own surprise planned for their birthday. Geraldine, in a panic over the boys less than stellar cake and decorations, decides to invite them to the big party, and have them help with the details. With Geraldine as the party planner, you know this isn't a simple dinner, and I promise you, you won't be bored at this party.
Guys. Oh my god. I laughed so fucking hard reading this book. Geraldine is comic joy, and I'm honestly shocked that Caroline and Susanne can come up with so many weird yet wonderful words and phrases for her character. I love that we get a sneak peek into what happened between Geraldine and Max to make him so enthralled by her -----------spoiler----------> she's dominating. <----------------- And I enjoy getting Max's perspective, as we don't get a whole lot in the main books. His gifts as a Siren really propel the heirs in my eyes, honestly. He feels their emotions so distinctly, it reminds us that these guys do have feelings. But the other highlight of this novella, other than Max and Geraldine, is the Vega's birthday. I frigging loved it. The Geraldine-esqe party, and the heirs attempt of a party (and let's be honest, the guys party would have been perfect in the twins eyes) was great. We get to see these two groups of people, who are not politically aligned, but have come to genuinely care for one another in their own ways. It's just nice after the bullying.
If you love Geraldine, and you love Max panting after her, you will love this novella. The sex is great, but it's not the highlight. These two have great chemistry despite huge differences with one another, and the storyline of planning a birthday party for the twins brings characters together in ways that we needed - like Seth and Darcy, and more moments with Darius and Tory. If you have read the Zodiac Academy books, and are missing this world, get the novella and jump in. You are in for a fun read.
Obviously the first time Geraldine and Max hook up
The Heirs baking a cake for the twins and decorating the treehouse for them
Geraldine threatening to deny Max from her Lady Petunia for the rest of time if he doesn't keep Mildred from the party
The Heirs teaming up to keep Mildred from crashing the party
The yellow dresses
The twins really putting their foot in their mouths
Darius's gift to Tory
The turnip slap
Seth mooning the crowd
I will never think of a strudel the same way again lol
Max wanting Geraldine to be his
Geraldine: “Lead on, good man,”
Max drew closer to me, his warm breath dancing across my neck.
Max: “Oh no, Grus, I’m not a good man at all. And if I get you back to my bed tonight, you’re going to find out just how bad I am.”
Geraldine: “I’m not sure if declaring yourself as bad in the bedroom is the best way to tempt my night garden into action,” Geraldine: “Well if that didn’t wet my whistle, I don’t know what would,”
Max: “Fuck, Grus, I have no idea why, but when you talk like an insane person it turns me on so goddamn much,” Geraldine: “Take me to the mulberry bush, you beautiful seabass. Teach me how to catch the clam, I need you to tangle me in your seaweed net and braid my hair with seashells.”
My dick strained against my pants and I groaned as the string of nonsense pouring from her lips made me hard as hell. Why the fuck did I like that so much? Shouldn’t I have been asking her why the fuck she was always comparing me to sexually active sealife? I didn’t know and I didn’t care. All I knew was that the sound of Geraldine Grus begging me to slip my shark into the dark was a million times hotter than a girl begging me to fuck her in any kind of conventional way. Max: "Now I'm gonna show you what a shameless shark can do for you, Gerry," Geraldine: “Good day to you. Please ensure that monstrosity of a cake is incinerated, Darius, I shall spend several hours searing its image from my retinas henceforth.” Darius: "What the fuck just happened?"
Darius asked as he looked down at the cake we'd all spent the morning baking with a frown.
Max: "We just got Grussed. You don't know what the fuck happened at first but once you get used to it and just go along for the ride, you'll find yourself having the time of your life."
Caleb: "Do I wanna know if that's what sex with her is like?"
Caleb asked, looking half intrigued and half disturbed.
Max: "Sex with her is a constant series of asking yourself what the fuck just happened? What the fuck did she just say? What the fuck did she just call me? Why the fuck does that feel so goddamn good? And that's the most you'll ever find out about it because she's mine," Max: "Alright, alright, calm down. No one is ruining Tory's birthday,"
I said calmly and Darius looked over his shoulder at me with a frown.
Geraldine: "Darn straight they're not! That bearded Dragon shall not cross my threshold tonight - do you hear me? I’m tasking you with this, Maxy boy. You will make sure she cannot attend, or I shall prune my own bush forevermore and never again let you water my lawn!"
Max: "I was going to offer anywa-"
Geraldine: "You have been tasked!"
She hung up on me and I frowned at my Atlas as if it was the one threatening my entrance pass to Lady Petunia.
Darius: "What's wrong?"
Max: "Mildred is planning to crash the party. I will officially have blue balls for the rest of time if I don't stop her from turning up." Darius: "Hey...baby,"
Darius said, not really sounding in the least bit excited to see her as she moved to stand before him while he stayed up on the rock.
Mildred: "Have you finally decided to stop pining over that mouthy toothpick of a Vega so that you can pack your sausage into a real woman?"
she asked, shimmying her shoulders like that might tempt him down. Seth and Caleb laid their hands on my shoulders as we all tried not to laugh too much while I began building the ice prison behind her, leaving the front of it open as they leant me their power to get the job done faster.
Darius: "Errr, I'm still holding out for our wedding night. You know I want our first time to be special..."
Darius said, glancing our way and causing Mildred to make a move to look too.
Darius: "But I think about it a lot,"
he added quickly, dragging her gaze back to him.
Mildred: "I think it about it daily,"
Mildred replied as a breeze rustled through her moustache and she sucked her top lip into her mouth in a way that might have be intended to be seductive.
Mildred: "And I touch myself too."
Darius: "Holy shit,"
Darius cursed, looking like he would literally rather be anywhere else in the world right now as he tried to hide his horror.
Darius: "I mean...err, what do you think about us...doing while you...do...that?"
Mildred: "I know that you're a big, powerful man. But I like to think about pinning you down and making you take me the way I want it."
Darius: "I imagine that's the only way it would happen too,"
Darius said with a visible shudder which Mildred either ignored or convinced herself was from desire.
Mildred: "I'll ride you like a hog at a barbecue,"
Darius: "Is that a thing?"
Darius asked, swallowing thickly, his jaw clenched like he was trying to hide a grimace.
Mildred: "Oh yeah,"
Mildred confirmed just as I finished my icy masterpiece. Caleb grinned as he grabbed a vial filled with coiling vapor from his pocket, looking at the Order Suppressant for a moment before shooting forward and appearing before Mildred in the blink of an eye. He opened the vial right beneath her nose and as she sucked in a breath to ask him what the fuck he was doing, she inhaled the lot, immobilizing her Dragon within her flesh a moment before Caleb shoved her into the ice prison behind her.
Mildred screamed as she stumbled back into it and I quickly threw the door closed with my magic and sealed the whole thing up tight. Darius groaned as he lay back on the rock, laughing as Mildred's enraged shrieks echoed out to us from within the personalized igloo I'd just made her.
Darius: "I need a shower. And to bleach my ears out so that I can remove the description she just gave me of our wedding night. I swear to the stars, if I ever make it down the aisle, I want the three of you to kill me before she can drag me bed." Geraldine: "Our queens deserve better than dusty books in their hands today. Especially when the stars know what kind of Fae have rubbed themselves up against those tomes in the stacks while getting their jollies off."
Darcy frowned, placing her book down and inspecting her hands for evidence of such dalliances.
Text: Geraldine: Is Mildred dealt with, you tantalizing terrapin?
Maxy Boy: She’s all locked up, you sexy starfish. Darius: "Does it make me a complete piece of shit if I fully intend to run off any and every dude who so much as looks at her, let alone strikes up the idea of a political match? Even though I know that I'll be walking down the aisle myself the moment I graduate,"
Seth: "Yeah. It does make you a sack of shit. But I'll totally be there to watch you beat the fuck out of every single one of them." The others copied me, though Darius opted to forgo the jacket, remaining in his black dress shirt and slacks and looking just this side of don't-give-a-fuck as usual. No wonder he and Tory Vega were a match made in heaven. I bet she’d turn up to her damn coronation in a crop top and booty shorts if she ever did claim the throne. Darius: "It's just a chair,"
Darius muttered, shrugging a shoulder.
Darius: "If we start fucking with Geraldine's decorations she'll throw a fit and try to kick us out and then we will either have to leave or make a fuss which could descend into a fight. That doesn't really seem like the best way to make sure they enjoy their party."
Max: "Just a chair? That throne is the whole reason we're at war with them. We're all waiting for the day when we can sit our asses on the throne and you call it just a chair?"
Darius; "I already have sat my ass on it. Do you think that makes me more powerful than you now?"
Darius asked, his voice teasing.
Seth gasped, his eyes widening and jealously scrawled over his features.
Darius: "When we were at the palace for Christmas. I left the party and went to sit in it and pout over Roxy."
Max: "You're lucky she didn't find you there,"
I joked, shaking my head at the audacity of him.
Max: “Who the fuck just goes and sits in a throne like it doesn't mean a goddamn thing?"
Darius: "Actually, I'm lucky she did find me there,"
he said, smirking at us and my mouth popped open at the taste of lust which escape him.
Geraldine: "There are countless images of you in circulation online, if you were only to search yourself you would see. Many are beautiful candid shots taken without your knowledge, capturing the essence of your soul in a stunning and captivating way. There are hundreds of chat rooms dedicated to praising your beauty and lamenting the luckiness of any gentlefae who may capture your hearts in the future."
Darcy pulled a disgusted face at that suggestion, her heartbreak over Orion hitting me like a gut punch and Tory made a horrified sound.
Tory: "I don't think I'm suited to a gentlefae. Tall, dark and devastating seems to be my kryptonite." Darcy: "Thanks so much for putting this together, Geraldine. It's perfect. When you first said about us celebrating I had the horrible feeling that you might have organized some huge party or something with every other Fae in the academy lurking around and expecting us to put on a show. And after everything that’s gone on recently since Orion went to prison, I can’t think of anything worse than enduring the stares tonight."
Tory: "Yeah, thank fuck for small miracles. I'm surprised you were able to rein yourself in, but I really don't think I could have dealt with a massive party. Not with all eyes on us. I swear, my whole life revolves around people staring at us for one reason or another recently and I can't think of anything better than just hanging out with you guys tonight."
Caleb: "Well, this is awkward,"
Cal muttered and my heart twisted for Geraldine as she looked around the room with barely concealed panic, knowing that there were hundreds of Fae waiting to leap out and shout surprise at any moment.
Darcy: "Can you imagine having to endure a night with the Heirs? I mean, they might have been a little less abrasive recently, but I swear being around them is just exhausting. Everything's a competition or a power play."
Tory: "Or a dick measuring contest,"
Geraldine: "Oh, well, they can certainly be a bunch of bothersome barracudas,"
Geraldine said, eyes wild with panic like she was trying to figure out some way to yell abort mission without them noticing.
Geraldine: "But I do think their intentions are purifying. They seem to want peace and of course, the stars intended Darius for you, my Lady Tory, so he must have some redeeming qualities."
Tory: "One or two,"
Tory conceded with a smirk.
Diego: "Please don't say it's his dick. I hear way too much about other guys' dicks hanging out with you lot. I need to have more dude friends."
Tory: "So you can discuss vag instead?"
Darcy: "Or boobs?" Sophie: "Not while I'm here, please,"
Tyler; “Don’t you want us discussing your perfect nips over dinner then, baby?”
Tyler asked her, drawing a laugh from the others while the hat kid blushed.
Tory: "Point is, we really appreciate the fact that you didn't make some great big, crazy fuss out of our birthday, Geraldine. Because that would have been torturous as fuck."
Darcy laughed as the two of them took their seats and I glanced at the other Heirs who shrugged before we worked together to disperse the magic hiding all of us.
The cry of surprise from the crowd was a little lacking in enthusiasm and I couldn't help but laugh as the twins flinched in shock, their lips parting as they realized they'd just said all of that in front of everyone and Geraldine looked like she might just burst into tears. Darcy: "Thanks for covering for us,"
Tory: "Yeah, maybe I won't warn her away from tangling with your tentacles tonight,"
Tory joked, leaning against me for a moment as I siphoned some of the heartache out of her with my gifts. It was the first time she'd willingly let me do it and she gave me a knowing smirk before using her Phoenix fire to cut me off again and stepping out from under my arm.
Tory: "But if you or your little buddies say a single word about the ugly ass dresses we're wearing or anything else to piss us off, I'll make sure to tell her you've got manticrabs and you made me cry on my birthday and you'll never get near her lady bush again."
Tory laughed as she opened her own box and lifted a matching bracelet from the little cushion inside it. The only difference to this was the Dragon charm carved entirely out of rose quartz which shone pink beside the letter R. She stared at it for long enough to make it clear that she understood the meaning of the rose quartz. Darius was telling her that he belonged to her and that he wanted her to belong to him in return. Even if the stars wouldn't allow that in a physical sense. Max: "Come on, I'll find Gerry and we can all dance in a group. The stars might not even notice if the two of you start grinding up against each other if we're all together." Seth: "I just came here to talk to Darcy. Alone if you don’t mind." Geraldine: "I do mind! I mind as much as a tomato minds when it is denounced as a vegetable even though it is clearly a fruit!"
Seth: "No offence, but are you on something? Because I wanna try it." Geraldine: "Fate is a funny friend and a heartless enemy," Panic danced through me as I looked to Lady Darcy and I knew I needed to act fast. I had to brighten her face, I had to see my wondrous queen laugh and enjoy her birthday. I acted on instinct alone, throwing out my hand and casting an illusion over Seth Capella, turning him into a six foot turnip with beady eyes and a tiny mouth. Then I slapped him across his turnip face and he yelped in surprise.
Seth: "What the fuck?"
said the turnip and Darcy and Tory burst into hysterics.
Tory: "I fucking love you, Geraldine,"
Tory snorted, clutching her side as Seth's tiny turnip eyes wheeled towards her. Caleb: "Oh wow! The moon is really bright tonight!"
Caleb's voice carried to me and I found him pointing to something across the room with an exaggerated look of awe on his face. A wail escaped me as I spotted Seth Capella up on the banquet table with his trousers around his thighs as he waved his naked buttocks at the whole room. Geraldine: "If you're barnacle enough then come and follow me and show me how well your haddock can do the ocean jive."
Max: "I dunno what the fuck that means, but I'm in,"
Geraldine: "Damn you, you sexy sea urchin. Why don't you button your succulent lips and show me what your sea cucumber can do."
Max drove his swordfish into my watering hole and I cried out as he pushed me firmly down beneath him. This pilchard liked to dominate me but oh-ho I wouldn't stand for such governing. I found his nefarious nipples through his shirt and twisted sharply, making him snarl in anger.
Geraldine: "You felonious fin whale, how dare thee try and keep a lady in the economy lounge!"
Max: "Just submit and you might enjoy it,"
he laughed, thrusting himself harder inside me like a giant woodpecker in a rage.
Geraldine: "Coral on a crispy ryebread,"
I gasped, his powerful sea turtle having me quivering needily.
Geraldine: "Oh sparkly spatulas in a strudel! Strudel me! Strudel me!"
Max: "Am I strudelling?"
Max panted and I nodded in affirmation, grasping his neck as I brought him down to wet my whistle. His kisses were roguish and wrong, but they really brought out the she-devil in me. He upped his pace as he held me down and I gave in to his demands for once and howled like a monkey in a brawl.
Geraldine: "I'm over the hill and far away! We’re going to land in the willow fronds, let it go Maxy boy, let it gooo!" Geraldine: "Good golly, I like the sound of that! I think my bouncing Brendas would look ever so fetching with one of my ladies on each of them, looking like kind gentlefae sitting atop a mountain each and looking down over all the world."
I shoved a few pricks aside and found the bar, leaning over it until I spotted Geraldine with two Fae I vaguely knew from senior year. The guy, who I was fairly sure was called Chris, was just finishing up a tattoo on the girl's arm which read A.S.S. for life. Crazy fuckers. Geraldine: "Right here atop my bosoms!"
Geraldine announced, tugging her dress down so that her tits almost spilled out of it.
Geraldine: "The left shall be adorned with the fair and beauteous face and bright blue majestic hair of my lady Darcy. And the right shall be the serenely regal and utterly captivating image of my lady Tory."
Max: "No fucking way. You are not vandalizing your tits with the faces of the fucking Vegas."
Geraldine: "You will not admonish me you overgrown sea urchin!"
she cried like she hadn't just been panting my name a minute ago and I was nothing more than a bother to her grand plans of getting tit tats.
Max: "And you will not get a drunken tattoo of your friends' faces on your breasts! Do you seriously want to know that every time you're having sex, the person you’re with is looking at pictures of your friends bouncing about? Because I sure as hell don't want to be looking at them when I'm with you."
Geraldine: "Firstly, I would hope that everyone thinks of the beauty of the Vegas while getting down and dirty, they deserve to be the image in every Fae's mind when their bodies are brought to ruin. Secondly, you, sir, shall not assume to bury your tuna in my basket ever again! No accord has been struck between you and Lady Petunia and she has no intention to make one."
I gave up trying to reason with her and rounded on Chris and his tattoo gun.
Max: "Leave this party right now and don't even think about coming back here and placing so much as a dot of ink on those perfect tits or I'll destroy you in every wat known to Fae."
Max: "So give me that time. Two years. Two years of you and me to fuck and fight and fall in love and be all the things we won't be able to be once you walk down that aisle. Give me that time to try and convince you that that life isn't what you really want. We don't ever have to talk politics, we don't even have to tell anyone if you don't want to. Just let it be me and you, at least for a little while."