Page 101 of Court of Nightmares

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A dragon, a true dragon, lands in a cloud of smoke before me.

It’s stunning and deadly, with a spiked body covered in glimmering purple and black scales. Its eyes are a mixture of the two, and smoke rolls from its mouth and nose. It watches me carefully, its frame easily half the size of the hydra’s true form.

“You do not have to repeat your offer, for I heard what you are proposing.”

Dragons are known as hoarders who live and survive alone. There used to be many of them in the sky, or so the history says, but now they are almost dead thanks to their nature. Seeing one in the flesh is shocking, but not as much as its next words.

“I will tie myself to you and this land. I only ask for one thing.”

“Ask it,” I murmur.

“After, when I’m ready, you will call another for me.”

I blink, and it huffs.

“Another of my kind. My love is beyond the grave, and I know you can reach her. If you will do this for me, then I will be yours. I will do anything you wish.”

The agony in his words pierces my heart. “I don’t know if I can,” I admit honestly, not wanting to lie to him.

“You can. I can sense it. I only ask that you try,” he replies.

“Then I will. I give you my solemn blood oath.” Relief flows over him as he bows and tastes my blood, and when he straightens, he doesn’t leave like the others. Instead, he waits.

“I have been waiting so long for someone like you to come along,” he says.

“Like me?”

“The champion of the dark, of us nightmares who have been deemed too ugly and frightening to love. The god who spoke to me so many years ago was right. They said a warrior of the dark was coming, and she would be amazing.” After this, he leaves me staring after him.

I am drained but elated.

I get to my feet and stumble.

Lycus and Zale help me up, holding both arms. My head is woozy, and I’m weak from blood loss and the power I exerted.


They both thrust their bleeding wrists at me, and I drink quickly, sensing the spell is finished . . . for now at least.

I cannot call any more, since my power is drained, but I can always do it again.

Either way, we have more than enough to be classified as a court.

Now, it’s time for them to settle in, and I hope we’ll endure long enough to survive the next battle.



Icheck on Althea to see her curled around Zale, both sleeping happily, and then I head back to Nathair for my next assignment. The man is walking around with a clipboard, ticking things off his list. I guess he hasn’t thrown a ball in a very long time so it has to be perfect, but the sight of him wearing silk monogrammed pyjamas with his hair tied back in a bun and a serious scowl on his face as he glares down at the clipboard is just adorable.

If the other courts could see us now.

“I can hear you,” he calls without looking up.

“I wasn’t hiding,” I reply as I push off from the wall.

“Why does it take so long for the fey to get back to you?” he mutters, scribbling something furiously on the list.

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