Decorations have started to arrive, and we have to sort through them and put them all up. There are also some deliveries to retrieve, wine to brew, and food to prepare. There is lots to do, yet when I follow my bond with Althea and find her in my bathroom, nothing else matters. I know she loves it in here. She calls it a gothic cave and says it feels safe and homey, but seeing her in my space makes me weak.
I still at the doorway, my heart lurching at the sight. She is lying in the huge stone tub set before the window looking out over our lands. Candles dot every inch of the room. Her beautiful, tanned leg is thrown over the edge of the tub, and her head is tilted back as she stares at the moon.
“Are you simply going to stare, Nathair?” she asks without looking, and I can’t help but smile, feeling pride at how easily she recognises us.
I hurry inside and drop to my knees beside her, knowing if I get into that water filled with black flowers and her silken skin, I will spend hours inside of her, and I won’t keep the fey here any longer than necessary. I did not want them here in the first place, but they insisted. She turns her head, her face so beautiful, my mouth goes dry.
“We need you,” I say before coughing. “For the fitting.”
She laughs, the sound making my soul fly higher. “I better dry off and dress then.” She presses her hands to the side of the tub and stands.
I stare up at her in wonder as water flows down her curvy body, leaving me hard and wanting. She peers down at me knowingly. I hurry to my feet and grab a towel and hold out my hand, helping her out. Once she’s standing outside of the tub, I wrap her in the towel and pull her closer, unable to resist feeling her heat and curves pressed against me. I grip her chin and pepper her lips with kisses.
“Anything I should know about the fey?” she murmurs. It all occurred so quickly that I haven’t had time to teach her everything, and sometimes I forget how truly young my Thea is. She is intelligent and possesses strength beyond her years, but in the ways of our world, she is a child.
“Yes, be careful what you say. They will use your words against you. They want secrets. It’s what they trade with. They cannot lie, but they will twist their words and omit the truth if it works for them. They are fickle, powerful creatures, but if you earn their friendship, they are loyal to a fault. They are also more powerful than many know. Most vampyrs simply use the fey, thinking they are lesser because they have fewer numbers and no solid power base like we do, but do not be fools like them. The fey are a very powerful and ancient race. Respect that, and they will respect you.”
“Got it. You respect them, huh?” she asks, her head tilted back to meet my eyes.
“I do. Like us, they were abused and used throughout the years. Their powers were stolen or kept under control. They deserve their freedom.” I grin. “Just not with my secrets. I got drunk with a fey once, and he found out I have silk robes. Now I’m a laughingstock at that bar.”
She laughs again, and it makes me grin.
“Get dressed, my love, and I will escort you and warn them to behave.” I step back.
“Who will make sure I behave?” she teases.
I look back to see her smirking, alight with her power. “No one makes you behave, my queen.”
* * *
My girl dresses in a long, flowing, red-silk dress and matching panties, and it’s driving me wild as I clasp her hand and lead her back to the fey. Her hair is dry and hanging around her shoulders. She has no makeup, no bra, shoes, or crown on, but one look at her, and you would know who and what she is.
She glows from within, practically radiating with power, so when I step into the room, it’s no surprise when the fey turn and their mouths drop open. The woman with the pink-haired fey is the main designer, Tinie. Her hair is choppy on top—the only fey I have ever seen purposely massacre their famous locks. Her bright-purple eyes are tilted up, and she’s tall and willowy like most fey, but she’s almost serious.
Another helper, whose name I don’t know, is flitting around. This one has long bright-green hair with matching makeup, including her lips. She’s the shortest and clearly the youngest. Tinie heads our way, looking at Althea and no one else.
“I heard rumours that there was a new queen, but they didn’t tell me you were a goddess.” Althea jerks, and Tinie smiles. “I will not ask, so you do not have to lie to me.”
Althea smiles fully. “I love your hair.”
Tinie winks. “A man once tried to use me for it, so I got rid of it.”
“Good for you. A man once tried to break my heart, so I gave it to seven others instead.” She and Tinie share a secret smile, and then Tinie turns to me.
“Your queen will be fine. You can leave. We will not play with her too much,” she jokes.
I narrow my gaze. “I appreciate your talents and business, but if I find out—”
“Yes, yes, probably a very frightening threat. Shall we begin, Althea? We do not have a lot of time.”
Grinning, Althea turns to me and kisses me fully. “I will be fine. Go, you have lots to do.” She taps her head, letting me know I can check in on her at any time, and then follows Tinie and is instantly surrounded by the other fey, who pick up her hands or hair and ooh and aww.
I groan, rubbing at my face, positive this was a bad idea, but I have to trust her, and she can call out if she needs me. I jerk my head, and the others follow me out, leaving our Althea to deal with the tricky fey.