Page 166 of Court of Nightmares

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“No, no, no, no,” the man chants, searching for a way out, but there isn’t one.

There is no escape from us.

We are the candle in the dark, the air in their lungs, and the blood in their veins. We are invincible, and they are our prey.

“You know who we are. You were selected because of your sins,” Althea begins. “You have been trading in ancient vampyr blood, and it is being used to create disgusting and immoral things.”

“No, please! He died tonight anyway. The old bastard couldn’t take it. He died.”

“Yet you still did it,” I reply, and then I appear before him and slash his throat. His blood spills into the bowl. We all hiss with the magnitude of his crimes, seeing his life flash through our minds. He wasn’t at the ball, since he’s a rogue, which means we missed some sinners.

He’s right, though, the vampyr died due to their treatment and passed willingly to the other side, and this man is responsible for his death and the illegal trade of his blood.

“You are guilty,” we announce together.

“You are guilty. Your crimes are numerous. You have been sentenced.”

“May the gods forgive you.” Lycus steps forward and rips out his heart. We watch as he falls, his life extinguishing from his eyes. Unlike the man he killed, this was a mercy.

“Burn the body,” I order as I look to Althea and her to me. “Then we need to show our queen how brilliant she did tonight, and how much her protection means, don’t we?”

“You better,” she orders, her coat falling to the floor as she wanders past the body and turns to us in the middle of the room. “Well, what are you waiting for?”

You, always you,draya.



“Mate, where are you?” I call with a smirk. It’s been a busy few days. I’ve been helping the monsters with their new buildings and the list they gave Nathair, so I haven’t had much time with my mate, and I miss her. My beast demands to be close to his mate, as do I. I know she’s around here somewhere. Earlier, I got snippets of her with her new fey friend and Simon when they were up to no good.

I want her now, though, and she’s going to be all mine.

“I have something to show you,” I shout as I tilt my head, listening for signs of her location. “Althea, if I have to hunt you down, it’s going to bring out my beast, and he is going to want to claim you exactly where you are.”

She shoots me an image of her cooking with Simon. “Oh, he won’t care,” I tell her. “He’ll bend you over right there, so come to me,” I croon.

In my mind, I feel her making excuses to Simon, and then she appears before me. “You wanted me, mate?”

“I missed you.” It’s the truth.

She moves into my arms, kissing me deeply. “I missed you too.” I sense the truth in her words. “How about we sneak off for some alone time?”

She’s over my shoulder before she can squeal.

I hurry through the court before anyone can interrupt us and try to steal her attention. My hand lands on her ass in a resounding smack of promise. “Mine,” I snarl, speeding up, burning alive from the inside out with need and desperation.

I push the door to my room open and then slam it shut behind us, engaging the lock. I don’t set her down until we are within the nest I built earlier, driven by need. Her back hits the many blankets and pillows where my bed once was, the piece of furniture now pushed to the side to create a barrier between us and the door. I didn’t even know why I woke up and did it, only that I had to, but watching her lean back in the nest makes a growl leave my throat.

“Mine,” I snarl, coming down on top of her and wedging my hips between her thighs. Her arms wrap around my neck, tugging me down farther as her shapely legs wrap around my hips, bringing me in tighter.

“Yours,” she replies, kissing me softly. “Is this all for me?”

I jerk a nod, unable to do much else, a constant growl erupting from my lips. My animal side is driving me.

“It’s amazing, so warm and comfy and perfect for you to claim me in, mate,” she purrs, knowing exactly what I need and giving it to me, my perfect mate. “Claim me, Zale. Bite me, fuck me, and stain every inch of my skin with your cum until you are more settled. You know I will love every minute of it.”

“Mine.” I slam my lips onto hers.