Page 42 of Court of Nightmares

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He nods. “You feel okay?”

“Sure, can I see?” I grin, no doubt flashing fangs in my excitement.

Nodding nervously, Lycus holds up an ornate, black and gold hand mirror, aiming it at my face.

My hair is silky and sleek. I look like the old me. With a grin, I stick my tongue out, and my eyes widen.

“Holy shit,” Reve mutters as he moves closer, but I inspect it myself.

Along my tongue, in a vertical line, are three black spikes, which are small with a slightly rounded tip. “They are incredible.” I grin at Lycus.

“I wonder what they will feel like on a cock,” Reve comments, and Nathair kicks him.

“Though I am curious how they would feel when you feed or kiss.” Lycus cocks his head.

“Want to find out?” I wiggle my eyebrows.

He doesn’t need to be asked twice. Grabbing my head, he slams his lips onto mine, sliding his tongue into my mouth. Groaning, I grab at his chest, holding on as he leans me back and strokes his tongue along mine with a groan.

We break apart, both of us panting as he clears his throat. “Oh yeah, they feel good.” His eyes drop to my lips, but then a cry makes us jerk apart. All of us rush to the bed, but I leap onto it and stroke back Azul’s hair.

“Shh, we are here,” I murmur, and he settles instantly. I share a grim look with the others.

Lycus suddenly laughs, rubbing at his face. “Azul is a cockblocker.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t help it.



When Azul wakes up, I see the panic on his face when he realises he isn’t wearing his mask. Knowing words won’t work, I reach for him. “Can I feed from you?”

He blinks. “You do not have to just because—”

“I’m hungry.” I cock my head. “I need to feed, and I want to feed from you.”

He swallows as he sits up in the bed, his head ducked and eyes downcast. “I—you should feed from someone else.”

“But I want to feed from you.” I channel some bravery I don’t feel. “Your queen is asking you to feed her. Are you going to turn me away because you think it’s out of pity?”

“No, never.” He lifts his head, shame crawling across his features for a moment. “I just . . . You are perfect, Althea, and I did not want you to feed from someone such as me.”

“That’s for me to decide. I will never force you, but I want to feed from you, if you want me to,” I say softly.

“More than anything,” he whispers, hope filling his eyes.

I feel the others filtering slowly out, giving us the privacy he needs.

“What would make it easier for you?” I ask. “Would you prefer for me to sit?” He shakes his head, his eyes darting around in fear. “Okay, how about I lie down and you lie on top of me? That way you’ll be in control. You can easily pin me and stop me at any point.” I reach out and take his hand, and he curls his around mine.

“Yes, yes, that might work,” he replies hoarsely.

“We don’t need to do this, Azul,” I offer, but he shakes his head.

“I want to. I want you to feed from me, please, Thea.”

I search his gaze, but he seems sure, so I squeeze his hand and let go. Sliding down next to him, I lean back on the pillows. “If you’re sure,” I say, holding my arms open.

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