Page 46 of Court of Nightmares

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Zale hesitates, and Nathair frowns. “We will not let anything happen. You can do this, brother.”

“Do not be scared,” Zale says, and without flourish, his power slams through the room.

He seems to melt, and I hold my breath, my jaw dropping when a black dog stands in Zale’s place. It’s huge, with vicious teeth and fangs and a barbed tail with flames dancing around it. It’s the same shaggy colour as his hair, and his eyes are still the same.

It’s Zale, but it’s not. His eyes are swirling like a vortex, as if he’s fighting something else.

He prowls towards me, but I don’t move away. I watch him come, knowing it’s still Zale and he wouldn’t hurt me. The others seem worried, though, and move closer. He snarls at them and lashes his tail as flames spring up between them and me. I sit still and wait, holding out my hand, and he sniffs it before his forked tongue darts out. He laps at my palm, making me giggle, and then he sits and places his head in my lap, letting me scratch him. When I lift my head, the others are staring at us in shock.

“What?” I ask, suddenly unsure. Did I break a rule?

Power sweeps across me, and suddenly Zale is before me on all fours. “They are simply surprised,mima.”

“Why?” I ask.

“My other half doesn’t like anyone, ever. Even the others have been attacked by him,” he says, watching me with a bright grin. “I can transform into him whenever I need to. It allows me to cross souls and walk amongst the dead, though I do not do it often if I can help it.”

“Oh, wow.” I don’t know what else to say.

“Osis,” Nathair calls, picking up on my shock and filling the silence.

Osis silently pads before me as Zale turns to watch, keeping his head in my lap. I reach out once more and stroke his hair as Osis smiles at me. “All of our powers feature the ability to cause death or to understand it, a gift from the gods to help us. Zale can help the dead cross, Azul can see them, and me? I guard them. I guard the passage between life and death.” His power wraps around him, and just like Zale, he transforms, but Osis isn’t a dog, no. He’s a pure white tiger.

He’s huge, beautiful, and almost serene looking, and a sense of peace floats from him. He heads closer, and his tiger winds around me before he stands feet away and transforms back into Osis. Even as a man, the same sense of tranquil peace flows from him, so maybe some of their gifts mirror their internal emotions?

“I stop anyone who tries to escape from the other side, and I also prevent those who shouldn’t die yet from slipping away.”

I look between them. “Your powers—”

“Oh, we aren’t done yet.” Nathair grins.

“My turn?” Azul asks. Nathair nods, and Azul smiles softly at me. “I can talk to the dead, and I see the ghosts. They help us hunt, but they can also protect and hurt if I order them to—I don’t like to, though, unless I have to. If I ask, I can channel them and their powers.” He murmurs something I can’t make out, and then we wait as cold air blows across me, almost chilling me to the bone.

It's the touch of death. I would know it anywhere.

Azul seems to fade, becoming transparent, and then I cannot see him anymore, but a cold hand drags down my arm and across my breasts, making me shiver. I feel the ghostly touch slide down my belly and over my pussy before disappearing, that cold sting leaving me breathless as he slowly reappears.

“I cannot hold it for too long because it uses a lot of energy.” He shrugs.

Nathair looks at Lycus, but he shakes his head. “Not me.”

“We will make sure she is safe, brother,” Nathair says as he nods at Lycus. “Show her.”

With one last unsure glance at me, Lycus unties his hair and tosses the band to me. “Hold onto it. The change shreds everything for me. I didn’t get as lucky as these bastards.” He huffs and then he starts to strip.

Sweet fucking Nox.

My mouth actually drops open, and I am thankful Nathair made Lycus show me his gifts because I’m practically squirming on the spot. I only catch a glimpse of his body, but it’s enough to leave me a wet, hungry mess.

His solid, thick, hairy thighs frame a massive semi-erect cock, and I’m about to suggest a different type of fun when Lycus changes into a spider.

He’s not a tiny little spider, though, because this spider is bigger than a car. Its eight spindly legs are bent so its black body is lowered to the floor in submission. Its black eyes are locked on me, and its fangs drip with venom. For a moment, everyone freezes, no doubt expecting me to be scared, but when I only tilt my head, he stands, almost brushing the ceiling with his height.

Monsters of the night, just like the god said.

He slowly wanders over, and the others move closer as if they are worried he will hurt me. I can see the venom dripping to the floor and dissolving everything, yet the spider just stops in front of me and watches me the way I’m watching it.

“Do not make any sudden movements,” Nathair warns softly. The spider turns and spits venom at him. He easily dodges it, as if he’s used to its antics, and then the spider turns back to me. It doesn’t scare me. If anything, I’m intrigued, so I slowly get to my knees before him, not wanting to spook him.

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