Page 55 of Court of Nightmares

Font Size:  

“Good.” She turns and spots a slice on Lycus’s plate and perks up. “Can I have that?” she asks sweetly.

I’ve seen him stab someone for asking, yet the big softly hands over his entire plate without hesitation, mooning over her as she eats his food.

We are all fucked.

* * *

After eating and lazing around for a bit, Zale and Lycus finally leave so I can get us back on track with testing her powers. As much as I want to act on my impulses just like they did, I know this is important. She needs to be able to protect herself and be in control of her powers because I know what we are facing is huge, and I refuse to let her die again.

She is tempting, though, and despite the clear intention I see in her eyes, I keep her at arm’s length. Eventually, she gets the message, and I hate the hint of hurt and rejection that flashes across her face, so I grip her chin and lift it.

“Make no mistake, I want you more than anything, and if it was just me on the line, I would say fuck it and take what we both want, but it’s your life, and I will not risk that. We will practice for now, but I am yours, Althea, all the way through.”

Happier now, she grins and nods. “Okay, so shadows.” She rubs her hands together, making me chuckle.

“Shadows.” I nod. “My power is more instinctual. I use what we already have. I don’t conjure it. I use the shades of grey and darkness others fail to notice and the nip in the air to add a chill to the wind. I urge it, bending it to my will, but it requires a price.”

She nods, listening intently and not rushing into this. It took me many years to learn control over my powers. Shadows are not toys, and if you’re not careful, you could lose yourself in their darkness, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to her.

“I think if you watch and feel what I do, I can help you better.” Holding her gaze, I let the shadows dance across my hands and reach for her.

She tilts her head. “I felt your power calling to them. Is that it?”

I grin, unable to help it. “Yes, I spread it out in search of them, and they come to me. Would you like to try?”

She nods and takes my hand like the others told me they did to help ground her and hopefully transfer powers. It might be easier when we are more connected, the exchange of blood carrying our gifts, so when her nose crinkles adorably and nothing happens, I sense her frustration but expected it.

“You are tired—well, your powers at least—and you have stretched a lot today, so it is to be expected, but we will keep trying. The more you feed, the easier it will be for you to master this.”

She huffs. “I want to try again.”

Not one to be outdone, she closes her eyes and focuses. I feel her power brush over me, then through me, so I seek out shadows for her, and when they dance across our joined hands, she yelps in happiness and opens her eyes.

“I did it!”

“You did.” I grin widely, proud of my girl. “Soon, you will have better control than I. We will work on it together, but I don’t want to push it much more today. We know now you can use and enhance some of our powers, so as you feed and grow stronger, we will expand it, like growing muscle.”

She nods giddily and falls into me, kissing across my face to my lips, which she smiles against. “Thank you.”

“You never have to thank me,” I tell her, and it’s true.

We might have been chosen for this position and given a second chance, but Althea is our hope for the future—not just our race, but us as a people.

Maybe one day, we can find happiness once more. With her guiding us, I have no doubt she will make it happen, and I cannot wait for the day when we are bound as one in a way only judges could be.



Iarrive with Nathair and put everything on her bed, looking around with my hands on my hips. “It’s a lot.”

“I know.” He has no shame as he starts to arrange things.

“Should I go test my powers with her?”

He tilts his head, his gaze faraway. “Not today, she’s tired. Help me put this away for her. I want her to be happy here, and I think this will help, don’t you?”

Nathair is a provider, giving us what we need before we can even think of it, so it didn’t surprise me that he roped me into helping him. I simply had to ask the ghosts, and they led the way, giving us the information we needed to pull this off. We hear laughter and share a look, and when Conall and Thea burst into the room, her smile widens.

Articles you may like