Page 72 of Court of Nightmares

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Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to tell him yours is bigger, I tease.

“And you, are you happy?” he asks, clearly noticing I’m not saying much about what happened to me.

“I am,” I answer truthfully. I’m happier than I ever thought I could be. For so long, I had the prophecy hanging over me, the vision, and then the mating, but now I’m free. I don’t tell him that, however, since it will only make him ask more questions.

Leaning back, he watches me as he sips his drink, eyeing me suspiciously. “Where have you been, Althea?” he demands, and I wince, knowing I’m in trouble since he’s using my full name.

“I-I can’t say,” I answer lamely.

He thrusts his chair back. “Then we are done here. I won’t put up with you lying to me. You disappeared for so long, and then you came back looking like this and with so much power, it almost hurts me to look at you, and you can’t tell me? That’s bullshit and you know it. We tell each other everything, so clearly, I don’t know you anymore. You left my life once, fine, then I’ll leave yours now.”

“No, wait!” I scramble to my feet and chase him out onto the street. “Simon, please!” I follow him down an empty side street as he tries to get away from me, and Nathair suddenly appears before him, making him stumble back with a yell.

“She asked you to wait, Simon,” he states calmly.

“Who the—what the fuck?” he shouts, looking from me to Nathair. “Who are you? How do you know my name?”

“Nath?” I murmur pleadingly.

He inclines his head.I will not let you lose him. You cannot tell him everything, though, Althea, because I do not know what the gods will do.

“Althea,” Simon demands.

“He won’t hurt you,” I reply, leaning into the wall. “You might as well all come out.”

One by one, the shadows disperse, revealing the guys, and Simon just gapes.

“Nice to meet you, man,” Reve says, swinging his legs where he’s perched on the ledge of the building.

Simon just blinks, so I move closer. “Simon, these are my . . . friends?” I hesitate.

“Mates,” Nathair corrects silkily.

“Erm, yep, these are my mates,” I finish, and he just gapes from me to them before closing his mouth. I’m stiff, waiting for the blow.

“I don’t know where you went to get them, but take me with you,” he whispers, making me laugh and relax.

“I can’t tell you everything. I wish I could, but I just can’t. I’m happy though. I wasn’t for a long time. I was struggling, and I got blood poisoning. They saved me, though, and now I’m free of the rejected mate bond and the court.”

“That’s good.” He nods, sneaking looks at the guys before leaning into me. “So, all of them?” He wiggles his eyebrows, and I nudge him with a laugh.

“Come on, let’s walk and talk.” We loop our arms together and head to the nearby park we used to visit. We find our bench and sit as my kings spread out around me, talking and laughing but keeping their eyes on us while giving us privacy.

“They are stunning, like, all of them. I’m very jealous. Tell me their dicks are tiny. Tell me they are quick shots.”

“Nope, sorry.” I chuckle. “They are incredible and all mine.”

I hear them purr in my mind at my claim.

“So, you can’t tell me?” he asks sadly.

“I’m bound not to,” I admit, “but it’s for a good reason.”

“I know it is. You always had a destiny, Thea, and I’m glad you found it and your happiness. He never deserved you,” he explains.

“I know. I wish I could tell you everything. I have so much . . . but I guess this will have to do for now.”

“It’s enough,” he replies, “just knowing you’re alive and happy.”