Page 74 of Court of Nightmares


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ALTHEA

“Sorry.” I grin at Simon. “Seven men can get a little . . .”

“Too many balls?” he offers.

“I was going to say testosterone, but yup, let’s go to my room.” I look at the others, and they nod.

“I’ll make sure they don’t hurt each other too badly,” Azul says as he and Zale follow them.

“I’ll make some food,” Osis offers.

“You don’t need to do that,” I respond, and he grins.

“I like taking care of you.”

“I’ll be around if you need me,draya.” Nathair sweeps me into a kiss and then leaves me with Simon, who is swooning. I smack him then drag him to my room. Once there, I flop onto the bed. He wanders around and snoops, not that I expected differently. When he reaches the pictures of us, he looks at me. “You kept them.”

“Of course.” I frown. “It was all I had left of you. I missed you every day. It didn’t feel like home here without them.”

He smiles sadly before coming to lie down next to me. We roll until we face each other, our hands automatically clasping, like we did when we were kids. “This place, these men . . . Tell me what’s going on, babe, because I’m starting to think things like a cult, or maybe it’s a prank TV show.”

Laughing, I snuggle closer to him. “I don’t even know where to start.”

“At the very beginning, padawan,” he teases.

“Okay, well, it all began when I started to kill humans—”

I tell him everything, fuck the gods. He listens the whole time, asking a few questions here and there, and when I’m done, I sit up and face him. He turns over, and I wince as I wait for his reaction. “Si?”

“I’m just taking it in. Please hold.”

I nod, grabbing a pillow and tugging at the edges nervously, and then he sits up.

“So, all seven of them are kings and they are yours?”

“That’s what you took from it?” I laugh, hitting him with the pillow as he grins.

“It’s the important details . . . Do they all share well?” He wiggles his eyebrows, making me laugh harder, and then he pulls me closer. “It’s a lot, Thea, but I understand now. I understand why you stayed away. I’m so sorry you went through all that alone. I can’t even . . . The idea of you dying destroys me, so I’m so glad you’re back and you found them, even if I think the gods have given you a shitty fucking deal. I mean, saving our race? Way to be cryptic and helpful. Couldn’t they have been like, ‘Here’s a list of people to kill?’ Oh no, it’s just, ‘You must save our people.’ It’s some chosen one bullshit. What is this,Divergent?”

We share a matching grin, and he pulls me closer.

“I’m glad you told me,” he whispers, “and I’ll help any way I can, even if you won’t tell me about their penises and sharing.”

The door opens just then, and Osis freezes on the threshold, his face flooding with heat. “Oh, he’s a shy one,” Simon whispers like he can’t hear and sits up. “Come in, handsome. Is that pizza? Oh my god!”

Simon falls in love with Osis, and he slowly warms up to my best friend, getting less shy. In his usual Simon fashion, he charms Osis, and they become friends in seconds. I eat as Simon tries to learn everything about Osis within the span of a conversation, and eventually, Reve drifts in, as well as the others. They welcome Simon like he’s one of them, uncaring about their differences. They banter with him like they do with each other, and I almost cry at the scene before me.

For so long, I thought I had to choose between these two lives, and now they are colliding, and I’m so happy to see them blending. I love Simon, he’s my family, my brother, and I love my mates. Now, I get to keep all of them, and all my favourite people are in one spot.

“So then I punched him in the face for calling me a bloodsucker. He followed me and then kissed the living hell out of me,” Simon says, “and, well, we were hooked after that. He said he knew the moment he saw me that I was the one, but I wasn’t so convinced.”

“What if you find a mate within the vampyrs?” Azul asks sadly.

“I won’t. He’s my mate. I know it,” Simon replies, and for both him and his wolf’s sake, I hope he’s right because I’ve been on the other end of that scenario, and I couldn’t imagine the agony they would all feel.

“So you’re mated?” Simon asks and looks around. “You love my girl?”

“Simon,” I hiss.

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