The past few days, stuck in bed, have been the worst. Not being able to move, blood seeping down my legs and onto my sheets. I wanted to hide it from the man, but of course, I could barely move so I couldn’t clean myself up without screaming. His mark burned for a while, and I thought, for the first time in my life, I would die from the pain. And, when he found out, all he did was laugh and inflict more pleasuring pain.
Finally, I manage to stand up with my legs pressed tightly together, trying to stop the sudden flow of blood. It doesn’t take very long to clean myself up and grab a pad. Groaning, I slip into King’s low-rise sweatpants and toss an oversized tee over my head. I shuffle down to the largest living room of the manor to find the majority of my family is.
Stephanie comes running into my arms as soon as she sees me, happy to see I’m finally out of my bed. The little ones have been all over me, keeping me company as I laid paralysed in my bed. They were helpful, but also ratted me out to my mother, who gave me a look of disappointment. Now, she sits next to my father with a bold smile on her face. I roll my eyes and turn my head for a mighty surprise.
A familiar blue-headed girl sits very close to Lucian, resting her head on my brother’s shoulder. I tilt my head to the side and look at them with furrowed eyebrows. D’nai sees me first, getting up and hugging me tightly. I stand there, glaring at my younger brother, waiting for his explanation.
“Oh, Aszurya. I’m so glad you’re okay. Now, you can meet little Penelope.”
“Penelope Morticia Death-Rose. Your Niece.”
D’nai laughs and takes my hand in hers. She leads me over to the little cradle I didn’t notice before in the room. A small baby with light blue hair lies there, swaddled up in a white blanket. The child’s eyes open to reveal the most dominant trait of my family: emerald green eyes. Not as bright as mine, but that’s a good thing. The little girl yawns with the mouth of her mother and smiles a toothless smile.
Her chin and nose are D’nai’s, but her eye area is my brother’s. The child’s blue hair is still light, a trait from my mother, and wavy like my own. The texture of my hair has unknown roots; everyone else has straight hair.
“Another one? Geez, this family breeds like rabbits.”
D’nai laughs, her left hand flying to her stomach. The daylight seeping through the large windows hits the sizeable brown rock on her ring finger. I swallow and cluck my tongue, grabbing her wrist and holding it up high, staring at my brother. This is a shitload of a surprise. Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know they were together. Now I have a niece, and I’m going to have another sister-in-law?
“What in hell is this, Lucian? Who permitted you to put this rock on her finger? Cause I sure as hell didn’t.”
“I don’t need your permission, Aszurya. It’s my relationship.”
“Yes, the fuck you do!”
“Come on, Aszurya. You weren’t even around to ask.”
Glaring down at my sweet darling ‘child’, I wish she wouldn’t place that card down on the table.
“Okay. Maybe I wasn’t around for this or this,” I defend myself, rolling my eyes. I gesture between to the two of them before pointing to their child. “But this—” I look to the engagement ring. “This I was around for. You weren’t wearing this when I came to see you.”
“Okay. Would you like Lucian to ask you now?”
“It’s too late now! You already said ‘yes’.”
“I don’t see that the big deal is.”
“Since my parents died, Aszurya’s always been there for me. After a while, we made this little joke about how my future husband would have to ask her permission for my hand in marriage.”
Lucian frowns before leaning back in his seat. I let D’nai go back to my brother’s side before turning to my older sister, who oversees the couple with sharp eyes. Her legs are crossed at the ankles, her light legs out for everyone to admire in her yellow dress.
“Ana, where did we go wrong? Our little brother is getting married and look where we are.”
“I ask myself that every time I see you and Theo.”
As if on cue, King walks in with my eldest brother’s sons on his heels. I feel him hug me from behind as he kisses my cheek playfully. When I look back over to Ana, she smiles and makes a heart with her hand. I stick my tongue out at her and look over to my parents as they watch their children and grandchildren interact with each other.
“How does it feel to have another grandchild?”
“The same way it did when Julie and Christopher had Jordan.”
“We’ll be jubilant when one of our daughters has a child.”
My mother gives me a pointed look. I widen my eyes, realising what she’s asking me. I am the only daughter with a man to father a child. My father chuckles but nods his head in agreement. I step back with my hand to my chest, feeling somewhat betrayed by my father’s choice of sides. But then again, my mother gets a bit scary when she’s upset. Moral of the story: don’t upset a Death-Rose female.
“Don’t worry, you two. I’ll take care of that.”
I turn on my heels and gawk at King. He winks at me with the biggest smirk his face can hold. Everyone else in the room laughs and cheers him on, but I’m still shocked by his sentence. He gestures for me to sit next to him on the couch, so I do, after smacking him upside the head.
“Well, now that everyone important to the situation is here. I can address the wyvern in the room.”
“And what is that, hun?”
“The blonde in the dungeons—what are we going to do about her?”
I feel King’s body tense as he wraps his arm around my shoulders. I said it was a wyvern, did I not? Everyone else seems to sense his sudden change of mood and looks at both of us. I look up to see King’s jaw tightening, the muscles ticking quickly. Resting a hand on his thigh, I tilt my head up and kiss his jaw quickly before turning back to my mother and father.
“Well? What are we doing with her?”
“I haven’t put much thought into that.”
“We all forgot about that situation.”
“Well, I haven’t. And I think we should get rid of this problem.”
“And how do you suppose we should do that?” Ana asks, glancing behind me at King’s face. I can feel his eyes on me, but I don’t want to look him in the eye. I know he just wants to forget about her, but that’s not going to happen unless she’s out of his life. And, it’s funny, to think just a few years back I was the one he needed out of his life.
“I mean, I could kill her.”
“Um, no. Don’t you think that’s a bit psychotic?” I stick out my tongue with one eye closed and the other rolling back. She smiles at me, but her features quickly school themselves. “I think Theo should decide what happens to her.”
I roll my eyes and shift so my legs are across his lap. After trying to not be like everyone in the room, I give the man my attention and wait for him to say something worth my attention finally. He looks at me through his eyelashes, his gaze lower before meeting my own once more.
“Don’t hurt her, Aszurya.”
“Wow, I feel slightly targeted as I’m not the only dangerous one in the room, but okay. At least I’m not willing to let you make the same mistake as your father.” My father stops and stares at me, dumbfounded. I watch as his eyebrows rise in high arches as he makes the same connection I did while stuck in bed. Both Nicolette and Hailey are blonde humans who just about ruin the Kings’ lives. We smirk at each other before returning to the matter at hand. “So what do you want to do with her?”
“Can’t we just let her go back to the human realm.”
“Not with her memories.” My mom responds before I can even open my mouth to say the same to King.
“Well, it’s not like anyone in that realm will believe her.”
At the same time, all of us look towards the door to see my best friend standing in the doorway. He smiles at me and raises his eyebrows twice with a wink. As usual, he’s dressed in showy clothing. Today, it’s a white sleeveless vest and cheetah print slacks with white dress shoes. Sometimes, I just have to shake my head and ignore the fashionista.
“There, have I solved your problem? Yes, and while you’re at it, Aszurya, you should release Theodore from his life-oath. I think you can say we are in the clear.”
I glare at Alaric, temporarily disliking him for bringing King’s oath up in the first place. I had completely forgotten about it. What is Alaric even doing here? Shouldn’t he be off somewhere fucking his boyfriend? Trying to get some information on the Nagatory clan? They’ve been quiet, lately. Too quiet. I sigh and look at the man I’m sitting on. Narrowing my eyes, I lean closer and lower my voice so only he can hear.
“Fine. I release you of your life-oath to me. You’re free. But if you ever leave, I will hunt you down and kill you myself.”
“Well, how am I going to make babies with you?”
“I will not conceive.”
King rolls his eyes and kisses me softly before drawing back and looking at our dramatic warlock friend.
“Wait, so we’re just letting that human go, right? We’re not wiping her memory?” My older sister asks, apparently slower than I acknowledged.
“Yep. The only way she’ll cause us trouble is if she has some sort of life’s magic, which I doubt she has. Theo?”
“She’s human—as plain as ever. There’s no way she’d have life magic of any sort. She doesn’t even have the sight.”
I smirk at the beautiful disciple of mine, loving how he unknowingly has adapted my ways and made them his. He looks at me with one eyebrow quivering upward in a graceful arch. I can’t help but bite my lip.
“Well, lookie here. It seems I’ve solved both of your problems.”
“Alaric, what are you doing here? Don’t you have something better to work on.”
“You know, I don’t like how Aszurya has been rubbing off on you. Before you would never try to push me away.”
“Before I didn’t care that you were there. There was nothing to hide from you.”
“And there is now?”
“Yes, things that will be done behind closed doors— with no audience. But, now you’re here, and we are obligated to entertain you.”
I listen to the silent snarl implied by his words, thinking to myself. He’s become very possessive lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with us. “I’m not obligated to do anything.”
“Well, I’m nice enough to entertain you while you’re around.”
I scoff and roll my eyes. He can be such a kiss-up sometimes—the difference between the two of us—King is sweet, and I’m not. People’s feelings mean just about nothing to me. But, King is starting to change that one day at a time.
“Whatever. I just came to see what was going on between Aszurya and Lee-Fe. He seemed pissed off, according to Kitoshy.”
“Nothing. Not anymore. The man asked for something I couldn’t give, saying he’d tell me nothing if I didn’t give him what he wants. I blocked his cock, and he got angry. All my efforts have gone to waste.”
That’s not entirely true, and both warlocks know it. Kitoshy is the one that found out Lee-Fe was in cahoots with the Nagatory clan. I seduced him, had sex with him in exchange for information. We’d been doing it for a while because Fe was holding back information. That’s why I wouldn’t be asleep next to King at night. But, the night King took me to dinner with his family, Fe asked me to make a deal with him. An exchange, really. A child for all the information I wanted.
I said no, and he got angry. It’s easy to see the problem with wealthy men. They have a problem when a woman says no, it threatens their ego. And that’s what I did to him. I didn’t receive much information on the clan. All I know is a few of their locations and that they’re all in cahoots with each other.
But, there are a few accomplices who seem to be staying hidden. Once Chris is in power and Micha’s on his way, then, I can work on infiltration missions with my siblings. Ana has the best glamours, and Azinaraa does best with visual gyens—seeing through the bolded words. Ana and I have gone on practice missions a while back.
“Well, that’s very unfortunate.”
“Yeah. Come on; we need to find out who has a history of being allies with that clan. And who might have a problem with us.”
I get up from off of King’s lap to leave and assist the two warlocks with their new task. As soon as I stand in front of Alaric, I feel someone tug at my shirt. I turn to see King standing tall with an unreadable expression. I frown up at my tall wall of muscles as his dark eyes pierce my soul.
“Alaric and Kitoshy can research on their own for now. We need to talk.”
The dark expression he wore now opens up to show how he yearns for my time. I look over my shoulder, and Alaric shrugs his shoulder. King’s long slender fingers slip into my hand, warming my palm with his own. I nod my head to my friend before letting my King draw me away from my family.
“What’s wrong?” I ask as soon as we’re alone in one of the hallways. Leaning against the burgundy walls, I watch King come closer, placing his hands on my waist. A question formulates in his concealed mind but falters on his tongue. So, I lean up and kiss it right out of his warm sweet mouth.
“Who’s this Lee-Fe guy?”
“Look, King. He’s no one you have to worry about, okay?”
“Stop hiding shit from me.”
“King, I slept with him a few times but only to get information out of him.”
“Is that the only way you know?”
“I’m sorry. I’m just out of it today. You didn’t deserve that.”
“Yes, I did.”
“No,” King whispers to me as he nibbles on my earlobe. I giggle softly and wrap my arms around his neck. As soon as he pulls away, I know there’s something he wants. It’s sitting there deep in his eyes.
“Be my girlfriend. Officially. I want everyone to know that you’re mine. That we’re together.”
“But are we?”
“Yes,” King breathes out before capturing my lips with his. I lean into him, furthering the kiss as his arms envelop me. We kiss until breathless when I pull away panting. My King leans down, resting his head on my shoulder, breathing against my neck. I take a deep breath before tangling my fingers in his hair.
“Okay… okay. Let it be official if you want. I’m your g-girlfriend.”
Without notice, my legs swing out from under me as King lifts and spins me in the air. I gasp and laugh as a familiar spark enters my body. The last time I felt this way was at the Music festival. Maybe, when all of this is over, we can go back. I just hope we can defeat this before it grows out of control. King puts me down, grinning from ear to ear.
“Get used to it, Aszurya. Cause there’s no way I’m letting this flop.”
I laugh and hug my new boyfriend. I really hope this doesn’t flop like our past relationships. After a few stolen kisses, I let King finish his training, though he’s very reluctant. I promise him, with a soft teasing kiss with a little bit of tongue, I’ll spend the rest of the day with him after he’s done training. Satisfied, he grins and presses his lips to my head.
“I’ll see you later, hun.”
With a smile, I wait until his breathing fades from ears before summoning a bottle of wine and paying a visit to a vile creature.