My finger trails along the glossy white piano, loving the low lighting and romantic atmosphere. I take a shaky breath. I have been through so much in the past three months that this should not be so scary. Talking to Ajax should be the most natural thing I could do, second nature.
I feel like vomiting.
I am not sure if I will ever get completely comfortable with him. I get too many butterflies; my mouth becomes dry, my breathing escalates. I close my eyes and take another calming breath, trying to find my inner confidence.
I have not seen him in so long I doubt myself. I walk as I hear my heels clicking on the marble floor, the glittering of my gown reflecting from the low lighting like pure diamonds. Pierce made me a gown fit for a queen, the golden brilliance. The long sleeves are off-the-shoulder with a dipping sweet-heart neckline. I sparkle and glitter, my skin is a tanned hue that makes my red hair shine like fire. I walk over to the white leather couch and sit, wanting to stop my pacing and calm myself.
This library is stunning; the whole palace is something out of a futurist dream. I shift, knowing Ajax will walk through that door at any moment.
He has returned and will want to see me.
I shiver again.
He does not know I am here. I wanted to surprise him, telling my servants (yes, servants) that he is needed here. I leave tomorrow, and the game is almost over for me. If I can’t convince Ajax to love me after our talk, this fantasy will be a tragic story.
I hear voice and tense, my pulse hammering.
I glance down to my glittering necklace, the ruby heart reflecting the light so brilliantly. I pray this thing does an excellent job of explaining my situation.
I hear the walls rumble, making me falter. I see dust fall from the ceiling and I stand up, swallowing. My intuition is rearing its back, sensing something not right. I hear yells and more rumbling, something is happening.
“Flix,” I whisper. “What’s happening?” I search for a little bug flying around and see none. I breathe as I feel more tumors. “Flix?!” I hiss.
He’s is not here. Most likely wanting to give me my privacy when I talk to Ajax.
Suddenly the doors swing open, and in walks Ajax, decked out in full armor gear, with about thirty men behind him.
He is sweaty and breathing hard. “Red,” he sighs. His eyes take me in, and something flickers in his glowing gaze. “We have to get you to a safe place.”
“What,” I breathe, fear taking hold of me.
This is not the romantic setting I was hoping for.
“The nations are waging war.” He says as I see his men lower to the ground, bowing in my presence. Ajax says something, as he holds his ear. I can see his glowing tongue ring, and I get a feeling of dread. He turns to tell his men something in a harsh whisper, and they all make their way out of the room.
I am shaking as I see his men file out. “Ajax, what’s happening.”
He smiles, walking towards me. “A revolution, my dear.”
“A revolution? Is it bad?” I can hear my voice waver.
His eyes survey me up and down. “So worth it.”
“Ajax,” I hold my hand up, touching his armored chest as he stops in front of me. “What’s happening? Details.”
He takes a deep breath and looks me up and down again, I can see the lust in his gaze, and I shiver. “You look stunning.” His gaze scans over me more, and he takes a breath. “I am truly a lucky man, Red. This fight is for you, for anyone else like us. The humans everywhere are standing up, not just in our nation. The news of our marriage ignited an uprising. Everywhere. The Fey are pissed and sending their armies to Thunia. Will do no good. Half their army are their humans. We will win Red. We have so much backing that the Fey will be forced to comply or seek death.”
I swallow. “Good news, then?
He tilts his head at me. “Yes, this is essentially the New World Order.” He continues in a softer voice, “This world will be one in their beliefs of human treatment. Because of a fire-haired woman who stole my heart and showed me that we are all equal.”
I cover my mouth and smile.
I am the luckiest girl in the universe, thanks to F.G.I.
Ajax will be an amazing king of Thunia. He looks behind him then back to me, his pale gaze holding so much life and passion. “We will still have the games, but it will be voluntary. There will be no death, just a battle of skills from each nation. It will be a pride thing for each providence, Fey and Fenos alike can compete.”
He frowns. “What is sports?”
I hide my smile. “I’ll tell you later.”
He grabs me and kisses me hard, his hot mouth devours me. I feel his hands on my waist as he squeezes me, he groans as his hands cup my ass in my tight shimmering dress. “I can’t wait until I can get you alone. Just looking at you is driving me crazy. I need to focus so I can get back to you as soon as possible. I must go, the front lines need me.”
He turns to leave. “Yes, come, I am transferring you to a safe place. You have done enough fighting to last a lifetime.”
“Ajax, I need to talk to you. This is very important!” I get out as he pulls me with him.
He looks back at me. “It can wait, Red, after this, I will spend every waking minute with you,” he says and winks at me. “I will tie you to my bed and never let you leave.”
My mind is whirling.
“No!” I get out as I see his men come in, panic sets in.
He looks at me with a frown. “It can wait.” It was almost a question.
“It cant! I need a moment of your time,” I say desperately. “Ajax, I need to tell you something very important about me!”
I feel hands on me as they are taking me away. Ajax stares at me with a confused stare. “Red, I am needed, I promise you, you will have my undivided attention in a couple of days.”
I see him leave.
A couple of days?!
“I don’t have a couple of days!” I yell and see him turn to stare at me with intensity.
“Red, you’re not making sense.”
I can see tons of eyes on me, my pulse pounding hard.
“I need just a few minutes.”
A rumbling shakes the walls again, and more dust falls. We hear men yelling and screams, and it sounds like the battle has just begun.
Ajax yells at his men then looks back to me. “Red, I’m sorry.” The walls rumble again. “It will all be okay! You will go to a safe place!”
“No!” they take my hands in case I try something dumb, like a call for my spirit friends. Ajax made it so I could not intervene.
I am taken, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I am panicking.
I am in an underground bunker that has virtual T.V screens around this sterile room showing the breaking news of Thunia. The war is more significant than I thought, but we have the upper hand. At least for now. I see Ajax on the news, our marriage the raging hot topic broadcasting everywhere. I shutter with anger, listening to Fey officials talk about how appalling this is. They say Ajax must have mental issues and should be thrown from his birthright. I snort — what a load of crap.
I glare at the men who took me here.
It has been dark outside for a while, and I need to get out of here before my time runs out. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have tried everything I can to escape from this place. Flix has been gone for most of my time in here. But I can see him buzzing around now, a glimmer of hope runs through me.
“Flix,” I whisper. “I am the Queen of Thunia, right?”
“Last time I checked,” Flix says as he buzzes around me. “Sorry I’m late. I was acquiring information.”
“They should listen to me when I say, let me the fuck out,” I hiss under my breath.
“Well, Ajax gave direct orders to keep you safe at all costs. They will not disobey that order, but...”
“But what?” I whisper and get a weird look from one of the trooper guards. Probably wondering why I am talking to myself. I smile at him, and he looks away as if I burned him.
“It’s time for extraction.”
“What the hell!? Already?!” I yell then redden as I see the guards looking at me with a healthy measure of horrified concern. “The news,” I say and point to the screens.
They don’t say anything and resume their position with brows furrowed.
I swallow. “What the fuck, I have not got to talk to Ajax yet. There has to be some code that extends the time.” I whisper as low as I can, but I can still see eyes flickering over to me.
“We will have to ask Pierce, but I doubt it. Pierce is going to extract you from this room, making up a story in the guard’s minds that you left under supervision,” Flix says. “We will be leaving by aircraft, and I believe all of the girls are there waiting for your arrival.”
“Why are you talking like I am leaving here? We have to find a way to buy me more time!” I shriek. Eyes are on me again, and I expel a breath. “I talk to myself when I am stressed, okay?!”
They frown at me and then look away, looking at one another in question.
“Get me the hell out of here, Flix.”
When I come to, I am in a large white bunker with a sleek private jet with F.G.I Transporter on the side. I swallow as I stare at the giant aircraft, the windows emitting a light-blue glow and also under the plane. My heart is pounding as I look around and suddenly see all of the girls in a line by the jet, all wearing F.G.I blue bomber coats.
I see Lila wipe her eyes as if she’d been crying for a while. I would be too, this whole situation sucks. I have not even talked to Ajax yet, and it’s almost time to leave this place. “Pierce! Where is he?!”
“Red! You can’t catch a break, can you?” I hear Pierce’s smooth voice from behind me, echoing off the walls.
I whip around and see Pierce in a crisp white suit, hands in his pockets. I take a breath to calm myself, “Can you buy me time?” I plead, feeling my eyes sting.
“That I cannot do. The Universal Council is stringent on these rules; they cannot be broken.” He says carefully as his gaze flickers over my shoulder.
“So, I lose then? That’s it?!”
I feel a hot tear stream down my face.
“Dear child,” I hear a woman’s voice, and I freeze. “Let’s not have the waterworks quite yet. I do hate an unhappy ending.”
I turn to see the Fairy Godmother herself. She is walking down the gleaming steps of the Jet, a smile on her red lips.
She is stunning.
The woman looks like a 1950′s movie star. She is older, but she is weirdly youthful, I just can’t put my finger on it. She is decked out in a black leather bodysuit and large, dark shades. The sparkling diamond necklace at her throat gives her a glamorous effect. She looks like a diamond thief.
“Fairy Godmother,” I say.
“Yes,” She smiles and walks up to us, her heels clicking. “I do believe you are in a tough spot, child.” She glances at Pierce. “How are we on time?”
Pierce expels a breath. “Ajax is about a thirty-minute drive from us. Then we would have to drive back for extraction. That puts us at an hour of travel time, leaving us with thirty minutes for Red to come clean to Ajax,” he says as a loud explosion racks ground from outside.
My heart is beating, that was close.
“That won’t do,” Fairy Godmother says with concern. “We need to move the extraction to Ajax. That would save us thirty minutes. And we can make it there in fifteen minutes.”
Pierce studies her. “We can not teleport all of the women to the extraction. Taking the plane to the new extraction will be dangerous,” Pierce warns. “They could use a drone to shoot the jet down even with our forcefields. Their technology here is quite impressive.”
She laughs. “The plane will fly on autopilot to our new destination in case it is shot down, pish-posh. The girls will come with me.”
Pierce raises a brow. “Come with you?”
The Fairy Godmother touches her ear. “Suzan, I need the vehicles now, please tell me they are ready.”
“Vehicles?” Pierce is frowning, then gives me a look.
I gasp as a flash of white light blinds me. I am breathing hard as I focus on the most badass sports cars I have ever seen. Well, one is like a black supercharged SUV, but on acid.
And some meth.
Cough medicine for good measure.
I hear Pierce’s sharp intake of breath.
Zora chuckles then sighs, like we are all beneath her. ” I’ll take the Hydro-Powered Aerocar Rx, with the upgraded sound system and assault guns.” She is putting on black leather gloves with a mischevious smile. “Ladies, get a move on! And please buckle up, would hate for anyone to fly through the windshield. Quite the mess, that would be.” She glances at Pierce’s shocked expression. “And you will take Red, in the –”
“The Griffin.” Pierce is now smiling. “You shouldn’t have.”
“I know it’s your favorite car.” She says and winks at him, walking to the monster SUV. “Would headquarters get a kick out of me beating you in the Rx?”
Pierce’s eyes narrow. “You’re a silly woman.”
“Am I?” She gets in the SUV and shuts the door, powering on the monstrous vehicle. All the girls sprint to get in the gleaming SUV.
Lila glances at me, “Good Luck!”
I nod at her and glance at the sparkling white sports car with a royal blue interior. It is stunning, gorgeous. It looks like it could break the sound barrier it would go so fast.
“Red, spin.” Pierce is typing on his watch.
I frown and start to spin.
I gasp as I look down at my attire. I am now dressed in a white pant-suit with black stiletto heels; my hair is in long waves down my back.
“Now we can go,” Pierce says with a wink. “Get in; I’ll be damned if that woman beats me.”
I say a prayer and get in the space-like car, and I barely have time to buckle my seat belt before Pierce floors it. I scream, my head plastered to my headrest and as the G-forces hit me with the power of the car. Glowing teal lights shine around me, and I hear the voice of a robotic woman saying to enjoy the ride.
I think I scream for five minutes straight, grabbing on to anything I can in this rocket.
I can’t believe Pierce has not crashed going so fast as we speed down the sleek roads that are now in the middle of a war. Explosions are going off to my left then to my right. He shifts and drifts around a wide corner, making me scream profanities. He just barely misses a parked bus, and I think I seen some soldiers dive out of the way. My heart is beating out of my chest as I glance at Pierce’s intense expression. This guy is nuts.
And, I am going to die.
I can see Zora’s SUV in front of us, making some impressing moves for such a large vehicle, dodging debris and obstacles at neck break speed. Pierce shifts and I can feel the car speed up, the force causing me to slam my head against my seat. “Shit!” I scream, and I grab the handle on the upper door for safety.
Pierce gains on Zora and bumps her left side, causing the SUV to spin off to the left.
“Yes! Yes! Whoooo!” Pierce hoots and fist pounds the air as he floors it, looking in his rearview mirror with a gleeful smile.
I shoot him a look. “Are you crazy?!”
“If she beats me, I will go crazy,” he says and shifts again, the engine roaring with power.
I stare at him, speechless, breathless. “You could have killed them!” I yell and look behind us. “Oh shit! It looks like you pissed off the Fairy Godmother!”
Pierce looks behind us and cusses. “Come on, Honey, give me what you got! Come at me!”
Zora is behind us look like freaking Cruella Deville.
“You both are crazy!”
I see guns come out of the hood of the SUV and then fires off a bomb towards us. Peirce jerks to the left, barely missing it. He starts typing on the car’s computer and now it is tracking Zora’s car, dodging her torpedos left and right.
“What the hell is going on!?” I shriek, trying not to hyperventilate. “What the shit?!”
Pierce looks at me. “We have not been out of the office in a while.”
I gape at him.
I don’t know how much time has passed, but I am about to throw the F up. If he takes one more crazy turn, I am going to put the contents of my stomach in his lap.
We smash into a side of a steel building, and we start spinning out of control, with great, disastrous speed.
“Shitttttttttttt!!!!!!!” I scream in slow motion.
I am still screaming.
I see my life flash before my eyes.
I think I yelled the F word a hundred times.
And all of a sudden we are stopped. I am breathing hard as I sit, my hair stuck to my face with sweat. I am shaking as I slightly look at Pierce, his hands still on the steering wheel.
“I beat her,” he whispers.
My eyes widen as I try to swallow. “Y-you kidding me?”
He looks at me. “No, I am not.” He smiles and looks at my hair. “We will need to fix that. Get out. We are here.”
“We’re here?” I squeak, wondering if my legs will work.
I am never riding in a car with Pierce again.
I get out and see Zora exit her SUV, smoke coming up from our engine. She takes off her Sunglasses, not happy. “Back in the old days, we didn’t cheat by using the car’s computer! I had you!”
Pierce laughs. “Sore loser?”
She rolls her eyes. “Fix Red’s hair. I bet Ajax’s team saw our mad dash on their drones.”
Pierce looks to the large doors of their military headquarters. “Red, spin. We made it here in fifteen minutes; you need to go to Ajax and cut the small talk. Get to the point.”
I swallow, still a bit dizzy, and spin.
Right as I feel my hair right itself, the doors open, and I see about fifty men file out with loaded guns.
“I’ll wait in the car with the girls,” Zora says with a wink to me.
“Hands up!” An officer screams. “Don’t move!”
I take a calming breath and hold up my hands. “As you can see, I am Ajax’s wife! Your Queen!”
They freeze and lower their guns right as Ajax comes running out the doors with a headset and glasses on. His glasses are black giving him the sexiest nerd look I have ever seen, like Superman as Clark. I’d imagine they are computer glasses because I can see little lights on the lens.
He has a confused look on his face as he walks towards me in his black army vest. “Red?!” he looks to the car that Pierce was driving then to Pierce. “What the hell is that? And, who the fuck is this guy?” Ajax stops in front of me, a look of fury on his features.
I take a breath as he stares at me. “We need to talk, remember?”
Ajax looks back to Pierce and Pierce smiles at him.
I want to curse.
“We need to talk, like right now,” I say again.
His pale gaze lands on me. “Now,” he murmurs, “I am curious why my wife is riding around with a strange man, extremely reckless, I might add. Is this what you want to explain to me before I lose my temper and kill him?”
Pierce makes a face. “I was in complete control, maybe a tad reckless at the end. I am a little rusty if I am honest.”
I hear Zora honk the horn, probably telling him to shut the hell up. Ajax gapes at Pierce and shoots me a glare. I want to smack Pierce. What is this, F-Troop?!
“Who are those people in the other vehicle?!” I can see Ajax stare start to flicker. He is losing it, fast.
“Can we walk and talk?” I plead, taking his hand in mine.
Ajax is still starring at Pierce as I pull him with me.
“I am sorry for all the confusion,” I start with, waiting until we are out of earshot.
He looks down at me, his chest rising and falling. “This better be good Red.”
We walk around a wall, and I stop and say it, “I am not who I say I am, and I need you to know the real me.”
I hold my breath.
Ajax stares at me then leans against the wall, arms crossed over his chest. “Why does that not surprise me?” He tilts his head at me like he is trying to see the real me. “Okay, let’s have it.”
I feel sick. “I am an agent from a different planet called, Earth.”
He laughs and closes his eyes, leaning his head back. “What the Fuck, Red?”
“It sounds crazy, I know.”
He is still smiling. “Babe, have you gotten yourself checked for any head injury?” he is looking at me now, very seriously, like he actually may think I hit my head.
I grit my teeth. “I am entirely sound of mind. Focus, I need you to believe me. I am with an agency called Fairy Godmother Inc., and they are responsible for keeping the universe inline by true love’s kiss.”
Okay, that sounds batty.
Ajax runs a hand down his face and expels a breath, taking off his glasses. “Red, what are you trying to tell me? Is this a joke?”
I feel my neck and pull out my ruby heart. “Touch this. It’s proof.”
His eyes widen. “Where did you get that? That man?” I can hear the anger in his voice.
“Just touch it, please,” I say and my voice breaks.
Ajax’s expression changes as he walks up to me, hands on his hips. “I am a loss for words Red,” he murmurs and reaches for the stone.
He is going to be mute after this.
Ajax’s body tenses and his eyes roll back into his head. I grab onto him to steady this body, praying that he does not hate me after this.
After what felt like forever, he jerks back and stumbles back into the wall. Ajax is breathing hard, eyes wide and intense. “What in the actual fuck,” he whispers.
I hug myself. “You’re angry?”
“Am I angry?” he gets out with a harsh laugh. He walks away from me and puts his hands over his head and closes his eyes. “Fuck.”
I feel tears stream down my face as I as feel my body shake with worry. I want to throw up, to lay down in a ball and cry.
Minutes fly by.
I see him glance at me, staring at me. “Crystal?”
I look and him and sniff. “Yes,” I whisper.
Ajax turns and studies me. “You were more out of your element than I thought during the games. Everything is weirdly making sense about you.”
I stare at him, not sure about this mood.
“How much time do you have?”
“Not long,” I say.
He nods and looks away. “So, you were a businesswoman?”
“Yes,” I answer.
I see a grin pull at his lips. “Those poor men, back on your planet.”
“Clearly, they could not handle a woman of your standing,” he murmurs and glances at me, eyes traveling over me.
Looking away, I ask. “Can anyone?”
“A lot of things.”
I stare at him. “Tell me if you still want me Ajax.”
He laughs and looks down and shakes his head. “I’ll admit Red—or Crystal. That this will take something to get used to,”
My eyes widen, and I feel tears. “Are you saying you still love me?”
I can feel my pulse hammering in my neck.
He closes his eyes. “Fuck, I am just glad that man back there, Pierce is not your secret lover. I thought I was going to throw up, fearing you’d say something like that.”
A laugh busts through my lips as I stare at him.
He looks at me. “Yes, I still want you. I’ll have you any way I can get you, you know that. My love for you will never change.” He pauses as he stares at me, “I am actually turned on by the fact that you’re from another planet,” he murmurs with a sexy grin.
I feel like I can’t breathe.
“So how do I get you? A kiss?” Ajax asks.
Pierce’s voice is behind us making me jump. “I hope I am not interrupting, but it’s time!”
Ajax turns and gives him a look, the two men staring at each other. “Thank you for healing Red. It’s a hard pill to swallow, knowing she would have died twice if it were not for you guys.”
Pierce nods. “I need a vacation after this mission.”
Ajax agrees. “Right? I bet. You have quite a job.” He glances at me and winks, “You sure know how to pick ’em.”
Pierce laughs and claps him on the shoulder. “I appreciate that.”
They shake hands.
I am in the twilight zone.
Zora from behind us chimes in, “Um, you have ten seconds to kiss Red to seal the deal. Pierce tends to get off topic.”
Ajax looks at me and grabs me, pulling my body into his. He takes my face in his large hands and whispers, “You owe me later.” Then kisses me hard, his lips taking mine with passion.
We hear cheers all around us and the sound of a champagne cork exploding.
“Now, we all drink! Cheers!”
Ajax lifts his head and takes a glass with a chuckle. He looks at me and my heart clenches. “To Fairy Godmother Inc., for finding the love of my life.”
I am crying tears of joy as I feel Flix hug my waist. I look down at him and say, “Thank you. I don’t know what I will do without you.”
He sniffs. “Be bored and depressed.”
I smile. “I will miss you.”
He hugs me harder.
Pierce and all of the girls clink their glasses together. He laughs, “Can’t wait to see you all again at the Christmas party! It’s a smashing good time!”
I laugh with him as I kiss Ajax again, my heart is so full it could explode. He leans into my neck and whispers in my ear, “I find that I only have one weakness in my life, and that is you.”
Happily-ever-afters do exist.
The Fairy Godmother puts a hand on her trim hip and raises her glass. “Now that is a happily-ever-after,” She says, then downs the bubbly drink in one swallow, repressing a burp.
CHRISTMAS PARTY COMING UP NEXT!! <3 Thank you for reading!!! This was a fun book to write!!
NOW ON TO THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES!! Julius’s Dove <3 Book 3!