How could she have liked it that much? She’d found it a chore to kiss Cade, and yet with Asrian, his kiss had consumed her, easing her nervousness as surely as any wine could. One year and one day, and after that, she’d never see him again. She sent a prayer to the heavens, asking the Goddesses to ensure that when the time came, it was an easy break from the heathen she’d just found pleasure from.

Chapter 7

Lilith stretched in bed, hating the subtle reminder of the night before as muscles she hadn’t even known could hurt ached and burned. It took her longer than usual to move from the bed, and as she did, she cocked her head and listened. Silence greeted her, and she smiled; maybe she’d been bipolar enough to send his ass running for the hills.

She slipped into the bath, dressing in a soft white maxi dress with slits up to the hip. She strapped her weapons on, slinging her bow over her shoulder before attaching the quiver full of arrows, and adjusting the wristband on her arms. Without another thought, she exited her bedroom and stopped dead in her tracks.

Where there should have been a pile of rubble was a wall, which attached to a hallway. She put her palm flat against it and pushed hard, noting the sturdiness of it before she followed the corridor down to a fork that led in three different directions. She looked between them slowly before turning in the direction from which she’d come. The hell? She was lost in her own freaking palace. It had never had walls since she’d found the damn thing!

After countless wrong turns and endless exploring, she reached a large room where voices were laughing, talking, and men, a lot more men than had been here last night. She stalled slowly, leaning against the wall as she eavesdropped on Asrian discussing his plans to right the outside courtyard.

Angry tears swam in her vision as all her own plans for this place went out the door. Her people had built it up from the ground, making it the largest, strongest court in the history of the lesser Fae, and here this insignificant prick was designing it as if he owned the place? No fucking farting fairy’s chance.

She stepped into the room, noting the chatter come to silence as she stared at the man who sat on a throne of swirling dark eddies. His body fit it perfectly, as if it had been created for him. She stalked closer, staring at the men who all watched her with a look of curiosity.

“The fucking fairy farting dwarves do you think you’re doing, heathen?” she demanded, and the men barked in laughter, which only made her even madder. “This is my palace, my kingdom! You don’t get to destroy it and then remake it as you wish!”

“Lilith, this is the exact palace that was here before our father rendered it to nothing more than a pile of rubble. I believe the words you are looking for are thank you, my king.” Asrian stared down at her, daring her to say something.

“One year and one day, then I am the queen, and you’re gone, heathen king,” she hissed before she spun on her heel and marched from the room. She couldn’t even argue if it was an exact match because he and his family had stolen it from her.

“Well, congrats, she didn’t swoon on your cock and bow down. I guess I’m the better lover after all,” Tor chuckled.

“She’s got more mood swings than Alice in fucking Wonderland on acid. One minute she’s cold, the next she’s hot. Her mood swings make Ciara look normal. Marriage fucking sucks. How the hell does Ryder make it look so easy?” Asrian groaned as he rubbed his temples.

“Um, did you miss the whole Synthia beating him up or driving him insane part? Anything worth having isn’t going to be easy to get. She’s a hellcat, so take her claws from her. Make her want us to be here, ask her what she wants. We fixed the castle, but we can’t fill it with her people. We can’t bring the dead back, nor can we expect these beings to forgive us easily. Respect is earned, not given,” Sinjinn said solemnly.

“I don’t understand women. I mean, I gave her an escape. I gave her an out to sleeping with me, and she told me no. She liked it, and the moment it ended, she hated me again.” He scratched his head as he stared at the door she’d escaped through.

“Maybe she just didn’t like you that much? I can try, I mean, she’s got a nice body. I have been working on my wooing skills too,” Cailean offered, and Asrian turned his head slowly, leveling him with a lethal stare. “Hey, what’s the harm in it? And if in a few months she gives birth to a blonde little badass, he’ll be mine. No one the wiser until then, right?”