Home > Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles #5)

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles #5)
Author: Amelia Hutchins

Chapter One

I felt my hair being pulled, and pain ripped through my stomach as something hit it. A pained groan slipped from my lips. Something warm and wet dripped down my face and I cried out even louder than before. We were under attack! I mumbled for Ryder to call for the Elite Guard, and to let loose the beast on whoever had invaded our room and was attacking.

“Synthia,” a deep rumble of laughter sounded; that laugh mixed with gurgling noises, forced me to pry one eye open. It felt as if each lid was held in place by lead weights. “I don’t think we need the Elite Guard or the beast to deal with the babies.”

“The hell you say, those are not babies; they’re monsters. What the hell do they have against sleep?” I mumbled as I watched as Kahleena gurgled and continued to drool on my face and neck as she looked down at me with a cherubic smile. “Minions of darkness—that’s what they are. Ones sent by the Mages to slowly torture us through lack of sleep and cuteness.”

Zander head butted my stomach while Kahleena yanked at a handful of hair to better support herself. Cade continually kicked the other side of my stomach while he sucked greedily on his tiny fist. I was seriously rethinking the entire idea of lessening the handmaidens’ duties to give us more time as a family.

“They wanted their mother,” he said, his golden eyes aglow with laughter. “I doubt they are sent by the Mages, Pet. They’ve been hanging out with Ristan too much, and I think they thrive on mischief,” he laughed huskily. The sound washed over me and I smiled, unable to resist the sound of his husky timbre. He made his way back to the bed and sat beside us, lifting Kahleena as he untangled my hair from her tiny hand. He carefully moved Zander, and gave me enough room so that I could sit up.

Once I managed to sit up, I smiled down at the little monsters, who watched me back. I leaned over, kissing Kahleena on her cheek, and watched as her golden eyes, which were so much like her father’s, glowed, as if they were lit from within. My little one had begun to thrive, and was by far the naughtiest of the three. She was also the leader, and I suspected she was the smartest of the trio. While Cade seemed to be the muscle, Zander would happily watch the chaos the other two wrought on us, which Zahruk speculated would make him the lethal one as they grew older. I was pretty sure Kahleena got her brains from me, even though Ryder was quick to take credit for it.

“My little monsters,” I whispered softly. My throat tightened as I considered just how blessed we were. I picked Cade up and cuddled him to my chest. Zander watched, his little lips quivering until Ryder picked him up in his free arm and rested on the bed beside me.

“They have to sleep sooner or later, right? I’m beginning to understand why my father kept his brood of children locked in the pavilion.”

I hit his arm and smirked. “Maybe we should lock ourselves in the pavilion?” I laughed, and watched as he frowned.

“We could, but we’re planning a wedding, remember?” he murmured, leaning over to place a gentle kiss on my temple.

“We could always elope. Las Vegas is still a viable option,” I offered. “Besides, I totally have a thing for Elvis and all his bling. Those sequins,” I sighed heavily, and added a little growling noise deep in my throat. “It’s sexy as fuck.”

“The entire realm is anticipating this wedding, Synthia. The Mages have been quiet for a while, and I intend to marry you properly. Tell me, who is this Elvis and where can I find him so I can kill him?”

“He’s dead already, and you and I are freaking exhausted. I can’t even keep my eyes open. If the Mages showed up, they could literally push me over and I’d be a goner. I’m getting a little worried that Danu has been so quiet. She’s been constant since the last time the Mages tried something, and now it’s just silence. It’s not like her. I know she was keeping her distance because of whatever happened between her and Ristan, but she has never gone completely dark before. It makes me curious to know what really transpired between those two, and how it could be so bad,” I mused out loud as my fingers absently stroked Cade’s soft curls, hugging him a little tighter as the thought of war played in my mind. “And I’m also worried about their future and what it will hold.”

“They have a Goddess for a mother—their future will be whatever they wish it to be. They will be loved, and raised to be strong and fair to others. We will win this war and heal this world. I won’t allow anything less. Our children will have the world, whichever they choose, at their fingertips, and we will be right behind them, building them up.” He glanced up at me with a smirk of fond amusement. “Things are changing quickly for all of us. I seem to remember that it wasn’t long ago that you thought that the Horde King pranced around wearing high heels and lipstick, Pet. We have come a long way since then.”

“I said that, didn’t I?” I frowned, and he nodded.

“You were perceptive and guarded back then. Now, I just wiggle my eyebrows and your clothes just fall off,” he laughed.

“That’s not how that works. You take them off with magic; I have very little to do with it,” I groaned. “Gods save me, but I love you. Even though you drive me batshit crazy, Fairy,” I smiled. “But you can’t know what the future will hold. Everything can change in a blink of an eye around here. Let’s just try to focus on today,” I whispered as I leaned over to kiss him, only to hear all three babies begin to snuffle and cry. They had something against Mommy and Daddy kissing. It was both cute and annoying at the same time. Zander grabbed his father’s hair, and Kahleena wailed while shedding big fat alligator tears as she tried to push me away from him. Cade…well, Cade growled like a puppy, a trait he’d inherited from his father.

“Maybe they were sent by the Mages,” he groaned and pulled away.

“Told you,” I laughed, as a knock at the door disrupted the bliss inside the bedroom. I watched as Ryder looked in my direction, quickly glamouring me into a pair of jeans and a black T-shirt. Once he was satisfied that I was dressed properly, he quickly kissed my cheek, much to the dismay of the babies, if the disgruntled looks on their faces were anything to go by.

“Enter,” he called out, his eyes twinkling as Kahleena made a growling noise while she watched him, her lip puckered out.

“It’s about time you got the fuck up,” Ristan quipped as he peered around the door at us, his eyes filled with laughter. He leaned against the doorjamb, much to the delight of Kahleena, who gurgled and held her arms up, ignoring her father for her favorite uncle. He returned her smile, wiggling his fingers at her in hello. “We’ve got a huge problem. One that can’t wait for you to eye-fuck each other or for you to cuddle the little beasties,” he said softly.

“What is it?” I asked, curious to know why his mood had shifted so quickly from playful to cautious.

“I think I know why you keep feeling pain, and why we are feeling a disturbance in Faery. I’ve taken the liberty of calling in the handmaidens. They’ll take the babies to the nursery; the Elite Guard is waiting downstairs for you to join us. What we just discovered is something that is hard to explain without showing you.”

The pain that had been randomly coursing through my body had been worsening over the last few days, which was also contributing to the lack of sleep. Danu had connected me to Faery so that I’d be able to protect it, but unlike her, if the land died, I wouldn’t.

I watched as Darynda gracefully floated into the room with a steaming cup of coffee, which she set on the nightstand. She was careful to keep it away from little hands as she straightened and smiled down softly at Cade, who placed his head against my breasts and looked at her carefully. Cade was a momma’s boy to his core; he loved to cuddle and would spend countless hours listening to my heartbeat, unlike Kahleena who preferred her father, or Zander who had a tendency of watching us with a frown on his cute little brow. Mere months old, and they’d been hitting milestones that terrified me.

It bothered me that we had no idea how long they’d remain little. Fae children aged faster than human children, while Gods could mature from infancy to adults in mere days. With their mixed genetics, we were left guessing and waiting to see how fast they’d mature. Eliran had done all sorts of tests, but each one came back inconclusive, and it left us drawing straws at what the answer would be.

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