Chapter 13

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I tucked Adora back into her nest and brushed a kiss across her mouth. A small furrow was gathered between her brows and I smoothed a finger over the crease until it went away.

The Troubling Trio were waiting in the hall just outside our room, all three of them holding up the wall with varying degrees of nonchalance. Jaceon had one shoulder propped against the wall, eyes intent on the ebook reader in his free hand. Kieran was facing the window, right hand braced against the wall as he leaned into the deep set window and looked up at the sky. Lucas leaned against the wall, one bare foot braced against the stones, arms folded.

I nearly sighed at the challenging look he gave me. And what was with the poses? If I hadn't known better, I would have thought I'd walked onto a photo shoot for one of those girly mags with those too-pretty boys with the bare chests lolling around.

The Fates had to have been laughing their asses off.

"Not expecting this, were you?" Lucas murmured, his tone surprisingly diffident.

I inclined my head to the left before turning and walking back down the hall. Gratifyingly, they fell into step behind me without saying another word.

Once in my study, I went straight to the decanter on my desk and poured out two fingers of whiskey for myself. Taking a small sip, I moved aside and leaned against my desk. "Help yourself if you like."

Jaceon poured out two shots and handed one to Lucas.

I took another sip before responding to the question. "No. Would you have been?"

They exchanged a look. Kieran shook his head with a wry smile, and Jaceon outright laughed. Lucas scrubbed a hand over his face and looked away.

"Yeah. I would've. In fact, I just wanna say: called it," Jaceon said.

Kieran shrugged. "We admitted that the possibility was there, but what were the odds?"

What were the odds indeed? And what did the Fates have in mind for us?

"What are your thoughts, Lord Black?" Lucas asked, face impassive.

"Rotation or sharing?" I returned. "And which of you are involved with each other?" It had surprised me when the three had approached to ask if they could Test. The tension flowing between the three was hot enough to melt steel and thrummed like a fault line under stress. Then Lucas had held back until the end, eyes dark with storm clouds, and I could have sworn it was because he'd had a tendre for one of the others.

A small smile curved Lucas' mouth. "Direct. I like that."

I snorted. "I'm too old to pussyfoot around." I paused. "How old are you three anyway?"

Kieran stepped forward. "Magic enough to anchor both our mate and the babe, old enough to know what we want, and why do you want to know?"

Knowing sea-blue eyes narrowed on me as Jaceon lifted his tumbler and took a sip. "We all fuck each other on the medusae, Fenrir, as you should very well know. Does that bother you? Or were you titillated?"

A snort escaped. Insolent whelps. "Of course I knew and of course you do, what with no reliable birth control and no humans available. Don't mistake me for one of those modern humanized prudes masquerading as dragons. Watching men fuck doesn't bother me. I'm interested because Adora isn't exactly on board with the idea of multiple mates yet. If any of you were involved with each other, it could complicate things further. As such, it would be good to know now rather than later."

"The real question is, would it bother you if it wasn't just watching?" Jaceon murmured.

"Jace," Lucas warned.

"I've sucked more than one cock in my long life, whelp."

"Are we here because you wanted the Gifting for your mate, or?" Kieran interjected, his normally soft tones taking on a note of challenge.

I met his dark eyes straight on. "I would never have thought of opening the door if she had not needed the Gifting, true, but it doesn't matter what I think."

"It's her choice," Lucas said.

"Yes," I agreed. "Asides from the Gifting, however, think about the whole situation. Does it not seem...peculiar? The prophecy was spoken centuries before her birth, so some god must have given it to Eliana. Then, mates are Fate-given, with most never meeting their mates in centuries of searching, but first she stumbles across me and then you three just so happened to be in the solar system for this particular gathering?"

"And the babe," Jaceon whispered, face pale. "She must have conceived within the first few days of meeting you to be so far along. The Fates and their strings —"

"Are all over this like a kitten in yarn," Kieran finished.

I nodded. "So, again. Rotation or sharing and are there any more complications we all need to be aware of?"

"We don't know," Lucas said at last. "How could we? Thus, rotation, I suppose, unless she specifically desires otherwise."

Kieran looked away, eyes half-hooding. "Before, I cared more for Lucas and Jaceon than for any other being, but I wouldn't say I loved them. Now, I find I have a mate. The Call is potent, but I don't know where it leaves me as I find that it doesn't fully drown out my bond to them. If I were to have to choose, I cannot say what I would decide with complete certainty. That is as much truth as I can give you." He lifted a shoulder and let it drop. "Rotation, definitely."

I looked at Jaceon. His head was bent and his arms folded over his chest, long fingers tapping as if he had to have some outlet for his energy if he wasn't speaking.

"Jace?" Lucas prompted.

Another breath or three. Then, "Rotation," he said curtly.

I nodded.

"How shall we determine the order?"

"Straws," Lucas said. "I'd prefer not to follow the time honored tradition of fighting for it."

Jaceon pinned me with a look. "I don't mind being last, but I would like to watch. Before. If you don't mind."


I blinked at the chorus from the other two men.

Jaceon's mouth quirked. "I've never been with a woman before and I don't know how to touch her and what she would like. I wouldn't want to wake her up by doing something unpleasant."

Kieran's eyes widened slightly. "Ah."

Even Lucas looked slightly off balance.

I slowly relaxed my muscles from their instinctive freeze when he'd mentioned waking her.

It wasn't impossible. Her Sleep had been disturbed so often already. Besides which, the Call was strong and it was just as likely that they would end up waking her with a too-strong orgasm. It was a fine line between arousing her enough for her to find her pleasure, but not so much that she would stir.

"You can watch," I said, almost regretting it as soon as the words fell into the silence.

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