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Blood Crown: Chapter 24

Ashera

We waited until the sun set again before venturing out. We were close to the outskirts of the capital city of Qamar, so it didn’t take us long to make it to the city center. The palace was enormous, much larger than the palace in Shaytan. Which was a waste, really. Who the hell needed that much space? I actually wanted to downsize at some point in the near future but hadn’t been able to bring myself to do it simply because the palace now employed so many humans.

“That’s the palace?” Malachi scoffed. “I’m assuming the king is compensating for something.”

I snickered beneath my hood. I’d been careful to make sure that it fully covered my face and had put my glamor back in place to ensure that the hood concealed everything. My mates had also pulled on cloaks in an effort to blend in. I’m sure if anyone realized who they were there would be quite a bit of suspicion, not to mention panic and hostility. They were fairly well known — in name at least.

“I may have… dallied… when I was here last.” Caspian shot me a quick look of panic. “So I know a way to get in that should hopefully keep us from getting noticed.”

I raised a brow, and then realized he couldn’t see my expression. “Dallied, huh?” He winced. “Caspian, I’m well aware every one of you, save Jacobi, had lovers before me. Though, if we ever come across one of them, I can’t promise I won’t torture her before killing her as slowly as possible.”

That had the three of them fidgeting slightly. Jacobi looked extremely smug. My angel wasn’t physically pure anymore, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit smug myself for being the only woman he’d ever been inside. They were mine. I’d cut a bitch for looking at them the wrong way.

“Lead the way, fae.” Ambrose swept his arm out for Caspian to take the lead. Jacobi moved closer to my side and took my hand in his. “We’ll need to hit the guest rooms first. I’d rather get my father out of the way as soon as possible.”

We all agreed to that plan back at the cottage, but I could tell that Ambrose was anxious about the confrontation with his father. I doubted my vampire was worried about killing him. He seemed more than ready to see his father put in the ground. But I knew that this wouldn’t be easy — regardless of whether Ambrose wanted him dead or not. The man had lied to him, but he was still Ambrose’s father.

None of us would take the kill from him. It was his right to go after his father. We’d support Ambrose in any way he needed, but he’d have to be the one to end things. As for the king of Qamar…Vaughn was fair game.

“If we kill the king,” I started, keeping my voice low as we closed in on the palace, “do we replace him with another shifter? One that shares our ideals? Or is this a hostile takeover sort of thing, and I become Queen of Qamar too?”

A thoughtful silence followed my question. At least none of them questioned whether they’d become King of Qamar. Admittedly, they all would if I became queen. I refused to have them be labeled as my consorts. They were all my kings. I just hadn’t told them yet. My hood hid my smirk. I’d commissioned a new crown for myself as well as one for each of them. I’d planned to give the crowns to them once we’d found Ambrose’s father. Now it would have to wait until we got back from Qamar.

“I think we’ll need to figure that out after.” Malachi shrugged. “We can make a decision at the moment if we need to.”

Caspian gestured to us to hush. We stood in front of a stone wall. He pressed his hand to a stone and a door swung open into a dark passage. Someone had clearly fucked someone he wasn’t supposed to if he knew about this entrance. We followed my fae into the passage, and it dumped us out into a dimly lit hallway.

“These are the guest quarters,” Caspian whispered. “I would assume that your father is in the room at the end of the hall. It’s their best room.”

We quietly made our way down the hall, making sure to keep a close eye out for any guards or slaves that might be in the area. It was oddly quiet. I’d be worried about a trap if everyone didn’t think I was already dead. My mates grew tense the closer to the room we got, most likely feeling the same way I did.

A sudden explosion of yelling had us all freezing in place. It came from the floor below us. We remained still as the cacophony of a battle greeted our ears. Glancing at each other, we slowly moved back toward the stairs. If there was an issue within the palace, it was reasonable to assume that guards would be sent up to secure guests. We would need to take care of them if that happened.

A bloody slave came barreling up the stairs, horror was written on every inch of her face. When she spotted us, she paused.

“Shh,” I whispered, “it’s okay. We won’t hurt you.”

“Th-they’re trying to kill the king.” Her voice trembled, and she clutched her hands tightly together in front of her.

We looked at each other again. Someone was trying to kill the king of Qamar? Had we stumbled in on a coup?

“Can one of you show her out? We want to keep the humans and other servants who aren’t fighting safe.” Jacobi nodded and gently led the woman to the passage we’d exited earlier. Once he was back with our group, I pointed to the stairwell. “Let’s head downstairs. Ambrose, I know you wanted to deal with your father first, but he might be down there helping. And it’s best we know what we’re dealing with right now.”

I could see the indecision on his face, but he nodded, and we headed downstairs. The resonance of the battle raged louder down here, coming from down a long elaborate hallway. We slowly made our way towards the sounds, keeping a wary eye out for more slaves, servants, or soldiers. Thankfully, we only ran into a few more traumatized slaves. We sent them toward the passage and continued on.

“They’re fighting in the throne room,” Caspian murmured. I nodded and crept closer to the partially opened door.

Peeking inside, my eyes widened at what I saw. A female shifter was fighting against Vaughn while a large group battled around them. It was clear that the king’s forces were outnumbered, but with the way they fought, they may as well have had a clear advantage. A broad, tanned mountain of a man — clearly on the female’s side — was battling against three opponents. He carried a large broadsword and, like my damn vampire, was shirtless. What the hell is with men and not wanting to wear shirts?

I felt the tug almost immediately and shock flashed through me. Jacobi spun to face me, and his eyes held just as much surprise as I felt. The female and the large male…this tug was the same thing I’d felt for the four men with me. What the fuck is going on? Two more mates?

I shook my head; we didn’t have time to think about that right now. It answered at least one question — we’d be helping them take out the king and his men. Jacobi murmured a few things to my other mates, most likely telling them what I’d felt as I continued to stare for a moment longer.

The female shifter was stunning, with skin nearly as dark as Caspian’s that was currently soaked in the blood of those she was fighting. She was slender — taller than me, but the way she handled her sword betrayed her strength and power. This shifter had been training for this moment. She spun, her long braids whipping around, and I caught a glimpse of her face. Resolute. Determined. I knew that face.

Turning to face my mates, I took a deep breath. “We’re going to help them.”

They all nodded. Oddly, none of them looked irritated or angry that I had two new mates in there. They appeared eager to bust down this door and kill a few assholes. I’m sure they’d give the newcomers a hard time after the fighting was over. The only two who hadn’t gone through any sort of hazing were Jacobi and Malachi.

I slid my cloak off my shoulders to pool on the ground and pulled my daggers from their holsters on my thighs. My mates did the same. With a nod, I kicked the door open and calmly strode into the battle.

Everyone in the room paused for a heartbeat, all of them turning to glare at us. The king roared his fury when our eyes caught. He’d clearly thought I was dead. Man, word travels fast. I smirked over at him and blew him a kiss. I lopped the head off one of his soldiers all while maintaining eye contact. I could feel his rage spinning out of control through my new gift. Good, I hoped that made him sloppy.

The battle kicked back into high gear as my mates and I started shredding through the king’s forces. The female fighting the king felt surprised at our entrance but thrilled that we’d sided with her. The large male had taken one glance at me, probably gotten a raging boner by the heavy lust he felt and gone right back to killing as many as he could. Props for killing a bunch of dudes while also fighting a raging hard-on.

I pulled from the lanterns to infuse fire down my blades as I continued to hack away at any soldier unfortunate enough to get near me. I didn’t want to use too much of my elemental powers here out of fear that something similar to the cavern collapse would happen but having flaming swords helped keep my opponents at a good distance. My gaze sought out my mates to ensure that they were holding their own. I didn’t question their battle skills, but after my near-death experience, I wasn’t about to just assume things were fine. Especially if Ambrose’s father was here.

Speaking of the fanged asshole, I didn’t see any vampires around. Were they still up in their suite? Why wouldn’t he come down to help defend his ally? Then again, he’d been a coward and hadn’t faced us during either of our visits to Masas. There was no way that he wouldn’t know we headed there. For a vampire associated with the resistance, he certainly didn’t seem invested in fighting the battles he created.

* * *

It took us a while to finish off the king’s soldiers since more arrived the longer the battle played out. The female who had been battling Vaughn had him subdued, letting the giant male hold onto him. All of us now stood around them in a circle, the female and I side by side.

“I’m Ashera, by the way,” I introduced myself with a smile.

She beamed back at me, her responding smile stunning. “Oh, I know who you are. You’re actually the reason I’d decided to start my own rebellion.” That was…extremely flattering. “I’m Winta, and the one holding the former king is my general, Thorne.”

“He’s a traitor, that’s what he is!” Vaughn screamed as he started to struggle in Thorne’s grasp. Thorne just held him tighter and rolled his eyes and shoved a torn piece of cloth into the shifter’s mouth to shut him up. I gave him a grin, openly admiring his muscular, shirtless form. He was as tall as Malachi, with not an ounce of body fat in sight. His dark hair was cropped close to his skull, and when I met his gaze — his eyes a rich, chocolate brown — he gave me a wink. Ambrose’s annoyance at my admiration was palpable, and I had no idea how Jacobi put up with the constant barrage of emotions.

“I’d been a general under him. My men and I had been planning our own rebellion when we met Winta and her people. So we decided to team up.” The similarities between their rebellion and my own weren’t lost on me. It warmed me knowing that so many wanted change. It meant there was hope for all of us.

“How do you want to handle him?” I asked, not bothering to spare the defeated king any more attention.

“Well, he certainly can’t live.” I nodded. “But I’m not sure if I want to perform a public execution or not. We decided to attack tonight because Masas’ king was also here, but he left earlier.” Winta’s gaze flicked to Ambrose. He looked furious that his father had fled yet again.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t introduce my mates.” I introduced the four males that held my heart, each of them offering a smile.

“I heard rumors that you’d acquired quite the powerful and influential harem. We hadn’t been sure if they were actually mates or if you’d agreed to be with them for political gain.” That did often happen with royalty, but I had no interest in it myself. “You do realize that I’m your mate too, yes?” The casual way Winta dropped that little bomb had me staring at her in shock.

“I am too,” Thorne rumbled, and a wicked grin spread across his face. His eyes roamed down my body before he shot me another playful wink. I could practically hear Ambrose’s outrage in my mind.

“And yet we hadn’t felt the mating pull to each other,” Winta mused, looking at Thorne. I wanted to laugh. We needed to decide what we were going to do with Qamar’s deposed king, but here we were talking about mating bonds.

“The little queen is well aware of who you are to her. And while we were happy to help you out, don’t think that touching her will be easy,” Ambrose growled.

“We haven’t decided if you’re worthy enough to be her mates,” Caspian sneered.

I rubbed my temples and let out a heavy sigh. Really? The two of them were going to drive me literally insane. They were teaming up against the two newcomers. I want to punch both of them. Thorne and Winta just laughed.

“Shifters aren’t like the rest of you idiots. We feel the mate bond instantly. We also don’t let our mates slip through our fingers.” Winta glared over at my vampire and fae. “So you’re just going to have to deal with us. We aren’t going anywhere.” Thorne nodded his agreement.

Gods, her spunk reminded me so much of Visa. Which, surprisingly, didn’t hurt the way it normally did. Instead, it warmed me, wrapping around me like a comforting hug. I beamed. I thought I felt complete before, but these two made me realize I was so very wrong.

“As much as I’m sure we’d all love to discuss getting Ashera naked, we should really figure out what to do with the trash,” Malachi stated, gesturing to the glaring Vaughn at Thorne’s feet.

“I hadn’t killed Shaytan’s king in public,” I confessed, “but by the time I reached the palace it was no surprise to anyone what was happening. How popular was your uprising?”

“Not quite as popular as yours, but we kept it quiet about what we were planning. If he’d gotten wind of what we were doing things would have gone downhill quickly,” Winta explained. “Shifters have to listen to their alpha. We can get around it when we need to, but we didn’t want him knowing what was happening and then start picking our people off. We were highly selective about who we told.”

That made sense, given what I knew about shifters. They weren’t loyal to their king, per se, they really had no other choice — their animal natures demanded a hierarchy be observed. But that made knowing who to trust extremely difficult.

“Then you should execute him publicly once the sun rises.” Malachi, always my tactical thinker, knew how to make a damn statement. “We want the people to know that there’s a new ruler in town and that the old ways aren’t going to be tolerated.”

Thorne’s wicked grin returned. “I like that one.” I wasn’t surprised. “He’s right, Winta.”

“Okay. We’ll do that then, but I want to introduce you all as co-rulers.” That had shock sliding through all of us. “We’re Ashera’s mates, regardless of your little temper tantrum. We’ll let the people of Qamar know that we’re allied with and ruling alongside Shaytan’s queen.”

“Malak has plans to do the same.” Jacobi seemed pleased that he’d been the first to decide that we were to merge our kingdoms and rule together.

“Masas will be doing the same once I kill my sperm donor.” Not to be outdone, Ambrose puffed out his chest to clearly display his mate mark.

“Juniya as well.” Caspian stepped next to Ambrose and mimicked the vampire’s pose. What the hell is happening with the two of them right now?

Then reality slammed home. This would not look good to Sahira. They were the only kingdom that wasn’t aligned with Shaytan in this manner.

“We should hold off on saying any of that,” I argued. “Sahira never met with me, and I’d really rather we didn’t piss off the witches who fight with the dead and use soul weapons. At least not right now. Once we get the resistance taken care of, then we can approach Sahira and let them know what we’re planning, and we mean them no ill will.”

“Fine,” Winta reluctantly agreed. “I’ll say that we’re allied with Shaytan for the time being. Thorne and I will be joint rulers of Qamar until we are able to announce our plans.”

“What resistance?” Thorne asked, his gaze fixed on me. Whatever his animal was flashed in his eyes, and waves of violent protectiveness rammed into me. Winta wasn’t kidding. Shifters felt the mate bond immediately.

“As I’m sure you’re well aware, there are some that don’t like the way I do things. They’re fighting to keep the old ways alive. We actually came here in search of Ambrose’s father. He’s the leader or at least a leader.” I shrugged. “We went to find him in Masas, but we found a resistance base instead. That’s when we decided to come here, knowing that he was here recently.”

“That’s why the rumors of you being dead spread.” Winta looked at me appraisingly. “Well done. Should we keep your wellbeing a secret?”

“Let’s keep the fact that I’m alive a secret. Introduce Malachi as the King of Shaytan.” Malachi’s surprise slithered around me, so I turned to grin at him. “I planned a little surprise for all of you. You were all going to be announced Kings of Shaytan. Even had new crowns made for us. Looks like I’ll have to add two more.”

All four of my mates stared at me blankly for a minute — their emotions surprisingly absent. Thorne and Winta didn’t seem surprised by this news, their happiness radiated off them.

“We’ll discuss this later,” Caspian growled with a finger pointed at me. I shrugged and nodded.

“Okay. We kill this useless piece of shit at dawn, announce that Malachi is the new King of Shaytan and that we’re allied with him.” Winta nodded. “We’re also going to announce an all-out war against the resistance.”

Gods, I loved this woman already.

* * *

After we secured Vaughn somewhere he wouldn’t be able to escape, my mates and I — minus Thorne and Winta — headed to one of the guest suites to rest. We only had a few more hours until dawn. I’d remain in our room — hidden from the public — while my mates made an appearance at the execution. All of them.

Pride swelled in my chest as I looked at the four males before me. I’d never been prouder to call them my mates. I knew they needed some time to get used to the idea of not just adding one new mate but two, another female at that. We were all connected. Our souls were forever intertwined. I’d give them the time they needed to come to terms with everything. I didn’t want any discontent between us, though I’m sure Winta and Thorne didn’t want to wait.

“Dick slayer.” Caspian broke the silence. “We’re going to have one hell of a long talk after the execution. And not just about the resistance.”

“Fuck, little queen.” Ambrose ran a hand through his hair. “You’re making us all Kings of Shaytan?”

“We’ve been talking about merging all of the kingdoms, so it made sense.” I didn’t see the issue and getting a read on their emotions right now was difficult. My gift was too new, and we were all emotionally and physically drained.

“We can talk about this later,” Malachi growled. “We need to show our queen how much we appreciate her generous offer and then get some rest.”

Being the subject of their intense attention always left me all tingly and aching with need. They each had a way of making me feel like the only person in existence when they looked at me like this. And all I could see during these moments was them. They were all I wanted to see during these moments.

With surprisingly reverent hands, Mal removed my clothes while the others stripped themselves. He stepped back and then shed his own clothes, watching me with hungry eyes the entire time. Hands grabbed my wrists, pulling them behind my back and securing them with a swatch of silk. I turned my head and found Jacobi, my precious angel, looking at me with desire darkening his sapphire gaze, and a wicked smirk spread across his luscious lips.

“Since this is going to be all about thanking our stunning queen, we need to make sure that she feels everything we do to her.” Fuck, his low rumble went straight to my clit. The others chuckled as they moved closer. Thanks to my new gift and my innate gift as a succubus, I was drowning in their lust.

I shifted slightly in an attempt to ease the tension between my legs. Just feeling how much they each loved me and wanted me had me painfully aroused. How on earth did Jacobi deal with this all the time? I’d have to ask him to teach me to block it out.

That thought flew into the wind as my angel’s arms wrapped around me so his fingers could play with my nipples. Caspian and Ambrose each lifted one of my legs, spreading my thighs so Mal could step between them. My pussy was right in line with his face. I shuddered and leaned back against Jacobi.

Mal slowly circled my clit with one of his fingers, being careful not to actually touch it. He gently blew on the little bundle of nerves and the incubus was damn lucky my hands were tied behind my back. I wanted so badly to tightly grip his hair and pull him to me. Malachi’s eyes rose to meet mine, and he gave me a knowing grin as he continued to tease me.

“I swear to the gods, Malachi. If you do not stop teasing me, I am going to end you.” Chuckles filled with masculine pride met my demand, and I released a growl. I’d end them all if they kept this up.

“As my little queen demands,” Mal replied. He slid his finger into my pussy, and I cried out in relief.

I wasn’t given a chance to bask in the sensation before he closed his lips around my clit. I moaned and started to grind my hips against his face. He instantly pulled back and I groaned at the loss of him.

“Bring her over here.” Mal crawled onto the bed so his head was close to the side, but there was still a bit of room over his head. “Put her over my face. One of you can fuck her ass while I eat her pussy, and one of you can fuck her mouth.” I could feel myself clench around nothing at his words, feeling so damn empty. I needed them to fill me. Now… “Whoever doesn’t get a turn now has time to plan all of the things he wants to do to our little slut.”

Why the hell do I love when he calls me a slut? It always turns me on.

Jacobi placed me over Mal’s face then stepped back. Caspian moved in behind me as Ambrose moved in front of me. My once pure angel king was up to something. There was a gleam in his eyes that gave him away, and I was eager to experience whatever caused that gleam. I wasn’t given the opportunity to think about it further because Malachi tightly gripped my hips and yanked me down so my pussy was pressed flush against his mouth. He didn’t waste any time devouring me.

Caspian pushed me forward, holding onto my bound hands to keep me steady. He then slid his well-lubed cock into my ass at the exact same moment Malachi sucked hard against my clit. I moaned, which gave Ambrose the opportunity to slide his cock between my lips. It was too much, and I came against Mal’s mouth, humming against Ambrose’s cock.

All three men let out pleased growls as they continued to move against me in unison. Caspian continued to keep me stable by holding onto my bindings, and Ambrose tangled his hands in my hair as he started to pound into my mouth. Malachi and I both fed off the sexual energy in the room. I couldn’t very well let a good meal go to waste.

As I felt another orgasm coming, Caspian and Ambrose picked up their pace simultaneously, trying to meet their own release as close to mine as possible. They were both surprisingly quiet, sticking to moans or groans of pleasure instead of their usual sexual banter. That didn’t detract from how fucking amazing they felt. Quite the opposite. Their silence forced me to focus on the pleasure that seared through my veins.

With a muffled cry, I came again. Ambrose rammed his dick down my throat, and I swallowed around him until he came with a quiet moan. Caspian cursed behind me, his hips now jerking against me as he emptied himself in my ass. They righted me on Mal’s face and then moved away from me.

Jacobi moved in front of me, running a gentle and loving hand down my cheek. His eyes blazed bright with need as we stared at each other. His gaze then focused on Malachi behind my shoulder.

“You’re going to take her from behind. I want her to suck on me before I come all over her gorgeous tits.” My nostrils flared with my heavy inhale, and my eyes widened slightly. He’d been so damn shy and pure not too long ago. I felt more turned on than ever knowing that I’d shown this powerful king the pleasures of sex.

Mal shimmied out from under me and moved so he could grip my hips with both of his large hands. He slid into me with one powerful thrust and then remained still. Jacobi stood against the side of the bed, and Mal positioned me as Caspian had. He pushed me forward so my mouth was level with the angel king’s cock while holding me steady by my bindings.

Jacobi once again ran a loving hand down my cheek before he tightly gripped my hair and slowly slid his cock into my mouth until he hit the back of my throat. I quickly swallowed around him, and he groaned. I glanced up at him to see him staring at Mal before giving the incubus a nod.

They started to move inside me, my body swaying from one mate to the next. I closed my eyes against the bliss. They weren’t rushing, but they weren’t going slow either. They set an easy pace that would undoubtedly lead me to an amazing orgasm. Mal growled low in his throat and dug his hands into my hips. I would have bruises later, but it was absolutely worth it.

“Play with her clit and make her come,” Jacobi commanded. Malachi was more than happy to obey and snaked a hand around me so he could press it against my already over-sensitive clit.

That was all it took to make me shatter. My pussy clenched around Mal’s cock violently, causing him to curse as he came as well. Jacobi — true to his word — quickly pulled out of my mouth as Malachi lifted me so my angel could come all over my breasts. Once he was finished, he gestured to Mal to turn me around.

Once my hands were freed, I spun so they could all see me as I trailed a finger through the mess on my chest and then stuck that finger in my mouth with a moan. All four of them groaned as though they were in agony. I just smirked at them before sauntering into the attached bathroom for a shower, reveling in the sound of their scrambling footsteps following me.


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