Seducing Destiny – Amelia Hutchins

The Horde was assembling for war. The process seemed unreal, as thousands of our allies had gathered around to protect us and gain favor with the newly crowned Horde King. Some came to see the birth of the miracle babies—as they now referred to the wee beasties inside of me—who grew stronger with every rising of the suns. Those who gathered in the walls of the keep did so with the pretense of wanting to protect my glorious beast—as if he needed protection. Ryder was one of the deadliest creatures that existed, and yet, despite my best efforts, he behaved as though I was too frail in my current condition to protect myself, so he had his brothers watching over me night and day as war loomed on the horizon. He was trying to shield me from what was coming, but I wasn’t a fool. I could smell the conflict brewing in the air, thick and dangerously near. I wasn’t an idiot either; I knew we wouldn’t make it out of this fight unscathed. No one would. For all we held, and all we cherished, peace would come at a steep price—because it always had. Even in my world, wars left devastation in their wake, but these were creatures who didn’t want control; they wanted to destroy. These were powerful creatures that could do damage on a scale that Humans had never witnessed before. Ristan had been spending more time with Alden, and was now acting as his shadow on all things Guild, bringing back any information he or Alden discovered. I often protested that it was no longer safe for Alden to be there; however, he stood fast in his belief that the Guild could be saved. He was hell-bent on ensuring that those who were worth saving were saved.

It gave me some comfort to know that Alden, with all his stubbornness, was protected by the Demon. Well, for the most part. I feared for both of them as they continued to put together the missing puzzle pieces. Trickery was everywhere, and no one was safe from it. Not even me. Fear had become a constant thing in my life, and I was sure it wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. It had grown roots, and each day a new bud would bloom as my time to bear Ryder’s children grew nearer. What I feared the most wasn’t losing Ryder, or if I would ever be able to gain his love, but what would come when my babies were born. I was strong, but that alone wouldn’t keep them alive. I had spent more time with Danu, and so far we hadn’t found anything to protect the babes, except keeping them where they were—inside of me, where they would be alive and safe.

Time wasn’t on our side though, and it kept moving along, oblivious to the turmoil around us. More than a month had passed since Ryder’s coronation, and my time was steadily drawing nearer. The uncertain and fragile state I was in weighed on my mind heavily as the days passed without a cure for the land. Ristan had been given visions that led everyone to believe that Ryder’s and my children were the cure for this world. However, other than a few visions in infancy, including the one vision of me handing my son to Adam, he hadn’t seen anything more of them in our future and that scared the hell out of me. I mean, if they were the cure, why couldn’t he see them with us, unless it ended badly? So much had happened in the short time since I’d met my beast that I hadn’t even been able to catch my breath or wade through my inner fears. I knew I loved him, but love wasn’t strong enough to seduce destiny into giving us what we wanted. Danu kept telling me that destiny had to be won, that I wasn’t just born to it, and that I had to fight to get it. More reports came in daily from Ryder’s spies in the Human world; some of the reports we had gotten over the past month were frightening. They hinted that the Mages were gathering strength, torturing and killing the lesser Castes of Faery both here and in Tèrra, as they called my world.

They were smart, but their actions did not seem coordinated, strategic or very organized as one would tend to expect from people who planned on wiping out an entire race for vengeance. Unlike Ryder, who was continually watching them and learning how they moved. He tried to learn everything about how they thought, and how to intercept their moves. Information on Faolán was almost non-existent and it worried me more than the Mages, backed by Danu’s husband did. Watching Ryder as he countered each attack on the Horde Kingdom had given me both comfort and an uneasiness that I couldn’t explain. Knowing he was strong enough to protect our children was comforting; on the other hand, I knew that if I ran from him, there was no one who could protect me from him—not even Danu could achieve that, based on the rules that governed her powers, even though he was one of her many creatures. Not that I was planning to run; it wouldn’t be an option even if I considered it. Knowing Ryder’s power and the strength of the Horde Kingdom didn’t give me as much comfort, for I knew that most castles and powerful dynasties such as this one usually fell from within. It was one of the problems in this world—everyone wanted to rule it. Ryder’s schedule was so busy that I saw him only for a short time each day.

Between the intelligence he was assessing and the clamoring of the Castes for the attention of the new Horde King, our time together had become precious. Although I knew he cared and I had no doubts about how much he wanted me, it was almost like a stall in our relationship. Nothing had progressed as I had hoped now that he’d been freed from his engagement. As the babes grew, so did my insecurities. I wanted Ryder to love me for myself and not for what I’d been designed for. Danu had explained that our never ending attraction and the need to rip each other’s clothing off every time we’d been close to one another was in fact the design at work. It made sense, and it scared me. I’d never been one to be so sexually active, or to need it on an obsessive level as I had since meeting him. I held on to the knowledge of who my mother really was, and the secrets behind my birth, in hopes that he would give me a sign or the answers I needed, but with each passing day, nothing changed on his part. I was so big with the babies that all I could do at this point was waddle, and it only added on to the insecurities I held for my future.

As a strong person, it was painful to know that I needed him, and that I wanted him. I still held the belief that if I ever left him, I would be on my hands and knees crawling away from this magnificent man and beast who’d claimed me, body and soul. I was his, as he’d repeatedly told me from day one. He’d claimed me as his plaything, in more ways than I’d ever thought possible. I never thought that I would become this needy female who had to have a man, but Ryder was so much more. He’d pierced my heart and when I needed him to be strong so I could be weak, he was. When I thought I would go boneless with worry, he became the bones which held me up. It was hard to admit it, but I wasn’t the same girl I’d once been. I was no longer an Enforcer; I was his light, and he was my darkness. Dristan and Sinjinn were on guard duty this evening.

Although they tried to make it seem as if they were just hanging out with me—yes, hanging out with little ol’ me; the entire concept of me hanging out with the Fae was still sometimes comical, considering how much I’d hated them once upon a time. We had settled into another round of Monopoly to pass the never ending hours. Yes, they’d secured a few board games, because Adrian had mentioned how much I liked to play them—and Darynda was starting to get the hang of them; however, seeing as she had never been to my world, some of the concepts like Go to Jail were a little out there for her. Dristan had just begun to roll for his turn when the faint sound of music reached my ears. I hefted myself up and walked to the window to see where it was coming from. Off in the distance was the sight of exploding prisms of color, flashing out of what looked like fireworks? I pointed to where it was, which seemed to grab Dristan’s attention. “What is that?” I asked as my eyes shined with the colors that continued in the distance. He pushed away from the table they had set up for the game and ambled over, peering over my shoulder. “It doesn’t look like someone’s attacking, unless they’re very patriotic about it. It looks like it’s in the fields,” I continued.

“Looks like the Demon started a party. That must mean he’s done with the Guild for now, or back to check on things here,” Dristan said softly, close to my ear. “Something must have bothered him enough that he needed to work it out, and he seems to be doing it with the lesser Fae.” “It looks like fun,” I said. Fun was a thing you really didn’t get to have when preparing for war. “Can we go down there? Just for a little while? It would be nice to get out of this room even if only for a few moments.” I was tired of being cooped up. I was starting to understand why Rapunzel had grown her hair so long. I watched as the men eyed one another warily as they considered it for a moment and then Zahruk sifted in, which caused Darynda to stiffen up and close off as she moved to stand beside me. “It’s not safe down there, Princess,” Zahruk grumbled as his eyes quickly skimmed over Darynda.

“You of all people should know that.” “Are you saying you can’t keep me safe?” I taunted him. Zahruk and I had this love-hate thing going on. He’d stabbed me, and I hadn’t let him forget it. “I’m not saying we stay ‘til they‘re done with the gathering, but surely a few moments can’t hurt, right?” I smiled with victory as Zahruk held out his arm, his features taking on a look of annoyance. Once I grasped it, he sifted us down to the field. We were just outside of the walls of the keep, and protected on either side from the overflow of armies who’d come to serve their new King. We waited until the others had sifted in behind us before moving closer to the entertainment. The early evening air was warm and the moons were rising as we moved to where the lights and music were coming from. It was strange seeing two moons instead of one; it was another reminder of just how different this world was from the one I grew up in.

Strains of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida seemed to be coming from the Demon’s body as well as the air as he danced, oblivious to us. The smaller of the Fae that looked like fireflies had flocked to this area and were dancing with him as though he was some sort of deranged conductor. On every down-stroke or change to the music, colors or fireworks would shoot around the dancers. The energy was palatable and I noticed others joining the dance. Dwarves and Far Darrig stood by, jeering at the dancers, while Nymphs and Fauns jumped into the game. I even saw those of the Sluagh creeping around to see what was happening. I looked back at my escort and realized by their half-lidded, glowing eyes that they were all feeding off of the energy created by those dancing. The Demon’s expressions seemed to range from anger to frustration as he danced. With a flick of his finger, the music changed to Imagine Dragon’s I bet My Life and I decided to sit on the grass as the babies began kicking as though they were excited by all of the energy that was being sent out. No; as I looked around, I noticed that it was more symbiotic between the dancers and the observers as energy was being fed to all of them in a continuous cycle.

Asrian jumped in with the Demon, and began to dance as Ristan opened his eyes and noticed me for the first time. It was as though a mask slid into place and he grinned and nodded to Asrian who took over conducting the impromptu party. I watched from my reclined position as he made his way over to where I sat upon the grass. “You shouldn’t be out here, Flower. Not with such precious cargo stowed away in your blessed womb,” he teased as he shook his finger at me as though I was a naughty child who had snuck out past curfew. “I had to mess with Zahruk a little, but he finally allowed me out to play with the grown-ups,” I said as I smiled at Zahruk, who stood alert, watching for threats. “So, what’s up with the show?” I smiled and placed my hand on where one of the twins continued to kick. “Fairy Ring—we will have a nice one going here by dawn. It’s a way of working things out. Some Humans work out, others go mad,” he replied smoothly with a devastating grin.

He watched silently as Darynda sat beside me, and it didn’t slip our notice that Zahruk watched her as well. “Puzzles have a way of being solved when you least expect it,” he added softly. “Which puzzles are you working through?” I asked cautiously. “A shit storm of information with very little time to figure it out,” he replied easily, his eyes looked troubled, betraying his cheerful attitude. “Danu has been fucking me over with no new visions for the past month, and can’t seem to leave me alone. The Guild is slick with traitors and your uncle is too stubborn and prideful to just walk away. Just trying to see where it all connects, because it has to. Every puzzle has a starting piece,” he said on a deep exhale. “You, of all people, would like puzzles,” I smirked as I turned to look at the dancers when the music changed again. “Those first few weeks here, Ristan, I couldn’t have done it without you by my side.

I’m pretty sure I would have killed at least a dozen Fae before I settled in without you guiding me,” I said. “You told me once that it’s what a true friend does, and you taught me a few unexpected things as well, Flower. Just tell me what is on your mind, weighing it down, and I will help you where I can. Even if you think it’s silly, sometimes it may be the most important thing,” he said as he gave me a meaningful look that made me feel even guiltier than I did before, that I was hiding who I was from both him and Ryder. I swallowed hard and nodded at him. “So tell me, Demon, what’s bothering you at the Guild?” I asked. He tilted his head and then narrowed his eyes as if he was considering it. “I want to pull your uncle out. It’s not safe in that place. Treachery is afoot and I’m watching a few of them who I suspect of being spies.

Even one of the librarians seems to be in with the Mages,” he said on a growl. “A librarian, which one?” I asked having my curiosity rise. The library of the Guild was huge and complex. It ran deep beneath the entire city and housed most of the records for the entire Guild, which took a lot of work to protect and run it. There were about fifteen or more librarians who all reported to Alden. “She has dark red hair, and she’s not very tall,” he said but something in his tone caught my interest. Maybe it was nothing, but he seemed to be warring with something about this librarian. “At least I believe she is working with the Mages, and she has access to Alden; it just doesn’t sit well with me. She’s a piece of this puzzle, I can feel it. Alden won’t listen to me where she’s concerned though, says she’s a sweet girl who wouldn’t harm a fly.

” I smiled and shook my head. “Olivia? Little mouse?” I asked with a wide grin. I knew her; we all called her the mouse, because when she spoke, it was just above a whisper and she was barely over five feet tall, at most. She’d only spoken to me a few times, and she’d looked as if she wanted to scamper off for the entire conversation. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say she’s part Demon,” he growled. “Olivia is sweet. She’s very timid, but still sweet, from what I know of her, anyway. She’s not a spy,” I said but then considered the fact that a few months ago, I wouldn’t have believed my Guild was the Mages’ main source of soldiers. “Well, maybe…Tell me why you think she is a spy.” “She has red hair, and she’s always listening, always,” he growled as his eyes moved over my swollen belly.

“So since she has red hair and pays attention, that makes you believe she’s a spy for the Mages?” I continued. “That’s not all. I just have this gut feeling. I can’t read her. I can’t see her soul and mind. So far, those I can’t read have turned out to be Mages as it is a powerful spell to block someone like me. Only you and the Dark Princeling have been exceptions to that rule,” he said as he rolled over and propped himself on his elbows at eye level with my stomach. “You’ve grown a lot this week; have you talked to Eliran about it?” he asked carefully. “Yes; we’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve had my womb invaded by aliens which have now decided to use it to start a colony of clones,” I said as I tried to keep as straight of a face as I could manage while speaking of aliens. “Ha-ha,” he snapped as he rolled his eyes and tried to focus on my belly that continued to wobble with the squirming babies.

“I’m serious; you’re as big as a house.” “Thanks for the confidence booster,” I replied, shaking my head at him. “You think it’s managed to slip my notice that I have a wide-load sticker on my ass?” I spoke in a heated tone, and then exhaled deeply. “Sorry, it’s kind of a sore subject with me at the moment, Demon.” “Has Eliran seen the genders yet?” he continued, ignoring my outburst. “No, they seem to prefer to hide it. Every time we try, it’s the same thing: either baby will have his or her rear end in the way, or a leg is blocking us, or an entire fetus. I seriously don’t care what they are though, Demon, as long as they are healthy.” “And Ryder? How has he been these days?” I awarded him with a sour look that gave him his answer. “Don’t give me that look, Flower.

Must I remind you that he’s—” “Fae and love isn’t something you guys do a lot? No, I get it. Really, I do. The thing is, I wasn’t raised Fae and even if I had been, I’d still want love. Maybe it’s a female thing, but the Blood King and Queen, they have love. Actually, even Kier admitted he loves his wife so that’s two couples that I know of that don’t follow the norm. Ryder’s turned me into a giant beached whale and lately, he barely sticks around to do more than feed me. He was making an effort before, and now, nothing. I get that’s he’s super busy, but I need him right now, too.” “You do know he’s preparing for war, right?” Ristan said as he placed his palm over my swollen stomach. His eyes lit up with wonder as one of the babes kicked him.

“That one must be female like her mother; she’s got spunk and an attitude behind that kick.” “Well, at least we already know that I have one boy inside there,” I said with a soft grin. “Just because the vision showed you handing Adam a son, doesn’t mean they will both be males. After all, I was wrong about who had sired them; I could be wrong about the sex of the child as well.” “True, since you didn’t see both of them in the vision,” I whispered. I was afraid to say it out loud, but we both knew that the chance of both babies making it out alive was slim. I’d conceived them immediately after Transition which was unheard of by Fae standards, and no one knew what it meant, or how it would affect them. Not even Danu had an answer to that question. “Don’t go there,” Ristan said softly as he nodded to Zahruk, who had made an impatient noise indicating that he felt my playtime among the lesser Fae was over. “I haven’t seen them die,” he said as his eyes tightened as he watched me.

His hand continued to stroke where the babe had yet to stop kicking. “You haven’t seen them though, Demon; at least, not through to their adulthood. You can see Ryder’s future as the King, but you’ve yet to see me or his children in it. I’m just worried that with the war coming, they will be born into a broken world which will be too damaged to accept them.” “That’s good,” he said with a mischievous smile on his full lips. “It means you’re thinking like a mother already. Now, back to what’s bothering me,” he said with a roguish wink. “The librarian, how well do you know her?” “She’s a mouse. Why, you thinking of fucking the information out of her?” I teased. “I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t know what to do with a cock if it was staring her in the eye.

She’s a little too prim and proper for my taste, which, as you know, I like the kinky fuckery.” “Nice mental picture, Demon, can I go toss my cookies now?” I said, wincing. “I’m serious. She’s so far from my type that I’d rather bend a Light Fae over and go to town. Better one of those insufferable pricks than that little wench. At least they’d know what to do with a cock,” he continued. “Now I need ear bleach! But, on a serious note, I think you’re protesting a little too much. Maybe you have a slight Demon type crush on the poor little mouse?” I joked with a knowing grin. “She could be in league with the Mages! Who knows anymore? I can’t abide betrayers and I have had more than enough of them lately.” He grimaced as he expelled a shallow breath.

“I doubt it, but anything is possible,” I conceded. “She’s a fucking she-demon in pretty pink heels,” he grumbled. “Oh, here now, Demon, maybe you just want her to play with your Lego parts, and tinker with your big blue balls? Just once?” I said. He laughed outright, which made me smile so big it actually hurt. His snort afterwards brought us back to the problem at hand. “My balls are not blue, and I will even volunteer to show them to you for proof; can’t let you go around thinking my boys are from a toy store and shit.” “Ristan,” Ryder growled as he materialized behind us. “You have somewhere else you need to be?” “Not really,” Ristan said absently as he stood up and began working the buttons of his pants. I covered my eyes as I squealed with laughter. “Don’t do it!” I said between giggles that felt good, even if they did hurt my middle.

“You show her, and I will promise to make them blue for real, brother,” Ryder growled. “She accused my boys of being blue! I only offered to let her inspect them to assure her I suffered no such disorder,” Ristan said between a snort and a laugh. “Enough, children,” Ryder said as his glittering golden eyes took in the size of my midsection. “ Y o u ’ r e t o o e xp o s e d o ut he r e , a nd I ’ d l i ke t o fe e d yo u , P e t.”


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