For the Azar Lovers
Between the Eden Academy Books...
(set before the epilogue of Rebels and Runaways)
I was in the damn Eden pleated skirt, and the wool material was beginning to itch my thighs. You’d think after thirteen years, I’d be used to it, but damn I hated this thing. I wanted to be back in my ripped jeans, lying on the picnic bench with my head in Bobby’s lap. But instead, I was standing in the driveway of Eden Academy, which honestly was shaped a bit like a giant dick and balls if you included the two round guard houses at the fence.
Apparently, almost dying wasn’t enough punishment for the Academy heads, or they had long memories, because as soon as I was well enough, I’d been summoned to do my Flint-related punishment of showing the around the new Eden High enrolees.
I was not the poster child for the Academy, but it was their loss, I guess. I didn’t play well with others, and I was probably going to scare the shit out of a bunch of thirteen year olds. I sat my ass on the giant ‘feature’ boulder, which was basically code for ‘no one could be fucked moving it out of the way’, brushing my skirt down so I didn’t freeze my butt cheeks off.
My face ached, and I realized it was because I was grinning goofily. I had every reason to be happy. Enit was out of hospital. I have four super hot boyfriends. Life was good
Finally the gates opened, and my jaw dropped as a stretch hummer pulled up to the door. I continued to gape as a handsome Shifter hopped out of the drivers seat, coming around to open the passenger doors.
I didn’t even see who climbed out as a door at the very back of the stretch Hummer opened and a kid with blonde hair got out. And then another.
It was like fucking children of the corn up in the bitch before they were finished. I tried to do a rough head count, but they kept moving and fighting and wrestling on the grass like heathens.
“Hello, Carmen,” a voice said beside me, and I jumped.
I looked over at Azar, Counsellor for the Unbound, Ifrit badass. I inhaled, but the kids on the lawn didn’t smell like Djinn. I couldn’t recognize their scent.
I looked at Azar quizzically. “My kids, but not biologically. Hey, you lot, come and say hello. Silven, stop punching your brother. At least pretend we raised you with something resembling decorum.”
The handsome driver loped toward me, and if the swagger didn’t give it away, his scent definitely would have. Azar smiled softly at the man. “This is my consort, Oliver. He’s Werejaguar.”
I tilted my head. “We don’t use the Were terminology up here in Eden. Just Shifter will do.” She inclined her head, and I flushed a bit at correcting Djinn royalty on her supernatural political correctness.
Oliver threw back his head and laughed. “Were or not, its a pleasure to meet you, Carmen. You made quite the impression on Azar. She has a soft spot for women who take no crap and fight for people they love.”
All the kids managed to line up in something that resembled a rough order, and they all looked at me with basically the same smug half-grins. Yeah, these guys were all definitely related.
Azar smiled at them like they were the most precious creatures on earth, but if there was one thing a troublemaker could always spot, it was another troublemaker. Some of these kids were screaming trouble from the chandeliers.
Azar turned her dark gaze back to me. “Let me introduce you. This is Birch, Banyan, Linden, Silvan, Ash and Aspen,” Azar said, pointing to all the kids who looked the same except for the way they dressed. “Also Daisy, Dahlia, Iris, Rose, Lily, Violet and Poppy. Yeah, I know they are all trees and flowers. Naming thirteen kids is tough, I’ll have you know.”
I just bet it was. I shook my head like my eyes didn’t quite believe my eyes. “They’re all littermates?”
This time, it was Oliver who answered. “Yes, but their mother was, I mean is, a demigod.”
Now it was my time to smile smugly. They weren’t the first or last demigod to walk the halls of Eden, and I told them so.
“Okay, let’s begin.”
I looked back, and realized we were already down one kid, though no one seemed to notice. Yeah, I had a premonition and I didn’t even need to be an oracle. These kids were going to be trouble with a capital T.
I couldn’t wait.
“Let’s get this tour started, shall we?”
*The above text is unedited and subject to change. The author asserts full copyright to the test.