Melody of Souls by Skye MacKinnon

Chapter 1

I opened my eyes, listening for the voice, but nothing sounded in the dark room save my mates’ even breaths. They were all fast asleep.

Tarin was closest, a possessive arm flung over my waist. I was too hot, and the flimsy nightgown I’d donned prior to climbing in bed stuck to my skin.

I had to get up. I didn’t know why or how, but I did know that ignoring my instincts never turned out well.

Slowly, I eased myself from Tarin’s embrace. Just as I was nearly free, he tightened his grasp and hauled me back to him. I slid there easily over the slippery sheets.

“Where do you think you’re going, lass?” he asked.

His cock was hard against my hip. If I stayed here, we could kiss and fuck until sleep claimed us once again. A thrill of excitement shot straight to my pussy.

But something was bothering me. It was a thought at the back of my mind. Someone, or something, had called to me through the darkness of my dreams.

The dim room was empty, save the men and me.

Tarin flexed his hips, reminding me of his large, tempting presence.

“I can’t right now,” I whispered.

He nuzzled my neck. “Are you still hurt?”

The concern in his voice melted my heart. It had been three days since the Shadow King nearly killed me. Or maybe he had killed me. I was pretty sure I had been dead at the time. But I’d come back. Since then, my mates and I had barely kissed, much less done any of the other fun things we so enjoyed doing together. Mostly I’d taken baths--alone--to help rejuvenate my siren energies.

“No, I’m not hurting,” I said. “For the last time, I’d be happy to fuck one or all of you, any time you’ll get over babying me and actually stick your dick in my--”

He covered my mouth with his hand and roughly bit my neck. At the same time, he pressed his cock harder against my hip and squeezed one of my breasts through my nightgown.

“Want you so bad, lass,” he whispered.

But wait. I had something I needed to do, first.

I pulled his hand from my mouth and said, “Not yet. I’ll be right back.”

He groaned and let me go. I reluctantly slid from his embrace and climbed over Charles’s legs. My half-siren, half-faerie mate’s eyes were closed for the moment, but I had memorised their beautiful shade of grey. On the other side of the large bed, Lysander and Marek slept. Lysander, a vampire, didn’t sleep heavily very often, so he must’ve been tired. And Marek always slept like the dead, even though, as a faerie prince, he was very much alive.

I loved them all so, so dearly.

Tarin’s gaze met mine in the darkness. He was a wolf shifter, and his amber eyes glowed softly.

I found a robe thrown over one of the chairs, and I pulled it on over my nightgown. Already my skin was cooling--no doubt because so much of the palace had been destroyed during the battle, new draughts seemed to hit the rooms from all new directions.

With a wave at Tarin, I opened the chamber door and stepped into the hallway.

He was at my side in an instant, wearing only his trousers, his broad chest oh-so-tempting.

I looked up at him in surprise. “What are you doing?”

“I thought you just had to visit the loo,” he said. “But you’re heading out? I’m not letting you wander around this pile of rubble on your own.”

“That’s fine with me,” I said. An unseen force was already tugging me in a direction down the hall. “Try to keep up.”

“Ha,” Tarin said, and muttered something unintelligible but might have sounded like “cheeky siren.”

Up and down the halls we went. To his credit, Tarin didn’t complain or ask me where we were headed. He simply followed at my side, his eyes watchful for any danger.

“What are you worried about?” I asked.

“Without walls, this palace is less secure,” he said. “Just because we defeated those bloody pale ones doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there, waiting to attack. It isn’t safe here. Especially not at night.”

It made sense, and his concern was touching. I stopped walking so I could turn to face him. Cupping his cheek in my palm, I said, “Thank you.”

He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to my lips. I wanted it to go on and on, especially when the tip of his tongue teased my mouth, but I couldn’t. There was a task...no, that wasn’t quite right. Not a task. But something that needed to be tended to.

After what felt like a full mile of walking, I finally stopped. Tarin stood expectantly at my side as I stared at an open passageway.

The force driving me forward, a force I didn’t even understand or recognize, was coming from the throne room. Tarin and I stopped in the doorway. The room was a wreck, with toppled columns and rubble collected in corners. Torn tapestries fluttered in the night air that came through the ruined stone wall.

And standing before the fallen wall and staring out into the cold, clear night was the King.

He turned at the sound of our footsteps. In a haunting voice, he said, “I have a message for you, Avery. A message from the All of the Evermist.”