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The Phoenix Prophecy: Nova: Chapter 44

NEW

Snow finds me. I don’t know how long I’ve been out here. I’m cold but I can’t feel it. When he appears through the trees, I’m standing in a clearing, staring up at the stars.

Supernova—a powerful explosion. 

For years, my parents and my brother have been shadows. Memories I could never quite catch hold of. Whispers of a sadness I knew were there but never fully felt.

Now, I feel it.

I feel it all.

Snow stands beside me until I’m ready. I put my hand on his shoulder and keep it there as we walk back to the house. Tanner’s waiting for me in the kitchen. Snow nudges me toward him, and when I turn around, he’s Mack again. Naked. Reaching for a towel and pulling it around his waist.

Tanner presses a mug of something hot into my hands. Mack goes to the cupboard near the door to the cellar and takes out a pair of gray sweats and a dark hoodie.

He sits opposite me and watches as I bring the mug to my lips. It’s tea. Sweetened with honey.

“Did Kole tell you?” I look at Tanner. He’s holding a mug but not drinking from it. He nods slowly.

“Is he okay?”

“He’s fine. Luther’s with him. We’ll let him spend the night downstairs. Make sure he’s got the hunger under control. But he’s okay.”

“How does he…” I press my fingers to the mug, staring into it. “How does he control it?”

“Willpower.” Tanner taps the side of my mug. “Little star.” He looks purposefully at the tea. It’s bubbling.

“Sorry.” I push it away and put my hands on my lap.

“Don’t be sorry.” He takes my hand even though the heat will sting. “You have nothing to be sorry for.”

I know he’s not talking about the tea. He’s talking about what I did. But I don’t have the energy to say so. I’m exhausted. Every bit of my body aches with tiredness.

The Professor stands up and gestures to the hall. “Tanner, I think you should take Nova to bed.”

Tanner puts his hand around my waist and guides me to my feet.

We’re at the door when I turn to Mack and say, “Will you come too?”

Mack inhales slowly. Presses his tongue to the inside of his cheek as he considers the question. Instead of answering me, he simply nods.

Upstairs, I crawl into bed. Mack gets in next to me, sitting up and resting against the headboard. I lay my head on his chest. He puts his arm around me. Then Tanner curls himself behind me and slides down so his head is on my stomach. While Tanner gently strokes me, Mack remains still. I listen to his heart beating. And the rhythm sends me to sleep.


When I wake, it’s still pitch-dark outside. Tanner has rolled onto his side. Mack is sleeping with one arm behind his head. I sit up and look at them both. Kole told them what I did. But they didn’t see it.

Kole did.

Kole’s the only one who understands the ache throbbing in my chest.

Slowly, I inch down the bed and swing my feet onto the floor. In the hall, a floorboard creaks. I stop, listening. But there’s no movement.

I tiptoe to Luther’s door and press my ear against it. He’s snoring. Good, that means he’s not downstairs.

In the kitchen, I click a flame into my hand and use it to light my way down the spiral staircase. I weave down and down until I reach the basement. I expect the door to be locked, but it isn’t. It swings open. The lamps are no longer lit. Kole’s muscular frame is silhouetted by the wall.

I blow the flame and it flutters toward him, lighting the lamp above his head.

He’s not looking at me. He’s still kneeling, neck bent, arms slack in their chains. When he finally raises his head, his fists clench. His shoulders ripple. He jerks forward, the chains pull, clank, stop.

“Nova,” he snarls. “You shouldn’t be here.”

I step forward, linger on the spot where Tanner told me to stand. “I’m not afraid of you.”

“You should be.” His jaw twitches. My eyes are tracing the ink on his skin. There’s so much of it. Like a story I can’t read.

“You saw what I saw?” My hands hang loose at my sides.

Kole blinks at me with dark eyes. “Yes.”

“All of it?”

“Yes.”

“You saw what I did?” My voice catches in my throat. A sob escapes my lips.

Kole doesn’t reply.

“I killed them.”

He still doesn’t reply.

killed them.”

This time, he locks his gaze on mine. “Yes,” he says. “You did.”

“They died because of me.”

“They did.” He breathes a heavy breath. “But it is not your fault. Both things can be true.”

I waver, then step forward.

Kole shakes his head. “Stop.”

“You won’t hurt me.”

He closes his eyes.

“I know you won’t hurt me.”

He turns his head, but I’m closer now. I kneel in front of him. I can feel him breathing. I can feel the warmth in his veins. “You seem certain, little star.”

“I saw things.” I reach out and turn his face toward me. His jaw pulses beneath my touch. “When I saw you in the street. Through the rain. The night I arrived in town. I saw things.”

He breathes a throaty sigh. It sends a shiver down my spine.

“I saw bodies, hands, lips.” I let my fingers trail over his shoulder, his arm, up to his wrist while the other traces the rim of the metal collar around his neck.

“Nova?” Tanner’s voice drifts over from the door.

I stand slowly and turn around.

“You’re too close.” Tanner strides over and puts his hands on my upper arms.

“He won’t hurt me.” I meet his eyes, imploring him to believe me. “I need him.” The words escape before I know what I’m saying. “I feel it. Here.” I wrap my arms around my waist, hugging my stomach. “Deep down. I need him.”

As I sink to the floor and lock eyes with Kole, Tanner kneels beside me.

“Blood bond,” Kole mutters.

Tanner narrows his eyes. “It can’t be. She didn’t taste your blood.”

Kole moves his arms and the chains tighten. “Trust me. I can feel it.”

I can hear my pulse in my ears; it’s racing. Throbbing. The sensation spreads through my limbs and settles between my legs.

“Fuck her for me.” Kole is looking at Tanner.

His words make the throbbing worse. I moan a little and push my fingers through my hair. My skin is fizzing. Tight. Hot. Cold. I need Kole. I need him inside me. I need to melt around him until we’re one being.

“Fuck her now.” Kole and Tanner are staring at one another.

Tanner moves behind me, flicks my hair back over my shoulders, and runs his hands down my neck. When he reaches my chest, he doesn’t stop. He smooths them over my breasts all the way to my hips. Then he hooks his fingers in the hem of my sweater and pulls it off.

Kole is watching us. He wants us. Both of us.

Leaning back into Tanner’s naked chest, I groan as he unclasps my bra and throws it aside. His hands cup my breasts, take their weight, hold them while his thumbs brush my nipples.

“Make her stand. I want her naked.” Kole grabs hold of his chains and grips hard as he tells Tanner what to do to me.

Without question, Tanner does as he’s told. He takes my hands, pulls me to my feet, then gently removes my jeans. He’s about to remove my panties too when Kole says, “Stop. Bring her here.”

This time, Tanner hesitates. But then he complies. He moves me so I’m in font of Kole. He’s still kneeling, unable to stand. My pussy is inches from his face.

“Pull them open so I can make her wet for you.”

Tanner is behind me. I reach up and lock my hands around his neck as he tugs my panties to one side.

Kole pulls on his chains. He wants to touch me. Needs to touch me. But instead, he rolls his tongue around his mouth and spits. The glob of moisture slides down to my clit. I don’t need it; I’m already slick for him. But it makes me moan.

“Shall I touch her?” Tanner asks him.

“One finger. Inside. Don’t touch her clit.” Kole looks from Tanner’s face to mine. I widen my legs and welcome Tanner’s finger inside me. He leaves it there. Doesn’t move until Kole says, “Now out.”

Slowly, he removes it.

“In.”

Tanner obeys.

“Out.”

“Fuck,” I moan, grinding down onto him.

“Stop that.” Kole snaps at me. I lock my gaze on his. “I tell you when to move. Don’t move.”

With a whimper, I try to remain still.

“Add another,” Kole says, gesturing with two of his own fingers.

Tanner does as he’s told.

“Good. Now bring her here.”

At that, Tanner pauses.

“Bring. Her. Here.”

I stroke Tanner’s neck, then turn to face him. “It’s okay,” I breathe. “He won’t hurt me.”

Tanner kisses me. Hard. Then nods and spins me around.

“Closer,” Kole growls. When I’m inches from him, he says. “Put your leg over my shoulder and hold on to the chains. I’m going to taste you while Tanner fucks you.”

I look at the chains, at the height of Kole’s shoulders. I always sucked at gymnastics and have no idea how long I’ll be able to hold the pose if I manage to get into it. But then Tanner is behind me, lifting my leg, guiding me to Kole’s face.

“Tanner.” I lean back, searching for him as Kole’s tongue finds my clit.

“Is she wet?” Tanner asks, palming my breasts and looking down over my shoulder. Kole lifts his gaze. He nods at Tanner.

“Come here and taste her.”

Tanner steps around me, bends over, and licks my juice from Kole’s lips. It’s the hottest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I pull on the chains, thrusting closer, willing him to return his tongue to me.

“Fuck her.” Kole jerks his head at me, still staring at Tanner. “Now.”

Tanner drops his sweats to his ankles and wraps an arm around my waist. Holding the chain with the other, he enters me slowly as Kole returns to my clit, sucking, nibbling, lapping.

“Faster.” I push back onto Tanner’s dick, grinding my hips. “Faster.” A flame escapes from my fingers and shoots like a firework up the chain to the wall. Then another, and another. I yell and pull on it as heat fills me up. An orgasm explodes inside me. Tanner comes too, jerking forward, pushing me hard into Kole’s lips as his cock pumps out hot come.

There’s a cracking sound, loud, then another hand is on me. Kole’s hand. My eyes widen. The chain I set fire to has come loose from the wall. He’s grabbing my hip, clenching me tight. Tanner kisses my neck. When he sees what’s happened, he pulls out of me and tugs my leg from Kole’s shoulder. I feel empty without him, and tired. So tired.

For a moment, I don’t think Kole’s going to let go of my hip. But then he moves back, wipes his mouth with his arm, and looks down at the bulge in his pants.

“Are you going to leave me like this?” He asks Tanner.

Tanner turns to me. I reach up and brush my fingers through his gorgeous brown hair. I tuck my head under his chin and kiss his neck. “I’ll see you in bed.” I squeeze his hand. I don’t want to leave them, but I’m so tired. So, so tired.

As I leave the room, I hear the snap of Kole’s belt as Tanner unfastens it.


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