Others, 57

Spencer was tired, but that was just because he hadn’t slept last night.

Isaac hadn’t come home from the king’s funeral, and at first it had been fine, because Spencer and Skip had just assumed that he’d gotten distracted fucking someone, which Isaac often did. But something had felt wrong to Spencer even at the time, and by midnight when Vinnie knocked on their door to ask if they’d heard from him, it had been obvious something was wrong.

He was fine now, he and Oliver and Yancy were all fine now. Eventually Jacob had shown up and told everyone that Isaac had been kidnapped by a gang called the Rock Boys—how Jacob had known that was a mystery, but Spencer had learned to just accept that Jacob knew things, and they’d put together a cool rescue mission and Spencer hadn’t helped that much, but he’d gone with them and now they were back at the gates of the academy and everything was fine, but Spencer was exhausted and it wasn’t even suppertime.

“We have to go and deal with all these guys we arrested,” Leo was saying. He was the only knight who’d come back with them since all the others had taken the Rock Boys to prison. There was something about the city guard not being able to do it so the knights had to, but Spencer wasn’t totally sure what that was about except that Samantha’s uncle was the guard captain and she’d told Spencer once that the city guard were corrupt, so he guessed it made sense. “But I’ll come see you tomorrow?”

Noble, 56

Maria DiGorre was Dahlia’s sister-in-law, Felix’s widow. She seemed nice, which wasn’t as important as the fact that she seemed smart. “Is your brother going to hurt my son?” she asked Geoffrey point blank.

“No,” Geoffrey promised her. He and Giacomo had already talked about this. Giacomo wasn’t planning to hurt Francis, the baby Maria was holding. And Geoffrey had made sure he knew that was a good idea. “He might try to teach him to talk with his mouth full, it’s a habit I’ve never managed to get him to break. But he’s not going to hurt him.”

Giacomo would also definitely fuck Francis DiGorre, but not until he was old enough.

Prince, 108

“We will go back home, I think,” Cordelia said, looking at Isabella, who nodded. “Not right away.”

“No,” Isabella agreed. “But since the crown has unfrozen our assets and we’re not in danger anymore, it doesn’t make sense for us to stay in Dolovai. I hope that’s not a problem, my king.”

“No,” said Franz, who would be a little upset to lose them even if he’d known this would happen. “Now that Kyaine is safe again, you should go home. It’s where you belong.”

“It is,” Cordelia said, sighing deeply. “We are going to miss you, Franz.”

Slavery, 110

Daniel’s stomach hurt a little from all the juice he’d drank at breakfast, but it would pass if he just went pee somewhere and had some exercise. He was on his way to the academy, wondering if he should go in through the gates this time or climb over the wall again. They’d probably let him in if he just said he was Isaac’s friend.

He felt like he should think it was weird to just be Isaac’s friend, but it wasn’t, so fuck that. Isaac was nice in a way that nobody Daniel knew was. A little bit like Ozzy but different, somehow. And since they’d be leaving soon, Isaac wanted to see him one more time to say goodbye, and maybe thank you for helping him the other day when he’d been acting like a fucking dumbass.

“Hey, you,” said Ozzy, appearing out of nowhere to walk alongside Daniel just as the academy came into view. “Where you going? We never see each other now that you’re not legally bound to hang out with me. But I’ll remind you you’re still morally bound by the bonds of friendship. Let’s hang out.”

Villain, 103

“Hey, hey, Derek, let’s go on a trip!”

Derek woke up to Scott crawling out of his ear. It was the middle of the night, he could feel it. “Scott, I’m sleeping.”

“I know, stop cheating on me with other demons,” Scott accused, pinching his lips.

Derek snorted. “Sleep is an angel. Tiredness is a demon.”

Knighthood, 109

Between the funeral, being there with Gavin and Owen, organizing the protest and trying to track down half of Three Hills’s black market, Edwin really needed these few days off.

He’d been in the bath for ten minutes and was falling asleep, so he should either get out and have a nap, or stay in the bath and have a nap. He was too tired to decide which was better, though.

“Do you want me to help you wash?” Nikolai asked, done changing the sheets on the bed even though Edwin hadn’t slept in it last night. He and Nigel seemed to think Edwin didn’t know that they fucked in his bed when he wasn’t there, even though they didn’t hide it at all.

“Nah,” Edwin said, shifting a little. “Thanks, though. I’ll definitely fall asleep if you do that.”

Cadet, 3

“This is so stupid, why do I have to do this?” Thyx demanded, scrolling through a wall of blue bars.

“It is necessary for the monitor to ascertain the health and safety of all passengers every half tide,” Phox told him, as if Thyx had been asking him.

“That was a rhetorical question,” Thyx hissed, frill opening just a little. There was no point in getting mad at Phox, it was just a computer program. “Everyone is fine, nothing can change in their health as long as they’re in stasis.”

“That is incorrect. Certain bacterial infections are known to incubate in stasis environments.”

“I don’t care.”

Stowaway, 115

“It’s actually super interesting being the morale officer,” Matthias said, leaning on the railing and looking out at the ocean. “It’s not just sex.”

Pax, who was well aware of both that fact and the fact that Matthias had been having sex with nearly everyone for the last five days, nodded, continuing to sharpen his knives. “Even if it were just sex, no doubt that could also be potentially interesting,” Pax said. “Given the number of people involved, one would be kept on their toes, I should think. Unless of course the people involved prefer one not to be on their toes, or prefer to pretend toes don’t exist, like that one village near the border of the Sevoshi Desert, remember them? The ones who pretend that feet end in fingers and if you disagree they throw you in foot jail?”

“Yeah,” Matthias agreed. “They’re half over the Dolovin border and so they use that as an excuse to get around the fact that Dolovin law forbids torture to tickle every prisoner for days until they repent. Weird place.”

“Let’s not go there again,” Pax agreed, finishing with one knife and grabbing another. “I’m not ticklish, of course, but I know you found it rather humiliating.”

Chosen One, 122

When the door opened again later in the day, it wasn’t Bernie or Blair, but another boy who was around the same age. He was a southerner, though. “Come on,” he said, standing in the doorway. “Out here.”

Isaac spent a second trying to decide whether it was worth being a pain in the ass, and stood up. “Sure. Where are we going?”

“Don’t waste your time, please. I’m not a horny idiot like my brothers.”

Considering he was looking at Isaac’s dick, Isaac doubted at least half of that. “Sure.” He held his hands behind his head and followed him out of the room, trying not to fully let out the breath he was holding. He’d managed to restrain himself enough that he could touch it without it totally filling him, but he wasn’t totally sure yet what that would mean if he had to try and use it.

Team, 113

“Nadya Ovenbrook is trying to destroy the universe,” Derek Arkhewer told them as they followed him down a long hallway dotted with round doors. “I don’t think she realizes that’s what she’s doing, but she is.”

“What does she think she’s trying to do?” Cal asked, mostly curious what Derek’s answer would be. House Arkhewer was the name of the noble house that oversaw Ech’kent in Cal’s world, and it was probably just a coincidence that Derek was also named that.

“Well, I can’t read her mind and we’ve only met once. But from what I’ve seen, I think she thinks she’s going to go back in time and stop Armageddon.”

Cal frowned. “Why would she want to do that?”

“Why wouldn’t she?” Joey asked. “Her world got destroyed.”