The Leopard Soul (Soul Stones #3) - Amy Sumida

Chapter One

“Ah, fuck,” I grumbled as I tried to pass the Leopard Lord's campfire. “Why can't he take that shit inside? He's got the biggest tent in camp.”

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with homosexuals. I'm a soldier in an army of fae shapeshifters and there are a lot of gay faeries. You'd think it would be the opposite, what with the low birth rate of faeries, but it's not. In fact, there are so many of them that it makes me wonder if it's the reason the Fae have so few children. Being immortal, a low birth rate is a good thing, so maybe nature made a lot of them gay on purpose. There are so many of them, in fact, that here in Stalana, the word faerie has become synonymous with gay. Either way, they don't bother me.

I respect the way they give absolutely no fucks about whether I respect them or not. But I especially respect them because the Fae help us humans defend Stalana—our portion of the continent that we share with them—from the monstrous Farungal Horde. I appreciated that so much that I joined the army to show my gratitude through action, not just words. I didn't give a shit if the faeries who came to help us wanted to fuck everything with a pulse, just as long as their partners were willing. Nor did I care that some human men were also into fucking other men, especially fae men. What the fuck business was it of mine? None, that's what. I don't hold with looking down on someone because of who they want to fuck or how they want to fuck them. I leave that bullshit to civilians.

But, fuck. Okay, maybe that was a bad choice of words. Let me try again. However, fuck. I didn't want to see a group of horny fae men sucking and fucking each other just to entertain him. Him being the Leopard Lord—the fae commander in charge of the mixed fae and human army I served in. But maybe I should explain this a little more before I get into the freaky faerie shit happening right in front of me.

The Fae species is divided into Sidhe and Unsidhe races. The Unsidhe have all sorts of interesting sub-races, while the Sidhe sub-races are all shapeshifters. The Sidhe Kingdoms are divided by their animal races, and so are their armies. There are twelve Sidhe/human armies total, as well as twelve Unsidhe armies. Humans are uneasy around the Unsidhe because some of them look scary as fuck, so the Unsidhe—those badass bastards—fight alone. At least, that was the situation before all the Beast Armies fought together on Alantri—the continent that the Farungal live on. That might change since we were able to work so well together. But I'm getting off track.

Let's get back to my situation. I'm a human soldier in the Leopard Army, which means that I live in a tent in the human portion of our camp. However, I occasionally have to venture into the fae section for army business. Not that the sections are off-limits or anything; any soldier is free to enter any part of the camp, and there is significant mingling that goes on. But the sleeping arrangements are separate, like a boys’ and girls’ dormitory. In fact, it's really similar to that, just with randy men and women soldiers.

I'm a captain and that means that I have to take meetings with our human general, who runs the human portion of the army. Sometimes, I deliver messages to the fae general for him. Delivering those messages wouldn't be so bad if General Liese, the fae General, didn't have his tent right next to the Leopard Lord's. I don't mind going into the fae section of camp, it's walking past the Leopard Lord's tent that bothers me. Even that would be fine if he'd just confine his erotic activities to the inside of his tent.

But no, the Leopard Lord is a freak. And since I consider faeries, in general, to be more sexually adventurous than the freakiest human, that's saying a lot. He's like the freaks' freak. King Freak. Sir Freaky. Freak-tastic. He deserves a freak award for the shit he does. Okay, I'm stopping now.

Most nights, our warlord could be found to the right of his tent, in front of a campfire, sprawled in a chair like some kind of warrior king, while he watched a bunch of guys perform all sorts of sexual