Reckless Cruel Heirs - Olivia Wildenstein



Earth Year: 2034 / Neverra Year: 806

A hand stroked up and down my trembling arm. “Cat, we need to stop. This needs to stop.”

“I . . . can’t.”

“You also can’t go through this again, amoo. It’s too much. For your body, but also for your heart.” The mattress dipped and then Ace’s body curled around mine, his arm falling over my empty abdomen. Weeks had gone by yet the pain lingered. “And for mine.”

Five months. This had been the longest a child had held on.

A sob raced up my chest and spilled into my damp pillow. Outside our bedroom’s sliding glass doors, steel clouds coiled over Neverra, darkening our kingdom, muting its beautiful colors. At this rate, I would drown our people in my sorrow.

“I’m so sorry, Cat.”

A slash of lightning painted the floating garden upon which we’d built our stone and glass nest garishly bright.

“Why?” I whimpered.

Ace sighed. “You know why.”

I turned in his arms. “I wish I could give up all my powers and just be human.”

He slid a lock of long black hair behind my ear, his turquoise eyes raking over my tearstained cheeks. “And deprive Neverra of its weekly sound and light show? How dull.”

In spite of my smashed heart, I smiled. “The farmers are complaining that your wife’s temper is ruining their crops.”

“My wife has a temper?” His features were taut with grief and yet his ability to pluck humor from terrible things hadn’t waned.

There were many things I loved about this man, but it was his wicked humor I loved best. Perhaps that was why we kept losing our babies. Not because their tiny bodies couldn’t bear the combination of so many powers, but because we’d somehow reached our quota of happiness and weren’t permitted more blessings.

I attempted to push away my longing, but as the Pink Sea raged beneath our hovering bungalow, its whitecaps scudding across wood, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up. “One more time, and then I promise, never again.”

He kissed the tip of my nose and tucked me closer. “Cat . . .”


“Willful wife.” He released a resigned sigh. “Fine. Use me for my body.”

I swatted his chest, then climbed onto one elbow to better see the glorious man who’d walked into my life three Neverrian years ago, armed with unrelenting humor, irresistible charm, and an inordinate amount of patience. He traced the sharp ridges of my face with one finger before weaving his hand through my hair and towing my head back toward his.

“You know I would do anything for you, Kitty Cat.”

When our lips touched, the storm fuming outside our walls and inside me finally abated. I wasn’t done grieving for those tiny souls stolen from my womb. How could I when they all still existed inside my heart?

But love and hope crawled back into my chest and pushed away the residual anger. Perhaps I’d never have a child to cradle, but at least I had a man who cradled me.

York House


Earth Year: 2124 / Neverra Year: 824

The security-bot scanned my biometric bracelet to make sure I was of legal age to enter the bar. Since I wasn’t, I conjured up my dust to create interference and wrapped it around the piece of human technology faeries had adopted four Neverrian years ago.

The Infinity was brilliant. With a swipe of my finger, I could control my outfit and footwear, beam and receive objects to anyone outfitted with a similar band, as well as pay and comm people in the human world and in Neverra. Plus it never needed charging. Our pulse created an electromagnetic field that fueled its battery. So long as we were alive, our little piece of technology was too.

As the security-bot blinked and splashed red light over the line of humans forming behind me, I checked the sidewalk for my personal guards. I’d managed to give them the slip back in Neverra by pretending to go for a swim in the depths of the Pink Sea, the only place in the kingdom where they didn’t follow since they were Seelies, aka air fae, and not Daneelies, aka water fae. Before surfacing, I’d disguised my appearance with a heavy dusting of wita and soared toward the portal for Old York before my two assigned guards had even noticed I was out of the water.

A woman with turquoise hair tapped her spiky-heeled boot behind me and muttered something about how bots could be so useless. At least she didn’t fault me for the defective machine. “Any humans