Home > Midnight Soul (Fantasyland #5)(2)

Midnight Soul (Fantasyland #5)(2)
Author: Kristen Ashley


This made it safe for the most powerful men on those two continents to live out their days in harmony with the loves they’d found across universes.

Found them and impregnated them.

All four of them.

It was the way of men.

Quite tedious. Lay claim and then lay claim: planting their seed so they could bind their women to the servitude of motherhood and the men could live eternal through their spawn.

As far as I knew (and I was not privy to much), none of these men (save Frey Drakkar, my cousin) had been with their loves for more than a few years (and in some cases it was only months).

And yet all the women were expecting; three of them with their second child.

This had naught to do with me.

I was going to drink wine. Sleep. Wake.


I tried not to be in Lunwyn—my icy country, my beautiful home—very often. Not only because, to many of those I knew, I wasn’t welcome.

Even so, I didn’t wish to return to Fleuridia where I had apartments and spent most of my time either.

They were apartments I’d shared with Antoine.

I needed to be rid of them.

Where I would go, I had no idea.

Of course, it was a must I first visit with Kristian, my brother, who, after what I was forced to do in the hopes of saving my lover, had suffered.

My brother was bountiful of heart but weak of character. He needed looking after. He needed protecting.

I’d see to him.

As I always did.


I had no idea.

But now was not the time to decide that.

Now, as I stood watching Circe press her jaw into Noctorno’s touch, I knew he’d taken care of her. In so doing, I knew he’d been immensely gentle, took great amounts of time and paid tremendous attention.

All of this I understood from the replete expression on her face.

The relief I witnessed in her visage was likely, after all she’d endured, that she didn’t think any man could offer that kind of pleasure and she was delighted to know they could.

The gratitude was not for the gentleness, time, attention and the undoubted climax he’d given her.

It was simply for him being him.

The kind of man who had all of that in him.

One man in billions.

In two universes.

My vision went hazy as memories flitted through my brain.

I closed my eyes at the colossal pain those memories caused.

I had that, didn’t I, my love. We had that. Didn’t we? I grew uneasy even through the pain, wracked with uncertainty. Did I give you that, my Antoine?

As had been the case every time I sent my messages blindly to the gods in hopes they’d feel generous and send them where they were meant to be received, even before he expired after enduring such cruelty, I had no reply.

I couldn’t allow the images the witches had sent of his torture to come to my mind’s eye. If I did, it would be crippling. So I only let them through when I was alone at night in bed and could be crippled by them, tossing and turning, sleepless for hours.



I opened my eyes and, again swiftly and quietly, turned and made my way back down the hall, leaving Circe and Noctorno to their moment.

As I did this, I felt my lips curl in a scornful smirk.

Look what’s become of me, Antoine. I called out silently to the ether. Walking away from that touching scene without even catching Circe’s eyes to share I’d seen what I’d seen and I knew what I knew. You did this to me, mon cœur. I must get back to who I am. If only to have something diverting in the years to come that don’t have you in them.

I halted again, halfway down the passageway, when Antoine’s deep, polished voice sounded in my head in answer.

That is not you, mon ange, and I would be most annoyed if you went back to impersonating that woman you never were.

Mon ange, his angel.

All those months we’d spent together…

Did he even know me?

This was a vague thought.

A more crucial one came to my lips.

“Are you there, beloved?” I whispered to the empty hall.

I heard no reply.

“Antoine, mon cœur, are you there?” I called and winced when I heard the urgency and desperation in my own voice.

Even so, there was no more from Antoine.

And if a servant, or (as if I hadn’t already been cursed by the goddess Adele to endure the unendurable), the dire happenstance of being caught by Noctorno (either of them), my cousin Frey, his Finnie, the king of Korwahk, his Circe (or the other Circe), Prince Noctorno’s Princess Cora, Apollo or Madeleine, should they walk down this corridor, they’d think me deranged.

And I couldn’t have that.

I’d shown them weakness.

With the loss I’d suffered, what I’d been forced to do to my Lunwyn, my family’s House, my brother, I no longer had it in me to show them strength.

And I’d learned when that was the case. When you were brought low, escape was the wisest course.

I hurried toward the steps, deciding to find my wine somewhere else.

I knew Queen Aurora was enjoying refreshments with the green witch of the other world, a woman who went by the name Valentine (and I approved that she pronounced it in the Fleuridian manner, Val-ehn-teen) as well as Lavinia, Lunwyn’s most powerful witch.

And all of them indisputably deserved those tonics, what with the palace having all its windows blown out by evil magic, the green witch instigating her layering of plans in order to save our realm, and Lavinia having actually died at the hands of the wicked triumvirate, necessitating her being resurrected by the elves.

They’d been at it since everyone was transported back to the Winter Palace and the short debriefing had occurred.

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