If you were wondering if I still updated this blog, the answer is yes! I finally have something. I have always wanted to do this----put all my characters in a room (or as many as possible)----and see what happens. Since I'm in a Treyu headspace, we get to do this from his POV, which means we get to meet him and Zhang. Sorry! Atlanta and Gemini aren't here.
I'm super excited about this and there is opportunity for more episodes of all my characters in a room. Feel free to comment at the bottom. I would love to hear from you! This is almost 10K long!
I wouldn't take anything too seriously. It's all just flavors. This is meant to be fun and imaginative ;)
I can't recall where I found this amazing art piece, but it is NOT mine. I used this to inspire me for Treyu.
Checking my phone—to see if I’ve got the right place—I confer with the address on the building. I expected an office building, not a condo. Why is this office in a condo? I want to tell my story to a professional—only a professional can tell my story.
“What kind of a name is ‘Mock’ anyway?”
Suddenly, a shadow casts over the sun, blocking my view of the bright Vancouver condos.
“If I turn around and that’s you, Zhang—”
“You’ll what, Orion?”
Mother of the fucking starchild. I turn and yep, it’s him. All Eight feet of him with the loose parts of his long red hair whipping in the wind and a mop of it tied into a loose bun on top. He’s got his serious frown on. I don’t even think he means for his face to look that way. His jaw is just so square and … and perfect.
I don’t bother with his question. That’s not going to lead anywhere good for me. “You’re supposed to blend in, Centaurus. You stick out like pumpkin on a grapevine.” He didn’t even leave his swords at home—they’re right on his back. And that long red jacket, fuck. At least we can pass off like we’ve just come from a comic convention or something.
My black leather jacket and pants are fine on their own—maybe I’m in a biker gang—but paired with him, we look like freaks.
“She’s our author. She knows everything about us. What would be the point?”
“She’s not our anything, Zhang. She’s mine. All mine. You, run along.” I clap him on the back and attempt to walk by him.
He grips my wrist in a vice lock. He’s a star. I’m just a starry has-been. Ergo, I’m not getting out of this grip until he lets me go.
Hot. So hot.
Do not think hot thoughts about Zhang or that’s going to be many, many centuries wasted hating him. Though hate-sex is always good. I’ve read enough romance to know. Hate-to-love trope has got to be on my top five.
Also, I’ve had enough hate sex to know.
Zhang smiles. He knows exactly what I’m thinking. Gods fucking dammit—we work together, and we basically grew up together. We know each other too well for two stars who aren’t friends.
“You’re thinking about hate-to-love tropes, aren’t you?”
I try to pull my wrist from his hand. It won’t budge. “Definitely the hate part.” But I’m staring and his hand is warm, and it’s just the right kind of tight. Maybe we could fuck? It’s not like I haven’t thought about it over the hundreds of years we’ve been forced to collaborate. Or masturbated to the thought of it.
Hate sex is him doing me a favor and me doing him a favor.
I’m breathing hard. Why am I breathing hard? Why is this happening now? I bet it was that late-night taco binge. I knew I should have gone for the gluten-free shells.
Someone walks right into us, and I know they’re not human when Zhang—the real-life mountain—takes a step back. He pulls me behind him protectively.
It’s … another real-life mountain also with long red hair and in a long jacket, a blue one, with silver buttons. With him is a smaller man with hair black as night and a brow that resembles murderous hawk wings.
“Ah, sorry. Didn’t see yah there, mate,” the red-haired man says. “Name’s Charlie. You must be here to see Mock too.”
He extends his hand for Zhang. Zhang doesn’t offer his back. He doesn’t say a word. I step forward, to the tune of Zhang’s displeased grunt. “You didn’t see him there? The man is an ogre, how do you not see something like that?”
Charlie grabs the other man’s hand and smiles down at him. “When you’re too busy staring at your husband’s arse that’s when. But can yah blame me?”
I can’t tell if his accent is English or Scottish.
“Sorry about my ogre,” the other man says. “I’m Jude.”
He extends his hand for me, but overprotective Zhang yanks me backward by the waist of my leather pants, pulling me out of reach. “Sorry about him he’s—”
“No need to apologize,” Jude says in his softer but definitely English accent. “I know what it’s like to have a possessive husband.” He winks.
“Husband? Ew, no. He’s not my—”
“Dammit, Wells,” Jude says. He shakes his head. “Sorry, um …”
“It’s Treyu,” I say from my Zhang prison. “This is Centaurus.” If he doesn’t want to talk, he can be Centaurus. “We work together.”
“Ah, right,” he says as if he doesn’t believe a word I’m saying. “Sorry, Treyu. My, er, friend is waving me down from the window. I’d better get inside. Do you have an appointment with Mock as well?”
Yes, I do. Why are they here? And this “Wells” fellow? I hope this isn’t going to be like a freaking healer’s office. Just who does this Mock person think she is?
“Um, yeah. Do I have the wrong time?” I wonder out loud.
“Dammit, Wells,” he says again. “No, I doubt you have the wrong time and I’m sure my friend has bamboozled us into thinking Mock ‘gave us a last-minute appointment.” He exhales an annoyed sigh. “I’d better get in there before he sends something out the window that will get us all in trouble. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you get in at the time of your appointment. Well unless … no, you’re fine. He shouldn’t show up till next month sometime.”
Well that’s not worrisome at all. “Unless what?”
“Tristan,” Jude says.
“Tristan. What about Tristan?” I’ve heard about him. I know he’s one of Mock’s.
“Just pray that he doesn’t decide he wants something today or we’ll all be out of luck.”
I scowl. “Who does this Tristan think he is?”
“He’s kinda like her firstborn, even though that’s not accurate at all. She does whatever he wants.”
He seems fine with that. I would not be fine with that. “And you don’t want to pummel this guy?”
Jude leans in. “Even Charlie can’t ‘pummel’ that guy.” There’s sudden shouting from above. “Fuck. C’mon, Char. We’ll see you up there, Trey.”
“See yah up there, mates,” Charlie says in a super gruff and sexy voice.
Now him, I’d have no problems getting tossed over his knee. I watch his massive form move toward the door and open it for his husband once they’re buzzed in.
Zhang’s hand is around my wrist again. “You’re not going up there.”
“Oh yes, I am.”
“This place is crazy. Complete chaos.”
“I will throw you over my shoulder, Orion, and drag you away from here.”
Fuck. Can’t breathe. Hot. Hot. Hot. Why is that so fucking hot? I’m inclined to push him into throwing me over his shoulder.
No. I need to think about slimy slugs and overcooked mushrooms. But also, he will do that. “Don’t you dare. I’ll have you written up.”
He rolls his eyes. He knows it’s an empty threat. You can’t really write up a prince of the Pleiades. Well, you can, but it needs to be an actual crime, substantiated with proof and even then, they’re likely to let it go with a slap on the wrist.
“Stow your counting.” I huff and cross my arms. “I need to do this, Zhang. What if I let you come with me?”
“There’s no ‘let’ about it. That’s the only way you’re going up there. You’re totally defenseless. Those men have magic, and I don’t even want to know what this Tristan guy has.”
I’m not totally defenseless. Fallen stars still hold more power than humans. Hopefully, he’s just a pompous human. “They said he wasn’t coming.”
“They said he could drop in at will. He could be here already for all they know.”
“Then fine. Please come up and protect me,” I say with false dynamism.
He doesn’t say anything for a solid two minutes and just when I think this is over—for now, I still have some pull seeing as my father is head of the Guardians—he nods. “Let’s go. If I see anything I don’t like, we’re out.”
Before he can change his mind, I head to the buzzer and ring.
“House of Mock, who may I ask is calling?” It’s a man’s voice—a soft but sure man’s voice.
“It’s Treyu Orion and uh, his companion.” I would say mortal frenemy, but if he doesn’t get in, he’ll prevent me from going up.
“Oh! You’re actually in Mock’s iPad for an appointment today.”
Actually in the iPad…? There’s a buzz and I jump for the door, wanting to get up there before Zhang can kibosh this whole thing. He remains close behind as I book it up the stairs to the eleventh floor.
The door to the condo is open a crack and inside is absolute fucking chaos. I don’t bother knocking. To my right is what could be considered a receptionist’s desk. Behind it is a thin man on an iPad. By all appearances, one might think he’s the receptionist, but something tells me he’s not.
It’s a large space. To the left is a living room-type set up with couches, a coffee table, a TV, and directly in front is a closed door with MOCK written in large font. There’s a hallway leading to other rooms. The whole place is surrounded by glass windows and looks out to Spanish Banks. The ocean—the actual ocean—laps at the shoreline in the background.
Wow, this is some nice digs.
Jude is off by a window, arguing with a man with blond hair—that’s got to be Wells. I guess it could be another blond-haired man, but in that high-class suit, he looks like a man named Wells.
Two men greet us. One with an undercut and floppy dirty blond hair on top. The other has light-brown feathery hair. He’s much smaller, but this suspicious scowl is mighty. They’re each holding a clipboard.
“Grayson,” the one man says. “Be nice.”
“I haven’t said anything yet.”
“I know what you’re thinking.” He turns to us. “Welcome fellas. This is Mock’s place. We’ve begun a greeting committee. Um, but before we get you acquainted, you didn’t happen to see a tall man down there did you? Messy dark hair. Uncanny resemblance to Henry Cavil?”
“Uh, no,” I say.
“I told you, Finn. They have no idea we’re here. Quit worrying. But was there maybe a large man down there, super hot, in holey blue jeans and maybe a cowboy hat? Oh! And he’s from one of Mock’s worlds so I’d better mention that he has wavy blond hair to his shoulders.”
At least this Mock has good taste in hair. Good hair is a must. I flick my eyes to Zhang. “No one else but us was down there when we left.”
“Not worried, eh, Grayson?” Finn says. “Anyway, we’re gonna need some details about you. Your name?”
“Treyu,” he repeats. “Screams brat,” he adds as he writes on his clipboard.
“Hey! Are you writing that down?”
Instead of looking at me, he looks Grayson. Grayson nods. “Hell yeah. Don’t deny it, Orion,” Grayson says to me. “Things will go a lot easier for you if you just admit to it.”
“I’d never deny I was a brat,” I state proudly. “I’d prefer to know just where that information is going.”
Uneasiness pours off Zhang. He yanks me to him by the back of my pants again. That’s going to happen a lot, isn’t it?
“What’s the ogre’s name?”
I laugh. So far, they seem to speak my language here. “Zhang Centaurus.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dreamy,” Finn says.
A bolt of jealousy washes through me. I step back so I’m closer to my not-boyfriend.
Finn laughs. “Don’t worry. I can see he’s your Top. We’re just real open around here. You’ll see. Wait until you meet Tris.”
“Tris?” Tristan. “Is he coming?”
They both shrug. “Don’t know.”
“And you can change the information on your little sheet there. He’s a Top, but he’s not my Top.”
“Yeah. Sure, pal,” Finn says. “If not now, give it time.”
Charlie appears out of nowhere and takes each of them by the scruff of the neck. “What are you two up to over here?” he says in his deep accent.
Both men pale. “Nothing bad, sir. We’re the greeters,” Finn says and it’s clear that he wishes he was anywhere else right now.
“Yeah. We’re keeping things organized for Mock,” Grayson says.
Charlie releases them from his grip. “There are too many brats around here. Where are all the Tops?”
“Wish we could tell you, sir. Your guess is as good as ours,” Grayson says.
“Give me those. We don’t need greeters. We need order. Go sit on the sofa over there until I figure out what to do with ye.”
“C’mon, Charlie. That’s too close to a time-out. We didn’t do anything,” Finn complains.
“You haven’t done anything yet and intend to keep it that way.”
“God you Tops are all the same,” Grayson says.
If Charlie is a Top, I’m shocked at the level of chat back he’s getting. On our planet, there are rules and high protocols for this sort of thing. This is clearly a family of some sort and families back home in the Nebula have a hierarchy. Especially my military family. We’re a family of men. It would be fucking chaos if Father didn’t have rules.
“Aye. That we are. Right now I’m giving you the couch option, if I hear any more backchat, I’m happy to send you both to a wall until I figure this out, and with the level of havoc in here that could be a while.”
They hand over their clipboards. “Yes, sir.”
“I’m cuddling on top of you, Brighton,” Grayson says as they make their way over to the sofa.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” Charlies says. “I don’t know what they were up to, but it was somethin’. I’ll get you acquainted.”
Zhang is still doing his impression of a rabid coyote. “I’d like that, sir,” I say. Unlike the other two, I know how to show proper respect where it’s due.
“Don’t worry,” Charlie says in Zhang’s direction. “I won’t let any harm come to him.”
“No. I won’t let any harm come to him,” Zhang says.
Finally, he speaks. We are so going to have a talk about boundaries when we leave here, but this is a lot and I’m kinda glad he’s here. I’d rather carve out my own eyes than tell him that though.
Charlie holds his hands up. “I respect that, mate. Just wanted you to be able to enjoy this. As wild as it is, it’s rare we’re all together like this. If you’re working with Mock, you’re part of the family now and we look out for one another. Your boy’s in good hands.”
“Oh. I’m not—”
Zhang tugs on my jacket. “Thank you, Charlie. Zhang Centaurus, a prince of the Nebuli,” he says, extending a hand over the top of me and down to Charlie. Charlie’s closer to my height. He’s still got a few inches on me, but I’m small for a star. Zhang, on the other hand, is just a beast.
“Charlie Westley,” Charlie says. “Now let’s see, where shall we start? You already know Jude. Wells is the guy with him—blond hair—and Elton is the fake receptionist.”
He shakes his head.
Elton is busy doing something that looks receptionist related. A small child with white hair barrels toward him and Elton holds out his arms so that the child can bound into them.
A young man—who’s got to be in his teens or maybe early twenties—catches up with the boy. “Hands off my baby,” he says in a voice that does not match his fragile physique. He’s tall but thin. Does that guy eat? Don’t think he sleeps much either if the dark bags under his eyes are anything to go by.
“Sorry, Mr. Silas. Here you go,” Elton says.
“Silas” takes his little one and latches onto Silas’s torso. “Do you happen to know when Mock will arrive? I must see her today. It’s an emergency.”
Elton flips through an iPad. He smiles. “Sure! I’ll get you in. She’s got plenty of room to see you.”
“I should probably take care of that,” Charlie says. This Mock is going to have a lot of appointments if Elton books anyone who asks.
“Who are they?” I ask.
Charlie hardens while his heart visibly breaks. “They’re newer. That’s Silas’s younger counterpart and his son Oliver, well brother-son. It’s a long story.”
“I think I get it. I helped raise most of my brothers.”
“Ah, you really are a member of this family. Same for me,” he says.
“What do you mean by younger counterpart?”
“Silas exists at many ages with Mock. Sometimes the young ones show and especially for them I want to … well, don’t wanna spoil the book for you.” He nudges me with his elbow. “But they’ve been through a lot. Older Silas is a lot less fragile. Both Silas’s don’t like anyone near Oliver, just so you know.”
“Fucksake, Sye,” another teen shouts, making his way across the room. “Give him to me so you can get this sorted out. Christ alive. I want out of here.”
Silas considers it and then hands Oliver over.
“That’s their other brother, Darius,” Charlie explains for the sake of my blatant confusion that I’m sure is plain on my face. “And, sorry. I really should go help Silas and stop Ellie from overbooking Mock for the day. She really will think that she has to see everyone. She’ll have a breakdown, and nothing will get done. Excuse me.”
I shake myself out of Zhang’s grip. “Okay, enough. I like it here. I want to get to know everyone. You’re making me look uncool.”
“I don’t care how cool you look. At first, I was worried for your safety, but now I’m certain you’ll get into trouble if I release you into the brat wild. There are too many for Charlie to handle all at once.”
“How is that even a thing? I don’t know anyone well enough.” But he’s being all Toppy and I don’t think I can resist a Toppy cucumber let alone a Toppy man. Ugh, it’s Zhang though. Most of the time, I want to gouge out his eyes with my star blades but being around all this Top and brat energy makes me want in on the action. Could I just have a pretend Top for an afternoon, even if it’s Zhang? They all think he is anyway, not realizing it’s his princely arrogance accounting for his bossiness—he is the conduit between his family and my family, he’s used to bossing me around—and not because we’re a thing.
I’d be exercising a lot more respect for him if he were no matter how it happened. My parents raised me in a proper Pleiadean home. I would never dishonor them by being an intolerable brat. Being a brat is fun. Being an intolerable brat ruins life for everyone.
In my opinion.
“You may sit on the couch with the other two. You can have a nice chat there while I help Charlie. This place is infested with brat energy. I can’t stand it. I’d better not see any of this behavior from you.”
A delicious shiver runs through me. I’m only doing this with him—in my mind—for the afternoon, but holy fuck. That’s what I miss from my last relationship before I fell. I haven’t had it quite how I’ve needed it, since. A “yes Sir” almost slips from my mouth but fuck that. I’m not going that far.
“I’ll behave myself for that long, Centaurus.”
“If you don’t, I’m spanking you.”
“What?” My voice is a squeak, and my face is surely aflame. He’s so loud that at least half the room must have heard him, but no one blinks an eye.
“In fact, that’s the only way I’ll feel comfortable with this.”
“If you get to spank me if I misbehave? I’m not going to misbehave.”
“If you’re not going to misbehave then what’s the harm in that negotiation?”
“Fuck, fine. If I don’t behave, you can um, that.” I’m a huge fan of the Johnny Knoxberry Files. My favorite spanking series. There are books. There’s even a TV show. There’s Johnny Knoxberry merchandise. I’ve got a Hot Pink Peaches club pin.
I can still barely say the word “spanking” out loud.
Zhang's lips spread into a smug smile. “This afternoon may turn out yet.”
“Really don’t like that word,” he calls to my back.
“Oh, not another one,” another teen with spikey hair and green eyes says to me as I approach the couch. “You get sent over here too? They’re tryna corral us—that’s what Uncle Dal calls it—but there are too many. Brats get too distracted, y’see. We don’t even mean it some of the time.”
“Not where I’m from. Who are you, kid?”
“Dean. Uh, but I get called Sean later. Long story. Like, we’re talking a loooooong-ass story. I should actually head out.”
“You don’t want to wait for Mock too?”
“I do. Always. I’m a request, actually. She asked me to come. Says she misses me. But this is too busy, even for me and I’m half Colt.”
That’s supposed to mean something. I have no idea what.
“If you get the chance, go over and talk to Marley. I think you two would be best friends. He’s over there.”
I look at where he’s pointing. There’s a tall dark-haired man there. Real handsome. Blue jeans, cowboy boots, and a white Stetson.
I turn back to the kid. “Yeah, I’ll do that—”
He’s … he’s gone. Weird.
Finn waves. “Trey! Treyu! Over here. Please come talk to us. We’re stranded on the penalty of spanking. You don’t wanna mess with Charlie. Trust us.”
I head toward them.
“We also overheard your guy,” Grayson says. “He sounds super strict.”
“Yeah, maybe more than Xavier—that’s my guy—and he’s pretty damn strict, let me tell you.” Finn runs a hand through his hair.
Grayson lays across his lap. These two act like one person. “Guess I can’t call Will strict, but he has his moments. Fuck, do not swear around that guy. My poor ass.”
“He sounds like His royal highness over there,” I say without thinking.
“Yeah? He have a no swearing rule too?” Finn asks.
He would. The royal family is so prim and proper they find curse words inexcusable. “Yeah.”
“Dayum. That sucks, but y’know? I don’t mind it at times. The way we’re always looking over our shoulders at home after long lists of profanity to make sure Will’s not there … it’s kinda nice. Like he’s there but not.”
The door bursts open. In strides a tiny woman. She’s short. No larger than five feet four inches max. Her hair is tied into a large messy bun with stray wisps flying everywhere. Giant cat-eye glass sit atop her long nose and her spiky Valentinos click across the floor as her short dress floats behind her.
Everyone freezes. The chatter stops.
Then there’s an eruption of, “Mock! Mock! I have something to tell you,” and “Mock, real quick, just one thing,” and “Mock, if I don’t get this off my chest I might die.”
The woman looks like she hasn’t slept in, well, ever, but she doesn’t kick anyone out as she well should. “One at a time, everyone. One at a time. You know the rules.”
Everyone hushes again. She clicks her heels over to Elton and Charlie. She swipes the iPad from Charlie’s hand. “Thank you, Charlie. Ellie, did you get everyone a spot in here?”
“You knew I was writing your schedule for you!” he says.
“Of course I did. I saw you working so diligently. Good job.”
Charlie’s not sure what to say. “But, but … Miss Mock, he’s booked every single person in your planner. When will you sleep?”
She looks in her book and then scans the room. “No. Not everyone. Dean left. Shame. I wish I hadn’t missed him.” She returns her gaze to Charlie and Elton. “I’ll see this lot today. Someone make it happen.” She hands the iPad back to Elton.
“Yay!” he says.
Charlie stares after her unimpressed, but she must really be “the boss” if he’s not going after her.
Elton checks the iPad. “Treyu, you’re up first.”
Well, guess there is some sort of order to this place after all. I stand, intent on getting to that office before Zhang can stop me when the door bursts open again and the room is hushed to silence like it did when “Mock” entered.
A man enters. He’s taller than me, maybe a tad shorter than Zhang. He’s got tall, pointed ears and long dark hair that spins and swirls with him. He’s stunning, fuck. He’s also magnanimous. A wild energy surrounds him, one I’m not even sure he knows how to control. His chest is wide, and he’s got so many muscles they don’t know where to put themselves.
He’s wearing some kind of garment. It’s not a dress, but it’s also not not a dress. I dunno what it is, but it’s long, sleeveless, splits up both thighs, and is patterned like the scales of a dragon. He’s fucking fabulous and he knows it. He looks around with his perfect jaw leading the way.
He’s not alone. His hand is attached to another man’s. He’s smaller, but the term is relative considering how tall the beautiful man is. He’s also stunning with exotic eyes that angle toward his temple and it’s clear he’s not just a man, but a creature of some kind.
Three more larger men stride in. No, not men. Elves. I freeze in place. I’ve never seen anything this tall before. Oh, sure. A shadow demon can inflate to these heights, but they’re not naturally this tall and massive. They all look like they stepped off the cover of Elf GQ. The blond one’s even wearing a suit, which looks out of place for him, especially with that sword on his back.
The black-haired one with the darker complexion has two swords and less clothing. The white-haired one with a stone-like complexion is half-naked—no shirt at all. Good Goddess. I’d take any one of these men. Do they all belong to…
“Tristan! You came,” Elton says, bouncing in his seat. “You’re not in the book, but I’m sure you can go right in.”
“Thank you, Elton. It’s important I speak with her.” Even his voice is smooth as chocolate.
I want to like him, but what an asshole. Doesn’t he see there are like, a million others of us waiting? And that’s my appointment he’s usurping. Fuck that. I follow straight behind him despite the clear look of warning I’m getting from Zhang to stay put.
Fuck him too. He’s not my Top, not for real. The last person I gave that honor to abandoned me anyway. Not sure I’m into marriage and all that comes with Pleiadean marriages anymore. For now, I’ll continue my quest to find a nice human man to settle down with until he dies of old age.
I slam the door right in the pompous blond-haired guy’s face—bet he wasn’t expecting that—lock it and then trounce up to Mock’s desk, slamming a hand down before Tristan can convince her to talk to him over me.
“I had an appointment with you, and I’d appreciate it being kept, thank you.” Dad taught me to have manners and be polite. Father is abrasive and the equivalent of a sledgehammer. If I don’t get my way, I’m busting out the sledgehammer.
“Oh, Treyu,” Mock says. “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”
“Then why are you letting him take my meeting?”
Tristan leans in. He motions his thumb at me. “Who is this guy, Mock?”
She stands. “Oh, Tristan, you’ll love him. This is the newest member of our family. Treyu. I was to understand there would be another with you?”
That’s a lot to process. First, member of the family? I was here about a ghostwriter for my awesome life story. Not whatever the fuck this is. Second, Zhang’s attendance was a surprise to me. How did she know he’d be here?
Tristan throws his hands up in the air, releasing the other man’s hand. “No. No, you didn’t. How could you, Mock? You have enough of us already.”
He sinks into the large pillows of the blue sofa in Mock’s office as though he may pout but stops to signal for the exotic man-creature to jump into his lap. Then it’s a gleeful catapult into Tristan’s lap with Tristan’s face igniting into a brilliant smile as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen the man. With them side-by-side, I now detect the bit of Tristan that’s similar to man-creature. Tristan is an Elf, but he’s something else too.
Hearing how busy this—let’s be honest—crazy woman is, I should walk out the door and look for someone who has time for me, but something about Tristan brings out the little brother in me and I just want Mock now because he says I can’t have her. This brotherly energy in and of itself is strange. I’m only a little brother to Atlanta and with Atlanta, I mostly worship the ground he walks on. I only know anything about little brother syndrome from having six little brothers. There’s one more of us, so technically I have seven, but I haven’t met the youngest Orion yet.
Atlanta and I grew up without Dad for a period of time. Just Father whose idea of raising youngling starlets included survival skills from the moment we could walk. Dad helps our family evolve our emotional maturity past that of a cactus.
To my delight and Tristan’s surprise, Mock ignores his statement. “Did you want to begin today, Treyu? I see your brother tomorrow. He’d like to take part in the book.”
“He … he would? But how did he…” How did he know to come here? To Mock?
“Just showed up as they often do. Isn’t that right, Tristan?”
“Are you making me talk? If not, I’d rather just wait until you’re done. We have important things to discuss. Your Patreon isn’t going to run itself. I’ve got new content for you.”
He’s got no intention of moving. Does he think I’m just going to spill my guts to Mock with him sitting there?
“That’s River, by the way,” Mock says to me. She leans toward an intercom. “Ellie, please send Zhang in here and maybe have Corrik on standby.”
“Corrik on standby?” Tristan shrills. “But I haven’t done anything.”
“You haven’t done anything yet,” Mock says, sounding a lot like Charlie.
As much as I want to be entertained by that, I’ve got my own problems. “Zhang? Why do we need him? He’s not part of my story.”
“Must you all begin with such denial?” she asks.
“Mock! The door’s locked,” Elton’s voice says over the intercom.
“Would you mind, Treyu?” she asks.
“Would I mind opening the door for the person I don’t want to be in my book so that he can be in my book? Yes. Yes, I mind very much.” I storm over to the couch. “This is fucking ridiculous. Is she always like this?” I say, dropping into the place on the sofa next to Tristan.
I expect a lot of things—for her to kick me out just to start—but nothing happens except for the amused smile and her trekking across the room to open the door.
Zhang’s there and he doesn’t look happy, but he is not spanking me for this.
“Wow. Who pissed in his morning oatmeal?” Tristan mutters under his breath.
When I realize he’s not speaking to his partner, but to me, the corners of my lips tug until I can’t help the smile that forms there. Okay, so he’s funny.
“I don’t have a no spanking policy,” Mock tells Zhang. “Do what you need to do.”
“What the…? What kind of a place is this?” I say. I may have shrieked it.
“Did you miss the sign on the door? This is a spanking zone. I tag for spanking all the time. I usually tag for seventeen different kinds of spanking. How do people miss this?”
“I missed the sign on the door.”
“Oh. That’s different.” I relax. “This is a spanking zone. No one is safe. If you’re not prepared for that inevitable consequence, then it might be best that you reconsider your interest in our family.”
Everyone keeps saying that. Family. A spanking family. Reminds me of Johnny Knoxberry and his domestic discipline family. Is that what this is? “No. I mean, I want to stay. I’m prepared for the consequence.”
Tristan knocks his knee against mine. I melt. It’s a “you’re one of us” gesture.
I’m thrilled for half a moment until Mock speaks again. “Zhang? You need an implement, or do you have your own?”
“Oh, c’mon. I did what you said. I stayed on the couch like a good little boy. I was only coming in for my appointment.”
I get another knock of Tristan’s knee. Nice save.
It gives Zhang pause. Interesting. Even he has to remember that we’re not an item, which excuses me from any such protocol.
If I were his husband—or even just his boyfriend—I would have been responsible to notify him that I was about to enter this appointment so that he could decide if it was appropriate to come with me. As we are, I promised him one afternoon of obedience and that’s it. No extras.
He comes to the same conclusion. “That won’t be necessary, but I would like to stay for the conversation.”
“Have a seat anywhere you like,” she says, but she looks disappointed that I’m not getting my hide tanned. She’s evil.
Tristan’s biting his bottom lip to keep from smiling as if he’s equally amused by her as she is by him.
Zhang leans against the wall next to me.
“I’m just going to retrieve my iPad and we can begin.”
Before she can exit the door, a shimmery energy appears out of nowhere and then so does Wells. “Not him again,” Wells says. “Stop pandering to Tristan, Mock. We have a book that you were supposed to write this year and guess what? No book.”
His hands are on his hips and I’m on the edge of my seat. This is so exciting. I check in with Tristan to see if he’s offended by Wells. He’s not, just as entertained as I am.
“Tristan isn’t the reason. Haven’t you met the other new guys? They don’t come out much come to think of it. Just finished their book.”
“Is that Everleigh and Ocean?” Tristan says. Tristan has an accent. I don’t know what kind. Never heard the like of it and I’ve been to a lot of planets. There’s confidence to it and the air of someone well-bred.
“Yes, my dear,” Mock says.
Wells throws his hands up in the air. “I tried.” He shimmers out of existence.
The door bursts open again—that’s what happens when you leave it unlocked—and the blond giant glides in. Tristan shifts. Sits a little taller. He’s not as relaxed as he was. The man gets a shy smile from him. “Corrik, this is our new friend, Treyu,” Tristan says.
“I’m sure he’s pleased to meet me and if I’m pleased enough in return, I’ll let the slammed door in my face go.”
That might not have been the best way to make friends. “I’m sorry,” I begin. “That was rude.”
“Fuck that’s hot,” Corrik says, staring past me. Tristan’s mouth is on River’s who has straddled him, hips gyrating into Tristan’s.
Strange animalistic noises come from them. Tristan clamps his large hands around each of River’s wrists, holding them hostage while he kisses the life out of him.
“What are they?” I ask.
“Dragons,” Mock and Corrik answer at the same time.
Ah, makes sense.
“Anyway, back to you, little star. I won’t tolerate disobedience from anyone. Do that again, and over my knee you go. I have some experience with brats. Fuuuuck. That’s it.” His attention is back to Tristan and River. “Tristan, clothes off. I want to watch you fuck him.”
I jump up and move away so I don’t get sexed on.
In here? Now? Mock’s allowing this?
She’s got her iPad with its keyboard out and has sat at her desk to type furiously.
“Aren’t going to stop this?”
“Do you have any idea how many sex and spanking scenes I need to write? I need all the inspiration I can get. Anyone who doesn’t like it is free to go.”
If no one else minds, then hell yeah, I’m staying. River makes pretty noises. Corrik doesn’t get near them though, only stands by for instruction. Zhang moves over to me and then drags me by my arm to the corner of the room, away from all the amazing action.
“Okay, let me have it. You don’t think I should work with Mock. It’s too wild here.” It’s well known that Zhang is a prude. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s still a virgin.
“I think you should work with Mock.”
He nods. “I like the family feel of the place.”
“But look at that.”
He shrugs. “That’s one of the best displays of ownership I’ve ever seen. Corrik owns Tristan. Tristan owns River. When I have my chosen man next to me,” he says, taking a step closer and tucking a strand of hair around my ear. “I’ll fuck him in front of everyone just to show him and all the galaxy that he’s mine.”
Whoa. That’s a fucking rush. Heat creeps across my cheeks. My heart rate speeds up. I rub the back of my neck. “Uh, yeah.”
“Don’t you dare come, Tristan,” Corrik’s uppity voice growls.
“Fuck, please. For the love of the Gods, sir.”
“No. But you can make him come if you want to.” There are many delights playing in Corrik’s voice.
“Bastard,” River mutters.
“You know that I don’t make those decisions for you. Tristan will lob my fucking head off.”
Wait, so River is Tristan’s to … Top I guess? Or whatever dragons do. Corrik is clearly the top of the food chain with Tristan.
“I would,” Tristan moans, “but I know you like it so much better when I deny you, honeycake.”
Good Goddess. So will they enterally fuck until Corrik’s had his fill? He’s not even playing with himself. Just watching.
The whole thing is hot and a tad hilarious. Are they like this all the time?
“Tell me when you’re ready for me to take one of Mock’s implements to your backside and you can stop.”
A thought crosses over Tristan’s face. He gasps. “You’re just looking for an excuse to tan my hide.”
“Don’t need one, darling.”
“All right, all right.”
He pulls out of River who’s high on sex, his striking blue eyes rolling back, dazedly blinking. His limbs are heavy as sandbags. His hair is a messy mop atop his crown. Tristan flips him, scoops him up, and lays him gently on the sofa with a kiss to his lips.
“Fair thee well, my dearest.” They rub their noses and smile in sync.
“Please don’t wear him out, Corrik. I want more of him later,” River murmurs.
“Bad dragon. You can’t have him all to yourself. He belongs to me first. Be grateful for what you have left,” Corrik says.
Tristan catches my gaze, rolls his eyes, and winks. “Okay, Cor. Whatcha beating me with?”
Mock’s already opened a cupboard on the wall.
“Oh look. Mock’s Cupboard of Things to Whack Tristan With,” he says. “Great.”
“Isn’t it for everyone?” I ask.
“Sure. Would be nice if they were used on someone else's arse once in a while.” He hasn’t stopped smiling though and his whole demeanor is serene.
I am not missing this. Live-action spanking? There’s nothing better. I lean back to watch and th top of my shoulders collide with something solid behind me. The solid thing puts a hand on my shoulder.
Are we just gonna ignore the fact that the solid thing is Zhang, Treyu? Yes, yes we are.
Tristan’s eyes widen when he sees what Corrik’s finally selected. “The prison strap. Cor!”
“I don’t have one and you’ve got tough dragon-Elf skin. You’ll be fine.”
“Still gonna hurt.”
Corrik is positively gleaming. “Yes, it will.”
What happens before my eyes can only be described as a spanking symphony. With Tristan bent over, his hands flat on the arm of the sofa and ass out, Corrik wields the strap like he’s a rhythmic gymnast with a ribbon.
Tristan cries out after several stripes, but his body is artwork, barely flinching, only protesting in the smallest of ways. No wonder Corrik wanted to strap him. He’s already beautiful, but like this, he’s otherworldly.
Every crack brings a jolt of pain and a blossom of pink, which eventually turns red. Corrik lays stripe after stripe down his peach-shaped ass and Tristan takes it all with practiced grace, sweat dripping off him. He even finds time to favor River with an expression of utter adoration.
As a star, I could take one helluva spanking. I used to have an angel boyfriend after all. I’m not sure I’m quite Tristan’s level even with all the many centuries I’ve lived.
When Corrik’s finally done with him, Tristan’s wet with sweat and tears. Corrik pulls Tristan up to stand against him and Tristan appears to be riding a similar high to what River is just waking from. He and Corrik kiss and then rub noses.
Is that a thing?
“Love you, Cor.”
“Love you, d’orhai.” Corrik’s accent wraps around the Elvish word and I have a question totally unrelated to recent happenings.
“How do I understand everyone? There’s no way we all speak the same language.”
Tristan taps his head with one hand, still using Corrik as a prop. “Mock mind. You’re one of us now, Treyu and knowing Mock, she’s adopted everyone in your universe.”
While Tristan dresses River and River dresses Tristan, the door swings open again. It’s the guy—Marley—that Dean had pointed to. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but it’s gettin’ wild out here.”
“How is that possible? Alrik and Baya are out there,” Corrik says.
“They were able to mollify the brats out here for a while, but everyone’s hungry and getting fight-y. They’re not listenin’ much to words and they’re afraid of breakin’ the humans.”
“Order everyone food,” Mock says. “Have Elton put it on my card.”
“Order food? Were you sleepin’ when you wrote my book?” He crosses his arms. “Ashleys don’t do takeout.
“Doesn’t Cord have you on some kind of restrictions at the moment?” She raises one finely microbladed brow.
He huffs a sigh. “Yes, ma’am, but we can’t … how about Ani?”
She shakes her head. “Him too.”
Marley runs hands through his hair, then snaps his fingers. “Finn, Grayson, and the other boys. I’ll put them to work.”
“I wish you the best of luck with them. Do not ask Silas. He’ll help and he’s good at it, but young Silas needs a break.” She taps her chin with her finger.
I abandon my spanking theatre seat to approach Tristan. He’s redressed now. Corrik is helping fix his hair. Tristan’s the equivalent of the state I’m in after a long run.
“That was incredible,” I say.
His wide chest flexes. His biceps are near to bursting from his skin. “There’s a reason I’m top dragon around here and it’s not what everyone thinks.”
A tiny squeal peals from the lungs of little Oliver as he races into the room, Young Silas like a magnet following him. Mock lifts Oliver to her and Silas lets her. “Why don’t you take a load off, Silas?”
He shakes his head, pulling the boy from her. “I couldn’t. Not until he’s asleep.”
She leans out of the door. “Marley. Marley!”
Marley returns. Mock tasks him with helping Silas find a bed for Oliver. “Then come back. I should be done with these two and then I have something to talk to you about.”
We don’t get to anything because there’s more commotion in the living room. All of us vacate the office, including Zhang whom I’d forgotten about. He’s been awfully quiet. Has he changed his mind? Doesn’t like it here?
Too bad. He shouldn’t have followed me.
There are men—large men—piling in the door. Two heads in the direction of Finn, Grayson, and the other boys. By their description, I assume they’re Xavier and Will.
Another tall cowboy enters with yet another cowboy. How many cowboys does Mock have on her roster? I’m not complaining, but it’s a flood of never-ending cowboy characters. One of them’s older and sexy as fuck. Y’know? Maybe he’s whom I’ll fall in love with.
Dammit. He’s got a wedding ring. Of course, he’s married. I wonder if they’d be into a threesome?
Any boy who was engaged in anything freezes, straightens out, and stands at attention. Now it’s just like being at home. Father ran a strict house when we were younger. As second eldest, I helped run that ship. I may be a proud brat, but we can have leadership roles. I take my position seriously and would never dream of crossing into brat territory on purpose as a Guardian.
“Interesting, Mr. Brighton,” Xavier says. “I believe you were given extra homework for today. If you are under the impression that you’ll stay up late into the night working on it, you’re sorely mistaken.”
“You too, Gray,” Will says, tucking his hands into his back pockets.
“We’ll get it done before then,” Finn says. “We just wanted to talk to Mock.”
“You have your meeting with her at the middle of the month. Until then, leave her alone,” Xavier says. His words are strict, but he tugs Finn to his body. Finn wraps his arms around Xavier
Grayson leaps into Will’s arms. “Marley gave us cookies. Charlie let me pet the tiny dragon in his pocket. Don’t tell Mock it’s here.”
“Mock knows. Trust me, Mock knows,” Will says, kissing his face.
Tops around the room “corral” their Tops like Dean said they would. The one whom I learn is named Noah, beelines for Wells and gives him a stern talking to. When he’s finished, Wells is contrite. Elton jumps on Noah’s back.
“Please say you brought, Mr. Bear,” Elton says, planting a kiss on his cheek.
“You run off with Wells and I’m supposed to be a Mr. Bear taxi?” he says, but his expression is soft.
“We don’t use taxis, Noah,” he says.
Noah reaches into his inside jacket pocket and pulls out a brown stuffed bear with black eyes and stitching for paws.
From there it’s utter chaos. More Elves show—Diekin, Ditira, Zelphar, and Riley—and Tristan is especially excited to see the Diekin guy. He’s greeted with a long kiss. Some more teens show—Asher, Simon and Shane. Something called a Fae wearing a Mackinaw storms in behind another man whom I learn is called Destin.
Then the oddest of them all. Ocean with Everleigh attached to a leash. Everleigh doesn’t dare leave Ocean’s side. In fact, he’s not speaking to anyone, and his eyes are trained on the floor.
This is more than I bargained for. Without meaning to, I seek out my top-for-a-day. I don’t have to go far. He’s right beside me. “Don’t look now, but Tristan’s going back into the office with Mock.”
What? The hell he is!
I bolt across the room, fighting the crowd, and make it to the door in time for Tristan to peer down at me with a confident smirk.
“I’m going to talk to her first, little starlet brother.”
“Who’re you calling, little brother? I’m a lot older than you are.”
“What’s that supposed to mea—” Aaaaand the door shuts in my face, the lock clicking in place. Yeah. Older brother vibes for sure. As much as Atlanta and I work as a team and would die and kill for each other, he’d do this if he really wanted something.
If that’s the case, I succumb to it. I know things are different on Earth, but back home in the Pleiades, being the eldest—or in this case the first—sibling entitles you to benefits that I also enjoy as the second eldest. It’s a hierarchy that’s strictly respected and one I like—I’d be a hypocrite not to follow suit with my own beliefs.
“I think it’s time to go, Orion. We’ll reschedule with Mock for a day that’s less crazy,” Zhang says.
“If you want to go, go. I’m staying right here.” I cross my arms at him. A quick glance around the room shows a few other brats engaged in similar standoffs with their Tops. I let my arms drop. Zhang and I are not a thing.
Just like the other Tops, Zhang crosses his arms back at me and it’s a lot more intimidating. “We’re leaving. If I have to toss you over my shoulder, I will.”
He will. I don’t want to suffer that embarrassment in front of my new people. Not yet anyway. I gaze longingly at Mock’s office door. I get an idea. “It’s true. You could do that, and I wouldn’t be able to stop you, but as soon as we walk out that door our deal ends. Fairy Godmother’s magic ceases. Pumpkin carriage gone. All attendants turn back into mice.”
“Never mind, but it means our deal is off and you haven’t found anything to spank me for.” I say the word “spank” low so no one hears me even though I don’t think it matters around here. Pretty sure Finn is a hair away from getting it, judging from that look in Xavier’s eyes.
I think I’m damn smart for all of two seconds, but when his eyes glimmer with the evil thought dancing across his mind and I realize I’ve made a fatal miscalculation. “You’re right, Orion. We should stay. A lot of Tops have shown up. I could always use some tips. I’m sure I’ll be tanning your hide right in the middle of this room for everyone to see in no time.”
Taking stock of the room again, I hone in on the Tops this time. The two Cyredanthem brothers resemble stone sentinels, sitting near the door to Mock’s office with equally grim expressions. Even the way they sit matches. They’re so tall that the bend at the hip is severe and their knees are level with their waists, hands resting clasped between their open thighs.
Neither are happy Tristan that left the room without them. Bayaden’s got a different approach. He eyes the door from time to time, but he’s working the room, eating some of the snacks that come out from the kitchen, and also from time to time, steers a brat back to his owner. No one argues with him.
Noah has made a barricade around Wells. Elton is seemingly “free” but he’s playing with Mr. Bear at Noah’s feet, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere for a while.
The same has happened to Marley. His guy, Cord, didn’t seem to care for his kitchen team and said something about it skirtin’ the rules. The guy—the super hot one I want go home with—they call Uncle Dal is standing guard beside him too.
These men are strict! Different from Pleiadean men, but strict all the same.
But then I see another thing present through the room. It hits me when I spy Ocean taking a seat and the way he invites Everleigh to join him. There’s a gentle tug of the gold chain leash. “Come up here, princess.”
Everleigh fills with unrestrained joy and straddles his hips. His pink dress flows over Ocean’s thighs. “Daddy, I missed you when I was down there.”
“I know, but you were so good for Daddy and I’m pleased.”
His hand slides up Everleigh’s dress, exposing a bare cheek, grabbing it with rough possession and Everleigh dips in for a kiss. The lids of Ocean’s strange azure eyes flutter closed as he enjoys the man and the distinct energy of peace has settled within him.
The brats offer their obedience, but the Tops give their unyielding affection.
Sometimes that affection is a scalded behind, but it means just as much as the devotion Ocean’s feeling for Everleigh right now.
I want that. Not with Zhang.
But I still think it’s a bad idea for Zhang to learn anything from these experienced and evil Tops.
“On second thought, I should go. Uncle wanted to meet with me, and I should get to that.”
“Good call, Orion.”
Exiting quietly is the best call. There’s too much going on in here. As Zhang and I head toward the door, we’re stopped by a human with a tall bun atop his crown and an undercut like Finn’s. He’s got a broad chest and a kind demeanor. “Going so soon?” he says.
“Yes. I think it’s best,” Zhang answers before I can say anything.
“Ah. Got it. I’m Osh, by the way. I’m sorry we didn’t get to know each other today. But we’ve promised all the brats a giant sleepover at the school. Xavier’s okayed it.”
“I’ll be there,” I say. Zhang’s eyes narrow. I point at him. “Our deal is over after today, Centaurus and you already said that being part of this family is a good thing.”
An amused smile plays on Osh’s face. He leans toward me. “Nice try, Treyu. Mock’s already said that if Zhang’s not there, neither are you and while she can’t control us completely, we’ll abide that one.”
My jaw drops. “That’s not fair.”
“Fair or not, thems the breaks, kiddo.”
Zhang thinks it’s plenty fair. He’s glowing—literally. “You’d better be nice to me, Orion.”
We make our way down through the lobby and into the crisp winter Vancouver air. My bike is parked on the street. I’ll be driving the long trek back to headquarters.
“Welp, I’d say it’s been a slice, but it hasn’t. What gives you the right to boss me around and tell me what to do?”
And he knows I don’t mean in the military slash guardians sense.
He reaches for the scar on his face—the one I put there a long time ago. It’s long and jagged. It spans the length of his cheekbone. A hazy glow surrounds him. “Best behavior, Orion, or no sleepover,” he says instead of answering my question.
Getting on his bike, which is parked behind my bike, he drives off into the fading sun.
So? Was that fun? I hope you had as much fun reading that as I did writing it.
Yes, there will be Hot Pink Peaches club pins ;)