Everything they had done in the last six weeks of their riotous lives had led to this moment. Every decision, every act of refusal, of defiance, every lie they’d told and every hardship they’d endured had brought them here. Here, where it would all come crashing down around them. Where they would meet their ruin.
Florian unknotted the leather thong that clung to Zinnia’s elegant throat. The silver key she had stolen from her father dropped into his palm and he tightened his fist around it, partly to protect it, partly in hatred.
Zinnia shook with fear, casting her gaze to the dark forest, to the inky black sky, to the crumbling earth at her feet… Everywhere but at Florian. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him. Her heart wouldn’t take it. Florian felt it too, but no amount of heartache could make him keep his eyes off his love for long.
Knowing that, once they stepped through the crystal door, they’d become human and would no longer recognise one another was slowly breaking them both. They didn’t want to go, didn’t want to lose each other, but they couldn’t stay in Faedrion. The fairy world was tearing itself apart, the King of the East and the Queen of the West wouldn’t stop fighting until his daughter and her son agreed to put an end to their forbidden relationship.
It would only happen over Florian’s dead body.
A droning sound in the distance caught Florian’s attention. It was the beating of a thousand wings. The King of the East had sent his army after his disobedient daughter. Or maybe the army was deployed by the Queen. Florian’s mother would be angrier than most when she discovered the role her only son had played in the theft of the key.
They should go. Florian imagined the key burning through his hand, eager to drop through a crack in the ground, undetectable to all but its rightful owner. He knew he should slot it into the keyhole in the crystal door, pull Zinnia through and be glad that she wouldn’t have to live out her life in a devastated land.
But he couldn’t do it. Not until they had said their final goodbyes.
Slotting the key into the door, he gave it a half turn, hoping it would be there when they were finally ready – they would never be ready – to go. He turned to face Zinnia, whose gauzy wings were trembling, whose terrified, chartreuse eyes were still darting left and right, unable to focus on any one thing.
As soon as his fingers touched her cheek she became still. She exhaled slowly and, unnoticed by either she or Florian, the wilting flowers in the beds that lined the disintegrating path raised their heads, bright with new life.
Florian raised a foot to close the gap that separated his body from Zinnia’s, but she was already moving. Her hands sank into his soft blonde hair and his hands clamped around her waist, their bodies fitting together as though they were adjacent pieces of an ancient puzzle.
As their lips met, Zinnia moaned softly. Most of her mind was in the moment but a tiny part of it was watching a memory unfold. The first time Florian had kissed her, they were dancing beneath the full moon on the balcony outside of the ballroom at her father’s palace. It had been a hesitant kiss, gentle, uncertain, innocent. A question which she had been only too ready to answer.
But the kiss they were sharing now…there was nothing hesitant – or innocent – about it.
Zinnia dropped to her knees. Staring up at Florian through thick, fluttering lashes, she smiled. Florian shuddered at the sight of her razor-sharp teeth glinting white behind her passion-swollen lips.
Lunging forward, she opened her mouth wider and snagged the loose fabric of his pants, biting and tearing at them until they hung in tatters from his hips. The spark of fear he felt when he saw those teeth getting closer and closer to his cock made his abdomen tense so much it hurt. Zinnia reached up, running her hands over the peaks and valleys of his muscles, trying but failing to distract him from how close her dangerous mouth was to the most vulnerable part of him.
Florian watched her take his aching head into her mouth, felt the points of her teeth skim the skin of his shaft. It had always frightened him, and just like always, the level of need in the groan she dragged from him when she started to suck surprised him.
His fingers worked through the braid in her hair until every silver strand billowed around her shoulders. He could still hear the beating of wings, closer now, but he wasn’t in any position to care. Zinnia had taken every inch of him into her mouth and was now waiting. He knew what she wanted, and he gave it to her.
Balling his fists in her hair, he yanked her head back and thrust into her throat. Saliva was forced from the corners of her mouth. It dribbled down her chin, dripped off his cock. Tears made her eyes sparkle and the beauty of it made Florian want to scream in the face of fate, but he refused to show his heartbreak.
Instead, he withdrew from Zinnia’s mouth and, ignoring her protesting whimper, forced her chest to the ground. The first spank was loud enough to drown out the flapping of approaching wings. The second almost loud enough to drown out the heartbeat Zinnia could hear pounding in her head. Her cry when Florian’s cock parted her lips and sank deep inside of her was loud enough to shatter the world.
Florian fucked his fairy princess as if she were his enemy. His hip bones smacked into her delicate flesh, his hands and nails left red marks and deep scratches down her back, on her shoulders, arms, and throat.
Sweat dripped from his hair, the broken path made his knees and feet bleed, but he didn’t stop. His hips swung hard and fast as the precious thing beneath him forced herself back onto him, desperate to have him so deep inside her he could never leave.
The air around them crackled with electricity. Zinnia’s wings vibrated, and Florian’s wrapped around his body, their tips fluttering against hers. They were getting closer, fucking harder, growling each other’s names. Zinnia lifted her arms behind her and Florian clasped her hands.
When they came a shockwave of energy exploded from their still joined bodies. The ground beneath them began to rumble, the flowers that had been given new life by Zinnia’s sweet breath burst into flames. Trees toppled, smashing into each other, into the first soldiers who appeared, glittering, among their branches.
Florian pulled Zinnia to her feet and kissed her one last time before dragging her to the door. They came to an abrupt halt, hand-in-hand, staring silently as the enormity of what they had done crashed down on them. Zinnia sobbed as Florian kicked out at the shattered crystal on the ground.
The Prince of the West and Princess of the East were going nowhere, and despite the destructiveness of their love, they both knew in their hearts that they would remain together. And with that, Faedrion was forever doomed.