Excerpt Kings of Underland by CM Stunich
(C) C.M. Stunich
Somebody tried to kill me on my wedding night.
I mean, obviously they didn’t succeed since I’m standing here over their bloody body. But an attempt was made, and it was a good one, too. I sidle closer to my new husband, the King of Hearts.
Err, one of my husbands anyway.
Did I mention I have nine?
“I’ve been wearing the crown all of one night, and somebody tries to off me?” I ask, putting my hands on my hips and poking at the boot of the dead fellow with my bare toe. He’s missing his head, but I’m not surprised. That’s sort of a thing around here–collecting heads. I step back, my bare feet cool against the marble floors.
“It’s to be expected,” the King–a man named Brennin Red–says as he passes his stony stare over the dead body as if it were a pile of dirty clothes. “Take it away; I tire of looking at it.” Brennin waves a white-gloved hand in the direction of the assassin’s corpse, and turns as if the subject of our near-murder is boring him half to death.
“You tire of looking at it?” I choke, stepping much closer to the body than I’d really like. Oh Hearts on cards, there’s blood everywhere. “Don’t we have to like, look for clues or something?”
Sorry if I sound a little, I don’t know … dumb.
Dear Fucking Diary, I’m from the regular world, just like you. I’ve been the Queen of Hearts for all of one day, and much of that was spent being introduced to various talking food items, and also having a ten person orgy on my wedding night.
Frankly, I’m still sore.
“We’ve already examined the body,” says the Knave of Hearts, standing across the hall from me in a fur-trimmed sleeping gown of red satin. It hugs her tiny body as she stands there with her bodyguard-like husbands behind her, both of them with very severe expressions that remind me that they can both shift into fantastic beasts. “Don’t worry yourself about this sort of thing,” she continues, reaching up to adjust her crown. If she hadn’t saved my life once upon a time, I might hate her. As of right now, my feelings only harken to severe dislike. “Your job now is to produce an heir.”
“Produce an heir?” I cough with a severe laugh. The King narrows his dark eyes, but doesn’t say a damn thing. My other husband, the Duke of Northumbria, does however feel the need to chime in.
“We worked diligently at it last night,” the Duke–let’s just call him North–says as he curls a tanned, muscular arm around my waist and pulls me close. His gold eyes flash as he lifts his chin in the haughtiest possible manner, and thrashes the long, sinuous black length of his dragon tail. Well, technically he’s not a dragon: the Duke of Northumbria is a jabberwock shifter. But if it walks like a dragon, breathes fire like a dragon, and swallows bad guys whole like a dragon … well, it’s a fucking dragon. “And we shall do so again, just after breakfast. This is, after all, our honeymoon.”
“Honeymoon?” the Knave asks, her brunette brows pinching together into an angry ‘V’ shape.
“A vacation set aside for the sole purpose of fucking,” is North’s reply. Gee, thanks for keeping our marital discoveries a secret, buddy.