Have you discovered the Thalanian Dynasty by Katee Robert?
In THEIRS EVER AFTER Theo, Galen, and Meg’s journey continues as they navigate the new realities of their relationship. Fans of Laura Kaye’s THEIR’S TO TAKE or Sierra Simone’s AMERICAN QUEEN will devour this cinderella-esque ménage.
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Theirs Ever After Excerpt
Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert
Theo opened his eyes to see his best friend, his lover, his Consort, standing over him. Galen looked as tired and worn out as Theo felt, though where Theo had lost weight, Galen had gained muscle. No telling where he found the time to work out, but the evidence was in the way his T-shirt stretched tight across his shoulders and chest and the clear definition in his legs. He couldn’t even appreciate the new changes for fear of what they indicated. Are we going to war, Galen?
Some days it certainly felt like it.
He finished up his set slowly, drawing in the burning of his muscles as he strained against the weight of the bench press. In this moment, he was perfectly present. It wouldn’t last. It never lasted. But he had right now, and it would have to be able to shore him up for the coming conversation.
Theo wiped his face with his towel and stood. “Okay, I’m done. What’s wrong?”
“Would you like a list?”
Fuck, something was wrong. Theo glanced at the door to the gym, instinctively looking for the audience they had for most of their waking hours. The door remained closed, which didn’t mean no one was listening, but it lessened the likelihood. Even with the cameras blinking in the corners of the room, they were as close to alone as they were likely to get. “Galen, talk to me.”
“Not tonight. Not like this.” Galen started for the door. “Meg had a hard day, Theo. We all did.” Subtle comment, less subtle bite. If he concentrated, Theo could almost see things unraveling around him. He’d known life wouldn’t be simple once he retook the throne, but the freedom of exile had gone to his head and he’d forgotten just how easy it could be to drown in this world.
It sure as hell seemed like all three of them were a few short breaths from doing exactly that.
And he didn’t know how to fix it.
This wasn’t the time or place to get into it. Darkness had fallen while Theo was preoccupied, and most of the palace staff had gone home. It didn’t leave the halls empty—they were never empty—but there were fewer people to bow and murmur greetings as he and Galen stalked toward their private suite. Theo managed to nod in response, but he schooled his expression to discourage actual conversation. In his current mood, he couldn’t guarantee what he’d say if someone tried to stop him now.
They slammed into their suite and Theo grabbed Galen’s arm before he had a chance to leave the sitting room. “What’s going on?”
“No. Fuck that. You don’t get to play the concerned partner now.” Galen shot a look toward the main rooms and lowered his voice. “You got what you wanted, Theo. You got your cake and you’re eating it, too. The first King of Thalania in history to name two Consorts. Congratu-fucking-lations.”
Theo rocked back on his heels. This conversation had been a long time in coming, and even knowing it bore down on him with all the subtly of a runaway train, he still wasn’t prepared. “You knew—”
“No. I don’t need to hear that I went into this with eyes wide open. I know I fucking did.” Galen dragged a hand over his face. “Meg has three months before school starts up again. She’s fucking miserable, Theo. She puts on a brave face for you, but underneath she’s messed up.”
And what about you?
Theo didn’t voice the words lodged in his throat. He’d learned a long time ago not to ask questions he might not want answers to, and this numbered among them. He didn’t point out that he’d given both Galen and Meg a chance to leave six months ago, and he sure as hell didn’t point out that they could leave now if they were so inclined. He might be an ass sometimes, but not about this.
Not when they’d already sacrificed so much.
He couldn’t fix this. Not yet. Things would calm down once he got the Families in line and brought his siblings around. Camilla was happy to see him, of course. Even with their father’s death, his baby sister had been kept from the worst of the political bullshit. At sixteen, she was just starting to dip her toes into the water, and he’d do whatever it took to ensure she remained safe while she figured out her own path.
Their brother was another story altogether. For just under a year, Edward had thought he’d be king. Having that taken away, rightfully or no, created a divide between them that Theo didn’t know how to fix. Especially when Edward announced his intentions to attend Oxford for university, and left within weeks of Theo’s coronation. There were a handful of nobles who’d jump at the chance to use that separation for their own ambitions, and he needed to fix it before things got worse.
But not tonight.
Tonight, he had to fix this.
Theo snagged the back of Galen’s neck. His friend resisted for a second, but then he exhaled harshly and let Theo pull him closer until their foreheads pressed together. Tell me what you need. Theo closed his eyes. Galen didn’t have to tell him. He knew what Galen needed—what they all needed. “Where is she?”
Good. She’d be nice and relaxed. He tightened his grip on Galen’s neck. “The food?”
Good boy. Sex wouldn’t solve any of the undercurrents in the long term, but it would help release the tension that had been growing with every passing day. Trapping the two people he loved was never part of the plan, but Theo couldn’t shake the feeling that was exactly what he’d done. He released Galen and stepped back. “Strip.”
Theo turned and walked deeper into the room without bothering to make sure Galen obeyed, knowing it would piss his friend off, and knowing that anger was exactly what he needed to purge the festering feeling beneath. At least for tonight. Tomorrow, they would talk and further clear the air. Open communication was the only way this would work, and they hadn’t spent enough time alone together to get to the heart of things in the last couple weeks.
His fault. He knew that well enough.
He’d fix it. He’d find a way to fix all of it.
Theo pulled off his shirt and tossed it over the back of the desk chair. He kicked off his shoes and then walked into the bathroom. Steam fogged the mirrors and Meg had turned off all the lights, leaving only the trio of thick candles lit on the half wall between the tub and the sinks. It gave the room a dark, intimate feeling that he approved of. He stalked to the edge of the tub and took a seat near her head. She had her eyes closed and the water licked at her breasts as if determined to offer him teasing glimpses.
“Thought you weren’t working late tonight.”
“I wasn’t planning on it. Things didn’t go well with Lord Huxley, and I didn’t want to come back here with that frustration riding so close to the surface. I needed some time to cool off.” He smoothed a hand over her hair, tangling his fingers in the dark strands. She looked good. The decadent meals the staff insisted on putting together had filled out her curves, and he couldn’t count her ribs the way he’d been able to when they first met. Theo kept stroking her hair and used his free hand to urge her onto her stomach. The new position freed him up to work at the knots of tension lining her shoulders and upper back. Tension that was his fault. “Let me take care of you tonight, princess.” Galen walked naked into the bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. Theo met his gaze steadily. “Let me take care of both of you.”
Other books in The Thalanian Dynasty series
In FOREVER THEIRS an exiled prince, his bodyguard and the woman they can’t seem to leave alone, must return home to clear his mother’s name and reclaim his crown.
Theirs for the Night
THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT is a novella. Theo, Galen, and Meg’s story continues in the novel FOREVER THEIRS.
About Katee Robert
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram | BookBub