“Your tits start scraping on the ground yet, you old bag?” King Henry answered the door, thinking it must have been the Lady despite Plutarch’s insistence otherwise.
Who else would visit Plutarch at that hour?
Who else would visit Plutarch period?
Only it wasn’t the Lady.
It was a delighted Miranda Daniels.
At some point in their tumultuous relationship the Ginger Nemesis had ripped the stick out of her ass, started having sex, and even talked about it . . . without blushing! You had to embarrass her to get her to blush . . . and it was harder than ever to embarrass her . . . fucking awful! Ever since, she’d been the one to gross out King Henry with the fact that pale, freckled disgusting ginger she might be, but she was just as much of a sexual being as anyone else.
And King Henry had just thrown a hanging fastball. “Don’t,” he begged.
Unable to help herself, Miranda leaned forward so she could whisper it, “Only if he’s particularly rough and only if the room is carpeted.”
King Henry would’ve clawed out his eyeballs, but the problem was with his overactive imagination giving him a quick mental image. “For fuck’s sake . . . I’m not even over the hairy strawberry text you sent me yet!”
“Well, I’m not over all the times you drunk dialed me to moan about Valentine,” Miranda pointed out, “so I guess we’re even.”
He got sheepish for once. “Yeah, not the best week of my life.”
“I did warn you,” Miranda pointed out some more. It was one of her favorite thing to do, especially to King Henry.
“Stupid me, I figured you were just telling me not to be an asshole like usual.”
Miranda grinned again. “Oh, I accepted that you would always be an asshole a long time ago.” Her expression softened some. “Both of you are very far from normal, King Henry. Valentine’s been told by just about everyone for her whole life that’s she’s special, so she doesn’t want to waste it . . . even on you.”
“Yeah . . . I don’t blame her . . . much.”
“That’s right, you have the Ceinwyn Dale Broke Us Up theory . . . I think I heard it four or five times, each time with a different reason for why she was doing it.”
“Junior!” Plutarch called from the kitchen, still grouchy. “I’m fine with you staying the night, but if you try to have sex with a woman in my spare bed again I’m throwing both of you out on your naked asses this time!”
Miranda and King Henry stared at each other. Brown as the deepest earth and green like moss rippling in a fierce Irish wind. “Don’t,” King Henry begged again.
Her lips quirked a bit, but she relented on whispering about her own freckled butt, instead going with. “We both know I’ve seen what you have to offer and would never partake.”
“Stop reminded me of all the stupid shit I’ve been through while you’re at it.”
“It’s hard . . . it was a bunch of stupid shit. Just since you graduated . . . if you want me to go back to school then . . . wow, I might need a couple books.”
“About one-hundred sessions with a tape recorder actually,” King Henry murmured.
“What was that?” Miranda asked inquisitively.
Fuck me, I need to burn those tapes before she finds them . . . her or Val . . . or Annie B . . . or Isabel . . . Isabel will probably make a dildo out of them or something freaky as shit.
“Junior?!?” Plutarch called to save him.
“What?” King Henry called back.
“Who is it, you numbskull?!?”
“It’s Miranda Daniels here to torture me.”
Miranda looked confused; it wasn’t an expression King Henry was used to seeing on her face.
“It’s your fairy title.”
“I have a fairy title?”
“He talks to them more than he talks to humans,” King Henry explained.
“I have a fairy title?”
“Every Ultra has a fairy title.”
“I have a fairy title and it’s Redwind?”
“It could be worse . . . Pocket’s is Fernthrower . . . I helped.”
“Do you know what it’s like to have your hair color as your defining personal characteristic for your entire life?” Miranda complained.
“Nope . . . no idea at all,” King Henry deadpanned.
“You’re not that short,” Miranda said, “you grew out of it.”
“Could dye your hair . . . like, black maybe. Be a Goth. Can’t do anything about the freckles though . . . or the hairy strawberry.”
“Oh, that was just a joke,” Miranda informed, “I’m bald as can be down there.”
Again King Henry considered how to tear his brain out of his head. “If you’ve finished tormenting me, I really need to get back to tricking Plutarch into helping me make a golem.”
“That’s illegal, King Henry!” Miranda regressed.
“Only if you put a fairy in it.”
“Also, I didn’t come all the way across the school just to annoy you. You don’t rate that highly on my list, thank you very much.”
“That’s good, because I’d need to be drunker than when I drunk dialed you to even consider making out with you, much less bumping uglies. It might be shaved, but in my heart I’d know the ginger pubes were in there just waiting to sneak out and infect me.”
Her hands found her hips in a bit of indignation. “We both know that if we bumped uglies I’d be the one worried about getting infected.”
“Why does everyone think I caught something from Isabel?”
“Because Isabel has plenty of crazy to spare and syphilis would be the least of it.”
“If I knew you would get so annoying over the Redwind thing I never would’ve brought it up. Although I’m beginning to think it’s not about your hair and is about how you’re always on your period. Menstrual fluids blowing in the wind!”
She slapped him.
“Sorry!” Miranda squeaked. “Force of habit!”
“Yeah . . . well, guess I overstepped,” King Henry found himself apologizing. “And Redwind ain’t so bad . . . I kind of like it.”
Miranda forced her hand down. “What are you called?”
“The Dirt King.”
“I know . . . it’s awesome. Hey, maybe I can put in a word for you and we can get it changed?”
Now she shivered. “No thank you; once was enough with you and your fairies.”
“About that . . .” He motioned for her to leave.
“Did the sentence where I mentioned that I wasn’t just here to tease you just go right over your head?” she reminded him.
“I’m busy. Tell whoever it is that I’ll talk to them tomorrow . . . unless it’s Ceinwyn and she can still fuck off.”
“It’s the Lady,” Miranda said as King Henry closed the door in her face. “You can’t say ‘no’ to her!”
“I am!” he yelled at the door.
“I’m supposed to lead you into the bowels of Admin, into the restricted sections!” she tried again.
“Fuck me,” King Henry growled as he yanked the door back open.
Miranda smiled at him. “Curiosity will get you killed one day.”
“Yeah, so I hear . . . that or my big mouth, right?”
Two weeks from release!