Forster never dreamed she’d serve as queen of an enchanted city
beneath the sea, something her three sexy husbands know. Though she
adores her shapeshifter mates, she’s shy by nature, and they can
tell the strain of always being “on” is beginning to wear
on her. Sneaking away from their responsibilities won’t be easy,
but come hell or high water, they’ll treat her to a night she
won’t soon forget!
a HIDDEN short
OLIVIA Forster, Queen of Oceana’s
wereseals, eyed the blue velvet gown like a mortal enemy.
It wasn’t her enemy, of course. It was simply a dress: a very
nice, very expensive dress draped on a fancy padded hanger. Thanks
to the royal tailors, it fit her like a dream. Even if she hadn’t
lost her baby weight from the triplets, those geniuses with the needle
would have made sure it flattered her. The spacious walk-in closet
in which she stood in her underwear also held no dangers—unless
you were terrified of silk-wool carpet and custom-fitted drawers.
Because she shared the space with her three husbands, the closet was
bigger than her bedroom back when she lived in Long Island. The size
wasn’t an indulgence. Her husbands had as many formal outfits
as she did.
They also liked wearing them better.
As if to prove it, her most royal husband, aka His Majesty King Anso
the First, stepped into the room with her.
“That gown isn’t going to put itself on,” he teased.
Minus the jacket, he was already in his tuxedo: a tall, broad-shouldered,
glorious hunk of a shapeshifter. Because he knew how she was about
dressing up, his beautiful sapphire eyes twinkled.
“It’s floor length,” she said. “And the bodice
is corset style.”
“That explains why you don’t like it, not why I should
“Ha ha,” she said, unable to keep a hint of glumness from
“It goes with your eyes,” he cajoled, which was a joke
among the four of them.
A year and a half ago, Olivia and her first husband James had become
Anso and his fellow wereseal Ty’s bloodmates. What had started
out as a heat-driven abduction on a deserted beach had become an extraordinarily
deep relationship. Consummating a blood bond was the highest form
of marriage for Oceanans, combining the concept of soulmates with
genetic compatibility. Though the four-way mating hadn’t turned
Olivia or James into wereseals, they had experienced changes. They
could breathe underwater and were stronger and healthier. Their life
expectancy was as long as any shapeshifter’s. Their libidos
were heightened, so it was handy that there were four of them. Olivia
and James gained a smidge more intuition than they’d had as
humans, making them feel more at home among Oceana’s semi-to-very
magical citizens. Olivia’s triplets each had a different father,
which would have been a trick to pull off if she’d still been
The primary sign that these things might happen had been a change
in their eye color. Her and James’s irises were now the same
drowning blue as Anso’s, with a touch of Ty’s bright yellow
ringing their pupils. Olivia loved this evidence that they all were
linked. The four of them finding each other had been the luckiest
day of their lives.
The only drawback—to Olivia’s
mind anyway—was that Anso was
Don’t be a grump, she ordered her reflection. Your
life is amazing, and it’s only a damn dinner. The third
damn state dinner in a week. Her babies were going to forget her name.
Her babies would have set up a wail at the way she frowned in the
“Let me help,” Anso said soothingly. He slipped the gorgeous
gown off its fancy hanger and shook it out for her to step into.
Stifling a sigh, Olivia braced on his shoulder and did as he invited.
If this had been the old days, when it was just her and James, she’d
have warned her husband that if he “helped,” they’d
never get where they were going. Sadly—though
not for Oceana— Anso was an
actual ruling king, with actual ruling duties. He shared responsibility
for their city-nation with a council and legislature, but he rarely
blew off anything. Olivia admired that. She simply wished he’d
take two seconds to ogle her in her lacy push-up bra and thong.
We’re not in heat, she reminded herself. You can’t
expect him to always be flattering you.
“Suck in,” he said, beginning to do up the laces at the
back of the Victorian-style corset bodice. Zippers were considered
outre for aristocrats, but Olivia sure missed them. To be fair, having
three men to do her up was a pretty good compensation. One of them
was bound to notice how nice she looked.
“There,” Anso said, wrapping his arms around her waist
from behind. He smiled at their joined reflections in the long mirror:
a tall honey-haired Viking hugging a petite redhead.
“You might be miserable, sweetheart, but you’ll outshine
every woman in the room.”
Olivia pulled a little face, which of course he spotted.
“Not your ambition?” he joshed.
She turned in his hold, her arms naturally twining behind his strong
warm neck. “First,” she said like the accountant she’d
always be. “I’m only interested in three people’s
opinions. Second, I couldn’t be miserable if even one of my
mates was there.”
“Uncomfortable then,” he said sympathetically.
“I’ll put my heart into it,” she promised. “I
know tonight is important to Ty.”
Important was an understatement. Tonight’s guest of
honor was the King of Tantallon, a sister underwater city hidden off
the coast of Scotland. Ty’s social-climbing mother was considering
moving there. Since she and her alcoholic husband had brought a great
deal of real misery into Ty’s life, good relations were to be
None of them liked seeing the dark cloud ten minutes with his parents
could cast over Ty. When he was with them, part of him forgot he was
Anso’s respected co-ruler, beloved by his mates and their citizens.
When he was with the people who’d brought him up, the unhappy,
unloved boy he’d been tried to rise up again.
The blackness always passed. Ty had too much self respect to allow
it to linger long. Still, to have spared him it for good, Olivia would
have made polite chitchat with any number of foreign VIPs.
“You’ll be fine,” Anso said, hugging her hips closer.
“You always worry beforehand, but you’ve never let us
He was nice to say so. She knew there’d been a time or two when
his job would have been easier if she’d had more social skills.
“I mean it, Liv,” he said, having learned to
read her face. “People love you just as you are. No one—least
of all me—needs you to be a
social genius. You being real is what people respond to.”
She looked into his eyes and her own teared up. How was it that three
men could become this dear to her? “I love you,” she whispered.
He kissed her and held her close. “Love you too,” he said
Night" is a companion story to HIDDEN DEPTHS.
for more wereseals?
combo print version
The Faerie's Honeymoon
& Date Night