The Champion’s Ruin [AotA 6 Excerpt]

My reader’s group, The Banet Pride, worked very hard to show me how excited they were for this book, so in return, everyone is getting an excerpt of the book!

The Champion’s Ruin

Releases- November 24, 2020

Warning/Disclaimer: The Champion’s Ruin is still going through the editing process. This is only a teaser/excerpt of a pre-release copy, so editing changes will happen to this scene before release.

Copyrighted Kristen Banet/K.N. Banet 2020

All Rights Reserved

Mave woke up, hungover but happy. For the first time in months, she was waking up in her own bed, curled into a male, and cocooned by wings and furs. Tails were wrapped with hers, and hands found ways to touch her, even if it was just her feet—a pile of Andinna, all feeling the same way she was.

She broke her tail free of the tangled mess that held it and began to run it up and down a leg, teasing. The emotional wave that came from the touch, the sudden awareness, made her realize who it was. She went further up and touched more, bringing a groan from her male’s lips.

“That’s cruel,” Luykas mumbled behind her. She laughed softly, causing the male she was pressed into to move.

“Is it really time to get up?” Mat asked, his emerald green eyes opening slowly. His yawn exposed Andinna fangs, looking more like a roar than an innocent yawn. “Do we have to?”

“I’ll start breakfast,” Zayden said, trying to sit up. Mave felt something pull, and Zayden cursed. “Can the three of you get off my fucking wing?”

There was laughter all around them as Bryn revealed himself to be the Andinna at her feet, sitting up as well.

“I’ll help ya with breakfast,” her rogue said. He didn’t stand, though, crawling across the room and up Mave’s body. “Good morning, love.”

“Good morning,” she replied, kissing him.

Luykas growled softly, prompting her to hit him with her tail, a warning that his possessive and dominant side wasn’t welcome on her first morning home. Bryn only chuckled against her lips and got up, leaving the room naked with Zayden following him, still yawning.

“Luykas,” she chided, looking over her shoulder.

“Sorry. First time back in the house since you left,” he said, pushing up and leaving the bed. Now, it was just her and Matesh. “Didn’t want to live with a bunch of cocks while you were gone.”

“He had dinner with us every night, then went to sleep in his own house,” Mat explained, yawning a second time. “So, what are your plans for the day?”

“To do little or nothing,” she answered as they finally got out of bed as well. She found pants, something none of her males were bothering with. She even put on a top, wrapping herself in thin cotton to keep the heat from becoming unbearable. Mat chuckled as she looked down at her armor and crinkled her nose before leaving her alone in their bedroom.

Mave took a moment to just enjoy the space around her. She had spent all winter in this room with at least two of them every night. Then she had spent all of spring without any of them. She had been jubilant on the battlefield, but she had privately missed the special moments that often unfolded in this room. If war called to her soul, this room and the males she shared it with called to her heart.

She left the room to find her four males working in an intricate dance around the kitchen and dining table. Sitting at the table, looking a little annoyed, was Alchan.

“Can you tell your males to put on clothing?” he asked softly as she sat down.

“They will when they want to. Why are you here? How long have you been here?”

“I came in and made coffee,” he said politely. “And made myself comfortable while I awaited any of you to wake up.”

“Well, that’s…” Mave couldn’t think of the proper thing to say. “Just make yourself at home…”

“I already have,” he said with a smile. “I mean, you wouldn’t turn your brother away, would you?”

“Ha.” Mave rolled her eyes. “Really, what do you need? I’ve got a splitting headache from last night, so make it quick.”

“I wanted to tell you last night, but you kept drinking whatever people put in your hands,” Alchan teased, sipping his coffee, then holding it out to her. She took it and tasted, trying not to moan at the rich flavor. She took two more swallows of his drink before handing it back.

“That’s good,” she complimented. She was used to cheap, stale coffee on the road. The coffee reminded her that her king had hidden talents. He was one of the best cooks she had ever met.

“I’ll teach one of them how to make it,” he promised. “It’s a blend of two varieties. Sen brought my favorites over from Olost, and I’ve been hoarding it.”

“Why? Bribery?” Mave laughed, trying to reach for his coffee again.

“Yes, I brought a bag this morning. It’s in the kitchen. It comes with a cost, though. Or maybe it’s an apology for what I’m about to say.”

That made Mave pause. “What?”

“Now that you’re back, I’m not letting you go anywhere until autumn. You’re going to take the summer—”

“Really? I’m the best warrior you have,” she huffed, shaking her head. She was even better than Nevyn now, not just when she was angry but consistently. Fighting him was like fighting any other warrior. There was no comparison. “You can’t be serious.”

“I am. You missed all of spring here, and every warrior needs to take time off between long campaigns. But that’s not the important news.”

Mave looked at her males, who all kept their heads down, a troubling sign.

“I got back yesterday, and you’re going to dump bad news on my head?” She narrowed her eyes at her king and adopted brother. “Really?”

“Seanev is coming. He’ll be here at some point in the next week, depending on how fast he can keep his caravan moving.” Alchan put his coffee down in front of her again. This time, the bribe was obvious. He was helping her hangover in exchange for less of her anger.