Nathan scrubs his hand over his face and combs his fingers through his hair, trying to tame it into something that looks less like he has been dragged through The Hedge backwards. His mom had told him in no uncertain terms, “Herschel Nathan Aaron Greenberg it is an honour to be chosen by the Goddess like this. Your Grandmother is so proud of you.”
And it’s true, his bubbe is very proud, if a little confused. Hell, he is a little confused himself. Only the female members of his family, like his grandma and her grandma and her grandma, have ever been known to be Seers; they are the ones that the fae genes have been active in. The fae side has always been dormant in the males in the family. His mom has some gift of premonition, like knowing that it’s gonna rain even though the weather forecast says clear blue sunny skies, but the power his bubbe has, the sight, should have gone to his sister; except he doesn’t have one. And didn’t that lead to a revelation.
Turns out when his mom was pregnant with him, she was expecting twins. Only something happened and the twin sister he would have had didn’t make it. Her cells were ‘absorbed’ into him, making him both him and his sister.
But at least he isn’t going crazy like he first thought. Back when the dreams involving Stiles, and his pack of werewolves, started.
Not that Nathan had realised that they were werewolves, or that Stiles was Fae, or even Sidhe, let alone that he was a Viscount of the Unseelie Court; though he renounced that claim apparently, given that he is now King Tighearnach of the Sith Court of Beacon Hills. And while Nathan’s Fae heritage is stronger in him than any of recent relations, he’s nothing as lofty as Sidhe.
No, he’s only half-human, despite his parents both being more than three-quarter’s human.
His mom is one-eighth boggan as both her parents are. His dad is at most quarter satyr. And somehow, probably related to ‘cannibalising’ his twin in the womb, Nathan is quarter boggan and quarter satyr. Something he’s worked very hard to hide from society; trying to remain unnoticed and in the background. Especially at school. It’s not like he could openly state he was part fae anyway; the general public didn’t know about the non-human races. And his mom’s family are part fae from the Seelie Court, while his dad’s family are from the Unseelie Court. If anyone found out The Accords would have split the family apart, and neither Court would really have accepted him.
But the dreams started. Though that was after he walked in on them, Stiles and his werewolf pack, having an orgy in the bathroom. And didn’t that just pull at his self-control. He’s part-satyr for Goddess’s sake, and his father’s Fae blood comes from the Unseelie Court. Goddess, his infatuation with ‘Jackie’; though he knows better now and given that Jackson is one of the King’s mates that infatuation is a lot more under control.
Then after Aiden got that tattoo, proclaiming himself Stiles’ slave, the dreams become more bacchanalian in nature, followed by the dream where writing appeared flowing over his body and he woke in Coach’s economics class shouting in a language he didn’t even know.
Why wouldn’t he have thought he was going crazy. Nothing of this sounded like what his bubbe’s gift of the sight was like. It was certainly nothing like the intuitive foresight his mom displayed from time to time.
Then the supernatural world jumped out of the shadows and started showing the mundane world that “we’re all around you”. And the dreaming got worse; enough that he couldn’t sleep and couldn’t hide it from his parents. Luckily their family doctor was one that knew about the fae-blood they all carried, being part-fae herself, and after some tests declared that he wasn’t going crazy. The dreams were emergence of the sight as more of his fae DNA had become active. When he pointed out that only the female line of his family had the gift is when he found out about his twin that was never born.
And that he was born hermaphrodite and to fit in to mundane society his parents had elected to have surgery to make him male. The faded scars he believed were from having his appendix removed are actually from the removal of his “possibly not even functional” womb and ovaries. While he looks male, if you don’t pay his chest close inspection, he is actually non-binary. The flabby pecs he thought he had, are his breasts. So, he’s a ginger haired, non-binary, non-human, bisexual, social non-entity, that has somehow been chosen by the Goddess.
His parents better hope his balls are in working order because otherwise, having removed his other, ‘possibly non-functioning’, reproductive organs, he may end up being the last Seer in the family.
With the supernatural out in the open, and the new Accords signed, Stiles and the pack were forced out into the limelight. And having claimed the land that the town is built on, as it was owned by the werewolf pack, Beacon Hills became an independent sovereign state and the Goddess bestowed a crown on Stiles’ head; creating the Sith Court of Beacon Hills.
Every fae-blooded being in the county felt the change; somewhere they could belong.
But, it’s not the only change happening. The dreams haven’t stopped, he needs help. He needs someone to show him how to control this power.
He runs his hands over his face again, up over his brow, remembering to avoid the points on his forehead where his satyr horns are starting to form; he doesn’t want to break the skin again, they need to emerge naturally. Goddess he isn’t gonna be able to hide them when he starts senior year in a few weeks.
The doorbell rings and he can hear his mom answer the door. A small smile tugs at the corners of his mouth as he stands and turns to the door.
“My favourite aynikl,” the woman standing in the hall calls to him, “Come, give your bubbe a kiss.”
“Hi grandma,” he grins at her as he walks over, and hugging he gives a kiss to her cheek.
“Now,” she pulls back to look at him, “What’s all this narishkeyt about you not having control of your Goddess given gift?”
The young beta stretches up and pulls the book from the shelf, he turns and with book in hand he toddles back, swaying on unsteady feet as they rush, to where Scott is sitting on the chair with Cianan suckling at his breast.
“Oma read me,” he thrusts the book towards Scott.
“Michael, I’ll read to you once Cianan has finished feeding,” Scott informs his eldest child, “No-one interrupted, demanding all my attention, while you were feeding, did they?”
“No,” Derek smirks from the doorway, “But none of the other children are as demanding and insistent of your attention as this one,” he swoops in and gathers the two-year-old in his grasp, raising him into the air giggling as the book drops to the floor. Derek turns the child in his arms and supports him as he settles against him. That is until he notices that the book is no-longer in his hand. He pushes against his father’s chest and looks down to the floor.
“Dada,” he points at the book, “Book fell.”
“You want me to read to you while your Oma is feeding your cousin?” he asks, kneeling down to pick up the book, unsurprised to see it’s ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’; their son has a fascination with tigers. Michael looks at him expectantly. “I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s go find your brother and I’ll read to the both of you.”
“I think Lucas is colouring with his Oma-Isaac and his other brother and cousins,” Scott smiles up at his mate.
“In Isaac’s and Ethan’s nursery?”
Derek bends down and kisses the top of Scott’s head before he turns and heads out the door to find his other mate and sons.
Derek finds Lucas sprawled on the floor in Issy’s nursery with his half-brother Caden, half-sister Laura, cousin Iokua, and oma-Isaac. All of them laying on the floor on their stomachs drawing; well, as much as eighteen-month and two-year-old children can be said to draw. Isaac has his legs kicking in the air and still has his footed pyjamas on. Crayons are scattered all over the floor, as are sheets of paper.
“What’s all this mess?” Derek tries to sternly demand as he walks into the room with Michael on his hip, but he can’t keep the smirk from his voice.
“Dada!” Caden, Laura, and Lucas squeal as Iokua shouts, “Afa.” They all start trying to explain what they’re drawing at the same time.
“Daddy read tiger book,” Michael states once his siblings and cousin have quietened.
“Let’s tidy some of the crayons and drawings off the floor first,” Derek says, “And those that want to draw can continue to do so and those that want to sit with us and listen to the story can.” He looks down at Isaac adding, “Scott’s still feeding Cianan.”
“The rest of the kids are upstairs with Jackson, Ethan, Aiden, Danny, and Matt,” Isaac answers Derek’s unasked enquiry, “I haven’t had the chance to get changed yet.”
“Well, once I’ve read the story, and Scott’s free to come and take this lot up to play with everyone else, I’ll get you bathed and changed,” Derek says as he lets Michael down to the floor to help clear up the crayons.
“Thanks,” Isaac smiles at him, mouthing, “Daddy.” Derek kisses his golden-haired mate chastely on the lips, before they both join in to help with the tidying up.
Soon enough, Derek is sitting on the two-seater sofa, Michael on his lap, with Lucas and Laura beside him. Isaac is sitting at his feet, his head resting against Derek’s thigh and Caden and Iokua both sitting on his lap. Michael turns the pages of the book as Derek’s free hand cards through Isaac’s hair while he reads to them.
“Sophie opened the door, and there was a…”
“TIGER,” Michael shouts interrupting his daddy.
“Yes,” Derek, smiles, “A big, furry, stripy tiger.”
Stiles scrubs his hand over his face, stifling a groan of frustration as he sits back in the chair, his head resting on the top of the seat back.
“Change the report will not,” Drazin states from the other side of the desk.
“I know that,” the King of Beacon Hills sighs. He lifts his head from the back of the chair and looks at the report on his desk again. He’d rather be going over these in his office in his Sithen; but he has a meeting with the Board of Supervisors, all nine of them, to go over this report and he doesn’t want them coming into his Sithen. So, he’s stuck here at his official office in City Hall. It used to be the Mayor’s office, until he removed the position after the Goddess granted him a crown and his Sithen became the Sith Court of Beacon Hills. As King he didn’t want there to be any doubt that he ruled Beacon Hills and a position of Mayor would just have muddied the waters.
Beacon Hills is not entirely independent yet; Independence Day is scheduled for Friday January 16 th, 2015. This is only August, there are just over five months to go, meaning they are currently in a period of ‘transition’ while the bureaucracy of the federal government slowly disentangles Beacon Hills from the rest of the United States. Yet, in the six months since it was announced that sovereignty had been granted, over a quarter of the human population of Beacon Hills decided to move out. But that is not the problem facing him. There are nearly twice as many people looking to move in, some human but most are non-humans rushing to the first supernatural sovereign lands in the United States. Property prices are rising fast and there are not enough homes for the number of people moving into the city. There are a lot of homeless families suddenly in the city; who are all priced out of the housing market.
There are also more children than there are places for them in the schools, and that is only going to get worse; there has been a large spike in pregnancies in the county since he gained his crown. And that has only added fuel to the reports of him being a fertility god.
His thoughts are interrupted by Drazin indicating that the Board of Supervisors are waiting.
“So, instead of the population reduction that was imagined due to the Human First supporters leaving, we have an over-population problem because more people are moving to the city than are leaving. Not only that, those that are moving in either can’t find property to buy or rent, or they simply can’t afford it. And not one of you has been able to put forward a proposal to help solve the problem?” He glares at each of the Councillors sitting around the conference table. “What good is an elected board of advisors if you can’t offer any advice?” he forcefully asks them.
“It’s not as if we can suddenly build new houses to home the faithful that flock to the city,” Supervisor Valerie Brown of District Five retorts. He’s sure she is a Human First supporter that is just bidding her time to make as large a profit from the sale of her own home before she sells up and leaves Beacon Hills.
“No, no it’s not,” Stiles agrees, “However,” his tone turns harsher as he points out to all of them, “Most of the homes sold have been bought as second homes or with buy to let. They are either sitting empty as the owner will only be residing in them for as little as a month in the entire year, or they are being rented out at eye gouging rates.” He lets that sink in, and before Brown can make the statement of ‘well that is the pricing that the market demands’, he continues, “Those forced to live on the streets can’t get a job because they can’t afford to pay unreasonable rents, and there are jobs not being filled because the owners of most of the homes don’t actually live in them. This will stop.”
“How?” Brown demands.
“Quite simple, rent control,” Stiles smiles at her, “I am capping the rent allowed to be charged in the city, and I am also declaring that no home can be owned unless it is the owners’ primary residence and occupied at least ten months of the year.”
“WHAT?!” Brown’s chair topples backwards to the floor as she jumps to her feet, “You can’t do that!”
“Yes. I. Can.” Stiles decrees, “I will not allow anyone to be charged an unfair rent. It will be capped based on the average for the type of property and the size of property in the neighbourhood before Sovereignty was granted. And, I am not allowing neighbourhoods to become ghost towns with businesses closing because the nearby homes sit empty for most of the year…”
“You can’t force some left-wing communist liberal agenda on…” Supervisor Brown tries to interrupt.
“Also,” Stiles continues right over her, “I am decreeing that at least a living wage will be paid to all employees within Beacon Hills; I’m thinking maybe twenty dollars per hour.”
“You’ll put companies out of business…”
“What partners in a business take out as their salary is entirely up to them,” Stiles ignores the protests as he continues, “But if they pay themselves exorbitantly at the expense of their employees then they may well go out of business. But people need to be paid a wage that means they only need to work one job, not three, to keep a roof above their head and their family from starving. They need to be paid fairly…”
“Fairly?! How is paying some high-school dropout twenty dollars an hour to server you a burger and fries fair?!”
“Because for all you know the person serving you your burger and fries is working to pay for their college tuition while they try to ensure they don’t end up laden with debt before they even start their career and they are having to deal with an asshole like you looking down your nose at them while shovelling greasy fries into your stupid mouth,” Stiles fumes at the only person to have spoken out against anything he’s said so far, “Maybe you ought to find out what the real world is like when you don’t have mom and dad buying your education for you.”
“Shut up. I’m not finished yet,” he snaps, “There will be a new local tax, set at five percent of a person’s salary. This will be used to provide universal healthcare for every resident of Beacon Hills. Then there are other necessities like power and water; these will be taken out of private hands and owned and controlled by the Independent Supernatural Nation of Beacon Hills. The local power plant will be converted to a renewable energy source; solar, wind, hydro, the specifics will need to be investigated. The employees will be retrained as required…”
“I’m not finished,” Stiles practically snarls at Brown’s further interruption, “The rail and bus public transport in the city will be owned and run by the city. The abandoned rail track, stations and depot will be restored to working order. Now, there are also a lot of other abandoned buildings that are boarded up and have been left to crumble, like the mall complex and the First National Bank building, these are gonna be repaired; starting with the bank which I want with power and water up and running to give the homeless a safe space before winter…”
“And just how is all of this spending going to be paid for…?”
“Through minimal community taxes and,” Stiles smiles, “I will be reviewing the salaries paid to local government employees where that salary is above the state average. So, I’ll be starting with the Board of Supervisors, yours, to see just how you justify being paid more than twice the average.”
“You can’t interfere in the free market like this; this is America…”
“I can!” Stiles silences the dissent, “You are living in the Sovereign State of Beacon Hills. This land is part of the Sith Court of Beacon Hills, and I am King Tighearnach. The free market is all well and good for luxuries, but it is no place for the necessities of life. Something that is needed for someone to live, like fresh water, is not a commodity that anyone has the right to profit from. Meeting adjourned,” he stands and walks out of the room; exhaling as Drazin closes the door behind him. He turns his head and looks down to Drazin beside him, whispering, “And I thought the toughest thing I had to do this year was graduate high-school.”
Jordan will be glad when he’s finally allowed to work again; as a deputy in the sheriff’s department.
There has been a lot of resistance to him resuming his job at the sheriff station now everyone knows he isn’t human. His master’s father faced a backlash against him as sheriff for reinstating him. Even after Beacon Hills was granted sovereignty under the Independence Accords, became an independent Sith Court and Stiles its king. Even some of the non-humans that have moved in – replacing the humans that have left – are not keen on a Fire-Bane/Incubus hybrid working in the sheriff’s department. Even though he is collared; and it’s not easy to miss the collar. Like impossible.
No, even collared there are those that are afraid of him.
So, while the transfer of power from the State of California to the Náisiún Neamhspleách Osnádúrtha Chnoc Beacon as the Court Comhairleoir, Drazin, proclaimed it, is under way, Jordan is stuck behind a desk in the Sheriff’s office.
For now, the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department reports to the assigned liaison of the Marshal’s Office, who had taken over the offices in town that Agent McCall had acquired for the Special Investigation Division of the FBI, until Independence Day when the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department will report to the constitutional government of Beacon Hills. The head of the Sith Court; Stiles. Jordan is not sure how the Sheriff is resolving the dilemma of his son being his boss.
Right now, Jordan and the Sheriff are both sitting behind a desk going through resume after resume from people wanting to join Beacon Hills Law Enforcement; humans, fae, mages, hunters, and therianthropes – coyotes mostly but there is a jaguar, a tiger, and a bear too, but no werewolves.
Marshal Hanscum, their liaison, is helping them. Stiles insisted, given this wasn’t just about staffing the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Station; this is setting up a completely new department of law enforcement.
“So,” Hanscum looks up from the raft of resumes, “You’re gonna need to ensure you have people to cover the tasks that are currently handled outside of Beacon Hills.” Stiles had officially called their lands the Independent Supernatural Nation of Beacon Hills, but most people still just call it Beacon Hills. “Meaning, that as well as police officers, you’re gonna need correctional police officers, and special agents. They are all gonna need to know what the local sovereign laws are as they will take precedence over state.”
“There isn’t a correctional facility in Beacon Hills currently,” John states, though everyone at the table knows this, “And I’m not sure there is anywhere suitable to use as a prison that can be converted before Independence.”
“Arrangements can be made for prisoners to be held in state facilities until you have the situation sorted out, or as an on-going deal,” the Marshal informs them, “But Beacon Hills will have to cover the costs…”
“Plus, the profit margin,” Jordan intercedes, “Around five percent of prisoners are held in private facilities in California, and that number is growing.”
“We’ll leave that to Stiles and his advisors to sort out,” John sighs.
“You also need to consider,” Hanscum continues, “How many of your existing deputies are going to continue and how many are planning on leaving. Any indications?”
“Beacon Hills may be roughly the same size as San Francisco, but we’re mostly woodland and the preserve; our population is less than fifty thousand contained in about a third of the land,” seeing the look on Hanscum’s faced he gets to the point, “We have on rota sixty-seven officers, sixty-eight including myself, and another twenty-two administrative personnel. About half of the personnel are from Beacon County; not Beacon Hills directly…”
“Well, all those staff that are not Beacon Hills, those positions you’re looking to fill,” Hanscum informs them.
“I can’t fire…”
“Either they move to Beacon Hills or you’re gonna need to let them go,” Hanscum plainly states, “This is no-longer part of the United States and you can’t employ people that are not from Beacon Hills to work in your law enforcement, they’re foreign nationals.”
“Goddess,” John curses, scrubbing his face with his hands, again.
“I think there are some that would choose to move to Beacon Hills,” Jordan states, “Probably more than those that will leave.”
“Based on?” Hanscum arches an eyebrow at him.
“How they react to me,” Jordan shrugs.
“Some of them have less of a problem with the King’s Bane working beside them than others?”
“Or at least less of an issue than some of those that we’re here to serve and protect,” Jordan doesn’t hide his unhappiness at the disdain some of his fellow deputies have shown.
“This is something that you need to resolve,” Hanscum directs her comments to the Sheriff, “You need your officers to be able to work together and they need to be able to treat each other as equals; no matter if they are werewolf, fae, or human.”
“Or Fire-Bane and Incubus,” Jordan adds.
“Then we need to go through these applications and figure who we can hire to rotate into the schedules to replace those from Beacon county,” John says with an air of resignation.
“And those that are gonna leave,” Jordan adds.
“Yeah,” the sheriff sighs, picking up the resume on top of the pile.
They are slowly, far slower than they’d hoped, working through the pile of resumes deciding on who to invite for an initial interview; sorting them into first choice, second choice, hard no’s, and those that have useful skills but don’t have the any law enforcement training.
“Everyone, including the current officers are going to need training to cover the new local laws,” John states as he looks over another resume where there is no reference to them having taken any law enforcement classes or the California PELLETB – or to give its full title POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery – aptitude test, “Once Stiles decrees what they are…”
“The ones he has mentioned are mostly around recognition of poly-relationships, dominant/submissive relationships, and werewolf and other supernatural mates; like making the age of consent laws more flexible for mated supernaturals…”
“How flexible?” John’s gaze falls hard on his collared deputy.
“He discussed with the pack about exemption for supernaturals that are mated in situations where one is an omega and in heat…”
“Did he,” the sheriff’s eyebrow arches as his gaze remains fixed on the deputy, “And just what did he have in mind for mated supernaturals where neither are an omega and one of them is not yet eighteen?”
“He suggested lowering the age of consent to sixteen in line with most other states and majority of European countries,” Jordan tries not let his uneasiness show as he knows the sheriff is pointedly making reference his situation with his fifteen – almost sixteen – year-old mate, “Though he did mention that there are more countries in Europe where the age of consent is lower than sixteen than where it is sixteen.” Seeing the line of the sheriff’s lips tighten, Jordan decides to stop talking.
“Anyway,” John frowns and changes the subject, “Irrespective of the experience or training that anyone currently has, everyone is gonna need retraining to some degree…”
“True,” Hanscum looks over the top of the resume she’s holding at him, “So, are you thinking of putting some of those from the fourth group,” the ones with no law enforcement experience or qualifications and is the largest of the four piles of resumes they have so far gone through, “Into groups one and two?”
“Yeah,” he confirms, “If after the interview we think they may be suitable, we can arrange for them to go on ride-along and volunteer at the station while they study for the PELLETB, and if they pass that and the medical and psychological exams we have a deputy.”
“It will give them a taste of what the job entails,” Hanscum postulates.
“Especially if we get them to do most of the paperwork,” Jordan smirks, at the sheriff’s pointed clearing of his throat he quickly adds, “As a draft to be completed by the actual officer.”
“Some of them may decide it’s not for them, before they’ve completed the training and exams,” John adds, “If we can start the process sooner rather than later, we may end up with enough staff that we’re not all working double-shifts to keep the station running.”
“So, I’ve started the course on xenobiology and medicine that the California State Health Board are now offering; so that I can treat werewolves, fae, other therianthropes,” Liam’s stepdad says as they are sitting around the Geyer family dining table.
“And I’m updating my social sciences degree to include modules on werewolf pack hierarchy and dynamics, and fae court politics,” his mom adds.
“That’s great,” Liam enthuses. He was finally allowed to stay over with his parents, sleeping in his old bed in his room. It’s not his first visit, or even his first unsupervised visit, but it is the first time he has slept here; away from his pack and his mate. It was great being with his parents, and it’s great that they are being so supportive, but even though he’s only been here overnight, he’s missing his pack; and his mate.
“You have that look again,” he hears his mom saying.
“Yes, the one that says your mind is somewhere else,” she smiles, or tries to, but he can see the hint of hurt in her eye and smell the sourness of disappointment from both his parents.
“No,” he quickly tries to reassure them, “It’s great being here with you again, I just…”
“Just…?” his stepdad prompts him to continue.
“I do miss my pack, but I miss you too when I’m not here,” his brow crinkles as he replies, “I just wish there was more of my pack’s scent here, it would make it easier being away from my pack and my mate…”
“Mate?” his mom exclaims in surprise, “You’ve only just turned sixteen. Aren’t you a little young to have a mate? Werewolves mate for life don’t they.”
“Um… yeah… I…”
“From what I understand,” his stepdad thankfully interjects, “Werewolves can tell their mates through scent, so, when you meet the one, you know they’re the one. Is that right?”
“Yeah, most supernaturals have a way to identify their mate,” Liam smiles, thinking of his incubus mate’s dreams.
“So, who’s the lucky girl?” his mom asks with a smile, but he can tell it’s forced; he can smell the worry from her.
“Well, um… he…”
“He?” his mom exclaims, her face showing startled surprise, while his stepdad merely arches an eyebrow.
“Mom, dad,” Liam looks earnestly between them, taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling before he continues, “I’m gay.”
“Well, if your mate is a guy that’s hardly surprising,” his stepdad smiles.
“I’m sorry, I just assumed that…” his mom stumbles over apologising, “I shouldn’t have. I know better than that, I don’t… I’m sorry.” She takes a deep breath, and calming herself smiles as she asks, “So, who is your young man and when do we get to meet him?”
Internally, Liam groans.
“Well, technically, I’d be the young man,” he cautiously replies.
“Oh, is he a senior?” his dad asks, “Is he planning on going to college?”
He can’t see any other option at this point.
“It’s Jordan,” at their blank expressions he clarifies, “Deputy Parrish.”
The glass of water is knocked from his mom’s place at the table, and shatters on the floor.
“Just great,” Jackson frowns down at the eighteen-month-old bundle in his arms that has just thrown up the milk they had drank over his pale-blue satin bra.
“What?” Danny calls to him from the floor where he has two other toddlers on his back.
“Oh, sorry,” Ethan calls from the seat across from him where he has two more on his knee, “Brady does tend to get a bit over-excited when there’s a lot going on around him.”
“A bit over-excited?” Jackson scowls down at the now giggling child in his arms, then turns to glare at his mate, “How about getting me something to clean up with or come and take the puke machine while I go and clean up and get changed.”
“Here, I’ll take him,” Aiden says as he walks into the room.
“Thanks Aiden,” Jackson replies still glowering at Danny, as he hands Brady over to his father to clean the boy up, “At least someone comes to my rescue.”
“I have two children on my back,” his mate defends himself.
“Ha,” Jackson scoff’s, the low heel of his mule slipper shoe slapping on the floor as he makes his way out the room to clean himself and change his lingerie.
Walking into their bedroom, Jackson unclips his bra and throws it into the hamper before stepping out of his panties and tossing them in with his bra. He walks naked into the adjoining bathroom to wash his chest and stomach.
He startles at little at the feel of the arm snaking around his waist. He’s not sure how long he’s been standing in front of the full-length mirror, the fresh pair of panties in hand staring at himself. Nor does he know how he didn’t sense his mate coming up behind him.
“Want to tell me what’s worrying you?” Danny asks, nuzzling at his neck.
“Nothing,” Jackson lies.
“Do I need to put you over my knee and spank the truth out of you?” Danny’s voice is a low rumble as he pushes his mate for the truth.
“Goddess!” Jackson pulls out of his grip, “I am not Scott.”
“I know that,” Danny retorts, his hand snatching hold of Jackson’s wrist, “Otherwise that would have been an invitation to foreplay, not a threat of punishment.” Jackson’s cheeks colour as his gaze falls off to the side and down to the floor, not daring to meet Danny’s eyes. “Please Jacks, just tell me what is wrong,” the beta wolf insists.
“Look at me!” the blond omega shouts, “Isn’t it obvious? I mean you never even play with my nipples anymore, and why would you?! You’re gay, and my… my pecs are gone, and I’ve grown these massive tits, I can’t even fit into my bras properly anymore and…”
“Jacks,” Danny pulls him into a hug, “Your breasts aren’t massive, and Scott’s breasts have gotten bigger too, you know that.” Really, they all know that Jackson is barely an AA cup size – if that – and Scott’s breasts are at most a AAA cup size, “With you both being the only omegas that are producing milk for the kids, and the littles…”
“Scott just looks like he has flabby pecs,” Jackson huffs, “I. Don’t. Fit. My. Bras.” Danny pulls back to look his mate in the eye, and Jackson continues, “And you don’t like touching them.”
“I only stopped touching them when you complained about leaking milk when I did play with them,” he corrects him, “And Scott’s are only slightly smaller than yours because he had twins while you had quadruplets. But you are both producing the milk for seventeen kids and two littles,” Jackson opens his mouth to protest, but Danny continues, “We all know that when the four of you have your omega nights, that Scott and you both have Ethan and Isaac suckling from you.” Jackson closes his mouth.
“Now, is it the size of your breasts you’re concerned about? Do you want Stiles to see if he can use his magic to reduce them to the same size as Scott’s?”
“Maybe then people would find me attractive again,” Jackson mumbles, but Danny hears him clearly.
“Everyone finds my slut attractive,” Danny grins at him, “You know you’re everyone’s type.”
“Used to be.”
“Not used to be. Are.” Danny pulls Jackson to him and brushes their lips together, “You are one very sexy male omega…”
“Intersex beta,” Jackson corrects him.
“Very sexy, sassy, IB, and me and Stiles are so lucky that you are our mate. We love that you are our slut and we love every part of you.” One hand falls to fondle Jackson’s little cock-let and balls, pulling a soft moan from his lips, while he leans in, his head ducking to kiss over his breasts, “And now that I know you want me to play with these,” he nips at Jackson’s nipples, licking around the areola, “I will be, no matter how much you complain about your milk leaking.”
“Danny, please,” the blond wolf whines as his mate pulls them towards the bed.
This chapter is unbeta'd and all mistakes are my own.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Melissa stretches out in bed, turning in Chris’s arms. It’s the first day in while that she has managed to have a lie-in. Looking at the clock on the bedside table she’s shocked at how late it already is.
“John is at the Marshal’s office,” Chris mumbles at her ear.
“You should have woken me before he left,” she chides him.
“We both agreed you needed your sleep,” he informs her, “This promotion has you run off your feet at the hospital; preparing for independence.”
“I know, it’s been keeping me busy,” she agrees, and it has. Since becoming a Nurse Manager, she has basically been on call twenty-four hours a day. Despite the fact that her duties are supposed to be directing and supervising the other nursing staff, as well as tending to the needs of patients and their family members, she has been spending most of her time helping the CNO and the Director of Nursing plan the training of the existing nursing staff to deal with supernatural patients and recruiting new staff that already have experience treating supernatural patients. Since she is the only one of them with a werewolf son, who is in a pack with ties to the new Sidhe King of Beacon Hills, and has some first-hand experience in dealing with the supernatural, they tend to look to her for advice and guidance on the decisions they are making.
“More than busy,” Chris huffs, “John and I have hardly spent any time with you. And, when he’s had time from planning the policing of Beacon Hills after Independence, we’ve had to amuse ourselves…”
“Ha,” she snorts, grinning at him with the glint of a leer in her eye, “That I’d like to see.”
“And we’d love to show you,” he smirks back at her, leaning in and kissing the end of her nose, “How about some breakfast?”
“You mean lunch,” she laughs, remembering how late it is.
“We could always go to the little café, and get something to take out, get enough for three and go see if John is free to join us?” Chris proposes.
“Yeah,” she likes that idea, “Though we should maybe get more food, won’t Jordan and Hanscum be with him? They’ve been working together all week; it would be rude to turn up with only enough for three.”
“Okay,” he smiles, “Let’s shower and head out.”
“I think after we’ve showered, we should get dressed first,” she laughs.
“Oh, I don’t know…” he grins.
“I do,” smiling, Melissa leaps out of bed and heads through into their bathroom. Chris kicks back the covers and follows at the sound of running water, “How about I help wash your back?” he grins.
Melissa looks over her shoulder, “Just my back?”
“Mom?” Liam tries not to whine, but he can smell the shock and worry from both his parents. His mom especially.
“But… but he’s so much older than you,” his mom blurts out, “And… and he’s not a werewolf, he’s… he’s…”
“An Incubus,” Liam supplies, “And a dragon. I know, but he’s also my mate, and no matter what he’s always gonna be my mate and he’s always gonna be older than me…”
“But you’re a child, you’re not old enough to… has he forced you to…” his mom questions with hint of steel edging into her voice.
“No!” Liam growls, his fangs popping before he can get himself under control and pull them back. He sees the fear flash in his parents’ eyes and feels both the guilt and sorrow of causing it. “Jordan hasn’t forced me to do anything. He wouldn’t even kiss me, despite knowing he was my mate and I was his,” he huffs, looking down at the table and not at his parents, “All because of the fact he’s ten years older than me. You’ve no idea what’s like to know your mate and to feel rejected by them like that.”
“I’ve read that it can cause a werewolf to feel great emotional pain, that manifests in a physical way. That in a mated pair when one dies the other can quickly follow because of the loss,” his dad softly says, his head dipped as he fixes his gaze on the table rather than looking at either his wife or son.
“Yeah,” Liam swallows before adding, “Thankfully, he’s over the no kissing rule,” and a lot more, but he is not about to tell his parents anything about his sex life. He has no intention of them ever knowing he likes getting his ass spanked, hard, or about the orgies when his alpha, or Ethan, or Jackson, or Isaac are in heat.
“Well, I guess, as long as your happy and not being coerced into anything you’re not ready for,” he hears the almost lie in the stutter of her heartbeat, “We just want you to be safe, well looked after, happy,” and he hears the truth of that.
“I am well looked after, and safe, and happy,” he wanly smiles at them, “But I do miss you guys.”
His parents smile back, but it doesn’t quite reach their eyes. It’s going to take them time to get used to the idea that their fifteen-year-old son is werewolf ‘married’ to a male mate that’s ten years older than him.
Jackson dragged the brush with the pale blue nail polish over the last of his toenails and recapped the bottle, setting down on the dresser. He wiggled his toes blowing air over them before sliding off the side of the bed and padding over to the closet in just the panties and bra he was wearing; a light blue similar the polish covering his fingernails and toenails.
He pulls on a pair of dark blue capri pants with a white floral motif and a white linen loose fit Henley top with three-quarter length sleeves. Slipping his bare feet into a pair of open toe platform wedge sandals, made of cork and white leather, he heads out of the bedroom in search of his mates, kids, and the rest of the pack.
He’s walking past the den in the direction of the kitchen when he’s stopped in his tracks by a voice calling from the study.
“Hey sweet cheeks, those pants really show off your ass.”
“You’re home!” he excitedly replies, turning in the direction of his mate’s voice. Stiles is sitting behind the desk in the study, papers scattered over every surface.
“Hell yeah,” Stiles smiles, “You have no idea how much better I felt once I got back inside our Sithen. I couldn’t deal with being in that office a second longer, especially after that… Councillor, Supervisor Brown, was so…”
“She being mean to you again?” Jackson pouts, walking into the study and sitting himself on Stiles’ lap.
“I just know she’s Human First, or at the very least anti-supernatural,” his mate grumbles.
“Well, thankfully the supervisors are only advisors, you’re the power in Beacon Hills and they have to enact whatever you want,” Jackson tries to cheer him up.
“Yeah, but there’s enacting what I say and enacting what I say in a manner that means it will succeed. I get the feeling Brown would try to ensure my policies fail so she could point the finger and say, ‘see what happens when you pursue liberal agendas’.”
“She’s republican, like the Whittemores…”
“She has a nasty streak with it,” Stiles states thoughtfully, “I don’t think the founding fathers would recognise republicans today as bearing any resemblance to republicanism as they knew it. Then it was based around the ideals of virtue and it was against corruption and greed. They expected people to give up their own self-interests for the common good, not their individuality and self-worth.”
Jackson doesn’t know what to say to that, he nuzzles against his mate’s cheek instead. Stiles smiles and presses back against him.
“Come on,” Stiles sighs, “Let’s go find the rest of the pack and get some food before I need to get back to this,” he waves his hand at the papers littering the desk. With a smile he kisses Jackson’s cheek before they rise from the seat and go in search of their pack mates.
“So,” Rochel Kauffmann peers across at her grandson, “You told the King of Beacon Hills what the Goddess showed you…”
“Not exactly,” Nathan squirms under her scrutiny.
“Herschel Nathan Aaron Greenberg,” and Goddess he hates it when they address him by his full name. His mom and his grandma both do it, and only when they are scolding him, “Just what did you do?”
“Wweeeeellll,” Nathan stretches out the word before he grimaces his rapid-fire reply, “I did warn him about the Brides and Consorts and how they worship him like a god and that was really about it.”
“Oy! My grandson is a meshuggener,” she rails at the ceiling, her gaze falling on him again and he ducks his head, “Why didn’t you tell him everything you saw?”
“Because I didn’t understand everything I saw,” he wails, “I thought I was having some sort of crazy dream or a breakdown. So, I stuck to what made sense from what I could see in the real world when I was awake.”
“He needs to be warned of the possible consequences of being worshipped by humans,” Rochel admonishes the young seer.
“I did,” Nathan protests, looks slightly less certain, then adds, “Sort of. When he said he wasn’t a god, I told him he might not have a choice.”
“No, he won’t become a god, he’ll become the Goddess’s power on earth,” she corrects him, “Through him she will be able to enact her will, making more humans worship him, and her. This will make him more powerful, and through him the Goddess will become more powerful. To humans he will become god-like, but that’s not the consequences I mean.”
“I was afraid of that,” he sighs, slumping dejectedly in his seat.
Stiles had thought that they had forgotten about it; or hoped that they changed their minds and just not told him. It turns out that both options were just wishful thinking on his part. But Aiden, Matt, and Ethan are sitting across from him, with Aiden and Matt reminding him of the promise he made.
“I know it’s been a while since we asked, but a lot happened after we asked last time and we thought we should wait for things to settle down. Only, things aren’t really getting any less hectic, especially for you, and we want to have those collars, we want to be yours forever,” Matt excitedly runs one word into the next, his voice sounding hopeful, joyous, fearful, and anxious at the same time.
“And to wear them when we go back to school,” Aiden swiftly interjects, stopping Matt’s flow.
“I told you both to talk to Jordan about his collar, did you?” Stiles fixes them with a stern gaze; he told them how he felt about the way Jordan ended up with the collar and what it meant.
“Yes Master,” they both respond.
“And you both still want a collar that can never be removed and will mean that you are bound to me for the rest of your lives?” he maintains the firm demeanour as he adds, “Which will be a very, very, long life; far longer than any human or werewolf that is not part of my pack.”
“Yes Master.” They both nod eagerly.
“I told you I would consider it, not that I would agree to it, and I can’t give you a collar like Jordan’s,” he sees the dejection fall across their faces, “You know that I don’t like that Jordan’s collar means he has no way out of our relationship; if he wants to leave he can’t. So, I will give you a collar that looks like Jordan’s, one that only you will be able to remove; no-one else, not even me, will be able to remove the collar from around your neck.”
Smiles break across their faces at thought, both knowing that they have no intention of ever removing the collar once it’s in place. They leap from their seated position and landing at his feet they wrap their arms around Stiles legs and torso as they both exclaim, “Thank you, thank you, Master.”
“Enough,” he ruffles their hair, “I’ll need to have the collars made, and that may take some time,” time he hopes they will take to reconsider and change their minds, “So, be patient.”
“Yes, Master,” they smile up at him, leaning into his touch.
“The headlines are calling it the extreme left wing liberal agenda threatening commerce and living standards in Beacon Hills,” the TV reporter states, “As sources close to the board of supervisors report on King Tighearnach’s plans to seize control of the medical facilities and the power and water companies, while forcing businesses to raise wages to unsustainable levels. They also report that he has plans to bring down house prices and rental rates by forcing through draconian local laws on the property market.”
“’Close to’ my ass,” Stiles mutters as he mutes the sound on the TV; the pack, Melissa, John, and Chris, sitting around in the den with him, turn their attention from the now silent news broadcast to their King.
“Their gonna make stuff up until you tell them what you’re really doing,” Danny says.
“Or, until one of the supervisors, other than the one spreading the false information…”
“The one you suspect of spinning your actual plans in a negative way to suit her own agenda,” Jordan interrupts him, ducking his head as Stiles scowls at him.
“The Supervisors are all gonna give their own version of what your plan is,” Stiles’ dad counsels him, “And even when you talk to the journalists to explain your ideas, they’ll still take away and report their own interpretation of them.”
“So, what should I do?”
“Listen to advice you trust and do what you believe is in the best interest of the people; all of the people.”
Stiles nods in reply to his father’s words, certain in the action he was going to take.
“I’m not an accountant, Stiles, I…”
“Oh, come on Lyds, you’re gonna be the first Ban Sidhe to get a Fields Medal, you’re the smartest person I know,” he tries to cajole her.
“That doesn’t mean I’m the best person to look at the budget for the city and tell you whether the math for your proposals works or not.” He gives her a pleading doe-eyed look. “Fine, I’ll look over your figures,” she grudgingly agrees, “But you should get a proper financial advisor for this.”
“Drazin is seeing if there are any suitable candidates among the fae that have come to town looking to join my Court. He’s also looking for suitable nannies to help with the kids,” he smiles at her, “Apparently all Kings and their consorts should have nannies to help raise the children.”
“Especially when they have so many toddlers at once,” Lydia smirks as she takes the set of books from Stiles’ hands.
Stiles is sitting in the study a few hours later when the click of heels on the floor approached the door. He looked up from the papers in front of him to see the door open and Lydia enter; she didn’t bother knocking.
“A lot of people are not going to be happy with these changes,” she raises her eyebrows, telling him what he already knows.
“True, but I want Beacon Hills to have social welfare as its basis. I want everyone to have a fair wage and equal opportunity, I want everyone to have access to healthcare, education, and basic necessities of living.”
“Universal Healthcare and free education are costly, and I don’t think that…”
“But they aren’t free… well, yeah, they are free at the point of use, but everyone pays for them through the increase in taxes. And that ensures that nobody ends up bankrupt because of medical bills that their insurance refuses to cover. It ensures that everyone that wants a college education can have it, without the crippling debt once they earn their degree…”
“But how can you make that work…” she interrupts his train of thought.
“It works in Europe. Why can’t it work here?” He huffs out a breath, a sigh of frustration as he leans back in his chair; his brow creasing as he thinks how best to explain his reasoning.
“This isn’t Europe,” she bluntly replies, “And, you are gonna need to sell your plan to the American population of Beacon Hills. Most of whom will see these as a left-wing liberal nonsense…”
“It is!” Stiles blurts out. Lydia’s eyebrows raise in surprise, as do his own as his thoughts catch up to the words that ejaculated from his mouth before he corrects himself, “Well, they are left-wing and liberal based, but it’s not nonsense,” adding for back-up, “If you look at the global league tables for healthcare and education, European countries with state provided Universal Healthcare and Education rank far higher than the USA with systems where the healthcare and education you receive depend on the size of your bank balance, or lands you with a massive debt that you may not be able to afford to pay off.”
“I reiterate my point,” she states, “This isn’t Europe and you will need to prove to people that they will be better off with your edicts implemented. And you need to be clear on which systems your implementing; those of Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, the UK…”
“I wasn’t thinking of following any of them exactly, more taking the best points of each. And, also the healthcare and education would only be free to those permanently residing and paying tax in Beacon Hills.”
“So, anyone not paying Beacon Hills taxes would have to pay for their healthcare and education that they received within the territory?”
“Yes, which hopefully wouldn’t be many residents, but they, or more accurately their insurance, will pay exactly what they would if Beacon Hills was still part of the USA. It should help offset some of the additional costs.”
“But this is not Europe, and Beacon Hills will still be landlocked inside the USA; where medical costs are far higher than in Canada or Europe. A ten-millilitre bottle of insulin can cost four hundred dollars here, not the twenty dollars it costs in Canada or Europe.”
“Well,” he smiles at her, “If the US drug companies won’t sell to us at the same price they sell to Canada and Europe, then we will get the drugs from Canada; even with the cost of transporting it here it will be cheaper…”
“I don’t think that would be environmentally friendly, and I don’t think it’s that simple,” she raises an eyebrow at him.
“Maybe not, but if they can sell those drugs in other countries at less than half the price they charge in the US and still make a profit. What reason do they have for hiking the price here? Other than greed…”
“You’re speculating,” she cuts in, “For all you know any profit they make outside the US may not be enough to fund continued research…”
“I don’t buy that,” Stiles all but growls, “Even taking into account the cost of research, development, and testing of new drugs, the profits made from the increase in price charged versus the cost to produce is morally dubious…” he groans, running his hand over his head, his fingers tangling in his hair as he grabs it in frustration, before continuing, “We’re not taking about toaster ovens or TV screens, we’re taking about medical treatments that are needed to save peoples’ lives. Quite literally, people will die without access to those drugs. And the Big-Pharma pricing means that you need wealth to ensure your health.”
“Yes, but all people are going to see is that you are raising their taxes and they aren’t going to like it.”
“But they will have more money in their pocket, healthcare will be cheaper, they’ll only need health insurance for outside of Beacon Hills, the water and power bills will be lower, the city will be rent controlled and…”
“Power and water?” Lydia halts his ongoing listing of the benefits he expects to achieve.
“Currently we have a small coal fired power plant, it doesn’t produce enough electricity for the whole of Beacon Hills, some of the power is from the grid and the coal is shipped in. That can’t continue when we become independent. For one, the cost would be too much. And far more importantly, the environmental damage of using fossil fuel to generate the electricity is unacceptable. We’re not a big enough market for private companies. Our best option is for us to take control of the power production, change the source of power to renewable, which should have been done years ago anyway, and with the power supply no-longer needing to pay dividends to shareholders, the cost to residents can be reduced. The maintenance of the buildings and infrastructure can come out of the local budget, the revenue from people paying for the power they use can cover wages and be reinvested into research. The same with the water company, the public transport…”
“We don’t have local public transport,” she helpfully points out.
“I know,” he frowns, “It wasn’t profitable enough. That’s why we should provide it. A percentage of the taxes can be used to maintain the infrastructure for the rail and bus network; the fares used to cover the wages and reinvest in…”
“I don’t think you have enough capital to even get it started,” she interrupts.
“Not fully, to start with, and probably not the rail network for a couple of years, but we can start with a few buses running regularly around town.”
Lydia sighs, sitting back in the chair across from him. She looks at him with calculating eyes, he can almost see the thoughts circling around inside her head.
“I know you’re right about the healthcare in places like Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK. They are rated far higher than here…”
“Eventually, if you manage to make this work, they will see a benefit,” she concedes, “But will they stick around long enough? And if they don’t, will you be raising enough money to pay for the welfare programs you want to enact?” she arches an eyebrow at him, “You need to find a way to sell your ideas for the city to people that are used to being told that the socialist liberal agenda you’re setting out doesn’t work; that’s it’s not fair for everyone to pay for other people’s healthcare or education. And a lot of people will not be happy doing that. They will also not be happy being told they are wrong and it will work; especially coming from someone who hasn’t graduated from high school yet.”
“I’m fully expecting them to belittle me, but they are forgetting one thing…”
“This isn’t a democracy,” Stiles grins at her, “This is the Sith Court of Beacon Hills. I am King Tighearnach; I am not an elected official that needs their approval.”
“You do need their approval,” she cautions him, worried about his sudden casual dismissal of people’s concerns about the changes he may enact, “If they don’t approve, they may leave.”
“There will be those that leave anyway,” Stiles shrugs, “Because they don’t like my politics or don’t like being ruled by a non-human, but that isn’t going to stop me doing what I know is best for my pack, my Court, and the town.”
“Okay,” Derek frowns as he looks over the map of Beacon Hills laid out on the table. He’s in the study with Stiles, Scott, and Drazin, “So, our independent sovereign nation extends over this area, roughly two hundred and thirty square miles.” He lifts his eyes from the map and looks to Stiles, who nods in confirmation. Derek continues, “The town of Beacon Hills is spread out over this third of the land, our Sithen is here on the edge of town at the start of the preserve…”
“Yeah,” Stiles smiles, “But we own all the public buildings, and all the land, including the land that the private houses are built on. While the houses are privately owned, the land they are built on is leasehold. The rental cost for the land has been covered in the homeowner’s association fees for each of the communities. When Beacon Hills was being planned, the town fathers designated that the roads in each of the communities were private and the HOA fees were set to cover the maintenance of the roads and upkeep of the parks. Some of the homeowners have been shocked to find out that the land their house is built on is not owned by them; they didn’t check their title deeds very carefully it seems.”
“What?” Derek barks, “How could they not know?”
“My mom did,” Scott interjects, “I know she was always complaining about how high the HOA fees were because of the land being leasehold. But it made the house cheaper.”
“Yeah, some did, some just assumed the land was included and didn’t pay attention. Anyway, I want to reduce the rental on the land for the homeowners. I was thinking maybe charging a nominal dollar per square metre each month. We’re gonna need to zone some land for more housing to be built if the influx of people doesn’t stop…”
“And,” Drazin interrupts, “You need to expand the Sithen to allow rooms for the nannies, tutors, and other court personnel. They will all need living quarters. You need official reception rooms and a throne room, there needs to be…”
“Yeah, I get that’s how it’s been in the other Courts, but,” Stiles cuts off his Court Advisor, “I don’t want something so…” he searches for the words, “Formal and stuffy, I also don’t want a whole bunch of strangers running around my home.”
“Having help with the kids while you and everyone else is at school or work would be appreciated,” Derek comments.
“And if we had tutors, we could stay home and wouldn’t miss the kids,” Scott adds.
“The court reception rooms, the offices of the household staff, and their living area can be separate from your own private quarters,” Darzin states, “And you should appoint the Ard-Chonstábla, An Tiarna Steward, Tiarna Chamberlain, Máistir an Teaghlaigh, Máistir an Capall, Ard-Chisteoir, Usher an Rí, Tiarna Armas…”
“Why do we need all of these?” Stiles squeaks in horror, and fear of how many more his advisor was about to continue listing.
“The Lord High Constable has command of the King's bodyguards and is responsible for the investigation and punishment of crimes…”
“Fine, that’s my dad,” Stiles interrupts Drazin’s explanation, “He has his living quarters already and his office is in town…”
“He could have an official office here too,” Scott suggests. Stiles shrugs noncommittally before gesturing to Drazin to continue.
“The Lord Steward controls the domestic affairs of the royal household…”
“Scott and Derek, as the Alphas of the pack can be in charge of the domestic affairs, they can hold the position jointly,” Stiles smiles at them.
“What does ‘controls the domestic affairs’ actually mean?” Derek asks.
“That you have full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies, and the administration of the running of the household,” Drazin replies.
“So, next?” Stiles enquires.
“The Lord Chamberlain supervises the departments which support and provide advice to the Sovereign while also acting as the main channel of communication between…”
“That’s you,” Stiles decides.
“No, I can’t, that’s not possible…” Drazin splutters, clearly flustered by Stiles proclamation.
“Because I’m not a noble of the Court…”
“You are my advisor; therefore, you should be the one that supervises the department that provides advice and deals with the communications between me and the civil servants making sure that Beacon Hills keeps running. Next.”
“The Master of the Household has charge of the domestic staff, from the Royal Kitchens, the pages and footmen, to the housekeeper and their staff.”
“I thought the An Tiarna Steward dealt with the domestic arrangements?”
“The Lord High Steward does, the Master of the Household ensures that those arrangements are carried out by the staff under them,” the advisor patiently explains.
“We’ll come back to that one later,” Stiles frowns.
“The Master of the Horse deals with all matters related to the King’s horses, hounds, stables, kennels and the transportation of the sovereign…”
“We don’t have any stables or horses, or hounds,” Stiles absently remarks.
“We have cars for transport,” Scott calls out.
“So, we’ll need a driver and mechanic, not a Master of the Horse,” Stiles quips, “What’s next?”
“The Lord High Treasurer is head of your Treasury…”
“So, they’d deal with the collecting of the taxes and expenditure in the running of Beacon Hills?” Stiles seeks confirmation
“Yes,” Drazin cautiously answers.
“Then that post will be settled once you find me an accountant to act as financial advisor,” Stiles beams at him, “Next.”
“The King's Ushers are those who attend you in the Privy Chamber…”
“In the what?”
“Private apartments,” Derek clarifies, “Like a personal secretary or personal assistant.”
“My slave, Aiden, can carry out those duties,” Stiles rolls his eyes, adding, “I don’t need anyone else to attend me in my Privy Chamber.”
“Your slave cannot be seen to be your Gentleman Usher,” Drazin objects, clearly ruffled that Stiles is not taking the positions of the royal household seriously enough, “I will see if there are any suitable persons to attend you along with your slave. Now, the Lord of Arms has the authority to grant armorial bearings, they also are responsible for recording and certifying genealogies and noble titles.”
“Do we really need…?”
“Of course,” Drazin exclaims, scandalised at the notion of there not being a Lord of Arms, “Every Sith Court has a Lord of Arms, they are required to ensure that the noble lineage is meticulously recorded, and titles and heraldry properly inherited and observed.”
“By ‘every’, you mean the Seelie and Unseelie,” Stiles snorts, “Two Courts following a household structure does not mean every…”
“Every other Sith Court,” Drazin firmly counters, “And it would be advisable for you to have one to ensure that the lineage of the children and their titles are fully documented. You also need a Court Seer, the King’s Guards…”
“Drazin,” Stiles halts his Comhairleoir’s listing of household positions to be filled, “Find someone you think would be suitable for the positions of Lord High Treasurer, King’s Usher, Lord of Arms, tutors – you can get a list of subjects that they’ll need to cover from Lydia, and nannies. My dad can work out the details of the King’s Guard, you said they report to the Lord High Constable and Jordan will be in charge of the security in the Sithen. We won’t have any domestic staff – cooks, pages and footmen, housekeeper and their staff – so we won’t need Master of the Household. We can make our own beds and cook our own food. We will hire staff for the formal events.”
“As you wish,” Drazin acquiesces, cocking his head to side as he draws himself up to his full three-and-a-half-foot height.
“Now,” Stiles smiles down at the goblinoid, “Once we get the household filled, and everyone knows their positions, as my Lord Chamberlain you will arrange for a formal announcement of changes that I’m making to the education, healthcare, water, power, public transport, and taxation in the Sovereign Nation of Beacon Hills. Time to set the record straight about how our nation will be governed now that it’s a Kingdom and no-longer part of a Republic.”
Excerpt from Chapter-03
“You should close your mouth, unless you’re looking to catch flies,” Greenberg’s grandmother states, adding, “With all due respect Your Majesty.”
Stiles closes his mouth. He’s still staring at Greenberg, though his brain seems to have shut down, until he after what seems like hours – but can’t be more than a minute – he blurts out, “Since when have you had horns? And what are you?”
Internally – he hopes – he grimaces at the question as he silently chastises himself, ‘How Rude!’
Stiles flops back on the bed, he can feel Danny’s cock pressed tightly against his own as Jackson continues to ride them both; the pressure almost painful as Danny’s knot begins to swell. Jackson rises off their laps one last time, allowing Stiles to pull out before the wolf slams back down and ties himself to Danny.
“Yeah,” Stiles gasps, “Keep that seed in there,” he smirks up at Jackson as he slides his fingers along the short length the omega’s hardened cocklet. Jackson mewls at the sensation and his body shudders as another orgasm rocks through him.
“You should close your mouth, unless you’re looking to catch flies,” Greenberg’s grandmother states, adding, “With all due respect Your Majesty.”
Stiles closes his mouth. He’s still staring at Greenberg, though his brain seems to have shut down, until he after what seems like hours – but can’t be more than a minute – he blurts out, “Since when have you had horns? And what are you?”
Internally – he hopes – he grimaces at the question as he silently chastises himself, ‘ How Rude!’
“I’m half-fae,” Greenberg says, answering the last question first. And really Stiles should have figured that out for himself when Drazin came into the study to tell him that there were two ‘of the people’ here to see him. It’s not like the Sithen would have let any random human make their way to his front door.
“I’m part Satyr and part Boggan, but mostly human,” Greenberg continues, “And my fae heritage only recently kicked in,” Looking pointedly at Stiles he adds, “I think about the time Matt became your Beast Changeling,” and Stiles gets the reference to the time Greenberg walked in on them in the toilets and seeing Matt’s tail and… everything that followed.
“That’s when the dreams started. The physical changes started over the summer, hence the horns,” Greenberg resumes, “Though, really, it turns out they were something more…”
“Something more? What…?” Stiles interrupts.
“My grandson is a Seer.”
“A Seer?” Stiles’ brow wrinkles as his attention flits between Greenberg and his grandmother, “As in like an Oracle? Prophet? Soothsayer?” Given his recent conversations about the royal household positions he should be looking to fill, and the on-going interviews for the positions he agreed to, he begins wonder about the Sithen leading Greenberg and his grandmother to his door; Court Seer wasn’t one of those he thought he needed, but maybe his Sithen has other ideas.
“Yes, and he should have informed you of the vision he had given it is concerning you,” she confirms.
“I did!” Greenberg squeaks, at the disapproving look his grandmother gives him he quickly adds, “Sort of.”
“Okay,” Stiles intercedes, realising that they are still all standing in the reception room he gestures towards the armchairs and suggests, “Why don’t we sit and you can tell me again, and maybe you can make sure I get the point that your grandmother thinks has been missed.”
“So, Stacey, Chris, and their friends are a threat?” Stiles asks once Greenberg reminds him of their conversation a few months back, after the Winter Formal.
“No, not exactly…”
“What Herschel means…”
“Herschel? I thought your name was Nate?” Stiles notices a blush of embarrassment colouring Greenberg as he asks.
“It is; it’s short for Nathan…”
“It’s Herschel Nathan Aaron Greenberg,” his grandmother interrupts, “And what my aynikl means is your Brides and Consorts are not the problem, but they are gonna cause the problem.”
Stiles listens while Greenberg and his grandma, Mrs Kauffmann, explain that Stacey’s and Chris’s little gang holding on to the nails that they now use as rings and basically worshipping him as their saviour is feeding power to the Goddess, through him, and in turn that power then trickles down to him from the Goddess.
Up to this point it all sounded good to him. Then they explain that in the visions, as he becomes more powerful, more people see him as a threat. Humans becoming concerned about the power of supernatural in their midst. The Seelie and Unseelie Courts concerned about the rising power of the new Court of Beacon Hills. The other supernaturals seeing influence that the Sidhe King of Beacon Hills has over his army of human followers…
“Nine high school students aren’t an army,” Stiles snickers at the idea.
“But,” Rochel Kauffmann counters in clipped sharp delivery, “Nine each add another nine, and then you have nine times nine times nine and it keeps continuing until…”
“Okay,” Stiles hurriedly stops her, “I get the point… so, all these factions come to see me as a threat and decide to take action and remove me. We’ve faced that kind of problem before…”
“No,” Greenberg looks at him through haunted eyes, “Not like this. Kate Argent, Gerard and the hunters, The Queen’s Deaths, and her Changelings. None of them are like what’s coming.”
“What’s coming?” Stiles squawks, “They already see me as a threat?!”
“No, not yet,” Greenberg tries to explain, “But they will.”
“You can’t stop the humans worshipping you,” grandma Kauffmann explains, “The Goddess wants that, because they are worshipping her through you; in doing so they revitalise and increase her power and that increases your power and influence.”
“But you just said that my power and influence increasing is what will make people see me as a threat and that will bring a shit ton of trouble down on us. I won’t endanger my pack, my family, or the people of Beacon Hills. I’ll do what I need to protect them.”
“Most admirable; however, you would not want to displease the Goddess,” she smiles sweetly at Stiles.
“So,” Stiles draws out the ‘o’ as he looks directly at her, his head slightly tilted to the side, “What exactly would you suggest?”
“What would I know about keeping in the good graces of the Goddess and ensuring that everyone else doesn’t see me as a threat and wants to kill me?” she shrugs, “I’m not omniscient,” nodding towards her grandson Rochel adds, “And neither is the boy.”
“What kind of a Seer are you?” Stiles gripes.
“I’m not, Herschel is. And, it doesn’t mean he knows everything, his Goddess given power grants him glimpses of the possible based on the now. It’s not like he can say ‘okay, show me what happens if they do this’.”
“It’s not like I can control any of it,” Greenberg complains, “I see what I see, and then I have to try and make sense of it. It’s not exactly like I’m watching a video of events as they happened, it’s more like I’m playing charades – a very surreal game of charades – and trying to guess what’s being acted out in front of me.”
“Okay,” Stiles sighs, resignedly accepting the facts presented to him; now he had to figure out what to do.
When Greenberg and his grandmother have left, Stiles turns to his Chamberlain and Comhairleoir.
“Drazin, find out what you can about our part Satyr, part Boggan Seer and his Boggan grandma,” he smiles, “I think someone has already chosen a Court Seer for us.” He adds, somewhat unnecessarily, “And by someone, I mean the Goddess.”
The process of selecting the nannies and the tutors was simple.
Drazin selected twenty-four candidates for the nannies from the supernatural and human population of Beacon Hills. They were interviewed by Scott, Derek, Melissa, and Jackson, who whittled the list down to six. The Lord High Constable, i.e. Sheriff John Stilinski, performed a background check on those six and they were invited back for a second interview. The second interview was with Stiles and Lydia; they chose the final two who would be offered the job, and the back up two who would be offered the job if should either of first choices decline or not work out.
The first person they choose as one of the nannies is Mrs Fizzlewig, Saffron Fizzlewig. She is a Boggan who reminds Stiles of Mrs Doubtfire; only shorter. Originally from the Seelie Court, she joined the Unseelie Court when she married Mr Fizzlewig, Charlie. Though since his death – she didn’t go into detail on how he died, and neither Lydia or Stiles wanted to ask – she hasn’t felt at ease there and is hoping that Beacon Hills can become a permanent residence where they can settle-down, take up the duties of caring for ‘Childlings’, and pass the traditions and lore of Fae Wylde on to them.
The second, Mr Martinez; Kwame Alejandro Martinez, who told them to ‘call me Alex’. He’s a Beast Changeling like Matt. Only where Matt’s animal is a dog, Alex’s is definitely cat; even when not shifted he has the ears and tail of a large cat, possibly jaguar or ocelot given the markings that Stiles glimpsed. He was clearly nervous and talked, animatedly, a lot. Stiles liked him. He is twenty-three years old and was born in New York. His father, Gabriel Martinez, was second generation American whose grandfather moved to the US in the early sixties to escape from Franco’s Spain. Gabriel met Alex’s mother, Abena Assan Martinez, while they were studying at Brooklyn College in the late eighties. He was studying Psychology and she was an international student from Ghana – hence his name Kwame – studying Environmental Sciences. He hasn’t seen them since he escaped from his Keeper beyond the Hedge, feeling that he needs to reacclimatise to life outside of the Unseelie Court first.
The same routine was followed for the position of the tutors. This time though, it was a little more complicated. They needed to make sure that all the subjects required were covered. Drazin selected seventy-two potentials. The first interview panel this time was Melissa, John, Chris, and Natalie; the parents. They had to select twenty-four candidates who through a combination of three or four of them could cover all the subjects to ensure that the pack would be able to graduate. And get a basic grounding in the sociology of the supernatural world; the politics, history, and cultures of the major races – at least those that Drazin indicated were the major races from Stiles’ recollection of the council meeting.
The second interview was again conducted by Stiles and Lydia. This time they had to make sure that they covered every required subject and had a backup for each subject. To ensure that there was a backup tutor for some of the more important subjects they selected six
Ms Julia ‘Jules’ Alexander applied to the high school in Beacon Hills shortly after it was announced that it would be the first Sovereign Nation under the new supernatural accords. Given the trouble she was having finding work in Pierre, South Dakota since it has become known that she is Wiccan and practices the craft she knew that a fresh start was needed.
When the invitation for the first interview arrived – not for a position at the school, but for a place as tutor in the Sidhe Court – she didn’t think twice. She emailed and telephoned her acceptance, then jumped on the next train out of town.
She smiles to herself as she curls one of the long ringlets of her red hair in her fingers and looks down at the letter in her other hand. A fresh start is just what she is getting. She’s going to be a Royal tutor, teaching English, History, and Geography to the Sidhe King of Beacon Hills and his household.
Finally, he can relax. He got the job.
He wasn’t even sure he was gonna make it to the first interview. He created the portal from his home in San Sebastian in the Basque Country – Northern Spain bordering France – to Beacon Hills, but he didn’t account for the Sithen’s magic protecting the town and ended up with a two hour hike from the outskirts of the town to the hotel where his interview was. He had booked himself a room there so he could freshen up before the appointment; well, when he got there he didn’t have any time to freshen up, and not enough magic left after creating the portal half way around the planet to cast something on himself. He was sure he didn’t make a good impression, but he got a second interview; with the Sidhe King.
The second interview didn’t start out so well either.
King Tighearnach is taking a drink of water as he introduces himself, “Hola, I am Juan Solo…” only for the King to spray the water all over the desk and papers in front of him.
The King apologies, saying how he misheard his name and shouldn’t have, he knew who he was interviewing. So, Juan, somewhat used to people doing a double take when they hear his name, suggested they could call him John. That didn’t seem to sit well with either the King or Ms Martin who were interviewing him; they both referred to him as Mr Solo, when they used his name at all.
But he must have done something right, because in his hand he has a letter offering him the position of tutor in Math, Economics, and Spanish. He gets to move to Beacon Hills where he can practice his magic freely and openly.
Emily Knight was tired of moving from one short term teaching post to the next. She wanted something permanent, something that allowed her to put down roots. With her last teaching job coming to an end in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, she reached out to her friend, Dr Alan Deaton, as she knew he had contact with the local supernatural community in Beacon Hills. She was grateful when he replied, “of course, Emmy, I’ll recommend you for a teaching position here.”
It certainly seems to have paid off. Here in her hand she has the offer of a position to tutor the royal household in Biology, Chemistry, Supernatural Sociology, Latin and French.
She can’t wait to get started.
Daniel Schmidt lifts his suitcase into the trunk of the car before closing it with a sigh.
“You’re gonna need to decide soon Dan,” his Alpha reminds him, Jed Montgomery is Alpha of the pack here in Portland, Oregon, “When you get to Beacon Hills you either transfer to the McCall-Hale Pack or to Alpha Boyd’s Pack. You know I don’t want to lose you from our pack, but we both know how much you want to be part of an independent supernatural sovereign nation; so, we know you ain’t gonna be coming back.”
“I know and joining the McCall-Hale Pack would be better for you,” the beta werewolf replies; they know the cachet the Montgomery pack would get from a former member being part of the pack inside the Fae Court, “I just know that submitting to King Tighearnach as my Master would not be a good idea when I’m supposed to be his and Alpha McCall’s tutor.”
“Being part of Vernon Boyd’s pack wouldn’t hurt us either,” Jed snorts, “They are supposed to be close with the McCall-Hales; they live in their territory. Hell, there’s even one the Hale family in Boyd’s pack.”
“Come on, let’s get you to the airport; you got a two-hour flight and then a three-hour drive ahead of you.”
Dan jumps into the passenger seat and pulls the car door closed. He’s looking forward to taking up his teaching position as Beacon Hills Court tutor in Social Studies, American government and civics, and helping out with English classes when needed.
And as much as he’d like to join the bigger pack, as their tutor he just can’t. He knows joining Alpha Boyd’s pack would be the right decision.
He’s got a long drive ahead of him. Silver City to Phoenix, Phoenix to LA, LA to Sacramento, and then, finally, Sacramento to Beacon Hills. The last part will be the shortest stretch and should only take him three or four hours.
Still, he has a week before he officially starts his new job as Spanish tutor to the McCall-Hale pack. And it’s not like he hasn’t already made this trip when he went up there for the interviews. The first were-jaguar in Beacon Hills.
Yeah; Jordan Peters is looking forward to taking up his role. And he won’t just be teaching Spanish. He’s also their main tutor in Supernatural Sociology and will be tutoring in Social Studies.
The only thing that he not sure of actually, is living in the Sithen. He has concerns about his cat reacting badly to living in a den of wolves.
He felt it as soon as he set foot on Beacon Hills soil. The pull of the Sithen.
It had been years since he had stepped on Fae territory, let alone a Royal Court. For a moment he was overwhelmed; by a desire to revel in the feel of all that magic surrounding him, and by the fear of rejection.
Gabriel Matthews had never fitted in at either the Seelie or Unseelie Court. For all that he looks the part of a Seelie Sidhe should his emotions overrun him, and his anger roil, then his blood spills as quickly; flowing down his face from his scalp and his Redcap genes are revealed.
His mother may have been a Sidhe noble of the Seelie Court, but his father was a Redcap foot soldier of the Unseelie Court. He was the illegitimate off-spring of their single night together. Looked down on by the Sidhe of the Seelie because of his Redcap heritage and despised by the Redcaps of the Unseelie because of his Sidhe visage.
As soon as he was old enough, he disappeared through the Hedge and settled in Hamburg, Germany. Blending in with the human society, living as one of them, and hiding his true nature. But at a cost.
A cost he realised as soon as the King of Beacon Hills shook his hand. He may as well have been coated with The Tears; with that single touch he felt the need of physical contact with another Sidhe. He shoved the want down and somehow made it through the interview. The King gave no indication of noticing the strain Gabriel was striving to hide. And he assumes he was successful. He now has the position of tutor in Physics, Math – more specifically the advanced placement subjects – and physical education. And German if they decide to include another language class.
Now he just has to maintain proper decorum in the presence of the Fae, and specifically the Sidhe King, when that need for contact – the touch and caress – with another Fae rises.
Stiles flops back on the bed, he can feel Danny’s cock pressed tightly against his own as Jackson continues to ride them both; the pressure almost painful as Danny’s knot begins to swell. Jackson rises off their laps one last time, allowing Stiles to pull out before the wolf slams back down and ties himself to Danny.
“Yeah,” Stiles gasps, “Keep that seed in there,” he smirks up at Jackson as he slides his fingers along the short length the omega’s hardened cocklet. Jackson mewls at the sensation and his body shudders as another orgasm rocks through him.
As one, Stiles rises, leaning against Jackson’s front, as Danny slips an arm around the blonde’s waist and pulls himself flush against his back. Both peppering his skin with kisses, licks, and nips from their lips, tongue, and teeth.
“Much as I would rather stay here and continue our afternoon sexcapades, I have to meet with Drazin and go through the resumes to pick a Lord High Treasurer,” Stiles grumbles, before Jackson presses their lips together and his tongue demands entrance, which Stiles willingly allows; moaning into the kiss.
“I think our mate has other plans,” Danny breathily chuckles. Pulling back from the kiss, Stiles groans, “Unfortunately, I’ll need to let you take care of those plans. Now, I just need to shower, and find some clean clothes.”
“Maybe you should hire a King’s Usher while you pick your treasurer,” Jackson retorts with a gasp as Danny teases his nipples, “Then they can make sure you have clean clothes readily available.”
“I should just make that Aiden’s responsibility,” he replies, rolling off the bed and padding to their adjoining bathroom.
When Stiles emerges from the bathroom, his hair and skin still damp and towel hanging around his waist. Danny and Jackson are still tied together by Danny’s knot, but they have rearranged themselves on the bed; Danny now laying back against the headboard, with Jackson straddling his thighs and leaning back against his chest. Danny’s arms wrapped around Jackson’s waist.
Turning their heads in Stiles’ direction, Danny rests his chin on Jackson’s shoulder, Jackson enticingly licks his lips and they both stare at him with lustful eyes.
Stiles seriously considers jumping right back into bed with them, but growls in frustration, “No, don’t tempt me. I have to go be all kingly and put someone in charge of making sure our nation has money to pay for everything.” He rummages through his closet, “As soon as I find some clean clothes…”
“Or you could always head to the office in the towel,” Danny quips, Jackson adding, “Or naked, you could just say you borrowed some of the Emperor’s new clothes. You’re the King, and the Master of our pack, who’s gonna object.”
“Ha, I might do that some time, just for the shits and giggles, but right now…” he pulls on a pair of slim-fit slacks and button-down shirt, “I need to look professional, once I’ve selected some candidates from Drazin’s shortlist we’ll be interviewing them immediately; the advantages of Sithen magic.”
He walks over to the bed and kisses them both, one hand clasping the back of their head as his tongue slips between their lips, pulling back he smiles and says, “I love you,” before heading to the door as they reply, “Love you too.”
Ethan couldn’t find any of his pills. He was sure he had another bottle of them. He hoped to hell he had. Or that Deaton could get him more and soon. He left his bathroom and headed through the Sithen to find Issy; hoping he still had some of his supply left.
Scott and Jackson didn’t have a problem while they were breast feeding the kids, they were not gonna get pregnant during their heats. But Isaac and him, they needed to take the little pills from Deaton regularly.
Scott’s heats are at the full moons in June and December. Isaac’s in April and October. And Jackson and Ethan both have their heats in March and September. His heat is too close, it’s less than three weeks away, to risk not taking the pills. Around their Master it was too risky not to take the pills regularly; even when they aren’t in heat.
He finds Issy on his own in the littles’ nursery. He’s sprawled out on the floor, doing what Ethan can only describe as angrily colouring in a book.
“Hey, Issy, what’s wrong?” he tentatively approaches the curly haired omega.
“School starts next week,” is the grumpy reply.
“Yeah, but we’re gonna be home schooled…”
“We won’t get to play lacrosse!”
“But we get to stay home with the kids, and…”
“I know, but still,” he huffs, “There’s other friends at school, like Alpha Boyd, Erica and Cora.”
“It’s not like we won’t see them, and maybe we could play lacrosse here,” Ethan sits on the floor beside Isaac and rubs his back.
“Not enough of us for a team,” he continues to sulk.
“Well, we could go talk to our Alphas, tell them how sad it’s making you when thinking about not playing lacrosse.” Isaac half twists around to look at him. “They could then talk to our Master, see if something can be arranged for us to play.”
“You think we might get to go to school, so we can play?”
“I don’t know, but unless we tell them how sad not playing is making you, they won’t know to try and fix it,” Ethan smiles at him, “Will they?”
“Well, come on,” Ethan stands holding out his hand, “And on they way, can we stop by your room? I’ve ran out of those pills from Deaton.”
“I still have some, we should ask Scott if he can pick up some more when he’s next at the clinic.”
Using the same magic to manipulate the passage of time within the room as he had when Aiden was being held in this part of the Sithen, Stiles ensures that the eight candidates he’s selected all have a day to review his plans and Beacon Hill’s finances; once they’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement. So, despite the fact he is missing his mates, the pack, and the kids, what has been days for him and Drazin will only have been a few hours for everyone else. By the time he leaves this room, having hopefully recruited his Ard-Chisteoir, only a matter of six or seven hours will have passed for everyone else while a week or more may have elapsed for him.
The first four interviews did not go well.
All four candidates had issues with his plan to take provision for healthcare, water, power, public transport, and education fully under state control.
The first two guys he was supposed to interview both point blank declined their interviews, stating – more or less – that the plans to curb the free market in these areas would leave the nation bankrupt as the higher taxation needed to pay for the provision of services would drive the population out of the state; they could not support the plans and therefore could not consider the position of Treasurer.
The next one, condescendingly, ‘suggests’ that children should leave such planning to grown ups that know better. Stiles asks her if she thinks that the grown ups who run the state provided services of the European countries, whose plans are the basis of his, are children. As she spluttered for an answer, he followed up by asking if she could explain how, if the plans were so foolish that, the state run universal healthcare, education, water supply, power supply, and public transport systems were ranked higher in the provision of those services than those provided by the free market driven private sector? She didn’t have an answer.
The fourth suggested that instead of the state running the services that to offset the cost to the public finances a public-private finance initiative should be considered; where the state would outsource the running of the services to private companies. Stiles listened and questioned him on the idea; what was it likely to cost in comparison to fully running the services through the state? What level of service would the private companies provide and what would the cost to the citizens be? Would it affect their health insurance premiums? Overall, Stiles wasn’t sold on the idea; he still believed that a private company was going to be more focused on maximising their profit over providing what he wanted to be provided as a service to the people.
The fifth interviewee rather took Stiles aback when she started off by stating, “You know your figures are totally wrong, right?”
“Excuse me?” he squeaked in reply, “I had a math genius check those figures and they totally add up!”
“Yeah, they add up, but that doesn’t make them correct,” she retorted, explaining, “You haven’t taken account of the unemployment rate in Beacon Hills, nor have you accounted for the increase in population that has happened in the last six months since the granting of Sovereignty was announced. With the surge of supernaturals moving to the city you have more children requiring schooling, you have more people that the medical facilities need to cover, you have…”
“Okay, so just how far off are the figures?” he wonders why none of the other interviewees didn’t point this out to him.
“Not that bad, because you also haven’t accounted for corporation tax, or other taxes that provide you revenue; the details you sent me only contained what you would be raising through personal tax.”
“Uh, right,” Stiles cringes as he replies with a rictus smile set on his face, “So, what would you suggest as fair rate for that?”
“Well, corporate tax rates vary around the world, from those that don’t have the rate to as high as fifty-five percent in the likes of the United Arab Emirates, though they tend to only apply the tax to the profits of foreign banks and oil companies. The average rate around the world is around twenty-three percent, and the lowest in those countries that tax company profits is around seven percent. However, it isn’t necessarily a flat rate, it usually will vary depending on the type of business. So, say higher for companies that have more of an impact on the environment and lower for those that don’t. Or lower rates for the types of company you want to attract. You also have to consider if you would give tax breaks to smaller companies, based on the number of employees for instance…”
“Yeah, yeah, I see,” Stiles enthuses; his eyes lighting up as he suddenly sees possibilities for attracting the types of industry he wants in Beacon Hills and discouraging those detrimental to the green haven he wants to build.
“You know, for a King, you’re a lot less stuffier than I expected,” the Sidhe on the other side of the mirror exclaims, then quickly falls silent with her mouth hanging open in shock at her own words. She turns a violent shade of pink with her face contorting as she cringes in embarrassment.
“Muggle born and raised,” Stiles grins, “Still getting used to life at Court and being King, so I’m sure the stuffiness will come. And for an accountant you’re not so boring as I expected,” he jokes back, “How about you send me copy of the budget with the corrections based on what you’ve pointed out I’ve missed and once I’ve gone over it, I’ll be back in touch?”
He can see that she is still embarrassed and concerned about her off-the-cuff remark and he tries to reassure her he took no offence. He asks if she has any questions, and shortly after they draw the interview to a close. Stiles certain that he has found his Lord High Treasurer to run the city’s finances.
The rest of the interviews he has lined up go better than the first four did, but none of the interviewees point out the glaring errors that number five did. They all seem a little intimidated being interviewed by King Tighearnach of Beacon Hills.
It doesn’t matter; Stiles knows that the only one he’ll be offering the position to is Neasa Ó Coileáin, Sidhe (mostly, she is one eighth Boggan and one quarter Eshu; the other five eighths is Sidhe) formerly of the Unseelie Court.
Bobby Finstock listened to the message on his voicemail again. The same thought running through his head. Thank the Goddess.
It was the complete opposite to what he had thought, repeatedly and said very loudly, when he had been informed that his star players would not be returning for their senior year as they were being privately tutored. Now, he had a message from Principle Martin, just a week before the school year started, asking if he would have any objection to the werewolves, McCall, Lahey, Whittemore, Mahealani taking part in the school’s sports program and playing on the team.
He’s quickly returning her call.
“Hello…” he hears her answer.
“I have absolutely no objection to my star players coming back to play,” he rattles off before she finishes saying hello, “We’ve got a state championship to defend…”
“Coach, that’s great,” Natalie interrupts him, “But, we won’t be taking part in the state championships, we won’t be part of the state. We will be playing friendly matches…”
“What?!” he splutters, “But, we’re state champions!”
“Yes, but we will be an independent nation by the time the state championship final comes around, so, the California School Board decided that, as we will not be part of California, it was best we didn’t compete for the title.”
“Oh,” he doesn’t hide the despondency in his voice; he feels like his world just collapsed around him. He knew they were becoming independent; he didn’t think that meant they wouldn’t be defending their title.
“I’ll send you the number to contact their tutor, you can arrange with him when they are needed for practice and matches.”
“Okay,” he replies; wondering what is the point of practices? and for what matches?
Excerpt from Chapter-04
“How is this my life?” he moans, laying his phone down on the arm of the couch and scrubbing his face with the palms of his hands.
“Because you always fight for what you believe to be right,” Danny replies, throwing his arm over Stiles’ shoulder and pulling him towards him, “And you’re usually right.”
“Usually?” Stiles’ frown is spoiled by the grin his mouth is spreading out in.
“Yes,” Danny chuckles, “Almost always.”
“Almost?” Stiles pushes Danny backwards across the couch and hovers over him; both grinning at the other.
“Yeah,” Danny leans up, pressing his lips against Stiles’, “Probably nine times out of ten…”
“Oh you,” Stiles exclaims in mock horror as he starts to tickle his mate. Danny convulses in laughter, grabbing on to Stiles’ arms as he tries to stop the tickling onslaught. They both roll off the couch and land on the floor.
“We should take this to the bedroom,” Danny suggests between giggles, “We don’t want to start something where the kids might wander in.”