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Authors: Tracey H. Kitts

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BOOK: Constant Cravings
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“Have a sip.”

“You can’t be serious. I have no idea what you just put in my coffee. Besides that, you put your
finger
in it.”

He sighed. “Just drink it. I promise it won’t kill you or make you high. It isn’t a drug.”

“Then what is it?”

“Drink.”

8

Constant Cravings

I don’t know why I did it. A strange man just put something in my coffee. Under normal circumstances I’d have told him to go to hell and left.
But,
I reasoned,
he did it
right in front of me. You’d think if someone wanted to poison you, they wouldn’t want you to
know about it.

I guess you could say I felt
compelled
to drink it. So I picked up the coffee and took a sip. When I put the cup down, I felt fine. However, the instant I looked up the whole world changed.

The two young women in the far corner of the café had
wings
. Glittery, shimmering
wings
. A man coming out of the bathroom had blue skin and horns!

“What the fuck is going on? What did you give me, a hallucinogen?”

“Our two worlds are separated by only a thin veil.”

“That doesn’t answer my question,” I said, gawking at a man with green wings.

Liam shrugged. “I simply lifted the veil.” He put an arm around my shoulders to steady me. “Everything you see here is real. It was always here. These people always looked the way they do now. You just couldn’t see it.”

“I need a minute,” I said, pushing against his thigh.

Liam moved so I could get out of the booth. I went straight for the bathroom, barely controlling my urge to scream when a purple, sparkling woman brushed past me. As soon as I entered I saw two nymphs making out in the corner. Just because I didn’t believe in fairies didn’t mean I was ignorant on the subject. Though they didn’t fit the classical description of a nymph, that was the term that came to mind when I looked at them.

One ran her hand up the other’s skirt before turning to me.

“You gonna watch, or do you want to join us?”

I shook my head, unable to speak at first. Finally I managed, “No thank you.” It wasn’t the fact that they were both female that bothered me. Right then, I would have given anything to walk in on two
normal
women making out. It was the fact that they were so obviously
not
normal that bothered me. The one who spoke to me had blue hair and skin that shimmered with flecks of the same shade of blue. She was beautiful, but strange.

The blue-haired one smiled sympathetically. “First time through the veil, huh? Who took you?”

“Liam Corrigan.”

She smiled and gave a low whistle. “Oberon’s gonna be pissed.” I cleared my throat, trying to work up the nerve to question her. The second woman, who looked almost normal except for her glowing skin, moved to the mirror and started reapplying her lipstick.

“Please don’t be offended, but you are both nymphs, right?”

“That’s right,” the blue-haired one answered. “I’m a water nymph and she’s a wind nymph.”

9

Tracey H. Kitts

She gave me a good look-over, as if she was really paying attention for the first time.

“What happened to you?”

I shrugged. “I had to outrun a monster at The Courtyard tonight. I think it was a werewolf.”

“Damn. That sucks. Especially if you’re on a date.”

“Oh I’m not—”

“Here, let me fix you up,” she said, completely ignoring my protest.

She turned on the water and ran her hands underneath the stream. I watched in awe as water droplets danced over her fingertips and flinched when she brought them close to my face.

“It’s okay,” she said, laughing. “Let me help you.” She ran her hands and the dancing water droplets over my face and through my hair. It tingled a little and when I looked in the mirror my jaw dropped. My makeup was perfect. My skin looked great and my hair hadn’t looked this shiny since the last time I put a treatment on it.

I ran a hand through my newly styled locks and smiled. Underneath these lights you could see the dark red undertones and after the nymph touched it, my hair sort of glowed.

I could feel her adjusting my outfit here and there, smoothing over my black slacks and green top. By the time I looked down she had removed all the ground-in dirt and splatters of mud.

“Holy shit. You can do all that with just water?” She winked. “It’s magic.”

I thanked the nymph again and when I exited the bathroom, noticed that even my shoes were shiny again. I felt more confident as I walked back into the main room and tried to act normal as I took a seat across from Liam. Instantly, I regretted not being beside him instead. If it was possible, he looked even better than before.

He smiled approvingly. “I see you met a nymph in the bathroom. Your hair is beautiful.”

“Thanks. It’s not natural.” What the hell? Apparently this “lifting the veil” crap had also altered my ability to concentrate. No one volunteers that their hair color isn’t natural. That did, however, remind me of something I’d said to Liam.

I looked back up at him and met his gaze. “Those aren’t contacts, are they?”

“No.”

I leaned forward, resting my head against my hands, blocking out all the weirdness around me.

“Why did you do this?”

10

Constant Cravings

The instant his hand touched the top of my head I felt better. He stroked my hair and I sighed.

“Because you needed to know. After whatever it was you saw tonight, you needed to know what else is out there.” He paused. “And I wanted you to believe in me.” His laughter was soft and a little bit sad. “That’s strange. It’s never mattered to me before if someone thought I wore contacts.”

I glanced around again at all of the strange-looking people. They were still recognizable as the crowd from before, only
changed
.

“Will it go away?”

“I’m afraid not. Lifting the veil is permanent. At least it is when a Shaman does it.

Are you angry with me?”

“No. I just don’t know how much more I can take tonight. So, if nothing happens by accident, then what should I do? Will you help me?”

“Of course.”

“Should I contact the police about Rachel?”

He seemed to consider my question for a minute before answering, “I wouldn’t just yet. I can’t explain except that I’ve got a strange feeling.” I laughed. “You’ve got a strange feeling. Is it anything like having your whole world change in one night?”

He smiled at my sarcasm. “You’ll get used to it.”

“How would you suggest I do that?”

“Come with me.”

11

Tracey H. Kitts

Chapter Two

On our drive across downtown Atlanta, I couldn’t help noticing the streets had changed. To be more precise, there were streets I’d never seen before. Even a few new buildings where there had been vacant lots. The rain had stopped and it felt as if the temperature had dropped five degrees.

“What
is
all this?” I asked, gesturing to the city outside. “Has everything changed?”

“No, it was always here.”

“Yeah, I know. I just couldn’t see it.” And I’d had such high hopes when he drove a normal black sports car.

He smelled amazing and the inside of his car carried the same scent. I wondered if it was his cologne or if fairies just smelled that good all the time. Well, half-fairies. He’d said his father was human.

“You know, I don’t normally get into a car with someone I just met.” He reached over and patted my thigh. The gesture wasn’t sexual or strange, just comforting.

“I know. I can tell that about you. But I’m not a rapist or a psychopath and hopefully, you can tell that about me.”

I laughed. “I can.” I reached down and took his hand, gaining both warmth and strength from his touch. “Where are we going?”

“To a club.”

“I can’t believe I’m going with you to a club after what happened to Rachel. It still doesn’t seem real.”

“I’m not taking you to this club to have a good time, though I hope you will.” I was confused. “Then why are you taking me?”

We were at a stoplight and when he looked at me to reply, I noticed that his eyes glowed in the darkness of the car. I was both frightened and slightly aroused.

“Because I want you to be comfortable with me. The best way to do that is to take you to a place full of others like myself. If I’m going to help you, you need to trust me.”

“Why is that so important to you?”

Liam turned his attention back to the road. “I’m not sure. I can tell more after I’ve seen what happened.”

“How could you possibly see what happened?”

“Fae Shaman, remember?”

12

Constant Cravings

When we pulled into the parking lot of Pixie Styx, my first reaction was that I’d been there before and there was nothing special about it. Then I remembered the veil had been lifted and wondered what I might see.

Liam opened my door and as he reached for me I realized I didn’t remember him getting out.

“Is everything all right?” he asked.

“No.”

He helped me to my feet. Even with heels, I only reached the middle of his chest.

He had to be at least six-foot-four.

“It will be,” he said softly.

The kindness in his words tugged at my heart and I found my eyes misting over with tears again.

“I can’t,” I whispered. “I know you’re trying to help, but I can’t be here without Rachel. She loved this place.”

The night was cold and when Liam wrapped me in his arms, I ran my hands underneath his coat. My jacket had been lost somewhere in The Courtyard.

His long fingers in my hair were a blissful respite from the turmoil inside.

“Let me ease your heartache.” His deep voice so close to my ear made me wet with anticipation. Not even my grief could completely erase how much he turned me on. I wished so much that we’d met under different circumstances. So that I could enjoy this more, without guilt.

“How could you do that?”

He pulled back enough to look down at me and I watched as his eyes darkened with desire. They became almost black, though still glowing somehow like misplaced stars in the night. Whatever I felt, he was feeling some of it too.

“With a kiss.”

The wind chilled me, but I trembled for entirely different reasons.

“A kiss?” I asked breathlessly.

His smile was kind and by the time it reached his eyes I knew I was done for.

“There is magic in fairy kisses. It was said long ago that if you kissed a fairy, your souls would touch. With that touch, I can take away your grief, drink it down as if it were my own.”

A tear slid down my face, freezing cold against my skin. “Why would you do that?

You just met me.”

“Because from the moment I looked at you, I wanted to kiss you.” He leaned closer until his breath was a warm tease against my lips. “Let me ease your pain.” How could I refuse such an offer? If I’d kept my eyes open, I might have seen the spark I was certain passed between us. A deep and sinuous warmth spread throughout my body, starting where his lips touched mine.

13

Tracey H. Kitts

At first all of my pain and loss was so raw that I nearly pulled away. His touch brought these feelings more and more to the surface. Then, just as he’d described, it began to fade. It was as if he were truly
drinking
my sorrow. He opened his mouth, urging my lips apart to deepen the kiss, and I let him. He ran his hand up through the back of my hair, cradling my body against his as I fell against him, weakened by his magic.

Have you ever cried until you have no more tears? Until you’ve finally “gotten it all out”? That’s what it felt like when he pulled back from me. I still missed Rachel. Her memory and that of her death were still there. But my head was clear now and I could focus on the task at hand—finding out what happened to her.

“Better?” he asked.

“Thank you.”

“What you saw isn’t very clear. I can’t be sure it’s a werewolf.”

“Huh?”

“When I took away some of your sorrow, I couldn’t help but receive some of your memories. At least, the ones that were causing you pain.”

“Great, so you didn’t get the time I walked in on my grandma watching a porno.” His laughter was something I might never tire of hearing. And it would appear I’d found someone who appreciated my sarcasm. Humor is the way I often deal with stress.

“You really saw my memories just now?”

“I saw everything that happened tonight.”

I shook my head for the umpteenth time that night, as if that would make my thoughts any clearer. “I’m a palm reader and this is far-fetched even for me. It’s pretty hard to swallow.”

I was still pressed against him, held tightly in his arms. For the first time all night I felt truly safe.

“We can talk about it later if you want. When you’re feeling better.”

“I’d rather talk about it now and get it over with. Besides, what you did helped, it really did.”

I wanted to say more and probably would have pulled him back for another kiss if not for the interruption.

A man covered with glitter, so much so that some of it fell off as he passed, yelled,

“Get a room!” He laughed as he trotted toward the entrance.

Liam rolled his eyes. “Wannabes.”

“That’s what I thought this place was full of,” I said. “Why would you bring me here if you want me to be comfortable with fairies?” 14

Constant Cravings

Liam smiled and offered me his arm. “Everything will be explained inside. Besides wanting you to be comfortable with fairies, there is someone here who might be able to help us.”

When we turned toward the club I stopped suddenly and almost made Liam trip.

Loud, rhythmically hypnotic techno music pumped into the parking lot. That wasn’t unusual. The strange part was I could actually
see
the notes floating through the air.

Little bits of blue and green, drifting out into the night like fireflies.

I reached to touch some of the notes and they swirled around my hand, passing through my fingers before flying away on the breeze.

BOOK: Constant Cravings
8.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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