Read Shadowlander Online

Authors: Theresa Meyers

Tags: #Fantasy, #Romance, #Adult

Shadowlander

BOOK: Shadowlander
4.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Shadowlander

Book One of the

Shadow Sisters series

Theresa Meyers

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2011 by Theresa Meyers. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

Entangled Publishing, LLC

2614 South Timberline Road

Suite 109

Fort Collins, CO 80525

Visit our website at www.entangledpublishing.com.

Edited by Heather Howland

Cover design by Heather Howland

Ebook ISBN 978-1-937044-50-3

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Edition November 2011

The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction: WWE, Frisbee, Jell-O, Band-Aid, Tinker Bell

This story is dedicated tothe memory of
my maternal grandmother, Anna Opryshek Emig Herrick. Thank you for all you did to keep a little girl safe in this big wide world. You were a huge influence in my life. I miss you.

Chapter One


Let it go. Say nothing.”

Catherine O’Connell swallowed hard and forced herself to ignore the ferretlike faery that scampered over her best friend’s salad and stuck half its body into Maya’s iced tea.
That’s going to leave a bad taste.
Jaw tight, Cate ripped off a few shreds of her paper napkin and pointedly looked elsewhere. Anything to keep herself from yelling at the creature.

Three rules had governed the O’Connell girls’ every action from the day they were born:

One: Don’t let the Fae know you can see them.

Two: Don’t talk to the Fae.

Three: Never, ever follow them.

Maya’s one-sided conversation about men continued to flow around her. Their business conversation had gone slightly off track, not that Cate minded. She had a hard time concentrating on much of anything when there was a dripping-wet faery sniffing around Maya’s cleavage.

While there wasn’t a rule against
squashing
the rude little fur ball, Cate knew better than to push her luck.

Maya waved her hand in front of Cate’s face. “Earth to Cate?”

The faery skittered away, knocking over Maya’s glass of iced tea. Cate scooted back as the cold liquid sloshed over the edge of the table almost into her lap.

“Oh!” Maya gasped. “I’m sorry.”

Cate stemmed the tide of tea with her napkin. “No biggie. You were saying something about not dating Alex anymore?”

“I’m going on a blind date.” Maya’s cell phone beeped with an incoming text message. “And that’s Mr. Hot as I Can Be right now.” Her fingers began to fly as she texted him back.

Cate fidgeted in her chair and watched a short, squat, toady fae with long fingers and even longer dirty nails sample the slice of cheesecake sitting on the restaurant dessert cart. It grinned, its mouth so wide it stretched from pointed ear to pointed ear, then took the cheesecake slice—plate and all—and downed it in one large gulp.
God, that was disgusting.

This would teach her to never eat outdoors again. At least the fae generally didn’t follow you into a building, especially those with steel construction. Next time Maya insisted on eating outside, Cate would have to make sure the café tables were cast iron.

“So who hooked you two up?” Cate asked as casually as she could.

Maya ran her fingers lightly over her blonde waves, her eyes sparkling. “Personal ad online.”

“Oh, Maya, you’re kidding me. Do you have any idea how dangerous that can be?”

Maya shrugged. “It’s just a walk and lunch. How bad can that be?”

“When?”

Maya bit her lip, her very wide eyes looking pitiful and apologetic at the same time. Cate had a sneaking suspicion she was about to get ditched.

“Sorry, Cate.”

For a moment, her chest stung. “What about our presentation on Monday?” All hope for promotion rested on them snagging this large advertising account.

Maya stood up, smoothed out her short black pencil skirt, then gave Cate’s hand an affectionate squeeze. “You are going to come up with something witty and brilliant that impresses the hell out of them, because you always do.”

“Now you’re just buttering me up so I don’t tell Stanton who really did the work.”

Maya dropped a twenty on the table, blew her a kiss, and hurried down the sidewalk. Cate sighed. While she enjoyed the creative aspects of working at the agency, she hated that everything she did there didn’t reflect her reality—what she saw day in and day out but could never talk about. It made her feel terribly lonely at times, as well as uncomfortable over not being able to share the truth with anyone but her family.

After ten minutes of watching the fae play with people’s food, she wasn’t interested in finishing her lunch. She plunked down a tip and started back to the agency, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her face.

All around her, people milled about the Seattle downtown area in business suits, enjoying the afternoon sunshine and the green of the city park by the water’s edge. Tourists snapped shots of the Space Needle in the distance, and traffic from the wharf and shipping docks mixed with those intent on going to Pike Place Market. And none of them, not a single one, saw the world as she did.

Everywhere she looked, there were fae. But today was worse than usual. It was hard to focus on formulating an advertising pitch when the fae were out in force—

Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh freaking
no!

The loaded eighteen-wheeler speeding past was already going too fast for the narrow streets. The driver, a balding man chatting on his cell phone, was oblivious to the blue-skinned faery clinging to his back bumper.

Blue fae were notorious for causing chaos—the higher the body count, the better.

“Get off there this second, you little shit!”

Heads turned in her direction.
Whoops.
Horrified that she’d slipped, Cate ran after the truck, although what she planned to do if and when she caught up, she had no idea.

Scales shimmering in the afternoon sunlight, the faery stretched his long arm and slit the big rig’s back tire with one of his razor-sharp fingernails. A giant
boom
sent bits of black rubber flying at the gawking pedestrians, who ducked for cover.

The truck shimmied and fishtailed down the street, taking out parked cars on either side. Cate paused long enough to kick off her heels, ignoring how the sidewalk sizzled beneath her bare feet. Without taking her eyes off the truck barreling toward the intersection, she took off again.

The hideous squeal of locked brakes preceded blaring car horns and the bone-crushing crunch of metal bending around metal. Cate flinched. A small four-door car was now mashed into the grill of the truck like a bug. The blue faery laughed so hard he fell off his perch on the bumper and down to the pavement.

Other faeries instantly appeared—birdlike ones dancing along the power lines, leafy faeries peering from behind the foliage of plants and trees, and dark, slick fae popping out of the sewer drains along the street. They pointed, the mixture of their laughter tinkling like shards from a million panes of shattered glass falling on concrete.

Chaos and mayhem—faery fun.

A roiling anger boiled up in Cate’s belly. “Little blue bastard,” she muttered, wanting to dropkick him back into the water where he’d come from. Forbidden, of course. But then so was staring.

Cate turned her attention to the blaring sirens and flashing lights of the emergency vehicles that came screaming up the street toward the chaotic scene. The vehicles were quickly swarmed with curious faeries—bobbleheaded ones, furry ones, scaly ones—in all shapes and sizes. Including one she’d seen far too many times before. One that disturbed her like none of the others and that perpetually followed in her wake.

She only knew him by one name: Rook. He was bigger than the rest of the fae, more human looking, and if she had to guess from how the others tripped over themselves to gain his favor, he was one of their ringleaders.

Her hand automatically curled around the rusted nails deep in her pocket.

From as far back as she could remember, her grandmother had kept an old mayonnaise jar full of rusted nails by the front door. Every time the O’Connell sisters walked out that door, Gran would admonish them to take a small handful. The iron served as protection against the danger no one else but the O’Connell women could see—lurking, cavorting, waiting outside the blessed walls of their home—the faeries.

Time to leave.

A fire truck, ambulance, and several police cars, lights flashing, were slewed across the intersection. The truck driver was being helped out from behind the wheel, as were the people in their mashed car. No one appeared to be seriously injured. This time.

Walk away, Cate. Walk away now. Breathe. In, one, two, three. Out, one, two, three.
Feet moving, Cate focused her vision to the next step in front of her. She knew Rook would follow her from the scene of the accident.

He’d been following her since she’d turned sixteen.

She ignored the slender waiflike creature dancing beside him. With clear blue eyes far too big for her face and a head too big for her body, the faery was like some macabre bobblehead doll.

Cate forced herself to keep a constant steady pace and not flinch even as the bobbleheaded faery reached out, stroked a long, evenly jointed finger down her arm, and blinked.

“You’re right, Rook, she’s very pretty pretty.” The big-eyed faery stepped back to take his arm.

“Too bad she’s an Uplander.”

Little Miss Big Eyes giggled, fawning over him as the two faeries keep pace with Cate. If they’d been human, she would have not-so-politely asked them to step the hell out of her personal space. Faeries had no sense of boundaries. More so, Cate suspected, because they thought themselves invisible to humans.

Picking up her pace, Cate rubbed her ears, wishing she could block out their voices.

She’d learned long ago that the warm shiver shimmying up her spine was a reaction to Rook’s gaze moving over her body. He was different from the other fae, more muscular, darker, more alluring, the power radiating off of him in a literal glow that made his dark hair look like it had been created from jet points of polished marble. His presence was certainly enough to ramp up her libido in all the wrong ways.

Sometimes he’d sit right behind her, leaning over her shoulder while she read a book on a park bench. His warm breath would caress her neck and she could feel him touching her hair ever so lightly. To anyone seeing the gentle movement of the strands, it might look like a simple breeze, but no one else could see
them
.

BOOK: Shadowlander
4.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Black Wolf (2010) by Brown, Dale
The Rule of Three by Walters, Eric
Sleeper by Jo Walton
A Gift to Last by Debbie Macomber
Rival by Penelope Douglas