Authors: Danica Avet
The Three Kingdoms
You Bet Your Banshee
What’s a banshee to do when she’s sentenced to death because of her inability to cry? Move to Earth and become a stripper, of course. For ten years, Magda O’Quinn has lived on Earth, supporting herself with her butt-shaking skills and hiding from the banshee queen who wants her dead, before she discovers people are hunting her who won't stop until she's back in Fairworld.
The first to find her is hunky Halfling Ryvan Keller, an agent of the fairy queen. The attraction Magda feels for him is panty-wetting to be sure, but there’s no way she'll give in to her attraction and meekly follow him back into the hell of Fairworld. She’ll have to battle extreme lust for a sexy Halfling, fall in love, and defeat an evil queen before she can get back to the business of having a life again.
The Three Kingdoms
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
YOU BET YOUR BANSHEE
First E-book Publication: July 2012
Cover design by Harris Channing
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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You Bet Your Banshee
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My cat, Cookie, played a very big role in deciding who would be one of my heroine’s best friends. Without my chunky four-legged friend, Magda wouldn’t have had Breeze and I wouldn’t have had as much fun writing this story as I did. Thanks, Cookie, for all the inspiration. This one’s for my readers. I wouldn’t be doing this without your kind words and support. I hope you enjoy Magda’s story.
YOU BET YOUR BANSHEE
The Three Kingdoms 1
Copyright © 2012
The small room attached to the Thomas Guillory Community Center was packed with Fairworlders in need of support and understanding. I glanced around at the crowd of fifteen, picking out the new faces easily. I’d been coming to these Fairworld Support Group meetings for eight years now and knew the routine.
Phineas, the group leader nodded my way after he gave his welcome speech.
I stood, my stomach fluttering. I hated going first, not because I’m scared of crowds, but because when we had new Fairworlders in the group I felt like more of a freak.
I cleared my throat. “My name is Magda. I’m a banshee.”
They murmured, “Hi, Magda,” back at me, the two newbies keeping mum. I squinted at them. One was a vampire. He was easy to label with his eerie pink eyes. The other I wasn’t too sure about, though he looked a little familiar. He was a halfling of some kind and his dark eyes watched me with way too much attention. I shrugged it off. Chances were he’d seen me at my day job.
I knew what newbies to the group thought when they saw me. They took note of the platinum blonde hair which could have been dyed, but wasn’t. I’d tried coloring it a few times, but my hair grows so damn fast, all I seemed to do was piss money away. They stared at my eyes, the lavender irises that marked me as a banshee. Not that my peepers did me any good.
Ugh, gut clench time. I geared myself to admit my shame to a roomful of people.
“I can’t cry,” I confessed to the crowd. I saw several nods, a couple of understanding smiles, and the blank look of shock from the vampire. I wasn’t sure what the halfling thought because his face was so deeply shadowed, but it was probably the same look of astonishment as the vampire wore.
Yeah, I was a freak because banshees are supposed to cry. Hell, we were
for crying. “I’ve had every test known to Fairworld, been exposed to every torture known to human and Fairworlder, yet I can’t produce tears.” This was the hardest part. My stomach twisted on me, trying to keep the words in, but they had to come out, I had to purge myself of the pain. “Because of my…mutation,” it seemed a kind enough word, “I can’t be a functioning member of banshee society. I can’t contribute anything to the court. I was a burden and a shame to my family. I came Earthside ten years ago when I realized my queen wanted me dead.”
That was an understatement. For all of our advancements in technology and magic, Fairworlders were like any animal in Fairworld or on Earth: they wanted to destroy the weakest link. I’d nearly been torn apart by my people before I managed to get away from them. I might be defective, but I have a will to survive. I hadn’t been back to Fairworld and I doubted I ever would. Those bitches were crazy.
Phineas gave me an encouraging smile. “How have you done since our last meeting, Magda?”
“Um, fine. Things are a lot better now that I no longer fear they’ll come after me.” I twisted my fingers in the loose folds of my skirt. “I have a steady job now”—stripping at Spankalicious, but they didn’t need to know that—“and I finally sleep more than two hours at a time.” When I drink myself into a stupor, I added mentally.
“Have you made contact with your family to let them know you’re okay?” Phineas’s young-old face studied me with compassion. He was a wood elf, very old, very wise, and he understood being a freak since he was allergic to plants.
I shook my head, my heart slamming. “No. I’m not ready for that.” I’d never be ready for that. My own grandmother had handed me over to the banshee queen for “training” when I was a child and
bitch hated me.
“You need closure with your tribe, Magda,” Phineas said in his calm, collected voice. He’d been at this support group a lot longer than I had. He no longer got ruffled. His oak-colored face creased into a charming smile. “Your family needs to understand they no longer have a hold on you, or you’ll always live in fear of them.” I nodded because it was true. He smiled again. “Next month I want to hear that you’ve at least called them, okay?”
I nodded and sat down again. If I was able to cry, I would have right then and there. My eyes burned with the need though no tears fell. They never did. It was a birth defect that marked me for death the moment my tribe realized I wasn’t capable of producing the one commodity banshees had in Fairworld.
As I absently listened to others talk, I pleated my skirt, wishing once again that I was normal. I was useless to my people. Banshee tears were a form of money in Fairworld. Used in rituals, spells, and even medicine, the strength of the banshee gave more power to her tears which made them more valuable. The banshee queen’s tears were like nitroglycerin, full of power and quite valuable in the Fairworld magic market. I’d seen Queen Melosia’s tears kill someone once. I’d been filled with awe and envy, not because I wanted to kill someone, but because I couldn’t produce a drop of moisture to keep a gnat from dehydrating.
I’d spoken with complete truth earlier. My defect shamed my family and made me a burden on the economy.
I bit back a sigh and looked up just as the new vampire stood. He wasn’t bad looking, I suppose. I just never got into the whole blood-letting thing. Several women I knew adored it; they thought it was sexy. I figured I bled enough when I was back in Fairworld. I wasn’t about to donate to make some man happy. I glanced over at the halfling who was way more attractive and found him still staring at me. Warmth pooled in my belly because I wouldn’t have minded trying to make
I was so not lusting after some random elf no matter how rugged he looked.
I forced myself to look at the vampire again before I started panting at the halfling. The vampire’s pink gaze skittered across the faces turned toward him. I felt kind of bad for him. Most newbies waited a few meetings before speaking, but he’d stood up when Phineas asked if anyone else would like to say anything.
“My name is Gideon,” he said in a deep voice that didn’t really go with his lanky frame and pale face. I saw several women shiver, leaning forward. I leaned back. Something about him bugged me. “I’m a vampire.”
“Hi, Gideon,” everyone chimed in.
His tongue swiped over his lips. I swear I heard one of my friends sigh. “I…I hate the smell or sight of blood.”
Sympathy swelled despite my revulsion. I’d met several vampires at the meetings. None of them had an aversion to blood. Poor guy. Phineas started asking questions, encouraging Gideon to speak. It was a bit like pulling teeth, but in the end we all learned he had to plug his nose and close his eyes to drink. Even then, he admitted with a very pale blush, he sometimes lost his meal because thinking about what he’d swallowed upset him. He’d been turned out of his clan for being weak and had been struggling on Earthside for eight months.
Phineas gave Gideon a few suggestions and his number before he asked if anyone else would like to speak. I glanced over at the halfling, but he was gone. I gave a mental shrug and stood to clasp hands with the fairies on either side of me for the group prayer.
Once again, peace filled me. I wasn’t alone here. There were other freaks like me on Earthside. We’d found each other and provided support. It was a hell of a lot more than any of my relatives had done in the fifty years since I was born.
* * * *
After making plans to meet up with Sable, the reaper who was scared of the dead, I huddled into my coat and stepped onto the sidewalk. This part of New Orleans wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. With a long walk ahead of me, I thanked the gods I wore comfortable boots.
Stepping quickly, I started for the shitty apartment I called home. Cold wind snapped around me making me wish I’d brought my scarf with me and maybe brought jeans instead of a skirt when I got off of work. I hated the cold, which was why I moved to south Louisiana after living in Michigan. Winters weren’t horrible here, but we were having freak weather. Meteorologists were talking about the possibility of snow in the next couple of days. Just my friggin’ luck.