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Fairy tales do come true, whether you like it or not. Reclusive artist Annabelle Browder is well aware she has mixed blood. Non-human blood. Her family barely survived the last encounter with the Fae. Assured that no further contact is possible, she chooses a beautiful Norse/Celtic jewel from the stolen treasure trove of her Irish ancestor.
But as soon as the pendant settles against her breasts, the games begin anew. First chanting only she can hear. Then intense visions of a dark angry warrior who hijacks her art, her life and her heart.
Then her kinsman is kidnapped.
This time the Fae will not be denied. To protect her family and regain her life, she must discover what happened to the Fae king’s heir, missing for a millennium. Aided only by a ditsy pixie, she searches the UK for him, one step ahead of pale assassins.
Page Count: 262
Word Count: 58590
So he enjoyed a good hot row.
It took a moment to carefully compose her bored face. Duty demanded she not give him a satisfying reaction, after all.
“My mistake, oh great and princely jailbird.” If only she could stop her eyes from wandering over his prettiness…
“Do you still like what you see, Kylah? Shall I turn?” He stretched out his arms at his sides and turned slowly so she could ogle the backside of him. And against her will, ogle his backside she did. From his broad muscled shoulders to his strong straight heels and back up. Well, half-way. Funny, she’d always pictured fairies with flat butts, flat muscles, narrow shoulders, willowy and stringy like underfed marathon runners. Elongated, like an El Greco figure. But his form was muscular, solid and his half-way up anything but flat. Pattable, even. She swallowed and noticed she no longer had a dry throat.
“My name is An-na-belle, or Anna, or even Annie.” Keep eyes on face. Keep eyes on face. “And I’ve been painting your likeness for months. Can’t manage to do anything else. Oh, and about that. How are you doing that? Making me paint your portrait. I know you are…” What she wouldn’t do for a stiff case of laryngitis and maybe temporary myopia so she could stop gawking. Hah. In her present condition, she’d probably resort to Braille.
He turned. Her eyes dropped to the only part of him that seemed properly flat, his belly.
“Perhaps what?” She tried to regain control of the conversation, or at least track it. But her head danced with images, not all of them particularly artistic. With an effort, she met his eyes and tried again to blank her expression. His smirk bloomed into that dimpled predatory smile.
“Perhaps I’ve been doing it to you. As I do now.”
Her back stiffened all on its own. “Well, cut it out. I can’t paint anything but you and your wispy little girlfriend. It’s getting old. Get out of my head.”
“No.” He folded his arms.
Beautiful arms, bronze, elegant as Michelangelo’s David. What would they look like with a bit of chiaroscuro? Arggh! She squeezed her eyes shut. Don’t let him, Annabelle! Think about Uncle C. B.’s incurable intestinal gas. Yep. That did it. Artistic lust gone with Uncle’s wind.
She peeked. Though she hadn’t heard him move, her nemesis now leaned against the wall beside her, watching her scrunch face. Hunger and warm amusement heated his tilted violet eyes.
She resisted the urge to give him a raspberry, but barely. At this point, the only hope for regaining a shred of dignity was to put on her well-practiced dinner-with-the-family face. She would simply ignore the junk out of him. As long as he kept his hands to himself.
To succeed, she needed a banal focus. Her eyes wandered over the stark surreal details of their surroundings. They appeared to be in a rough gray granite cubicle with no furniture, windows, or doors. And a ceiling so low it barely cleared his head. Her heart cramped at the thought of him caught in this dead zone. No one could remain sane in this place.
Yeah, well, obviously he hadn’t.
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