Authors: Bonnie Lamer
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Angels, #Witches & Wizards
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, dialogue and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright ©2012 by Bonnie Humbarger Lamer
All rights reserved.
No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without the express written permission of the copyright holder.
Other Titles by Bonnie Lamer
The Witch Fairy Series:
True of Blood
Blood of Half Gods
True of Blood: Kallen’s Tale
Blood Prophecy: Kallen’s Tale
Blood Lines: Kallen’s Tale
The Eliana Brennan Series:
Essence of Re
For Jerry and Myles who are fighting leukemia one day at a time. Their determination, love and strength are awe inspiring.
I love to hear from fans! Contact me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bonnie-Lamer-Author/129829463748061
It would be remiss of me to not first thank my fans for their wonderful and honest opinions regarding my work. Thank you for taking the time to visit me on Facebook and for the reviews you write on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I would also like to thank Barb Barstow for all she has done to make my writing career possible. Dawn Truskowski is a life saver and I look forward to working with her more closely. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Totherow for tipping the scales for the two titles I was considering towards this one. I think it was the best choice.
“What do you mean we have to get married first?” Are they insane? “Tabitha has been kidnapped. We don’t even know if she’s alive.”
“The Goblins are not going to hurt her,” Dagda says as if I should know that.
“Goblins? Don’t they eat babies or something?” I’m starting to get hysterical now. I really need to spend a day in Isla’s library and figure out who all the magical creatures are and what they do. And don’t do.
Dagda is trying to hide a smirk at my naivety. How can he be so amused when the woman that raised him has been kidnapped by Goblins? The smile is gone from his face now so I guess I said that out loud. I wonder if there’s a spell that can keep your lips closed if you are about to say something that makes a situation worse? I would be using that one all the time.
“I am as concerned about Tabitha’s state of wellbeing as you are. However, I am able to see the bigger picture here. First of all, the Goblins are not going to hurt her if they have any hope of ransoming her. And second, the rings that the two of you are wearing are shining so brightly that you could light the night sky over half of the Dragon realm. The Dragons are far from blind. It would be impossible to sneak past them.”
“I’m sorry, I must be hearing things. I thought you said Dragons. Did you mean dragon
?” Please say yes.
He’s smirking at me again. “Your ears are functioning perfectly. I did say
“Fire breathing flying reptiles that eat knights in shining armor actually exist?” Now I know he’s just teasing me. He has such a terrible sense of humor.
Well, if nothing else my uncontrollable mumbling keeps him from smirking at me for very long. Ignoring the fact that he’s glowering at me now, I turn to Kallen. “Is he telling the truth?”
Kallen’s lips are in a firm line. “Unfortunately, he is.” With a sigh, he adds, “He is also correct about our rings.”
His pained expression tells me how hard it was to say that last part. He wants to charge ahead as badly as I do to rescue Tabitha, but I suppose our stealth level would diminish greatly with our rings glowing like this. And we can’t take them off. They are spelled to announce to the world that Kallen and I had sex. It’s the Fairy version of the giant red A from the Scarlet Letter. Turning to Dagda, I say, “Okay, how fast can you marry us?”
“No,” Isla says and all of our heads swing to her. “We will send word to the Goblins that negotiations will begin in two days’ time. That will give us today to plan the rescue and tomorrow for a proper hand-fasting.”
I would speak if my bottom jaw wasn’t suddenly glued to the floor. Super glued to the floor, actually. And then stapled. I’m sure it will hurt closing my mouth again. I’ll probably lose a few layers of skin. Maybe some bone.
Since I am not able, Mom speaks for me. “Isla, I appreciate that you want the kids to have a proper hand-fasting. So do I. But it seems that time is of the essence here. Why don’t we have a quick ceremony now and the kids could repeat their vows in a proper ceremony after this situation is taken care of?”
After everything we have been through, Mom still calls us kids. I guess in her eyes I will always be a kid. “I’m okay with that. Kallen?”
I can tell that he wants to say no. And I can tell he wants to say yes. Instead of saying either, he says to Isla, “What guarantee could we require if we ask for two days?” Not the answer I wanted but still a good question. He’s always so much more rational about these things than I am. I’m working on it, though. A month ago I would have already been on my way to the Dragon realm.
I’m brought out of my internal musing and back to the conversation when he says, “And are you certain that the Goblins that took her are able to communicate at a reasonable level?”
I can’t stop the furrowing of my brows. “What do you mean? They wrote a note so they must be able to communicate.”
Isla shakes her head. There are tension lines around her eyes but that is the only sign of her inner turmoil over the situation. “Goblin evolution is complicated. Some are more evolved than others.”
Now I’m totally confused. “How can that be?” It seems like Darwinism would have taken care of that problem.
Silence. That’s who answers my question. The embodiment of silence. And all the faces around me look uncomfortable. Except for Mom and Dad. They look just as confused as I am. Putting my hands on my hips, I do my best to give the other four in the room a hard look. I suck at hard looks.
Dagda shakes his head. “For god’s sake Isla, just tell her.”
Isla is very good at hard looks. “Of course, your majesty.” That sounded like she had fuzzy, green chunky stuff on her tongue that she was trying to spit out. “And are you going to restrain her so she does not go running off and try to solve the problems of the entire Dragon realm?”
Dagda pushes away from the wall he’s leaning against and straightens himself up. “Have a little more faith that her maturity has grown at least an iota since she arrived in this realm.”
“My priority is keeping everyone alive and well, not taking chances on what she will or will not do.”
What the heck? “Um, you guys know I’m standing right here, right?”
“Isla, what is it you’re so worried about? Whatever it is, I’m sure Xandra can handle it,” Mom says with more than a touch of annoyance in her voice. Yeah Mom for having my back. I give Kallen a quick glare for not defending me. He raises a brow but that’s all the reaction I get. Geez, am I really that reckless about things?
Fine. “Okay, I get that you think I’m going to overreact. I promise I won’t. I’ll sit right here on my stool and I won’t do anything until we all agree on a plan.” Hey, even Mom is looking a little doubtful now. So much for having my back. Parents are so fickle.
Isla sighs that sigh she does when she has to do something she really doesn’t want to do. “You promise?” she asks.
“Yes already. What??”
“The reason that there is such a difference in evolution is that some of the Goblins are bred to be food.” My heart is starting to beat a little faster but I just nod for her to go on. I even refrain from trying to pop my ears in case I heard her incorrectly due to some sort of inner ear pressure.
She continues. “The Dragons are the dominant race in the realm and their main diet is Goblin. As some of the Goblins evolved, they figured out that they could breed the…for lack of a better word – stupid ones, and offer them to the Dragons. If they did this, the Dragons would leave the smarter ones alone.”
I fold my hands in front of me on the counter and press my lips together for a moment. When I think my voice will stay even, I say, “So, these ‘smart’ Goblins,” I have to make the quotes with my fingers when I say smart. This sentence could not be said without them. “They somehow get others of
their own race
to have babies so they can feed them to real live Dragons. Do they at least kill them ahead of time or do they let the Dragons play with their food first.”
Kallen puts his hand on my shoulder but I shake it off. “Xandra…” he starts but whatever look I have on my face stops him from saying another word. Maybe I am getting better at hard looks.
“You all know about this and you have never done anything to save them?” Each word drops out of my mouth as if I am etching them into a tombstone. Four tombstones to be more precise.
“My god, how barbaric are you people…Fairies?” Dad asks. He’s picked up a voice chisel to help me with my etching. “How can you live with yourselves as you ignore such atrocities?”
Dagda’s cold green eyes turn to Dad. “We also know that Cowans kill each other at will, sometimes over trivial things such as fossil remnants.” He means oil, obviously. “You also perform, and even force each other to do, unspeakable acts. Some of which are perpetrated upon your children. Should we come to your realm and do something to stop all of that?”
“You mean come to our realm and kill us off or force us to do unspeakable acts at your will from what I understand of your past actions.”