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Authors: Chantele Sedgwick

Not Your Average Happy Ending

BOOK: Not Your Average Happy Ending
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Ebooks/Books are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, circumstances and incidents are all products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events that have happened, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

Not Your Average Happy Ending
Chantele Sedgwick

ISBN:

E book ISBN:

 

Copyright

Chantele Sedgwick

 

 

Cover Art

Allie Brennan

 

Editor

Kerri Nelson

 

 

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

CKBB Publishing: Electronic Publication 2015

 

 

Dedication

To Chaleese,

for being there every step of the way

Chapter 1

Ash

 

Waking up early was not one of my strong suits. I could stay up until all hours of the night, but I'd given up the notion of trying to become a morning person. It just wasn't going to happen.

Today was no different. When the alarm reared its ugly head, I heard the familiar crash as the clock hit the wall. I groaned and put my pillow over my head.

“Too early,” I said to the empty room.

After leaving The Academy of Magical Beings three months prior, I'd gotten a job at a restaurant downtown. My magic came in handy cleaning booths and tables, but I had to get up early for the morning crowd, which sucked more than I’d like to admit. It was worth it, though. The manager gave me a raise the first week I worked there because I had a knack for making the booths shiny and spotless. I shouldn’t use magic for stupid stuff like that, but you know how it is. Sometimes a little bit of magic helps.

Living in the human world was great so far. I had a steady job, a beautiful girlfriend and a place of my own. I used the money my dad left me when he died to rent a one bedroom apartment near Kendall's house. It wasn’t much, but it was perfect for the time being.

Knowing I wouldn't see her until after work, I sighed and dragged myself out of bed. It was going to be a long day.

I sat up and noticed an annoying twinge in the middle of my back. It had been happening a lot. Like I had a knot that wouldn’t go away. I reached my arm behind me, to try and get the knot out by massaging it, but froze. There was a lump under my shirt that wasn’t there the night before. I pulled it off, reached around again and swore.

They couldn't be back. It wasn't possible.

I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom mirror. My reflection confirmed my suspicion, and I swore again.

The pointy tips of silver wings peaked over my shoulder blades.

Fairy wings.

I shut my eyes and rubbed my temples. I couldn't have wings again. Master Time made them disappear. I wasn't a fairy godmother anymore. Not since the ex-head fairy godmother, Shenelle, had tried to kill me a few months earlier. I thought
that
part of my life was over. Apparently not.

What the crap was I supposed to do now? Would Master Time be able to get rid of them again? This wasn’t fair. My whole life was beginning to seem perfect, and now the wings were back and I was screwed.

I was half fairy. Half djinn. A freak-show. Something no one in my world had ever heard of. I wondered what they called someone like me. A djairy? A finn? Stupid.

I pushed the unhappy thoughts away and got ready for work. My wings were going to be a huge problem, but I couldn't dwell on it. I couldn't be late. I'd talk to Kendall later, and we'd figure something out. Maybe I could contact Sam. Even though he was my best friend, I doubted he knew anything about it. He’d probably just make fun of me.

A breeze sailed through the room, courtesy of my magic—no doubt—and I took a deep breath to calm myself down. My magic always flared up when I was upset. The djinn part anyway. Having two types of magic was starting to take its toll on me, but I was fine. I could handle it.

I pulled on a shirt and ran some gel through my hair. Making sure my wings were folded under my shirt, I headed out the door.

Chapter
2

 

Kendall

 

Love was a funny thing. Especially in the movies. There were always sacrifices to be made. Someone always seemed to give something up to be with the other. Love could never be perfect. One person would always be leaving something behind. A career, a life they’d always known. A family. Friends. Something. Those movies irritated me to no end. And now it was happening to me.

I was starting to face the fact that Ash gave everything up for me. His dream job, his friends...his whole life. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I loved him, that was obvious, but I didn't want to be the one that held him back. I didn’t want to be his one regret.

I took a deep breath and picked at a loose thread on the ragged quilt Ash and I sat on. My mom had given it to me when I was a little girl and I still used it. It was familiar and safe. And it reminded me of my dad and the picnics he used to take me on when I was a child.

It was the week before school started again, but it still felt like summer. The air was hot and humid, the sky turning the slightest orange at the start of the sunset. The smell of barbeque filled my senses and my stomach growled. I wondered who was cooking. Maybe I'd get Ash to fire up the grill. I shook my head, my previous thoughts returning. Things were so much simpler before I had met him.

“Was it worth it?” I asked.

“Hmmm?” Ash lay on his back with his eyes closed. His arms were behind his head and he chewed on a blade of grass.

Gross, but I didn’t tell him that.

I wondered how he was always so calm. So at ease with life. He never seemed to worry about anything. Typical guy, I guess.

“Was it worth it?” I repeated.

His silver eyes studied me and he pulled the blade of grass from his mouth. “Was what worth it?”

I shrugged. “You know. Leaving your world behind?” I paused. “To be with me.” I didn’t want to sound like a stupid needy girl, but I had to know.

He sat up, reaching out to take my hand in his. "Kendall, you already know my answer." His fingers were slender and smooth as he entwined them with mine.

A sigh escaped my lips and I tried not to let him see how worried I was. "I know you miss Sam. Your friends."

He scooted closer and pulled me into his lap. He wrapped both arms around me, resting his chin on the top of my head. "I miss some things." He paused and I felt him breathe into my hair. "You smell good."

I shook my head. "Don't change the subject."

He laughed. "Fine." He was quiet and for a moment I thought he wouldn't answer. "I do miss some things. I miss Sam of course. He's like the brother I never had. We have a lot of good memories."

I nodded, swallowing the lump forming in my throat.

He slid a finger under my chin, tilting my face up until I met his eyes. "I'm not leaving you."

"That's not––"

He put a finger to my lips, cutting me off. "And I don't regret my decision, Kendall. Not one bit."

"But––"

"No more talking.” He silenced me with a kiss.

I chuckled and pushed him away. "No fair. You can't just kiss me and try to make me forget what we were talking about." Even though it totally worked. Every. Single. Time.

He raised an eyebrow. "What
were
we talking about?" He had a mischievous gleam in his eye and I knew exactly what he was going to do before he even did it.

"Don't you dare."

He pounced on me, rolling my body so I was off the blanket and lying in the grass. "Get off,” I cried, feeling the soft tickle of grass on my bare legs and arms.

Ash held me down, grinning. "What's wrong? Don't you like the feel of cool grass between your toes?"

"Ew! Ew! Ew!" I struggled under his weight as the sweet smell of dirt and grass reached my nose and I tried not to imagine what kinds of creatures were already deciding to crawl on me.

Ash saw my expression, chuckled and stood. He reached out a hand to help me up, but I ignored it and jumped to my feet. I raced across the lawn, stopping only when I was safely on the patio cement.

"Gross. I can't believe you just did that.” I ran my hands up and down my legs and arms to make sure nothing was crawling on me. I shivered, wrapping my arms around my waist. I don’t know when my phobia of grass had started. All I knew, was it wasn’t going away anytime soon.

"It's just grass, Kendall."

I glared at him. "So. Not. Funny."

My sister Ellie appeared at the sliding glass door to the kitchen then. "Will you guys quit flirting and come inside? Mom has dinner ready."

"You ruin all my fun, El," Ash called from across the lawn.

"I do what I can.” She laughed and went back inside.

I still had my arms folded and glared at Ash who took his time striding across the lawn. Rolling my eyes I turned to go back inside and ran right into him. I let out a little scream before pushing him away. "Don't do that,” I stepped back and folded my arms, annoyed. "You can't just appear wherever you want. It's not fair."

He stuck a finger under my chin. "You're not the boss of me."

My face heated. "What if my mom saw you?"

"She doesn't notice anything. I'm sure she's too busy freaking out over whether I’ll like her dinner or not anyway."

I thought about it and nodded. "Yeah, you're probably right." My mom loved Ash. She always tried different concoctions whenever he came over, just to show him how good of a cook she was. I’m pretty sure a five year old was a better cook than her, but we always ate whatever she made. Then Ellie and I would go out for hamburgers or something later.

"Let's go eat. I'm starving. Hopefully whatever your mom made is good." He gave me a quick peck on the cheek and laced his fingers with mine.

"Even if it's gross you'll still eat it. You eat everything."

"I like food," he said with a shrug. His shoulder bumped mine and we made our way into the house.

***

Ash left a few hours later and went home for the night. He'd been abnormally quiet during dinner and wasn't his usual teasing self when he left. I wondered what was wrong. When I hugged him, he sort of pulled away and gave me a quick kiss before leaving.

Maybe I was just imagining things.

I decided to go for a short run to clear my head. It was already dark out and I knew Ash would probably kill me if he found out, but I was only planning on going around the block.

I poked my head in the house. “Mom, I’ll be back in a few.”

“Be careful, Kendall. Don’t be out too late.”

I shut the door and stretched for a minute. My body tensed with each stretch and I gritted my teeth. It had been a while since I’d exercised. A run would do me good. I made sure my MP3 player was working, stuck my ear-buds in, and started out with a slow jog.

The slight breeze caressed my face and I was around the corner within minutes. I tried not to hum along to the song I listened to. It was hard, but I usually kept my singing abilities to myself. I didn’t want to burst anyone’s eardrums. I knew I had a terrible voice. Didn’t keep me from singing in the shower though.

About halfway around the block, the temperature dropped and a silent fog settled through the street. I rubbed my arms and kept going, wondering where the fog had come from. It looked like it was straight out of a horror movie.

As I passed a silent schoolyard, I tried to block images of scary movies from my mind. I yanked my ear-buds out, my body on edge. The silence was unnerving. I jumped as a gust of wind tousled my hair. Leaves rustled in the treetops and a swing creaked from somewhere in the playground, creeping me out even more.

The hairs on my arms stood on end and the back of my neck prickled. Someone was watching me. I could feel it.

“Hello?” I said. No one answered of course. Why would a stalker or murderer answer? I glanced around as I quickened my pace. There was no one in sight, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very wrong.

I didn't see the person standing in the middle of the sidewalk until I was almost running him over. I stopped, a small gasp escaping my lips.

The young man stepped into a street light which bathed his face in an eerie glow. My heart sped up as I recognized the pale, sharp features and shaggy black hair.

Dax. Ash’s evil brother. He’d stalked my dreams and put me under a scary spell a few months earlier. I really didn’t want to repeat it. "Kendall," he started, “it's nice to see you again." He played with a golden watch around his wrist, not meeting my eyes. "So alone."

"I don't know where Ash is," I blurted. It was the first thing that popped into my head.

He chuckled and looked up. His golden eyes glowed in the pale light and I shivered. "It's not Ash I'm after."

My stomach dropped and I took a step back. A squeak escaped my lips and he smiled.

"Don't look so scared. If you just give me your necklace, I'll leave you alone. You can walk away unscathed."

Instinctively, my hand touched the silver chain around my neck. The necklace Ash gave me for my birthday. "This?" My fingertips brushed the blue tear-drop stone that hung on the chain. As always, it was warm to the touch.

He nodded as his golden eyes glowed brighter.

I let go of the necklace and the warmth pressed against my skin. I took a step back and shook my head. "It was a gift. I can't just give it to you."

He waved a hand, dismissing my comment. "I don't care if Ash gave it to you. I need it. Now take it off.” He hesitated. “Please."

I didn't move. “No." I stood my ground, hoping I was acting brave. And then my braveness faltered. I sucked in a breath as I realized he held something in his hand.

The wicked looking dagger gleamed in the lamp light. He stroked the black blade like a person would pet a beloved animal. "I said please." He shifted his weight and glanced at his weapon. "I really don’t want to use this.”

I stepped back, my eyes on the knife. If I could just get home…

He seemed to read my thoughts since his grip tightened on the knife. He took a step toward me. “Running will only make things more difficult, so I’d advise against it."

That was when I took off running. Stupid, I know. I knew he was magic, I knew he could take me down in seconds, but it was my first instinct. When you’re alone on a dark street with no one else around, and a scary guy is threatening you with a knife, you run. So I did.

There weren't any footsteps behind me, so I wasn't sure if he was following me or not. I wasn't too far from home. If I could only make it around the corner, which was only a few yards away, I’d be close enough to yell for help. I whipped out my cell-phone and punched in Ash's number, praying he'd pick up.

Just as I heard him say hello, I smacked into something solid. The phone flew out of my hand and onto the grass somewhere. The breath was knocked from my lungs and I doubled over, gasping for air. A hand on my shoulder was the only thing that kept me from falling down.

I slowly looked up, seeing Dax's lifeless golden eyes. "You shouldn't have run."

I didn't notice the pain until I pulled away from him. My eyes took in the black knife he held in front of his body. My hand went to my side and a warm, sticky liquid covered my fingers in seconds.

Dax stood in front of me, watching my shocked face with a strange expression. He looked down at the knife in his hand like he couldn’t believe what he had done.

"Why do you human girls never listen? I warned you and you did exactly what I told you not to do. If you would have listened…” he trailed off, looking at his knife again.

Pain ripped through my side as I backed away from him. I stumbled and dropped to my knees. Blood was already soaking my white shirt, and I put my hands over the wound trying to staunch it. I took a shaky breath, trying to stay calm and cried out as pain exploded through my stomach. It was on fire. I tried to speak, but nothing would come out. Not a whisper, not a scream. I could feel my life draining from me and knew I was going to die. 

I glanced up at Dax, who still held the knife in his hand, covered in my blood.

"I need that necklace now."

"Can't you...just…take it?" I gasped. My vision clouded and my head swam. All I could focus on was the pain radiating out of the gaping wound in my side.

"No!” His eyes flashed. "You have to give it to me. Give it to me and I may be able to help you."

I glared at him, my body filling with more hatred than I'd ever felt in my entire life. I reached back, trying to find the clasp so I could take it off, but it wasn’t there.

Don’t let him have it.

I jumped at the voice in my head. A woman’s voice. Soft and light, but insistent. A warm feeling came over me and I realized it was coming from the necklace.

Protect it. He must not get the necklace.

I’m not sure why I listened to her. It would have been much easier to just give him the necklace, but I was stubborn. I wouldn’t let him win. I looked at Dax again. “You…can’t have it.” I said, gasping for a good breath.

He just stood there. Watching. Waiting for me die. He shook his head. "Very well." He folded his arms, the knife nowhere to be seen. "Just a few more minutes and it will all be over anyway."

BOOK: Not Your Average Happy Ending
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