Wicked Lovely Page 47

Keenan took the glass and sank onto one of the heavy leather chairs.

After Tavish settled on an opposite chair, he asked, "What happened?"

So Keenan told him—about Aislinn's Sight, about Beira's threats, all of it.

Tavish stared into his glass like it was a reflecting mirror. He spun it by the stem. "She may not be the queen, but Beira fears her. To me, that is reason enough to keep hope—more reason than we've had ever before."

Keenan nodded, but did not speak yet. Tavish was rarely direct in his points.

Instead of looking at Keenan, Tavish let his gaze drift around the room, as if he were reading the spines of the books that lined every wall of the study. "I have waited with you, but I've never suggested that one of the girls was her. It is not my place."

"I value your opinion," Keenan assured him. "Tell me what you think."

"Do not let Aislinn refuse the challenge. If she is the one, and she does not…" Tavish's gaze stayed on the heavy books behind Keenan. "She must accept."

The older faery had been somber so long that his vehemence was disquieting.

Keenan asked, "And if she refuses?"

"She cannot. Make her agree." Tavish's eyes were as black as pools in shadowed forests, eerily captivating, when he finally held Keenan's gaze. "Do whatever you must, even if it is… unpalatable to you or her. If you heed only one word I ever say, my liege, make it this one."


They offered him drink…after, the music ceasing, all the company disappeared, leaving the cup in his hand, and he returned home, though much wearied and fatigued.

— The Fairy Mythology by Thomas Keightley (1870)

When Aislinn woke—the clock's red numbers proclaiming it past 9:00—the evening's events came crashing down on her. The weird drinks, dancing, telling Keenan she knew what he was as they watched the sunrise, him kissing her. That was the last thing she remembered. What else happened? How did I get home? When? She bolted out of bed, barely making it to the bathroom before she threw up. Oh my God.

She sat with her face against the cold porcelain until she was sure she could stand without vomiting again. Her whole body trembled, like she had the flu, but it wasn't the flu making her feel so awful. It was terror. He knows I see them. He knows. They'll come for me, and Grams… The thought of her Grams fighting faeries almost made her sick again. I need to get out of here.

After brushing her teeth and washing her face, Aislinn hurriedly slipped on jeans and a shirt, shoved her feet into boots, and grabbed her bag.

Grams was in the kitchen, staring at the coffeepot, a bit less observant before her morning jolt.

Aislinn pointed at her ear.

Grams turned on her hearing aid and asked, "Everything okay?"

"Just running late, Grams. Overslept." Aislinn gave her a quick hug and turned to leave.

"But breakfast…"

"Sorry. I need to, umm, meet Seth. I thought I told you? We were to have a breakfast thing, date…" She tried to keep her voice steady.

Don't let her see how worried I am.

Grams was already too fearful after their talk the other night; adding to that would be selfish.

"You know you aren't fooling me, Aislinn, dodging me so I don't ask about that issue. We're going to talk about it." Grams scowled. "It isn't any better, is it?"

Aislinn paused. "Just a few more days, Grams. Please?"

For a minute Grams looked like she was going to balk: she pursed her lips and put her hands on her hips. Then she sighed. "Not a few days. Tomorrow we'll talk. You understand?"

"Promise." Aislinn kissed her good-bye, grateful to put it off even one day more. She wasn't sure she could handle that conversation, not now.

I need Seth. I didn't even call him last night.

"I can't believe I did that." Aislinn put her head between her knees and concentrated on not vomiting on her feet. "I told him I knew they were faeries."

Seth sat on the floor beside her feet. He was patting her back, making small soothing circles. "It's okay. Come on. Breathe. Just breathe."

"It's not okay, Seth." Her voice was muffled by her decidedly uncomfortable posture. She lifted her head enough to scowl at him. "They used to kill people, gouge out their eyes for knowing what they were."

The nausea rose again. She closed her eyes.

"Shh." He moved closer, comforting her the way he'd always done when she fell apart. "Come on."

"What if they blind me? What if…"

"Stop. We'll figure it out." He pulled her into his lap, cradling her like a child.

Just like Keenan did last night.

She tried to stand up, feeling guilty, like she'd betrayed Seth even though all she did was dance—she hoped.

What if I, Keenan, we… She started to sob again.

"Shush." Seth rocked her, murmuring reassuring words.

And she let him—until she started to think about faeries again and dancing with Keenan and kissing him and not knowing what else might have happened.

She pulled away and stood.

Seth stayed on the floor. He propped his head up on one hand, his elbow on the seat of the chair where she'd been sitting.

She ducked her head, unable to look at him. "So what do we do about it?"

He came to stand beside her. "We improvise. He promised you a favor. If the books are right, vows are like laws."

Source: www_Novel22_Net

Prev Next