Authors: Bonnie Lamer
“Sure you did.”
Kegan holds out his hand to Xandra. “Xandra, I am charmed to meet you.” If he holds her hand for a second longer I am going to smack him again.
“Nice to meet you, too,” Xandra says, reclaiming her hand in the process.
“Kegan, how lovely to see you,” Grandmother says as she breezes into the room. “I see you have met our house guest.”
Kegan inclines his head in greeting. “I did, and welcome home, Grandmother.” He smiles broadly at Xandra. “And I have learned that I must tread lightly when I am here, for her magic is formidable when one is on the receiving end.”
I am sure Grandmother is dying to know what he is talking about but she is not going to ask in front of Xandra. “Indeed. You will be dining with us this evening?”
“I would be honored,” he replies. He is trying to piss me off now.
In an obvious attempt at changing the subject, Xandra says, “You two look more like twins than cousins.”
“Kallen’s father was twin to Kegan’s father,” Grandmother explains. “The resemblance was passed down to their sons, and even their grandmother has trouble on occasion telling them apart.” The last part is a lie that she has been telling as long as I can remember.
Turning to Xandra, she says, “If these two have been up to their normal behavior, I am sure that you have not been shown to your room yet. Let me take you there now.” Yes, so she can be sure that I do not follow her and linger. I will be happy when she decides to go to work. I watch the two of them disappear through the doorway. At least Xandra looks as annoyed as I feel.
“Where ever did you find such a beautiful creature,” Kegan asks. “And how in the world did you get her to fall for such a proud, conceited Fairy such as yourself?”
Perfect. A target for my anger. I turn around and punch Kegan hard in the arm. I feel a little better now.
Kegan rubs his arm where there will surely be a bruise now. “You are a bit touchy on the subject I see. Dare I ask again where you met her without you resorting to your animal instincts?”
I am tempted to hit him again. “As I have been in the Cowan realm all this time, most Fairies with an intellect greater than a toad would be able to figure that out.”
Kegan looks confused. “You met a Fairy in the Cowan realm?”
Yes, I suppose that does seem odd as Fairies left that realm quite some time ago. I sigh. I am not ready to go into the whole lengthy explanation. So, I go with, “Grandmother knew about her and sent me to protect her.”
He chuckles. “What a terrible job that must have been. I suppose you shielded her body with yours?”
I do hit him again. In the same spot. “You had better watch yourself, cousin. You may think you can take me on, but if she hears you say something inappropriate she is liable to unleash her magic on you again. Her restraint when provoked is marginal at best.”
A flash of horror shoots through his eyes before he is able to shield it. “I still find it hard to believe that such a powerful Fairy was in the Cowan realm.”
I shrug. “Perhaps Grandmother will fill you in on the details. I have someplace I would rather be at the moment.” Shifting into my raven form, I leave my irritated cousin in the living room and fly outside.
I do a quick fly by to determine if Grandmother is still in the yellow room with Xandra. Damn it, she is. I will have to wait. I perch myself on the edge of the balcony, shielded by the curtains from Grandmother’s view. It takes several long minutes for her to leave. Before she leaves, she makes a cryptic comment about Xandra being kind to both me and Kegan because she does not want either of us hurt. I will be asking her about that. Later.
Finally the door closes behind her and Xandra is alone in the room. I fly in through the curtains. Oops, I did not mean to startle her. Time to shift back before she magicks a broom and starts hitting me with it. God, I love the color that rushes to her face when she sees me naked. I am tempted to stall in dressing myself but I will be more successful getting a kiss if I do not. I am now in shorts and a t-shirt.
Giggling, Xandra says, “What took you so long?”
Now that I am able to truly look at her, my eyes cannot help traveling down her body and then back up again. She is absolutely gorgeous in the dress that Grandmother must have made for her. I admit, my eyes did linger in certain places more than others. With a dress cut that low, it is difficult not to stare. “If I knew you were going to be dressed this beautifully, I would have come sooner.” I walk to her and pull her into my arms. “But, I thought it best not to arrive before my grandmother left.”
“Good thinking,” she says snaking her arms around my neck. Pulling me down to her, she kisses me in a way that makes me want to do much more than kiss her. After who knows how long, our lips part slowly. Slightly breathless, I lean my forehead against hers. “I love you.”
She smiles. “You better, I would hate to be the only one in love.” I straighten up and she wraps her arms around my waist, and lets me pull her close. Her head is resting against my chest as she says, “It’s beautiful here. I may never want to go home.”
I chuckle. “Then I will keep you here in paradise and we will live happily ever after.” I like the thought of that.
She laughs. “Just like the Fairy tales say.”
Her terrible joke aside, I need to be touching her in a way that is more satisfying than this. I scoop her up into my arms and she laughs harder. “What are you doing?”
I do not answer. Instead, I bring her to the bed and open the curtains around the canopy. Then I lay her down and stretch out next to her. Grinning, I say, “This is a Fairy tale you may believe in.”
I capture her lips as I pull her to me, her curves melting into my body perfectly. My hands seem to have a mind of their own as they move slowly up and down her body, eliciting soft moans from her as they touch certain enchanting areas. I move the strap of her dress aside and groan as my hand finds her bare breast. Her fingernails dig lightly into my back as she presses more firmly against my hand. My turn to growl in pleasure. Our kissing becomes more frantic. I make my shirt disappear giving her better access to my skin as she continues to tease me with her nails. My hand moves from her breast to pull up the hem of her dress, my hand massaging her thigh as I pull her closer, my knee gently pushing her legs apart.
With a groan, I move so I am on top of her, kissing her neck as I push the other strap of her dress aside. I kiss a trail down to paradise as she arches her back in encouragement. Her bare skin against mine is dangerously close to pushing me over the edge of reason.
Damn him to hell and back. A few more words along those lines pass through my lips as I quickly help Xandra fix her dress to its original state. She giggles self-consciously as she realizes the reason for my abrupt behavior. I want to take her in my arms and tell her how beautiful she is, but I have to kill my cousin first. Granted, we did get carried away and the interruption served as the equivalent of a much needed cold shower. Perhaps it was the comfort of being home that turned my mind to lustful mush. Or it is my passion mirrored on Xandra’s face that does it. I am sure it was a combination of both. Regardless, I am still going to kill Kegan.
I give Xandra a quick kiss and then rise from the bed. I am at the door in a heartbeat. Whipping it open, I barely restrain myself from grabbing him by the throat, dragging him across the room and tossing him over the balcony. “What,” I growl into his simpering face. He is leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest as if he has no cares in the world.
Pushing against the wall, he walks past me into the room. His brows rise slightly as he takes in Xandra’s flustered appearance. Turning back to me without nearly enough fear in his eyes, he says, “Grandmother suggested that I invite Xandra for a swim. Fancy finding you here as well.” His comment makes Xandra’s face flush a deeper shade of red than it already was. I am too angry to speak at the moment. He takes advantage of that and turns to Xandra. “Would you care for a swim?” he asks.
“Um, I don’t have a bathing suit, so I don’t think so,” she says and her face is now purple. She must be thinking about my comment from earlier. She can rest assured that the only person in this room who is going to see her completely naked is me. Some day.
Kegan is confused. “Certainly after the demonstration of your magic earlier you are able to create a simple bathing suit.”
He is not helping matters. “No, I can’t.”
I slam the door closed simply to rid myself of some of my pent up anger. “She is still learning to control her magic.”
Now Kegan looks even more confused but he drops it. “Surely, then, my gracious cousin could assist in providing you with the appropriate attire.”
“I see the place for young men to be is sniffing around our new guest’s room. I am sure your Grandmother would be thrilled to know that.”
Xandra starts at Tabitha’s voice. If she looked any guiltier a written confession would be etched into her cheeks. Tabitha walks through the door she just reopened to stand in front of Xandra and she smiles. “I am Tabitha,” she says, holding her hand out. “I have been waiting anxiously to meet you. Now, you let me know if these boys are bothering you and I will chase them off like the nasty little gnats they are, alright dear?”
Xandra laughs and her face relaxes. “They’re okay for now, but I’ll keep that in mind.”
Putting my irritation with Kegan aside, I gather Tabitha to my side with one arm. “No greeting for me? After all I have sacrificed to save the realms?”
Tabitha swats at me but her mouth folds up into a grin. “Yes, I can see what a terrible hardship it was for you in the other realm. However did you manage being forced into the company of such a lovely and charming young woman?” She winks at Xandra who laughs again.
I shake my head grimly. “You have not spent much time with her, dear Tabitha. You will soon see what a handful keeping her safe and out of trouble can be.”
I expect Xandra to get upset with my teasing but instead, she looks too sweet and innocent at the moment. “Yes, Kallen’s my hero. Weak little me could never have survived without his big, bad magic to protect me.”
Kegan laughs barely bothering to cover it up with a cough but Tabitha laughs outright and pounds me on the back. “Oh, I am going to like her just fine. Now, you boys run along and see if you can stay out of mischief for five minutes. I have seen the downstairs, and I am assuming you are eager to put everything as it was an hour ago - before the caretaker of this house decides that young men who act like animals should be sleeping with the animals tonight. I will assist this lovely young woman in preparing for a dip in the briny. She will be down shortly.” She literally shoos us out the door.
As we walk down the stairs, Kegan says, “So, you were about to tell me why such a powerful Fairy as Xandra was in the Cowan realm.”
“No, I was not,” I say irritated that I am not able to talk to Xandra about what happened before we were interrupted.
“What is the big secret?”
I shrug. “No secret, I simply do not care to discuss it with you.”
“Home for five minutes and you have once again become a petulant jackass. I believe that is a record.”
I cannot help but laugh. I am acting like an ass toward him simply because he finds Xandra as beautiful as I do. I guess I need to stop acting territorial and relax. “It is a long story. I will explain everything after we swim.”
“I will hold you to that,” Kegan says with a satisfied grin.
We walk into the living room and start picking up the pieces of furniture that were knocked over. Nothing is broken. Grandmother learned a long time ago that this room is our favorite for combat as there is so much to hide behind. Therefore, she stopped putting anything fragile in here.
When we are finished, I say, “I am going to check on Xandra. You should get us something to snack on while Tabitha is not guarding the kitchen.” Kegan grins and heads that way.
Walking up the stairs, I am imagining Xandra in a bathing suit. A tiny bathing suit. The more I think about it, the more I think we may not make it down to the shore. A grin is forming on my face when I am doused with a bucket of cold water. Actually, it is a bucket of black bikini. On me. My pecs are barely covered by little triangles of black material and the bottom is putting uncomfortable pressure in areas that prefer not to be so tightly restrained. And I cannot take it off with my magic. It is as if it is glued to my skin. I pull on it, trying to take it off without magic but it simply pulls my skin and tugs on my hair in places that should not be pulled and tugged. The more I try to take the damn thing off, the more it attaches itself to my skin. I try to cover it up, but it is like there is a force field around it that will not allow other magical things to get near it. I am getting mad now. I may be wearing a black bikini for the rest of my life considering who created it. Chances are not good that she will be able to reverse this without causing me great physical harm. All thoughts of a sexual nature have been pushed from my mind as I take the rest of the stairs three at a time with bikini panties digging into my groin and I storm into her room.