Authors: Leila Bryce Sin
Chapter Four in The Taryn Malloy Fantasies
Leila Bryce Sin
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 by Leila Bryce Sin
Cover art by Leila Bryce Sin
Roxy and I walked towards the park on a crisp June night. It was lit up with thousands of lights and fires, making it as bright as day. Even though we were still a few blocks away, I could see the glow over the buildings and smell foods roasting in the midway. It was the Summer Solstice, and the entire city was celebrating, humans and supernaturals alike. In the couple of months since I managed to get the Hunter’s bite removed from my shoulder, I had been feeling much more like myself. I think I had been with Cillian for so long that I forgot who I was without him. Luckily, Bright Elves live long lives, and a few misspent years with that bastard didn’t steal the flower of my youth. I probably wouldn’t start to look over forty until I was well into my hundreds.
I couldn’t remember the last Solstice I had celebrated outside with other people. As the years went on, Cillian didn’t seem interested in things like this, so we just stayed in and watched the televised celebrations from our couch. Not tonight. Tonight I was going to eat food that was horrible for me; I was going to drink honey mead and dance at the bonfire. And, if things went my way, I was going dance the dance of the Bright Elves with some lucky guy.
“Taryn,” Roxy said, pulling me out of my thoughts, and the way she said it made me think it wasn’t the first time.
“Have you heard a word I’ve been saying?” she asked as we crossed the last street before the park. I could see the entrance now, two tall trees, strung with twinkly lights, with a welcome banner between them. Standing guard in front of the trees were two half trolls, their seven foot frames and brackish skin cutting an intimidating figure. But I knew one of the guards, Baven, from childhood, so I wasn’t the least bit scared. The humans had their police patrolling the grounds so the fae had to have their own security presence as well.
“Sorry, I guess not,” I said as we set foot on the grass of the park.
“Whatever, it wasn’t important,” Roxy said dismissively. “So, what’s the plan?”
“Plan?” I turned a confused face towards her. It always surprised me how much we looked alike, and yet just how opposite so many of our features were. Though we were both just about five feet tall and had the fair skin of the Bright Elves, I had the long, shimmering blonde hair of our tribe and Roxy’s hair was rich and thick and dark, a telltale mark that there was a human hanging around somewhere in her family tree. And of course our eyes were always the same color; normally grey and quicksilver when we raised our power.
“Yeah, what are we doing?” Roxy asked as we approached the entryway. I turned as we neared Baven and walked over to him.
“Heya, B,” I said brightly, laying a hand on his massive forearm as I lifted up on my toes to press a kiss to his cheek.
“Tare,” he said, smiling around the elongated tusks that protruded from his jaw. He nodded towards Roxy, who waved back at him, waiting for me.
“How are you?” I asked, realizing I hadn’t seen him in a while. Baven was a bouncer at the local preternatural club where the non-human community went to unwind and replenish depleted magic stores on the lust-filled dance floor. Roxy and I were regulars there now, but it had been a couple of weeks since I’d been in.
“I’m well, thanks, Taryn,” Baven answered, but before we could say anything else, his partner, the other troll, cleared his throat and shot Baven an angry look. I winked at Baven and he shrugged at me before I led Roxy through the entry and into the park.
“Anyway,” I said, bringing the conversation back to Roxy. “I thought we’d just play it by ear. I mean, it’s a celebration, right?”
“Yeah, but are we going to the bonfire? Do you want to go to The Garden? What?” she pressed. The Garden was the supernaturals only area of the park, designated so that creatures like us could dance freely and perform our magics without harming or influencing humans. If Roxy and I planned to dance to raise magic, The Garden was the only place we could legally do it. When humans talked about dancing, it was a physical expression done to music; when people like me talked about dancing, we meant sex. And though we lived in a tenuous harmony with the human community, they still weren’t comfortable with all of our customs, and our freedom with our bodies was definitely one of the things that still upset a good deal of the humans.
“Yes, to both,” I said as we walked into the fairway and were struck with the noise, heat, and smells of so many foods, fires, and people. It was wonderful. I was happy with the jean skirt and black tights I had worn with my favorite flat leather boots and light sweater. Though the night was cool and I was chilled walking here, it was so warm inside the festival you couldn’t tell.
“Good!” Roxy said with a little clap and jump, making her dark curls bounce behind her. We had both left our hair loose, knowing the chance of keeping our hair pretty and neat in an updo was a longshot, especially if we visited The Garden. Other than our hair, Roxy’s outfit was totally different from mine. She was wearing her gold sandals that laced all the way up her claves and a very short summer dress that tied at the back of her neck; if you pulled that tie loose, the whole thing would fall off. I doubted she was wearing anything under it. I laughed quietly; I knew she was more excited about The Garden than the bonfire, but she’d go to both with me if I wanted. I did want; I wanted to breathe in the smoke, let it wash over and through me to cleanse me and make me feel new.
“But first,” I said, “I am eating something.” I quickened my pace and weaved through the crowd, angling towards a booth that had the most intoxicating smell emanating from it. When I got to the front of the line, I found that they were selling pastry wrapped sausages.
“How many?” the brownie man asked, his pointy, brown fingers clutching a pair of metal tongs.
“Two, please,” I ordered, practically bouncing on the balls of my feet as I took the paper wrapped goodies from him, passing him a few coins before handing one of the sausage rolls to Roxy. We turned and melted back into the crowd as we unwrapped our treats, biting into them and groaning in pleasure as the pastry flaked in our mouths and the hot juices burst to life. By the time we were through the first row of vendors, we were licking our fingers clean and searching for an ale booth.
With our honey mead in hand, we strolled through the vendors selling trinkets, magical amulets, and all manner of things. Roxy snickered behind her cup as we passed a group of human girls inquiring about love potions from a Dark Elf of the North. Dark Elves were so rare in our area, and so mysterious, the guy could have been selling them tadpoles for headaches and the girls would’ve paid double for them. I stopped at a jewelry booth to admire a necklace with a star made of twined ivy as I sipped my mead. The mead was thick and rich, sweet and salty.
“A star of the Shide,” a man said at my shoulder. I turned to look at him, lowering my cup. The man was taller than me by about half a foot and his shirt clung to round shoulders – I always liked a nice pair of shoulders – hanging loose at a narrow waist. His was an easy smile and I noticed one of his incisors was chipped.
“The charm,” he said, nodding towards the necklace I had been eyeing. “You see, the star is made of intertwining ivy and leaves, and there are tiny chips of amethyst braided into the design. It is a star of the Shide.”
“The Shide,” I repeated, pronouncing it
as he did. “You mean the fair folk?”
“Aye, exactly.” His accent slipped, making me quirk an eyebrow at him. He smiled at me again. I noticed the sparkle in his bright green eyes, and I knew the matching green of his shoulder length hair wasn’t a dye job. I could feel the magic coming off of him in waves, calling to the magic swirling inside of me, pulling my body and making my hands itch to touch him. “So,” I said, clearing my throat. “What does it do?”
“Well, the amethyst helps protect against magical attack, and the star helps with balance and clarity,” he explained as he reached up and unhooked the silver chain from the display. He cradled the pendant in his hand and held it out to me for a closer look. “And the chain is fairy floss, nearly unbreakable.”
“Wow,” I said a little lamely as I lifted a hand to touch the pendant, feeling the magic pulsing from it, or him, I couldn’t be sure. Possibly both.
“Let’s see how it looks on you, shall we?” He stepped behind me before I could protest, lifting his hands up and over me until the star was settled against the exposed skin of my chest from the V in my sweater. I turned towards the display mirror and was taken immediately with the browns, greens, and purples of the pendant. It was warm against my skin as its magic slipped and slid with mine, finding a rhythm with the beat of my heart. The fairy floss was almost invisible against my fair skin, just a sparkle in the glow of the lights overhead. As I watched, the pendant began to glow against my skin until the colors ran together, bursting bright white before fading again.
“It is beautiful on you,” he whispered over my shoulder, his lips close to my ear. “I believe it belongs to you.” I lifted my free hand to touch it.
“How much is it?” I asked, my voice a little breathy. The magic between our bodies, coupled with the magic pulsing from the pendant, was starting to make my insides twist pleasantly. I was very aware of the heat of his body so close to mine and the sweetness of his breath as he whispered to me. Half a step back and our bodies would have been pressed together.
“No charge,” he said, taking a step back and bowing his head slightly when I turned to look at him.
“No, no,” I said, shaking my head and digging into my pocket with my free hand, looking for some coins.
“It is yours,” he said, spreading his hands wide as if he had no control over the situation. “You’ve been favored. I couldn’t sell it to anyone now, even if I wanted to.” I thought about the sudden burst of light from the pendant and wondered what “being favored” meant.
“But I have to give you something,” I insisted, holding out some silver and gold coins for him, but he stubbornly shook his head, holding his hands up as if in surrender.
“Think of it as a fairy favor,” he said. “If I tried to charge you for a star of the Shide, I would find myself most unlucky.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, feeling my brows contract.
“And you wouldn’t, fairy riddles as they are.” He smiled at me, and I saw the sparkle in his bright green eyes again and something fluttered in my stomach.
“Does this mean I owe you now?” I asked, feeling a prickle on the back of my neck. “I mean, I don’t want to wake up one morning and find out that I’m your slave or something.”
“Would that be so bad?” he asked with a wink. I couldn’t help but laugh. “But in all honesty, no, you owe me nothing. On my honor, I swear it.” He placed a hand over his heart and bowed his head again. I knew oaths were just as important to the fair folk as they were to the elves, so I nodded, accepting what he said.
“Well, thank you.” I stepped forward, placing a hand on his shoulder as I lifted up on my toes and kissed him on the cheek, just as I had done to Baven. He smiled at me as I backed away. “Maybe I’ll see you again.”
“One can only hope.”
I turned away from him, lifting my cup to my lips and downing the last of my mead in one large swallow, hoping it would do something to cool my now-heated body. A wild part of me thought about offering to repay him with a visit to The Garden, but I just couldn’t bring myself to utter the words. I wasn’t as slick as Roxy, and something like that would probably sound desperate and cheesy coming from me.
Thinking of Roxy, I turned to look for her, realizing I had lost track of her when the fairy caught my attention. It took me a moment to finally spy her towards the back of the merchant tent, pressed up against a light pole, her arms and legs wrapped around a male figure. From this angle, I couldn’t tell what he was, but from the drape of Roxy’s skirt and the movement of his hips and the looseness of the top of his jeans, I was pretty sure I knew what they were
. I spun on the spot, making sure there weren’t any cops nearby before I turned back to face the couple.
Now that I was concentrating on them, I could feel the magic they were raising, even this far away. Roxy’s fingers were coiled into the thick, curling hair at the back of his head, pulling hard enough to make her knuckles run white. His hands were holding her under her thighs as his hips thrust forward, pushing inside of her, pumping faster and faster, pressing her against the pole. Roxy bit her lower lip to keep from calling out, but when she opened her eyes and looked at me, they were glowing as bright as stars. She grinned at me, puckering her lips in a kiss before he slammed into her again, and she threw her head back as her body convulsed between his body and the light pole as the orgasm ripped through her. I felt the rush of magic burst from them, rushing out and making me shiver all over.