Authors: Laura Lee
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
ecoming immortal sucks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
. Big, hairy donkey balls most days. Especially when you’re a fairy in a foreign land who’s on the verge of spontaneous combustion. Am I skipping ahead too much? Maybe I should rewind a little in case you’re new here.
According to the Supernatural Registration Database, Karli Lane of Las Vegas, Nevada (that’s me!), is a witch. In reality, I’m a full-blooded fairy…the last one on Earth, actually. About twenty years ago, vampires drove my kind to near extinction, which caused the rest of my people to flee to Faerie, our very own realm, and then close all access to it. Or
all access, as I’ve learned, but I’m jumping the gun again. We’ll get to that in a bit.
As I mentioned before, I’m a full-blown fairy but you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. My tell-tale pointed ears were altered when I was a child to conceal my true identity. I was orphaned at a young age and raised by a witch named Irina. Until recently, I’ve had no trouble keeping up the facade.
Each supernatural creature…or supe, as we call ourselves, reaches immortality at different points in his or her life. For example, a witch or warlock becomes immortal at age twenty-one. A demon’s immortality hits at puberty, though they continue to mature physically until age thirty. For any member of the Fae race, it is around age twenty-five. I’m just shy of the big two-five now, so my magic is getting stronger every day. You’d think that’d be pretty cool, right? Well sure, if my life wasn’t on the line. Apparently, once I become immortal, my blood will give off a unique honey-almond scent that any vampire in close proximity can detect. With one measly taste, the bloodlust would be instantaneous; hence, how the aforementioned brush with extinction happened. Immortality is not synonymous with invincibility. Supernatural or not, we all need the basics to survive.
In all fairness, it isn’t really the vampires’ fault; a primal need takes over their bodies. They simply can’t stop drinking until there’s nothing left, literally draining the life force out of the unfortunate Fae. We’re basically vampire crack on legs. Or that’s what history says, anyway. My own experiences have belied that notion, though, and I have no idea why.
I’ve learned that not all vampires spiral into an instant frenzy. How do I know, you ask? Well, because two… yes, I said
vampires have had my blood now. One took it by force and the other by…er,offering. Yes, I willingly gave it to him. It’s a long story. Don’t judge me.
The weird part is that neither one of the vampires involved had any trouble controlling themselves, which goes against everything I’ve ever known. The only explanation I can think of stems from something I’ve recently learned. Both are direct descendants of an original vampire; the Fae half, to be more specific. Vampires were created thousands of years ago by mixing the blood of a fallen god with a fairy. That fairy, a maiden named Renata, was abducted from her village one night by a god who was banished to Earth for his bloodthirsty, cannibalistic ways. He nearly drained her dry in his hunger for the power that ran through her veins. Out of pure desperation to preserve his free meal ticket, he fed her some of his own blood that carried regenerative powers. In doing so, her cellular composition was changed. She became a vampire, and all that entails, but still maintained much of her Fae essence. I believe the closer a vampire is to her bloodline, the less diluted the Fae part would be, which, consequently, lessens the chance of bloodlust. This is all my own personal theory, mind you, and something I’ve made mental note of to validate later.
The scent/bloodlust thing isn’t the only crappy part of becoming immortal. The symptoms that lead up to my transformation, which can strike at random, are super awesome (not!). Sometimes I only have to deal with one at a time, but it could be several at once or none at all. I don’t really get to choose. What are those symptoms, you ask? Well first, there’s heightened psychic abilities, which, if I’m being honest, are pretty cool. The second is tremendous exhaustion that makes me feel like I just finished the Iron Man competition. You know that brutal fitness event they hold in Hawaii? I’ve slept for
during this one. No joke. After that, we have number three: never-ending hunger. I’m talking about cleaning out a Vegas buffet for lunch and coming back for dinner kind of hunger. I have no idea how my stomach has accommodated as much food as I’ve eaten over the past few months. Thankfully, a Fae’s physical features are frozen as soon as the change begins so I didn’t need to worry about burning off any extra calories on a treadmill. Anyway, the fourth and final symptom is uncontrollable lust, also known as the biggest pain in my ass. When that one hits, I become insatiable. There’s no such thing as too many orgasms. Imagine a cat in heat popping Ecstasy and hanging around a bunch of purrrfect male cats. And then multiply that presumed effect by ten. A man’s touch, no matter how innocent, makes me want to peel off my clothes and rub my naked skin against his. It probably doesn’t help that the two men in my life have sex seeping out of their pores twenty-four hours a day. Seriously, it’s ridiculous.
Okay, where was I? So far I’ve covered Eau de Fae and The Fabulous Foursome as I like to call them. That leaves my final dilemma, which I lovingly refer to as Atomic P. Fae carry some of the strongest magic in existence, yet I have no idea how to harness any of the really potent stuff. To put it in perspective, I’m like a sixth grader. I have enough basic knowledge in life to bluff for a while but nowhere near enough to survive adulthood. The biggest problem with my inexperience isn’t that I’d be powerless. It’s the exact opposite, actually. My power will supposedly become so great that I won’t be able to control it if I don’t learn how to channel it. I’ve already been known to accidentally conjure fairy dust a time or two, exposing myself in the process. I’m sure you can imagine the host of issues that could arise from that, which is why I’m abstaining from using
magic for the time being. Most of the time anyway. I can feel a storm brewing in my blood that, quite frankly, scares the living shit out of me. Now, it’s more important than ever to learn as much as I possibly can before my change is complete.
Okay, I guess that pretty much sums it up and brings us back to the present. Turn the page to see how my story continues…
ore champagne, Ms. Lane?”
“Yes, please,” I replied to the flight attendant. I glanced around the cabin as she topped off my glass. The jet that Leo had chartered held several rows of plush leather armchairs that matched the deep cream-colored carpet. Some were grouped together around polished mahogany tables, and others, like the ones that Leo and I occupied, were singles that faced each other. Since this model was designed for vampires, there weren’t any windows on either side, but the ample space ensured that you wouldn’t feel claustrophobic. The cockpit was closed off and a super spacious restroom was located in the back. We had the entire twelve-seat plane to ourselves, fully equipped with a three member staff at our beck and call. I was pretty sure that I’d never be able to fly coach again after this.
“And for you, Mr. Markos? Would you like some blood?” As she said it, she gathered her long blonde hair to the side and trailed a perfectly polished ruby fingernail down her neck. Could she be more obvious?
Leo’s searing gaze never left mine. “Yes, Brooke, I’d
some. Unfortunately, I prefer a vintage that has become practically…extinct.” I was pretty sure my cheeks were stained red as his reference registered with my brain. “I suppose I’ll take some O-Positive if you have it on hand. That’d be an acceptable substitute.”
Brooke looked disappointed. Apparently her blood type didn’t match. “Of course, sir. Heated to 98.6 degrees?”
“Yes, that would be fine,” he said, again penetrating me with a gaze that said he’d like to penetrate me with something other than his eyeballs.
My face, as well as some other parts, continued to warm, so I felt a distraction was in order. Reaching into the large tote I had packed, I pulled out the ancient tome that Leo had recently given me:
The History of the Fae
. He’d once told me that his maker bequeathed this book to him from her personal collection. It’s the most comprehensive source of information about my people that I’ve ever encountered. My parents died when I was four years old, never having much time to teach me anything. Before, I only had bits and pieces from Vance to help me along this journey. Now, I had a seemingly endless supply of information at my disposal. The only problem: there was no table of contents and the book itself was at least six inches thick. Finding anything specific was not an easy task so I’d merely browsed through it at this point. I’d just started reading it from the beginning during our ten-hour flight to Ireland.
We were headed overseas because, according to the book, there was an open portal to Faerie, the land of the Fae, somewhere in the middle of the Irish countryside. The last one left in existence, actually; hence, the trip halfway across the globe. Crossing into that realm where I’d be surrounded by others like me could only help my mission, right? My maternal grandmother lived there, so my plan was to somehow find her, then figure it out from there. In other words, I was pretty much flying blind.
Ugh. When had my life become so complicated? Long gone were the days of worrying only about when to flip over on my lounge chair so I maintained an even tan, or how many Coronas I could get away with drinking while on vacation. Okay, I only did that once.
Now my worries consisted of things like staying alive, preserving a race, hoping I didn’t smell too appetizing, and—
I picked up my ringing phone, adding
to my mental list. “Hi.”
” Vance replied incredulously. “That’s all you have to say to me? Hi?”
I sighed. He was upset. Understandably. I did sneak out in the middle of the night after we made love and then sent his first ten calls to voicemail. “Look, I know you’re upset, but I don’t really have time to talk. I’m leaving to catch a plane in just a few.”
“What? Where are you going?”
“I can’t really tell you right now. I’m leaving but don’t worry. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but Leo’s coming with me so I’ll be fine.”
“Baby, don’t do this,” he pleaded. “Don’t run.”
“I’m not running,” I insisted, “I’m looking into something. I’m sorry for leaving this morning without saying anything. I know you’re pissed—”
“I’m not pissed,” he interrupted. “I’m hurt. I’m having a difficult time understanding why you would do this, especially after last night. I thought we were moving past all this Maria bullshit.”
I winced at the reminder. Vance’s psycho ex-wife, Maria, had come into town recently and had been a busy lady during her short stay. She’d kidnapped me, killed my best friend’s double-crossing husband, slept with my ex-boyfriend and subsequently injured him, then as an added bonus, she’d recorded Vance making love to her for
so she could force me to watch it during said kidnapping incident. He was under the influence of a powerful spell during their entire encounter, so logically I knew that he would have never cheated on me otherwise. Unfortunately, my mind said
and couldn’t forget what it saw. I couldn’t get the image of them touching each other out of my brain. I needed our last night together to help me move forward…to get closure, so to speak. I loved Vance, and making love to him was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, but the pain wouldn’t go away despite how badly I wanted it to.
Leo walked into the room and whispered, “My love, the car is here. They’ll take us directly to the tarmac. Are you ready?”
I held up one finger to indicate that I’d be ready in a minute. He got the hint and walked out of the room to give me some privacy. "Look, Vance, I'll call you once I get settled and tell you more then."
"Please don't leave," he begged. "Please just come back here so we can talk about this."
I abruptly ended the call by saying, “Keep an eye on Erica for me.” My best friend, Erica, was recently widowed and pregnant. I didn't feel right about leaving her right then, but I was confident that she would be in good hands with Vance.
“Where’d you go, my love?" Leo asked. "You seemed lost in thought.”
I looked up as my flashback faded and my mind shifted back into the present. I surreptitiously took in Leo’s appearance before responding. He had a terribly concerned look in his beautiful blue-gray eyes. His dark hair and olive complexion showcased his Mediterranean heritage, while his muscular form and calloused hands bore evidence to the fact that he was a hardworking man long before becoming a vampire. This man truly was a sight to behold but his looks only scratched the surface of his magnificence. He was a brilliant businessman, but more importantly one of the kindest, most generous people I'd ever met. Leo always made me feel like I was the center of his universe, which was why my reply harbored a bit of remorse. “Oh, it’s nothing. I was just spacing out.”
Leo scowled, sensing my lie. As a vampire, he couldn't technically read my thoughts, but he could read my emotions. It didn't take much to figure out where my sudden burst of guilt came from.
Brooke returned with a wine glass filled with blood and scooted away after handing it to him, probably sensing the tension in the air. Leo grimaced as he took the first sip but quickly put his mask of tolerance in place. He once compared drinking banked blood to spoiled milk, saying that it was almost unbearable but gave up seeking live sustenance months ago since
wasn't on the table. Sex and blood typically go hand-in-hand for a vampire, and since he refused to take another woman to bed, he, in effect, was also refusing to take another’s blood—no matter how many times I tried to convince him he should.
The last time he’d had blood directly from the source was mine almost four months ago. I had been viciously attacked by a demon, and Leo needed to remove the poison from my bloodstream. Since Leo was already immortal, the demon's venom didn’t affect him.
That was the moment I knew for sure I could trust Leo with my life. He didn't succumb to the bloodlust most vampires would experience upon drinking Fae blood. That was also the moment I had one of the most intense orgasms of my entire life. A vampire's bite,
vampires, as I have shamefully learned, induce instant, mind-blowing orgasms that leave your body overwhelmed by pleasure—a feeling that doesn’t stop until you’ve climaxed multiple times. I'd be lying to myself if I said that I hadn’t enjoyed every second of Leo’s bite.
He raised a suggestive eyebrow, probably sensing my randy thoughts. I scowled in response.
Leo downed his glass quickly and hit the call button. Brooke whisked in two seconds later, with her red lipstick freshly reapplied. "Yes, Mr. Markos?"
"I'd like a single malt scotch, please. A triple."
"Yes, sir." Brooke quickly left for the galley.
"Wow, bringing out the big guns, huh?" I joked. Leo imbibed when he felt the need, but he rarely had more than two shots in one sitting.
He narrowed his eyes at me. "I need enough to wash this wretched taste out of my mouth."
I flinched, taken aback by the hostility in his tone. This was the first time he'd brought up his displeasure with banked blood since he’d first told me about it. Over the past few months, he’d insisted that it wasn't as bad as he remembered. I never believed him, but he also never threw it in my face before.
"I'm sure Brooke would be
more than willing
to help you with that." Childish, I know, but apparently I couldn't control my temper.
"Don't be ridiculous, my love. You know where I stand on that." Leo's tone was back to normal, so it seemed he had better reign over his emotions than I did.
"Yeah? Well, if I'm not mistaken, you don't seem as satisfied with banked blood as you've previously claimed."
"My stance on the issue has not changed."
I knew him well enough to call bullshit. "C'mon, Leo, how many times do we have to go over this? Quit denying yourself. I'm a big girl; I can handle it."
"I'm sure you can, my dear. It is I who cannot handle taking from another, as
I have told
you many times
. There is no equal. Once I had your blood, I lost all desire for any other. I drink what I must to survive, but whether it's from some random woman's vein or a glass doesn't matter. It's all
complete and total shite!"
Ah crap, he was totally pissed. Not only did he rarely curse, but his British accent rarely came out. At worst, his sentences were punctuated by it. Right then, it sounded like he walked straight out of Parliament. Clearly, my previous statement about his emotions was incorrect.
I took a deep breath. "Leo, I'm sorry. I don't mean to continuously bring the subject up; I just feel so bad because you're suffering and I can't do anything about it."
"Can't? Or won't?"
" I insisted. "Not now...not after everything that's happened over the past few weeks. I'm still so...raw."
He reached over and enveloped my hands with his own. "My love, let's agree to disagree on this. I don't want to spend my time with you fighting about things that neither one of us are willing to change." He pulled my hand towards him and kissed the inside of my left wrist. "Can you do that?
you do that?"
"Yeah, I guess I can—"
"Excuse me, sir," Brooke interrupted as she handed over his scotch. "The captain asked me to tell you that we're beginning our descent into Dublin. We should be on the ground in about twenty minutes. Is there anything else I can get you?"
Leo cleared his throat. "No, that will be all. Thank you."
"Very well." She disappeared behind the galley door, giving us privacy.
He held up his hand, prompting me to stop. "My sweet, please let's end the discussion. I'd like to rest a bit before we land." He leaned back and closed his eyes.
I decided to do the same and before I knew it, the wheels were touching down on the ground.