Read Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series Online

Authors: Marie Hall

Tags: #paranormal romance, #fantasy romance, #ghost romance, #fairytale romance, #fairytale retelling, #marie hall, #kingdom series, #gerards beauty, #her mad hatter, #red and her wolf

Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series (2 page)

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
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But then she’d looked at his eyes-- glowing
green eyes-- and something inside her had shrunk away from letting
him make contact when he’d handed her the change. She’d been pretty
sure those hadn’t been contacts.

And what was even weirder about this carnival
was that everyone one looked just like him. Well, not
just
like him. But everyone working here was hot. Uber, smokin’, I’d
sell my firstborn to have wild monkey sex with you kind of hot. And
they all had strange glowing eyes.

Which seemed to faze Todd and her brother not
at all.

“Hello!” Richard snapped his fingers, making
her jerk. “Did you hear a word I said?”

She grimaced. “Umm…”

He gripped his forehead. “That’s a no. I
said,” he stressed the ‘d’, “that I want you to go because Brody
and Luke came here last night and they said they got their fortunes
told and it came true.”

Paz snorted. “Oh my gosh, that’s ridiculous.
You do know that’s stupid, right? They’re all quacks out here.”

He looked hurt, and then annoyed. Richard
shoved his hands into his jean pockets. “You’re coming and I don’t
want to hear boo about it.”

“Boo about what?” Todd planted a peck on
Richard’s cheek.

The effect was instantaneous. Richard smiled,
leaning back into Todd’s large chest.

“Mmm, popcorn.” Paz reached with greedy
fingers for the steaming brown paper sack Todd handed her. “Yummy,
yummy, yummy. Love,” she plopped a warm, buttery kernel in her
mouth and groaned, “love, love, popcorn.”

Richard grabbed one out of her bag and tossed
it at her nose. She swatted at it.

“And you say I’m weird. At least I’ve never
written an ode to my food before.”

She stuck out her tongue.

“So are we going?” Todd asked, taking a bite
out of his fried Twinkie.

White cream oozed out the side and Richard
moaned. “Fried Twinkie, Todd? Cruel.”

Todd laughed.

Richard rolled his eyes. “My baby sister
insists Madam Pandora is a quack.”

“You know what,” Todd said, and then took
another bite, Richard swallowed hard, brown eyes wide as he stared
at that Twinkie like it was his lover.

Paz knew her brother was drooling, Twinkies
were his kryptonite. Todd was cruel. Which was probably why she
loved him so much; he made her brother suffer. As he should.

“I totally thought so too, but then when Luke
told me what she said, you can’t fake that.”

Wrinkling her nose, Paz nibbled on a piece of
popcorn. That’d gotten her attention. “What happened?”

Growling, Richard stole the last bite of
Twinkie from Todd’s fingers and popped into his mouth with a
so-there look.

Smirking, Todd licked his lips. “She told him
that he’d forgotten to pay his electric bill and that when they got
home the power would be off.”

Snorting, feeling pieces of kernel jam in her
throat, Paz coughed and then chuckled, wheezing around the bits
still caught in there. So lame, she’d expected maybe Madam Quack
would have said they’d be struck by lightning, or their dog would
be run over. Electric bill? Get serious. She wiped tears from her
eyes, the ghost of a laugh still on her tongue. “Duh, she works for
the power company after hours. Totally doable.”

Richard rolled his eyes. “Paz, I came to your
art show. Now you’re coming with us.”

Shoulders slumping, she licked the buttery
goodness off her tongue. “Richard, seriously, that sounds so lame
and I don’t want to blow ten bucks on something like that.”

Todd and Richard shared a glance. A wordless
conversation passing between them that always made her both jealous
and happy. She wanted that so bad, it was a desperate yearning in
the pit of her gut, the depths of her heart. But she couldn’t deny
how happy it made her to know her brother now had it. He deserved
it. Though she’d die before ever telling him that.

“We’ll pay,” they said at the same time.

One dark hand and one light hand gripped her
elbows, steering her (willing or not) toward Madam Quack’s
tent.

“Ugh,” she groaned.

Ten minutes later she was staring into the
deep lavender eyes of the most gorgeous woman she’d ever seen.
Midnight oil black hair, smooth alabaster skin, and the plumpest
red lips that would have made even Steven Tyler green with
envy.

Add to that that Madam Quack wasn’t wearing a
gold lamay turban, purple silk robe, or looking into a crystal
ball. Paz felt totally out of her element-- hard to laugh at
someone when they looked as sane and gorgeous as Madam Pandora
did.

The tent was low lit a dark red, casting
strange undulations upon the tarp walls. Paz gripped the wooden
arms of the plush, floral patterned chair she sat on.

Pandora (because Paz refused to think of her
as Madam Pandora any longer) sat in front of her, long legs
crossed. Sparkling black cocktail dress draping like bats wings to
either side of her. Red lips pursed and staring at Paz with an
intense gleam in her strange colored eyes.

“Your brothers want you to be happy.”

Paz licked her lips. Didn’t take a rocket
scientist to figure that out, especially considering Pandora had
very likely seen them drag her inside, ordering Paz to stay put or
the popcorn got it.

“But you’re successful, you made a lot of
money tonight.”

Paz narrowed her eyes.

“Paintings, was it?” Pandora cocked her head,
feathers on top of her tiny hat flopped forward.

“Oh please, this is insane,” Paz shook her
head, “you probably heard one of them mention it. Why do you waste
people’s money this way?”

Pandora smiled. “Because you’ll come.
Though,” she cocked her head, “I’m very good at what I do.”

“I’m sure you are.”

What a waste of her time and Todd’s money.
Paz stood, ready to head back out.

“Sit down,” Pandora’s voice brooked no
argument, a shiver of heat zipped down Paz’s spine. Not fear, not
exactly, but wariness.

She sat.

Pandora tapped blood red fingernails on her
knee. “Go to Alaska.”

“What?” Paz snorted. “Alaska? Are you nuts?
What’s in Alaska?”

“He is.”

Paz’s heart skipped a beat. He, as in
he
. The one? Prince Charming? Her Todd?

“Yes. The one. Your Prince Charming. Your
Todd.”

Her mouth flopped open. Probably wasn’t
pretty, but holy freaking cow batman, how had she done that? “I
didn’t say that--”

“Out loud?” Pandora lifted a pencil thin
brow. “You didn’t have to. I told you, I’m good at what I do.”

Heart thudding almost painfully in her chest,
Paz’s left leg began to bounce up and down. So many different
reasons why that was a cracked up idea floated through her
mind.

Pandora pressed her lips into a thin line.
“Stop over thinking this, Paz…”

“Wait?” She held up a hand. “How do you know
my name? I didn’t tell you--”

She waved her hand. “You need to go. He needs
you, he’s waiting. And he doesn’t have much time left.”

“Alaska?” Her voice sounded strained. Why was
she even listening to this woman? This was so stupid. Totally dumb.
And yet… “Where in Alaska?”

“Book a flight to Anchorage.” Pandora leaned
forward, intense eyes never swerving from Paz’s face. “You have to
leave tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” she squeaked. “This is nuts.
You’re crazy. I’m crazy.” She laughed, voice sounding totally
unlike hers. So why was she suddenly sweating, suddenly desperate
to believe this lie?

“He’s dying, Paz, and only you can save him.
If you don’t leave tomorrow, it’ll be over. He’ll be over.”

Something close to pain hammered behind her
closed lids. Paz squeezed her armrests, nails digging in so hard
she felt one break.

“You’re… lying?”

Pandora shook her head. “I never lie.”

 

***

 

How had she wound up here? Thirty thousand
feet up in the air, flying to Alaska? Alaska of all places. Paz had
gone to sleep last night, desperate to forget it all. But an ache,
a gnawing need for truth, had begun to bloom in her chest.

What if it was true? So she’d be out a couple
hundred bucks-- which would make her royally pissed, since she’d
been saving for a screen press-- if it wasn’t true. But there’d
been dreams last night. Lots of them.

A blue faced man, features distorted, but
with hope shining in liquid black eyes. She’d woken up in tears and
within seconds phoning the airport to confirm a roundtrip ticket to
Anchorage.

Turbulence seized the plane and she yelped,
biting down on her lower lip hard as her gut toppled to her knees.
She hated flying.

Hated. It.

Why oh why, was she doing this? Time away
from the carnival, the dream, made her think suddenly this was the
stupidest idea she’d ever had. Richard and Todd had certainly been
shocked, for a brief thirty minutes their wide eyes had made her
feel brave, powerful. But now… the plane dipped, and she flopped in
her seat, now she was just scared.

From the moment she’d stepped foot on the
plane she’d gotten a strange sense of something being off kilter.
Weird. But she’d ignored it, thinking she was just being the
chicken Richard always accused her of being.

So she’d found her seat, not needing the
compartment space, she’d packed light.

Literally she was flying to Anchorage with
tickets back the very next day. Why had she done this?

She groaned when another round of turbulence
tilted the plane.

She had no idea what she was looking for. Who
she was looking for. She’d scanned the faces boarding her flight
with an obsessive need to know if maybe one of them was Mr.
Wonderful.

Then
he’d
sat next to her.

Heart pounding, trying to hold down the
saltine crackers she’d noshed on earlier, she glanced at Mr. Tall,
Dark, and Decadent sitting next to her. He was gorgeous.

Bronze skin two shades darker than her own,
dark unruly hair that curled against the nape of his neck, and
liquid black eyes. The eyes had made her think of her dream. It
hadn’t been a huge stretch for her to think maybe it’d been
him.

So she’d waved, and smiled.

He’d sat next to her, his delicious scent of
clover and moss, teasing her senses. Paz had waited for the
friendly smile in return. Nothing.

Like he’d not even seen her.

When the attendants had taken drink orders,
he’d ignored her too.

He didn’t read, didn’t move, didn’t do a
single thing. Which totally creeped her out. Stepford wife, or
husband in this case, total weirdo.

The plane jolted again, this time listing
deep to the side.


Ladies and gentlemen,”
the pilot’s
voice came on over the loudspeakers,
“please put your trays in
the upright and locked positions, we seem to be experiencing a bit
of turbulence--”


Oh sh--”
the co-pilot cried and then
there was static.

But that wasn’t the worst part, because now
the plane was dipping forward, faster and faster.

Suddenly Mr. Creepy latched onto her hand,
squeezing tight.

“Look at me,” he said, and oh man, so
embarrassing that as they were crashing and getting ready to become
nothing but a memory, all she could focus on was the flutter of her
stomach at the sound of his whiskey deep voice.

Adrenaline spiked her veins, kids and women
screamed. Oxygen masks dropped from the rough turbulence that shook
her around like a rag doll.

“You’ll be fine. You’ll be fine,” he said and
she nodded.

His eyes were so beautiful. Not black like
she’d first thought, but a deep inky well full of stardust. His
thumb caressed her knuckles, and she knew fire seeped through her
skin, deep into bone.

A strange whistling rang loud in her ears.
Paz lifted up on her toes, wishing she could run away. “It’s just
like the movies,” she whispered.

He licked his lips and man they were nice.
“What?” he said.

Tears crept into the corners of her eyes as
her stomach bottomed out. A baby was crying. “The sound of
death.”

His touch was so nice. So real and warm.

“My Todd,” she whispered as her vision
blurred. He was looking at her, with an ache, a soul deep
connection.

She’d finally gotten it.

Paz screamed when the plane pitched on its
side. His grip tightened.

“Close your eyes, Paz,” he whispered.

How did he know her name?

Glancing over her shoulder, he licked his
lips, and she didn’t miss the dilation of his pupils.

“We’re close aren’t we?” She knew they were,
gravity was pinning her against the seat. The ground had to be only
seconds away. Her body shuddered, tightened with goose bumps. Death
breathed down her neck.

“Close your eyes, head on your knees. I’ll be
here when you wake up, I promise.”

She dug her nails into his fist, but he
didn’t flinch.

“What’s your name?” she breathed, back of her
neck tightening.

They were close, within a second of crashing.
The plane unnaturally quiet as people prayed, cried softly, or
closed their eyes and waited for the inevitable.

His smile was so achingly real, alive. She
sniffled, throat working back a hot tide of tears.

“Tristan Black.”

Nodding, she dropped her head to her knees
and squeezed her eyes shut. Her fingers still threaded through the
hard strength of his.

She’d finally found him. Prince Charming.

So not fair.

There was a deafening whistle and then
nothing else.

Chapter 2

 

He was floating, bits of debris sailing
through a body that was once solid and firm. That’d once known
pleasure, desire.

Jinni gnashed his teeth. Or at least,
attempted to. There was very little substance left to him anymore.
Trees towered in every side of him. The mundane world echoed with
the faint buzz of animals at rest, sleeping insects, and stalking
predators. But inside he felt nothing.

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
13.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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