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 (3 page)

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
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Nothing but an empty void. No joy, no
sadness. He just was.

And he was tired of it.

Banished from his Eastern realms, tried for
treason. And all for what? For something as insubstantial as the
body he now called his.

Why was he here? Staring up at a liquid blue
moon, gazing at an endless expanse of stars stretching far as his
eye could see. He remembered the stars. Remembered dancing through
galaxies, bending time and matter to his will.

He’d been powerful then. A being to be
worshipped, feared.

But always, always with a weakness.

He stared at his wrists. A faint bluish white
glow surrounded them, if he looked hard, he could see landscape
through them. Once his arms had been burnished bronze, with sleek
muscles that moved and rolled like a panther’s graceful glide when
it struck prey.

At least that’s what she’d said. Nala, with
her rose red lips and charcoal lined eyes. She’d been small,
perfect… and he hadn’t been able to resist. Theirs had been a
passion to rival that of Scheherazade for her King.

Magnetic. Powerful. And illicit.

Jinni dropped his hands.

Why was he here? He should have stayed with
Ewan. He was not a slave to be commanded, ordered by a mere wisp of
a fae to go and wait beneath the star.

And he’d known which star she’d meant. They
all did. A bright jewel of a star that glowed like flame in the
sky, mortals called it the North Star, but he knew it as home--
Kingdom.

So why had he come? Antipathy clung to him
like a leech. He did not care what was soon to happen. Maybe he
should? Maybe if he fought it more, he wouldn’t be a pale wisp of
himself. But he was old. Ancient.

Older even than the fairy who called herself
his godmother.

That thought elicited a whisper of a sound
from him. He thought maybe it was a laugh, but he couldn’t be sure.
There’d been a time when his services had commanded the eye of
Kings and Queens, when to have a genie in your court proclaimed you
to be a man of stature and power.

Now… he was nothing but a sad lyric in an old
Eastern ballad:
Beware, oh beware, ye of great power… the lips
of woman beguile like ambrosia, but cannot hide the evil scheming
of her heart.

Wind shoved through his body, a loud pop of
indrawn air sucked at his back. He did not turn. He knew who was
behind him. Her power rolled through him like a tingling tide.

“What?” he drawled.

“Jinni,” Danika flew to his side. “You’re
here.”

She was in her mortal form again, though
still wearing her translucent dragonfly wings. Her big blue eyes
were wide and expectant.

He rolled a shoulder, his movements awkward
and stiff. He didn’t even need to breathe anymore, everything he
did now… breathing, smiling, even talking, it was all an act. A way
for him to try and retain some sort of humanity. But he wasn’t sure
he cared much anymore.

“Where else would I be, starflower?” His
words no longer carried the sting of sarcasm. “I’ve nowhere to be,
and no one to care.”

“She’s coming. Your mate.”

He looked up at the sky, studying the
constellations. The night was clear, with nary a cloud to mar the
exceptional beauty of this strange land. Jinni liked trees, but a
part of him would always yearn for the endless rolling dunes of his
homeland.

“Don’t you care?”

Should he? He waited for a spark, some thread
of longing to fill him, breathe new life into his soul to brush
away the decay that’d crept like a slow cancer through him. But it
was empty and hollow.

“No.” He looked at her.

“Perhaps I waited too long for you, Jinni.”
She wrung her hands together, her spider silk dress sparkling with
dew.

He wasn’t sure, but thought maybe there were
tears in the corners of her eyes. “Why do you cry?”

She sniffed, knuckling the corner of her eye.
“I never wanted us to be like this. I know you can never fully
accept me, but I would be your friend. If you’d let me.”

He studied her rosy cheeks, the pale circles
under her eyes. She did not look well. “I was once a god. I do not
think you could ever understand.”

Danika laid her palm upon his chest, a static
tingle rushed through her fingers. “You’ve still got magic. It’s
not been fully stripped.”

Glancing at his wrists, he said, “I was
feared, a slave to no one. I owned land, animals, chariots. Within
me was life or death, now…” he looked back at her, “there is just
death.”

Straightening her shoulders, Danika shook her
head. “I lost my sister, I will not lose my boys.” There was an
edge of steel to her words. “Your mate is coming, she is your
perfect match.”

Jinni glanced back up at the sky and narrowed
his gaze when he caught sight of the flaming orange tail of a
streaking comet.

“You can either choose to accept and live, or
you can fade into the ether and never know true joy. The choice is
yours, I cannot force your happiness.” She shoved something into
his lax hand.

It took a huge amount of concentrated effort
to grasp onto something solid, all the energy in him had to roll
into his hand, just to make it substantial enough to hold on.

The effect left him dizzy and breathless.

Jinni unfurled his hand, within it lay two
silver chains. A purple pendant attached to each, one square
shaped, one heart shaped. “The stone of
veritas
?” he
inquired with a raised brow. “What truths do I need to
discover?”

“The stone can do much more than tell truth.
It can show truth. Place the amulet around your neck, I’ve infused
enough magic into it to make you fully fleshed and solid once and
only once. Choose your moment wisely.”

“Why do I have two stones?”

“The other is for her. When the time comes.
You’ll know why.”

Jinni shook his head. “I cannot regain solid
form again, Danika. Even if I could turn solid once, what would
that matter? I cannot retain the form for long, cannot know the
erotic caress of a woman. Especially not a mortal. This is
senseless.”

She frowned, blonde brows drawn into a tight
vee. “You, a genie. You should know magic cannot be contained,
cannot be denied. I tell you there is a way, I’ve already provided
it.”

A soft humming filled the woods.

“How? You tell me my mate comes, and maybe I
believe you. But how am I to know her, hmm? She cannot even see me.
I’m a ghost among mortals.”

Danika jerked, her eyes went flat black and
then she spoke, but the words were not in her voice. They were
deep, a man’s voice. “
Look at me. You’ll be fine. You’ll be
fine…

She was in a trance. Jinni cocked his head.
Who did she speak to?

The first faint hum of curiosity stirred.

Suddenly he became aware of the absolute
stillness of the woods and the whistle like shriek from the sky. He
glanced up, and the comet was close. But he knew now, it was not a
comet at all.

It was an airplane, and it was headed
straight for them.


Tristan Black
,” Danika said, the name
momentarily caught his attention and he glanced back at her. With a
final shudder, she blinked. The black eyes returned to blue.

“Who is Tristan Black?” Jinni asked as the
roar of twisting metal became deafening.

She smiled, tugging the square shaped pendant
from his hand and slipped it around his neck. It settled with a
flutter of warmth, spreading like tingling feelers through his
body. He glanced down, the pendant had flared to life, a bright and
glorious undulating royal blue. He didn’t feel it, didn’t have to
push energy through his body to keep it on, it simply stayed
put.

“You are, Jinni.” And with those final words,
she disappeared in a bright flash of color.

He barely had time to turn, when the world
erupted into chaos. The plane crashed into trees, a wing tip ripped
through his midsection, causing a momentary shiver of
discomfort.

Rocks and debris flew like shrapnel, pelting
and sailing through his face, his chest. With one final groan the
plane sank to its belly, kicking up clumps of grass and dirt in its
wake. Then all was silent save for the licking of the flames
curling out of the wreckage. Black smoke billowed high into the
heavens.

But the strange and empty silence didn’t last
long.

In moments there were groans, and then
screams as humans kicked and clawed at their metal coffin.

A latch was turned with a loud squeal, and
then a man appeared in the black doorway. Bathed in shadow and
covered in soot, he wheezed and coughed. “Come,” he called to
someone with a voice grown hoarse.

Fire grew higher.

Shadow man turned and then dragged a body
out. A woman, judging by the length of her waist length black
hair.

Her eyes were closed, her full pink lips
scratched and oozing blood.

The man was tugging on her arm. There was a
mechanized motion to his body, unnatural. His movements were
robotic.

Jinni floated closer, drawn to the man for
some odd reason. Quickly glancing inside the aircraft he noticed
many misshapen lumps, humans clawing and crying to crawl away from
the greedy flames that’d already claimed some. The stench of
sizzling flesh and hair reached his nose.

He turned his back, again drawn to the man
who continued to drag the woman out. Now that he was out in the
moonlight, Jinni could see him better. The stranger was covered in
blood, a large gash stretched across his forehead.

There was something about him. Something
unusual that teased at the corners of Jinni’s mind. He’d seen the
strange movements before. Human, but not quite. Off.

And then he looked into the stranger’s eyes
and knew. They were dead and empty. Hollow, with no life.

Jinni reached out to touch the man’s shoulder
when a terrible roar quaked behind them and a shot of glowing steel
flew through the air, throwing the stranger flat on his back as the
metal bounced off his skull and pierced the side of his neck.

He slumped in a heap next to the woman.

Cocking his head, Jinni finally looked down
at her.

Ash and soot could not hide the rich caramel
color of her flesh. She had a button nose and a small rosebud
mouth, black hair curled becomingly around her heart shaped face.
Then she opened her eyes and they were warm and molten brown, alive
but glittering with pain.

In that moment something strange happened to
Jinni. He sucked in a breath as heat zipped down his spine, curled
long fingers through his heart and for the first time in years… he
felt it beat. One strong, powerful flex of muscle in his dead
chest.

“Help me,” she breathed, and then her eyes
rolled back into her head.

How had she seen him?

Something a lot like panic clawed through his
skull. It made him twitchy and with a violent shudder, he gripped
the pendant in his fist. The ghostly echo of
one time and one
time only
flitted through his head.

“Make it so,” he murmured and then winced as
the fire engulfed him. Energy poured out of the stone.

It was like sinking in lava, feeling that
terrible heat coat your flesh, sear your lungs. He screamed,
dropping to his knees as the flesh covered his soul, bones and
tendon knitting a patchwork frame throughout.

The plane roared as another flying spray of
hot metal sailed through the air, whizzing pass his cheek. He
hissed at the violent heat, shuddering at the sweat that coated his
naked limbs.

He had to pull her away. Had to save her
before it was too late.

Standing on feet that felt foreign and
unsure, he dropped to his knee. Gritting his teeth, he tried again.
Forcing his brain to remember what having a body felt like.

Somehow he managed to get his uncoordinated
limbs to cross the distance to her and latched onto her wrist.
There was strength in this body he wore.

With a loud grunt, he pulled her dead weight
against his chest. Heart thumping wildly at the feel of her. She
was soft, fleshy in all the right places, and it felt
wonderful.

Hefting her against him, he walked in a
drunken line deep into the woods, away from the exploding plane.
She mumbled incoherently when he gently sat her down.

Then he went back for the man.

Danika had told him he was Tristan Black.
Jinni hadn’t understood it then.

He grabbed the man’s wrist and had to strain
to lift him in a dead man’s hold across his shoulders, his weight
significantly more than hers had been.

Other bodies were slowly milling out, but
Jinni had to leave them to fend for themselves. The plane was going
to blow soon and he needed to reach safety now.

He was just entering the clearing he’d laid
her in when the plane finally gave one final shudder and exploded
in a nova of orange and blue.

Dropping to his knees, Jinni dumped the man
and gathered the woman in his arms. She smelled of smoke and fuel,
but she also smelled like lavender and roses. He ran his nose
through her hair, breathless with wonder at his ability to hold a
woman again. To feel alive in her presence.

She whimpered and gripped his waist, digging
her fingers in.

He looked at the man who bled from the wound
in his neck. But the bleeding wasn’t normal, it was thick and
oozing, and a red so deep it appeared black. But of course he
wouldn’t bleed like a normal mortal, the man was a golem.

What had Danika done?

 

Chapter 3

 

Doctors hovered around her fragile form. She
was pale, her honey skin bleached out, her lips almost blue. Nurses
ran through the room, sounds beeped and stirred, it was an
obnoxious wail in the background Jinni fought to ignore.

His eyes were solely for her. Who was
she?

Black hair, dark as moving shadow, framed her
heart shaped face. Long lashes feathered and flexed as her eyes
danced behind the lids.

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
2.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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