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 (9 page)

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
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“He was not the one,” he said softly. Not a
question, just a statement of fact.

“No, he wasn’t. And I didn’t think it would
be fair to him to marry him. He deserved someone to be as madly in
love with him as he’d been with me.”

“Do you ever regret it?”

Paz stood, and paced in front of the table.
“Sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if he was the
one
and I was
just expecting too much.”

She stopped then and looked at Jinni. A
perfect stranger. His large brown eyes made her feel slightly dizzy
and breathless. He might be blue, but she’d painted him as he’d
been. Dark and olive toned, with a proud nose and sensual lips. Her
body pulsed, literally beginning to glow brighter. She frowned.

“It means you are experiencing great
emotion,” he said gently.

“How come you don’t pulse?”

Jinni stared up at the ceiling, but she knew
he wasn’t looking at it, he was looking beyond it. Seeing something
she couldn’t. “Because the longer you stay in this form, the more
deadened you become.”

The bitterness in his voice made her
ache.

The euphoria of earlier began to fade slowly
away. Paz glided to a corner window, pressing her nose against the
glass. Or at least attempting to, the moment she touched it, she
felt a subtle shift in pressure and then her face was sinking
through. Like pushing her head through a gentle fall of water.

Jinni’s head poked out a moment later. She
sighed bitterly.

“When I was little I used to love pressing my
nose against the glass. Feeling the cold shiver up my nose and
settle in my cheeks. It made me feel alive. Mom, hated it though,
said I was staining her clean glass.”

Crazy, the things she remembered now. Things
that’d seemed so insignificant and meaningless before now mattered
so much.

He tipped his head.

Again that feeling of needing to get away, of
wishing she could go, slowly crept back into her conscious mind.
Outside the manicured lawn glinted with the first silvery drops of
dew, a gentle breeze stirred through her. The parking lot was vast
and completely empty. Streetlamps, with their orangey glow
distracted from the surreal beauty of the full golden moon. Stars,
too many to count, filled the black sky like a shower of silver
glitter.

But gazing at the beauty of the still night
couldn’t detract from the knowledge that behind them a warm and
inviting golden tunnel waited for her. A tunnel that she knew would
bring her a measure of peace.

“I want to go.”

“Where?”

“Away. Out of this hospital,” she glanced at
him, at the proud lines of his jaw and sharp slash of cheekbone,
and wished again she’d met him before, “I hate it here.”

“Where would you go if you could?”

She glanced up at the sky. The sky her
brother had been so obsessed with growing up. Richard had always
wanted to find life on different stars. He’d spun magical tales of
aliens and monsters. She’d never wanted to see the creatures, but
Paz had fallen in love with the murky blue unknown of the
universe.

“The stars,” she whispered, “I want to dance
on a star.”

 

Chapter 9

 

Jinni didn’t have much magic left to him, and
what he did, came with a price. But it was a price he’d be willing
to pay, if only to see her smile again.

“Do you want to see where I was born?”

Brown, soulful eyes studied him. Then she
nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“I can show you. But first, you need to take
my hand.”

She slipped her hand into his, but it fell
through. “Paz, I am not strong enough to hold you. You have to
focus, like I taught you. Concentrate all your energy, and then
hang on to me. Can you do that?”

She nibbled on her lower lip and not for the
first time he wished he was more of a man than what he was. That he
hadn’t spent so many decades lamenting his fate; that he’d at least
fought to remain corporeal. If he’d known in the future he’d meet
her, he’d have fought tooth and nail to overcome the misery of the
last decades. But he hadn’t known, so he’d let himself slowly die
inside, a little every day, and now he was a shell of a man who
couldn’t even grasp her hand.

“I’ll try.”

She closed her eyes and his body hummed,
willing her to do it this time.

Her energy pulsed again, a bright blue glow
that made his soul flare in response. Her face looked lit from
within as her radiance sparkled and shimmered over her form. There
was a snap, a quick rolling spark shifted down her arm and then she
released a strong breath and opened flustered eyes.

“I can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

If ghosts could sweat, she’d look haggard and
worn. As it was her hair had lost some of its shine, her face
appeared slightly puffy from energy drain-off.

Paz shook herself and pulled her head back
inside the window. Misery clung to her. Jinni shook his head.

“Do not give up.”

“I’m not trying to. This is hard. I was able
to lift the sheets up before, I don’t know why I can’t even do this
now.”

“I’m immortal, in a sense. It took much
longer for me to experience energy drain off. But your humanity
accelerates it. It is okay.” He clasped his hands together, mainly
because he desperately wanted to hold her arms, comfort and sooth
her, but knew he’d never be able to latch onto her. “I know it is
hard, Paz. But you are blocking yourself. You believe you cannot do
this. So you cannot. Now close your eyes.”

She growled low in her throat, a delicious
heated purr that sent shivers straight through him, but did as he
asked. She huffed hair out of her face, must have been a habit,
because her hair was tucked behind her ears.

“Now, imagine yourself on a beach,” he began,
voice lulling and soft, gently hypnotizing. Once, long ago, he’d
been good at this.

Her nose scrunched up in the most adorable
fashion and his lips twitched. “Do you see the beach?”

“I see blackness. Lots and lots of it,” she
whined.

He chuckled and closed his own eyes. The
magic resting in his soul flared softly to life, like the gentle
glow of candlelight. It flickered low, but steady. Reaching deep
within himself, he grasped a hold of the flame and drew that heat
through his body. It trickled through him, and for the first time
in ages he trembled with joy. With the remembered knowledge of what
it meant to grasp the fire.

But he no longer had what he used to have,
what he’d taken for granted. Using too much would be dangerous.
Hard as it was, he tamped down the thrill of the magic and took
only what he needed. Even this little bit would cost.

Making sure to keep a connection between his
mind and the flame, Jinni opened his eyes and smiled into Paz’s
startled face.

She glanced around, mouth slightly open.
“You’re here? In my head?”

In here she did not glow blue, her skin was a
tanned olive, her hair darker than midnight, and her eyes the
piercing brown of an owl. Dressed in a Grecian gown of sheer
white-- Jinni lost his breath-- as her each and every curve came
into exacting focus. Exotic and curvaceous, the type of body only a
master sculptor could hope to capture. Round, firm breasts rose
high as her breathing inched up a notch.

With the same degree he studied her; he felt
her eyes on him like a hot brand. He’d dressed himself in the style
of the King he’d served. Tunic and pants, the cerulean fabric
threaded through with veins of gold.

Around them was nothing but darkness. Her
mind was unfocused. Though all of what he was about to do was
illusion, there would still be the sensation of touch. Jinni walked
up to her. Her eyes were huge in her face, but she didn’t utter a
word as his warm hands slid up the length of her bare arms. A rigid
rise of goose bumps traveled in their wake and she hissed.

Touching her was like touching something hot
and explosive. He licked his lips, his stomach bottoming out. He’d
already touched her. When he’d carried her from the plane, but the
desire to truly know her hadn’t yet been born in him.

Now it was, and this was so different.

Jinni forced himself to breathe. “Imagine the
sand, dove.”

Her lashes fluttered, her gaze held his, as
if spellbound.

With a flick of his wrist he helped her to
see it.

She gasped as the land swayed around them,
the blackness bled away as a wave rolled in.

“Stop the water.” He continued to rub circles
on her arm with his thumb, enjoying the touch of her silky, soft
skin much more than he’d ever expected.

Paz glanced at the wave barreling toward
them. Her mouth set into a tight line, a frown marred her brow and
then she said, “Stop.”

Power rippled through the air, danced across
their skin, and the wave froze. A curl of blue water forever
frozen.

“Good,” he said.

She smiled.

“Now, pick up a grain of sand.”

“Jinni?”

“You can do this, dove. You can.” He grabbed
her hand. “Push all that power into your hand and pick it up.”

Paz knelt, studying the sand as if it were a
science experiment. Jinni pushed a small measure of his magic into
her palm, a tiny flutter of “will.” She inhaled deeply, then
reached out and dug her hand deep into the sand.

A delighted squeal fell from her tongue. “I
can feel it, Jinni.”

“What does it feel like?” he asked as his
thumb traced the curve of her knuckle.

His entire body quaking and alive with the
sensation of touch.

“Cold. Hard.” She looked at him, joy shining
in her eyes.

“Pick one up.”

Tip of her tongue sticking out the corner of
her mouth in concentration, she focused, and ever so slowly held
the grain aloft. Her hand shook, and her body trembled, but her
laughter was full of light.

“I did it. I did it. Jinni, I did it!”

He kissed her.

Couldn’t help himself.

Her joy was infectious, made him forget that
he shouldn’t do it, that it wasn’t a good idea. He wanted her joy
inside him. Wanted to drown in it. It’d been so long.

At first her lips were unresponsive. Then she
softened, grew pliant in his arms and threw her own around his
neck. Pressing in with the fervor of a woman parched. The kiss was
chaste, no tongues, no moans, and yet it transcended all that.

It went beyond shadows, loneliness, even
death. It was the joy of discovery, of birth and rebirth-- the very
beginning of possibility, that sacred moment when it was new and
perfect, and beautiful.

“I am sorry, I forgot myself,” he murmured
against her lips, leaning his forehead against hers, running his
hands up her back, the touch of her skin softer than any he’d ever
felt. She grabbed the hands he’d placed on either side of her face
and shook her head.

The rich earthy scent of jasmine flooded his
head and senses.

“Don’t be.” She looked at him, holding his
gaze and forcing him to keep hers. “It’s just too bad that I had to
die to learn what it finally meant to live.”

“You want to know where I was born, Paz?”

“Yes.”

“You want to leave this hospital?”

“I do, but what will happen to me if I leave?
I have this terrible feeling that if I walk away, I’ll never be
able to return.”

“We cannot be gone long, dove. But I’ve still
some magic left to me. Enough to safely show you my home. Do you
trust me?”

She didn’t stop to think, simply nodded. “I
don’t know why, but I do.”

“Then let us go dance.”

Concentrating his magic, he focused on his
place of origin. Above the clouds, within the stars. They shot up
like beams of pure light.

Paz laughed-- a rolling, booming sound that
spewed from the depths of her belly. She glanced all around as the
ground around them faded, as the sky opened up. A giant canopy of
stars and gases and planets.

She ooh’d and aah’d, but he couldn’t take his
eyes off the woman in his arms. Lush curves, huge smile. Hugging
her tight to his body, Jinni wished for more, wished it didn’t have
to end as he knew it would. If only he could have met her years
ago.

Then they were there. At the beginning of his
time. He stopped and thrilled at the way she hugged his neck
fiercely, almost cutting off his breath. Not that he needed to
breathe up here, he’d turned them into balls of pure energy.

Paz looked all around. At the vastness of
space, at the colors that exploded in a miasma all around. The deep
hued greens and neon blues, the silvery stars, and rose pink
expanse of space and time.

“Where are we?”

Jinni turned them, and pointed to a blue
sphere. A pinprick of light, almost insignificant, except for the
surge of powerful energy that sucked at them, drawing them closer
to its sphere.

“That is my mother.”

She laughed. “So you’re the starman, huh?
Didn’t they make a movie about that once?”

“Starman?” He shook his head. “She is not a
star. She is life itself. What you mortals have called a
quasar.”

Just as he spoke a brilliant burst of light
streaked from the pinprick of light, anywhere it touched stars
evaporated. The brilliance lasted only a second, but it was so
bright, that had they been in human form they’d have had to shield
their eyes.

“What was that?” Paz asked when the light
faded. “New baby starmen?” Her lips quirked.

Laughing, Jinni shrugged. “Sure. Let us call
it that. That power, that energy, that is another djinn being
born.” He waved his hand all around. “We are born masters of the
stars. We create and design. You cannot see us in this form, but we
are here.”

Looking, she frowned. “Then how did you get
to Kingdom?”

“I left. I wanted more than creation. I
wanted to understand and know the creation. And perhaps I wanted to
rule them as well.” His last words were sad, humbled. “I was not a
good person then, Paz.”

BOOK: Jinni's Wish, Book 4 Kingdom Series
11.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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