### See Disclaimers from chapter one. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks for reading!
“Am I going to be charged for this?”
It was some hours later. Alice had not come back… and that was just fine by me! She had no damn right to kiss me like that without my permission! My hand twitched and I decided to busy it by twisting the blanket in my fingers. It wasn't one of those plain Jane white blankets, no, nurse pinky gave me a new set of sheets, she clucked something about ‘sanitary environment' while I sat in a wheel chair, watching her place soft green sheets on the bed, with a fluffy yellow comforter. Now I looked back at her as she whistled softly, knitting in an old chair across from me.
“Charged? Of course charged.. Everyone pays their debts.” She shrugged.
I started to get out of the bed. “Then I can go home now because I can't afford a private hospital.” Breathing hurt…and it was because I hadn't been given any painkillers yet. The ‘doctor' whom I hadn't seen yet, had ordered I be taken off for a few hours until they knew what to give me.
“You are stubborn!” Shahnda continued to knit. It didn't strike me as odd that she didn't rush to stop me, until I opened the door. By then I was breathing harshly and I felt like my eyes were going to sink into my skull. Standing at the door was a little man. Oh I'm short but this guy had to be a good two and a half feet shorter than me. His hair was a shiny, chocolate brown, it was on top of his head and on the generous beard that grew past his green collar. I should really shut my big mouth but I said the first thing that came to mind.
“Oh god, a leprechaun.” I groaned, because I was fed up with the whole situation and wanted to just go die in a corner somewhere at that point. The pain was really starting to burn and I wanted to cry.
The little man gave me a stern look. “Get back in the room.” He said sharply.
I went to move past him. “No one can keep me here! I know my rights!”
In a flash he was right in front of me, his thick hand wrapped firmly around my wrist. His grip was tight, almost hurting.
“You can't vacate the premises, the FP will have my ass if I let you leave. “ That's when I noticed the badge secured on his green little uniform. It was silver but looked very official, with a triple moon symbol on the shield and weird little symbols etched around them. It was the strangest badge I'd ever seen.
I tried to tug my hand away but of course. It didn't budge. Instead, he started to pull me back towards the room. I pulled away because of course my pride wouldn't just let me give in. It turned into a losing struggle on my end and suddenly I felt something pop. The resulting pain was so immeasurable that I simply stopped breathing for a moment, folded up like a stack of cards, giving up the fight. When I finally started to breathe again I began to cry. I unleashed great wracking sobs that could not be stopped, even as Shahnda helped me back onto the bed and yelled something at the leprechaun in another language.
She pulled off the hospital gown without asking and placed her hands on my chest. Blood was oozing from her fingers, quite rapidly. It felt surreal as I watched her press down, as if to stop the flow with her hand alone.
Then the door opened and in walked a man… something... like a man. He was dark with large horns curled upward on his for head, one at either temple, and the sharpest whitest teeth I'd ever seen. I was so shocked that I stopped crying just to hold my mouth open like a fish and stare. He was mumbling something unusual as he approached me, a half full syringe in his hand. I saw him and the syringe and maybe it was the shock, or maybe it was the pain but gratefully my vision faded into darkness.
When I came too the room was dark. I heard hushed whispers coming from the door. The language had a strange sound to it, with lots of shh sounds that made me think of flowing water. I felt stiff, and sore, and hungry. I would have thought I was at home if it weren't for that heavy whispering, that was starting to rise in volume by the second.
Then a monitor beeped and I knew for sure I was definitely in the hospital. I thought to myself, please god let the whole thing be a nightmare. Let the walls be normal, let the doctors and nurses look human, and then I promise I'll go to church…alright I'll volunteer at the food pantry an extra weekend a month.
Then there was a loud noise, and the door rattled, like something was being thrown against it. It caused me to sit up quickly in alarm, which I was not ready for, because my head immediately began to swim.
I heard Shahnda's voice on the other side of the door. “That's enough! You two brawling like a pair of punks. You've woken the patient. Now stop or I will kick you BOTH out.” The door opened and light stretched across the room. Shahnda's hair had an indigo halo to it. She reached over, turned on the lights, and started to wheel a cart into the room. “I wasn't quite sure what you'd like to eat.. Got you beef stew and bread. Tell me you aren't one of those veggi people.”
I could see Alice standing behind her. The leprechaun was next to her, brushing his suit with his fingertips . How did it get wrinkled? My thoughts wandered when the cart rolled to the side of my bed and the lid to the dish was lifted open. It smelled like heaven, pure heaven. My stomach growled and I reached over for the bread. It was thick and flaky on the outside, but pillow soft and delicious on the inside. I was starving, so I took a big bite.
“Oh I'm sorry, I forget you are mostly human.” Shahnda sighed. “Poor girl, heres the spoon, the stew is wonderful this time of year.” I took the offered spoon and forked a mouthful. If I died in debt at least I could eat a decent meal.
“How could you forget she's mostly human?” Alice filled the room with her presence, literally. It was a change from my previous encounters with her because; at the moment I was so aware. If I didn't know any better I would have thought she… pulsed… with energy.
My eating slowed down and I licked my lips, watching her. She was wearing a pair of faded jeans and a long sleeved, dark blue shirt that offset her eyes. It was buttoned up except for two at the very top which left the shirt open just slightly enough to show a white tank beneath. She had a bag in her hand and she sat it at the foot of my bed.
“Underwear… a spare shirt, some pants. Your clothes are evidence now so you won't get them back.” I met her eyes then, and it seemed as though something flashed in her irises, like a tiny bolts of lightning, but they were gone as fast as they'd appeared. Her hand lifted, and shook slightly as she lifted it and raked her fingers through her hair.
Our eyes broke contact. I studied my food intently and mumbled a thank you. The taste of the stew was like nothing I'd had before. The seasoning was spicy, but not hot, and the vegetables melted into my mouth, making it easier to eat. I ate until the bowl was empty, then I sat it down. I wanted more, but I didn't want to ask, afraid that another helping would definitely bring up the bill. Instead I turned my attention to the bread, gobbling down every crumb. When that was done, I pushed the tray aside. The leprechaun disappeared behind the door. Shahnda was staring at me with an unreadable look in her golden eyes. When she saw me gazing back she turned her gaze to Alice for several long seconds. The room was potent with energy, but it was an undefined energy. Like when you walk into a crowded building with every person going in all directions.
“How do you feel? “ Shahnda walked toward me, touching my forehead. “You are a little warm. The doctor says that you are showing signs of infection. “ Her palm was cool and soft and I closed my eyes. There was a little growling noise, and Shahnda pulled her hand away, letting it drop to my wrist. “Pulse is a little fast.” Her smile was instant.
“I feel like shit.” I sighed and started to rub my own forehead with two fingers. “I want to go home.”
Shahnda patted my shoulder. “What is home?”
Without waiting for the answer, she took the cart and headed out of the room.
The gaping silence that followed lasted for a few minutes until I couldn't take it a moment longer. “I miss my lap top. It's so quiet. Could at least have a tv…”
Alice put her hands in her pockets and sat in the chair. “That's what you like to do?”
Surprised at the casual tone in her voice, I shrug and leaned back in the bed. “That and other things… I like taking pictures.” I smiled at that, and look how my hobby turned out?
“You have a nice smile.”
I swallowed a moment and reached for the glass of water by the bed. It trembled a little as I brought it to my lips. “Uh… thank you” I said. I didn't want to look like an idiot, so I put the cup down and reached for the bag. Inside was underwear, still in the package an obviously new pair of jeans, and a simple shirt with a v neckline. “Thank you for this.”
“I would have got your own clothes for you, but the address on your license isn't valid. “ Alice shifted in her seat and I could tell she was one of those people who couldn't sit still.
I shrugged. “Burned down… I had to start over. Changing my license was the least of my problems.”
“You have any family?”
“No, do you?”
“Yes… do you have a lover? “
My hands gripped the bag a little tightly, and I put it on the table. “No, not for a while.”
“About that kiss… “
“What about it?”
“Sheesh would you just quiet a moment?”
“Don't tell me to shut up.”
Alice paused at my sentence and suddenly smiled widely. Yes, now there was the confident bravado I liked about her. She stood and crossed the distance quickly with those legs of hers, then she sat down on the bed and looked down at me.
“Your mom had her hands full with you.”
Her lips looked soft.. She smelled good, like soap and cologne... something light and watery. I couldn't stare at her eyes too much it was like falling in, so I gazed at her throat instead. It was soft too… a little scar just above her collar bone. I wanted to lick that scar…
“No” I cleared my throat. “I was a good girl.”
Her fingers danced over my hand and rested there. “Why don't you look me in the eye?”
I swallowed, licked my lips. “Why is there a leprechaun guarding my door?”
I thought the question would distract her. Instead her fingers traced little circles over my hands. “The ghoul I killed, was very powerful… Word on the underside is that there is a hit on me now.”
The sensation of her fingertips on my hands felt soothing, but also stirring. It was like my heart started to quicken with each stroke of her thumbs. “Yeah… but it's not on me.. So I don't need protection.”
“They don't know your name, but they will find out. They'll want to make an example of you.” She leaned forward.
My eyes riveted to the white tank top. The teasing bit of flesh above it. “Me? No way…”
“You are so stubborn… look at me. “
I was already throbbing, in my chest, across the skin, between my thighs, heavy and throbbing. Her breathing seemed to intensify too. This was crazy, to desire a person sure but… the intensity was just too… to different. My nipples hardened beneath the hospital gown. I could feel them brush painfully against the slightly rough material.
Her mouth found my neck. I would not have stopped her if I could. I was sinking, and sinking fast. “Goddess I can smell you…“ Her breath flushed across my skin and I cried out. It was like trying to fight the tide. You had to keep up the stroke or eventually you would get pulled under. Every time I thought to pull back, her mouth would press against my skin and I would respond with another soft whimper.
I put my hands on her chest, as if to push away. Instead, my fingers sank into the fabric of her shirt and held on.
“Look.. at me.. “
The compelling was too strong then, and I obeyed. I looked up. Her eyes were glowing, a kaleidoscope of shades of blue. I stared, marveling at them, and then I began to feel as if I'd fall in. They were pulling me. Her irises began to pulse, like the beating of a heart, and I found that my heart began to change rhythm to it. I felt light headed, giddy, and frightened at the same time. Then I grew flushed with an intense heat, it burned my skin, sent goose bumps down my spine.. I closed my eyes. …
“Kit…” Her voice released on a long sigh, as if she'd been holding her breath.
Her lips pressed on mine, like fireworks popping, her tongue exploded into my mouth, and I let her in, I sucked her tongue, stroked with with mine and she responded in kind, sending new tremors of energy through me with each pull. I moaned in my throat, I tore at her shirt. Her hands began to kneed my breasts, and I felt a new rush of dampness coat my thighs. I'd never wanted anyone so much in my life..
She growled, and her mouth traveled down my chin and throat..
That's when the door opened.
“Stop mauling the patient officer Shennedan or we're going to have a problem!”
I stiffened, at Shahnda's words, but Alice did not stop. If anything she seemed to grow intense, and I began to sink under the pull. She tore off the hospital blanket, her hands moved to the hem of my hospital gown.. then Shahnda muttered the magic words that made Alice stop.
“You're going to hurt her!”
Like someone had dashed cold water onto a hot iron, I saw Alice stiffen, she looked down at me, the glow slowly dispersing from her eyes, and for a moment, she seemed infinitely sad, before she slowly backed away from me. She stood from the bed and I groaned at the sudden loss of her warmth. I looked at her in the eyes, and she must have read something there because she sighed wistfully and looked away.
Shahnda clucked softly and began to adjust my blankets. “You two, flying at each other like nymphs in heat… “ Shahnda hissed at Alice in that unusual watery dialect. Whatever she said made Alice pale, look at me, then leave the room.
“Aww what you go and do that for!” I don't know what had come over me, but the moment Alice was out of that door I could feel something inside of me stretch away, like a piece of me was firmly tethered to her. I wanted to follow her. Apart of me felt suddenly lonesome.
“Oh don't worry she'll be back that one. She's just going to work off the steam.” Shahnda pushed me back into the pillows. “I can give you some more medicine now. Doctor Torq has contacted one of his colleagues who know everything about your kind.” She produced a syringe from her pocket and injected it into my IV. Instantly my eyes began to flutter. The growing seconds away from Alice was starting to become annoying anyway, so I was happy to lose myself in slumber. Before I was completely asleep I heard Shahnda mutter.
“I don't believe her anyway, trying to perform the bonding ritual in a hospital bed! That fey bond must be powerful in you two….”
Over the next few days I grew stronger. The odd doctor returned. It was weird to have him examine me. It wouldn't have been possible if Shahnda wasn't there every time. Honestly I wasn't sure if the woman ever went home, when I woke up in the early morning, needing a drink, she was there. When I got out of the bed to crawl to the bathroom, she was there too.
I had a fever my second day there. All I remember was that I was in and out of consciousness, and then there was Alice . She'd fade in and out of my dreams, like a flickering of candle light. She'd whisper words in that watery language of hers, smelling so good… I felt warmed, and then I would feel cold again.
On the third day the fever broke, and I was instructed to drink plenty of water. My wounds were starting to itch and it was a pain in the ass not to scratch, but I kept from doing it by distracting myself with my lap top, which magically appeared. I assumed maybe Alice ? More days passed, and she never showed.
Then came the day when I could be released. I'd been in the hospital a full week, and I knew I should be grateful for the attentive care, yet I was afraid. Alice told me there was a bounty on my head, would I get hunted down? What if I contacted the human authorities? Surely they could put me under some witness protection thing…
I showered using the silver handled attachment in the bathroom. When I wet my hair it tends to get frizzy unless I put some sort of product in it. When I told Shahnda that, she produced a clear liquid that smelled faintly of flowers for me to use. I put a little of it on the ends of my hair, then toward the top, using my fingers to direct the curls. I didn't have much faith in the product; at least I smelled nice. I dressed in the clothes Alice left for me. They fit well enough, though I was never proud of that muffin top thing that tends to happen when I wear fitted jeans. I examined myself in the mirror, wishing I could have lost a few pounds through my ordeal. Genetics are a pain in the ass. Shahnda tapped on the door and I sighed, shook my head, and left the restroom. She had a wheelchair for me. Which was a blessing since I couldn't stay on my feet too long; I sat down in it and allowed her to wheel me out of the room. The halls of the hospital were unusually painted as well. It was painted a light shade of grey, with runes painted in a deep blue on each section. There was one painted on my door too. I asked Shahnda what they meant and she said it was to keep some of the more unruly patients in line. Hmm… perhaps I should not have asked…
I expected a set of clear doors, like you see in most hospitals, I should have known better. There was no door. Only a wall, that looked like it was moving… You know how the fog sometimes creeps across the ground early in the morning? Imagine that floating in front of a wall. As Shahnda started to wheel me toward the damn thing, I started to panic. “What the hell?!” I tried to get out of the chair, and when Shahnda saw the awful look of surprise on my face, she paused. “That's the exit Miss Larsen. It's perfectly safe. Officer Sunnyshore is waiting for you on the other side. He's going to take you some place safe.” She squeezed my shoulder gently. “Perhaps when this is all over you can come back for a visit? I seldom meet such interesting people.” I gave the strange golden eyed woman a look of surprise. “I'm not at all interesting, why would you….AHHH!” She used the opportunity to push me through the wall. It felt like moving though jelly. Not sticky, just a weird, slimy jelly. Then we were on the other end and we were on the street. It was dark except for one lone light and I turned around to see where I came. What I saw was a storage shed. It looked like a simple storage shed in the middle of nowhere…
There was a little black car parked in front of me, and the leprechaun was leaning against it. He nodded to me and opened the door.
“Good luck” Shahnda whispered in my ear, “try not to get into anymore trouble.”
What else could I do? I frowned, eased myself from the chair, and got into the vehicle. When the leprechaun got in the car he didn't say anything, just started the engine and sped out onto the street. There were two things I realized at once, first, I had no idea where I was, second, this guy could drive! “Uh.. you mind slowing down? Everything is starting to get fuzzy.” I squirmed on the seat, trying to find a comfortale position, the leather made it difficult.
“This isn't what your folk are used to. It's an enchanted car. No one can see us.” His words were sharp and I couldn't help to think that perhaps leprechauns were known as tricksters in legend cuz they were natural assholes….
“Ok so you won't get a ticket… I don't want to lose my breakfast. Where are we going?”
He reached up to the ceiling, and I noticed for the first time a series of little buttons there. He pressed three and the windows blacked out completely. “better ?”
“Uh… thanks.” I wasn't really thankful yet I figure he did solve the problem… I just had hoped to see where we were headed.
“You don't worry yourself with the details. We're going to a safe house. Shennedan made special arrangements for you. It's a little beyond the call of duty, yet it's none of my business so I'll let her risk her badge for this… She has family money, I need my retirement. I've got three children and one on the way and she could have a dozen…” He was talking too fast and his unusual accent was starting to get on my nerves.
“Officer Shennedan… Alice . You needn't worry you will stay with her sister. “
I wrapped my arms around myself. “Can't you just you know… Put me in the slums somewhere?”
To this the leprechaun laughed. “No, not you; Shennedan has a special interest in ye. Anyhow Odette is the best protection ye could hope for. I assure ye. She's a spirit warrior as well. Shes the best protection next to Shennedan… I'm surprised she didn't ask her brother, Rothe… Ah well Rothe is known as a lady's man she probably didn't want ta risk et.”
“Sister… “ I mumbled to myself. Like I needed another Alice near me. God I hope Alice was the hot one. Not that I make a habit of throwing myself at people, no matter how hot. Maybe Odette was straight…
I must have dozed off; all I remember was waking up to a firm hand shaking my shoulder. I jumped a little and groaned. “Why do you leprechauns have to be so rude?”
“They don't like to be called leprechauns.” The reply was unexpected, because the voice was smooth and melodic; definitely feminine.
I opened my eyes and gazed into a pair of dark, ebony orbs. They were rimmed in heavy lashes. Dark hair was pulled up and away from the woman's face, revealing her features to be delicate, offsetting her dusky skin. “I'm Odette Shennedan.” She smiled revealing even, if a little sharp teeth. “Here, let me help you out of the car.”
It was strange to find myself practically lifted from my seat. The seat made a funny squeaking sound and to my embarrassment. My hair had dried, and I couldn't see it very well, hopefully it wasn't sticking on end… Odette seemed even taller than Alice , with a leaner physique beneath the sleek gown she wore. It was a purple color, satiny and elegant. She was definitely feminine where her sister was not. All though she was definitely beautiful, I did not stir with instant desire like I did with Alice , I mentally thanked the powers of heaven for that. “Thanks” I said, after realizing I was being a little rude, “I'm Kit, Kit Larsen. This ah… a nice place you have here.” As I looked around I realized it was a very nice place. There were two Greek style pillars leading to the porch that led to the door, and upon looking at the driveway, I realized we were in the back of the house, no MANSION. It was a good two stories, and looked to have a third story attic, I am not good at architecture yet it had a Victorian feel to it. It was evening, and so the color of the place was muted, yet I guessed it to be comprised mostly of a reddish brick color, with brown trimming around the windows. I was led through a set of white doors, and into a narrow hallway that was lined with doors and a small staircase to the right.
“Perhaps we should take the lift considering your injuries.” Odette nodded in my direction. I was keenly aware that she did not let go of my elbow, which she'd latched on to when I left the car. She smelled of soft powder. It was a nice, clean smell, not as sophisticated as the expensive perfume I would have imagined she wore. Perhaps there was more than met the eye with this one.
“Lift?” I frowned. “I can manage the stairs. You don't have to make any special accommodations for me.”
“It was installed in the twenties. Some would call it an elevator, yet considering it only goes up one level it seems like overstating when you call it that.” She pointed to a door at the end of the all and I realized that it wasn't a usual door. There was a little glowing button on top.
“Oh, well alright then” I said lamely.
The room I was led to was cozy. The blanket on the bed was a hand stitched quilt. The curtains on the windows were simple cream colored, with little pink roses on them. The walls themselves were papered in a pale yellow, offsetting the dark furniture. Which consisted of a cherry desk, bed frame, and nightstand; it was like walking into the past.
I was in love at first sight.
“This room shares a bathroom with the next room over.” Odette gestured with her hand, giving me the opportunity to relinquish myself from her grip on my arm.
It was then that I realized how much she was holding me up. I felt light headed and tired. Slowly I shuffled to the bed and sat down. “It's beautiful.”
“Are you well?” She placed a hand on my knee. I wasn't really used to being touched, and it was starting to feel strange to get touched so much in the past days. “Perhaps you need something to eat? Dinner should be ready. I could have someone bring you up a plate. We keep a minimal staff here. Someone to clean the place and someone to cook the meals, my sister and I are independent… Though, she chooses to express her independence questionably.”
I rubbed my forehead. “I'd appreciate dinner. Uh… thanks for this. I should be out of your hair soon.” I looked up, catching her eye and she smiled.
“You have no idea; it is I who should thank you.”
She left me with a big fat question mark on my forehead.
The person who brought me dinner reminded me that the people I had come to stay with were not human. She was taller than me, about five six, with pale hair the color of corn silk. The unusual thing about her was that her skin was coated in a thin layer of gold fur. She had long whiskers next to her cat like nose, and her eyes were wide and very green. Oh, wonderful, a cat woman.
I was dosing on the bed, still fully clothed when she'd tapped on the door. When I indicated she could come in. She brought in a little push cart with a covered tray next to the bed. I was sitting up by then, and I was certain she saw my mouth drop when I saw her. I was too shocked to scream. She was dressed in a simple pair of slacks with a well fitted, collared white shirt. Her tail lashed out playfully behind her. Her kitty ears perked as she nodded to me and smiled, using teeth that where sharp and needle like.
“Hello Miss Larsen, I am called Amara. I was told to bring you some dinner.” She lifted the lid to the plate, revealing a steaming baked potato with a steak the size of my fist. It was thick cut and well done. Another tray revealed broccoli and bread with butter. There was also a slice of pie and a pitcher of cool tea. “If there is anything you don't like just let me know and I'll tell cook. “ Amara purred softly and took a step back.
I was unfamiliar with steak. I never recall eating it. I picked up a napkin and set it in my lap. “Ah… thanks.” Wow, my vocabulary took a nose dive since I entered this house, I thought.
“You are really human?” Amara had not moved from her position behind the tray. I was starting to feel a little rude, eating in front of her.
“Yeah… mostly I guess, hey you wanna eat some of this? I can't eat it all. Here have the pie.”
Amara blinked a few times, and then smiled, sitting next to me. She took the pie and bit into it, holding it in her hand. It looked to be a lemon cream pie.. I could hear her purring deeply as she licked her lips and took another bite. “Now I know why you are Alisande's true intended; you are both good.”
I coughed a bit on a piece of roll and took a sip of tea to clear my throat. “What? Who is Alisande?” I forked a bit of the meat and, satisfied it wasn't bleeding, took the bite.
“ Alice … I forget she changed her name.” The cat woman giggled and licked her fingers. Her pie slice was scarfed in a matter of seconds. Raising my brows I pushed the roll basket her way. She didn't partake only shook her head and stood. “I should go back down to the kitchen and tell Gretchin what I know.. I will be back for the dishes in a little while.” She nodded and was gone.
When I finished my meal I thought having a nice hot shower would be wonderful, except I didn't have a change of clothes. With a sigh, I pulled off my jeans and snuggled under the thick blanket. It was snug and warm. It reminded me of home, and inadvertently, of the fire.
In one night I'd lost everything. Family, home, and a solid foundation; in one night I'd become suddenly and irrevocably alone.
When I opened my eyes I realized it was dark. There was a little bit of moonlight streaming from the curtains, lighting the room very thinly with an eerie glow. I crawled out of the bed, noting the lights had been turned off and the tray and dishes gone, as Amara had promised. I could feel my muscles in my abdomen pulling a little as I hobbled along, but I made it to the window and fumbled the latch to open, letting the cool night air in.
There was a courtyard below, as this room was situated in the back of the house, and I could see where there was a garden outside. Rose bushes maybe? Were alit under the moonlight, and two figures stood talking to one another. I couldn't catch the conversation, I was still too far away, but the darker one pointed toward me and I panicked, turning to hide behind the curtain.
I noticed then the lighter one stepped from beside the darker one, following the finger. It was obviously Odette and Alice. What were they saying? They were talking about me. I wanted to know what they were saying but I didn't have super hearing nor did I have an ability to go invisible and sneak over there.
With a sigh I resigned myself to the fact that I would be oblivious and went to the closet. That's when I noticed my own clothes were hanging up in there. Surprised, I went over to the dresser and pulled out the drawers. Sure enough my bras, underwear, and sleep wear lined the drawers.
“Good..” I sighed with relief, and then I pulled out a change of clothing. Shahnda told me it was now ok to get wet, but still not a good idea for a bath. A hot shower sounded like heaven.
My skin was still steaming when I stepped back into the bedroom, now clothed in a pair of soft pjs with little red hearts all over them. It had been a gift from my mom, which I cherished, even if there were holes starting to form under the arm pits and on the seams of the legs.
“I can't believe this is happening.”
I stopped, mid stride, then tip toed over to my door. Someone was in the hallway, and apparently they weren't alone. It didn't take long to realize it was Odette and Alice. Odette's smoothe, melodic, voice was so calm, it was almost to hard to hear through the door.
“When the calling comes, it just happens, you cannot avoid it.” Her voice took on a chiding tone. “Sister.. I am only grateful it happened to you first. With a human! Of all people.”
A sigh… and then Alice 's voice sounded pained. “Humans are more vulnerable. She'll need protection. I'm three steps from getting my own ass killed. .. This has to be a joke.”
“You said it yourself. You can barely resist her. What's stopping you from going into that room and claiming her for yourself?”
“Hm.. maybe the fact that I could break her bones with a careless flick of the wrist? Or maybe the fact that three days ago she had a raging fever that could have taken her out right then.. “
“You make it sound like humans are weak.” Odette's tone was hard now.
“Aren't they?” Alice said angrily. “Aren't they weak?”
I don't know but I was suddenly hurt, and offended, but more hurt than anything. They were looking at me like I was completely helpless. Like I was somehow unworthy for whatever reason… it hurt because it was Alice saying these things.
“well you could just not bond with her. Go out get the bad guys, then send her back to her world.”
If Alice was going to respond to Odette I wouldn't know. I was fired up enough that my ears burned and my heart pounded in my chest. I threw the door open and strode out into the hallway. “Nobody asked YOU for anything! You could have just left me at the damn bar. Let the ‘human' doctors take care of me! Or you could just let me go into protective custody. I don't NEED to be here! That was all you!”
Both fae were staring at me as if I'd grown two horns and six inches. I didn't care. “If humans are so weak then why do WE have the run of the world? Why don't you fae and leprechauns and whatever just show yourselves to the world? Or are you afraid of us? You know what? I didn't ask for this either so I'm just going to go somewhere.” In all my bravado I didn't count to lose my strength as I began to walk away. I got about five feet before I had my hand on the wall and was leaning against it. I felt someone's hand against me, but I shook it off and took another two steps, before the hand clasped firmly on my arm and held me still. I tried to break free, but that arm was like solid steel, and I looked up at Odette who had a sharp, unreadable look on her face.
“You're going to be hurt. Come, you should be resting. I apologize for anything you might have heard, there was truly no offense intended.”
Embarrassing tears filled my eyes. What was I thinking that Alice actually liked me? That she couldn't resist my charms? No, there was more to it, something I didn't understand, and Alice despised her attraction to me, she could have said as much. “Let me go. I want to go home” I whispered the words. I felt pathetic…
Odette's grip slacked and she pulled her hand away. “I'm afraid that's not possible. You may stay here as long as you wish, but if you would rather, I can call headquarters and arrange a new location for you to go to… It is probably more convenient for you to stay here, but it will be your decision. “
I closed my eyes so I didn't have to look at her. “You're all so damned beautiful it hurts. “ I moaned dejectedly. “Okay… Okay I'll just stay in the room, out of everyone's hair and tomorrow, tomorrow you can take me somewhere.. I don't care.” I turned, and in spite of Odette's offered arm, I made a point to hobble back to the room myself and shut the door behind me. That's where I leaned against it, to take a few breaths.
“I think you need to leave.” Odette barked at her sister.There was a muffled noise, and then the soft padding of feet going in the opposite direction. I assumed she was leaving.
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