They traveled for at least half an hour before the limo stopped outside a forested area.
Finn checked his phone for the time but the screen was blank. “Where are we?”
“Faerie portal,” Amon said.
The trio exited the limo and Finn followed after. Trees surrounded them on all sides like protective sentries. They traipsed across dead leaves and through thick foliage. Birds squawked at their passing and more than one squirrel scattered as they approached. Finn’s palms began to sweat and his shoulders ached from the new unfamiliar weight pressing down on him.
“It’s not much further,” Amon reassured him.
The fae’s rich voice soothed the tense knot building in Finn’s stomach. Out of the three fae, Amon calmed him the most. Something about his aura reached out and wrapped a blanket of peace around Finn. He briefly fought against this effect but after a few minutes, he realized Amon didn’t do it on purpose, it was something that emitted naturally from him. Intent on his thoughts Finn almost ran into Amon when he stopped a few inches ahead of him.
He stumbled to a stop. For a detective it took an embarrassingly large amount of time to notice the enormous fairy ring formed in the meadow ahead of him. “Is it true that one of these will transport us to the land of the fae?” Dozens of fairy tales warned of interacting with a fairy circle.
“Only if you are fae and know how to pulse it with power. The most it will do to a human is make them drowsy and maybe a curse or two,” Amon flashed him a sexy grin.
It would be completely unprofessional to pounce on the gorgeous man in front of him. Finn had to remind himself of the fact each time Amon gave him any attention.
“Take my hand.” Amon held out his hand palm up.
It took Finn a few minutes to battle the many dirty replies dancing on his tongue. Instead he placed his hand on Amon’s and allowed him to escort him to the fairy circle where the others were already waiting.
“If you are done flirting, let’s get on with this,” Prince Oisin snapped.
“Yes, your highness.” As soon as they entered the circle Amon dropped Finn’s hand to crouch down in the middle of the grass.
Finn wiggled his fingers as if trying to acclimate to the emptiness in his heart from the lack of contact. Weird. It must be from the serum, this sudden need to touch someone. Was it only Amon or any fae? Eyeing the other two men, he decided not to test it.
Amon muttered some words in a lyrical language and light-infused the circle blinding Finn. When his sight cleared again he was in an entirely different meadow outside of an enormous castle. Flags flew from the turrets and the sounds of people talking filled the air. Finn’s ears rang from the change from silent forest to a prosperous city.
“Where are we now?” Finn hoped his world would stop spinning soon, at least long enough for him to figure things out.
“At the light queen’s castle.”Amon hooked a hand around Finn’s arm. “Let’s go make the introduction, shall we?”
“I’m not exactly dressed to greet royalty,” Finn complained pointing at his outfit.
“That won’t matter, not with those wings,” Prince Oisin said.
Finn couldn’t determine if his tone was positive or not. He decided to brush it off and allowed Amon to drag him along.
“What’s the queen’s name?”
“Tatianna, not the original one that Shakespeare spoke about. This one is only a few hundred years old. It’s her great-great-aunt who was the original.”
“Huh.” Finn didn’t know how to respond to that.
They passed through the castle gates without challenge. He had to blink several times to make sure it wasn’t his vision going wonky. The fae liked their color, and by like he meant they rolled around in it and challenged combinations of them to match. If he continued to watch the girl with silver and orange curls wearing a purple jumpsuit he might go blind.
“The fae like nothing more than to show off to each other,” Amon commented in a low voice as they passed a man with a shirt made of transparent crystals that shimmered as he walked. He winked at Finn as he passed, giving close attention to his wings.
“You’ll want to be careful who you trust. Many fae will do whatever they can to get close to the royals. You are fresh blood.”
“Great.” He felt like a tiny mouse in a pit of vipers.
They traversed hall after hall. His escorts nodded and exchanged greetings with all manner of fae. The only thing that didn’t change were the piercing looks or the way everyone was brushed off by the trio surrounding him. Even the prince refused to say more than an announcement was forthcoming. Finn was intensely curious of what they were going to announce and how much they were willing to share.
Did he even still have a job? With fae being murdered maybe he could work as a go-between. If people were going to be staring at him anyway maybe he could subtly feel around for which of them might be a killer. With how bloodthirsty the fae were that could be a challenging assignment in itself.