I won’t be posting today due to celebrating with family but I will post 2 next week!!
Amber and some other amazing authors are participating in a Smashwords sale. You can even get Keys for free!
See, I didn’t abandon it…just a little. LOL! I will definitely be revamping this story before it’s published but until then we will chug along to its final ending. We are up to almost 19k words…and still so much to learn.
“Magic is claiming you,” Criss whispered in his ear.
“What does that mean?” Despite having read a lot of fae lore in his life, nothing had covered the event of one claiming a member of the family. Most fae rituals weren’t mentioned in regular books. The fae were a secretive race and Finn had to learn as he went along.
“It means you have all the privileges of a royal without the responsibility,” Criss replied.
“Hmm.” Life had taught Finn if things sounded too good, they were. Before he could continue the discussion a gold ball sized ball of yellow energy slammed into him. Pain. Sharp, piercing, can’t-catch-his-breath pain engulfed Finn from head to foot radiating out of the point of entry.
Finn pressed a hand to his chest, gasping to regain the air in his lungs. Shallow pants were the deepest breath he could acquire. He didn’t realized he was clutching onto Criss until a soft pained breath puffed against his ear. Unable to speak he released his tight grip and patted the injured space. His chest squeezed and Finn had to turn all his attention breathing and trying not to throw up.
The air glowed, a kaleidoscope of color surrounded him. Finn blinked rapidly, trying to get his eyes to focus. They kept wandering left, then right in flickering looks as he couldn’t decipher what he was seeing. “What’s happening,” he pushed out between his lips, bare puffs of wasted breath.
Amon pulled him out of Criss’s arms and cradled him close. The heat of the fae’s body soothed anxiety Finn had barely acknowledged. “Shh, we’ll get you through this then we’ll explain everything.”
Finn managed a slight nod, far shallower than he wanted to offer, however moving his head caused his vision to swim even worse. He regretted the little he did move it.
“Easy.” Amon kneeled beside him and began massaging the back of Finn’s head where it met his neck. “I’ve got you. There is no hurry to get back up.”
When did he lay down? Memories went a bit hazy after the magical punch of power slammed into him. He still couldn’t breath properly. He blinked up at Amon, once again unable to express his needs
“He will be fine,” the king announced from across the room where he towered over them.
“What happened to him?” Criss asked the question Finn also longed to know the answer of.
“He got his inheritance.” The king watched Finn with and emotionless expression. “Now we will wait to see what he will receive.”
“What talents you acquire through ritual adoption,” Amon translated.
He hoped his eyes conveyed his thanks because the words weren’t coming out any time soon.
“Put him to bed. We will talk in the morning,” King Eohric ordered.
Before he could figure out how his body worked Amon lifted Finn in a bridal hold, surprisingly avoiding placing undue pressure on Finn’s wings.
“I could take him,” Criss commented.
“I already have him. You can get all the doors. Where do we take him?” Amon asked the king.
“The royal wing. Ask one of the servants in the hall. Everyone knows where I was going to put him,” the king replied.
Criss bowed low, Amon nodded, and Finn concentrated on my puking all over everyone’s shoes. Taking advantage of the situation Finn wrapped an arm around Amon’s neck and cuddled in close. If he was going to be carried like a damsel-in-distress then he was going to milk it for all it was worth. He didn’t know if he liked Amon in the romantic way but it was never a bad situation when you got to hold a gorgeous man close.
No one spoke until they exited the ritual room and Criss caught the attention of a young lady carrying a duster. After a short conversation they were back on their way. When they reached a staircase Finn offered to walk but stopped after the glare he received.
“It is my honor to carry you, my prince,” Amon said.
Finn sighed over the address but smiled when the air in his lungs didn’t hurt. “Thank you.”
He didn’t meet the eye of anyone they passed. Word of him being carried through the castle would spread faster than wildfire but there was nothing he could do about it. He would have to pick his battles. Finn rested his cheek against Amon’s warm chest. He’d been in worse predicaments with less benefit.
After he rested Finn vowed to investigate what this royalty gig meant to him. Did it tie him to the realm or would he be free to return home after he got used to his wings and strange power? Whatever that turned out to be. Too many things were spiraling out of his control. Nothing had gone according to plan since he’d been given the serum and his detective instincts were screaming at him to look into the fae deaths.
“Here we go.” Criss opened a door to reveal a large, luxurious bed-chamber even bigger then the one he’d been assigned in the light kingdom. A large sitting area with comfortable couches and low tables were all done in beautiful wood tones and lush fabrics. Two doors were on the opposite side of the room.
“Wow.” Finn spoke before he could catch himself.
“It is impressive,” Amon agreed, “almost worthy of a prince.”
“We haven’t seen the bed yet.” Amon’s heated look shut Finn up.
“This way.” Criss headed for the door on the left. He opened it and peeked inside. “Yep. This one.”
Amon carried Finn through the door. Inside sat the biggest bed Finn had ever seen.
“How many people are invited to this orgy?” Finn blurted out. A blush crossed his face.
Criss flashed a wicked grin. “At least three.”
More stories of unexpected mates!
When Adrian decides to steal his mate away for some alone time, their fun getaway is ruined by the caretaker’s murder. Things only get worse when the killer turns his sights on them.
More Than Pride
Some lions need two mates to soothe the savage beast.
Chester came to the pride house to infiltrate their tight-knit group. Will he endanger his life and that of his family in the name of love? And will Evin be able to leave the owl shifters in his crazy brother’s hands as the owls seek to take over pride territory?
Protecting His Pride
When a bleeding lion shifter collapses in the alley outside his restaurant, Garret Halcon discovers the one thing missing in his life was love.
Overcoming His Pride
Andrew never expected love to come to him.
Andrew Everett has had horrible luck in love. His wife left him with a baby then years later his second relationship ended with his girlfriend turning into a psychopath. Imagine his surprise when two wren shifters decide to keep him.
Here is the list of winners. Please email Sheri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you won a gift card, please key Sheri know what email you use with Amazon. If you won a Gears prize pack, please send your mailing address.
$50 Amazon gift card
$25 Amazon gift card
$10 Amazon gift card
$5 Amazon gift card
Gears Prize Packs
It is the last day of November. How did the time pass so quickly? The goal of this month for me was to get back into the practice of writing and from that perspective I was successful. Maybe next year I can invite back all of my author friends 🙂
I will continue my slow story posting into December and longer if necessary. I will post at least twice a week if not more often so I don’t lose my momentum. To finish off November let’s have a contest!
$25.00 Amazon gc for one lucky winner. To enter tell me what your goals are for next year. Not new years resolutions but genuinely what you’d like to get done in the new year. I’d like to finish my Moon Pack Series!
The walk with the king took them through halls of soaring ceilings and unimaginable luxury. Gold gleamed off door handles and gems caught the sunlight from their spots embedded in the walls. It was like walking through a dragon horde. He eyed the king to verify he was more birdlike than dragon.
“Something wrong?” Eohric asked.
“No. Just trying to understand the difference between the two kingdoms.” That was partially correct at least.
“Hmm. There is only surface difference between us. Tatiana lives in the air and light but underneath the shiny gloss of good press is a pit of deceit darker than the darkest fae. Never trust the glow of the light they use it to bedazzle you from their flaws.
Amon made a soft noise as if he wanted to disagree but didn’t dare.
Eohric cast a glare in his direction but didn’t engage. He smoothly continued his lecture. “The dark, on the other hand, welcomes our darkness and display it for the world to see. We might be monsters, but we are honest monsters all the same. We do not bother with pretty lies.”
Finn nodded along to the king’s blatantly biased speech, but didn’t refute anything. From Eohric’s perception he was completely correct. The walked on in silence before stopping before a pair of enameled doors. Across the surface a great tree stood, shining like a beacon. “This is where we will test your blood.” Eorhic’s vicious grin didn’t reassure Finn on any level.
He gathered the tatters of his resolve to ask the needed question. “What will I have to do?”
Eohric shoved open the doors. “Stand there, look pretty, and bleed.”
Amon grabbed his arm as if sensing Finn was seconds from fleeing and chancing it in the other realm. Maybe he should quit being a cop and examine careers in dental assistance. A cop’s life wasn’t agreeing with him any longer.
“Easy, my sweet” Amon whispered in his ear. “Let’s find out your background before you try to escape.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Finn hadn’t tried to give an innocent look since he’d left his teens and from Amon’s amused expression it didn’t work anyway.
“Of course not,” Amon agreed.
Criss laughed behind them.
Finn tilted his chin up and ignored his annoying companions.
Eohric glanced over his shoulder. “Problem?”
“Nothing, your majesty.”
“Call me Eohric, Finn. We are kin of a kind and there is no formality between family.”
“As you wish,” Finn agreed easily. He wasn’t the best at formal greetings anyway. Best if he didn’t have to remember them.
“Don’t worry we’ll send you to etiquette training once we find out where you fit in the hierarchy.”
“Yeah.” Finn whispered.
The king gave another amused glance over his shoulder. Guess Finn wasn’t as quiet as he thought.
Finn allowed Amon to drag him to the middle of the room where the king waited by a stone altar.
“I’ve seen this movie before.” Finn dug in his heels pulling Amon to a stop beside him.
Eohric laughed. “If I’d known you were so amusing I would’ve looked for other king ages ago.”
“Glad to entertain,” Finn said dryly.
“Come, I have other things to do today,” Eohric demanded.
Unable to deny the powerful king, Finn approached the altar. The lack of bloodstains reassured him…a little. “What do I need to do?”
“Place your hand on the middle stone.”
Finn turned his attention to the details of the altar, tracing the individual stones with his right forefinger. The middle stone glowed a light amber.
“Press your palm right there.”
Finn nodded but kept his questions to himself. The king didn’t appear willing to share. Instead the royal appeared amused over Finn’s caution. Worries piled onto worries, but Finn took the plunge and pressed his hand where indicated.
At first nothing happened. Then the amber stone glowed brighter, a low hum building. It started quiet but gradually grew in both light and sound until Finn had to grit his teeth to stop the vibration and close his eyes to protect them from blindness.
A bell tolled, echoing through the room and crashing through him like an ocean wave. Finn blinked at the soft pop of sound followed by the light dimming to nothing.
“Lift your hand,” King Eohric commanded.
Finn snatched his hand from the altar. Words began to glow on the stone to his right. He couldn’t read the writing. He didn’t know the fae language.
“Hmm,” Eohric stared at the stone.
Criss gasped. “Wow.”
“What?” Finn looked from one man to the other. Neither were speaking.
“You are a child of my younger brother Dolan and a descendant of queen’s cousin Bedelia.” Your light connection is more distant than your dark one making you a member of my court. I, King Eohric, claim you, Finn Bronich, as my nephew may the goddess guide your footsteps.”
The words were barely out of his mouth when an otherworldly wind swirled around him.
Sigh! Don’t worry about inconsistencies, I’ll clean them all up before the final version 🙂
When he imagined what the dark fae kingdom would look like this wasn’t it. Finn watched as they approached a large castle with wide eyes. White stone glowed beneath the bright sun and flowering trees lined the street.
“Beautiful,” he whispered.
“It really is,” Criss agreed.
“Pfft it’s not as big as ours,” Amon scoffed.
Finn snorted. “Are you really going to argue over whose is bigger.”
Criss leered. “I’m sure there is more than one way to answer that question.”
A jolt of desire spiked through Finn. He licked his lips and grabbed onto his self-control with both hands. It had to be part of being fae. Before this he’d had a low sex drive not really craving the slide of skin against skin.
“Fae do have a stronger sex drive,” Criss said.
“Do they?” Finn scratched at his chin. “Wait, did you read my mind?”
“A little.” Criss’s predatory grin did little to make reassure him.
“For two men who don’t get along you don’t seem to have a problem ganging up on me.” Finn sulked. His emotions had been all around the place since the serum.
Criss squeezed Finn’s shoulder. “You’ll get used to being one of us.”
“I highly doubt it.” Finn raked his fingers through his hair and sighed. “I didn’t really think through the emotional changes.” Instead he had focused on the obvious physical transformation, especially the wings.
The carriage came to an abrupt halt. Before Finn could adjust to the change in motion the carriage door was yanked open. A man with bright blue hair and matching eyes offered them a cheery smile.
“Hello visitors,” he greeted them.
“Greetings Krane,” Criss called out to him.
“Welcome back, my lord. Lord Amon.” Krane bowed to both of the men in turn before turning his bright green eyes on Finn. “And who is this?”
“This is Finn. King Eohric is waiting for him.”
“Yes he is!” Krane’s excitement watched up even higher as if he had never done anything more exciting than meeting Finn. “Welcome Prince Finn.”
Finn didn’t get a chance to question the ‘prince’ thing. Criss had him by the arm and was pulling him out of the carriage. “Tell the king we are coming.” Criss addressed Krane.
“Right away.” Krane ran off into the castle.
“Now we can take our time.” Criss offered his arm.
Finn slid a hand around Criss’s arm. A spark shot from his palm into Criss’s arm. “Lead the way.”
Amon wrapped an arm around Finn’s shoulders on the opposite side. “Let’s go meet the king.”
Finn had an almost irresistible urge to sing “we are off to see the wizard” from The Wizard of Oz. He resisted, barely. Instead he let the powerful men on either side of him escort him to see the dark fae king.
The dark fae court was a different animal than the light court. It was more than different magic. The dark fae weren’t like the light fae with their almost human appearance. Instead there were many that didn’t resemble humans at all. Extra eyes, limbs, scales and feathers were not unusual features of the dark fae. It didn’t take away from them being living, intelligent people but it did take a little while to get used to.
He had approximately ten minutes before he was standing before the dark fae king. It took all his forbearance not to stare. The king had brilliant blue feathers crawling up his neck and framing his face. An almost peacock like iridescence had them shining beneath the sunlight filtering through the windows. His eyes were raptor yellow and held the keenest of a hawk not certain whether it should devour the prey before it or let it run away.
“Finn, royal fae, to greet his majesty,” Amon declared bowing low.
“Come closer.” Eohric waved one clawed hand beckoning Finn forward.
He had never experienced bone deep terror before. It wasn’t something he wanted to feel again. The quick gulping breath didn’t settle him like he had hoped. Setting his shoulders back, Finn took three slow, dragging steps forward until he stood at the bottom of the dais.
“Show me your wings,” the king commanded.
Before he could even think of them, his wings snapped out of his back as if they obeyed a higher power than the person who housed them beneath his flesh. Finn winced at the sting against his back.
“Beautiful. Not as pretty as mine of course, but quite respectable.” The king made a considering hum in the back of his throat as he surveyed Finn’s wings.
Finn bit his lip to hold back the dozens of sarcastic remarks begging to be spoken. He would probably only be able to speak a few before the king speared him with his sharp nails. A buffalo wouldn’t survive a kingly clawing.
To Finn’s consternation the king stood, towering over Finn. As the royal climbed down the steps Finn spied a set of even bigger claws in place of where humans would have feet. Finn would bet his shaky retirement plan that Eohric had ripped apart more than one enemy beneath both sets of claws.
Eohric towered over Finn seven feet of powerful, intimidating bird man. He flashed Finn a grin of razor-sharp teeth. “It’s always nice to meet more kin. Come we will discover how you fit into our world.”
Finn wasn’t completely convinced he belonged at all but he didn’t dare voice such words when the king appeared so pleased with himself. Instead he meekly followed the king and tried very hard for his face not to look as if he were going his death. He had to make friends with the royals or at least appear neutral to any conflict if he wanted to be let into the investigation into the fae deaths. Because despite the transformation Finn was still very much an investigator and he wanted more than anything to figure out what was going on in the fae kingdom, both of them. Determination washed away the grinding fear. He would survive this then he would make his way back home. He had his cat waiting for him.
Amon ushered them out of the hall. “We’ll finish eating in the dark fae court,” he whispered.
“Good idea.” Finn quickly agreed. Sitting down to eat where someone had been poisoned wouldn’t be a wise decision. He looked around but didn’t see the third fae. “Is Cian going with us?”
“No.” Amon placed a hand on Finn’s back to usher him down the proper corridor. “He has other duties to attend today.”
“All right. How are we getting there?” He didn’t know the ways of fae transport. Would they be teleporting or maybe another fairy circle?”
“To the carriages,” Criss piped up. “We will take them to the other kingdom.”
A bit of disappointment followed Finn as they walked. He had hoped for something esoteric not archaic. Still it wasn’t as if he were used to traveling by carriage. Shaken from the poisoning, he allowed the duo to get him out of there as fast as possible. The investigator part of him wanted to stay behind and find out what happened but the wiser half demanded he get the hell out of there before something else happened. He had only just transitioned into a fae, he didn’t want his next step to be a dead fae. It was no longer a nebulous idea that someone was targeting them. The real question was how they got the poison to the table. “It has to be an inside job,” he muttered.
“What?” Criss asked. He leaned closer to hear Finn. Scents of honeysuckle and mango drifted in the wind. Finn inhaled as if Criss had turned into the only source of oxygen.
“You smell amazing,” Finn whispered. He took another deep breath.
“Back off!” Amon hissed.
A smirk curved Criss’s mouth. “It’s not my fault he finds me irresistible.”
Finn too several more slow steps with Amon before his head cleared. “What happened?”
“Criss is wearing fae attractor cologne. It’s formulated to appeal to anyone with our genetics,” Amon said.
“Why would you do that?” Finn asked. An odd sense of betrayal pierced his heart as if he’d expected more from him. Since his change, Finn had been running on instinct. Right now he wanted to punch Criss for a scent that didn’t belong to him.
Criss raised an eyebrow at Finn. “I’ll have you know that I am not wearing a fae attractor. I only do that at the clubs. Finn finds my natural irresistible,” he bragged.
“Hmm, I think I can resist.” He didn’t tell them how hard resisting would be. The two men he was traveling with were unfairly handsome. Why couldn’t he travel with ugly guys or girls?”
“If we weren’t expected together I’d leave you to approach the dark court alone,” Criss said with an exaggerated huff. The humor in his eyes eased Finn’s anxiety that his escort had truly taken offense.
A bit of teasing hadn’t led to him being left alone.
“We’ll take this one.” Amon pointed to a gold tinted carriage with bright yellow horses attached to the front.
“Um, are those horses yellow, or am I seeing things?” After he spoke both of the horses turned green.
Criss laughed. “They are fae horses. They change colors.”
“Oh.” Finn relaxed. At least he wasn’t hallucinating. With all the changes in his DNA he wouldn’t be the least surprised to learn he was seeing things.
Amon patted him kindly on the shoulder. “Don’t stress. You aren’t the first person to not know what they are.”
“Maybe the first fae,” Criss teased.
Before Finn could retaliate Criss opened the carriage door and slid inside.
“Who’s going to drive this thing?” Finn asked as he climbed up the carriage steps.
“Drive it?” Amon asked as he joined them.
“Yeah, steer it to where it needs to go.”
“No one. They only go between courts, they drive themselves.” Criss patted the seat beside him. “Come sit here. You might get nauseous if you sit backwards.”
Finn glanced at Amon who nodded. “All right, thank you.”
Criss offered a salacious grin. “Trust me darling, I don’t bite.”
“Uh huh. Sorry if I don’t believe you.” Finn dubiously eyed Criss’s sharp-toothed smile.
“Well not out of the bedroom at least,” Criss amended.
Amon kicked Criss who sat across from him. “Behave.”
“That’s asking a lot for a dark fae,” Criss frowned and rubbed his shin.
“How long does it take to go from one kingdom to another,” Finn intervened hoping to derail another argument.
“An hour. There are small portals that transfer us from one kingdom to another. They are interlinking across the realm. The carriages all have a portal activators on the top to trigger them.”
Sounded more electronic than magical but Finn kept his opinion to himself. This realm was much different than the one he had been living in. As he opened his mouth to ask further questions the carriage took off. They raced forward not unlike a race car taking off or an amusement ride, slow and steady with fast acceleration. It made Finn consider whether there was some time as well as distance magic happening here.
For the first time since becoming fully fae, Finn leaned back to simply enjoy the adventure. First was the meeting with the fae king, then he had to investigate an attempted murder.
Sorry I didn’t get a story out today. I’ll post a longer one tomorrow. The story is a bit derailed but I’ll persevere! To make up let’s run a contest!
$25.00 GC to Amazon for a random contest participant if you answer the question of which is your favorite Moon Pack character!
Hugs all around.