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The Children of the Sidhe Novellas
The Sidhe dwindle. Slow to breed and quick to war, the ages have worn away their numbers. An old enemy threatens Otherworld, fearsome in numbers and in newfound magic. The Sidhe’s unloved part-human children strewn about the mortal world are suddenly their greatest source of hope.
Hazel Fintan is the reluctant daughter of the Irish love god, Aengus. As much as she loves the Sidhe lifestyle, she’s never cared for her father’s world, especially its men. So who could expect her to be happy when she’s drawn into a conflict with a legendary race over an impossible tribute? The tribute may be what brought them together, but Ian MacIlroy knows destiny when it stares him in the face with stunning green eyes and a gorgeous smile. Now he has a new mission. Hazel will be his, at any cost. And the cost could be high when Otherworld's enemies are denied what they seek.
Getting her oil changed wasn’t exactly Hazel’s idea of a fun chore for Friday afternoon, but the sixteen-year-old drooling over her made it nearly unbearable this time. Literally, drooling.
She shot him a short-tempered look as she put on her sunglasses, the Portland sun requiring it for once, though a deep gray line of clouds already clustered along the western horizon. “Can you just finish with the car already?”
He gulped. “Hey, when I’m done do you want to go to dinner or something?”
Hazel sighed and cast him a sweet smile. “You don’t want anything to do with the likes of me, kid.”
He just smiled at her and nodded, his brain obviously addled.
“So that’s a no. No dinner. Just finish my car. Thanks.”
Confused and deflated, he shook his shaggy hair into his face so she couldn’t see his profile as he worked. He called out to his pit crew, his tone wistful and sad.
Gods. Wouldn’t it be great to be normal?
Crushing men wasn’t Hazel’s idea of a good time. It was just that many of them had no control over themselves when she was around. The drooling was not attractive. But they didn’t know that. They didn’t even realize how silly they looked. It was part of her draw; men tended to be totally focused on her, unable to string together more than a sentence, much less keep her entertained for a date. They were compelled to look, to touch if she’d let them, hovering over her the entire time.
She’d heard she was lucky. Some Sidhe drew humans to madness, despair – even violence. They just wanted to love her.
Still, it was annoying.
A buzzing from her purse cast a wave of relief over her. Blessed distraction. She looked up and caught the boy staring again, and frowned at him as she reached into her purse.
Checking the number that had just flashed on her cell phone, Hazel sighed. The age-old question: to answer, or not to answer? Swallowing, she hit send.
“Hazel. Glad I caught you. Got a little problem I could use your help with.”
“Thankfully, your problems don’t have anything to do with me anymore.”
“They do when they’re not mine specifically, but more, you know, ours.”
“Great,” Hazel said. If he meant what she thought he did, her hope of getting out of whatever this was had just faded fast.
“There’s a human over here who needs to get in touch with the Fomorii. Has to pay a tribute of some kind, but hasn’t been able to get through. Think you could take him?”
“Can I take him?” Like she didn’t have enough to do. “Drake, this is your job. You know I was never into this stuff.”
“You’re missing the point. He needs to go. I can’t take him, so I thought of you.”
“Why can’t you take him?” Drake was the obvious choice. After all, he worked for the Sidhe Authority, taking care of the Otherworld government’s business in the human world. Hazel had as little to do with Otherworld affairs as possible.
“Let’s call it a little interpersonal issue between me and the Fomorii contact. I’m waiting another decade at least before I meet up with that guy again, for everyone’s sake. I’m supposed to be smoothing relations, remember?”
“See, that’s what I’m talking about. When we were together, I dealt with your interpersonal issues. Now that we’re not, I don’t see what this has to do with me.”
“You’re Sidhe, so you’re in. Our problems are your problems, and this falls into that category. Just think, what would Aunt Brigit say?”
“Damn,” she growled. He had to bring her aunt into it. Of course she knew what Brigit would say. You get the benefits; a certain amount of dirty work comes with it. Help your people. “Tell me what I’m supposed to do again?”
Eddie Drake, notorious agent of the Sidhe Authority, has always been a womanizer. So he’s as surprised as anyone when he can’t get a certain black-haired witch out of his mind. When Alise Rodgers wakes up in Otherworld, a mysterious connection to the place haunts her. And then there’s a more immediate concern – she would never have expected to find Drake sitting vigil for her. While she’s grateful, she’s not at all interested in his bedroom eyes. They’ve always clashed. But they must work together after Alise discovers a rebellious plot brewing among the Sidhe, and puts her life on the line in the bargain.
The Middleworld forest whipped by as Eddie Drake hit his stride. He could feel tension from the past days flowing out of his burning muscles. Plants blurred along the trail at his feet as he concentrated on making the miles fly by.
Most Sidhe didn’t exercise for exercise sake – so maybe it was that small human part of him that enjoyed it. He felt his best after a long run, his mind as clear as his body was fatigued.
His head down, he hit a cloud of pixie dust and heard the offended pixie shout, “Hey! Watch yourself!”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m sure there’s more where that came from,” he shouted back without even looking. Pixies were a dime a dozen. You could hardly shake a leg without, well, running straight into a cloud of pixie dust. He sneezed.
Too soon, he saw home ahead. A little escape, that’s what he’d needed. For a few minutes, the burning of his muscles had distracted him from the oddities his life had taken on of late.
Eddie Drake was no nursemaid. He’d never been the patient, caring type.
He was a playboy, and it used to be pure and simple. He liked the ladies, and they liked him. Maybe he overindulged, that he could cop to. Maybe he’d been with too many ladies, too many times. That sort of behavior certainly couldn’t be seen as a precursor to this. No, his current predicament was more likely a punishment for prior bad behavior. Of course, it was a punishment he was choosing, which made it all the more odd.
To satisfy whatever part of him was so worried, he ducked through the back door and sauntered into the third bedroom, the one that had recently been Alise’s room.
Her condition unchanged, Alise rested, still as stone, under a white and cream quilt that had been his mother’s.
Drake frowned. He’d stopped counting the days; there had been many. Maybe two weeks had passed as Alise lay unmoving. Okay, she wasn’t still all the time. A few nights she’d thrashed and moaned.
He’d been so concerned the first time that happened that he’d stayed with her, holding her on the narrow bed until she calmed and seemed to rest. Relieved, he’d drifted off holding her, and been embarrassed to be found in that compromising position when Aunt Nectar came in to check on Alise.
Cuddling with the unconscious.
Not a good sign.
If only he hadn’t gotten her into this mess. That’s what had him all tied up in doubt and fear. She wouldn’t be in that bed, unaware of her surroundings but drowning in the music and magic of Tir Nan Og, if it weren’t for him. He’d made the choice to ask for her help when her best friend had been in trouble. She’d gladly given her help, not realizing it would cost her.
So he owed her. At the very least, he owed her a trip back beyond the veil to where she came from, where her family and her world waited. He’d tried to give her that, but she thrashed as they approached the portal and wouldn’t calm until he retreated. He couldn’t figure that out. In her condition, how did she know when he threatened to take her home? Regardless, his attempts hadn’t worked, and neither had anything the local healer tried. Alise didn’t get worse, but she hadn’t come back to herself either. That’s what kept his stomach tied in knots, he told himself as he stood in the doorway, watching the raven-haired beauty sleep.
Footsteps on the path outside brought Drake out of his thoughts. Maybe Aunt Nectar was home early. That would be good, because he had to go to the human world for at least a while tonight. His job waited for him, and some things he couldn’t let go for an undetermined period while Alise lay in that bed.
It wasn’t Aunt Nectar darkening the path.
Bertran stood, apparently evaluating his next step, outside the cottage, surrounded by the bright sights and sounds of a Middleworld day. The weather was perfect, but that didn’t help the storm clouds covering the countenance of this particular thorn in Drake’s side.
“May I come in?” his old enemy asked.
“Not in this lifetime.”
This series is intended for an adult audience only due to mature content, mostly in the form of steamy love scenes.