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He Said, Sidhe Said
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He Said, Sidhe Said
Damian cradled his head in his hands. He’d been sitting in the conference room for more than an hour trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
The other occupant of the room hadn’t tried to make his job easier. He sighed, straightened, and looked at the angry purple-haired sidhe (pronounced shee) sitting across from him.
Her eyes were purple, too, and though he would never admit it out loud, her gaze made him a little uneasy.
She had a bad attitude, which was worsened by her temper.
She wore a black bustier with purple ribbons, a skirt that barely covered her ass, and shiny black military boots.
Damian was king of the lycanthropes. His mother was a goddess. There were few creatures who could claim to inspire in him even an ounce of fear.
But Zerina? She terrified him.
She terrified others, too, but somehow vampire queen Patsy had somehow managed to drop this problem into his lap. He cleared his throat.
“Zerina, why did you try to set Faustus on fire?”
“If I’d wanted to set him on fire,” she said, her English accent thick with censure, “he’d be a pile of ash.”
“So … the fire was accidental?”
“It was a barbecue! I was trying to help. He couldn’t get the charcoal to light.” She fluttered her fingers. “My magic got away from me is all.”
“You know fire is bad for vampires, right?”
“I put him out, didn’t I?”
“With pink glitter.”
“I panicked. I was tryin’ to call up some water, I was. The glitter worked, so I don’t see the problem.”
Damian rubbed his temples. “How about the fact you dropped about a hundred pounds of it on top of him?”
“I dug him out!”
“Too bad you didn’t stop before your nails nearly gouged out his eye.” He stared at her long purple nails that had been filed to sharp points.
Zerina crossed her arms and glared at Damian. He fought the urge to scoot his chair further away from her.
“He’s all right, isn’t he?” she said. Or … asked?
If Damian didn’t know better, he would think her question actually held concern. He studied her, and realized she was a bundle of nerves. She kept shifting in her seat and plucking at the ribbons on her bustier.
“Faustus is in the hospital recovering from all your help.”
“Then why am I here?”
“For the protection of the town,” said Damian. “You killed three cars and a house, remember?”
“I was worried. He was bleeding and unconscious.” She waved her arms around. “I’m not good at keeping my emotions in check.”
Damian silently agreed, though the main emotion Zerina displayed was hostility. But he was beginning to realize she wasn’t as tough as she pretended to be. Everyone had scars, and secrets—who knew what Zerina’s were? Maybe he was looking at this from the wrong angle.
She hadn’t been acting out from a place of anger at all. She … oh, sweet goddess. Surely didn’t like Faustus?
“Go home,” he said. “Straight home. Stay there until you hear from me.”
“If you take a single step toward the hospital, I will throw you into prison.” He met her gaze and made sure she understood he meant every word. It might take him and half the town to do it, but he’d put her in the paranormal-proof cells, if only to give Faustus the time he needed to heal from his injuries.
“Fine!” She flounced out of her chair and slammed the door on her way out.
Faustus was buttoning up his shirt when Damian entered the hospital room.
“They’re already sending you home?” asked Damian.
“All this fuss is driving me crazy. I’m going to stay with Eva and Lorcan until I can start re-building my house.” Damian understood his friend’s need to get away from the hospital. Faustus had once been a Roman centurion. Nothing affected a warrior’s ego worse than being treated like a weakling.
Like so many other vampires, Faustus had been infected with the Taint, a vampire disease, which nearly killed him. The cure had given him the ability to shift into wolf form, but he wasn’t a true lycan. All the same, Damian counted him among his dearest friends.
“Did she tell you why she was trying to kill me?” he asked. He slid off the bed and put on his shoes.
“I don’t think she was trying to kill you, Faustus.”
“She set me on fire, buried me in glitter, jabbed my eye … she really doesn’t like me.” Faustus shook his head, looking more bemused than angry about his near death experiences.
“Oh, I think she does.”
Faustus looked up. “What?”
“I think that Zerina has a crush on you.”
To Damian’s surprise, Faustus grinned. “She does?”
“Do you really want to go there?” asked Damian. “She blew up your house.”
“Yeah,” said Faustus, his grin widening.
“You thought she was trying to kill you,” said Damian, making a last attempt to get the man to see reason. “Think about what it will be like dating her.”
A moment passed between the two men as they envisioned the aftermath of Zerina in love. Faustus obviously imagined something quite different from Damian because he got a dopey look on his face.
“Faustus … no, mein freind.”
“I’m going to see her,” said Faustus, clapping Damian on the shoulder. “Fac fortia et patere.”
Do brave deeds and endure. It was the motto of Faustus.
He hoped the town could endure Zerina in love.
In the meanwhile, Damian had to deal with other concerns … such as what the hell he was supposed to do with a hundred pounds of pink glitter.
This Week’s Cool Substack Recommendation
My Substack recommendation this week is Work in Progress. The Chronicler is an excellent storyteller and her Substack is free. Her fiction is awesome, so sign up now!
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