Bittersweet (Faerie Song Trilogy, #2)
Release Date: 03/24/15
Summary from Goodreads:
To save the Faery world and her mother’s life, Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargain she made in Nevermore had lasting repercussions. Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei seems the same to her highschool friends and her supernatural boyfriend. Yet love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible Veil between the two worlds—the only bridge that links the pair, is sealing, threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.
Determined to find a solution, Lorelei resorts to using her new found powers. But when her friends succumb to the same mysterious illness that nearly took her mother’s life, Lorelei can’t help but wonder if her own dark magic is responsible. Still, the nightmares from Nevermore continue their icy hold. Someone from Adrius’s past arrives, determined to destroy Lorelei’s world starting with those closest to her, and Lorelei is forced to choose between her family and friends and a love that was ill-fated from the start.
Links for Fire & Ice (Book One):
“So what’s your plan, Lorelei?” He had a tight grip on my hand as we headed toward the abandoned building.
I stopped walking and looked up at him. “Well, for starters, I need to go in alone. And before you protest, I have to remind you of what Peterson said. That might be why he was a no-show last time.”
“I don’t care what he said. There’s no way I’m letting you go in there alone.”
“I’ll be fine. Really.”
He huffed. “I’ve heard that before.”
“I have to do this. It’s the only way.”
He wasn’t happy about it, but he gave a reluctant nod and released my hand. “I’m giving you five minutes then I’m coming in after you.”
I didn’t tell him, but it gave me a great deal of comfort knowing that. I stepped over the broken glass doors, through the haze of dust into the place I was going to find my great aunt. But unlike our last visit, this time, the front desk wasn’t vacant. A pair of amber eyes gleaming in the dim light peered at me, moving steadily closer until a full unsightly form appeared.
I froze. This wasn’t just any derelict.
“Mmm. Something yummy,” it said in a low hiss.
A goblin? Here, in my world. This was a first. I stared, blinking to refocus in the dust he’d stirred with his movement. Until now, the only supernatural beings who’d entered my world were Adrius and Zanthiel. And of course Venus. But they were all here because of me in one way or another. This was different. Goblins and other lower creatures weren’t supposed to be able to pass through the veil. Yet here one was, staring me down while black froth dripped from its jagged teeth.
I stepped to the side to evade him, but the creature skirted around me, so I couldn’t pass. His glamour would have fooled most into believing he was human, not an attractive human, but human nonetheless. I could see otherwise. With the costume of magic stripped away the gangly creature resembled the goblins more than it did the fey. He had the body of a human male, but something about his appearance… his black pupilless eyes, the pasty shade of his skin, the overpowering stench of rotting leaves… Perhaps he was once a normal human and had been tortured and twisted for centuries into something nearly undefinable. He wouldn’t be the first, nor the last. Unless Peterson’s people got their way and they managed to eradicate the co-mingling of fey and humans. I didn’t want to think about how they planned to pull that off.
“I’m not here for you. I’m looking for someone.”
“The one they call Camilla, yesss?”
I stared hard at the creature. What did he know about all of this?
“So, which room is she being held in?” I tried to sound persuasive, authoritative… but that was a mind-altering device best left to the elves. I was more than capable of fending off a goblin, but finding one here in the back alley had thrown me more than a little. Plus I wasn’t exactly armed. But we had agreed, I’d go to meet with him, before we knew the him I’d be meeting was a goblin from the Unseelie Shadow Court. He’d claimed to know of Camilla’s whereabouts, and I needed to find her. I needed to get answers about what was going on once and for all, and with any luck find a way to prevent the veil from sealing. And if things went according to plan, I’d be able to break the curse binding Adrius to Venus and free everyone from her wrath.
“I’ll tell you which room whelp, after I gets what I’s wants.”
I pulled out an envelope of bills. Not even sure how much Adrius had put in there. Enough to make most human miscreants salivate he’d said dryly. Not sure what a goblin would think.
I had practiced enough spells with Abby to know I could conjure one to weaken this creature, but I had to be in touching distance. Not the best plan. I stepped back, trying to stay out of his reach, but my back hit a brick wall behind me. To my left there was a chain link fence and the locked door of the warehouse to my right. He glided toward me, moving steadily closer until his chest pressed against mine.
Glancing at the envelope with eyes as black as tar he sneered. “What I want, is you,” he said urgently. “Just need a lil taste, lovely.”
I sucked in a gasp of air. “You don’t want me,” I assured him, shoving at his caved-in chest. “Even goblins find me unsavory.” Craning my head to the side I searched wildly for something, anything to double as a weapon.
“I’ll make it quick.” He sniffed me, then licked my face, running his sandpapery tongue up my cheek. “I can be gentle,” he hissed as I shoved against his chest. I brought my leg up to knee him in the groin, but his hand snaked down to push it back in place. Curse their superhuman strength. The foul stench of him made it hard to get any air, and the more I struggled, the less oxygen I had.
“Ah-ah, I thought we agreed this was going to be nice.”
His knee slid between my thighs. Panic raced through me. I started to call for help, but his hand slapped over my mouth, slamming the back of my head against the brick. Splinters of pain shot through my head. I squeezed my eyes shut, to dull the ache. I bit down hard on his fingers, nearly gagging from the bitter taste. He hissed and pulled his hand away from my mouth and clamped it around my throat.
“Listen, just let me go and you won’t get hurt,” I rasped through his charred fingers choking off my air. “You don’t want to hurt me. Let go and you can have what you want.”
I felt something stir beneath my skin. A slow simmer that grew to a raging boil in a flash. With a burst of force, I put my hands on its throat. The creature began to cough, choking and sputtering black phlegm. He staggered back away from me. I ran toward the door, but he recovered and flew in front of me to block my path. “I will hurt you,” I said. My voice sounded dark, foreign, and when I spoke I felt cold winds swirl around us.
The goblin didn’t seem to notice. “Shhhhh, sweet one,” he cooed, burying his pointed nose in my hair, and sniffing me again. “Mmmm…” Gobs of saliva dripped over his chapped lips. “It won’t hurt at all.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” Adrius’ voice filled the darkness and he plunged a flaming blade into the goblin’s back. “It’s going to hurt a lot.”
About the Author
Michele Barrow-Belisle is chocoholic author and artist living in southern Ontario, Canada with her super-sweet husband, brilliant son and a ridiculously affectionate cat. Often told by teachers to stop dreaming and get her head out of the clouds, Michele still spends much of her time lost in make-believe worlds, populated with fascinating and occasionally terrifying characters. Her passion for fantasy extends beyond her writing into her clay figure sculpt-ing, creating miniaturized replicas of the paranormal beings she writes about. Michele is as passionate about reading as she is about writing. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found sculpting tiny fairy desserts in polymer clay. She also loves mocha lattes and watching fireflies at twilight. Did we mention she loves chocolate?
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