Author: Erzabet Bishop
Release date: Oct 24, 2017
Series: Curse Workers #3
Lies, betrayal, and maybe a battery-operated boyfriend...
She’s done with men. But someone needs to tell her wolf.
When Laurel’s Alpha female is found murdered and her Alpha turns up missing, the Briarwood Pack is turned upside down. An unwanted blast from Laurel’s romantic past puts her to the test as the fine line between love and hate is redefined. If she can keep herself alive. Love can be murder…unless it saves your life.
Nerdy, hunky boys with a knack for the dead need love too…
With his roommate back from the dead and his future as Montelier College of Witchcraft and Arcane Sciences new necromancer on staff on hold after his mentor’s murder, James Merryweather finds himself looking for answers in the one place he never thought to find them. And when a chance encounter leads him to his heart’s desire, will he have the strength to claim the woman he loves before she’s ripped from his arms forever?
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The crowded streets of Salem a few weeks before Halloween
“Blixana. You shouldn’t be out here. What if someone sees you?” Esmay, her brownie watchdog tugged at the sleeve of her shirt.
Frustrated and in no mood to listen to the lesser fae, Blix marched out past the boundaries of the old churchyard and found herself in a world of mortal enchantment. She’d observed for far too long and tonight she was going to taste everything. Nothing in Faerie could ever compare to the bustle and sheer humanity of the sights in front of her.
The streets were chock full of people, mostly on foot. Human women dressed in a combination of riotous colors and black, some sporting broomsticks and others giant gourd like creations with faces. Men dressed in black walked along, their eyes caressing the women next to them, no doubt in anticipation of what else the night had to offer behind the thrall of closed doors.
The scent of baking and sugary snacks sent her mouth watering. And the loud raucous laughter from a place called The Copper Kettle beckoned her the loudest. What did these humans have that drew so many inside? Was their ale as good as the Summer Meade in Faery? No doubt it was better. More earthy.
She ran a hand down the denim fabric she’d seen the humans wear and a thin top that still let the chill of the October winds dance along her skin. She would have to return before the Dark Queen found her missing. But for a little while she could wander in a world where what you saw was very often what you got. It was not so in Faerie.
“Get back here. Do you want the Fenris to see you?” Esmay hissed. “He’s the guardian of the Gate. Did you not think he would notice you slipping through?”
Blix locked her jaw and turned to face the little tattletale. “Go ahead, Esmay. You tell him. All I wanted was to come across before it got locked down for Samhain.”
Esmay let go of her and crossed her arms over her chest, looking up at her with a belligerent expression. “If you go out there, I can’t protect you from the wolves. Or anything else that comes prowling.”
“You won’t need to,” she scoffed. “Now go. I’ll be back soon enough. I’ll even bring you back a sweet.”
The greedy brownie’s eyes glittered in the dark as Blixana stared down at her. Esmay was already caving in; she could read it in her eyes. The promise of sweets always won, whether it was back home or sneaking a treat from a trespassing human on a picnic in their churchyard. Her mother served in the Dark Court, as did Blixana’s and they both knew their way to enjoy a moment or two without the intrusive eyes of the Court watching. Thus far they’d only gone through to visit the Gate protected churchyard, but as in everything else, Blix was given an inch but preferred to take a mile.
“Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Boundaries for a reason. Pix addled pixie. Going to get killed. See if I care.” The brownie stomped off, leaving Blix to her own devices.
Where should she go first? No human money graced her pockets, but she didn’t need it. A simple turn of the wrist and a light step made anything she wanted ripe for the taking. Her slippered feet rested on the concrete sidewalk and she frowned, taking in the footwear of the passersby.
With a wink and a nod, she glamoured the slippers into black boots, rocking back and forth on the two inch heels, marveling at how they felt on her feet.
Striding forward, she brushed a strand of hair out of her face and let herself be absorbed into the crowd. With the costumed folk all around her, no one would notice her differences, but all the same, she made sure the pointy tips of her ears were hidden beneath her hair.
She’d gotten half a block when she felt the chill breeze of Other at her heels. Scuttling forward on the new boots, she scurried deeper into the fray of partygoers.
What could be trailing her? A nymph perhaps? Or even a sprite? They both loved the thrill of adventure and chomped at the bit to delve into the human world.
Or was it a selkie, easy to transform into human form and then back into the body of a seal? She turned her head upward, letting her senses run wild but she couldn’t tell in the crush of people.
“Damned brownie. Probably ratted me out already.” She spotted a tavern up ahead. The Copper Kettle. A smile turning up her lips, she darted forward, only to be yanked back by a fist in her hair.
“Going somewhere, pixie?”
She collapsed to the ground, two large men standing over her, the moon shining in their eyes.
A shiver tore through her. She’d heard tell of their ferociousness but had never seen them before. But still not as deadly as a sidhe warrior could be. How could they be? Mayhap she could outrun them and make it back to her churchyard. She scrambled up, only making it a few feet in an alley right next to the pub before they downed her a second time. A well placed boot had her sprawling out amidst the damp grass and discarded beer cans and cups.
“What…what do you want?”
“You broke the treaty. Fae don’t belong here.”
She blinked, her mouth gaping open like a fish. That was supposed to be an old wives tale. No one but Fenris guarded the Gate.
“Please. Let me go.”
“I don’t think so, little fae.” The larger of the two knelt down, his teeth much too sharp in his mouth.
Then he smiled. Blix started to scream, lashing the wolves with a dose of pixie dust, the only curse she knew thrown in for good measure. Fang and claw were the only truths she knew as they tore at her flesh.
“Get off me!” She doused them with an inconsequential burst of pixie dust to no avail.
Battered and bruised, she fought and struggled to remember the vibrant colors of Faery, instead of pain and the greasy beer smell of the mortal plane. Esmay was right. She had been a fool, but she was not yet without a parting gift for her attackers. One more spell. One more burst of power from the deepest parts of her. The only spell she’d ever read from her grandmother’s book of the arcane.
As she slipped from the world, sight leaving her eyes, she smiled as the gleam of crimson found its way into the eyes of the now cursed wolves and surrendered freely to the welcoming darkness.
About the author:
Erzabet Bishop is a USA Today bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Malediction, Map of Bones, Sanguine Shadows, Arcane ,The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the Beast, Mistletoe Kisses, Burning Midnight (Cimmerian Shade), Surrender, Torment (upcoming), Hedging Her Bets, Cat’s Got Her Tongue (upcoming), Waking Up Wolf, Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark, The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Baked with Sass (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.
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