My Crazy Paranormal Romance, Book 2
LENGTH: 42,000 words
RELEASE DATE: October 2020
She’s purple. She flies. She’s the future queen.
In Book 2 of the Jezibaba Saga, regenerated warlock, Nathaniel, intends to spend the next hundred years like he spent the previous hundred. His dedication to his work requires that he not get bogged down in the demands of the flesh, especially not flesh that has purple hair and a snarky attitude.
Following Princess Leelu into the land of fairies wasn’t planned. Goddess knows, the rhyming trolls just about sent him over the edge. And why does everyone keep thinking he’s their fairy king? No, on second thought… he’d just as soon not know.
“Run from this you cannot. A king she needed—a king she got.” ~ Zander, Rhyming Troll Prince
In the Goddess Morgana’s grove…
Nathaniel’s arm around Leelu was all that was keeping her upright. The warlock was too much a gentleman to mention her weakness, but they both knew it true. The curse was wearing her down and Leelu was fading more and more with each passing day.
When Elenora finished making her deal with the Dragon Council, she’d promised to help put an end to the curse her mother had placed on Leelu. The warlock currently holding her upright had good reasons for hating her and yet he’d also volunteered his help. Considering Nathaniel had branded himself with a lifelong limrunar mark of protection to keep him safe from her fairy enchantment, his desire to see her freed from suffering was more miracle than she deserved.
“No one should suffer what you’re enduring,” Nathaniel pointed out as he helped her walk.
“I thought we had agreed to respect each other’s mental boundaries. Are you reading my mind, warlock?” Leelu asked to distract him. It was a game they’d been playing lately, though Nathaniel had so far been unwilling to know why such knowing between them was even possible.
“Of course, I’m not,” Nathaniel denied. He glared at the fairy he held. “It’s called compassion.”
“An emotion at which you excel,” Leelu said, patting the arm that held here. “Let me drop now. I need to be on the ground near the roots.” She put a hand to her head and sighed. “Your thoughts are getting loud again, warlock. How many times must I tell you? Calm your mind if you want to keep me from hearing them.”
“Right. Sorry,” Nathaniel said roughly, lowering Leelu to the ground. He didn’t have the heart to chastise her for being bossier than usual. “I was just thinking about how wrong this is. Your mother should have to suffer this fate herself so she can see what it’s like. Maybe she wouldn’t be so quick to do something like this again.”
“Her suffering would not keep her from being the one Gaia chose to rule the fairies. From among all competitors, my mother alone rose to the challenge,” Leelu said, reciting the legend. “The Great Mother in her wisdom knew fairydom would not survive without a strong ruler.”
“Are you saying your mother cursed you as a test of your worthiness to be queen?” Nathaniel asked.
“I once thought so.” Leelu reached out to the tree and ran her hand over the bark. It was a young tree, not even five years old. She hated killing innocent saplings—hated what she had to do to survive.
Anguish squeezed her heart as she closed her eyes tightly against reality. From the first moment Morgana brought her to the sacred grove, she’d felt all her emotions being amplified. Guilt for what she had to do to the tree did not outweigh her need to survive, but it did rob her of all joy. To a fairy, the absence of joy was its own kind of death.
“Maith liomsa,” she whispered, begging the tree’s forgiveness as she placed her palm on it. Energy traveled into her through her fingers and she relished the feeling of her strength returning. Then the tree’s life force suddenly stopped coming into her. Nausea racked her starving body while it screamed for more.
“What’s wrong?” Nathaniel demanded.
“Nothing that can be changed,” she replied.
A bitter finality Leelu hadn’t been expecting to feel so keenly brought a twisted ironic smile to her lips. There was truly no hope for her now, but the tree didn’t have to die. Exercising the small bit of power she could over her curse might end up being the last good act she ever did in this life. Death would come for her either way.
Chanting in the language of the forest sprites she once played with as a child, Leelu gave back what she could to the tree whose life force she’d been draining just moments before. Soon the tree’s dried limbs returned to their former flexibility while dizziness from the energy drain swept through her.
Starvation was such a pitiful end to her long life. Sure, she’d been living only on hope for a century, but she’d spent other centuries far more foolishly. The male she cared for above all others stood over her now with concern in his gaze. It was more caring from him than she’d dared ever expect given their history.
“How did this tree live when the others died?” Nathaniel asked.
Though light-headed and weak, Leelu climbed to her feet with the help of the hand Nathaniel offered her. The limited nourishment she’d allowed herself to keep wouldn’t hold her for much more than a couple of hours, but so be it. Feeding off trees had been a horrible way to live.
“The curse has passed over it, warlock. I will never be nourished by this kind of tree again. This is how its dark magic works.”
“Oh,” said Nathaniel softly, rubbing his face thoughtfully. “So what now?”
Leelu shrugged. “There is nothing more we can do but say goodbye to each other. The fairies will come soon to take me home to die.”
After a regenerated Zenos had left the grove with Celeste, Nathaniel had planned to leave as well. Worry over the purple fairy and her fate had managed to keep him glued to her side even though he was determined not to let compassion rule all his decision making.
Cursing himself for the depth of his caring, Nathaniel stared down at the emaciated purple fairy who had insisted on sleeping in his bed. Three days ago when she first demanded to stay with him, Princess Leelu had been rounded and sexy and her usual contrary self. Now even breathing seemed an effort for her.
The tree they’d found this morning hadn’t done much to sustain her. Its continued survival made him question whether the fairy had revived the tree at her own expense. “You can barely move, Leelu. You need nourishment. Tell me where I can get it for you,” he commanded.
Leelu sighed against bed covers that smelled of Nathaniel— an earthy male scent she hoped to take into the afterlife with her. The only thing that could make her dying hours better was if she could persuade the stubborn warlock to crawl into bed and put his strong arms around her. But she knew better than to ask… or order him to do so. Nathaniel didn’t respond to any of her charms.
“There is nothing more for you to do, warlock. I told you the end of me was coming. Now it is here. I regret I was too weak to leave you before this point. I meant to spare you.”
Nathaniel wanted to growl in frustration and barely stopped himself. “Why do you insist on phrasing it that way? This problem is not the end of you. Let me call Morgana to help. She’ll know what to do.”
Leelu lifted a tired hand and grabbed his dangling wrist. “No. Do not bother your goddess. Morgana has already delayed the fairies coming to collect me for as long as she could. No one can change my destiny except the fairy queen herself and she never changes her mind. You must accept this reality, my handsome warlock. As the thirteenth daughter of Queen Arraign, I am royally screwed.”
“Who says that’s how it must be?” Nathaniel demanded. “I’m a seer. I see dark trouble coming for you, but I do not see your death. I’ve looked every day and what I see is always the same.”
Dropping his wrist, Leelu closed her eyes and moaned. “Why did you wait all this time to show me that my death matters to you, warlock? If I weren’t dying, I’d make you pay severely for tormenting me with such hope during in the last hours of my life.”
“Will you stop talking about dying? You are meant to be the queen of your people, Leelu. If I can believe in you so strongly despite our bad history, how can you not believe in yourself?”
Leelu blinked tiredly and looked away from him. “Bad history. Yes, we’ve had plenty of that, haven’t we?”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. We’ve discussed the past enough,” Nathaniel said.
Leelu moved restlessly against the pillow. “I never told you the rest of my story about how you changed my life. May I tell it to you now? I would like you to hear it all.”
Nathaniel sighed. “Of course. After kissing you the way I have, not accepting your apology and listening would make me a hypocrite. However, rather than dwell on the past, I would prefer we just agree that both of us have changed over time.”
Leelu shook her head. “No, I wish you to understand why I changed and why I give you credit for it.”
“Speak then. You have my ear,” Nathaniel said, weary of arguing.
“When you permanently broke the hold my enchantment had on you, a great depression claimed me. It got worse after Morgana the Red took you away. My mother arranged a fairy pairing to cheer me up—or so I believed at the time. When I refused the fairy male she chose for me, she said my sense of duty to my people was not strong enough to ever be queen. It was then she cursed me to die. She said if I loved my mortal that much then I should have to die the same time he did.”
“Well, I’m not dead yet.”
“No, warlock. You are not dead and I am grateful to the swearing firebird for giving you a second chance to live your life.”
Nathaniel frowned. “How did you find out about Zenos and me?”
Leelu sighed. “Relax. None of your friends broke your confidence. It was Morgana who told me. She told me Zenos took care of you when you were dying the same way you cared for him when he was regenerating. It was not hard to figure out that he somehow restored you as he restores himself.”
Nathaniel shrugged. “I guess that’s true enough. The blasted mage and I are friends of a sort though I must grit my teeth each time I admit it.”
Leelu pointed her finger at him. “Count yourself lucky, warlock. Firebirds are good friends to have, as are dragons. Serving alongside the Jezibaba all those years has made your character strong. Your alliances have kept your life’s story from ending.”
“Your life story doesn’t have to end in death either, fairy. I would not feel so positive if that wasn’t true,” Nathaniel insisted.
“I think our new accord makes you wistful for me and that makes me happy, but the Fairy Queen does not forgive or retract her punishments—not ever.” Leelu’s sigh was loud in the room. “Please, Nathaniel—and I have never pleaded with any living creature but you—let us not waste our final hours together talking about my mother. I would rather talk about me and you.”
Nathaniel looked down and glared. “Perhaps they will not come. How will your people even know you are dying? Who will look to see?”
“My family is linked by fairy blood. They will know. Soon my mother’s guards will come to collect me. A dying fairy is never left to fade outside our lands. Plus they’ll want to harvest my magic before the final end. It will likely go to Racine unless my mother wants it for herself.”
Nathaniel paced away from the bed, more frustrated than he ever remembered being. Even Zenos didn’t agitate him this much.
Why couldn’t he just do as she asked this one time and accept that Leelu was destined to die? Why did he feel he had the power inside him to stop this from happening? He didn’t know the answer to why he felt as he did, but he had a lot of faith in his instincts. They were the one aspect of his life that had never failed him.
He turned back to look at her. “Elenora saved you once. Perhaps she will do it again.”
Leelu laughed weakly against the pillow. “I doubt the new guardian of dragonkind will grieve the loss of a fairy she mostly found annoying. I think soon the former Jezibaba will not remember me at all.”
“Elenora does not fail someone when she gives her word. She told Morgana she would help you. Believe in her even if you cannot believe in what I have seen.”
Leelu sighed wearily. “Your lectures bore me, warlock. Come hold my hand instead. I already hear the flutter of fairy wings in the distance. My people are coming and I want to spend my last moments touching you.”
Nathaniel walked quickly back to the bed. He sat on the side of it and let her take his hand. “You have nothing to worry about, fairy. This is Morgana’s grove. Your mother’s guards cannot enter here.”
“I told you, warlock. Morgana will have to let them in. She’ll have no choice. Now shush and let me pretend you will miss me the way I hope you will.”
Nathaniel gripped her fingers but Leelu could barely squeeze his in return. She was slipping into unconsciousness while he watched.
He hadn’t felt so helpless since he watched his wife and child dying of the plague. His weak magic in those days had not been able to save them. His stronger magic now seemed just as futile because no chant or magic had worked on Leelu.
After what seemed like only two minutes, Nathaniel heard a loud buzzing in the doorway of the room. Letting go of Leelu’s now limp hand, he rose to stand in front of the bed where she lay. He found himself staring down seven tiny brown fairies dressed in various kinds of leather armor.
“We have come for Princess Leelu,” the one in front announced in a commanding voice much too large for his current size.
Before Nathaniel could deny his request, Morgana scattered the fairy soldiers inside the room when she pushed her nine-foot form through the doorway. Ignoring the now furious fairies, the goddess walked straight to the bed. “I’m sorry, Princess Leelu. I had no choice.”
Nathaniel watched sadly as the powerful goddess bent and touched Leelu’s cheek. He heard Morgana chanting something in a language he didn’t understand. His goddess touched Leelu’s cheek a final time and stepped away.
How could Morgana let this happen? How could he?
“No. You can’t have her,” he said to the buzzing fairies.
The words were spoken before he could think properly, but he didn’t care. He had meant what he said. No one was taking his fairy if he could stop them.
What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe? Here’s what the author says…
Blast Off with us into the Magic and Mayhem Universe!
I’m Robyn Peterman, the creator of the Magic and Mayhem Series and I’d like to invite you to my Magic and Mayhem Universe. What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe, you may ask? Well, let me explain…
It’s basically authorized fan fiction written by some amazing authors that I stalked and blackmailed! KIDDING! I was lucky and blessed to have some brilliant authors say yes! They have written brand new stories using my world and some of my characters. And let me tell you… the results are hilarious!
So here it is! Blast off with us into the hilarious Magic and Mayhem Universe. Side-splitting books by fantabulous authors! Check out each and every one. You will laugh your way to a magical HEA!
For all the stories, go to https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/. Grab your copy today!
Who is Robyn Peterman? So glad you want to know!
My life hasn’t been the same since I met Robyn Peterman in a writer’s group where we were the only two comedy writers and the only two authors writing paranormal. Now we’re critique partners and over our years of working together she’s taught me many, many, many new potty words. We’re thinking about making our own dictionary.
Check out Robyn’s original series that began the Magic and Mayhem Universe. CLICK HERE to visit the website.
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