Romance

Fayre

Nicole Riddley

Do you love the world of Gideon and Trapping Quincy? Then don’t miss out on a new chapter in that universe with an all-new cast of magical characters, sinister evil, and realm-shattering secrets.

Melissa Crawford thinks she’s just a regular teenage girl—boy problems, a stupid amount of homework, and plenty of unbridled teen angst. But Melissa couldn’t be more wrong…turns out she isn’t even human! And if she thought regular human life was hard, wait until she finds out she’s destined to be the mate of a Fae Prince.

Age Rating: 16+ (Kidnapping)

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Fayre - Book cover
Romance

Fayre

Nicole Riddley

Do you love the world of Gideon and Trapping Quincy? Then don’t miss out on a new chapter in that universe with an all-new cast of magical characters, sinister evil, and realm-shattering secrets.

Melissa Crawford thinks she’s just a regular teenage girl—boy problems, a stupid amount of homework, and plenty of unbridled teen angst. But Melissa couldn’t be more wrong…turns out she isn’t even human! And if she thought regular human life was hard, wait until she finds out she’s destined to be the mate of a Fae Prince.

Age Rating: 16+ (Kidnapping)

1: Prologue

EIGHT YEARS AGO

The moon is hidden behind a thick, dark cloud. The stars are nowhere to be seen. The wind is picking up speed.

A man helps an elegantly dressed woman and a little girl out of a black town car. He then leads them toward a dreary-looking building where flickers of candlelight can be seen dancing through the windows.

A bell jingles when the man pushes the door open.

“No! No! I don’t want that creature in here. Get it out! Get it out of here!” yells a woman from inside the property as soon as the three of them step through the threshold and into the light. Her dark eyes are on the child.

A dagger is clutched in her hands. The sharp tip glints eerily in the glow of the candlelight. Her long, dark curls swirl wildly around her like live snakes. Fear is shrouded around her like a cape.

The other woman, who’s just entered, gathers the little girl protectively closer to her, and the man’s face reddens in anger. He strides farther into the room and roughly grabs the woman holding the dagger by her upper arm.

“Nadine, get a hold of yourself. You promised to do this!” His meaty fingers dig ruthlessly into her skin.

“I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want it here. I don’t want it anywhere near me,” cries the woman, Nadine.

The man lowers his voice and grumbles in her ear, “She’s paying us a lot of money—”

Another woman suddenly interrupts. “This is a bad idea, Samuel. You told me she’s a witch, not a lunatic! The woman is clearly crazy! She’s not getting anywhere near my child.”

She’s edging toward the door. Her hands are tight on the little girl’s shoulders.

“Victoria, wait! She can do this. She can help you. Just let me talk to her,” says the man urgently. His balding head is beading with sweat, and his shoulders are rigid. His whole body is tensed.

“You promised!” he turns back to Nadine, the woman with the dagger, his voice harsh.

“I can’t!” Nadine whimpers. “Look at her. I can’t do this.”

“We need the money, Nadine. You remember that.”

The witch closes her eyes. Her shoulders sag. “She’s not a creature of this world. She doesn’t belong here…” she whispers in defeat. Her lower lip quivers.

“It doesn’t matter. You did promise to do this,” argues the man, his voice softening as he senses her caving in.

The woman takes a deep breath then slowly opens her eyes. This time, she directs her gaze toward the other woman, Victoria.

“You’re obsessed with her, can’t you see that? These creatures are dangerous. They’re nothing but evil. They’re conniving, devious, and tricky. Get rid of her before she destroys you.”

The expression on Victoria’s face hardens. “She’s my baby. My child. She’s mischievous and a handful, but she’s not evil.

“And I’m not here for your unwanted advice. I’m here to pay you a lot of money for your services and your silence.”

The witch’s eyes grow cold, and a look of resolve enters her face as she stares at the child. The little girl is enchanting to look at. Her long, shiny, icy-blonde hair cascades down her back like a waterfall.

Her small, slightly pointy ears peeking out from her hair reveal her nature. She has an extremely delicate and inhumanly beautiful angular face with flawless porcelain skin, a small, straight nose, and plump red lips.

Her big, brilliant green eyes, the color of forest leaves and framed by thick, long, dark-golden eyelashes, are wary as they roam around the room before they land back on the witch.

“How old is she?” asks the witch.

“We think she’s eight. She was about three when we got her.”

“Very well. Bring her to the middle of the room and stand back,” instructs the witch, her jaw set as she slowly moves around the room, keeping the dagger close.

Her fearful eyes are constantly on the child as she moves around the cluttered little space filled with books, jars of curious plants and preserves, candles of different sizes and colors, and other knickknacks.

She gathers a few items from the various jars on the shelves and places them in a bowl: the root of elfdock plant, licorice, monkshood, hyssop, and a few other curious items.

The child’s distrustful but curious gaze follows her every movement. They widen in horror when the woman’s hand wraps around a long iron chain.

“No, no, no! Mommy, please help me. Please, Mommy, no,” the girl suddenly cries, shaking her head.

She tries to run but the witch is quick in casting the iron in front of her, chanting, “Trin lánce hin mánge, me pçándáv tute.”

The iron chain moves like a serpent, forming a circle around the little girl.

“Káthe tu besá! Káthe tu besá! Ná ává kiyá mánge!”

“Mommy! Mommy! Help me!” Her cries grow desperate. “It’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt so bad… Mommy, please!”

“Make her forget. Make her forget everything,” says Victoria above the little girl’s pleas and cries. “Make her normal…make her human.”

“She’s not human. I can’t make her human,” says the witch sternly.

“I want my perfect child,” says Victoria.

The witch’s face shows her annoyance. “You want her tamed and obedient to you? You know she’s not tamed and obedient by nature.”

Her voice grows lower and sounds sinister as she continues, “And she’s going back to where she came from one day. They’re coming for her.”

The other woman’s face pales, and tears well in her eyes. “Then you make sure she’s not going anywhere.”

Her voice quivers, and she pauses. In a sterner voice, she continues, “Keep them away from her. You make sure they can’t get to her.”

“You know there’s a heavy price to pay when the balance is disturbed and fates tampered with?” warns the witch.

“I don’t care about the price! Just make it happen. I’ll give you more money, a lot more…if you can just make her stay and make her human. My perfect child.”

They’re talking about two different things, but the witch nods her head anyway.

“Mommy! Please! I’ll be good. Mommy! It hurts…please!” the girl pleads.

“Shh… You’re okay, sweetie. Everything will be fine. Everything will be just fine. Mommy knows best. Shh…”

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