Fun fact: If you’re reading an installment of a series, odds are that author is already a book or two ahead of you. In my case, the third part of the Faerie Court Chronicles is due out on May 5th, but I’m slowly and surely working on book five.
Obviously, I don’t want to give anything away, but I figured ya’ll might like a small glimpse of things to come for the Faerie Court and all the people we’ve met on the way.
Jocelyn makes Annalise give me the passenger seat. She scowls but obeys and listens with surprising intensity as I explain everything on the drive into town. I don’t think she takes her eyes off me once in the rearview mirror. Her unreadable expression makes me nervous. She’s the first out of the car when we pull up to a modest single-story house and darts inside without a word.
Her sister scowls after her, then turns to me. “Sorry about her. She’s still a bit bitter about the whole Hallowed Offering thing.”
I wave her apology away with my right hand then, remembering what it looks like right now, slip it into my pocket. “It’s fine. I’m surprised you’re being so understanding, given that whole fiasco if I’m being perfectly honest.”
Jocelyn runs both hands through her hair and looks around. “I know why you did what you did, even if it makes me not trust you. Besides, Dominic’s my friend and Rina still insists on going to school in Grand Harbor. I can’t let them get hurt if I can help it.”
I nod along with her words. “That’s fair.” She walks towards the door, but I wait back. “Do you mind if I put up some charms around your house? I don’t want your family in danger if anyone catches up with me.”
Jocelyn narrows her eyes and studies me for a long moment.
I hold my hands up. “Cross my heart, hope to die, that’s all I’m doing. I won’t have anyone getting hurt on my account. Plus, I still feel like I owe you.”
The tension melts from Jocelyn’s shoulders and she meanders towards the front door. “All right. We’re going to make lunch here in a minute, so don’t take too long.”
“Cool. I’ll be right in.”
With Jocelyn gone, I roam the yard, hoping to look like I’m just checking on the sprouting lawn. In the back, I kneel and press my good hand in the wet icy mix of dead grass, mud, and faint sprouts of new growth. The life flowing through the root system tickles my palm and makes me smile. I’d started forgetting what that energy felt like when it wasn’t choked by an ancient evil. Bracing myself against the coming pain, I will protection into the soil, masking the house from non-human entities of all kinds, just to be safe.
My hand begins to burn. The pain snakes its way down into my fingertips and slowly up my arm, but I do my best to ignore it. It’s just a little bit longer, but the heat grows by the second. Maybe if I push the magic a little bit harder—
Glass shoots through my palm. At least, that’s what it feels like. That’s new.