by Teresa Cain
I've found only one good thing about this whole Shifter Queen/Mother crap.
They don't card me at the pub anymore. I think they're scared to.
Other than that, this whole thing is a pain in the posterior. It's like I've got everyone in Faerie after my ass now. It was now common knowledge that the Shifter Queen had been reborn, and suddenly I was very popular. Suddenly everyone either wanted to either fuck me or kill me, and I wasn't having any of either.
See, my faery genes are pretty much Play-Doh, meaning the only way I could breed a shifter is with another shifter. It makes me wonder where how this whole race got started in the first place. Anyway, the thing about a Shifter Queen is this: she always breeds true. That means true anything. If I were to breed with an incubus, I'd give birth to a full-blood incubus... or succubus. Whatever. If I bred with a goblin, I'd get a goblin baby. Eek. Same goes for every other kind of fae. And shifters aren't the only type of fae nearing extinction. There are quite a few races out there that would love to get their hands on me.
Like the Sidhe, for example. Pure Sidhe are pretty rare, and those snotty bastards think they're the freaking gods of faery kind. The full-blood Sidhe practically are. But if they had me, they could breed some pretty powerful princes and princesses for the court. And trust me, they wouldn't really give a damn about whether or not I was with the idea. They pretty much feel anyone that isn't Sidhe doesn't matter emotionally. And since there aren't enough shifters for a real war, they really don't care about the whole "honor among royalty" crap. Besides, the "queen" title is pretty honorary. If you ask me, it's just a breeding term.
Eli wanted to move us back to Texas, but I wasn't having any of that. Most of my life has been spent in hiding, and look at all the good it did me. No, I'd finally found a home again, and I wasn't letting the fact that most of Faerie's typically chauvinistically-minded males now saw me as the ultimate brood mare chase me out. Let them come! I had Eli Thorn and an overprotective, slightly psychotic and nearly possessive incubus at my back. And then there was just me: pissed as hell and not taking any shit from anybody anymore.
When I went out, I wore the Ice Blade. I was studying magic now, and learning a spell that rendered the katana unseen to mortal eyes had been easy. It's incredibly easy to hide strange things from human eyes. They do most of it themselves. I mean, if you saw a unicorn walking down the street, would you call attention to it? It's like pointing out pink elephants.
Swords were a little harder, but a long coat helps.
Notice I haven't mentioned Jade? Well, there's a reason for that. The monster chick blew town, if not this entire dimension. Her last words to me were, "Okay, I think you've got the hang of things now, and if you don't, well, ask Aerael, he actually has good business sense for a walking sex toy, and maybe your dad knows something, but hey, I've got to get out of here, been playing Wall Street goddess too long, been denying the whole monster thing, so I'm just gonna shuffle off and take up residence under Mei Lin's bed or something, get back to my roots, so I'll see ya later, toots... oh, and you can have my anime collection, just take good care of it, bye!"
And she was off like a shot. I had to notice she was back to the form I'd originally met her in, with legs and actual hair. She probably got a little freaked seeing me turn Eblis into a snake and then spitting him on my sword. But something tells me having Eli Thorn pissed at her was what sent her packing. I wouldn't want to hang around with Eli Thorn glaring at me all the time.
But I'm still Ophelia Dark... when she's needed. You'd be surprised at how little that actually is. I'm remodeling the penthouse though. That whole "Dungeon of Horrors" look might have worked while Jade still claimed the place, but I wanted something a little more upbeat. I redid the entire place in rich jewel colors: red, blue and gold. Aerael said he felt like he was living in a Persian brothel. Dad agreed. I glared at them and fingered the Ice Blade until they grinned nervously and took it back.
Secret identities... what a joy. Shame my cover was blown, but it was still not common knowledge that Morte was actually Eli. He could hide behind the other shifter's identity. But then he could go out as Eli Thorn and kick evil ass when he needed to. I told him the superhero alter ego bit was fine, but if he started wearing tights and his underwear on the outside of his clothes, I was locking him up.
Aerael and I now shared the same room - his. It was just nicer on the whole. Dad/Morte gave up his apartment and moved into Jade's old room. I don't know if he's completely happy about our relationship now that he has the "dad complex" back again, but he says he likes seeing me happy. And that despite I'm dating a genetic horndog, I could have picked worse boyfriends.
Oh, Aerael. Did I mention he found a way to combine eating and making money? Incubi/succubi feed on lust, right? And he was having to go succubus and seduce innocent men (is there such a thing?) to feed himself nowadays when he really did not like men. And he said he still felt like he was cheating.
But there's this club, right? It's a club for the non-human set... a very special kind of club. Aerael found a way of feeding on lust without sex. To put it bluntly, he's become a stripper.
I still can't think of this without bursting into laughter. But he's damn good at it. I've caught his act. I swear, the women there go insane over him! Of course, they all have this idea that because he's an incubus, they all should have a chance at him, right? Wrong! They know he's mine. And he says that knowing they can't have him when they should be able to just makes the lust all the stronger. And it seems to make them tip better, too.
Can an incubus get fat on too much lust? I guess we'll see. You should smell the hormones in that place when he gets on stage. Makes me want to cackle evilly in the face of all that hormonal frustration.
So... life was good.
Except for the various kidnapping attempts, of course.
And even those were kind of fun.
Life was very good.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
Bargains ©2000-2001 by Teresa Cain
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