Elven, Book 5
by Willa Okati
[ Urban Fantasy Romance, MMF ]
Alyssia’s had it up to here with being a good Elven girl. And, lucky for her, pretty soon Devin and Cam have ideas of their own about what to do with a pretty Elven maid, and they’d bet their love that she’ll like them…
Alyssia poked at the tiny hole she’d unraveled between realities. They said I couldn’t find it. Ha! Showed them, didn’t I?
Not that her quest had been an easy one, oh no. Not even Elven eyes could see the Veil unless, one, they knew exactly what they were looking for, and two, knew the taste of honeysuckle, thick on the tongue when you breathe in the stormy mist, that’d fill the air when an Elf drew close.
“It’s forbidden for proper Elven maids to go traipsing from one world to another,” she scoffed, plucking at the fraying strands of the divide between the Summerlands and the human world. Her wings fluttered in time with her speech, their bright butterfly patterns and delicate filaments sensitive enough to detect the slightest change in the wind. “Never mind that Elven men can do what they darn well please and waltz in and out all day long if they like. Pfft! Let anyone just try and stop me. I’m outta here.”
As best as she could tell, stepping through this twist in the Veil would spit her out — where, again? Ca Nada? May Nee? Somewhere without many people. She was almost sure of it.
A good practice field for an Elven maid who planned on making this journey as many times as she could. A girl had to start somewhere, right? And anywhere was better than the Summerlands. By the Lady, eternal perfection got boring after a couple hundred years!
“Weather,” she muttered, busily unweaving threads of the Veil. “Real weather. Snow! Rain! Maybe I’ll even get sunburned. Wonder if I’ll freckle?” She blew back a wisp of fair blonde hair, stubborn in its refusal to curl — ever — like a proper Elven lady’s should — or to grow any further than just beneath her pert shoulder blades, just above the top of her butterfly wings. At least no one could find fault with, or be picky about, her wings. They were as brightly colored as any Elven beauty’s, and just as hotcha-hotcha where the men were concerned. She’d heard some human men had a “thing for wings.” It’d be interesting to see if that was fantasy or fact.
What sucked more than the centuries of ennui in a land where nothing happened except perfection, perfection, and more stinking perfection? Being imperfect. Yeah. That one bit the big honker.
She’d heard that people were actually different on Earth. Tall, short, heavy, skinny, bald, too hairy; they had big feet and freckles and they smelled like something besides jasmine or roses.
By the Lord and Lady, Alyssia would kill to meet a guy who smelled male. Though she wasn’t sure exactly how that’d work out. Her best guess? Maybe a little like one of the horses.
In which case a dose of jasmine might not hurt.
“Almost through?” she queried the loosening threads, as if they could speak back to her. “I think so!” She poked her finger through the hole and when nothing bit it off — she might have been a smidge worried — slid her arm through up to the elbow and waggled it about. Up and down.
The Veil stirred, making a sound like rustling silk, rumpled as if in irritation, and parted almost — almost –wide enough to let her whole body through.
One more thread, Alyssia decided. One teensy-weensy tweak of just the right strand and then full speed ahead. But which cord needed to go? She wiped a smudge of dirt off her forehead — an Elven maid who got dirty, go figure — and stared at the invisible Veil. She could spend all day here trying to figure it out and maybe still get it wrong.
Alyssia shrugged, grabbed a handful of Veil and yanked hard. “Now or never, baby,” she said, eagerly seizing the torn edges and hurling through, wings unfurling wide to send her soaring. “Real world, here I come. Look out belooooooooooooooooow!”