Samantha Lee’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Love Makes You Do The Whacky
"May I kill her now?"
I sigh. I knew this was going to be a bad idea; it's always a bad idea, especially when Lin is involved. Who is Lin, you ask? Well, her full name is Ethelinda, she's Fae, and she's...complicated. Her father is an incubus, her mother a Medusa, and that particular blend of genetics gifted us with Lin; a serpentine Jessica Rabbit gone goth with delusions of grandeur and vanity so great it would give even Narcissus pause.
Unfortunately, Lin isn't quite so delusional that she's completely wrong about the grandeur thing; she's powerful, both magically and politically. Powerful enough that I have to deny Tru's request.
At least for now.
"Hello, Lin," I say, forcing my lips to curl in as much of a smile as I can manage. "To what do I owe the honour of your visit?"
Lin flashes me one of those tolerant, condescending grins that would drive a nun to physical violence. "Fifi, darling," she exclaims, throwing open her arms. She moves towards me, looking as though she intends to hug me, but I have a trio of Fae cats curled around my feet and a pair of wraiths flanking my low-backed throne, more than enough menace to have her rethink coming too close. She coughs and stutters to a stop, a flash of anger on her face betraying her annoyance. I'm absurdly pleased by this.
"I heard you'd staged a comeback, Fifi love; I thought I'd drop by and welcome you personally. It was quite the phoenix act you pulled, after all, and such a clever thing merits more than an underling's dispatch, don't you think?"
I wish I could sigh. I'm in a room full of prying eyes, however, so must content myself with a laugh instead. "Oh, Lin, I've missed you terribly. You've always been such an impressive model of Fae virtue." A negative model, mind you, but somethings are better left unsaid.
Lin preens. "I must say, Fifi, that I'm ever so excited to see what you do now, especially when you've brought so many tasty morsels home with you. Tell me, love, do you plan on sharing your good luck?"
I smile. Smiling is nice, nice and safe. I could have misunderstood, after all; benefit of the doubt and all that. I let my smile slowly fade into a frown. I blink and cock my head, biting down on my bottom lip as I appear to think over what she's said. "Why, Lin, whatever could you mean?"
Lin's smile turns sharp and she waves a clawed hand at my wraiths and Tru. I don't like the predatory gleam in her eyes as she looks at my guys, as though they're gazelles and she's the lioness. Don't get me wrong; even if Tru and I weren't monogamous it would just be too weird to have anything more than friendship with my wraiths. It would feel like taking advantage of their trust, of our bond, of my powers. I love my wraiths, I care about them, and - most importantly of all - I respect them. Plus...it would just feel too weird. Did I mention that?
I deepen my frown, quirk one brow, and shrug.
Lin sighs. "Oh, honey, it's like you're going thirsty in a monsoon. You've got such a delightful bounty, and yet you think to satisfy yourself with just the vampire?" She laughs, throwing her head back and tossing her hair with practiced ease. "You silly dear, what potential you let go to waste! You ought to be ashamed, tsk tsk."
Behind me, Keeley actually growls, his anger emanating from him in a tangible heat. Khardeen audibly grounds his teeth, his hands fisting so tightly I can actually hear the muscles creaking.
This is going oh, so well.
I rub at my eyes with the thumb and index finger of one hand and then the bridge of my nose. "What can I say, Lin? Love makes you do the whacky."
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