Bloodlines, p.17
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       Bloodlines, p.17

           Trisha Lynn
Chapter Sixteen

  Work really was just the distraction she needed. They were getting ready for a book signing the next day, so everything was hectic and crazy. She had very little time to dwell on Fae realms, dreams or the impending time with Loki.

  By the time her shift ended at seven-thirty she was still putting things away. Finally at seven-forty-five, she pulled on her coat and walked out the door. The store didn't close until eight, but typically only one person was needed for the last half hour. She waved a goodbye to Yana as she buttoned her coat up.

  As soon as she stepped away from the door, the familiar buzzing alighted across her flesh, causing raised goosebumps. She didn't even both turning around when she heard him behind her, just kept walking to her car. When finally she turned to him, his eyes were bright.

  “I could have been anyone.”

  She shook her head. “No, I knew who it was.”

  “Adeila, that feeling you get, the buzzing, you get it with all Fae, some more intense than others. It takes a very strong connection to the Fae world and advanced training to pick up on the different feelings, unless you are connected somehow. Just because you think it was me, because you felt the current of feeling, doesn't mean it was me. Please be more careful.”

  She didn't want to tell him about the few other times she'd felt the buzzing, and that no matter what he said; around him the feeling was different. She didn't think he needed to know that kind of information. So she just nodded.

  A few minutes later they were parked at the local shopping center, the least conspicuous and most innocent place she could think of to park. It was also crowded enough that if something happened she could get help. Not that she felt unsafe with Loki, entirely, but it was still something she had to concern herself with.

  She didn't entirely like being in this close of confines with him; it was too intense a feeling. Too enclosed. She felt like she was suffocating from the pull within her core. The pull her body had towards him. It completely mystified and confused her. And be damned if it wasn't outright annoying!

  “So, questions?”

  She bit her lip. She decided on simple questions about the Fae. “Do the Fae have jobs, careers, customs, and housing like humans?”

  He laughed. “Well, that was several questions but yes is the answer to all, but each very different from humans. Each Fae has some sort of job, whether it be with the progression of the kingdom they are governed by, the protection of the kingdom or realm, the keeping of the castles or manors, gathering food, or it may have something to do with their magic, or any of the other millions of things we need to keep a village and community running. We have no currency so to speak, so it's not like we get paychecks, like humans. Each person helps each other and the rulers provide most things. We have no cars, phones or other status like symbols so everyone is primarily equals. We grow our own food; have our own hunters and scavengers. We play to each individual’s strengths. Sometimes the rulers do pay with human currency but that is rare and typically only to its most serious guards, Guardians, guards, and agents and only to those who've been granted permission to enter the human realm. Despite the many Fae who sneak into the human realm, it's typically by approval only that the Fae are allowed to leave the Fae realm. That's why so many enter here to do ill will, because many kingdoms do not monitor as closely as Oakend.”

  “What do you do in the Fae realm?”

  A small flash of pride went through his golden eyes. “I established and currently head the R.F.R.U - Rogue Fae Retrieval Unit. It's a special, small unit branch within the Guardians, sanctioned by your father in Oakend. I established it after going through extensive guardian training to become one of your father's small circle of Elite Guardians.” He looked away at the cars in the lot. “I had a dream to do something different. Finally I decided that retrieving certain Fae from the human realm that wished it harm or were doing or saying things that may be jeopardizing the discovery of our world was something exciting and different. No Fae had tried to govern the Faeries that went over into the human realm before. And many Fae had sought the destruction of the human realm, causing many issues. Famines, earthquakes, hurricanes, drought and many other “natural” disasters. But my main goal was to keep our world undiscovered. The knowledge of our world being a secret is imperative to our survival. Humans are known to come in; test, exploit, industrialize and completely destroy everything they touch. Whenever we catch wind of a Fae doing something questionable, we are sent to investigate and return the Fae if they are caught in this wrong doing. He or she is brought to their respected kingdom for punishment, and if they are not part of a specific kingdom we bring them to your parents for punishment. We are currently trying to strengthen the portals to keep better track of the Fae using them.“

  Her eyes were wide. She was fascinated. “Aren't you only like twenty something?”

  He only nodded. “Wow, that's pretty amazing to have established something like that, Loki.”

  He smiled. “It wasn't easy. Your father is open-minded, but stubborn. I had to be the top of every class for him to really take me seriously, and I had many meetings with him trying to gain some kind of favor from him. When a Prince from another kingdom went missing, I took it upon myself to take a small team to recover him. Your father had given me the green light but insisted that if it didn't work he didn't want me bothering him with insistent ramblings any longer. Needless to say, three days later, we returned the Prince to his respected kingdom. He'd stumbled upon a portal and been merely curious. Once inside he'd gotten so confused, lost and mesmerized by the human realm he didn't pay attention to his way home. Your father was impressed, and let me continue with the unit. He let me hand pick Guardians of the Realm to train specifically for retrieval. We have quite the back up of Guardians, because many Fae want to become a Guardian for the power and ability the training gains you. So I started with a small five person unit including myself. Soon your father was sending us out more and more often, as he'd begun getting contacted from other kingdoms that had missing Fae and wanted them checked on. Most Fae, especially royalty, are very afraid of the human realm and refuse to set foot in it, or dare not send their close knitted people in it either. So many Fae that do enter the human realm are quickly forgotten and no one seeks them out to make sure they aren't doing questionable things. So your father and I decided that we would take up that mission. It may have been my dream, but he had the power to make it a reality. Now I have about fifteen very well trained agents at my call. Sorryn, my second in command, runs things when I am away. We choose team leaders according to the mission. It's much more in depth then I thought, but it's also incredibly rewarding.”

  “That's amazing!” She was honestly bewildered. Much of what he said was still confusing, but the fact that he created an entire law enforcement branch to retrieve wrong doing Faeries was pretty spectacular. If it was true, of course.

  He laughed that glorious and infrequent sound. “It's not that glorified, I assure you.” But his voice was deep with pride. “Spending so much time in the human realm has its downfalls. Plus, I am responsible for not only my team but the humans within this realm. It's a lot to worry about, and it gives me less and less of a life in the Faerie.”

  “Well, it's still pretty bad ass!”

  He grinned. “Yeah, I guess it is.”

  She laughed, and looked sidelong at him. He gained a tiny bit more respect in her eyes. What an interesting thing to accomplish at such a young age, but she wasn't surprised. He was cocky and stubborn and had that don't mess with me attitude that she figured helped him out quite a bit with a law enforcement like position.

  “Okay, so what about housing?”

  “Well, housing I suppose is similar to humans in some ways, but most homes in Fae are made right within the natural surroundings. Some build homes within the earth, deep underground. Some build them inside of trees or on trees. Some build simple stone, or wood cottages. We don't need much space to live, and our homes are usually as effi
cient as possible since we don't spend a lot of time in them. We don't have televisions or anything technological so the materialistic element isn't there. There's no new age gadget to boast or brag about. Many things are community based. Like there's a temple to pray to the Fae gods, a community supper at night where everyone can eat together in front of Gh'ehelila, our grandmother willow. We celebrate seasons, and moon shifts with festivals of dancing, eating, ale or wine. We have bonfires once or twice a year to burn off old branches and dead wood to make room for new, that is usually a giant spectacle. Even some wolves come for that.”


  “Yes, the Fae wolves. Wildwood is home to the largest pack, that's why they have their own kingdom. They govern about twelve packs within their lands. The Wildwood pack has been around since the very first Fae Princess. It is a very long tale but in short; Yolanda was the daughter of King Arian and Queen Nuheel. Queen Nuheel was a Fae with incredible shifting abilities. The Queen's sister, Ameel was half Fae, half human, and was a practicing witch. Ameel came and stayed with Nuheel from time to time, and during the time in human history when Christianity was taking hold and many females were being burned at the stake because of their possible dabbling into witchcraft, Ameel came to live with them permanently. Yolanda became her aunts shadow and wanted to learn about herbal magic. When a Fae already knows how to manipulate and wield energy magic, sometimes the simpler Witchcraft rituals and herbal remedies are more interesting.” He shifted and cleared his throat. “Yolanda had an amazing Fae power to shift an animal into another animal. She withdrew and began practicing magic, both her natural Fae magic, and the witchcraft she watched her Aunt practice. It was during her volatile teenage years she became friends with a male wolf. She fell in love with his company. It made her feel less alone, as the only heir to a large kingdom left her with few real friends. Her parents were constantly busy, and her life was mundane. At that time it was only Neberuk, Oakend and Ravenswood. Her parents were, at that time, rulers of Ravenswood, which was a very new, young and rebellious kingdom. Faerie is so large, that each kingdom is hundreds of thousands of acres of land before they even abut another kingdom. At that time, there was no real way of communication so riders or birds were sent out with messages. It was much like your own human realms medieval times. Yolanda's role was to marry and produce heirs for Ravenswood. It was the night of her betrothal, that she made it her goal to create a man from this wolf. The night before her looming bonding ceremony, she had the capacity to finally see this goal through, but learned there were many consequences to this kind of action. At full moon he had to shift back into wolf form, for at least twenty-four hours. And with this shift he could choose to remain in wolf form, permanently.

  Needless to say he didn't and after lots of convincing from her shocked and outraged parents they were married, and had children. All of these children had the strong wolf gene.

  Over the millennium, the bloodlines of the Fae wolves have shifted and changed. Now they can shift at will, but still must shift at full moon and remain shifted for twenty-four hours, but most of the Wildwood wolves remain in wolf form most of the time. It's an easier, simpler way of life. Yolanda and her husband, Gilvis, created Wildwood as a sanctuary for the wolves, both those of their own descendants, and those that were true wolves, ones that could not shift into Fae. They are an interesting, proud and stubborn lot. If you think the Fae are proud of their bloodlines and ancestry, they don't even compare to that of the wolves.”

  Just then headlights cut across the front of her car, momentarily blinding her. She was instantly horrified when the car moved across the front of hers, she recognized it, and then the passenger. Marissa started out by waving, then when her eyes went to Loki they instantly changed to complete and utter confusion, then betrayal flared in her eyes as they sped away.

  Mouth hanging open, Adeila almost started crying. Oh crap!

  She laid her head on her steering wheel. Why of all places had Marissa been with her mother at this shopping center? Why of all places had she chosen this lot to sit with Loki?

  Her life was literally in shambles, she wanted to curl up and cry. How the hell was she going to fix this? One thing she knew, she needed Loki out of here. She couldn't breathe with him in the car, let alone cry.

  “Where are you parked?” She mumbled it between her arms.

  “Adeila, your human relations are -”

  She held up her hand. Tears shimmered in her blue eyes.

  “Don't. Just don't.” She wanted him out. Now.

  “I'm sorry, I-”

  “Loki, it's not really your fault. I just need to go home. I can't do this right now.”

  Just when she thought she'd gained a foot, she was pushed back ten. She couldn't stand it. A giant ache ran along her chest.

  He just stared at her and then grabbed the door handle, opening the door; sending a blast of cool air within the now stuffy car.

  “Damn it, Loki, I can bring you to your car. You don't have to just get out here.”

  “It's fine. I'm not far. But by Friday be ready with a story for your human family and friends so they don't cause you grief. After school Friday, please, Adeila be ready. I know it's hard to lie, but you must.”

  She could only nod. She watched him walk away and hit the steering wheel with her palm. What the hell was she going to do now? What was she going to say to Marissa?

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