Bloodlines, p.26
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       Bloodlines, p.26

           Trisha Lynn
Chapter Twenty-Five

  Adeila woke with sweat coating her body, blood pumping, and her breath coming in wild gulps. She gave herself several moments to calm her racing heart, and regain full consciousness before looking around. The moonlight was waning, meaning dawn was not far off. She gulped down the rest of her water and swung her legs over the bed. Her body still felt tingly and seemed to feel lighter all over. As if she weighed at least thirty pounds less than she had before she'd fallen asleep. She looked down at her flat stomach; it didn't appear she'd lost weight. Her bones weren't protruding any more than they had been upon her inspection of herself after entering in Faerie.

  Appearance wise she looked as she had last night. She took a calming breath and swung her head back and forth seeing if the need to vomit arose. When she felt perfectly normal, she licked her lips. Well, at least she didn't feel sick or feverish anymore.

  She went into her bathroom paradise, a good shower should help get rid of the remnants of the dreams and any leftover fogginess in her brain from the night.

  After her shower she looked into the closet. It was ridiculous. Not only it's massive size, but it's glamorous, over-flowing, contents. It was filled with things she would never wear. Things, literally, fit for a Princess. Dresses of every color and every silky texture graced the hangers, along with fleece and cashmere sweaters.

  Sighing, she moved to the dresser. Opening the top drawer she inspected the under garments, which were color coded and folded perfectly. She almost groaned. Tags were still on every single pair and she was completely stammered at the price on them. How the heck did the Fae have so much money to buy ridiculously expensive panties? Briefly, she wondered if they just made these things appear, magically. It would make sense.

  She opened the rest of the drawers – well, the Fae did nothing half-assed that’s for sure; tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeves, cargo pants, shorts, yoga pants, sweats, jeans and everything in between were in those massive drawers. She pulled out a few pairs of pants, and to her surprise they were her exact size. How the hell did they know? Had all of these been purchased before she even got here? Were they that confident in her return? Did Loki know her size and give it to them?

  The thought of Loki paying enough attention to her body to give them the perfect size made heat rush to her cheeks. She stamped it down and threw on very slim fitting black cargo pants, and an ice blue long sleeve shirt that was a nice snug fit against her newly enlarged chest, but didn't expose too much cleavage to be slutty. It was a simple, yet classy shirt, and she'd seen nothing less than class within that wardrobe.

  She pulled on her own hiking boots that she had worn there, and ignored the large open cabinet of shoes that she'd almost swooned over. She'd decided not to give in to that little fantasy at this moment. Keep something of her own, something personal on.

  She turned to the mirror and put her still wet hair into a high, sleek pony tail.

  After assessing her still slightly strange reflection she moved to the windows, as predawn light was filtering over the mountains miles off. It gave a very small glimmer of pale yellow light onto the tree line below. She could make out a small clearing that gave way to a large pond and more trees beyond.

  As she stared she caught movement by the pond. A tingling sensation started in her arms and the boiling of her blood began pounding in her eardrums. The overwhelming urgency to get down there overtook her. She turned to her bedroom door, she assumed guards were stationed there, and everywhere else within this fantasy castle, and because the Fae could sense each other to a degree, she assumed she wouldn't get far without an escort. She turned back to the window and looked down again, there was a small bit of roof that gave way to a ledge below; just enough of a lip to drop down onto. She could do this. She wasn't the most agile of people but she was determined and that was something right?

  As quietly as she could muster she unlocked the window and slid it up. It was soundless. She put one leg over the sill then slowly the other. She was smart enough to close the window, silently, behind her as her feet hit the solid wooden thatched roof. By closing her window behind her, it would take someone a few moments of checking her room and bathroom to find her missing. She wanted to give herself a head start before someone sensed her whereabouts.

  She faced outwards and looked around. The roof pitched gradually down, and there was a stone ledge about two feet down from that, that overlooked part of a garden. She couldn't really see beyond the ledge from here. She decided she'd figure that out when she got there.

  Every muscle in her body poised for her descent. She slowly, painstakingly, inched her way across the rough thatches and to the stone ledge. Shocked at how sure footed and balanced she felt. She moved with utter calm and ease, like she was made for this or something. Her body shifted and moved, her muscles coiling and retracting, her feet making light steps. As she came to the ledge, her body poised and ready, but her mind was second guessing this decision.

  So far her body seemed to know what to do, so, on blind faith she leaped. She landed gracefully in a crouch. She lifted herself up slowly and looked at her legs and feet, awkwardly. What the heck? She'd never in her life had this kind of grace, balance or agility. It was why she'd never really tried out for any sports.

  The words from last night trickled back to her. Did coming to the Fae realm really transform or trigger something within her? Some inner caged version of herself that had now been awakened?

  She no longer questioned her parentage. She was pretty sure that the King and Queen were not lying but what else was going on with her? She knew her appearance and senses would change, but this – whatever this was – was unexpected. Albeit awesome, just unexpected. Like she literally had superhuman agility or something.

  She decided a roof top, with time not on her side, was not the place to contemplate her changes.

  Below she saw another stone ledge that sat above a large fountain cut into the shape of a bear with several turtles, squirrels and birds around it. She made that leap as effortlessly as the last. Next she set her sights on the fountain down a little farther along the ledge. She slowly crept along it and turned to a good sized fish pond with a statue in its center of a koi like fish with two flowing tails.

  She wanted to leap on the stone wall supporting the pond, and then to the ground. It was a true testament to her new found balance, since one false move and she'd get very wet. She crouched, her muscles bunching and flexing in ways so foreign to her, she felt her weight shift and center. She felt so light and nimble. It was truly amazing. Without thinking too much, she sprang out and towards the fish; gripping one of it's fanned out tails. Her fingers grappled and dug in, and her legs swung her around to land on the raised stones at the lip of the pool. She teetered a moment, balls of her feet regaining footing. Well, she clearly needed some practice, but hell for the clumsy girl who could barely hike without falling on her face; this was a damn good start. She wasn't even out of breath. She marveled in it a second before looking around her. Dim lights flickered from lanterns and small oval jars that sat here and there on ledges and directly on the stone walk ways, balls of light were strung here and there on trees. It was such an enchanting place. She didn't give herself much thought of it, but it wasn't hard to see that these lights were actually balls of fire held within the jars and lanterns, no electricity kept the lights aglow.

  She hopped off the stone and began walking towards some hedges. Not being high up, like she was on the second story window, she had no vantage point as to where the pond was now, but a tingling sensation zinged up her arm as she walked towards a garden gate, almost hidden by lilac and rose bushes. It was locked by a huge silver chain but she didn't actually see any real lock mechanism, as she reached her hand out to touch the chain, it fell away with a small clinking noise. Whoa! Because that wasn't weird at all. She slowly pushed the gate open, surprised in its silent movements. Pretty much every gate in the world creaked. Then she reminded herself they were no longer in her world.

bsp; She moved towards the woods, the zinging in her arms intensified as she moved to the clearing she'd seen from her window. Dawn was beginning to filter light through the tall trees and into the dewy grass below her feet. Fine mist whispered its way across the pond and fog hung throughout the clearing making visibility difficult.

  As she stepped through the clearing she saw movement on the other side of the pond and her body propelled her forward. The tickling went from her arms to her neck, raising hairs in its wake. Her heart grew lighter, but a tiny shred of panic rushed down her spine, gripping her throat. She looked behind her, back at the safety of the castle. She tried to swallow the panic, and listen to the lightness in her heart. This didn't feel wrong, but the panic remained even with her pushing past it.

  Damn her human fearfulness. In her heart she knew whatever was out here was not here to cause her harm. Feelings of airiness and peace settled over her as her feet took her closer of their own accord. When she reached the other side, she saw a large figure. The mist cleared just enough that she made out an equine-like shape and then she saw the golden glowing hide cut through the dim gray of the fog.

  She gasped. It was the golden horse from her dream. She gulped in some air and was frozen to the spot. It lifted its majestic head and looked towards her. It's soft sepia eyes focused on her. She could see the ivory horn clearly upon his graceful forehead. It was a unicorn! Like the one in her dreams. This was completely impossible.

  She pinched the delicate skin at her wrist to try and wake herself up, when the touch didn't even hurt, she gave up. Regardless, dream or not, this was pretty damn amazing and she should probably just enjoy it. It's not like she'll ever see a dang unicorn again.

  She took a very tentative step closer, the animal just watched her. Clearly not afraid of her.

  She watched the animal in silence for several moments, the two sizing each other up. Her heart was racing. Not only were unicorns mythical beings that she herself had never in a billion years ever thought about seeing, except manifesting in her dreams, but now she was standing only a few feet from the real thing. Well, other than the fact that she was in another realm. Maybe within the Fae realm they didn't have regular horses, just unicorns? Still it didn't explain how one that looked exactly like this one had manifested into her dreams before she'd even seen this real one. How was that possible? Were her dreams some kind of premonition? Was that some weird Fae power?

  She swallowed. Maybe she needed to ask Loki about this, but for now her mind clicked back to the fact that she still stood within the presence of a very real mythological animal she'd always thought didn't exist.

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