A Genie's Love (The Djinn Series)
than life. I love you more than my life. Live and know that for one man, you were everything.
    He took the knife, an old bejeweled scimitar handed down from one of the elder brothers and without a single look down, sliced his throat. He couldn’t stop the gurgling. His body ached to heal itself, but he fought against it.  He almost laughed, or would have, if he’d had the air. The heat from his blood fogged the air and he recognized it for what it was. Life escaped him and with his death, she’d be free to leave. Free to live.
    His feet went first. Funny thing about djinn. They’re all humany until the very end. Then they just sorta disappear. Flesh went wobbly, like ripples in a cup, before fading away. The rest of his body joined the mist and soon all he had left were eyes.
    They never left her sleeping body.
    *****
    “F aruq?”
    It wasn’t like him to leave her alone in the Red Dead World. She grinned at the name they’d come up with and turned over in bed. These were the good times, alone before going out there to face those pitiful creatures.
    She often caught him reading the spells, trying to take some of the load off her. He had zero success. Nada. But she loved him all the more for trying.
    “Faruq? Where are you?”
    When he hadn’t shown up after calling and wishing for him, she dragged her aching muscles out of bed, got dressed and popped outside the lamp. The fool was probably at it again. How many times did she have to remind him that he wasn’t a witch? Not that she was a great one herself. But her magic, weak though it was, worked here.
    She’d wondered, oh endlessly wondered, how much easier this would have been with her sister at her side. But this was her mountain to climb and even though it near broke her every time, she was doing it – one step at a time. Today, she would finish.
    Nothing new greeted her outside, just another herd of death. She didn’t need the book anymore, she’d learned the words days ago and with half-closed eyes, she recited the spell. Arms outstretched, she roped them all in for one last push to a peaceful death. It must be done now. She had a life to get back to.
    Her eyes refocused towards the end of her chant, right about the time her back gave out. But joy outshone pain. This was her favorite part of the otherwise hellish experience. Just before sending them over, the creatures displayed brief moments of lucidity and sublime elation. She always summoned the strength to open her eyes for that part. This time, it nearly killed her.
    “Faruq? No...no!”
    She ran, but he held out his arms and waved her away. He’d warned her often enough not to get too close to these things and now he was among them.
    “Say something.”
    Another headshake.
    Oh Lord. One more word and she’d have sent him to a place he could never return from.
    He circled his index fingers, silently begging her to continue.
    “No. I won’t.”
    He glowered and intensified his movements.
    She didn’t know if he had the ability to hear her, so she did the one thing she knew he’d understand. She patted her stomach.
    Could a dead man die again? He looked terribly close.
    Together and so very much apart, they cried.
    No. Not this way. Fuck that.  She got up, wiped her wet cheeks against her shoulder, went for her books and came right back out. Her hands went through the pages so fast that some ripped. Others ripped her, splitting the flesh of her fingers and dotting the pages with blood.
    She had to redo the spell, as much as it hurt. No choice. She guided her mind, pulling in all the creatures of this world, save one. Focused, she made sure her magic didn’t touch Faruq.
    She passed out and tried again.
    And a third time.
    By the fourth, it hurt too much to open her eyes. But she knew he was there and that they were alone. His spirit drifted over and she fell asleep at his feet.
    Hours passed. Days. Who knew? She woke up hungry and weak, but mostly angry. Her knees wobbled when she tried to

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