and with a loud thud, the stingray lands on the sandy beach. And then it’s a naked woman. She looks like she’s only a couple of years older than me, and I have no idea who she is or why she would attack me. Well, except for the fact that half the Fairies here want me dead.
My legs are burning, my eyes are stinging, and I’m pissed. Not a great combination for someone who’s really powerful, because all I want to do right now, is to send her floundering back to the sea. As a human, not whatever the hell she was in the water. In fact, I think I will. She can easily change back into whatever she was, right?
“Xandra,” Kallen says from about twenty feet away. “She’s not the one you should be angry with.”
Whirling around, I direct my anger towards him. “She attacked me, tried to drown me and made me bleed. Why, exactly, shouldn’t I be mad at her?” I ask. “Who is she? A friend of yours?” He had better say no.
“She is a girl who had the misfortune of growing up with a cruel sister.”
“That clears things right up, thanks.” Was that sarcasm? How unusual for me.
“Xandra,” Kegan says from his shorter distance from me, “truly, she is but a child who has been led astray by a sister who feels scorned. Let her go, please.”
There’s a lot of feeling in his voice. So much so that it makes me look again at the girl on the beach. Apparently, she’s important to both of them. Turning to Kegan, I say, “Tell me who she is.”
“She is Xeniaa’s sister.”
Because again, that clears things right up for me. I glare at Kallen as I say, “Who is Xeniaa?”
Kallen looks kind of sheepish but Kegan looks amazed. “You do not know who Xeniaa is?”
“No.” Something about his voice tells me that I’m going to be really mad when I hear the answer.
Kegan looks at Kallen and I have rarely seen such a fierce look on another person. “You have not told her?”
Kallen also looks fierce. And, he looks look he’s seriously planning Kegan’s death; he just hasn’t come up with the cruelest possible way to do it yet. That’s probably the only thing keeping him from doing it right this minute.
I let the noisy whirlpool go because I might need that magic to use against the two guys standing in front of me if I don’t get some answers soon. And on the woman on the beach, of course. The water comes crashing back down into the ocean, dousing both Kallen and Kegan. After they sputter back to the surface, I put my hands on my hips as, I say, “You had better start talking. Otherwise, I’m tearing another hole in the realm walls and going home. You and Isla can deal with the Fairies who want to jump realms all by yourselves.”
“What?” Kegan asks. “What are you talking about? And what do you mean, tear holes in the realms.” Obviously, Kegan’s out of the loop of what’s going on. That’s strange.
“Later,” Kallen growls. To me, he says, “I will explain, but first, I need you to let the girl go.”
I look back at the beach where the limp body of the girl lies. My magic has her firmly planted on the beach. I’m not hurting her, just holding her. I think about letting her go, but keeping her like this might get the story out of Kallen faster.
Really? I just thought that? I just thought about keeping another person hostage to extract information out of my boyfriend . Someone who should tell me everything up front because we shouldn’t have to have secrets from each other? Not someone who I should have to torture strangers to get him to talk to me. He’s right. I am taking my anger out on the wrong person.
“You’re always going to keep secrets from me, aren’t you?” I ask him, and he hesitates just long enough to confirm that’s true. The pain that stabs me in the heart is much worse than the pain in my legs.