Clare saw dead people.
This wouldn’t have been bad if dead people were all she saw. In
this day and age, a person could make a decent living talking to ghosts.
But Zoe’s gift had come with an eccentric extra—a tiny,
annoying extra that was, even now, tugging at the covers she’d
pulled determinedly over her head.
"I need my sleep,” she said, her eyes screwed shut against
the bright Arizona morning. "It’s important for a medium
to recharge her batteries.”
The tugging changed to a weighted prickle on her scalp, between the
corkscrew curls of her long black hair. One of the fairies who’d
been her constant companions since childhood (much to her parents’
dismay) was standing on Zoe’s head.
"Wakey-wakey,” it said like a DJ on helium. "It’s
a beautiful day in Fairyville, and your batteries are as charged as
they’re going to get.”
"Your mother was a toadstool,” Zoe retorted, her eyes still
The avoidance was ineffective. Her tormentor shone clearly in her mind’s
eye, complete with diaphanous gown and dragonfly wings. Like many mediums,
Zoe saw the other world better without her physical sight. Although
the different fairies’ voices sounded the same to her, this one’s
iridescent purple wings and gaudy yellow tiara proclaimed that she was
Rajel, queen of Zoe’s personal flock. She flashed her tiny white
teeth in a twinkling grin, Zoe’s insult having slid right off
Serious fairies, apparently, had little hope of rising through the ranks.
Only the most persistently positive could be queen.
"It’s time to rise and shine,” Rajel cooed. "You
know you hate to be late to work.”
This was usually true, but today was the day after the full moon. Spiritually,
this affected her not at all. Personally, it made her stomach sink to
The full moon was when her landlord-slash-manager, the painfully scrumptious
Magnus Monroe, indulged in his monthly sexual debauch. The day after
the full moon was when Zoe had to watch him stroll into her office,
all loose-hipped and jovial, and know that—yet again—she
wasn’t the woman who’d put that smile on his face.
She wondered who his partner had been this time. Every month was different,
and he didn’t seem to have a type beyond female and breathing.
She suspected the lucky lady was Sheri Yost.
Sheri was the waitress at Zoe’s favorite steak house, where she
and Magnus often ate lunch. Magnus flirted the way some men inhaled
oxygen, but over the last week, Zoe thought she’d noticed an extra
bit of zing in his and Sheri’s repartee. If Sheri had been his
"chosen one,” Zoe’s lunch was destined to be as hard
to stomach as going in to work. The women who slept with her manager
always had a glow afterward, an I’ve-been-screwed-six-ways-to-Sunday-and-I-loved-it
Remembering how many times she’d seen that sensual female smirk
made Zoe sit up growling in disgust. She shoved her tangle of long black
curls away from her face. Now that her physical eyes were open, Rajel
was a sparkly purple sphere, no bigger than a penny, hanging in the
air in front of her. Most people wouldn’t have seen her, but Zoe
could see her and more. Rajel’s fairy court bobbed behind her,
a cloud of at least a dozen snickering rainbow glows.
It was a larger gathering than usual.
"Well, well,” Zoe said. "The gang’s all here.
Must have been a slow night for parties.”
The fairies giggled in agreement and whizzed off in different directions.
"Dibs on helping Zoe with her hair!” cried one.
"I’m picking her jewelry!” said another.
"I’ll talk to the toaster!” announced a third.
"No!” Zoe whipped out her hand to grab the last fairy, but
the little bugger was too fast. ANo talking to the toaster! You guys
keep shorting it out.”
The darting rose-pink sparkle paid her no mind. "Stop her,”
Zoe begged Rajel. "I’m tired of cold cereal.”
"Oh, I couldn’t discourage Florabel.” Rajel brushed
a bit of fairy dust from her gown. "She’s only trying to
communicate with the machinery. It does have a primitive form of consciousness,
"Great,” Zoe mumbled, throwing off the covers and stumping
toward the shower. "I guess until Florabel figures out the toasters’
'primitive consciousness,’ I can kiss my morning bagel goodbye.”
Cold cereal aside, if a person had to go to work, Fairyville, Arizona
was the place to do it, especially on a cool, bright morning in July.
The sky was a deep, saturated blue, and while the temperature might
climb toward ungodly as the day went on, for now it was as pleasant
as a baby’s smile.
Zoe’s fairies swooped off somersaulting into the ethers, chasing
bees or showing off. Zoe couldn’t begrudge them their high spirits—or
their abandonment of her. No matter how many times she’d seen
the local red-rock cliffs against that deep blue sky, the sight never
failed to catch at her breath.
You just couldn’t forget the power of Mother Nature here.
A definite beneficiary of that power, Fairyville lay north of its more
famous sister, Sedona, but shared the same awe-inspiring landscape of
buttes and spires—and the same reputation for mystical oddities.
Zoe’s home had been a virtual ghost town fifty years ago, a copper
mine gone bust in the Great Depression. It had been revived by a carefully
calculated tourist scheme, devised by the then-desperate residents,
who decided to tout it as the "Number One Fairy-Spotting Capital
in the U.S.A.”
Today Fairyville was divided into two camps, the "real” Fairyvillers
and the "normals.” Being a real Fairyviller had nothing to
do with how long you’d lived there. You became one by having a
psychic gift, by treating those who had psychic gifts with respect,
or by being so looney tunes everyone figured you had to be touched by
Normals were the folks who thought the real Fairyvillers were "colorful.”
Zoe grimaced at how much local color she herself represented and parked
her classic white VW bug at the end of Canyon Way, well beyond the spots
the tourists would be fighting over once they rolled out of their B&Bs.
Even at this distance, her walk would be reasonable. Fairyville’s
carefully restored historic district was, at most, a ten-minute stroll
from end to end. Zoe knew every inch of it, from the mix of Old West
storefronts to the rock shops to the Spanish adobe restaurants.
She’d lived in or around Fairyville all her life and considered
herself lucky this was the case. Her parents, normals down to their
toes, had tolerated her claims of being visited by dead relatives. This
was, after all, a mainstream sort of weirdness. When she refused to
outgrow her fairies, however, they’d drawn a line. Dead people
existed. Fairies were delusions. It was time Zoe admitted she’d
made them up.
Fortunately, the psychologist they’d insisted she see while she
was in high school was a real Fairyviller, too. Dr. Sweetwell ended
up being—unbeknownst to Zoe’s parents—her spiritual
mentor. In truth, it would have been hard for Catherine Sweetwell to
avoid it, seeing as how she liked to call in angels for consults. She’d
guided Zoe to the best teachers to hone her gifts, even covered for
her when she went to workshops.
"Thank you, Doc,” Zoe murmured as she forced her reluctant
sandals past the Navajo rug store. She felt in need of counting her
blessings. The gallery in which she did her readings was only a few
doors down, a restored brick two-story building from 1910. From where
she stood, she could see the potted prickly pear cactus that guarded
the entrance, the last of its lush hot-pink flowers drooping off. Magnus
loved that cactus. He called it "Gorgeous” and said hello
to it every morning. The first time Zoe had heard him do it, her heart
Magnus was sweet to women no matter what their species.
You can handle this, she told herself. Every month you
see him do the same thing, and every month you survive.
But the pep talk didn’t help. The "Open” sign in her
gallery window sent her pulse into a panic. Magnus was already there,
probably lazing back in her chair with his long, strong legs propped
on the desk she used for paperwork. He looked good in cowboy boots,
Magnus did, a man’s man with a sensually handsome face. The memory
of how his faded Levis cupped his basket made her whole body flush.
He always looked mellow the morning after, as if he’d just lie
back and let a woman ride.
Chickening out at the last moment, Zoe ducked into The Fairyville Café
one door short of her own storefront. Her first client wasn’t
due for fifteen minutes. She didn’t have to torture herself by
spending every one of them pining after her well-screwed landlord.
Metaphysically speaking, that wouldn’t do anyone any good.
The café’s owner was Teresa Smallfoot. A mix of Native
American, Anglo, and six-foot-tall goddess, she’d been a friend
of Zoe’s from the day she opened, trading free coffee for the
occasional free reading. Since Teresa’s troubles were of the mild
romantic sort and the coffee was hot and strong, Zoe considered the
exchange a fair one. Plus, Teresa’s departed relatives were well
behaved. Not a pesterer in the bunch.
Considering some of her clients’ connections showed up hours ahead
of schedule to jabber inanities, Zoe valued the ones with restraint.
Teresa was watching her customers from behind the coffee bar today.
The decor was Western Victorian, with little round antique tables and
sepia photos of long-dead people hanging on the walls. Teresa leaned
forward as soon as she saw Zoe.
"Girlfriend,” she said in a low, excited tone. AYou should
have heard the ruckus from next door last night! There was such a caterwauling
coming out of Sheri’s bedroom windows, you’d have thought
a pair of cougars had been locked inside!”
Zoe fought a wince. She’d forgotten Sheri Yost was Teresa’s
"Great,” she said, pouring herself some coffee from the carafe
of dark roast on the counter. Teresa used real cups, mismatched china
she picked up in junk stores. "Just what I was hoping to hear.”
"I know, honey,” Teresa crooned sympathetically. That lasted
about two seconds, or until Teresa’s love of good gossip had her
grinning again. "I’ll be surprised if Sheri comes to work
today. In fact, I’ll be surprised if she can walk. That manager
of yours is a luvv machine. Every time I thought he must be wrung dry,
they started up again. If I didn’t know you had a thing for him,
I’d throw myself in his path out of sheer curiosity.”
Zoe took such a big swig of coffee, she nearly scalded her throat. "Don’t
let me stop you,” she said through her coughs.
"Oh, right. Like you wouldn’t want to gouge out my eyes if
I slept with him. I know the girlfriend rules.”
"At least I could see why he’d go for you. Sheri Yost is
a whiny bore.”
Teresa flipped her long black locks behind her shoulders, her expression
indicating pleasure at the compliment. "Sheri Yost is a whiny bore
who isn’t smart enough to make change. You, on the other hand,
are beautiful, sweet, and wise. Clearly, Magnus has no sense.”
"Unfortunately, you can’t force people to have sense—as
I’ve learned from my many years of giving advice.” Zoe turned
her cup between her hands. "I just don’t understand him.
Why would a guy with his looks and charisma restrict himself to having
sex once a month? And why does it have to be a new woman every time?”
"Maybe that’s the secret to his stamina. Abstinence plus
variety. I mean, he can’t be the only man who’d like to
be able to perform like that. Without Viagra, I mean.”
With a rueful cluck, Teresa interrupted the conversation to serve another
"He’s a freak,” Zoe said when her friend returned,
though she should have let it go. "I have no idea why I like him.”
"How about because he’s a hunka hunka burning love, and you’ve
got eyes? Plus, he’s nice.”
Magnus was more than nice. Magnus was considerate, charming, funny,
and had the sunniest disposition of any human being she knew. Nothing
got him down: not hundred-degree weather, not dents in his SUV, or the
evening news. His only flaw (and, to be fair, it was only a flaw to
Zoe) was his refusal to look at her in a sexual way.
Teresa set her elbows on the counter. "Couldn’t you ask your
little friends what his story is?”
Zoe’s mouth quirked. Teresa was open minded, but she’d never
liked saying the word fairy. "I have asked them. They’re
Weirdly mum, in fact. Zoe’s fairies tended to air their opinions
"Well, what good are they then?”
"They aren’t my slaves, Ter. They hang with me because they
think I’m fun.”
"Fun on every topic but one.”
This tease was a bit too close to the mark. Some days Zoe thought if
she didn’t get over her crush on Magnus, she’d turn into
a lifelong grump.
"I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” she grumbled
into her empty cup. AI never used to like guys that tall.”
Teresa reached out to pat her arm. AOh, face it, honey. It’s not
the height you like, it’s him.”
It is him, Zoe admitted, though she only pulled a face at her
She was debating buying a chocolate muffin as consolation when a flicker
of gray in her peripheral vision reminded her of the time. The ghost
was one she knew: Mrs. Darling’s late husband, Leo. Once he’d
finished materializing, Leo nodded to her and smiled. He was one of
her favorites, as gentle in death as he’d been in life. In spite
of her sour mood, it cheered her to know he’d be her first job.
"Gotta go,” she said to Teresa. "My special guests are
starting to line up.”
"Brr,” Teresa responded, pretending to shiver as she hugged
Leo tipped his Stetson to Teresa, but Zoe was the only living being
Zoe gave her readings in the front room of the gallery. The furnishings
were as homey as she could make them—secondhand chairs and sofas,
with nicked tables set between. A beautiful Navaho rug hung on one wall,
her biggest decorating splurge. The light from the wide front window
filled the space with gold, glinting pleasantly off her assortment of
crystals and stones.
The fairies had insisted she buy them to "cleanse the atmosphere.”
They were her only mystical bric-a-brac. Most of her clients felt more
comfortable without too much woo-woo stuff, though tourists sometimes
asked why she didn’t use tarot cards. Zoe knew such touchstones
worked for others, but she’d never wanted to be dependent on objects.
She needed nothing to jumpstart her gift except an open heart and a
Even that seemed unnecessary with a contact as clear-spoken as Leo Darling.
As usual, Ada Darling’s weekly appointment went smoothly. She
liked to share her news with her disincarnate spouse and get his advice
on the decisions of daily life. Her husband was always patient with
her concerns, letting her know which handymen she could trust, reminding
her she didn’t need his permission for anything.
Mrs. Darling never seemed to doubt the authenticity of these interactions,
but she also never seemed to realize they might inspire deeper thoughts.
The soul survived death, and the dead still loved those they left behind.
That was Big, as far as Zoe was concerned; that was a message she suspected
she’d never tire of delivering. Although Mrs. Darling was a sweet
old lady, sometimes Zoe wanted to shake her out of her mundane world.
Heaven loves you, she long to say. What does it matter if your
best friend cheats at bingo?
When her hour was up, Mrs. Darling counted out her payment in cash like
she always did. Her old, arthritic hands made each bill seem as heavy
as a volume of War and Peace. Every time Zoe watched her do
it, she had to bite her tongue against telling her to keep her money.
Zoe performed a service, and she performed it well. This was her sole
source of income. Even more important, if she didn’t charge Ada
Darling, Zoe suspected the woman would be in here ten times a day.
Mrs. Darling sighed with satisfaction once the painstaking ritual was
complete. "Thank you, dear,” she said, handing over the fee.
AYou’ve put this aching old heart to rest.”
Zoe smiled in spite of her impatience. "That’s why I’m
Mrs. Darling nodded, her usual reluctance to leave showing itself. She
really didn’t like facing her life without "dear old Leo”
to hold her hand.
"You’ll be fine,” Zoe said, reaching out to squeeze
her plump but fragile arm. "Leo watches over you all the time,
not just when you talk to him here.”
"But you’re the one who makes me feel him,” said Mrs.
Darling. Her faded blue eyes teared up, though she waved off the tissue
Zoe offered her. "You’re a good girl, Zoe. I hope you find
a man like Leo yourself someday.”
"So do I,” Zoe admitted, and then had to clear her throat.
Without warning, Mrs. Darling cackled out a laugh. "Ask those fairies
of yours to fix you up. Then you’ll be set!”
"You hear that?” Zoe said to the apparently empty air above
No piping voices answered, even after Mrs. Darling left. A prickle at
the back of Zoe’s neck told her why. Magnus was standing in the
door behind her, the one that led to her office.
From their first meeting, Magnus had struck her as more man than most.
He was tall, for one thing, at least six five—though you didn’t
notice how big the various parts of him were until you stood up close.
With half a room between them, he simply looked in proportion. At five
foot six Zoe was no pygmy, but she wasn’t fooled. Toe- to-toe,
Magnus could make an Amazon feel delicate. His looks were as dramatic
as his size. He had dark, beautiful hair—not long but a little
shaggy—smooth, high-colored skin, full kissable lips, and eyes
as green and clear as a mountain stream. If he hadn’t exuded masculinity,
he’d have been pretty. Instead, he came off as unbelievably sexy.
Zoe had known him two years, and she still had to swallow at the sight
No matter how cool she wanted to act, he was hard to look away from.
Now his face held something uncertain, something she hadn’t expected
to see on this of all days. She wondered how much he’d heard of
her conversation with Mrs. Darling. She could only hope not a lot. Zoe
might be psychic, but she wasn’t a mind reader. The images she
caught from people now and then weren’t conscious thoughts. They
came, she was almost certain, from the part of them that shared the
same nonphysical territory as the deceased: the high, wise angel of
their better selves.
As far as she could tell, Magnus’s high, wise angel didn’t
have a peep to say to her.
"Your hair looks nice,” he said, waving one hand in her direction.
Zoe couldn’t help touching it self-consciously. Left to itself,
her hair had a tendency to devolve into a long black snarl. "I
had help this morning.”
He nodded without his usual trademark smile. Like most of the locals,
Magnus knew about her fairies. He also knew, because she hadn’t
figured out how to keep it from him, that they avoided him like the
plague. She had only to think hard about Magnus, and they’d disappear
into whatever dimension fairies hung out in when they weren’t
in hers. Zoe had no idea why they did this—unless they simply
didn’t like his effect on her moods.
In all her life, only one other man had provoked a similar reaction
from her "little friends” . . . but that was a ghost Zoe
preferred not to resurrect.
"I don’t suppose they’re still around,” he said
with an uncustomary tinge of wistfulness. His Western-style shirt hugged
his chest just right, and his big, tanned hands were thrust into his
front jean pockets. The faded patches in the denim, where his cock and
balls habitually rubbed, pointed out how very well hung he was. Sadly,
none of these things were encouraging Zoe’s eyes to stay where
she wanted them.
"I think the fairies are outside playing,” she said. She
shifted from foot to foot, caught off balance by his strange mood. "I
didn’t expect to see you here this late.”
Magnus owned a number of properties in Fairyville, where he also acted
in a managerial capacity. From the day he’d invited Zoe to set
up shop here, she was always his first stop, though half an hour was
generally as long as he stayed.
He didn’t respond right away, and she was soon sorry she’d
forced her gaze to his face. He was looking at her steadily, as if whatever
he was thinking was serious. She would have given her right arm to have
him look at her like that in bed. Unable to stop the reaction, Zoe felt
a bead of sweat trickle down the small of her back. If he’d figured
out she had a yen for him, she was going to die.
"You received some more requests to speak,” he said at last.
"I was trying to see if I could organize them into a tour.”
"A tour?” she repeated, praying the words wouldn’t
strangle on their way out. He had figured it out. He was trying to get
rid of her.
"You could go in the fall. Get your name better known. You deserve
that, you know. You’re a princess, Zoe, not a girl wrapped in
a donkey skin.”
Zoe blinked at this odd reference. Realizing her eyes were threatening
to overflow, she dropped her gaze to his feet. The sight of his shoes
momentarily blanked her mind. He wasn’t wearing his usual cowboy
boots, but a pair of high-topped yellow sneakers with Wile E. Coyote
painted on the sides. With an effort, she pulled her concentration back.
"I’m not sure I want to travel. My friends are here. I .
. . I feel more comfortable at home.”
Her voice was low and husky, and all the curses in the world wouldn’t
erase the emotion that gave away. Magnus crossed the room before she
could step back. He didn’t touch her, but the heat from his body
was distracting. Magnus’s appeal was based on more than his looks.
His energy always seemed twice as high as other men’s.
"Zoe . . .” he began.
Zoe knew she had to stop whatever he was going to say. "I hope
you’re not unhappy with what I’m earning,” she interrupted
hurriedly. "I could advertise for more clients. Maybe put a site
on the Internet.”
"Zoe.” He gripped her shoulders in his hands, the tingling
warmth of his hold like hot molasses running down her skin. She struggled
not to shudder with enjoyment. "I’m not unhappy with what
you make. I want this for you. Because you deserve it. You can’t
imagine I’m looking forward to you being gone.”
She did cry then, horrible, sniffly sobs that had her gasping into the
tissue Mrs. Darling had refused. Completely mortified, she tried to
struggle out of Magnus’s hold, but he wasn’t having that.
He pulled her close instead, tucking her head under his and enfolding
her in his arms.
He’d never held her like this before. She had to use all her self-control
to stiffen instead of melt.
"Shh,” he said, then swore softly into her hair. "Zoe,
Zoe, Zoe. You had to go and make this harder than it was.”
"Oh, God,” she cried. "You’re turning me out!”
He clucked his tongue in exasperation, then tipped her head back and
held her face. "I like you, Zoe. I’m not turning you out.
I enjoy having you around.”
She mopped the last of her crying jag from her nose. She was lightheaded
from her outburst and probably not thinking straight, but she knew she’d
never find the nerve to ask this again.
"If you like me,” she said as deliberately as he’d
been addressing her, "why haven’t you made a move on me?”
His green eyes darkened a second before his face followed suit, a flush
washing up his chiseled cheeks. She’d thought his smile could
knock a woman flat, but the intensity of this expression stole her power
to think. His gaze burned down at her from his greater height. He looked
like he was angry, but she was pretty sure that wasn’t it.
She was certain when his lips covered hers.
His kiss might have been soft, but it sure wasn’t wasting time.
She felt his tongue push into her mouth and heard her own knee-jerk
moan of excitement. The rest of the world disappeared as that hot, wet
flesh speared deep. His heat, his scent, his pounding heart became her
universe. Suddenly, his arms were wrapped hard around her, one hand
forking through her curls to cradle her head. He angled it to suit his
pleasure, while his second hand crushed her left butt cheek. She was
wearing a gauzy, printed skirt, and he gripped that buttock like he
owned it. His long, hot fingers stretched farther forward than she let
most men get on a second date.
She had no urge to stop Magnus, and it wasn’t just because it
had been longer than she could remember since she’d had any date
at all. At the first intimate contact of his fingers, her body jolted
with an erotic shock so powerful it surprised her—even with the
time she’d spent hankering after him. No wonder women dropped
like ripe cherries around this man. His hands conveyed an energy that
fairly buzzed. A flood of moisture ran into the folds he’d brushed,
then overflowed them in a heated rush.
Boy, it had been too long since anyone had touched her. If the mewls
she kept spilling into his mouth hadn’t clued him in already,
Magnus had to know what he’d done to her.
Right that moment, it didn’t seem to bother him. Feeling the evidence
of her arousal, he made a low, rough noise and kissed her harder, his
hunger a savage, wonderful thing. His body moved in a slow undulation,
his erection grinding against her belly.
God, it was big. Big and hot and—
Magnus tore his mouth away from hers.
"This is . . . not the plan,” he gasped.
Dizzy, Zoe stroked the pulse throbbing in his neck. She had to touch
him, had to feel his skin against her palms. His tendons were tight,
his skin dark with the blood rushing under it. She felt starved for
him, for this. Going on tiptoe, she tipped her head up for another kiss.
"No,” he said, very firm but still breathless. "You’re
not thinking like yourself.”
Zoe’s head cleared reluctantly. If thinking like herself meant
stopping, she didn’t think she wanted to. Magnus had kissed her.
Magnus had eaten at her mouth like he’d been lusting after her
every bit as much as she’d been lusting after him. His big, broad
chest went up and down with his labored breathing. Then he let his hands
slide to her elbows and stepped back.
Zoe dropped onto her heels like a balloon with the air let out.
"I’m sorry,” he said. "This isn’t how I
want it to be with you.”
Hurt and anger had her eyes sliding to his groin. She might not be the
queen of the sex parade—her oddball calling saw to that—but
she remembered the difference between a man who wanted her and one who
didn’t. Magnus’s erection shoved starkly against his jeans,
its outline almost too thick and long to be real.
"This isn’t how you want it?” she repeated in disbelief.
"I’d say one large part of you would disagree.”
"I’m easily aroused,” he said with an odd, defensive
Zoe folded her arms across her breasts, uncomfortably aware of how sensitized
they were. "Well, that explains why you only fuck once a month.”
Her sarcasm called a shade of purple into his face. The contrast made
his eyes blaze like emeralds, in spite of which his voice was calm.
"Don’t be crude, Zoe. It doesn’t suit you.”
Her temper, which she almost always had under control, abruptly snapped.
"How about this? Is this too crude to suit me?”
She slapped her hand around the bulge of his big erection, squeezing
hard enough to feel the give of his balls through the worn denim. It
was possible she’d meant to hurt him, but she forgot to be angry
in her enchantment. She might as well have taken hold of a python; his
cock felt that substantial, that alive. Magnus moaned, agony and pleasure
mixing in the sound. His hand jammed over hers, completely covering
It took a second to register that he wasn’t pulling her away.
"Don’t do this,” he said through gritted teeth, his
hips beginning to circle into the cup their locked hands had formed.
Zoe’s jaw dropped as she watched him writhe. Maybe he was easy
to arouse. He did seem to be having trouble controlling himself. Teresa
had said he’d gone all night, and now he was pushing at her so
hard her fingers were going numb. His palm was actually sweating. When
he spoke again, he sounded desperate.
"You know you won’t appreciate being the next notch on my
bedpost. You know you’re too good for that.”
She looked at him, her soul gone cold. "You’re saying I wouldn’t
be any different than the others?”
"I’m saying you couldn’t be.”
Failing to see the distinction, she wrenched her hand out from under
his. She would have stepped away, would have salved her pride somehow,
but he brushed her cheek with his fingertips. The tenderness of the
gesture arrested her.
It was pathetic, really, how badly she wanted to believe he cared.
"Be my friend,” he said. "Be the friend I’ve always
hoped you’d be.”
His tone was gentle, his expression genuinely fond. She didn’t
say she couldn’t be his friend, that she cared too much in a different
way. That would have been a lie. Magnus meant so much to her, she suspected
she could be his friend even if her heart cracked in two.
She did, however, have too much self-respect to admit it.
She blew out her breath instead. "You’re even weirder than
That inspired one of his dazzling smiles. "High praise, coming
from a real Fairyviller.”
She should have been grateful he was still comfortable enough to tease.
Unfortunately, she was too busy fighting memories. The sad truth was
that Magnus wasn’t the first man she’d loved who’d
pulled a number like this on her.
2007 by Emma
Holly. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute this work in any manner
or medium without written permission of the author.
Arizona isn’t like other towns, something Zoe Clare, the town’s
most popular medium knows all too well. Zoe has no trouble communicating
with the dead—or with real live fairies, for that matter! The problem
is she can't seem to get her feelings across to her too sexy, too charismatic
manager, Magnus Monroe.
of watching Magnus’s erotic antics with every woman but her, when
Zoe’s high school sweetheart blows back to town, she’s more
than a little vulnerable to his charms. How Alex broke her heart is a
scandal Fairyville won’t forget—though Zoe finds herself willing
to forgive. The rules they're about to break will bring out the jealousy
in Magnus . . . and the astounding truth.