Please say hello to JS Harker with
His Fairy Prince
Tit For Tat #2
a Dreamspun Beyond title
A trick of fairy magic becomes a romantic treat.
Halloween is fantasy-loving college senior Greg’s favorite holiday, and he’s thrilled to explore a spooky puzzle—even if his friends prefer slashers over witchcraft. Luckily the gorgeous and otherworldly Alaric wants to sneak time alone with him. Unluckily Greg’s sworn off hookups. Still reeling from an intoxicating kiss, Greg opens a secret door…
…and steps through a portal to the enchanted realm Alaric is destined to rule.
Stranded with the alluring Greg, Alaric sets off across his kingdom with the man who might be the consort he’s always wanted. It won’t be easy—Alaric’s ex, the Lord of Spiders, wants to reunite with Alaric—but if Greg and Alaric succeed, they’ll find what they’ve always wanted: a place to belong.
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Alaric paused by the door to the Axe Room. He was still early, but the sheer misery on Greg’s face bothered him. The puzzles were supposed to thrill or terrify, not drive someone to tears. Raven might think Alaric had a need to rescue, but he couldn’t resist trying to x a terrible situation.
With a soft whisper, he wove a spell to mute his footsteps. He flipped the light switch on his side and opened the door to the darkened room. The girl shrieked, and Alaric had to hold in a chuckle.
The dark was no bother since his night vision allowed him to pick out ne details. Not that he needed his magical ability to find Greg. His faintly glowing skull hoodie made him easy to spot. Taking him out of the room might give away the trick. Alaric ought to pick someone else.
Only no one had even struck Alaric as interesting in the last month, let alone fascinating. The mortals might be able to see Greg disappear, but they wouldn’t get the secret door open, even if they managed to find it.
Greg remained in his corner while the other three continued to freak out. His arms were tight to his chest, and he frowned. Unafraid and miserable. Alaric needed to fix the latter. He snuck over to Greg’s side and tapped his shoulder, the agreed-upon signal to take someone from the escape room.
Greg leaned in close. He smelled of woodsy cologne and a slight humany copper beneath that. He whispered, “Drag me.”
Before Alaric could say anything or step away, Greg spun around and fell backward. Collision was going to happen, so Alaric caught him. He had no trouble with any mortal’s weight, but Greg was especially light. While this wasn’t the way he’d imagined putting his arms around him, he couldn’t help feeling like holding Greg was right.
Greg wanted to be dragged from the room. Curious as to why, Alaric went with his idea.
At the first scrape of Greg’s shoes on the concrete, the girl’s screaming renewed. The electric buzz of fear doubled as the others gave in to their terror.
Greg held on tightly to Alaric’s arms and dropped his weight even more, making more of the dragging sound. “Oh God, no! Help! Somebody help!”
If not for Greg’s grip, Alaric would have let him go, but Greg was grinning even as he pleaded. A game, then. The occasional fright was a delight, but Alaric hadn’t managed this level of perfection so far this season. He grinned as he pulled Greg through the door and shut it.
Greg immediately stopped pleading as soon as the door was shut. After Alaric made sure Greg stood on his own, he took a vial of fake blood from his pocket. He dumped it on the floor and used a little magic to encourage it under the door and into the next room.
When Alaric snapped the light on in the room beyond, the screaming began anew. Greg snickered, and Alaric had a hard time containing his laughter. They couldn’t talk next to the door without giving away the truth, but when Alaric moved down the hall, Greg stayed put.
Oh, of course. Humans couldn’t see in the dark, and the passageway was nearly pitch-black. Alaric murmured a quick spell, and a half-dozen softly glowing orange orbs flew from his palm to the ceiling. Each was about the size of a quarter, small enough they wouldn’t spread light to the adjoining rooms but enough for Greg to see.
Alaric took Greg’s hand and led him toward the observation room. Wanting to keep their conversation out of Raven’s earshot, he stopped closer to the hallway intersection. The fairy lights floated along with Greg, hovering over him more than Alaric. As he gazed up at them, wonder filled his eyes.
On his own and without the sulky air, Greg appeared to be far less of a boy and much more of a man. If he were a fairy, Alaric would guess he was around two hundred in human years, about the age one set out from home to find their own way. They weren’t so far apart in age, then, though Alaric’s path had been set from the moment he was born.
Greg had dark brown eyes the color of deep woods on a moonless night. The faintest trace of light brown stubble graced his jaw, but most of his hair was so fine it’d be next to invisible when it grew out. His lips were pink, the bottom one slightly swollen from where he’d bitten it.
Alaric wondered if his lips were soft, and on that impulse, he brushed his thumb across Greg’s bottom lip. Not entirely soft, but plenty warm. He gently cupped Greg’s cheek, finding his stubble a mix of soft and prickly.
A flush brightened Greg’s cheeks, and he popped his mouth open in an unconscious O. Such a darling expression. Alaric was smitten with the half-eager hope in Greg’s eyes. He leaned in.
About the author:
JS Harker loves stories. She was one of those kids who always had a book in her hands and spent many hours adventuring with her siblings. These days she wanders into her imaginary worlds and conjures up tales of magic, passion, and happily-ever-afters. She currently lives in the part of the Midwest that makes Tatooine look interesting by comparison (not that she’s ever obsessively thought about becoming a Jedi or anything).
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.
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