Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Marr
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Juvenile Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Think about it." Then she let go.
    Donia swayed on her feet, upright only because of the staff she was still clutching. She dropped the staff, sick at the touch of it in her hands, remembering the pain the first time she'd touched it, the despair each time the newest mortal didn't take it from her. Donia gripped the porch railing and tried to hold herself upright. It didn't work.
    "Tootles." Beira gave Keenan's guards a finger wave and disappeared into the darkness with her hags.
     
     
    When Keenan woke, Beira sat in a rocker by the bed—a basket of scraps at her feet, a needle in her hand.
    "Quilting?" He coughed, cleared his throat. It was raw from the ice he'd swallowed when she'd frozen him. "Isn't that a bit over the top, even for you?"
    She held up the patches she'd sewn together. "Do you think so? I'm rather good at it."
    He pushed himself upright. Thick furs—some still bloody—were piled over him. "It's a far sight better than your real hobbies."
    She waved a hand in a gesture of dismissal, letting go of the needle. It still darted in and out of the cloth. "She's not the one, the new girl."
    "She could be." He thought of Aislinn's obvious control of her emotions. "She's the one I dream of…"
    A fox-maiden brought in a tray of hot drinks and steaming soup. She left them on the low table alongside his bed.
    "So were the other ones, dear." Beira sighed and settled back in her chair. "You know I don't want to fight with you. If I'd known what would happen…You were conceived that very day. How could I know this would happen when I killed him? I didn't even know you were yet."
    That didn't explain why she'd bound his powers, why she'd used their common blood to have the
Dark Court
curse him. She never offered explanations for that, only for the origin of his mantle, not for the way she'd bound him.
    Keenan took a steaming cup of chocolate. The warmth felt wonderful in his hands, even better on his throat. "Just tell me who she is," he said.
    When Beira didn't respond, Keenan continued, "We can compromise. Divide the year, divide the regions, like it used to be with Father." He finished the cup and picked up another, just to feel the heat in his hands.
    She laughed then, setting a tiny snow squall spiraling around the room. "Give up everything? Wither like a hag? For what?"
    "Me? Because it's right? Because…" He swung his feet to the floor, wincing when they sank into a small snowdrift. Sometimes the old traditions were the worst, lines they'd exchanged like a script for centuries. "I have to ask. You know that."
    Beira took the needle back in hand, jabbing it into the cloth. "I do. Your father always asked too. Followed every rule right down to the line. He was like that"—she scowled and picked up another patch from the basket—"so predictable."
    "The mortals starve more every year. The cold…crops wither. People die." Keenan drew a deep breath and coughed again. The air in the room was frigid. Now that he was weakened, the longer he stayed in her presence, the longer it'd be until he recovered. "They need more sun. They need a proper Summer King again."
    "That's really not my concern." She dropped her quilting in the basket and turned to leave. She paused at the door. "You know the rules."
    "Right. The rules…" Rules made in her favor, rules he'd been trapped by for centuries. "Yeah, I know the rules."
     
     

Chapter 6
     
     
    The sight of a soutane [priest's cassock], or the sound of a bell, puts [the faeries] to flight.
    — The Fairy Mythology by Thomas Keightley (1870)
     
     
    On Monday Aislinn woke before the alarm went off. After a quick shower, she dressed in her uniform and went to the kitchen. Grams was at the stove, fixing eggs and bacon.
    Leaning over to give her a peck on the cheek, Aislinn asked, "Special occasion?"
    "Brat." Grams swatted at her. "I just thought I'd cook you a good breakfast."
    "Are you feeling okay?" Aislinn put a hand on Grams' forehand.
    Grams smiled wanly. "You seem

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