Feud. Free. Folly. They all fit the premise of the 4th and likely last entry into the Faerie Reign world. When I finished FAERIE FOOL, I knew I had to give Abhean his story. I discovered a lot about the little dickens as I wrote the first three books. When I started, all I knew was that he was Harper to the Tuatha de Danaan. And he enjoyed mucking about with the mortals. Especially mortals who were meant to meet, fall in love, and make their vow to always be together.
When my Wild Rose editor contacted me to say she was putting together a Christmas anthology of paranormal stories and she wanted me to participate, I knew immediately it was time to tell Abhean’s tale. I only have two instructions: No more than 30K words, and there has to be a Christmas bride.
If I could write his story full of humor, I’d have to call the story A VERY FAERIE CHRISTMAS. But I can’t. Abhean is a dark character. He has no idea what love is about. And that’s why he’s stranded in the human realm, with no idea of his true identity.
Venn McLyre is a street musician in New York City. Gywneth Riley is a poor little rich girl facing life in as a society bride married to a man she doesn’t love.
So…all three words work, as you can tell by the prologue. Tease that I am, I’m sharing it here.
The fae harper stood in the circle of standing stones, his hands hanging limply at his side. No breath of air stirred the grass or flowers. Even the leaves on the trees in the forest held silent. A golden red sun painted the misty blue mountains deep violet and the brilliant blue of the sky could blind a man if he stared too long. He ignored the trudging footsteps behind him, and said nothing for long minutes.
“You win.” Like dry leaves tumbling before the winter wind, he admitted defeat.
“No, Harper.” Manannán mac Lir appeared at his side. “This was not a contest between us, no matter how much you wished to make it so. We have no feud.”
He jerked his head at the king’s last words but he didn’t react to the challenge. He’d been fighting with mac Lir his entire life. He focused on the cause of their latest argument.
“The mortals made the binding?”
“They did, aye.”
“Then you win.”
“No. Love wins.”
“Ha! Love? What know yee of love’s folly, old man?”
“More than you, Harper. You sing it into being with a heart closed and dark. You pervert it and twist it and use it to punish. But who do you penalize? The mortals? Nay. They find their way despite our interference. You wish to strike at me, but for a millennium you have failed.”
The younger fae whirled, his eyes narrowed and gleaming with feral reds and yellows. “I will beat you.” He ignored the look of profound sadness on Manannán’s face.
“No, son. You will not. I know your heart far better than you yourself.”
He opened and closed his mouth several times but no words came out. Before he could move, Manannán cupped his cheeks in his massive hands.
“I know what you seek. I know your hidden desires. I am the King of Tir Nan Óg. I am the one who brought you here. Granted, perhaps for reasons far more selfish than I wished to admit at the time.” Mac Lir pulled him closer and pressed lips to his forehead. “I could not bear to be apart from my son.”
The harper forced his knees to lock so he could remain standing stiff and aloof. He would not listen, would not be tricked by the king’s lies.
“Love, my son, is a gift—one that will set you free. I give it now to you.”
Clouds bloomed against that dazzling blue sky and the wind whipped around the two men before chasing through the standing stones and making them sing. The harper listened, for this was a song he’d not heard before. Caught in the web of music, his heart expanded until he thought it would burst, even as it felt like claws shredded it to pieces.
“Go yee, Abhean, Harper of the Tuatha de Danaan, son of Manannán mac Lir, King of Tir Nan Óg. Go yee to the mortal realm until yee find the other half of your heart.”
Lightning struck the altar stone sending up sparks and Abhean, deafened by the crescendo of thunder that followed, stared at the man he’d hated all his life. Mist—swirling gray and black—enveloped him in a whirlwind. The hands cupping his face slipped away and he spun away into the vortex, his last word torn from his throat to be lost in the void.
So now I need to find a title that has a bit of Christmas, that fits the story, and fits in with the other three books because…I’m weird like that. 😉
Do you have any words for me this Wednesday?