Thursday, January 10, 2013

Swoon-worthy Thursday: RTA Excerpt

This is one of my favorite moments between Jarrad and Emily, taking place in Return To Arèthane just after Emily, Jarrad and Dafne are ambushed upon arriving in Arèthane.  With Emily's weak heart, it's all a little too much for her.  What I like about it is it mostly takes place in Emily's head, her inner dialogue and an inability to control her actions.  It could be one of those awkward, embarrassing moments, but turns out pretty sweet, I think.

Emily often wondered what it would be like to die. She didn’t have a morbid fascination, just a valid curiosity considering her bad heart and limited life. She didn’t expect to feel cold everywhere but her heart. For once the weak muscle inside her chest rested, the flesh above it heated like she stood before a fire in winter. She felt calm with no tremors or nausea, no dizziness, her breathing even.
Nothing but black filled her vision while she lay on something soft and cool, unable to move though she hadn’t really tried to yet. The warmth over her heart grew heavy. Weighted down, she felt as though the ground absorbed her.
I must be dead, she thought.
Slowly erasing the dark a soft heavenly light appeared above her until it formed a face staring down at her with brilliant, blue eyes.
She studied the face’s lips. She noticed how soft and smooth they looked; how much she liked their shape and the way the light glowing around them seemed to shine on their pale pink surface. She wanted to touch them.
Emily tested her arm to see if it could move at all in this realm of non-existence; it did and she raised her hand, pressing her fingertips against the lips. They were soft. They curled up at the corners, and she liked that shape even more.
Emily looked at the rest of the face and recognized it. Reality came crashing back. She became aware her heart was beating, she could now hear it thundering in her ears as she lay on the grass with trees surrounding her. A deep sky overrun with stars was starting to pale in the coming dawn, filling the space behind the face. Lifting her head, Emily looked down her body and saw Jarrad’s hand inside her shirt, pressed against her heart. She frowned.
“I’m not dead,” Emily said letting her head fall back.
Jarrad took her hand away from his mouth and held it. He shook his head and placed her hand against her chest where his had been. He pressed down on it.
“No, you’re not dead. Feel?”
Her eyes danced along the twisted tree branches as she concentrated; beneath her palm her heart drummed rhythmically at a tempo much slower than she had felt before, though still pounding after Jarrad’s touch. Still, there was no dizziness; she felt strong and alive.
She looked at Jarrad. “No,” she shook her head, unable to believe it. “Already?”
“Arèthane took to you,” he said, his voice soft.
A tear fell, melting into the hair at her temple. Smiling in a way she had never done before, she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him down on top of her, and hugged him tight. Eyes closed and fists balled, she held onto that moment for just a little longer and he held onto her.
Inhaling deeply, Jarrad helped Emily up, buttoning her shirt back once she was on her feet. “Still, I had to make sure,” he explained with a grin.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Inheritance of Storms

For today's Teaser Tuesday, I'm offering the first chapter from Inheritance of Storms. This is the prequel to Always Me, which follows Xander's journey of self-discovery beginning after that fateful night in Ekaterinburg, Russia.  The rest of the book is still in progress, but has taken a backseat to me finishing up the Elves of Arethane series.  But it's definitely on my to-do list for 2013.  Anyway, read below and let me know what you think in the comments.  Hope you like it!

Stumbling down the blurry hall coughing and choking on smoke and tears, Alexey climbed the wooden steps up from the basement, tripping halfway until he tumbled out into the courtyard.  He dropped to his knees on the hard earth, his body folding, already drenched in sweat in the muggy, summer morning. 
He still held the gun. 
It fell to the ground with a thump as he buried his face in his hands, blackened hands that reeked of gunpowder and wouldn’t stop shaking.  And then he sobbed like a child.
It had been a bloodbath.  Worse than anything he’d ever seen in his life, than anything he had seen in his nightmares.  The screams and cries for help and mercy rang in his ears.  Their pleas with God, their reckoning moments he knew would haunt him the rest of his days.  Body parts had splattered against the walls mixed with plaster and dust.  He still coughed it out, still wore the blood. 
And the blood!  Everywhere—an angry sea of red, thick and deep.  With his eyes closed, he could still see it all; still see her. 
Normally cool and hypnotizing, Tatiana’s eyes had held so much fear before he shot her.  He couldn’t say what had possessed him in that moment when he raised his gun, her pale face watching him from behind its aim.  It was as though some other force had taken over, some deep-seeded hate and loathing he had never known he could feel.  He became blinded by it.
Just two nights ago he had stolen a moment alone with her while he stood on guard, watching her floor as he had done many times before.  In the shadowy night she had slipped out of the room she shared with her three sisters and he swept her into his arms, swaying with her as he sung in whispers.  She had smiled at him—that smile of hers that could knock the breath out of his lungs. 
He held her close and kissed her lips and asked her to marry him.
“Alexey,” she had breathed, pulling back from him.  The moonlight glistened in her weary, silvery eyes.  “You know I cannot.”
“Why can’t you?” he pleaded—he didn’t care how pathetic he sounded.  He lowered his head, his lips and nose brushing her cheek.  “I told you, I’ll protect you.”
“It’s not that.”  Her gaze fell to his chest as her lips turned in a pout; she lightly fingered the buttons of his jacket.
“Then why?”  He took her face in his hand and raised it so she had to look at him.  The curls of her short hair brushed against the back of his fingers.  She had kept her hair short since contracting measles, the disease requiring her to shave her head.  He remembered how she had looked before, her hair long and thick, and loved her just the same. 
Tatiana pressed her hands flat against his chest, her body leaning into him as if surrendering.  Alexey had hoped she would.
“Foremost, I could never leave without my family, Alexey,” she said.  “And because…” She swallowed, her gaze dropping again.  “Because it just could never be.”
He dropped his hand and straightened up.  His jaw clenched as he looked down at her.  “It could never be because I’m a commoner?  A peasant.  Am I not good enough for you?  Is that it?”  His voice had turned hard and he could feel his ears heat up. 
“Well…,” she looked up, frowning.  “Yes.  I’m a princess, Alexey; it’s unheard of.  Our marriage would never be allowed.”
“You’re a princess of a fallen kingdom,” he reminded her cruelly.  “And I am the ruler of fools.  I guess we’re both left pissing in the wind.”
Her lip curled as she pushed him back.  “How dare you speak to me that way,” she hissed.  Stalking past him, with her little chin tilted up, she disappeared behind her bedroom door and left him standing alone in the dark, hurt and fuming.
The last few months had been torture for him.  He had entered the House of Special Purpose with a plan, a purpose.  He was part of The Revolution—the uprising of peasants demanding their voices to be heard.  The hatred for the Tsar ran rampant among the commoners—farmers and factory workers—made worse by the Tsar’s purges of Jewish settlements around Russia.  The stirrings of revolt had been an undercurrent growing stronger and stronger, spreading out from the students at the universities and reaching the workers and rural areas; something had to be done.  Russia was dying. 
Meanwhile the Tsar still threw lavish parties, paraded his pretty daughters in their white dresses, sheltered his sick son so that the people of Russia wouldn’t know the heir was dying, and kowtowed to the foreign princess he called a bride. 
The people rose up.
But Alexey’s cries of revolution and freedom grew weak once he found himself in Ekaterinburg.  Once he came to know the Romanovs as people and not Divine Authority. 
The Tsar worked as hard as any factory worker, chopping wood and taking on repair tasks himself.  His daughters were the same, all eager to keep their hands busy, cleaning their rooms, preparing the meals.  They would even chat pleasantly with the maids who came in once a month to clean their linens and laugh with the guards who had also let their Imperial hatred wane in the face of the people behind the crown. 
Tatiana was not so social.  Her nighttime screams made her reticent; something haunted her in the night and Alexey wondered if it was more than him and the other rebels who kept her prisoner.  He fell in love with her instantly, as though he had always been in love with her.  And when she showed herself to feel the same way, he could no longer bear to remain in this boarded-up home with her.  He wanted to get her free.  He wanted to be free with her.
But as always, Destiny had other plans.

He could hear the others coming up from the basement, loud and clamoring; some celebratory, many sick.  Wiping his hands over his face, he inhaled deeply and stood up, pulling out a crumpled pack of cigarettes from his inner coat pocket.  Hands still trembling, he knocked one loose and lit it.
Horror had nearly brought him to his knees when he shot her and stood watching her clutch her side, glaring at him.  He had been paralyzed by her slow death until Yurovsky came behind her, placed his gun against the back of her head and put her out of her misery.  Still it took him awhile to look away while Yurovsky’s gun rang out several more times, ending the suffering of all the dying.
Some of the guards were laughing and merry, as though they tripped out of a bar and not a massacre.  Almost all of them were drunk anyway.  They had needed the courage to take on the task of killing innocent women and children.
“Did you see the look in the German bitch’s eyes?” laughed one. 
“It was a shame those lassies had to go, though,” lamented another with a smile.  “At least before I had my way with them.”  They both gave Alexey a sidelong look.  He had wondered if the other guards suspected his affair with the Tsar’s second daughter.  His suspicions were soon confirmed. 
“Especially that Tatia,” the second guard said loudly, using her nickname in a show of disrespect.  Ivanovich, Alexey remembered his name.  He had never liked him.  “She’s still a looker, even with half her face blown off.  She was a tight priss.  Wonder if she’s tight ev—”
Alexey didn’t let him finish his lurid comment.  Teeth clenching his cigarette, he grabbed the drunken guard—no more than a few years older than him—and clutching his collar, twirled him around, smashing him face first into the side of the house.  With a loud smack, blood exploded from Ivanovich’s nose, spilling down and painting his coat.
At first startled, covering his face with his hands, Ivanovich soon became enraged, charging Alexey.  Alexey crouched, expecting the hit, but other guards ran out and came between the two of them.
“What is this?” a shrill voice cut through the crowd.  Yurovsky, the head guard at the Ipatiev House, pushed his way through.  He was a small man with black, greasy hair and a messy mustache.  He stood before Alexey, looking up at him with his tired, red eyes blazing.  “What’s going on here, Comrade?”
Alexey didn’t answer, nostrils flaring as he breathed heavily, his lips pinched together.  Ivanovich cried out, “Alexey attacked me for no reason!”
Yurovsky looked from the bleeding guard to Alexey.  “Is this true?” he asked him.
“He was speaking poorly of the dead,” Alexey said with a low voice, glaring over Yurvosky’s head. 
The look the head guard gave him was almost one of pity.  Waving an arm in the air, he ordered, “Control yourselves and remember your orders.”  He turned back to the house.  “We have bodies to dispose of.”
The rest of the guards, including the one with the broken nose, shuffled after Yurovsky, reluctant to complete the already trying task.  Alexey bent over and picked up his gun as the lorry rattled around the house, pulling up to the basement door.  It sat idling, waiting for its cargo of corpses.
Dread mounting, Alexey walked steadily down the stairs, turning into the hallway leading to the room with pink and white striped wallpaper.  Already bodies were being pulled out from it, dropped haphazardly into a pile.  Several guards prepared stretchers and started to place the bodies on top, the task made more difficult by the small space of the hall. 
Forcing himself to focus on anything but their faces, Alexey helped lug a heavy body to the stretcher.  One cot could hold no more than one body.  A couple of guards lifted it and carried it down the hall, quickly followed by more men with cots.  After several trips were made to move the dead, Alexey turned and took hold of a pale wrist. 
He stopped.
            Her silk blouse clung to her slender body, shining red with little white still showing of the material.  Another body—her sister, Olga—covered her head, but he could see the gold chain glinting from around her neck.  He swallowed a sob and slid his arm under her back, taking her legs in his other arm.  As he cradled her to his chest, he was grateful her head hung back; he couldn’t bear to see what remained of her face.  He couldn’t look into her grey, lifeless eyes and see the afterimage of his crime. 
Though everyone stared or gave him harsh glances, he ignored them all, carrying Tatiana’s lifeless body outside.  What little disdain he held for the Imperial family had nearly dissipated when he became their guard, seeing them in their everyday chores.  The girls never complained, but rather welcomed the labor.  The Tsarevich was always so curious, asking him about working in the land and then becoming a rebel.  Even the Tsar wasn’t the monster the Red Army painted him out to be.  He was simply a family man who should have never become Tsar.
Once he reached the lorry, Alexey placed her carefully in the back, next to her mother, to whom she was so close.  The sky had begun to lighten and her necklace almost glowed in the coming dawn.  He ran his fingers across the small flower on its chain and turned just as more guards brought out the remaining deceased. 
And then one of the bodies sat up and screamed.
Everyone froze in place, unsure what to do about the beautiful princess still fighting death.  She was covered in blood, cuts and holes gaping, one eye swollen shut, the other blazing as she wailed and thrashed on the cot.  The men nearly dropped it and her before lowering both to the ground.  They looked at each other frantically, frozen with fear and doubt.
“Silence her!” Yurovsky ordered through clenched teeth, just arriving at the threshold to check on the commotion.  One guard pulled out his rifle and began stabbing at her with his bayonet.  But still she screamed for life, her arms and hands sustaining cuts and gashes.  His eyes wide, he turned the rifle around and began slamming the butt into her face and head, beating her back down onto the cot.
Horror-stricken, Alexey pulled out his gun, wanting to end this mercifully, but Yurovsky stopped him.
“No,” he said, placing his hand on top of Alexey’s.  “The people will hear.”
Each smacking whack made Alexey jump.  The beating felt endless until Maria finally stopped moving.
“There’s another one still alive over here!” someone called out.  Both Alexey and Yurovsky turned, where more men hovered around a cot.  Laying on it, her face covered in blood, Anastasia groaned and draped her arm over her eyes.  Alexey only recognized her by her fair hair, and she was the only sister left. 
When they began to stab at her and pound in her head, she didn’t fight like her sister.  Alexey hadn’t eaten since the previous morning but he had to turn and retch, his stomach twisting.  Yurovksy gave him a hard look and ordered the men, including Alexey, to pile into the lorry quickly, they still had to drive out to the Four Brothers and bury the bodies before the town people began to stir.
Nothing about the evening had gone as planned.  The executions themselves should have been cleaner and quicker, the drive out to the burial site should not have included the truck breaking down.  With the sun rising, Yurovsky once again had to improvise. 
An abandoned mineshaft became the temporary burial for the last royal family of Russia.  There in the woods, the Ipatiev executioners met a bigger group of men, all members of the Bolshevik party and looking for their piece of history by helping in the total destruction of the Romanov dynasty.
The bodies were removed from the truck and stripped of their clothing, the clothing tossed onto a bonfire.  Alexey could no longer participate.  He didn’t care what anyone else thought, not even Yurovsky—he couldn’t watch, much less defile her body that way.  Instead he stood aside, watching the horizon and chain-smoking while the others pilfered and ravaged and made their jokes at the former Tsar and Tsarina’s expense.
Once the dead were tossed down the mineshaft, Alexey walked to its edge and bowed his head.  He didn’t know how he would live with this pain and guilt—it made him hollow and filled with sick all at once.  He didn’t know if he wanted to live with it. 
All his life, he’d been plagued by nightmares and visions of death.  Too many nights he’d awake drenched in sweat or screaming.  But none of that compared to this.  Never had he felt so contemptible.  Tatiana’s body lay at the bottom of a dank and dirty hole, and he helped put her there—no amount of pride should have allowed this. 
“Comrade Dayovitch?”  Yurovsky addressed him from behind.  Alexey inhaled deeply, still staring at the dark hole, not really caring if he made the head guard wait. 
“Yes?” he said as he finally turned around only to find a gun pointed at him.
“We have no room for traitors.”  The gun fired, hitting point blank Alexey’s throat.  Pain and sudden shock gripped him, air sucked from his lungs.  His eyes wide, he clutched his throat and blood flowed from the wound, seeping between his fingers.  He couldn’t even speak as he found himself paralyzed, falling backward, down into the mineshaft.  He hit the uneven ground with a slapping thud, landing on the pale, naked bodies. 
His lungs seizing, clenching desperately for air, he felt a heavy weight press down on him.  The abyss of the shaft crept toward him, consuming the edges of his vision, and just before it all turned black, he looked to his left, his arm pressed against pale flesh, and saw a golden necklace, gleaming in the dark.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: The Blood of Arèthane Excerpt

As promised, today I am featuring an excerpt from the book I'm currently working on, The Blood of Arèthane.  It's the third in my Elves of Arèthane series and picks up immediately where the last left off. If you haven't read the first two, Return to Arèthane and Prince of Arèthane, you should probably stop, not read further, and instead go to and download those two first.  Don't spoil your dinner with dessert, you know?

Okay, hopefully you've heeded the advice of the introductory paragraph of this post or have already read the first two.  The Blood of Arèthane finds Emily and her elves battling the dark wizard, Jabari, who grows stronger and more confidant every day.  As the once-beloved protector of Arethane, Jabari was the creator of the Door system that connected and protected Arèthane and the other immortal realms from the human world.  But he's now destroyed the safeguard that kept the immortals contained and they're spilling out on the human world, wreaking havoc and killing.  It's up to the elves to track not just every fairy, demon and troll that has escaped, but to also still hunt for their traitorous guardian.

While Emily would normally not worry about her strong and fast elves, Jarrad is now mortal and his life is more in danger than ever.

And here's the excerpt.  Hope you enjoy it!

“They’re everywhere,” Kendrick said, staring at the crowd.
“Yes,” Jarrad agreed. “It will be remarkable if we’re able to do this without attracting too much attention, though I fear that’s an impossible expectation.”
Kendrick looked around, gestured orders to the remaining dark elves.  They broke up and vanished into the crowd.
“It’s unfortunate you cannot disappear,” he said when he turned back to Jarrad, grinning.
“It is a shame,” Jarrad replied, for once grateful he no longer glowed as he pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, returning the grin just before the dark elf faded away to nothing and all that stood before him was empty space.
The kissing fairy could wait.  Jarrad knew his kind; a lower rank and less powerful creature, having to resort to drugs to aid in his human conquests. 
Instead, Jarrad rounded the edge of the crowd, seeing through the glamour the fairies donned.  Some didn’t even bother with the disguise; their multi-colored skin, claws, and twisting, vine-like hair blending in with the costumed humans. 
In the center, bookended by two teenage boys, one fairy’s glamour stretched to an inch of its existence.  On the outside the supposed woman was beautiful with shiny, black curls tumbling down her back, her pink cheeks flush in a bright pale face, her muslin gown clinging scandalously thin to her curves. 
But on the inside, her age truly showed and her age was countless, more ancient then most human religions.  
Her hair was sparse, clumps of it missing to expose her gray, wrinkled scalp.  The plump cheeks on the outside sagged like melting ice cream on the inside.  Most of her teeth were missing, those that remained rotted and mossy, sharp and green.  
Her clothes weren’t pure white muslin but tattered, brown burlap.  And she was drenched.  Had the boys really looked, they would have seen the water pooled beneath her bare, glamoured feet.
Her glamour impeded her eyesight—the big eyes a mask to her true vision.  Jarrad knew she wouldn’t be able to see him.  She wouldn’t know him until she removed her disguise. 
Approaching her from behind, Jarrad leaned in close to her ear and spoke in a low voice.  “Take a walk with me?”
“Mmm…” she smiled, turning her face in his direction.  “You sound like honey.  Of course I will walk with you.  I will walk with you anywhere.  Moonlit walk around the lake, my love?  We can walk by the water.”
“I’m sure we can.” Jarrad took her by her elbow, leading her through the crowd toward the back of the warehouse.  The red glow of the exit sign broke through the haze.  “Actually, a walk outside does sound wonderful.”
“You sound so familiar,” she said.  Her brown eyes watched his face with an attached intensity, but he knew her glamour kept her ignorant.  “Why do I know your voice?”
“I couldn’t begin to tell you why.  My physics professor tells me I have a very celebrity-worthy voice.  Could that be it?”
“Maybe, but there’s something about you...”
“Tell me your name.”
“Such a demanding young boy.”  She smiled and ran her hand up his arm.  It took everything in him to not jerk it away.  Jarrad opened the back door, using a nearby chunk of concrete to keep it propped open, and led her out into the alleyway.
“Names are so sacred,” she said.  “There is so much you can do with a name.  Though I think, I would very much like you to do many things with me.  My name is Jenny.”
Jarrad stopped, dropping his hand from her arm, and turned to face her.  “Jenny’s just one of many of your names, but it’s not you real name,” he said.  Smiling, Jarrad waved his hand in front of her, removing her glamour with the magic that coursed through his body.  “Hello, Bean-Fionn.”
Her face ignited with fear, soon retreating to fury.  “The elf Prince!” she cried. 
Before she could move, Jarrad waved his hand again and iron shackles appeared around her wrists, sizzling on contact with her skin as they bound her hands together.  Her shrieks pierced the night, rising above the city din.  Dropping to her knees, her eyes oozed green, slimy tears.
“How dare you,” she cried.  “Do you know who I am?  I am one of the ancients.  I am a sacred.  I have house slippers older than you!”
“Yes, Miss Greenteeth,” Jarrad sighed.  “I know who you are.  But you are in violation of the Border Agreement of Arèthane.  I’m afraid I’m going to have to return you to Onderworld.”
“Please,” she begged as the iron burned deep into her leathery skin.  “The blood there is so stale.  I need something fresh.  The humans are full of life, I need it.  Please don’t deprive an old fairy her food.”
“I’m sure you’ve engorged yourself plenty at the cost of many human lives,” Jarrad answered. “And don’t be so dramatic.”  Turning to the brick wall opposite the side of the warehouse, he spoke the words to open the door.
“OnderVurl, ik eisånt ïngand.”
“You are cold, Prince Tahlam,” she whimpered.  “You are a cold, cruel prince.”
The wall grumbled and shook; the litter on the ground nearby jostling as the brick wrenched apart, the door forming in its tear.  It was not the same as the entrance in the Chinese restaurant.  The brick didn’t transform into an actual door, but rather looked like a gaping cut in the wall, bright light streaming from the other side. 
Aerath stood behind the opening, his hand on the hilt of his sword, a placid smile on his face.  Bean-Fionn screamed again at the sight of him and began to crawl and slither on the dirty pavement, a slow attempt to escape. 
His eyes lit up with wicked amusement when he saw her.  “Jenny, my love!  Where you are going?”  He laughed.  “Worm your fat arse back here, Greenteeth!”
“Can I leave her to you?” Jarrad asked him. 
Still smiling, he nodded.  Retreating back through the exit door, Jarrad left Aerath laughing more insults at the haggard, ancient fairy. 
If any of the other fairies inside had an indication of what was happening, none of them let on.  The dark elves could not be seen, though the crowd did look like it had been thinned of freaks of another nature.  However, Jarrad also saw that there were more than just fairies.  Several dwarves and nixen mingled, luring young girls toward rooms quartered away from the main dance area, covered with velvet curtains for privacy.
He had just pushed his way toward a nixen with pale, silver twigs growing from his white scalp taking a pink-haired teenage girl by the hand to one of these rooms when a loud voice stopped him.
“Oh my God!” 
Frowning, Jarrad turned around, looking for the source of the sound. 
This was not what he needed.
“What are you doing here, Shelly?” he asked the blonde swaying clumsily before him, the heels of her shoes too high for how intoxicated she was.
“Stupid Toby,” she said, stumbling over her own feet.  “He mentioned this party, said something like it’s supposed to be the bugs’ knees or something…”
“Bees’ knees.”
“Whatever.  Anyway, he didn’t even show up.  NOT that I was wanting him to or anything.  Not that I cared.”  She rattled on as only Shelly could.  Jarrad had never known a creature who could talk as much as Shelly did.  Even inhibited by alcohol, her tongue flapped unhinged.
       “Shelly, you shouldn’t be here,” he said, finally cutting her off.
“No, you shouldn’t be here.”  Her eyes flashed in a moment’s clarity before it quickly passed.  “And who was that girl you were with?  Does Emily know where you are?  Should I call her?”  She looked down at her cell phone, oscillating while she tried to focus, her face blue-lit from its digital light.
“Shelly, come here.”  
Jarrad took her by the arm and pulled her aside behind a pillar.  There he took both her arms and forced her to look up at him.  It was difficult trying to gain a hold of her gaze to let the enchantment flow, her head bobbing, her eyes floating in alcohol.  
“Shelly, look at me,” Jarrad demanded, his patience running out.
When he finally held her gaze long enough, he waited until he could see the enchantment had taken affect.  “Listen, you must leave here.  Go through that exit I just came through.  Call a taxicab and have it pick you up there and then go home.  Go home and go to sleep.  Do not remember any of this.  And for gods’ sakes, stop drinking!”
She smiled and he let her go.  “Okay, I’ll see you later.  I’m gonna go home now.”
Relieved, Jarrad let his shoulders relax and said, “Good.  Go home.  Good-bye.”
Turning away, Jarrad intended to find the nixen again, but Shelly’s voice cried out loudly, louder even than the siren wailing of the music, “Good-bye, Jarrad!”
Suddenly a bulk of the crowd stopped dancing, stopped whatever else they were doing and looked up.  He did wish for the ability to be invisible in that moment.  Because they saw him.  And then they knew him.  
“Damn it,” Jarrad muttered before the cries and shouts of fear rang out as the fairies abandoned their mortal pursuits, rushing for escape.  
Every dark elf appeared, looks of frustration on each of them.  Then the humans screamed as the fairies’ glamour fell, revealing the gruesome truth behind the false beauty.  Knowing tact was a dream of the past, Jarrad flew into action.