Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Elfbitten: A Taryn Malloy Fantasy (Book 1)" by Leila Bryce Sin (Novella)

Genre:  Paranormal Erotica

Short Story Type:  Novella

Summary:  Taryn Malloy is a Bright Elf, her magic lives in her blood, fueled by sex and lust. Recovering from a terrible break-up, Taryn’s best friend, Roxy, decides it’s time for Taryn to get back in the game. She’s wallowed long enough and let her magic diminish to a dangerous level. Tonight, Roxy is taking Taryn out to a club that caters to the carnal needs of the supernatural community of their city. Roxy is determined to make Taryn forget about Cillian and she knows the only way to get over one elf is to get on top of another. A night of elves, fairies, vampires, revenge and more is exactly what Taryn needs.

I lifted my hand in front of my face and snapped my fingers, watching the spark flash between my fingers.  I hadn’t been able to do even that much just this morning. Ever since Cillian and I had broken up – well, since he dumped me really – I had been on a total self-pity spiral. Roxy had come by every couple of days to make sure I was eating and showering, which of course I was. I was probably eating too much, but I hadn’t bothered to change into real clothes or leave my apartment. The plants around my place had started to die since I wasn’t tending them anymore and I couldn’t ask Roxy to waste perfectly good magic to bring them back to life for me.
This morning, six weeks to the day after my break up, Roxy had lost all patience with me and my pity party. She’d nearly ripped the door off the hinges when I wouldn’t roll out of bed to answer her demanding knock, her power ripping through my apartment, effectively knocking me out of the bed. Her eyes shined with magic and anger when she stormed into the bedroom, her hair floating on the waves of power emanating from her core.
“That is it, Taryn Malloy!” she yelled, stalking around the bed and grabbing me by the back of my nightshirt. “Cillian Moran is not worth this!” she dragged me across the floor until we reached the bathroom, I spun on my back when she let go so she could reach in and turn on the cold water tap of the shower. I tried to scramble to my feet, but because it had been so long since I had raised any power, she was faster and stronger than me by far and she simply grabbed my ankle and dragged me back. She picked me up around the waist and nearly tossed me into the shower, the icy water shocking me and stealing my breath in a gasp.
Roxy slammed the glass doors shut and held them there until I got to my feet and banged against the panel demanding to be let out. She slid one side open just long enough to rip the soaking shirt off of my body and push me back in.
“Wash!” she commanded, sliding the door shut in my face, cutting off my protests. Eventually I conceded and took the shower, if only to keep from freezing. When I got out, she gave me a towel and a robe and took to combing out the mess of tangles my hair had become.
“We’re going out tonight,” she said, pulling the brush through my hair as I sat at my vanity, cupping a mug of coffee between my hands. “You should’ve been able to fight back, or at least resist me, and you were as weak as a human, Taryn.”
“I know,” I muttered.
“Do you think he’s sitting at home wallowing in pain that you’re gone?”
“I wasn’t the one that left, Roxy.”
“Exactly. You’re giving him too much.”
“He doesn’t know what I’m doing.”
“Doesn’t matter,” she argued, setting the brush down on the tabletop. “You’re still acting this way for him; he doesn’t deserve that. How long did he say he’d been seeing the fairy whore?”
“Six months,” I whispered into my mug.
“And you were together for three years.”
“I know, Roxy!” I yelled, throwing my cup against the wall. It shattered into hundreds of ceramic pieces, the coffee splattering the wall, dripping to the floor. I had sprung to my feet without realizing it. My fists were balled so tightly my ragged nails were cutting into my palms. The scent of blood wafted up, making my mouth water. “You don’t think I know he’s been humiliating me for six fucking months? I know, Roxy!” I screamed. “He’s been fucking her all over town and everyone fucking knew but me! I’ve been here! In our home! Cooking for him, cleaning up for him, paying our bills, and he’s been out fucking her!” I was panting in my rage, my body was shaking with the effort to contain my pounding heart and Roxy stood there, calm and smiling.
“Good. It’s about damn time you got angry.” She turned away from me and walked into my closet, disappearing from sight. I blinked, coming back to my senses, wondering what she was doing, so I followed her in. When I got there, I found her laughing.
“Oh my gods, Tare, are these crotches from his pants?” she asked, holding up a handful of fabric.
“Yes, they are,” I said simply. The night Cillian had told me about his affair, after I had thrown him physically from the apartment and locked the door in his face, I had gone on a rampage destroying anything of his I could find. I spent about an hour on the floor of our closet cutting out the crotches of all the pants he hadn’t packed, crying my eyes out like an idiot.
“That’s brilliant,” Roxy said, dropping the sad scraps of fabric to the floor. She started rummaging through my closet until she came up with the outfit she wanted me to wear tonight, insisting that the best way to get over a man was to get under a new one.
Roxy never had to worry about getting over or under or next to a guy, refusing to ever commit to a relationship. After seeing what Cillian had done to me, she insisted it was just another example of why her way of life was the best. Staring at those scraps of fabric, I couldn’t really argue with her.  But I really thought Cillian and I had something; I really thought we were going to be married and live happily ever after. More embarrassing than that, I thought his strange behavior over the last few months was due to the fact he was finally going to propose. Even when he sat me down to talk that night, I thought that was the moment he was going to do it.
I closed my eyes against the memory and shook my head to clear it. I refused to play that scene over again. Roxy was right; I needed to at least make an attempt at getting my life back together. I felt the skin at my shoulder pull when I shook my head and touched the sore spot where the Hunter had bitten me. It sent a zing of power through my body, making me clench my thighs. I had been without my magic for too long. Having some measure of it back made me look back at the last six weeks with disgust. Yes, Cillian had been my world for the last three years, but look how easily he had cast me aside! And I nearly killed myself mourning the loss of our relationship. As a Bright Elf, I lived off of the magic created by life giving acts, like love and lust. Going six weeks secluded and alone, sad and despondent, had drained any magic I had stored before that awful night. If Roxy hadn’t done what she did this morning, I might’ve only had a couple more days to live.
I sat up straighter in my seat, squared my shoulders, and threw back the last swallow of my drink, the purple concoction stoking the fire in my belly and making my head swim briefly. I grabbed Roxy’s drink and slid off of the stool, landing light footed on the tile floor. I turned my head to look for Roxy, seeing her sitting in the shifter’s lap, the pixies crowded around them as she chatted happily, one arm draped around his shoulders. I was surprised to see her simply talking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t last very long. I felt the tender skin on my shoulder pull again and realized I had no idea what the wound looked liked.
I turned for the door and, before I could stop myself, I looked over to the dark corner I had spied the vampire sitting in. He was gone. I felt a confusing sense of disappointment when I realized he wasn’t there. More terrifying than that, I realized, when I caught his eye, I had hoped he would approach me. I touched the bite mark again, sending a pleasant shiver through my body. I was feeling reckless tonight. 

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