Эприлинн Пайк: Spells

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Эприлинн Пайк Spells
  • Название:
    Spells
  • Автор:
  • Жанр:
    Фантастические любовные романы / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2010
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Spells: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger-and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever. When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

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Эприлинн Пайк

Spells


To Kenny — for all the little things. And the big things. And everything in between. Thank you.



ONE

LAUREL STOOD IN FRONT OF THE CABIN, SCANNING the tree line, her throat constricting in a rush of nerves. He was there, somewhere, watching her. The fact that she couldn’t see him yet meant nothing.

It wasn’t that Laurel didn’t want to see him. Sometimes she thought she wanted to see him too much. Getting involved with Tamani was like playing in a roaring river. Take one step too far and the current would never let you go. She had chosen to stay with David, and she still believed it was the right choice. But it didn’t make this reunion any easier.

Or stop her hands from shaking.

She had promised Tamani she would come see him when she got her driver’s license. Though she hadn’t been specific about a date, she had said May. It was now almost the end of June. He had to know she was avoiding him. He would be here now — the first one to meet her — and she wasn’t sure whether to be excited or afraid. The feelings mixed into a heady blend of something she’d never felt before — and wasn’t sure she ever wanted to feel again.

Laurel found herself clutching the tiny ring Tamani had given her last year, the one she wore on a thin chain around her neck. She had tried not to think about him these last six months. Tried, she admitted to herself, and failed. She forced herself to unwrap her fingers from around the little ring and attempted to make her arms swing naturally, confidently at her sides as she walked toward the forest.

As the shadows of the branches fell across her, a streak of green and black swung down from a tree and scooped Laurel up. She screamed in terror, then delight.

“Did you miss me?” Tamani asked with that same, bewitching half grin that had entranced her since the first time she’d met him.

Instantly, it was as though the last six months never happened. Just the sight of him, the feel of him so close to her, melted every fear, every thought…every resolve. Laurel wrapped her arms around him and squeezed as hard as she could. She never wanted to let go.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Tamani said with a groan.

She forced herself to let go and step back. It was like trying to make a river reverse its flow. But after a few seconds she managed and settled for standing silently, drinking in the sight of him. The same longish, black hair, his quick smile, those mesmerizing green eyes. A cloud of awkwardness descended and Laurel stared down at her shoes, a little embarrassed at her zealous greeting and unsure of what to say next.

“I expected you earlier,” Tamani said at last.

It felt ridiculous, now that she was here with him, that she had been afraid. But Laurel could still recall the cold pit of fear in her stomach every time she’d thought about seeing Tamani again. “I’m sorry.”

“Why didn’t you come?”

“I was afraid,” she answered honestly.

“Of me?” Tamani asked with a smile.

“Sort of.”

“Why?”

She took a deep breath. He deserved the truth. “It’s too easy to be here with you. I don’t trust myself.”

Tamani grinned. “I guess I can’t be too offended by that.”

Laurel rolled her eyes. Her long absence certainly hadn’t dampened his bravado.

“How is everything?”

“Fine. Good. Everything’s good,” she stammered.

He hesitated. “How are your friends?”

“My friends?” Laurel asked. “Could you possibly be more transparent?”

Laurel unconsciously touched a silver bracelet on her wrist. Tamani’s eyes followed the movement.

Tamani kicked at the dirt. “How’s David?” he finally asked.

“He’s great.”

“Are you two…?” He let the question hang.

“Are we together?”

“I guess that’s it.” Tamani glanced again at the intricate silver bracelet. Frustration clouded his features, transforming the glance into a glare, but he dispelled it with a smile.

The bracelet was a gift from David. He had given it to her just before Christmas last year, when they officially became a couple. It was a delicate silver vine with tiny flowers blooming around crystal centers. He hadn’t said as much, but Laurel suspected it was to balance out the faerie ring she still wore every day. She couldn’t bear to put the tiny ring away and, true to her promise, every time she thought of the ring, she thought of Tamani. She still had feelings for him. Torn and uncertain feelings, mostly — but strong enough to make her feel guilty when her thoughts wandered that direction.

David was everything she could ask for in a boyfriend. Everything except what he wasn’t, what he never could be. But Tamani could never be what David was, either.

“Yes, we are,” she finally answered.

Tamani was silent.

“I need him, Tam,” she said, her tone soft but not apologetic. She couldn’t — wouldn’t — apologize for choosing David. “I told you before how it was.”

“Sure.” He ran his hands up and down her arms. “But he’s not here now.”

“You know I couldn’t live with that,” she forced herself to say. But it was barely a whisper.

Tamani sighed. “I’m just going to have to accept it, aren’t I?”

“Unless you really want me to be alone.”

He slung one arm around her shoulders — friendly now. “I could never want that for you.”

She put her arms around him and squeezed.

“What’s that for?” Tamani asked.

“Just for being you.”

“Well, I certainly won’t turn down a hug,” he said. His tone was casual, joking, but he wrapped his other arm around her tightly, almost desperately. Before she could pull away, however, his arm dropped, then pointed down the path. “Come on,” Tamani said. “It’s this way.”

Laurel’s mouth went dry. It was time.

Pushing her hand into her pocket, Laurel felt the embossed card for what was doubtless the hundredth time. It had shown up on her pillow one morning in early May, sealed with wax and tied with a sparkling silver ribbon. The message was brief — four short lines — but it changed everything.


Due to the woefully inadequate nature of your current education, you are summoned to the Academy of Avalon. Please report to the gate at mid morning, the first day of summer. Your presence will be required for eight weeks.


Woefully inadequate. Her mom hadn’t been too happy with that. But then, her mom hadn’t been too happy with much of anything involving faeries lately. After the initial revelation of Laurel being a faerie, things had been surprisingly okay. Her parents had always known there was something different about their adopted daughter. As crazy as the truth actually turned out to be — that Laurel was a changeling, a faerie child left in their care to inherit sacred fae land — they had accepted it with remarkable ease, at least at first. Her dad’s attitude hadn’t changed, but over the last few months her mom had grown more and more freaked out by the idea that Laurel wasn’t human. She’d stopped talking about it, then refused to even hear about it, and things had finally come to a head last month when Laurel got the invitation. Well, more like a summons, really. It had taken a lot of arguing from Laurel — and a fair bit of persuasion from her dad — before her mom had agreed to let her go. As if, somehow, she would come back even less human than when she’d left.

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