No magic for two weeks? What's a fairy to do? Go to Vegas, of course!
Princess Talista of the fairy clan Serendipity has been sent, like all young fairies, to a remote forest in humanspace for mandatory survival training. But headstrong Tali's got different ideas about where to spend two weeks without magic. What better place than Las Vegas to learn to live like humans, a true test of survival?
Tali might not blend, but she'd like to be shaken and stirred with stage magician Jake Story. Their attraction is instant and electric...and Tali senses there's more to Jake's show than flashy tricks.
Jake always knew he was different, even before he developed an unusual flair for hypnotism. He has no trouble mesmerizing the luscious Tali during act three, but the lights that appear around them when they kiss weren't part of the program.
When the authorities from Tali's homeland track the missing princess to Vegas, Jake and Tali end up on the run. In between magic experiments, evil gnomes and astonishing sex, Tali learns what it really means to be human--by falling in lust, followed closely by love.
But Tali's not human. And Jake doesn't believe in fairies. The truth will either bind them together--or tear the fairy realm apart.
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April 30, 2009
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Excerpt from Survival of the Fairest by Jody Wallace
From his vantage point on the sidewalk, Jake Story shook his head in disbelief. What the hell did she think she was doing? Instead of running to the median, the woman in Little House on the Prairie outfit screamed and clutched her backpack in the middle of the busy intersection. Car horns blared up and down the Strip, and angry cabbies shook their fists out windows. In the lane where the woman stood, traffic was forced to idle, but in the other, cars sped past. People on the hot, crowded sidewalks rubbernecked, and vehicles on the other side of the palm trees in the median slowed to see what they were missing.
The woman must be a tourist. Vegas attracted every kind of nut. Come to think of it, there was a sci-fi convention in town, Star Cluster or something like that. Maybe she was into all that dress-up crap.
Well, he didn't feel like watching a space nerd get splattered all over the road. "Hey you. Get on the sidewalk!"
His practiced pipes had more range than the average citizen. The woman's kerchief-wrapped head whipped towards him, and he was rewarded by the sight of an angelic face twisted in confusion and terror.
"Get your butt out of the street!" he yelled.
A man in a Mercedes-Benz whose grill was inches away from ramming the lovely dimwit rolled down his tinted window and screamed something a lot less friendly. The woman cringed.
Crud. Time to play the hero. Jake shouldered a pair of gawking teenagers out of the way and strode into the street, holding up his palm in a gesture that clearly said "Halt!" to the oncoming traffic. Amazingly, the drivers obeyed. He reached the damsel in distress, grabbed an arm, and dragged her, stumbling, back to the sidewalk.
The Mercedes pealed out with a screech of tires.
"What's the matter with you?" he said. "Are you on drugs?"
The short young woman struggled in his grasp. "Unhand me!"
He didn't, not until he could confirm she wouldn't head straight into traffic. With her free hand she swung the pack onto her back and peered up into his face with bright blue eyes. "I was momentarily surprised by the, ah, automobiles."
"Cars, of course, being such shocking things." He raised his eyebrows.
She grabbed his wrist and tugged his grip off her with a little twist of her nails in his hand. She had weird clothes, red hair and pale skin, and she looked meaner than a drunk who'd just spilled his last bottle of whiskey.
And she had the cutest little freckles across her nose and cheeks.
"Let me pass," she said. "I need to find Merlin's Cave, and you're delaying me."
The Cave? Star Cluster wasn't at his hotel. "You're looking for a place to stay?" he asked.
"Maybe." The woman jutted out her chin.
"Aren't you Trekkies at the other end of the Strip?" Sci-fi fans were a strange bunch, sorta like programmers--didn't really party, didn't gamble. It's like they were smart enough to know the odds were stacked against them. Why have their convention in Vegas, anyway?
Little Dimwit frowned. "Trekkies?"
She must not be with Star Cluster. A garden-, or desert-, variety tourist, then. From the funky accent he guessed she was from overseas. Might as well help her out and earn his karmic brownie points for the day, just like his mother taught him.
"I work at Merlin's Cave. I just finished an errand, and I'm happy to show you the way."
"You have an automobile?" She shifted her shoulders as if anxious to ditch her pack.
"I didn't drive today. I needed some fresh air."
"If you can call it fresh. It doesn't smell like I expected at all." With a disgruntled look, she wiped her forehead against her sleeve. She wore a white sleeveless apron decorated with flowers over a brown dress plus a shawl.
Definitely too many clothes for Vegas in September. Was she Amish or something? A Wild West re-enactor? Hell, how should he know? He was nothing but a small-time stage magician who'd hardly even been to Arizona, much less whichever funny farm let this one loose.
As if aware of his opinion, she sniffed. "I'm not accustomed to walking. Hire me a cabbie."
So much for doing a good deed. "Catch one yourself, Your Highness." He turned on his heel, but a small hand on his bare arm stopped him.
"How did you know?" She glared at him, suspicion turning her eyes stormy.
"How did I know what?"
"That I'm royal."
Crazy, crazy, crazy! "Look, lady, I don't have time for this. I have a show to rehearse and it's nearly two o'clock. If you want to follow me, fine, but if you don't, the hotel is a block or so this way." He nodded in the direction of the Cave. "When you get to Bally's, turn right."
She cocked her head to one side. "So, I guess you're from around here?"
"Would you happen to know where I could get these changed for paper dollars?" She pulled a handful of antique-looking gold coins out of her pocket.
If those were authentic, this rube had no business flashing them on a busy street in Vegas, even if it was two in the afternoon.
"Put those away," he advised, and she shoved them back into her oversized pocket.