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Faeries Gone Wild, Page 1

MaryJanice Davidson





  St. Martin’s Paperbacks

  NOTE: If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

  This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.


  “Tall, Dark, and Not So Faery” copyright © 2009 by MaryJanice Davidson.

  “Pixie Lust” copyright © 2009 by Lois Greiman.

  “Dust Me, Baby, One More Time” copyright © 2009 by Michele Hauf.

  “A Little Bit Faery” copyright © 2009 by Mary J. Schultz.

  All rights reserved.

  For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

  ISBN: 0-312-94568-X

  EAN: 978-0-312-94568-8

  Printed in the United States of America

  St. Martin’s Paperbacks edition / June 2009

  St. Martin’s Paperbacks are published by St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


  Tall, Dark, and Not So Faery


  Pixie Lust


  Dust Me, Baby, One More Time


  A Little Bit Faery


  Tall, Dark, and

  Not So Faery


  Every time a child says “I don’t believe in fairies,” there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

  —James M. Barrie, Peter Pan

  Only a human would be that arrogant.

  —the Violent Fairy

  If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

  —Isaac Newton

  Now that one I can get behind.

  —the Violent Fairy

  Only when you love someone else as much as you love yourself will the curse lift.

  —Archmage Karonen, to his cheating girlfriend, April 1949


  Thanks, as always, to the family, the friends, the Yahoos, the editor, the agent. . . . If I wasn’t so hungover, I could probably remember some of their names. . . .

  Author’s Note

  This novella takes place a year or so after the events in The Magicka, which can be found in the anthology No Rest for the Witches.

  Also, fairies really are quite anal, and they do feel better if they can count things. They are the OCD sufferers of the paranormal world.

  Also, Cannon Falls is a real town in Minnesota, the farm Ireland and the gang live on is a real farm, and over a quarter of a century ago the Violent Fairy used to hang out there.


  Once, a long time ago, there lived a giantess who forgot she was one. So she met and married a former Gophers basketball player and they had a son who was five feet tall by the time he was six. And then the giantess got distracted, as members of their species will, and wandered away.

  The boy never saw his seven-foot, nine-inch mother again.

  But he grew and grew and grew.



  Cannon Falls, Minnesota

  Pop.: 6,661

  7:28 P.M. CST

  Tuesday, during the Law & Order marathon on TNT

  She came out of the woods like an arrow, a six-foot, four-inch arrow with the huge diaphanous wings of a dragonfly and the split ends of a beach bum, and she didn’t float, or flitter.

  None of her kind did.

  She moved smoothly, like a machine, her toes always exactly 1.3 inches off of the grass and, as she neared the house, the gravel.

  She was holding a clipboard and a pen, and her eyes were the color of ice. Her hair was the color of tree bark, and hung halfway down her back in a riot of rich brown waves.

  She moved up the driveway, eyeing with some trepidation the gray Escape that now appeared much closer than she had first assumed. In fact, it was rolling toward her, the gravel crunching beneath the wheels.

  No one was driving, which, although she wasn’t entirely surprised, still made her uneasy. She’d heard rumors, of course, which was part of the reason she was here, but surely all the rumors couldn’t be—

  “Nice wings. You look like an escapee from a children’s ice-skating show.” The small SUV came to a stop six inches from her toes. “This is private property, you big dumb dragonfly, so why don’t you hit the bricks?”

  She was intimidated enough by a fairy’s natural uneasiness around machinery; being spoken to by a vehicle was even more unsettling. “I—I’m here on official business.”

  The car stereo chortled static. “Official dragonfly business?”

  She had no idea if the machine was joking or not. The voice was feminine, with a raspy edge. In her nervous ness, her feet settled to the gravel. She tiptoed around the SUV but didn’t have the nerve to turn her back on the vehicle and continue up the drive. “Official fairy business. I’m a counter.”

  “Kitchen or bathroom?”

  She pondered that for a moment, puzzled, then answered, “House hold. I count things.”


  She blinked and hugged the clipboard to her chest. “Because. Because that is our nature. We count.”

  “ ‘We’ being uptight accountants with wings . . . ?”


  “Huh.” The engine thrummed thoughtfully and the headlights popped on, then dimmed. Almost as if—ha-ha!—the machine was deep in thought. “Must be the brat. Must be.”

  She was edging around the hood and now she was walking backward, still far too rattled to fly. “Yes, well, I have to count.”

  “It’s just as well,” the vehicle called after her as she began an undignified scramble up the steps. “It’s been really dull around here! Hey! Get back here. Where d’you think you’re going? We’re having a conversation, aren’t we? Hellooooo?”



  She congratulated herself on her composure during the frightening interlude with the vehicle. Sure, she

  hadn’t run away at all, no indeed, not at all,

  had been intimidated but acquitted herself well, she thought.

  She squared her broad shoulders and knocked firmly on the door. Why, the king wouldn’t have sent her if he hadn’t believed she could do the work! All of her kind counted, but many couldn’t function under stress. But she had done very well. Yesyes! And surely now the worst was—

  A vampire answered the door. Still rattled from her driveway encounter, she dropped the clipboard. And, moving with the spooky grace common to his kind, he had bent, snatched it out of the air before it could clatter to the tile, and handed it back to her before she’d had a chance to realize she’d even let it go.

  “Good evening, young lady.” He was tall—for a man who had once been human, anyway, probably about six four—and cadaverously thin.

  “Good evening, sir.”

  His hair was the color of peat; his eyes were black. She couldn’t tell where his pupils ended and the irises began; looking into those eyes was like looking into a well where children had drowned. “Isn’t it a little late to be selling Girl Scout cookies, my dear?”

  She had no idea what that meant, so she plunged ahead. “Good sir, I am here f
rom the king of the—”

  His head snapped around and he lost all interest in her as he shrieked, “Ireland Shea, I hear you rustling around in my closet! Stop borrowing my shirts and do the damned laundry!”

  From somewhere inside the house she heard sinister laughter, and then a door slammed.

  “You get out of my room right now, you sloppily dressed wretch!”

  Abruptly the door slammed in her face and she could hear the vampire dashing down the hallway.

  She puffed her bangs out of her eyes, waited a minute, and knocked again.



  She had to pound the door for some time to be heard over the vampire’s yowls and someone else’s shrill giggles, but eventually the knob turned and she was once again face-to-face with—


  “Hello,” the werewolf said. “Sorry, it’s a little chaotic around here right now. My friend just had a baby and my other friend has been stealing my other friend’s shirts. Are you taking a survey?”

  “Yes,” she said, grateful someone in the house was—what was the human phrase? Over the ball? “In fact, the king himself has sent me to your fine home in order to—”

  “Say, are those wings?”

  She fought the urge to preen. But then, she had glorious wings. She couldn’t resist fluttering them as she replied, “Yes, they are. Thank you kindly.”

  He was examining her critically, eyes wide with interest. “But they’re so light, and you’re so—uh—not light. How do they work?”

  She smiled; she couldn’t help it. “Haven’t you heard that bumblebees can’t fly? Some human proved it, with numbers and such. It’s impossible. But they fly.”

  She made her wings flutter again so that they were a lovely blur, and cautioned herself to be wary of vanity. Really, it was so kind of the tiny werewolf to notice.

  Again, she reminded herself not to judge other species by the standards of her own. He wasn’t that tiny, she supposed—about five nine. He had very pretty hair, too—shoulder length and white blond. And his eyes were really quite lovely, sort of a bright, shiny blue. He was in excellent shape (although, to be fair, she’d never seen a flabby werewolf), with sleek muscles and strong hands.

  “Are you a friend of Lent’s?”

  “In a manner of speaking, yes, I—”

  “Well, does he know you’re here?”

  “No, I—”

  “Well, jeez! Wait right there. I’ll go get him.” And the werewolf galloped down the hallway, leaving her standing on the porch.



  She wondered if it was appropriate to enter the house without an invitation. The door was hanging open, but she wasn’t sure that counted as an actual invitation. She took a step forward, hesitated, then took a step back.

  From behind her, she heard a blaring honk, followed by, “Are you gonna hang around on the porch all frickin’ night? Why don’t you get back here so we can finish our talk?” She fervently hoped the machine couldn’t navigate the trees and sidewalk.

  She heard footsteps, but they were far too light to belong to the Violent Fairy. And when the woman rounded the corner and stood in the doorway, she nearly gasped with shock.

  It was a dryad! Oh, the king would be amazed—none of her kind (well, except for the Violent Fairy, obviously) had seen one in decades. The dryad was willow-slender and her hip-length dark hair moved even when there wasn’t a breeze. The dryad’s legs and arms were stick-thin (not literally) and her eyes were as dark as her hair; she was wearing a clingy knee-length dress several shades lighter than her tanned skin.

  She was holding an infant, an infant with the same-colored dark wavy hair and eyes, but with creamy skin. A chubby infant dressed only in a diaper, sound asleep, the small pink mouth slightly open. He or she smelled strongly of milk.

  The infant had wings.

  So it was true! She fought the urge to scribble notes on her clipboard. A dryad/fairy hybrid! The implications were staggering. First, who knew anyone other than a dryad could successfully mate with a dryad? Second, would the child be a true mixture of both worlds, or would he or she favor the mother? Third—

  “I greet,” the dryad said.

  “Yes, hello. What a charming infant. I congratulate you and bring congratulations from my king. May I come—”

  “Greet, greet, greet.”

  “Yes. Uh . . . I greet you back?”

  The corners of the dryad’s mouth turned up. She had no idea if the creature was actually smiling, or aping human behavior. “Greet,” she said again, and gave the baby a gentle squeeze. The baby peeped, then resumed snoring.

  “I greet your infant as well.” She tentatively smiled back at the dryad. “It’s very nice to meet you and your baby,” she said, calmly and carefully. “My name is—”


  “No, Lent is the name of one of my kinsmen, and your—mate? Husband?”

  “You. Lent.”

  She was amazed that a creature that was mostly tree could speak at all. . . . Nothing she had read (and her people, if nothing else, adored writing things down) indicated dryads could. Perhaps Lent was teaching her?

  “Yes,” she replied, thinking it was odd that although the dryad was fairly monosyllabic, there was never any doubt about what she meant. “Lent and I are of the same species. In fact, our king sent me here to—”

  “I leave,” the dryad said, and wandered back down the hall, propping the baby up on her shoulder and patting it.

  She fought the urge to stamp her foot.



  She had decided to creep a step or two into the house when a horrified shriek nearly split her ear drums.

  “For the love of Mike! You people are costing me a fortune! Who left the damned door open? In April! Do you think I’m trying to heat all of Goodhue County?”

  She heard someone stomping down the hall and edged back from the doorway. Then a tall (again: for her species) redhead with eyes the color of rich loam was standing in the doorway, staring at her.

  “Ah, hello,” she began, more than a little rattled by the events of the past ten minutes. “I—”

  “Look, no offense,” the human interrupted, “but we don’t want any. Normally I like to at least listen to the pitch before saying no, but I don’t want to waste your time.”


  “It’s nothing personal, but my friend just had a baby, nobody’s sleeping very well, the full moon is only a couple of days away, I’m all out of clean shirts, and I—I—” The redhead’s pale complexion took on a distinct greenish hue and she lurched past her, bent at the waist, and was noisily sick in the lilac bushes.

  Awkward. Some humans wanted total privacy when they were ill; others sought company under the very same circumstance. She had no idea which type of human this one was. “Shall I fetch someone?” she asked as the woman retched and groaned.

  “Nooooo.” The redhead straightened and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “Morning sickness, my ass!” She gestured so wildly at the darkened yard she nearly fell into the lilacs. “Does that look like morning to you, or does it look like eight o’clock at night?”

  It was possible the human was deranged, so she answered politely, and hunched her shoulders so she wouldn’t appear so large. “It’s quite dark now.”

  “I knoooooow!”

  “Perhaps, if you’re ill, you should have some privacy? Maybe I could go inside and—”

  The redhead snorted. “Why would I want privacy now? I’ve barfed in four cities, every room of this damned place, the gym at the elementary school (we went to the sixth-grade production of Life’s a Bitch, Charlie Brown), the supermarket, the post office, my doctor’s office, the Target in Hastings, the Target in Northfield, the St. Olaf campus, Walgreens, the bakery, the car—man, did I hear about that from Judith—”


  “—the bed-and-breakfast my husband and I went to, the other bed-and-br
eakfast my husband and I went to, Applebee’s, the truck stop, Bachman’s, Hallmark, the Mall of America, the Burnsville mall—”

  “How long have you been with child?” she asked, appalled. She didn’t think humans gestated for several years, but it certainly sounded like—

  “—an eternity, honey—Burger King, Perkins, Scofield’s drugstore, my other doctor’s office, the—”

  Suddenly a tall man—her height!—with a perfectly unlined face and snow-white hair was framed in the doorway. The old-man hair was a startling contrast to his youthful face.

  “Ireland! What the hell are you doing wandering around out here without a coat? It’s only fifty degrees!”

  The redhead made a sound. It sounded awfully like a snort. “I’m not ‘wandering around’; I’m—”

  “Ankle deep in mud,” the strange-looking human interrupted. He reached out a long-fingered hand and the redhead clasped it without hesitation. “Now come inside,” he coaxed, the frown disappearing like magic—the only kind humans could do, she often thought—and his voice going from scolding to tender just as quickly. “Your tea’s all ready.”

  “I’ve drunk so much tea my insides are sloshing,” the woman protested, but without much heat, and he led her inside and shut the door.

  She stared at the door. The human male was so besotted with the redhead he hadn’t even seen her. And that, she knew, was rare. She was no raving beauty, but she was a six-foot, four-inch fairy with wings almost as long as her body.