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Page 4

His senses were probably telling him that something about me didn’t add up. Clearly, I wasn’t just another silly girl, but I didn’t look fae, so what the hell was I? He added a small, disbelieving laugh, but I got the impression that laugh was more for his own sake, especially when I caught his hesitation. “I’m not like you.” I reached over my left shoulder and plucked a dagger free. “You were right with your first guess. I’m not real.” Recognition flashed in his eyes. He was catching up. He snarled and staggered back a few steps. “No, you’re not fae. You’re worse.” He kept his gaze trained on me. Those beautiful eyes were filled with promises; the kind that killed, but now they also held a tight glimmer of fear. He slid his gaze away toward the main street and, keeping me in the corner of his vision, he hurried away. If it wasn’t for the pounding in my head I’d have chased him down, but Reign’s warning, and my own rattling fear, held me back. That fae would blend back into the London nightlife; a touch here, a touch there, and he’d hunt again. I failed. The wind whipped up the trash, tossing the sound of distant police sirens into the mix, and my head throbbed harder. What was I doing here? I’d failed and he’d bespelled a girl and walked free. She whimpered, rousing me from my thoughts. The alley tipped and swirled when I moved away from the wall. I was hurt, but I’d heal. Unlike the girl. On her knees in an oily puddle, she blinked up at me. Her eyes were vacant and glassy. Nonsense babbled from her lips. The fae hadn’t used physical force. That wasn’t their way. Beauty was their weapon. Sensual words, desirable looks, whispered promises and seductive smiles. There wouldn’t be any physical evidence of the assault. The damage was deep inside. He’d bespelled her and absorbed her draíocht—the life 3

City of Shadows © Pippa DaCosta 2016