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Title: Elemental Earth
Legal Name: Melissa King
Pen-Name: Kinsey Knight
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Tag-Line: The woman of tomorrow is forged by the girl of today
My name is Trinity Liathain, typical human teenager to many. But reality is I’m a young fae, split between two very different worlds. Just as I find a guy who I can be myself with, my little corner of Blue Cove erupts in drama I’m not prepared for. The gauntlet to a war that shouldn’t be mine is at my door, bringing creatures that terrify and mesmerize me. I’m visited by ancient forces who for some reason, think I’m the answer to another dimension’s problems. They grant me tremendous power to protect myself. From what, you ask? If my short journey through life has taught me anything, it’s that the people closest to you, make the worst enemies.
“Trinity, wait up!”
I rolled my eyes and soared faster down the coastal highway that ran the outer limits of Blue Cove, a seaside town filled with hidden magick and creatures of fairytales.
My mountain bike loved hills, or maybe that’s just me.
The wind in my hair, scents of saltwater and spring in the breeze infused me with feeling nothing else compared to. I tossed my long mane of fine, silvery blonde strands flowing in streamers behind me. I grinned over my shoulder. “Come on, Deebra, you can’t tell me this isn’t exhilarating.”
Deebra’s fingers hovered over the handbrake, ready to screech to a halt at the slightest hint of danger. “And what about after school, dragging these stupid bikes back up? Bet you won’t think the same then.”
“Worry about that at three o’clock!” To freak her out, I lifted my feet from the pedals, legs poised at forty-five degree angles. Her wordless screech was lost among the roar of a farming truck passing the opposite way. The atmosphere filled with bits of freshly cut hay, zinging around our heads like the wee fae who populate our horse ranch. “The moment is here, to make the most of the now. Won’t come again.”
“Thank the Goddess for small favors,” she grumbled.
“One day soon, I’ll succeed in giving your sense of adventure a serious remodeling.”
The Cobalt High School loomed before us, an educational white sentinel, highlighted by cerulean trim and endless hedging. Beyond the building, the ocean sparkled, a blanket of glittering sapphires and diamonds. I bypassed the ramp, jumping my front tire over the curb. My feet planted on the cement, screeching to a halt.
I swung off the bike, a spring to my step. Today was the day I’d take the plunge. Good or bad.
Slipping my bike into the rack, I looped my lock around the spokes, and spun the dial.
Deebra was nowhere in sight. I frowned to find myself alone. Slow poke.
The air chilled, despite the warm day. I vigorously rubbed my arms. I visually panned the street, gaze freezing on a figure standing beneath a group of cedars.
My heart skipped a beat. His face triggered a barely formed memory, as if from a dream—or nightmare. The shade congregated around him, pressing against the hem of his billowing cape. I gawked at the strange clothes for spring. He shifted, revealing a broad chest covered in silver chainmail that glinted green fire. Fae metal? The length of his raven hair rivaled mine, the widow’s peak stark against his alabaster skin. Delicately pointed ears peeked down from the fall of his strands, the harsh slash of bangs cutting across his glowing, scarlet triple irises. Primal power crawled across the street toward me, the full shimmer marking him Dorchaign, a fae of the dark.
As if my brain split open, I massaged my temple. I remembered him.
“You’ve been following me,” I whispered.
He nodded. Winter wind cascaded over me. I shivered. “I’m coming for you, Trinity Liathain. Very soon.”
I was caught in the snare of a spider’s web, unable to look away.
Deebra rolled up beside me, gasping for breath. “You could wait for me, you know!” Her shrill words broke the spell. I stared across the street at the empty trees, trying to remember what had drawn my interest. “What you looking at?”
“Ahh. That’s a good question.” Why had I felt terrified? I tipped my head back, watching the powder blue sky dotted with dollops of creamy clouds. “Just daydreaming, I guess.”
Deebra chuckled nervously. “Girl, you’re going to break your neck one of these days. I swear your tires didn’t touch ground the whole way down.” She continued in a lower voice. “I felt your power.”
I tossed her an impervious glance. “Impossible. Mom keeps telling me I don’t have much of any sort of power, short of the ability to use glamour I have nothing considered useful.”
“Yeah, well, it’s been happening more and more. You don’t notice the little things, but I do. I don’t care what she says. You’re changing fast, dude,” she murmured. “Ever since she forced you into those magick lessons of hers. And you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing, especially if you can’t get any control over yourself.”
“I think you’re overreacting,” I replied quickly. “Mom is on me every day now to practice with her, tapping into this mythical greatness she believes lives inside of me. If I had anything, she’d know.” I paused. “I don’t get it, you know. She forbade us to use our magick at all, until we hit eighteen, unlike every fae we know. Why the abrupt change of heart?”
“Couldn’t tell you; she has no interest in teaching me anything. When she does let me sit in on the lessons, I can’t say a word, or disrupt your concentration.” Deebra shouldered her backpack with a grimace. I felt her pain. Our teachers demanded we carried a course load to and from home every day. Even for the fae with super strength, the burden became a little much. The humans had it rough. She cleared her throat. “Have you noticed Caron’s mood swings are getting way harsher?”
“Yeah. Dad started sleeping in the spare bedroom,” I muttered. Talking about the problems at home, even with Deebra—my very best friend—was disheartening. Wasn’t it enough that she lived with me, seeing day in and day out that our family life fell apart? Did she have to bring it up when I finally escaped? Thank the Goddess, our conversation was interrupted by a monstrous roar of an engine. One so finely tuned, so beautiful, it compared to the owner. The motorcycle turned into the parking lot, driver enclosed in leather and a full helmet.
Some said the owner of the motorcycle adhered to the bad boy mold to a capital T. I knew better. He turned into the empty parking spot closest to the bike rack. He slid the backpack from his shoulder, opened the zipper, and dug through the contents, while my heart skipped several beats.
Not because he was gorgeous. Because he was.
Today’s the day. The time I finally got a hold of myself, and stopped second guessing. Win or lose. To make the move, shifting my long standing friendship with my crush, into something else entirely.
Adrian O’Fearain: Goblin, daredevil, and general badass. Leagues above other guys, yet still approachable enough I could talk to him about anything. Our friendship went back to grade eight, when we shared half our classes. I crushed on him so hard, it was embarrassing. When he needed help in English—a subject I adored—I leapt at the chance. He’d showed up after school in black clothes and chains—an exercise in annoying his dad, a favored past time of his—radiating a lethal edge of a mankind’s nightmares that didn’t scare me in the slightest.
I was half Lochrann Pixie, which most people focused on, forgetting that my other half was much scarier. My dad was a Yaksha: an unpredictable, territorial Dorchaign fae, who guarded what was theirs to their last breath, by any means necessary.
Deebra brightened. “I think you’re actually drooling. But, he’s a Goblin. Maybe he likes slobbery girls. Makes them shiny toys. Guess, you’ll find out when you finally ask him out.”
“Shut up. Up until recently, he had a girlfriend,” I huffed. “Threw a wrench in the whole admitting my unrequited crush thing.”
“But, now he’s single. You better ask him quick. I overheard that horror doll creature, Fiona in the bathroom the other day, babbling about how she’s going to snatch him up,” she chirped. I scowled. “You might end up staying in the friend zone until the Earth flies into the sun.”
My courage meter drained. “What if he just wants to stay friends?”
She waved me off. “Girl, please, just please. The way he looks at you since he ditched the Goblin chick…just damn. If that walking, talking pin-up graced me with the attention he shows you, I’d totally jump onto his bike, and ride off into the sunset.”
I grimaced. “Yeah, right.”
Adrian pulled off his glossy helmet, tucking it under his arm. His mismatched gaze—one blue eye, one green—met mine and sparkled. The metal skulls on his biker boots shined as he dismounted. He shook out his shoulder length blonde hair.
He smiled. He was so hot, I fumbled. I swore to the Great Goddess, my tongue swelled, and my throat closed. Sue me; I was a sappy girl sometimes.
“Why did they break up anyway? They were pretty tight for like a zillion years,” Deebra mused.
I breathed through my nose, out my mouth to calm my jangling nerves. Giving us his profile, he bent over the bike—did I mention gym is one of the classes we’ve shared? And we’d gone swimming at the lake by my house more times than I can count. Oh yeah, I’d seen enough for any sixteen year old girl’s imagination to handle. As he sauntered onto the sidewalk, his body rolled, the perfect grace of a predator. Leagues past any human. Something about being a Red Cap made him bigger, stronger, just more.
You can do this. Just a few little words. You can even blurt them out.
My heart slammed against my ribs so loud, I was positive everyone heard the erratic beat.
His grin was borderline feral. “Life’s too short to deal with some people’s drama, Deebra. Leave it at that.”
The backs of her ears reddened. She stared at her feet.
Goddess, he had a deep voice.
I smiled. “Hey.”
He towered over me, leaning down to my ear. His hot breath tickled my cheek. “By the way, I love your perfume. Pineapple, coconut?”
“Yes,” I said softly.
“Excellent choice. Not overpowering like so many girls like to bath themselves in. But, I already know you have great taste.”
My heart hammered a new level of erratic insanity. “Yeah, thanks.”
Adrian plucked a hair from my white spaghetti strap, fingers caressing me, allowing let the strand float away on the breeze. He started to say something when the bell rang. Regret flashed on his face. “I’ll see you in Computer Science?”
Somehow, I doubted that’s what was on his mind.
“Wouldn’t miss it.”