When we left off yesterday, Faye was placed in a predicament when she was suddenly faced with not one, but TWO Kalens! Where will Christina Courtenay take us today, and where can Kirsty Ferry possibly take us tomorrow? We can’t wait to find out! Make sure you read right until the end for the competition.
A Hallowe’en Faerie Tale: Part Three by Christina Courtenay
Kalen One spared me a quick glance and nodded surreptitiously towards Mrs Alden’s door. I got the message and knocked somewhat frantically. Meanwhile, he hissed something at Kalen Two. I only heard a few words, but it was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up again.
‘I warned you … mortals … fight to the death … Unseelie … queen …’
Just then, Mrs Alden opened her door. ‘Oh, it’s you, dear. I thought the children had come early this year. What do you – ’
I didn’t let her finish, but pushed past her and turned to reach up above her door, unhooking the horseshoe. ‘Sorry, no time to explain. Need this. Costume,’ I breathed, then rushed out into the passage, slamming the door in her face. Very rude, I know, but it was for her own good.
‘Kalen!’ I walked over to the two men and lightly touched the horseshoe to K Two’s elbow. He yelled and jumped about a foot in the air while the horseshoe hissed against his skin, having apparently burned its way through his clothing.
‘Why, you little …’ He wasn’t looking polite any longer and I took a step back as I read violence in his eyes.
‘Wow!’ I blinked. So it was true. But then that meant that K Two was a … Jesus! I was standing right next to a fricking faerie! A bad one.
Kalen One was smiling and crossed his arms over his chest. ‘See? I told you. Now go!’ he told K Two. ‘And don’t you dare touch her again. She’s under my protection now.’
Kalen Two sent me a death glare that made me shiver right down to my toes, but without a word he pushed past K One and out the front door into the dark night.
I tried to get my breathing under control because my heart rate was going ballistic. Clutching the horseshoe in front of me like some sort of mini shield, I backed away. ‘I, uhm, perhaps I’d better … you know …’ I nodded towards the door to my own flat. ‘Thank you for …’
I couldn’t say the words out loud. Thank you for rescuing me from a bad faerie. Oh, and by the way, are you one of the good ones? It sounded too incredible. And maybe I’d dreamed that hissing bit? Yeah, I must have done. There was no such thing as faeries.
‘There are, you know.’ Kalen said, leaning against the doorframe as if he planned on staying there for the foreseeable future.
‘Faeries. We do exist. As you just saw.’ His smile had reached his eyes and that impossibly blue gaze was keeping me rooted to the spot. I couldn’t take the few steps to my door, couldn’t lift the keys to fit in the lock, couldn’t … I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I had to break his spell. For spell it surely was.
‘Okay. If you say so. But now I really must get on. It was lovely meeting you. Have a great rest of the evening.’ I knew I was babbling, but he made me nervous and I didn’t want to discuss this anymore.
He chuckled. ‘Fine, have it your way for now, but later you will believe. Trust me.’
I didn’t want to trust him at all, but had a feeling I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Thankfully, the first trick-or-treaters chose that moment to ring the door bell and I was finally able to move my limbs and enter my flat. Unfortunately, so did Kalen, although yet again he’d managed to do it before me. ‘How the hell …? Oh, never mind.’ I was getting a bit irritated by this habit of his. ‘Don’t you ever wait to be asked?’ I muttered, but his only reply was another deep chuckle, which resonated inside me in a very unsettling way.
‘I’ll help you with the sweets,’ he said. ‘You’ll need protection against some of the little monsters out there.’
He wasn’t wrong. I’d had problems with belligerent teenagers the previous year. They’d insisted they were still young enough to need sweets but privately I’d thought it a bloody cheek. This time I needn’t have worried – one look from Kalen and the teens disappeared into the darkness, presumably to terrorise some other people.
When all my sweets were gone, I hung a sign on my door which I’d prepared beforehand. ‘All out of sweets – come back next year. Happy Hallowe’en!’
‘I like a woman who’s organised,’ Kalen commented, his eyes twinkling again. I tried my best not to look into them because I was sure that was a dangerous thing to do. Although perhaps it was too late for such thoughts … As if to confirm this, Kalen put the kettle on and made himself at home in my tiny kitchen alcove, where he could barely turn around. The small space only emphasised his broad shoulders and muscular build. Casually, he said, ‘So, time for you to pay me back.’
‘Excuse me?’ I sank down onto the nearest chair.
‘Tea or coffee?’ he asked, searching my cupboards for what he needed.
‘Either. Whatever. What do you mean, “pay you back”?’
He didn’t reply until he’d made us both a hot drink and placed mine in my hands. Sinking down onto the nearby settee, he smiled again. ‘I saved you from the bad faerie and you gave me your name, so you owe me. It’s Hallowe’en, right?’
‘Right, but …’
‘That means that for tonight, you have to come with me wherever I wish.’
I almost choked on a mouthful of overly sweet tea. ‘Come with … Says who? Wh-where?’ My thoughts were whirling. I’d allowed a madman into my home. An axe murderer? A rapist? Maybe the other Kalen had been the good one? How could I be sure this one didn’t get burned by iron as well? I hadn’t tried to touch him with the horseshoe.
He held out his arm. ‘Do it.’
I frowned. ‘Stop. Reading. My thoughts! It’s seriously annoying,’ I grumbled, but I grabbed the horseshoe anyway and put it on his arm. A little puff of steam rose into the air, but his clothing remained intact and he didn’t yell. I narrowed my eyes at him. ‘So, just because the iron doesn’t hurt you, I’m supposed to trust you? I don’t think so. I’d like you to leave now. Please.’
He shook his head and sighed while putting his mug on the floor. ‘Sorry, Faye, but it doesn’t work that way. You should’ve been more careful.’ He stood up and held out his hand. ‘Come, I have things to show you. And the Queen awaits. Wouldn’t you like to go to a ball?’
‘A … faerie ball?’ It sounded amazingly tempting when he asked, that wonderful Irish lilt in his voice. ‘But I don’t have anything to wear!’
Okay, so that was possibly the most shallow, girly thing I could have said, but it made Kalen laugh out loud.
‘That, my dear, is the least of your worries. Trust me.’
He held out his hand again and this time I took it. It wasn’t as if I had a choice, did I?
Oh, beginning to wish that somebody like Kalen would whisk us off to a faerie ball – but we’re not at the happily ever after yet! Kirsty Ferry will bring us one step closer tomorrow, before we finish with Jane Lovering on Halloween
If you enjoyed Christina’s writing in today’s Round Robin, you might want to read one of her novels – and this could be your chance! We have one copy of The Silent Touch of Shadows and some Halloween chocolate to give away. To enter, simply comment below and tell us what you think of the story so far
There will be a competition each day of our Round Robin and all winners will be announced 1st November.
Part Four by Kirsty Ferry is now available to read, click HERE.