When the time is right, you’ll know where to go.

Those were the last words my father ever told me. It turned out he was right. It took about twenty-five years, but the time had finally come. My magic built within me, and the air shimmered across the room: a portal. It was as if a magnet was on the other side, pulling me, demanding that I step through.

I knew what lay on the other side, and I was ready. I’d been prepared for a while. Fourteen years ago, when I turned twenty-one, my father’s lust for power became mine when the spell he put on me as a child was triggered. The magic that flowed through my veins was intoxicating.

Getting to my feet, I grabbed the iron dagger off my table and stepped toward the portal. One minute, I was in the living room of my cabin in the mortal realm, and the next, I was in the Land of the Fae, in a home inside the Ice Court.

The need to kill exploded within me, and I enjoyed the torment. The time had come for me to fulfill my father’s desires, to seek his vengeance for what the fae did to him. I was tasked with making the royals suffer and take everything they held dear from them. Blood and violence were all I knew, and I looked forward to seeing more.

The pull grew stronger, and I followed it down the hallway with my iron dagger. Iron was toxic to the fae. A simple scrape across the skin could kill them within a few minutes.

I came to a stop outside a closed bedroom door and slowly opened it. It was dark inside, but the candlelight illuminated the bed. I couldn’t see the woman underneath the frosty blue sheets, but I could feel her. Her power was unlike anything I’d ever come across.

However, I thought my father’s magic would lead me to the Ice Court Queen so I could kill her and show the Land of the Fae they haven’t won. But that wasn’t who was in the room.

Stepping closer, I had a feeling I knew who it was going to be. Only one other fae was more powerful than the Ice Court Queen—her daughter, Ella. I’d heard of her beauty, but I had yet to look at her. Killing her would be the ultimate revenge.

Clenching the dagger’s hilt, I stepped closer to the bed. The princess shifted, and I got a glimpse of her long blonde hair and the shimmering white skin of her neck. A moan escaped her lips and she turned, revealing her face. The second I looked at her, a new desire rose within me. It wasn’t just the need to kill but a need to claim.

I was going to fulfill both.

I leaned in close, my lips right by her ear. “I’m coming back for you. And when I do . . .” I said, letting my thoughts trail off.

My lips pulled back into a smile. There were many things I was going to do to her before I killed her.




“Are you ever going to get tired of being here?” Merrick asked, skipping a smooth stone across the lake. It jumped six times and then sank to the bottom.

The water was so clear it almost looked like glass. It would be perfectly still if we weren’t throwing rocks into its depths. I picked up a medium-sized pebble and skimmed it across the surface, earning me two extra jumps compared to Merrick.

I grinned at him. “Nope. I enjoy the satisfaction of beating your ass every chance I get.”

Merrick shook his head and smiled as he sat down on the soft, green grass. The wind blew all around me, and the sun shone brightly above; it was warm against my Winter skin. Everything was always perfect in the Hereafter; it was where fae went when they died, a heaven of sorts. Everyone was happy. There was no pain, no heartache . . . just peace. I was only allowed in the Hereafter because I was chosen to be a Keeper—a fae’s version of a guardian angel.

When someone of my kind was on the brink of death, I would guide them to the Hereafter. They could still travel back and forth from here to the Land of the Fae, but only Keepers could see them.

Merrick and I had a close bond for many reasons. He was a good friend to my family, and I was his only link to speak to them, especially with my aunt Calista. There was a time when he was her Guardian – the fae’s version of a bodyguard – and in love with her.

Having a Guardian was one of the strongest bonds a fae could have with another. It used to be mandatory for a princess to have one, but things have changed over the years; it was no longer required if the princess didn’t choose it.

Merrick’s death still haunts my aunt Calista to this day. I didn’t want to be bonded to someone and risk them getting taken away from me. That was a pain I didn’t want to endure. Besides, I didn’t need a Guardian. I’d inherited my mother’s ability to shapeshift and control the wind. And from my father, I acquired his ability to control fire. So, all in all, I’d say I could take care of myself.

A few decades ago, it was unheard of for females to fight, but now in all the courts, there were women warriors. The Land of the Fae had changed; because of that, we were stronger.

Merrick bumped me with his shoulder. “Want to do some training today? Your brother has completely tainted your fighting skills. It’s well-known that the Summer army is better than the Winter one.”

My laugh was so loud it echoed across the lake. “Keep telling yourself that, smart-ass.” There was so much on my mind that I couldn’t think straight. “But no,” I said, “I’m not in the mood for training.”

Merrick blew out a sigh. “What’s wrong, Ella? I can see the trouble in your eyes. Is Iston pushing you for the marriage bond?”

Tags: L.P. Dover Fantasy
Articles you may like