I loom over Xandra, my shadow blocking the path of the sun. “I’m not moving from this spot for another sixteen minutes,” she says.
“Really?” I think I can change that.
“There is no convincing you?” I ask, admiring her beautiful body in her tiny black bikini.
I was hoping she would say that. I grin down at her. “You leave me no choice.”
“What are you…” I swoop her up and over my shoulder before she can finish her sentence and walk towards the water.
“You had better not be doing what I think you’re doing,” she warns.
“I am sure I am not,” I lie.
“Then why are you walking towards the water?”
I laugh. “I am simply enjoying the briny air.” Not to mention enjoying the view on my shoulder. I will refrain from saying that out loud, though.
“And it was necessary to pick me up like this to do that?” she asks dryly.
“No better way to enjoy it.”
“Kallen, I’m warning you, if I get wet…”
If I’m going to do this, I had better hurry before she stops me with magic. I run the last couple of yards until I’m almost waist deep in the ocean. Then I plunge us both into the water. I come up laughing as Xandra comes up sputtering. She’s already pulling magic. It’s time to brace myself for her revenge.
I am always amazed at her creativity when it comes to magic. A sudden tidal wave lifts me about twenty feet in the air. I try to push back against her magic, but it is of no use. I am left flailing in the air and heading for the terrace. There will be no soft landing in the sand. Though at this height, even the sand would not feel soft. It is a good thing she can heal me if I need it.
I am too busy contemplating my impending pain to notice Grandmother has come outside. It is not until the wave and I are upon her that I suddenly fear for both Xandra’s and my life. It is inevitable that Grandmother is going to be soaked. She realizes this as well and the resignation in her eyes does nothing to hide the seething underneath.
Xandra tries to pull her magic back, but it is too late. Grandmother’s tall, slender body and long black hair with streaks of gray are completely drenched as I fall at her feet. The impact knocks the breath out of me and I am left gasping. I would like to tell her that I egged Xandra on, that I am partially to blame for this, but first my lungs need to fill with enough oxygen to accomplish speaking.
I turn my head to see Xandra walking towards the terrace. The sight of her drenched, sexy body is enough to make me forget everything else, including taking a breath, which does not help with the lack of oxygen problem. The way she is biting her bottom lip as she approaches makes me want to kiss her deeply. Even the sheepish look on her face is charming.
By this time, Xandra’s mother and Tabitha have come to join us on the terrace. Not surprising. I am sure the sound of the wave and myself hitting the terrace echoed throughout the house. Xandra’s mother is covering her ghostly mouth, trying to stifle her laugh. Tabitha does not care. She laughs outright. Grandmother shoots her a look that makes me scramble to my feet and step a few feet away. I catch Xandra’s eye and she glowers at me. I shrug and smile. Grandmother is much less likely to kill her than me.
“I am going to assume,” Grandmother says through clenched teeth, “that the terrace behind me was on fire. I cannot fathom any other reason why you would think it necessary to fling half of the ocean towards the house.”
Xandra wants to make a smart ass comment. I can see it on the tip of her lips. Fortunately for her, Kegan lends assistance. “It was a raging inferno,” he says, coming up behind Xandra and making her jump. “I saw the whole thing. I was about to pull half the ocean myself to put it out.” He does a good job of not letting his sincere expression falter when Grandmother’s eyes shift to him. There’s a little tightening around his mouth and eyes, but it’s barely noticeable from years of practice.
“Indeed?” Grandmother drawls, her eyes narrowing.
Tabitha, mirth still dripping from her pores, says, “Oh, leave the girl alone. The terrace was due for a good cleaning. She just saved me a few hours of work.”
“I really am sorry,” Xandra says. Grandmother’s only reply is to dry herself off with magic, and then turn on her heels. She walks back into the house without another word.
Tabitha shakes her head after her. “I swear, that Fairy needs to grow a sense of humor.”
“Perhaps you can sow one for her in your garden,” I say with a grin. Pain explodes in the back of my head when her hand makes contact. “Ow, what was that for?”
“It was for whatever you did to make Xandra fling you into the air like a ragdoll. I am sure you were up to some sort of mischief.”
Rubbing the back of my head, I deny her accusation even if it is true. “I cannot believe you assume I had anything to do with this. I was simply enjoying the sea air when I was viciously attacked by a magically-made tidal wave.”
“Uh huh, tell that to someone who does not know the things you and Kegan have done over the years.”
“Hey, how did I get dragged into this?” Kegan asks indignantly. “I was simply an innocent bystander.” Tabitha snorts and I give him a simpering grin over her shoulder.
Xandra, on the other hand, gives him a sweet smile. “Yes, you were. And you came to my defense. Unlike someone else I know.” She glares at me again.
I shrug. “I love you, but such a reckless display of magic will have its consequences.”
Exploding pain in the back of my head again. Damn, Tabitha has a wicked slap. “You are going to get yourself into more trouble than you can handle if you keep this up,” she says. Turning to Xandra, she says, “You let that magic go. You need to run along inside and get ready now.”
A reluctant groan escapes Xandra’s lips as she lets her magic go. She is not looking forward to the next few days. In theory, she agreed to start taking on a more active role as Princess of this realm. In reality, the thought of traveling for several days with Dagda has had her stomach churning and her blood pressure sky rocketing. Both of which make her control over her magic precarious. We halted training for the time being because Kegan and I were tired of being thrown at immovable objects such as walls every time she thought of the trip. Eight broken ribs and a fractured clavicle between us was quite enough.
“Fine,” Xandra grumbles. She trudges up the stairs of the terrace doing an excellent portrayal of one walking to her execution. She walks past us and we all try to keep from chuckling at the expression on her face. She is damn cute at the moment.
When I have my humor firmly in check, my longer strides allow me to catch up to her at the bottom of the stairs leading up to our bedroom. I twirl her around, putting her off balance, and pull her into my arms. “That was quite a show of magic, my reckless little Witch Fairy. And the terrace provided a rather hard landing.”
“Aw, did I hurt you?” There is a distinct lack of sympathy in her voice.
“Yes, I am injured for life. Or at least until you kiss the pain away.”
“Hmm, I don’t know. You did throw me in the ocean.”
“A much softer landing than mine,” I point out.
Looking a tad contrite, she slides her arms around my neck. “How about one kiss and we’ll see how it goes.”
I raise a brow incredulously. “See how it goes? How about I kiss you until my injuries no longer seem so great.”
A wicked smile forms on her lips. “That sounds like it will take a long time, and we have a carriage to catch.”
Dagda can wait. Pulling her closer, I kiss her hungrily until she is absolutely breathless. After a moment, I murmur against her lips, “Carriage be damned. If I had my way, the only place you would be going is upstairs with me.” Doing a lot more exciting things than visiting the Giant lands.
I can tell how my words affect her by the burning in her eyes. I am not the only one sexually frustrated in this relationship. It is getting harder and harder for both of us to stop once we let our passion loose.
“Mm, don’t say things like that when you know it’s not possible,” she whines. A sexy whine that is really more of a purr.
My body is instantly on fire as I imagine the possibilities. “I believe we still have six minutes.”
She laughs. “I wish I could close my eyes like this and when I kiss you, we’d be in our room.” She closes her eyes and finds my lips again.
The world turns upside down for the briefest second, and having not closed my eyes, I am instantly aware of the change in our location. My lips leave hers as I look around in awe. “Xandra…what did you do?”
Her mouth and her eyes open at the same time. Whatever response she had on her lips is stalled. Instead, she asks, “Did I do this?”
I shake my head in wonder. “I am certain it was not me.”
Consternation ringing clear in her voice, she says, “But, I can’t do this.” .
I raise a brow and look down at her again. “The evidence is to the contrary.”
She slips out of my arms and turns slowly to take in the walls and furniture of the bedroom as if taking an inventory will somehow explain what just happened. Finally looking back at me, she asks, “How did I do this?”
I will assume that is a rhetorical question. My only response is to shake my head again. “You never cease to amaze me.” A slow smile spreads over my face. Her newfound power is amazing, but as far as priorities go, it is not at the top of my list. “I suppose we should talk to Grandmother about this. In about five minutes.”
I scoop her up and carry her to the bed without any protest from her. I am glad we both have our priorities straight. Lying next to her, I say again, “You are amazing.” I kiss her softly. Yearning for more but mindful of the fact that someone may come looking for us at any moment.
“I knew it,” she murmurs against my lips, “you only love me for my magic.”
I chuckle. “Oh, trust me, there are many other reasons, as well. Shall I list them, or should I spend the next few minutes kissing you?”
Making me love her even more, she pulls on my shirt to get me closer. “Shut up and kiss me,” she purrs. I do.