A Fae walked into a bar.
Nope. Not the beginning of a bad joke. I kinda wish it were. Especially since I’d only been in this town four days.
It was a record, really, considering I’d been keeping to my small circle of contacts since I arrived in Pyreshore.
Typically, it takes me a solid month in a new place to establish a permanent spot on the local law enforcement’s cac list. So, I wasn’t sure if I should have been impressed with myself or highly concerned with my rate of progress. Kara would say impressed, but that in itself says something. Then again . . . how often can you say you started a bar brawl that included a Mimic, a Werewolf, a Gargoyle, and two Vampires. Fine, it likely included at least one of every supernatural race in existence considering when it was all said and done more than half the bar was involved. But let’s not get lost on the unimportant details. Let’s stop a moment and try to figure out how I had managed to get myself into such a mess in the first place. Only one way to really put things into perspective—a little Fae magic.
I raised my hand and pressed it forward in the air as though telling them to stop. And they did. All of them. It’s a time pause . . . a little trick I learned from Uncle Lachlan just this morning. Really, it would have been handy to have over the last few days. According to him, Grams never did get the hang of it. Explains why she never taught it to me, God rest her soul. She would not have been pleased to learn I started a full-on bar fight. Or she might have been amused. Toss up.
The time pause gave me a chance to evaluate what was happening around me. Truth was, I wasn’t even sure how what was happening had even happened. That’s what I got for trying to be friendly. Cian was not going to be pleased when he learned I was responsible for the destruction of Rocky’s. I’d already caused him enough stress, and yet there I was wreaking havoc in a whole new way.
I rotated my hand counterclockwise to rewind the scene until I was walking through the front door of Rocky’s Tavern . . . again.
I glanced around for an opening at a high top, meandered past a couple of Witches chatting it up with a Banshee, and made my way to the first empty spot I saw at the other end of the bar. A spot that just happened to be next to one of the most attractive Vamps I’d ever seen. Granted, most Vamps were oddly physically attractive for some reason, just not to me. One of the downsides of being able to see someone for who they are at their core. Soul Sight wasn’t always a blessing, I supposed. So, I sat down next to Hot Vamp Guy and waited for the bartender to take my order. Innocent enough, so far.
But I could feel Hot Vamp Guy’s glances bore into me every so often. And that’s when I made my first mistake.
I tried to be friendly.
When the feeling of his next glance rushed over me, I immediately turned to meet it and offered a friendly smile. Harmless, or so I thought. It was then that Hot Vamp Guy’s female companion glared at me. I would have sworn I heard her hiss, but her lips were pressed hard together.
To most, she would be considered gorgeous. But there was darkness in her soul. That’s right, I said it. Vamps have souls. Contrary to what the lore might say about them being the walking dead, there is still a soul there. It’s a long story. Goes back to the beginning of time. Literally.
Thing is, some Vamps—just like every other race in existence—contain both good and bad. Not every Fae is entirely good . . . not every Vamp is bad. Some of us often find ourselves teetering somewhere in the middle. But this Vamp, she was definitely getting coal in her stocking every year.
So, Dark Soul Vamp was shooting daggers at me with her stare, and that’s when I made my second mistake.
“Is there a problem, Witch?” I spouted it without missing a beat. I should really work on my filter. Scratch that. I should really develop a filter. But sue me, I’d had a tough couple of days.
Turned out, Dark Soul Vamp did not like Witches much. I, personally, have always found them delightful and would have taken it as a term of endearment. Not the case here.
Less than a split second later, fangs grazed the collar of my leather jacket—and it’s my favorite jacket—just before Dark Soul Vamp found herself crashing into a rather unpleasantly surprised, pale, auburn-haired girl who happened to be walking by.
“Sorry!” I mouthed to Pale Girl when I recognized her as the Mimic I’d seen reading at the café my first night in Pyreshore. Never would have pegged her for the bar type.
I barely had a moment to offer Pale Girl an apologetic nod before Dark Soul Vamp was bee-lining back at me. I had to give it to the Vamps—they were fast. But this one wasn’t fast enough. I dodged her just as a considerably large, and might I add a rather impressive specimen of the male Gargoyle persuasion stepped into the line of fire. I didn’t have time to warn him or push him out of the way. Next thing I knew, he was tumbling over Hot Vamp Guy and crashing into some poor soul at the end of the bar. And the domino effect began.
Have you ever watched one of those bar fights in movies where Guy Number One tumbles accidentally into Guy Number Two, Guy Two turns and gets all pissed off and immediately breaks a beer bottle over the head of Guy Number Three, and all hell breaks loose from there? Yeah. That’s what was happening at Rocky’s Tavern. Only, instead of beer bottles and wooden chairs as weapons, you faced the possibility of swords, elements of nature, fangs, and more coming at you. So much more.
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