Forsaken Fae (Forsaken Fae #1) - R.A. Steffan
LEN GRAYSON OPENED his front door, blinked at the three inhuman figures standing on his porch, and considered slamming the door in their faces before anyone had time say a single word. He fantasized in painstaking detail about doing exactly that, imagining his visitors’ looks of surprise for a long, blissful moment before dismissing the idea with reluctance.
After the week he’d just had, he was not prepared to deal with this particular brand of crazy. Unfortunately, this particular brand of crazy wasn’t the kind that went away because you slammed a door on it.
Over the past year or so, he’d discovered that the biggest problem with being ‘in the know’ when it came to the existence of the supernatural world wasn’t the creeping sense of existential dread. Well... it wasn’t just the creeping sense of existential dread. It was also the fact that most supernaturals were assholes. Admittedly not all of them—but an easy two out of three from the current sample group.
Vampires Ransley Thorpe and Zorah Bright smiled at Len with wide, plastered-on grins. Their cheerful geniality wasn’t very convincing, given the pair had the limp body of an unconscious—and all too familiar—blond-haired Fae slung between them.
“Whatever the question is, the answer is no,” Len told them flatly, running a jaundiced eye over the unnaturally handsome creature hanging between Rans’ pale strength and Zorah’s tawny curves.
“Hullo, mate. Need a quick favor from you.” Rans’ voice was English-accented. The words were delivered in an airy tone, as though he hadn’t even registered Len’s blanket denial a mere two seconds earlier.
Len felt his molars grinding together and consciously loosened his jaw. Before he could marshal any decently logical arguments for not letting them cross the threshold into his house, Zorah jumped into the conversation.
“Sorry, Len,” she said. “Normally we wouldn’t ask—”
“Yes, you would,” Len interjected.
“—but Albigard’s down for the count, and we need to keep him off the radar while he recovers,” she finished.
Len closed his eyes and took a slow, deep breath. In... and out.
Zorah made up the thirty-three-point-three percent of this group who didn’t generally display asshole-ish tendencies. To make the situation even more complicated, she also owned the house. Len was only renting it. Well... more accurately, Len was cutting a monthly rent-sized check to a local shelter for homeless teens. The checks were mostly a way to salve his conscience, since Zorah refused outright to accept any compensation from him for using the place while she was off jet setting with her obscenely rich undead boyfriend.
Combined, these two facts made the prospect of actually shutting the door in her face a bit awkward. Len fought a brief internal battle with himself and lost. He opened it wider, standing aside for them.
“All right,” he said, very much against his better judgment. “Come in, then. You’d better get the sparkly blond bastard off the street before one of the neighbors decides to call the cops on us.”
Rans smiled a shark’s smile at him, and Len suppressed a shudder upon catching a brief glimpse of fang.
“Couch,” Zorah instructed, and the pair manhandled the Fae’s limp body across the living room until they could flop him sideways onto the dilapidated sofa. A creak of protest came from the wooden frame. The thing had been badly cracked during a police raid before Len moved in—back when Zorah had still been the one living here, pre-vampire-boyfriend. She eyed the piece of aging furniture warily for a few moments, waiting to see if it would buckle beneath the Fae’s weight. It didn’t, but she still shot Len a sidelong glance through her wild spirals of hair. “I thought you said you fixed that?”
“I did,” Len told her. “I stuck a couple of concrete pavers beneath the broken part to support it. Problem solved.”
Rans raised a dark, vaguely judgmental eyebrow at him.
“It’s a comfortable couch,” Len said, in response to the unspoken criticism. “And not all of us have investment portfolios dating back to the fourteen hundreds.”
“I didn’t say a word, mate,” Rans retorted.
Len took another calming breath, for all the good it did. “Well, it’s time to start saying some words, mate.” He sketched air quotes around the word. “Why is there an unconscious Fae on this perfectly functional and not-in-need-of-replacement sofa?”
In reality, he had some theories—given everything else that had been going on in the world over the past few days. He just didn’t like any of them very much. Last year, after being chucked into the deep end of the paranormal underworld without