Taken The Coldest Fae - Katerina Martinez


Madame Lydia Whitmore took her sweet arse time coming out of the changing room, leaving me to wonder if she’d forgotten I was even here. It had been twenty minutes since I’d handed her the dress I’d made; twenty minutes since the last time I’d seen another person.

And I really needed to pee.

Don’t get me wrong, you could fit my entire house in the room I’d been left in. A vaulted ceiling made the room appear tall, its white walls gave it incredible depth, and the gorgeous hardwood floors told the story of the many dancing troupes that had danced upon it over the decades.

I was happy with the visuals. But really, I just wanted to get paid, use the bathroom, and be on my way.

“There’s a bathroom down the hall,” came a tiny voice near my ear.

“What are you doing out?” I hissed, trying not to make any sudden movements. The last thing I wanted was for Lydia to know I had a pixie with me. Humans weren’t supposed to have magical pets, and mages like her were sticklers for enforcing those kinds of rules. But Gullie was more than a pet; she was my only friend.

And if I ever called her a pet, I was likely to get smacked around the mouth for it.

“I got bored waiting in your hair,” Gullie said, her little wings buzzing against my ear. I watched her zip around in front of me, her tiny, glowing body leaving a light, glittering trail of fairy dust in the air wherever she went.

“Please get back inside?” I pleaded, “You know what’ll happen if they catch you.”

Gullie stared at me and folded her arms. Her translucent, butterfly wings were impossible to see when she was flying, but the scowl on her pretty little face was as clear as day. “Do you really expect me to stay in your hair the whole time we’re out?”

“That was the deal, remember?”

“Do you have any idea what it’s like being stuck in your hair all day?”

My eyes widened and I sucked in a breath. “What’s wrong with my hair? I’m clean. I use conditioner.”

“Yeah, and by the way, that doesn’t make my job of holding on any easier.” She cocked a thumb behind her back. “I have wings. I can fly. But instead I have to hold onto silky smooth strands of hair to keep from toppling out.”

“Look, they aren’t just my rules, okay? I just… I don’t want anyone taking you away from me.”

Gullie frowned, then sighed. “Don’t do that…” she said, hovering closer to my face. It was easier to see her the closer she got to me. Her body radiated this bright green glow if you saw her from a distance, but the glow fell away up close. She looked like me, almost, if I was the size of the palm of my own hand and had shocking green hair. “You know I wouldn’t let anyone pull us apart,” she said.

“I know. I think I’m just uncomfortable, here. Mages make me feel weird.”

“It’s because they’re classist arseholes. Just picture them all naked, it makes it easier to deal with them.”

A door started to open, and Gullie zipped back into my hair. I swatted at the trail of shimmering pixie dust she’d left in the air, then abruptly stood to try and mask my sudden flailing. Lydia’s assistant came through the door first; a severe looking woman with a black bob and a pencil dress that wasn’t terribly flattering to her figure.

She stopped and stared at me for a long moment, one hand grabbing onto the door she’d just opened, her eyes narrow. After a short while, she pulled the door open the rest of the way and stepped aside, allowing Lydia to step through into the studio.

I’d only ever met this woman a handful of times, but she’d never looked quite as radiant as she did now. She was statuesque, a giraffe in human form with long, golden locks of hair, striking, pointed features, and all the grace of a princess.

The gown she was wearing shimmered as she moved. It was low cut in the front and back, and pearlescent, catching the sunlight and reflecting every color of the rainbow in wonderful, rippling waves.

My heart surged into a quick beat.

I’d made that dress with my own two hands. It was one thing to see it on a mannequin in my dull little workshop, and quite another to watch it come to life on the body of a