“I’ve read as much as I can about your race’s history and this realm that you created,” Misty was saying earnestly. “I know I still have much to learn, but even this early I know there are issues that have to be addressed.”
He lifted one brow at her. “Like what?”
“I know the Realm is shielded. No one uninvited can come in, which takes care of vampires. But what if – for some unknown reason – they do manage to come in? What then? How will Faeries defend themselves? And what about the Faeries who do leave the Realm once in a while? Can they protect themselves?”
Misty peeked at Lysander’s expression, fearful that he’d be insulted by her questions. But he looked somewhat astonished instead.
“Those are extremely good points, my pretty,” he conceded.
Her lips formed a spontaneous grin. “You make me sound like Gollum’s precious ring.”
In spite of himself, Lysander chuckled. “And you are the first one who does not appear enamored with the endearment.”
The sound of his dark chuckle sent mental warning bells ringing in her ears again. Was he really g*y?
Lysander snapped his lace fan open then, and the sight and sound of it immediately put her at ease.
One look at her expressive face and Lysander knew he had Misty Wall completely fooled. Ah, my pretty, you will be na**d and groaning in my bed very, very soon.
Misty tried imagining Domenico Moretti using the same lace fan. Her lips twitched even as the thought pinched her heart. Just thinking of him was bittersweet, and so incredibly dangerous to her sanity that she quickly pushed the thought away.
“If I were to ask you to rate the abilities of my people to fight against our common enemy, how would they fare?”
She couldn’t answer right away, not when the truth wasn’t something they both wanted to hear.
A faint wince went over his frame. “That bad?”
“Milo has intensified their training,” Misty answered with usual optimism. “I’m sure in no time everyone will get better.”
“Have you gotten better?”
Misty answered slowly, “I have to say ‘yes’. But it’s only because my younger brother was one of their victims. I want to be strong enough to defend not just myself but the people I care about if ever we’re in danger.”
So different, he mused silently. Faerie women were raised to be dependent on their men. Could her novelty be enough reason to explain this increasing fascination Lysander felt for her?
Seeing that she was gazing at something else, he let his eyes trail all over her body once more, noting the generous swell of her br**sts above the modest neckline of her blouse. Ah, what he would do with those br**sts when it was his to play!
A groan escaped him, for his imagination had already gone wild at imagining Misty underneath him.
The groan made Misty turn back at Lysander. “Is something wrong?”
Fuck! Lysander abruptly turned away, doing his best to suppress his cock’s burgeoning erection. Knowing that standing still would only alert Misty more quickly to his current condition, he said lightly, “I think it is best I see for myself how our defenses are doing.”
They walked together to the courtyard, the silence curiously strained between them. Had she done something wrong?
She asked timidly, “Is it that time of the month?”
He lifted a brow, bemused.
Misty cleared her throat. “Umm, you know…PMS, g*y version? Daryl has it every month like a girl.”
Lysander prided himself to be a man of sophistication, one whose refinement was beyond his years. But at the words of the human before him, it took every bit of his so-called worldliness not to choke. “Aaah, no. I was merely thinking about something…personal…a problem that I must unfortunately solve on my own.”
“Are you sure I can’t help you with it?”
No, Lysander thought. Not when how I can get you in my bed as soon as f**king possible was the problem. He shook his head. “It’s okay, my pretty. I thank you for the concern.”
Seeing the frown on Lysander’s face and never the type to do nothing when someone appeared troubled, Misty ventured hesitantly, “Do you want to hear a joke?”
Again, he did his best not to choke. Could this truly be the woman the Moretti heir was allegedly so obsessed about that he had let her ruin him?
Seeing Misty’s hopeful expression, he said without thinking, “I would be honored to.” It was a lie, though. He despised jokes, considered them the worst form of art.
She brightened. “You won’t regret it. I have really good jokes.” Domenico used to---Misty had a sudden urge to cry. She was trying so very hard to focus on anything but him, but none of it---not even the pressing matters of the Faeries could stop herself from thinking about him.
“The joke?” Lysander asked gently, seeing Misty’s clouded expression and correctly interpreting it.
She cleared her throat. “So there are these two guys, Jim and Jack…” Misty paused, almost hearing Daryl groaning in her mind. In the time they had spent together, he had become exasperated with her endless supply of Jim-and-Jack jokes, but every time she had a new one, he would always want to be the first to hear it.
Clearing her throat, Misty resumed with her joke. “Well, the two men were walking down a street when they stopped dead on their tracks. They saw something ahead of them, some kind of weird-looking brown-colored puddle.”
He frowned. “Mud?”
Misty shook her head, her lips already twitching as she anticipated her punchline. “I’ll get there, I promise,” she told him with a cheerful smile, her eyes twinkling with merriment.
His heart thudded at the sight of those twinkling eyes, a reaction so unnatural and unfamiliar, Lysander stiffened in shock. Just lust, he told himself. She was, after all, not like any other Faerie woman he had f**ked. It was to be expected that he would feel more attracted to her than usual.
She cleared her throat again.
Jim shakes his head when he looks at the brown stuff on the ground. He says, “That’s freaking gross, man. Dog poop.”
Jack scratches his head. “No, dude. That’s, like, molten chocolate. Yesterday was Valentine’s remember? Maybe some chick dropped a slice.”
“Idiot. It’s poop.”
Jack snorted. “You need glasses, dude. That’s clearly chocolate.”
Jim crouched down in one knee. “Let me prove to you it’s dog poop.” He stuck one finger into the puddle----