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Corinne poured two glasses of iced tea, one for herself and the other for Uberon, and carried them to the miniscule front porch of her cabin. He thanked her with grave courtesy as he accepted the sweating glass. Sitting in her favorite deck chair, she flexed her aching bare feet.
“I should have worn sneakers.”
Uberon reached over, long arms extending to capture one of her feet. He pulled her foot into his lap and began massaging it. Corinne moaned with pleasure and took a drink of her tea.
“I want you to come with me,” Uberon said, his voice easing into the late afternoon heat as though it belonged amid the sounds of birds, insects, and the occasional yip of a coyote.
“To the Unseelie Court.”
“The Unsee—what?” He met her shocked gaze with equanimity.
“You have got to be kidding me,” she muttered and averted her eyes. “You cannot expect me to believe you’re an evil fairy.”
“Not evil, dark.” He did not mention that the distinction had more to do with the fair-haired characteristics of the Seelie Court than with any tendencies toward evil.
“Evil, dark, what’s the difference? And do not tell me you’re a fairy.”
“I am fae, what humans once called sidhe or sith.”
“This is insane.”
“Why should it be insane?” He released her foot and picked up the other one.
“B-because that’s just myth. You know, legend. Fairy tales!”
He shrugged, the movement of those broad shoulders capturing her attention. “And you are a witch. Why cannot I be fae?”
“I am not a witch,” she muttered, disliking his logic. “I have some extrasensory power that most people don’t. That’s all.”
“The fire-haired women in your matriarchal line each had such power. The talent skips a generation or two, but runs true back to the ancestress who took a fae lover and bore him a daughter.”
“What do you know about it?”
“I know the Erlking is your ancestor, for ’tis his fiery hair the daughters of his talent bear.”
“He is mated, has been for the past several centuries.”
“No more bastard children?” she scoffed.
“He would never betray his mate, nor she him.” He fixed her with his own mysterious silver gaze. “Nor I you.”
“This is preposterous,” Corinne protested and pulled on her foot. He held it with easy strength. Rather than engage in a futile struggle, she huffed and turned her head away to stare into the wooded darkness.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
“Don’t quote Shakespeare at me, Uberon.”
“He was a human of great insight.”
She huffed again. “Okay, let’s say you’re really what you say you are—”
“—and you want to take me to your home, the Unseelie Court.” She finished the sentence and turned her head to glare at him. “How do we get there?”
His mouth curled in a slow, sexy smile. “Magic.”
“Don’t even go there,” she warned.