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The students at Lake Eerie University are used to strange classmates. There are plenty of half-human creatures that roam the university halls, from fae to satyrs, sirens to centaurs. But the strangest—at least in Hanna’s mind—are the trolls. The trolls are brash and forward—two things shy little Hanna could never be. They tower over her in a way that makes her human instincts want to scream and run in fear—but intrigues her all the same. And when one of the trolls takes a particular interest in Hanna, she finds that fear makes an excellent aphrodisiac…
I can barely look my friends in the eye, let alone a stranger. And the first time I saw him, the first day of the semester, he walked straight up to me and stood so close that I could feel the heat of his body. He towered over me, my eyes barely hitting the middle of his chest. He didn’t say anything. Just stared down at me with such intensity that I could practically feel my heart stop in my chest. I froze, like a rabbit, or a baby deer, caught in his gaze, unable to move, unable to run, though I felt like there was a freight train bearing down on me.
Then he had laughed, deep in his throat, and left. I had sat down in the middle of the hallway, the cobblestone floor cold on the back of my legs, somehow both exhausted and terrified by the experience. Joy had to pull me up off the floor. I couldn’t stand on my own.
“What was that?” I had cried, feeling like I’d been violated right there in the hall.
Joy just shrugged. “They’re all like that,” she told me, meaning trolls. “He likes you. That’s how they show it.”
“But what do I do?”
Joy’s wings fluttered slightly, like they always did when she was choosing her words carefully.
“Don’t walk down any dark hallways alone,” she said, finally.
This 10,000 word novelette is intended for mature audiences.