A drunken evening with a friend leads Katie to some rash conclusions, and her drink of choice leads to some extraordinary dreams that seem to reinforce her despair. Can she save their relationship? Does she even have to?
Warm, honeysuckle-scented breezes played beautiful music as they strummed the branches of the trees. Flowers—gladiolus, azalea, marigold, dahlia—opened, though the sun had long since departed, as I approached, then closed as I walked past, the night sadly robbing the blossoms of their rich colors. But the night suited me. A smooth trail, previously invisible, also opened before me, for the fairies have such gifts. As I stepped out from beneath the overhanging trees a disco-ball moon sparkled over the garden, its moving reflections shimmering off the lake at the end of the trail. I walked barefooted onto the white pebbly beach. It was luminescent; gleaming in the rotating, flickering lights of the moon. My feet stirred the dark water as I entered the clear lake, the water perfectly cool, beckoning me to swim, to bathe, to cleanse myself of my worries.
But there was danger, too. Not mortal danger, for fairies cannot be killed except by hatred or vampires or cold iron, but danger, nonetheless, for fairies are vulnerable to heartbreak.
I had been avoiding him for weeks. He was the youngest son of the King, and like most centaurs, full of lust and mischief. Our brief relationship had been a passionate one. He had easily been the best lover I had ever had—he was after all, half stallion—but he was also venal and faithless, and, except for the sex, I had no further use for him. The sex, though, was amazing. No one before me had ever dared resist him, and his obsession for me grew because of my refusal of him. But, in my own way, I was obsessed with him, too. I had loved him once, and though he said he loved me, too, his eye, and his heart would never be true. I vowed I would never fall under his spell again, but I knew that wasn't completely true. He had a power over me. If he ever captured me, I would be defenseless, unable to resist.
But I wanted him. I wanted him so bad that I was afraid for my life. Not that he would kill me, of course, but that he would enslave me, trapping me by my own desire, never again to be free.