Children of the Veil
The Aisling Chronicles Book 2
By Colleen Halverson
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love.
With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.
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“Who…?” I managed to say, the words feeling like caked mud in my mouth.
He didn’t answer, but slipped me into his car and I sank into the leather seat, darkness eating at the edge of my sight. The purring engine lulled me into a daze, and I must have passed out because the next thing I knew, we were stumbling up the stairs to my apartment.
“I live here,” I slurred.
“I know,” Finn mumbled, his muscled arm propping me up. “Where are your keys?”
Snowflakes collected on the crown of his head, his eyebrows knitting together. The curve of his mouth filled my vision, and my fingers slipped over the soft skin, tracing the delicate cupid bow on his top lip. His face softened, multiple Finns swimming through the muted streetlight.
“Mmmmm…” I murmured, running my hand against the side of his face, trying to keep from seeing double. “Stay still.”
He placed a gentle hand over my hand. “Elizabeth, your keys. It’s freezing out here.”
I brought his palm next to my face, brushing my lips against his callused fingers. Need burned through my body, and I fell against his broad chest, covering his mouth with mine with a moan. For a moment, he kissed me back, his hands pressing firm against my shoulders. The falling snow tickled my neck, sending icy trails down my spine, and I pressed into him seeking his warmth. He made a low sound in his throat.
“You’re drunk,” he whispered.
“I don’t care.” I whispered into his ear.
Finn disentangled himself from my arms, and I slipped on a patch of ice, falling on my ass with a giggle. He leaned over me, patting my jeans in search for my keys. His hands strayed to my waist, tickling my side, and I laughed, grabbing his hands.
He hovered over me, his hair grazing the firm line of his jaw. “Elizabeth, stop. I mean it. Where are your keys?”
He rifled in my coat, and something landed on the balcony with a thud. The book of Yeats’ poetry lay in the snow, white powder quickly accumulating on its worn cover. Finn made to grab it, but I snatched it away, wiping it off and sticking it safe back inside my coat. He stared down at me and swallowed hard, the tinkling crystal of falling snow the only sound in the silent street.
“Elizabeth…” He whispered, his hand brushing away a wet lock of hair plastered to my cheek.
I shrugged away, rifling in my jeans pocket for my keys and threw them at him. A wave of dizziness washed over me and I curled up on the balcony, willing the snow to blanket over me, desiring nothing but to become the winter so I could sleep for four months and reemerge whole again. Stinging numbness gripped my fingers and toes, and I shivered, burying my head against my arm.
“Let’s get you inside.” Finn’s arm slipped beneath my shoulders and under my knees.