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Jennifer Carter rubbed her head and was surprised not to feel an enormous lump forming. She tried to force her eyes open so she could see where she was. When she finally did, she wasn't happy.
She'd been minding her own business in her own garden when someone had whacked her on the head with a shovel. Her shovel. Now she found herself in a room done to death in Victorian silks and velvets. Every piece of furniture around her was plush and lush and squishy and every surface textured and patterned elaborately. Her vision was a blur of purples and pinks and blues, and her head should have been pounding. But it actually felt fine. She was confused, but she didn't really hurt. She crawled out from under the covers and stood up to look at herself in one of the many mirrors. She was shocked by what she saw. She wore a heavily brocaded blue dressing gown she'd never seen before. Her hands and face were free of dirt and her hair was clean, curled, and piled on top of her head. Sure, it wasn't as terrifying as waking up tied to a chair in an old warehouse, but it was equally unsettling.
A door opened and a very tall blond man walked in. Jennifer backed away for a second, but then her indignation forced itself to the surface.
"Who are you and why am I here?" she demanded.
As the man turned to face her, she was stunned by his beauty. His long blond hair was tied neatly at his nape and his eyes were violet. His pale features were flawless and very aristocratic. But there was something else as well, something that seemed to sweep over her as she looked at him. He was much taller than she was and had very broad shoulders. She could imagine how easily he had beenable to conk her on the head and carry her swiftly to his vehicle. However, this image didn't work on a certain level because he had on something very similar to her dressing gown, except it was lavender and actually much frillier, with lace cascading from the sleeves and collar.
"My name is Asyan," he said. "And you are my guest for the time being."
"That doesn't really tell me who you are." She eyed him carefully, not knowing what to expect. She'd rapidly concluded that this guy must be crazy and her surroundings were questionable. People just didn't make bedrooms like this anymore. She doubted anyone took tea or made polite conversation in a bedroom like this one. And while she prided herself on being a modern woman, she couldn't help being suspicious of any man wearing something that resembled a dress.
Asyan looked into her eyes for a moment and she felt as though he were testing her. He took a few more steps toward her, and she found she couldn't move back as she wanted to. He replied, "I'm the king of the fairies."
"Oh," Jennifer said, her voice rising a bit. She considered this, then chose to ignore the statement. It only proved that her initial apprehensive reaction to him had been accurate. It made it much easier to ignore the strange presence he seemed to have. "Do you usually hit fair damsels over the head with shovels and drag them off to your boudoir?"
"I didn't hit you over the head with anything," he began.
She broke in. "Someone sure did!"
"With anything but magic," he finished, as if explaining something to a very confused person. "If you thought it was a shovel, it's because that is what made the most sense to you."
Jennifer did not like being condescended to by anyone, especially not insane kidnappers. "It didn't make any sense to me at all, I'll have you know. I wasn't doing anything wrong and I never have. Why would anyone want to hurt me?"
"I'm quite aware of the fact you did not know you were doing anything wrong," he said. He looked around. "Won't you sit down so we can talk more civilly?"
As she saw no reason to resist and thought it best to stay calm, Jennifer sat down on the loveseat behind her. She pointed to a chair across from her. Instead of arguing, Asyan simply nodded slightly and sat down. She felt slightly relieved, thinking if he was truly delusional, she could keep him in check by playing along for a while.
"Let's start over," she said. "If you didn't hit me with a shovel, what exactly did you do?"
"I put a spell on you so I could bring you here," he said. "Your brain made what it thought was a logical jump to the shovel conclusion, so you really can't blame me for that."
She didn't like the look of amusement he seemed to be restraining.
Ignoring her glare, he continued. "It would have been too much trouble to simply ask because you would not have believed me, and I needed to show you certain things before I could explain to you exactly what you were about to do."
Jennifer chewed on the inside of her lip in an effort to stay quiet while she thought of a reply not too heated. "So you knocked me out--one way or another--and brought me here. Why?"
"As I said, you were about to do something very wrong indeed. Fatal, in fact."
"And what was that? Was there a bomb under my roses?"
He smiled again. "In a way."
"You're telling me you're the king of the fairies and now you're gonna laugh at me?"
"I'm not laughing."