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Beds and Blazes

Beds and Blazes

  • Bebe Balocca

  • 30.9K words
  • complete
  • 18+
  • Eye13866
  • Star8.3

There’s passion smoldering at the bed and breakfast in Charade, but what will it take to fan the flames? Dora Fontaine, the proprietress of Charade’s only B&B, enjoys sharing her ultra-feminine home with guests. From the red blaze roses in her garden to the frilly lace curtains and antique tea service in her kitchen, Bohemian Rhapsody is a girly-girl’s dream come true. She’s not immune to masculine charms, though, especially when a burly, bearded, wild man from the woods comes calling. Lowell, the oldest son of the Rossi clan, crashes into her life like a bull in a china shop. He’s admired Dora from afar, but gets tongue-tied around the curvaceous beauty. Sparks are flying and romance is in the air, but someone from Prescott Woods seems determined to douse the fire. As one of the Fair Folk, Lowell has access to the magic of Prescott Woods. He longs to share it with Dora, but she’s got to agree to leave all that she’s known before he can reveal the secrets of the woods. If he can control his temper and bend the rules just a bit, he just might create a love that will burn for a lifetime…

  • Billionaire
  • Possessive
  • Betrayal
  • Imposter
  • Superpowers
  • Nonhuman
  • Fated Love
  • Mystery
  • Romance
Chapter 1

“Are we all clear, then? I don’t want there to be any confusion about this.” Gavin spoke severely and looked at each person seated around the great oval table in turn. “Things are changing in Prescott Woods, and we need to ensure our safety and survival.”

“Aye, aye, Father,” Paloma answered and saluted crisply. “We are never to appear as humans in Charade. We must use glamours to disguise ourselves unless we are in the woods or at Prescott Manor.” She tossed her fiery hair over her shoulder and tapped her fingers on the tabletop.

Gavin grunted and addressed his youngest son. “Korbin, you may continue your studies at the library for the time being, but I’d like for you to acquire the books you want for the library at Castle Speranza. Within a couple of months, halt all visits to the Charade Public Library and conduct all of your studies here.” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “Please.”

His fair-haired youngest child nodded silently.

“No human is to enter the woods for any reason. If a mortal sets foot in Prescott Woods, we are to use glamours to frighten that person away,” Brock added.

“Correct, son. Be sure to enlist the aid of gnomes, elves, trolls and any other of the magic beings that are close by. It’s in their best interests to keep the secrets of Prescott Woods safe.” Gavin turned to Carmen. “You, Carmen, have perhaps the most difficult task of any of us. You must negotiate your roles with care, being certain to wear an ageing glamour around humans so that your immortal condition remains hidden. You must also refrain at all costs from arousing suspicion from anyone you know in town. Please continue to conduct your dance classes and law practice in the wing of Prescott Manor that Calvin has set aside for you, and limit your excursions to Charade to no more than one or two per month.”

Carmen caught his gaze. “I understand, Gavin.”

Gavin stood and placed his broad palms on the table. “Understand this, too, children. You may find yourselves in a delicate position. You are all adults—most of you have been adults for two centuries—and it’s entirely natural that you seek out a mate to share your days.”

“Father!” Lowell interrupted. “This is hardly the time or the place—”

“It’s the perfect time and place, son! Let me finish,” Gavin snapped.

Lowell crossed his beefy arms over his chest and listened.

“I want you all to be happy and to have companionship, but more than that, I insist that we keep the woods safe for all those who live here. The Fair Folk, the gnomes, the elves, the tree spirits, the trolls and every magical being here deserves to exist in peace. We cannot guess and hope when it comes to our survival. We must be certain. Therefore, I insist that, should you find a person you wish to bring into our fold, that person must agree to relocate permanently to Prescott Woods before you divulge our secrets. I will not tempt humans with immortality and then ask them to commit to our ways.”

Gavin’s voice deepened to an ominous rumble. “Only if a human will commit to leaving everything he or she knows in order to be with you may you invite that human to partake of the Healing Waters and Living Earth. If that scenario sounds near-impossible, then I’m describing it perfectly. Our lives are bound forever to Prescott Woods and to each other. Adding another member to our family is a huge step. I demand that you show it the proper gravity. We cannot permit sneaky or accidental conversion of human to Fair Folk”—he glowered at Brock—“and we cannot risk revealing the magic in the woods to one who is not part of it.”

Silence fell. “Paloma, Korbin? Can you abide by this? Brock and Carmen?” One by one, all agreed, rose and left the room.

Gavin sighed and clapped his oldest son on the shoulder. “You’ve always been my sturdiest, most trustworthy child,” he told Lowell. “Always had your feet firmly planted on the ground. I know I can count on you to help me keep the secret of Prescott Woods safe from outsiders, Lowell.”

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