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The Rejected Fae

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I, Hailey, thought my fated mate would be the one to stand by me, but he rejected me. And now, in the midst of a string of supernatural killings, I'm trapped, kidnapped to aid in the hunt for the murderer. I've always been a bit of an outcast—hybrid witch-fae—banished from the place I called home. The Twin Crescent Moon wolf pack and my coven had a long history of intertwining, yet their alpha, the one destined to be mine, wanted nothing to do with my unusual psychic powers. Five long years have passed since his rejection, and now, a witch's life has been taken right in my own neighborhood. Despite my roommate's warnings, I feel compelled to dig into this. Enough with the parlor tricks I perform at the bar using my visions. This is real, a genuine serial killer targeting witches. And I won't sit idly by. Then, there's Matteo, my fated mate, swaggering into town with all his pomp, demanding that I use my gifts to solve a murder within his own pack. But I'm done bending to his commands. Of course, he doesn't take no for an answer. He just shoves me into his car, shutting down any further discussion. His father's life has been taken, and now he expects me to help, despite the fact that these very powers were the reason he turned his back on me in the first place. If only I had maced him the moment I saw him.

1 - PART 1

I pull myself up from the booth, a desperate need for a break washing over me. The floor of the club sticks under the weight of my high-heeled boots, each step echoing with a sharp click. The witch tending the bar flashes a smile, her long pink hair cascading down her back. "Hey there, girl. Been a long night?"

I prop myself against the bar, trying to look less exhausted than I feel. These boots might be a killer look, but they're killers on my feet too. I suppress a yawn, my energy sapped by the double shift I'm enduring. "Yeah, double shift."

The club's dim lighting sets the perfect ambiance for couples to do more grinding than actual dancing, their bodies pressed together, sweat mixing to the rhythm of the thumping music. Grace, the bartender, offers me a sympathetic glance, followed by an all too familiar shot.

"Come on." Grace pours herself a shot as well. "It'll make your premonitions more exciting."

I let out a sigh, knowing better than to expect that. Faeries don't fib, but being a half-fae, half-witch hybrid like me means the no-lying rule only holds for my visions. Not that my boss, Terry, wouldn't love it if I could add a little sugarcoating to the readings. I knock back the drink, then wobble my way back to my booth, sinking into the embrace of the worn black leather seat. Here I wait, patiently, for the next inebriated customer seeking a glimpse into their future.

A hush falls over the club, that serene lull that settles just past midnight, when the early revelers start to fade away, paving the way for the night's true denizens to emerge.

Typically, I'm one of those night creatures, but tonight I've already put in a grueling six-hour shift. That's the drawback of possessing unique talents like mine; finding someone to cover for you isn't easy. But hey, at least the paycheck will be decent.

A slightly tipsy wolf cub stumbles over, his gaze fixating on me. 'Ooh.' His eyes fix on the crystal ball resting on my table. Despite my insistence on not using one, the image of the crystal ball persists in marketing. Both humans and supernaturals see that sphere and immediately think 'fortune-teller'. The cub practically buzzes with excitement, barely more than sixteen by the looks of him. He slumps into the chair across from me.

'Can you tell me something?' he slurs, his words muddled.

Of course, he wants a reading. It's quite obvious. I summon up a polite smile, the kind we all acquire in customer service. 'Absolutely. What would you like to know?'

The kid's brows knit, caught off guard by the gravity of the question. 'If the girl I like likes me back?'

I maintain my courteous smile. 'I need something that belongs to you.' A better item would be preferable, but all he has is a simple iron necklace—not silver, of course.

The kid hands it over. Personal items are usually the bridge I require, even though I don't exactly appreciate the feel of iron. Suppressing a wince as my faerie heritage reacts to its touch, I swiftly cast a glamour spell over my palm to mask the faint burn. The last thing I want is someone spotting that part of me. A shark tooth dangles from the end of the necklace, lightly pressing into my skin as I close my hand and concentrate.

I close my eyes, delving into the connection, and then open them again. Tact isn't my forte. I can't sugarcoat my visions. If there existed another person with my distinctive hybrid abilities who could, I'm pretty sure Terry would replace me. But there isn't. I stand alone in my kind, at least to my knowledge.

I strive to push aside the sadness and rejection that inevitably accompany thoughts of my fae heritage. After all, it's that very aspect of me that has landed me here in the French Quarter instead of among the wolf pack I was originally destined for. My fae side brought about my rejection. I swallow down the emotions that perpetually linger beneath the surface and lock eyes with the young wolf sitting across from me. 'Apologies, kid. She's taken a liking to someone named Jacob—'

The kid lets out a string of curses, snatching his necklace back with a growl.

I do my best to suppress a smile. Lucky for him, wolves mend quickly; I wish I had their resilience for recovering from hangovers. Though she's a witch, Grace seems to possess the drinking stamina of a wolf as well, though perhaps that's just a bartender thing.

The club swiftly fills up, allowing in only the Supernaturals, as expected. Here at Bonne Nuit in the French Quarter, we keep the supes and humans strictly separate. In fact, we even attempt to exclude the vampires.

And, naturally, the faeries.

The lingering scars of the Blood Wars, initiated by the fae, remain etched deeply in memory, harboring profound resentment across the entire supernatural community. The tales recount their audacious attempt to seize control over the other three clans—witches, vampires, and werewolves—enacting a reign of dominance. This aggressive act of warfare and the countless lives it claimed remain an unhealed wound, seething with animosity and a thirst for vengeance that stretches across generations. Consequently, I'm compelled to avoid venturing out in public unless I'm shrouded in disguise.

I cast a quick glance down at my arms, confirming the steadfastness of my glamour spell. The night has been arduous, and my spells demand unwavering focus—this is precisely why I've been declining the numerous drinks Grace keeps offering me. Although she's my closest friend, she's a pure-blooded witch who has yet to fathom the reality of hiding one's true self. Unlike me. It's been my life for the past five years, since the age of eighteen.

My unique status as a hybrid—part witch, part fae—marks me as an extraordinary anomaly. Yet, if the choice were mine to make, I'd opt for being a plain, ordinary witch. Such a transformation would alleviate the perpetual sensation of bearing the word REJECTED imprinted on my forehead as I walk through life.

1 - PART 2

I clench my lip forcefully, a stark reminder that I must stay grounded in the present moment. With the club growing increasingly crowded, my list of clients expands in tandem—a double-edged sword. On one hand, it hurries the passage of my final hours on shift. On the other, it brings forth the realization that people often crave glimpses into their fate without considering the consequences, unless it aligns with their desires. I've toyed with the idea of placing a sign on my table that reads: "Hold fire—or fangs—on the messenger." I recall a close encounter with a vampire patron who almost opted for the latter. But vampires have a knack for unpredictability.

Witches constitute the bulk of my clientele, which I find suitable. I quash a potential sigh as another individual approaches. Inhale, exhale. No room for sighs here, especially not when encountering that striking specimen. The man occupying my client seat is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, bearing

Heroes

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