Queen of the FaeBy: Jill Nojack
(Fae Unbound Teen Young Adult Fantasy Series Book 2)
Book Two in the Fae Unbound Series
Don't Bother Me
Tanji poured another glass of iced tea from the big pitcher on the picnic table. "Did I tell you my dad’s new business is taking off? I guess people are upset about their gardens being overrun with gnomes, and ‘Ron Ross's Humane Gnome Removal and Magical Pest Control’ is a good idea." Tanji grinned as she drew broad air quotes around the name, "He's building this giant garden out in the boonies by my granddad's old fishing cabin. He put this hu-u-uge ceramic gnome in the middle. It even has little gnome-size houses in the garden and everything. I think he's going to try to civilize them."
"Good luck with that!” Lizbet said from her chair across the table, “Gnomes are gross. I mean capital-G gross. Even my mom tried to remove her ceramic gnomes from the back garden, and you know how committed she was to them before Fae Day. She hoped the real ones would leave if she did. But the gnomes have them fastened down somehow. She can't budge them."
Lizbet cocked her head toward the end of the garden where her little brother was joyfully running after a group of gnomes. "Of course, Bobby thinks the gnomes are uber-cool. He's an eight year old boy. He wants to marry anything that farts and burps every couple of minutes." Lizbet rubbed her temples. "Me? Not so much. Their constant squealing just makes my head hurt."
"It always hurts. It's been a month since Fae Day. You should feel better by now—I know you don't believe it, but I think there's more going on inside your brain than you think there is. Like, something fae that isn’t right."
"You're just being dramatic," Lizbet said as she gave Tanji a half-smile. "My doctor says I should do yoga or something because the headaches are probably just stress from all of the attention. I mean, let's face it—the press and bloggers only stopped camping out outside of the house like a week ago. And I’m still getting lots of email and messages every day from haters who blame me because they don’t want to have the fae around. You know—plus I got hit by lightning. Big, crashy lightning.”
"If everything's normal, then why don't you have Morgan's memories and magic like I’ve got Langoureth’s? Why do you only have the wings and a giganto headache?"
"Can't you leave it alone? Because I don’t know—maybe because I had the human side of Morgan in there already because of my amulet? I don't want the wings, I don't want the magic, and I definitely don't want a bunch of fae forcing me to take Morgan's place as queen, so I'm glad I don't have her fae memories. Maybe I don’t have them or her magic because I just don’t want them. So could we just have a conversation as Tanji and Lizbet and not so much as chicks with past lives?"
Tanji flounced off with the pitcher to make more iced tea. “Sure, whatevs. It’s your head, not mine.”
Lizbet had changed the world forever when she freed the fae from the shadow realm, and a lot of people weren't happy about it. It was difficult for people to adjust to having magic and fairies hanging around doing magical-fairy things when the fae hadn't been around for over a thousand years.
She knew she wouldn't do anything differently if Eamon showed up in her garden asking for her help again, but she felt like she owed a lot of people for the negatives of having the fae around—especially the half-fae like Tanji who didn’t sign up for suddenly having their lives completely blown off course. She owed her boyfriend James even more for forcing the memories of a long-dead wizard into his brain.
She must have drifted too long because Tanji brought her back to reality just as her wings started flapping around for no reason for the third or fourth time since they’d parked themselves on the porch. "So, you still here, or am I hanging out with myself?"
“Yep, me and my annoying big ol’ fairy wings are still here,” Lizbet replied.
Tanji looked over admiringly at the colorful, bright blue, iridescent wings. "Girl, I get that you have no interest in being famous or being a queen, but the wings? The wings are fierce. You should keep the wings."