Birthright by E.J. Stevens
Series: Ivy Granger #4 Genre: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Wisps buzzed through the air, their musical humming rising in pitch as they darted in for a closer look. I sat on the mossy embankment and smiled, watching the playful wisps.With my father’s key helping to guide us, we’d left the deadly bog and its poisonous gas behind. I breathed deeply, and let out a happy sigh. “I don’t know what you’re so happy about,” Torn said, shaking water from his hair. “We’re covered in mud and smell like troll farts.” It was true. The sulfurous swamp gasses did smell an awful lot like something that would come out of Marvin after he ate an entire cauldron of Kaye’s chili, but I didn’t care. We were alive. And so far, my wisp brethren weren’t trying to kill me. I’m not sure what it said about my life that the lack of fratricide upon my homecoming made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Probably best not to think too much about it, and just enjoy the moment. I shrugged, and kept on smiling. “Well don’t get too comfortable, Fish Breath is on his way over with his pensive face,” Torn said. He stalked off to sit on a rock a few paces away, but I shrugged again and closed my eyes, turning my face to the moon and stars above us. I wasn’t going to let Torn ruin this moment. “Are you feeling well?” Ceff asked, settling on the mossy ground beside me. I cracked an eye open, grinning from ear to ear. “I feel great, never better,” I said. In fact, I felt a bit dizzy and my lips tingled, like I’d had too much to drink. Only I would get buzzed off the buzzing of wisps. “Just buzzed off the buzzing.” I hiccupped, and giggled, the laugh coming out in an undignified snort that startled the nearest wisps. “Are you sure that you are not angry, or afraid?” he asked. I forced myself to look up into Ceff’s face. His head was titled to the side, as if listening for something, but his attention was focused solely on me. “I’m fiiine, really,” I said, waving a hand. My eyes widened, and I let out another giggle. “I’m glowing.” “Which is probably what has his highness’ panties in a bunch,” Torn said, coming over to tower above me, arms crossed. “There is something weird about seeing you smile like that, especially when you’re glowing.” “What?” I asked. “I smile.” “Almost never, and when you do, it’s usually because you’re killing something,” he said. “Not that I’m judging. I’m just saying Fish Breath has a point. You’re different.” “She is high on power,” Ceff said, eyes going tight. “I should have recognized the signs sooner, but I was focused on our flight through the bog, and then with releasing the water magic that held our masks together.” “You think it’s the wisps?” Torn asked. “That would be my guess,” Ceff said, rubbing his jaw. “This didn’t happen after our run in with those wisps in Ocean Overlook cemetery, did it?” Torn asked. “No,” Ceff said. “Not that we noticed. But Ivy was badly wounded that night, and took days to recover consciousness. And…I…I was not at my most attentive.” That was the night that I’d killed his ex-wife. Melusine may have been the raging psychotic bitch who’d murdered his children, and tried to kill us as well, but that didn’t mean her death had been easy on Ceff. The memory of Ceff’s grief flooded me, pushing the giddiness away. “I think…I think I’m back to normal now,” I said. I yawned, covering my mouth with the back of my gloved hand. Ignoring the encroaching bone deep fatigue, I tried to pull myself to my feet, but sank back down when a wave of dizziness nearly toppled me over. “I just need a minute.” “You are exhausted,” Ceff said, brow wrinkling. “Rest here. I will keep first watch.” “But my father’s court…” I said, but my words were cut short by another yawn. “Will still be there tomorrow,” Torn said. “Plus, I can scout ahead while you sleep,” Ceff said. “We will make better progress if we are rested and certain of the path ahead.” “Fine,” I said, eyes fluttering closed. “But just a quick nap.” The last thing I saw, before losing myself to the darkness of sleep, was a cloud of wisps hovering over me, lending me their warmth…and their power.
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Ebook copy of BIRTHRIGHT, the fourth full-length novel in the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. BIRTHRIGHT has been nominated for BEST BOOK and BEST COVER in the 2015 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Ebook available in Epub, PDF, and Kindle formats.