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Everyone laughed, even Chase. I punched him in the arm as I sat down.
"Becky, have a seat. We need to figure this out and since you're already in with those guys, maybe you can help shed some light on this thing," said Finn.
Becky sat down. "Okay, so what do you want to know?"
"First of all," I said, "what is this amulet thing?"
"Well, in my case it was a necklace. I put it on and then after a few seconds, my fae blood kinda just woke up and I became a Changeling."
"What's the difference between a Changeling and a fae?" asked Tony.
"There is no difference. A Changeling is a fae a just one that's been awakened by the power in an amulet. The really old fae never lost touch with their heritage, so they never needed it."
"I thought a Changeling was something else a like when a fairy stole a baby or something, putting a fairy baby in its place."
"Yeah, a mix up in terminology or some of our history bleeding into the history of humans. In the old days, people used to have babies sometimes that cried all the time and made the moms crazy a so they'd say the baby was not really human, that a fairy had traded babies with them in the night. So they'd leave their baby outside for the fairies to get it, when instead it was probably a wolf or something that took the baby. Maybe some fae did come by and take the baby a or ate it a I don't know. I get stories from them, explanations, but I haven't asked about much more than that. As far as I know, the fae never put their babies in human baby cribs and stole the human babies. What would be the point? It would be like a human putting their baby with a group of monkeys to raise."
Tony shrugged. I guess the explanation was good enough for him, although I couldn't help but be a little offended at being compared to a monkey. I didn't really care about the terminology though. I wanted to get to the good stuff.
"If we choose to be erased, how much of our memory gets taken away?" I looked at Tony. "There are many parts of my life I want to remember."
"I didn't have that done, obviously, but my understanding is you will be erased up to the point immediately prior to learning about the meeting at the hotel."
"Is the change painful?" This one was from Spike.
"No a it tingled, but it didn't hurt."
"Did you know how to use your abilities right away, or do you have to be trained?"
"Some are there right away a some need practice. I think it depends on your race. The witches need to learn spells and stuff. Some races are pretty powerful and need to learn how to control their power."
"What kind of abilities does a water sprite have?" asked Finn, smiling.
Becky disappeared; she was there one second and the next, she was gone.
"This for one."
Finn jumped out of his seat, eyes like saucers on his face. "Holy s.h.i.t, girl, you just scared the bejesus outta me!"
Becky giggled, now standing next to Finn's chair.
Spike was pointing at the door and then at Finn and then back at the door again. "You just ... you just ... "
"Yeah, I just kinda disappeared and then reappeared. Like teleporting."
"What's that got to do with water?" asked Tony, my little scientist.
"The air around us is what percentage water?" she asked, a little sa.s.s in her tone.
Tony nodded in appreciation, smiling. "Ah-haaaa, I see ... "
"Will they tell us what race they think we are before we become Changelings, if that's what we decide to do?"
"Yes; they've already discussed it." She looked a little anxiously over at me.
"Do you know what they said?" I asked, suddenly suspicious.
"Yes, they have included me in all their meetings and gatherings since I became a Changeling."
"Instant trust, eh?" I asked, not sure I believed it.
"Yes. Jayne they were not kidding when they said you instantly become a part of the community. I'm part of a very big, very close, very special family as a water sprite. The sirens and the water sprites are kinda related a like cousins I guess you could say. The Lady in the Lake is really actually very nice. You just have to get to know her. I really hope all of you decide to join too so you can see what I mean."
"So, what's the deal with Jared?" I asked.
Now that everyone finally agreed with me about our traitor friend, they listened intently for her answer.
"Jared is a daemon a not 'demon', that's a different thing altogether. His race, the daemon, are warrior guardians. He also has a talent for hunting down and finding fae. He goes to cities around the world and finds recruits, bringing them back here for the test."
She twisted her hands nervously. "I know you guys are mad at him; but please, don't be. He's a super nice guy. He has a really important job and he takes it very seriously. He would never hurt anyone on purpose. He's trying to save his people. He wants you all to help. They could be your people too."
The room got quiet. All of our questions had been answered. Or we didn't want to hear any more answers to our questions. I wasn't sure which it was.
Finn banged his hand down on the table. "Well, I don't know 'bout you guys, but I'm in. I got nothin' better goin' on in Florida. My family's gone, 'cept for my grandma, and she's gettin' pretty old. My dad's in prison, my ma died. I ain't got no brothers or sisters. I don't know what I'll become with this change, but anything's gotta be better'n being a starvin' runaway."
Finn looked at Spike. "What about you, man?"
Spike shrugged his shoulders. "I'm gonna do it, too. Life on the street's not bad, but I like the idea of being a part of something bigger. In Miami I was a part of ... I don't know ... the music scene ... a group of runaways. No offense to you guys, I love you all a but this feels like an opportunity I shouldn't pa.s.s up. I want to be the best Spike I can be. Huh ... kinda sounds like a military recruitment slogan." He smiled at me, then looked over at Chase. "What about you, Chase? You gonna join the fae army? Be all you can be?"
Chase looked at each of us slowly, then frowned, nodding his head. "Yeah."
We all laughed. Leave it to Chase to bring us all back to what was real.
Becky started bouncing up and down on the b.a.l.l.s of her feet. "What about you, Jayne? Are you gonna do it?"
I'd been hemming and hawing in my mind since the moment we were told we could choose to change who we are. I had tried to deny it to myself during the test. I had tried to deny it at the door of the obelisk. I even tried to deny it in this room. But the truth was, my fondest desire was to be extraordinary. I didn't want to be the old Jayne anymore a the one who sat in high school history cla.s.s waiting for life to happen; the one who feared men coming into her room at night; the one who looked at amazing things and only wondered what they could mean. I wanted to be special. I wanted to be more.
"I'm doing it. I just hope I don't turn into an orc."
"I don't think you have to worry about that," said Becky, smiling.
"What about you, Tones, you in?"
I felt certain he was going to do it. I only asked him as a formality. We were a team. We did everything together. Tony was my right hand man. My best friend. My brother from another mother.
"Well, I've thought about it, and believe me, it's definitely the opportunity of a lifetime, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to say no. I'm not going to be a Changeling. I'm just going to be Tony. I'm going to go home."
Not to worry! Just go to Amazon, using the link on the next page for the next book in the series, click on the "Look Inside" cover of the book, and you'll be able to read the first 4 chapters of the next book for free. I know, I know ... cliffhangers make you crazy, right? Sorry. I just can't seem to help myself. :)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
Elle Casey is an American writer who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and Hercules the wonder poodle. In her spare time she writes young adult novels.
A personal note from Elle ...
If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving positive feedback on Amazon.com or any book blogs you partic.i.p.ate in. More positive feedback means I can spend more time writing! Oh, and I love interacting with my readers, so if you feel like shooting the breeze or talking about books, please visit me. You can find me at ...
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OTHER BOOKS BY ELLE CASEY.
War of the Fae: Book One, The Changelings.
War of the Fae: Book Two, Call to Arms War of the Fae: Book Three, Darkness & Light.
War of the Fae: Book Four, New World Order.
My Vampire Summer.
A YA Fantasy novella, featuring female protagonist Iona Candella, an American girl spending the summer in Sommieres, France who plans to read a hundred books on her Kindle to pa.s.s the time, but meets an interesting neighbor who changes the course of her life instead. Books, intrigue, romance, danger and more ... all in a convenient novella-sized package.
If you liked The Breakfast Club and The Swiss Family Robinson, you'll love WRECKED! An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen...an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers...life and death...fear and loathing...love and laughter. Follow Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally WRECKED.
Once again I sit here thinking of all the people who helped make this book come alive and be available for my readers to purchase and enjoy. First, I must acknowledge my readers (Yay readers!). Without you, I'd be writing for just myself, and while I find writing soothing and self-fulfilling, it means ever so much more when it is shared with those who have enthusiasm for my characters and their adventures. So thank you, my lovely, awesome, kicka.s.s readers, for being there and reading, reading, reading so I can keep on writing, writing, writing. And a special shout-out to those who have left me reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, and the many, many book blogs out there. You guys are amazing. Book bloggers deserve a special note. These ladies and gentlemen read my books and tell people about them or give me s.p.a.ce on their blogs to connect with their followers, thereby spreading the word about Elle Casey. My pool of readers continues to grow daily, thanks to you guys, so big hugs for you. I would like to acknowledge also my muse for this series of books, the band Breaking Benjamin a keep putting out that awesome music so I can continue to be inspired by you. --- Because I'm an indie author, I manage my own editing, cover art, promotion, etc. But I'm definitely not talented enough to do all that alone, so thanks to those who help me with the business of writing, including Beth G.o.dwin and Maggie for their copy editing, CrashandEddie on elance for my cover art, and Craig Cowden for his amazing fae-inspired jewelry. --- And last, but not least, are my friends and family who support me in so many ways it would be impossible to list them all, but they include things like giving me a place to write (Lady Olivia!), taking care of my kids and beta reading (Hoanzie! Mom!), reading my books and telling people about them (friends and family!), and the other authors out there who have graciously sent me encouraging emails and Facebook posts. Thanks to all of you for making it possible for me to be a real, live writer.