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Blowing Smoke

SoulShares #5

by Rory Ni Coileain

Lasair Faol, Master of the Fade-Hounds to the Royal court of the Demesne of Fire in the Fae Realm, has been exiled to the human world by the Princess Consort for failing to catch her son’s kidnapper. Bryce Newhouse, Greenwich Village investment banker, is universally loathed by all who know him. Generally, he’s perfectly cool with that, but he discovers what he’s been missing—literally — when he finds Lasair chained in his basement.
Bryce was supposed to receive half of Lasair’s soul at his birth, but thanks to the Fae of Purgatory, the Pattern — the portal between the worlds — has been damaged, and Bryce’s soul arrived 31 years too late. Now the exiled Fae is the shunned human’s only hope of healing his broken past. And with the fate of two worlds riding on that healing, Lasair is going to have to overcome both his race's innate mistrust of genuine emotion and his own very unFae awkwardness, to have any chance of reaching Bryce's impenetrable heart.

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For some reason, Bryce was caught up in the memory of being taken to Long Beach by his parents, when he was maybe five or six years old. Walking out into the water, laughing as it came up to his waist, his chest. Then, without warning, stepping off a drop-off, and cold water closing over his head, his footing gone, his breath stolen in an instant.

He was having the same problem with his breath now, almost exactly, only this time it had nothing to do with water and everything to do with the fact that Lasair was kissing him again. Not gently. With soft growls, and a demanding tongue, and sounds that had to be hunger, there wasn’t any way they could be anything else.


Bryce wasn’t into kissing. You had to let men close for kissing to happen. Risk letting go. No fucking way. And right up until these last few minutes, that state of affairs had been fine with him. Now he found himself wishing he’d done enough kissing to know what the hell he was doing, so he could return what Lasair was giving him.

I’m still going to get the fuck out of here. In a minute. When he’s done.

Lasair’s knuckles brushed softly along the line of his jaw. He’d never felt anything like the pure delight the gentle caress sent rippling through him.

I am such a goddamned liar.


About the Author

Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.

Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son and budding film-maker, and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.