"Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go..."
I watched, amused as all get out as the little men paraded across the screen. Really, it was the most ridiculous piece of work I've ever seen, both now, and the other hundred-and-sixty-three times I've watched it.
Yes, I've really watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarves one-hundred-and-sixty-three times. I love the movie. It's absurd. I love it for its absurdity. It's my own fault, I suppose. I'd helped concoct the earliest versions of the tale.
I bet you didn't know that, did you?
My own story is a little more grim than this, but that's typical for those like us.
There was a knock at the door. I opened my mind to see who it was--just a fraction, of course, because one could never be too careful. I couldn't penetrate the mind and that made me frown. There weren't many I couldn't read. If I couldn't read them, that meant they were either like me...psychically gifted, not necessarily a Grimm, or one of the few people with just a natural resistance to psychic probes.
It could be Will, I supposed. Even those of us who are psychic aren't usually strong enough to block me. Will was one, but it wasn't like him to knock. He just blew his way in, almost like the big bad wolf. Of course, that's not who he is. That's a different story entirely.
If it wasn't Will, who...?
A face flashed through my mind, followed by a rush of heat. Of need. The skin along the back of my neck prickled in warning but I brushed it off.
No reason for him to be here, now was there?
Mentally chastising myself, I silenced the TV and slid off the bed. Whoever it was, the person had the patience of a saint. There was no second knock. Just silence, but he--yes, it was a man, I knew--continued to wait.
Again, that shiver ran down my spine.
Halfway between my bedroom and the hotel door, I called out, "Who is it?"
A punch of longing rolled through me like waves crashing against the beach. Luc.
Picture your typical fairy tale prince. Eyes of a perfect blue, a chiseled, handsome face with a cleft in his chin, arched black brows and hair that framed a face so perfect even Michelangelo couldn't have hoped to reproduce it. A long, lean warrior's body, a smile that could have made angels weep.
Hell, I knew that for a fact, because he has made me weep. And I am an angel, even if I am somewhat imperfect.
That was Luc.
He was even a prince. And there were fairy tales written about him. I'd helped write them. But I hadn't done him justice. Couldn't do that, now could I? If I'd penned the tale the way I wanted to, some of our brothers and sisters in arms might see things I'd rather them not see.
They'd realize things I'd rather they not know.
I don't think anybody knew, not even Will. A benefit of being of the old ones, since I was nearly as old as he was. He'd respect it if I told him to stay the hell out of my mind, and I could back that up with walls so solid he couldn't penetrate them.
So unless he was given some of that uncanny knowledge, our fearless leader would never know how I felt about Luc.
Luc. A man I dreamed about, a man I longed for. A man who was in love with his own fairy tale princess...and she wasn't me.
Luc. The last man on earth I wanted to see. Ever.
Composing myself, I detoured by the bathroom. I'd been munching popcorn while I enjoyed the movie. I wasn't about to greet him with buttery crumbs clinging to my fingers. While there, I checked my face. Yes, I'm vain. Smoothing my hair back into a ponytail, I glanced down at my clothes and sighed.
Not that I'd let myself primp to meet Luc or anything. The black yoga pants and T-shirt would suffice.
Primping served no good use, anyway. This man would never be mine.
He'd never have his lady's heart, and I'd never have his. Those were facts I'd long ago accepted.
Enough stalling. With one deep breath, I left the bathroom and made for the door.
I opened it and leaned against the doorjamb, brow cocked. This wasn't a friendly call, I already knew that.
But I couldn't see his mind as easily as I could others--he was too well trained for that. I'd been the one to train him.
Perhaps I shouldn't have done such a good job. A peek inside his mind would have let me prepare myself. And I could have used the advantage.
I never saw this coming...
"What do you know about the seven bloody sisters?"