The Wild Hunt
By Ron C. Nieto
Mature YA Paranormal
Magic still lingers in the mist-covered corners of the world, wherever the Old Ways are remembered. However, as civilization and reason scoff at the Fair Folk, the paths to power have been forgotten by all but a few.
Lily Boyd was meant to become a faerie doctor, a warden of humans and a keeper of balance, until disbelief and pragmatism led her away from the hidden world and into a mundane life. But truth has a way to be Heard and she will be forced to face it if she wants to save her family.
Armed with nothing but her childhood memories and protected by a debt of gratitude she doesn’t understand, Lily must decide who to trust while she navigates a world that is darker and more twisted than she is prepared for.
And should she make the wrong choice, should she mistake friend and foe… the eternal balance between the Faerie Courts may shatter, and then there will be more than Lily’s life on the line.
Lily woke. She didn’t have any recollection of falling
asleep or passing out, but when she opened her eyes, the cottage was no longer in sight and she was no longer riding.
A dream? She stirred and a jolt of pain traveled her
“I would ask you not to do that,” the level voice of
the stranger said somewhere behind her. “I took great pains to close your wounds and I dislike working in vain.”
Lily moved her arm ever so slightly, just enough
to glimpse her hand. In the dim light, it looked covered in a mud-like paste and wrapped in rough cloth. A doctor would fret at
the possible infection, and it did feel numb, but after the attack and the overwhelming events, numb was too much of a blessing to
“Where am I?” she asked instead.
“Someplace safe.” He walked around and crouched
in front of her, close enough for her bleary eyes to make out his features and study him. His coal black hair was wet and slicked back.
Occasional droplets of water fell down his brow, running down the side of his face and neck. He had delicate eyebrows, a well-defined
jaw and sharp cheekbones that gave his angular face a striking, atemporal beauty. His thin lips were smirking.
“Who are you?” Lily pressed on, fighting a sudden
urge to crawl back and put some distance between them.
“A friend. The question is, dear girl”—his eyes
caught the scant light and glinted, the luminescent green of lichen—“who you are. What is your name?”
“Lily,” she said. He canted his head, eyes narrowed in
thought, and after a moment she added, “Lily Boyd.”
That startled a laugh out of him. He rocked forth on
the balls of his feet, his crouch bringing him too close, breaking all illusions of personal space. She caught sight of his tongue, darting
out to wet his lips.
“Such delicious naivete,” he said. “It truly is, is it
not? Lily Boyd.” Her name rolled off his mouth, languid and sensuous, and she felt a chilling tingle down her spine. He watched her
reaction and nodded, satisfied, before sitting back to give her a little more room.
“What’s yours?” she asked, trying to shake the odd
“Why are you wearing that piece of jewelry?” he
asked in turn, pointing to her neck with a long, delicate finger.
On reflex, her hand went up to grab the silver
charms and the movement sent another flash of pain through her arm. She gritted her teeth through the worst of it.
“It’s a gift. From my grandma,” she said when she
could form words again. “Why?”
“Who is your grandmother?”
“You saved me from her house. Why were you there,
“Such inquisitive mind.” He offered another smirk
and reached out to touch the pendant around her neck. “So you are the faerie doctor’s blood, then. Giving you her protection is much
like her, yes.”