Fairies killed his brother. All he has to do is prove it.

Sparkwood-f.jpg
Sparkwood

Genres: Bisexual / Gay / Contemporary / Fantasy

Finn Bricket has never trusted fairies, and it's no surprise to him when his twin brother turns up dead, probably by magical means. What he doesn't expect is an invitation to the funeral—in the fairy realm—and a chance to find out who killed him.

Investigating Luke's death is probably the stupidest thing Finn has ever done, and soon he's up to his neck in fairy trouble. In the midst of it all is Robin, a fairy who's supposed to be watching out for him—but who just might have had something to do with Luke's death.

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Sparkwood is part of LT3's My Dearest Enemy collection, a group of stories about enemies-to-lovers romance.

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Excerpt

At one in the morning, Finn woke to a figure standing over him. It was completely dark, minus the red light of his digital clock, and Finn was sure he was going to die.

He had spent most of his life facing off against people who wanted to hurt him on the football field. He couldn't count the times he'd charged headlong into guys his size or bigger and taken them down with pure momentum.

Yet somehow, his first instinct was to grab his pillow and throw it. It hit the dark silhouette square in the head. A muffled yelp followed, and Finn gathered his legs under him and launched.

They both dropped like sacks of potatoes, with Finn pinning the smaller person underneath him and provoking a clear cry of pain. In football, that would've been the end of it. The ref would whistle and they'd all get into position for the next play. 

Finn lashed out with his fist.

It hit skin with a smack. Then he scrambled to his feet and raced to the living room.

Julie was still asleep on the couch, and she didn't even twitch when Finn tripped to his knees and shook her.

"Julie, wake up!"

She didn't move, her face slack with sleep. A hand closed on Finn's shoulder and he struck out, fists swinging.

"Mr. Bricket—" Whatever the intruder was going to say was stopped short as Finn's fist collided with what must have been his sternum. He grunted. Finn's knuckles hurt like hell, but he powered to his feet. 

This time, the intruder caught Finn's swing in a surprisingly tight grip. Finn lunged forward, trying to use his weight to bring them back to the floor, but instead found himself being dragged across the room and slammed into the wall so hard that the air whooshed from his lungs. Pain blossomed in his wrist, where the intruder was now squeezing him with icy fingers. 

"Keep still—"

Finn didn't.

His fist stopped in mid-air. He couldn't move it anymore. Then a real hand, a cold one, grabbed him and pinned that wrist to the wall, too. Finn's size advantage seemed to count for nothing.

"Listen to me," the intruder insisted. His voice was soft, and it made Finn's skin crawl.

"Did you kill her?"

There as a notable pause before the intruder asked in disbelief, "What?" Something popped, like wood in a fireplace, and light shone straight into Finn's eyes. 

Finn's lip curled. The man pinning him to the wall was indeed a good foot smaller than him, with a delicate face and hair that glinted red in the flickering ball of light hovering next to his raised hand. The fairy from the diner. His glassy black eyes sent chills down Finn's spine.

"What did you do to my friend?" Finn croaked. "The girl on the couch."

"She's asleep. This needs to be a private discussion."

"Private? You could privately murder me in my sleep if it's so fucking important."

"I didn't kill her, and I'm not going to kill you." The fairy's narrow brows furrowed in annoyance. Perfect. Didn't all the kidnapping stories start with saying the wrong thing to a fairy? And Finn had hurt him, too. A purple bruise was starting to show on the fairy's right cheek. 

"You're hurting my wrist." As Finn's adrenaline faded, the ache became clearer. His wrist pulsed under the fairy's cold grip. It was like being restrained by an ice pack. 

But the fairy ignored him; he was taking in the unholy mess that surrounded them. Julie and Finn had added empty beer bottles to the junk that filled the house. The fairy nudged a fallen book with his foot, then glared at Finn.

"What were you doing with his things?"

"Throwing them in the garbage."

The fairy bristled, whether at Finn's tone or his words, he couldn't tell. "Clem, come in here."

He had barely raised his voice, but the front door opened and the fairy woman—Clem, whom he also recognized from the diner—came in. Her eyebrows rose at the sight of Finn pinned to the wall.

"Robin, that's a bit unnecessary."

"He hit me."

"I'm sure he won't do it again."

"I thought you were here to kill me," Finn gritted out, "because that's what people think when you break in in the middle of the night and watch them sleep." Robin let go of his wrists, and Finn fell to his knees with a thud. A heavy, invisible pressure settled on his legs. "Ow—"

"I think I would like him questioned after all," Robin said.