The Crossroads declared nova unmatchable. After three weeks, it had been decided that she wasn’t going to find anyone there, not even close. Now, with the fey coming in to try life with shifters, she is called back and faces mating with a man who isn’t even her magical species.
Reygaer is a fey architect who builds in ice and snow. The seers have picked him out as a good candidate for mating with a shifter. When he spots a tiger in the rafters of the arrival centre and she is ordered to take him on a tour, her reaction to his cooler body gets his attention.
Nova craves cold the way Reygaer craves heat, and together, they make sparks fly across the Crossroads.
Nova Spalding answered the phone with a frown.
“Yes, who is this?”
“Transporter Sampson. I have an offer from the Crossroads.”
“I washed out of the Crossroads. I am unmatchable.” She stared at the dirty dishes in the sink and thought about those desperate three weeks.
“There is a new option. May I come over and discuss it with you?”
Nova sighed. “Sure. You know my address?”
Transporter Sampson sounded amused. “I can find my way.”
“When will you be here?”
“I can be there in ten minutes.”
Nova hung up and pressed the phone to her lips. Her time at the Crossroads was the most painful of her life. It was bad enough to know that she couldn’t find a mate in the shifter society; it was another to know that the last-ditch effort had been for nothing. No match existed for her in the shifter world, so why was the transporter coming?
She washed the dishes and brushed her white blonde hair over her shoulders. When everything was clean and the dishes put away, she put the kettle on and waited for the new option to present itself.
The flash from her living room announced her visitor, so Nova got up and walked to greet her.
The transporter was sitting down, and the woman was completely naked. Used to shifters, Nova simply walked to a throw and handed it to Transporter Sampson.
The woman blushed and Nova was amused.
“I apologize. Since the Crossroads were broken, the pathways are a little more aggressive. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of moving my clothing with me.”
The kettle whistled.
Nova asked, “Coffee or tea?”
“Tea please. Anything herbal is good. I am wound a little too tight for caffeine.”
Nova returned to the kitchen, set up the tea and brought the tray out with all the accessories as well as cups. “Peach tranquility.”
“Oh good.” The transporter smiled and held her blanket around her.
“The tea will be ready in a moment. Now, what do you mean the Crossroads are broken?”
“They are fixed now, but the fey took the Crossroads hostage for a time in an effort to gain some help.”
“What did they want?”
“This is the option. They want the chance to find true mates at the Crossroads. This is the offer. You can have up to one month at the Crossroads at the fey council’s expense if you will consider the fey there as potential mates.”
Nova was pouring the tea and she nearly scalded her hand. “The elves are out where the humans acknowledge them. What will this mean?”
“If you choose a fey, you will simply be represented to the public as human. Nothing more. They are a dying species, and if the blending with the shifters can give them a boost, it might buy them a few centuries or stronger stock.”
“Where do I come in? I can’t find a match amongst shifters.”
Transporter Sampson took the cup she was handed. “And that is why your magic may find its match with the fey.”
“This is serious? This is actually being done?”
“Most shifters coming will still look for others of their kind, but you know that you don’t match. It will be a good chance for you to seek out the one your soul calls for. If the call is still there, the match is still out there, somewhere.”
There was silence between them for a moment.
Finally, Transporter Sampson said, “The first fey they are bringing are all shapeshifters. They know what it is to change their bodies and live as a beast for a time. That was one of the criteria.”
“There was a meeting and a contract that ensures a number of benefits for the shifters if they find a fey they wish to mate with. This includes, but is not limited to, a life-binding that links the two mates to the same lifespan.”
“The fey live a lot longer than shifters do. This splits the difference. They die earlier, but they do so with a mate.”
“What about the promiscuity that the fey are known for?”
“It is apparently just a single-fey thing. Once they mate, they lock in, just as you do.” Transporter Sampson looked at her hopefully.
It dawned on Nova. “You are having a problem finding takers for this.”
“Most just want to meet another shifter and live happily ever after.” The transporter’s shoulders slumped.
“Well, I will tell you now...I am not one of those shifters. I will take this on.”
“You will?” Transporter Sampson’s wrap slipped and she clutched it to her.
“I have nothing to lose. I have already been rejected in every way, shape and form. What is being ignored by an elf going to do to my ego?” Nova shrugged.