Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Huntress & The Frog @LouisaBacio #fairytales #twistedfairytales #limitededition #contemporary #paranormal #romance #onceuponatime #OUATT #darkromance #frog

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The Huntress & The Frog
Louisa Bacio

No princess here. She's a kickass protector.
Don't miss Louisa' other Fairy Tales: The Brothers Menage
Awake: Unsleeping Beauty: An Erotic Lesbian Tale
The Thief & His Master 

Jazz music from outside the courtyard’s walls filtered in, and Melody caught the scent of jambalaya spices. Her stomach growled. She shifted her weight from one foot to the next, waiting for the master of the house. 
She didn’t like being kept waiting. On the streets, most viewed her as a local, someone they’d probably seen a time or two before. She blended in with her surroundings, no matter where; she didn’t like to stand out, which wasn’t a small task for someone with shocking red hair. But over the years she’d learned sometimes those with the most outlandish dress were seen the least.
A rumble formed in the base of her belly, and she placed her hands over the offensive spot – willing her stomach to obey. 
A man strolled into the courtyard. He wore a hunter green suit that looked to be tailored at one point, but now bulged over his stomach and pulled taut around his thighs. A fluffy white collar merged with the rolls on his neck.
“Thank you for coming, Ms. Charm. I am Arthur.” He gestured toward a table with two chairs. “Please make yourself comfortable.”
She doubted the cold wrought iron offered much comfort, but sat on the end, ready to jump at a moment’s notice. She still didn’t know why she’d been brought to this castle. Hell, she’d passed by the address more than a few times, and never thought twice as to what lay beyond the walls. Few probably did.
“He’s just a frog from the bayou, and you need to protect him before the Voodoo King’s curse becomes permanent.”
Well damn. If that doesn’t sound like the impossible task. Melody fingered the cash retainer in her pocket and thought about the payout upon completing the task. While she was good at what she did, she also was tired of constantly being on the hunt, and hunted. This money would go a long way toward her hanging up her sword. “No worries. Consider it done.”
“What did he do to get cursed?” It seemed like a valid question. If she was going to save his life, she might as well know.
“The reason matters not,” the adviser peered down his nose at her, and the corner of his lip curled. “Your job is to keep him safe.”
“Hmmmm.” She drew a dagger from the sheath on her hip, liking the feel of its weight to keep her secure. She didn’t care for his condescending attitude, but he wasn’t paying her to like him. He was paying her to do a job. However, if she couldn’t trust him, she’d have to be even more wary of the employment. “I guess that’s fair – for now.”
If she discovered the prince of a guy did something utterly despicable, she’d cut him free, or loose. This asshole may look at her like she was from the streets, some sort of trash that should only enter and exit via the back entrance, but he’s the one who called her for help. 
He needed her. Both the prince and Arthur did, and she wanted the money that came with the job.
“So what’ll break this curse?”
“The same as any other – true love.”
Ah, it sounded so easy. Too easy. “Where is she?”
With that, the adviser laughed, deep from his belly, as if her question surprised him. “He doesn’t have one. There’s to be a ball at the end of this week for him to meet the eligible candidates. You are to keep him alive until the party, and then we hope for the best.”
One eligible, but somewhat green and slimy prince.
One Voodoo curse.
One ball she wouldn’t be caught dead at. 
Well as long as she got him to the ball then she didn’t have to worry any further.
“Well, now that everything’s settled, where do we begin?” She was ready to get started, and finished. The job didn’t seem too difficult. 
From a tray behind him, the adviser lifted something covered with a black cloth. Carefully, he set it on the table between them. With a flick of his wrist, he removed the covering. 
Ribbet. Croak. Ribbet.
“Ms. Charm, please meet Prince Victor Leveau the future heir to the … dynasty.”
“Excuse me.” With a metallic screech, she pushed back her chair and stood. “But that’s a frog!”
“Or a toad, whatever.” She waived her hand. “Are you telling me you’re hiring me to protect that?”
“Madam. I would ask you to address his highness with the utmost respect. He may be a bit indisposed at this moment, but be sure he’s the one footing the bills.”
At the word “footing,” Melody glanced at the creature’s overly large and green webbed feet, and a giggle bubbled at the back of her throat. She covered her mouth and faked a cough, hoping to disguise the ill-timed response. 
“Ahem, excuse me. I didn’t mean to, ahhhh…” Did it really matter what the man across from her thought? As long as she was paid, she did the job. So what if it was protecting a questionable amphibian. How hard could the job be? It … he was in a cage for goodness sake.
“When is this, ahem, ball again?”
“This Saturday, a few days from now. Do you think you can keep him safe until then?”
“No problem.” She reached for the handle of the cage, and the man pulled it away. 
“We should get a few things clear first. There are some rules that go along with the job.”
“Whatever.” She plopped back into the seat, leaning back. Was the frog staring at her? It had the most magnificent yellow-brown eyes. Weren’t they usually more black? She shook her head. Not that she’d ever been quite this close to one before. A shiver passed over her back. Hopefully, she wouldn’t have to take it out of the cage and do anything with the slimy thing. 
By far, over her career, she’d had jobs that were harder than this one. But stranger? No. It figured for what she was hoping would be her last job.

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