Home > Fairytale Come Alive (Ghosts and Reincarnation #4)

Fairytale Come Alive (Ghosts and Reincarnation #4)
Author: Kristen Ashley


The Destruction


“You’re a fisherman,” Carver Austin said, his voice filled with derision, even his lip was curled.

Prentice Cameron could not believe this bloke.

His eyes moved from Austin to Elle.

The minute he’d walked into Fergus McFadden’s home in answer to Elle’s father’s summons and laid eyes on Elle, Prentice knew something was wrong.

She wasn’t wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Her lustrous, light brown hair wasn’t falling free down her back or pulled to the top of her head in a haphazard knot. Her hazel eyes weren’t shining with mischief or humor or happiness.

Instead, her usually thick, wavy hair was smoothed back in a neat ponytail at the nape of her neck and falling in a long sleek column down her back. Not a wild, riotous wave in sight.

Prentice loved her soft, beautiful, unruly hair; he thought it defined her perfectly.

She was also, he had noticed immediately, wearing makeup, which she never did because she didn’t need it.

Lastly, she was wearing a sophisticated light blue dress which, Prentice had to admit, looked sweet on her but he also noted its obvious style and expense.

He knew she was rich but she never acted it, nor did she dress the part.

Never as in never.

And Elle was usually chatty and energetic. Unbelievably chatty and energetic. It was difficult to keep her focused and in one place. Even when they were drinking at a pub, she shifted on her stool and chattered away. It was as if she had so much energy, if she didn’t fidget and talk to release some of it, she would explode. Prentice was often forced to haul her into his body and pin her to his side or kiss her to shut her up, neither of which he minded in the slightest.

Now, she seemed frozen. Not as if today’s shift from the unusually hot weather they were having to gray and drizzling had caused her to have a chill. It was as if she was frozen from the inside. She’d barely said a word since he’d arrived and she hadn’t fidgeted once.

In fact, she’d hardly looked at him at all.

“Elle, are you all right?” Prentice asked and her eyes, which were studying the carpet, flitted to his briefly then slid away.

“Perfectly fine,” she replied, her voice strong, cultured, controlled, a voice that he’d never heard before.

Elle was an open, friendly person, everything about her screamed it. The last two summers she spent in the village, she’d charmed every soul there with her nearly pathological sociability. By the end of her first summer, she knew every man, woman and child and their pets and they all adored her (even the pets).

But most especially Prentice.

Now, she sounded like an entirely different person.

Prentice’s vague sense of alarm intensified.

“Elle,” he repeated, preparing to move toward her. She was seated in an armchair. He was standing, facing off against her father who, from the very beginning of this meeting made no bones about the fact he didn’t like the idea of a lowly Scottish fisherman marrying his wealthy, educated daughter.

Before he could move, however, Austin spoke.

“Isabella has had a change of heart about your proposal.”

As Prentice’s eyes were still on Elle, he saw her body give a small jolt before he watched her fingers curl into tight fists in her lap.

Prentice’s alarm turned to anger.

His gaze moved back to Austin.

“That’s surprising,” now Prentice’s voice was filled with derision, “Elle seemed pretty excited about it when I put the ring on her finger.”

This was not a lie. She’d been so excited, she’d tackled him with such force they’d both fallen to the floor which, at first, considering she’d knocked the wind out of him, he thought was disadvantageous. Then, as he got his breath back and realized she was kissing and touching every inch of him she could get her hands and mouth on, and they were horizontal, Prentice saw the advantages of the situation.

Austin interrupted Prentice’s train of thought. “Isabella and I are leaving today, going back to Chicago. She’ll finish her senior year at Northwestern and she won’t return.”

Prentice glared at him. No, he could not believe this bloke.

“It’s my understanding her plans have changed,” Prentice replied.

“I’m quite certain you’ll eventually be happy with a woman who has not accomplished a higher education, however, my daughter –” Austin went on.

Prentice cut him off. “No, I’ll be quite happy with whatever Elle wants to do. And she’s decided she’ll finish uni but, after she graduates, she’ll come back here.”

Austin smiled a humorless, condescending smile. “And what, for the sake of curiosity, could she possibly do here?”

Prentice’s anger escalated.

He’d been born in his village, as had his father and mother and their parents and their parents, for as far back as anyone could remember. It wasn’t cosmopolitan by a long shot but it had charm and it was filled with good people who looked out for each other.

Furthermore, Elle loved it there. He knew that not only because she acted like she loved it but because she’d told him she loved it, about ten thousand times.

Prentice didn’t like anything about this discussion and he was beginning to like it even less.

“We’re in Scotland, not the wilds Nairobi,” Prentice returned. “We have trains. We even have cars. She can do whatever she wants.”

“It would be quite a commute to any worthwhile employment,” Austin retorted disdainfully.

“That depends on your definition of ‘worthwhile’,” Prentice shot back.

Austin rocked back on his heels, crossing his arms on his chest.

“It does, indeed,” he replied as if he’d made a point.

Prentice was done.

He looked back at Elle.

She was again studying the carpet.

“You want to jump in here, baby?” Prentice asked softly and he felt Austin’s mood shift dangerously at his tone and, likely, his endearment.

Prentice ignored it.

Her eyes lifted to his.

Prentice felt a chill slide through him when her gaze locked on his.

She stood, slowly, lithely, the graceful way she moved was one of the things that first attracted Prentice to her. Even her incessant fidgeting looked like a beautiful dance.

She walked the four feet to where he stood in front of the fireplace and stopped not far but also not close.

She tipped her head back to look at him.

“This was a mistake,” she said in that cultured, controlled voice.

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