Home > Midnight Soul (Fantasyland #5)(14)

Midnight Soul (Fantasyland #5)(14)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Noc turned his eyes to her. “I don’t get played.”

“From what I hear, she’s a master.”

“I don’t get played,” he repeated.

“Okay, then maybe she’s more likeable when she’s drunk,” Cora tried.

Noc chewed and swallowed his potato then turned fully to the gorgeous princess at his side, his dinner partner, as Cora explained, something that was important in any seating arrangement in this world.


“There’s more to that woman than meets the eye,” he stated.

Her head twitched. “Are you…I mean, I thought…uh, well, you know, you and Circe seem like…are you…do you…?”

He put her out of her misery by sharing, “Circe and me, that was what it was, and what it was was between us. She’s an amazing woman. We’ll keep in touch when we go back to our world. But she doesn’t want that and I’m not looking for it either. We both knew that going in. We both knew what we wanted going in. We both got that. And that part’s done.”

“I don’t actually get any of that,” she admitted.

Noc gave her a grin that he hoped took any sting out of his next words. “Not yours to get, babe. That’s what I’m tryin’ to say.”

“Right,” she replied.

“And straight up, different time, different world, I’d be into Franka,” he glanced up at Cora’s phenomenal, thick, shining, dark-brown hair, looked back to her and winked. “She’s my type.”

And she was.

He’d dated gold, and Circe was a blonde.

But he knew the one he’d pick in the end would be a brunette.

Cora had great hair, but Franka’s was even more thick and shining and a deeper, richer brown.

Not to mention the woman’s eyes were fucking amazing. That deep blue. Goddamned gorgeous.

She also had a beautiful neck.

No, not beautiful.




But it was her mouth that drew him. She was what a cosmetic surgeon would use to create a million different sets of lips. Pink. Full. They looked soft, even pillowy.

Noc had to admit it’d suck, leaving this world and not being able to put his mouth to those lips.

But he was not going to kiss those lips.

He wasn’t about to get in deep with a woman from this world and he knew himself; the way she looked, her manner, the way she was both before and after they got drunk last night, she’d draw him in.

But he’d already done that and it got his ass in a sling in a variety of ways, including him being magicked to a parallel universe, dropped onto some remote island in order to face down three witches who wanted to take over the world and wouldn’t have hesitated to wave their wands or snap their fingers (or whatever witches did) and waste him like blowing out a match.

He wasn’t going to go there with Franka.

That was why he knew they were all wrong about her.

It wasn’t her playing him. It wasn’t her being drunk.

It was that she loved the man who’d been killed by those witches and she’d done it deeply.

The woman they all described didn’t feel anything deep, except for herself.

But the pain behind those blue eyes of hers, she could try to hide it, but it was so immense, that was impossible.

The thing was, Noc didn’t get why he cared so much what they thought.

They’d talked about how much they were giving her, doing this way overkill because they wanted rid of her for good and sneered at the fact she’d take it.

He’d told them she wouldn’t, and the way they’d been when they disagreed was not ugly or mean, just definite.

Then she’d taken it.

He was not that guy who always had to be right and he’d only spent a few hours with the woman.

But he’d felt like she’d personally slapped him in the face when she’d accepted all that treasure from Queen Aurora. He’d been certain, and shared it with Frey and Apollo, after their time drinking whiskey, after she’d admitted how she felt guilt about what she’d done to betray her country, she’d decline.

He didn’t feel like the asshole who had lost a bet. That moron who was in the position to take the hit of I told you so.

He’d felt like she’d betrayed him by not being who he was certain she was by doing what he was sure she wouldn’t do.

All of this meant it was probably good she was leaving tomorrow.

First, she needed to get away from folks who didn’t like her and didn’t mind in the slightest sharing that with her. No one needed that.

And second, Noc needed her away from him.

He was going to go to Apollo and Maddie’s wedding.

After that, he was going to sail with Frey and Finnie as they took Cora and Tor back to Bellebryn.

When they’d offered him his own chests of jewels and gold, he’d bartered instead for that. A few months in this world, taking it in, seeing as much of it as he could see.

Before he’d come here, discussing his involvement with Valentine, he’d already put in notice at work.

And then Valentine had assured him she would find him a position in New Orleans and he was all for that. A big adventure where he didn’t have to worry about reporting for duty, any cases he’d left open, nothing.

Then afterward, a new place, new job, new start.

And the good news was, Circe would be there because she lived in New Orleans, so he’d have someone to hang with.

Valentine lived there too but Noc didn’t see that woman hanging with anyone. Though he suspected if they found a place that made good martinis, she might stoop to throw a couple back with them.

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