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The water stopped flowing from the tap.

It figures, Marcus lamented while hitting the send button. They moved states away to escape it but it seemed curses didn’t know anything about state lines. He tucked his phone in his pocket, gave the faucet one last glower, and huffed out of the bathroom.

There was a chance that the faulty water was thanks to it being an old house and they did just move in but that gave the universe too much credit. Ever since he was old enough to make sense of the world, he knew about the curse. Things would break, go missing, or be stolen. Everything that wasn’t stolen or damaged beyond repair, was well taped and glued together. Not even candles escaped the curse. The wicks refused to light. He learned that one frustrating night of a five hour blackout. He hated storms ever since but not nearly as much as he hated faeries.

Flopping down in the grass, he grumbled. Why couldn’t faeries be easier to find? And why did he have to be the first born boy in ten years? He didn’t want the job of Faerie Hunter. For one, that meant he had to acknowledge something as girly as faeries existed. They also handed out curses that haunted generation after generation of one particular person. Thanks to one Christina Campbell, he got to know the truth about Tink and her buddies.

Faeries were nothing to make light of, even if they tended to glow and sparkle. He couldn’t say the same for the day so far. The gray sky reflected back his mood. His eighteenth birthday was coming and instead of hanging out with his friends or hitting up the beach, he was stuck paying for the selfishness of his grandmother. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also had to marry one of them. It was marriage, another ten years of the curse, or death. He wasn’t sure who came up with the death part but he hated them too. For all he knew, his grandmother lied to him so he’d willing marry some little winged she-devil.

“Marc? You out there?”

He didn’t answer. He never did. Solitude was the one thing he could officially say was his choice. That and rebelling. If he had to be some faerie’s bridegroom, he was going to make it a living hell. But there was hope. If he learned how to kill one, could find the glitch in their veil that separated the realms, and kill the right one, he’d be free.

“Marcus. I’ve been calling you.” Samantha dropped a small leather bound journal on his chest. He would have ignored her if he didn’t catch the smirk she proudly wore as she crossed her arms. “What would you say to trading rooms with such a sweet sister like me?”

Marcus sat up with a snort. “You’re sweeter than a lemon alright.” Still, he was curious. “What for?”

“That diary-”

“I’m pretty sure it’s a journal, Antsy.”

Samantha rolled her eyes and gave his leg a light kick. “Shut it, Mucus. I’m being sweeter than a lemon here.”

He snorted up at her again. She was being too sweet so it had to be good and it was. The diary, as she called it, belonged to a cousin. She found it when she accidentally raided their mom’s room in search for some black pumps. Marcus shrugged. Shoes were shoes. What he really wanted to know about was who the cousin was and why their mom kept it hidden.

Thunder cracked in the distance. The wind had picked up too, whipping across the backyard and rustling the leaves. It all made his sister antsy but he couldn’t see past the hope in his lap. “Do you think it’s real?”

“Hm?” She hummed nervously.

“Do you think someone in the family is a changeling?”

“Maybe.” She shrugged as she shifted her weight from leg to leg. Another crack came and with it went her sweet lemon attitude. “Look, you can stay out here if you want but I’m going in.”

“Why? We have the answers right here?” Marcus held the journal over his head. “We’re lucky.”

“No, with our luck, we’ll be struck by lightning. Twice.”

Marcus chuckled. His sister was many things. Brave was not one of them. She was smart though, intuitive too. She had more luck than he ever did and he was the one bethrothed. So, if she thought the journal could help, she was right.

He got up, brushing himself off, and smiled up at the darkening sky. There was more to the Campbell curse than they knew and he was going to get to bottom of it even if it meant marrying a she-devil.

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