I stand before Manhattan’s Apex Towers. Imagine if a Sharpie pen and a space ship get together and make a skyscraper baby. That would be the Apex. My boyfriend, Alec, waits nearby.
“This place is huge,” he declares. “Hard to believe it’s empty.”
“Only the top levels are occupied,” I state. “My inside source confirmed everything. Right after Lady R bought the towers, she sealed off most floors.”
Lady R (aka the Lady) is the world’s most powerful internet influencer. And when a billion folks follow your webcasts, it seems you can do kooky stuff with real estate and it’s no problem. We’re here today so the Lady can interview Alec about his company, Le Charme Jewelers, and its upcoming Glass Slipper Festival. In just two days, the festival will launch Le Charme’s new product line… and hopefully keep the company from going bankrupt.
I give Alec the side eye. “Speaking of the Lady, do you think she’ll actually interview you this time?”
“I’d say the chances are fifty-fifty. You?”
“By my calculations, there’s a ninety-eight percent chance that she bags on us both.”
The Lady requested my presence today because—as her email put it—Alec is Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor and everyone wants to meet his new woman. That’s code for, I’ll plug the stupid Glass Slipper Festival if I can ask Elle embarrassing questions. Which is fine with me. Hell, I even shaved my legs for the occasion.
But now that the interview approacheth, a thread of worry winds it way through me, along with an ugly question.
Am I really ready for a billion views?
I inspect myself in the building’s glass exterior.
Blonde tresses? Check.
Blue eyes? Check again.
Nervous energy? Check, check, and check.
For his part, Alec sports tawny hair, an easy smile, and a jeans-n-sport coat combo. Both of us are eighteen in calendar years and a thousand when it comes to life experiences. Case in point: Alec just escaped a magical prison hidden inside a gemstone. I’m not even kidding.
I shift my weight from foot to foot. That dainty thread of worry is quickly becoming a transcontinental cable of anxiety. Why did I wear this outfit again? I’m not Sundress Girl. My style is more, let’s steal things while wearing whacky disguises. I fluff my hair and turn to Alec. “How do I look?”
Alec scans me carefully from head to toe. “Like a princess.”
That’s a good answer.
Going on tiptoe, I brush a kiss across his full mouth.
Alec smacks his lips. “That was the best part of my morning.” Glancing down, he checks his watch. “Sadly, the not-so-pleasant bit is coming up. Our interview with Lady R starts soon.”
“If she cancels on us again—”
“Hey, she might not.” Alec flashes me his best surfer-boy smile. It’s almost enough to derail my question, but not quite.
“But if she does, what new B-S excuse do you think she’ll shovel our way?”
“Oooh, good question.” Alec rocks on his heels. “So far, she’s nixed us because of a bad hair day, rabid mouse in her bathroom, and a sudden case of pink eye.”
“You have to give her points for creativity in lying.”
And I would know. Most of my days are spent conning people with elaborate heists in order to un-steal jewels. Long story.
Alec purses his lips. “I’m going with excessive cramping.”
“Good call. I’ll say, alien abduction.”
“Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.” Alec’s phone beeps. Now that he’s CEO, it does that a lot. He checks the screen and winces.
“The festival takes place in forty-eight hours and—” Alec flips the screen to face me. “—fifty-six percent of registrants cancelled last night.”
I scan the screen. Sure enough, that’s what it says. Eep.
Alec shakes his head. “Why is this happening now?”
“You know how stuff blows up on social media. Word’s going around that the festival will suck.” Which it won’t. We’ll have music, fashion, and free cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. That last part is my idea. You can’t cheap out on sweets.
Alec resets his phone into his pocket and rescans the top level of the Apex. “We need extra buzz for the festival. The Lady simply must come through today.”
I roll my eyes. “Meh.”
Alec shoots me a look of mock-surprise. “Meh?”
Alec shoots me a sneaky grin. “How can you meh me at a time like this?”
“Because even if the Lady cancels, we’ll still get the interview. It just won’t happen with her activeparticipation.”
In other words, Alec and I have a contingency plan. Which is actually more of a group caper. My specialty.
“You’re rather confident.” That’s what Alec says, but the gleam is his eyes adds that he wants to get me naked.
And I very much like that look.
I step closer, pausing when our mouths are only breath apart. “I know we can do this.”
In truth, I’m not sure that we can accomplish anything today. Still, I never express doubts this early in a caper. It’s just bad form.
Alec bobs his brows. “In that case, the sooner we enter the building, the faster we’ll know what happens next.” He offers me his arm. “Shall we?”
I wrap my hand around Alec’s elbow. “Let’s.”
As we step toward the entrance, I come to a sweet realization. Namely, I’ve pulled off hundreds of heists over the years. But if the Lady blows us off again this morning?
Behold the masterwork.
Fairies And Frosting
At last, Elle (never call her Cinderella) is reunited with Alec, the Prince of Le Charme Jewelers. Yay! But the pair soon discovers that Alec’s gemstone empire is about to go bankrupt. Boo. So our favorite couple devises a kick-ass scheme to save Le Charme. To announce their plan, Elle and Alec will hold a Glass Slipper Festival complete with music, dancing and cake. Lots of cake.
There’s only one problem. The Unseelie fae have returned.
Talk about bad news. No one combines lovely looks with dark intentions better than the Unseelie. Now, those nefarious fae want to destroy Elle, Alec and any hope for Le Charme. It doesn’t end there, either. The Unseelie are also targeting Elle’s stepsister, Agatha, as well as her old friend, Jacoby. And when will the Unseelie launch their deadly schemes? The Glass Slipper Festival.
Because fairies and frosting don’t mix.
“I thought the Angelbound series was my favorite, but Fairy Tales of the Magicorum may have stolen my heart.” – Smada’s Book Smack Blog
FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM
1. Wolves And Roses
2. Moonlight And Midtown
3. Slippers And Thieves
4. Shifters And Glyphs
5. Bandits And Ball Gowns
6. Fire and Cinder
7. Fairies and Frosting