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Authors: Zenina Masters

Tags: #Adult, #Erotic Romance, #Fey, #Fantasy, #Magic, #Paranormal, #Shapeshifter

Wet and Wired

BOOK: Wet and Wired
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She was just there to work, until she tangled with a man who smelled of sea and sunlight. Electricity and water get along surprisingly well.

 

 

Leda was at the Crossroads to do a job. She was hooking up the Wi-Fi and thinking about getting home. A special request from the guardians diverted her plans and had her working at the side of a lovely merman, but she still wanted to head home. She wasn’t seeking a mate and didn’t care that he was.

Altion was surprised by the strong and competent young woman that Teal directed him to, but Leda did what she had promised and helped him craft what he needed to make the site-to-site portal for the Isthmus.

A magical snafu links them together and finding a way through the changes is not as hard as finding neutral ground between the lake and the sea.

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Wet and Wired

Copyright © 2016 Zenina Masters

ISBN: 978-1-4874-0766-7

Cover art by Carmen Waters

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books Inc or

Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books Inc

Look for us online at:

www.eXtasybooks.com or www.devinedestinies.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wet and Wired

Shifting Crossroads Book 37

 

 

By

 

 

Zenina Masters

 

Chapter One

 

 

Leda checked the live connections and smiled as her scanners popped with bright lights. It was all good. She had managed to mash wiring with magic and brought Wi-Fi to the Isthmus. It wasn’t neat, but it was working.

She checked her phone and grinned. It was a nice, strong signal. She sent herself a congratulatory email, and it bounced back to her in a minute, popping into her inbox.

The happy dance that she wanted to engage in wasn’t appropriate on the twenty-foot ladder, but she mentally did a jig as she stepped down one rung at a time.

On the ground, she collapsed the ladder, put her tools back in her belt and tucked the climbing assist into its storage unit.

The Isthmus was running fine on its own, but Leda was going to have to take on the position of electronics maintenance at the Crossroads for an indefinite period.

The Crossroads was moving with the times and that meant better communication with the human world. If folks could keep track of their businesses and families while seeking a mate, some might be more inclined to make the jump.

Leda hiked out of the small village between the waters and headed up the hill. The sun was bright, and the walk wasn’t too bad, but another specialist was being called in to create a new portal between the original Crossroads and the Isthmus.

Aquatic portals were tricky, and the one planned at the Isthmus was going to be in the wet room beneath the main city.

She sauntered into the general store to talk to her cousin. “Hiya, Andy.”

Andy was unpacking a pallet of merchandise, straightening the dresses with practiced ease.

“Leda. How are you doing?”

“Pretty good. The Crossroads and Isthmus are wired for communications.” She wrinkled her nose.

“What did Tony and Teal say?”

“Nothing. I popped in here first. Do you have what I asked for?” She waggled her brows at him.

He looked left and right. When he was sure that she was the only one in the store, he went to the wall, slid aside a picture and pulled out a bundle of sticks and bark.

Leda Amhartson nearly groaned with perverse glee. “Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee.”

Andy extended it to her, and then, he jerked it back. “Who is your favourite supplier?”

She hissed and snapped her fingers. “My cousin Andy who is about to suffer the tragic loss of a limb.”

He grinned and dropped the bundle into her hands. She leaned forward and inhaled the scents—lemongrass, cinnamon, pepper, licorice; all of her favourite chewing sticks were in that bundle. It was a beaver shifter’s dream stash.

She held it in her hands and nodded. “Thank you and you have my word that your Internet will continue to be accessible.”

“I know you are a woman of your word.” He winked. “Now, go and tell the guardians that the Isthmus is online.”

“You are not the boss of me.” She stuck out her tongue and turned, narrowly avoiding the wall of male that had crept in behind her.

She could smell sunshine and the ocean. She peeped upward, saw golden hair and bright blue eyes. Everything else was a blur. “Excuse me, please.”

She moved around him and made a run for it. Finding a mate wasn’t in her plans.

 

Teal and Tony were sitting with Dira and Mak. The hugely pregnant dragon was sipping tea and looking a little scaly around the extremities.

Dira smiled and asked, “Is it done?”

“It is. The Crossroads and the Isthmus are both wired for online communication via the Shifter’s Guild servers.”

Teal grinned. “Excellent. When I first came here, the Internet was a vague idea. It was a thought, and now, it is a reality.”

Tony chuckled. “You are making yourself sound ancient.”

Teal shrugged. “Our lack of aging has weird effects on my sense of self. Some days I feel as young as the day we arrived, and others, I feel I have been here forever and then some.”

Dira snorted. Fire shot out of her nose, and Mak calmly patted the embers on her belly.

The surface of her dress heaved and Dira groaned. “I am hoping that it makes its appearance soon. I am tired of being free transport.”

Mak grinned. “But I like you all curves and shooting flames out of your nose.”

Teal muttered, “Her nose if we are lucky.”

Leda snorted. “Well, if there is nothing more for me to do, can I get a lift back to the Shifter Council building?”

Dira smiled. “Of course. Thank you for the hookup.”

Leda snapped a salute, and Teal got to her feet. She turned and headed for the doorway when the wall of sea and sunlight blocked her path.

Dira grunted and waved at the roadblock. “Altion. Come on in. What do you need for the connections?”

The fey in front of her smiled. “A copper coil at either site to match the transport portals.”

Dira flailed and Mak helped her to her feet. “Leda, can you help him with that?”

Leda pinched the bridge of her nose. “So close. Okay, how big a coil do you need?”

He grinned. “Size doesn’t matter as long as they both are as identical as you can make them.”

She nodded. “Right. Hang on, I will go to storage and see what I can find.”

Dira shook her head. “If you have your wallet with you, fish out all your pennies and get me an iron pot. I can have you some copper strands in a few minutes. Stupid heartburn.”

“It’s fine, Dira. I am sure that I can find something that won’t involve you using your reflux as a smelting tool.” Leda nodded and tried to get around Altion. “Um, excuse me, please.”

He inclined his head. “May I come with you to judge the wire that you find?”

She sighed. “Sure. No problem. Come this way.”

He turned sideways, and she eased past him, her tool belt catching on his hip as she tried to miss contact with him. She had bumped into a few fey in her lifetime, and she wasn’t a fan of the zap to her senses.

He looked down at the offending snag. “What are those?”

Teal was close to them, and she chuckled. “Crack for beavers.”

Leda untangled herself and eased past Altion. “More like fine wine. Not everyone can have a nut and seed fetish, Teal.”

She was out and into the main drag of the Crossroads in a few seconds. She set out at a good clip with her tool belt rocking on her hips with every step. She could almost feel the fey’s eyes on the sway.

“So, do you do a lot of work for the Crossroads?”

Leda jerked her head in the affirmative. “My family has been building here in one way or another since the place opened.”

“You live here?”

She headed down the street and toward the rarely used hostels. The storage area was in a blank segment of the Crossroads that had never been formed into a forest or town. Shipments also came and went from this particular site. The garbage was sent through the storage area as well, neatly compressed and ready for recyclers back at the council building.

Magic could only take care of so much.

There was a surge of relief when they got to the storage shed. She pulled the handles and swung the doors open wide.

“Holy... this place is huge.” Altion’s voice was a deep whisper.

“It isn’t a church. It has just been necessary to store any materials and equipment we might need. Plus, you would not believe how fast shifters can go through bedding... and beds, for that matter.”

Each bed and breakfast had its own material storage, as well as equipment including coffee and serving sets. It may look like folks were pulling objects out of thin air, but the majority of the stuff was already in the Crossroads.

“The wire is this way.” She beckoned to him without looking at him. Lights came on as she walked the familiar path.

Leda asked him over her shoulder. “Do you need exact copies or mirrored duplicates?”

“Exact copies.”

“Okay, after you pick out the wire, I will take you to the machine shop.”

He didn’t make a sound, but she could still smell sunlight.

When they got to the coils of cable, she waved her hand at them. “Here you go. Pick your copper and I will make the coil.”

Altion walked forward and held his hand over the wires, a few inches away. He sought through every shelf and scowled. “Nothing is quite right.”

Leda snorted. “Then, it isn’t wire you want. Come with me.”

She took him to the plumbing supplies, and his eyes lit as he saw the lengths of tubing.

“Those will do nicely.”

“Nice choice. They are all from the same manufacturing batch, so they are identical in composition.”

“I know. I do live in the human world, after all.”

He pulled two lengths of copper pipe out and stood with them held like a spear.

Ohmygod he’s a merman!
The connection suddenly put everything together. It certainly explained the scent of the sea, if not the sunlight.

She took him to the machine shop at the other end of the deceptive-looking storage unit. He handed her the pipes, and she got the jig out to curve the metal, going to work.

 

* * * *

 

Altion watched the woman work, and he kept his admiration to himself. She was strong, even for a shifter. She also moved with a competence and easy grace that said she was familiar with her environment.

The exotic spices in her tool belt didn’t do anything to hide the sweet tang of her scent. If they were under water, he would be able to sense her from miles away.

He shook his head and concentrated on the smell of copper. He was here to anchor a portal, not find a mate. He had to keep his focus.

Images of her wrapping those strong arms around his neck as he breathed for both of them and took her to the deep would have to wait for another day.

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Leda finished the forming, and she looked at the matching coils. She removed the electrical tape that she had used to make sure they were perfectly matched for every twist she put into them.

She cut carefully between the layers, separating them as she went. When she had two individual coils, she handed them over to Altion. “Here you go. Sorry if it was boring.”

He took them and chuckled. “Apologising? Are you Canadian or something?”

She grinned and wiped her hands. “I am a beaver. Of course I am.”

He laughed. “Well, thank you very much. Can you show me how to get out of here?”

Leda nodded. “Sure. Come with me.”

She checked to make sure that all of her tools were in place before she beckoned to him and led the way back through the storage facility.

The coils he carried were about two feet wide, and he seemed pleased with them.

She led him out, and to her disgruntlement, the sun was setting.

“You are unhappy about something?”

“I am stuck here for another day. There is a lockout on service personnel returning to the council hall. After sunset, I am stuck until dawn.” She grimaced.

BOOK: Wet and Wired
11.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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