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The Memory Thief

The Memory Thief

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The Memory Thief

4.5/5 (11 ratings)
116 pages
1 hour
Apr 18, 2019


Cinderella retold: Fae, vampires, shifters, and a Godmother who’ll grant you any wish—if you pay the price.

For human slave Elle, it’s just another night of breaking her stepmother’s rules and sneaking out. Another night of using her unique skills for clients who want to ... forget.

Get the job done. Get paid. Move one step closer to legitimately buying a wish.

But when Elle runs face-first into a charming and handsome faerie—and then ends up in the clutches of a vampire—her usual fly-under-the-radar plans are knocked off course.

~ ~ ~

This is episode 1 of 6 of a SERIALIZED Cinderella retelling. It is not novel-length. Expect cliffhangers! Approximately 27,000 words or 120 print pages.

**Prefer to binge-read all the episodes together? Look for City of Wishes: The Complete Cinderella Story**

~ ~ ~

In a world of fae, vampires and shifters, where wishes can be bought and bargained for, Elle is human, bound to her stepmother by a slave charm. Her only hope at freedom is to wish for it. But the Godmother rules the illegal wish trade, and the price she demands is steep. Is Elle willing to pay it?

Apr 18, 2019

About the author

Rachel Morgan spent a good deal of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making, crafting endless stories of make-believe and occasionally writing some of them down. After completing a degree in genetics and discovering she still wasn't grown-up enough for a 'real' job, she decided to return to those story worlds still spinning around her imagination. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart. Rachel lives in Cape Town with her husband and three miniature dachshunds. She is the author of the bestselling Creepy Hollow series, and also writes sweet contemporary romance under the name Rochelle Morgan.

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The Memory Thief - Rachel Morgan

Chapter 1

Elle Winter’s evening was going exactly according to plan until the moment she smacked face-first into a broad chest and landed on her bejeweled backside on the sidewalk outside Club Onyx. Rough concrete stung her palms, and pain shot up her left wrist. She sucked in a hiss of breath as heat rushed immediately to her face. Lifting her head, she squinted into the flashing neon purple light from the sign above the club’s doorway.

I am so, so sorry, said the owner of the broad chest, blocking the purple glare as he stepped closer and extended a hand toward her. Are you okay? Can I help you up?

I’m fine, Elle answered automatically, darting a quick look over her shoulder. Every eyeball in the queue waiting to get inside the fae-exclusive nightclub was now on her. Brilliant. She turned swiftly away from the crowd, blond hair falling across her vision as her heart hammered against her ribcage. This was exactly the kind of attention she tried to avoid.

Peeking up, she found a hand still stretched toward her. Since it was the quickest way out of this situation, she reached for it. In one smooth motion, Mr. I Don’t Look Where I’m Going pulled her up. Momentum kept her going, but she managed to jerk to a halt before crashing into his chest a second time. Are you sure you’re okay? he asked.

Elle let go of him, twisting her left hand in slow, careful circles as she looked up and met his gaze. His silvery blue eyes were piercing in a way that only fae eyes could be, and his dark hair was just the right kind of messy. Makes sense, she thought. Of course the guy who’d witnessed her land gracelessly on her butt was heart-stoppingly gorgeous. That was the way the world worked, right?

She cleared her throat and took a step back. Her fingers itched to check whether her hair still covered the pointed tips of her ears, but she managed to resist the urge. Better not to draw attention to them. This close up, he might notice they were fake. Um, yes, I’m fine, she said belatedly. She uncurled her fingers the tiniest bit and examined her palm. Her skin was grazed, but thank the stars she wasn’t bleeding. If anyone saw the color of her blood, they’d know in an instant that she was human. Well, either human or a shifter of some sort, but that was even worse. If the fae outside Club Onyx thought she was human, they’d probably just toss her across the street—onto her ass again. If they thought she was a shifter … well, she might not live to see morning.

Hey, can you get out of the way? a woman shouted from somewhere behind her. You’re blocking the door and some of us are trying to get inside.

Eager to remove herself from the spotlight, Elle stepped past the man with the silvery blue eyes, but the bouncer—who’d done nothing until this point except watch the unfolding scene in silence—brought one muscled arm down in front of her. Hang on, miss. You don’t look old enough to be here.

Wonderful. He’d been happy to let her walk right past him a minute ago, but now that she’d embarrassed herself in front of a crowd of fae, she didn’t look old enough? Instead of arguing, Elle retrieved her ID card from her purse and held it in front of the bouncer’s face. He squinted at it for several moments, his eyes darting between her and the card, which told him her name was Trixie Gold and that she was twenty-two years old. It was an excellent fake that had given her access into many clubs in Vale City, most of which wouldn’t have allowed her through the door if they knew she was only nineteen.

Fine, the bouncer grumbled, stepping aside and jerking his head toward the inside of the club.

Wait, Mr. Blue-Eyed Fae called after her. Are you sure you don’t need someone to take a look at that wrist before your magic sets it wrong or something?

I’m sure, she said without looking back. It wasn’t as though she’d broken any bones. Now that the shock of the moment had passed, all she felt was a dull ache. Probably nothing to be concerned about.

I really am sorry, he continued, catching up to her as she entered the dimly lit passageway inside the club’s entrance. She stopped and narrowed her eyes at him. Why on earth was he following her? Can I at least buy you a drink to make up for knocking you over? he asked. I’m Dex, by the way.

Instead of answering, Elle stepped aside to make way for the people behind her. Three women sauntered forward on sparkly heels, leaving a cloud of cloying perfume and the faint gold glimmer of faerie dust in their wake. The tallest one tossed a look over her shoulder and lowered one glittery eyelid in a wink, no doubt directed at Dex. Elle almost rolled her eyes in response. Enchanted perfume hardly ever worked on anyone. Even she knew that, and she was human.

She faced Dex, and something stirred in her chest when she found his silver-blue eyes still on her. Vindication, she decided, pushing her shoulders back a little. Told you so, she thought in the direction of the woman who’d tried to catch his attention with her magic perfume. Weren’t you on your way out when you walked into me? she asked.

His smile stretched a little wider. Yes, but I can easily change my plans.

She worked hard to maintain his gaze and keep her shoulders pushed back. Saying no to someone without fear of consequences or punishment was always a strange experience. Well, Dex, she said, "I’m afraid my plans can’t be changed. I’m meeting someone else here."

Ah. How unfortunate.

Heat inched its way up Elle’s neck. Guys didn’t pay her this kind of attention. Or if they did, she’d never had time to notice. She kept her head down, got the job done, and left. There was no other option if she was hoping to stay out of trouble. But if Elle was honest with herself, she longed for just one normal night. The kind of night where she could relax and dance and maybe get to know a cute guy over a vodka unicorn or a piskie sour, neither of which Salvia had ever allowed her to taste. Standing here, staring into Dex’s eyes, it was so tempting to say yes.

But that kind of night would be part of Future Elle’s life. Present Elle had other priorities. So she wiped away the smile that was trying to find its way onto her lips and said, Not unfortunate for me. She stepped past Dex and strode forward, trying to convince herself she wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t follow her a second time.

Swaying bodies, pulsing lights, and the smell of sweat and alcohol greeted Elle as she entered the main part of the club. Drinks hovered around people, and soap-like bubbles floated in the air, rainbow colors visible where the light struck them. Here and there, people jumped to pop a bubble, and faerie dust fell in a rush of gold sparkles, releasing a surprise charm: temporary jewelry, or the ability to breakdance perfectly for two minutes, or a pretty pattern of gold light that erupted into the air before vanishing.

To the right of the club, where a stage floated at eye level, dancers in glowing costumes spun around poles. Elle moved in the opposite direction, away from the deafening speakers and toward the far corner where several booths lined the wall. She was pleased at how well she blended in here. She wore short shorts and a glittery tank top, along with rhinestone-studded combat boots tall enough to hide her ankles. Wearing skimpy clothing was something she still wasn’t entirely comfortable with, even after doing

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