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Donna Fernstrom

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Other titles by Donna Fernstrom

Worldwalkers Universe Series Sorrows: Book One of The Rogue Saga Decision (short story) Secrets (short story)

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents and places are fictitious or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locations, is purely coincidental. The author/publisher does not have any control over and is not responsible for the content of third-party websites.


Self-published by Donna Fernstrom.

Printing History

First Printed in the anthology, 'Fresh Blood: The Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology Volume 1,'


Second Edition, 2015

Copyright © 2012 by Donna Michele Fernstrom Cover art by Marika Kraukle Formatting by Marcus Fernstrom

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in the unauthorized distribution of this material in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

1) Contemporary Fantasy--Fiction 2) Vampires--Fiction 3) Paranormal Romance—Fiction

Printed in the United States of America

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Revelation was the first Worldwalkers Universe story I ever wrote. This short piece is a snapshot; a scene that offers a glimpse into the complex world of the Worldwalkers. It first appeared in 'Fresh Blood: The Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology Volume 1.'

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"So, what's with this underground fae community I keep hearing about?" Regina Langford lounged comfortably in a La-Z-Boy, can of soda in hand. Her long, mousy brown hair was pulled back in a neat ponytail, and carefully plucked eyebrows twitched quizzically in a somewhat severe, sharply boned face. Intelligent dark eyes of indeterminate color studied the man before her with affectionate amusement. She seemed under-dressed in her like-new blue jeans and long-sleeved t-shirt, which sported a decal declaring 'Save the Whales! We're running out of oil, and might need them some day!' circling a cartoon graphic of a happily sporting orca. A business suit, or high fashion blouse and short skirt, would have looked more natural on her.

Gabriel smiled, eyes sparkling with excitement. "Well, it seems this is a magic-

using Variant, after all!” he announced with animation. “They're just all in hiding. Not just in and amongst the mundanes mind you, but hiding actual complete communities,

towns, buildings, forests, you name it! It's very organized, regulated, and, well

Delightfully unexpected, finding something like this here, at this stage of the game. Does

present some complications, though."

Gabriel Mantano ran a hand through his coarse mop of black hair, adjusting the pair of round glasses perched on his square-jawed, stubbled face. He was in fine "Dr. Gabriel" form this evening, accentuating his words with expansive gestures, relating the

new discoveries with a tone of genuine excitement; the sort of irresistible enthusiasm that

left no room for the idea that anyone listening might

the most important facts in the universe at this moment. His muscular but slender form carried the faded blue jeans and fraying black t-shirt (decal far too worn to make out what it had once depicted) quite naturally, and he would have looked at home on the prow of a Greenpeace boat, or scrambling through a jungle in search of some previously unresearched species of rodent.

"I can imagine. What have we got going here on the myth front?" Regina asked, sipping her soda.

Gabriel stared into space, eyes unfocused in thought, flopping down onto the nearby overstuffed couched, melding into the faded navy blue corduroy upholstery.



not feel that these were

"Well, more than that

it seems this fae community is hiding all manner of

creatures constructed by magic, and something like vampires, too. Some sort of bio- magical organism that brings the dead back. Seems they're considered fae under the community's laws, so they're not being hunted down randomly or that sort of thing. Have some reputation and legal issues, though. It's an in for us, if we want to go that route. Mark tried to track some of them down, and have a look. He had a lot of trouble finding 'em. There's a whole lot of cloaking over the regions where the fae community's hiding. He finally got a look after about three days, though. He says there's not much point in making contact with them right now. We can't pull off blending in around them, and they don't seem integrated enough into fae culture to make it worthwhile to introduce ourselves." He grinned. "We might be able to impersonate them within the general fae society, however, so long as they don't get to compare us side by side, or look too closely. It really looks like that might be the best way to go, because we can't get in as normal human folk. They call non-fae "ephemerals." Their whole society is set up to exclude them, with very, very few exceptions. We can't pass for fae; we can't fake their type of magic. So, we'll have to play Dracula, I guess."

Regina noted that he looked excited by the prospect. "I don't suppose it occurred

to anyone that we might be better off leaving them alone, here?” she asked. “I mean, we have been here a while. There are some Circles here now that really may not want to have to leave, if things go sour. Mucking around with folks who might uncover us and take an exception to our lifestyle may not be the wisest course of action."

Gabriel pouted. "Oh, come on. This is fascinating. We have got to learn more. We can't just pretend they're not there, now that we know about them. Think how much we can learn! Even things that we might be able to adapt and use. You know there's always a risk on a new world of finding something hidden, even after we've been here for a while. The colony Circles know it, too. Granted, some of the folks who've come here lately were looking for a quiet place, and on the surface, it's really quiet here. Very ordinary, and a bit boring, I guess.”

He shook his head. “If we decide to hide now, we're still going to have to deal with them eventually. We're in an information-age technological culture, and you know where those almost always head. We couldn't hide here forever, from the mundanes. There's no way we could hide from these fae folk, in the long run. We'd be better off finding out what they are all about first, so we can gauge what their reaction might be when we're discovered. We might even wind up being better off introducing ourselves to them. It's always better if we can pick that moment, rather than going through all the embarrassment of being discovered accidentally. People get paranoid when they have to dig you out of hiding, you know."

"You do have a point, I suppose. Let me guess; you want to go in, and find out all about them. Got a team setting up?" Regina eyed him knowingly.

He grinned, chuckling. "Of course! Yeah, there are some folks setting up a team, "

his lips turned down as he met her eyes, expression pleading.

and yes, I want in, if

"You coming along, 'Gina?"

Regina noted that the dog she'd had as a child had used that expression on her when particularly savory foods had been served at dinnertime. She snorted, her expression softening.

"You know I will. Wouldn't miss it for the world." She smiled, mentally sighing. Here we go again. She put down the soda, stretching to work the kinks out of her shoulders. "So, who all is going to be on this team, so far?"

"Well, looks like Sunny's coming, and Lyle, Mitch and Lisa, Edward wants to "


Regina's eyes crinkled in amusement as she listened to him listing off all of the donors, first.



and Ernie,"

Partnered pair, stick together like they're welded, she thought. Never seen them


and, "

I think Kira, and Jake. Alicia said she might show up after we're

established, and bring a few of her entourage, you know." His lips twisted in slight irritation. "Maybe she won't."

"Jake? Well, hell

ah, I guess the man's a diplomat, anyhow, I'll give him that

much. Still, it's always a treat trying to figure out what he's been up to when he takes off.

You know he always takes off and doesn't tell anyone where he's going, or who he's been talking to. Kira's reliable, and she's got a lot of charisma. Alicia, I can live without, too, but she can pull off 'high society' pretty damned well. I guess I can't complain too much about the selection. One question, though: if the vampires are going to be playing vampire, what are the donors supposed to do? Are we going to have to play vampire, too?

Or pretend to be fae? Will they let 'ephemeral' vampire groupies in, or hands, pantomiming weighing options.

"Well, I think we figured we just wouldn't explain. I mean, if you're with us, and clearly know about us, the hope is they just won't ask any questions about you at all. If

we're wrong, things could get interesting, but from the look of it, once you're in fae community areas, and look like you're supposed to be there, they tend to pretty much ignore you. We might possibly not even have to play the 'undead vampire' card very often. It really seems like no one would ever question it. Say you're a vampire, show a bit of fang if necessary, and they lose interest. Why would someone claim to be a vampire if they weren't? I think simply looking comfortable, like we belong there, is going to be the most important thing. Their community is large enough that there are plenty of places where everyone doesn't know everyone else. The towns aren't huge, but these folk do a


?" She spread her

lot of traveling." Gabriel grinned again. " flying horses, you name it."

how they travel! Magical teleportation,

Regina's eyes widened, and she grimaced. "Flying horses? You are joking, right?"

"Nope," Gabriel laughed. "They actually ride these things! I kid you not. And they use them in organized sports, too, some sort of aerial polo." He shook his head, still chuckling.

A slow smile, one with a bit more enthusiasm, crept across Regina's face. "Okay, you got me. I admit it. It sounds like fun. Like wandering into a living fairy tale."

Gabriel's lips turned down, his expression suddenly subdued. "The Rael-Shaa are leaving."


"What? Why?" Regina was startled.

"Werewolves. It's a dangerous curse, here, apparently, and folks who have it are treated very badly. They're largely disenfranchised by the fae, and it's fairly understandable why. The wolves just don't want to be caught up in that situation, and mistaken for weres and killed, because a changed werewolf is aggressive towards people. Folks are likely to shoot first and ask questions later if they see one of them change. So, they're clearing out, at least until such time as there's evidence that if they return, they won't be considered cursed or dangerous. They don't mind hiding out, and they don't mind mingling, really, but they just won't be put in a situation where they're known, but their rights are in question. I really don't blame them.” He rubbed at his chin, with a more serious expression creasing his face.

“You know, we'll be facing the same situation ourselves. It's impossible to predict how this community will react if we reveal ourselves to them. Part of the problem is that we are not fae. They have innate talents possessed only by those who carry their bloodline. Fae tend to produce fae children, but they sometimes crop up in the larger population as well, due to recessive genes, most likely, and interbreeding. Far more damning than the fact that we aren't fae, is the fact that we aren't even 'magical,' at least not to the significant degree they are. Once they figure that out, well, I'm not sure. But

that's what we're going in to try to find out. The way magic works here is not a close parallel for our psi abilities. We might be able to bluff on a few things, I suppose, but that will be pretty limited." Gabriel shrugged, letting his head fall back against the couch, closing his eyes.

Regina smiled again. "I see. Well, maybe we can clear things up for the Rael- Shaa. But you know how they are. I doubt they mind it too much. It's not quite the same as uprooting one of our Circles here, with all those broken ties with the local community, property and personal effects, and people growing attached to the place. The wolves get pretty attached to their territory, but they've been pretty much living as wolves here, haven't they? I bet they haven't made too many friends among the human folk, nor acquired much in the way of possessions. This wasn't the best place for them anyhow. It still has all the usual problems with hunters and predator conflicts, and wild wolves aren't that safe.”

“On the other hand,” she continued, “if it turns out that this fae community would welcome us all with open arms, and accept the Rael-Shaa as citizens, that would be great for them. There's not too many places we've found where the wolves can meet people besides us who accept them as they are. Some of them really do enjoy mingling with folks they're not so familiar with and learning new things, but I don't think many of them like to do it when they have to hide themselves from the people they get to know. They're too emotionally sensitive that way, I guess." Regina stood, tossing her empty soda can into the trash. Crossing the room, she carefully sat down on the sofa beside Gabriel.

"I guess we'll deal with the bulk of it once we get there.” she added. “I imagine Zach and Ernie are finagling the 'real estate' issues as usual? I have no idea why they seem to love dealing with housing so much. I've never seen anyone before who could muster so much enthusiasm and interest after they've seen hundreds of apartments, houses, and condos. They always seem as excited as if it was their first home purchase." She laughed.

Gabriel sighed, appearing bonelessly relaxed.

Regina knew that he was acutely aware of her proximity.

"Yep, Zach and Ernie will find us a spiffy pad, par for the course. The tricky part was getting ahold of some cash. The fae have their own currency, believe it or not. They don't bother using 'ephemeral money.' Gold standard, too." He pantomimed pulling a slot machine handle, complete with sound effects for the spinning of the drum. "I'm not even going to bother to ask how they managed it," he added in an amused tone, lips quirking back into the familiar smile.

"I hope the decor has a reasonable facsimile of good taste this time. Do you remember the place with the green and pink wallpaper?" She placed a hand on his shoulder. "And the matching furniture."

Gabriel paused before replying, his breathing deepening. Although he hadn't moved, she sensed his rising tension.

"Yes, I haven't been able to forget that, trust me. I actually had bad dreams about

those colors for months afterward." His voice was deeper, breathy and quiet. "It wouldn't

have been so bad if they were the last word.

well, pastels," he added, his voice breaking slightly over

Regina watched him intently, her own heart beating faster, desire wrapping itself around her stomach. As if I were the one who was hungry, she mused, embracing the

sensation. Hungry for

there in any world greater than that? When we are so small, why does it seem so very,

very important just to hold on to one other tiny being

carefully, not wanting it to intensify too far into the craving that would draw Gabriel strongly, and steal his control.

Gabriel sat up with an abrupt movement, turning toward her, his eyes dark and intense. He placed his hands gently on her shoulders, whispering, "'Gina."

She studied his dilating pupils, and her breathing quickened in anticipation. She smiled faintly as he visibly reacted to the feelings coursing through her, his breath catching as his head tilted back, eyes slipping closed again, reveling in the purity of their shared desire.

Gabriel pulled her close then, arms wrapping gently around her, muscles tense and hard, resting his head on her shoulder. His warm breath teased her ear, and she felt the racing of his heart.

"Now. Please, may I feed now?" Gabriel's voice was tight, higher now with strain, breaking, desperate.

what? Contact. A touch. Knowing someone. Is there anything out


She controlled the desire

Regina thought she was melting, burning from the inside with the intensity of the "

embrace. She interrupted the plea, her own voice breaking, "Yes. Now

Gabriel's lips found her throat. It seemed as though the touch was the only sensation that could possibly exist in the world, hot and wet as his mouth opened, his tongue pressing down, seeking her pulse.

Tingling warmth shot along Regina's nerves from the point, seeming to outline her entire nervous system in sensation. Sharp points touched her throat. She felt the reflex take him, tensing his entire body further as he bit down.

Swirling lights filled her vision, and it was as though she were expanding inside, as if she were a universe herself, reaching far-flung galaxies, stretching out into the

darkness, seeking

unmistakable personality carried on a wave of intense hunger, flooding through her and

surrounding her thoughts as though they were being heaped in heavy blankets.

Regina stretched mentally, relaxing, embracing the touch, letting it fill her, reaching every part, opening herself completely. The mental touch softened. The sense of being overwhelmed vanished as their minds seemed to weld together, then flow into each other sweetly, thoughts and emotions slipping between them as though they were rare, exotic drinks poured slowly together to mingle in a single cup.

Pulsing pleasure began. Regina felt the almost electrical shocks of sensation, piercingly sweet, traveling through her, radiating from the points on her throat through every part of her being. She felt the hunger. The heat, taste and sensation of her blood filling Gabriel's mouth; the overwhelming ripple of pleasure as he swallowed. Pleasure in waves, in time with her pulse, in time with each swallow as he drank, easing the pain of desire, erasing tension slowly, replacing it with warmth, relaxation, and contentment.

contact. Contact came as an inexorable rush into her mind. Gabriel's

Images from Gabriel's past ran through Regina's mind in patches, fragments of a

story, but the ecstasy was so overwhelming that she could spare no thought to analyze them. It seemed they were in some place apart, unaware of the physical world, wrapped around one another. Nothing existed but pleasure, and them. They could have been there forever, or for no time at all, as the sensation faded out slowly, sinking back down, releasing, until the moment, she could never quite grasp, when she was once more alone.

The corduroy beneath her, temperature of the air, feeling of warmth in his body, and shocks through sensitized nerves as Gabriel's mouth left her throat, seemed unnaturally acute. Yet, they were somehow apart, as though the touch had wrapped her in a protective layer that let her experience everything without letting it touch her. As though it were making her complete within herself, and filling in all the gaps in her armor. Like a scratch-coat over nail polish, Regina thought, with humor.

Gabriel's contentment/relief/joy washed through her comfortably, through their residual empathic link. It would last for at least a half hour, giving her access to his emotional and physical reactions, as he normally was able to sense hers.

She pulled back, loosening his grasp, smiling at the openness of his expression, all masks, for the moment, set aside. A predatory grin stretched her lips across her teeth. "So," she asked with an eyebrow lifting in challenge, staring intimately into his eyes. "You wanna play a few hands of Poker?"

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If you would like to read more in the Worldwalkers Universe, check out these additional titles:

Sorrows (Book One of The Rogue Saga) Secrets (short story) Decision (short story)

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About the Author

Born in 1973, and raised in Michigan, Donna Fernstrom has been an avid reader since early childhood, with a particular fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She is also a psionics practitioner, and has been involved with the online energy-worker community since the early 90s, so she knows when the things she writes about don't match reality, (but loves to sneak in a bit of reality anyhow). She breeds ball pythons, and runs a metaphysical business. She is married to a wonderful Swedish man, and has two

children, a son and daughter. She currently lives in a Virginia apartment, while waiting to become rich enough to own a cow.