By: Leia Stone

I ticked off all of the supernatural freaks on my fingers, “Okay, so we have skyborn, AKA Dragons. Earthborn…”

He smiled. “Earthbound.”

“Whatever. The earthbound are the druids. And then you have animal shifters? Anything else?” Three supernatural races were enough for me.

He reached out and pulled a fourth finger from my curled fist. “Sorcerers. The most populated of all the races, although most are extremely watered down with human DNA.”

I dropped my hand and exhaled the breath I had been holding. “Sorcerers? Like witches? Damn.”

He nodded. “The animal shifters are the second most rare of the supernatural species. Second to us of course.”

I swallowed hard, trying to absorb this information. “Of course.”

“There used to be over a thousand shapeshifter species, but they were a part of the Fae-line, which has now died out. Now there’s only a couple dozen species and they are all animals from this world.”

This world. And Fae. He said Fae.

“This world?” I cleared my throat because my voice cracked.

He looked me up and down, seemingly sizing up what I could handle. I grit my jaw and was sure to give him my best big girl look before he spoke. “A long time ago, magical creatures only existed in the land of Faery … a world that contained all of the magic you have read about in fairy tales.”

I scratched my neck, trying hard to believe what he was saying. “Okay.” Maybe I was still asleep and dreaming, because this sounded loony.

“Until one day, the queen of Faery found a tear in the fabric between the two worlds. She came to Earth and fell in love with a human.”

I leaned forward, suddenly hanging on every word.

“She slowly began sending Fae to Earth and letting humans into Faery. Fae and humans started falling in love, having families. She wanted a world where we could all coexist.”

I shrugged. “Sounds nice.” Freaky but nice.

Logan’s face grew dark. “Some felt that she loved her precious humans more than her own people. When the earthbound found out, they created a yearlong winter in their anger with their queen. The druids were one of the highest born magical Fae creatures in the land. After learning what their queen had done, they set out to become more powerful … to wipe out the humans and any of the human-Fae mixed creatures that had been born. They were only interested in a pureblooded society.”

Bile crept up my throat. It sounded very similar to some history I had learned about in school. “What happened?”

Logan lowered his voice. “While the druids were off on their quest at becoming all-powerful, the queen’s human lover got sick and he died, while she remained young and lived on.”

My hand covered my mouth. I didn’t even know these people or if this story was even real, but it touched me. I felt for this queen and her human lover. “Then what?” I was entranced. I needed to know this story just as I needed to stay up all night getting to the ending of a good book.

“So, in an effort to protect her beloved humans from disease, she climbed to the highest mountain in Faery and found the commander of dragons. It was long known that the dragons were the healers of the realm. She ordered the commander to create her a protector for humanity, a race of dragons that would be bound to the humans and feed them with their magical healing energy, keeping them healthy and giving them long lives. Back then, humans only lived to be about thirty years old. Her lover had died at twenty-eight.”

I leaned closer, nearly falling off my stool, unable to keep my eyes off of him. If I’d had my sketch pad, I would have been drawing what he said. A Fae queen climbing the highest mountain to reach a dragon commander. Twenty-eight years old was young, far too young. That was like … seven years from now for me. I motioned for him to keep going.

“The commander didn’t want to deny his queen, so he asked for her blood, her magic, to bind with his strongest warriors.”

My mouth popped open and I involuntarily stood.

The corner of Logan’s lips curled. “And that’s how we got the skyborn. Us. The dragon shifters.”

Whoa. I was … part dragon … part Fae? Chills crept up my spine at the thought. But my face quickly fell in confusion. “My mother was human so … I’m half?” I had accepted at this point that my mom slept with my dragon shifter father and never knew what he was. Nothing else explained what I could do.

Logan’s eyes quickly fell to my lips and then back up to hold my gaze. “I’m sorry, Sloane, but the skyborn are a pure race. We cannot procreate with humans. It only results in miscarriage.”