“Kallen!” The sound of panic in Xandra’s voice has me instantly awake. My eyes pop open and my body is ready to attack anyone stupid enough to try to do her harm. I search our dark room for my beautiful, fearsome wife, but she is nowhere to be found. I leap from the bed, dressing myself as I go. I search the bathing room and the shower. Not there.

Through my panic, voices reach my ears. Angry, desperate voices. They are outside. Rushing to the balcony, I have no bloody idea what I’m seeing. A horde of Fairies are on the beach fighting and clawing at each other and Xandra’s magic is flooding the area. I need to get down there. “Xandra!” I shout, trying to find her before I leap into the melee.

“Here!” she shouts back, and I use her voice to find her. She is on the other side of the crowd near the water. Keeping them at bay, I think. Leaping from the balcony to the sand below, I race around Xandra’s magic that I now realize is encasing the Fairies. I skid to a stop when I find her standing in front of them. Safe. For now. As my pulse begins to ease, I hear something that puts dread back in my heart.

Come to me, My Darling,

Waken from your rest.

Come to me, My Darling,

Lay your head upon my breast.

Come to me, My Darling,

Heed my loving call.

Come to me, My Darling,

Ere daybreak must fall.

Come to me, My Darling,

Make a gift of your heart.

Come to me, My Darling,

Then we shall never part.

“The call of the Sirens,” I whisper.

Xandra eyes me curiously. “Um, you’re not going to go all crazy on me, too, are you?”

That actually might be preferable to what is happening. If the Sirens are truly here, this could be the end of the realm as we know it. I glance at the Fairies wrapped in Xandra’s magic and just now realize they are all male. This is very bad. Very bad, indeed. “No, I will not. But, they will not stop while the Sirens sing.” They are also desperate enough to kill each other in there. “You must put them to sleep, Xandra. Knock them out cold.”

Confused whether I mean the Fairies or the Sirens, Xandra demands over the voices, “Who?”

Unfortunately, there is only one option right now. “The Sirens are impervious to magic once those called go willingly to them.”

“Go to them? These guys were about to walk into the ocean and kill themselves!” she shouts back in confusion.

Grimacing, I nod in agreement. They were. “I know. The Sirens call them to the sea where they reside. None survive the journey. It is the gesture, the intent, which gives them their power.”

“I don’t think I like Sirens very much,” Xandra mutters.

“They must sleep until dawn,” I tell her. “The Siren’s hold on them will be lost then.”

Behind us, the Fairies have quieted enough for Grandmother’s voice to reach us from the terrace. “What the hell is going on?” she demands, hands on her hips and glaring at us.

“Sirens!” I call back. The list of curses she lets loose are enough to make me want to cover Xandra’s ears, even though we can only hear a few of them over the Fairies. Grandmother has quite the mouth on her, sometimes.

Now that her mind is clearing a little from the panic, Xandra realizes she can do something about the noise the Fairies are making. She uses more magic to take their voices away. The fact that she can contain fifty Fairies and still have magic to spare is absolutely incredible.

Grandmother moves closer to us. “Xandra, these Fairies must be rendered unconscious or they will claw themselves, and each other, to death in their vain attempt to get to the sea.”

Xandra tears assessing eyes from me. She seems to be searching for signs that I am being affected by the Sirens. “Yeah, Kallen already said something to that effect,” she says, already thinking about a spell. I recognize the expression on her face now that her focus is off me. After a moment, she uses even more magic to render it. “Called from your beds by those who would do you harm, no longer heed their evil charms. Lay your head upon the sand, no longer know the Siren’s command. With dawn comes sanity and light, be safe in slumber this dangerous night.” Within seconds, the Fairies fall into a heap on the sand. She is good.

By this time, we have been joined by everyone in the house except Zac. The kid can sleep through anything. Kegan, Alita, Tabitha, Adriel, Raziel and Garren are standing on the terrace. Xandra’s parents are floating next to them. Her Familiars are sniffing the pile of Fairies who are no longer being held in a magical box. Xandra dropped the magic when the spell took effect. Considering the fight ahead of us now, that was wise. It is best she conserves her energy.

Looking at us each in turn, Xandra asks, “Someone want to fill me in on Sirens?”

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