Lost (Wild Things)
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Copyright ©2013 Jocelyn Michel
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"This is Cass Kerrigan, host of Wild Things, and I have five words for you: Is Ireland gorgeous, or what?" I swept my arm to indicate that I referred to the lush landscape that was my backdrop for this episode of my monster hunt television show. "This country is everything I thought it would be -- friendly, amazing, and very mysterious. With its share of Celtic folklore, ranging from banshees to St. Paddy's driving all the snakes away, the land of the leprechauns is nothing short of perfect. And that's why we're here on St. Patrick's Day -- to find one. It won't be easy. Humans and faeries live in different realms. But after a good rain, the wee folk sometimes surface to bury their gold at the end of a rainbow. With luck, this Irish lass will spot one in action." I waited for Andrei to lower his Canon, ending this segment of our shoot.
"Great job," he said, giving me a thumbs-up.
"Thanks. Ready to go?"
"Almost. Jeep's over there."
I waved a goodbye to my producer Beau Truman, who'd been uncharacteristically standoffish on the flight over. When he barely acknowledged the gesture, I confronted him. "Okay, out with it. Who pissed in your green beer?"
Beau hesitated and then shrugged. "You could have told me he wasn't human."
I tensed. "Who wasn't?"
"Andrei. He's not, is he?"
Holy shit. Where was this coming from? "Why on earth would you say a thing like that?"
"I just watched the episode he edited. You know, the Kraken hunt in Norway."
"His eyes glowed in the dark."
My heart sank like a rock in the ocean. We'd been so careful to conceal the fact that my guide/photographer/lover was, indeed, a vampire. "Did mine glow too?"
"No." Beau fidgeted with the collar of his bright silk shirt and pouted.
"Well that's a miracle... or maybe not. My eyes are brown. It was the lighting, idiot. You know how blue Andrei's eyes are. They simply reflected the aurora borealis, which was nothing short of magnificent, by the way. Could you see it from the hotel?"
"No." Beau's frowning gaze settled on Andrei, now busy loading the Jeep with our gear. "So he's not a sup?"
"Since when do you believe in that kind of weirdness?"
"Since we started filming this show. You forget I've seen the footage that wound up on the editing room floor."
If he only knew what Andrei had deleted before the real editor ever got his hands on it. "Andrei is a guy, just like you."
My producer huffed his disappointment. I wasn't sure if it was because Andrei was male or because he was. Beau definitely had pussy vadge envy. "Vampires are so damned sexy."
"In case you hadn't noticed, he doesn't need any help in that department."
"You got that right, sister." Recovering his bright smile, Beau gave me a hug. "Now go out there and find yourself a leprechaun. If you catch one, he'll grant you a wish, you know." As I walked away, I heard him call after me. "Kiss. Kiss." I blew one to him in return.
"What was that all about?" asked Andrei when I got to him.
"Your glowing eyes."
"No shit." I relayed my response to our producer's concerns. "So you're off the hook for now, but we're going to have to be more careful." My gaze swept our stashed bags. "Is that everything?"
"More than." I hopped in on the passenger side. Andrei slid behind the steering wheel. The engine came to life with a twist of a key. With a last wave at Beau, we left civilization and headed into the wilds of Ireland.
Only they weren't that wild anymore. Most of the verdant forests of long ago had been flattened to make room for grassy pastures and rolling farmland. But we'd been told about an area where leprechaun sightings were fairly common amongst hikers, so naturally that was our destination. Since I knew we'd be en route a couple of hours, I settled in for the long haul.
The paved road, though narrow, was a busy one for about an hour. Then traffic ended as abruptly as the pavement and gravel began crunching under the Jeep's heavy tires. It lurched like crazy as Andrei tried to avoid potholes big enough to hide in.
After another hour of the road trip from hell, I could stand the silence no longer. "Beau said we should be sure and ask for wishes if we find a leprechaun."
"You've got beauty, brains, a smash series, and the perfect boyfriend. What else could you possibly want?"
I didn't have to think twice. "Immortality."