MacSweeney darted down a corridor and Robin followed. It was less populated here as convention goers darted into rooms and took seats. MacSweeney paused, watching one
doorway in particular. Robin faded from sight and drifted forward, looking into the room that had Raven’s undivided attention.
Robin frowned. He recognized that pair of rotten pumpkin wings bouncing their way back out the door.
Damn. The Fear Dearc was rumored to have fearsome powers, and Robin did not wish to test them around so many humans. The ensuing fight could damage or destroy many lives,
something Oberon would wish Robin to avoid if at all possible.
Then again, there was always a first time for everything.
Michaela paused, smiling at MacSweeney like he was her long-lost brother. The only thing that kept Robin sane was the fact that the heat, so prevalent in her gaze when she looked
at Ringo, was absent. “Raven! How’s the art thing going?”
Art? What in blue blazes was she talking about? And since when was she on a first-name basis with the bastard?
“I’m not really an artist. Not professionally, anyway.” MacSweeney leaned against the wall, effectively cutting Michaela from the herd.
“What do you do, then? Because I have to say, I think you could make a living off your art.”
MacSweeney’s shoulders moved in an almost-shrug. “I’m in security.”
Michaela laughed. Robin moved so that his view wasn’t blocked by MacSweeney’s broad, soon-to-be-decomposing back. “I have a friend who told me earlier he’s in the same business.”
Shit. Well, Robin had already effectively broken his cover, but if MacSweeney confirmed Robin’s interest in Michaela…
“Ringo.” Her cheeks flushed.
MacSweeney’s head tilted. “Ringo? Like the Beatle?”
Michaela wrinkled her nose and grinned. “Like the Japanese word for apple.”
“You’ll have to introduce me sometime.”
When hell freezes over. Out of the corner of his eye, Robin noted Jaden’s presence. So the vampire hadn’t lost sight of his charge after all. To all but the most discerning eye, the
vampire was invisible.
“I think you’d get along. Unless you’re business rivals.” She smiled sweetly. “Then, maybe not so much.”
MacSweeney chuckled and reached out. He brushed his fingertips along Michaela’s arm. “Have dinner with me?”
Michaela shook her head. “I can’t. I have the night shift at the hospital tonight.”
Damn it all. She seemed genuinely regretful. Now he’d have to kill MacSweeney just on principle.
“Which hospital do you work at?”
NO. She couldn’t. Robin moved forward, ready to step in.
“Michaela!” Robin sagged in relief as Moira Blackthorn practically jumped Michaela from behind. “The lecture’s about to start.”
“Sorry, I’ll be right there.” She turned back to MacSweeney with a grimace. “I have to run. It was nice talking to you again.”
“You too.” MacSweeney dared to put his hands on Robin’s woman, bringing her hand to his lips for a soft, sweet kiss. “I’ll see you around.”
Robin wondered if Michaela heard the threat or not. From her relaxed posture, he was guessing not.
“I look forward to it.”
Over his dead body.
Michaela allowed Moira to drag her off with a farewell wave to MacSweeney, sealing the dark fae’s fate. MacSweeney watched the women until they were safely behind the closed
door of the conference room, a strange expression on his face. Robin couldn’t quite place it. Was it regret? Longing?
Finally, the corridor was empty except for Jaden, Robin and MacSweeney.
“I know you’re there, Hob. You too, Blackthorn. Come out, come out wherever you are.”
Robin allowed his blue eyes to shift into view, leaving the rest of his body invisible even as Jaden stepped out of the shadows. “Raven MacSweeney.”
MacSweeney smirked. “Robin Goodfellow. I’d say it’s a pleasure to meet you, but even I’m not that big a liar.”
Robin bit back a reluctant smile. “Indeed. I could say the same.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be not here? You should be in the conference room with the rest of the, ahem, delegates.”
Robin had almost forgotten about Jaden, so focused had he become on the Fear Dearc.
“Lord Jaden Blackthorn, I presume? Your bondmate is quite sweet looking. Does she taste as good as she looks?”
Green fire flashed in Jaden’s eyes. If the Fear Dearc threatened either Moira or Duncan, Jaden would attack to protect his lovers. Perhaps that was what the Fear Dearc hoped for. It
would certainly open up the Gray Court to recrimination, as MacSweeney, a delegate, had diplomatic immunity for the conference.
But Jaden took a tack that surprised even Robin. He grinned, that mischievous one that had first drawn Robin to the vampire. “I wonder how sweet Michaela would react to you
threatening her newfound friend?”
One of MacSweeney’s dark brows rose. “Does she know you set Moira on her in order to spy on me?"
Robin laughed. MacSweeney’s ego was large, indeed, if he thought Moira was a spy.
MacSweeney’s attention remained on Jaden. “No. You’re using your bondmate to protect her. From me?” MacSweeney put his hand to his chest with melodramatic flair. His nails, like
Robin’s, were black. Whether it was an affectation or natural remained to be seen. “I’m flattered.”
“What can I say? My wife has excellent taste. Case in point, I noticed she didn’t like you.”
Gods love Jaden Blackthorn. He could annoy a saint, and MacSweeney could never lay claim to that title. The smirk was gone from his face, replaced by irritation. “Don’t interfere,
Blackthorn. Whether you believe it or not, my intentions toward the human are honorable.”
“As honorable as a Black Court fae can ever be, which means not.”
MacSweeney’s gaze narrowed. “Let it go, bloodsucker.”
“I don’t think so, birdbrain.”
MacSweeney took a deep breath. “I give you my word, Michaela will come to no true harm while under my protection.”
The ring of magic was in his words, a vow the Fear Dearc would have to enforce whether he wished it or not. If it were any woman but Michaela, Robin would have been intrigued.
“She’s under my protection.” No vow needed to be said for Robin to feel the magic settle around him. Robin flashed into view, changing his clothing to match his appearance. The
tight leather pants, high boots, long jacket and silk shirt were far more his style than anything Ringo wore. Robin would not allow MacSweeney to lay any claim his bondmate, magical
vows or no. He offered the Fear Dearc a mocking bow, his red hair sweeping around him like a cloak. “Let none say the Hobgoblin does not protect his own.”
MacSweeney returned the bow. “Be aware, I have every intention of making her mine.”
Robin smiled sweetly, aware his fangs were showing. “You may try.”
“Raven? Is everything all right?”
Robin stilled. He had not seen the door behind MacSweeney swing open, but Michaela stood just behind it, her head peaking around the edge. Her eyes widened when she caught
sight of Robin, her gaze sweeping him from head to toe. She bit her lip, and Robin damn near growled at the lust in her quickly guarded expression.
Hell. Now he had to be jealous of himself.
"The Hob has added layers of intrigue and secrets because Michaela is human and Robin goes "undercover" as Ringo, but the chemistry off the two is fantastic. This e-book is perfect for a
rainy day or a few hours away from the world." USA Today Happy Ever After Blog
"This book had me laughing, gasping, and sighing with contentment through the very end. Dana Marie Bell has delivered pure comedic genius." Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews
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