Part 5: Of Portal Chases and Chocolate

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A rooftop motorcycle chase, pursued by angry selkie shifters, was not on my to-do list for today—but then, what ever was?

I shot over the edge of the roof, aiming for the convenient scaffolding on one side of the building which was still under repairs from the last time I'd been here. I glanced back for a split second. I'd lost one of the four selkies on the rooftop, but the selkie woman and two of the men still followed grimly on their motorcycles as we zoomed down the scaffolding, ramp-like, and shot onto the busy streets below.

Blinking against alternating building shadows and afternoon sunlight—it had been night in the fae world, but wasn't here—I wove hastily through traffic and foreign signs and cars, with the selkie bikers in hot pursuit. I kept one hand on my handlebars as I used my other fingers to hastily punch in new coordinates on my wrist portal-generator. You learn to multitask in this sort of business.

I roared around a corner into an alley and flicked my wrist, opening a new blue-edged swirl of portal in front of me. I sped through it, but not quickly enough to escape two of the selkies, although I left behind the third when I closed the portal.

Green light surrounded me and high-soaring trees whipped past as I gunned my motorcycle down a winding forest path, a jarring transition from the grey-and-black cityscape of concrete and metal of a moment before. Back into the fae world, but in a different place than where I'd left it.

Evening sunlight streamed through pine branches. I calculated back through my stops of the day. Night in the human world, almost morning in the fae world, back to our world but in a different timezone due to being halfway across the world, evening back to the fae world . . . what time, and what day, would it be when I got back to the human world again? I'd probably lost an entire day.

Blast portal jumping. There's a reason it's not the best idea under normal circumstances. Of course, when does that ever apply to my life?

I glanced behind again at the two selkies who still followed—nope, one now, since the other skidded off the treacherous forest path and into a tree. Six down, one to go, her blonde-and-blue battle braids whipping behind in the wind of her speed.

I faced forward again and a branch slashed my face. I growled, jamming my sunglasses onto my face to protect my eyes from future branch attacks.

We sped along the path winding its way through the trees, and I didn't like to think about it but she was definitely gaining on me. It wasn't like we were near water, though— The thought screeched to a halt like I was tempted to do with my motorcycle as the path opened out onto an ancient mossy stone bridge arching over a stream ahead of us.

No, no, no.

Water shot from the rushing brook in long reaching arms coiling above the bridge, waiting for me to speed headlong into it and be trapped.

The selkie warrior behind me closed in, controlling the water and accelerating on her motorcycle at the same time. Guess I wasn't the only one good at multitasking.

I hastily set new portal coordinates and accelerated toward the portal as it opened just before I reached the bridge and the tendrils of water.

She shot my tire out. The gunshot rang through the woods as my motorcycle jolted and skidded sideways. I launched myself off in a flying leap, diving straight through the swirling blue portal. I tucked into a roll to lessen the impact as I hit pavement on the other side.

As I regained my feet in a quick motion, I twisted around and slammed the button on my wrist, catching a final glimpse of the selkie woman through the portal. Seconds before she could reach it, the portal shut in her face.

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