Hello Readers! Chapter 27 ended up with almost 6,000 words, so I've decided to split it in half. I'll post the second part on Monday. Thanks again for reading my story!

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Cupid, Lily-Bella, Thunder, Pierce, and I are back at the beach, the wind whipping through our hair and bending the stand of palm trees where Pierce drank my blood for the first time. I squeeze Pierce's hand and he smiles at me, with full dimple action. Even though I'm in jeans and one of Pierce's plaid shirts, I'm cold. Pierce wraps me in his (freezing) arms and kisses my head. I don't mention that he is causing goose bumps to erupt along my arms. Lily-Bella is in full-on fairy princess garb—flowing pink gown, tiara, ballerina slippers, her long blonde hair in its perfect twist. Pierce is in khaki pants and a plaid shirt while Thunder dons tight blue breeches and a white shirt with puffy sleeves, his long red hair cascading over his shoulders. I think he's trying to look like a prince or something, and it's kind of hilarious and sweet at the same time. Cupid wears a short toga with a bow tie—weird choice for going into the fiery fairy realm.

It's a new moon and a cloudless sky, so there's nothing to obscure the infinity of sparkling stars, strewn like fairy dust across the heavens. I look out over the bay and smell the salty, inviting scent of home. Part of me would like to forget all this, dive in, turboswim to Pacifica, and be safe in our cave with my mom. But of course, I can't do that. If Darkins is allowed to continue, soon Pacifica will be polluted too.

We're at the same location where Lily-Bella ripped the fabric of the fairy dimension the day she stole Princess Iridessa's wand. Lily-Bella thought perhaps it would still be a weak spot between realms, making it easier for us non-fairy types to jump through. I may be imagining it, but I think I can still smell the ozone from the last time the fairy world intersected with ours. If it smells this much now, how horrible will it be inside the place? And I remember Lily-Bella telling us there are fire-spirits, dragons and volcanoes in addition to the blistering heat and stench. I really hope Cupid's plan works. It's 50/50. Cupid is a powerful god, but he is also adept at screwing things up and being carried off to Hades for impalement.

Cupid's plan is as follows: we enter the fairy dimension, recover Fintan, who is instrumental in destroying Darkins by blowing up his evil lair and Pickles, who is my dear friend and fairy godmother. We then hide the lovers in Cupid's Mount Olympus bachelor pad until the party/takedown. Mrs. McPhee, Pickles' mother, will be "dealt with" was all Cupid would say on that matter.

"Okay, y'all," says Cupid. "Eat one of these, and you should be immune from being burnt alive when you enter the fairy dimension." He hands Thunder, Lily-Bella and I something called a taco, which he described as a corn-based shell with meat, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. "Lily-Bella, your taco is just for fun. You do not need the protection magic, but thought you might be hungry."

"Thanks, Cupid! I am," says Lily-Bella.

"And, Pierce, sorry, dude. I had to put your magic in a vial of blood, because of your ... well ... digestive limitations." He gives Pierce an unappetizing vial of red fluid. Urgh!

"I understand," Pierce says. But I can see he's sad about this. I can't imagine never getting to eat real food.

 The tacos are wrapped in a piece of thin yellow paper, but I can feel the warmth through the wrapping. They smell fantastic. I love it when magic involves eating!

"You're giving us magic tacos?" says Thunder. "You gotta be joking."

"What do you have against tacos, wolf?" says Cupid, his god eyes flashing red. That's a little scary.

"Where do I start? Vegetables? Cooked meat? The fact that tacos are the least magical food on the planet."

"You dare question a god?" says Cupid.

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