One of my favorite scenes in Lucky Me is in chapter 5 when Sophia interacts with Seven for the first time in sixteen years. Now that you’ve finished the book and know the story, I can reveal more about what Seven was thinking during that interaction. Please enjoy this retelling of that scene from Seven’s perspective.
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“Seven, they’ve got her.”
My shoulders sag with relief at the news. “Thank the gods.”
Saul, my head of security, presses a finger to his earpiece, listening to the conversation on the other side. “Someone else is with her. A daughter. Driver says she’s half human.”
Right. The daughter. She’s the one who called Sophia’s parents for help. “Tell her to take them to the portal at the back of the park. I’ll guide them through.” I stand from my desk and grab my keys.
“Do you want me to drive you?”
“No. I’ll handle this myself.” I’m out the door so fast I have no idea if he responds.
I’m not sure why the idea that Sophia has a daughter makes me uneasy. She’s been gone over a decade. Naturally, she’s moved on with her life, unlike me who’s existed, partially numb since the day I found out she’d left. Still, there doesn’t appear to be a husband in the mix. I catch myself smiling at that and shake my head.
After over a decade searching and hundreds of thousands of dollars of investigation, I can’t believe she’s finally here. I’m going to lay eyes on Sophia Larkspur for the first time in sixteen years.
By the time I pass through the portal, my hands are trembling like I’m a teenager on my first date. “Pull yourself together, Seven,” I whisper to myself. Gods, I’m a fucking grown leprechaun and own half this town. How is it she can do this to me after all this time?
Even in the dark, I see the two of them right away. Sophia is sitting on her suitcase, her back to me, wings out. The curve of her silhouette is identical to when she left, her dark hair resting on her shoulder in the same way it always did. She hasn’t changed at all. The way she holds her head, I can tell she’s thinking about something. Probably thinking about a lot of things.
My heart gives a painful squeeze. I’ve dreamed about this moment for so long, but I’m not sure what I’ll say to her. Beside Sophia, her daughter’s features are cloaked in darkness, but she’s the same size as her mother. An older teenager then. All at once, a pressing urgency takes hold. I must make this girl like me. I’ll never win Sophia over if she doesn’t.
Leaning against the stone archway of the moon gate, I take a minute to collect myself, then I focus on the darkness, opening the mental gate I cage my luck behind when I’m conserving it. For me, it always starts with a breath. I fill my lungs and then I let it out. My power stalks forward, a magnificent, winged serpent, and soars into the night sky to do my bidding.
I need light. It finds light.
The fireflies ignite bathing the forest in phosphorescent splendor. Sophia’s chin lifts, and she turns her head enough for me to make out her smile. A simple turn of lip, but it might as well be an arrow straight to my heart. Fuck, I’m in trouble. She says something to her daughter I can’t hear. Flash. The forest glows with another blast of firefly light, and this time, I get a good look at her daughter.
Her eyes. I slip behind a tree and out of sight while I try to process this new revelation. I’ve seen those eyes every day of my life. Sophia’s daughter has Delaney eyes. My eyes. My sister’s eyes. My mother’s eyes.
Breath quickening, I consider the improbable. Is it possible she’s mine? She looks old enough. No. Cross-species pregnancies are extremely rare under the best of circumstances. It was only one night—one time—although magic was involved. No. It couldn’t be. Even Godmother wouldn’t be that cruel.
But Godmother is that cruel. I of all people understand as much.
They’re walking toward the moon gate. I use a bit of luck to make sure I’m undetectable. One sure way to test the theory of her daughter’s parentage is to witness what happens if they try to move through the wards. If they can pass through, the girl is definitely fae— definitely mine. If she can’t pass through, it doesn’t prove she’s not mine, however, only that her composition is foreign enough for the ward to keep her out. The magic is ancient, and the girl is a unique variable.
Sophia steps partway through and I hold my breath. Her daughter stops, their fingers tugging apart. I sigh. The familiarity of the girl’s eyes could be a coincidence. Sophia might have been with someone else around the same time. I bristle at the thought, although I have to acknowledge the possibility. She was on her own in a strange land, after all. I stop myself from examining the scenarios that pop into my head. Instead, I wait until the two draw back from the portal and the forest goes dark again, then I return to lean against the moon gate, crossing my ankles to appear far less interested in their situation than I am.
The fireflies beat back the darkness once more, and this time Sophia’s gaze catches on me. Her smile disappears. All I sense is anger. And hurt. I can’t unsee the hurt. I curse my father for the millionth time and swear to tell her the truth just as soon as I prove I can trust her with it. I flash my most disarming smile. I’ll win her over and her daughter too. What good is being lucky if I can’t do that?
“Seven,” she hisses through her teeth, my name slathered in overt loathing. This is worse than I feared.
“Sophead.” I load my voice with enough charm to make a cobra dance. “I wasn’t sure I’d ever see you again.” She doesn’t dance. She doesn’t even twitch a smile at the childhood nickname.
“Don’t call me that! You have no right to call me that.”
I snort, unable to resist teasing her. I’ve always loved drawing out her fire. “I didn’t know rights were necessary to use a nickname.”
“Mom?” Sophia’s daughter peeks around her mother’s back, obviously curious. Does she notice the resemblance too?
“Who’s this?” I push off the moon gate and approach her. She’s beautiful and reminds me so much of Sophia at that age.
“This is my daughter.” Sophia stresses the word as if I’m some sort of creeper who’s interested in her kid as a potential mate. Gross. If she only knew that when I look at this young woman, the only thing I’m thinking is, could she be mine?
“I can see that,” I say flatly. “She’s practically a miniature version of you.”
The girl shoves around her mother and extends her hand. “I’m Arden.”
Arden. A name I might have picked for a daughter.
Sophia wisely slaps her hand down. “Arden, no!”
Maybe backing up her parenting will score me some points. “Never offer your hand to a fae, Arden. A handshake among fairies binds a magical agreement. You can’t be sure the shake is just a shake. It’s too dangerous for you. Keep your hands to yourself when you greet someone.”
“Oh.” Arden slides her hands into her pockets, a faint blush of embarrassment warming her cheeks.
Sophia slams me with a dagger-filled glare. “She doesn’t need you of all people lecturing her on fairy etiquette. I’ll teach her what she needs to know.”
I hold my most charming smile although I’m dying inside. Guess that plan didn’t work. Damn, what I see on Sophia’s face is more than anger. Contempt oozes from her sneer. Is it even possible to close this chasm between us?
I refuse to believe otherwise. Turning toward Arden, I introduce myself. “I’m Seven, by the way.”
“Like the number?” she asks.
“Exactly like the number.” I give her a wink.
“Enough with the introductions.” Sophia slashes a hand through the air between us. I sense she’d rather that hand was holding a knife and that knife was sinking into my chest. “Can you get her through the portal or not? You might as well know she’s human.”
Human. She’s stressing it again. If Sophia is so sure, that must mean Arden has never shown any power before. Maybe she’s not mine. I’m not sure why but that disappoints me. “How old are you, Arden?”
“Sixteen,” she says.
“Have you ever visited Dragonfly Hollow before?” I try to put her at ease. I want to learn more about her. I want her to like me.
“Stop it!” Sophia grits out.
“Stop what?” The tiniest edge in my tone hints at my frustration. I curse myself. Barking at her won’t endear me to her.
She blows out a deep breath. “We’ve been traveling all night. Please show us through.”
I rein in my temper and flash another charming smile. “Of course. You haven’t changed a bit, Sophia. All business.”
“I’ve changed.” She stares at me through narrowed eyes. “I’m far less naive.”
Our gazes lock, and challenge sparks between us. Not contempt after all but hate, and hate I can work with. Love and hate are just two sides of the same coin.
“Take my hands,” I command, holding one out to each of them. I could do this without touching them but what fun would that be? “I’ll walk you through.”
I face the moon gate and take a deep breath. The fireflies glow again, lighting up the night. I concentrate hard on the earth, deep beneath our feet, and the ground begins to rumble. Disrupting this spell isn’t easy but I can do it. Plus, it gives me a chance to show off. She doesn’t have to like me to be impressed by me.
“Now.” I tug on Sophia and Arden’s hands and usher them through the wards. Only when we are safely inside Dragonfly Hollow do I slowly release their fingers.
Sophia rubs her palm as if my touch still lingers and a flicker of hope ignites in my chest. She might want to deny it, but something’s there, lingering between us. She feels it too.
I crack my neck, then my knuckles, suddenly drained. But I don’t regret it. It was worth every bit of luck if I sparked any feeling in Sophia at all.
“Thanks for your help,” Sophia says. “We can make it from here.”
“I’d better escort you.” I start walking toward her old place. She’ll have to try harder than that to get rid of me.
“Really, it’s not necessary.”
I keep walking.
“Wow, this is wild,” Arden says, spinning in place to take it all in.
Watching mother and daughter interact, I desperately want to be a part of it, to celebrate the wonder Arden is experiencing as family would. But I’m stuck on the outside. A stranger to her. Hated by her mother.
Eventually, I drift to Sophia’s side. “How did FIRE finally catch up to you?”
“None of your business.”
“Just wondering how the feds found you after all this time. Once Arden called your parents, my people looked into your case. You supported yourself by playing poker. Did you get greedy? Use too much luck?”
“The agent never said how he caught me. I still don’t know.”
“I didn’t think you’d ever get caught,” I admit. “The FIRE agents have enough fairy prisoners working for them now that he was probably able to use their luck. I doubt he’d have been successful without help from one of us.”
Arden turns to look at me. “She was trying to win my university tuition. My deposit is due for the fall.”
“Arden, shhh.” Sophia looks livid that Arden even spoke to me.
“Aren’t you a little young for college?” I ask.
Arden preens. “I’m a year ahead. I was admitted to an accelerated premed program at Chapel Hill.”
Hmm, so she’s academically advanced. Interesting. Just like a Delaney. “I could tell you were smart the moment I met you.”
“Okay!” Sophia wedges herself between us, and I notice we’ve reached her parents’ place. The two break away from me and make their way to the round wooden door where Sophia knocks. Soon enough her mother answers. Aurora turns her questioning gaze on me.
“Eight o’clock sharp,” I say in answer to her unasked question.
“She’ll be there.”
I turn to leave, taking comfort in the knowledge I’ll see Sophia again soon. In the meantime, I plan to have a serious talk with Godmother. Only she can confirm if Arden is mine, but that’s almost too much to hope for. Winning Sophia back would be fortunate enough; gaining a daughter in the process would be nothing short of a miracle. I’m a Delaney leprechaun, known to be the most powerful man in Devashire with the possible exception of my father. But if I pull this off… somehow get them back into my life… I’ll be the luckiest man alive.
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Thank you for reading this bonus scene from LUCKY ME. Don’t miss LUCKY US, book 2 in the HIS DARK CHARMS DUET!
Can Seven and Sophia transcend social pressures to finally be together in the way they’ve always longed to be? Once Arden learns that Seven is her father, will she choose to stay with her fairy family or pursue her dreams in the human world ? Get answers to these questions along with more leprechaun heat in LUCKY US!
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