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I stood in the middle of our motel room in a long red velvet gown, hair up, dripping in costume jewelry, my hands and arms encased in full-length gloves.
Ash sat on the bed, legs crossed, regarding me as if I’d escaped a freak show. “Have you lost your mind? Is that…” She frowned. “Is that the Pretty Woman dress Julia Roberts wore?”
“Too much?” I did a slow twirl and touched my gloved hand to my throat.
She grunted. “Try again. Something a little more casual.”
I closed my eyes and tapped into my magic. The dress—which had started life as a tank top and cutoff shorts—shrank and altered until it was a tight black dress with a slit up the side. I glanced down at my new nosebleed black sandals with crisscrossing straps. My hair was now curled and cascading down my back.
“How about this?” I held my arms out.
“Dinner, right? He just said dinner. Why are you dressed for a proposal?”
My face felt hot. “I don’t know. I haven’t been on a lot of dates lately. What do people wear for dinner these days?”
“Well, not that.” She waved her hand at me. “That’s a cocktail dress. You went from a ball gown to a cocktail dress. You’re on the right track. Keep going.”
I groaned and tried again. The next one was a sundress, totally inappropriate for the weather, then a sweater set that looked too much like I was somebody’s mom. Three outfits later, I grew frustrated and found myself in jeans and a dark green cotton shirt that skimmed above the waist enough to flash the slightest bit of skin.
“There,” Ash said, clapping. “Now add a pair of medium-heeled sandals and tasteful jewelry.”
I closed my eyes and made adjustments. “How’s that?”
“Perfect.” She frowned. “How much magic have you got left?”
I moved my gold bangle and took a look. Both gems were dark. “I think I overdid it.” I hated when my magic was tapped out. It made me feel vulnerable somehow. I had no self-discipline. “Dried up.”
She gave me a wary look. “After this, maybe we should shop for clothes instead of changing one thing into another.”
I shrugged it off. Never in my life had my magic helped me out of a truly bad situation. I always managed that with my brain or a good kick in the nuts. Magic was fun and occasionally useful, but being a djinn had mostly gotten me into trouble in life, not helped.
She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.
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