|To Market by Elizabeth A. Schechter|
Do not seek the Goblin Market. Do not barter with those you find there. And above all, do not taste of the goblin’s seed… To save his childhood sweetheart, Conn dares the dangers of the Goblin Market only to fall under the spell of the goblin himself. Will love save everything or destroy all their lives? (M/M)
I shook off the spell that the goblin’s beauty cast over me. I was here for a reason. “There was a girl, a few nights past. What did she choose?” I asked.
The goblin laughed, “The golden girl! Yes, she came to me, and greatly enjoyed her choice. You wish to have what she had?”
I nodded slowly, not sure what I was agreeing to. The goblin took my arm and led me off; I could feel its sharp claws pricking me through my sleeve.
It led me away from the market, into a copse of young willows that grew along the banks of the stream. In the center of the copse there was a clearing, and it was there that the goblin stopped, turned towards me and smiled again.
“Take off your clothing, pretty mortal,” it said, running long fingers through my hair.
I whispered Bess’ name like a prayer as I unslung my satchel and took off my shirt and breeches; the goblin must have heard me, because it cocked its head to the side and studied me for a long moment.
“The golden girl, she is your lover?” The cat eyes narrowed. “No, not a lover. But beloved, none-the-less. Why have you come?”
“Because I love her,” I answered.
It laughed, resting one long hand on my back between my shoulders, “Intriguing. Come here, mortal, and see what your golden girl bought at the goblin market.”