The echoes of protests and shouts reverberated through the walls of the stone mansion, the subjects of the coven hammered Damon and Wendy with questions regarding the whereabouts of their Queen. They shared a look of understanding as they approached the angry crowd. How were they going to explain something that they themselves didn’t know the answer to?
“I understand your frustrations and your confusion. The Queen has been extremely busy handling a few pressing matters in which we can not disclose. I assure you that she is alive and well and you will see that as soon as she is able to make an appearance,” Damon spoke as calmly as he could to the now quieted crowd.
“We’re just supposed to take your word for it?” a man stepped to the front of the crowd.
Damon smiled, “Your skepticism is understood, but yes at this time I ask you to take my word for it. If something had happened to my child, do you think I would be standing here in front of you trying to make peace instead of avenging her?”
“Besides, you have all seen first-hand what happens when someone crosses the Queen. There’s not a single one out here that could take her on and live to tell about it, in my opinion anyway,” Wendy added scornfully.
The crowds seemed to ponder on their words before another man stood to the front, “How much longer will this business of hers take? We all seen her emotional breakdown on the front lawn, and no one has seen her since then. How are we to know that she didn’t abandon her post?”
Damon descended the stairs to approach the man, his anger clear, “My daughter would never abandon her people!”
“I’m not saying that she did Incubus! I’m saying that I am not just going to take your word for it. I say that if the Queen doesn’t make her presence known within a week, we vote to remove her from the throne!”
“And who would you have take her place you fool? You? You couldn’t lead yourself down a straight road in broad daylight, let alone a whole coven!” Damon snapped.
Wendy chuckled as she stood next to him. The crowd now revamped at Damon’s insult.
“I wouldn’t want the responsibility and apparently, neither does the Queen,” the man spat back.
Before he had time to think about the repercussions, Damon’s fist landed squarely against the man’s nose, sending blood down his face like a raging red waterfall.
“I told you once, my daughter has not abandoned her people. She is busy working for her people and it is not for you to decide or to make demands of her!”
Another younger man stepped to the injured mans side and looked at Damon, “Actually, it is up to us as per the laws that the Queen put in place. She set an amendment to the blood born heir law. If at any time the people feel the King or Queen current have not been acting on the best interest of the people, they can make a motion to abolish the claim to the throne and vote another in.”
“How can any of you say that she has not been acting in the best interests of the people? Everything she has done since taking the throne has been to better the lives of all of you. She has risked her life for all of you before she even knew you. It amazes me how easily you ungrateful brats forget how your life was before she became Queen!” Wendy lectured.
Her words seem to resonate clearly on some and offend the others. The same gentleman that came to the others aid spoke again, “It is because of everything she has done for the people that we have waited this long to come forward. Our people need leadership, not an absent Queen.”
“I hear your concerns and I understand. She is not absent. She is busy working on something that in due time you will all know about. Just be patient and don’t write her off too soon. You owe her at least that much,” Wendy addressed the crowd.
“The months she has been unseen in addition to the week we have given is plenty enough time for her to make an appearance. She has a week, or the voting process will begin.”
Damon made a move toward the man and was stopped short by Wendy’s hand gripping tightly to his arm.
“Come Damon. Let’s advise the Queen of her traitors,” Wendy shot a look of warning at the crowd as she pulled Damon back inside.
They were met inside by Maddie holding Treasa and a few members of the Guardianship. Poor Treasa was miserable and sad with the disappearance of not just one parent but both. What they couldn’t understand is what Graten stood to gain by kidnapping her. He had to have taken her to Purgatory. That’s the only place that they couldn’t go without Saraid or Graten’s help.
“We need to get Jax back here somehow. We have a week to get Saraid back,” Wendy spoke to no one in particular, “If anyone can help us get her back it’s him.”
“For all we know Jax could be dead. He has been unreachable since he left and his phone is not active,” Damon replied, rubbing his fingers between his eyebrows.
“Do you have a better idea?”
“We need a witch. Someone we can trust to help us get into Purgatory so we can bring her back.”
Wendy nodded, “Anyone come to mind?”
“We have a coven full of witches and warlocks at our disposal, but none that I would trust to keep a secret,” he replied.
Wendy plopped herself into a chair and sighed, “So we are right back to square one.”