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Chapter 2

The town of Elfame isn't very large. It stretches maybe for 2 miles then dissolved into hundreds of acres of woods and forrests. The town was set at the front of the castle and the mines at the back. The mines were a few miles away from the castle, to protect any wandering eyes from the state of the place. Every morning when we go out into town, people are bustling around, trying to make a living. Some sell clothes or materials while others bake delicious goods. One of my favorite bakeries sits on the opposite side of the clothing place my mother loves.

"I'll find you near the fountain at dusk," my mom says before we split ways.

This is a normal routine for us. We've been coming into town since I was very little. Either looking at all the gems the humans made or for me, simply talking to them. I wasn't really suppose to, but the guards following me knew how I was and never said anything to anyone.

"Hey Dew," I greet the 60 year old man holding a newly baked bread in his hands.

"Zar! Give me a second to finish this order then I'll be right with you,"he says, placing the bread in a packet.

I smile and move around the counter to the back. These are the only humans who know I'm the princess, aside from the Keeper, who knows pretty much everything. The bakery isn't all that fancy, but the 2 storey house is very homely. The inside is painted a happy yellow colour, with all kinds of flowers and birds painted on the walls. The back of the bakery is more Mary's style. She loves purple and green, having painted pansies all over the place. Speaking of Mary -

"Oh Zara, how I've missed you! Big D said you came in a few minutes ago," she rushes over and gives me a big hug, making me drop the stack of books.

I've missed this smell of cheap soap, bread dough and a hint of lavender. Mary is an interesting person, descendant of fae, but also entirely human. No one really knows how that's possible but I love her all the same. Today she's wearing a bright pink dress, with funny green pointed shoes. She's tied her hair back into a tight bun, making it look like she's squinting.

"Yea, I finally convinced mom to bring me with her. I don't think I could've gone another day without my favorite people," I lean back to smile at her, when Dew walks in.

"I got you some of those lemon squares you seem to like so much." He holds out a light brown packet stuffed with the yellowy goodness.

I squeal in delight, giving him a tight hug. He laughs and awkwardly pats me on the back. Dew is a giant of a man, reaching almost the ceiling overhead. He's got fiery red hair, tied back in a low pony tail and shocking blue-green eyes.

"Would you like some tea, dear?" Mary asks, pouring some for herself.

"With 3 sugar cubes please!" I say while plopping down on one of the soft cushion couches.

Dew waves while hurrying back to the front. He's always so busy, never having time to sit and talk.

"So what's been going on with you lately," Mary says, sitting down gently.

We sit and talk for hours on end. Me telling her about my training and the general my father wants me to marry. Mary tells me about the customer gossip while we laugh and laugh until my stomach starts to ache.

" Oh dear, look at the time! You should get going if you still want to stop at the keepers before meeting your mother," Mary smiles at me.

I hug her tightly before picking up the books I drop earlier. I glance back one more time before moving to the front of the bakery. I hug Dew from behind, startling him.

" I have to go," I reach up as far as I can manage, but only managing to give his jaw a kiss.

He blushes a deep red, handing me 2 packets of goodies for the guards then shyly wave as I walk, laughing, out the door. Two of my guards are sitting on the stairs leading into the bakery. I thrust the 2 packets into their arms, laughing as they grin from ear to ear. They've told me before that there's been fights among the guards about who gets to follow me through town because Dew always gives me something to give them.

"Where are we of to miss Azara?" Luka says.

He's one of my favorite guards. He and Jack, the other gaurd, have been teaching me how to fight the most. Although, they always kick my butt.

"The local library, I need to return my books," I say, holding the stack of books for them to see.

Jack snickers, having witnessed some of my conversations with the keeper. We walk down the cobble stones, keeping clear of the few humans still hurrying off to somewhere. We reach the end of the street, the library looming over us. It's one of the biggest structures in town, reaching high into the sky. The outside appearance is dark and gloomy, looking more like a haunted mansion than anything else. Luka and Jack give me a look that probably says we still don't like you going in there, but I ignore them, skipping up the steps. I open the creaky door, staring in awe at all the books. I never get tired of this. The library at the castle is big, with lots of books but it's not the same. There's no keeper there to trade insults with or who tells me stories no one else has heard.

"Keeper!" I yell, putting the stack on the nearest table.

"Will you shush! This is a library for heavens sakes child!" The little man comes waddling out behind a shelf.

I giggle as I walk towards him, giving him a great, big hug. He sputters and tries to free himself from my hold.

"I've told you before and I'll tell you again. I. DON'T. LIKE. HUGS!" He bellows.

I chuckle, stepping back. His face is slightly red and he's breathing heavily.

"Would you stop being so grumpy," I ask, touching the books I walk past.

"Would you stop coming to my library?" He grumbles.

I laugh, turning to face him. "That wouldn't be much fun, now would it."

He grumbles something unintelligible, picking up the discarded books. He places them on the appropriate shelves.

"I'll return these 5 books to you when I see you next," I pick the 5 books, binding them with a string.

He sighs. "You always do. Now run along, I've got things to do, people to see." He dissapears around the corner, mumbling to himself.

I shake my head, hurrying outside. I sigh when I see the sun is almost gone. My mom is going to be furious. We race down the pathways toward the fountain, where my mom is standing with all kinds of bags. She looks cross but smiles any way.

"Where have you been?" She asks once I reach her.

"I got caught up in Mary's -"

I'm interrupted when someone bumps into me. I turn around, going on the defensive. My guards run towards me and the guy's eyes widen. I lose my defensive stand when I notice how he looks. He's got black hair, green eyes, a chiseled jaw bone with a lean, tanned body. I've never seen anyone with mixed features. I wonder how a dark fae and a light fae fell in love.

"Watch it!" Luka growls at him.

He shakes his head, turning away then dashes down the street. A couple of seconds later a group of guards comes running, probably chasing after him.

"Your majesty, princess, I suggest you head home. There's a lot of criminals roaming about tonight." One of the guards quickly stops to say.

My mother grabs my hand and we hurry up to the castle while our guards trail behind us.

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