In the Shadows

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Chapter 13

Iselora barely slept. A dream of fire and smoke filling her visions each time she closed her eyes. What happens if she is too late. Would the dragon eat her? She shivered at the thought. The room was chilly, the fire died down hours ago. Iselora brought her knees to her chest as she watched the night sky work its way towards sunrise. A soft knock at her door echoed through the room. Iselora looked towards the door, “Come in.” The door cracked open as the fat troll waddled in, he was carrying a tray with tea cups and kettle. Iselora out of her bed, not wanting to seem rude. “I thought you would like a cup of tea. I sensed you were not able to fall asleep.” Iselora raised her eyebrows at this as she replied, “Of course, I would enjoy the company.” Iselora gestured towards the two arm chairs sitting in front of the fireplace.

Iselora knelt down in front of the fireplace. The embers were suffocating themselves as they seemed to struggle for air as their glowing dissipated. Iselora was about to begin working on rebuilding the fire when a hand touched her shoulder. “Allow me, my lady. I would not want you to get dirty.” Iselora looked into his large, watery eyes and nodded before she scooted back. For a being with fat, little fingers, Doctor Frekett was nimble in his resurrection of the fire. Soon the pair were positioned in their respective chairs admiring the blaze. The tea was floral and slightly sweet. “My lady, I hope you will forgive my impudence. I have known his majesty a long time. He has come a long way from where he used to be. I hope you give him as much of a chance that I did. When I found him, he was a broken person that thought he did not deserve love. Instead, he filled his heart with hatred and lust. He would laugh at misfortunes but would cry at injustices. I understand you have had a hard life, but please understand that his Majesty has only your best interest at heart. He has become quite smitten with you in such a short period of time.” Iselora’s cheeks began to burn. “In fact, your presence in a whole has sparked emotions in him I thought were long dead. I nearly fainted the day you requested an audience with him. He was smiling, not out of cruelness, but actual happiness.”

Doc looked at his watch and gasped, “My lady, the time. I do apologize, his Majesty would be furious if I did not allow you to get some sleep.” Doc hurriedly stood. While scrambling to collect himself, Doc knocked over the tray of tea, spilling it all over the carpet. His face drained of color at the sight. Iselora rose from her chair and placed a gentle hand on Doc’s arm. Her eyes flooded with concern. Doc took a shaky breath as he calmed himself. “Forgive me. I lost myself for a second. I will clean the tea immediately.” Doc patted Iselora’s hand that rested on his arm. Iselora released him to begin cleaning. Iselora hesitated at first but quickly walked into the bathroom to retrieve some towels. With the towels in hand, Iselora bent down and began assisting Doc to clean the spill. Doc paused, staring at the woman before him. Iselora stopped patting the rug, “I enjoy your company, I cannot seem to get to sleep. I am scared of what will happen tomorrow.” Iselora gripped the towel tighter at the admission of her fears. “I am scared that the dragon will refuse to acknowledge me as its companion and kill us.” Iselora kept her voice low, never raising her eyes from the stain setting into the rug. “I just started experiencing what it is like to be happy, and now I am risking it for something that could erase it all in a second.” Doc nodded his head in agreement. “I understand my lady. It is a daunting task that has been set before you. But, imagine the possibilities of succeeding. You would become as powerful as any other deity. Comparable to even Asmodeus.” Iselora raised her head at the sound of his name.

Iselora stared into the watery yellow eyes. Her fear slowly faded into the back of her mind. A reassuring smile spread across his nobby face, “Well, this rug is done for it seems. I do apologize again my lady, I can be quite clumsy. I will see to it that it is replaced for you as soon as a suitable one is found. Now, let me see if I have anything to help you sleep.” Doc rocked back on his heels as he pulled out a bag from his waist coat. Doc squinted at the contents before resigning to retrieving his glasses. The thin half moon frames were a stark contrast to the rugged face they sat on. “Doctor Farkett? I do not believe any medication is necessary.” Doc spied Iselora over his spectacles. “Hmm? Why is that?” Iselora gave a tired chuckle, “The sun is rising. I must be getting ready for the long day ahead of me.”

Doc quickly excused himself, taking the tray of cluttered dishes with him. Iselora stretched her tired muscles. She knew that today would be hard, but without any sleep the day just became all the more difficult. Iselora went to the closet and found an outfit that would allow for easy riding. The double breasted riding jacket was a navy blue with silver buttons. The lapels were decorated with silver embroidery. Iselora chose a blouse that complemented the jacket. The trousers were a grey reminiscent of the sky during a storm. Iselora chose trousers for the day due to the speed they would need to travel. She hoped Asmodeus would approve, it was unladylike to wear trousers, but their functionality could not be overlooked. Shiny black boots ordained her feet. A white ascot finished her look. Iselora admired herself in the mirror. The tail of the coat was longer than normal but it gave her a more regal appearance. Iselora noticed that her hair had grown considerably since the last she had checked one it. It was almost reaching her jaw line. Iselora took a piece of ribbon and tied the top layer of her hair back. She knew it may not have been the best, but it was the best she could do. With a deep breath Iselora made her way out of her room where Cerberus was waiting to escort her to the stables.

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