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Denouement

By Sandra Easter All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Letters in English

You are dangerous

Making me lose focus

Becoming the center of my world

Aconite stood examining his newly sewn suit from his new seamstress. It was quite the craftsmanship. Threaded from the fears of men the tailored coat draped pristine over his matching midnight leather pants created from the skin of a skullcap that dared to challenge his rule. Under his coat, a shirt holding the only color in his ensemble. He thought of Calla each time he chanced a glance at it. It was a long running tradition to wear the hearts of lovers to encourage trust and loyalty from subjects. His mother’s tradition, not his father’s. His father never believed in anything other than direct results.

Someone tentatively knocked at his heavy Camelthorn door. He snickered at the fear he already struck into his future subjects. “Enter.” He said loud and commanding leaving no room for mistaken kindness.

“S-sir. A m-messenger has come. From the S-Seelie court.” A handmaiden, an attorcroppe, stuttered whilst staring at the floor nearly bent over trying to avoid Aconite’s gaze. Being bent over that far he could hardly tell she wasn’t just a snake without arms or legs. She was a healthy fae so she must have been one of Mabh’s personal maids.

“Yes…” he urged with his hands in impatience when she gave no more information.

“He carries a letter for you. He won’t give it to anyone but you. S-sir.” Aconite was beginning to rethink having them call him “sir” like a human. It was clearly too easily stuttered over.

“Have him wait in the throne room. I will be down in a moment.” She bowed deeply, nearly touching the floor, before scurrying out. Aconite let out a bated breath when the door closed. He’d never let anyone know but his heart would race at the idea of Calla sending a letter via messenger. Anything from her would be a prize. Taking a deep settling breath he straightened his already wrinkle free coat before walking to his throne room.

No one but the messenger remained in the throne room. Smiling at his ability to embody such fear he approached the dwarf that held what he was sure was Calla’s letter. The messenger showed no fear of Aconite and though this struck a chord of disappointment, he ignored it knowing how Calla felt about her “friends”.

The messenger bowed out of respect and handed Aconite an envelope of cream color. It was thick with paper and sent a sensation of a mild tingle through his hand that he knew was asymptomatic. He looked at his name scrawled across the envelope in Faery and what he suspected to be English. The foreign writing seemed to flow nicely across the paper in delicate arches and slopes. He found himself wanting to learn it for the first time. When he looked up to ask the messenger about it he was gone. Nearly as if he’d vanished from sight. Shrugging it off he opened the envelope and pulled out the flower pressed paper. Her scent was all over it. He took a minute to enjoy it before proceeding to read her words. And that’s when things became difficult. The entire letter was written in English. Frustration took hold of him. Doesn’t she remember that I have never been a changeling?

He quickly folded the paper back up following the creases before searching out his transcriber. He wasn’t sure who here had been a changeling and knew that to be his best bet. Thankfully he’d received a tour from the general of his army. Following the darkened path to a cold corner of the underground he found the door he was looking for. Knocking loudly dust and dirt fell from the ceiling. The door swung open wildly to reveal a mean looking djinn, scowling on the other side. His transcriber. The scowl didn’t last long. As far as Aconite could see. The djinn bowed immediately.

“What can I do for you sir?” he asked reigning in any anger he may have had at the pounding of his door.

“I need you to translate this letter for me.” Aconite said with authority making it known that he wasn’t pleased with his initial greeting.

“Yes, sir.” He takes the letter and bows immediately but doesn’t get to work.

“I need that right now.” Aconite growls. The djinn jumps and takes care opening the letter.

“This is in English sir. Did you want me to read it to you or would you like it in writing?” he says astonished.

“Yes, I am aware it is in English. Please, read it aloud.” Aconite says growing more irritated by the second.

“Yes, sir.” He seems to want to make a comment but reads the letter instead. “Dear Aconite, I am aware that you were looking forward to me attending your coronation ceremony however something has come up and I will be unable to attend. There are things that I need to do and will not be home to attend. I do deeply apologize. I hope that everything goes well and that you turn out to be a great King. From what Nuke tells me of the Unseelie court and what I’ve experienced of it on my own I think it needs someone different from their last monarch. I hope that you will be what they need. Best wishes, Calla.”

“Is that all?” Aconite asks keeping his anger just under the surface.

“No sir, there is also a drawing.” Aconite takes the second paper from the transcriber and looks at a piece of art beyond what he’s ever seen. Calla, in all her talent and glory, drew an immaculate picture of him sitting on Mabh’s throne. The detail she included was just amazing. It temporarily made him forget his anger. Once the wonder of her talent dissipated he returned to his sour mood. He grabbed the letter from the transcriber and went in search of his tracker. If he was lucky he could catch her before she left the Seelie court. There was one knight in particular he felt he could trust with this. He was the first to declare fealty to him regardless of tradition of tithe. The knight had a desire to rise in the ranks and that Aconite could use to his advantage. With him in mind Aconite searched out Bohme.

Bohme was known to spar often with other Fae. Aconite found him in the training rooms. This was the first room he intended on improving. Mabh ran her court with a ruthless yet ignorant intelligence. She depended on them sacrificing their lives while fighting with their nature to feed off pain and despair. Due to this their training room consisted simply of a room without weapons but just a wide space to spar in. Blood soaked the floor in several shades indicating the amount of time it had been staining the floor.

A few spars were going on at one time but it wasn’t hard to spot Bohme. He was a vicious fighter and a good one at that. One of the best that Aconite had seen. His jabs were quick, his kicks hard, and his technique unparalleled. If this mission went well he would be Aconite’s advisor and assassin.

“Bohme!” Aconite bellow across the room stopping all fighting with a single command.

“Sir.” Bohme answered as he made his way through the other fighters. They gave him a wide berth as he came near making Aconite smile. This knight commanded the same fear he himself demanded.

“Come. I have something of importance I need you to do.” Bohme bowed his head quickly in ascension and followed Aconite into his war room. This was one of the few rooms that remained enchanted to be sound proof. He didn’t need anyone knowing of any of his weaknesses so this room was perfect. “Are you familiar with the location of the Seelie court?”

“Of course Sir.”

“Perfect. This task I have for you may extend beyond that. Are you willing to do whatever I tell you to do?” Aconite asked testing his loyalty.

“Anything you ask of my Sire, excuse me, Sir will be my pleasure to do.” Bohme wisely answered.

“Good. I need you to seek out Calla who lives in the park above the Seelie court. Take caution however as she is guarded by an Angel and a half breed. You are not to harm anyone close to her. If you should not find her there you are to search for her wherever she has gone. Do so without injury to anyone from the Seelie court. It is very important that you follow that rule.”

“Yes Sir. May I have the option of bribing someone with wealth to get the information needed?”

“Yes you may.”

“And what of Calla when I find her?” Aconite didn’t think as far as what he would do if he could find her. An idea struck him.

“Do you know how to use a cell phone?”

“Yes Sir. I was a changeling.” Aconite nodded and reached into a drawer that he had in his war room and pulled out a prepaid cell phone.

“Here. I have the phone number you can reach me at programed on this phone. Call me when you find her and I will give you further instructions.”

“Yes Sir.” Bohme bowed took the phone and left the room in search of Calla. Aconite hoped this was a wise decision on his part. He couldn’t yet leave and go after her with the Tithe so close at hand.

An hour later Aconite received a phone call from Bohme. He had expected to receive a call sooner as the Seelie court wasn’t that far away. Disappointed he answered the phone and held off his anger until he heard what Bohme had to say.

“Sir, she has left the Seelie court with the young queen, the angel, the half breed and another faery. No one would answer my questions even with a bribe. However it wasn’t that long since their departure so I am currently tracking them. It seems they went south. I am following them now. They can’t be more than a couple hours ahead of me.”

“Very well done. Keep me informed.” Pleased with Bohme’s progress Aconite put aside his worries on trusting him for the task. Aconite wondered what she could be doing leaving the safety of the Seelie court into the dangerous territory of other Fae It was dangerous for Fae to travel through other Fae territories because of the different policies regarding ‘outsiders’. While some would be warily welcoming, others would torture and torment them just for amusement, much like Aconite’s own father does.

Aconite only had an hour before the Tithe. The Fae of this court would swear fealty to him tonight with the blood Tithe and his mind was in the wrong place. He wanted badly to run after Calla but if he were to leave so shortly after the Tithe, the Unseelie Fae were sure to find a way to dethrone him. Now he was stuck with this new court he no longer felt confident about wanting without Calla at his side, and no way to bring her back to him. These feelings she caused in him were dangerous. They were unnatural. He wanted to tear them from his chest while harboring them at the same time. But either way he would have her. There was no mistaking that. It was simply a matter of time and careful planning.

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