Chapter 48 - Kell
Kell turned to look near the edge of the clearing, and his warriors stepped aside to reveal a rather small woman. Emmalyn was short, this girl however was smaller still.
The girl had long chestnut hair with streaks of white weaving through it. And it was pulled away from her face by a slew of intricate braids. She wore a brown suede dress that fell to just above her knees and had short sleeves. The bodice was tied together with crisscrossed pieces of black leather. She wore a metal shoulder plate that only covered one single shoulder and forearm. The other arm displayed a large tattoo that looked to Kell like a set of angel’s wing. She wore high brown suede boots that were laced down the front. The entire outfit was completed with a large bow and arrow slung over her shoulder. But it was the points on the tips of her ears that drew Kell’s attention. They were on display with her hair pulled back.
“Who are you?” Kell questioned as he studied her. She had an air of confidence that made him believe she was someone that held power. Although, that was impossible. He knew everyone in his world, and this was someone he had never met, let alone heard of.
The girl bowed her head slightly in greeting, before looking back at him and meeting his eyes directly. It surprised Kell to see she wasn’t afraid of him, even after witnessing his interrogation of Seraphine. Although, he had been incredibly easy on her, despite all that she had done.
“My name is Kiera,” the girl replied in an attractive musical voice. “And I am a Princess of the Fae.”
“Fae?” Emmalyn questioned as she eyed the girl curiously. “Do you mean to say you’re a Fairy?”
Kell glanced down at his wee warrior to see she was practically bouncing on her toes in anticipation of Kiera’s answer. It appeared she was extremely excited about meeting a possible Fairy.
“I am,” Kiera confirmed. “Although we don’t use that term where I come from.”
“I am very sorry,” Emmalyn immediately apologized. “I meant no offence.”
“It is fine,” Kiera assured her. “And it is not offensive.”
Emmalyn nodded, then eyed the girl once more, causing Kell to chuckle.
“You want to see if she has wings,” Kell declared, reading his bride easily.
Emmalyn glanced at him and grinned. “I do,” she agreed before turning back to Kiera. “Is it rude to ask to see them?”
Kiera smiled back at Emmalyn, and Kell realized how stunning the Fae was. All his warriors were watching her with interest, but she seemed unaware of the attention. How this girl knew someone like Seraphine, he had no idea.
Both Kell and Emmalyn watched in fascination as Kiera suddenly lifted from the ground. Small iridescent wings appeared from her back, reminding Kell of a dragonflies wing. She hovered for a moment, then dropped back down, her wings disappearing once more. Emmalyn’s gasp of delight had him chuckling once more.
“Your wings are so pretty,” his bride happily announced. “I’d love to fly, that would be so awesome,” she declared, as she reverted to speech from her world.
“Just like everything there are good things and bad things about them,” Kiera sighed. “Some days I am happy to have them, some days I loath them.”
Emmalyn frowned. “You should always love them,” she admonished. “They are a beautiful part of you, and something you should be proud of. They make you who you are.”
Kiera nodded and seemed surprisingly humbled by Emmalyn’s words. As always, his bride proved why she belonged by his side.
“We have no Fae in our world,” Kell announced, bringing the conversation back around. “We have tiny Fairy like creatures in our glen’s, but nothing as extraordinary as you. How is it I don’t know of you?”
“I am not from your world,” Kiera declared, surprising them all.
“I opened the portal to Emmalyn’s world. I can open the portal to other worlds as well,” Seraphine interrupted. “When things got too much for me here, I simply disappeared for a while. Kiera welcomed me and gave me refuge during those times.”
Kell eyed Seraphine for a minute, and she held his eyes so he could read her. It was clear for him to see she was being honest with him.
“Did Seraphine explain to you why she was hiding in your world?” Kell questioned with a raised brow.
“She did, and I felt sympathy for her. I myself have never felt a love such as she, I can only hope one day I will,” Kiera replied with a touch of envy in her voice. “She has suffered far too much in this world.”
Kell remained silent on that subject and brought up something else. “Seraphine claims you can help me,” he reminded Kiera. “Yet you are a single Fae, what do you think you can accomplish by yourself?”
Kiera smiled, and this time it was a smile filled with confidence. “I am not alone,” she announced, taking them all by surprise. “I have brought a few of my friends.”
Then as they all watched, Fae of different genders and colours magically appeared from the tops of the trees. They hovered high above the ground, and their combined wings made a harmonious whirring sound. It was fascinating to witness. Kell watched them for a minute before his anger returned.
“You lied,” Kell accused both her and Seraphine.
Seraphine dropped her head in guilt, but Kiera seemed unaffected by his accusation.
“I simply withheld that information until I was sure you would accept me,” Kiera huffed. “Not all do. These are my people and it is my duty to protect them. I also needed to gage your reaction to Seraphine’s story. If it was taken badly, I would have suffered along with her simply for being her companion. I’m sure you can sympathize with my plight.”
Kell nodded. Her explanation made sense, and it was something he himself would consider doing. It proved she was a Princess, as she claimed. Then something else occurred to him he needed to question.
“What do you get out of helping us?” Kell pushed as he crossed his arms and studied her. “Surely you aren’t here out of the goodness of your heart?”
Kiera smiled. “Of course not. I do have ulterior motives.” She paused a moment and he nodded for her to continue. “It is good to have allies. Allies that our enemies are not aware of. I’m hoping by helping I can count you as one.”
“You are in need of help?” Kell inquired. If he accepted her aid, it would require him to return the favour, and he could not do that at this time. Once he won the battle, he would be busy returning peace to the lands and accepting his role as King. There would be much to do, and he would not be able to leave. He also wanted to settle Emmalyn in his home. He wished to start a family with her, and he could not do that if he was in another world.
“I do not need your help at this time,” Kiera denied, sensing his struggle. “But I may in the distant future. It would be nice to know I have assistance if I need it.”
“I will be there when you call,” Kell vowed, knowing he would make whatever concessions he needed to do so. “All you need to do is get word to me.”
Kiera nodded and the deal was done. With that said, all the Fae slipped back into the cover of the trees and disappeared. All was suddenly quiet once more.
“What is your plan of battle?” Kiera questioned, getting right to the heart of the matter. Kell couldn’t help smirking at her take charge attitude. It was clear the Fae Princess was well acquainted with fighting and strategizing.
Kell spent the next hour going over every detail while Kiera listened attentively. He explained their plans, he told her all he could about Connor, and he gave her the layout of his Kingdom. Thankfully Seraphine had explained his powers, so there was no need to repeat that. He remained quiet about Emmalyn’s.
“I would like you and your people to hover in the trees until my warriors have launched the initial attack,” Kell ordered. “Once they have pushed towards the main keep, you can enter the battle. Stay in flight if you can. It will take them by surprise. They will not be looking to the skies, so you will have them at a disadvantage. It should be extremely effective.”
“I agree,” Kiera acknowledged. “It is a good plan. We are extremely skilled with our bows, even in flight. We will take many out quickly.”
“Connor seems to prefer dressing his men in all black,” Kell explained. “They should be easy to recognize.”
“How did you find us?” Emmalyn suddenly asked, most likely tired of their battle talk. “Seraphine imparted it was you that led her to us.”
Kiera nodded. “My people can fly faster than yours can walk. We took to the skies and scouted the area. It was easy to find your camp.”
Emmalyn nodded, then yawned, reminding Kell it was getting late.
“We were settling for bed. It is getting late and my men need rest, as do yours. Tomorrow we leave just shy of dawn, so be prepared to wake early. There is food near the main fire that you and your people are welcome to,” Kell invited.
“Thank you, but we carried dried meat and fruit with us. We are all well fed, so there is no need to partake in yours,” Kiera replied.
“You may use some of our shelters if you like. My warriors can vacate a few. Most are used to being in close quarters, they will not be inconvenienced,” Kell encouraged.
“Again, thank you, but that is not necessary. My people are more than comfortable in the trees. It is where we sleep when we are far from home. It is familiar to us,” Kiera explained.
Kell smiled at that. “Then that is fine with me. I will bid you goodnight. May you rest well.”
Kell took his wee warriors arm and led her away. When he turned back, sensing someone behind him, it was to see his men had all taken their leave. Kiera however had quietly followed.
“Is there something else you need?” Kell inquired, not sure what she wanted.
Kiera smiled at them both, and it was a smile of happiness. “I wanted to wish you congratulations, and I did not want to do in front of your warriors in case they did not know.”
Kell furrowed his brow in confusion. “I am sorry, but I do not know what you are congratulating us for.”
Kiera looked at Emmalyn and her smile grew. “I wish you congratulations on the babe you are carrying. It is a joyous time.”
Kell’s look of astonishment and Emmalyn’s gasp had Kiera laughing.
“You did not know,” she questioned. When they both simply stared at her blankly she continued. “Fae have a way of sensing these things. I am happy I could be the one to tell you.”
“Thank you,” Emmalyn whispered as tears suddenly fell from her eyes. “I have no idea how to thank you for what you have given us tonight.”
“It is certainly good news. News that came exactly when we needed it most,” Kell added. “Now I’m sorry, but as you can imagine we need some time alone with this.”
Kell then scooped up his wee warrior and strode purposely towards the cabin. His heart was near to bursting with joy. Tomorrow would come soon enough, and there was no guarantee of what would happen. Tonight they needed to celebrate, and Kell knew just how to do that.