Inspired by (Sort of): “Flake” – Jack Johnson
So, I have to admit that our hostess almost stumped her second in command with this week’s prompt. (Yes, I got a promotion. Thank you, dear hostess.) I admit to being stumped before but never to the point where I had to bounce it around with someone else until I could wrap my head around it—also the first time where I gave serious consideration to not participating. Finally, a friend spun a different suggestion my way and that off-hand, off the wall suggestion got me going again. (Hats off to you, sir.)
Before we get creatively rolling, I have a few announcements if any of you missed them on my Facebook page. The first three Maeseloria have all been reissued with brand new covers—you can check them out here. Also, the release date for Maeseloria’s fourth book, Light’s Guide, is October 17th, 2016. Mark your calendars and stay tuned both to this blog and Facebook to take advantage of exciting opportunities and discounts.
Until then, enjoy.
Ice glittered against the window pane. Perhaps sprites were dancing across the glass, Adrianna Morningstar watched the frost on her windowpane with a perturbed gaze. Was she in the right to summon them? The treaty was centuries old and the public had no idea what darkness could be upon them. Only the guardians remained. After the last attack, what choice did she have? The press could only be kept quiet for so long and the monarchy itself was not what it once was. The era of the four houses ruling was long gone and all she had were their memoirs to forge a new path ahead.
Parliament would approve any legal changes to their realm. She was a figurehead, nothing more. Nearly a century ago, uproar among the people became the vehicle of change. What she would do needed to be done in the shadows. After all, who would believe her? Kindred were the monsters of history and magic belonged in fairy tales. If only they knew the truth. The hour was drawing near. Adrianna was not the monarch of yesteryear. For the moment, she was alone but for her single security detail. Everett Redwynd had been her shadow since they were children. His connection to the past was clear to her. Of all the houses, only she and a single Redwynd remained. “Are you sure about this?” He was also the only person Adrianna confided in.
“We have no choice.” Adrianna replied with a shake of her head. This meeting was casual and she was dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a loose sweater. The palace had been renovated to accommodate for modern technology what seemed like ages ago and, yet, the place still could seep winter’s chill from ones bones. “The last attack may not be able to be kept from the press. If the treaty is broken, you know what we have to do.” Christiana had left them the keys to the proverbial kingdom yet her descendants had allowed the truth to fall by the wayside as technology progressed. To arrange this meeting, she had dismissed the staff and any advisors that may have come snooping. Light knew they were persistent enough.
She tucked an auburn lock behind her ear and sighed. Messy auburn waves framed her face and the determined set of her chin brooked no argument. For the first time in history, her station limited her. Frustration sparked in her emerald shaded eyes. Their guests would be joining them soon and, if they were as powerful as she suspected no amount of gun or ammunition would stop them should arm be their intent.
Adrianna doubted that would be the case but Everett expressed concern so he was armed. The thought of her bodyguard pulling a gun on Nicholas Taltos brought the smile to her lips that the man noted as soon as he came through the chamber door. “One would have thought her wards would have weakened over the last few hundred years.” Nicholas muttered before he and Dominic bowed to the Queen of the realm. When the woman gestured them both to chairs opposite her desk, Nicholas was thrown back in time to his many meetings with her predecessor. The girl would have been Christi’s spitting image. Did she seek to bring the realm together once more?
“Thank you for coming. I had no idea where else to turn.” Adrianna started as she looked at the two men. The pair appeared hardly as formidable as the records described but she suspected that was their intent. “Or who else would believe me. “ Her eyes flicked to Nicholas’ and held with a firmness that impressed him. “She left your names in our private family records. The information was passed down from generation to generation. How else would we have known the two of you would outlive them all?”
As he watched the woman size him up in a manner that echoed of Christiana’s tenacity; Nicholas began to laugh. The gentleman behind her was a Redwynd; Nicholas could tell by the size and sense of the man. He wondered if the man was completely aware of his dual heritage. Who could say for certain? Fate’s hand had the most peculiar way of acting, he supposed. Time had taught him that lesson time and again. “Of course she did. Christi was always thorough. She would have made sure at least your family would know what became of us or how to find us in times of strife. She told me once all she could do was prepare and hope. So here we are what summoned you to us, your Majesty?”
“This.” She spoke on gentle words and handed him what appeared to be a file commandeered from police records. Nicholas scowled as he flipped through the crime scene photos. “Dominic.” The single utterance had his friend peering over his shoulder at the photos. Though he felt the weight of his best friend’s stare, Nicholas continued to flip through the folder and memorize each detail of not only the attack but the victim. “Jason Burke.” The name would mean nothing to the woman who sat across the desk from him but to Dominic the name would be significant for he had helped him locate the man’s wife years ago.
The rage, in fact, pouring from Dominic was a danger. He understood why but would not explain for those assembled before them. “Settle down. We will see to this.” He sought to soothe his friend. Nicolas understood. History had brought him full circle once again. Could miracles happen twice? Light only knew. “What you suspect may be true, you’re Majesty, and things may progress sooner than planned but we will do what we can. That is all Fate can ask of any of us.” He stood and bowed. “I have a family matter to see to if you but trust me. If what I believe is coming to pass, it will take more than the Morningstar’s guidance to resolve the matter. We will be in touch.”