First in my Queen's Court series. Ehileend’al is the Faerie Queen’s Sorceress. She is the wisest of the court, and her services are called upon often. The sorceress is not always present at court, for her purposes take her far and wide. She has a particular fondness for riddles, and it is said that even the great Queen herself was only able to acquire Ehileend’al’s services upon answering one such puzzle. Iridescent indigo wings shivered for a moment, sending a light shower of sparkling dust to the floor. Ehileend’al’s large blue eyes stared at her from beneath heavy lids. Eleanor cast her gaze to her slippered feet, wishing fervently that her knees would stop trembling. At last the sorceress spoke.
“You ask of me a great thing, mortal.” Her voice was deep and smooth, shimmering and soft. It seemed to Eleanor like nothing so much as indigo velvet, the same color as the faerie’s wings, made into sound. Her knees ceased to shake, and her heart froze in her breast, heavy as stone. She lifted her eyes.
The sorceress blinked and Eleanor breathed again. “Still, it is a thing I may grant you yet. Your devotion impresses me. Seven years in the Queen’s service for naught but a sliver of hope is a heavy price to pay for love.” Her wings flicked again, folded tight against her back. “But before I grant your request, you must answer me a question.” Long dark skirts rustled as the sorceress approached her.
Eleanor’s heart hammered in her chest so strongly she could feel the blood pounding in her ears. The jester had warned of this, years ago, and she longed to hear the question. She longed for it, and feared it.