Angel, wake up! I said, shaking the slumbering
But I dont wanna! he replied, hiding himself
under his sheets.
I said UP! I roared, yanking the sheets off his bed.
He shivered and sat up. I grabbed him by one pointed ear and led
him into the bathroom, Get dressed, you have to meet your
betrothed in an hour! I left him in the bathroom and
pounded up the stairs to my own room. My name is Morgan. I am
princess of the Elven nation of Trandal. Princess regent. I am
ruling until such time as my nephew can. Another five years at
least. I carefully donned my robes of state, and tucked my long
knife in its sheath. Angel carried the matching dagger. I
put my small tiara on, situating the jewel that dangled from the
silver chain at the center of my forehead. I put my only other
piece of jewelry on, a small ring from Rolf, my betrothed, a
human. I heard Angel calling my name, looked myself over in the
mirror one last time, adjusting the silver collar on the robe,
and walked down the stairs to meet him. I walked into his room.
He sat in front of the mirror, and was fidgeting, as most ten
year olds do, and trying to get his smaller state robe on. I
smiled and walked over to him. Fifteen, old for a marriage by the
standards, but I was eternally young. A mixed blessing from my
mother, they said. I snapped the robe up his back, and helped him
with his pants. Already a handsome young man, he didnt want
to be betrothed. I nodded at his complaints.
Its customary dearest, for people to betrothed before
your age even.
But you just got betrothed! he argued back.
Im not bound by normal rules. Remember, I wont
I know. At least youll always be pretty! he
said, slipping his small hand into mine. I beamed down at him,
even though it hurt. Everyone said I was as beautiful as my older
sister, who would now be queen, but died giving birth. Normally
the Prince Consort would reign, but he threw himself the north
tower. That left, not only a huge mess, but myself and Angel to
rule. Angel was the proper heir, but too young to rule, still a
baby. For a time our royal adviser ruled for him, but now I was
of age to represent the crown. Angel finished dressing, and put
on his little crown like mine. He beamed into the mirror as I
brushed his long golden-white hair, and braided it, as was the
My lady, your beloved is here. a maid, Amberle said.
I nodded at the small brown haired girl, and when she curtsied I
curtsied back. She blushed at the gesture, and smiled, running
from the room. Rolf was here. Grabbing Angels hand, I
jogged down the hallway, lifting my skirts above my knees so as
not to encumber my movements. I ran to the private sitting room,
and dropped Angels hand, flinging myself into Rolfs
arms. I embraced him, and held him tightly against me.
My love. he whispered into my ear. A tear trickled
down my cheek. It had been a year since I had seen him.
Oh its been too long! I whispered back, having
to stand on my tip toes. I kissed him, the pressure remaining on
my lips for moments after we broke the embrace. Angel ran up to
him, screaming ROLF at the top of his lungs. He
jumped into Rolfs arms, and gave him a big hug. Rolf was
the older brother Angel never had.
Hi, Angel. he laughed, hugging him back. Rolf... how
can I describe him without sounding like a love-struck child? I
cant, but Ill try to. Tall, by a head and a half of
me, and I was considered tall for my peoples, a naturally tall
and willowy, and my adopted people, the Banshee, my mothers
people, dark haired, almost black, with just enough stubble to
make him attractive. Elven men cant grow beards. Black eyes
that held all the colors in them when he was happy, like now.
Rolf set Angel back on the ground, and held me at arms length,
You look wonderful. he said.
Not so bad yourself. I said, looking him up and down.
Black robe, black boots, black gloves. Druids. Are there no other
colors for them? Guess not. I grinned at him, and he led us out
of the room, back into the hall.
Father and Mother deemed it necessary a Druid be at the
betrotheds meeting. I nodded, and slipped my hand
around his. Damn them all. This was my future husband, and they
should get used to seeing us like this. I led us out into the
stable, where the hands were preparing our mounts. Lady, mine, a
white dappled horse, Rolfs, Thunder, a black unicorn, and
Angels, a pony called Starwind. Lady walked up to me and
wuffled my hair, and nuzzled my cheek.
Hullo, Lady, up for the trip? I asked. She nodded her
head in affirmation. I swung up onto her back without help, and
sat side saddle. Rolf lifted Angel up onto Starwind, and swung
himself up on Thunder. Rolf had to sit side saddle too. I
giggled, and stopped myself when Rolf blushed. I rode Lady out
into the courtyard, and onto the beaten path. We would reach
Selonis by tomorrow at most. There was almost no talking on the
trip, and when we camped for the night, we were all too tired for
talk. I slipped under Rolfs and my blanket, and started
dozing as soon as he got into the bed.
* * *
We arrived in Selonis, the huge kingdom of elves, and were met
with a royal escort to the castle gates.
Princess Morgan, Crown Prince Angel, and Lord Rolf.
the herald announced, tapping his staff on the floor for silence.
The King and Queen came forward, and exchanged greetings with
each of us. I was curious about this new girl they had. As far as
I knew, they only had two sons, one about a year or two older
than Angel and the other, the crown prince. The other, with jet
black hair and huge purple eyes, he would have made a lovely
girl, but did make a handsome prince.
Well met, Morgan. the Queen said, giving me a
motherly kiss on the cheek.
Good to see your highnesses again. I murmured, aware
of the crowds, When may we see the betrothed? I
asked, not wanting to seem rude, but people were staring at Rolf.
It made me uncomfortable.
Right now if you like, well take you to the royal
sitting room. one thing about these two. They always used
the royal plural. I hated that. I smiled and nodded my consent.
They led us to a small room, and left to go get their daughter.
Ive not heard they had a daughter. I murmured
into Rolfs ear.
Nor I. he whispered. The door opened, and the
majesties came back, trailed by a small child, with jet black
hair and purple eyes. I drew in my breath sharply.
Where is the betrothed? Rolf asked, still not getting
Why, he is here. the Queen motioned to her son.
He? Rolf asked, blinking several times.
I was under the misunderstanding that you had a daughter.
All of your letters hinted at the fact. I replied, still
under shock. The boy sat down meekly, and Angel smiled at him.
Wanna go play? Angel asked, looking at the boy. He
nodded, My names Angel, whats yours? he
Wow, neat name. Angel replied.
Run along, Angel, go play with your friend.
Okay, Morgan. the two boys ran out of the room.
How dare you lie to me. How *DARE* you! I screamed,
hurling a vase against the wall.
Calm down! Qrena, the queen, urged.
Calm down? You just set the only heir my people have up
with your SON. I growled, my eyes turning black with
suppressed rage, Why? I moaned, slumping back into my
chair, resting my head on the table.
Salos is not a normal boy. There was... a seer a while back
who preordained this would happen. It is necessary for your
kingdoms. Rolf said, sadly shaking his head. This was more
common among elves, but a ruler needed heirs.
WHAT? I roared, jumping to my feet.
Mother told me before I left. You know she would not lie.
I nodded, but my anger was still there.
How will they produce an heir? I wailed, falling
against Rolfs side.
You will find a woman, and she will have Angels or
Saloss child. An heir is assured. I nodded sadly. My
baby, fate had to play with my baby. I burst into tears, and
cried myself out on Rolfs shoulder. When I became aware of
everything again, I noticed the Queen looked sad, and old.
Were sorry.... It was preordained that they should be
wed. I stood and placed my hand on the Queens
* * *
I frowned, leaning over Saloss shoulder.
Now what? Salos asked, blinking in surprise.
You are to be married. Its ordained by the gods. We
cannot fight this. Salos is going with Morgan, and will be raised
by her. We are sorry, my son. The king said, placing a
gentle hand on Saloss shoulder. Salos shook it off and ran
down the hall. I turned, and ran after my friend. I caught up
with him on the balcony. He sat on the railing. I climbed up
after him, and sat down next to him.
You dont like me? I asked, curling up my knees
to my chin.
Its not that. I hate it when they make me do
something! I nodded.
Its for the good of our peoples. Thats what
Auntie says constantly when I have to do something I dont
like. Salos nodded and shook his black hair out of his
eyes, exposing the dark skin of his neck, So you do like
me? I asked, feeling confusion, and another feeling I
couldnt name. Salos nodded, and I smiled.
So they are just doing something that you might want to do
anyway? I asked. He nodded, and I felt relief. I slipped my
small white hand into his dark brown one, and smiled at him. He
smiled back, and we climbed down from the railing. I led him back
to the adults.
We will do as you ask. I said, bowing to the queen
and king, and my aunt, On the condition that from this
point forward, you let us do things we want to do, not just for
the good of the kingdom.
To an extent. Morgan replied, wrapping Salos and
myself into a warm embrace, Welcome to the family, Salos.
she whispered so only we could hear.
* * *
Salos rode on the horse in front of me, whimpering in pain on
sudden jolts, and grimacing with every step. I told him to rest
his head on my shoulder. he did so, and stopped whimpering. He
had fallen asleep. Not surprising, we had rode until dark, and
been up at sunrise. I stroked his silky hair, it felt so soft. I
could stroke it forever. The town came into view, and I roused
Salos. He smiled sleepily, and kissed me on the cheek. We sat up
straight as we reached the town. There were crowds gathered along
the streets cheering. Salos and I waved, and Morgan and Rolf
nodded and smiled brightly at people. Our horses, responding to
the attention, assumed a painful parade step, which nearly sent
Salos flying off its back. Saloss blush darkened his
skin, and I decided I liked it when Salos blushed. I swore I
would make him blush once a day at least. His eyes watched the
crowd, almost as if sensing something. A flying rock hit Salos,
and knocked him from the horse. I lept down, and grabbed him,
rolling with impact, bringing us to the relative safety out from
under the horses hooves. Salos sat stunned on the paved
road, and I crouched protectively over him.
If you have a problem with His Royal Highness, Prince
Salos, you will take it up with someone who can fight back!
Morgan snarled, leaping from her horse and completing a graceful
arc in the air, landing in front of us, Who hurled the
rock? Morgan snapped, booming over the noise of the crowd,
which fell silent at her voice. No one responded. Morgan frowned,
Come forward and be charged! she demanded, using her
Voice on the whole crowd. A lone girl walked forward.
Why did you hurl the rock, child? Rolf demanded,
dismounting, and grabbing the girl by the shoulders.
Because I didnt have a bow and arrow, human scum.
the child replied, balling up a fist and punched Rolf in the gut.
He doubled over in pain, and released his grip. The elf-girl
shimmered, and was replaced with a goblin shaman. The crowd
gasped, and drew back. I moved to help Salos to his feet. Morgan
Leave now, and leave with your head. Leave later, and it
costs you your head. Morgan snapped, raising one hand
threateningly. The goblin laughed, its green scaly hide
Try me, elfling. Ive killed elves that were powerful
Druids before, and twice your age. it cackled. Morgan
Looks are deceiving. she stated, her hand glowing. I
hauled Salos to his feet. His cheek was bruised and bleeding. I
wrapped him in my cloak and sank to the ground, cradling his
larger form as best as I could.
Ha! Youre not more than fourteen seasons. he
cackled. Morgans hand glowed brighter.
It will cost your left arm to leave now. Morgan
stated matter-of-factly. The goblins face became serious.
DIE! It snarled, pointing at Morgan. A defensive
shield was already around her. I made the gestures, and spoke the
words to invoke a wall between us and the goblin, adding to
Morgans. My aunt laughed, and a strong wind whipped around
Im warning you. Leave before it costs your head.
Run from a zephyr? it snarled, Never! she
shrugged, and I pulled Salos tighter. He rested his head against
my shoulder, and kissed my cheek. Morgan advanced a step, and
rose from the ground. A beautiful song came from her lips. She
targeted the goblin.
Have a heart. I yelled at the goblin, recognizing
Morgans wish-song. It doubled up in pain. Goblins do not
have hearts. Oh they have flesh ones, that pump blood, but not
one that feels. It was feeling so many emotions at once, it
toppled over, in pain. Morgan motioned for a guard, removing our
shields. She lifted Salos up gently, and set him on the back of
the horse. She set me up on her horse, and told the guards to
lead us to the palace. After making sure Salos was alright, I
slipped into the bed with him.
* * *
Four years had passed since then, and the two boys had blossomed
into manhood together. Tomorrow they were to be wed. The people
saw no problems with this, which is good, because I would have
damaged anyone who interfered with the twos love. I sat
idly brushing my maids hair. It was silky, brown, and very
long. She was my closest friend. Amberle. In a year Rolf and I
would be married, and Amberle would come with us to start a new
home with her love, one of the heralds. Angel walked quietly into
the room. He kissed Amberles hand, and me on the cheek. I
looked at him. Almost as tall as Rolf, his curly golden-white
hair framing his face, he truly looked an angel. His dark blue
eyes, a gift from his mother, searched for my green ones. Green
and blue eyes are a major rarity among my people. Eyes are
normally lavender, or brown, sometimes black, but almost never
green or blue. Salos trailed in behind Angel, wearing a purple
robe. I kissed him on the cheek, and he sat on the bed. Amberle
got up to leave.
I do have a job, Ill be back soon. she said,
smiling. Angel sat on the bed too. I took the chair Amberle had
occupied, and adjusted my dress.
Auntie, were nervous. Salos said, looking at
Why? I asked, tucking a stray strand of hair behind
The wedding is tomorrow. Saloss parents wont be
attending unless we go there, and since the north rode collapsed,
its too dangerous for us to cross. Angel frowned,
And you and they have to be present for it to be official.
Damn. Forgot about that. Salos had turned into a
beautiful young man, with silky black hair and deep purple eyes,
Well, well go there. I stood and walked over to
my closets. I rummaged through them, and found what I was looking
for. I pulled out the white bag, and set it on the bed. For not
the first time I wished I could just forget being proper, and get
rid of my dresses. I walked back to the closet and started
packing clothes in the bag. I gently ushered Salos and Angel to
their rooms, for them to pack. I flopped down on my bed and
rested. I couldnt believe it. True love, brighter than
anything in the world, radiated from them. Mine and Rolfs
love was a candle to the sun. I put my sun tiara on, and the
matching orange gown on, and walked down to the throne room. I
collapsed in the cushions, and was brought out of my revelry by
Amberle. She placed a concerned hand on my shoulder, and I patted
What is wrong, Morgan? Amberle asked, leaning in
Just feeling old is all. I mean, Angel and Salos aged, but
I havent. Its depressing. Theyll die, you will,
but I wont except violently.
Please, do not speak so. It is of ill forbidding. I
nodded, and took her hands in mine.
Could you please finish packing for me? I just need to rest
a moment. Amberle nodded and took off up the stairs.
* * *
I walked into Saloss private rooms, trailing after him. I
flopped down on the bed, and put my head on the pillow.
Tomorrow well be married. I murmured to him as
I felt him slide down next to me.
Odd isnt it? Salos asked. I nodded, and rolled
over to face him.
But Im glad it will be happening. I said,
kissing him on the cheek. He took one of my hands in both of his
and caressed it.
Me too. he started undoing the buttons on my robe,
and I kissed him. The room grew warmer and warmer... He returned
Wait... I gasped, Tomorrow evening. I
whispered. He nodded, and wrapped his arms around my waist. We
fell asleep like that....
* * *
I sighed as I swung up on Lady. I hated having to ride there. And
as for crossing the river, I haddnt figured that part out
Morgan, how are we going to GET there? Salos asked.
Well cross that bridge when we arrive there. No pun
Im sure. Angel teased, swinging up on his new
white horse. Salos sat in front of Angel, with his head resting
on his shoulder. I took the reins from Angel, and tied them to my
saddle horn. They could enjoy some sleep. I frowned to myself as
we reached the bridge. It was totally demolished.
Wow. How are we going to cross? Salos asked sleepily.
Well have to find a narrow area and try walking the
horses across. Thats the only way I can think of. I
replied. We rode down stream, following the course of the river.
It was heavily flooded, and the waters were gushing on it, If
I remember correctly, there is a very narrow area up ahead, but
its a cliff. Wed have to jump the horses across.
We can do it Aunt Morgan! I smiled. I HATED horse
jumping. I got thrown from one when I was about five. I nearly
broke my spine. If I had just landed a bit off, I would have.
Sure enough, five minutes later, we found the narrow area I was
Are you SURE you can do this Angel?
Yeah. But, Not with two riders. I nodded. Salos swung
out of the saddle and limped up to Lady. He got into the saddle
behind me, and wrapped his arms around my waist. I backed Lady
up, and sent her into a run. I jammed the heel of my shoes into
her flanks, causing her to jump. She cleared the gap by a good
five feet. Angel did the same with his horse, backing him up, and
spurring him into the jump. Only, apparently, the horse was
stupid, because it jumped too soon. Angels mount landed on
the very edge of the cliff. My eyes widened in surprise.
Angel, very slowly dismount, and crawl over here. I
gasped. Angel slowly swung his leg from the horse. The ground
started to give way. Salos swung off Lady, and started toward
Angel. The clifface collapsed, and Angel and the horse started
with it. Angels foot was caught in his stirrup. I lept off
Lady with great difficulty. Salos wrapped his hand around Angels
forearm. Angel was screaming in pain. Salos was sliding down. The
rest of the clifface started to give way. Lady winnied, and
grabbed my tunic in her teeth, bodily carrying me from the cliff.
I screamed as I watched my two surviving family members going
into the water.
MORGAN! I heard Angel cry, and saw the waves swallow
NO! I cried, yanking loose from Lady and running to
the edge of the cliff, ANGEL! I collapsed to the
ground sobbing. My magic had failed me, and cost me the two
things most dear to me.
* * *
Salos grabbed me as I slipped under the water, and held my head
up. He was saying something, but I couldnt tell what
because of the roaring. We let the current carry us along,
bobbing on the water. It started raining. My foot was free from
the stirrup, and the horse had managed to get to safety, leaving
us to fight for survival. I shivered. The water was so cold. I
couldnt think. How much longer could I survive like this?
Slowly, the current was sweeping us towards an outcroping of
land. I pointed at it, and Salos nodded. We began a joint effort
to swim for it, but the current was starting to sweep us in
another direction. I grabbed hold of the root of a tree growing
there, and pulled us towards the land. Salos did likewise. We
pulled ourselves onto the small island of land, and sat there,
shivering. I stood up slowly, and motioned Salos to walk to the
far wall with me, so we would not be hit by the water. he shook
his head, and motioned to hs left leg. It was heavily bloodied,
and looked broken. I gingerly lifted him off the sandy ground,
and carried him to the far cliff wall. We were sheltered from the
wind here, and I managed to find some dried dead wood to start a
fire with. Salos used a touch of his magic, sparking the log
instantly. I bandaged his leg. It wasnt broken, but it was
badly sprained and cut from knee to ankle. We had managed to save
one of the packs from the horse, which had a blanket and some
food in it. I got us water from the river, and set the blanket to
dry next to the fire. Wed need something to keep us warm
while we dried our clothes.
Are you okay? I whispered quietly.
Im scaired Angel. That cliff just started giving way,
and all I could think was that I wouldnt be able to live
If it wasnt for that horse wed be fine. I
sighed, brushing back some of my soaking wet hair that was
plastered to my forhead and on my ears. I picked bits of debris
from it, bits of plant matter.
Morgan probably jumped in after us. Salos whispered.
Even SHES not THAT bull headed. he nodded
I hope youre right. Shed be sweapt away like a
piece of driftwood in that river!