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The ancient fae, p.1
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       The Ancient Fae, p.1

         Part #4 of The World of Fae series by Terry Spear
 
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The Ancient Fae


  The Ancient Fae

  The World of Fae, Book 4

  by

  Terry Spear

  Table of Contents

  Book 4

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  DEDICATION:

  To the archeologists and historians who uncover our ancient mysteries and help us to learn about our past. And to those who treasure that which is most important in any world, fae or otherwise—no earthly possessions, only the fae or humans you hold dear.

  Chapter 1

  Overhearing her brother"s raised voice in his bedchambers, Princess Ritasia could only guess who he was speaking to as she was making her way to her own bedchambers, intending to change clothes and take a jaunt somewhere, someplace forbidden. The corridor was cooler now with the advent of fall. The autumn wind whistled outside the ancient stone walls of the castle, filtering through every crack and crevice. The tapestries depicting fae on horseback hunting or fighting could not keep the cold from finding a way in. She shivered in her pale blue gown and realized if she was going to stay in this part of the world, she needed to put something warmer on as the temperature had surely dropped even from the time she had risen this morning. Paused near her brother"s door, she was not about to venture past it until she heard all that was said between her brother and cousin.

  She could walk on past so they could see she was here and could overhear them, allowing her brother to decide if he wanted her to witness the confrontation or not. But she wanted to know what was up as this affected her also. And she wasn"t sure he would allow her to listen.

  Since Deveron hadn"t shut his door, how did he expect to have a private conversation anyway? The fault was not her own that she overheard them.

  “Micala, you will not see Cassie any further. And that is my final word on it,” Deveron said, his words harsh.

  “She is waiting for me at the ice cream parlor in South Padre Island, as we speak, my lord. I have to at least go there and tell her something.” Micala wasn"t backing down, which wasn"t really like him when faced with her brother"s wrath and didn"t bode well, though Micala couched his own hot temper with an attempt to make an appeal to the crown prince of the dark fae.

  “I will not permit it. You were only to pay attention to the human girl a couple of times under my direct orders, not to make such a big deal of this,” her brother snapped. “If my mother learns of your continued association with Cassie, your proverbial goose will be cooked. It does not matter that you"re her favorite nephew. She will not permit it. Do I make myself perfectly clear in this issue?”

  Micala didn"t say anything in response. Ritasia barely breathed, hoping her cousin would agree with Deveron before it was too late. Deveron was right. Micala had no business seeing the human girl beyond what her brother had expected of him in the first place.

  And with Micala"s continued persistence in seeing Cassie, the rift between her girlfriend Alicia, who was Deveron"s betrothed, and Deveron, was ever widening. Which really infuriated Deveron.

  “I have to see her,” Micala said, as if the prince had not just made a ruling.

  Deveron"s command was always final. Just as when their mother, Queen Irenis, dictated to her courtiers. The only one who could change his ruling was the queen herself. Micala knew that. Why was he being so obstinate about it?

  Micala continued, “We were to meet at the ice cream parlor in South Padre Island. Let me see her and call things off between us.”

  “You should have done so long before this. I have warned you in the past. If you do not agree with my rule, I will call the guards,” Deveron threatened, his voice low, dark, and perfectly even. She knew when he took that tone of voice, he was on the verge of throwing their cousin in the dungeon of the Denkar castle, manacled against fae travel until Micala did what was right.

  Though she knew Deveron only thought to protect him, to keep their cousin safe should their mother learn Micala was still seeing the human girl and growing too fond of her.

  Ritasia liked Cassie, who was spirited and friendly, and she had no wish for her feelings to be hurt. But they were bound to be, one way or another.

  “If you do not see her, she will be upset, Micala. But she will have to learn you are not coming back and move on. She will find someone else. Someone human. As it should be.”

  Deveron was again the voice of reason.

  Micala didn"t respond.

  “Don’t make me force you to mind me,” Deveron said, growling low.

  “I will stay,” Micala said, sounding highly frustrated. “If it pleases your lordship, may I leave?”

  “By your own word, you will not meet up with her, Micala.” Deveron waited for his cousin to agree.

  After a long pause, Micala finally said, “Aye.”

  He sounded defeated, but Ritasia would try to smooth things out with Cassie and let her down as gently as she could while helping Micala out at the same time. She returned to her chambers to change clothes so she could be dressed appropriately for the human world. Now that she had a real mission in mind.

  She pulled out one of her drawers filled with human clothes and slipped out a shimmering blue bikini. South Padre Island was still warm this time of year. And then she grabbed a flowery silky sheer skirt sarong and a pair of golden sandals. Quickly, she changed out of her gown and dressed for the warm island temperatures.

  She would see Cassie, tell her something—she wasn"t sure what yet—and then Ritasia would have fun with a guy—beach-time cute. Only he had to be without a girlfriend. Many of her female kind wouldn"t care if a guy was alone or not. They"d just butt in and stir up trouble between the happy human couple. If the guy was too fickle to stick it out with his girlfriend and threw her over for a fae, he deserved what he got.

  At least that was most fae"s feelings on the matter.

  But Ritasia wasn"t interested in getting a guy like that to take notice of her.

  Though she was supposed to always have an escort with her, she had never allowed that rule to stop her before. Without a word to anyone, she transported herself to South Padre Island, planning to visit her favorite ice cream shop, locate Cassie, commiserate with her about how unfaithful men were, then take off down the beach to look for a nice fun human guy to spend the afternoon with.

  The warm salty air swirled about her, catching her silky scarf skirt and tugging at it, when she noticed the wall that had been illustrated with graffiti, compliments of the winged fae. It appeared that humans had finally managed to cover her cryptic fae message with several layers of white paint. At least she assumed they had. Maybe her own people had done it.

  She turned to head for the ice cream parlor where she"d get a nice hot fudge sundae while she tried to make Cassie feel better. But as soon as she turned around, she nearly ran straight into an unseelie fae, who was invisible to humans. Why had the blasted unseelie not even attempted to avoid running into Ritasia? The unseelie had seen Ritasia first and could easily have moved out of her path! In fact, she should have gone far out of her way to avoid any confrontation.

  Ritasia glowered at the fae. The unseelie"s red hair was piled on top of her head with silver combs, her skin white, eyes ringed with silver, unlike those of the seelie whose eyes were ringed with gold when angered. Which meant the unseelie was in a highly irritated mood already. She was wearing a teeny weeny bikini of white that was barely big enough to cover all the parts that needed covering.

  Although Ritasia was wearing a bikini also, as she planned to catch a guy"s eye after s
he saw Cassie, and when she found the right target, her bathing suit wasn"t half as skimpy as the one the unseelie was wearing.

  The girl, not much older than Ritasia, gave her a harsh look in return as if daring her to do something about her behavior, then continued on her way. Ritasia glanced back to watch the unseelie, who were said to have once been part of the seelie court. But one faction split off from another and waged war for so long against the other, using magical weapons of mass destruction so that another queen could rule in ancient times, the fabric of the world had been ripped in two, creating two separate fae planes. And then of course there was the human plane where both unseelie and seelie could visit. But they normally avoided confrontation when they ran across each other in the human world.

  Like the seelie, the unseelie could be good, and they could be evil. So just being an unseelie didn"t equate to all bad.

  Ritasia watched as a young blonde, blue-eyed boy, studied the flight of a Monarch butterfly in his path, fascinated, chubby cheeks dimpled, mouth lifted as he walked beside his mother. And then the unseelie drew near him, and Ritasia knew she meant to do something bad.

  Kill the butterfly? Or something else?

  Something else. She stuck her foot out and tripped him. He landed on his bare knees, bloodying them on the rough concrete sidewalk, and he started bawling.

  Ritasia wished she could have thwarted the unseelie, although she knew it wasn"t something she should have interfered with anyway.

  The unseelie had moved past the boy, but looked over her shoulder to gloat at what she"d done, as if the deed had given her a bit of evil pleasure. Then she saw Ritasia casting her a devil of a glower. The unseelie offered her a simpering smile and blew her a kiss as if to say, Love the humans if you wish, but they’re in my way.

  Not that Ritasia didn"t feel similarly when humans got in her way, but clearly the boy had not been in the fae"s path. The unseelie could very well have stayed out of his way.

  The boy"s mother lifted him in her arms and cooed to him, and his cries quieted.

  Not all unseelie were bad, Ritasia reminded herself. And it was none of her business as to what the unseelie was up to.

  She turned around to walk to the ice cream parlor and saw a cute guy stalking up the sidewalk in her direction, tanned, tall, and dark chocolate eyes that caught her gaze, and he smiled. Now he was just what she had in mind. He could even buy her the hot fudge sundae, and then she"d see Cassie and tell her…well, she still wasn"t sure what to tell her that wouldn"t hurt her feelings too badly. But Micala couldn"t see her any longer.

  Suddenly the human guy waved in Ritasia"s direction, and she looked back to see who he was waving at, figuring she"d already lost her prime catch for the day.

  Then she saw who it was. Who else but that blasted unseelie in the too-small bikini! And now she was heading straight for him, a thin smile stretched across her face, her green eyes sparkling with the devil. She was now very much visible in that scrap of a bikini, waving at him as she hurried to join him.

  He looked over his shoulder as if he wasn"t sure she really meant him, but then she said in a sickly-sweet tone that didn"t suit the witch, “Tom, is that you?”

  He cleared his throat, his cheeks and throat tinged with color. “Uh, no, I"m Mike. I guess you thought I was someone else.”

  Ritasia wanted to laugh at the unseelie"s attempt to woo him. He looked a little disappointed. Here he thought some really hot chick was interested in him.

  The guy focused on the unseelie"s barely-there bikini and more importantly, all her naked skin, when Ritasia made her move. Though she knew better. But the unseelie really irked her.

  “Mike,” Ritasia said, smiling brightly, walking toward him, too. Her bikini wasn"t as risqué as the unseelie"s, but Mike"s tongue was hanging out just the same as his gaze shifted over her figure, then caught hold of her gaze and held it.

  Yeah he was interested in her. Maybe her dark hair and eyes appealed more than the redhead"s coloration. Or maybe he thought the redhead"s bikini was a little too revealing, and he wanted a girl who wasn"t such a show off. Or maybe he liked that she had called him by his real name.

  He might have thought it was his lucky day. But when a seelie and an unseelie wanted to play with the same human, he was deadly mistaken.

  Ritasia knew better than to make a move on him. She had been trained to avoid the unseelie as they seemed to have been taught to leave the seelie alone. But Ritasia couldn"t help herself.

  The unseelie wasn’t about to let her prey go either though. “Mike, of course, from…”

  Ritasia hesitated, letting him tell her just where he was from.

  “I"m a local,” he said.

  Wow, great tan, great body, great smile, Ritasia thought.

  “I come here all the time,” Ritasia said, which she did, when she could. “You could say I"m almost a local.”

  “Cool,” he said, looking unsure as to who he should make the play for. It should have been obvious, Ritasia thought.

  Then she smiled brightly. “When I was here last, you said you would take me for a hot fudge sundae.”

  The guy cast another 1,000-watt smile and said, “Sure,” knowing he hadn"t, but he seemed totally willing to play the fae"s game. Humans always were. Hot guy, cute willing chick.

  Easy prey for a female fey.

  The unseelie looked as though her wind-tossed hair could become writhing red coral snakes, and she would turn Ritasia into stone if she glanced in her direction again.

  “Ritasia!” a male fae shouted.

  Crap! Her brother, Deveron, his voice highly agitated, with an undercurrent of concern.

  Ritasia swung around, her whole body heating. Deveron was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and sneakers. He probably had gotten word about her being here unchaperoned and had thrown on some human clothes to intercept her. Unless…unless he was checking on Cassie and making sure that Micala hadn"t popped over to see her despite Deveron"s ruling. Maybe he was planning on telling her Micala couldn"t see her any longer.

  Deveron glanced at the unseelie, gave her a dark look, and spared the human an even hotter look as if to wordlessly tell him to leave before he really got himself into a pit of venomous snakes.

  Then Deveron reached Ritasia. “We had a date, remember?” He sounded like a miffed boyfriend.

  Her skin heating, she clamped her lips tight. Then she smiled, figuring a way to solve the issue of who Deveron was and said, “Mike, I"ll have to take a rain check. My brother needs me.”

  She knew her brother would not permit her to stay. Not right now, anyway.

  “Brother, my butt, Ritasia,” the unseelie said, sneering.

  “Princess to you, jealous fae,” Ritasia said, before she could watch what she said.

  The girl"s brows arched. “Princess of some fantasy world in your mind?”

  Ritasia glanced at the guy, realizing he was waiting for her to explain what she meant.

  She couldn"t.

  “Come on, Mike. You can get me that sundae instead.” The unseelie took his hand and pulled him toward the ice cream parlor, but he glanced back at Ritasia, and she knew he had wanted to be with her, not with the redheaded unseelie. Or maybe he was still puzzled about her saying how she was a princess and the other was a fae, and he wondered where she truly was from.

  When they had disappeared inside, Deveron grabbed Ritasia"s arm. “What is the meaning of you telling that human you are a princess and the unseelie was a jealous fae? I leave you alone for one minute, and the next thing I know you"re trying to start a war with the unseelie?”

  “One minute?” Ritasia shrieked. “You have not been around for days until you showed up this afternoon. And finally I see…” Well, she hadn"t really seen him. Only overheard him dictating to Micala. She jerked her arm free and folded her arms across her chest. “How did you know I was here?”

  Deveron snorted. “One of our fae saw you and reported just the trouble you were about to get yourself into.”


  She wondered if Deveron had sent someone else then, to ensure Micala didn"t try to meet with Cassie. Only instead he saw Ritasia mixing it up with an unseelie and returned to the castle to warn Deveron right away. “Which one was spying on me?”

  Deveron smiled as if amused that she could not get away with anything. “I cannot say.”

  Then he frowned. “Mother will have to find you work if you haven"t anything better to do than start a battle with an unseelie.”

  “Don’t tell Mother.”

  But the look on Deveron"s face told Ritasia he might do just that. Her safety was always tantamount to him, which despite being annoying sometimes, she had to love him for his concern.

  “Besides, another lord has arrived to court you,” he said.

  She groaned. “I will only say no.”

  He grabbed her arm again, and right before he transported them, he said, “I know. I don"t like this one at all, so you have my blessing and my support.”

  “Wait!” But she couldn"t tell him she"d eavesdropped on his conversation with Micala and planned to see Cassie to tell her…something.

  Deveron didn"t wait, but returned her to the castle, to the great hall instead of her chambers, where she scowled at her brother as the lord who had come to see her stared at her open-mouthed, eying her bikini and grinned.

  ***

  King Tiernan scowled at the mess his father had gotten him into…all because the heartless man had to die.

  Hawk fae kings were to immediately marry as soon as they were seated on the throne and a suitable bride could be found. Tiernan was supposed to consider the ladies his advisor believed would be suitable for matrimony, but he was tired of this whole kingship business. As soon as his father had died a week ago—the reason for his death still a mystery, but it was assumed by all he"d been murdered—Tiernan had had to take over the hawk fae kingdom at once.

  He preferred hunting and fishing and fighting with his island neighbor, the griffin fae.

 
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