Alex had grown tired of repeating herself. She had spent most of the evening explaining what had happened with Adaro. Evangeline and Ryhan had helped to fill in the details of events that happened before she had met up with them. Alta seemed concerned and willing to help, but Alex got the feeling that she believed there was more than what she was telling her.
She felt agitated, which was unlike her. That thought made her wonder what they had done with Thad. She had not seen him since they had arrived in Ferrentri.
"Where is Thad being kept?" Alex asked curiously.
"He is still being questioned for information. We have learned a great deal from him, but there is still more that he is withholding. He is not being harmed, if that is your concern." Alta answered curtly.
It was the first time Alex had heard her speak that wasn't polite or controlled. She just nodded in response. Thad really was not her concern, she mostly just wanted someone to blame for her miserable attitude. Evangeline and Alta spoke quietly to themselves while she paced the room. It wasn't as large and decorative as the main entry room, but it had a flair of its own.
A large bookshelf spanned an entire wall from floor to ceiling. It was crammed full. Not one space available for anything new. She imagined an elderly elf taking care of the books, deciding which volumes to pull down in order put something new in its stead. Running her fingertips along the spines as she marched back and forth was comforting.
Suddenly a cold shiver ran through her and as quickly as it came, it was gone again. She stopped at the end of the wall and admired a large painting that depicted some sort of flowering willow tree in bold sunset colors. Every time she stopped at the painting, she noticed something new. That time it was a small animal of some kind, perhaps a squirrel, peeking out through the branches.
Turning around and walking back the other way, casually running her fingers down the line of books, she felt a sudden chill come and dissipate again. She briefly heard Alta say something about dream walking as she continued her slow methodical pace. It made her feel better to do something with her body. She knew that Alta wanted her to reveal a detail that would connect everything.
Something that would make more sense, but she was not hiding anything. It was clear from the moment that Alex had met Adaro he desired her. Even before he exposed his true nature to her, he had expressed his interest. She was grateful that the king of Aurora had never consented to any of Adaro's marriage proposals.
They would not have forced the marriage, but to disagree with the king would have made living in Aurora very difficult. Also, Adaro's interest in her did not explain why he had went into Ryhan's dreams. No longer lost in her own thoughts, Alex felt the chilling sensation again.
Pausing, she glanced at the book she was currently touching. Pulling her hand away the cold left her. Touching the book again made her shiver hard. It felt like ice rubbed up and down her spine. She pulled it off the shelf. It was old and tattered and looked as if several of the pages had fallen out and been randomly stuffed back in.
The longer she held the book the less cold she felt. In fact, she was starting to feel quite warm. Written in another language, she could not read the title. She opened it anyway and flipped to a page randomly. It was an illustration of a beautiful elf woman. She was lying on a bed made of grass. Her head thrown and her back arched in passion.
There was a man kneeling over her, only the drawing of him was not solid, you could see through him. Alex assumed that he was some sort of spirit or projection. She flipped farther in to the book and found another illustration. The same woman was kneeling before another group of elves, tears shown on her face and it looked as if she were pleading with the others.
YOU ARE READING
Fated Volition (#Wattys2015)Fantasy
Watreon is on the brink of war. A fact that has eluded Ryhan until days before her sixteenth birthday. Drought has crippled her village and made it nearly impossible to live in. Angry and confused by what their king’s lust for power has done to thei...