Helena made her way up to the large, multi roomed house amongst the trees. It was a great house of one of the Elder families, now belonging to the widowed mistress Rosslean. It was the house she would share with Betrean from now on, until the unlikely event that she were to find a mate.
She sighed heavily as she walked through the great room in which she had played with the now handsome, grown Betrean. Though her father’s death should have been the only weighe in her heart, it was her desire for Betrean that permeated her thoughts.
Once she had arrived in her room, her new, freshly unpacked room, she stood as if lost amongst her belongings. She had no idea how long she stood like that before the mistress of the house knocked on her door. The kindly older woman smiled sweetly as she entered.
“Oh, my dear, I know it will be hard… but I love you like a daughter already, and Betrean will be like a brother…”
Helena blinked back tears that had come unbidden. “My lady, thank you so much for all of your kindness. I will think on you as a mother, but Betrean as a brother? The thought pains me.”
The soft elderwoman’s bright green eyes sparkled. “I thought as much. You love my son, do you not?”
“Yes…” was Helena’s breathy reply.
The mistress Rosslean nodded. “Yet you do not tell him. Why?”
“While we are friends, almost siblings at times, Betrean sees me as all the tribe sees me. I am the starchild. I am not a Teagean.”
“Well, my dear, that may be true, but what if the chief were to say otherwise? To grant you the privilege of mating?”
Helena shook her head softly. “How would I convince him to do such a thing? I cannot bear children. I’m not of any value except as the token starchild.”
The lady of the house took her by the shoulder then, and whispered softly in her ear. “You are not the first starchild. There have been others before you, and others have been mated with a Teagean.”
Helena gasped at that, pulling back. “What?”
Rosslean nodded, grinning. “The Bellflower tribe, they have a long lineage of starchild blood amongst their people. Have you not wondered at their pale skin and short stature?”
Helena shook her head, stunned, speechless. After a few long moments, she regained her wits. “Still, my lady, that little known fact will not make your son accept me for a mate.”
“That, my dear is where the chief comes in.”
“The chief? Why would he make such an allowance for me? He owes me nothing.”
“You’re a smart girl, what can you do for him? I hear he ails from gout, and is unable to walk. I believe it is something your father could have cured…”
Helena perked up then, going to her desk. “I have the cure, right here, amongst the herbs I collected from my father’s house!” She held up little bottle in triumph.
“Good girl. Well, I do believe we have a plan then! I will make arrangements for you to see the chief tomorrow,” the lady said smiling, taking Helena's hand. “And you will truly become a daughter to me, as my son’s mate!”
“Oh, my lady, thank you so much I do not deserve such kindness.”
“Yes, my dear, you do. I have known you almost all of your life. You have always been a beautiful, charming girl.”
Tears escaped Helena’s eyes then, and she could only nod, her heart filled with hope.
The Elderwoman made good on her promise, and had arranged a visitation with the chief. It was later than they’d hoped, the old man was ailing and weakened by his illness, his attending medicine men at a loss for treatment. This made the power of their miracle cure an even better bargaining chip.
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bit·ter·sweet: being at once bitter and sweet; especially: pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret. A collection of short stories I've written since joining Wattpad for various contests, challenges and publications. The...