Hey Everyone!! :-)
I don't know about where you are, but old man winter is making himself known with his chilly breath here. Since the weather outside is frightful, I thought I'd try to help warm up your weekend with a little peek from the Summer Court. Enjoy...
Excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince:
Once Roni was out of the ballroom her head began to clear, but she still had no clear idea what had happened or why. Looking at the grim expressions on the faces of the two women who were with her, she swallowed nervously. Whatever the reason for her outrageous behavior, it was clear that she was in trouble. She just hoped she didn’t end up back in the dungeon.
When they reached Roni’s room, Seren excused herself. Jillian stayed and inspected the room, before turning to Roni; she looked at the human woman with concern. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t know what happened! I can’t explain it at all!” Roni looked at Jillian with fear in her eyes. “Am I losing my mind? Do humans go crazy in Fairie?”
“No, humans usually do not lose their reason in Fairie. Sometimes a human is confronted with a Fae creature too frightening or fantastic for them to accept and their mind will break, but that is not what happened tonight. I’m not sure what happened tonight, but I suspect a spell. Undoubtedly the prince will investigate.”
“A spell? I thought my key chain would protect me?”
“It should have, but there is a sense of magic about you. A healer will have to examine you to be sure, but I suspect you were bespelled.”
Roni sighed. It was going to be more difficult to navigate this society than she’d thought. Just then it also occurred to her that she’d lost her bet with Uaine! She chewed her lower lip pensively, and reflected on what that meant. A shiver moved down her spine, and she barely kept herself from sobbing aloud.
Jillian sensed Roni’s change in mood and regarded her worriedly. She wanted to ask the human what was troubling her, and reassure her that the scene in the ballroom wasn’t the catastrophe she seemed to believe that it was, but the other female had huddled into herself and didn’t seem as if she’d welcome anyone encroaching on her reverie. No matter how well meant the interruption might be.
Just as Jillian was debating on whether or not to disturb her future queen, regardless of if her concern would be welcome or not, Uaine entered the room with Turlough, the Court physician. Curtseying, she excused herself and left the room.
“Roni.” said Uaine, and repeated her name when she did not respond.
After the second time Uaine called her, Roni looked up. “Yes?”
“Do your remember Turlough? You met him at dinner.”
“He’s the Court physician and he’s here to examine you.”
She nodded again.
Turlough smiled at his patient. “This won’t hurt, my dear, I’m just going to scan you to see if there are any remaining spells on you.” When she acknowledged his statement, Turlough closed his eyes and held his hand out towards her. His examination completed, he turned to Uaine. “There are no spells on her currently, but there are signs of three different spells having been laid on her recently. Since there are only the remnants, it’s difficult to determine exactly what the spells were meant to accomplish, but they all seem to have been intended to affect her judgment and behavior. Given what we found in the spilled wine, I think it’s safe to say that someone, or several people, was or were determined to make sure our future queen embarrassed herself tonight.”
Hearing the physician’s words, and seeing him talk over her head to Uaine, finally cut through Roni’s misery. A flash of fury washed over her, and she jumped to her feet. “I’m right here! You can speak to me! Are you saying someone did this to me?”
Turlough turned to Roni and bowed. “I’m sorry, you’re quite right. Yes, we found a spell in the wine you spilled that allowed someone else to take temporary control of your actions. The other two spell remnants seem to have been from spells intended to rob you of judgment and lower your inhibitions. I believe they were unsuccessful because of the iron that you wear. The third spell, the one that had its intended affect, was not placed on you; it was placed on the wine. This allowed the spell-caster to circumvent the protection afforded to you by your talisman, and when you consumed the wine the spell took effect. However, you needn’t worry about any further ill effects, the spell has run its course. Also, I have deactivated and removed all three remnants, just in case the spell-caster managed to hide something nasty in them that I somehow missed. There is no further trace of them on you.”
“Do you know who cast the spell?”
Uaine spoke up to answer her question; “We do not, but we have our suspicions. Unfortunately, suspicions are not enough to act on.”
“She is certainly one of the suspects.”
“How would whoever it was be able to make sure I got the glass of wine with the spell on it?”
Turlough spoke to this question. “Either the server was bribed to give it to you, something I’m sure the prince is investigating.” At Uaine’s nod he continued. “Or they cast the spell from across the room once the wine was in your hand. This would have been difficult, but not impossible; especially for someone as powerful as a noble.”
Roni sighed. “So it’s a dead end?”
“For the time being.” said Uaine. “But we will continue investigating.” He turned to the physician. “Thank you for your assistance tonight, Turlough, your loyalty will not be forgotten.”
Turlough bowed. “It was my pleasure and duty, your highness.” He said, and withdrew from the room.
Roni turned to Uaine. “How bad is it?”
He looked at her and smiled. “It is not terrible. Many of the nobles in attendance examined the spilled wine; it is impossible for anyone to claim you were not bespelled when you struck Deirdra. Also, she has plenty of her own enemies who were happy to see her discomposed. Still, she filed a complaint and has had to be compensated for her injury, and the fact that you could be bespelled does show some weakness. But this is nothing that we cannot recover from.
She sighed. “I guess I’d better be more careful about what I eat and drink in the future.”
“I had meant to warn you about Fae wine; it is much stronger than human spirits. The natural intoxication you would have experience may have made it easier for the spell-caster to take control of your actions.”
Roni thought about that and nodded. “I’ll remember to avoid wine in the future.”
Uaine smiled. “Then I’ll bid you goodnight. I’m sure we can both use some rest.”
As he started to leave, Roni called to him; “Wait!” He turned and she loosened the bodice of her dress, allowing the sleeves to slide down her arms and the top of the dress to pool at her waist. “You won the bet and I owe you something.”
Uaine sucked in a breath at the sight of his Anamchara’s breasts covered in nothing but the sheer half-cups of her bra. He went to her, putting his hands to either side of her on the wall at her back, caging her within his arms. Leaning down he buried his face against her neck, and inhaled deeply. Her breath hitched in her throat.
Want to know what happens next? There are hours of entertainment waiting for you in the land of Summer here:
Happy reading! :-)