Dorian seems turned on, “I remember your mother has that same fire when your father was caught having an affair. Not saying you aren’t sexy when you’re mad but what did I do…”
I do the only thing that I can think of doing at that moment. I slap him. I slap Dorian in the face. That’s when I notice his guards grabbing me, pinning me down immediately wanting to punish me.
It’s a few hours after the explosion.
“Get your hands off of him!” Dorian demands, “He is the WINTER KING! Lay your hands on him again and you’ll lose them.”
The guards seem to come to reality about who I am almost immediately. They fall to their feet at that moment. If Dorian thought checking his people would make me soften up to him then he was wrong. I walk back over to him and push him as hard I can in the chest. I want to hurt him. I want to hurt him badly.
“I trusted you!”
This time no one stops me from attacking him…not even Dorian himself.
Surprisingly he gets on one knee instead.
“My love, I don’t know what you’re referring to.”
“The explosion,” I state, “You KILLED the Spring Queen.”
“I didn’t…” is his response.
I can’t believe he would lie right to my face.
“What’s the chances of it then?” I ask, “You saw the explosion. Didn’t you?”
Dorian nods, “Of course I did, my love.”
He is almost unconcerned in the way he is talking. As though this is not a big deal. As though it was nothing. Looking at Dorian I see emptiness when reacts to Cerulean’s death. No panic. No worry. And most definitely no regret or sense of responsibility for what has happened. He’s just staring out blankly completely disconnected from it all as though he wasn’t even here. As though he wasn’t here in the first place.
“STOP fucking calling me that. You don’t love me. If you loved me, you wouldn’t have used the dust that I gave you to attack the Spring Queen.”
“I did not do it,” he states.
“I don’t believe you,” I respond, “Who is to gain from Cerulean being attacked?”
“You’re right. I’m not upset about Cerulean being attacked. She’s a Seelie. The Seelies are my enemies and they are your enemies. I won’t be upset over this,” he states, “I wish I thought about attacking Cerulean—-I honestly do.”
“That’s not making me feel any better.”
“Let me finish. Though I wish I thought about it——it wasn’t me. I used the pure dust you gave me for other reasons. Why would I have to lie about something like that?”
There is a pause. He might have a point. Dorian had no reason to lie about it. Everyone would suspect it was him anyway. Why would he deny it?
But how could I trust Dorian. I barely even knew him. All I knew was that he was sexy, mysterious and good in bed. How the fuck was I supposed to know he wasn’t some pathological liar?
“I want to believe you but—-”
“You’re my husband,” Dorian responds, “I would never deceive you.”
I don’t know what to believe. Right now though I don’t think I can trust him. I shake my head, “They are going to come after you.”
“I have you by my side. That’s all that matters…”
He grabs me and I think he’s going to kiss me. The weird part about all of it is that I think I’m going to let him. I don’t know why I was going to allow him to do it but his lips are close to me and I want to believe him until I hear something.
Or more like I feel something.
They are so silent. So fucking silent. They don’t walk. They fly. It’s the first time I’ve seen fairies fly. The Seelies never flew. They always walked. Their wings were nothing more than accessories. This was different. I look up and the sky is blotted in black. So many that it blots out the sun.
“What the—” I start.
“It’s them…the Autumn Court,” Dorian states, “They’ve returned…”
Dorian forgets about kissing me. He’s happy at this moment. At this moment he seems to have vindicated himself. I look around. Several dozen of the actual fairies had returned but with the servants the entire entourage went up to hundreds. The Autumn fairies took to the sky and somehow they had horses that flew that even their servants used to transport.
“That was the sign,” I state, “The explosion was a sign for the Autumn Court to return.”
Dorian, at this point is so happy that he could care less about denying what I’m saying or denying anything at all. All he cares about is the return of the Autumn Court.
That’s when I notice him reaching out his hand for me, “Come. Come with me Midnight. I want you to greet my people with me. They have returned and finally you no longer have to hide in the shadows. Now is the time to reveal your true identity.”
I don’t take his hand.
“Dorian…do you want this?” I ask him, “Do you want war?”
That’s when Dorian looks at me and for the first time I see the true him.
He smiles, viciously. This was someone who barely smiled. This was someone who barely got excited about anything. His monotone, dark nature was something that I had come to expect, but right now Dorian is almost giddy. The expectation of glory sparkling in his dark eyes.
I can’t take this. I don’t take his hand. I do the opposite.
I run. I run for as long as I can.
The first signs of panic arrive with Solaris declaring in the Summer King’s name that no Summer Fairy should leave the towers. You can feel it, building like an unstoppable snowball in the pit of your stomach. Days pass and it’s written on everyone’s faces. I cannot concentrate on the tasks I’ve been assigned. Everyone knew one thing. This was the first attack.
War was coming.
Everyone was confused on the attack on Cerulean but we knew it shook the fairy courts to it’s core. Her and her entire army wiped out in a single attack.
“I need to see the King…”
“Titania says no servant is allowed in the King’s chambers for safety reasons…”
“He can come in,” I hear my nephew open the door to let me in.
The soldiers step aside. I storm into my nephew’s room and lock the door behind me. Dino seems concerned. My hear is starting to beat harder and faster, adrenaline levels rise, my balls try and crawl up inside my body and my bain starts to fire out negative thoughts like one of those banned machine guns.
I felt betrayed. It’s a discomfort in my chest, a feeling in my brain like excess caffeine, then it sets in deeper. I find myself in my nephew’s chambers.
“Pack your things,” I’m telling him.
Dino looks at me like I have two heads. I already have his bag out but he isn’t moving. I look back over at him wondering if perhaps he hadn’t heard me. I should have been smarter. These were Seasonal Courts. The most dangerous place in the world.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
I start pacing and moving around irrationally, “Dino I am in charge of you.”
“Titania says I’m the king. Titania says that I have a responsi—responsa—”
“Yes,” he nods, “She says I have that to my people. And my wife. I have to stay.”
Looking at Dino I can tell that Titania had already begun to turn my nephew against me. He can barely pronounce responsibility and she had dug it into his mind that his rule is law. I’m pissed the hell off and I know it’s not the smartest thing to do but I grab Dino by his ear. I grab him so hard he winces out in pain.
Dino screams out in an outrage tears rolling down his cheek as he makes this big scene. There is banging on the door clearly from the guards. I throw Dino over my shoulder and look towards the window instead. I needed to leave. I wonder if perhaps I can scale the building. No. Not with Dino in my hands. He’s all the way at the top of the tower. It’s too far down. I couldn’t risk it.
I turn and notice that someone has gotten in the room. Someone who clearly had a key. Luckily this person is Paris. He’s come in the room and has crossed his arms as he realizes I am attempting to steal away the Summer King.
“He’s not safe here…”
“Dino, go play in Ayina’s room,” Paris instructs the young king.
I put the king down and watch as he feels relieved Paris is the Uncle he has that is not completely out of it. He leaves giving me the hardest expression he’s ever given me. I sit on the bed. The negative thoughts keep coming like waves on rocks. Sweat has completely covered my body and I feel like my heart may just explode.
I’m surprised when Paris walks over and is rather gentle in the way that he touches me. He holds my hand and just waits. He waits for me to calm down.
When I do I am slowly crying.
“War is coming isn’t it?”
“Cerulean and her entire army is dead. There is nothing left of them from the explosion. We are sure it is pure dust. It’s the only thing powerful enough to do something like that. We didn’t think Pure Dust existed—-”
“Paris, I asked you a SPECIFIC question.”
He nods. Silently. I look over at his handsome face. Not even Paris can make this moment seem regal and defined.
“Yes. War is coming. Dorian is responsible.”
Dorian. The worst of this all is that I had helped him. I had single-handedly assisted him in his attack against Cerulean.
“He can’t stay here…” I state, “Dino is a kid.”
I’ve seen the perils of war. Streets thronged with life empty. Gone were the food vendors and the women with bright clothes selling goods. Gone were the children playing amongst the crowd. I remember even in midday all that you could find would be a dusty street with bodies. Human bodies. Piled up one on top of another. I remember it like it was yesterday.
This is what Fairy wars brought to humanity.
“He’s a king,” Paris retorts as the two were mutually exclusive.
“You promised me he’d be safe when he came here,” I recall.
“I haven’t broken my promise,” Paris states, “He’s safe, isn’t he? Look at me Raine. Isn’t he safe?”
I don’t answer. I don’t want to give in at this moment. I don’t want to even think about it. This moment was one of the worse in reality.
Paris grabs my hand. He allows our fingers to intertwine in one another, “And I don’t plan on it. Listen. I care about Dino. Dorian has started this war and we plan on defeating him quickly. We are raising our armies to the East. He doesn’t have the manpower. His followers abandoned him after he betrayed the Winter King.”
“Don’t underestimate Dorian,” I warn Paris.
I’d seen the return of the Autumn Court. I helped usher it in myself. Dorian had used me to do this. He used me to bring his people home. If Paris thought Dorian was alone then he was entirely wrong.
“He shouldn’t underestimate me. Once our armies are secure we will march into the Unseelie Courts and arrest him.”
He made it sound so simple. Just like Paris. He was handsome from the depth of his eyes to the gentle expressions of his voice. He was handsome from his generous opinions to the touch of his hand on mine. Everything about him made me comfortable. Everything about him made me feel safe.
And I hated that Paris could make me feel safe.
This wasn’t a place you needed to feel safe in.
“He has dust…” I state.
“How do you know that?”
Shit. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to know that. Paris gives me a look as though not quite understanding. I remember the stockpiles of dust that Dorian had. Dorian had been preparing for war for some I care about you.
“He used it to wipe out the Spring Queen and her armies.”
“I don’t know how Dorian got pure dust…but I am hoping it’s the last of it. I understand though. Cerulean was paranoid about dust too, which is why she started to call her arms. She called them all in the same place though. She put a clear target on her back. The Summer Fairies will not make that mistake. We are building small forces all over. It’ll take longer but we’ll surround Dorian when he least expects it.”
I hated the sound of this.
“I don’t care about warfare tactics. I care about keeping Dino safe. Period,” I remind him.
I’ve begun to cry. I felt weak. Paranoid. Perhaps I was losing my mind like Cerulean. Paranoia was taking over. That’s when Paris grabs me. He presses his head up against mine. There it was again. His ability to make me feel safe. He’s mesmerizing in that way. Paris kisses away my tears slowly until all are gone.
“I’m going to keep you both safe no matter what. And if that means turning against the Summer fairies I’d do that.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying the moment I feel like Dino isn’t safe anymore we will leave,” Paris explains, “Me, you and Dino. We’ll run as far away from here as possible.”
I look at Paris in a new way now. Of course, he had the kind of face that stopped you in your tracks. I always looked at him in that way. But now I looked at him as someone I could trust. Paris wasn’t lying to me. I knew it. It was a rare moment that I never thought I would feel in the seasonal courts.
Maybe that’s why I grab him. Maybe that’s why I kiss him and kiss him and kiss him until my lips go numb. I kiss him until everything goes numb. And he lets me do it. He lets me hold him and tucks away my fears.
He wants me to feel safe.
And for that moment. That short moment until there is a knock on the door.
“Sir?” one of the guards is calling out.
“Go away,” Paris calls out.
He doesn’t care about them right now. All he cares about me. He puts his tongue in my mouth lapping up my tongue. Squeezing my body so hard you would think I were to explode with juice. I feel completely safe. The kissing gets heavy. He positions me on top of him and he presses his hands on the smalls of my ass. I want to give Paris all of me in this moment because I have a feeling that Paris have already given himself to me in return. He starts to remove his shirt.
The knock continues. Harder and harder. In an attempt to distract us.
“What is it?”
I can tell the snake’s voice anywhere. I turn away as soon as she comes in struggling to make sure there were no tears on my eyes. Paris jumps up clearly knowing that if Titania was here that it’s best we not be close to one another.
It doesn’t stop her from giving me a suspicious look when she walks in the door.
“Yes, Titania?” Paris asks.
“What’s happening here?” Titania asks looking from Paris to me and then back.
“Nothing…” Paris states.
“Doesn’t look like nothing.”
She looks down when she says that and clearly Paris has a hard-on. I hadn’t even realized it. I was petting him quite heavily on the bed just a minute ago. Between him having a hard dick creeping underneath his pants and me looking somewhat embarrassed it wasn’t hard to tell that Titania knew exactly what was going on.
“Is there something you wanted, Titania?”
“It all makes so much sense now why this one was favored for so long,” Titania states, walking a little closer to me.
“Stay away from him, Titania,” Paris warns her.
She smiles, “Oh and that just proves it’s not sex. It’s more. Is it…”
She is about to ask if we were in love but there are trumpets outside of our window. Loud trumpets. The kind of trumpets that I don’t quite understand. My heart beats fast again wondering if perhaps this is a sign of an attack or something. Not quite.
“What’s happening?” Paris asks.
“The reason why I came to get you,” Titania explains crossing her arms, “Cerulean’s maternal godmother has taken her place as the Spring Queen. Luckily—or unluckily depending on how you look at it…the Spring Fairies haven’t been completely annihilated.”
The way he says it makes me seem a bit interested. He knew exactly who Cerulean’s godmother was.
Titania nods, “Queen Aquamarine. The Old bag is back. As long as she doesn’t get in our way when we go to war I suppose it may be a good thing. You should clean up and get downstairs, Paris—-the king needs you. Oh and Paris?”
“Make sure your human cum rag comes as well. People are dropping like flies these days.”
She’s popular. You would think the Spring fairies would be upset about Cerulean’s death, but there is a celebration when Queen Aquamarine returns to take her granddaughter’s place. I am standing off to the side with the Summer Court. The celebration was a riot of color, everyone a little more hyped up then they should be. It’s as though the Spring Fairies were sending a sign to the court: We were broken but not defeated.
“They are like ants…” I overhear Titania whisper to Solaris, “So many of them. They never die off.”
It’s fake. Very fake especially if you take into account that the Spring Fairies were the greatest allies to the Summer Fairies. Solaris nods in annoyance as the two immediately put on the fakest smiles to go greet the Queen.
I notice Paris has changed into a ceremonial outfit. His wings glittering gold as he stands like a statue. As I approach him he seems to welcome me.
“You’re the only thing making all this bearable,” he whispers to me, “Solaris is throwing a dinner in Dino’s name for the Spring Queen. The grand dinner is to celebrate her coronation.”
The way he looks at me makes me heart flutter a little. Paris had a way of looking at you as though you were the only one in the room.
“Who is she?”
“Aquamarine. Everyone calls her the Fairy Godmother.”
“That’s the Fairy Godmother?”
I definitely heard stories about her. She was beloved. She got her nickname because she went around the country literally spreading her charity to humans. I remember during the takeover war, I dragged Mist out to a parade. I remember how happy everyone was. I remember her throwing golden coins out. Fairy currency that was worth 100 dollars each. I remember I caught one of her coins and Mist slapped it out of my hand. He refused to have me take her charity.
“She isn’t really of royal blood. She ruled for a short period as regent in the same position as Solaris is in now but for the Spring fairies. Cerulean wasn’t of age. When the true Queen Cerulean came of age she stepped down for Cerulean. She travelled the country more interested in spreading her charity to distant parts of the country instead. Now she’s returned—-in the interim—-until the Spring Fairies figure out who should rightfully be Queen.”
I look at the grand table being set up in the middle of floor the Seelie Court. It was decorated with the colorful designs of the Spring fairies. This was their celebration for sure. I see the music and the dancing. I see the clapping and the cheers.
“You should go,” I state, “Make sure Dino is safe here. I don’t trust anyone with him.”
“Come with me.”
That’s when Paris grabs my hand. He doesn’t just grab my hand. He holds my hand. I’m shocked by it to tell the truth.
“What are you doing?”
“But everyone else.”
“Trust me if Titania knows all the Summer Fairies know as well,” he assures me, “No point in hiding it anymore. I want us to be more open about it now. Come with me.”
I’m shocked. I wasn’t even dressed the part. The only servants who were approaching the Grand table were there to serve drinks. Indigo is the first one to notice. He leans over and whispers something to Paris. I don’t hear it but I know it’s something like “What are you doing?” Whatever he says doesn’t matter. Paris ignores it.
As I approach I notice the eyes turning to us. Solaris and Titania shoot stares at one another. The stares that they share show that they are embarrassed by what Paris is doing. Hell at this point I’m embarrassed too. I knew he cared about me but right now he was acting like Indigo. Of course he wasn’t drunk though. This time he was doing this on purpose.
“What’s this?” the Fairy Godmother asks.
“Queen Aquamarine, I apologize for the disrespect here—-” Titania states.
“I am no Queen and I wasn’t speaking to you,” the Fairy Godmother returns to Titania, “If half the rumors about you are true I don’t plan on ever speaking to you. I was speaking to Paris.”
“This is Raine,” Paris announces not only to the Fairy Godmother, but to everyone, “He’s quite special to me.”
The Fairy Godmother winces over at Indigo. Indigo looks embarrassed. This is the worse. At this moment I’m not quite sure how to deal with this. How the fuck was I supposed to respond to something like this?
Indigo stays quiet and the Fairy Godmother smiles, “Well isn’t this the controversy. I enjoy a good controversy. Sit next to me.”
She points at the chair next to her. There was someone already sitting there, some important Spring fairy that the Fairy Godmother shoos away. When Paris and I walk over to take a seat I can tell the eyes I’m getting rom the other side of the table. Solaris almost immediately calls Paris over to him and I watch the clear tension as they excuse themselves from the table. I have no doubt Solaris is going to try to scold Paris over what was happening right now.
But Solaris didn’t control Paris. And even if he could convince him otherwise. It’s too late.
Others come to try to greet the Fairy Godmother but for some reason her eyes are on me.
“You’re quite handsome, Indigo was right about you,” she states.
She has leaned her chair in close to me. Seeing her up close she is an middle aged woman with round cheeks and a bright charismatic exterior. She whispers, covering her mouth in a way that seems unique.
“You know the embarrassed guy sitting off to the side whose husband is clearly in love with you,” the Fairy Godmother states, “Of course, everyone seems to think I’m the person to confide in but he just so happens to be my son. Oh—-you didn’t know?”
I look over at Indigo. He gets up from the table and leaves. He storms off. Something is definitely on his mind. I can tell by the way he walks away.
“Tell me more about you,” she states, grabbing me and walking up from the table.
It’s quite rude when she does it but luckily the Spring fairies have enough entertainment that no one seems to notice.
“What would you like to know Queen?” I ask.
She smiles, “Didn’t you hear me before? I am no queen. But if you were to treat me like one then I would like to know how you survived this long?”
“Purple hair. You may have HER face—-but you have his eyes. I could never forget it,” she states, “He was always so daring. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.”
My heart is racing. My brain is searching for any sign that she isn’t talking about what I think she’s talking about but I keep watching how she runs her hands through my hair. On the other side of the court I see that a bunch of people have begun to enjoy refreshments and dinner. All except one. Titania. She was watching the conversation that I was having with the Fairy Godmother with the upmost interest.
“Midnight, isn’t that your name,” she states, “I’m not an idiot like the others. I knew your father well. I’d stare at you for hours as you wandered the courts. I know who you are.”
I’m desperate at this moment. She knew. The Fairy Godmother knew who the fuck I really was.
“You’re right,” she states, “You should go. This isn’t the best time to talk. It’s probably best you don’t say anything about who you are. I know I won’t.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about…”
“Good. Keep up the lie. Besides…looks like we have Unseelie eyes watching us.”
She points over to the other side of the room. Sure enough there were eyes watching us. Familiar eyes. They weren’t from an Unseelie fairy though. They were from Mist. Mist is staring over at me. I’m nervous at that point. SO NERVOUS. But she lets me go.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see Mist again.
I walk over to Mist and I notice how Solaris and Paris are back at the table. The royals are eating dinner. They are casually eating dinner. My heart is racing at this moment.
“What are you doing holding his hand?” Mist asks.
He’s upset. I’m not sure why he’s upset though. Is it because of him or because of his master. All I know is that he’s been spying on me for quite a bit now. We are over in a crowd of servants. It’s easy for us to disappear. I feel safer here than at the table. I don’t plan on returning even though Paris is looking around nervously for me at this point.
“Are you here for your master or are you here for me?”
“For you…” Mist doesn’t hesitate, “They are going to announce the war today…”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Look at them. The Seelie Court is going to declare war on Dorian.”
“What should I do?”
“If the Fairy Godmother knows then everyone knows. It’s best to reveal yourself now,” Mist explains, “Do you have your father’s pendant on you?”
“Yes but they’ll kill me.”
I look specifically at Titania when I say that.
“No they won’t. Not unless you are a threat to them,” Mist tells me, “Dorian wants war. He won’t back down if the Summer Fairies declare it. I want Dino safe. I want you safe. If you reveal yourself now you can override Dorian. You can negotiate peace…”
Mist had a point.
I can’t help at that moment but to reach over and hug Mist. He was here for me. I can see it in his eyes. This advice was something that Dorian would never have me do and it made all the sense in the world. The Winter Court was superior to the Autumn Court. If the true Winter King wanted peace then the Summer Fairies would listen.
It could be the only thing that stopped the war.
“Go. Don’t be scared. Head held high,” Mist tells me, “You’re royalty…remember?”
I am walking at that moment. I notice Paris is the first one to look over my way. Then I notice the Fairy Godmother. All of these people looking around as though they feel like something is going to happen.
Its that kind of feeling in the air. The kind of feeling where everyone is on edge. I made my way up to the table.
”Excuse me…” I say out to the table.
No one hears me. There is too much discussion. Too much internal conversation.
I am louder at this point. My voice demanding silence. In this moment I am not Raine, a servant who is disrespected consistently in a swarm of humans. I am a fairy but not any fairy, I am Midnight the Winter King.
“What are you doing…” Paris asks anxiously getting to my side in record time.
“I know you all have been looking for the Winter King…”
Everyone is on pins and needles. At this point even the servants have stopped doing their work. The great courts have all gotten quite quiet which is rare indeed. Perhaps it’s the mention of the Unseelie or perhaps it’s because Titania strangely has taken it upon herself to stand up and glare at me like a viper in the night.
Nerves eat me up. It’s now or never.
“What is it you know about the Winter King…”
“I know that I—“
I stop talking. In that moment there are drums. Heavy drums. Someone is making a scene and before I know it my entire moment is snatched away from me. I notice servants come out. Servants I haven’t seen before. They make way for something else.
“What is all this?” Paris whispers to me as though I was a part of these scene happening now.
“I don’t know…” is my response
I assume this should be my moment but instead we see a man walking out in a white fur so thick it covers everything around him. Silver metallic fringes hang from the white like jeweled beads.
Then there are whispers frightened whispers. Hundreds of people all wondering who this person is.
”Is it him?” Paris asks, “Jesus Christ…it can’t be.”
Just at that moment the person drops his fur and I notice something hanging around his neck. A pendant just like mine.
”I am the son of King Morgan…” the person says, “But not with his wife Queen Mal, but with his lover Aquamarine…”
The look on the Summer fairies were pure shock. They had been assuming Indigo was the heir Midnight. They were wrong . He wasn’t claiming to be me.
My father had an affair…
I look over at Aquamarine, the fairy godmother. A smile has spread across her face. She is looking at me daring me to interrupt. She planned this. She wanted me to be silent for a reason. She wanted this to come out in this way.
“Arrest him!” Titania cries out.
No one moves. It’s as though everyone is in shock including the Solaris who is staring hard that this person is making such a scene now in front of everyone.
He walks forward. Facing Solaris and Titania. He dares to stare them down.
“You won’t arrest the heir to the Winter Court, now would you?” He asks.
“Indigo…” Paris states
Indigo has never looked so sure of himself. I barely recognize him. He looks so…different. It’s as though that innocent do-good boy has completely faded away.
“King Indigo… of the Winter Court…”
That’s when I realize Indigo has not only stolen my spotlight.
Indigo has stolen my title as well.
Indigo was my half brother.