This scene appeared in a single draft of Enchanted Storms and was promptly removed before my editor could unravel my sentences, so please be kind.
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Lightning struck from a clear blue sky the moment he crossed the border from Abbot into Amaranyllis, as if the world felt his presence and knew the reckoning had come.
In the four days he crossed the kingdom, from the border to the garden palace of Amaranyllis, a fairiestorm brewed in the world. Thunder rumbled through the land, crashing down on them without warning. The people of Amaranyllis watched the sky, looking for the lightning; for both to strike in harmony as a storm ought to. But there was no sense in this fairiestorm.
So the people of Amaranyllis went about their work, their day, their lives in a fairy kingdom where there was much they did not understand. They welcomed the stranger at their inns with a smile. Then they whispered among themselves of what he said to his men, of what the men spoke to one another. The people could not perceive the fairie realm, did not realize the flowers listened to them and relayed everything to the poppies who loved nothing more than gossip.
The Feyin, whose noble blood gave them fairiesense, listened to the poppies whisper of this man. They recognized the malice and destiny he brought as it darkened the skies of the faire realm. The tempest roiled in their blood, incited by their own excitement and fear. Though they did not know what to expect, the Feyin knew power now moved in their kingdom with one terrible purpose.
The Princesses were not so helpless as their Feyin court. But even they could not keep him from coming; could not name the forces that drove him to their kingdom. They tasted the fairiestorm on the wind, and did their best to keep it from driving the kingdom to madness.
But Princess Evanelle was blind to all these things. It had been years since any destiny touched her. So she did not heed the thunder or fear the fairiestorm.
“Where will you run?” the Queen asked her that night he first crossed into their kingdom.
Evanelle stood on a balcony high in the palace, as close to the night as she could reach. The gossamer layers of her white dress moved as if stirred by a breeze that did not exist in the world. She didn’t turn as the Queen walked up beside her and rested her hands on the warm stone rail. “What makes you think I’ll run?”
“Just because you choose not to use your fairiesense does not mean your emotions and intentions do not exist there.”
“No.” Evanelle watched the stars as if she could loose some part of herself and fly into the night; run from herself and her dreams as easily as she could run from the palace. “Though they exist, they have no power in that realm, do they. If you let your boredom drive your choices, to run or to stay; to banish or host balls every night; the wind created in the fairy realm by that boredom would ravage the palace.”
“This isn’t boredom, Evanelle. There is fear buried among this recklessness. You’re aching to leave the one place you sense you belong.” Though she spoke with confidence, her daughter was little more than a specter in fairie. The Queen grasped at the tendrils of emotion in the fairie realm. “Where would you go this time?”
“I thought I’d harvest siline.” Her calm bravado was only a veil, distracting the Queen who came too close to speaking a fear Evanelle was not ready for.
“You let Danielle go.”
“You are not your sister.”
“I am not any of my three sisters. This kingdom has no need of a Princess who cannot influence either the fairie realm or the world. Why would you need me here when he arrives?”
“I don’t know.” The Queen did not keep the slightest breath of pain from escaping in her words. So high in the palace there was little risk in letting go of her control in order to speak the truth. “It is because I do not know that we must follow even the smallest glimmer in fairie to see what the future holds.”
Evanelle’s laugh flitted into the night. She turned to her mother, irony and amusement lingering in her smile. “There is a fairiestorm on the horizon of the world. That is no small glimmer in faire.”
“And if you practiced your fairiesense you’d know so much more than the coming storm. You could be so powerful, Evanelle, if you only tried.”
Evanelle’s smile fell away at her mother’s words. She looked down, running her hands over the smooth grey stone rail. She’d heard the very same thing hundreds of times before. But this time, the words ricocheted through her, knocking pieces of her out of place. “What makes you think so?”
“I am your mother. And the Queen of this fairy realm. You will never understand all the things I know.” The air was heavy with the words she did not speak; with the choices she’d made now coming back to demand their price. But Evanelle was unburdened by the sense of such things hurling through the fairie realm. “You cannot ignore that small glimmer in fairie that keeps you here; pulls you in when you long to run away. Shall I speak the words you refuse to hear in fairie?”
Evanelle spent her life willfully oblivious to fairie. She had no intention of changing that this night. She’d come up to this high balcony to escape the thing her mother now threatened to summon forth and so she turned to escape again. The soft scent of roses followed her as she walked toward the palace, away from her mother. “The Dyvtorin leave at midnight to cross into the fairie realm. Shall I gather blue siline for you?”
The Queen kept her back to her daughter; kept her eyes on the night. Silently she longed, for the barest of moments, to soar into the night; to be free from what was to come. Then she turned toward her daughter. “You will not go.”
Evanelle stopped and turned back to look her in the eye. Her mother. The Queen of the kingdom of Amaranyllis. “Do you think you can stop me?”
“You may have no resonance, daughter of mine. But my word is binding. I have never commanded you before. Not to let the fairies teach you when you chose to ignore your fairiesense. Not to hold you in this palace when you run wild. Not even to temper your words. Will you test whether my command will hold you now?”
Evanelle considered her mother’s words; considered the implications in them and the price of remaining in this palace on the verge of chaos. “Very well. I will stay – but not for you. For my sisters, so they don’t have to face this destiny alone. I will speak what they cannot and slap his face if he deserves it.”
“And will you also charm him if it’s required of you?”
“If need be.” Evanelle drew a breath, steeling herself for the days to come; settling herself into the steadiness of this choice now made. “None of us knows what’s coming. How terrifying that must be.”
“You have no idea.” And because Evanelle did not care for her fairiesense, she did not perceive her mother’s grief in fairie, or the Queen’s fierce control to keep it bound there.
I removed this scene after feedback from my creative editor that it wouldn’t make much sense to a new reader (unless they’d read Tattered Heart). I agreed, in fact I’d written to create a sense of mystery around fairie and the way the Royal women interacted with that realm. She convinced me, though, the fun started in the immediately following scene with Cillian. Rather than trying to punch up this scene, I decided to delete it and skip to the action.
If you’d like to read more of Enchanted Storms, it’s available in both paperback and ebook.