Chapter 4


I walk out of the bathroom.  The party was still going on.   Elegant music.  Extravagant wealth.  People staring daggers through smiles.  All the things that I'd assumed would be happening at a place like this.


"Beautiful song..." a voice states "It's called the end of Winter.  You missed the entire song. That's the women's bathroom," a voice states.


The end of Winter. Strange name for a song.


I turn and see Titania.  The Summer Fairy looked really dazzling tonight and she knew it.  I could always sense when someone knew they looked good.  The posture lifts.  The voice elevates.  She is a walking statue in many ways.  She's curled her vibrant peach hair into a bun with diamond studs as an accessory.  Her golden wings sparkled. Her main accessory, however, was a strange little fairy that didn't yet have wings. A young beautiful girl clutching tightly to her arm.


"I was just cleaning."


Lie.  I wonder if I was good at it still.  Thieving was always one thing but lying was always Aunt Willow's one true skill.  She tried to teach it to me but she said there was something about my face.  Maybe I held my lips too tightly, maybe I frowned my face too much, but lying was something that I'd always wanted to be better at.


She can tell.  I know that she knows by how her face changes. 


"The rules are the same even for humans.  Men servants clean the men bathroom—-and what not.  But you knew that."


"It was a special request."


"By whom?"


"I don't recall."


Titania pauses, "Why don't you go to the bathroom Ayina?  I'll be here waiting for you."  She tells the little girl who just seems to have quite the staring problem.  Titania must realize that too because she quickly adds, "Now."


I assume the little girl is her daughter. I'm alone with Titania and I might as well be alone with a snake.  She circles me.  I knew a little about snakes.  Mist had a thing for them.  Used to capture them and even back then they scared the hell out of me.  A snake had a way of eating people.  Their jaw is structured in such a way that it allows the mouth to open wider than their own body in order to swallow their prey whole.


That's what happens with Titania.  Jaw stretched ready to swallow me whole if I said the wrong thing.


"Was it Queen Cerulean who asked you to the bathroom?"


"I don't know who that is."


"The one with the crown, idiot."


Idiot?  I bite my tongue. 




"Strange.  Spring fairies usually don't ask things from servants of the Summer Court."


I shrug.  Play dumb, Raine.  The dumber you look, the more believable this all was.


"I dunno."


"Queen Cerulean looked quite upset leaving the bathroom.  Why was she upset?"


I pause.  She was curious.  She was suspicious.  She was all of those things and more.  At the end of the day as I turn and see those jaws and that mouth opening up ready to swallow me whole...I do the only thing that I know. 


I retreat.


"I need to go ma'am.   I believe King Dino is calling out for me."


I leave her quickly before she gets the chance to object.  I watch her standing there watching me, trying to put two and two together. 


As I return to the party I realize that a bunch of people look surprised.


"You missed it," Aaliyah states.


I know the IT she's referring to.  By the look on a lot of people's faces, IT seems to have gotten the reaction that I wanted it to.  Still, I had to learn to play dumb especially in a place like this.  Titania was smart and she was asking too many questions.  I'd taken a risk meeting Cerulean in the bathroom and assuming that no one was paying attention.  It was dumb.  I had to be more careful.  I had to put on a low profile.


"What?" I ask.


"Queen Cerulean just announced she's pregnant, that her child will not be heir to the Summer Court and that she will----within the week, arrange a marriage between the Summer Court and the Spring Court, to reassure the Seelie alliance."


I raise my eyebrows acting shocked. Bluff, bluff and more bluff, Raine.  That is always better than dead, dead and more dead.


"I don't know what that means."


Aaliyah smiles at the thought, "Aw.  Let's just say that there's going to be peace. No one wants another Titania's party?"  


"Titania's party?"


 "Oh, you don't know?  Best not talk about those things," she smiles with an intrigued but somehow disconnected expression before quickly adding, "Winter is over anyhow."


Winter is over. The way that she says it sends shivers down my spine.


Aaliyah goes on to start explaining as though I'm a fucking dumbass about what a marriage pact between the two Seelie courts would mean.  As she's explaining, however, we are interrupted.  It's him.  It's Indigo.  I see his shadow before I see him.  I smell him before I see him.  He's standing there.  He has a drink in his hand and he's clearly upset.


"May I cut in?" he asks.


Aaliyah seems confused.  We are out in the open right now.  The dance floor is packed with fairies.  Anyone of them could be looking at us right now.  Anyone of them could see him trying to ask me to talk.


"I'll leave," Aaliyah states.


"Actually I was looking out for King Dino," I quickly add.


"The girl will look after King Dino," he instructs Aaliyah with a bit of base behind his voice, "We can talk."


Aaliyah gives me a reassuring nod as she sits next to my nephew. He had guards but they weren't allowed too close to the party. I just wanted Dino to feel safe.


Indigo was a fairy after all.  That's when I see him staring at me.  He looks a bit emotional.  Seeing him again I guess I can admit I'm a little emotional as well.  I thought it was going to be over after I robbed him but as a ghost he keeps popping back up over and over in my life.


"Indigo, I know what you're about to say but now isn't the time----"


"You shouldn't be here."


"I have no choice."


"I would have looked out for him."


Shit.  Hearing him slur a little bit proves it.  He's quite loud as well.  I had no doubt Indigo may have done what he could to look after Dino here at court but what could he really do?  He was a Spring fairy.  Dino was a Summer fairy.  The chances were he wasn't going to be anywhere near him.


I sigh, "You're drunk Indigo."


Drunk and loud.  Loud enough to be drawing attention.  I look over and notice one person in particular.  It's Paris.  He's at the table still with Dino.  His eyes are shooting darts at me.  Maybe it's because a drunk Indigo was now pointing at Dino's table.


Indigo knew better.  He'd always known better than to be so obvious.  Why drink so much?  Why act so emotional.  Now just wasn't the time.


"It's dangerous for you here.  These people..."


"Let's talk in private."


Indigo was always well mannered.  He was always so goddam put together.  Seeing him unravel like this is shocking, to say the least.  Even when he found out I robbed him he wasn't particularly emotional.  Now was different though.  I wasn't sure how to feel.  On one hand, I was scared to fuckin death of what someone might overhear-----but on the other hand, damn.  Indigo was really showing how he felt about me.  No holds barred.  It was something real.  It was something pure. 


I'm trying to lead him away but he's so passionate grabbing me up, "I don't want to talk in private.  I want you to leave."


I don't know a nice way to put it.  It's hard because Indigo is fine. The same handsome regal man I'd known.  But I have to be plain.   Paris had warned me to keep a low profile.  This was definitely not a low profile.


"I love you.  I fuckin' love you and I know deep inside you love me too.  Remember what I promised you? I promised I'd do anything for you.  I'd make it rain roses for you.  I meant that.  Seeing you today---I can't have you in danger."


All slurring. All drunk. If he wasn't ridiculously attractive and almost cute in how he followed me around with his long lean bodies pulling me I'd be so turned off. 


"It's not raining roses Indigo."


"I was your first love. At least admit that."


I pause. Too many eyes are around here. Too many enemies.


I want him to walk away but I didn't want to lie to him either.  My mind immediately goes to Mist.  Maybe a part of me cared for Indigo but in the back of my mind Mist was always there. 




"There's someone else?" he asks.


He's reading my expression.  He can literally see what I'm thinking and right at that moment, it's as though it's killing him.  I've never killed someone before, but I imagine it's the same face that one would make if you were to do it.  The look of shock followed by a lifeless glance afterward as you feel your soul leaves your body.  You can't believe what just happened.  People don't believe death.  Not really.  Not until it faces them. Not until you feel that dagger in your chest and feel your murderer twist it.  That is what it's like watching Indigo's expression as he realizes that maybe things weren't going to be this happily ever after with us.


"Is there someone else?" he asks louder this time.


That's when Paris comes in at the worst time possible. His face is long and his eyes suspend my conversation with Indigo.


"Is there a problem here?"


This was the wrong time.  I knew why he was cutting in though.  Indigo was drunk.  Sure there were other fairies who were feeling a little bit of the same, but none of them were talking to a servant so passionately near the middle of the floor.  It was only a matter of time before Paris saw fit to jump in and intervene. 


"Is this him?" Indigo asks.


I wonder if it's jealousy on his face. An uncomfortable tingle causes hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. It's awkward and tense.


Indigo gets louder pointing a hard direct finger at Paris, "You want him over me? Is it HIM? A fucking Summer fairy!"


Somehow he is mixing up my reaction of Mist with Paris of all people. I am violently shaking my head but it's too late. Paris is clearly annoyed. I may find Indigo's aggression long overdue and even cute but Paris clearly doesn't. 


I don't get a chance to say anything because Paris cuts in, "Indigo right? I knew your older brother.  We fought in the civil war side by side.  I was there when he died as an ally. We were friends.  Because we were friends I'm going to give you some good advice.  The advice he'd want me to give you.  You're drunk, Indigo.  You're making a scene and people are starting to notice.  How about I call your servants to escort you home for the night?"


His words are as sharp as his stare if not sharper. 


"You fucking Summers kill me.  There are TWO courts of Seelie.  It isn't all about you.  I'm having a conversation here."


"And that conversations over," Paris retorts.


"I don't trust you with him.  I don't trust any of you with him," Indigo says.


Indigo takes a step forward.  He's all brawn and anger. It's sexy. On a normal day, Indigo was all manners and politeness. He'd let that all go tonight. He may be taller than Paris, but Paris looks as though he is built with more muscle.  My heart is racing at that moment as I notice this was escalating rather quickly.  Indigo might have had a reason not to trust these people.  He might have had a reason to be emotional at the fact that I was here at court.  But right now everything was getting out of hand and I couldn't control it in any way.  I was just here watching this happen. 


Paris's eyes almost gleam and his wings give a buzzing warning, "Know your place, Spring fairy."


That's when I hear it.   Indigo. 


"My place?  Seems like you Summer fairies are dying off left and right.  You don't tell me what to do.  You're afraid just like the other members of your court.  The age of the Summer fairies is coming to the end just like the Unseelie court.   Your desperation is showing."


I'm almost begging for it to end, "Paris----"


Maybe he'd listen.  He was sober.  He was the one who was in his right mind here.  I was wrong.  I can see the anger brewing in his eyes.  He didn't know my history with Indigo.  Right now this was about courts.  


"Stand aside," Paris responds. 


I don't have a choice when I am pushed aside.  I am quickly replaced.  I watch Solaris quickly join Paris standing to his right side.  Other Summer fairies aren't far behind.  They know something is going on.  They can feel it.  The tension is clear.  Questions start popping up.  What's going on?  What's the problem?


I do think a fight is coming and I don't think at that moment this night can get any worse. I'm wrong. I feel the threat before I see it. A shiver. An immediate turning of heads by the Seelie Court as if they had rehearsed this before tonight.


"We need to settle this..." Indigo says.


He's causing a scene. 5 people turn into 50 and 50 soon turn into the entire party. It seems like hundreds are watching this. Neither man can stand down at this point. 


"You're serious?" Paris asks, "You know who I am?"


Paris was a high ranking prince. He tried to laugh it off but I doubt he can.  He was a big deal. The Summer fairies all feel the same way but that's when I notice the Spring fairies. There was a challenge in their eyes. Was this all about Indigo being drunk and emotional or was this more?


"I know exactly who you are," is Indigo's response his voice deep and sobering, "Just you and me..."


I look over at Prince. He looks at me. I shake my head and if he could read my mind even slightly he'd see how I'm pleading for him to be the grown up in this situation.


He looks around and for a moment I swear he is going to just laugh it off but he doesn't. I watch him take his shirt off revealing cut muscles, a ripped torso, and a statuesque physique underneath. 


"What are your terms?"


What Indigo had in height, Paris made up within a perfectly sculpted body that looked like something out of imagination.


 "A duel?" Indigo immediately states, "To the death."


Whispers roll over. We watch as both men are given pistols. It happens out of the blue as though this is some sort of sick fairy version of the Wild West.


But just when I think this is going to end badly I notice something else happen. 


A piercing scream!




I recognize the scream anywhere. It's my nephew. I see him running towards me. I meet him halfway. I'll always meet him halfway.  He reaches for me tears running down his cheeks.  The scream causes everyone to turn and stare.


 "What's wrong?" I ask, "What happened..."


Titania seems to be at my side in no time, "Why'd he run to you?"


It's hard to remember we are always being watched especially at places like this.  She was giving me her usual suspicious look. Any other time I would have cared enough to make an excuse but now at this moment I was concerned. Something was wrong. Dino was clawing at my body. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.


Paris comes over clearly concerned with the scream, "Is everything OK?"


Paris is shirtless with the body of a protector. You would think anyone would naturally go to him for help but that's not what happens. Dino turns away. He won't talk to anyone but me.


"Dino. It's OK..." I state wrestling through his hair to ease him, "Tell me why you screamed."


Dino points,  "A snake. A snake was on my table..."


Dino is loud enough that he points.  We all turn. We all see why he screamed so loud. All hell breaks loose! No one saw who put the snake on my nephew's table but one thing is clear. It was an attempt...


And there was a victim.




"She's dead," one of the servant girls announces.


Its followed by chaos. Screams and tears. More from shock than actually missing the person. Aaliyah was here just a minute ago and in a minute she was dead. Just like that.


"Black mamba..." Solaris states as the snake slither on the table, "Dangerous and deadly."


I watch Paris grab me.  It's strange that he does it due to how many people are here.  I hear him lean over long enough to whisper something to me, "This parties over.  Go take Dino to his room."


In the fairy courts, everything looked expensive and the cost of entry is some most can't afford. As I am ushered out I realize Aaliyah paid the ultimate price...




I'm pacing back and forth. We were sent to Dino's room. Someone tried to kill my nephew.


There seems to be chaos outside.  Whispered words and the kind of tension that you think has the potential to end the worst kinds of ways.  It didn't make sense. Someone tried to kill the king and now someone tried to kill my nephew.


Dino is more alarmed by all the guards coming in and out of the room now than anything. He's asking a lot of questions when I take him to the room.  Just as many as I have if not more. He wants to know what happened to Aaliyah. Why someone would try to `scare' him with a snake.  He doesn't yet understand the concept of murder not even with all we have been through. I don't have any answers for him and luckily the expensive sheets in his domed royal chambers drift him to sleep before he discovers just how clueless his Uncle is in this new world. 


I wait in the darkness watching over him when I see a shadow underneath the door.


It waits there for a moment---stalking.  


"Who is it?"


Dino should have had guards.  They were all back at the party.  He was alone with only me to protect him.  I'd have to discuss this with Paris----if I'd have the chance.  Six copper chandeliers with lighted yellow wax candles only partially dissipated the darkness of the immense room.




Paris.  It surprises me the relief I feel at that moment as I go for the door.  Sure I hated him with everything inside of me but right now he wasn't something I feared.  Not like the Unseelie back there.


"Is he safe?" Paris asks. 


I nod, "Of course he is."


"You aren't..." Paris states.


He looks down at my hands. I'm shaking. 


"He's a kid!"


Paris sighs, "Come here..."


I think he wants to console me. I'm not sure why. Maybe my shaking makes him think I am some weak human ready to cry. Maybe I want to. I want to cry and scream but I can't. I have to be strong for my nephew. So I just take a step away, cover my shaking hands in my shawl and look at him with a hardened look.


I didn't need anyone's consoling—-EVER


 "WH—What happened out there?"


"I'm going to assume you are upset which would explain why you are speaking to your superior with that kind of tone."


Fairies. He was embarrassed I didn't throw myself in his arms and cry while he rubbed my head. He was embarrassed I kept him standing there looking stupid. 


"Someone wants to kill my nephew and you're worried about tone?"


 "OUR nephew," he responds,  "And as far as what happened—-I'm sorry but we don't know..."  


"You're joking."


"Do I look like I'm joking? I keep telling you that you can't talk to me that way. You're my servant. I'm trying here to be understanding. But you're making it difficult. How can I keep Dino safe with all this extra you are bringing.  There hasn't been this much drama since the end of Winter."


I keep hearing the term. I doubt they are referring to the season change. They are referring to the war. The elimination of the Winter Court.


"I am the cause of the drama you're saying."


"We were distracted by your jealous lover."




"Don't deny it. I had Striker do some digging about your relationship ——or whatever it was you had with Indigo."


"Excuse me? You had someone look into my personal life?"


 "Intel.  It's beyond the scandal that a fairy is with a human.  I'm glad I found it out.  You were going to be around my nephew and the king of the Summer Court."


"He is MY nephew," I correct him angrily.


"Well, I am glad I did do my background on Indigo. Seems interesting a Spring fairy distracted me right before the attack."


"If you know anything about Indigo you know he isn't capable of doing what you are about to implicate him in doing. He would never try to hurt Dino."


 "He distracted me...for someone else to put that snake on that table!"


"He was drunk and emotional."


"He clearly is unwound around you.  I told you to be careful at court.  You singlehandedly almost broke a 300-year truce in one night."


That was laughable, "Me?  You threatened him.  He was under the influence.  I would have led him away from the party.  You didn't have to get all aggressive with him."


"I corrected him----after you made that idiot delusional.  He's weak, like most Spring fairies.  Spring fairies have always been the most susceptible to people like you."


"People like me?"


"Human seducers.    I've heard of humans like you."


He looks at me like I am the one with wings growing out of my back.


"Me?   Are you kidding me?  Seducer?  You guys are walking around here looking like statues of perfection and beauty and I'm the seducer?  I literally am one of the most basic people in the world."


"You don't seem basic to me.  Look at you. Wouldn't take much for you to have any human or fairy wrapped around your finger. You are dangerously attractive..."


I pause.  I don't think he realizes what he says even after he says it. He says it as though it was just a normal fact. Was that the closest thing I've gotten to a nice comment from Paris?


"Thanks but I'm am not dangerous——unless it comes to my nephew. And I need to know who wants to hurt him."


"The Summer Court wants you gone."




 "People overheard Indigo. People talk here. A lot. They know he has a thing for you. You are becoming trouble. They want you gone——especially Titania."


 "I don't care what they want. I stay where Dino is."


"I didn't give you a choice," he tells me "You're gone by morning."




I don't get the chance to say another word before Paris leaves.  I can't stand him.  Paris had a way of being so fucking difficult.  It was almost as though he'd went out of his way to be a fucking jerk.  I understood the kind of person Paris was.  He was the kind of guy who always got everything he wanted.  He was always special.  The king's handsome brother who all the girls swooned over because he was some dashing knight.  Little did they know behind it all he was the fucking devil and the more I thought about it the more it pissed me the hell off.  




I go to sleep that night steaming.  The party was way too eventful.  I wasn't sure what was the most eventful part.  The argument between Paris and Indigo or the assassination attempt. I find myself up all night thinking and luckily I'm allowed to sleep in the same room as Dino.  


It's especially lucky when I'm freaked out by rocks hitting the window.


Dino wakes up clearly bothered by it, "Uncle Raine..."




"Should you call the guard?" he asks me.


Paris had left multiple guards stationed outside of Dino's room.  I knew why.  The Autumn Court coming back had freaked him out.  It made him up security.  It's the reason he left in the first place.  It's the only reason he was breaking his own protocol to let my nephew sleep with me.  Dino was smart though.  He was a kid but he was smart enough to know that this may not be the safest place regardless of how nice it looked.   Right now, while he looks up at me with those eyes of his I know he can tell the difference.


"Stay here."


I get up.  I'm nervous but not frightened.  Maybe a part of it is stupidity.  I should be nervous.  I should be terrified honestly.   It's the middle of the night but for some reason, I have a feeling that if someone was trying to kill my nephew they wouldn't give us a warning.


I go to the window and see him standing below...


It's Indigo.


What the fuck?




"Go back to sleep.  If you hear anything else and it's not me, go call the guards.  I'll be right back."


I climb out of the window.  It's a bit of a risky but luckily all my training as a thief makes it easy to scale down the side of the building using nothing more than the features of the tower like a terrace, a lower level roof and finally the porch. When I get to the bottom it becomes very clear that Indigo has not only sobered up a little bit but seems a bit freshened up as well.  I have to admit he looks handsome there.  It was nice to see someone who was actually nice to me especially with irritating Paris on my ass.




"Indigo it's the middle of the night."


"I know...can you come with me for a second.  It only takes a minute."


I look back up at the window wondering if it's perhaps a bad idea to go too far away from my nephew's room but at the same time I know he has extra protection.  It won't hurt to leave him for a bit.  So here I am following Paris out into the dark corridor.  It seems like we are doing a lot of sneaking around.


"Is all this necessary?" I ask.


"Everyone's on edge about the snake," he explains, "It's best no one knows we are out.  Here,  close your eyes."


He leads me blindfolded.  I don't feel anything but his strong hands.  I feel nothing but his protection.  It's weird being out here.  I should be mad at him.  I should be ignoring him.  I shouldn't even be thinking about Indigo but for some reason...damn...I am.  This is Indigo.  This is the guy who was always the sweetest person I knew.  When he smiled at me I knew that he meant it.  There were no hidden agendas behind his touch.  And maybe that's why I know he could only be leading me to exactly what I want. 




"I'm taking the blindfold off, OK?" he asks, "Just open your eyes slowly OK?"


I do as he says feeling him gently take the blindfold off.  He reaches over and holds my hand after he takes them off.  He lets his fingers drift between my fingers as though pacing me.  Then I notice it.  I notice the rain of flowers over my head.  It was raining rose petals.  I look up and notice that there is a patio over us.  There are women over the patio.  Women who are throwing rose petals down on us. 


"Indigo they see us."


He's not embarrassed about holding my hand.  I want to be but for some reason, I feel something else. Butterflies?


Damn it. Focus, Raine. You aren't here for this.


"I told you.  I told you I would make rose petals fall over you."


All of a sudden I'm feeling all this emotion. 


"You shouldn't have...I'm not here for roses...I..."


It was a distraction.  I needed to focus on my nephew.  He was in danger. All those emotions flood through me.  Anger, embarrassment, irritation but soon I look up at him and I feel these other emotions.  Emotions that I didn't want him to know I had.  I missed his touch.  I missed him looking at me the way that he did.  I missed him feeling me the way he was feeling me. 


He pulls me closer, "They won't tell a soul.  They won't tell anyone about this..."


"About what?"


And that's when he does something only Indigo could do.  Only the kind of guy who would forgive me for using him only to rob his family.  Only the kind of guy who would bail me out of jail.  Only the kind of guy who would go out of his way to destroy a family alliance out of his affection for me.  He did the thing only a guy who would go out of his way to make it rain roses so he can prove he meant some stupid fucking promise he gave me.


This is only the kind of man who would ask politely... "Can I kiss you?"


I felt so weak and scared after I said that. Visions of how he will react if I pulled away were continuously going in my mind. But then, he didn't say anything. He held my hands more tightly. I didn't react. I made a few deep breaths, he let me do it.


He held my hand even tighter than earlier and drew me more closely towards him.  He wrapped my right hand around him as best as he could, all the while trying desperately to get into a good position to kiss me on my lips. He made my task easier by holding me back and bending down to be part of the kiss in the rain of roses. My hold was even tighter when after a peck on his lips, he responded back to me with a very wild kiss. His hands were around my neck and cheeks and he was trying to pull me up and up to make that kiss very special to me. It had become very dark by then.


It was short.  It was special.


"I should get back..." I tell him.


"I know..."


He looks disappointed.  Scared that maybe he had done something that I wasn't ready for.  A part of me wasn't ready for it.  A part of me wasn't here for any of this.  But for some reason, I turn back around before I leave the court.  I see his eyes hopefully looking back at me and I can't help myself.


"I love you...Indigo," I tell him.


Indigo looks up at me and there is this smile of relief, "I love you too."




I wake up the next morning with a sigh of relief and power.  Maybe it was the kiss from Indigo that refreshed my resolve.  Maybe it was this small realization that I had someone in the Court that actually had my back.  I had someone that I could trust. 


So, when Paris walks into the room I'm ready.


He seems almost distracted.


"Paris...I'm not leaving..."


"Wake the king and give him a bath.  The other servants will come help in a second..."


"Did you hear me?" I ask, "I'm not fucking leaving. I don't care what Titania or the other Summer fairies have to say..."


"I'm not worried about that SHIT right now!"


This wasn't the first time I'd seen Paris break down and lose it but this time is different.  This time no one else was around to see his tantrum.  The guards were still outside and little Dino was asleep.  Something was wrong with Paris and I could tell a mile away.


That's when I see him all of a sudden start crying.  It comes out of nowhere.  It's almost ridiculous how he just starts tearing up.  I almost feel bad for him.  It's my first time seeing Paris be so vulnerable.  Like the tears are quiet and probably the most masculine, regal Paris-like tears that I've ever seen in my life but they were still tears.  At first, I don't know how to react so I move closer.  I pat him on his back slowly.  I guess maybe fairies got emotional too.


"Is it..." I pause before thinking about the possibilities, "The stress of the Autumn Court being back."


He shrugs, "Sort of.  With the Autumn Court back, it's imperative that the Spring Court and Summer Court have a marriage to secure our alliance especially with Queen Cerulean refusing to marry Dino."


I look over at him.  There's only one thing that can make him so upset.


"You have to get married, don't you?" I ask.


He nods.


I feel horrible.  I can see the pain all over his face.  I wonder why he agrees to it but by the look on his face, I don't think he has much of a choice.  I still didn't know these fairy traditions but I knew enough to know that the alliance between the Summer Court and the Spring Court was important to a lot of people.  Maybe he wasn't exactly being forced by law, but that didn't make the pressure any less intense.


And the worst part of it is that it was all my fault.  I threatened Cerulean to announce she wasn't going to marry my nephew.  I forced her to announce that she was going to arrange some other marriage. 


I didn't know it was Paris.  I shouldn't care.  I shouldn't feel bad.  Paris was a dick.  But for some reason I do.  I feel awful.


"What's worse is who I have to marry," he surprisingly confides in me.




He looks up at me and blows my world, "I have to marry Indigo."





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